torsdag 20 februari 2014

Does Haydock - NT - take into account Beza and the Reformers?

Haydock on Beza and Reformers:

Old Testament, New Testament

St Matthew 3YesNoNoNoNoNoNo
St Matthew 5YesNoYesNoNoNoNo
St Matthew 7NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
St Matthew 8YesNoNoNoNoNoNo
St Matthew 9NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
St Matthew 10YesNoNoNoNoNoNo
St Matthew 13NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
St Matthew 14NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
St Matthew 17NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
St Matthew 18NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
St Matthew 20NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
St Matthew 22NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
St Matthew 23NoYesYesNoNoNoNo
St Matthew 26NoNoYesNoNoYesNo
St Marc 11NoYesYesYesYesNoNo
St Luke 1YesYesNoNoNoNoNo
St Luke 6NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
St Luke 10NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
St Luke 11NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
St Luke 22YesNoNoNoNoNoNo
St John 3NoNoYesNoNoNoNo
St John 9YesNoNoNoNoNoNo
St John 14NoYesYesNoNoNoNo
St John 20NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
Acts 2YesNoNoNoNoNoNo
Acts 8YesNoNoNoNoNoNo
Galatians 2NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
Ephesians 1NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
Philippians 4YesYesNoNoNoNoNo
2 Thessalonians 2NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
1 Timothy 1NoNoYesNoNoNoNo
Titus 1NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
Hebrews 1YesYesNoNoNoNoNo
Hebrews 5YesYesNoYesNoNoNo
Hebrews 6YesNoNoNoNoNoNo
Hebrews 8YesNoNoNoNoNoNo
Hebrews 9NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
Hebrews 10NoYesYesNoNoNoNo
St James 5NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
1 John 5NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
St Jude 1YesYesNoNoNoNoNo
Apocalypse 3No YesYesNoNoNoNo
Apocalypse 9YesYesYesYesNoYesYes
Apocalypse 11No No YesNoNoNoNo
Apocalypse 14No No YesNoNoNoNo
Apocalypse 18No No YesNoNoNoNo

Does Haydock - OT - take into account what Beza and Calvin wrote? And others?

Haydock on Beza and Reformers:

Old Testament, New Testament

Genesis 3NoYesYesNoNoNoNo
Genesis 4NoYesYesNoNoNoNo
Genesis 10YesNoNoNoNoNoNo
Genesis 16NoNoYesNoNoNoNo
Genesis 45NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
Genesis 48NoYesNoNoNoNoNo
Exodus 7NoYesNo No No No No
Exodus 8NoYesNo No No YesNo
Exodus 13NoYesNo No No No No
Exodus 16NoYesNo No No YesNo
Exodus 20NoYesYesNo No No No
Exodus 32 NoYesNo No No No No
Leviticus 11YesNo No NoNo No No
Leviticus 18YesNo No No No No No
Numbers 16No No YesNo NoNo No
Numbers 30No NoYesNo NoNo No
Deuteronomy 11No No YesNo NoNo No
Deuteronomy 16No No YesNo NoNo No
Deuteronomy 17No YesYesNo NoNo No
Deuteronomy 27No No YesNo NoNo No
Deuteronomy 29No No YesNo NoNo No
Deuteronomy 32No YesNo No NoNo No
Josue 3No No YesNo NoNo No
Josue 24No NoYesNo NoNo No
Ruth 4YesNo NoNo NoNo No
1 Kings 6No YesNoNo NoNo No
4 Kings 6No YesNoNo NoNo No
Esther 1No No YesNo NoNo No
Job 2YesNo No No NoNo No
Job 6No No YesNo NoNo No
Job 11No No YesNo NoNo No
Job 13No No YesNo NoNo No
Job 19No No YesNo NoNo No
Job 40YesNo No No NoNo No
Psalm 9No No YesNo NoNo No
Psalm 13YesYesNo No No No No
Psalm 15YesYesNo No No No No
Psalm 16No No No No YesNo No
Psalm 17No No YesNo No No No
Psalm 30No YesNoNo No No No
Psalm 31No YesNo No No No No
Psalm 32No YesNo No No No No
Psalm 35No YesNo No No No No
Psalm 44No YesNo No No No No
Psalm 61No No YesNo No No No
Psalm 75No No YesNo No No No
Psalm 118No No YesNo No No No
Proverbs 13No YesNoNoNoNoNo
Canticle 5No No YesNo NoNo No
Wisdom 14No YesNo NoNo NoNo
Ecclesiasticus 15YesNo NoNo NoNo No
Isaias 63 No No YesNo NoNo No
Jeremias 52No NoNo NoNo YesNo
Baruch 6No YesNo NoNo NoNo
Daniel 12No No YesNo NoNo No
Habacuc 2YesNo NoNo NoNo No
2 Machabees 10YesNoNoNo NoNo No

