Friday, 27 March 2015

Is God Good and other objections

The answer should be obvious, God is good and cannot create what is bad.

The Bible makes it clear that when God made the word, one consistent thing is brought up every time he created something, He saw it was good: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1

What ever God touches is uncorrupt and pure. There is no darkness in him.

"Habukkuk 1:13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
    you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
    Why are you silent while the wicked
    swallow up those more righteous than themselves?"

This doesn't strike me as a God who himself would create evil, in fact it even states the exact opposite. If he was a God who created evil, Why on earth would he then turn around and condemn the evil itself. It's foolish to conceive such a thing.

Here are a few more texts:
"Psalm 136:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever."

"Psalm 100:1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2     Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations."

Read also the whole of Psalm 107, specifically verse 1:
"1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever."

"Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him."

Countless texts show that God himself is good, holy and righteous, and I don't really see how much clearer it is than that.

(Take a note Guard of Gold, the Bible demonstrates that God is good.)

Going back to Genesis, What do we have, We obviously know that Adam and Eve were given free will, God wanted to give them to opportunity to follow him, but instead, they chose wrongly when Satan tempted them in the Garden of Eden. As a result of listening to the serpent, Adam and Eve damned themselves and thus fell into original sin. God was aware that Adam and Eve would make the wrong choice, If he wanted to, he could force Adam and Eve to love him, but he didn't. Does Adam and Eve turning evil mean that God himself created them as evil? No. Does Adam and Eve turning evil mean that God himself didn't know the future? No. He knows the future, Open Theism is false teaching.

Plus, the concept of dualism is nothing more than Gnosticism. The Bible as a whole rejects the idea of a second God, including the concept of having Satan as a second God, even 2 Corinthians 4:4 if others wish to use that verse to prove their point, doesn't prove such.

Satan as I have already stated in other papers is NOT omnipresent, he is a creature and by comparison to YHWH, is severely WEAKER than YHWH. Not to mention, the Shema itself testifies "Hear O Israel, The LORD our God, The LORD is one", which makes it very clear that there is only one God who exists, Not to mention, Jesus, himself stated "No one is good EXCEPT God alone". As Jesus is the second person of the Trinity, That by definition makes Jesus YHWH and makes him good, something no one can claim.

God is good, it's simple and easy to prove, it is not a vacuous statement.

Answering Judaism.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Response to Charles Spearman. Christians and the Torah

In a video I did on the subject of the pros and cons of Messianic Judaism, a user named Charles Spearman had decided to comment and try to assert that Christians are obligated to keep the Torah, all of it.

I hope to in this paper respond to the assertions made by Spearman. Let us begin:
"the maker of this video is lost & leading others astray .....those who love the Lord keep His commandments & dont see them as THE LAW ...TORAH MEANS INSTRUCTIONS ..NOT LAW... iF WE ARE LEAD BY CONVICTION TO NOT KEEP THE FEAST THAT IS WILLFUL DEFIANCE ...& YES YOU HAVE FREE WILL TO NOT KEEP GOD'S COMMANDMENTS ...BUT STOP LYING ON SCRIPTURE SAYING IT GIVES YOU THE CHOICE TO DEFY GOD'S COMMANDS W/O PUNISHMENT ... In one of his oft misunderstood passages, the Apostle Paul speaks of a written document of condemnation that was nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14). This document is frequently misinterpreted as the Torah. Well meaning brothers and sisters often triumphantly declare that Messiah nailed the Torah to cross (God forbid). New Age Translations like the NIV encourage this kind of interpretation by translating the nailed document as “the written code,” a term that seems to imply a law code, namely the Torah. In Colossians 2:14, it is not the Torah that has been nailed to the cross. It is better understood as a written verdict of condemnation, or a legal note of debts. Having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of debt against us, which was hostile to us; He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. (Colossians 2:14) The “certificate of debt” that has been taken out of the way and nailed to the cross is condemnation and guilt. Condemnation (i.e. death) is the ultimate curse of the Torah. It is this curse that Messiah took upon Himself when He became “a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). Jesus pointed out to the religious Pharisees of His time that their teachings were rules taught by men; they had forsaken the written commands (Torah) of God, holding instead to the traditions of men (Mark 7:7,8). In a similar manner, most modern-day Christians observe and celebrate days that are Church traditions and mere substitutes for days ordained by God. These include the following: *a first-day (Sunday) Sabbath; whereas, the Fourth Commandment stipulates a seventh-day Sabbath, *Easter (which is “Resurrection Day” or the Feast of Firstfruits), and *Christmas (Jesus was born during Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles, which falls in late September to mid October). When Moses was a long time in coming down from Mount Sinai, the people got tired of waiting. Finally, they asked their High Priest, Aaron, to make them other gods (Deuteronomy 32:1). So Aaron directed them to bring gold, and a golden calf was made, which became a manmade god in conjunction with a manmade festival (32:2-6). God punished them for doing this (32:27,28,32). Likewise, after waiting a long time for Jesus to return from heaven, the Church, both Catholic and Protestant, grew weary of waiting for Him; and “high priests” have created manmade gods/idols, along with manmade festivals and celebrations, which have become traditions that substitute for the real God and His appointed feasts and festivals. Essentially, these are “golden calves” within the Church."

Within the context of Colossians 2, we are free to eat and drink anything we choose, except for what is mentioned in Acts 15 but that's another topic. Spearman is correct that the context is not referring to the law, it is referring to the debt of sin that we owe that has been paid. In the next chapter it talks about what we should abstain from.

"Colossians 2:3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
"

Moreover, in the context, no where do Jesus or the apostles advocate that Gentiles themselves are put under the Torah, even implicitly.

Furthermore, to raise Christmas and Easter as arguments against the fact Gentile Christians are not called to be Torah observance is irrelevant. The subject of Christmas and Easter are certainly not found in the Bible at all, therefore there is no obligation to celebrate such customs. Not to mention the teaching on the church having priests in an Old Testament sense is not found in the New Testament, as well as the fact priesthood is applicable to all true believers in Jesus.

Also regarding Sunday, That didn't come from the pagans: Again, just because pagans worshipped on Sunday, that doesn't mean Christians got Sunday worship from pagans. Sunday was already the observance of the day of the Lord. I thoroughly recommend the reading of the Didache which can be found here: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/didache-lightfoot.html

To touch on the point about Sunday, read the following:
"9:1 But as touching the eucharistic thanksgiving give ye thanks thus.
9:2 First, as regards the cup:
9:3 We give Thee thanks, O our Father, for the holy vine of Thy son David, which Thou madest known unto us through Thy Son Jesus;
9:4 Thine is the glory for ever and ever.
9:5 Then as regards the broken bread:
9:6 We give Thee thanks, O our Father, for the life and knowledge which Thou didst make known unto us through Thy Son Jesus;
9:7 Thine is the glory for ever and ever.
9:8 As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains and being gathered together became one, so may Thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Thy kingdom;
9:9 for Thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever and ever.
9:10 But let no one eat or drink of this eucharistic thanksgiving, but they that have been baptized into the name of the Lord;
9:11 for concerning this also the Lord hath said:
9:12 {Give not that which is holy to the dogs.}
14:1 And on the Lord's own day gather yourselves together and break bread and give thanks, first confessing your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure.
14:2 And let no man, having his dispute with his fellow, join your assembly until they have been reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be defiled;
14:3 for this sacrifice it is that was spoken of by the Lord;
14:4 {In every place and at every time offer Me a pure sacrifice;14:5 for I am a great king, saith the Lord and My name is wonderful among the nations.}
"

Now obviously Eucharist doesn't refer to the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, that is a given, but I would like to know what is the Lord's day being referred to in this document? It is not a reference to the Sabbath. The Sabbath itself is not reiterated in the NT as a command for Christians to observe anyway, See the following article on this issue: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/observance-of-torah-demanded-of-gentiles.html

To be perfectly honest, Those who call the NIV translation a "New Age Translation" have no credibility at all. It sounds like something a radical KJV Onlyist would say. Though I will grant that the only high priest we have is Jesus and absolutely no one else.

