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cksalmon

Is the Bible self-authenticating?

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11 hours ago, Spammer said:

I’m an orthodox, Catholic Christian, whose bishops stand in the apostolic succession, from which they derived their authority to establish the biblical canon centuries ago, the criterion of which was what had always been deemed suitable for use in the Liturgy by the churches. In other words, it’s scripture because the God-appointed bishops in my tradition said so.

So you accept the canonicity of the Bible because you accept the authority of those bishops to declare it.  Fair enough.

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On that ground, for instance, I accept the four traditional gospels and reject the gnostic gospels.

You accept that they have the authority. Fine.  What if they had the authority, but were wrong about some of their decisions?  Saying someone had the authority to pronounce canonicity is not synonymous with having infallibility.  Perhaps the Book of Revelation isn't really scripture, but the scribblings of some guy who wasn't John at all, but an imposter who was making things up?  The canonicity of Revelation was in dispute for some time, after all. 

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What’s your criterion? How do you choose among the many claimants and identify what’s scriptural? Let’s stick with my hypothetical. If Catholic Bishops had not included the synoptic gospels in the canon, but went with the gospels of Thomas and Philip instead, it’s reasonable to conclude they would now be in every Christian’s Bible, yours included. Would you deem them scripture? Why or why not? On what ground? Or do you already deem them so?  

I don't really have a criterion.  The canon was chosen for me, if you will, by your bishops.  I don't think they did too badly, all in all, so I don't have a complaint.  The Bible as it is presently constituted is a gem among books, and I love it.  But is it perfect?  No.

I assume that if the gnostic gospels had been included in the canon -- and presuming that they contain some truth, but also some lies -- that the Lord would have revealed this to the Prophet Joseph Smith.  This was done for the Apocrypha.  Joseph had been engaged in translating (actually correcting) the Bible, and came across the Apocrypha.  He asked the Lord about these books and got this:

DC 91

1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you concerning the Apocrypha—There are many things contained therein that are true, and it is mostly translated correctly;
2 There are many things contained therein that are not true, which are interpolations by the hands of men.
3 Verily, I say unto you, that it is not needful that the Apocrypha should be translated.
4 Therefore, whoso readeth it, let him understand, for the Spirit manifesteth truth;

So, the Lord agrees with the Catholic bishops that the Apocrypha are not canonical.

The Book of Mormon comments upon the Bible as it would appear in the far future, in 1 Nephi 13. Rather than extensively quoting from it, I'll strip it to the essentials:

The Lord tells Nephi that a book would be carried by the Gentiles, obviously the Bible, and that it would contain a record of the Jews, and the covenants of the Lord, many prophecies of the holy prophets, and the testimony of the apostles of the Lord, and when originally written it contained the fulness of the gospel, and went forth in purity to the Gentiles.  However, after going forth in purity, the great and abominable church removed "many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away".  

But regardless, in the end the Lord would do what was necessary to fix the problem, which He said in verse 32:

32 Neither will the Lord God suffer that the Gentiles shall forever remain in that awful state of blindness, which thou beholdest they are in, because of the plain and most precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, whose formation thou hast seen.

Of course you would consider all of this to be balderdash, because the bishops of the Catholic Church had the authority to declare what was canonical and what wasn't. And Joseph Smith wasn't a prophet, and the Book of Mormon is not scripture (for one thing, the Catholic Bishops didn't include it in the canon).  I get that.  What I don't get is this: is there such a thing as "authority to establish the biblical canon"?  And how is the authority obtained, if it exists?

 

Edited by Stargazer

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On ‎12‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 4:09 PM, cksalmon said:

But it strikes me that Mormons can't (and don't want to) make the same sort of claim about BoM (etc.) as Kruger does about the Bible. For Mormons, scripture isn't the ultimate authority. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I would characterize the difference between Mormons and Protestants on the topic like this: For Mormons the ultimate authority is the agent (the Spirit) who authorizes; for Protestants the ultimate authority is that which has been authorized by the Spirit.

