The NT Church...as described in the Bible

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Plzxplainwbcv

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I’m not here to ‘troll’ or attack anyone…i know religion can be a ‘sensitve’ subject. I am trying to get an understanding of where the catholic church gets its beliefs, because personal Bible study has not shown me that the catholic church and what is believes is the true church. and even after providing scriptures on those thoughts you still argue that you are right…and how is that so. are we reading the samething? you can’t just throw out the fact that the Bible is from God, and everything that we need to know, learn is in the Bible…because he gives no instruction that it isn’t, or that we need something else to accomplish this. So who in your chruch said that another book or set of ‘rules were needed’ and how this justified?

but moving on…lemme defend my faith and tell you what i belive to know is true…and what is described in the NT. and yes i did get this off a website [easier to post] but i myself has studied this…and it was just easier to find it online. [somewhat long, but informative]

ITS FOUNDER – CHRIST

He is purchaser, Acts 20:28
He is builder, Matt. 16:18
He is head, Eph. 5:23
He is lawgiver, Acts 2:36
He is savior, Eph. 5:23
ITS ORIGIN – A.D. 33 IN JERUSALEM

After Hades tried but failed to hold its builder, Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:31
While apostles lived, Mark 9:1
When Holy Spirit and power came, Mark 9:1;Acts 1:8; 2:1-4
When the “word of the Lord” went “forth from Jerusalem.” Isa. 2:2, 3; Luke 24:49
**ITS MEMBERSHIP **

****Hear the word of the gospel, Rom. 10:17; Acts 18:8
Believe the gospel, Acts 18:8; I Cor. 1:2
Repent of their sins, Acts 2:38, 47
Confess the Christ, Acts 8:37; Rom. 10:10
Are baptized:
Buried, Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12
In water, Acts 8:36-39; 10:47-48
To wash away sins, Acts 22:16
For remission of sins, Acts 2:38
To be saved, I Peter 3:21
Into Christ, Gal. 3:27
Into the one body, the church, I Cor. 12:13

ITS DOCTRINE – THE NEW TESTAMENT

Christ is the Lawgiver, Eph. 4:7-16; 5:24
The Holy Spirit is the Revealer, I Cor. 2:13; Eph. 3:1-6
The apostles’ teaching is its manual, Acts 2:42; Eph. 2:20
 
ITS ORGANIZATION – CONGREGATIONAL

Organically independent of every other local church
Self-governing under Christ, the heavenly bishop, Acts 14:23; I Peter 5:4; 2:25; Phil. 1:1
With bishops (elders, pastors, presbyters) who feed, tend, oversee, and rule the flock among them, Acts 20:17, 28; I Peter 5:2-4; I Tim. 3:1-7; Heb. 13:17
With deacons to serve, I Tim. 3:8-13
With members who minister in word and deed, I Cor. 12:24-27
ITS FOUNDATION – THE SON OF GOD

“This rock – the Christ of God,” Matt. 16:18
The “laid foundation,” I. Cor. 3:11
The “tried” foundation, Isa. 28:16
The apostolic foundation, Eph. 2:20
ITS DESIGNATIONS – BY APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY

Christ called it:
“My church,” Matt. 16:18
“My kingdom,” Luke 22:30; John 3:5; Luke 22:16
Apostles called it:
“The church,” Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22; 3:10; 5:23-32
“The church of the Lord,” Acts 20:28
“The church of God,” I Cor. 1:2; Gal 1:13
“Churches of Christ” (Singular - “church of Christ”), Rom. 16:16
“The house of God,” I Tim. 3:15
“The household of God,” Eph. 2:19
“The household of faith,” Gal. 6:10
“The Kingdom of God,” Acts 28:23, 31
“The Kingdom of God’s dear Son,” Col. 1:13
“A Kingdom which cannot be shaken,” Heb. 12:28
 
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Plzxplainwbcv:
I’m not here to ‘troll’ or attack anyone…i know religion can be a ‘sensitve’ subject. I am trying to get an understanding of where the catholic church gets its beliefs, because personal Bible study has not shown me that the catholic church and what is believes is the true church. and even after providing scriptures on those thoughts you still argue that you are right…and how is that so. are we reading the samething?

