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Daily Inspiration for Catholic Homeschoolers
    Dave Armstrong

The Bible and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Bible and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Our Protestant friends in Christ often challenge us to find “proofs” of our doctrines in the Bible. When it comes to the doctrine of the Assumption, almost all of them think or say: “there is nothing whatever in the Bible about that!

I’d like to examine this question from two perspectives: whether the challenge they make is itself based on a biblical model, and whether we can find anything in Scripture to support our dogmatic belief in Mary’s Bodily Assumption into heaven.

Assuming it’s Explicit

The assumption (no pun intended!) casually made by those who argue in this way is the notion: “all doctrines believed by Christians must be explicitly mentioned in Scripture.” This is a key aspect of the Protestant foundational belief in sola Scriptura (Scripture is the only infallible authority or rule of faith).

But the Bible, in fact, never teaches this idea (nor sola Scriptura itself). Protestants can’t prove it from Scripture. Moreover, there are other doctrines held by Protestants, too, based on no biblical indications at all. One clear example is the canon of Scripture. The Bible never lists its own books. The “Table of Contents” comes entirely from Christian Tradition. Yet Protestants accept it (minus seven books); and this is contrary to sola Scriptura. Despite all this, we are unreasonably asked to prove everything we believe as Catholics, from explicit biblical passages.

Catholics believe that all Catholic and Christian doctrines must be in harmony with Scripture; must not contradict it; also, that some doctrines are able to be supported only indirectly, implicitly, or by deduction from other related Bible passages.

2014-05 Gospel Time  Trekkers

All Catholic doctrines have scriptural support in some sense (this is my main specialty as an apologist). We also believe in Sacred Tradition: itself always in harmony with Scripture. Sometimes (as in the present case), a doctrine is “stronger” in Tradition.

Assemble the Evidence

I agree that there is no direct “proof” of Mary’s Assumption in Scripture. But there is strong deductive and analogical evidence. The deductive argument has to do with the “consequences” of Mary’s Immaculate Conception: a doctrine more directly indicated in Scripture (e.g., Lk 1:28). Bodily death and decay are the result of sin and the fall of man (Gen 3:16-19; Ps 16:10). An absence of actual and original sin would allow for instant bodily resurrection. It’s as if Mary goes back to before the fall (for this reason the Church fathers call her the “New Eve”).

Jesus’ Resurrection makes possible universal resurrection (1 Cor 15:13, 16), and redemption of our bodies as well as souls (1 Cor 15:20-23). Mary’s Assumption is the “first fruits,” sign, and type of the general resurrection of all (created) mankind; she exemplifies the age in which death and sin are conquered once and for all (1 Cor 15:26).

The analogical argument is a second line of approach: biblical examples that have strong similarity in important respects to Mary’s Bodily Assumption. Here are five such analogies:

2 Kings 2:1, 11 (RSV). . . the LORD was about to take Eli’jah up to heaven by a whirlwind, . . . [11] . . . And Eli’jah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

2 Corinthians 12:2-3 I know a man in Christ [i.e., Paul himself] who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven . . . [3] And I know that this man was caught up into Paradise — whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows –

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 . . . And the dead in Christ will rise first; [17] then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God had taken him. . . . (cf. Gen 5:24)

Revelation 11:11-12 But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, . . . [12] Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up hither!” And in the sight of their foes they went up to heaven in a cloud.

Dead or Alive

In three of these instances, the person didn’t die (in one the person even came back); in two they died first. The Church hasn’t declared whether Mary died or not. All of these events occur by virtue of the power of God, not the intrinsic ability of the persons.

Jesus ascended by His own power, but the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed by the power of her Son Jesus’ victory over death. Hers was an ‘immediate resurrection.’ One day all who are saved will be bodily resurrected. Mary was the first after the Resurrection: quite appropriately (and even, I submit, “expected”), since she was Jesus’ own Mother.