Now, before this devolves into a neener-neener we've-got-the-Spirit-and-you've-just-got-a-book thing, my point is subtler than that. The Protestant idea is not that the Bible is our ultimate authority and God isn't. The idea is that God has uniquely authorized the Bible to serve as our ultimate authority in this life.

Does my rambling have a point? Is the Protestant view superior to the Mormon view?

Tune in tomorrow to hear me out. I'm out of time for tonight.

There is an old saying that Catholics claim the pope is infallible but don't believe it while Mormons claim the prophet is fallible but don't believe it. I would argue, that in practice, the ultimate authority in Mormonism is authority itself as found in the prophet. 

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On 12/6/2018 at 4:43 AM, Stargazer said:

I had an interesting journey with respect to both the Bible and Book of Mormon.  Interesting to me, at least.  Allow me to bore everyone for a few moments.

Because of my mother's death when I was 7, my father had to put me with his grandmother until he could reestablish a home, and she occasionally sent me to a local church (because she had limited mobility and couldn't drive). She also read to me out of the Bible.  Thus I acquired a certain degree of "believing" with respect to the Bible.  I wouldn't have called it a "testimony" of the book.  After my father remarried, my new stepmother would sometimes take my little brother and I to her church, which was a "General Baptist" congregation, although she was only an occasional churchgoer.  So I got a little 'formal" education in Christianity and the Bible.

And then along came the Latter-day Saints.  I was in the 8th grade, and while walking home from school one day in the spring of 1965 I made the acquaintance of Kent, another young man at my school who happened to be LDS. In the course of our initial conversation he made it known that he was a Mormon, and since I was interested I asked him questions about it, and ended up walking about a half mile past my normal turning listening to him tell about the Book of Mormon and the Nephites and the Lamanites.  At the end of the next school day, I hurried to the place where I first met him and waited (we didn't share any classes).  Soon he appeared and we conversed further about the church, and this time I walked nearly to his house, which was a mile past where I would normally have turned off to go to my house.  The next day I waited for him again, but instead of a long walk with a gospel conversation, this time he invited me to come to his house to meet the missionaries.  Which I did.  It took me a year to get baptized, but it happened.  Incidentally, Kent was the most dedicated member missionary I have ever seen. It wasn't just me who met with the missionaries at his home.  At the time, there were at least three others taking the discussions with me, all from his efforts.

I had not read the Book of Mormon all the way through by the time I was baptized.  I had also not prayed specifically about it, per Moroni 10:3-5, at least to that point.  But I recognized later that I knew it was true from virtually the moment that Kent told me about it.  It "felt" real -- there was a stamp of authenticity to it.  I am certain that the Holy Ghost drew me to this conclusion.  I have sometimes said that I didn't know the Bible was the Word of God until I knew that the Book of Mormon was true -- because the Book of Mormon testifies of the Bible.  But that may not be entirely the case, and as for those who learn about the Bible and read it, what stops them from being likewise "drawn by the Spirit" towards a conviction of its divine status?  In other words, "have a feeling" about it.  

The notion that because the Bible describes historical people, places and events it must be the Word of God is ridiculous.  One might as well accept To Kill a Mockingbird as scripture, because of the same thing.

The only true stamp of authenticity is the testimony of the Holy Spirit.  

Unless Yeshua tells you it is true. 

Thanks for sharing your story. I love conversion stories and didn't know yours. :) 

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On 12/6/2018 at 10:36 AM, cksalmon said:

I think this is a fascinating discussion, but unfortunately I have to cut my end of it short.

My wife caught me posting here again, and knowing how prone I was in the past to spend so much of my limited time on this board, has reasonably asked me not to get sucked in again. I'm inclined to do as she wishes and step away.  (She threatened to sign up here again and remind me on all my duties to wife and kids on each thread I started if I didn't comply :)). 

Thanks to everyone who offered their thoughts, especially to mfbukowski who gave me food for thought with his assessment of Baptistic belief in the Bible. 