YOU are asking us this? Check with your fellow Sola Scriptura-ites first. They read the Bible like you. Let’s see what they find:

Baptize infants…no you can’t
Real presence in the Lords Supper…no there isn’t
Once saved always saved…no you’re not
Homosexuality is ok…no its not
divorce is ok…no its not
drinking wine is ok…no its not
Christ is God…no he isn’t
Trinity…oneness

The list is endless. And all from the fruits of sola …scriptura people just picking up the bible and reading it like you do. if sola scriptura were true accoring to your claims, I could not make such a list.

you can’t just throw out the fact that the Bible is from God,

we haven’t, thanx for the advice

and everything that we need to know, learn is in the Bible…because he gives no instruction that it isn’t, or that we need something else to accomplish this.

The bible makes not such claim for itself so you cannot make the claim cuz it is not in the bible.

So who in your chruch said that another book or set of ‘rules were needed’ and how this justified?

What you bind on Earth shall be bound in heaven…
Question…does your group annoint the sick?
 
John 16:13; 2 Peter 1:3; Acts 20:20,27; Matt 28:20, I Cor. 14:37; 2 Timothy 3:16,17

that God intended for the Bible alone to be the guide to salvation…and all other things…

and going by tradition or church laws or any human standar displeases God
Matt 15:1-14, Cols 2:8, Gal. 1:6-9; Prov. 14:12; 2 John 9-11; Jer 10:23

annoint the sick? as what do you mean?

My Church…

Baptize infants…no you can’t
Real presence in the Lords Supper…no there isn’t [a memorial]
Once saved always saved…no you’re not [you can lose salvation]
Homosexuality is ok…God teaches against it
divorce is ok…God Hates divorce
drinking wine is ok…disagree…drunkedness is preached against
Christ is God…yes he is
 
Probably best to take your issues one at a time. Please don’t be surprised to find people here very happy to share our faith with you. And don’t worry about offending us. There are plenty of intelligent and well-versed people to calmly lead you through your concerns if you are willing to listen.

So which part of the NT church would you like to discuss first? I saw several points in one of your posts. We could do infant baptism or the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist if you’d like. Just let me know.
 
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Plzxplainwbcv:
John 16:13; 2 Peter 1:3; Acts 20:20,27; Matt 28:20, I Cor. 14:37; 2 Timothy 3:16,17

that God intended for the Bible alone to be the guide to salvation…and all other things…
Let’s look at these verses. I’m referencing an NIV Bible (the only non-Catholic bible I own) unless otherwise noted.

John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of thruth, comes, he will guiede you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”

This talks about the Holy Spirit, not the Bible, Scripture, or the Word.

2 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”

How do you equate “everything” in this verse with “Bible” or “Scripture”?

Acts 20:20,27 “You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.”…“For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.”

Paul taught the Ephesians publicy and from house to house (vs 20), which implies verbal teaching over written teaching. And yes, Paul proclaimed to them the whole will of God, but he does not say whether his writings (only one form of his teaching) proclaimed the whole will of God.

Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Nowhere in this passage does Jesus even hint that everything he commanded was to be compiled in a series of books.

1 Corinthians 14:37 “If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command.”

This passage shows the importance of Scripture, but does not indicate that the totality of the Lord’s commands are in written form.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Well, this verse does lend creedence to the claim of Sola Scriptura, or Bible alone, but let’s compare it to the wording of the New American Bible (a Catholic Bible):

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

“Thouroughly equipped” (NIV) carries a much different implication than “competent” (NAB). The NIV translation supports your claims, while the NAB translation does not. How do you know which translation is correct?

Peace
 
Plzxplainwbcv has posted another thread in this forum where he has made it clear that he is not truly here to “just ask a question” but to attack the Catholic Church in these threads by throwing out volumes of charges rather than bringing up one topic for discussion and, rather than civilly discussing one topic, is obviously taking delight in watching people trying to address dozens of questions, while he can sit back and pick and choose what to comment on without having to respond to anything anyelse brings up if he chooses not to. Pretty typical Troll tactic.

