Praise be to God for his angels on this glorious feast day!
For more information, see the following links:
Can you explain the practical difference between a person "bowing down to" and "venerating" an icon?Yes, I can.............and I thank you for your honest question.
Thanks. That was well-put. All those cases you presented show examples of people bowing down to certain things or people. We are not required to say that idolatry was being done in those situations. Fair enough.Well, right off hand, there's the last passage I cited, Rev 3:9, where Jesus says that he will make those of the synagogue of Satan to bow down before the church in Philadelphia. I don't see why it matters if the people doing the bowing are his enemies are not. Jesus is still commanding a group of people to bow down before another group of people, which he would never command anyone to do --enemy or otherwise-- if it was a sin.
Just a quick follow up. Are there any examples in the Scirptures of God commanding or even encouraging His people (not His enemies) to bow down to/kneel before people or physcial objects?
Mat 16:27 For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done.Now, one could say about these verses that the payment for one's works only goes so far as to distinguish between heaven and hell and not also between different levels of honor in heaven. But, what then should we make of the following verses?:
Rom 2:6 For he will render to every man according to his works
2 Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body.
2 Cor 11:15 So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
Mat 11:11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.If one can be the "least" or the "greatest" in the kingdom of heaven, does that not imply that there are levels of honor? I can't be the "greatest" until there are people who are less than me.
Mat 18:4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Jn 14:2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?Note that the RSV translation says there are many "rooms," in which case this verse would just mean that there is room for everyone (or, at least, many people) in heaven. It would not imply anything about levels of honor. But the DRV and the KJV translate this verse as "there are many mansions." Now we have a different picture, one of many rooms on separate floors. The Jerome Bible Commentary says, "there are no grounds for understanding 'many' to mean also 'many kinds' or 'degrees.'" However, the Ignatius Study Bible points out that John also uses the phrase "my Father's house" in 2:16 for the Jerusalem Temple. It goes on to say that the "many rooms" would make the "Father's house" similar to the Herodian Temple in Jerusalem, "which had several courts of worship, chambers for storage, and living quarters for priests." Relating the Father's house to a temple would in fact imply levels of honor because we know that, in a temple, each courtyard represents degrees of closeness to the "holy of holies." There are separate floors in the temple as well.
But the many mansions point to the different grades of merit in that one eternal life. For there is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory; and so also the resurrection of the dead. The saints, like the stars in the sky, obtain in the kingdom different mansions of diverse degrees of brightness; but on account of that one penny no one is cut off from the kingdom; and God will be all in all in such a way, that, as God is love, love will bring it about that what is possessed by each will be common to all. (Tractate 67)With the varying commentary on this verse, I am not certain if this verse would be helpful in making the case for levels of honor in heaven. I leave it for the reader to decide. There are other interesting verses as well:
2 Cor 12:2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven--whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows.In the first verse, Paul mentions the "third heaven." I see this most often interpreted in the follwoing way: the first heaven is the sky, the realm of the birds and the clouds; the second heaven is outer space, the realm of the sun and the stars; the third heaven is the place where God dwells. However, 2 Enoch adds to this 4 more levels within God's dwelling place. If Paul were borrowing from this tradition, then we could have here another verse that proves my point.
Col 1:16 for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities--all things were created through him and for him.
The church can’t appeal to itself, this is circular and self- defeating. This is the bottom line then for Rome’s argument: we must believe Rome because Rome says so, huh? In the words of my hip hop urban brothas, this argument is WACK!The circular argument is an interesting point. I have some thoughts on this, but if you don't mind, I would like to pass the mic to someone who can respond to this better than I can. I don't profess to be able to respond to every argument with precision, and I want to make sure I do this justice.
