(Continued from page 366)What Biblical evidence is there of God approving the use of Relics in Early Christianity?
The Bible never instructs believers in Christ to pray to anyone other than God!
You write: One of the most moving accounts of the veneration of relics is that of the very body of Christ itself. Rather than leaving his body on the cross, to be taken down and disposed of by the Romans (as was the customary practice), Joseph of Arimathea courageously interceded with Pilate for Christ's body (Mark 15:43, John 19:38). He donated his own, newly hewn tomb as Christ's resting place (Matthew 27:60). Nicodemus came and donated over a hundred pounds of spices to wrap inside Jesus' grave clothes (John 19:39), that amount of spices being used only for the most honored dead. And after he was buried, the women went to reverently visit the tomb (Matthew 28:1) and to further anoint Christ's body with spices even though it had already been sealed inside the tomb (Mark 16:1, Luke 24:1). These acts of reverence were more than just the usual courtesy shown to the remains of the dead; they were special respect shown to the body of a most holy man - in this case, the holiest man who has ever lived, for he was God Incarnate.
The veneration of relics is seen explicitly as early as the account of Polycarp's martyrdom written by the Smyrnaeans in A.D. 156. In it, the Christians describe the events following his burning at the stake: "We took up his bones, which are more valuable than precious stones and finer than refined gold, and laid them in a suitable place, where the Lord will permit us to gather ourselves together, as we are able, in gladness and joy and to celebrate the birthday of his martyrdom."
In speaking of the veneration of relics in the early Church, the anti-Catholic historian Adolph Harnack writes, ". . . [N]o Church doctor of repute restricted it. All of them rather, even the Cappadocians, countenanced it. The numerous miracles which were wrought by bones and relics seemed to confirm their worship. The Church therefore would not give up the practice, although a violent attack was made upon it by a few cultured heathens and besides by the Manichaeans" (Harnack, History of Dogma, tr., IV, 313).
TCE: Thank you for taking the time to cut and paste this from:
Two obvious lessons to be learned from Scripture:
John 19:40 - So they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.
So the women were to anoint and embalm Him ('as the custom of the Jews is to bury'), applying these spices to His body to keep it from putrefaction - and this is also proof that they did not suppose He would rise again and therefore giving yet more strength to the evidence for His resurrection. But we also note that God never purposed Jesus body to remain on earth as a relic to be venerated and not just because He knew believers would be tempted to worship the bones (which we have already shown was the reason for the treatment of the bodies of Moses and other Old Testament saints), but as a witness to His death and resurrection - as Scripture testifies:
Acts 2:25-27 - For David saith concerning him, I beheld the Lord always before my face; For he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; Moreover my flesh also shall dwell in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul unto Hades, Neither wilt thou give thy Holy One to see corruption.
There is not a single verse of Scripture that infers that Jesus' body and any 'relics' resulting from His time in a physical body on earth are to be revered or worshipped and therefore all the fabrications of Papal Rome are in vain. One of the long-running embarrassments for those in the 'relics business' is the world's recognition that so many splinters of the cross that Jesus hung on at Calvary have been displayed in the buildings of Papal Rome that they joke that, should all of these splinters be gathered together, there would be enough wood to build Noah's Ark! This is the result of Papal Rome mocking the pure Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ by adding its filthy relics (and other blasphemous inventions) to the Word of God. Only the truly 'ignorant and unstable' (2 Peter 3v16) can be fooled by Papal Rome's machinations.
Foolishly accepting 'the Smyrnaeans [view that Polycarp's] bones ... are more valuable than precious stones and finer than refined gold' is simply to add to your error.
And quoting 'the anti-Catholic historian Adolph Harnack' as some kind of authority on relics reveals your ignorance even further. Harnack is a renowned heretic who is much loved by the cult of 'Jehovah's Witnesses' who make use of the 'German scholar' because his hatred and ignorance of Christianity is 'useful' to them in that they use his pseudo-scholarship to a large degree to substantiate their pathetic attempts to argue against the deity and personality of the Holy Spirit.
Adolf Harnack (1851-1930) was a 'German scholar' and the son of the Lutheran scholar Theodosius Harnack (1817-89). As is common in Pharisaical circles, Adolf climbed the ladder at Leipzig (1874) before becoming professor at Giessen (1879), Marburg (1886), and Berlin (1889-1921). But the last appointment was (eventually!) challenged by the church because of Harnack's doubts about the authorship of the fourth gospel (he rejected the entire gospel of John as inspired) as well as blatantly disbelieving Biblical miracles including the Resurrection and Christ's institution of baptism (ref. Harnack's 'History of Dogma', 7 vols. 1894-99; cf. New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, J.D. Douglas, 1974, p 452; The Westminster Dictionary of Church History, Westminster Press, 1971, p386-387). Harnack went further in rejecting major doctrines of Christianity - such as the Virgin birth, the deity and pre-existence of Jesus, the Resurrection of the body, the 'Trinity', the possibility of miracles, the existence of demons, exorcism and the Messiah-ship of Jesus. Indeed, it would be difficult to find a more completely qualified heretic!
Strange that two cults - The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of Jehovah's Witnesses and Papal Rome - try to make use of such an ultimate loser?
Incidently, Harnack's appointment to Berlin was held up for several months until finally resolved by the Emperor William II's decision to over-rule the Church's officials. Now, outside of the machinations of Papal Rome, it is rare to find a secular authority being able to over-rule 'the Church officials' so completely! And this is exactly how Satan has been able to manipulate the un-Biblical church that has allied itself to secular authority since the days of Constantine. Only truly Biblical ekklesia can control their congregations and remove evil heretics - something Papal Rome has not been capable of since its inception under Constantine.
You write [or, rather, continue from your web-source(s)]: In the fourth century the great biblical scholar, Jerome, declared, "We do not worship, we do not adore, for fear that we should bow down to the creature rather than to the creator, but we venerate the relics of the martyrs in order the better to adore him whose martyrs they are" (Ad Riparium, I, P.L., XXII, 907). `
The veneration of Relics is biblical! The ancient Christian practice of venerating the relics of saints, especially martyrs is a case in point. A relic is an object, such as a piece of clothing or, more commonly, a piece of bone from a saint's body, which has spiritual value because it belonged to one of God's saints. The Bible records many accounts of the value of relics and even episodes of miraculous events connected with them. "People brought to [Jesus] all who were sick and begged him that they might only touch the tassel on his cloak, and as many as touched it were healed" (Matthew 14:35-36; cf. Mark 6:56; Luke 8:43-44). It was not uncommon for ordinary objects, like the tassel on the Lord's cloak, to have miraculous characteristics. Look also at Acts 5:15, where even Peter's shadow could cause miraculous healings.
