Thursday, 12 March 2015

Another response to QuinQue Viae

This article I have gone away from and come back to a number of times. So here it finally is.

More arguments to address here:
"I'm back from my hiatus. Greetings to all my readers and travelers in the blogosphere. For those that are not aware, the paltalk user Bobo has made several posts attempting to rebut my last article. I guess he has somewhat dropped the childish ad-hominem attacks (I have never heard it explained how I'm an "apostate" in his view if he only considers Protestants christians). But while I presented scholarly backed, consensus, academic material written by the top Protestant scholars of our era, Bobo has resorted to quote-mining a guy most famous on Paltalk for going around calling people "niggers" (Keith Thompson) and the CARM website. (Note: I've successfully debated the owner of CARM "Matt Slick" on several occasions, our last encounter had him literally running from his room and claiming me and CBD ran from him). I guess when insults fail, it's best to just bring out the entire clown car and let the circus begin."

I refer people to the comments section of this paper regarding Thompson: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/sola-scriptura-response-to-quinque-viae.html

Second, What goes on between Slick, cbd and xgamer is entirely their problem and somehow bringing up a debate is relevant why?

Furthermore, Keith's documentary has the stamp of approval of being a very indepth refutation of Catholicism, which I would highly recommend. (It uses pretty good sources by the way, along with scholarly lexicons on the Greek). The documentary has endorsements not just from me, but also others including Robert Zins of CWRC.

But anyway carrying on.

" >>We are not dealing with the scriptures and the lack of bilocation, I'm perplexed as to why this was even brought up seeing as how we were debating whether or not Mary was omnipresent (as you have claimed, yet cannot find a single Catholic source to cite your bizarre views) as opposed to multipresent. Bilocation would imply being stuck or only able to appear in two places simultaneously. While this is a Catholic belief, this is not my claim on Mary. My claim was that Mary, and perhaps the whole multitude of Saints, could be multipresent, having the ability to appear at the same time to a wide variety of peoples. I'm a bit disturbed that you took no time to actually rebuttal my argument, besides rather ignorantly repeating that one has to be omnipresent & omniscient to hear all the prayers at once. Especially after I diligently explained to you that such a being that is multipresent and multiscient would have that ability as well. You are practicing an exercise in the equivocation fallacy, plain and simple."

I thought you were referring to bilocation, my apologies. I had to look up multipresence after you mentioned it. Thanks for clarification. But at the same time, why did you mention bilocation at all in your previous paper?

If we are dealing with doctrine, then the scriptures are a good tool to use. You cannot find evidence of a multipresent being  in the scriptures themselves.

I never said Catholics claim Mary is omnipresent, I said:
"Yes I know that the Roman Catholics do not claim that Mary herself is not a deity but the only way for Mary to hear the voices of every single Catholic on the planet, is if she is omnipresent, A quality that only the Trinity would be able to possess."

If Mary is not omnipresent, she would NOT be able to hear the prayers being offered to her, That was my point. Furthermore, there isn't any evidence for Mary or the saints possessing multiprescence to begin with.

">> Again, I'm not sure what you're getting at here. You claim, "nothing from scripture has been offered.." as if I was even building a biblical argument. I could easily do so for saintly intercession (and devoted a large chunk of my prior post to the subject actually) but the specific discussion was on your rather embarrassing understanding of elementary Catholic beliefs. First off, you are now in disagreement with your Calvinist friends in asserting that Satan is the God of this world, you have not been able to offer infallible proof that your interpretation trumps their own. Second of all, Satan having a multi-presence is inferred to in his temptation of Christ. Note that all the kingdoms of the world have been shown. Not some, not 5, not two. All the kingdoms. From a single mountain. Obviously we are dealing with something above the three-dimensional plane of existence here. When St. Peter warns that Satan is like a lion, prowling about, does this mean he literally has to tempt believer to believer? Only one believer at a time, guys! That seems like something from pagan mythology to me, not something that Protestants have traditionally believed in."

