1,063 comments posted · 13 followers · following 0
Interesting how, in a rush to wound, @nal s3x is the first insult slung from the quiver of that vile activity's greatest champions.
Doug, I did not say that you are not a Christian. (Anyone baptized with water in the trinitarian formula and the proper intention is a Christian, regardless how mistaken his understanding may be.) But you've highlighted the untenability of sola scriptura in admitting that the doctrine itself is not in the Bible. If the Bible is the sole authority, then it must expressly say it is. Otherwise, you necessarily look to some extrabiblical authority as a basis to state that the Bible is the only authority. (BTW, that authority is Luther - it is he who first came up with the idea of sola scriptura, and that's an irrefutable historical fact. He did so after first denying the authority of the Pope while still embracing the authority of Church councils. When he got cornered in a debate with Johann Eck over a pronouncement of the Council of Constance that conflicted with one of his premises , he found himself forced to reject the authority of councils as well and adopted the idea of sola scriptura, a hitherto new innovation.) But not only does the Bible not say it is the sole authority, it expressly states otherwise. You've not addressed any of the points I've made in that regard - all you've done is change the subject to whether the Bible should be interpreted to support the notion that Jesus had blood brothers or whether the reference to Jesus' brothers is a reference to cousins or other close relatives. That only tangentially bears on sola scriptura in some respects, and in other respects, not at all.
Those enumerated in the Bible as Jesus' brothers are James, Joseph, Simon and Jude. (Matt. 13.) In John 19:25 it states, "Standing by the foot of the cross of Jesus were his mother and
his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary of Magdala." (Do you think it likely that Jesus' mother would have a blood sister with exactly the same name, or is it more likely that there relationship was familial but more distant? But that's not my main point. Read on.) Now look at Matthew 27:56: "Among them [at the cross] were Mary Magdalene and Mary the
mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee." Notice that at
least two of the men mentioned in Matthew 13 were definitely NOT Jesus' brothers as we understand the word brothers. They were the children of "the other Mary," i.e., Mary, wife of Cleophas. They were thus Jesus' cousins, and probably not first cousins. They were the sons of his mother's female relative, who was probably not her "sister" as you and I would normally use the term. While the parentage of Simon and Jude is not similarly discussed in the Bible, the comparison of Matthew's and John's accounts of the crucifixion make it plain that a reference to them as "brothers" of Jesus does not necessarily make them his siblings.
How do we resolve whether or not they were siblings or more distant relations? Tradition. From the earliest days of the Church, Mary's perpetual virginity was accepted doctrine. FWIW, Catholics are free to accept that Joseph, Jesus' foster father, had his own children before he married Mary, and that various "brethren of the Lord" were actually Jesus' step-brothers. This is what the non-canonical Protoevangelium of James proposes. While not canonical, it does point up that Mary's perpetual virginity was commonly regarded as true from the earliest days of the Church. Ironically (or not), Luther and Zwingli, both seminal protestant reformers and all champions of sola scriptura, subscribed to the notion of Mary's perpetual virginity and found it fully compatible with scripture. Calvin was less explicit about his belief, but rejected arguments based on references to "Jesus' brethren" as a basis for declaring Mary not to be a perpetual virgin. Two hundred years later, John Wesley still accepted the doctrine of Mary's perpetual virginity. The attacks on her perpetual virginity are of recent vintage.
Enjoy your weekend.
2. "Faith without works is dead" is in the Bible. See James Ch. 2.
3. As for "Sola Scriptura has caused much enmity between Catholics and Christians throughout the ages:" (a) Catholics are Christians and (b) the idea of sola scriptura dates back only to around 1520. Such an argument only gained traction because it didn't dawn on those who accepted it that Luther's opinion that all one needs is to read the Bible, could not have even worked prior to the invention of the printing press and the wider literacy and affordability that came with it. How did Christendom get it so wrong up to that time?
4. As for "Works without faith is doubly dead," remove the needless "doubly" and you won't find disagreement from me. It is key to note that both works and faith, without love, are unavailing: "[I]f I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing." 1 Cor. 13, 2-3. Thus the idea that faith alone is sufficient for salvation is refuted by the Bible. So is the idea that works alone are sufficient, but no Catholic ever claims that they are. Protestants claim that Catholics claim that. They are either misinformed or deliberately mendacious.