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About Dave Armstrong

Dave Armstrong
A full-time Catholic apologist since 2001, Dave was received into the Church in 1991. Since February 1997, he has blogged over 2,500 times. Dave is happily married to Judy since 1984, and their four children have all been homeschooled. BiblicalCatholicism.com | Meet Dave
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  • mdeadly

    Even the Pharisaical Jews who were in part declared to be the sons of their father the devil believed in a resurrection of the dead.

    Isogesis – where one takes an idea and then twists the Scriptures to fit the idea – is a heinous offense, and very typical of the way apologists for the Roman Catholic Organization treat the Holy Scriptures.

    You reference Luke 1:28 to “prove” Mary was born sinless. Why is it, then, in verse 47 she references “my savior?” Only a sinner needs a savior. Furthermore, Luke 1:28 says Miriam was “blessed among women.” Yet, of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, it is said in Judges 5:24, that she shall be blessed “above” women. Was Jael also taken bodily into heaven?

    I assume we can assume she was?

    As for the rest of your references, they are inimical to your argument. The ONLY way we know that Enoch was not, because God took him, is because it says so in Scripture. Same with Elijah’s taking, same with Paul’s taking up, and the same considering we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord Jesus.

    You are a total contradiction in that you “assume” Miriam had a similar experience described of others on the basis that the Bible said it of others, and not Miriam! Such hogwash.

    The RCO (or Lodge if you prefer, for it is no church as anywhere described in Scripture), simply made this “doctrine” up, and did it in the 20th century (1950) of all times!

    Your statement “Mary was the first after the Resurrection: quite appropriately (and even, I submit, “expected”), since she was Jesus’ own Mother” is patently false. Matthew 27:52-53 states this clearly:

    “52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves AFTER HIS RESURRECTION, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”

    None of your falsehoods here are surprising especially, because the RCO has ever been perpetrating lies and foisting them in every place in order to divert attention away from the singular perfections of the Lord Jesus Christ. The RCO has been and will always sell the old “Queen of Heaven” worship – of Astarte (Diana of the Ephesians), the foul Asherah, Semiramis – the religion of the earth’s first pope (Nimrod), because it panders to the heathenism of the world.

    You further blaspheme the Lord Jesus Christ when you claim it is Mary, and not the Lord Jesus Himself, who fulfills the Feast of the Firstfruits! It is Jehovah Himself Who fulfills ALL the Feats of Jehovah!

    Furthermore, you do despite to the Scriptures of God, which say in them that when He, the Holy Spirit is come (personally fulfilled by Him on Pentecost), that He would guide the apostles into “all truth,” which He did, and the Scriptures are the SOLE evidence of it. So we know we have all the truth, despite whatever controversies there are about the canonical order of the books.

    “Biblical (Roman) Catholicism” is like “Christian Science” (neither Christian, nor science) or Grape Nuts (neither Grapes nor Nuts).

    So, now, we see these contradictions and errors you have laid out, which is why your hogwash isn’t worth reading.

    [The writer of this response left the RCO and received Jesus Christ as his Savior over 38 years ago. He has given thousands of Bible messages, including radio broadcasts, 200 hours of which are found on http://www.biblestudy.net. He is grandfather to 36 grandchildren, all who are home schooled by his home-schooled children, each of whom is born from above.]

    • Dave Armstrong

      This critic’s name is John Malone. He also posted this to my Facebook page, and I responded there. Here is most of my reply:

      “Isogesis – where one takes an idea and then twists the Scriptures to fit the idea – is a heinous offense,”

      The actual word for what you do is “eisegesis.” It might help in the future to get the spelling right.

      “You
      reference Luke 1:28 to ‘prove’ Mary was born sinless. Why is it, then,
      in verse 47 she references ‘my savior?’ Only a sinner needs a savior.”

      She
      was saved by sin by being miraculously preserved from original sin and
      given extraordinary graces from God so that she wouldn’t commit actual
      sin. Thus,
      she was still saved from sin: prevented from falling into the pit of
      sin, rather than rescued from it. In both cases, it is still necessary
      for God to save and send His grace. It required His intervention. Therefore,
      He is her Savior just as much as He is ours.

      “Luke 1:28 says Miriam was ‘blessed among women.’ ”

      That’s
      not where the argument for her sinlessness comes from; rather, from “full of grace” and the
      implications of that, thought through (“kecharitomene” in Greek).

