Saturday, March 05, 2011

Does Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) Accept the Historical Innerancy of Scripture?

At least one Roman apologist was giving my friend, John Bugay, some grief because Mr. Bugay was citing the work of Peter Lampe. It was alleged that Peter Lampe is a "liberal" because he denies the innerancy of Scripture on historical points.

Whether or not that is true, I wonder if that Roman apologist would be willing to aim his "liberal" label-maker at Joseph Ratzinger, who appears to deny the historical accuracy of the gospels, and in particular that of Matthew in this selection from his forth-coming book:
In all essentials, the four Gospels harmonise with one another in their accounts of the progress of the trial. Only John reports the conversation between Jesus and Pilate, in which the question about Jesus' kingship, the reason for his death, is explored in depth (18:33-38). The historicity of this tradition is of course contested by exegetes. While Charles H. Dodd and Raymond E. Brown judge it positively, Charles K. Barrett is extremely critical: ''John's additions and alterations do not inspire confidence in his historical reliability'' (The Gospel According to Saint John, p. 530). Certainly no one would claim that John set out to provide anything resembling a transcript of the trial. Yet we may assume that he was able to explain with great precision the core question at issue, and that he presents us with a true account of the trial. Barrett also says ''that John has with keen insight picked out the key of the Passion narrative in the kingship of Jesus, and has made its meaning clearer, perhaps, than any other New Testament writer'' (ibid., p. 531).

Now we must ask: who exactly were Jesus' accusers? Who insisted that he be condemned to death? We must take note of the different answers that the Gospels give to this question. According to John it was simply ''the Jews''. But John's use of this expression does not in any way indicate - as the modern reader might suppose - the people of Israel in general, even less is it ''racist'' in character. After all, John himself was ethnically a Jew, as were Jesus and all his followers. The entire early Christian community was made up of Jews. In John's Gospel this word has a precise and clearly defined meaning: he is referring to the Temple aristocracy. So the circle of accusers who instigate Jesus' death is precisely indicated in the Fourth Gospel and clearly limited: it is the Temple aristocracy - and not without certain exceptions, as the reference to Nicodemus (7:50ff.) shows.

In Mark's Gospel, the circle of accusers is broadened in the context of the Passover amnesty (Barabbas or Jesus): the ''ochlos'' enters the scene and opts for the release of Barabbas. ''Ochlos'' in the first instance simply means a crowd of people, the ''masses''. The word frequently has a pejorative connotation, meaning ''mob''. In any event it does not refer to the Jewish people as such. In the case of the Passover amnesty (which admittedly is not attested in other sources, but even so need not be doubted), the people, as so often with such amnesties, have a right to put forward a proposal, expressed by way of ''acclamation''. Popular acclamation in this case has juridical character (cf. Pesch, Markusevangelium, ii, p. 466). Effectively this ''crowd'' is made up of the followers of Barabbas who have been mobilised to secure the amnesty for him: as a rebel against Roman power he could naturally count on a good number of supporters. So the Barabbas party, the ''crowd'', was conspicuous while the followers of Jesus remained hidden out of fear; this meant that the vox populi, on which Roman law was built, was represented one-sidedly. In Mark's account, then, as well as ''the Jews'', that is to say the dominant priestly circle, the ochlos comes into play, the circle of Barabbas' supporters, but not the Jewish people as such.

An extension of Mark's ochlos, with fateful consequences, is found in Matthew's account (27:25) which speaks of the ''whole people'' and attributes to them the demand for Jesus' crucifixion. Matthew is certainly not recounting historical fact here: how could the whole people have been present at this moment to clamour for Jesus' death? It seems obvious that the historical reality is correctly described in John's account and in Mark's. The real group of accusers are the current Temple authorities, joined in the context of the Passover amnesty by the ''crowd'' of Barabbas' supporters.

Here we may agree with Joachim Gnilka, who argues that Matthew, going beyond historical considerations, is attempting a theological etiology with which to account for the terrible fate of the people of Israel in the Jewish War, when land, city and Temple were taken from them (cf. MatthÌusevangelium, ii, p. 459). Matthew is thinking here of Jesus' prophecy concerning the end of the Temple: ''O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is forsaken'' (Mt 23:37f.: cf. Gnilka, the whole of the section entitled ''Gerichtsworte'', pp. 295-308).

