Saint Thomas Aquinas

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Historical Supplement I - St. Chrysostom and “Upon This Rock”

Historical Supplement I - St. Chrysostom and “Upon This Rock”
By Matthew J. Bellisario 2010
Before I move on to the next part of this series, I wanted to further examine Matthew 16:18, which is the foundational text often looked upon to support the Catholic teaching of the papacy. As I have shown in the last part, there is no question as to how this passage fits in with the general view of St Peter throughout the New Testament regarding St. Peter’s leadership. We saw how St. Chrysostom viewed the passage in regards to Peter’s special position among the apostles. But I wanted to supplement the earlier post by taking a closer look at how St. John Chrysostom viewed the passage in more detail. Since for the sake of brevity I quoted only a small portion of his commentary and I wanted to go back and take a closer look, since many Protestants often quote an earlier part of the commentary as somehow being an “Ace in the hole” in refuting the Catholic claim to the rock referring to Peter. St. Chrysostom mentions Peter’s faith in an earlier part of the commentary, and taken in isolation it may seem as if the great Saint is taking a contrary position to the Catholic meaning.  

It must be noted that there can be many levels of meaning in regards to Sacred Scripture, and the Fathers often had more than one interpretation, and they often had very in depth explantations of Scripture passages such as this one. Since I used Saint Chrysostom in the prior part, I wanted to give you an example of how he viewed the passage in totality, or at least as much as he gave us in reference to this particular passage. I would recommend that you site down and read through his entire commentary instead of taking my word for it. I mentioned prior that St. Chrysostom did not view this profession of Peter to mean that it was only a profession based on St. Peter’s faith alone, but that it was on St. Peter himself as well, and it is a fact that St. Chrysostom viewed Peter as being given a special authority among the apostles by this passage. We read earlier in his commentary on Matthew 16:18, “And I say unto you, You are Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church;” that is, on the faith of his confession. Hereby He signifies that many were now on the point of believing, and raises his spirit, and makes him a shepherd.” This commentary is significant, because St. Chrysostom here does not separate Peter’s faith from his person as being appointed the shepherd among the apostles. So yes, Jesus was referring to Peter’s faith, but not only Peter’s faith, for he further ties Peter to being made a shepherd by Jesus to this passage as well. He continues on to explain further how Christ first gives Peter alone the ultimate authority to bind and to loose, that which would be extended to the other apostles later. “Do you see how He, His own self, leads Peter on to high thoughts of Him, and reveals Himself, and implies that He is Son of God by these two promises? For those things which are peculiar to God alone, (both to absolve sins, and to make the church in capable of overthrow in such assailing waves, and to exhibit a man that is a fisher more solid than any rock, while all the world is at war with him), these He promises Himself to give; as the Father , speaking to Jeremiah, said, He would make him as “a brazen pillar, and as a wall;” Jeremiah 1:18 but him to one nation only, this man in every part of the world.” 

It is worth stopping at this point to note the typology or prefigurement St. Chrysostom sees between the authority and the guidance given to Jeremiah in the Old Testament, to that which was later given to St. Peter, except in an even higher manner. It is a special authority given only by God Himself. I think it is worth pulling from Jeremiah chapter 1 a bit further to communicate the type of authority that St. Chrysostom is comparing to Peter from that being quoted from in Jeremiah. I quote here from verses 16-19. “And I will pronounce my judgements against them, touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have sacrificed to strange gods, and have adored the work of their own hands. Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak to them all that I command thee. Be not afraid at their presence: for I will make thee not to fear their countenance. For behold I have made thee this day a fortified city, and a pillar of iron, and a wall of brass, over all the land, to the kings of Juda, to the princes thereof, and to the priests, and to the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee, and shall not prevail: for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee.” There can be no question as to the authority that Christ is conferring upon Peter as Peter being the foundation of the Church in this passage of Matthew, according to St. Chysostom’s interpretation. By the mere fact that St. Chrysostom compares these two passages has significant value in how the passage of Matthew should be interpreted correctly. There is no doubt that St. Chrysostom views Peter as being given a unique authority and mission from Jesus. He also confirms that Peter’s faith as well a Peter himself is what the Church would be built upon, and he solidifies this by comparing this passage with that of Jeremiah where Jeremiah is given the task to the fortifies city which would not be prevailed against, which is directly compared to Pater and the Church which Jesus builds upon him, which hell would not prevail against. 