Regarding the relics of saints, especially martyrs (about whom the Bible says, "Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his holy ones" [Ps 116:15]), look at 2 Kings 13:21: "Elisha died and was buried. At the time, bands of Moabites used to raid the land each year. Once some people were burying a man, when suddenly they spied such a raiding band. So they cast the dead man into the grave of Elisha and everyone went off. But when the man came in contact with the bones of Elisha, he came back to life and rose to his feet." Christianity does believe in the value of relics though, and for reasons based on Sacred Scripture etc.
TCE: Typically, Papal Rome misses the main point of this miracle in that it is fore-shadowing (or 'a type') of the Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary and His Resurrection. There was no innate power in the bones of Elisha to produce this miracle: it was the immediate work and operation of God Himself who was giving believers a proof not only of the divine mission of His prophet, and of His own immediate presence among them, but also of that future resurrection from the dead, which is fully revealed to us in the gospel:
Matthew 27:50-53 (NASB) - 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51 And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.
John 5:25-29 (NASB) - 25 "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 "For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; 27 and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. 28 "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.
John 11:44 (NASB) - 44 The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus *said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."
So it is a further 'shadow' and a prophesy of the resurrection of Jesus - but with this significant difference: As an ancient apologist wrote: 'Elisha raised a dead body without raising himself, while Jesus not only raised Himself, but gives life to all those who believe in Him!' Again, we should not forget that our Sovereign God worked this miracle and prophet Elisha played no part in it!
Regarding Papal Rome's attempt to use Elisha to support their idolatry you will find that immediately you seek the definition of 'relic' the case for Papal Rome is doomed! A 'relic' is, by definition, an antiquity that has survived from the distant past; something of sentimental value; a keepsake, souvenir, or token. An antiquity is, by definition, extremely old; an artifact (a man-made object taken as a whole) surviving from the past; usually from the historic period preceding the Middle Ages in Europe.
So, for you to claim that 'A relic is an object, such as a piece of clothing or, more commonly, a piece of bone from a saint's body ...' completely ignores the fact that 'the tassel on his [Jesus'] cloak' was by no means a 'relic' because it was part of the Son of Man's clothing at the time He lived - and therefore no ancient/artifact/relic at all! In similar manner 'Peter's shadow' was also no 'relic' - and obviously impossible to ever replicate after his death!
It never seems to bother Papal Rome that there is absolutely no evidence that any 'tassel', or other 'relic' from Jesus' life, or the lives of the apostles, is ever recorded in the New Testament as having been kept and preserved. Things of such importance 'which [supposedly continued to have] spiritual value because it belonged to one of God's saints' would obviously have been recorded in the Word of God, but we do not find this to be true anymore than we can identify the whereabouts of Old Testament 'relics' - such as the Ark of the Covenant.
It wasn't until Papal Rome came up with their winning money-spinner (after Indulgences!) of working 'miracles' through 'relics', that amazing claims began regarding the number and effects of such 'belongings' of saints. The claims of wood from our Lord's crucifixion has already been dismantled and it is just as easy to deal with the claims for 'relics' - as just shown.
While we're on the subject, why do we never hear Papal Roman Catholics making claims of the works from:
Acts 19:11-12 - And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.
Why is Paul snubbed so often by Papal Rome? It wouldn't be because of his admonition of Peter in Galatians 2 would it?
When you write: 'Christianity does believe in the value of relics ...' you are making claims for the Cult of Papal Rome only - and those claims have been shown to be far from 'reasons based on Sacred Scripture etc.'
The Bible never encourages, or even mentions, believers asking individuals in heaven for their prayers!
Appealing to prayers on earth to support intercession to the dead will not persuade knowledgeable Christians to accept this heresy of Papal Rome!
You write [continue from your web sources]: No one prays to dead "saints," because those in heaven are more alive than we are. The Lord is God of the living, not of the dead. The fervent prayer of a righteous man is very powerful (Jas 5:16). Those in heaven are surely righteous, since nothing unclean can enter heaven (Apoc. 21:27). Those in heaven are part of the Mystical Body of Christ and have not been separated from us by death, but surround us as a great cloud of witnesses (Hebrew 12:1). They stand before the throne of God and offer our prayers to him (Apoc. 5:8) and cheer us on as we run the good race.
TCE: Again, thank you for taking the time to cut and paste this from:
(# this is often unavailable)
To claim that 'No one prays to dead "saints," because those in heaven are more alive than we are' is no more than 'gimmicky' semantics, for dead saints are dead in terms of physical condition but, as numerous Scriptures testify, every human being has an afterlife existence which leads to eternal life or eternal damnation (Hebrews 9v27; 2 Corinthians 5v10). The work of Christ is a completed work, final and eternal, and He is ministering now in heaven on our behalf. The word "appear" is used three times in Hebrews 9:24-28 and summarizes our Lord's work:
He has appeared to put away sin by dying on the cross (Hebrews 9:26);
He is appearing now in heaven for us (Hebrews 9:24);
One day, He shall appear to take Christians home (Hebrews 9:28).
These "three tenses of salvation" are all based on His finished work and were written to emphasise this truth to the Hebrew Christians who received this letter because they were slipping back into their old, pre-Messianic, temple-worship ways and the writer was inspired to emphasise to them that there is no middle ground and they had to make a choice between the earthly or the heavenly, the temporary or the eternal, the incomplete or the complete. For various reasons, perhaps a combination of ignorance and persecution for leaving the Law of Moses, some were deciding to return to the temple while also practicing the Christian faith? While they hoped to enjoy "the best of both worlds" they needed to be warned because that could be no compromising and refusing to go "without the camp, bearing His reproach" (Hebrews 13:13). There is no middle way for the believer's sanctuary is in heaven where his Father and his Saviour dwell. The believers citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20), his treasures should also be in heaven (Matthew 6:19ff.) and, of course, his hope is in heaven. The true believer walks by faith, not by sight and, whatever may happen on earth, a believer can be confident because everything is settled in heaven and they know their life is going to continue beautifully - immediately after death (not after suffering in purgatory for any period of time whatsoever) as these verses reveal:
Philippians 1:21-23 - For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if to live in the flesh, if this shall bring fruit from my work, then what I shall choose I know not. But I am in a strait betwixt the two, having the desire to depart and be with Christ; for it is very far better.