These words - as argued earlier, in the chapter on Jesus' eschatological discourse - remind us of the inner similarity between the Prophet Jeremiah's message and that of Jesus. Jeremiah - against the blindness of the then dominant circles - prophesied the destruction of the Temple and Israel's exile. But he also spoke of a ''new Covenant'': punishment is not the last word, it leads to healing. In the same way Jesus prophesies the ''deserted house'' and proceeds to offer the new Covenant ''in his blood'': ultimately it is a question of healing, not of destruction and rejection.

When in Matthew's account the ''whole people'' say: ''his blood be on us and on our children'' (27:25), the Christian will remember that Jesus' blood speaks a different language from the blood of Abel (Heb 12:24): it does not cry out for vengeance and punishment, it brings reconciliation. It is not poured out against anyone, it is poured out for many, for all. ''All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God God put [Jesus] forward as an expiation by his blood'' (Rom 3:23, 25). Just as Caiaphas' words about the need for Jesus' death have to be read in an entirely new light from the perspective of faith, the same applies to Matthew's reference to blood: read in the light of faith, it means that we all stand in need of the purifying power of love which is his blood. These words are not a curse, but rather redemption, salvation. Only when understood in terms of the theology of the Last Supper and the Cross, drawn from the whole of the New Testament, does this verse from Matthew's Gospel take on its correct meaning.
- Joseph Ratzinger (under the name Benedict XVI), "Jesus of Nazareth - Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection" (source)

I don't endorse the paragraphs above. Moreover, it does appear that Ratzinger is denying the historicity of Matthew's account. He states that Matthew is "going beyond historical considerations" and "Matthew is certainly not recounting historical fact here." It is interesting that he defends John against the charges that he appears to then make of Matthew. What will our Roman apologist friend do?

-TurretinFan

30 comments:

natamllc said...

"... What will our Roman apologist friend do?"

Might I suggest by segaying to this question he do as they did:

Act 2:37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
Act 2:38 And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Act 2:39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself."
Act 2:40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation."
Act 2:41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
Act 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Rebecca said...

Hi, TurretinFan!

This would only be against historical inerrancy if our Pope had said that Matthew had tried to convey historical fact but still got it wrong. But Benedict XVI is saying that Matthew was intentionally trying to convey some other piece of information instead. This sounds like something that Origen or even Augustine might say.

I hope you have a blessed day! :)

With love in Christ,
Pete Holter

Turretinfan said...

a) Where does he say that Matthew was not trying to convey historical fact?

b) How isn't this an exception that swallows the rule? In other words, if things that are (on their face) historical accounts shouldn't be taken as such, isn't that essentially to take the book out of the historical genre?

c) As you may or may not know, a similar rationale is given by an errantist who wishes to be considered orthodox. The historical details are not the point, he says - and the point is without error.

-TurretinFan

Fredericka said...

When somebody talks about "all the people," the speaker might intend to count each and every inhabitant of a population group, or he might just mean 'all the people that were around.' For instance when Luke says, "And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately." Or Luke 18:43, "And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people [pas o laos], when they saw it, gave praise unto God." Apparently Pope Benedict XVI is denying the historicity of Matthew because it would be physically impossible for all the inhabitants of the entire nation to be present simultaneously in a small confined area. But who, reading this passage, would think that is what is meant?

Turretinfan said...

Right, Fredericka. He's denying it, because he wants to limit responsibility to the leaders of Israel to avoid the consequences of the Jews (in general) being responsibly for Jesus' death (the historic position of Christianity).

In particular, Ratzinger doesn't want this to be an historical reality:

Matthew 27:25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

Ratzinger doesn't have a problem with this:

1Co 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

He has a problem with this:

Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Of course, that "all" doesn't mean what Ratzinger suggests "all" means, for the speaker in Acts 2 is Jewish. But it confirms that Matthew 27 is historical and accurate.

-TurretinFan

Rebecca said...

Hi TurretinFan!

When Pope Benedict says that “Matthew is certainly not recounting historical fact here,” he means that Matthew is not intending to convey historical fact. He thinks that the “whole people” mentioned by Matthew is intended by him to signify all of the people of Israel, and thus as representative of the infective source for the “theological etiology” that ends up playing out in the ill fate suffered by all of the Jews, “when land, city and Temple were taken from them.” He’s led to this interpretation because he takes “whole people” in such a comprehensive sense, and, in doing so, it becomes unreasonable for him to take the description in a straightforward manner: “how could the whole people have been present at this moment to clamour for Jesus’ death?”

