Friday 7 November 2014

More Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox objections to tackle 2

The subject of Eliakim's keys and the rule of bindng and loosing shall be addressed here in this paper. The issue of literacy may if the Lord wills elsewhere.

Eliakim's keys, Matthew 16 and Supposed hebrew idiomatic
"Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[b] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[c] will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Let's be honest, the keys are not the same and Eliakim only possesses ONE key. Furthermore, The keys that are handed over to Peter are the keys allow him to that admit Gentiles into the Kingdom of Heaven through his preaching and evangelism as already stated in a previous article.

Though they have the function of opening and shutting, this doesn't give credence to the idea that Jesus was drawing on Isaiah 22:22 with respect to Peter's prominence.

Examples of many other types of keys can be found in scripture itself ( Rev. 3:7, Rev. 9:1; 20:1, Matt. 16:19, Matt 23:13, Luke 11:52, Isaiah 22:22).

Keith Thompson notes in his article on Matthew 16 the following:
"Rome’s appeal to Isaiah 22:22 as supposedly being the background to this statement, though accepted by many commentators and scholars to be a valid interpretation, is in matter of fact problematic for several reasons. Right at the outset it is important to dispel the idea that just because Isaiah 22:22 mentions opening and shutting (which appears similar to “binding and loosing” in Matthew 16:19) this does not prove they are the same set of keys. For, there are many different sets of keys in the Bible, all of which require the use of them (i.e., binding and loosing or opening and shutting etc). There are the keys of the abyss (Rev. 9:1; 20:1), keys of Death and Hades (Rev. 1:18), keys of heaven (Luke 4:25, Rev. 11:6), key of knowledge (Matt 23:13, Luke 11:52), the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 16:19), and the key of the house of David (Isaiah 22:22, Rev. 3:7). Hence, it is not necessary to infer from the mere similarity between opening and shutting in Isaiah 22:22 and binding and loosing in Matthew 16:19 that they are the same keys. All of these keys require binding and loosing or opening and shutting doors with them.

The proof the sets of keys are not the same is this: In Isaiah 22:22 Eliakim is given the “key” (singular) of the house of David. Peter on the other hand is given keys (plural) of the kingdom of heaven. The key (singular) of the house of David which was given to Eliakim in Isaiah 22:22 is not given to Peter much less the Bishops of Rome. In fact this singular key of the house of David remained with Jesus Christ himself and is messianic in nature. Revelation 3:7 affirms that Christ holds the key of the house of David:

“. . . The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens” (Revelation 3:7).

This was written long after the events of Matthew 16 demonstrating Jesus has the key (singular) of Isaiah 22:22 right now, not Peter’s alleged Roman successors. There are three vital differences between the key of the house of David in Isaiah 22:22 and Peter’s keys of the kingdom of heaven in Matthew 16:19: 1.) the plural and singular forms, 2.) the titles (key of David vs. keys of the kingdom of heaven), and 3.) the handler of the keys (Jesus has the key of  the house of David and Peter had the keys of the kingdom of heaven)." Keith Thompson, Does Matthew 16 Teach Peter was the Pope?:

Furthermore, William Webster has observed in the writings in the church fathers, specially Tertullian and Origen (For the life of me I have no idea why Rome appeals to these two considering they are not canonised dead saints in the Roman Catholic church and are both considered heretical.) that the evidence for the papal office is non-existant:

Webster points out the following:

"Tertullian was born in Carthage in North Africa and practiced law before his conversion to Christianity ca. A.D. 193. As a Christian he was a prolific writer and has been called the ‘Father of Latin Christianity’. He was most likely a layman and his writings were widely read. He had a great influence upon the Church fathers of subsequent generations, especially Cyprian. He is the first of the Western fathers to comment on Matthew 16. In one of his writings Tertullian identifies the rock with the person of Peter on which the Church would be built:

Was anything withheld from the knowledge of Peter, who is called the ‘rock on which the church should be built’ who also obtained ‘the keys of the kingdom of heaven,’ with the power of ‘loosing and binding in heaven and earth? (Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1951), Volume III, Tertullian, Prescription Against Heretics 22).
Though Tertullian states that Peter is the rock he does not mean it in a pro–papal sense. We know this because of other comments he has made. But if we isolate this one passage it would be easy to read a pro–Roman interpretation into it. However, in other comments on Matthew 16:18–19, Tertullian explains what he means when he says that Peter is the rock on which the Church would be built:

If, because the Lord has said to Peter, ‘Upon this rock I will build My Church,’ ‘to thee have I given the keys of the heavenly kingdom;’ or, ‘Whatsoever thou shalt have bound or loosed in earth, shall be bound or loosed in the heavens,’ you therefore presume that the power of binding and loosing has derived to you, that is, to every Church akin to Peter, what sort of man are you, subverting and wholly changing the manifest intention of the Lord, conferring (as that intention did) this (gift) personally upon Peter? ‘On thee,’ He says, ‘will I build My church;’ and, ‘I will give thee the keys’...and, ‘Whatsoever thou shalt have loosed or bound’...In (Peter) himself the Church was reared; that is, through (Peter) himself; (Peter) himself essayed the key; you see what key: ‘Men of Israel, let what I say sink into your ears: Jesus the Nazarene, a man destined by God for you,’ and so forth. (Peter) himself, therefore, was the first to unbar, in Christ’s baptism, the entrance to the heavenly kingdom, in which kingdom are ‘loosed’ the sins that were beforetime ‘bound;’ and those which have not been ‘loosed’ are ‘bound,’ in accordance with true salvation...(Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1951), Volume IV, Tertullian, On Modesty 21, p. 99).
When Tertullian says that Peter is the rock and the Church is built upon him he means that the Church is built through him as he preaches the gospel. This preaching is how Tertullian explains the meaning of the keys. They are the declarative authority for the offer of forgiveness of sins through the preaching of the gospel. If men respond to the message they are loosed from their sins. If they reject it they remain bound in their sins. In the words just preceding this quote Tertullian explicitly denies that this promise can apply to anyone but Peter and therefore he does not in any way see a Petrine primacy in this verse with successors in the bishops of Rome.". William Webster, The Church Fathers' Interpretation of the Rock of Matthew 16:18


"Origen was head of the catechetical school at Alexandria during the first half of the third century. He was an individual of enormous intellect and was by far the most prolific writer of the patristic age. Eusebius states that his writings numbered in the neighborhood of six thousand. He has been called the greatest scholar of Christian antiquity. He had immense influence upon fathers in both the East and West in subsequent centuries. Origen is the first father to give a detailed exposition of the meaning of the rock of Matthew 16:18. His interpretation became normative for the Eastern fathers and for many in the West. Apart from the specific passage of Matthew 16 he states that Peter is the rock:

Look at the great foundation of that Church and at the very solid rock upon which Christ has founded the Church. Wherefore the Lord says: ‘Ye of little faith, why have you doubted?' (Exodus, Homily 5.4. Cited by Karlfried Froehlich, Formen der Auslegung von Matthaus 16,13-18 im lateinischen Mittelaiter, Dissertation (Tubingen, 1963), p. 100).
But, like Tertullian, he does not mean this in the Roman Catholic sense. Often, Origen is cited as a proponent of papal primacy because he says that Peter is the rock. Quotes such as the one given above are isolated from his other statements about Peter and his actual interpretation of Matthew 16:18 thereby inferring that he taught something which he did not teach. In his mind Peter is simply representative of all true believers and what was promised to Peter is given to all believers who truly follow Christ. They all become what Peter is. This is the view expressed in the following comments:

And if we too have said like Peter, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ not as if flesh and blood had revealed it unto us, but by the light from the Father in heaven having shone in our heart, we become a Peter, and to us there might be said by the Word, ‘Thou art Peter,’ etc. For a rock is every disciple of Christ of whom those drank who drank of the spiritual rock which followed them, and upon every such rock is built every word of the Church, and the polity in accordance with it; for in each of the perfect, who have the combination of words and deeds and thoughts which fill up the blessedness, is the church built by God.
But if you suppose that upon the one Peter only the whole church is built by God, what would you say about John the son of thunder or each one of the Apostles? Shall we otherwise dare to say, that against Peter in particular the gates of Hades shall not prevail, but that they shall prevail against the other Apostles and the perfect? Does not the saying previously made, ‘The gates of Hades shall not prevail against it,’ hold in regard to all and in the case of each of them? And also the saying, ‘Upon this rock I will build My Church?’ Are the keys of the kingdom of heaven given by the Lord to Peter only, and will no other of the blessed receive them? But if this promise, ‘I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven,’ be common to others, how shall not all things previously spoken of, and the things which are subjoined as having been addressed to Peter, be common to them?
‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ If any one says this to Him...he will obtain the things that were spoken according to the letter of the Gospel to that Peter, but, as the spirit of the Gospel teaches to every one who becomes such as that Peter was. For all bear the surname ‘rock’ who are the imitators of Christ, that is, of the spiritual rock which followed those who are being saved, that they may drink from it the spiritual draught. But these bear the surname of rock just as Christ does. But also as members of Christ deriving their surname from Him they are called Christians, and from the rock, Peters...And to all such the saying of the Savior might be spoken, ‘Thou art Peter’ etc., down to the words, ‘prevail against it.’ But what is the it? Is it the rock upon which Christ builds the Church, or is it the Church? For the phrase is ambiguous. Or is it as if the rock and the Church were one and the same? This I think to be true; for neither against the rock on which Christ builds His Church, nor against the Church will the gates of Hades prevail. Now, if the gates of Hades prevail against any one, such an one cannot be a rock upon which the Christ builds the Church, nor the Church built by Jesus upon the rock
(Allan Menzies, Ante–Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1951), Origen, Commentary on Matthew, Chapters 10-11).
This is one of the most important passages in all the writings of Origen for an understanding of his view of the rock of Matthew 16. Yet this passage is is not included in those referenced by the authors of Jesus, Peter and the Keys. This is a glaring omission given the importance of the passage and the fact that it is easily accessible in the work the Ante-Nicene Fathers. One can only conclude that the authors purposefully omitted the passage because it is antithetical to the position they are seeking establish." William Webster, The Church Fathers' Interpretation of the Rock of Matthew 16:18

Don't forget to go the church fathers yourself and check the quotations.

Moreover, the only Hebrew idiomatic that comes to mind is what is called, Bind and Lose.

The power to bind and lose does not refer to dogmatic papal declarations as a result of papal infallibility, Binding and Losing is referring to the rabbinic ruling of permiting (losing) and prohibiting (binding).

D.A Carson observes:
Formally ho is neuter, and ‘things’ might be expected. Moreover, the rabbis spoke of ‘binding’ and ‘loosing’ in terms of laying down Halakah (rules of conduct): Shammai is strict and ‘binds’ many things on people, while Hillel allows greater laxity and ‘looses’ them. It might be argued, then, that in Acts 15:10 Peter looses what certain Judaizers want to bind. Yet despite this, it is better to take binding and loosing in Matthew 16:19 to refer to persons, not rules. The neuterhosa (‘whatever’) occurs in 18:18 where the context demands that persons are meant. Indeed Greek often uses the neuter of people for classes or categories rather than for individuals. The context of v. 19 supports this; for the keys in the preceding context clause speak of permission for entering the kingdom or being excluded from it, not rules of conduct under heaven’s rule”" (12.) D.A. Carson, Matthew, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 8, [Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984], p. 372).

My thanks to Keith Thompson for the quotation.

As mentioned earlier, it can refer to the binding and loosing of individuals depending on how they respond to the Gospel. Those who have repented are loosed from their sins and those who haven't are bound in their sins. This pronouncement has no connection to infalliable papal decrees.