On a side note, Torah can mean in instruction or law.

"Also for the FOOL who think they can follow their own convictions (heart) on ANY issue God has spoken on ...consider these 3 verses... King James Bible The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9 King James Version (KJV) 5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 King James Bible For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: Proverbs 6:23 COME OUT OF THE ELEMENTS & FRAGMENTS OF NEW AGE REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY & THIS AWFUL VIDEO POST!!"

If this guy actually read my material, he would know that I do not adhere to replacement theology and to be honest, calling it New Age wouldn't refute it unless it came from such. Here's a new apologetic ladies and gentlemen, label everything you don't like as "new age". That's not an argument UNLESS it is the Word Faith Movement, New Age or Theosophical Society.

Furthermore as I'll point out later on, it is not picking and choosing when it comes to the Torah. It's knowing scriptural what applies to us today and what does not. Obviously morality remains.

"Christians insist that "the law" was abolished. How is that possible when sin is transgression of "the law"? When and by whom was it abolished? Certainly not by Yeshua! He said He came NOT to abolish but to confirm (Hebrew: koom which means "establish/confirm)". Why would Yeshua's role as FINAL SIN OFFERING (He martyred Himself!) in any way negate Torah - God's original teaching and instruction? Did He ever say, "I came to abolish Torah and render my original teachings void"? Yeshua is our "New Covenant" and "Sin Offering". Period. God gave us a New Covenant, not a new Torah! Did He even mention Torah at all as He spoke about giving us a New Covenant (Jer.31:30-33/Heb.8:8-12)? You won't find anything in Scripture to show that Torah was ever abolished. Yeshua said: Matthew 5: 17 Don't think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. 18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah - not until everything that must happen has happened. If "ALL" hasn't happened yet, and heaven and earth have not passed away, then that must mean that His Torah is still valid...."

The New Testament's original language was Greek, not Hebrew, but I digress. Matthew 5:17-20 is covered in the Torah Observance article.  I would need to look into Jeremiah 31 before I can make a comment. It's for another time if the Lord Wills.

"Since Yahweh said to celebrate the Biblical feasts FOREVER (Leviticus 23:21, 31, 41, Exodus 12:14), why do you believe He wants you to ignore them now, simply because His Son died on the cross? Has "forever" come and gone, or ended somehow? Answer: No - "forever" has not come and gone. Torah observant believers celebrate the Biblical feasts because it is instructed by God in the Torah for Israel ("Israel" includes EVERYONE who accepts the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - see Numbers 15:13-16) to observe these festivals forever (Leviticus 23:21, 31, 41, Exodus 12:14). Messiah Yeshua observed these festivals as did the early Messianic Jews and apostles such as Rabbi Shaul/Apostle Paul (Acts 20:16, 1 Corinthians 16:8, Acts 28:17). When Yeshua returns to this earth these festivals will be re-established worldwide (Zechariah 14:16-21). God has His appointed times! He does nothing without purpose. What makes us think we can simply ignore what He says? Here's something to ponder. Yeshua has only fulfilled the first four of the seven Biblical feasts. If He fulfilled the first four, what makes you think He won't fulfill the last three? If everything goes according to God's Plan and the first four feasts have been fulfilled, then the next feast to be fulfilled is Rosh Hashana - the Feast of Trumpets: the "Rapture". Since Christians choose to believe the entire "OT" has been "nailed to the cross", then does this mean there won't be a "Rapture"? Why should there be, since you don't "believe" in the Biblical feasts...."

The argument isn't that he doesn't fulfill any of the feasts, the point is because of his fulfillment of said feasts, they need not be observed and the Rapture is not part and parcel of the whole feasts so why that's an argument I have no idea. Yes, the Messianic Jews, including Paul did observe Torah and the festivals, That is true, but that wasn't required of Gentiles as found in Acts 15. See the Torah Observance article and this article response to 119 ministries on this issue:
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/what-does-acts-15-teach-does-it-teach.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/addendum-to-what-does-acts-15-teach.html

Furthermore, while Jesus is in heaven, The feasts are not observed, but when returns for the 1000 year reign, Torah Observance is reestablished. The feasts and the traditions of YHWH will be observed in the Millennial reign, not while Christ has not come again yet. Though Revelation doesn't speak of the feasts themselves, the TANAKH certainly does, such as in Zechariah 14. Read the following paper:
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/anti-christ-building-temple.html

"If, as you believe, the Torah was "abolished" and the "Old Testament" is to be ignored - why are Christians still teaching the Ten Commandments or telling church members to tithe? Isn't it hypocritical to pick and choose what we want to believe of the "Old Testament? Answer: The Ten Commandments appear in two places in the Bible: Both are in the "Old Testament" - Exodus, chapter 20; and in Deuteronomy, chapter 5. Neither version conveniently lists the commandments from one to ten, which is presumably how they would appear when posted. In the most commonly referenced passage, Exodus 20, the commandments cover 17 verses and encompass at least 14 imperatives. Concerning tithing, in the New Testament tithe and tithing are found eight times (Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42; 18:12; Hebrews 7:5-6,8-9). But all of these passages refer to the Old Testament usage "under the law!"  In view of the above, it seems that today's church pastors should never ask for tithes because, according to the Christian train of thought, tithes are "old testament"....."

No it's not hypocritical to "pick and choose". Besides, it's not a question of picking and choosing, it's asking ourselves, which commands are given to Gentiles and which are not. As for the question of tithing, I address this issue here, as I am convinced Christians are not to tithe: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/are-christians-required-to-tithe.html

Giving is a virtue, but putting Gentiles under tithing is wrong. Messianics have the freedom to observe tithing or not just as Gentiles have that.

"Does Scripture command us to celebrate the birth or resurrection of the Messiah via Christmas and Easter? What's more, is it okay to lie to your children about the existence of Santa Claus and egg-laying rabbits? What do these things have to do with Yeshua's birth and death? For those who want to answer: "It's fun; it's tradition", then please check the Bible to see what God says about man-made traditions.... Answer: You won't find Christmas and Easter anywhere in the Bible. Those "holy days" were strictly man's idea - in the same way that Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, decided to offer a sacrifice with "unauthorized fire before the LORD," thus disobeying His instructions. For that, they were immediately consumed by God’s fire...So what makes us today think it's okay to "add or subtract" anything to the commands to keep His seven holy feast days? (Please see The Pagan Origins of Christmas and The Pagan Origins of Easter.) What's more, it is NOT okay to lie to your children about the existence of Santa Claus and egg-laying rabbits. Lying is a sin! The Ninth Commandment is: Thou shalt not lie. Can you honestly say that you've never said to your kids: "Santa Claus is coming soon to bring you toys, so you'd better be good!" or "Look! The Easter bunny brought you some colored eggs!" Is it okay to tell a "little" lie? Since when? Is human tradition worth the cost of making us guilty of sinning in God's eyes?

