Question for a Sola Scriptura ("Bible Alone") Believer.

cceerpp's picture

Do you believe that the Gospel of Matthew is the inspired Word of God? Okay. If so, how do you know that it is? How do you know that Matthew authored it? Does Matthew's Gospel claim to be inspired? Does it even claim that Matthew authored it? Does any other book of Scripture tell us how Matthew's Gospel came about? Okay, then. Why do you accept that it's inspired? Why do you accept that it's authored by Matthew and/or comes from him?

I'll tell you why we Catholics believe that Matthew is inspired. Because that is the Sacred oral Tradition of the Catholic Church. And, if you are honest, you will have to admit that this is why you believe Matthew is the Word of God too -- because you trust the Church's Sacred oral Tradition on this matter.

Well, if that's the case, how can you accept this particular Tradition of the Catholic Church, yet reject the Church's oral Traditions about Mary, the Papacy, or the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist? That doesn't make sense.

For example, the very first recorded testimony we have for Matthew's reliability comes to us from St. Irenaeus of Lyons in 180 A.D. St. Ireneaus was the disciple of St. Polycarp, who was the disciple of St. John the Apostle himself. And, in 180 A.D., St. Irenaeus tells us:

"Matthew also issued among the Hebrews a written Gospel in their own language, while Peter and Paul were evangelizing in Rome and laying the foundation of the Church." (St. Irenaeus, Against the Heresies 3, 1:1)

And, thus, we can provide evidence from the early Church indicating that those who were faithful to the Apostles' teachings believed that the Gospel of Matthew was reliable and inspired by God. However, in this very same book ("Against the Heresies"), St. Irenaeus also calls Mary the "New Eve" and speaks of her as intimately participating in the salvation of mankind. Irenaeus writes:

"Consequently, then, Mary the Virgin is found to be obedient, saying: ‘Behold, O Lord, your handmaid; be it done to me according to your word.’ Eve, however, was disobedient; and when yet a virgin, she did not obey.... having become disobedient, was made the cause of death for herself and for the whole human race; so also Mary, betrothed to a man but nevertheless still a virgin, being obedient, was made the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.... Thus, the knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed through faith."

So, do you believe that Mary actively participated in the salvation of the human race? Well, if not, why not? After all, this comes from the same (and the earliest) source which tells you that Matthew is authentic.

And also, in this same book, St. Irenaeus writes:

"Since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the bishops' successions of all the city-churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness or wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper (i.e., renegade heretics), by pointing out here the succession of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the Tradition and the Faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the Apostles. For it is a matter of necessity that all other city-churches agree with this church (Rome) because of its preeminent authority." Ireneaus then goes on to list the succession from Peter's successor Linus to the Pope of his day. (Irenaeus, Against the Heresies 3, 3:2).

So, do you believe in the Papacy? Well, if not, why not? The same early source which proves the reliability of Matthew's Gospel also speaks of the Papacy -- that is, the "preeminent authority" of the Bishop of Rome as the successor of St. Peter.

And again, in this same book, St. Irenaeus also writes of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, saying:

"For just as the bread which comes from the earth, having received the invocation of God, is no longer ordinary bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly, so our bodies, having received the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, because they have the hope of the resurrection." (Irenaeus, Against The Heresies 4, 18:4-5)

... and ...

"[Christ] has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be his own Blood, from which he causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, He has established as his own Body, from which He gives increase to our bodies." (Irenaeus, Against The Heresies)

... and ...

"So then, if the mixed cup and the manufactured bread receive the Word of God and become the Eucharist, that is to say, the Blood and Body of Christ, which fortify and build up the substance of our flesh, how can these people claim that the flesh is incapable of receiving God's gift of eternal life, when it is nourished by Christ's Blood and Body and is His member? As the blessed Apostle (Paul) says in his letter to the Ephesians, 'For we are members of His Body, of His flesh and of His bones' [Eph. 5:30].. He is not talking about some kind of 'spiritual' and 'invisible' man, 'for a spirit does not have flesh an bones' [Lk. 24:39]. No, he is talking of the organism possessed by a real human being, composed of flesh and nerves and bones. It is this which is nourished by the Cup which is His Blood, and is fortified by the Bread which is His Body. The stem of the vine takes root in the earth and eventually bears fruit, and 'the grain of wheat falls into the earth' [Jn. 12:24], dissolves, rises again, multiplied by the all-containing Spirit of God, and finally after skilled processing, is put to human use. These two then receive the Word of God and become the Eucharist, which is the Body and Blood of Christ." (Irenaeus of Lyons, Against the Heresies, 5:2, 2-3, all c. 180 A.D.)