"I have the church to give me the interpretation, it's the pillar and the foundation of the truth"
An excuse conjured by some is that they have the church to interpret the scriptures for them. May I ask, HOW do you know that their interpretation is a biblically solid one. Why assume the point made by your church is automatically true, that is just blind trust.

For the Roman Catholics as opposed to the Eastern Orthodox, it's a worse situation, as the church of Rome has only infalliably interpreted 12 texts.

In a paper where he recommended some commentaries to his readers and listeners as well as exhorting the reading of the church Fathers and possessing multiple commentaries, Catholic Apologist Jimmy akin stated this:

"First, I’m afraid that I can’t recommend a resource that will prevent you from misinterpreting Scripture passages. The Church has not established the correct interpretation of the great majority of Scripture passages. It has taught that Scripture and the faith do not conflict, so if you know your Catholic faith well then that will help you discern what a particular passage of Scripture DOESN’T mean, but it normally will not help you identify precisely what it DOES mean.
Consequently, there is always risk of error in Scripture interpretation. We can’t eliminate that risk.
What we can do is seek to minimize it, and to that end we can recognize the limits and stay humble and flexible about our interpretations of Scripture. Although I feel more confident of certain interpretations than others, in my own study of Scripture I try not to get overly wedded to particular interpretations and to be aware of what else a passage MIGHT mean, in addition to what I think it MOST LIKELY means.
If you listen to when people call in on the radio and ask me what a particular passage means, you’ll note that I often point out a range of possibilities regarding what a passage may mean. I may not even express a personal opinion, or I may say which option I think most is the most likely interpretation in my personal view, but I seldom tell people that a passage definitely DOES mean something, because I don’t like to go beyond what the Church teaches and make people think that my personal opinion is the only one there is." Jimmy Akin, Scripture Commentary Recommendation

If all you can do is simply minimise the risk of error, Then how can a Pope's ex cathedra statements can be relied upon? I say ex cathedra specifically because the Pope can make statements outside of his papal seat.

So much for an infalliable church calling people back to Rome to get the proper interpretation of scripture. Nice try, but I am not buying it.

Furthermore, What is wrong with checking an individual's statements about the Bible, INCLUDING MY OWN? I encourage all my readers NOT to take everything I say at face value and simply accept it, I expect them to check out what I am saying, be they Jew or Gentile.

Blind acceptance of what a church teaches isn't on.

No I am not saying damn the elders to hell or don't pay attention to them, congregations are to listen to the elders and the elders are to take care of their flock. Elders are a vital function of the church and are not to be disregarded. Both blind submission and rebellion (with no biblical grounds such as an elder telling you to violate the scriptures not rebellion period) are out of the question.

As for 1 Timothy 3:15, it says:
"14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16 Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great:

He appeared in the flesh,
    was vindicated by the Spirit,[d]
was seen by angels,
    was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
    was taken up in glory.

The verse itself refers to the local congregation of Ephesus and in principle to other churches being told how to behave and how to live now they are under the headship of Christ. Such a passage doesn't refer to the Roman Catholic Church being the true church. Steve of Triablogue also points out the following regarding this passage:
"One of the prooftexts for Catholicism is 1 Tim 3:15. Unfortunately for Catholics, this verse isn’t referring to the church of Rome. In context, it’s referring to the church of Ephesus (cf. 1:3).

It’s a reference to the local church, not the universal church—much less the church of Rome. If, therefore, we’re going to use this verse as a prooftext for a high church ecclesiology, then the church of Ephesus is the pillar and foundation of truth. Roman Catholics are betting on the wrong horse. They should switch their allegiance from Rome to Ephesus. Now that we’ve cleared that up, we look forward to Roman Catholics submitting to the true Vicar of Christ—the bishop of Ephesus.

Hopefully these objections have been answered and I thank you for taking the time to read.

Answering Judaism.

PS. Keith Thompson addresses the 33,000 Protestant denominations argument in this video:

PS. I had said literacy would be addressed here, however it wasn't and have made an amendment to this article. My apologies if I have misled you in this regard.

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