      “You
      are a total contradiction in that you ‘assume’ Miriam had a similar
      experience described of others on the basis that the Bible said it of
      others, and not Miriam!”

      It’s not a contradiction at all. The Bible never states that the Blessed Virgin Mary
      was NOT assumed (which would be required for a “contradiction”). It
      does give these other examples of similar occurrences, and so we
      speculate (in terms of the biblical data considered separately — for the sake of argument — from Sacred Tradition) based on analogy, as well as what it means to be sinless.

      “The
      ONLY way we know that Enoch was not, because God took him, is because
      it says so in Scripture. Same with Elijah’s taking, same with Paul’s
      taking up, and the same considering we who are alive and remain until
      the coming of the Lord Jesus.”

      Why do you believe in a canon of Scripture, then? That’s never listed in the Bible itself.

      Why
      do you believe that every doctrine must be explicitly laid out in the
      Bible, or else can’t be believed? That ain’t in there anywhere.

      Why
      do you believe that Scripture is the only infallible authority and rule
      of faith, to the exclusion of the infallibility of Church and
      tradition? That’s not in the Bible anywhere. I’ve written two entire
      books about it (one took on the two best historic Protestant defenders of this
      false doctrine).

      “The
      RCO (or Lodge if you prefer, for it is no church as anywhere described
      in Scripture), simply made this “doctrine” up, and did it in the 20th
      century (1950) of all times!”

      You have quite a talent for fiction. This would come as big news to one of the early Protestant leaders: Heinrich Bullinger, who wrote in 1568:

      “Elijah
      was transported body and soul in a chariot of fire; he was not buried
      in any Church bearing his name, but mounted up to heaven, so that . . .
      we might know what immortality and recompense God prepares for his
      faithful prophets and for his most outstanding and incomparable
      creatures…It is for this reason, we believe, that the pure and
      immaculate embodiment of the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, the Temple
      of the Holy Spirit, that is to say her saintly body, was carried up to
      heaven by the angels.”

      The
      rest of your “argument” is silly and foolish. Perhaps if you interact with my reply here I will deal with some more of it. In any event, thanks for a classic example of
      anti-Catholic polemics.

      • mdeadly

        “Isogesis” is a perfectly acceptable anglicization of a Greek term. Please do not pretend here that you know the first things about the Koine Greek language as the Catholic Bibles are Vulgate translations, where the word preposition “iso” is a standard form, meaning properly what it does in context of this argument, and exactly opposite of the proper hermeneutic of exegesis.

        The first means bring an idea to the Scriptures, and trying to prove it, the other meaning looking at the Scriptures, and attempting to see what they actually say and mean.

        Ignorance of Scripture is a bad thing, but when you combine it with the arrogance of You, it’s a fatal combination. I don’t give a hoot about whatever books you brag about, or whatever “Protestants” you claim to have defeated in argumentation.

        I’m your Huckleberry, you blasphemer.

        You rant on and on, but did you answer any of the actual arguments of your fallacies? You did not. You picked a nit about the word “isogesis,” and then you failed to state at all how your observations are not EXACTLY that.

        To say that Miriam was “miraculously saved” from original sin requires a source. The Scriptures say she was highly favored, not perfectly graced as you claim, a term reserved only for the Lord Jesus Himself, as seen in John 1:14.

        The fact is, what is said of Mary in Luke 1:28 – “highly favoured” – is EXACTLY the same word as is said of me and other born again Christians in Ephesians 1:6. Away with your nonsense!

        As for what the reformer Bullinger said, what difference does it make? It doesn’t make Bible students wrong if someone makes the error he did, anymore than it makes the RCO right, just because some RC gets something right once in awhile.

        Here is a list of what you failed to address in your reply.

        1. Your isogesis.
        2. The matter of Jael being blessed above women.
        3. The facts that you use to imply Mriam’s bodily taking being from Scripture as a reason we know them.
        4. Your error concerning Miriam being the first resurrected after Jesus Christ, despite the account referenced in Matthew.
        5. Your error that Mary somehow became the Firstfruits (blasphemy).
        6. Your error concerning Mary’s sinlessness. There is no reason to assume such a thing. That’s probably a worse assumption than the assumption assumption, and it flies in the face of all truth concerning the Lord Jesus.

