Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Quick Response to Windsor on Luther and Mary

One of my comments has been addressed by Scott Windsor (of the Roman communion) in a post that is mostly addressed to my friend, James Swan (link to SW's post). I'm just responding to the portion of Mr. Windsor's post that relates to what I said.

Mr. Windsor's comments are as follows (his block quotations are, I believe, from Mr. Swan):
Notice the ambiguity as to which conception is being referred to is no longer... an ambiguity! TurretinFan has rightly commented on this:

"As you can see, context is key. "Mary's conception," or "the conception of Mary" (or replace "Mary" with "Virgin") can refer to two very different things: it can refer to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, and it can refer to the conception of Jesus (or any of his ἀδελφοὶ - look up its etymology). In the latter case, Mary is doing the conceiving, in the former case she is receiving the conceiving. The difference in meaning is significant and - in English - the difference can only be determined by looking at the context." [source]
So now Mr. Swan, via the pseudonymic “TurretinFan” (TF) delves into the etymological fallacy. IF the word in question were intended to mean what they say, then an ACCURATE translation would have been, “in the moment of the Virgin’s conception of the Son...” - so if Swan and TF are correct here, then every translator of this passage to English has it wrong. Now, before continuing, let us also consider the fact that this word TF throws at us is a GREEK word... I am unaware of Luther’s Works being in Greek as he primarily wrote in German or Latin, not Greek. Why the Greek here?

Now, the word he cites here is transliterated “adelphos” which is literally “a” (from) “delphus” (the womb) - and further means “a brother.” [source] It is simply illogical that we’re talking about a “brother” here in “the Virgin’s conception.” TF even states it COULD mean the conception of the Virgin - so we’ll take that argument and leave the irrational one behind.
Now add to the fact that the later Luther states, "Every man is corrupted by original sin, with the exception of Christ" (1540). "Christ alone is a son of the flesh without the sin of the flesh" (1544).
Again, this statement demonstrates a lack of understanding of the definition of the Immaculate Conception. The definition does not say that the Blessed Virgin did not inherit the “sin of the flesh,” only that she was preserved from the STAIN of that sin in the moment of her conception. Will Mr. Swan admit to this fact?
I answer:

1) Mr. Windsor's allegation of fallacy of etymology is unsupported. In fact, the argument that Mr. Windsor offers doesn't begin to address what a supporting argument for such an assertion would need to address. Mr. Windsor doesn't, for example, identify a word that has had its meaning determined etymologically and then explain what the correct meaning should be.

2) Mr. Windsor's allegation about what an "ACCURATE" (his caps) translation would be just reflect his apparently weak knowledge of the English language. The expression, in English, "the virgin's conception" can (standing by itself) refer to one of two things: (1) the action of the virgin (a virgin shall conceive) or (2) the action on the virgin (Mary's mother's conception of Mary). It's perfectly accurate to say "the virgin's conception" with respect to either of those two meanings.

3) Mr. Windsor's claim "if Swan and TF are correct here, then every translator of this passage to English has it wrong" is based on his apparently inadequate grasp of English, as explained above. It is also somewhat strange, because it is not like there are hundreds or even dozens of English translators of this particular passage of Luther's works. Mr. Windsor doesn't even identify two such translators (at least not anywhere near this discussion), though perhaps there are two.

4) The comment about Jesus ἀδελφοὶ also whizzes over Mr. Windsor's head. There was a primary point and a secondary point to the comment. The primary point was that an expression like "Mary's conception" (standing alone) could refer to her conception of any of the children she brought forth. Of course, in this instance it refers to Jesus' conception, not James' or any of the Lord's other ἀδελφοὶ. The second point was that Jesus, according to Scripture, had ἀδελφοὶ - those who were from the same womb as him - that includes brothers and what Scripture refers to as "αδελφαι" which refers to sisters. That secondary point is not really relevant to the issue of what Luther's talking about, at all. It's just a point that needs to be made against those who mistakenly hold to the idea that Mary remained a virgin after Jesus' birth.

5) Mr. Windsor's attempt to separate the "STAIN" (his bold and caps) from the sin is not something he can support from the official teachings of his church. Read the document that defined the dogma, and you'll see that the "stain" and the "sin" are used essentially interchangeably.