Not much to really say for me here, As far as I am concerned Christmas and Easter are dispensable. Plus lying is indeed a sin. Besides if I had kids, I would straight with them and say that there is no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny. Man made tradition is not worth holding to if it costs you your soul and is not in scripture.

"Why do Christians insist that "the law" was "written on our hearts" (Jeremiah 31:33-34; Romans 10:4-8) but somehow, the "OT" no longer pertains to them? Answer: Many Christians have decided that when God said, "I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts" He meant that His original Torah (teachings) would be rendered null and void and that they would somehow "just know" right from wrong. But since we are born into sin, that is impossible! Until one actually studies and understands Torah, they can't possibly have His Torah "written on their hearts." How many of today's people automatically know Yahweh's laws? NOBODY! How many actually keep his laws? If this were truly the case that God's laws were somehow imprinted in our hearts, there would be no adultery, divorce, murder, hate crimes, abortion, lying, stealing, coveting - things that many Christians are certainly guilty of.... Having "the law written on our hearts" means we now have the desire for Torah! The heart is the "seat of desire". Why? Because it is the battleground over which God and Satan fight continually. Allegiance comes from the heart; as do concepts such as honor, loyalty, and commitment. The heart sets apart greatness from merely "good". Without the heart no endeavor reflects the fact that we are created in the image of God."

Part of the New Covenant entails being regenerated by the Holy Spirit which restores us from original sin and brings us back to God, hence the writing on the hearts occurs. There is a difference between stumbling and deliberate sinning against God. Having YHWH give the Spirit and put him in our hearts, we can now carry out Christ's commands and though we stumble, we can repent and get back up again. Having said that there is no excuse for sin.

Moreover again, Where are Gentiles obligated to be Torah Observant, either implicitly or explicitly? Read the following for more details:
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/observance-of-torah-demanded-of-gentiles.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/what-does-acts-15-teach-does-it-teach.html

"in closing .....One who is claimig to be connected with TRUE Messianic Judaism & doesn't  follow Torah & the 7 Feasts & deems them as MERELY OPTIONAL(via personal erroneous Unbibiical human conviction)  is MOST CERTAINLY A FRAUD. (NO MATTER THE OFFSHOOT OF MESSIANIC ORG THEY BELONG TO)"

The only frauds in Messianic Judaism are those who tell Gentiles that they are to observe Torah, so Spearman stands condemned for doing what he is doing.

Answering Judaism.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Common excuses for false teachers 2

This is a second article and it focuses on a particular objection, pertaining to the subject of Modalism, both successive or synonymous.

Successive Modalism refers to God with 3 manifestations appearing at specific times. One time he is the Father, One time he is the Son and One time he is the Spirit

Synonymous Modalism refers to God with 3 manifestations exist at the same time and not at separate times.

Both are not Trinitarianism in any sense. The Trinity teaches that in the very being or essence of God, there exist Three Distinct persons, Not three beings in one being or three persons in one person. There are not three seperate Gods, but one Eternal God which the TANAKH and the NT make very clear.

Once we have correctly defined what these things are, the smokescreen disappears. What is my point? Some individuals have come to me in the past when defending Itzhak Shapira, and T.D Jakes has had a similar defense from his followers which I can safely presume.

The excuse when defending these Modalist heretics as biblical Christians or even suggesting they are Trinitarians is something along the lines of "No one can claim to be able to completely comprehend the enormity and complexity of our Creator" or let's say "He merely has small misunderstanding on a big doctrine."

In this particular context, these statements to be very blunt, are just a cop out.

To say we don't have complete understanding of God is accurate and thankfully 100% understanding of the Trinity is not a requirement for salvation. We don't understand the Trinity fully, but that DOESN'T mean we cannot understand it at all. A basic understanding of the Trinity that is very solid can be obtained and as such, there is no excuse to hold to Modalist teaching, or even excuse those who hold to said teaching.

The Trinity is vital for salvation and must be understood correctly to the best you can and we can seek clarification, not only from church fathers such as Tertullian, Ambrose and others, but also teachers today such as Sam Shamoun, James White, Robert Bowman, Edward Dalcour and other defenders of the Trinity like them who have done their best to clarify the issue of the Trinity and what it is to audiences. So while we cannot understand God perfectly, that doesn't mean we cannot understand him at all.

I can understand an individual who has some ignorance of the Trinity and need to be enlightened in their understanding and have an accurate of it. But when you have an individual who says "I have not stated that I am a Trinitarian" or says "I am not comfortable with the term persons, manifestation is something I am more comfortable with", or even after an exposition on the Trinity rejects it, that should raise alarms in your mind.

In those contexts, there is no excuse, Those are full blown heretics that need to be repudiated and refuted. Don't give me these cheap cop outs and excuses that "Oh they don't understand it as well as you" or "We cannot comprehend God". Such statements while that may be true in certain contexts, are just vacuous defenses for false teachers in other contexts.

To end this article I'll finish with a phrase often utilized by James White, Theology Matters.

Answering Judaism.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

What is Repentance?

It should be an easy thing to explain, and it is indeed. It's quite simple.

Repentance is simply a change of mind, however, it isn't just that alone. While this is what repentance entails, a change of life assumes, a change of life.

So what does it involve?

Contrition
This is recognizing that you have done something wrong, this is the first step. You recognize that you have sinned against a holy God, that you have violated his law and you see how wicked you really are in his sight. Accept his offer of atonement and you will be cleansed

Turning away
The next step is to get rid of the things that God doesn't like, namely idols and sin. There are numerous exhortations in the New Testament to live holy lives which I can list here:
"John 8:11"No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you,"Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin.""

"Romans 6:1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."

"1 Corinthians 6:9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

"1 Peter 4:1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit."

"James 1:19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you."

Let me make this clear, We will NOT be automatically perfect, we will make mistakes, the Christian journey is a road, it's an ongoing journey. There is a difference between falling into sin and practicing sin. Though Christians stumble into the former, they, if truly regenerate will not persist in sin. It's one thing to be a nominal and never believe to begin with, but it's quite another to start and never finish.

Amends
If there is anyone you have hurt or offended, you definitely need to put it right if you can. Jesus himself highlights this point in the Sermon on the Mount when you have offended a brother in Christ:

"Matthew 5:23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
"

While Jesus is referring to what you should do if you have offended someone in Christ, there is a principle here that applies when you have been drawn to God and come to him. Is there someone be they unbeliever or believer that you have lied to, maybe you stole from them or have caused damage to them, including mental damage? If so, try to put the past right if you can. If you are not able to patch things up, pray for forgiveness and ensure such an incident doesn't happen. If someone turns down your forgiveness, you have  done what you can and there isn't much you can do, but solace in the fact that God has forgiven you.

The Old Testament has principles of restitution and many examples could be cited as found in Exodus 22 which can be read here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+22

Making amends isn't something that should be disparaged, It is something that should be seen as not only a noble thing, but also biblical. The Proverbs strike this point home:
"Proverbs 14:9 Fools mock at making amends for sin,
    but goodwill is found among the upright.
"

Don't despair:
Sometimes we all feel we have done something we feel is so bad, that we cannot be forgiven, That is simply NOT the case. Don't assume that you are beyond redemption when you have done wrong, no matter how small or large sin is. God is there ready to forgive your transgression, even a big serious one that could cost you friends or family. No sin is unforgivable, except Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Every sin before God aside from that can be completely covered and washed away. You may not be able to forget, but God will, since in the new covenant he says "I'll remember their sins no more", As found in Jeremiah 31:31. Once you have turned to him and repented, there is no need to dwell on the past and you have learned a new lesson and can move forward.