A few brief final thoughts:

(1) I've come to the conclusion that there is no phenomenological difference that I can see between most Protestants' faith in the Bible as God's word and most Mormons' faith in BoM as God's word. 

(2) That's why I thought a more nuanced discussion comparing the idea of ultimate authority (as it relates to Scripture and Spirit and the intertwining of the two) could have been so interesting. 

Until some other time, adieu.  

 

 

Thanks for that willingness to acknowledge that point

Only each of us individually can determine our own ultimate authority for scripture. For me that's all there is to it.

I can give my reasons but every reader of their own scriptures will also have there is.

There have to be hundreds of volumes which claim to be their own authority for scripture. There are Hindu books there are Zoroastrian books, Ba'hai books, and many other and then we have all the translations. And that is not even getting into any of the Eastern religions.

 

Then we have the Apocrypha. For Mormons we have the conference talks.

We have the difference between the Catholic Canon and the Protestant canon. 

I don't think it's for us to determine the authority for someone else.

I don't mean to be irreverent but it is like trying to pick the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. 

On that I can only tell you by all objective standards my grandma wins. ! ;)

And I believe that is scientifically verifiable. ;)

And I also think your wife is right. This can be a horrible waste of time. I appreciate your honesty.

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On 12/7/2018 at 7:54 AM, Stargazer said:

What I don't get is this: is there such a thing as "authority to establish the biblical canon"?  And how is the authority obtained, if it exists?

Sorry for the delay. I was driving up and down the Shenandoah Valley all day yesterday. 

What you ask is key. I think it depends on a few things: whether God appointed a human agency as arbiter, who it is, and what God authorized the arbiter to do. 

Without a God-appointed arbiter, each Christian interprets scripture and determines the canon for himself. Private interpretation. Even if each believes the Spirit to have revealed the truth to them personally, without an arbiter with authority to make objective pronouncements, the subjective spiritual experience applies to the individual alone and to no one else. The larger truth outside of individuals and subjective interpretation is in principle unknowable. This is where Protestant sola scriptura and self-authenticating bibles collapses. They have no ground for asserting possession of truth. That requires a human agent appointed by God to be a tie-breaker, the one who stands in for God to have the final say. 

The same applies to anyone, including some LDS, who rely on their own prayers and the Spirit as the place where the buck stops. Unless God appointed them to that role for everyone, their conclusions about canon and interpretation of scripture apply only to them. There’s no need to listen to anything they say, and vice versa. That’s the subjective world of Christianity without a God-appointed arbiter. Each person is equally a prophet or pope. It’s circular reasoning on all sides and a recipe for chaos.

So that’s the first decision point. Did God appoint an arbiter? Yes or no?

If no, IMO were all screwed. Truth is unknowable. It seems to me that a loving God wouldn’t abandon us to such a fate. 

So, who is that arbiter and how do we know? That’s a subjective determination. We can’t escape it. We examine the evidence and decide who is the likely candidate. Then, we submit. Doing otherwise is to abandon any ground for believing in the possibility of bridging subjective spiritual experience with objective knowledge of God’s will.

For that reason, we can safely ignore everyone who grounds their beliefs on ‘me and my Bible’ or ‘me and the Spirit.’  Who cares what they think? They don’t speak for God. And they can ignore me, no matter how powerful my spiritual experiences may be. There’s no arbiter. We’re all equally simultaneously knowledgeable and in the dark, little atoms of self-assurance whose experiences apply solely to ourselves alone.

If we want to break this, the key, then, is to locate God’s appointed arbiter and attach ourselves to it. Only then do you ask: what did God authorize him/them to do regarding establishing a rule (canon) for identification and use of scripture?

You know what I believe.

Edited by Spammer
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If we want to break this, the key, then, is to locate God’s appointed arbiter and attach ourselves to it.”

And how do we do this?

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1 hour ago, Spammer said:

So that’s the first decision point. Did God appoint an arbiter? Yes or no?