So, again -- Why do you accept some of the Church's ancient Traditions, yet ignore other ones?

Mark J. Bonocore
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michael_legna's picture

Salvation is an end result of a life long process

rstefanovich said -
Let me ask you a question Micheal. Do you truly know you are saved?

My answer will change based on when you ask me. Right this very moment I feel I have been following Him sufficiently that I have a true living faith. But I still sin and during those times when I sin I know I have lef the narrow way and am not aimed at the strait gate and so my eventaul salvation is in jeporady. See salvation is something we are given at the judgment. That is why Paul tells us to work it out in this life in fear and trembling and to run as if we have not obtained it.

rstefanovich said -
Have you looked into the RCC's past history as I mentioned before with it's traditions of roman paganism?

I have reviewed a lot of material by those who attack the RCC in this way and have found it to be poorly researched and unsupported. Hislop's Two Babylons which represents the source of most of these prejudices has been soundly refuted to the point that even his student Ralph Woodrow now denounces it as mostly composed of faked research.

rstefanovich said -
Do you have faith that Christ's blood is sufficient or do you believe that it was not enough to cover your sins.

Christ's sacrifice was sufficient to make possible the offer of the free gift of salvation, but I believe the scriptures which also tell us we must obey his Gospel to be saved. This obedience does not earn us our salvation it is just merely the instructions He left us as to how to properly accept (along with faith) the free gift.

Here are just some of the things scripture itself tell us we must do to accept the free gift and be saved-

Obey the commandments in such a way as to exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees
Mt 5:19-20
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Do the will of the Father
Mt 7:21
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Control what comes out from you – the fruit of your works
Mt 12:37
For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Hate our worldly life
Mt 16:25
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Be converted and humble ourselves
Mt 18:3-4
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Obey the commandments fulfilling them in the spirit of the law through love.
Mt 19:16-21
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness. Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

Do good works in service to others
Mt 25:45-46
Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Hate our worldly life
Mk 8:35
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.

Obey the commandments fulfilling them in the spirit of the law through love.
Mk 10:17-21
And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

Be baptized to be saved
Mk 16:16
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Obey the commandments fulfilling them in the spirit of the law through love.
Lk 10:25-28
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

Hate our worldly life
Lk 17:33
Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

Humble yourself do not think you can earn or deserve to be justified
Lk 18:9-14
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Obey the commandments fulfilling them in the spirit of the law through love.
Lk 18:18-22
And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

Follow all of Christ’s teachings
Lk 9:23-24
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

Do the work of God and spread the Gospel
Jn 4:34-36
Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.

Eat His body and drink His blood
Jn 6:54
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Follow all of Christ’s teachings
Jn 10:27-28
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Hate our worldly life
Jn 12:25
He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

Do the law to be justified
Rom 2:13
For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Patiently continue in good works to accept the gift of eternal life
Rom 2:7
To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

Repent – turn your life around - to be saved
2 Cor 7:10
For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

Obey to work out your salvation
Php 2:12
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Continue in the proper doctrine
1 Tim 4:16
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

Fight for your salvation by professing your faith
1 Tim 6:12
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

Do good works to lay hold on the free gift of eternal life
1 Tim 6:18-19
That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

Obey Jesus to receive eternal salvation
Heb 5:9
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Be Baptized to be saved
1 Peter 3:20-21
Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Obey the Gospel to be saved
1 Peter 4:17-18
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

There can be even more support offered but this ought to show you that Christ's sacrifice does not save us unless we accept the gift as He told us to.

rstefanovich said -
You violate God's first and second commandment when you pray to Mary or a statue.

No because prayer to a Saint is not worship it is merely asking them as a Christian to pray for us.

rstefanovich said -
You see my friend I can argue with you about who wrote what in the bible or what church father said this or that.

At least then you would be staying on topic and trying to learn something rather than just holding on to your mistaken prejudices.

rstefanovich said -
The bottom line is that God knows your heart and will judge you accordingly. Did you "obey" His holy commandments or did you follow a man in Rome who speaks "ex cathedra"?

One of His instructions was to obey the Gospel (2 Th 1:8 and 1 Pt 4:17) and in the teachings of the Gospel we are told to obey and submit to those who have authority over us and watch over our souls (Heb 13:17).

2 Peter 1:19-21
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

God the Holy Spirit inspired them, perfectly and accurately, to write the words of God for the church. The church did not "inspire" anything.

No but they did decide which books were inspired by comparing them to the teaching of Christ which the Church had to rely on until the NT scriptures were all written and compiled into the Bible. That is why along with inspiring scripture God also made the Church the ground and pillar of truth. (1 Tim 3:15)