If Paul was not going to be with Christ immediately after death, how could he speak of death as 'gain' and of departing (to be with Christ) as being 'very far better'? Obviously - it could not. But, for truly born again believers, the difference in going from the earthly life, drudgery though it may seem to the 'nominal Christian', is just like taking off one coat and putting on another (cf. 2 Corinthians 5v1-10; Philippians 3v20; 1 Thessalonians 4v14). But then, what could a Papal Roman Catholic weighed down in sin that cannot ever be confessed to a human priest (with a false priesthood!) know about such things?
In Revelation 5:8 we read:
And when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints
The incense, or 'odours' (Greek: thymíama, an aroma, i.e. fragrant powder burnt in religious service; by implication, the burning itself: incense or odour), are the prayers of saints and, literally, emblems of the prayers and praises of the Lord and compared to incense, as in:
Psalm 141:2 - Let my Prayer be set forth before thee as Incense.
In this Psalm, 'Incense' is Hebrew: ketôreth, a fumigation of sweet incense, or perfume.
The words which are the prayers of saints are to be understood as 'this is my body, this signifies or represents my body', for these odours represent the prayers of the saints. While you may try and insist that 'full of incense' is the prayers of the saints in heaven, Bible scholars believe that they are not the prayers of the elders themselves, but of the other saints still upon earth, whose prayers were thus emblematically represented in heaven.
The writer at http://www.catholic.com/tracts/praying-to-the-saints claims:
' ...it is clear from Revelation 5:8 that the saints in heaven do actively intercede for us. We are explicitly told by John that the incense they offer to God are the prayers of the saints. Prayers are not physical things and cannot be physically offered to God. Thus the saints in heaven are offering our prayers to God mentally. In other words, they are interceding'.
Here, the writer is merely speculating hopefully, for the word 'mentally' never appears in these verses anywhere.
We are well aware that Papal Rome insists that they do not worship any person other than God and that they 'may' offer praise and honour to Mary and the other saints, who are great disciples of the Lord, but insist that they worship God alone. They insist that the saints are honoured and blessed by God and therefore worthy of our respect, and they serve as role models for Christians to emulate (e.g., Phil. 3:17; 4:8-9), claiming that this is not idolatry as long as they are distinguished from God. But the examples they use to try and support their view, such as Abraham bowing down before 'angels of the Lord' and Nathan the prophet 'bowing before David the king of Israel in due reverence, not idolatry' (cf. Genesis. 18:2; 1 Kings 1:23) have been amply refuted. The argument that the phrase "praying to saints" does not indicate that Catholics are treating the saints as if they were gods, and thus committing idolatry, has also been thoroughly refuted. As is common with Papal Roman Catholics they try the usual 'play with words' by insisting that 'pray' historically means nothing more than "to ask" or "to make a humble request" and claim that, until modern times, this word was never used exclusively as a request to God but was often used in common speech between two people, as in the sentence: "I pray you, may words have more than one meaning?" It is thus claimed that, in the older sense, when Papal Roman Catholics "pray to the saints" they are merely asking for their intercession on our behalf. As we have shown, the intercession that is commanded only through the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit - as already proven - has no room for the waffling, desperate, arguments of Papal Rome!
The 'inspired Oral Gospel' and 'Tradition' further refuted!
You write: Intercession among members of the body of Christ is pleasing to God (1 Tm 2:1-4) and even commanded by him (John 15:17). Those in heaven have a perfected love, so how could they not intercede for us? Christ is the vine, and we are the branches; if we are connected to him, we are inseparably bound together as well. Can the eye say to the hand, "I need you not"? Neither are we to say we don't need the prayers of our brothers and sisters (alive here or in heaven), because salvation is a family affair. The faithful in Heaven and on earth are one Body. The Christian practice of asking saints and angels to pray on our behalf is 2000% Biblical. For the Bible directs us to invoke those in heaven and ask them to pray with us.
TCE: This is a continuance of your cutting and pasting from:
and quoting 1 Timothy 4v1-4 alone without including the next verse:
1 Timothy 2:5 - For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus
is a real give away and indicative of cult followers who specialize in cutting and pasting from the Bible! And it is a totally weak attempt to connect supposed intercession from dead saints to verses that clearly speak only of those on earth praying to our 'one mediator ... between God and men, Himself man, Christ Jesus' and which also tries to distance itself from the complete instruction from the inspired Paul:
1 Timothy 2:8 - I desire therefore that the men pray in every place, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and disputing.
If the emphasis on heavenly saints joining earthly saints in constant prayer were being made this is one of many obvious places that it could have been written. While 'every place' might be argued to include heaven we can discount it as a possibility since we can hardly believe that Paul would need to remind such men to pray without 'wrath and disputing' - for we know that such things do not occur in heaven since Satan and his fallen angels were cast out!
Of many more hopeless and desperate examples of eisegesis (reading into verses the result you desire to prove) on your site we find your chosen page continues:
'Clearly, then, intercessory prayers offered by Christians on behalf of others is something "good and pleasing to God," not something infringing on Christ's role as mediator.'
Actually, 1 Timothy 2:3 reads: 'This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour'
and, since no one ever suggested that it could ever be possible to 'infringe' on anything in the Universe that is in the 'sight of God our Saviour (and Mediator!)' the mere implication is nothing more than blasphemous heresy. The other attempted arguments on your sources page are equally fatuous.
So your desperate attempt to claim 'The Christian practice of asking saints and angels to pray on our behalf is 2000% Biblical. For the Bible directs us to invoke those in heaven and ask them to pray with us' is based on nothing more than wishful thinking. If there were Bible verses to prove your claim you would be quoting them here - but you don't because there aren't any!
When attempting massive emphasis on some claim as truth it is surely obvious to the most ignorant vessel that claims exceeding 100% are fatuous and childish?
Of course, like many of the errors of Papal Rome, you accept un-Biblical doctrines because of your acceptance of the Apocrypha and therefore you claim that angels pray for us by the use of that source and verses such as:
Tobit 12:15 - I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels, which present the prayers of the saints, and which go in and out before the glory of the Holy One.
You write: Jesus himself warned us not to offend small children, because their guardian angels have guaranteed intercessory access to the Father: "See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven" (St. Matthew 18:10).
TCE: While it is true that we are not to despise little children (Greek: kataphronéo - to think against, i.e. dis-esteem, or despise) you attempt the obvious ploy of adding to Scripture by quoting a verse which does not contain any words related to 'their guardian angels have guaranteed intercessory access to the Father' who 'observe' (Greek: blépo - look at, behold, perceive, regard, see, sight, take heed) the 'face' (Greek: prósopon - the countenance, aspect, appearance, presence, person, face) of the Father. Nothing is said here about having 'guaranteed intercessory access'.