torsdag 6 februari 2014

Salute ... the Household of Onesiphorus

1) Salute ... the Household of Onesiphorus, 2) Answering an Attack Against Prayers for the Dead, 3) Saint Onesiphorus revisited - did he die before St Paul?, 4) Luther, 2 Maccabees, Purgatory or Prayers for the Dead

Barnes notes to the Bible:

The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day - The day of judgment; notes at 2 Timothy 1:12. This proves that Onesiphorus was then alive, as Paul would not offer prayer for him if he was dead. The Papists, indeed, argue from this in favor of praying for the dead - assuming from 2 Timothy 4:19, that Onesiphorus was then dead. But there is no evidence of that. The passage in 2 Timothy 4:19, would prove only that he was then absent from his family.

OK, what does the verse say?

19 Salute Prisca and Aquila, *and the household of Onesiphorus.

Only proves he was then absent from his family? Oh, I get it! Barnes thinks 2 Timothy chapter 4 is a transcript of a phone call!

THEN St Paul would know things like Onesiphorus not likely to return to his family until next week.

But what if Timothy had no contact with the family till next week? How could Paul still know he would not meet Onesiphorus in person?

Oh, I get it, too! Onesiphorus was with St Paul. But ... why did not Paul then rather say "Onesiphorus greets his family"?

And of course Barnes knows better whether St Paul considered himself forbidden to pray for the dead (in spite of no such tradition surviving at all!) than Catholics could know from tradition whether Onesiphorus was alive when this was written ...

But perhaps Barnes has some supplementary information on 2 Timothy 4:19?

Verse 19

Salute Prisca and Aquila - Prisca, or Priscilla, was the wife of Aquila, though her name is sometimes mentioned first. In regard to their history, see the notes at Romans 16:3. They were at Rome when Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans, but afterward went into Asia Minor, which was the native place of Aquila Acts 18:2, and where they probably died.

And the household of Onesiphorus; - see the notes on 2 Timothy 1:16.

OK, let us get back to Barnes notes for 2 Timothy 1:16 (after of course checking with some other things on the page for his comments on chapter 4, if he is as concise on them!):

The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus - The family of Onesiphorus - for so the word house is often used. He was himself still living 2 Timothy 1:18, but not improbably then absent from his home; compare the notes at 2 Timothy 4:19. He was evidently of Asia, and is the only one who is mentioned from that region who had showed the apostle kindness in his trials. He is mentioned only in this Epistle, and nothing more is known of him. The record is entirely honorable to him, and for his family the apostle felt a warm interest on account of the kindness which he had showed to him in prison. The ecclesiastical traditions also state that he was one of the seventy disciples, and was ultimately Bishop of Corone. But there is no evidence of this. There is much force in the remark of the Editor of the Pictorial Bible, that “the pretended lists of the 70 disciples seem to have been made out on the principle of including all the names incidentally mentioned in the sacred books, and not otherwise appropriated.”

For he oft refreshed me - That is, showed me kindness, and ministered to my needs.

And was not ashamed of my chain - Was not ashamed to be known as a friend of one who was a prisoner on account of religion. Paul was bound with a chain when a prisoner at Rome; Philemon 1:13-14, Philemon 1:16; Colossians 4:3, Colossians 4:18; Philemon 1:10; see the notes at Acts 28:20.

Oh, in verse 16 we know he was still alive, because in verse 18 St Paul would otherwise have been praying for a dead man, which the Church ever since the Reformation (which was some 15 centuries after St Paul, precisely as Alexander Graham Bell above alluded to also was closer to two millennia after St Paul) has known to be illicit.

But of course he knew so from the traditions, then?