You miss my point:
"Satan and his demons are a threat to all Christians, Satan is not the only threat. Satan cannot be in more than one place at one and even granting multipresence as an argument for Mary and the saints being prayed to, nothing from scripture has been offered and Satan being the God of this world in 2 Corinthians 4:4 refers to Satan simply having dominion and power over the whole world, that's it, it isn't suggesting he has multipresence."

Regarding the context of Peter's letter, I am not saying he is saying that Satan is prowling like a lion in the sense of having to tempt believer to believer. Though Peter doesn't mention the demons, they carry out Satan's will. That's my point. And if you want to go into the subject of "pagan" myth, bare in mind your own church has had that for years, but I digress.

Second, Your statement about me being in disagreement with my Calvinist friends? So? If you are referring to 2 Corinthians 4:4, it's disputed as to whether it is about Satan or not. To my knowledge it's mostly Sam Shamoun, James White and Don Hartley who dispute that 2 Corinthians 4:4 is about Satan.

Third, What's wrong with holding you or me or anyone to a biblical standard? I tell my audience to do the same.

Fourth, Let's assume Satan has multipresence for the sake of argument, What does this even had to do with Mary being multipresent when she herself doesn't possess that quality? Keep in mind Satan is an angel and Mary is a human. Even if Satan possessed multipresence for arguments sake, Mary would not and cannot have that quality due to being human and a divine entity.

">> I hate to be rude but I do have to ask, with all due respect, do you have some sort of severe reading comprehension issue? Where on earth did I say I was presenting an argument based upon the Scriptures? Try to calm down, take a deep breath, and re-read the conversation. Your initial assertion was that Mary & the Saints in general were omnipresent & omniscient. I asked you to find this belief in Catholic dogma, you failed to do so, then you engaged in equivocation fallacies and declared omnipresence to be the same as multipresence. My response to that was well-written and I explained the differences between the two things, your next response is, "Where does it say that in the Bible?" Huh? We're not dealing with the biblical evidence at this very moment, rather we're dealing with your misunderstanding of extremely basic Catholic concepts. To be frankly honest I'm a bit embarrassed for you, it's rule number 1 in apologetics to at least know your opponents theological beliefs prior to engaging in a conversation. It's extremely disrespectful & rude to the other side. Anyways, I'll present a Scriptural argument in my next paragraph since you have apparently conceded that omnipresence wasn't the same as multipresence.
"
No I didn't say that Mary and the saints in general were omnipresent and omniscient, I said the only way for them to hear prayers is if they are omnipresent and omniscient. I didn't claim that belief was in Catholic dogma that they possessed these attributes. My point is since they don't possess these attributes, they cannot answer prayers, hence the claim you can pray to the saints or ask for their intercession is false.

">>[Using your random criteria] Can you show me in the bible where it says the Saints are "dead" and "cannot communicate with us?" I'm waiting for that explicit Bible verse. Anyways, onto your argument. I guess you have never read the letter to Hebrews or the Book of Revelation. Nor have you examined the myriad of Protestant commentaries on them, all backing up the long-held Catholic views. Hebrews 12:1 presents the Saints (martyred Saints of course) as a cloud of witnesses, playing into the Greco-Roman background of the culture"
No I didn't say show me a explicit verse, I said can you show me biblically speaking can you show me, meaning either implicitly or explicitly.

Let me break it down so you'll get it.
Those who are in Christ are alive in Christ, but dead to this world:
"1 Thessalonians 4:13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first."

He isn't saying they are dead as in ceased to exist, but is obviously referring to those in Christ who died and are in his presence rising from the dead first.

It is never suggested that the dead implicitly or explicitly,  be they in Christ or not, that the dead can hear our prayers and try the "give me the explicit verse " since I have already said that wasn't my point.