I suggest, that if Mr.Plzxplainwbcv cannot limit themselves to a single topic, he should not be encouraged by playing his game. 🙂
 
DFTT

… but then again sometimes it is good to respond – if not for the Troll’s sake – but for the sake of other people who might be reading the thread just so they can see there is an answer for some of this stuff.

-C
 
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Plzxplainwbcv:
John 16:13; 2 Peter 1:3; Acts 20:20,27; Matt 28:20, I Cor. 14:37; 2 Timothy 3:16,17

that God intended for the Bible alone to be the guide to salvation…and all other things…
That’s odd. Those are the same passages you cited as proof that the apostles wrote down EVERYTHING that we needed. Now you cite them as proof that scripture alone is sufficient for salvation. You are aware that Paul disagrees with you, aren’t you?

Several times in his letters he cites the need for preachers (like himself) who can authoritatively teach.

If the scriptures were indeed all-sufficient, then why do we have so many “bible only” churches that disagree with one another on doctrine? They all use the same scriptures and come to wildly divergent doctrines.

Plzxplainwbcv:
and going by tradition or church laws or any human standar displeases God
Matt 15:1-14, Cols 2:8, Gal. 1:6-9; Prov. 14:12; 2 John 9-11; Jer 10:23
Hmmmm. Tell me something. How do you know that the gospel of Matthew was written by Matthew?

The gospel does not identify the human author. (Hint: oral tradition)

From: Scripture Catholic
Matt. 15:3 - Jesus condemns human traditions that void God’s word. Some Protestants use this verse to condemn all tradition. But this verse has nothing to do with the tradition we must obey that was handed down to us from the apostles. (Here, the Pharisees, in their human tradition, gave goods to the temple to avoid taking care of their parents, and this voids God’s law of honoring one’s father and mother.)
Acts 2:42 - the members obeyed apostolic tradition (doctrine, prayers, and the breaking of bread). Their obedience was not to the Scriptures alone. Tradition (in Greek, “paradosis”) means “to hand on” teaching.
Acts 20:7 - this verse gives us a glimpse of Christian worship on Sunday, but changing the Lord’s day from Saturday to Sunday is understood primarily from oral apostolic tradition.
1 Cor. 11:2 - Paul commends the faithful for maintaining the apostolic tradition that they have received. The oral word is preserved and protected by the Spirit.
Phil. 4:9 - Paul says that what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do. This refers to learning from his preaching and example, which is apostolic tradition.
There are dozens more. Check them out and take your time. The understanding that you will gain regarding a differentiation between traditions of men and traditions of God will make it worthwhile.
Plzxplainwbcv:

annoint the sick? as what do you mean?
You say that you have studied the scriptures and are baffled by the concept of anointing the sick? Hmmmm…

James 5
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

You DO, at least, confess your sins to one another, right? To do so would be UNBIBLICAL.

Plzxplainwbcv:
My Church…

Baptize infants…no you can’t
Uh-oh. This restriction is NOT in scripture. Did you make this up?

Plzxplainwbcv:
Real presence in the Lords Supper…no there isn’t [a memorial]
Paul tells us in:
1 Corinthians 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

Please explain how a man can bring “DAMNATION” upon himself by participating in a memorial “unworthily”.

Plzxplainwbcv:
divorce is ok…God Hates divorce
so does your church advise against it, or is it forbidden?

Plzxplainwbcv:

drinking wine is ok…disagree…drunkedness is preached against

Clever twist there. No one said anything about drunkenness. The question regarded the drinking of wine. God’s Word refers to Our Lord drinking wine on different occasions (and supplying it to others at Cana). Is God’s Word true? Or can we change “wine” to be “chocolate milk” or another drink?

Please keep in mind that pasteurization did not exist 2000 years ago. You couldn’t keep grape juice for several months back then as we can now.

Do you believe we can change God’s Word anywhere else?

Peace in Christ…Salmon
 
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Fidelis:
I suggest, that if Mr.Plzxplainwbcv cannot limit themselves to a single topic, he should not be encouraged by playing his game. 🙂
Fidelis, consider it a workout at the gym.

Just keepin’ in shape.