I hope this article has been of help to you and I thank you for taking the time to read.

Answering Judaism.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Donation to Ministries: For what purpose?

I had come across an article where word faith prosperity false teacher Creflo Dollar said the following:

You can read the article here: http://m.christianpost.com/news/televangelist-creflo-dollar-needs-200000-people-to-donate-300-each-so-he-can-buy-65m-ministry-plane--135582/

There is so many problems with this regarding Dollar. First of all, Why does he need a private plane in order to travel overseas as in a private jet? One can always take an ordinary jet. Second of all, The apostle Paul, while he asked for donations, it was to fund the mission of the Gospel, Let us turn to the 2nd letter to the Corinthians:
"5 I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.”[a] 6 I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way. 7 Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so. 10 As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, nobody in the regions of Achaia will stop this boasting of mine. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!"

The money that Paul recieved from other churches may have been used to cover travel expenses and could be read that way, however, it wasn't extravegant travel, Paul didn't travel in first class on a cruise boat or something of that kind in the ancient world. The money he used was strictly to advance the Gospel and take the Gospel to other nations.

There is a case in the book of Acts where money was laid at the apostles feet, let's look:
"Acts 4:32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.


Acts 5:1 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet."

Money was also used to assist others and help the needy, certainly a far cry from using a private jet. That money could be put to better use by helping those less fortunate from you.

Money itself isn't evil, but the love of money is and as we know, the case of the rich ruler who made money his idol, not to mention Jesus himself stated that one cannot serve two masters, It has to be either God or Mammon, NOT both.

Second,  Here's a principle I have. I don't ask for donations for my website, but if I did, they would be to fund getting more material to use for my website, namely theological material, be it a book or a lexicon etc.

If I want to get something that isn't relevant to the ministry like let's say a movie or a video game or even soundtrack, I'll pay with my own money I earn in my job, not rely on gospel donations to pay for them. I have spent some of my own savings to get some theological material, namely John MacArthur's book "Strange Fire", Along with James White's books namely "The Forgotten Trinity" and "The Roman Catholic Controversy" I don't ask for donations, but if I did, as said before it would be to get theological material for advancement of the Gospel, not for my own personal hobbies.

This is a disgrace what Dollar is doing. You don't need a plane of your own, just catch one. It is totally extraneous and unwarranted to ask for a private jet just to preach the Gospel.

Having said that, I hope he doesn't get on a plane ever again to preach, since his heresies like others such as Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer are a cancer. Plus, like the other word faith preachers (many can be listed here), Dollar preaches the prosperity Gospel, which is to be honest an abomination and is not Gospel at all.

For a detailed exposure of the Word of Faith Movement, I recommend going to these links:

Keith Thompson
Word of Faith Teachers: Origins & Errors of Their Teaching (Full Film)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDuo6HCINcc

Joel Osteen: Origins & Errors of His Teaching (a film by Keith Thompson)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_CRWZNUkrk

Michael Horton
Michael Horton on TV Word-of-Faith Cultists
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnP23fQrFwU

These informative videos should be of great assistance to you.

Lest anyone accuse me of attacking Dollar for him having a private jet, Let me ask you this, Doesn't it seem strange he is not putting more effort into actually delivering a true Gospel message, but instead is focusing on prosperity and living in luxury at the expense of actually preaching God as sovereign Lord who reigns over you? Not to mention his false gospel is a cancer even if his motivation was to give it and share it with others?

Now there are biblical ministries out there that DO have honest reasons for asking for a donation and one thing we need to be careful is not to falsely accuse people of evil intent. There are cases I have seen where malicious intent is ascribed to them simply to discredit them rather than a concern for truth. A television broadcast for preaching the Gospel is acceptable and thus donations can be made to keep it on the air, if it's preaching the Biblical Gospel of course. Enabling someone to go on a mission to minister and help spread the Gospel via donations is fine too.

Creflo Dollar is not teaching a biblical Gospel, especially in light of his adherence to the Word Faith movement, thus his ministry shouldn't be supported in the first place and second, do I need to go over that fact about the plane not being needed?

Think on this issue.

Answering Judaism

Edit: Sunday 14th of March 2014: Apparently his link has been removed: http://www.11alive.com/story/news/local/college-park/2015/03/13/televangelist-wants-millions-for-new-jet/70287852/

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Another response to QuinQue Viae

This article I have gone away from and come back to a number of times. So here it finally is.

More arguments to address here:
"I'm back from my hiatus. Greetings to all my readers and travelers in the blogosphere. For those that are not aware, the paltalk user Bobo has made several posts attempting to rebut my last article. I guess he has somewhat dropped the childish ad-hominem attacks (I have never heard it explained how I'm an "apostate" in his view if he only considers Protestants christians). But while I presented scholarly backed, consensus, academic material written by the top Protestant scholars of our era, Bobo has resorted to quote-mining a guy most famous on Paltalk for going around calling people "niggers" (Keith Thompson) and the CARM website. (Note: I've successfully debated the owner of CARM "Matt Slick" on several occasions, our last encounter had him literally running from his room and claiming me and CBD ran from him). I guess when insults fail, it's best to just bring out the entire clown car and let the circus begin."

I refer people to the comments section of this paper regarding Thompson: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/sola-scriptura-response-to-quinque-viae.html

Second, What goes on between Slick, cbd and xgamer is entirely their problem and somehow bringing up a debate is relevant why?

Furthermore, Keith's documentary has the stamp of approval of being a very indepth refutation of Catholicism, which I would highly recommend. (It uses pretty good sources by the way, along with scholarly lexicons on the Greek). The documentary has endorsements not just from me, but also others including Robert Zins of CWRC.

But anyway carrying on.

" >>We are not dealing with the scriptures and the lack of bilocation, I'm perplexed as to why this was even brought up seeing as how we were debating whether or not Mary was omnipresent (as you have claimed, yet cannot find a single Catholic source to cite your bizarre views) as opposed to multipresent. Bilocation would imply being stuck or only able to appear in two places simultaneously. While this is a Catholic belief, this is not my claim on Mary. My claim was that Mary, and perhaps the whole multitude of Saints, could be multipresent, having the ability to appear at the same time to a wide variety of peoples. I'm a bit disturbed that you took no time to actually rebuttal my argument, besides rather ignorantly repeating that one has to be omnipresent & omniscient to hear all the prayers at once. Especially after I diligently explained to you that such a being that is multipresent and multiscient would have that ability as well. You are practicing an exercise in the equivocation fallacy, plain and simple."

I thought you were referring to bilocation, my apologies. I had to look up multipresence after you mentioned it. Thanks for clarification. But at the same time, why did you mention bilocation at all in your previous paper?

If we are dealing with doctrine, then the scriptures are a good tool to use. You cannot find evidence of a multipresent being  in the scriptures themselves.

I never said Catholics claim Mary is omnipresent, I said:
"Yes I know that the Roman Catholics do not claim that Mary herself is not a deity but the only way for Mary to hear the voices of every single Catholic on the planet, is if she is omnipresent, A quality that only the Trinity would be able to possess."