        Paul was very eager to take the Word of God to Rome, because those arrogant ignorami did not have God’s dynamite in their hands, and neither do you, even though you have a full time job to post your inane blasphemies against the Truth.

        Romans 1:15-16.

        • Dave Armstrong

          “‘Isogesis’ is a perfectly acceptable anglicization of a Greek term.”

          Whether that’s true or not, “Isogesis” is not in the English dictionary. I checked my big fat dictionary at home (2000+ big pages, unabridged). It’s not there. It’s not listed at Dictionary.com either; nor at Merriam-Wester Online, which states:

          “isogesis

          “The word you’ve entered isn’t in the dictionary. Click on a spelling suggestion below or try again using the search bar above.

          “1. eisegesis”

          • mdeadly

            This particular Bullinger you quote, the ancestor of the indefatigable E.W. Bullinger of Companion Bible fame, apparently didn’t know what the kids in my Bible class know, that Elijah was not taken up in a chariot, but in a whirlwind, as the Scripture says.

            Your errors are many, and in a list, Deal with it, or shut up.

            Your pretense to Greek knowledge is worse than your pretenses to Bible knowledge.

          • Dave Armstrong

            This is a classic case of sophistry When refuted on a particular point (thus having no legitimate reply): the goal is to obfuscate and try to divert the reader’s attention so they don’t realize that one has refuted.

            Your original point was your ludicrous claim that the Catholic Church “simply made this ‘doctrine’ up, and did it in the 20th century (1950) of all times!”

            Thus, I cited [Protestant] Bullinger from 1568: almost 400 years earlier. This alone was enough to destroy your credibility as any sort of informed observer regarding Catholicism, almost in and of itself.

            Realizing this (either consciously or subconsciously), you obfuscated by introducing an utter irrelevancy:

            “As for what the reformer Bullinger said, what difference does it make? It doesn’t make Bible students wrong if someone makes the error he did, . . .”

            After I called you on that tactic, you then switched over to your current diversion of mocking the Bullinger statement itself: thus introducing a third motif or “line of argument” that had nothing whatever to do with the reason for why I cited him (in response to your original false claim).

            And even this is an unjust accusation against Bullinger and his supposed ignorance of the Bible. He wrote:

            “Elijah was transported body and soul in a chariot of fire.”

            You say that he “didn’t know what the kids in my Bible class know, that Elijah was not taken up in a chariot, but in a whirlwind, as the Scripture says.”

            Nice try. Of course, the Bible mentions both things (in my citation I mentioned the “whirlwind” twice), as anyone who has read the passage (of whatever age) knows:

            2 Kings 2:11-12 (KJV) And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. [12] And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. . . .

            RSV: And as they still went on and talked, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Eli’jah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. [12] And Eli’sha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!”

            ASV: there appeared’ a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, which parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

            RV: [there appeared] a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, which parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

            Young’s Literal: and lo, a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and they separate between them both, and Elijah goeth up in a whirlwind, to the heavens.

            NASB there appeared a [1] chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind [2] to heaven.

            NIV suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.

            NKJV suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

            As for commentary on the passage, for the Old Testament few sources are as authoritative as the Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament. It states about the passage:

            * * *

            The storm was accompanied by a fiery phenomenon, which appeared to the eyes of Elisha as a chariot of fire with horses of fire, in which Elijah rode to heaven. The tempest was an earthly substratum for the theophany,
            the fiery chariots and fiery horses the symbolical form in which the translation of his master to heaven presented itself to the eye of Elisha, who was left behind. . . .