We must take heed to the Sola Scriptura or Scripture alone so we can act according to God’s standards not mans. Consider the Bereans in Acts 17:10-12. Paul went to the synagogue and preached their to many Jews and they responded to Paul's preaching with anticipation and we are told that when Paul finished they would go back to their home and would diligently search and examine the Scriptures to see if what Paul was teaching is true. What was Paul's reaction to all this? Did Paul take offense to this and tell them they were insulting his apostolic authority, and that they should just submit to his infallible interpretation of the bible? No. Did Paul state that the Scriptures were not clear enough and that he or as an apostle or the rabbi or the Sanhedrin could only tell them what the Scriptures really meant? No. Or did he say that they should go and refer to Peter as the only one who could interpret the bible? No. He never said any of these things. The careful practice of the Bereans is actually praised in the Bible and are called noble because they evaluated with great care everything Paul taught on the BASIS OF THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD.I was wondering when you were going to bring up the Bereans, those darlings of Protestantism. I think that if you look closer at what took place you'll see that, if anything, the Thessalonians were more pseudo-Protestant than the Bereans.
Let us then stand together with the true apostolic tradition and proclaim with Paul in 1 Cor. 4:6 “…Do not go beyond what is written…”Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
For Christ and His precious name, amen
Some arguments Roman apologist useThis is the first good point you've made in the whole debate. Props to you. I do have some thoughts on this though.
They will try to argue that the phrase “Word of God” can mean more than just the Scriptures. That’s a straw man for we all believe that and don’t argue against it. The question is whether or not God today uses anything other than Scripture to know the truth of God for salvation. The passages that I presented teach that nothing else is needed. Our opponents need to show not that Paul gave reference to his preaching as well as his writing as the Word of God, we grant that, but what they need to show is that Paul taught that the oral teachings of the apostles would be needed to supplement the Scriptures for the Church through all the ages. But wait they can’t for Paul does not teach that, and the Scriptures as a whole doesn’t either.
They will make much of tradition but will NEVER clarify or define for us what the heck they mean by tradition. I mean tradition can be used in several different ways like when referring to a certain school of thought like saying the “reformed tradition” or in the “Lutheran tradition” or “Baptist tradition” etc…. It can be in reference to traditions in worship services like reciting the apostles creed or standing up and sitting down when it calls for it or your tradition order of worship. Or can mean traditions supposedly from the apostles that are not in scripture. What do they mean? Its is never clear.First of all, I see this whole section on tradition as a diversion tactic. You can focus the spotlight off yourself, but that doesn't change the fact that your defense of Sola Scriptura is inadequate. This debate isn't about my rule of faith, it's about yours ... and yours is tenuous at best. I have brought up Tradition only to show that Scripture was not the only rule of faith of early Christians, or even of the people of God in the OT. However, I am not here to give a defense of Tradition beyond what I have already written. You may see this as "dodging" but I see it as staying on topic, focusing the spotlight squarely on you and watching you sweat under it.
Tradition, 81See also the entries on Tradition in the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia and the Pocket Catholic Dictionary [choose "Tradition" from the drop-down menu].
-- apostolic, 75-79
-- deposit of faith contained in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, 84, 97
-- of faith and prayer, 2651 (see also Prayer)
-- liturgy as a constitutive element of, 1124
-- one and the same content of, 174
-- oral tradition in the formation of the Gospels, 126
-- and Sacred Scripture, 80-83, 95, 97, 113, 120
They have never agreed amongst themselves as to the nature of their tradition. We Presbyterians have tradition, nothing wrong with that but we also recognize that it MUST agree with scripture and not vise versa. But what do they mean by giving authority to tradition?For the relationship between Scripture and Tradition, see Dei Verbum, articles 7-10, and the CCC 80-83, 95, 97, 113, 120.
