Sunday, January 10, 2010

Magisterium More Sufficient than Scripture? (Part 2)

[Cont'd from previous section]

Is the Roman Catholic Magisterium More Sufficient than Sacred Scripture?
Bryan Cross answered on the subject of the ability of the Scripture to interpret Scripture sufficiently, from Scripture, reason, and tradition.
(Part 2)

The fact that obscure Scriptures are obscure and "need" (in some sense) clarification does not imply that the clear Scriptures are in similar need. After all, there are plenty of clear Scriptures.

Caesarius, bishop of Arles (about A.D. 470-543):
Let us examine the Scriptures, and in them we will be able to understand this more clearly.
FC, Vol. 31, Saint Caesarius of Arles, Sermons (1-80), Sermon 38.3 (New York: Fathers of the Church, Inc., 1956), p. 191.

Bryan's attempt to create a sort of recursive problem of Scripture being needed to interpret each new Scripture that is brought to bear on the subject is neither representative of reality nor representative of the position to which he's allegedly responding.

However, let us continue with his argument as much as possible. Bryan continues:
Who holds interpretive authority in the determination of Scripture's interpretation of Scripture? Someone must determine which verses are clearer than others, and which verses serve as the touchstone by which to interpret the others.
(original)

The idea that someone has to authoritatively say which parts of Scripture are clear seems rather absurd. Does someone have to authoritatively tell Bryan when it is sunny outside? Does he first go and check the weather report to see whether the meteorologists have declared the visibility today to be good? Perhaps he simply thinks it is a clear and sunny day, but there is actually a fog of darkness over the land? This sort of notion is farcical - it is absurd to suggest that Bryan would need such a thing. Scripture's light is fairly comparable to that of the sun or of a bright lamp (Psalm 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. 2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:).

This is only reasonable, because the purpose of Scripture is so that we may believe what is written (John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.).

And again, we find that the fathers agree with us.

Chrysostom (about A.D. 349-407), Commenting on v. 16 of Psalm 45:
Then, by way of describing their power and force and their glory, he says, You will appoint them rulers over all the earth. Surely this does not require interpretation? I for one think it does not, as the sun does not, either, being brillant; yet his words are even clearer.
- Chrysostom, Robert Charles Hill, trans., St John Chrysostom: Commentary on the Psalms, Vol. 1, Psalm 45 (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1998), p. 283.

Augustine (about A.D. 354-430):
Therefore, amid the shadows of this life in which ‘we are absent from the Lord’ as long as ‘we walk by faith and not by sight,’ the Christian soul should consider itself desolate, and should not cease from praying and from attending with the eye of faith to the word of the divine and sacred Scriptures: ‘as to a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn and the day-star arise in our hearts.’
- Augustine, FC, Vol. 18, Saint Augustine Letters 83-130, Letter 130, To Proba (New York: Fathers of the Church, Inc., 1953), pp. 379-380.

Tertullian (about A.D. 160-220):
Come, now, tell me how that passage (in the Epistle) to the Thessalonians — which, because of its clearness, I should suppose to have been written with a sunbeam — is understood by our heretics, who shun the light of Scripture: “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly.” And as if this were not plain enough, it goes on to say: “And may your whole body, and soul, and spirit be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord.” Here you have the entire substance of man destined to salvation, and that at no other time than at the coming of the Lord, which is the key of the resurrection.
- Tertullian, ANF: Vol. III, On the Resurrection of the Flesh, Chapter 47.

Augustine (about A.D. 354-430):
We have seen that the only-begotten Word who is equal to his begetter is called the light and that a human being illumined by the Word can also be called a light, or a lamp, as was the case with John and the apostles. We have seen too that none of these humans is the Word and that the Word by whom they were illumined is not a lamp. Well then, what is the word of which the psalm speaks, a word that can also be called a lamp? That is what the psalm says, Your word is a lamp for my feet, and a light for my paths. We must surely understand it to be the word that came to the prophets and was preached by the apostles. It is not the Word who is Christ, but Christ’s word, concerning which scripture says, Faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (Rom 10:17). The apostle Peter also compares the prophetic word to a lamp: We have the trusty message of the prophets to rely on, and you will do well to attend to it, for it is like a lamp burning in a dark place (2 Pt 1:19). Unquestionably, then, the word which the psalm means when it says, You word is a lamp for my feet, and a light for my paths, is the word contained in all the holy scriptures.
- Augustine, John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., ed., The Works of Saint Augustine, Part 3, Vol. 19, trans. Maria Boulding, O.S.B., Expositions of the Psalms, Psalms 99-120, Exposition 23 of Psalm 118.1 (Hyde Park: New City Press, 2003), p. 451.