            The ascension of Elijah has been compared to the death of Moses. “As God Himself buried Moses, and his grave has not been found to this day, so did He fetch Elias to heaven in a still more glorious manner in a fiery chariot with fiery horses, so that fifty men, who searched for him, did not find him on the earth” (Ziegler). . . .

            http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/view.cgi?bk=11&ch=2

            Likewise, the Matthew Henry Commentary:

            * * *

            II. Elijah is carried up to heaven in a fiery chariot, . . .

            2. What convoy his Lord sent for him—a chariot of fire and horses of fire, which appeared either descending upon them from the clouds or (as bishop Patrick thinks) running towards them upon the ground: in this form the angels appeared. The souls of all the faithful are carried by an invisible guard of angels into the bosom of Abraham; but, Elijah being to carry his body with him, this heavenly guard was visible, not in a human shape, as usual, though they might so have borne him up in their arms, or carried him as on eagles’ wings, but that would have been to carry him like a child, like a lamp (Isa. 40:11, Isa. 40:31); they appear in the form of a chariot and horses, that he may ride in state, may ride in triumph, like a prince, like a conqueror, yea, more than a conqueror. The angels are called in scripture cherubim and seraphim, and their appearance here, though it may seem below their dignity, answers to both those names; for (1.) Seraphim signifies fiery, and God is said to make them a flame of fire, Ps. 104:4 . (2.) Cherubim (as many think) signifies chariots, and they are called the chariots of God (Ps. 68:17 ), and he is said to ride upon a cherub (Ps. 18:10), to which perhaps there is an allusion in Ezekiel’s vision of four living creatures, and wheels, like horses and chariots; in Zechariah’s vision, they are so represented, Zec. 1:8 Zec. 6:1 . Compare Rev. 6:2 , etc. See the readiness of the angels to do the will go God, even in the meanest services, for the good of those that shall be heirs of salvation. Elijah must remove to the world of angels, and therefore, to show how desirous they were of his company, some of them would come to fetch him. The chariot and horses appeared like fire, not for burning, but brightness, not to torture or consume him, but to render his ascension conspicuous and illustrious in the eyes of those that stood afar off to view it. Elijah had burned with holy zeal for God and his honour, and now with a heavenly fire he was refined and translated. 3. How he was separated from Elisha. This chariot parted them both asunder.

            Note, The dearest friends must part. Elisha had protested he would not leave him, yet now is left behind by him.4. Whither he was carried. He went up by a whirlwind into heaven. The fire tends upward; the whirlwind helped to carry him through the atmosphere, out of the reach of the magnetic virtue of this earth, and then how swiftly he ascended through the pure ether to the world of holy and blessed spirits we cannot conceive.

            http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/2-kings/2.html

            Many other Protestant commentaries like this could surely be produced. The impartial observer (who doesn’t have an axe to grind, or have to defend a prior absurd contention made) can plainly see that Elijah went up to heaven in a fiery chariot, in a whirlwind. It’s not “either/or”; it is both.

          • http://www.catholicauthor.us/ Dominic de Souza

            Hi Dave, absolutely blown away by the insight into the cherubim and chariots. Thank you!

          • Dave Armstrong

            Well, you should thank Matthew Henry. :-) I must say that I, too, was delighted with the extraordinary exegetical depth he exhibited in that commentary.

          • mdeadly

            I see you really don’t know what exegesis is. Start with reading some Bible.

          • mdeadly

            So, Dave, you have decided to make this entire argument, which started out with you putting forward that there is some kind of evidence that Mary was “assumed” bodily into heaven, now comes down to your selection of commentators, who make the common mistake that Elijah was taken up by chariots of fire, when in fact the Bible clearly states that it was in a whirlwind.

            Well, it WAS in a whirlwind, and who cares what Matthew Henry thought. Who cares what Kiel and Delitsch imagine? It is preferable to simply look at what the Scripture says, and does not say, and to deal with that.

            But let’s set aside you main point for the moment (the alleged assumption of Mary), as you have so readily done, and continue now to descend into the more minor error you want to pick as diversion from the hell-inspired perfidy you advance in behalf of your counter-reformation masters, which has now become the matter of Elijah being carried to heaven

            You seem to think that, because you can mistakes by “Protestant commentators” that somehow you can require me or others to disagree with the plain statements of Scripture. This is not so.