You write: Just because Jesus is the mediator does not mean that others do not mediate as part of the one mediation of Christ. Is it a sin to ask another person to pray for you? That is called mediation. If you answer yes you are a hypocrite. For when you ask a fellow man to pray for you, instead of going to Jesus (however way [sic] you may construe Him to be) directly, you are asking another person to act as a mediator with Jesus for you. According to your false religion, praying is sinful since it is mediating! Actually, the question about whether it is a sin to ask another person to pray for you is the issue. Because you are asking that person to mediate for you. He is interceding for you. He is mediating [under Christ's one mediation] between man (you) and God. You are therefore a hypocrite in believing it is okay to ask others to pray for you, because you deny others mediating/interceding in one breathe, and then accept it in others. You are a double-tongue. The double-tongued man is unstable in all his ways.
Secondly, Christianity teaches that the Saints offer up their prayers to God for men. I pray for my fellow man. That's intercession. As I said -- Jesus Christ is the one unique Mediator, and that there are others under Him within His one unique Mediatorship, who offer up their prayers for others. Jesus Christ is the only Reedemer [sic] and the one unique Mediator: he has subordinate mediators who mediate before Him, and then Him to the Father.
TCE: you are simply repeating the same false argument you tried earlier by attempting to add Papal Rome's ideas of 'mediation' and 'mediator' to Jesus' role as clearly declared in Scripture (1 Timothy 2:5):
... one mediator also between God and men, Himself man, Christ Jesus
Papal Roman Catholics are quick to claim that Bible-believing Christians have added 'alone' to the clear Scriptural truth that believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are saved by grace alone - as proven by many verses, such as:
Ephesians 2:8-10 - For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Other verses support the same clear truth that salvation is 'the gift of God ', through faith, and nothing else comes into it - it is 'not of yourselves' and 'Not of works' - therefore it is 'alone'!
But here we find you adding a word (unique) without warrant ('the one unique Mediator') so that you can call Christians (and your special, but un-Biblical, 'Saints') mediators. Scripture uses only one word in the New Testament for the one Mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is the Greek word (μεσíτης mesítēs) translated 'a go-between, an internunciator, a reconciler, intercessor, mediator' - and it is not used for anyone else!
So your 'argument' is simply pointless and toothless.
While you try to avoid the obvious conclusion by trying to distinguish between Christ as the sole mediator and all believers as intercessors, such a distinction does not help you prove we should pray to saints because any passages you try and quote are about direct intercession to God, not to other creatures. In another passage which Papal Catholics often cite to us, we read explicitly:
Ephesians 2:13-18 - But now in Christ Jesus ye that once were far off are made nigh in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who made both one, and brake down the middle wall of partition, having abolished in the flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; that he might create in himself of the two one new man, so making peace; and might reconcile them both in one body unto God through the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: and he came and preached peace to you that were far off, and peace to them that were nigh: for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit unto the Father.
Our access in prayer is stated clearly and it is "to the Father", through the Son, not to the saints or through the saints - and not to Mary or through Mary! Nowhere does Scripture state or imply that we should pray to the saints, and the Papal dogma which affirms infallibly that we should is a good example of putting tradition over Scripture, thus proving how fallible the alleged "infallible" teaching magisterium really is (as we have already proven in many other places).
Jesus made all of this perfectly clear:
John 14:13-14 - And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask Me anything in My name, that will I do.
John 16:22-24 - And ye therefore now have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no one taketh away from you. And in that day ye shall ask Me no question. Verily, verily, I say unto you, if ye shall ask anything of the Father, He will give it you in My name. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be made full.
Matthew 18:19-20 - Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father who is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
So, regarding your foolish attempt to insult those who know and follow the Biblical admonition in prayer [when you wrote - 'If you answer yes you are a hypocrite'], notice that you insult the Lord Jesus Christ who gave us the clear instructions and He certainly never confused the issue [by referring to 'mediators'] in His Word for He had also made it clear that He will always be the Mediator for all of mankind - certainly until all believers are gathered to Him in heaven. Thus your final pathetic attempt to insult ['According to your false religion, praying is sinful since it is mediating!'] merely rebounds on you.
You write: You must pray to the Angels, and Saints, and the Mother of God as the Bible clearly teaches - for your salvation. The Protestants are so sad for believing in false teachings. They go against the clear teaching of Scripture. Protestantism and not praying to Angels and Saints is one of the most unbiblical things there is. The Protestants are so sad.
TCE: After failing to prove any of the doctrines Papal Rome believes in you now finally compound the deception by insisting this heresy is 'for your salvation'!
Do we need to remind you, yet again, that there is not a single verse in Scripture to support your false claims?
The culmination of your false doctrines results in a practical denial of the Mediatorship of the Lord Jesus Christ - of Almighty God! To insert any mere human being or angel as a mediator with God is an insult to the all-sufficient, divinely appointed Mediatorship of Jesus Christ and the words Paul was inspired to declare emphatically, "There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human" (1 Tim. 2:5) are re-iterated in other forms:
John 10:9 - I am the door; by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and go out, and shall find pasture;
Hebrews 4:15-16 assures us that in Jesus "we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin." Because of this we are urged to "confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help."
For anyone to try and reason that we should go to Mary or any other saint, or angels, with our requests is the ultimate insult to Christ's human suffering, Mediatorship, and High Priestly ministry.
No one is saying we should not ask other believers on earth to pray to Jesus for us, but you should recognise the important differences here, one of which is the difference between asking other believers on earth to pray for us rather than attempting to communicate with the dead which the Bible forbids. Despite the protestations of Papal Roman Catholics, when we ask other believers to remember us in prayers we never ask them to give us grace or mercy, as Catholics clearly ask of Mary. In a totally Biblical pattern akin to Jesus' instructions in:
Matthew 6:8-14 - Be not therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him. After this manner therefore pray ye. Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you ...
we are acknowledging our relationship to our Glorious Saviour God in worship when we pray and recognising His position, our indebtedness, and our need to be forgiven and to forgive! The true righteousness of the kingdom must be applied in the everyday activities of our lives and we are only to ask God for grace when we pray - not Mary, excellent servant of God though she was, not angels, and not saints in heaven.
Jehovah's Witnesses are so corrupt that they allow their leaders in Brooklyn, USA, to remove one word from:
John 14:14 - If ye shall ask Me anything in My Name, that will I do.
While they insist on using the 'Westcott-Hort' Greek text of the New Testament they pointedly omit just one word from their English translation in their Greek Interlinear version - and we have underlined the word above.