If Mary is not omnipresent, she would NOT be able to hear the prayers being offered to her, That was my point. Furthermore, there isn't any evidence for Mary or the saints possessing multiprescence to begin with.

">> Again, I'm not sure what you're getting at here. You claim, "nothing from scripture has been offered.." as if I was even building a biblical argument. I could easily do so for saintly intercession (and devoted a large chunk of my prior post to the subject actually) but the specific discussion was on your rather embarrassing understanding of elementary Catholic beliefs. First off, you are now in disagreement with your Calvinist friends in asserting that Satan is the God of this world, you have not been able to offer infallible proof that your interpretation trumps their own. Second of all, Satan having a multi-presence is inferred to in his temptation of Christ. Note that all the kingdoms of the world have been shown. Not some, not 5, not two. All the kingdoms. From a single mountain. Obviously we are dealing with something above the three-dimensional plane of existence here. When St. Peter warns that Satan is like a lion, prowling about, does this mean he literally has to tempt believer to believer? Only one believer at a time, guys! That seems like something from pagan mythology to me, not something that Protestants have traditionally believed in."

You miss my point:
"Satan and his demons are a threat to all Christians, Satan is not the only threat. Satan cannot be in more than one place at one and even granting multipresence as an argument for Mary and the saints being prayed to, nothing from scripture has been offered and Satan being the God of this world in 2 Corinthians 4:4 refers to Satan simply having dominion and power over the whole world, that's it, it isn't suggesting he has multipresence."

Regarding the context of Peter's letter, I am not saying he is saying that Satan is prowling like a lion in the sense of having to tempt believer to believer. Though Peter doesn't mention the demons, they carry out Satan's will. That's my point. And if you want to go into the subject of "pagan" myth, bare in mind your own church has had that for years, but I digress.

Second, Your statement about me being in disagreement with my Calvinist friends? So? If you are referring to 2 Corinthians 4:4, it's disputed as to whether it is about Satan or not. To my knowledge it's mostly Sam Shamoun, James White and Don Hartley who dispute that 2 Corinthians 4:4 is about Satan.

Third, What's wrong with holding you or me or anyone to a biblical standard? I tell my audience to do the same.

Fourth, Let's assume Satan has multipresence for the sake of argument, What does this even had to do with Mary being multipresent when she herself doesn't possess that quality? Keep in mind Satan is an angel and Mary is a human. Even if Satan possessed multipresence for arguments sake, Mary would not and cannot have that quality due to being human and a divine entity.

">> I hate to be rude but I do have to ask, with all due respect, do you have some sort of severe reading comprehension issue? Where on earth did I say I was presenting an argument based upon the Scriptures? Try to calm down, take a deep breath, and re-read the conversation. Your initial assertion was that Mary & the Saints in general were omnipresent & omniscient. I asked you to find this belief in Catholic dogma, you failed to do so, then you engaged in equivocation fallacies and declared omnipresence to be the same as multipresence. My response to that was well-written and I explained the differences between the two things, your next response is, "Where does it say that in the Bible?" Huh? We're not dealing with the biblical evidence at this very moment, rather we're dealing with your misunderstanding of extremely basic Catholic concepts. To be frankly honest I'm a bit embarrassed for you, it's rule number 1 in apologetics to at least know your opponents theological beliefs prior to engaging in a conversation. It's extremely disrespectful & rude to the other side. Anyways, I'll present a Scriptural argument in my next paragraph since you have apparently conceded that omnipresence wasn't the same as multipresence.
"
No I didn't say that Mary and the saints in general were omnipresent and omniscient, I said the only way for them to hear prayers is if they are omnipresent and omniscient. I didn't claim that belief was in Catholic dogma that they possessed these attributes. My point is since they don't possess these attributes, they cannot answer prayers, hence the claim you can pray to the saints or ask for their intercession is false.

">>[Using your random criteria] Can you show me in the bible where it says the Saints are "dead" and "cannot communicate with us?" I'm waiting for that explicit Bible verse. Anyways, onto your argument. I guess you have never read the letter to Hebrews or the Book of Revelation. Nor have you examined the myriad of Protestant commentaries on them, all backing up the long-held Catholic views. Hebrews 12:1 presents the Saints (martyred Saints of course) as a cloud of witnesses, playing into the Greco-Roman background of the culture"
No I didn't say show me a explicit verse, I said can you show me biblically speaking can you show me, meaning either implicitly or explicitly.

Let me break it down so you'll get it.
Those who are in Christ are alive in Christ, but dead to this world:
"1 Thessalonians 4:13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first."

He isn't saying they are dead as in ceased to exist, but is obviously referring to those in Christ who died and are in his presence rising from the dead first.

It is never suggested that the dead implicitly or explicitly,  be they in Christ or not, that the dead can hear our prayers and try the "give me the explicit verse " since I have already said that wasn't my point.

James White in his debate with Roman apologist Patrick Madrid on the veneration of saints and images stated the following:
"Hebrews 12 is not saying that the saints in heaven are sitting there like they are sitting in a stadium watching what is going on here, because Hebrews 12:1 comes at the end of Hebrews 11 which talks about the heroes of the faith and the testimony that they bore is the testimony of their life, not that they are observing what is going on here:
"12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,"

That doesn't mean that they are here on earth observing what we are doing, they have given their testimony and that is why the writer to the Hebrews can say in verse 2 "fixing our eyes on Jesus", not anyone else, including a saint, Mary or anything else." James White, Great Debate VII - Veneration of Saints and Images - Madrid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGwXQqEQCU4

"Furthermore, in Revelation we have an even more explicit reference. With the Saints of Revelation 6:9-10 praying to God, fully aware of the events on Earth, wondering when they will be avenged. The question is extremely specific, when will God avenge their blood on the people of the Earth. It's concerning the ones who martyred them. How were they aware that they were not avenged yet? How were they aware who needed punishment and if they or if they didn't repent yet? Your view simply does not hold up to the vast amount of evidence that scholars have accumulated over the years, or how the early Christians viewed these matters."

And this proves the saints in heaven can be communicated with, how? Abut regardless I need to look into that point.

">> So you weren't aware of Saintly Intercession because you weren't aware of Saintly Intercession? Huh? Anyways, I'm not an apologist to Jews. I hold a loose interest in Judaism and have examined Rabbinical literature, along with some mystical components (i.e. The Kabballah and early apocryphal Jewish literature). And yet even with my knowledge I knew all about their practice of Saintly Intercession and how there's Jewish communities that have practiced it since antiquity to the modern era. The fact that you specialize in Jews yet lack a basic understanding of Rabbinic Judaism is disturbing. I have seen you critique Catholicism yet not being able to understand our basic viewpoints (multiscience opposed to omniscience) and it seems like you're doing the same with Judaism. Not a great way to start off a topic or to debate subjects. I suggest lots of reading and praying rather than just debating topics you clearly know little about."

You misunderstand my point:
"The issue of saintly intercession was something I wasn't aware of until I looked into it and here's why,
1. No idea it existed until I looked.
2. It wasn't relevant to the responses to Rabbinic Judaism that I was doing.

Why bother raising a point to someone when it is NOT relevant to the topic itself? If you look at my papers on Judaism, not once does the issue of Saintly intercession ever arise, it wasn't important at the time and still isn't important to speak about with respect to proving Jesus to be the Messiah and YHWH God."