The difference between what Pope Benedict is doing and what the errantist does, is that the errantist asserts that Matthew was trying to convey historical fact but got it wrong, and then proceeds to offer his own twist. Pope Benedict, on the other hand, thinks that Matthew got it right and so seeks to offer what he thinks is Matthew’s twist: “Matthew is here thinking of Jesus’ prophecy, etc.”

With love in Christ,
Pete Holter

Turretinfan said...

Mr. Holter:

I know English is not Ratzinger's first language, but “Matthew is certainly not recounting historical fact here,” does not mean that Matthew is not intending to do so.

Likewise, he doesn't say that Matthew got it right. In fact, he calls Matthew's account (of an historical event): "An extension of Mark's ochlos [crowd/mob], with fateful consequences."

You're clearly eager to defend your bishop's words, but you have to supply thoughts that he didn't express.

And, of course, as I said before - this is a typical 1st generation errantist ploy: alleging that the real meaning or purpose of the text is still correct despite the historical inaccuracy.

-TurretinFan

Rebecca said...

Hello again!

Pope Benedict tells us what he thinks Mathew was thinking when he described the scene the way that he did: “Matthew is here thinking of Jesus’ prophecy, etc.” So when he tells us that “Matthew is certainly not recounting historical fact here,” he is telling us what he thinks Matthew’s intent was in using the words that he did. Benedict thinks that this whole “theological etiology” may be what Matthew was really thinking about when he chose his words.

In Christ,
Pete

Turretinfan said...

No doubt about that. You made a claim, however, about what Matthew's intent was not. Your claim about what Matthew's intent was not is not a claim that Ratzinger makes.

Ratzinger does not say that Matthew did not intend his narrative as an historical narrative. You say that - but you can only do that by applying an "either/or" hermeneutic to his words.

-TurretinFan

Dozie said...

"I know English is not Ratzinger's first language, but “Matthew is certainly not recounting historical fact here,” does not mean that Matthew is not intending to do so".


It is very possible that Mr. Fan made this initial blog entry as a way to help him understand exactly what the pope was saying. I think that has been explained to him and it is perhaps time to leave him to his folly.

He does not understand, for example, that the pope did not write in English. He probably wrote in his native German and the work is afterwards translated into several languages by people who understand language, including English, far better than Mr. Fan can ever dream to be able.

Rebecca said...

Hi brother!

Borrowing from the thought of another, Benedict is telling us that he thinks that Matthew was “going beyond historical considerations,” that is, using an historical garb to convey “a theological etiology.” And he thinks that Matthew made his intent discernible to us by making the “fact” absurd. When he says that “Matthew is certainly not recounting historical fact here,” he is telling us what Matthew the author both did not do and also did not try to do.

Maybe he’ll grant you an interview to talk about this excerpt with him. Let’s call him up! :)

With love in Christ,
Pete

John Bugay said...

Thanks, TF, for posting this.

Pete Holter: Fortunately, Ratzinger gives an overview of his view of Scripture in Volume 1 of this work.

And it's very similar to what I've posited my own thoughts to be.

Here's what I said: not only is there a confluence of method—the historical analysis is largely the same [whether done by conservatives or liberal scholars]; the difference is now whether one accepts the supernatural in-breaking by God into history or not—but the evangelical conservatives are winning...


And here's what he said: Yet if instead we take this conviction of faith as our starting point for reading the texts with the help of historical methodoology and its intrinsic openness to something greater, they are opened up and they reveal a way and a figure that are worthy of belief."

Of course, see how he is defensive about this? I clearly note that, "the conservatives are winning."

With Ratzinger, that's a big if.

* * *

And of course, I've cited Craig Blomberg to the effect that, both conservatives and atheists now agree that "the Resurrection was probably reported the same year that it happened."

Many more examples could be cited, but this is the very thing that Ratzinger/Benedict seems to be eager to assert: Christ's divinity was known and assumed at the time of the resurrection. (Modern "liberal" scholarship" looks for ways to suggest that the notion of Christ's "divinity" "somehow developed" within that first generation of the church. But what the Blomberg example shows is that this belief in the divinity of Christ did not "develop," but that it was the very thing the Apostles preached from the beginning.)

Turretinfan is right: you Roman Catholics who are throwing around the words like "inerrancy" an "liberal" have no idea what the genuine issues are that are involved in the discussion.

Turretinfan said...