AND Calvin makes a great point.

Peace in Christ…Salmon
 
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Plzxplainwbcv:
annoint the sick? as what do you mean?

What? The BIBLE clearly says (and I quote )

“Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.”

So if your sick people aren’t willing to seek annointing with oil and if you don’t have any elders to do the annointing or if the elders you do have don’t annoint, then you are in violation of a command of the bible. I suggest you find a church that annoints.

My Church…

Yes I saw your list but you ignored the point rather handily. Thought I wouldn’t notice, eh? I ask you “what good is your doctrine of sola scriptura if those who follow it cannot agree on that very short list of issues?” I am not particulary interested in your specific answers. I want to know why I should trust YOUR list of bible only teachings as opposed to, say, the list of teachings i might get from a Baptist, or a Pentecostal…both of whom sit down with the inspired word of God and determine the truth just like you but come up with completely different versions of the truth. Sola Scriptura is theological Chaos and you dare to propose it to me!
 
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Plzxplainwbcv:
John 16:13; 2 Peter 1:3; Acts 20:20,27; Matt 28:20, I Cor. 14:37; 2 Timothy 3:16,17

that God intended for the Bible alone to be the guide to salvation…and all other things…

and going by tradition or church laws or any human standar displeases God
Matt 15:1-14, Cols 2:8, Gal. 1:6-9; Prov. 14:12; 2 John 9-11; Jer 10:23

annoint the sick? as what do you mean?

My Church…

Baptize infants…no you can’t
Real presence in the Lords Supper…no there isn’t [a memorial]
Once saved always saved…no you’re not [you can lose salvation]
Homosexuality is ok…God teaches against it
divorce is ok…God Hates divorce
drinking wine is ok…disagree…drunkedness is preached against
Christ is God…yes he is
My Church I thought it was Jesus Christ’s church? :tsktsk:
I like the idea of having someplace to go to discuss Catholc issues and I like even more the idea of having some of our separated brethren coming here to inquire, but Plzxplainwbcv obviously has an axe to grind with the Catholic church. The first sign of his hatred is the fact he doesn’t let any of us know where he’s from. I believe this person to be a wolf in sheeps clothing. Back to the bridge troll.
 
First of all it would be difficult to pin down the NT church considering the church had been in existence for decades before the NT was completed. Historically, the early church held the same beliefs Catholics do today. eg They were Catholic. Some of the earliest church fathers were contemporaries of the apostles. Fundamentalists and Evangelicals say they don’t care about the early church fathers. All they care about is the Bible. Who do they think organized, and validated the Bible? There wasn’t a complete “Bible” until the fourth century. There were hundreds of letters used as Scripture. The Shepherd of Hermas, for example. Someone decided what was devinely inspired and what wasn’t. Who? The Catholic Church did. Some may say well the early church wasn’t Catholic. I disagree, but few can deny it was Catholic by the fourth century.

Where in the bible does it say which books are supposed to be in the bible? There is no divinely inspired table of contents. Some say the holy spirit put the correct books in the bible. That’s begging the question, though. Human agents were used to organize and validate the Scriptures. There was no writing in the sky that told them. Every bible even Protestant bibles contain books chosen by Catholic bishops at several church councils. Protestants have fewer old testament books, of course, but the new testament is exactly as the Church organized it. Why take their word for what belongs in the Bible, and then say the Catholic Church isn’t the true Church? If it isn’t the Catholic Church who copied, organized, and distributed the bible as we know it today, then who is? If the Catholic Church in the fourth century had no authority to organize the bible then Scripture itself is questionable. When taken to the logical conclusion, Divine Revelation would still be continuing. Joseph Smith understood that if the Catholic Church had no authority then revelation could continue. Ergo they have what they believe to be later Scriptures.

This is only from one angle, but I think it’s important. If the Catholic Church isn’t the true Church. If Protestants deny the Church had authority to decide what was divinely inspired…then even their own bible could be in question. This isn’t a good place to start believing Sola Scriptora.

Not all Protestant Churches have a disdain for early church history, however. The denominations most in tune with early church roots are decidely similar to the Catholic Church. ie Sacramental, Liturgical etc.
 