When I said I wasn't aware, I was saying I wasn't aware of it in Judaism. That's what I meant.

Again, In ALL the articles I have written on Judaism, Saintly Intercession never comes up because it is NOT relevant to the rebuttals. Do not suggest that I some how lack understanding of Judaism based off a point that I didn't deem relevant to the points I was making to my audience. I have looked into certain issues in the past to familiarize myself with certain topics within Judaism, even questioning as to whether someone was quoting a source accurately.

But aside from that point, the studying and praying isn't something we differ on.

">> So one cannot communicate to the dead. Except for St. Paul's explicit prayer for Onesiphorus after his death. Also, Moses & Elijah talking and being seen in the Transfiguration. Oh, and also Jeremiah 15:1 where where Moses & Samuel stand before Yahweh yet are not able to plead on Israel's behalf. Or how about 2 Macc 12:43-45 where there are explicit prayers for the sins of the fallen? The Body of Christ is One, and that is a dogmatic belief. Asking intercession on behalf of those who are now alive in the LORD is not a controversial view, and you have failed to show how it equates to necromancy, with the latter being a general conjuring of spirits (both good & evil) to have them do your will. I don't see how that is analogous to Saintly Intercession at all. Neither do Rabbinic Jews who have been alive much longer than Protestantism, and have always kept a practice of intercession. "

Jeremiah 15 says this: 
"15 Then the Lord said to me: “Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people. Send them away from my presence! Let them go! 2 And if they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says:

“‘Those destined for death, to death;
those for the sword, to the sword;
those for starvation, to starvation;
those for captivity, to captivity.’
3 “I will send four kinds of destroyers against them,” declares the Lord, “the sword to kill and the dogs to drag away and the birds and the wild animals to devour and destroy. 4 I will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth because of what Manasseh son of Hezekiah king of Judah did in Jerusalem."

Yahweh is saying that even if Moses and Samuel were alive and begged him to spare Israel, he would not spare them. Moses and Samuel interceding on behalf of Israel even in death is not even being suggested here. The transfiguration was a one time event and is not a counter example to my point about the saints or necromancy.

What is a saint when they have left this world? DEAD, but alive in Christ, ergo, Trying to communicate with them when they are DEAD, violates Isaiah 8:19. It isn't that hard. 

">> I've long realized you failed to understand the Catholic principle of Material Sufficiency. It's the belief that every Sacred Tradition is found in the Sacred Scriptures, either in an inferred sense or an explicit sense. You use to word "anachronistic" to describe Catholic doctrine, I find that amusing, as you probably don't know what the word means. It's long been asserted by mainstream Protestant scholars that the early Christians believed in Sacred Relics, Sacred Tradition (and didn't see Scripture as mutually exclusive), held the LXX as canonical with the earliest Christians seeing the Deutero-canonicals as being inspired writ, Also, I find it disturbingly hypocritical of you too. Your type of apologists whine and moan about dogmas such as the Assumption of Mary not being prominent in early belief systems, Catholics tend to concede that point and don't see it as problematic. Then when we confront you with the fact that there was absolutely no consensus on the biblical canon, and 2 Peter wasn't even viewed as Scripture among the father for the first several centuries, you aren't able to reply. Which is it? If your criteria for Sacred Tradition is overwhelming Patristic consensus, then why don't you accept the Eucharist? or the Titus 3:5 baptismal regeneration interpretation? Or Apostolic Succession which was widespread in the Patristic era? You cherry-pick randomly and go, "Ah-ha! That catholic tradition seems to be minimal in this period." At the same time you completely ignore the fact that your traditions were non-existent or minor. But I digress, back onto your post:"

When a Muslim tries to read their Islamic doctrines into the Bible to suggest that Jesus was a Muslim or the Prophets believed in Islam, That is anachronism and the Romanist is guilty of the same thing when they try to shoehorn their beliefs into the Bible.

It isn't the term Eucharist I call into question, it is the Roman Catholic ABUSE of the term to suggest transubstantiation that I call into question. Since you believe in material Sufficiency, show me where the early christians themselves taught the Romanist doctrines either implicitly or explicitly in the scriptures. Show me these implicit traditions.

Interestingly, James White has something to say regarding Augustine's view of the Lord's Supper: 

"William and Augustine" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkUlRR1pIEo

"As you can see, the consensus is that the early Fathers believed in Sacred Tradition on an equal footing with Sacred Scripture. The consensus belief is that Pharisaic Jews and most Jews in general had similar understanding. The Eucharist was not controversial until the 9th century, and the LXX & Deutero-canonical canonicity is so overwhelmingly clear that even the greatest Protestant scholars of all time speak confidently of them being sacred writ. You're the one that is completely anachronistic and trying to cram a 16th century German low-context understanding on a first century High-Context Levantine society."

Not quite, the early Fathers said (Not in these exact words) that tradition is profitable but you do not derive doctrine from it, but derive it from scripture. *

">>I'm not even sure what you're getting at here, have you completely abandoned the argument? No one on this planet has argued that Jesus agreed with every Pharisaic tradition. If you bothered to understand what the Pharisees were you would see how incoherent of a proposal that is, I'll explain for you. The Pharisaic system, in contrast to the Rabbinics, were united by their sectarian diversions. Do you belong to Shammai? Hillel? Who? Their entire identity was not only based upon their Pharisaic sect, but which group specifically they belonged to and whose teachings they adhered to. Jesus clearly rejects the group's tradition and dismisses it. But it's quite impractical for one to say that Jesus is endorsing some "Sola Scriptura" view here. Not only is this anachronistic (provide evidence of a consensus on a canon in the first century, there is none) but Jesus himself unmistakably affirms extrabiblical Pharisaic tradition concerning their chair and inheritance from Moses's Seat. Something the Fathers agreed upon unanimously, by the way."

Jesus is holding the Pharisees, regardless of their diverse thinking, to a HIGHER standard, thus there is "some Sola Scriptura" view here. He is holding the Pharisees to account to the Old Testament. My argument wasn't about the canon of scripture. Matthew 23 has nothing to do with Jesus endorsing some oral Pharisaical tradition
"Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries[a] wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."

The thrust of Jesus' point to the disciples is they are to submit to their leaders, listen to their teaching and carry it out, but not emulate how they live, because they are hypocrites and do not practice what they preach. His words in the context of the passage pertain to what was going on at that time. It is also a warning to us Christians against hypocrisy in general. Any tradition that Jesus himself accepted would be tradition that did not violate the Old Testament, not every single tradition. If he accepted every tradition, then his point in Matthew 15 to the Pharisees would of been vacuous and blank.

James White observes the following with respect to Matthew 23:
"The final passage we will examine presents the idea of "Moses' seat" Some modern Roman Catholics present this passage as proof that a source of extrabiblical authority receieved the blessing of the Lord Jesus. It has been alleged that the concept of "Moses' Seat" is in fact a refutation of sola scriptura, for not only is this concept not found in the Old Testament, but Jesus seemingly gives his approbation to this extrascriptual tradition. But is this sound exegsis? Is this passage being properly understood?

First, we note that the passage has spawned a number of differing understanding among scholars. But a few items immediately remove the Roman Catholics interpretation and application from consideration. The "Moses' seat" refers to a seat in front of the synagogue on which the teacher of the Law sat while reading from the Scriptures. Synagogue worship of course, came into being long after Moses' day, so those who attempt to make this an oral tradition going back to Moses are engaging in wishful thinking. Beyond this, we are only speaking of a position that existed at this time in the synagogue worship of the day. Are we truly to believe that this position, Are we truly to believe that this position was divine in origin and therefore binding upon all who would worship God? It certainly doesn't seem that the New Testament church understood it that way." James White, The Roman Catholic Controversy, Page 100
Feel free to read The Roman Catholic Controversy for more information.