The Reformers discovered this contradiction of tradition and Scripture as they took greater care in searching the Holy Writ, for example….I'm sorry, I just couldn't pass this one up! You might not realize this, but Luther and Zwingli believed in the sinlessness of Mary. For evidence of this, see the following articles:
A. Tradition teaches that Mary was sinless, but the Scriptures teach that all have sinned except for Christ(Rom. 3:10-12, Heb. 4:15)
Differences in doctrine should be humbling and drive us back to the Scriptures to test all claims of truth. If we do not accept Holy Writ as our only standard and judge then there will never be hope for unity.But don't you see? It's each man turning to Scripture and interpreting it for himself that causes the very division you are trying to avoid. I can't understand why that is not blatantly obvious. It's like the big, pink elephant in the room of Protestantism
We must have a standard by which to test all claims of truth. The body of Christ the church must have a standard of truth to refer to so it can reform and purify itself from error when divisions surface.AMEN! However, I assert that the Church is this standard. Let me ask you this: What good is an infallible work if it comes without an infallible interpreter? It would be entirely negligent of the Lord to say, "Ok, here's my written word, have fun!" Instead, he gave us the Church to safeguard His word in all its forms and to be the final arbiter when two people disagree on what the Bible teaches (just like the priests did in the OT, cf. Deut 17:8-12). You said yourself in the beginning of your defense that ...
We are not arguing that the Church, both the people of God and the ministerial office, is not of great importance, value and help in understanding the Scriptures. We believe that the church universal(not Rome) is the interpreter of Scripture and that the church is the only institution that has been gifted with interpreting Holy Writ. (see here)... yet, you complain when I assert that the Church is the interpreter of Scripture? The problem with your paradigm is that when you don't like what the Church teaches, you just discard it. What kind of a "help" is that? Protestants like to say that they don't reeeally believe in the Bible alone ("We use tradition too!!"), but when it comes down to it they're just as dismissive of tradition as protestants who disregard it altogether.
Now if this principle of the sufficiency and CLARITY of the Word is true in the Old Testament how much more would this be true in the New.Well, this is the first time you've said anything about the clarity of Scripture, and I definitely don't see how you proved it from the OT with just two passages from Deuteronomy. But, I suppose we'll move on to your NT evidence ...
It is not necessary to only assume this but rather the New Testament makes evident that the character of Scripture is to be sufficient and clear.I noticed you fell just short of saying "explicit" here. Wise move on your part.
One example is found in 2 Timothy 3:12-4:5. Paul here writes to his younger brother in the faith and states that Timothy was instructed in the faith by his mother and grandmother and has also learned all about Paul's teaching(3:10). Timothy has been taught by all sorts of oral teachings, some of it apostolic.Thank you for your honesty here. Some people refuse to admit that Timothy learned from any oral, Apostolic teaching whatsoever.
Yet Paul reminds Timothy in the following verses that the Scriptures are able to make him wise unto salvation in Christ Jesus.Why "yet"? The two statements are not at odds with each other. As I said before, an affirmation of Scripture is not simultaneously a rejection of Tradition. With all the affirmations of tradition in Paul's letters, including those to Timothy, it would be absurd to say that tradition was not a rule of faith for them. There certainly isn't any evidence from 2 Tim 3:10-17 that Timothy was called to abandon what he learned from Paul in favor of the OT, or that his oral teachings were any less a rule in his life than the Scriptures. All vs. 15-17 do is affirm the authoritative nature of the Scriptures. Period. It is a grand leap of logic to take from this that the Scriptures are to be either our only rule OR our final rule.
He is teaching Timothy that Scriptures are specifically designed for teaching, reproof/rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. Therefore because Scripture has this character, it completely equips the man of God for EVERY good work....Amen! But how does this prove that it is the only rule of faith? I simply don't see it.
....and this Paul tells Timothy is what he must teach and safeguard for a time will come when people will not want to hear God’s Word but will want to follow after teachers who will teach them want will make them comfortable and whatever tickle their fancies, who will direct them to myths instead of the truth of God’s written Word.I agree ... but he's not just safeguarding Scripture. The word of God is not restricted to writing. I have already shown this from the OT. Many NT verses can be used as well (cf. Lk 3:2-3; 5:1; Acts 8:14; 13:5; 1 Thes 2:15; Tit 1:3; Heb 11:3; 2 Pet 3:5). I anticipate having to interact with them, but I'll just list them for now.