Not really. Here is what he says of them:

The ecclesiastical traditions also state that he was one of the seventy disciples, and was ultimately Bishop of Corone. But there is no evidence of this. There is much force in the remark of the Editor of the Pictorial Bible, that “the pretended lists of the 70 disciples seem to have been made out on the principle of including all the names incidentally mentioned in the sacred books, and not otherwise appropriated.”

OK, he maybe knows Onesiphorus was still alive (though the scenario takes some thinking through) by some other token, like another passage in the Bible?

Well ... it is just that ... according to Barnes:

He is mentioned only in this Epistle, and nothing more is known of him.

And what about the words he has to say about the tradition just mentioned, that Onesiphorus was one of the Seventy and that he was "ultimately" (or perhaps rather: had been before he died and St Paul wrote 2 Timothy) Bishop of Corone?

There is much force in the remark of the Editor of the Pictorial Bible, that “the pretended lists of the 70 disciples seem to have been made out on the principle of including all the names incidentally mentioned in the sacred books, and not otherwise appropriated.”

Ah, that is how one shall deal with ecclesiastical tradition prior to the Reformation. At least if it contradicts or even by and large tends to somewhat contradict the Reformation! But THAT attitude is precisely what Modernists are applying to Genesis! With, of course, Scientific Revolution in the place of Reformation.

I think I mentioned both Modernism and Atheism are culturally Protestant things, if so I here mention it again, if maybe not at least I do so now. I think we have a case.

Unless of course a Protestant can expressly show a NT or GT passage forbidding prayers for the dead. Citing the ban on necromancy begs the question. There is a better case for calling organ donations from the brain dead cannibalism than for calling prayers for the dead necromancy. There is a better case, because there is one. Organs are harvested while organ tissue (normally part of human body which is alive by presence of human soul) is still organ tissue that is alive. There is a priori none for calling prayers for the dead necromancy, unless you are really stuck in the Odyssey and Aeneid and think that because Ulysses and Aeneas were guilty of necromancy (by a method involving them in diabolical illusions) so must every Catholic be who prays for the dead, even if he is - unlike Ulysses - not asking them questions about matters at home or of their future.

Calvin pretended Jews did not start praying for the dead until the time of Rabbi Akiba, have I seen in the Haydock comment to II Maccabees ... the one text cited even more by Catholics than 2 Timothy 1 for prayers for the dead. Because of course, II Maccabees, even if it were just historical truth rather than divine such, proves the contrary about the Jewish custom of prayers for the dead.

Maybe Barnes admired Calvin, I do not. I know from C. S. Lewis (Reflections on the Psalms) that he considered the book of Jonah at least possibly a pious novel. Catholic as I am, I do not entertain such doubts "even" about Tobit, which Calvin cut out of the Bible (along with others during Reformation).

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
St Dorothy, Virgin and Martyr

onsdag 5 februari 2014

Sometimes a Lutheran gets it right! Baptism INTO the forgiveness of Sins is a Gift from God

Most people on CMI seem to deny the necessity of baptism as far as we are concerned.

I say that phrase "as far as we are concerned" because God is not bound to the Sacraments so as not to be able to save us without their actual reception.

Now, Jonathan Sarfati with some reluctance took up the charge to answer in a clarifying way that baptism is not necessary to get saved. But it is - as far as we are concerned. Now, fortunately he published a postscript. Unless someone else did, the PS is not signed by Jonathan Sarfati. Anyway, the PS is very good:

Our intention in responding to the initial ‘cannibalism’ complaint, which also criticised us for not teaching baptismal regeneration, was not to enter areas outside of our Statement of Faith, but to affirm our position (C5) in that Statement of Faith that salvation is by grace through faith alone. We did not intend to come across as weighing in on any of the other controversies associated with baptism (e.g. mode and subject), as we are a non-denominational ministry. We therefore publish a comment from Lutheran minister Noel S from Canada, as follows:

Dear friends at CMI,

Let me interject a Lutheran understanding of baptism as a middle ground . Baptism is not a work we do to earn salvation, it is a gift we receive from God. Baptism is visible Gospel by which we receive divine adoption and the inheritance of sons (Gal 3:26-27). Of course, the promises of baptism are apprehended by faith, but that does not mean that God's promises are not truly offered in baptism. Yes a person can be saved solely by believing the promises of the bare Word (w/o baptism), but baptism makes those promises very personal: I baptize YOU in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. I have a great and wonderful comfort in baptism, it is something I can hang on to when I'm tempted to doubt God's grace and favour & the Gospel IS for ME!