Jesus told us to pray to God directly and, throughout the New Testament, He made it clear He was fully God. But, of course, when He returned to join the Father in glory after the resurrection He was to be prayed to exactly as He instructed here. Jehovah's Witnesses do not want us to pray to Jesus, because to do so would be an admission that Jesus is God and they try (and fail) to prove that the Father is 'YHWH' and He alone is God. Thus they rob Jesus of some of His deserved glory by this evil ploy.
So what is Papal Rome doing when it encourages you to pray to Mary, saints and angels?
Also note that, obviously, when Christians ask other believers to remember them in their prayers, we are not praying to them but merely asking them to pray for us.
As we have already clearly enunciated, you insult the Biblically proven intercession of the Holy Spirit and try to insert the 'intercession' of dead believers, claiming they may be better able to intercede on our behalf because of their position in heaven. But we have emphatically proven this to be a practical denial of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, whose task it is to do this very thing on our behalf, as well as showing that no one is better able to intercede for us than another Person of the blessed 'Trinity'? The Bible declares that "we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings" (Romans 8:26) and through Christ we "have access in one Spirit to the Father" (Ephesians 2:18). Since, beyond our own prayers to God, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us perfectly "according to God's will" (Romans 8:27) there is no need to call on anyone else in heaven to do so. It is gross error to claim that any angel or human being, dead or alive, could be more efficacious in any endeavour in the Universe than God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit:
1 John 2:1-2 - My little children, these things write I unto you that ye may not sin. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate [Greek: παράκλητος - paráklētos - an Intercessor, Consoler, Advocate, Comforter - cf. John 14:16 where the Holy Spirit is also shown to be our paráklētos] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.
Believing that Mary and 'the saints' are superior "intercessors" before God because they are glorified in Heaven and therefore have more "direct access" to God than we do, so that if they 'deliver' a prayer to God it is more effective than those on earth praying to God directly, is utterly un-Biblical - as this Scripture makes clear:
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NASB) - 14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [Greek: κρατέω - kratéō - pronounced: krat-eh'-o - to use strength, i.e. seize or retain, hold fast), keep, lay hold on, obtain, retain, take] our confession [Greek: ὁμολογία - homología - pronounced: hom-ol-og-ee'-ah - acknowledgment, confession, profession, professed]. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near [Greek: προσέρχομαι - prosérchomai - pronounced: pros-er'-khom-ahee - to approach, i.e. (literally) come near, visit, or (figuratively) worship, assent to, draw near, go near to] with confidence [Greek: παῤῥησία - parrhēsía - pronounced: par-rhay-see'-ah - all out-spokenness, frankness, bluntness, assurance, boldness, boldness of speech, confidence (and freely, openly, plainly)] to the throne [Greek: θρόνος - thrónos - pronounced: thron'-os - a stately seat, power, potentate, throne] of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
This passage in Hebrews makes it utterly clear that Jesus alone is our Great High Priest and, since He is our Saviour God and One Mediator, all believers here on earth can "approach the throne of grace with confidence." Obviously no believer has need of Mary or 'the saints' when we have God the Son and God the Holy Spirit already interceding for us before the Father in heaven!
We have already amply refuted the fake priesthood of Papal Rome because, apart from other important issues, Scripture reveals the only Priest we confess our sins to is the Lord Jesus Christ - which makes perfect sense because He is also our Only Mediator and, with the Holy Spirit included in Intercession (Romans 8:26-27) we need no one else!
To think as you do is to insult the divinely appointed role of every member of the Godhead. Do you think any of your other insults of God and His Word can compare to this grievous sin?!
You write: The veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mother of God, the Angels and Saints and also of Relics comes down to use [sic] from the inspired Oral Gospel!! II Thessalonians 2:14: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle." See here that the unwritten traditions are no less to be received than their epistles. If you are honest you have to admit that there is an inspired Tradition handed down from generation to generation. Even if you do not believe that it is the Tradition of the Church at this time. You have to admit that the content of Divine Revelation is passed on orally. That it is equally as inspired as that which is written. Not all the truths of Divine Revelation are found in the Scriptures. Obviously only the One True church has this Revelation. It is the Apostolic Tradition of the Church!!!
The error in the sola scriptura argument however is contained in the premise: you wrongly assume that the 'words of the Lord' and 'God's word' (mentioned in Psalm 11: 6-7 and St. Mat. 24:35) are limited to a book: but God's promise in Psalm 12 and St. Matthew 24 does not mention a 'book.' It mentions God's 'words.' The Bible teaches that the spoken word is 'the word of God,' in addition to the written word. II Thessalonians 3:6 "And we charge you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly, and not according to the tradition which they have received of us."
St. Mat. 24:35 "Heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass." In 2 Thessalonians. 2:14, the bible clearly teaches that one must accept both Scripture and Tradition; it even says that the Bible itself is a Tradition!!! The aforementioned/following verses also prove that the spoken word was the 'word of God' which must be preserved and handed down, and it was preserved and handed down for all generations in the teaching of the Church Christ established. 2 John 1:12 "Having more things to write unto you, I would not by paper and ink: for I hope that I shall be with you, and speak face to face: that your joy may be full." 2 Timothy 2:1-2 "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace which is in Christ Jesus: And the things which thou hast heard of me by many witnesses, the same commend to faithful men, who shall be fit to teach others also." Therefore, even though we no longer have the original New Testament writings ('THE AUTOGRAPHS'), but only manuscript copies which are not perfect in every detail as the originals were, God's words are still preserved, just as He promised in Psalm 11: 6-7 and St. Mat. 24:35, in the Apostolic Tradition, the teaching of His Church, and what we do know about the written word from the copies that have been passed down to us.
TCE: We have already thoroughly refuted 'the Tradition/Oral tradition' and the attempts by Papal Rome to refute 'sola scriptura' on the linked pages (see Menu)!
As you can read in our refutations, your Scriptural quotes have been dealt with in detail and also fail to overturn the 'Sola Scriptura' argument. And you really should have read Psalm 11 and 12 before making such foolish claims!
Since you also make the very sad and utterly foolish claim that 'only manuscript copies which are not perfect in every detail as the originals were, God's words are still preserved ' we can conclude that you fully support the position of Papal Rome in which popes can over-rule the Word of God as they wish and can always excuse themselves by claiming the Word of God is not infallible anyway!
