Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

St. John of Kronstadt on Scripture


  • Please log in to reply
58 replies to this topic

#41 Aaron R.

Aaron R.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 192 posts

Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:24 AM

Is any catechism inerrant?

#42 Aaron R.

Aaron R.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 192 posts

Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:26 AM

The Church fathers would never say Scriptures contain errors. Can you quote just one father who did?

#43 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,028 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:26 AM

If I say, 'the Lord Jesus Christ was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became man' does that make me infallible?



#44 Aaron R.

Aaron R.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 192 posts

Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:27 AM

Just one.

#45 Aaron R.

Aaron R.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 192 posts

Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:28 AM

Saying Holy Scriptures contains errors is a slippery slope like father John Whitefield says.

#46 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,028 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:30 AM

The Church fathers would never say Scriptures contain errors. Can you quote just one father who did?

 

The Church says the scriptures contain no formal errors or inner contradictions.



#47 Aaron R.

Aaron R.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 192 posts

Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:31 AM

Once again , this is paramount .The Church fathers would never say Scriptures contain errors. Can you quote just one father who did?

Just one

#48 Aaron R.

Aaron R.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 192 posts

Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:33 AM


The Church says the scriptures contain no formal errors or inner contradictions.


Then what are we debating about brother?

Edited by Aaron R., 20 March 2014 - 01:33 AM.


#49 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,028 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:37 AM

Saying Holy Scriptures contains errors is a slippery slope like father John Whitefield says.

 

Let me repeat what Fr John actually says: 'We believe that Scripture does not contain any error in anything that it intends to convey.' He does not insist that scripture is absolutely without any kind of inaccuracy at all; if you seek to do that, you commit the error fr John speaks of when he says

 

'The Gospels do not have the intention of providing a strict chronology, they have the intention of telling us who Jesus Christ was, what he did, and what all that means. If they fulfill that intention accurately, to hold up standards that they did not intend to fulfill is wherein lies the error.'

 

Your error is that which Fr John speaks of - you seek to hold scripture to do what it does not intend to do. In denying the human element in the production of scripture you tend to the heresy Fr Raphael mentioned.



#50 Aaron R.

Aaron R.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 192 posts

Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:46 AM

Did you read the rest of what he wrote???

" There are two basic problems with making the concession that the Scriptures contain actual errors:

1. The Fathers never make such a concession. You will never find a single Father of the Church that concedes that there are real errors or real contradictions in the Scriptures. When they encounter things that on surface appear to be contradictions on some level, they always explain how they are not contradictory rather than concede that they are real contradictions.

2. Once you go down that road, it does not stop with inconsequential errors. If you have followed some of the recent discussions about homosexuality that have been going on, particularly within the OCA, you will see that people are suggesting that St. Paul was a misogynist 1st century Jew, who had a limited understanding of sex in general and homosexuality in particular, and so perhaps some of his statements on the subject just got it wrong, or perhaps we was only talking about homosexuality in negative terms because he associated it with paganism. Had he only understood what a loving committed homosexual relationship could be, perhaps he might have come down differently on the question. This is the fruit of those who teach that the Scriptures are full of contradictions.

This is also a fundamental denial of the real inspiration of the Scriptures. If the Scriptures really are entirely inspired by God, then by that very fact, no error could be contained in it, because God does not err. If you allow that the Scriptures contain real err, then you are allowing that the Scriptures are not completely inspired, and then the question is, what parts are inspired, and what parts are not.

Now, we have to ask: In what sense the Scriptures are inerrant? The Scriptures contain quotes from the Devil, which are not truth, but truly quoted. There are differences between passages of Scripture that are not contradictory, but provide different details.

We believe that Scripture does not contain any error in anything that it intends to convey. I think St. Augustine put it about as well as anyone has:

"For I confess to your Charity that I have learned to yield this respect and honour only to the canonical books of Scripture: of these alone do I most firmly believe that the authors were completely free from error. And if in these writings I am perplexed by anything which appears to me opposed to truth, I do not hesitate to suppose that either the manuscript is faulty, or the translator has not caught the meaning of what was said, or I myself have failed to understand it" (Letter to St. Jerome, 1:3).