Ambrose (about A.D. 339-397):
Trust to no one, to guide you, but where the light of that lamp [i.e. Scripture] goes before. For where you think it shines, there is a whirlpool; it seems to shine, but it defiles; and where you think it is firm or dry, there it is slippery. And, moreover, if you have a lamp, the way is long. Therefore let faith be the guide of your journey; let the divine Scripture be your path. Excellent is the guidance of the heavenly word. From this lamp light your lamp; that the eye of your mind, which is the lamp of your body, may give light.
- Ambrose, William Goode, The Divine Rule of Faith and Practice, 2nd edition, 3 Volumes (London: John Henry Jackson, publisher, 1853), Vol. 3, p. 148.

The understanding both of the Reformed position and the early Christians was that common sense and the internal guidance of the Holy Spirit suffices to tell us, in many cases, when Scripture is speaking clearly about something. That does not mean that we are guaranteed always to get it right, or that we will sometimes think something clear is obscure or vice versa.

Justin Martyr (wrote after 151):
Then I continued, “I purpose to quote to you Scriptures, not that I am anxious to make merely an artful display of words; for I possess no such faculty, but God’s grace alone has been granted to me to the understanding of His Scriptures, of which grace I exhort all to become partakers freely and bounteously, in order that they may not, through want of it, incur condemnation in the judgment which God the Maker of all things shall hold through my Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Justin Martyr, ANF: Vol. I, Dialogue of Justin, Chapter LVIII.

Basil of Caesarea (about A.D. 329-379):
And like reason in the soul, which is at one time the thought in the heart, and at another speech uttered by the tongue, so is the Holy Spirit, as when He "bears witness with our spirit," [Romans 8:16] and when He "cries in our hearts, Abba, Father," [Galatians 6:4] or when He speaks on our behalf, as it is said, "It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of our Father which speaks in you." [Matthew 10:20]
- Basil of Caesarea, Of the Holy Spirit, Chapter 26, Section 61

Chrysostom (about A.D. 349-407):
Besides, even if any should be so poor, it is in their power, by means of the continual reading of the holy Scriptures which takes place here, to be ignorant of nothing contained in them.
- Chrysostom, NPNF1: Vol. XIV, Homilies on the Gospel according to St. John, Homily 11.1.

Jerome (about A.D. 347-420):
The learned teaching of our Lord strikes the Pharisees dumb with amazement, and they are filled with astonishment to find that Peter and John know the Law although they have not learned letters. For to these the Holy Ghost immediately suggested what comes to others by daily study and meditation; and, as it is written, [1 Thessalonians 4:9] they were "taught of God."
- Jerome, Letter 53, Section 3

Augustine (about A.D. 354-430):
For it is written in the prophets, "And they shall all be taught of God." Why have I said this, O Jews? The Father has not taught you; how can you know me? For all the men of that kingdom shall be taught of God, not learn from men. And though they do learn from men, yet what they understand is given them within, flashes within, is revealed within.
- Augustine, Tractate 26 on John (John 6:41-59), Section 7