James White in his debate with Roman apologist Patrick Madrid on the veneration of saints and images stated the following:
"Hebrews 12 is not saying that the saints in heaven are sitting there like they are sitting in a stadium watching what is going on here, because Hebrews 12:1 comes at the end of Hebrews 11 which talks about the heroes of the faith and the testimony that they bore is the testimony of their life, not that they are observing what is going on here:
"12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,"

That doesn't mean that they are here on earth observing what we are doing, they have given their testimony and that is why the writer to the Hebrews can say in verse 2 "fixing our eyes on Jesus", not anyone else, including a saint, Mary or anything else." James White, Great Debate VII - Veneration of Saints and Images - Madrid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGwXQqEQCU4

"Furthermore, in Revelation we have an even more explicit reference. With the Saints of Revelation 6:9-10 praying to God, fully aware of the events on Earth, wondering when they will be avenged. The question is extremely specific, when will God avenge their blood on the people of the Earth. It's concerning the ones who martyred them. How were they aware that they were not avenged yet? How were they aware who needed punishment and if they or if they didn't repent yet? Your view simply does not hold up to the vast amount of evidence that scholars have accumulated over the years, or how the early Christians viewed these matters."

And this proves the saints in heaven can be communicated with, how? Abut regardless I need to look into that point.

">> So you weren't aware of Saintly Intercession because you weren't aware of Saintly Intercession? Huh? Anyways, I'm not an apologist to Jews. I hold a loose interest in Judaism and have examined Rabbinical literature, along with some mystical components (i.e. The Kabballah and early apocryphal Jewish literature). And yet even with my knowledge I knew all about their practice of Saintly Intercession and how there's Jewish communities that have practiced it since antiquity to the modern era. The fact that you specialize in Jews yet lack a basic understanding of Rabbinic Judaism is disturbing. I have seen you critique Catholicism yet not being able to understand our basic viewpoints (multiscience opposed to omniscience) and it seems like you're doing the same with Judaism. Not a great way to start off a topic or to debate subjects. I suggest lots of reading and praying rather than just debating topics you clearly know little about."

You misunderstand my point:
"The issue of saintly intercession was something I wasn't aware of until I looked into it and here's why,
1. No idea it existed until I looked.
2. It wasn't relevant to the responses to Rabbinic Judaism that I was doing.

Why bother raising a point to someone when it is NOT relevant to the topic itself? If you look at my papers on Judaism, not once does the issue of Saintly intercession ever arise, it wasn't important at the time and still isn't important to speak about with respect to proving Jesus to be the Messiah and YHWH God."

When I said I wasn't aware, I was saying I wasn't aware of it in Judaism. That's what I meant.

Again, In ALL the articles I have written on Judaism, Saintly Intercession never comes up because it is NOT relevant to the rebuttals. Do not suggest that I some how lack understanding of Judaism based off a point that I didn't deem relevant to the points I was making to my audience. I have looked into certain issues in the past to familiarize myself with certain topics within Judaism, even questioning as to whether someone was quoting a source accurately.

But aside from that point, the studying and praying isn't something we differ on.

">> So one cannot communicate to the dead. Except for St. Paul's explicit prayer for Onesiphorus after his death. Also, Moses & Elijah talking and being seen in the Transfiguration. Oh, and also Jeremiah 15:1 where where Moses & Samuel stand before Yahweh yet are not able to plead on Israel's behalf. Or how about 2 Macc 12:43-45 where there are explicit prayers for the sins of the fallen? The Body of Christ is One, and that is a dogmatic belief. Asking intercession on behalf of those who are now alive in the LORD is not a controversial view, and you have failed to show how it equates to necromancy, with the latter being a general conjuring of spirits (both good & evil) to have them do your will. I don't see how that is analogous to Saintly Intercession at all. Neither do Rabbinic Jews who have been alive much longer than Protestantism, and have always kept a practice of intercession. "

Jeremiah 15 says this: 
"15 Then the Lord said to me: “Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people. Send them away from my presence! Let them go! 2 And if they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says:

“‘Those destined for death, to death;
those for the sword, to the sword;
those for starvation, to starvation;
those for captivity, to captivity.’
3 “I will send four kinds of destroyers against them,” declares the Lord, “the sword to kill and the dogs to drag away and the birds and the wild animals to devour and destroy. 4 I will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth because of what Manasseh son of Hezekiah king of Judah did in Jerusalem."

Yahweh is saying that even if Moses and Samuel were alive and begged him to spare Israel, he would not spare them. Moses and Samuel interceding on behalf of Israel even in death is not even being suggested here. The transfiguration was a one time event and is not a counter example to my point about the saints or necromancy.