The clarity and force of Paul’s teaching here are striking.Clarity? Are you sure? Protestants don't even agree on the proper parameters of Sola Scriptura, and Catholics/Orthodox don't believe in it at all. If it was so clear, I don't think there would be so much division on this point.
In spite of the rich ORAL teaching Timothy had, he is to preach and teach the written scriptures because they give him clearly all he needs for wisdom and instruction for the people of God in faith and every good work.In spite of? Where in 2 Tim 3:10-17 do you see Paul commanding Timothy to reject his oral teaching, or to preserve only the written word? In the very same letter, Paul tells Timothy to entrust what he has heard from him "to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim 2:2). In other words, preserve my oral teaching. You are setting up a dichotomy between Tradition and Sripture that simply does not exist in this passage.
The sufficiency and clarity of the Word are clearly taught in this passage of Scripture over and over again.Over and over again? In this one passage? Perhaps you can show me where Paul says here that Scripture is clear. I don't see it.
John Chrysostom paraphrased the meaning of Paul’s words to Timothy in this way: “You have the Scriptures for a master instead of me; from there you can learn whatever you would know.” I agree this is what Paul meant.Just like the Scripture verses you cite, this quote from Chrysostom (which I can't verify because you didn't provide the source) affirms the material sufficiency of scripture, not the formal sufficiency. Come on bro, you honestly believe that, of all people, John Chrysostom rejected the Church and Tradition as rules of faith? I take it you've never read his Homilies on Second Thessalonians, where he writes, in response to 2 Thes 2:15:
"Hence it is manifest, that they did not deliver all things by Epistle, but many things also unwritten, and in like manner both the one and the other are worthy of credit. Therefore, let us think the tradition of the Church also worthy of credit. It is a tradition, seek no farther."Moving on now:
In listening to several debates on this topic especially the debates of James White vs Roman apologist,....Haha, James White, he's amusing! For several responses to his work, go here.
....The common response of the Roman apologist is to repeatedly assert that 2 Timothy 3 does not teach sufficiency. They will refer to James 1:4, Matt. 19:21, or Colossians 1:28 and 4:12 as parallel texts, claiming that the word “complete” in 2 Timothy 3:17 does not mean sufficient but those passages are not parallel at all if you know your Greek. A totally different Greek word is used.James Akin (your turn to laugh now ) calls this the "Greek translation fallacy." Basically, it assumes that if the same Greek word isn't used both times then there must be a difference in meaning. This simply is not so. You can use two different words and still express the same meaning. It happens all the time in scripture.
In the Timothy passage 3:17 it uses the word “exartizo” which has to do with being fitted for a task or equipped as the verse already states. Those other passages that they want to parallel with uses the word “telios”, which has to do with maturity or having reached a desired end. Roman apologist will attempt to convince us that these texts of Scripture do not mean what they clearly say as do all heretics.Haha, I need to show "quiet storm" this paragraph too! Anyway, let's compare 2 Tim 3:17 and James 1:4 (from the KJV NT Greek Lexicon):
When the protesters(specifically Luther, Zwingli, Calvin), which were later to be called protestants, called into question the authority of the popes and councils as our rule of faith they were driven immediately to the bible to find direction on this issue and unanimously concluded that as Protestants they maintained that the Scriptures ALONE was and is our authority for doctrine, rule and religious practice. [. . .]Well, then is that really bible alone? Wouldn't the Church then (how you define it) become another rule of faith for you, since you see it as an authoritative voice with which to determine what to believe? To me, that looks like the same rule of faith that I hold too (Scripture, Tradition, and Church). Maybe our debate should be about the nature of the Church instead ...