            I, nor other serious Bible students, do not subscribe to some kind of “Commentary tradition” or Protestant magisterium – especially the rather poor commentaries you provide to bolster your errors, as if you become right when others agree with your mistakes.

            Not only does the Scripture say that Elijah was carried up in a whirlwind, but the chariots referenced are not the only reference to them in Scripture, but later, having seen God’s EARTHLY provision of what apparently appears to be an angelic host of fiery chariots, Elisha takes comfort in them.

            When Benhadad, the wicked Syrian king sends his army of chariots to surround Dothan, the city housing Elishah, in order to capture him, Elsiha prays God would open the eyes of his servant to see these forces of God surrounding Elisha on the hills surrounding Dothan:

            2Kings 6:13-17 And he [Benhadad] said, Go and spy where he {Elisha] is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan. Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host:and they came by night, and compassed the city about. And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots.And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not:for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw:and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

            So what was the outcome? In 2Kings 7:6-7 we discover God’s use of the chariots he provided, to deliver his servant and his people from the Syrian siege:

            For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host:and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us. Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life.

            Furthermore, concerning such chariots of fire, we can learn in the final chapter of Isaiah, that these very angelic chariots – and we can see from elsewhere in Scripture that they are angelic – will be used by the Lord Jesus Christ to bring vengeance of his enemies.

            So, in summary, there’s plenty of evidence the chariots were not at all to carry Elijah anywhere, but rather to terrorize the earthly enemies of the nation of Israel in the days of the Syrian siege.

            That’s what the Bible says.

            The Scripture does not say – anywhere – either that Mary was sinless (blasphemy), nor that she was “assumed” into heaven, whether by whirlwind or chariot. She was not at the mount of transfiguration, as were Peter, James, John, – together with Moses and Elijah – where Peter later reminds us in Scripture (2 Pet 1:17) that he heard a voice from the most excellent glory, “This is my beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased.”

            Elijah was taken up for this purpose, and even probably to return (with Moses) to prophesy against the enemies of Israel at a yet future date.

            There is no like plan in Scripture for Mary, which is why she lived out her days under the care of John the apostle, according to the Scripture, happily to see her other sons (James and Jude) finally come around to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

            Now, on to the six points you refuse to answer, what from you? Yes, nothing from you. And why is that? Because, like the other enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Sadducees who hated Him, “do you not therefore err, because you know not the Scripture, nor the power of God?”

          • Dave Armstrong

            “Now, on to the six points you refuse to answer, what from you? Yes, nothing from you. And why is that?”

            I already replied, saying, “Perhaps if you interact with my reply here I will deal with some more of [your argument].”

            What I always refuse to do is bow to a double standard. You deliberately chose to ignore my hard questions to you, yet you require me to answer every jot and tittle of your comments.

            These are my three questions (among other arguments) that you completely, utterly ignored (and for good reason):

            Why do you believe in a canon of Scripture, then? That’s never listed in the Bible itself.

            Why do you believe that every doctrine must be explicitly laid out in the Bible, or else can’t be believed? You can’t find that anywhere in Scripture, either.

            Why do you believe that Scripture is the only infallible authority and rule of faith, to the exclusion of the infallibility of Church and tradition? That’s not in the Bible anywhere.

            Even if you DID answer those, your insults and calumnies are so pervasive, that it has long since ceased to be a constructive, edifying discussion, and Paul’s injunctions amply apply:

            1
            Corinthians 5:11 (RSV) But rather I wrote to you not to associate with any
            one who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or
            greed, or is an idolater, REVILER, drunkard, or robber — not even to
            eat with such a one.

            2 Timothy 2:23 Have nothing to do with stupid, senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.

            Titus
            3:9-10 But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and
            quarrels over the law, for they are unprofitable and futile. [10] As for
            a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have
            nothing more to do with him,

          • mdeadly

            I believe in a “canon of Scripture” because in the Scripture, it says, for instance, in John 16:13, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…”

            Now that was said by the Lord in the hearing of the apostles, so that had to be true for all or some of them in order to be true.

            Additionally, we have 1st Corinthians, 13:8-10.