Chrysostom (about A.D. 349-407):
Next, he suggests also the manner of the prayer. And what is this? "That He would open the ears of their hearts;" for they are as yet shut and stopped up. "Ears," he says, not these which be outward, but those of the understanding, "so as to hear 'the things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man.'" [1 Corinthians 2:9; Isaiah 54:4] For they have not heard the untold mysteries; but they stand somewhere at a distance and far off from them; and even if they should hear, they know not what is said; for those [mysteries] need much understanding, not hearing only: and the inward ears as yet they have not: wherefore also he next invokes for them a Prophet's gift, for the Prophet spoke on this wise; "God gives me the tongue of instruction, that I should know how to speak a word in season; for He opened my mouth; He gave to me betimes in the morning; He granted me a hearing ear." [Isaiah 1:4. Septuagint] For as the Prophets heard otherwise than the many, so also do the faithful than the Catechumens. Hereby the Catechumen also is taught not to learn to hear these things of men, (for He says, Call no man master upon the earth), but from above, from heaven, "For they shall be all taught of God." [Isaiah 54:13] Wherefore he says, "And instil into them the word of truth," so that it may be inwardly learned ; for as yet they know not the word of truth as they ought to know. "That He would sow His fear in them." But this is not enough; for "some fell by the wayside, and some upon the rock." But we ask not thus; but as on rich soil the plough opens the furrows, so we pray it may be here also, that having the fallow ground of their minds tilled deep, they may receive what is dropped upon them and accurately retain everything they have heard. Whence also he adds, "And confirm His faith in their minds;" that is, that it may not lie on the surface, but strike its root deep downwards. "That He would unveil to them the Gospel of Righteousness." He shows that the veil is two-fold, partly that the eyes of their understanding were shut, partly that the Gospel was hidden from them. Whence he said a little above, "that He would open the ears of their hearts," and here, "that he would unveil unto them the Gospel of Righteousness;" that is, both that He would render them wise and apt for receiving seed, and that He would teach them and drop the seed into them; for though they should be apt, yet if God reveal not, this profits nothing; and if God should unveil but they receive not, there results like unprofitableness. Therefore we ask for both: that He would both open their hearts and unveil the Gospel. For neither if kingly ornaments lie underneath a veil, will it profit at all that the eyes be looking; nor yet that they be laid bare, if the eyes be not waking. But both will be granted, if first they themselves desire it. But what then is "the Gospel of Righteousness?" That which makes righteous. By these words he leads them to the desire of Baptism, showing that the Gospel is for the working not only of the remission of sins, but also of righteousness.
- Chrysostom, Homily 2 on 2 Corinthians, at 2 Corinthians 1:10-11, Section 7.

Clement of Alexandria (about A.D. 150-215):
But that is the only authentic truth, unassailable, in which we are instructed by the Son of God. In the same way we say, that the drachma being one and the same, when given to the shipmaster, is called the fare; to the tax-gatherer, tax; to the landlord, rent; to the teacher, fees; to the seller, an earnest. And each, whether it be virtue or truth, called by the same name, is the cause of its own peculiar effect alone; and from the blending of them arises a happy life. For we are not made happy by names alone, when we say that a good life is happiness, and that the man who is adorned in his soul with virtue is happy. But if philosophy contributes remotely to the discovery of truth, by reaching, by diverse essays, after the knowledge which touches close on the truth, the knowledge possessed by us, it aids him who aims at grasping it, in accordance with the Word, to apprehend knowledge. But the Hellenic truth is distinct from that held by us (although it has got the same name), both in respect of extent of knowledge, certainly of demonstration, divine power, and the like. For we are taught of God, being instructed in the truly "sacred letters" by the Son of God.
- Clement of Alexandria, Book I, Chapter 20

Augustine (about A.D. 354-430):
“And ye have no need that any man teach you, because His unction teacheth you concerning all things.” Then to what purpose is it that “we,” my brethren, teach you? If “His unction teacheth you concerning all things,” it seems we labor without a cause. And what mean we, to cry out as we do? Let us leave you to His unction, and let His unction teach you. But this is putting the question only to myself: I put it also to that same apostle: let him deign to hear a babe that asks of him: to John himself I say, Had those the unction to whom thou wast speaking? Thou hast said, “His unction teacheth you concerning all things.” To what purpose hast thou written an Epistle like this? what teaching didst “thou “give them? what instruction? what edification? See here now, brethren, see a mighty mystery. The sound of our words strikes the ears, the Master is within. Do not suppose that any man learns ought from man. We can admonish by the sound of our voice; if there be not One within that shall teach, vain is the noise we make. Aye, brethren, have yea mind to know it? Have ye not all heard this present discourse? and yet how many will go from this place untaught! I, for my part, have spoken to all; but they to whom that Unction within speaketh not, they whom the Holy Ghost within teacheth not, those go back untaught. The teachings of the master from without are a sort of aids and admonitions. He that teacheth the hearts, hath His chair in heaven. Therefore saith He also Himself in the Gospel: “Call no man your master upon earth; One is your Master, even Christ.” Let Him therefore Himself speak to you within, when not one of mankind is there: for though there be some one at thy side, there is none in thine heart. Yet let there not be none in thine heart: let Christ be in thine heart: let His unction be in the heart, lest it be a heart thirsting in the wilderness, and having no fountains to be watered withal. There is then, I say, a Master within that teacheth: Christ teacheth; His inspiration teacheth. Where His inspiration and His unction is not, in vain do words make a noise from without. So are the words, brethren, which we speak from without, as is the husbandman to the tree: from without he worketh, applieth water and diligence of culture; let him from without apply what he will, does he form the apples? does he clothe the nakedness of the wood with a shady covering of leaves? does he do any thing like this from within? But whose doing is this? Hear the husbandman, the apostle: both see what we are, and hear the Master within: “I have planted, Apollos haft watered; but God gave the increase: neither he that planteth is any thing, neither he that watereth, but He that giveth the increase, even God.” This then we say to you: whether we plant, or whether we water, by speaking we are not any thing; but He that giveth the increase, even God: that is, “His unction which teacheth you concerning all things.”
- Augustine, NPNF1: Vol. VII, Ten Homilies on the First Epistle of John, Homily 3, 1 John 2:18-27, §13.