If no, IMO were all screwed. Truth is unknowable. It seems to me that a loving God wouldn’t abandon us to such a fate. 

So, who is that arbiter and how do we know? That’s a subjective determination. We can’t escape it. We examine the evidence and decide who is the likely candidate. Then, we submit. Doing otherwise is to abandon any ground for believing in the possibility of bridging subjective spiritual experience with objective knowledge of God’s will. 

The key, then, is to locate that arbiter and attach ourselves to it. Then you ask: what did God authorize him/them to do regarding establishing a rule (canon) for identification and use of scripture?

You know what I believe.

Truth is knowable through scripture given us, and as revealed through His revelator and unique Son, Jesus Christ. So, I attach myself to Him as my arbiter. I certainly need one. To the extent that the interpretations of men agree with scripture, I ponder them and pray  about them. However, I have found most men have presumed to understand, rather than to offer true light - which is the problem I have with "orthodoxy" being that light. There is not a lot in "orthodoxy" that I retain anymore as truth besides basics of the gospel. 

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14 minutes ago, Calm said:

If we want to break this, the key, then, is to locate God’s appointed arbiter and attach ourselves to it.”

And how do we do this?

I wrote above: “That’s a subjective determination. We can’t escape it. We examine the evidence and decide who is the likely candidate. Then, we submit.” There must be an arbiter, so who has the best claim? Deciding that is the inescapable subjective aspect of the process. But in the end you can at least point to something outside yourself to support your assertions. The ‘me and my Bible’ and ‘me and the Spirit’ crowd can’t do that. That’s why LDS prophets, popes and councils are necessary.

Edited by Spammer
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On 12/6/2018 at 6:16 AM, Spammer said:
 
That’s true. However, because the Bible does describe actual people, places and events, corroborated independently by believers and skeptics alike, it’s easier to wonder whether the Bible really might be the word of God and give faith in Christ a try. That’s a lot harder to do if can’t be shown with any certainty that Jerusalem, Jews or Romans ever existed - kind of like someone asking you to have faith that aliens built the pyramids. 

I don't know that I agree with that.

I mean, does the fact that Troy actually exists, and that the Trojan war actually  happened, and that many histories believe that the Iliad is based on some actual events, make it easier to believe that Zeus is really a god?  Does the existence of Greece, and pagan temples, make it easier to believe in the existence of Athena or Artemis?   For most people, no, it really doesn't.  Historical evidence of pagan civilizations (and there is just as much if not more as there is evidence of biblical places) has little to no affect on people's beliefs in pagan gods.

I think the bible is easy for people to believe because there are so many people who already believe it.  It's the 'can a billion Chinese be wrong?" and 'the emperor's new clothes" concept.  The more people that believe in something, the more valid and legitimate it seems.

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25 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

I attach myself to Him as my arbiter. I certainly need one. To the extent that the interpretations of men agree with scripture, I ponder them and pray  about them

To the extent that the interpretations of men agree with [your private interpretations of] scripture, that is. That’s my point. Your interpretation is yours alone. No one else interested in truth need pay any attention to what you say. God didn’t appoint you to that role.

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18 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I don't know that I agree with that.

I mean, does the fact that Troy actually exists, and that the Trojan war actually  happened, and that many histories believe that the Iliad is based on some actual events, make it easier to believe that Zeus is really a god?  Does the existence of Greece, and pagan temples, make it easier to believe in the existence of Athena or Artemis?   For most people, no, it really doesn't.  Historical evidence of pagan civilizations (and there is just as much if not more as there is evidence of biblical places) has little to no affect on people's beliefs in pagan gods.

I think the bible is easy for people to believe because there are so many people who already believe it.  It's the 'can a billion Chinese be wrong?" and 'the emperor's new clothes" concept.  The more people that believe in something, the more valid and legitimate it seems.

I agree with all of this. My point was only that should someone want to give belief in Zeus a try, at least Athens was/is a real place.

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

I don't know that I agree with that.