You write: With this realization, the entire argument of sola scriptura is crushed. There need not be any modern 'book' that is a perfect translation or representation of the original writings because God never promised that He would preserve His words in every generation in a 'book.' He promised to preserve 'words,' and He does so in the teaching of His one Church, the pillar and foundation of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15), and in what we do know about the original writings. There are numerous other quotes which prove that the spoken word is also the 'word of God.' Colossians 1: 5-6 "For the hope that is laid up for you in heaven, which you have heard in the word of the truth of the gospel, Which is come unto you, as also it is in the whole world, and bringeth forth fruit and groweth, even as it doth in you, since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth." St. John 17:20 "And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me." Jesus prays for those who will believe through the "word" of His apostles. But only a few of His Apostles worte [sic] words in the bible. Most of them did not. "Their word," through which people will believe, therefore be [sic] their preaching and the communication of oral tradition, no [sic] their writing. Luke 8:11-13 "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. And they by the way side are they that hear; then the devil cometh, and taketh the word out of their heart, lest believing they should be saved. Now they upon the rock, are they who when they hear, receive the word with joy: and these have no roots; for they believe for a while, and in time of temptation, they fall away." Luke 4:44 - 5:1 "And he was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee. And it came to pass, that when the multitudes pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Genesareth." Luke 3:2 "Under the high priests Annas and Caiphas; the word of the Lord was made unto John, the son of Zachary, in the desert." This refers to the revelation given to St. John the Baptist. Acts 4:31 "And when they had prayed, the place was moved wherein they were assembled; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the word of God with confidence."
TCE: On the basis of the feeblest reasoning imaginable you claim that 'the entire argument of sola scriptura is crushed ' - if this were really true you will be able to refute our thorough proof of the truth of Sola Scriptura (see Menu)
You claim that 'There need not be any modern 'book' that is a perfect translation or representation of the original writings because God never promised that He would preserve His words in every generation in a 'book.' He promised to preserve 'words,' and He does so in the teaching of His one Church, the pillar and foundation of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15), and in what we do know about the original writings.' Clearly, you display the same sickening ça ne fait rien ("it does not matter") attitude of Papal Rome to the Word of God, pretending you can over-rule the truth that God has so carefully preserved in the preservation of the Bible as it suits you. Such an attitude exists in all the cults of the world and is the only way in which corrupt men and women can pretend that the colossal contradictions and 'flip-flops' in doctrines and behaviour exhibited by their authorities do not really matter. If one doctrine does not work for them they can always overturn it with another and so they flit from one 'living' pope to another (having three together even!), from commanding when foods can or cannot be eaten, and adding money-making schemes to determine how long the 'the ignorant and unstable' (2 Peter 3v16) believe they must suffer in purgatory for their sins!
For centuries Papal Rome made it a crime for a man to possess or read the Bible in his native tongue without permission in writing from his superior and, even then, it must be studied under the watchful eye of the bishop or you were guilty of a mortal sin, for which absolution could not be granted until the book was delivered to the priest! Thus the Bible was preserved as a reference book for the so-called theologians and priests of Papal Rome in order to sustain the power of the fake priesthood by wrested interpretations of vital texts that clearly destroyed her false doctrines!
You also claim that 'Jesus prays for those who will believe through the "word" of His apostles. But only a few of His Apostles worte [sic] words in the bible. Most of them did not. "Their word," through which people will believe, therefore be [sic] their preaching and the communication of oral tradition, no [sic] their writing.' As we have amply proven, the Word of God has been preserved carefully for us so that no true disciple will ever preach or communicate a false Jesus (as Papal Rome does!) or a false gospel (as Papal Rome does!) because these Scriptures exist to warn us all:
Galatians 1:6-9 - I marvel that ye are so quickly removing from him that called you in the grace of Christ unto a different gospel; which is not another gospel only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach (Greek: euangelízo, to announce good news - especially the gospel - declare, bring, show glad/good tidings, preach the gospel) unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema. As we have said before, so say I now again, if any man preacheth unto you any gospel other than that which ye received, let him be anathema.
2 Corinthians 11:4 - For if he that cometh preacheth (Greek: kerýsso) another Jesus, whom we did not preach (Greek: kerýsso - to herald (as a public crier), especially divine truth (the gospel), preacher, proclaim, publish), or if ye receive a different spirit, which ye did not receive, or a different gospel, which ye did not accept, ye do well to bear with him.
2 Peter 1:19-21 - And we have the word [Greek: lógos - something said (including the thought); by implication, a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extension, a computation; especially (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (i.e. Christ), account, cause, communication, concerning doctrine, preaching, question, reason, say(-ing), shew, speaker, speech, talk, tidings, treatise, utterance, word, work] of prophecy [Greek: prophetikós - pertaining to a foreteller ("prophetic"), of prophecy, of the prophets] made more sure; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy [Greek: propheteía - prophecy, prediction (scriptural or other), prophesying] of scripture [Greek: graphe - a document, i.e. holy Writ, or its contents or a statement in it, scripture] is of private interpretation. For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake (Greek: laléo - to talk, i.e. utter words, preach, say, speak, talk, tell, utter) from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit.
The Greek makes it clear that preaching (word of mouth) is a definite part of God's means of reaching people with the Gospel of Grace - but the clear use of graphe - meaning a document, i.e. holy Writ, or its contents or a statement in it, literally scripture, proves that the written Word was as important in the New Testament as the Old Testament - and it is NOT 'of private interpretation!
And the Old Testament evidence totally sinks your feeble argument by supplying two devastating pieces of evidence of God's glorious preservation of His Word delivered to men and written down that no man or organisation could ever have an excuse for leading His chosen people astray:
2 Kings 22:1-20 - Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign; and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. And he did that which was right in the eyes of YHWH, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left. And it came to pass in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, that the king sent Shaphan, the son of Azaliah the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of YHWH, saying, Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the money which is brought into the house of YHWH, which the keepers of the threshold have gathered of the people: and let them deliver it into the hand of the workmen that have the oversight of the house of YHWH; and let them give it to the workmen that are in the house of YHWH, to repair the breaches of the house, unto the carpenters, and to the builders, and to the masons, and for buying timber and hewn stone to repair the house. Howbeit there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand; for they dealt faithfully. And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of YHWH. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan, and he read it. And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, Thy servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen that have the oversight of the house of YHWH. And Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes. And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Micaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king's servant, saying, Go ye, inquire of YHWH for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found; for great is the wrath of YHWH that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us. So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asaiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the second quarter); and they communed with her. And she said unto them, Thus saith YHWH, the God of Israel: Tell ye the man that sent you unto me, Thus saith YHWH, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read. Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and it shall not be quenched. But unto the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of YHWH, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith YHWH, the God of Israel: As touching the words which thou hast heard, because thy heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before YHWH, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith YHWH. Therefore, behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.