What is a saint when they have left this world? DEAD, but alive in Christ, ergo, Trying to communicate with them when they are DEAD, violates Isaiah 8:19. It isn't that hard. 

">> I've long realized you failed to understand the Catholic principle of Material Sufficiency. It's the belief that every Sacred Tradition is found in the Sacred Scriptures, either in an inferred sense or an explicit sense. You use to word "anachronistic" to describe Catholic doctrine, I find that amusing, as you probably don't know what the word means. It's long been asserted by mainstream Protestant scholars that the early Christians believed in Sacred Relics, Sacred Tradition (and didn't see Scripture as mutually exclusive), held the LXX as canonical with the earliest Christians seeing the Deutero-canonicals as being inspired writ, Also, I find it disturbingly hypocritical of you too. Your type of apologists whine and moan about dogmas such as the Assumption of Mary not being prominent in early belief systems, Catholics tend to concede that point and don't see it as problematic. Then when we confront you with the fact that there was absolutely no consensus on the biblical canon, and 2 Peter wasn't even viewed as Scripture among the father for the first several centuries, you aren't able to reply. Which is it? If your criteria for Sacred Tradition is overwhelming Patristic consensus, then why don't you accept the Eucharist? or the Titus 3:5 baptismal regeneration interpretation? Or Apostolic Succession which was widespread in the Patristic era? You cherry-pick randomly and go, "Ah-ha! That catholic tradition seems to be minimal in this period." At the same time you completely ignore the fact that your traditions were non-existent or minor. But I digress, back onto your post:"

When a Muslim tries to read their Islamic doctrines into the Bible to suggest that Jesus was a Muslim or the Prophets believed in Islam, That is anachronism and the Romanist is guilty of the same thing when they try to shoehorn their beliefs into the Bible.

It isn't the term Eucharist I call into question, it is the Roman Catholic ABUSE of the term to suggest transubstantiation that I call into question. Since you believe in material Sufficiency, show me where the early christians themselves taught the Romanist doctrines either implicitly or explicitly in the scriptures. Show me these implicit traditions.

Interestingly, James White has something to say regarding Augustine's view of the Lord's Supper: 

"William and Augustine" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkUlRR1pIEo

"As you can see, the consensus is that the early Fathers believed in Sacred Tradition on an equal footing with Sacred Scripture. The consensus belief is that Pharisaic Jews and most Jews in general had similar understanding. The Eucharist was not controversial until the 9th century, and the LXX & Deutero-canonical canonicity is so overwhelmingly clear that even the greatest Protestant scholars of all time speak confidently of them being sacred writ. You're the one that is completely anachronistic and trying to cram a 16th century German low-context understanding on a first century High-Context Levantine society."

Not quite, the early Fathers said (Not in these exact words) that tradition is profitable but you do not derive doctrine from it, but derive it from scripture. *

">>I'm not even sure what you're getting at here, have you completely abandoned the argument? No one on this planet has argued that Jesus agreed with every Pharisaic tradition. If you bothered to understand what the Pharisees were you would see how incoherent of a proposal that is, I'll explain for you. The Pharisaic system, in contrast to the Rabbinics, were united by their sectarian diversions. Do you belong to Shammai? Hillel? Who? Their entire identity was not only based upon their Pharisaic sect, but which group specifically they belonged to and whose teachings they adhered to. Jesus clearly rejects the group's tradition and dismisses it. But it's quite impractical for one to say that Jesus is endorsing some "Sola Scriptura" view here. Not only is this anachronistic (provide evidence of a consensus on a canon in the first century, there is none) but Jesus himself unmistakably affirms extrabiblical Pharisaic tradition concerning their chair and inheritance from Moses's Seat. Something the Fathers agreed upon unanimously, by the way."

Jesus is holding the Pharisees, regardless of their diverse thinking, to a HIGHER standard, thus there is "some Sola Scriptura" view here. He is holding the Pharisees to account to the Old Testament. My argument wasn't about the canon of scripture. Matthew 23 has nothing to do with Jesus endorsing some oral Pharisaical tradition
"Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries[a] wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."