Plzxplainwbcv,

Allow me to focus on just one aspect of the Church and how authority is exercised in it by Peter and his succesors. This will take multiple posts.

1 of 3

As you may already be aware the Catholic position on Peter, the papacy and papal infallibility starts at Matthew 16:18-19. “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Anyone demanding a proof text that says literally: “the popes are Peter’s successors and are infallible” should read no further. It isn’t in the bible and you won’t find it here. A discussion of Church structure and authority also presumes a belief in a visible Church. Catholics believe in that also, based on their understanding of scripture, others may not.

Catholics as everyone knows are not “ Sola Scriptura” or “Bible Alone” people. Which is not to say they are unbiblical people, opinions to the contrary notwithstanding.

Infallibility is not impeccability. Popes can and do sin. Some few seem to have wallowed in sin. That is not what this discussion is about.

Let’s start with Matt 16:18 in its context: Matt 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

At this point a few facts indicating Peter’s primacy among the Apostles seems in order. In the New Testament, Peter, under his various names, Simon, Peter, Cephas, Kephas, Simon Peter, is mentioned 195 times. The closest after him is the Apostle John mentioned 29 times. Whenever all the names of the Apostles are listed Peter is always first and Judas Iscariot is always last. Matt 10:2-5, Mark 3:16-19, Luke 6:14-17, Acts 1:13. Sometimes they are referred to only as “Peter and his companions” or in a similar manner. Luke 9:32, Mark 16:7, Acts 2:37. Peter is seen as the spokesman for the whole group in Matt 18:21, Mark 8:29, Luke 8:45, Luke 12:41, John 6:68-69.

continuing…
 
Plzxplainwbcv,

2 of 3

A scriptural antecedent or Old Testament type of the kind of commission Jesus gives to Peter in Matt: 16:18-19 can be found in Isaiah 22:15-25. It is the description of the delegation of authority to the chief steward or minister of the king. The steward is given the key of the House of David It is an office with succession. The authority over the House of David is transferred from one servant to a new servant and his line. Much as the stewards of temple worship in Jerusalem were cut off and Jesus the Son of David passes the authority of His house to Peter. You see there also the transfer of authority to bind and loose even as given to Peter in Matthew.

What examples do we have in scripture of Peter exercising this authority? They are found in

Acts 1:15 Peter leads the other apostles in the selection of Matthias to succeed Judas in his office.
Acts 2:14 Peter is first to proclaim the Gospel at Pentecost.
Acts 3:1-12 The first public miracle is worked through Peter.
Acts 4:8-12 Peter professes the faith before the Sanhedrin.
Acts 5:1-5 Peter exercises Church discipline on Ananias and Sapphira dramatically and
Acts 5:3-10 speaks with amazing and frightening authority.
Acts 5:15 The faith of the people in Peter’s authority is demonstrated by their actions.
Acts 8:14-15 Peter goes to Samaria to lay on hands so the Holy Spirit would come.
Acts 8:20-24 Peter speaks for the Apostles rebuking Simon Magus.
Acts 10:1-48 Peter baptizes the first Gentiles into the Church.
Acts 11:18 Peter’s authority in baptizing Gentiles is accepted after he explains actions.
His decision was binding on the Jewish Christians to accept the Gentiles
and loosing for the Gentiles, loosing them from any obligation to be circumcised.
Acts 15:1-35 At the Council of Jerusalem after much debate on the matter of the Gentiles
Peter again states his position on the question. The assembly falls silent,
Paul and Barnabas speak, and James accepts and supports Peter’s doctrinal
Declaration. James then addresses the issues of minimum disciplines the Gentiles must
practice now that they are accepted without having to be circumcised.

continuing
 
Plzxplainwbcv,

3 of 3

A few other passages that deal with Peter’s unique position among the Apostles are:

Luke 22:31-32 “ And the Lord said unto Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat; But I have prayed for you, that your faith does not fail; and when you are converted, strengthen your brethren.”