2 Kings 23:1-37 - And the king sent, and they gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. And the king went up to the house of YHWH, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of YHWH. And the king stood by the pillar, and made a covenant before YHWH, to walk after YHWH, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and all his soul, to confirm the words of this covenant that were written in this book: and all the people stood to the covenant. And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the threshold, to bring forth out of the temple of YHWH all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the Asherah, and for all the host of heaven, and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Beth-el. And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven. And he brought out the Asherah from the house of YHWH, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and beat it to dust, and cast the dust thereof upon the graves of the common people. And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were in the house of YHWH, where the women wove hangings for the Asherah. And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beer-sheba; and he brake down the high places of the gates that were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on a man's left hand at the gate of the city. Nevertheless the priests of the high places came not up to the altar of YHWH in Jerusalem, but they did eat unleavened bread among their brethren. And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech. And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of YHWH, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the precincts; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire. And the altars that were on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of YHWH, did the king break down, and beat them down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron. And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile. And he brake in pieces the pillars, and cut down the Asherim, and filled their places with the bones of men. Moreover the altar that was at Beth-el, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, even that altar and the high place he brake down; and he burned the high place and beat it to dust, and burned the Asherah. And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount; and he sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar, and defiled it, according to the word of YHWH which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these things. Then he said, What monument is that which I see? And the men of the city told him, It is the sepulchre of the man of God, who came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Beth-el. And he said, Let him be; let no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria. And all the houses also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke YHWH to anger, Josiah took away, and did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Beth-el. And he slew all the priests of the high places that were there, upon the altars, and burned men's bones upon them; and he returned to Jerusalem. And the king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the passover unto YHWH your God, as it is written in this book of the covenant. Surely there was not kept such a passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah; but in the eighteenth year of king Josiah was this passover kept to YHWH in Jerusalem. Moreover them that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the teraphim, and the idols, and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might confirm the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of YHWH. And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to YHWH with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him. Notwithstanding, YHWH turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations wherewith Manasseh had provoked him. And YHWH said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city which I have chosen, even Jerusalem, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there. Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? In his days Pharaoh-necoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and Pharaoh-necoh slew him at Megiddo, when he had seen him. And his servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own sepulchre. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father's stead. Jehoahaz was twenty and three years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. And he did that which was evil in the sight of YHWH, according to all that his fathers had done. And Pharaoh-necoh put him in bonds at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and put the land to a tribute of a hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold. And Pharaoh-necoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the room of Josiah his father, and changed his name to Jehoiakim: but he took Jehoahaz away; and he came to Egypt, and died there. And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh: he exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of every one according to his taxation, to give it unto Pharaoh-necoh. Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Zebidah the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. And he did that which was evil in the sight of YHWH, according to all that his fathers had done.
These verses show clearly that eight year old Josiah did what pleased God despite not having the book of the law until he had reigned eighteen years;
And when Josiah did learn the whole truth through the book of the law he repented appropriately and earned God's approval;
Josiah and his people made a covenant to stand by what they had learned from the discovery of the book of the law;
when Josiah found the bones of the man of God ('What monument is that which I see? ') he had the people treat them with respect - but there is no mention of anyone using them as relics or adoring/worshipping them in any way ('Let him be; let no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria') - as we can read, unlike the habits of the Papal Roman Catholic Cult, there was absolutely no intention of moving them into the temple or some such idolatrous move!;
Josiah ensured that 'them that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the teraphim, and the idols, and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might confirm the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of YHWH';
Josiah did many other fine acts in his reign, but then the kings who followed him - Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim (who were twenty three and twenty and five years old respectively when they began their reign) - both followed the same path and receive the same testimony and 'did that which was evil in the sight of YHWH, according to all that [their] fathers had done'.
Notice that, despite all the good that Josiah did up to the point that the book of the law was found, he did far more good afterwards - the record reveals it! So who could logically claim that missing any part of the Word of God is going to make a Christian believer a better Christian - or their ekklesia a better ekklesia?
Besides this, the Lord Jesus Christ promised that the Holy Spirit would lead believers 'into all truth' (John 14:26; 16:7ff. etc.) - yet Papal Rome has blundered from one heresy to another and continued to produce 'new doctrines' and practices for her adherents to follow slavishly many centuries after the days of the apostles (e.g. their false doctrine of the 'Assumption of the Virgin Mary' in 1950!).
Apart from the fact that we have already totally debunked Papal Rome's false doctrine of 'oral Tradition', only the dumbest creature would accept that this mythical 'Tradition' would take nearly 2,000 years to discover that the 1950 doctrine (supposedly) existed!
The second Old Testament passage that puts another nail in the coffin that holds your false hypothesis is found at:
Jeremiah 36:1-32 - And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from YHWH, saying, Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin. Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah; and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of YHWH, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book. And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am shut up; I cannot go into the house of YHWH: therefore go thou, and read in the roll, which thou hast written from my mouth, the words of YHWH in the ears of the people in Jehovah's house upon the fast-day; and also thou shalt read them in the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities. It may be they will present their supplication before YHWH, and will return every one from his evil way; for great is the anger and the wrath that YHWH hath pronounced against this people. And Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading in the book the words of YHWH in Jehovah's house. Now it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, that all the people in Jerusalem, and all the people that came from the cities of Judah unto Jerusalem, proclaimed a fast before YHWH. Then read Baruch in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of YHWH, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan, the scribe, in the upper court, at the entry of the new gate of Jehovah's house, in the ears of all the people. And when Micaiah the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, had heard out of the book all the words of YHWH, he went down into the king's house, into the scribe's chamber: and, lo, all the princes were sitting there, to wit, Elishama the scribe, and Delaiah the son of Shemaiah, and Elnathan the son of Achbor, and Gemariah the son of Shaphan, and Zedekiah the son of Hananiah, and all the princes. Then Micaiah declared unto them all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read the book in the ears of the people. Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, unto Baruch, saying, Take in thy hand the roll wherein thou hast read in the ears of the people, and come. So Baruch the son of Neriah took the roll in his hand, and came unto them. And they said unto him, Sit down now, and read it in our ears. So Baruch read it in their ears. Now it came to pass, when they had heard all the words, they turned in fear one toward another, and said unto Baruch, We will surely tell the king of all these words. And they asked Baruch, saying, Tell us now, How didst thou write all these words at his mouth? Then Baruch answered them, He pronounced all these words unto me with his mouth, and I wrote them with ink in the book. Then said the princes unto Baruch, Go, hide thee, thou and Jeremiah; and let no man know where ye are. And they went in to the king into the court; but they had laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe; and they told all the words in the ears of the king. So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll; and he took it out of the chamber of Elishama the scribe. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes that stood beside the king. Now the king was sitting in the winter-house in the ninth month: and there was a fire in the brazier burning before him. And it came to pass, when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, that the king cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was in the brazier, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was in the brazier. And they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words. Moreover Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah had made intercession to the king that he would not burn the roll; but he would not hear them. And the king commanded Jerahmeel the king's son, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet; but YHWH hid them. Then the word of YHWH came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying, Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned. And concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah thou shalt say, Thus saith YHWH: Thou hast burned this roll, saying, Why hast thou written therein, saying, The king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from thence man and beast? Therefore thus saith YHWH concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David; and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost. And I will punish him and his seed and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them, but they hearkened not. Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah, who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire; and there were added besides unto them many like words.