The thrust of Jesus' point to the disciples is they are to submit to their leaders, listen to their teaching and carry it out, but not emulate how they live, because they are hypocrites and do not practice what they preach. His words in the context of the passage pertain to what was going on at that time. It is also a warning to us Christians against hypocrisy in general. Any tradition that Jesus himself accepted would be tradition that did not violate the Old Testament, not every single tradition. If he accepted every tradition, then his point in Matthew 15 to the Pharisees would of been vacuous and blank.

James White observes the following with respect to Matthew 23:
"The final passage we will examine presents the idea of "Moses' seat" Some modern Roman Catholics present this passage as proof that a source of extrabiblical authority receieved the blessing of the Lord Jesus. It has been alleged that the concept of "Moses' Seat" is in fact a refutation of sola scriptura, for not only is this concept not found in the Old Testament, but Jesus seemingly gives his approbation to this extrascriptual tradition. But is this sound exegsis? Is this passage being properly understood?

First, we note that the passage has spawned a number of differing understanding among scholars. But a few items immediately remove the Roman Catholics interpretation and application from consideration. The "Moses' seat" refers to a seat in front of the synagogue on which the teacher of the Law sat while reading from the Scriptures. Synagogue worship of course, came into being long after Moses' day, so those who attempt to make this an oral tradition going back to Moses are engaging in wishful thinking. Beyond this, we are only speaking of a position that existed at this time in the synagogue worship of the day. Are we truly to believe that this position, Are we truly to believe that this position was divine in origin and therefore binding upon all who would worship God? It certainly doesn't seem that the New Testament church understood it that way." James White, The Roman Catholic Controversy, Page 100
Feel free to read The Roman Catholic Controversy for more information.


Feel free to also check out the Messianic Drew's points on the subject of Moses seat here but I will quote specifically point 3 here:
"3. If God did not give an infallible teaching magisterium to the Sanhedrin, then a fortiori he did not give it to the Roman Catholic Church either, because the Bible gives far more support for the authority of the Sanhedrin than it gives for the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.

Arguments that prove too much do not prove anything at all.

Virtually all of the Roman Catholic arguments for its tradition can be applied with equal force to support the tradition of the Rabbis, or at least of the Sanhedrin. Just take the argument such as "how do you know which books belong in the Bible" and apply it 50 years before the birth of Jesus. Or take the question: "Didn't the Apostles have other teachings that weren't recorded in their writings?" and apply it to Moses or to the Old Testament prophets. What's good for the Papal goose is good for the Rabbinic Gander.

The Rabbis draw Biblical support for their authority from Deuteronomy 17:8-11
“If any case arises requiring decision between one kind of homicide and another, one kind of legal right and another, or one kind of assault and another, any case within your towns that is too difficult for you, then you shall arise and go up to the place that the Lord your God will choose.  And you shall come to the Levitical priests and to the judge who is in office in those days, and you shall consult them, and they shall declare to you the decision.  Then you shall do according to what they declare to you from that place that the Lord will choose. And you shall be careful to do according to all that they direct you.  According to the instructions that they give you, and according to the decision which they pronounce to you, you shall do. You shall not turn aside from the verdict that they declare to you, either to the right hand or to the left."

So in this case, God personally set up a court system whereby judges would pronounce rulings that were to be obeyed as if they were from God. What New Testament prooftext is this explicit in setting up Papal supremacy?

Further arguments for the existence of an Oral Law and subsequent authoritative teaching magisterium are found all over the web. The convert Omedyashar has a video on 40 verifications of the Oral Torah. Tovia Singer has twolectures on the Oral Law. Dovid Gottlieb has a bunch of lectures on the subject as well. I would recommend any Roman Catholic to go check it out.

They will give you arguments such as: without this magisterium and its Oral Law, how did Ruth manage to join Israel? Deuteronomy 23:3 states: "“No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the LORD. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the LORD forever." Now we have to be very clear. I am not suggesting that these arguments are compelling evidence for Rabbinic or Sanhedrin authority. I am merely stating that they are better evidence than any Roman Catholic apologist has been able to deliver for the authority of Rome.