Feel free to also check out the Messianic Drew's points on the subject of Moses seat here but I will quote specifically point 3 here:
"3. If God did not give an infallible teaching magisterium to the Sanhedrin, then a fortiori he did not give it to the Roman Catholic Church either, because the Bible gives far more support for the authority of the Sanhedrin than it gives for the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.

Arguments that prove too much do not prove anything at all.

Virtually all of the Roman Catholic arguments for its tradition can be applied with equal force to support the tradition of the Rabbis, or at least of the Sanhedrin. Just take the argument such as "how do you know which books belong in the Bible" and apply it 50 years before the birth of Jesus. Or take the question: "Didn't the Apostles have other teachings that weren't recorded in their writings?" and apply it to Moses or to the Old Testament prophets. What's good for the Papal goose is good for the Rabbinic Gander.

The Rabbis draw Biblical support for their authority from Deuteronomy 17:8-11
“If any case arises requiring decision between one kind of homicide and another, one kind of legal right and another, or one kind of assault and another, any case within your towns that is too difficult for you, then you shall arise and go up to the place that the Lord your God will choose.  And you shall come to the Levitical priests and to the judge who is in office in those days, and you shall consult them, and they shall declare to you the decision.  Then you shall do according to what they declare to you from that place that the Lord will choose. And you shall be careful to do according to all that they direct you.  According to the instructions that they give you, and according to the decision which they pronounce to you, you shall do. You shall not turn aside from the verdict that they declare to you, either to the right hand or to the left."

So in this case, God personally set up a court system whereby judges would pronounce rulings that were to be obeyed as if they were from God. What New Testament prooftext is this explicit in setting up Papal supremacy?

Further arguments for the existence of an Oral Law and subsequent authoritative teaching magisterium are found all over the web. The convert Omedyashar has a video on 40 verifications of the Oral Torah. Tovia Singer has twolectures on the Oral Law. Dovid Gottlieb has a bunch of lectures on the subject as well. I would recommend any Roman Catholic to go check it out.

They will give you arguments such as: without this magisterium and its Oral Law, how did Ruth manage to join Israel? Deuteronomy 23:3 states: "“No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the LORD. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the LORD forever." Now we have to be very clear. I am not suggesting that these arguments are compelling evidence for Rabbinic or Sanhedrin authority. I am merely stating that they are better evidence than any Roman Catholic apologist has been able to deliver for the authority of Rome.

No Biblical argument made by Roman Catholic apologists comes close to the strength of these arguments for Rabbinic authority. Compare Matthew 16 to Deuteronomy 17, for example. If these passages do not give a continuing, divinely guarded, authoritative teaching magisterium, then no passage does." The Messianic Drew, A Messianic Look at Roman Catholic Claims http://messianicdrew.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/messianic-look-at-roman-catholic-claims.html

Here is a video by Immanuel Schochet explaining the Oral Law: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWguJcAfJec

Moving on.

">> Acceptance an Oral Tradition that is extrabibilical and on an equal authority to Scripturewould prove Sola Scriptura false. This makes me realize even more that you literally have no idea what Sola Scriptura is as a doctrine, or perhaps you're inventing your own Prima Scriptura criteria. Sola Scriptura is the belief that scripture alone is the ultimate authority. Such a belief is anachronistic, ahistorical, illogical, & fundamentally unbiblical, unJewish, & unChristian. The Catholic belief is that the Word of God is our final authority, and we answer to that alone. Yet how does the Bible define the Word of God? The vast majority of times the Word is in reference to an Oral Tradition (50+ occasions actually) but it is also Magisterial & Sacred Scripture. That is the difference between the two beliefs, I've written articles on this subject and have debated the top apologists around on the topic. You obviously are ignorant of your own doctrine and perhaps are having doubts."

It's the ultimate authority, yes, that is what Sola Scriptura teaches, that is what I have been trying to tell you. It is the sole INFALLIBLE, ULTIMATE rule of faith. A tradition CAN be used but it is subject to scripture. No invention or ignorance on my part. You even said "Sola Scriptura is the belief that scripture alone is the ultimate authority". Once again, No denial of tradition, but subordination of tradition. Saying that scripture alone is the ultimate authority doesn't deny the usage of using a tradition period. It's an acknowledgment that tradition itself is NOT the ultimate authority, but is an authority nevertheless.

And what tradition is being referred to in the context of the passages? That of the apostles, certainly not that of a Roman magestrium. 

">> I'm not even sure what you're trying to say here. You show an amazing amount of ignorance concerning Pharisees (you seem to be implying they're some homogeneous group, I don't know where you pulled that from) and think my position is that Jesus accepted false traditions. It's quite honestly too stupid to even reply to, I hate to be rude but I suggest you develop some better reading comprehension skills and perhaps learn a little about antiquity's Jews."

I never said you said Jesus accepted false traditions, You miss my point. I was saying Jesus accepted SOME traditions but not all, plus your point about the Pharisees being homogeneous is irrelevant, I never made the assertion they were uniform on everything, The whole Shimmai/Hillel debate is one of the proofs that Pharisaism wasn't uniform on everything.

">> I am absolutely stunned. Perhaps you should define your definition of Sola Scriptura and we can perform some basic logical exercises. I guess in your view no one understands Sola Scriptura, even Daniel Wallace! Hell, let's throw JND Kelly, Philip Schaff, NT Wright, Hurtado, Dunn, and a few others in that category as well! After all, I'm mostly just repeating (and outright quoting) their arguments and opinions. But yep, the greatest Protestant scholars of this era don't understand sola scriptura, only you do. And you prove this by making some vague, unappealing, generic "Oh well some traditions are OK but only when checked by scripture" approach. Can I kindly explain to you why that doesn't work for about the 50th time now since I've known you?"

I had defined Sola Scriptura already to you, I will not overlook your condescending tone in claiming only I understand Sola Scriptura. Learn some humility for goodness sake.

Also, Why don't I actually give you the words of the Reformers themselves on what Sola Scriptura is and is not, or even Protestant creeds? Here they are (Underlined emphasis mine):
"Article 7: The Sufficiency of Scripture
We believe that this Holy Scripture contains the will of God completely and that everything one must believe to be saved is sufficiently taught in it. 

For since the entire manner of service which God requires of us is described in it at great length, no one— even an apostle or an angel from heaven, as Paul says—2 ought to teach other than what the Holy Scriptures have already taught us.

For since it is forbidden to add to the Word of God, or take anything away from it,3 it is plainly demonstrated that the teaching is perfect and complete in all respects. Therefore we must not consider human writings— no matter how holy their authors may have been— equal to the divine writings;
nor may we put custom, nor the majority, nor age, nor the passage of times or persons, nor councils, decrees, or official decisions above the truth of God, for truth is above everything else.

For all human beings are liars by nature and more vain than vanity itself. Therefore we reject with all our hearts everything that does not agree with this infallible rule, as we are taught to do by the apostles when they say, “Test the spirits to see if they are from God,”4 and also, “Do not receive into the house or welcome anyone who comes to you and does not bring this teaching.”5" http://www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs/confessions/belgic-confession The Belgic Confession, of Faith 1561.