I find it quite disgusting that Protestant apologists like James White, who frequently cite the earlier passage of St. Chrysostom as somehow being contradictory to the Catholic Church’s claims of papal authority, completely ignore the entire context of which St. Chysostom is speaking. They see that St. Chrysostom talks about Peter’s faith, and then they stop at that point claiming there is some contradiction to the claims of the Catholic Church without ever looking to see what the great Saint further explains in relation to Peter and the authority given to him by Christ. Now we continue on with St. Chrysostoms’s commentary which I posted on the prior part to see how it all ties together. “I would fain inquire then of those who desire to lessen the dignity of the Son, which manner of gifts were greater, those which the Father gave to Peter, or those which the Son gave him? For the Father gave to Peter the revelation of the Son; but the Son gave him to sow that of the Father and that of Himself in every part of the world; and to a mortal man He entrusted the authority over all things in Heaven, giving him the keys; who extended the church to every part of the world, and declared it to be stronger than heaven.” Again we see there is no doubt that Peter, the mortal man in which Chrysostom names here has been entrusted with the authority over all things in Heaven, and extending to the entire Church in every part of the world. This should give you pause to stop and think the next time you see a Protestant try and use this text against the claims of the Catholic Church. 

24 comments:

Internet_is_Serious_Business! said...

The rock doesn’t refer to Peter if you read the inspired Greek text. Peter is called “petros” which is a masculine noun meaning a stone. When Christ said that He would build His Church upon this rock, the word used for rock is the feminine “petra.” Christ is the rock, not Peter. This is further confirmed in 1 Corinthians 10:4:

“and all the same spiritual drink did drink, for they were drinking of a spiritual rock (petras) following them, and the rock (petra) was the Christ;”

This is not Peter becoming one with Christ as the rock here as you state. It’s saying that Christ was the rock (petra), not Peter (petros). In fact, none of the Scriptures say that Peter was one with Christ. Only Christ is referred to as the rock (petra, not petros or kephas). But even though Peter is not the rock, can he be considered the leader of the apostles? Jesus says in Mark 9:35:

“and having sat down he called the twelve, and he saith to them, 'If any doth will to be first, he shall be last of all, and minister of all.'”

The greatest must be the least and a servant to everybody. This statement doesn’t even hint at a pyramidal structure where people have authority over others. If this doesn’t make it clear enough that there was no leader of the apostles, read what Mark 10:42-44 has to say:

“but Jesus having called them near, saith to them, 'Ye have known that they who are considered to rule the nations do exercise lordship over them, and their great ones do exercise authority upon them; but not so shall it be among you; but whoever may will to become great among you, he shall be your minister, and whoever of you may will to become first, he shall be servant of all;”

It wouldn’t appear from these lines that Peter had any authority over the other apostles. Being great in the eyes of God means casting aside desires to exercise authority over others and to go about serving them instead. On a related note, read from 2 Corinthians 11:18 onward. Paul mentions a lot of “qualifications” that one might expect from a man of authority, but never identifies himself as such. Look at his track record, which includes writing 14 inspired books of the New Testament, being the recipient of visions and revelations of God’s Throne, and speaking in more tongues than any of the Corinthians. Can you find verses where Paul says that because of these things, that he was a leader over anybody?

Then in Galatians 2:9 when Paul met Peter, did he say that he was any sort of a leader? Paul said:

“and having known the grace that was given to me, James, and Cephas (Peter), and John, who were esteemed to be pillars, a right hand of fellowship they did give to me, and to Barnabas, that we to the nations, and they to the circumcision may go,”

Paul said that they were esteemed to be pillars. Now, can a pillar stand without a foundation? Peter couldn’t have been the rock, or foundation, while simultaneously being a pillar. Also notice how Peter here is called the same as James and John. There wasn’t even a hint here that Paul, inspired by God, thought that Peter was their leader. Moreover, James and John had been named by Jesus as being “the Sons of Thunder.” If being given a new name by Jesus means that you’re any sort of a leader, then these two along with Paul, formerly Saul, would be leaders. However, no such qualifying remarks are ever given. We should also look at the order of the names Paul wrote. Peter wasn’t named first! This also does not support the idea that Peter was any sort of a leader of the apostles or the Church.