No Biblical argument made by Roman Catholic apologists comes close to the strength of these arguments for Rabbinic authority. Compare Matthew 16 to Deuteronomy 17, for example. If these passages do not give a continuing, divinely guarded, authoritative teaching magisterium, then no passage does." The Messianic Drew, A Messianic Look at Roman Catholic Claims http://messianicdrew.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/messianic-look-at-roman-catholic-claims.html

Here is a video by Immanuel Schochet explaining the Oral Law: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWguJcAfJec

Moving on.

">> Acceptance an Oral Tradition that is extrabibilical and on an equal authority to Scripturewould prove Sola Scriptura false. This makes me realize even more that you literally have no idea what Sola Scriptura is as a doctrine, or perhaps you're inventing your own Prima Scriptura criteria. Sola Scriptura is the belief that scripture alone is the ultimate authority. Such a belief is anachronistic, ahistorical, illogical, & fundamentally unbiblical, unJewish, & unChristian. The Catholic belief is that the Word of God is our final authority, and we answer to that alone. Yet how does the Bible define the Word of God? The vast majority of times the Word is in reference to an Oral Tradition (50+ occasions actually) but it is also Magisterial & Sacred Scripture. That is the difference between the two beliefs, I've written articles on this subject and have debated the top apologists around on the topic. You obviously are ignorant of your own doctrine and perhaps are having doubts."

It's the ultimate authority, yes, that is what Sola Scriptura teaches, that is what I have been trying to tell you. It is the sole INFALLIBLE, ULTIMATE rule of faith. A tradition CAN be used but it is subject to scripture. No invention or ignorance on my part. You even said "Sola Scriptura is the belief that scripture alone is the ultimate authority". Once again, No denial of tradition, but subordination of tradition. Saying that scripture alone is the ultimate authority doesn't deny the usage of using a tradition period. It's an acknowledgment that tradition itself is NOT the ultimate authority, but is an authority nevertheless.

And what tradition is being referred to in the context of the passages? That of the apostles, certainly not that of a Roman magestrium. 

">> I'm not even sure what you're trying to say here. You show an amazing amount of ignorance concerning Pharisees (you seem to be implying they're some homogeneous group, I don't know where you pulled that from) and think my position is that Jesus accepted false traditions. It's quite honestly too stupid to even reply to, I hate to be rude but I suggest you develop some better reading comprehension skills and perhaps learn a little about antiquity's Jews."

I never said you said Jesus accepted false traditions, You miss my point. I was saying Jesus accepted SOME traditions but not all, plus your point about the Pharisees being homogeneous is irrelevant, I never made the assertion they were uniform on everything, The whole Shimmai/Hillel debate is one of the proofs that Pharisaism wasn't uniform on everything.

">> I am absolutely stunned. Perhaps you should define your definition of Sola Scriptura and we can perform some basic logical exercises. I guess in your view no one understands Sola Scriptura, even Daniel Wallace! Hell, let's throw JND Kelly, Philip Schaff, NT Wright, Hurtado, Dunn, and a few others in that category as well! After all, I'm mostly just repeating (and outright quoting) their arguments and opinions. But yep, the greatest Protestant scholars of this era don't understand sola scriptura, only you do. And you prove this by making some vague, unappealing, generic "Oh well some traditions are OK but only when checked by scripture" approach. Can I kindly explain to you why that doesn't work for about the 50th time now since I've known you?"

I had defined Sola Scriptura already to you, I will not overlook your condescending tone in claiming only I understand Sola Scriptura. Learn some humility for goodness sake.

Also, Why don't I actually give you the words of the Reformers themselves on what Sola Scriptura is and is not, or even Protestant creeds? Here they are (Underlined emphasis mine):
"Article 7: The Sufficiency of Scripture
We believe that this Holy Scripture contains the will of God completely and that everything one must believe to be saved is sufficiently taught in it. 

For since the entire manner of service which God requires of us is described in it at great length, no one— even an apostle or an angel from heaven, as Paul says—2 ought to teach other than what the Holy Scriptures have already taught us.