What do intelligent, genuinely orthodox, Biblical Christians learn from this? No matter what man tries to do to deliberately, carelessly, or accidentally destroy, damage, or otherwise add or subtract from the Word of God, He is clearly perfectly capable of replacing those lost or damaged Words - and even adding to them as He desires!
So your foolish claim that 'God never promised that He would preserve His words in every generation in a 'book' ʾ is thoroughly debunked just as God has repeatedly promised:
Deuteronomy 4:1-2 - And now, O Israel, hearken unto the statutes and unto the ordinances, which I teach you, to do them; that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which YHWH, the God of your fathers, giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from it, that ye may keep the commandments of YHWH your God which I command you.
Revelation 22:18-19 - I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.
You write: Protestants that believe the 'word of God' is only [found in] the Bible: are unable completely to respond to these verses which show it is oral as well and not limited to a 'book.' The Protestants are unable to believe/refute/accept these verses: for they hold to the unbiblical and unhistorical heresy of sola scriptura. They have no (honest) response because they fail to recognize that the 'words of God' are preserved in Tradition and the Church's teaching, in addition to Scripture. A careful and honest consideration of these facts not only demonstrates that so la [sic] scriptura is false, but that therefore Protestantism itself, which is inextricably bound to sola scriptura- is implausible, unreasonable, and false. God did not, and never would have, intended that the ONLY infallible source of revelation and rule of faith and practice would be a book or a collection of books. Romans 10: 17-19 "Faith then cometh by hearing; and hearing by the word of Christ. But I say: Have they not heard? Yes, verily, their sound hath gone forth into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the whole world."
TCE: the first part of your attempted refutation of sola scriptura (above) is comprehensively refuted in many places on our pages - as pointed out above - and even in the quotation (above) from Jeremiah 36 which reveals the Word being received by the prophet and then committed to the written form - twice! And the rest of your paragraph is both illogical, unfounded, far from 'careful and honestʾ, and extremely dull. If you bother to read our refutations you will see how far from the truth your claims (e.g. 'Protestants are unable to believe/refute/accept these verses') are in reality.
Finally, as we just proved, the Greek word 'scripture' (Greek: graphe - a document, i.e. holy Writ, or its contents or a statement in it, scripture) is used throughout the New Testament in a way that proves emphatically that God totally solidifies His Word in the history of mankind by preserving it as 'a document, i.e. holy Writ' - as even 'a few' examples make clear:
Matthew 21:42 - Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
Matthew 22:29 - Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
Matthew 26:54 - But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
Matthew 26:56 - But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.
Mark 12:10 - Have ye not read even this scripture: The stone which the builders rejected, The same was made the head of the corner;
Mark 12:24 - And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?
Mark 14:49 - I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.
Mark 15:28 - And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was reckoned with transgressors.
Luke 4:21 - And he began to say unto them, To-day hath this scripture been fulfilled in your ears.
Luke 24:27 - And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
Luke 24:32 - And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
Luke 24:45 - Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
John 2:22 - When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he spake this; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
John 7:38 - He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, from within him shall flow rivers of living water.
John 7:42 - Hath not the scripture said that the Christ cometh of the seed of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?
John 10:35 - If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came - and the scripture cannot be broken (Greek: lýo - to "loosen" (literally or figuratively), break (up), destroy, dissolve, loose, melt, put off)
John 13:18 - I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled: He that eateth my bread lifted up his heel against me.
John 17:12 - While I was with them, I kept them in thy name which thou hast given me: and I guarded them, and not one of them perished, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
John 19:24 - They said therefore one to another, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my garments among them, And upon my vesture did they cast lots.
John 19:28 - After this Jesus, knowing that all things are now finished, that the scripture might be accomplished, saith, I thirst.
John 19:36 - For these things came to pass, that the scripture might be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
John 19:37 - And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.
John 20:9 - For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.
Acts 1:16 - Brethren, it was needful that the scripture should be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spake before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was guide to them that took Jesus.
Acts 8:32 - Now the passage of the scripture which he was reading was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before his shearer is dumb, So he openeth not his mouth:
Acts 8:35 - And Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this scripture, preached unto him Jesus.
Romans 4:3 - For what saith the scripture? And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness.
Romans 9:17 - For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, For this very purpose did I raise thee up, that I might show in thee my power, and that my name might be published abroad in all the earth.
Romans 10:11 - For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be put to shame.
Romans 10:15 - and how shall they preach, except they be sent? even as it is written [Greek: grápho, to "grave", especially to write; figuratively, to describe)], How beautiful are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of good things!
[If only you had read these verses which only just precede your quote from Romans 10v17-19!]
Romans 11:2 - God did not cast off his people which he foreknew. Or know ye not what the scripture saith of Elijah? how he pleadeth with God against Israel:
Galatians 3:8 - And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all the nations be blessed.
Galatians 4:30 - Howbeit what saith the scripture? Cast out the handmaid and her son: for the son of the handmaid shall not inherit with the son of the freewoman.
1 Timothy 5:18 - For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. And, The laborer is worthy of his hire.
2 Timothy 3:16 - Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness.
James 2:8 - Howbeit if ye fulfil the royal law, according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well:
James 2:23 - and the scripture was fulfilled which saith, And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness; and he was called the friend of God.
James 4:5 - Or think ye that the scripture speaketh in vain? Doth the spirit which he made to dwell in us long unto envying?
James 4:6 - But he giveth more grace. Wherefore the scripture saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.
1 Peter 2:6 - Because it is contained in scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: And he that believeth on him shall not be put to shame.
2 Peter 1:20 - knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation.
There is also the use of the Hebrew - kâthâb (something written, i.e. a writing, record or book, register, scripture, writing) in:
Daniel 10:21 - But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince...
2 Timothy 3:15 - And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures (Greek - grámma - a writing, i.e. a letter, note, epistle, book, etc.; plural learning, bill, learning, letter, scripture), which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
We will leave it to Papal Roman Catholics to search in vain for support for their blind belief in 'oral Scripture'.
(Continued on page 368)