Bryan's argument amounts to Pyrrhonism, deep skepticism. Bryan wants to suggest that we need someone to tell us when something is clear. We have enough common sense to realize that we can see when something is clear.

Augustine (about A.D. 354-430):
Moreover, a man of your talent and learning easily perceives how different from these metaphorical expressions is the statement of the apostle, "When I saw that they walked not uprightly, according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If you, being a Jew, livest after the manner of the Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why do you compel the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?" Galatians 2:14 Here there is no obscurity of figurative language; these are literal words of a plain statement.
- Augustine, Letter 180, Section 4

Tertullian (about A.D. 160-220):
This is evidence enough from the prophetic Scriptures. I now appeal to the Gospels. . . . Besides, there is not a parable which you will not find to be either explained by the Lord Himself, as that of the sower, (which He interprets) of the management of the word of God; or else cleared by a preface from the writer of the Gospel, as in the parable of the arrogant judge and the importunate widow, which is expressly applied to earnestness in prayer; or capable of being spontaneously understood, as in the parable of the fig-tree, which was spared a while in hopes of improvement — an emblem of Jewish sterility. Now, if even parables obscure not the light of the gospel, how unlikely it is that plain sentences and declarations, which have an unmistakable meaning, should signify any other thing than their literal sense! But it is by such declarations and sentences that the Lord sets forth either the last judgment, or the kingdom, or the resurrection: “It shall be more tolerable,” He says, “for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.” And “Tell them that the kingdom of God is at hand.” And again, “It shall be recompensed to you at the resurrection of the just.” Now, if the mention of these events (I mean the judgment-day, and the kingdom of God, and the resurrection) has a plain and absolute sense, so that nothing about them can be pressed into an allegory, neither should those statements be forced into parables which describe the arrangement, and the process, and the experience of the kingdom of God, and of the judgment, and of the resurrection.
- Tertullian, ANF: Vol. III, On the Resurrection of the Flesh, Chapter 33.

[to be cont'd in section 3]

11 comments:

natamllc said...

Well, it does not take much to see the patristics through those centuries all agree with the perspicuous nature of God by His Chosen Words, the 66 books at least to which I refer and perhaps because of the perspicaciousness of these selected patristics' writings, they too?

What does History teach us of the Books of the Bible available to them, these Patristics and their writings selected here in part 2? Each of these men certainly were reading manuscripts similar too or exactly as the English translated copies of those manuscripts I read from to draw my own similar conclusions?

Do you know if they had to write their own manuscripts or were manuscripts provided them so as to produce the work presented hereon?

Turretinfan said...

"What does History teach us of the Books of the Bible available to them, these Patristics and their writings selected here in part 2?"

They all had access to essentially the same book we have. In the New Testament, some of the early fathers' extant writings seem to quote from or allude to less than of the New Testament books, but it is hard to say whether that is because we only have some of their writings.

As for the Old Testament, they again quoted from most of the Old Testament books, and sometimes also quoted from or alluded to the Apocrypha.

"Each of these men certainly were reading manuscripts similar too or exactly as the English translated copies of those manuscripts I read from to draw my own similar conclusions?"

For the New Testament, they were either using a Greek text very similar or identical to the text from which your English is translated or a Latin text that was also similar. For the Old Testament, most were using a Greek translation (or a Latin translation of the Greek translation) of the Hebrew. Very few, like Jerome, could read Hebrew.

"Do you know if they had to write their own manuscripts or were manuscripts provided them so as to produce the work presented hereon?"