John 21:2, 15-17. In this passage Jesus questions Peter three times whether he loves Him.
“Do you love me more than these?”
Jesus tells Peter, “feed my lambs…, tend my sheep…, feed my sheep.”
He is appointing Peter as the Shepherd of his flock. But he does not address the several other Apostles who are present. It is clear that Peter is to shepherd not only the flock of lambs but also the other sheep. This has been interpreted by some to refer to the laity as lambs, and the clergy as sheep. All including Peter himself are sheep of Christ’s flock with Jesus the ultimate shepherd. But again Jesus is here delegating His authority to Peter to be a shepherd of the flock and the other shepherds.

Earlier Jesus had promised the special guidance of the Holy Spirit to guide the Apostles and the Church in all truth. John 14:16-18, 26 and John 16:12-13. It is the Holy Spirit who will preserve the Church and the successors of the Apostles from teaching error.

There are too many passages of Scripture Old and New Testament to list indicating the imagery of the shepherd as ruler. But this is the image in which the Apostles are cast by Jesus, with Peter as the chief shepherd by Jesus’ delegation of authority. The other Apostles do have similar authority invested in them by Jesus, but Jesus never gives them the keys nor deals with them in the special individual manor He deals with Peter. Their authority is real but must be in unity with Peter, the guarantor of the unity of the Church on earth by Christ’s investiture. The other Apostles or bishops represent the diversity of the Church and Peter its essential unity.

I will not go into all the early Church Fathers who support this general understanding. I will only mention one of the earliest, a successor of Peter who asserted his universal authority over another local Church. That is Clement of Rome whose Letter to the Corinthians some wanted o be included in the Canon of Scripture. In that letter, circa 80-98 A.D., Clement asserted his authority over the Corinthian Church as Peter’s successor. The letter is easily available on any number of web sites.
I cite it only because it is so early in the apostolic succession and because some argue that papal authority was an invention of the fifth century. The outward dressing of that authority may have developed over the years but the inner essential has remained the same.

The dogmatic formulation was done at the Vatican Council I, 1870 and further refined at Vatican II in the 1960s.
 
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Plzxplainwbcv:
ITS ORGANIZATION – CONGREGATIONAL

…With bishops (elders, pastors, presbyters) who feed, tend, oversee, and rule the flock among them, :2-4; I Tim. 3:1-7; Heb. 13:17


Just out of curiosity I would be interested in knowing if your church has true bishops. I would also like to know who ordained them and if they can trace their lineage to the apostles. Bishops in the catholic (i.e. the one, true church) have been ordained through the laying on of hands through clearly traceable apostolic lines.
 
Here’s a few posts I made for another forum…so please ignore the references to “whistler”…he he.

Your position depends upon the doctrine that all of God’s divine revelation is contained in Scripture (sola scriptura), yet can you prove this crucial doctrine from Scripture? The Catholic Church completely agrees that Scripture is God-breathed, inspired, without error, the Word of God, etc…but we do not believe that all of Divine Revelation was written down (the apostles both preached and wrote).

Let’s consider several verses (these verses were all referenced on Catholic Answers---catholic.com):

“But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:25).

“I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you” (1 Cor. 11:2).
Oral teachings are very important…can you demonstrate that this has changed after the end of apostolic era?

“Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus; guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us” (2 Tim. 1:13-14).

“So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.” (2 Thess. 2:15, emphasis added)
Both oral and written teachings are important, the NT gives no indication that Christianity is a religion of the book (alone).

“You, then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:1-2).
If after the apostolic era, the Bible alone would suffice, why did Paul believe that the continuation of sound doctrine required special teachers entrusted with the deposit of faith?

“First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:20-21).

“‘Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink, but I hope to come to see you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete” (2 John 12).
The written word was not enough, John wanted to teach them more orally.

“…and came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophets, that he should be called a Nazarene.” (Matt. 2:23, ASV).
It’s interesting that this prophecy can not be found in Scripture…Matthew must have been relying upon the oral teachings of the apostles that was passed down. Also on this note…obviously the prophets spoke for God, but do you think that all the words of every prophet God sent is recorded in the OT? Were the words that are not recorded unauthoritative?