St. Gregory Nazianzus also wrote;

“We however, who extend the accuracy of the Spirit to the merest stroke and tittle, will never admit the impious assertion that even the smallest matters were dealt with haphazard by those who have recorded them, and have thus been borne in mind down to the present day: on the contrary, their purpose has been to supply memorials and instructions for our consideration under similar circumstances, should such befall us, and that the examples of the past might serve as rules and models, for our warning and imitation” (NPNF2-07 St.Gregory Nazianzen, Oration II: In Defence of His Flight to Pontus, and His Return, After His Ordination to the Priesthood, with an Exposition of the Character of the Priestly Office , ch. 105, NPNF2, p.225).

St. John Chrysostom wrote: "Don't worry, dearly beloved, don't think sacred Scripture ever contradicts itself, learn instead the truth of what it says, hold fast what it teaches in truth, and close your ears to those who speak against it" (Homily 4:8 on Genesis, The Fathers of the Church: St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Genesis 1-17, trans. Robert C. Hill (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1986), p. 56).

St. Clement of Rome wrote: "Ye have searched the scriptures, which are true, which were given through the Holy Ghost; and ye know that nothing unrighteous or counterfeit is written in them" (1 Clement 45:2-3).

The Fathers would never attribute error to Scripture, but unlike the Fundamentalist Protestants, they did not feel the need to be able to explain everything in Scripture. There are questions one can ask about Scripture, particularly with reference to apparent contradictions, and affirm that the Scriptures are without error, but not claim to know with any certainty how to explain a given problem.

That the Scriptures are the inspired word of God is a faith affirmation for which we can give reasons and evidence, but which is incapable of empirical verification of falsification. And so for example, I do not have to reconcile Genesis 1-2 with the current science of the day. I can try, but since I am not inerrant, my conclusions on that may or may not be accurate. But I can confess with St. Augustine that "...if in these writings I am perplexed by anything which appears to me opposed to truth, I do not hesitate to suppose that either the manuscript is faulty, or the translator has not caught the meaning of what was said, or I myself have failed to understand it." The Truth of Scripture does not depend on my ability to fully comprehend it, but to be faithful to the Orthodox Tradition I must confess that the Scriptures are fully inspired, without error, and that it is I who need to be corrected by the Scriptures, rather than the Scriptures that need to be corrected by me.

Now some contemporary Orthodox writers accuse anyone who says that the Scriptures are without error of being Protestant and/or Fundamentalist. The problem with this claim is that the position these people espouse has no basis in the Orthodox Tradition, but rather is itself a position taken wholly and uncritically from Protestant Liberalism... and Protestant liberalism and Protestant fundamentalism both have much more in common with each other than either has with the Orthodox Tradition.

#51 Aaron R.

Aaron R.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 192 posts

Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:48 AM

I am growing weary of this debate.

#52 Aaron R.

Aaron R.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 192 posts

Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:49 AM

Peace be with you. I have said all I have wanted to say.

#53 Kosta

Kosta

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,517 posts

Posted 20 March 2014 - 06:54 AM

Its all about the interpretation.  Both the Orthodox and the heretics used scripture as evidence for their point of view usually supplemented with the traditional observances and practices of the Church that fit into their theological puzzle.

 

During the Arian controversy many had a problem with Nicene Trinitarian theology because of the word of homoousios . It simply was not a biblical word and was used at one time by the sabellianists.  It indeed became accepted and the Nicene Creed is the inerrant theology of the Church.

 

During the iconoclastic controversy, there was scant use of scripture, if anything the iconoclasts utilized the scripture more so. The Orthodox party instead showed that the Fathers and the traditional practice of the Church never meant to imply that those verses prohibiting idols and graven images equated to the holy images used by the Church.  



#54 Fr Raphael Vereshack

Fr Raphael Vereshack

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,420 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member
  • Verified Monastic Cleric

Posted 20 March 2014 - 02:19 PM

Aaron wrote:

 

"I am utterly floored if any of you are saying that saying the Word of GOD is inerrant is heretical."

 

This is the chief point of contention in this discussion. The Word of God- ie Christ is not identical to the Scriptures.

 

I feel confident that the essential point being made is not yet understood.

 

To maintain that Christ is identical in nature to the Scripture is heretical just as it would be heretical to maintain that an icon of Christ is literally Christ. What is created- words, paint strokes, etc- can refer to Christ (ie the veneration passes to the Prototype). But it is not identical to Christ.