I also want to make clear that we are not arguing that the Church , both the people of God and the ministerial office, is not of great importance, value and help in understanding the Scriptures. We believe that the church universal(not Rome) is the interpreter of Scripture and that the church is the only institution that has been gifted with interpreting Holy Writ, but we also deny with boldness that church pertains or refers to particular persons or a particular see or succession of men.
[. . .] I posed the question not for the purpose of wanting to know his position for that is clear but was intended to show that his desire to want a biblical defense (notice I said biblical not just a defense but a Roman Catholic wanted a biblical one) is a direct contradiction in his Roman Catholic presupposition. Why? Simple. If their final authority is not Scripture then why in the world does this person want a SCRIPTURAL defense?I'm honored to have a cameo in your writing! Anyway, I'll tell you why: because I want to show that Sola Scriptura (SS) is false. Now, if I wanted to prove that to a Catholic, I would bring in the ECF's and the Church. But, in order to prove that to you I need to operate within your own parameters. You claim that SS can be defended by Scripture, so let's see it. That's what it's all about. The atheist analogy was odd, but I can assure you there will be no running back and forth. Quoting a Church Council wouldn't do much good, now would it?
Now lets dive into our Authority the Bible. I’ll be reading from the NKJV.It's interesting that you chose Deut 31. The next two verses, vs. 10 and 11, say that the law was only read every seven years. What were the people to do the rest of the time? Were they just lawless, without a rule of faith or anyone to guide them with authority? Of course not! They relied on the prophets and the priests for direction. "For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts" (Mal 2:7). In 2 Chron 15:1-4, we see that the Lord's word was mediated through a man (in this case, Azari'ah) in times when there was no law. His word to Asa was surely authoritative. Note also the mention of "a teaching priest" listed with the law as a guide for the people. Furthermore, when the Lord is describing to Aaron his responsibilities as high priest, one of them was "to teach the people of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them by Moses" (cf. Lev 10:8-11). Of the levitical priesthood, the Lord says, "They shall teach Jacob thy ordinances, and Israel thy law; they shall put incense before thee, and whole burnt offering upon thy altar" (cf. Deut 33:8-10). They are not only to teach, but to teach without taking bribes (cf. Micah 3:11).
Deuteronomy 31:9 reads: “So Moses wrote this law…..” The people were instructed by the writings of Moses’ law to which Moses also ordered that it be read to them “that they may hear and that they may learn to fear the Lord your God and carefully observe all the words of this law…” (verse 12)
Moses then declares to all Israel before his death: [note: see Deut. 32:46,47]How is that evident from the passages you cited? An affirmation of the law is not simultaneously a rejection of the other authoritative rules
Lets look at the clear principles in these passages.
A. The Words Moses spoke was written down.
B. The people CAN and MUST listen and be instructed by it.
C. These Words of Moses brings life.
Notice that Israel did not need any additional institution to interpret the Word.
The duties of the prophets and priests was not to add to or even clarify the law but rather the leaders of Israel surely functioned to help the people ministerially and help the people to apply this Word as does the true Church today. But the Word alone was sufficient for salvation and teaching/doctrine.Well, it obviously wasn't, or you wouldn't have the Lord revealing his word to them through the prophets in addition to what he revealed to them through the law. The people received the law from the mouths of patriarchs before it was written down for them. In the OT, the Lord's word is simply not restricted to writing. The phrase "word of the Lord" does not even refer only to what has been written (cf. 2 Sam 23:1-2; Isa 1:10; 59:21; Jer 1:7-9; Ezek 33:30).
Psalm 45:9 daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor; at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.Please note that I do not offer these passages as "proof texts." I realize that the literal meaning of the verses from the Old Testament can refer to other things. Also, I think Rev 12 is about Mary, but I grant that the "woman" can be a symbol of the People of God as well. The early Church fathers, in the light of the faith that they had received from the Apostles themselves and in their meditation upon Scripture, saw in all of these passages certain indications or forshadowings of Mary's Assumption.