Internet_is_Serious_Business! said...

People of all sorts are called by God in certain ways to perform different tasks. There’s no doubt that Peter had a special calling to do many wonderful things. And it can even be said that at times he took on a leadership role; that is, he was proactive. But that doesn’t mean that he had any authority over anybody. People have their own gifts from God to contribute in some way to the Church (1 Corinthians 12:7-11), but being called by God in a special way does not give one authority over others. In fact, there is no position of authority over others in the New Testament Church.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Internet incorrectly says, "The rock doesn’t refer to Peter if you read the inspired Greek text. Peter is called “petros” which is a masculine noun meaning a stone. When Christ said that He would build His Church upon this rock, the word used for rock is the feminine “petra.” Christ is the rock, not Peter. This is further confirmed in 1 Corinthians 10:4:"

False. I can't believe people still try and bring up this foolish argument. Why don't you learn some basics in Greek before you speak? Petra or Petros can both mean rock or stone. This is confirmed by Greek scholars who study early Greek. Greek grammar does not follow masculine/feminine matching when proper nouns are in use.

Sungenis further clarifies,

"If this were not the case, then the use of “rock” in the feminine to describe “Christ” in the masculine in 1 Corinthians 10:4 would be erroneous, but there it is, nonetheless, written by St. Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit who does not make mistakes in grammar. The real reason that “this” is feminine in Matthew 16:18 is because “rock” is feminine, and the rule is that the adjective preceding the noun it modifies must be the same gender. But again, that rule does not apply to proper nouns, such as Peter and Christ."

This Peter is becoming one with Christ as I and St Chrysostom say.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Internet grasps at straws, "Paul said that they were esteemed to be pillars. Now, can a pillar stand without a foundation? Peter couldn’t have been the rock, or foundation, while simultaneously being a pillar. Also notice how Peter here is called the same as James and John. There wasn’t even a hint here that Paul, inspired by God, thought that Peter was their leader. Moreover, James and John had been named by Jesus as being “the Sons of Thunder.” If being given a new name by Jesus means that you’re any sort of a leader, then these two along with Paul, formerly Saul, would be leaders."

Again, if you read, Peter is grafted into Christ as the rock, which the Church is built upon, which is what? The pillar and bulwark of truth. The name that was given has the significance as a reference to Christ, which makes him the leader. I know of very few people, even Protestants who would ever challenge the fact that St. Peter was the head of the apostles. You are one of the few who have tried to grasp at every straw imaginable to deny this. I also notice how you have not given one good argument against St. Chrysostom who was one of the premier Scripture scholars in the Church in his day. I feel sorry for you since you think you can outsmart God and His Church. The fact is, you have not the Holy Spirit, and henceforth you have no true discernment when it comes to Sacred Scripture.

Internet_is_Serious_Business! said...

“False. I can't believe people still try and bring up this foolish argument. Why don't you learn some basics in Greek before you speak? Petra or Petros can both mean rock or stone. This is confirmed by Greek scholars who study early Greek. Greek grammar does not follow masculine/feminine matching when proper nouns are in use.”

I never said anything about the rules of grammar. The reason why I mentioned that the nouns were masculine and feminine was to provide emphasis to that fact that two different words were used. And petra doesn’t simply mean a stone in my experience, but a large stone. Petros COULD mean a rock, but in this context it refers to a stone. It’s simply a fact that two different words were used.

And 1 Corinthians 10:4 does not say that Peter was one like Christ. In fact, it doesn’t even mention Peter. This is something totally made up to support the idea of apostolic succession that doesn’t exist. Christ is the cornerstone, or chief foundation, of the New Testament Church. That is all that passage is saying.

And speaking of grasping at straws, that’s what the apostles may have done when determining who would replace Judas. You mentioned how it was Peter’s idea to find a replacement, but what you failed to mention was that the apostles drew lots to decide. What these lots were, I have no idea, but it doesn’t matter. If Peter was their leader, he could have decided on his own. But that didn’t happen. Rather, they prayed to God to help them. And in Acts 15, James’ advice was used, not Peter’s. You are inconsistent in these examples you’re using to try to show Peter was the head of authority.