 

If we maintain in any fashion that they are identical then we necessarily imply that the writers and painters of Scripture & icons were also God(s) since what is human and created cannot perfectly depict God - only God can (but only to Himself not to us who are limited in our createdness).



#55 Rdr Thomas

Rdr Thomas

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 55 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 20 March 2014 - 02:50 PM

Aaron wrote:

 

"I am utterly floored if any of you are saying that saying the Word of GOD is inerrant is heretical."

 

This is the chief point of contention in this discussion. The Word of God- ie Christ is not identical to the Scriptures.

 

As you say, Father, this is really the crux of the issue (no pun intended).  "In the beginning was The Word" does not refer to the collection of texts we call the bible.  It refers to Jesus Christ.  To call the Holy Scriptures "The Word", as though on the same level as our Lord Himself, is absolutely heretical.  It's a root belief of Muslims (and to some extent Mormons) to treat scripture as such.  Sadly, I think that it's a logical outcome of strongly "sola scriptura" protestants as well.


Edited by Thomas Hobbs - Athens, 20 March 2014 - 02:55 PM.


#56 Bryan J. Maloney

Bryan J. Maloney

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 364 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 17 April 2014 - 05:19 PM

What is the value of pi? According to Scripture, it is 3 (I Kings 7:32). There are a few ways to interpret this. One is that it's a flat-out mistake. That would mean that Scripture is erroneous. Another would be to introduce all kinds of bizarre mental gymnastics to justify a "measurement" of exactly 3 but the measurements are taken in extremely non-standard, funky-dunky ways (funky-dunky, it's a technical term) that ultimately mean that Scripture isn't erroneous, but it's written by extremely dishonest people. Finally, one could admit that the value of 3 is an approximation. Approximations are not errors. Approximations are not lies (unless given with the intent to deceive). Approximations are approximations.

 

What does this mean in the current thread? It means that, if we are to take Scripture as a whole, and we are to accept the premise that Scripture is niether erroneous nor dishonest, we must accept that, in certain places, it may still be approximate. Is this disrespectful of Scripture? Not at all. If I may give a simile: It would be like having a book about the foods to be found in restaurants in San Antonio. A great deal of exacting detail is given about the foods. However, decor in the restaurants is described using colors like "green". From the standpoint of an interior designer, this would be a significant approximation. "Green" can refer to "kelly", "chartreuse", dozens of possibilities, perhaps thousands. Why did the book on restaurant foods do this? Does this mean that it's no good at all and must be thrown away?

 

That would be silly, as silly as those who insist that we must accept every word of Scripture as a non-approximate "truth" no matter what the topic of a particular passage might be and no matter what sort of intellectual convolutions we have to go through in order to do this. There are times when, given what Scripture concentrates on (as we are taught by the Church--the Fathers are, of course, within the Church), there is a great deal of exactness. There are other times when there are acceptable approximations. As always, our guide is the eternal witness of the Church.

 

At least that's how I, as a little Orthodox layman with a lot of bad habits and sins, thinks of these matters.



#57 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,028 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 17 April 2014 - 10:27 PM

The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same [insults] in his teeth. Matthew 27:44

But the other [thief] answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:40
 


Which is inerrant?



#58 Bryan J. Maloney

Bryan J. Maloney

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 364 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 18 April 2014 - 06:13 PM

What is the Patristic witness?

 

“For those, who before paid Him attention, had deserted Him, but His enemies and foes, having got Him in the midst of themselves on the cross, insulted, reviled, mocked, derided, scoffed at Him, Jews and soldiers from below, from above thieves on either side: for indeed the thieves insulted, and upbraided Him, both of them. How then did Luke say that only one ‘rebuked?’ Both things were done, for at first both upbraided Him, but afterwards one did so no more. For that you might not think the thing had been done by any agreement, or that the thief was not a thief, by his insolence he shows you, that up on the cross he was a thief and an enemy, and at once was changed.” --St. John Chrysostom, 87th Homily.



#59 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,028 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 18 April 2014 - 07:41 PM

Exactly! We need the authority of the Church to understand and interpret scripture - which was my point in posting as I did.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users