Notice, in the following series how "taint," "stain," and "sin" are used interchangeably and how it is repeatedly affirmed that Mary was free from original sin (in order of appearance, numbers just for ease of reference, in case you should wish to check/correct me)
  1. "absolutely free of all stain of sin"
  2. "free from all taint of original sin"
  3. "conceived without the stain of original sin"
  4. "preserved free from all stain of original sin"
  5. "preserved from original sin"
  6. "preserved from original sin"
  7. "was never subject to original sin, but was completely preserved from the original taint,"
  8. "all men are born infected by original sin; nevertheless, it solemnly declared that it had no intention of including the blessed and immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, in this decree and in the general extension of its definition."
  9. "free from the original stain"
  10. "the Virgin's supreme sanctity, dignity, and immunity from all stain of sin"
  11. "her most excellent innocence, purity, holiness and freedom from every stain of sin"
  12. "free from all contagion of sin"
  13. "the worm of sin had never corrupted"
  14. "when one treats of sin, the holy Virgin Mary is not even to be mentioned"
  15. "to her more grace was given than was necessary to conquer sin completely"
  16. "entirely free from every stain of sin"
  17. "she, differing so much from the others, had only nature in common with them, not sin"
  18. "holy and removed from every stain of sin"
  19. "conceived without original stain"
  20. "preserved free from all stain of original sin"
  21. "conceived without original sin"
So, unless Mr. Windsor has more than simply his own say-so, we must respectfully insist that it is he, not us, who is unfamiliar with Roman dogma on the subject. He is committing the fallacy of emphasis by assuming that "stain of original sin" is supposed to be different in its sense than "original sin."

6) I was aware of Mr. Windsor's novel interpretation of Ineffabilis Deus, and I had asked him previously to tell me where he got his ideas from - whether from some official source or from his own creativity. He didn't respond then (that I'm aware of), and I don't suppose he'll respond now, although he has the opportunity to respond in the comment box.

-TurretinFan

13 comments:

CathApol said...

I'll begin with #6 - My explanation is not new. The 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia says: "But she was not made exempt from the temporal penalties of Adam (aka Original Sin) — from sorrow, bodily infirmities, and death." The article actually dates back to 1910 - before my parents were born and even one set of my grandparents!

I trust this will silence your false allegation that this was somehow my "novel interpretation."

More later...

Turretinfan said...

It will take more than edited quotations from the 1917 C.E.

The actual quote reads: "The formal active essence of original sin was not removed from her soul, as it is removed from others by baptism; it was excluded, it never was in her soul. Simultaneously with the exclusion of sin. The state of original sanctity, innocence, and justice, as opposed to original sin, was conferred upon her, by which gift every stain and fault, all depraved emotions, passions, and debilities, essentially pertaining to original sin, were excluded. But she was not made exempt from the temporal penalties of Adam — from sorrow, bodily infirmities, and death."

-TurretinFan

CathApol said...

No, it doesn't take more than a 1910 article from a 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia to demonstrate that I didn't make this up. Admit it TF, you tried to call me out on this and you failed.

Turretinfan said...

LOL - You can't edit the encyclopedia entry to support your view and then claim victory. It says exactly the opposite of what you need it to say. I've discussed that at a little more length in response to your most recent article (here).

CathApol said...

TF writes: LOL - You can't edit the encyclopedia entry to support your view and then claim victory. It says exactly the opposite of what you need it to say.

The quote says EXACTLY what I have been saying, what ARE you talking about? The only "edit" was the addition of a parenthetical clarification that the "penalties of Adam" is also known as (aka) Original Sin. It specifically says "But she was NOT MADE EXEMPT from the temporal penalties of Adam" (emphasis mine). So, while she was preserved from the STAIN of Original Sin at the first moment of her conception - that does NOT mean she did not inherit some measure of Original Sin - the penalties - and she too required a Redeemer in her Son.

My position was backed by the 1917 CE several decades before I was born and then another nearly 3 decades later I became a Catholic. The point is, I did not make this up, as you have been implying. Just admit it TF, you were wrong on this one, continuing to deny and deflect is only digging you into a deeper hole.

Scott<<<

Turretinfan said...