It seems that the task of copying out Scripture in large amounts was eventually the task of scribes who specialized in that. Some of the earliest fathers (like Ignatius, for example) may have been involved in copying out the books themselves. If you've ever tried, you'll know it doesn't take long to copy out something the size of one of Paul's epistles, and it can really help it to stick in your head.

SP said...

TFan.

I wouldn't respond any differently than I did on pt 1.

Comments here.

The proper high view of scripture that these fathers espoused, and that the Catholic Church espouses today, cannot be taken apart from their high view of the teaching chrism of the Church.

Turretinfan said...

"The proper high view of scripture that these fathers espoused, and that the Catholic Church espouses today, cannot be taken apart from their high view of the teaching chrism of the Church."

a) Calling a view of the Scripture that subjects its sense to the arbitrage of the magisterium a "high view" is primarily a statement about the Roman Catholic Church's inflated view of itself.

b) The Roman Catholic church's view of Scriptures doesn't align with the patristic view of Scriptural perspicuity.

c) The Reformed view of Scripture should also not be taken separately from the Reformed view of the church.

d) Furthermore, we welcome demonstration that shows that when Caesarius, bishop of Arles (or any of the others quoted) spoke about the Scriptures showing us things clearly, he meant that this was only possible because of infallible light provided by the magisterium. Of course, the folks who respond to us haven't been able to produce such evidence.

-TurretinFan

SP said...

a) Calling a view of the Scripture that subjects its sense to the arbitrage of the magisterium a "high view" is primarily a statement about the Roman Catholic Church's inflated view of itself.

Calling a view of scripture that subjects its sense to the arbitrage of the individual a 'high view' is primarily a statement about the individual's inflated view of oneself.

b) The Roman Catholic church's view of Scriptures doesn't align with the patristic view of Scriptural perspicuity.

Instead of just posting isolated quotes can you simply just name the church father(s) that taught something remotely close to the Reformed view of scripture perspicuity?

d) Furthermore, we welcome demonstration that shows that when Caesarius, bishop of Arles (or any of the others quoted) spoke about the Scriptures showing us things clearly, he meant that this was only possible because of infallible light provided by the magisterium. Of course, the folks who respond to us haven't been able to produce such evidence.

I don't think there is much argument that the scriptures show 'some' things clearly. This isn't really the issue. The issue is what role the Church has in interpreting scripture versus the individual.

"To refuse to follow the Fathers, not holding their declaration of more authority than one's own opinion, is conduct worthy of blame, as being brimful of self-sufficiency."
Basil, EpistleTo the Canonicae, 52:1 (A.D. 370).

I am sure you have seen 'church father' spamming before. This is where a Reformed person posts a quote from say, Basil, about scripture being easily understood and then a Catholic in turn posts a quote from Basil showing that Basil held the Fathers to have really authority in the faith and relied on them to teach what the orthodox faith. This exercise invariably goes nowhere.

This is why I’ll repeat what I said earlier: Instead of just posting isolated quotes can you simply just name the church father(s) that taught something remotely close to the Reformed view of scripture perspicuity?

When I was investigating the Catholic Church I was aware of ‘quotes’ that the Reformed apologists use from the Fathers to prove that the Catholics are wrong about scripture and tradition. The problem was that I never saw the same Reformed apologists deal with broader teaching of those same fathers when it came to the church and authority. They would quote certain passages all day long but when it came to the church they would say, “Well, we as Reformed people don’t have to think the fathers were right about everything.”

Even Mormons now are iso-quoting church fathers on their apologetic boards to prove that some church fathers were proto-Mormons. Of course, in order for this to work they need to ignore massive swaths of writing from the same fathers.

In summary, can you just name the church fathers that taught the Reformed view of scripture perspicuity?

Turretinfan said...

"Calling a view of scripture that subjects its sense to the arbitrage of the individual a 'high view' is primarily a statement about the individual's inflated view of oneself."

a) That's not what we're advocating.

b) To the extent that you insist it flows from what we're saying, accuse the fathers we're quoting, then us. If you can do that without blushing, so be it.

c) The individual is necessarily at the end of the communication chain in your theory as well as ours. Our view puts Scripture (not the individual) in the preeminent place (or else your position puts the individual, not the church, in the preeminent place, which we both know is absurd).