I mean, does the fact that Troy actually exists, and that the Trojan war actually  happened, and that many histories believe that the Iliad is based on some actual events, make it easier to believe that Zeus is really a god?  Does the existence of Greece, and pagan temples, make it easier to believe in the existence of Athena or Artemis?   For most people, no, it really doesn't.  Historical evidence of pagan civilizations (and there is just as much if not more as there is evidence of biblical places) has little to no affect on people's beliefs in pagan gods.

I think the bible is easy for people to believe because there are so many people who already believe it.  It's the 'can a billion Chinese be wrong?" and 'the emperor's new clothes" concept.  The more people that believe in something, the more valid and legitimate it seems.

It seems to me the boost to belief from history generally comes after the acceptance of the possibility of scripture. Iow, it is a step process and what steps are taken and in what order will likely vary for individuals 

Christianity teaches its doctrine is grounded in history, so it may lead to the appearance that history is important in general to belief, but it is the cultural acceptance coming from Christian belief that created that need for history  

It would be interesting to study other faiths and see if tied to history (Judaism, for example) there is increased acceptance of proselytizing claiming historical justification 

I am not that familiar with other nonwestern faiths that appear to me not to be tied to history as tightly, so it may be possible their adherents see it as historical as Christianity. After all, there was a Buddha.  Is his Enlightenment viewed in the same way as Christ’s death and resurrection by followers?

Would not be the least surprised if for most people the first requirement for belief is to feel comfortable it is not strange (popularity legitimizes it). 

Otoh, there is likely a smaller group of people who need to feel like they have unique knowledge, so the fact that a belief is mainstream in their own community may drive them to look for unpopular beliefs (at least unpopular in their own neighborhoods). 

Most convert Saints were attracted by doctrinal beliefs before they knew about the context of the BoM from what I have encountered. Beliefs about family and exaltation, revelation got them interested. Accepting the BoM was often later, though many were converted by the BoM and believed it was a historical story, but it would be interesting to see how many became interested at first because of it. 

Though I suspect that it would be more likely the passionate belief of the person sharing the BoM with them that was a greater influence in catching their interest than the idea it was a history. 

Edited by Calm
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5 hours ago, Spammer said:

Sorry for the delay. I was driving up and down the Shenandoah Valley all day yesterday. 

What you ask is key. I think it depends on a few things: whether God appointed a human agency as arbiter, who it is, and what God authorized the arbiter to do. 

Without a God-appointed arbiter, each Christian interprets scripture and determines the canon for himself. Private interpretation. Even if each believes the Spirit to have revealed the truth to them personally, without an arbiter with authority to make objective pronouncements, the subjective spiritual experience applies to the individual alone and to no one else. The larger truth outside of individuals and subjective interpretation is in principle unknowable. This is where Protestant sola scriptura and self-authenticating bibles collapses. The have no ground for asserting possession of truth. That requires a human agent appointed by God to be a tie-breaker, the one who stands in for God to have the final say. 

The same applies to anyone, including some LDS, who rely on their own prayers and the Spirit as the place where the buck stops. Unless God appointed them to that role for everyone, their conclusions about canon and interpretation of scripture apply only to them. There’s no need to listen to anything they say, and vice versa. That’s the subjective world of Christianity without a God-appointed arbiter. Each person is equally a prophet or pope. It’s circular reasoning on all sides and a recipe for chaos.

So that’s the first decision point. Did God appoint an arbiter? Yes or no?

If no, IMO were all screwed. Truth is unknowable. It seems to me that a loving God wouldn’t abandon us to such a fate. 

So, who is that arbiter and how do we know? That’s a subjective determination. We can’t escape it. We examine the evidence and decide who is the likely candidate. Then, we submit. Doing otherwise is to abandon any ground for believing in the possibility of bridging subjective spiritual experience with objective knowledge of God’s will.