"When he says that “Matthew is certainly not recounting historical fact here,” he is telling us what Matthew the author both did not do and also did not try to do."

Actually, what he is telling you is simply that Matthew is not recounting historical fact. You guys need to learn how to more carefully read.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Consider the fact that Ratzinger identifies absolute inerrancy with American fundamentalism:

"Fundamentalism, according to the word's original meaning, is a tendency that arose in Protestant America in the nineteenth century as a protest against evolutionism and biblical criticism. It attempted to supply a firm Christian foundation against both of these through the defense of the absolute inerrancy of Scripture."

Ratzinger, A Turning Point for Europe (2nd Edition), p. 170.

And compare:

In summary, the following can be said with certainty: ... with regards to what might be inspired in the many parts of Sacred Scripture, inerrancy applies only to "that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation" (DV 11)

Instrumentum Laboris, 2008 Synod of Bishops, Part 1, Chapter 2, Section 15(c) (emphasis is mine)(note that Ratzinger is not listed as an author for this document).

Or consider this comment:

The issue is no longer the relatively superficial question as to any errors that may have been contained within Jesus' world view and his perspective on future time.

Ratzinger, Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life, p. 19.

I can certainly believe that Pius XII believed in inerrancy - but Benedict XVI? He seems to view absolute inerrancy as a mistake of the original American Fundamentalists.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Dozie:

Your comments reflect your own bias, but not much else.

-TurretinFan

Rebecca said...

Thanks again for letting me post here…

Rebecca is my wife, by the way. :)

The wording of the Instrumentum Laboris was rejected by the bishops. That’s good news, right? :)

And, instead of the Bishops including something about inerrancy in the propositions forwarded to the Pope, the Pontifical Biblical Commission (PBC) is working on a document called “Inspiration and Truth in the Bible.” I guess we should see its release in a year or two. Unfortunately, these are not authoritative statements, so we’ll just have to see where this leads us…

The quote from then Cardinal Ratzinger in that Eschatology book doesn’t suggest to my mind that he thinks Jesus was wrong about anything, only that this had been an issue that scholars would discuss.

His quote from A Turning Point for Europe sounds very much like the PBC document on Biblical interpretation where it complains about Fundamentalism placing an undue stress on the inerrancy of historical details while at the same time saying that “Fundamentalism is right to insist on […] the inerrancy of the word of God.” What is being criticized is a misplaced emphasis, but not the fact of inerrancy itself.

But I will say this. I would love it if Pope Benedict would release a statement that unequivocally reaffirms total inerrancy.

I wrote some things about inerrancy here: http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=531161&page=4#56 (4 posts).

With love in Christ,
Pete Holter

Constantine said...

When I saw T'Fan respond to "Rebecca" with "Mr. Holter" I had to wonder if I wasn't witnessing the transgendrification of Christian epistemological dialogue!

Pete, what are you doing to us, man! :)

(Have you been grounded from your own email account?)

Be well, friend.

Peace.

natamllc said...

Barrett:
Certainly no one would claim that John set out to provide anything resembling a transcript of the trial. Yet we may assume that he was able to explain with great precision the core question at issue, and that he presents us with a true account of the trial. Barrett also says ''that John has with keen insight picked out the key of the Passion narrative in the kingship of Jesus, and has made its meaning clearer, perhaps, than any other New Testament writer'' (ibid., p. 531).

First, with certainty, God made clear a transcript of this whole affair, (the 66 books) from beginning to end, from Genesis to the book of the Revelation.

Second, God seems to be perfectly satisfied with the Gospels explanation of the trial and the core question that is the hinge that keeps both the Law and Gospel from separating. Why shouldn't we?

The most important thing for me is to grasp just what happened and what He accomplished for all generations of His predestined Elect Body that week, besides fulfilling all Prophecies after His earthly life was snuffed out.

I will pose a question and will answer it.

What is the essential core issue here with the killing of the “King of the Jews” by the Jews and Romans?

Well, for me, it is the catholicity of the event that terminates Christ as “just” King of the Jews; and this complicity between the Romans and the Jews goes far beyond that, by Pilate's nailing to the Cross the words "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews." It also establishes Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords of all this present creation, both the heavens and earth so as to draw to Himself all His Elect out of every generation, past, present and to come. Christ is King of all creation, universe and breathing creatures; both creatures of these present heavens and earth; and those creatures who are of the prior age in Eternity, both the elect angels and the fallen angels. God has subjected all creations to Him.