I have proved that there was no leader of the apostles by quoting Jesus. The apostles and the New Testament Church were not to be like the nations of the world, where their great ones exercise authority over them. Read Mark 10:42-44 again. There is to be no position of authority over others in the Church.

The Bible disproves this idea that Peter was the head of authority in many places in the Bible, not only this petros/petra passage which can be interpreted in two different ways apparently.

Internet_is_Serious_Business! said...

I have given thought to my original statement about who Christ was referring to when He mentioned the rock. My basic belief is still intact. Christ is the only leader of the Church, and there is no apostolic succession from Peter. However, it is because of these beliefs that I looked upon Matthew 16:18 with a biased mindset. I don’t think that people need a degree in Biblical languages to understand the basic truths of God. So it is with this. Jesus said in Matthew 11:25:

“At that time Jesus answering said, 'I do confess to Thee, Father, Lord of the heavens and of the earth, that thou didst hide these things from wise and understanding ones, and didst reveal them to babes.”

So it is with this passage. I believe that if a child read this passage, he would find it transparent who Christ was referring to. Through Peter’s confession, Christ acknowledged his strong, rock-like character. It was from there that he gave Peter a special role in the Church. The Church would start out with Peter being its strong spokesman. He was given the keys to Heaven, meaning that he would open the doors to the Christian faith. On this occasion, they were given to Peter alone. But later these would be given to the other apostles. See Matthew 18:18. Peter was the first to be given the power of the keys, but later that was given to the other apostles as well. We see here that Peter had no preeminence over the other apostles other than being given the honor of first opening the doors of the Gospel.

This does not change the fact that there is no authority over others in the Church. Paul said that he was the least of the apostles. However, that didn’t mean that he considered himself outranked by anybody. Jesus said that whoever wishes to be first must be last. Paul didn’t believe in the idea of rank, and neither did the others if Scripture is unbreakable. I’ll end with Ephesians 2:20:

“being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being chief corner -stone,”

There it is. The Church is built upon all of the apostles and prophets, with Christ being the chief cornerstone. Peter had a special role in the building of the Church, but he was not the only foundation. Authority over others did not rest with him. Christ is the head of the New Testament Church, and not any mere mortal.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Internet says, "I have proved that there was no leader of the apostles by quoting Jesus. The apostles and the New Testament Church were not to be like the nations of the world, where their great ones exercise authority over them. Read Mark 10:42-44 again. There is to be no position of authority over others in the Church."

You haven't "proved," (it should be proven), anything of the sort. Jesus says the opposite. He says that the Church is built upon St. Peter. He gives Peter the divine commission to lead the Church. No one is arguing the fact that the bishops and the Pope are supposed to serve the Church, not rule over it as tyrant, which is what Jesus is talking about here. Quit taking Scripture out of context! You have no clue as tot what you are talking about.

Internet says, "There it is. The Church is built upon all of the apostles and prophets, with Christ being the chief cornerstone."

No one is saying Jesus is not the cornerstone. Another straw man to knock down. Everyone knows that Jesus is the cornerstone, this however does not disprove that Jesus appointed St. Peter to oversee His Church. Try again. These bad arguments have been put to rest over an over again.

Internet_is_Serious_Business! said...

Okay then. Show me where Jesus explicitly calls Peter the head of authority. While you are at it, show me where it was explicitly stated that there would be a succession of apostleship.

Internet_is_Serious_Business! said...

"You haven't "proved," (it should be proven), anything of the sort. Jesus says the opposite. He says that the Church is built upon St. Peter. He gives Peter the divine commission to lead the Church. No one is arguing the fact that the bishops and the Pope are supposed to serve the Church, not rule over it as tyrant, which is what Jesus is talking about here. Quit taking Scripture out of context! You have no clue as tot what you are talking about."

Thanks for the English lesson. Maybe I should make a post pointing out all of your mistakes. But seriously, the context is not about ruling over others like a tyrant. The Old Testament Church had a pyramidal structure. Because of the hardness of people's hearts before God poured out His Holy Spirit, God allowed a lot of things under the Old Covenant. People outranking each other was allowed then. But we are called to a higher standard now. King Arthur's round table is the kind of thing that Christ wanted for the NT Church. Everybody was as important as the king, and in the center of the table it said, "By Serving Each Other We Are Free."