"Instead of just posting isolated quotes can you simply just name the church father(s) that taught something remotely close to the Reformed view of scripture perspicuity?"

a) Next to every quotation there is a name of a church father or early Christian writer.

b) If you think the quotation is being isolated from its context, feel free to demonstrate that. However, care has been taken to try to avoid such an error. If it is found that a quotation has been taken out of context, appropriate correction will be made.

c) I've previously posted a longer series on perspicuity. One way to easily locate those posts is by clicking the perspicuity tag on the tag cloud at the bottom of the main page or by clicking this link (link) (obviously, some of the tagged posts have perspicuity as a more or less central aspect of the post).

"I don't think there is much argument that the scriptures show 'some' things clearly. This isn't really the issue. The issue is what role the Church has in interpreting scripture versus the individual."

I'm glad you're willing to concede that the Scriptures show some things clearly. Will you further concede that the individual is competent to interpret the clear teachings of Scripture?

[cont'd in part 2]

Turretinfan said...

[cont'd from part 1]

You quoted: "To refuse to follow the Fathers, not holding their declaration of more authority than one's own opinion, is conduct worthy of blame, as being brimful of self-sufficiency."
Basil, Epistle To the Canonicae, 52:1 (A.D. 370).

a) It's one thing to despise the fathers, and it is quite another to think that the fathers are infallible.

b) Neither us nor you follow the fathers in every regard. If you are citing him to suggest we ought to, you are convicted by the fact that you don't. If you are citing him to cast smoke in our eyes, shame on you. If you simply hadn't thought about the fact that the quotation you provided is not germane to this discussion, so be it.

"I am sure you have seen 'church father' spamming before. This is where a Reformed person posts a quote from say, Basil, about scripture being easily understood and then a Catholic in turn posts a quote from Basil showing that Basil held the Fathers to have really authority in the faith and relied on them to teach what the orthodox faith. This exercise invariably goes nowhere."

That seems a little pessimistic. It also sounds like an example of despising the fathers. In fact, what one ought to be doing is considering what the evidence says. As noted above, the quotation from Basil suggests that we shouldn't simply ignore the fathers, but it certainly doesn't convert them into an infallible authority on a par with Scripture.

"This is why I’ll repeat what I said earlier: Instead of just posting isolated quotes can you simply just name the church father(s) that taught something remotely close to the Reformed view of scripture perspicuity?"

I've already answered this above.

"When I was investigating the Catholic Church I was aware of ‘quotes’ that the Reformed apologists use from the Fathers to prove that the Catholics are wrong about scripture and tradition. The problem was that I never saw the same Reformed apologists deal with broader teaching of those same fathers when it came to the church and authority. They would quote certain passages all day long but when it came to the church they would say, “Well, we as Reformed people don’t have to think the fathers were right about everything.”"

Reformed apologists have been addressing the supposedly contrary teachings of the fathers for hundreds of years. I'm not sure how your search missed those areas of response, but so be it.

"Even Mormons now are iso-quoting church fathers on their apologetic boards to prove that some church fathers were proto-Mormons. Of course, in order for this to work they need to ignore massive swaths of writing from the same fathers."

As I noted above, it's one thing to allege that a quotation is being taken in isolation, and it is another thing to demonstrate it. We're quite willing to let the church fathers be the church fathers without trying to make them into proto- anythings.

"In summary, can you just name the church fathers that taught the Reformed view of scripture perspicuity?"

See my comments above.

-Turretinfan

SP said...

OK.

So your contention is that the following fathers taught the Reformed view of the perspicuity of scripture?

Caesarius
Chrysostom
Augustine
Tertullian
Ambrose
Justin Martyr
Basil of Caesarea
Jerome
Clement of Alexandria

Correct?

And could you provide (or at least link) a definition of 'perspicuity of scripture.'

Turretinfan said...

SP:

Please explain what you mean by "taught the Reformed view". Are you asking for them to provide every aspect of every nuance of fully developed Reformation theology on the point? Or are you simply asking whether their teachings and the Reformers teachings on this point align? Or what exactly?

Here's a link to two standard definitions of the perspicuity of Scripture (link). It is a little surprising that you don't already know the definition of the perspicuity of Scripture, but we are happy to oblige.

SP said...

I just wanted to see if your point was that these fathers taught your definition that scripture is perspicuous.

Turretinfan said...

I'm quite sure they don't provide as precise a definition as someone like Whitaker. Their agreement with his definition, however, is reflected in their writings, as has been demonstrated.