The Westminster Confession of Faith 1647 also states the following regarding the scripture (Underlined emphasis mine):
"X. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined; and in whose sentence we are to rest; can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.

Matt. xxii..29, 31; Eph. ii. 20 with Acts xxviii. 25." http://www.freepres.org/westminster.htm

Here are two from the reformers I shall provide:

"All the other councils too must be viewed in this way, be they large or small . . . they do not introduce anything new either in matters of faith or of good works; but they defend, as the highest judges and greatest bishops under Christ, the ancient faith and the ancient good works in conformity with Scripture" Martin Luther, On the Councils and the Church.

"Scripture clearly discerns the good tradition from the evil, the holy from the profane, the profitable from the useless and the necessary from the superfluous"

This isn't me claiming "only I know what Sola Scriptura is", I have creeds to back up my point. The fact these creeds exist show that Protestantism itself doesn't deny the usage of the traditions.

See also the talk on Sola Scriptura by William Webster: http://www.christiantruth.com/audio/2.mp3

"First off, we agree that under the belief of Sola Scriptura that the 66 books of the Canon are the final authority, and they alone are the final authority right? Yet there can, theoretically, be other authorities of lesser importance. Would that be a fair assumption? Assuming you agree to that, the problem becomes tenfold for you. For how does one get an infallible canon of scripture when the means of the compiling the Canon were external through & through? (See: Wallace) One would have to by necessity have a Tradition that was on equal authority to Scripture otherwise you create an infinite loop, infinite regression. Like I tried explaining with the Kosher Slaughter conundrum, let's expand that to the canon:

Position A: My sole final authority is the Bible
> The Bible is composed of 97 books, with Enoch being canonical

Position B: My sole authority is the Bible
> The Bible is composed of 56 books, excluding Pseudo-Pauline literature and some other works that I deem apocryphal.


Two positions, how is it resolved? The final authority and infallible criteria for these two men is the Bible. But they have to have it in their scripture to define what exactly makes up the bible. The problem with Protestantism is that deep down you guys have to appeal to some extrabiblical authority otherwise you cannot acquire an infallible biblical canon. The process of infinite regression happens. Who defines the Bible? Again, you make a vague appeal to "tradition" but even in that argument there's an admission of guilt. How do you know that your tradition and your knowledge isinfallible? Would you be willing to concede that your biblical canon is fallible? If not, then you're by definition putting a mere tradition on an equal level with the Scripture itself, thus negating your entire argument."

This is only a problem for SOLO Scripturists, NOT a sola scripturist. There isn't a problem in allowing a council to put together a canon. Protestants can safely adhere to sola scriptura and accept the defining of a canon.

As Keith Thompson makes clear in his article response to catholicapologeticsinfo:
"I combined questions 5 and 6. Rome claims her tradition is the basis for the establishment of the biblical canon by the church in the fourth century when the Council of Hippo and Third Council of Carthage spoke on the list of books(13). Rome’s two different views of tradition are (1) the idea the apostles handed on a body of oral teaching containing doctrine not found in Scripture; and (2) the idea that the tradition of the church clarifies the true meaning of Scripture.

However, the Council of Hippo and Third Council of Carthage which dealt with the canon never stated they knew what the canon was because they had a body of oral tradition from the apostles stating which biblical books were canon. Nor can we say they had a historic interpretation of the content of scripture and therefore came to the realization of the canon by that means. That makes no sense. Thus, Rome’s definitions of tradition can not be appealed to as the basis for the determinations of these councils concerning the canon. The councils instead used various criteria in order to discern the canon. They did not claim they had an oral teaching from the apostles stating which books were true. Their criteria for canonicity they used included: apostolicity (if the writer was an apostle or connected to an apostle), orthodoxy (if the content of the book was orthodox theologically), antiquity (if the book was early enough) and usage (if the book was used widely in the church prior to the council)”(14).

These are the questions Protestants are then faced with: if Scripture is the only authority then how do you know which books are inspired seeing as Scripture itself does not tell you? Or: if you hold to sola scriptura why do you hold to a New Testament canon which the authority of the church recognized? Is that not violating sola scriprtura?

There are a few problems with these kinds of arguments.
(1) They only apply to solo scriptura, that is the belief the Bible is the only authority, and not to sola scriptura which says Scripture is the ultimate authority. In sola scriptura there is nothing wrong with holding to outside authorities like the church as long as what it declares does not contradict and is consistent with Scripture at least implicitly(15). Thus, there is no problem with a sola scripturist affirming the church’s affirmation of the canon since the criteria the church used to recognize the canon in the fourth century can be validated biblically at least implicitly. For instance, the church used the criteria of apostolicity to decide if a New Testament book was Scripture (i.e., if a book was written by an apostle or companion of an apostle). Any good conservative New Testament introduction will give the internal biblical arguments that a book was written by an apostle or someone close to one (e. g. Donald Guthrie’s or D. A. Carson’s and Douglas J. Moo’s introductions etc). I have an essay doing the same here. In regards to the criteria of antiquity the church used, we can look at the book’s internal content to discover if it was written in the first century or if it is a later non-apostolic work. New Testament scholars do this regularly. Any good introduction will provide the internal arguments that a book was written in the first century. In regards to the criteria of orthodoxy the church used, we can see which books are internally consistent with each other and which are not. So there is nothing inconsistent about a sola scripturistaffirming the authority of the church in recognizing the canon, since, when we go to the books it recognized, we see that its determination is consistent with Scripture at least implicitly.

(2) When making this argument and erroneously claiming Protestant’s violate sola scriptura while adopting the New Testament canon the Roman Catholic Church recognized, Catholic apologists assume those at those fourth century councils who recognized the canon were Roman Catholics or were part of a Roman Catholic Church. However, no one at those councils believed what modern Rome claims one has to believe in order to be a Roman Catholic (e.g. private and frequent confession to a priest over both venial and mortal sins, papal infallibility, the Assumption and Immaculate Conception of Mary, the mass as the propitious re-sacrifice of Christ, the idea the pope alone has the authority to interpret Scripture etc). Hence, it is erroneous for modern Catholics to claim those at those councils which dealt with the canon were part of their modern religious system. The Eastern Orthodox Church also claims their church recognized the canon. So before Rome gets hasty they must deal with them." Keith Thompson, Responding to catholicapologetics.info’s “Some Tough Questions for Protestants”.

That's it for now

Answering Judaism.

* William Webster discusses whether or not the church fathers held to Sola Scriptura and the issue of the Canon in these talks here:
http://christiantruth.com/audio/3.mp3
http://www.christiantruth.com/audio/4.mp3

See also his paper on Sola Scriptura: http://www.christiantruth.com/articles/solascriptura.html

Keith Thompson also discusses this in his paper:
http://www.reformedapologeticsministries.com/2014/03/the-church-fathers-taught-sola-scriptura.html

Here are the church Father's letters quoted in the article above:
Ambrose of Milan, Exposition of the Christian faith: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/34041.htm

Hippolytus of Rome, Against Noetus: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0521.htm

Cyril of Jerusalem, Procatechesis (Prologue): http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/310100.htm

Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies Book III: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/irenaeus-book3.html

Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies Book II: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/irenaeus-book2.html

Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies Book I: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/irenaeus-book1.html

PS. Schaff and Kelly's quotations if the Lord Wills may be commented on another time.