This is very different from the theocratical structure that was present in Israel. The Church members are supposed to be humble and submissive to one another, serving each other with love in all things. Nobody is supposed to outrank the others. If the greatest is the least, as Jesus said, then how can people outrank anybody? Who is the pope submissive to? It's because of this arrogance that there were many corrupt popes doing horrible things throughout history.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Internet says, "King Arthur's round table is the kind of thing that Christ wanted for the NT Church."

Oh really, where did Jesus point this out? He clearly tells us that the Church is going to be built upon St. Peter. The context of the passage is that the apostles should serve the Church, which the bishops and the Pope do to this day. Jesus never says there will not be any visible structure to the Church. In fact, after He gives St. Peter the divine commission to lead the Church, he gives the apostles united to him the same type of authority that he has, which people must accept or reject, and those hear them either reject or accept Christ as result of their choice. You too must accept those whom He sent.

Internet says, "This is very different from the theocratical structure that was present in Israel. The Church members are supposed to be humble and submissive to one another, serving each other with love in all things. Nobody is supposed to outrank the others. If the greatest is the least, as Jesus said, then how can people outrank anybody? Who is the pope submissive to? It's because of this arrogance that there were many corrupt popes doing horrible things throughout history."

Again, straw men. Humility and serving one another does not contradict the Catholic structure of the Church. The Pope serves the faithful. That is why he goes to them and preaches the faith to them and helps them to keep the Church in order as St. Peter did in the NT. So what if a Pope did something bad in history, so did the apostles, they were sinners too. Straw men, straw men, straw men, so easy to knock down! Again, why avoid St Chrysostom? Possibly because you cannot counter his commentary on the passage on Matthew 16:18?

Matthew Bellisario said...

As far as the grammar goes you have made your point. I will quit pulling a Turretin Fan on you! Ha.

Internet_is_Serious_Business! said...

This won’t go anywhere unless you point out these things for me that I cannot see. First, let’s start with 1 Corinthians 10:4. Where does it say that Peter became one like Christ? I see no mentioning of Peter anywhere. I see Christ specifically mentioned as the rock. Peter is nowhere to be found. Then compare this to other verses where Christ is mentioned as being the first-born from the dead, having preeminence in all things and the cornerstone of the NT Church. Peter isn’t either of these. He can’t become one like Christ because he’s not God. And if he did become one with Christ, wouldn’t he be the cornerstone too?

Also, what about Mark 10:42-44? How is the context about not ruling over the Church like a tyrant? Where do you see in these words, or in those before or after, the word “tyrant” or anything to imply the idea of tyranny? No, I see the disciples wanting a position of glory and becoming indignant at James and John when Jesus said those seats were reserved. They became agitated at the idea that they wouldn’t be able to sit on Jesus’ left and right, and in response to their anger Jesus gathered the twelve together. He told them that none should have power over another like the nations of the world do. I am not adding or taking away from these words. There wasn’t even a hint of the idea that Jesus was telling them not to be tyrants. The whole idea was for them to give up this idea on looking for glorified positions and to just go about serving.

Go look in the New Testament. You’ll see that people have leadership positions, but nowhere anywhere will you ever find that they are to be regarding as bosses. Nowhere will you find it approved of to have Church members having authority over others. Again, look for yourself. You’ll only find places where it could be implied, but never explicitly said.

And what about Chrysostom should I look at specifically? I don’t care about what he says per se because he’s a fallible man like you and me. I remember his idea that Paul and Peter were “faking it” which I found to be ridiculous. In regards to Matthew 16:18, I’ve already admitted that I was wrong when it came to the reading of who the rock in this passage was. I even said that if a child read it, he would probably think it was Peter. I’m not sure how much more you want from me. I also don’t doubt that Peter was a pillar, and that Hell wouldn’t prevail against Christ’s true Church (I don’t believe it has to do with Catholicism). Yes, Peter and the other disciples were given authority. But I can’t find anywhere in the NT where this authority is mentioned as being over one another. Jeremiah was the Old Testament. In the NT the Church is different.