The whole idea as a preacher of the Gospel, as a Royal Priest, as an adopted son or daughter of God, now, is to assist the elected Jews to stop holding to the erroneous position of their peculiarity among nations as “thee” chosen people of God. The death of Christ swings wide open the entry door of fellowship with God for both Jews and Gentiles, all those who have been appointed to eternal life. It’s not just Jerusalem Jesus was crucified for. It is for New Jerusalem. She is made up of both Jews and Gentiles, all now as co-equals of this Covenant Kingdom holding as Head the same King!

What was established through Moses was the legal framework so that the Jews could see their failure to keep the requirements of the holy and righteous and good law of God and by seeing that through the Eyes of the Spirit of God that the fulfillment is in Christ alone, they too can repent turning to Him for their deliverance from their failures, too; this world system; and Satan’s thief of the rule and authority of Adam by his fall bringing on him death and on his race separating them from their true source of Life, the Tree of Life, Jesus Christ, who is the True King of Kings and Lord of Lords of all.
continuing

natamllc said...

Cont'd:

The unjustifiable killing of the Lamb of God fulfills God's eternal purpose and terminates the temporal agreement God made with the Jews through Moses so that now, as the Apostle Paul writes, all can enjoy this:

Col 2:9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,
Col 2:10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
Col 2:11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,
Col 2:12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.
Col 2:13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,
Col 2:14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
Col 2:15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
Col 2:16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.
Col 2:17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
Col 2:18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,
Col 2:19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
Col 2:20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations--
Col 2:21 "Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch"
Col 2:22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)--according to human precepts and teachings?
Col 2:23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.


Now,if there is one harbinger of ideas coming into the world community today, reader take note, it is this sentence by Ratzinger/Benedict the XVI: “…According to John it was simply ''the Jews''. But John's use of this expression does not in any way indicate - as the modern reader might suppose - the people of Israel in general, even less is it ''racist'' in character.”

This, in my view, is where the battle lines are being drawn and plans being made to rise up against the True Body of Christ, those who hold to the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ. The old dragon is furious with Her and he has got to play that race card to keep division in the camp!

I am going to take issue with this representation by Ratzinger. He writes:

“…After all, John himself was ethnically a Jew, as were Jesus and all his followers. The entire early Christian community was made up of Jews. In John's Gospel this word has a precise and clearly defined meaning: he is referring to the Temple aristocracy. So the circle of accusers who instigate Jesus' death is precisely indicated in the Fourth Gospel and clearly limited: it is the Temple aristocracy - and not without certain exceptions, as the reference to Nicodemus (7:50ff.) shows.”

That simple is not an accurate representation of the Scriptures.

continuing

natamllc said...

Cont’d

Here are some Scriptural references that refute that claim that the entire early Christian community was made up of Jews only.

Mat 8:5 When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him,
Mat 8:6 "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly."
Mat 8:7 And he said to him, "I will come and heal him."
Mat 8:8 But the centurion replied, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.
Mat 8:9 For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
Mat 8:10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, "Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.
Mat 8:11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven,
Mat 8:12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Mat 27:54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, "Truly this was the Son of God!"

Joh 12:20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.
Joh 12:21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
Joh 12:22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.


These Scriptural references clearly undermine that assertion of his that claims the entire Christian community was made up of only Jews.

But, hey, when the Pope doesn’t hold to Sola Scriptura, should we, who do, be so aggressive towards his claims?

Again, with these words of his, I will assert my own claim with Scripture. Ratzinger claims:

“… It seems obvious that the historical reality is correctly described in John's account and in Mark's. The real group of accusers are the current Temple authorities, joined in the context of the Passover amnesty by the ''crowd'' of Barabbas' supporters.”

I am native American and if I was present there mingling among that crowd that day, I would have been confused by the same spirit that was moving through them. The Disciples and followers of Christ who lived with Him 3 and a half years didn't understand what about to happen. They did not comprehend the Resurrection. No one seeks after God on their own. No one understood at that time the crushing blow about to come upon Satan's head. Jesus Himself makes these claims:

Joh 12:30 Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not mine.
Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.
Joh 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."

Joh 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

Joh 17:18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
Joh 17:19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
Joh 17:20 "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
Joh 17:21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
Joh 17:22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,
Joh 17:23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

Turretinfan said...

Mr. Holter,

The problem that the authors have is with extending inerrancy to the historical details -- not inerrancy in general.