For since it is forbidden to add to the Word of God, or take anything away from it,3 it is plainly demonstrated that the teaching is perfect and complete in all respects. Therefore we must not consider human writings— no matter how holy their authors may have been— equal to the divine writings;
nor may we put custom, nor the majority, nor age, nor the passage of times or persons, nor councils, decrees, or official decisions above the truth of God, for truth is above everything else.

For all human beings are liars by nature and more vain than vanity itself. Therefore we reject with all our hearts everything that does not agree with this infallible rule, as we are taught to do by the apostles when they say, “Test the spirits to see if they are from God,”4 and also, “Do not receive into the house or welcome anyone who comes to you and does not bring this teaching.”5" http://www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs/confessions/belgic-confession The Belgic Confession, of Faith 1561.

The Westminster Confession of Faith 1647 also states the following regarding the scripture (Underlined emphasis mine):
"X. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined; and in whose sentence we are to rest; can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.

Matt. xxii..29, 31; Eph. ii. 20 with Acts xxviii. 25." http://www.freepres.org/westminster.htm

Here are two from the reformers I shall provide:

"All the other councils too must be viewed in this way, be they large or small . . . they do not introduce anything new either in matters of faith or of good works; but they defend, as the highest judges and greatest bishops under Christ, the ancient faith and the ancient good works in conformity with Scripture" Martin Luther, On the Councils and the Church.

"Scripture clearly discerns the good tradition from the evil, the holy from the profane, the profitable from the useless and the necessary from the superfluous"

This isn't me claiming "only I know what Sola Scriptura is", I have creeds to back up my point. The fact these creeds exist show that Protestantism itself doesn't deny the usage of the traditions.

See also the talk on Sola Scriptura by William Webster: http://www.christiantruth.com/audio/2.mp3

"First off, we agree that under the belief of Sola Scriptura that the 66 books of the Canon are the final authority, and they alone are the final authority right? Yet there can, theoretically, be other authorities of lesser importance. Would that be a fair assumption? Assuming you agree to that, the problem becomes tenfold for you. For how does one get an infallible canon of scripture when the means of the compiling the Canon were external through & through? (See: Wallace) One would have to by necessity have a Tradition that was on equal authority to Scripture otherwise you create an infinite loop, infinite regression. Like I tried explaining with the Kosher Slaughter conundrum, let's expand that to the canon:

Position A: My sole final authority is the Bible
> The Bible is composed of 97 books, with Enoch being canonical

Position B: My sole authority is the Bible
> The Bible is composed of 56 books, excluding Pseudo-Pauline literature and some other works that I deem apocryphal.


Two positions, how is it resolved? The final authority and infallible criteria for these two men is the Bible. But they have to have it in their scripture to define what exactly makes up the bible. The problem with Protestantism is that deep down you guys have to appeal to some extrabiblical authority otherwise you cannot acquire an infallible biblical canon. The process of infinite regression happens. Who defines the Bible? Again, you make a vague appeal to "tradition" but even in that argument there's an admission of guilt. How do you know that your tradition and your knowledge isinfallible? Would you be willing to concede that your biblical canon is fallible? If not, then you're by definition putting a mere tradition on an equal level with the Scripture itself, thus negating your entire argument."

This is only a problem for SOLO Scripturists, NOT a sola scripturist. There isn't a problem in allowing a council to put together a canon. Protestants can safely adhere to sola scriptura and accept the defining of a canon.

As Keith Thompson makes clear in his article response to catholicapologeticsinfo:
"I combined questions 5 and 6. Rome claims her tradition is the basis for the establishment of the biblical canon by the church in the fourth century when the Council of Hippo and Third Council of Carthage spoke on the list of books(13). Rome’s two different views of tradition are (1) the idea the apostles handed on a body of oral teaching containing doctrine not found in Scripture; and (2) the idea that the tradition of the church clarifies the true meaning of Scripture.