Internet_is_Serious_Business! said...

And on another note, what does TurretinFan have to do with anything? I am not a part of your petty back and forth name calling and character bashing. If he resorted to picking on your grammar/spelling, then that’s utterly pathetic, and I can’t believe that you thought doing so yourself made YOU look good! I’ve looked around before, and I’ve seen all of the wasted blog space dedicated towards making fun of this guy. You even mocked him by having a picture of a monkey in a suit in one of your posts. I don’t know how you could think that Jesus would approve of this, or how a blog dedicated to championing Catholicism could contain such garbage, but please leave me out of it.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Internet says, "And what about Chrysostom should I look at specifically? I don’t care about what he says per se because he’s a fallible man like you and me."

Now you get it! And I don't care what you think Scripture means! I care what the infallible Church teaches it means, which in this case is one and the same as St. Chrysostom! So you have defeated your own position. You are fallible, and yes you butcher Scripture to your own destruction. I listen to the Holy Spirit which gave us the Scriptures, not a feeble man like yourself who goes around acting as if he knows what it means. Get it now? Again, nothing in the passages you cited goes against the teaching of the Church concerning the papacy. You keep putting up a straw man claiming that Jesus is dead set against any Church structure, when it is plain as day that He gave us one built upon St. Peter and the apostles united to Him.

Your argument concerning the Greek language was refuted, and the lame straw men you have set up pertaining to Church structure have been refuted. You have admitted that you are fallible in your interpretation of Scripture, so I do not listen to fallible doctrines of men. That leaves me with one choice, an infallible interpreter, that of the Church that Jesus gave me. You lose, Jesus and the Church wins. Such is the nonsense of Protestantism. You believe only what you rationalize to be true in your own fallible interpretation of Scripture. I believe the Living Voice of Christ speaking through His Church. Why do you reject the words of God as preached by St. Peter, “Ye men of Judea, and all you that dwell in Jerusalem, be this known to you, and with your ears receive my words.” Acts 2:14

As far as what you think of my posts relating to TF, I could care less as well. Christ alone is my judge, not you.

Internet_is_Serious_Business! said...

"As far as what you think of my posts relating to TF, I could care less as well. Christ alone is my judge, not you."

Oh, don't you mean that you couldn't care less? And yes, Christ will judge you someday.

Yes, I am a fallible man. So are you, and so are all Catholics. There is nothing to suggest that the Catholic teaching is infallible, and as much as you want to say that nothing I post goes against the Catholic teaching, you won't give specifics. You fall back on the idea that if people from a long time ago interpreted these words in a certain way, then it must be true. I'm not against having faith, but I wanted to approach this logically. If you want to believe what you believe, then fine. Obviously we can't have a civil discussion because you either get all red-faced or start to mock. Thanks for the scorn, condenscending remarks, and petty attacks. Some "Catholic Champion" you are.

And yes, when I realized that I was wrong about something, I humbled myself and became reproved. Very unlike yourself. I anticipate that instead of admitting when you are wrong, you'll either throw more vitriol in my face or prevent me from posting anymore like you did last time. Apparently, only people who agree with you should be posting comments.

Oh well, at least those not blinded by preconceived theological ideas can read what we've posted and determine for themselves which side of this matter to take.

And thanks for that final bit of twisted Scripture. Here's one for you:

"The Lord's servant must not quarrel, but be gentle towards all, able to teach, patient," (2 Timothy 2:24)

I'm done with this argument. Have fun disobeying the Scripture above.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Internet says, “Yes, I am a fallible man. So are you, and so are all Catholics. There is nothing to suggest that the Catholic teaching is infallible, and as much as you want to say that nothing I post goes against the Catholic teaching, you won't give specifics.”

I did give specifics in my articles and in my responses here. Again, Jesus calls the apostles to serve. This does not oppose the structure of the Church or the papacy as you claim. You have not proven this is the case, so why is the burden of proof on me? You have to prove your assertion that Jesus opposed a structure to the Church based on the Scripture passages you quoted, and they do not support your King Arthur theory.

Internet says, “You fall back on the idea that if people from a long time ago interpreted these words in a certain way, then it must be true.”