For that reason, we can safely ignore everyone who grounds their beliefs on ‘me and my Bible’ or ‘me and the Spirit.’  Who cares what they think? They don’t speak for God. And they can ignore me, no matter how powerful my spiritual experiences may be. There’s no arbiter. We’re all equally simultaneously knowledgeable and in the dark, little atoms of self-assurance whose experiences apply solely to ourselves alone.

If we want to break this, the key, then, is to locate God’s appointed arbiter and attach ourselves to it. Only then do you ask: what did God authorize him/them to do regarding establishing a rule (canon) for identification and use of scripture?

You know what I believe.

Nice!  A very objective and cogent answer to the question!  I thank you for it!

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On 12/6/2018 at 9:25 AM, mapman said:

I'm just going to respond to this bit. What does it matter that Catholics agree with a criticism? Catholics can see just as well as anyone else that it is in fact circular reasoning. Besides, the Bible never makes any claims to be it's own authority. It couldn't because it is a compilation of different books put together after the fact.

The Calvin quotation I led with was found on an RCC apologetics blog (IIRC). That's where I came across it and the conclusion was that Calvin was engaging in circular reasoning. Don't @ me, bro.
---

Of course, I could just note that your reputation score is 666 and leave it at that. :)

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I have a special dispensation from my wife. Looking over the thread now. 

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5 hours ago, Spammer said:

There must be an arbiter...

Why?

Or, assuming that's code for the magisterium...

Why the magisterium?

 

Edited by cksalmon

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7 hours ago, Spammer said:

without an arbiter with authority to make objective pronouncements, the subjective spiritual experience applies to the individual alone and to no one else

What sort of objective pronouncements about doctrine/scripture does RCC actually make? What sort of objective pronouncements about doctrine/scripture has RCC actually made in the past?

Other than the Marian dogmas? Or is that it? Serious question. 

Where can I find the list of beliefs that RCC demands must be believed? Again, serious question, not rhetorical. 

Where can I find the list of official RCC scriptural interpretations? 

Hopefully, those two lists will overlap to a significant degree. 

:)

Edited by cksalmon

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1 hour ago, cksalmon said:

What sort of objective pronouncements about doctrine/scripture does RCC actually make? What sort of objective pronouncements about doctrine/scripture has RCC actually made in the past?

Other than the Marian dogmas? Or is that it? Serious question. 

Where can I find the list of beliefs that RCC demands must be believed? Again, serious question, not rhetorical. 

Where can I find the list of official RCC scriptural interpretations? 

Hopefully, those two lists will overlap to a significant degree. 

:)

For the RCC, the summary of all dogmas, all objective pronouncements made by the Magisterium over 2000 years, all doctrines a Catholic is obligated to believe, is contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC). You can find it here for free:

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

Or you can buy a hard copy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or any Catholic bookstore. Mine’s 800+ pages long. 

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

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58 minutes ago, Spammer said:

For the RCC, the summary of all dogmas, all objective pronouncements made by the Magisterium over 2000 years, all doctrines a Catholic is obligated to believe, is contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC). You can find it here for free:

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

Or you can buy a hard copy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or any Catholic bookstore. Mine’s 800+ pages long. 

Happy Reading!

I'm familiar with the CCC. I guess what I'm asking is something more specific given the current context of the thread.

If, as you suggest, there must be a God-appointed arbiter of the meaning of scripture lest its truth be unknowable, where can one find a list of scriptures RCC has infallibly interpreted and fixed the meaning of once and for all? (I haven't seen a list like that, but I'm also not Catholic.)

Or, do you hold that if CCC expounds upon a scripture, that exposition, in and of itself, constitutes an infallible interpretation of the scripture in question? I haven't heard that claim before, but I guess it's possible someone may hold to that.

Seems to me that the RCC interpretation of particular scriptures should be official and infallible (ex-cathedra even), otherwise they would be just teachings of men and prone to error.

This may sound like a gotcha question, but it's not. I'm genuinely interested: if asked to pick your favorite scripture that has been infallibly interpreted and whose meaning has been fixed for all time by the magisterium, what scripture would it be? 