Psa 132:8 Arise, O LORD, and go to thy resting place, thou and the ark of thy might.
Isa 60:13 The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the cypress, the plane, and the pine, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
So 3:6 What is that coming up from the wilderness, like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all the fragrant powders of the merchant?
So 8:5 Who is that coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?
Rev 11:19-12:1 Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. 1 And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
Rev 12:13-14 and when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had borne the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle that she might fly from the serpent nto the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.
"Archeologists have discovered that the Church of Mary’s Tomb was built in a first–century Jewish burial ground and that the fifth–century church was likely built to replace a much older church on the site. This has led some to speculate that devotion and worship at the site began within years of Mary’s death"
"If therefore it might come to pass before the power of your grace, it has appeared right to us your servants that, as you, having overcome death does reign in glory, so you should raise up the body of your mother and take her with you, rejoicing into heaven. Then said the Savior [Jesus]: 'Be it done according to your will" [Pseudo-Melito, The Passing of the Virgin 16:2-17; (300 AD)].
"If the Holy Virgin had died and was buried, her falling asleep would have been surrounded with honour, death would have found her pure, and her crown would have been a virginal one...Had she been martyred according to what is written: 'Thine own soul a sword shall pierce', then she would shine gloriously among the martyrs, and her holy body would have been declared blessed; for by her, did light come to the world" [Epiphanius, Panarion, 78:23 (A.D. 377), in PG 42:737].
"Therefore the Virgin is immortal to this day, seeing that he who had dwelt in her transported her to the regions of her assumption" [Timothy of Jerusalem, Homily on Simeon and Anna; (400 AD)].
"And from that time forth all knew that the spotless and precious body had been transferred to paradise" [John the Theologian, The Falling Asleep of Mary; (400 AD)].
"The Apostles took up her body on a bier and placed it in a tomb; and they guarded it, expecting the Lord to come. And behold, again the Lord stood by them; and the holy body having been received, He commanded that it be taken in a cloud into paradise: where now, rejoinedd to the soul, [Mary] rejoices with the Lord's chosen ones..." [Gregory of Tours, Eight Books of Miracles, 1:4; (575-593 A.D.) ].
"As the most glorious Mother of Christ, our Savior and God and the giver of life and immortality, has been endowed with life by him, she has received an eternal incorruptibility of the body together with him who has raised her up from the tomb and has taken her up to himself in a way known only to him." [Modestus of Jerusalem, Encomium in dormitionnem Sanctissimae Dominae nostrae Deiparae semperque Virginis Mariae (before A.D. 634), in PG 86-II,3306].
"It was fitting...that the most holy-body of Mary, God-bearing body, receptacle of God, divinized, incorruptible, illuminated by divine grace and full glory...should be entrusted to the earth for a little while and raised up to heaven in glory, with her soul pleasing to God." [Theoteknos of Livias, Homily on the Assumption; (before 650 A.D.)].
The biblical witness for the truth of the Assumption is complemented by the witness of history. It is a remarkable fact that there is no tradition or legend whatsoever about either the physical relics of the Blessed Mother or of a tomb in which she presently lies buried. The earthly resting places of all the other Apostles and of holy Christians through the ages have inspired shrines and pilgrimages; relics associated with them have been treasured by the faithful. Is it conceivable that the greatest saint of them all, the Mother of God, would not have been thus honored if there had been even the slightest inkling that she was buried somewhere in this world? Like “the empty tomb" that testified so strongly to the resurrection of Our Lord, the absence of belief in a tomb holding Mary's remains testifies powerfully to the truth that she was assumed into Heaven (of course there are traditions of the tomb where her body was laid prior to the Assumption much as Jesus too was laid in a tomb prior to His Resurrection) [pgs. 260-261]
I have. It doesn't. Evidence please or withdraw your assertion.Munificentissimus Deus doesn't have testimony from the ECF's of the Assumption? Note the following paragraphs, which are numbered:
17. "Venerable to us, O Lord, is the festivity of this day on which the holy Mother of God suffered temporal death, but still could not be kept down by the bonds of death, who has begotten your Son our Lord incarnate from herself."As you can see, there is ample patristic witness.