I never proposed this idea. I am simply pointing out the fact that St. Chrysostom’s interpretation is consistent with Catholic teaching. To do otherwise would be nothing more than historical criticism, which is rooted in rationalism. You have misrepresented my position.

Internet says, “I'm not against having faith, but I wanted to approach this logically.”

Yes, and faith that is rooted in human logic first is going to fall flat on its face. Logic serves Revelation, Revelation does not serve logic.

Internet says, “If you want to believe what you believe, then fine. Obviously we can't have a civil discussion because you either get all red-faced or start to mock. Thanks for the scorn, condenscending remarks, and petty attacks. Some "Catholic Champion" you are.”

It seems that you are the red faced one here not I.

Internet says, “And yes, when I realized that I was wrong about something, I humbled myself and became reproved. Very unlike yourself.”

As soon as you make me aware of an error then I will admit it. Thus far aside from the TF grammar incident, which I admitted my error, which you then attacked me on, you have not proven any theological error on my part.

Internet says, “I anticipate that instead of admitting when you are wrong, you'll either throw more vitriol in my face or prevent me from posting anymore like you did last time.”

Again, you have not proven an error on my part. You can keep posting as long as you like. It doesn’t make your argument any more convincing.

Internet says, “Oh well, at least those not blinded by preconceived theological ideas can read what we've posted and determine for themselves which side of this matter to take.”

Talk about preconceived ideas. Give me a break. You come up with any excuse you can not to believe what the Catholic Church teaches based on your own fallible rational conclusions that you read into in the Scriptures, and you tell me I have preconceived ideas?

Internet says, “"The Lord's servant must not quarrel, but be gentle towards all, able to teach, patient," (2 Timothy 2:24)

If you are looking for me to confirm you in your sin, its not going to happen. If you are looking for someone to tell you that rejecting the authority that produced the Sacred Scriptures is OK then you will not find it here.

Internet_is_Serious_Business! said...

"This won’t go anywhere unless you point out these things for me that I cannot see. First, let’s start with 1 Corinthians 10:4. Where does it say that Peter became one like Christ? I see no mentioning of Peter anywhere. I see Christ specifically mentioned as the rock. Peter is nowhere to be found. Then compare this to other verses where Christ is mentioned as being the first-born from the dead, having preeminence in all things and the cornerstone of the NT Church. Peter isn’t either of these. He can’t become one like Christ because he’s not God. And if he did become one with Christ, wouldn’t he be the cornerstone too?

Also, what about Mark 10:42-44? How is the context about not ruling over the Church like a tyrant? Where do you see in these words, or in those before or after, the word “tyrant” or anything to imply the idea of tyranny? No, I see the disciples wanting a position of glory and becoming indignant at James and John when Jesus said those seats were reserved. They became agitated at the idea that they wouldn’t be able to sit on Jesus’ left and right, and in response to their anger Jesus gathered the twelve together. He told them that none should have power over another like the nations of the world do. I am not adding or taking away from these words. There wasn’t even a hint of the idea that Jesus was telling them not to be tyrants. The whole idea was for them to give up this idea on looking for glorified positions and to just go about serving.

Go look in the New Testament. You’ll see that people have leadership positions, but nowhere anywhere will you ever find that they are to be regarding as bosses. Nowhere will you find it approved of to have Church members having authority over others. Again, look for yourself. You’ll only find places where it could be implied, but never explicitly said.
"

You did not respond with any specifics to any of this. All you did was make fun of me.

I have gone against a lot of preconceived ideas. I don't hold to a denomination at all. Stop calling me a Protestant. I oppose that religion too. And I don't disagree with every Catholic teaching. I agree with its teaching on abortion, for instance. How could you possibly deny how much you have lashed out at me? Instead of answering you tell me that I'm a feeble man and you don't care what I think? How nice. Seriously?

Matthew Bellisario said...

Why are you going back to 1 Cor 10:4? I already stated that the Rock is Christ in that passage, that however does negate the fact that Christ grafted St. Peter and renamed him Rock, and gave him an authority rooted in The Rock, Christ. I explained this in the first article.

What about Mark 10:42-44? The passage speaks of humility and serving one another. Read the text.