            Charity never faileth:but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

            When the temporary things passed – prophecy, tongues, knowledge – then quite obviously that which is complete (perfect) was come. And despite the pretense of “baby talk” being “tongues (languages),” or the many “false prophets” who arise, such as Popes, these miraculous works ceased in the apostolic era as the perfect (completed) came.

            There are some disagreements with what the canon of Scripture actually is, but I have never heard anyone that even pretended to be a Christian who thought there WASN’T one.

            So there is that. I won’t go into the scads of other evidences because I’m not going to spend much time with an insincere question.

            Now then there is certainly NOTHING in Scripture that matches up to the RCO claim of Papal Infallibility when speaking ex cathedra. It is a nonsensical claim, and a usurpation of the work specifically delegated to the Holy Spirit, the Vicar of Christ on earth.

            As for tradition, we are warned against it as something that makes the word of God of no effect, as in the case of you, for instance. Mark 7:13, as said of the Pharisees:

            Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered:and many such like things do ye.

            As for calling me a REVILER, I would advise you that if that word is what you mean to say it is, you have REVILED me by calling me a REVILER. Of course, it doesn’t mean what you say it does, because you are nearly totally ignorant of the Scriptures, and are simply searching and cutting and pasting what you do not know anything about.

            If there is any stupid controversy going on here, it is your assertion that the Bible could, in any way whatsoever, sustain an argument that Mary was assumed into heaven, or that she was born sinless (or needed to be), or that she remained a virgin as a married woman – which would be sexually immoral.

          • Dave Armstrong

            None of that tells us what books should be in the Bible (based on the Bible alone). It can’t be done because the canon comes from Catholic tradition, not the Bible, which never spells it out (that’s why it took some 360 years to finalize). You ignored, once again, my #2 and #3. Henceforth, I will totally ignore you.

            “Reviler” above (“railer” in KJV) is Strong’s word #3060: “loidoros”. It’s used also at 1 Corinthians 6:10, where Paul says they won’t inherit the kingdom of God.

            Kittel (one-volume) states that it “has the secular sense of reproach, insult, calumny, and even blasphemy. In the LXX it carries the nuance of wrangling, angry remonstrance, or chiding as well as the more usual calumny. Philo has it for mockery or invective.”

            These descriptions fit how you have behaved here to a tee: more than for virtually any other detractor I have met online these past 18 years. You’ve insulted me in many different ways, and expressed utter contempt and vitriol all the way through: not just against my arguments but towards me as a person.

            Kittel notes that Christians should avoid calumny, but that when we are targets of it, we should react according to 1 Peter 3:9 (“Do not return evil for evil or reviling for reviling; but on the contrary bless, for to this you have been called, that you may obtain a blessing.” — RSV) and 1 Cor 4:12 (“When reviled, we bless”). I already asked God’s blessings upon you and do so again now:

            I hope and pray that God will abundantly bless and enlighten you always. I wish you all good things, and most of all, eternal salvation by means of the death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on the cross.

            You can have the last word if you like; i.e., if the editors of this magazine allow you to do so. That’s up to them, but I’m through interacting with you, and shake the dust off of my feet (also the sage advice of our Lord).

          • mdeadly

            If I’m you, I’d be running for the hills, just as you are.

            Your a disingenuous person, averse to the truth, creating as you do presumptions against the reliability of the word of God, running away from the consistent errors you put forward, and showing yourself at best an apostate, at worse no child of God.

            As for you not wanting to have anything further to hear from me, it is your loss. According to RCO doctrine, I am already anathema because I do not say that Jesus is really present in the wafer, but that is at best a symbol, and may I say a very poor symbolic representation according to the Scriptures. I am further anathema to the RCO because I have been immersed in water as a testimony of my faith after abandoning forever the evil system that is the RCO.

            Imagine all this despite I shared a hotel with the wicked Pope and over 60 of his wicked cardinals (and their “Benz’s).

            The controversy in what constitutes canon of Scripture has to do with so-called Old Testament books, and is actually quite limited. Why anyone would give the pseudo-epigrapha the same status as the other books i beyond me. They are apocryphal because they are apocryphal.