Cheers!

 

EDIT:

I just found reference to several different lists that claim to contain fixed interpretations, but the lists don't necessarily agree with one another and they're all home-grown. Nothing official. 

Edited by cksalmon

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55 minutes ago, cksalmon said:

I'm familiar with the CCC. I guess what I'm asking is something more specific given the current context of the thread.

If, as you suggest, there must be a God-appointed arbiter of the meaning of scripture lest its truth be unknowable, where can one find a list of scriptures RCC has infallibly interpreted and fixed the meaning of once and for all? (I haven't seen a list like that, but I'm also not Catholic.)

Or, do you hold that if CCC expounds upon a scripture, that exposition, in and of itself, constitutes an infallible interpretation of the scripture in question? I haven't heard that claim before, but I guess it's possible someone may hold to that.

Seems to me that the RCC interpretation of particular scriptures should be official and infallible (ex-cathedra even), otherwise they would be just teachings of men and prone to error.

This may sound like a gotcha question, but it's not. I'm genuinely interested: if asked to pick your favorite scripture that has been infallibly interpreted and whose meaning has been fixed for all time by the magisterium, what scripture would it be? 

Cheers!

 

EDIT:

I just found reference to several different lists that claim to contain fixed interpretations, but the lists don't necessarily agree with one another and they're all home-grown. Nothing official. 

I’d say any infallible dogmatic proclamation on the interpretation of a given scripture is inseparable from infallible prouncements on doctrine. What the Magisterium defines infallibly is dogma and scripture is marshaled and interpreted accordingly. Not just scripture. The Church doesn’t refer solely to scripture when declaring dogma. It also consults and interprets other elements of the Catholic Tradition (etc., patristics and liturgy) of which the Bible is a part. Remember, the Catholic Church and its liturgy is older than the Bible and produced it. The Catholic Church doesn’t prooftext. Interpretation depends on context and for Roman Catholics, the Magisterium is the arbiter which has the final say on the correct, contextualized interpretation. See CCC 115-119 on the Catholic senses of scripture.

 

Edited by Spammer

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16 minutes ago, Spammer said:

 The Catholic Church doesn’t prooftext. Interpretation depends on context and for Roman Catholics, the Magisterium is the arbiter which has the final say on the correct, contextualized interpretation.

What would an example be of a correct, contextualized interpretation of a scripture by the Magisterium?

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20 minutes ago, cksalmon said:

What would an example be of a correct, contextualized interpretation of a scripture by the Magisterium?

See CCC 1322-1419 on the Eucharist. The Church declares the dogma of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and cites John 6. It’s not just scripture that’s referenced, though. Church fathers and conciliar decisions are also cited. The entire 2000 year old Tradition, along with scripture, is consulted and used to expound upon and explain the infallibly pronounced doctrine. The infallibly declared interpretation of John 6 is inseparable from the infallible prouncement on the dogma. 

[Edit: If you’re looking for a verse by verse list of official, infallible interpretations, you won’t find one, for the reasons I’ve explained.]

Edited by Spammer

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4 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Nice!  A very objective and cogent answer to the question!  I thank you for it!

Thanks. I’m glad I articulated it well enough. Sometimes I wonder if I’m rambling incoherently. 

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10 hours ago, Spammer said:

Truth is unknowable. It seems to me that a loving God wouldn’t abandon us to such a fate. 

If you accept that then you are right.

Why would anyone in their right mind believe that anybody can tell them what God wants for them?  Why would God give us a brain if we just follow someone blindly?

The true nature of God arguably is "unknowable" but certainly one must be able to pick the best paradigm which approximates the theory that works best for them.

Otherwise, what is the guard against Jonestown? 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonestown

 

Edited by mfbukowski

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9 hours ago, Calm said:

If we want to break this, the key, then, is to locate God’s appointed arbiter and attach ourselves to it.”

And how do we do this?

 Unsurprisingly I was just about to post those exact words

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