But I am curious what your source is for the rejection of I.L. I'm not saying you're wrong, I'd just love to know where you read that.

-TurretinFan

Rebecca said...

Constantine!

Did you get my emails this weekend? I was getting error messages… did you bomb me and then close out your account right away? :)

TurretinFan:

This “rejection” is my own conclusion, but I think it is warranted. If you follow the trail from

the Lineamenta: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/synod/documents/rc_synod_doc_20070427_lineamenta-xii-assembly_en.html

to the Instrumentum Laboris: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/synod/documents/rc_synod_doc_20080511_instrlabor-xii-assembly_en.html

to the final list of propositions: http://ncronline.org/node/12228 (see proposition 12)

to the Apostolic Exhortation: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20100930_verbum-domini_en.html (see the section, “Sacred Scripture, inspiration and truth”),

you’ll see the break occur between the Instrumentum Laboris and the list of propositions, which is when the Synod of Bishops actually took place. Here was one story that came out during that time: http://ncronline.org/node/12164. Had the bishops approved of the statement in the Laboris, they would have had something of similar wording included in their propositions. If you take a look at Pope Benedict’s address to the PBC in 2009, you’ll notice that the PBC took up the request of the bishops (http://www.adoremus.org/0609BXVI_Scripture.html).

I’ll say, I am grateful to God that Fr. Raymond Brown is not on the commission at this time. :) If Fr. Klemens Stock is still the Secretary, I think this is a good sign (from what little I’ve read of his). But the interview held with the President of the PBC during the time of the synod does not inspire much confidence: http://www.cardinalrating.com/cardinal_202__article_7597.htm. UH OH!

I sent an email to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith when I first heard about the PBC working on this document. I think I might have to send another one! (not that I’m anybody)

With love in Christ,
Pete Holter

natamllc said...

Mr. Holter,

I read this: http://ncronline.org/node/12164.

Near the bottom end of the article we read this:

By extension, they would argue, one should approach scripture with the assumption that every passage is true, even if one has to consider what kind of truth is involved in any given case.

Would you kindly give a briefing on just how you go about reading the Scriptures; and, which Scriptures do you read, meaning, the combination of books of the Bible you read?

Currently I am reading from the English Standard Version although I have many at my finger tips to go to instantly since I do most if not all my Bible reading on my Computer and IPhone.

Rebecca said...

Greetings natamllc!

I try to read the Scriptures the way Augustine did. :)

I am Catholic (or Roman, if you prefer), so I believe in the inspiration of the additional books of the Old Testament.

I prefer the ESV too.

Have a blessed night!

In Christ,
Pete

Fredericka said...

Pete Holter wrote, "He thinks that the “whole people” mentioned by Matthew is intended by him to signify all of the people of Israel, and thus as representative of the infective source for the “theological etiology” that ends up playing out in the ill fate suffered by all of the Jews, “when land, city and Temple were taken from them.”"

Hi Pete! So isn't the whole thing just unfair, because according to Benedict XVI it wasn't the people, but only a tiny subset, who clamored for Barabbas to be released? Where is the justice in destroying the city because of the actions of a factional 'mob'?

Thomas Aquinas explains why there cannot be any error in the historical sense of scripture. There are two things, a.) the narrative, and b.) the underlying historical facts which form the raw material for the narrative, and what do you know, they both fall under the same management: "I answer that, The author of Holy Writ is God, in whose power it is to signify His meaning, not by words only (as man also can do), but also by things themselves. So, whereas in every other science things are signified by words, this science has the property, that the things signified by the words have themselves also a signification. [...] Hence it is plain that nothing false can ever underlie the literal sense of Holy Writ." (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, P(1)-Q(1)-A(10)). Any human narrator can be surprised or disappointed at how things turn out, so he must 'fix' the story to make it come out right. But if God had wanted it to come out differently, it would have come out differently because He would have made it so. Benedict XVI is telling us, if I understand him correctly, that 'Matthew' (some unknown person writing after 70 A.D.) had to 'fix' the story to make it conform to the prophecy. But God, who is both the Narrator and also holds history in His hand, can never possibly be in that position. He writes both the story and the facts. Why would they diverge?

natamllc said...

Fredericka

as always, you have a knack for getting past the shell cracking it wide open so we can enjoy the fruit of the nut!

That was excellente'!

It also gets at something I want to raise with Mr. Holter.