However, the Council of Hippo and Third Council of Carthage which dealt with the canon never stated they knew what the canon was because they had a body of oral tradition from the apostles stating which biblical books were canon. Nor can we say they had a historic interpretation of the content of scripture and therefore came to the realization of the canon by that means. That makes no sense. Thus, Rome’s definitions of tradition can not be appealed to as the basis for the determinations of these councils concerning the canon. The councils instead used various criteria in order to discern the canon. They did not claim they had an oral teaching from the apostles stating which books were true. Their criteria for canonicity they used included: apostolicity (if the writer was an apostle or connected to an apostle), orthodoxy (if the content of the book was orthodox theologically), antiquity (if the book was early enough) and usage (if the book was used widely in the church prior to the council)”(14).

These are the questions Protestants are then faced with: if Scripture is the only authority then how do you know which books are inspired seeing as Scripture itself does not tell you? Or: if you hold to sola scriptura why do you hold to a New Testament canon which the authority of the church recognized? Is that not violating sola scriprtura?

There are a few problems with these kinds of arguments.
(1) They only apply to solo scriptura, that is the belief the Bible is the only authority, and not to sola scriptura which says Scripture is the ultimate authority. In sola scriptura there is nothing wrong with holding to outside authorities like the church as long as what it declares does not contradict and is consistent with Scripture at least implicitly(15). Thus, there is no problem with a sola scripturist affirming the church’s affirmation of the canon since the criteria the church used to recognize the canon in the fourth century can be validated biblically at least implicitly. For instance, the church used the criteria of apostolicity to decide if a New Testament book was Scripture (i.e., if a book was written by an apostle or companion of an apostle). Any good conservative New Testament introduction will give the internal biblical arguments that a book was written by an apostle or someone close to one (e. g. Donald Guthrie’s or D. A. Carson’s and Douglas J. Moo’s introductions etc). I have an essay doing the same here. In regards to the criteria of antiquity the church used, we can look at the book’s internal content to discover if it was written in the first century or if it is a later non-apostolic work. New Testament scholars do this regularly. Any good introduction will provide the internal arguments that a book was written in the first century. In regards to the criteria of orthodoxy the church used, we can see which books are internally consistent with each other and which are not. So there is nothing inconsistent about a sola scripturistaffirming the authority of the church in recognizing the canon, since, when we go to the books it recognized, we see that its determination is consistent with Scripture at least implicitly.

(2) When making this argument and erroneously claiming Protestant’s violate sola scriptura while adopting the New Testament canon the Roman Catholic Church recognized, Catholic apologists assume those at those fourth century councils who recognized the canon were Roman Catholics or were part of a Roman Catholic Church. However, no one at those councils believed what modern Rome claims one has to believe in order to be a Roman Catholic (e.g. private and frequent confession to a priest over both venial and mortal sins, papal infallibility, the Assumption and Immaculate Conception of Mary, the mass as the propitious re-sacrifice of Christ, the idea the pope alone has the authority to interpret Scripture etc). Hence, it is erroneous for modern Catholics to claim those at those councils which dealt with the canon were part of their modern religious system. The Eastern Orthodox Church also claims their church recognized the canon. So before Rome gets hasty they must deal with them." Keith Thompson, Responding to catholicapologetics.info’s “Some Tough Questions for Protestants”.

That's it for now

Answering Judaism.

* William Webster discusses whether or not the church fathers held to Sola Scriptura and the issue of the Canon in these talks here:
http://christiantruth.com/audio/3.mp3
http://www.christiantruth.com/audio/4.mp3

See also his paper on Sola Scriptura: http://www.christiantruth.com/articles/solascriptura.html

Keith Thompson also discusses this in his paper:
http://www.reformedapologeticsministries.com/2014/03/the-church-fathers-taught-sola-scriptura.html

Here are the church Father's letters quoted in the article above:
Ambrose of Milan, Exposition of the Christian faith: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/34041.htm

Hippolytus of Rome, Against Noetus: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0521.htm

Cyril of Jerusalem, Procatechesis (Prologue): http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/310100.htm

Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies Book III: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/irenaeus-book3.html

Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies Book II: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/irenaeus-book2.html

Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies Book I: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/irenaeus-book1.html

PS. Schaff and Kelly's quotations if the Lord Wills may be commented on another time.

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