18. the Gallican sacramentary designates this privilege of Mary's as "an ineffable mystery all the more worthy of praise as the Virgin's Assumption is something unique among men." .... "God, the King of the universe, has granted you favors that surpass nature. As he kept you a virgin in childbirth, thus he has kept your body incorrupt in the tomb and has glorified it by his divine act of transferring it from the tomb."
21. "It was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles. It was fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live in the divine mansions. It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which she had escaped in the act of giving birth to him, should look upon him as he sits with the Father. It was fitting that God's Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God."
22. "You are she who, as it is written, appears in beauty, and your virginal body is all holy, all chaste, entirely the dwelling place of God, so that it is henceforth completely exempt from dissolution into dust. Though still human, it is changed into the heavenly life of incorruptibility, truly living and glorious, undamaged and sharing in perfect life." And another very ancient writer asserts: "As the most glorious Mother of Christ, our Savior and God and the giver of life and immortality, has been endowed with life by him, she has received an eternal incorruptibility of the body together with him who has raised her up from the tomb and has taken her up to himself in a way known only to him."
[11.] Sacramentarium Gregorianum.
[12.] Menaei Totius Anni.
[17.] St. John Damascene, Encomium in Dormitionem Dei Genetricis Semperque
Virginis Mariae, Hom. II, n. 14; cf. also ibid, n. 3.
[18.] St. Germanus of Constantinople, In Sanctae Dei Genetricis Dormitionem,Sermo I.
[19.] The Encomium in Dormitionem Sanctissimae Dominae Nostrate Deiparae Semperque Virginis Mariae, attributed to St. Modestus of Jerusalem, n. 14.
The evidence presented shows that the myth of the assumption was first recorded in the fourth of fifth century spurious writings,and not before that time. This fact is admitted by the Catholic Encyclopedia.Catholic "tradition' was subsequently developed. If you have any evidence of a "bountiful" earlier tradition, please present it.I believe I have. Also note that in this article, under the section "The Transitus Mariæ or Evangelium Joannis", we read: "However, there is warrant for saying that while the tradition existed substantially in portions of the Church at an early period, and thus prepared the way for the acceptance of mythical amplifications, still its later form and details were considerably influenced by the Transitus and kindred writings." I have found this to be the consensus drawn by scholars on the subject.
Again, as stated at the onset, facts must be proven to exist, not presumed to exist.Please provide evidence of your putative " sources of belief " by anyone prior to the 5th century claiming the assumption of Mary. And please include the date of the writing.I have. And by the way, I must again remind you that the task, as far as Christian testimony is concerned, is to prove that belief in the Assumption is a part of Sacred Tradition. You stated this yourself early in our debate. I have shown you that it is very much a part of the Tradition of the Church. The timeframe for the Tradition is irrelevant.
It is necessary that a fact be established, not that, using a little creative imagination, it can be "pointed to."One must alyays distinguish between facts and fables.Again, please site your scriptural evidence for the assumption of Mary. Thus far, you have not. Nor have you cited any evidence from a source prior to the fifth century.Why are you imposing this requirement? There is simply no merit in it. The doctrine is not concerned with the historical facts about her assumption. Pope Pius XII did not set out to affirm or deny these details when he articulated our belief. The doctrine is this: that she was assumed into heaven at the end of her earthly life. The task is this: to prove whether or not this belief is contrary to Scripture or Tradition. Period. That's what you and I are working with. It seems that the only way you can refute what I have presented is by going beyond the parameters of our debate.