Mr. Windsor:

It didn't see exactly what you are saying, which is why you felt the need to edit it. Your edit is wrong.

I realize you don't know this, but it's not my fault. I've explained it pretty clearly to you.

-TurretinFan

CathApol said...

I find it a bit amusing at times when non-Catholics try to tell Catholics what we believe. TF, I demonstrated how the "penalty" is also part of Original Sin - and from the same CE article/source you quoted from earlier. The penalty is not the sin itself - as the portion of the context you cited states, but it is still part of Original Sin.

My position, which is the Catholic position, is that the Blessed Virgin was purified from all stain of Original Sin at the first moment of her conception. She was not exempted from the consequences of Original Sin, such as sorrow, suffering and dying. Thus, she still stood in need of a Redeemer, which she found in her Son.

The point of your challenge to me was to demonstrate that I didn't "make this up." You don't have to agree with me or the Church on this, but you can't say I made it up - THAT is the point.

Scott<<<

Turretinfan said...

SW: "I find it a bit amusing at times when non-Catholics try to tell Catholics what we believe."

It takes a fairly stupid person to think that someone can't know more about your religion than you do, just because he's not part of your religion.

You wrote: "TF, I demonstrated how the 'penalty' is also part of Original Sin - and from the same CE article/source you quoted from earlier."

No. You still don't get it, and the encyclopedia could not be more clear in saying just the opposite of what you are saying. The penalty is not part of original sin.

"My position, which is the Catholic position, is that the Blessed Virgin was purified from all stain of Original Sin at the first moment of her conception. She was not exempted from the consequences of Original Sin, such as sorrow, suffering and dying. Thus, she still stood in need of a Redeemer, which she found in her Son."

You were doing good (measured by the standard of Rome's corrupt doctrine) until that last sentence. Rome does teach that Christ is Mary's Savior, but not that she needed a "Redeemer" to remove the temporal penalties due to original sin. In fact, Rome justifies calling Christ her "Savior" by saying that it is in the sense of "preserver," namely that he graciously prevented her from contracting original sin and from falling into actual sin.

Rome acknowledges (as far as I know) that Mary suffered, and Rome hasn't yet figured out whether Mary died.

Oh well.

- TurretinFan

CathApol said...

I fully realize that you do not wish to acknowledge that I didn't "make up" my statement regarding the difference between the STAIN of Original Sin and the CONSEQUENCES of Original Sin - however, I have shown that the concept is not original to me.

This response was not about defining whether or not Mary died, nor whether or not Mary needed a Redeemer or about splitting hairs with "Redeemer" v. "Savior." No, I responded to your challenge for me to demonstrate I didn't make this up. All the red herrings aside, I've done that. We can discuss other matters if you wish, but on THE matter I responded to you about - causa finita est.

Turretinfan said...

I think I already mentioned to you (probably in another thread), that you're confused about what has taken place, and that I will do my best to set you straight in a new post.

Please be patient and await that post coming out.

CathApol said...

Confused? Let's recap here, we don't need another post. You wrote:

I was aware of Mr. Windsor's novel interpretation of Ineffabilis Deus, and I had asked him previously to tell me where he got his ideas from - whether from some official source or from his own creativity. He didn't respond then (that I'm aware of), and I don't suppose he'll respond now, although he has the opportunity to respond in the comment box.

I have responded, clearly, concisely and with valid documentation from an article which predates me by about 2 generations (depending on how you want to count generations). The CE distinguishes between "all stain of original sin" and "the temporal penalties of Adam — from sorrow, bodily infirmities, and death" from which she was NOT exempted from. THAT is PRECISELY what I said initially, you challenged and have repeated that challenge in this article. Beyond any objective shadow of doubt, you have been answered. There is no need for a whole new post, unless you're going to spend a lot of time bloviating your concession that I have indeed answered your challenge.

Turretinfan said...

Mr. Windsor:

There's no need for you to repeat your confusion here. Wait for the new post.

-TurretinFan

Hifzu said...

Its Pleasure to understand your blog.The above articles is pretty extraordinary, and I really enjoyed reading your blog and points that you expressed. I really like to appear back over a typical basis,post a lot more within the topic.Thanks for sharing…keep writing!!!

learn technical analysis