42 But Jesus calling them, saith to them: *You know that they who seem to rule over the Gentiles, lord it over them: and their princes have power over them.

43 But it is not so among you: but whosoever will be greater, shall be your minister.

Again, the Catholic Church agrees that the bishops and the Pope serve the people of God. There is no contradiction here as you keep claiming there is. The passage is similar to Matthew 20:25, which helps put it in context. "25 *But Jesus called them to him, and said: You know that the princes of the Gentiles lord it over them: and they that are the greater, exercise power upon them." Jesus is simply laying out the difference between secular and ecclesiastical authority. One rules by tyranny, the other by serving. He never says there will be no Church structure.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Now for my question. Are you at least going to concede that St. Chrysostom's interpretation may be a viable one? Or are you going to insist that his interpretation absolutely cannot be correct?

Internet_is_Serious_Business! said...

I did more research prior to posting. I have to understand what Chrysostom is saying if I'm to respond to your question. First:

"and to a mortal man He entrusted the authority over all things in Heaven, giving him the keys; who extended the church to every part of the world, and declared it to be stronger than heaven."

Does he mean that Peter had the authority over Heaven by being given the power to bind and loose? Or did he mean that Peter had the authority to declare what has already been bound and loosed in Heaven? I'd like to refer you to the Amplified Bible:

"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth must be what is already loosed in heaven."

A footnote reads:

"Charles B. Williams, The New Testament: A Translation: 'The perfect passive participle, here referring to a state of having been already forbidden [or permitted].'"

So rather than Jesus granting a Heavenly endorsement of the Church's actions, He was saying that whatever the Church does must be in harmony with what has already been permitted and allowed in Heaven.

I want to know if Chrysostom's beliefs were consistent with this. Also, what did he mean when he said that Jesus declared the Church to be stronger than Heaven?

Internet_is_Serious_Business! said...

I accidentally posted under the wrong username. If you must know, the "libertine" part of that name refers to a fictional character, not my personal character. But anyway, this is what I wanted to say:

Cat got your tongue?

Anyway, I didn’t come here to continue in this argument. I just wanted to clear things up that I didn’t want left unresolved. First:

“You keep putting up a straw man claiming that Jesus is dead set against any Church structure…”

I don’t remember saying that the NT Church shouldn’t have a structure. I think that it shouldn’t have a PYRAMIDAL structure. I’m sorry IF I said a structure in general. I’ve only read about a plurality of bishops running the churches, which seemed autonomous, from my studies. Having a single bishop of this and that church isn’t something I’ve found Biblical.

Second, there is leadership in the Church. My contention was that it wasn’t leadership in terms of authority over others.

Third, this:

“So what if a Pope did something bad in history, so did the apostles, they were sinners too. Straw men, straw men, straw men, so easy to knock down!”

I didn’t say the apostles weren’t sinners. But there’s a difference between advocating mass murder, torture, selling forgiveness for sins, etc. and the relatively small sins the apostles committed, having received the Holy Spirit.

“Again, why avoid St Chrysostom? Possibly because you cannot counter his commentary on the passage on Matthew 16:18?”

Go read Albert Barnes’ commentary on this passage:

http://bible.cc/matthew/16-18.htm

His is the first commentary following the translations. He has the basic truth of the matter.

Matthew Bellisario said...

I do not even know what you are talking about. Chrysostom clearly supports the papacy. Who are you referring to? Biblical accounts give us Peter as the leader of the apostles, I do not know what Bible you are reading.

Internet_is_Serious_Business! said...

We have two very distinct lines of study. It might be the case where we just don't have enough common ground for us to communicate effectively. It would take a very long time to go through it all.

Thanks for not making fun of the whole wrong username thing.

Matthew Bellisario said...

I think the problem lies in the fact that the Bible and the Fathers can be interpreted different ways depending on what you want them to say. Also, remember that the Fathers were not writing for the controversies of today. They leave many things unsaid in t heir writings because they assumed that their readers would be able to fill in the missing blanks, who lived in their day and culture. St Chrysostom never imagined that we would be quoting him 1600 years later fighting over what he wrote back then, when he was not even focusing on the subject matter that we are focusing on. Again another reason why Jesus gave us His apostles guided by the Holy Spirit to guide us.