Thank you for stipulating to that fact. The historical evidence of the legend of the Assumption, begins with spurious writings of the fifth century. I think you'll find that all Chruch writings date from after that time.I think you'll find that more recent scholarship is proving otherwise.
No. Apostolic Traditions cannot realistically be said to have begun six or seven hundred years after the fact.In the case of the Assumption, no tradition at all can be evidenced before the early 5th century.Well, for one, we find evidence of a belief in the Assumption before the fourth century. Secondly, if in fact we were to find no writings from before this time, that would not mean that no one believed it. It would just mean that we have no written evidence of it (either because they didn't write about it or because their writings on the subject no longer exist). Do you realize how hard it is to find writings about anything from the time period you stipulate? It is no small task.
And while doing so, you might want to consider this: "A popular martyrology, that was used from the ninth century to the reform of the Roman Martyrology by Baronius in 1548, was composed by Usuard, a monk of St. Germain des Pres in Paris. It stated its opinion quite bluntly in its announcement of the feast: "The Falling Asleep of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. Though her most sacred body is not to be found on earth, still Holy Mother Church celebrates her venerable memory with no doubt that she had left this life. But as to where the venerable temple of the Holy Ghost has been hidden by divine Providence, the sobriety of the Church prefers pious ignorance to any frivolous or apocryphal doctrine."11I don't know how to state this any more plainly: the exact details of the assumption (when it happened, where it happened, who was there) are simply not at issue here. So, this quote of yours does little to advance your claim. Also, note that when Usuard says the phrase "frivolous or apocryphal doctrine" he is referring to beliefs about where her body was burried. This has nothing to do with the doctrine of the Assumption, which states only that she was assumed into heaven at the end of her earthly life.
Footnote 11. The Roman Martyrology, quoted by Paul E. Duggan, The Assumption Dogma: Some Reactions and Ecumenical Implications in the Thought of English-Speaking Theologians (Cleveland: Merson Press, 1989), 18.
This is quoted from: The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, I think thy have a website.
Of course, this was written before the Pius XII's infallible pronouncement, that is, before "frivolous or apoccryphal doctrine" became official teachings.
The origin of Church "Tradtion" is very much bound to a time frame.You're right, the origin of Tradition is bound to a timeframe. That's because the origin is the Sacred Deposit given to the Apostles by Christ himself. However, Sacred Tradition is always with us, in the Testimony of the ECF's, in her customs and disciplines, and in her liturgies and forms of worship throughout the history of the Church. You betray a fundamental misunderstanding of what Tradition actually is. Hopefully we can remedy this. (*wink*)
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:76 In keeping with the Lord's command, the Gospel was handed on in two ways: - orally "by the apostles who handed on, by the spoken word of their preaching, by the example they gave, by the institutions they established, what they themselves had received - whether from the lips of Christ, from his way of life and his works, or whether they had learned it at the prompting of the Holy Spirit"- in writing "by those apostles and other men associated with the apostles who, under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit, committed the message of salvation to writing".The volumnous writings of the Early Church Fathers omit any mention of the Assumption. And one of them, St. Epiphanius admits that he knows nothing about it. (Panarion, Haer, 78.10-11) See also CE, Feast of the Assumption).
The legend of the Assumption is first found in De Obitu S. Dominae, an apocryphal treatise, which belongs to the 4th or 5th century. (See CE op cit).
The first Church author to write of it is St. Gregory of Tours (6th century) according to Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, pp 209-210, Tan Books, 1974.
In short, apostolic tradition, is not verified by the facts.
Thank you for stipulating to the fact that none of the scriptures you presented support the Assumption.I didn't say that. Look at my words again. I said that the literal intention was not to address the Assumption. I went on to explain that, in the tradition of the NT writers, the Church finds implicit evidence for the Assumption in these verses. Maybe you missed that part? Les, please read my posts in their entirety before you respond, instead of responding to each paragraph as you read it. I think that by employing this latter approach you are not grasping the full meaning I am trying to articulate to you.