“…but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how men ought to behave themselves in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” (1 Tim. 3:15, ASV).
The Church, not the Bible alone, the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth…but how can it remain so if the church can not agree what truth is (on many issues)? Look how splintered Christendom becomes when apostolic succession is rejected. (I.e. Protestantism).

The Council of Jerusalem shows an authoritative church (in Acts 15) making a decision relevant to that time binding on all the faithful…can you demonstrate that this authority vanished with the death of the apostles? Why do you assume that Christianity’s sole authority became the Bible after the apostles died? How can you know this for sure?

There are other reasons to reject the doctrine of sola scriptura, especially for the Old Covenant. I highly recommend that you listen to ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/resolve.asp?rafile=iq_496.ra, which is an audio file where Tim Staples, a former Protestant, discusses the doctrine of sola scriptura. He makes some generalizations about Protestants, so I apologize for that, but it makes a good case anyway.
Please take a look at these articles as well:
catholic.com/library/What_Your_Authority.asp
catholic.com/library/Scripture_and_Tradition.asp
catholic.com/library/Apostolic_Tradition.asp

God bless,

Tyler
 
Whistler, I remind you again that the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Tim. 3:15)…the Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, tells us what traditions are apostolic in nature. I ask you again to listen to that audio file I linked to, and to look at a few of those articles. Also remember the verses I posted…Paul and Peter both knew that sound doctrine can not be maintained (completely) without Spirit-inspired guidance…

Here’s another verse to add to those above:
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come. (Jn. 16:13, ASV).
I agree that the Spirit leads us all…but we do not all hear Him clearly, as Protestantism proves (so many varying doctrinal views)…it is the Church, the Pillar and Foundation of Truth, that is guided infallibly by the Spirit—this was true in the apostolic era, I again challenge you to demonstrate that this ceased to be after the apostles died. (Why, in the verses I used in the last post, did Paul see it necessary for certain men to be appointed that would ensure that sound doctrine was passed down? The Bible, by itself, is not enough to discern all sound doctrine. The Church Fathers also knew that apostolic succession was the true test of canonicity of a Christian community. Please, in addition to those referenced in the earlier post, see for some Biblical evidence for apostolic succession, or authority transferred through the laying on of hands:
scripturecatholic.com/apostolic_succession.html#apostolic-II and ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ262.HTM)

Consider also 2 Peter 1:15 (ASV)
“Yea, I will give diligence that at every time ye may be able after my decease to call these things to remembrance.”
Again we see that Peter’s letters are not enough by themselves (though they are wonderful inspired writings)…if sound doctrine is to be passed down, Spirit-guided leadership with apostolic sucession is required.
 
Once again, I will quote the exact same thing I said in the last thread on this topic:

Plz,

You claim to reject this tradition – yet, it is thanks to the traditions of the Catholic Church that you have those books in your KJV that you hold so dear! If you claim not to accept its traditions… then why do you accept those books in your KJV as being valid? The Bible didn’t just fall down from Heaven in its current form! The Church precedes the New Testament – the New Testament does not precede the Church.

As Henry Graham states in his excellent book:
The Church and the faith existed before the Bible; that seems an elementary and simple fact which no one can deny or ever has denied. Thousands of people became Christians through the work of the apostles and missionaries of Christ in various lands, and believed the whole truth of God as we believe it now, and became saints, before they ever saw or read, or could possibly see or read, a single sentence of inspired Scripture of the New Testament, for the simple reason that such Scripture did not then exist. – Graham, Henry. “Where We Got The Bible”, Page 9
Then further along, on page 15…
[The Bible] is intended for instruction, meditation, spritual reading, encouragement, devotion, and also serves as proof and testimony of the Church’s doctrines and divine authority; but as a complete and exclusive guide to heaven in the hands of every man - this it never was and never could be. The Bible in the Church; the Church before the Bible - the Church the maker and interpreter of the Bible - that is right. The Bible above the Church; the Bible independent of the Church; the Bible, and the Bible only, the religion of Christians – that is wrong. The one is the Catholic position; the other is the Protestant. – Graham, Henry. “Where We Got The Bible”, Page 15
Once again, I beg you to purchase and read this book. I think it will really help clear up a lot of confusion you might have on the issue regarding the Bible and the early Church.
 
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