            I am satisfied that God’s earthly first-born son (Israel) did keep the Scriptures according to the Massorah, and, except for the reasonably well-documented emendations of the Sopherim, kept a reliable and inspired text.

            The controversy in the so-called New Testament has to do with the order of the books, and I personally am satisfied that the catholic epistles (properly used word “catholic”) belong between the book of Acts and the Pauline “church epistles,” the latter capped off by the Book of Hebrews. I believe the majority of the manuscripts would lead one to this conclusion.

            I also accept the Majority Text as verbally inspired.

            Together, I agree that these compendiums comprise the entire Scriptures, and thus we have verbal AND plenary inspiration in our hands.

            God saw to it that no organization could continue to lock the Scripture off away from the common man, in whose language the Scriptures are written, by interrupting the tyranny of the RCO with, first, the invention of moveable type, and now, with the invention of universal instant communication through this medium.

            The whore that is historically the RCO may be able to call her daughters to her aid, but those of us who readily recognize her in mystery form will continue to tell the truth, dispute the purveyors of cow dung such as you.

            By the way, the list your reference in 1st Corinthian 5, includes idolators and fornicators, which pretty much takes care of the whole RCO leadership in its many forms.

        • Dave Armstrong

          You have not by any means fully interacted with my original argumentation and have completely ignored crucial aspects of my counter-reply, so I see no reason to deal any further with you, especially given your extreme mocking, insulting tone.

          But I’d like to point out one fact of linguistics:

          “The fact is, what is said of Mary in Luke 1:28 – “highly favoured” – is EXACTLY the same word as is said of me and other born again Christians in Ephesians 1:6. Away with your nonsense!”

          Not according to Baptist linguist A. T. Robertson, in his “Word Pictures of the New Testament.” He writes, concerning Luke 1:28:

          Highly favoured (kecaritwmenh) [kecharitomene]. Perfect passive participle of caritow [charitoo] and means endowed with grace (cari), enriched with grace as in Ephesians 1:6 , non ut mater gratiae, sed ut filia gratiae (Bengel). The Vulgate gratiae plena “is right, if it means ‘full of grace which thou hast received'; wrong, if it means ‘full of grace which thou hast to bestow”‘ (Plummer).

          About Ephesians 1:6, he writes:

          To the praise (ei epainon). Note the prepositions in this sentence. Which (h). Genitive case of the relative hn (cognate accusative with ecaritwsen [echaritosen] (he freely bestowed), late verb caritow (from cari, grace), in N.T. attracted to case of antecedent carito only here and Luke 1:28 . In the Beloved (en twi hgaphmenwi). Perfect passive participle of agapaw. This phrase nowhere else in the N.T. though in the Apostolic Fathers.

          It’s NOT “exactly” the same word (kecharitomene / echaritosen). Robertson defines the former as “full of grace which thou hast received”: precisely what Catholics believe about Mary, based on this verse.

        • Dave Armstrong

          Oh, just one more point:

          “As for what the reformer Bullinger said, what difference does it make?”

          It makes a great deal of difference in terms of what I was actually replying to in your first comment: “The RCO . . . simply made this “doctrine” up, and did it in
          the 20th century (1950) of all times!”

          Thus, if I cite someone who believed it in 1568, it can hardly have been “made up” in 1950.

          “It doesn’t make Bible students wrong if someone makes the error he did, anymore than it makes the RCO right, just because some RC gets something right once in awhile.”

          I totally agree with this particular observation, but of course it has nothing whatsoever to do with the historical point I made. The fact that you thought your latter paragraph is what I was actually trying to argue is indicative of why this discussion goes nowhere.

          The first rule in any dialogue is to actually understand the opposing view before lashing out at it. Otherwise, one engages in non sequiturs (stuff having nothing to do with the argument) or wars against straw men, which is what you have done here and in many places of your commentary, in addition to ignoring every difficult question I asked of you.

          You be well. May God bless you with all good things.

  • http://platytera.blogspot.com Christian LeBlanc

    “Hers was an ‘immediate resurrection.’” I like that; I may use it in catechism class.