Mr. Holter, assuming your mind has not been made up and are willing to have it bent a bit, I wanted to ask you to brief us on these Words written during a difficult time in Church History?

The Apostle Paul wrote this and I was hoping you might have something to say about it, here:


Act 20:32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

I wanted to ask you to open up a bit and share with us just what your process is in coming to God, first, then to the Word of His Grace?

Or, as I suspect, your main presupposition is still God and His Word but your real focus of study is based in and from the writings of the Roman See and things as you have shared above in previous comments and from them gain your guidance and insights into Truth, both historicity and actuality when responding to any of us Reformed souls in here?

Rebecca said...

Hi Fredericka and natamllc!

I don’t think I know enough context and background information to comment much further on the excerpt from Pope Benedict’s book. If we were able to ask him, I think he would want to avoid being taken as saying that Matthew is fixing the data. He would want to say that Matthew is trying to paint a theological metaphor of some kind.

I love Pope Benedict. But I do not agree with his interpretation. I think that a sentimentalizing influence coming from his personal friendships (e.g., http://insightscoop.typepad.com/2004/2010/01/rabbi-neusner-benedict-xvi-told-me-hes-written-his-last-book.html), and his proper desire to distance himself and Christianity from any form of Nazi-like anti-Semitism have had an unbalancing effect on his exegesis. But I think I can learn a lot from him, too. :)

I try to read the Scriptures from within the Catholic tradition rather than from within the Reformed tradition.

Acts 20:32… by grace we have been saved, and this is not of ourselves: it is the gift of God, for we have nothing that we did not receive. And this leads into my favorite “Pope Quote”:

“If only we encase ourselves in the armor of salvation against such a conflict, once we begin to refrain from sinning, we shall little by little blunt the edge of the enemy’s attack and sap his strength; until at length we shall wing our flight to that place of repose, where triumph and boundless joy will be ours. The credit of the victory is to be ascribed solely to the grace of God, which within us gives light to the mind and strength to the will, when we rise superior to so many hindrances and contests. It is the grace of God, We say. For as He created us, so is He able, through the treasures of His wisdom and power, to set aflame and fill our hearts wholly with His love” (Pius XI, Ad Salutem Humani).

I may not make it back for additional comments, but thanks for writing with me! Back to work. Waaaaah!!!!

With love in Christ,
Pete

Constantine said...

Hey Pete,

I didn't "bomb" you and am sorry not to have gotten your emails. Try again, please.

Peace.

Rebecca said...

Hi Fredericka and natamllc!

I don’t think I know enough context and background information to comment much further on the excerpt from Pope Benedict’s book. If we were able to ask him, I think he would want to avoid being taken as saying that Matthew is fixing the data. He would want to say that Matthew is trying to paint a theological metaphor of some kind.

I love Pope Benedict. But I do not agree with his interpretation. I think that a sentimentalizing influence coming from his personal friendships (e.g., http://insightscoop.typepad.com/2004/2010/01/rabbi-neusner-benedict-xvi-told-me-hes-written-his-last-book.html), and his desire to rightly distance himself and Christianity from any form of Nazi-like anti-Semitism have had an unfortunate, unbalancing effect on his exegesis. But I think I can learn a lot from him, too. :)

I try to read the Scriptures from within the Catholic tradition rather than from within the Reformed tradition. Acts 20:32… by grace we have been saved, and this is not of ourselves: it is the gift of God, for we have nothing that we did not receive. And this leads me into my favorite “Pope Quote”:

“If only we encase ourselves in the armor of salvation against such a conflict, once we begin to refrain from sinning, we shall little by little blunt the edge of the enemy’s attack and sap his strength; until at length we shall wing our flight to that place of repose, where triumph and boundless joy will be ours. The credit of the victory is to be ascribed solely to the grace of God, which within us gives light to the mind and strength to the will, when we rise superior to so many hindrances and contests. It is the grace of God, We say. For as He created us, so is He able, through the treasures of His wisdom and power, to set aflame and fill our hearts wholly with His love” (Pius XI, Ad Salutem Humani).

I may not make it back for additional comments, but thanks for writing with me! Back to work. Waaaaah!!!!

With love in Christ,
Pete

Fredericka said...

Pete wrote, "I love Pope Benedict. But I do not agree with his interpretation."

Hi Pete! Well, we agree on that point: I didn't find his interpretation convincing either. Maybe along with all the grand gifts with which the popes are commissioned to interpret scripture, there should have come a little box marked 'Plausibility.'