We are confident that Rev. Noel would affirm with us Ephesians 2:8–9: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith; and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; not by works, so that no one can boast.

God usually makes men by the sexual intercourse of a married man and a married woman. God usually makes wine of water through soil and vine plant and fermentation ... this does not mean He is unable to have achieved the creation of Adam from noone, Eve from Adam's side and Christ from the womb of a Virgin. Any more than He was unable to shortcut the steps between water and wine at Cana.

Now, the way in which God ordinarily makes reborn men is by Baptism. It is just as much a gift from God as being born in the first place. And when applied to infants - believing in the faith of them that carry them to the font - it is not a work by the person getting saved.

Actually, it is the position "Baptism is what saved people do, not what people do to be saved" which makes Baptism a work, since it precludes infant Baptism but also makes Baptism a sign of obedience and no more - thereby contradicting Our Lord in John chapter 3.

Now, the Lutheran parson got it perfectly right:

Baptism is not a work we do to earn salvation, it is a gift we receive from God.

It is a pity Luther did not see it that way about Holy Mass and the Seven Sacraments.

Fasting is a work, and we do not do it to get saved - in the first place, preliminarily, "in hope", that is receiving the state of grace, but in order not to get lost again once we are in the state of grace. That is why the godfather and godmother of Father Bryan Houghton after his reception into the Church (the point at which they technically knew him to be saved) told him "Oh Bryan, it is marvellous, now that you are a Catholic you can fast!"

Sure, it was Lent as the godmother had told him and instead of café au lait with maybe a croissant, he had black coffee.

But that is not a work to earn salvation. It is a work by which the saved - in spe salvi of course, not yet definitely saved as having died in Christ - earn merits for Heaven, but in someone doing the same work without being in the state of grace it is neither a merit for Heaven (though it may earn some rewards on earth) nor saving him. It is first and foremost a work done in order not to get lost through mortal sins. There was one occasion when Father Bryan showed one person (and years after, without disclosing her identity his readers) that he had indeed some protection from such things.

But if taking black coffee instead of café au lait is works, but not in itself for salvation, baptism is salvation by grace and not by works. Sure, it is "works" for the priest performing it correctly (and he is not doing it to earn salvation but to earn merits to enjoy in the Heaven Christ had already opened for him), but it is not works, it is the gift of God for the one receiving it.

Same is true for any Sacrament and also for Holy Mass. The tragedy of Catholic priesthood is the risk of loosing sight of that because to the priest it is also a work that takes their efforts ... precisely as kneeding and standing next to an oven, even in summer, and rising at three o'clock to have bread ready for customers is for a baker.

Luther lost sight of it and declared several Sacraments and Holy Mass itself "works" and therefore blasphemies against God's word in Ephesians 2:8-9. Father Bryan Houghton did not loose sight of it. But Father Bryan Houghton was never a Jansenist. Luther's earliest divagations are more Jansenist than Protestant ... and Jansenism is (if you know Pascal) not the happiest kind of Catholic there is (it was also condemned, not just in Luther's case but also later in the cases of Baius and Jansenius and Quesnel - none of which were ever Protestants, but all of which were rigorists). He could have profited by the letter Exsurge Domine, which was not really telling him not to be a Protestant (he was not so yet), but not to be a Jansenist.

I am an ex-Lutheran. I think the letter of parson "Noel Santaclaus" or whatever his name is (he would be "Father Christmas" if a Catholic priest, exactly like the martyr Noel Pinot, killed by French Revolutionists) clarifies how the Lutheran position I had about baptism prepared the Catholic position I have about Baptism as well as the other Sacraments. If someone else has any doubts about it, I recommend the consultation of Unwanted Priest - which is an autobiography by Father Bryan Houghton. I nearly think he achieved the miracle of saving Monty Python from blaspheming Christ in the person of "Brian", because Father Houghton actually did in a way both say "Romani ite domum" and take a correction "about his Latin". That is, he refused to celebrate the New Liturgy ("Romani ite domum"), but he agreed to step down as a curate in order to obey Church Law (or what he took for such - hence the Brian "taking a correction in Latin by Biggus Diccus").*

Now Lutheran liturgy is - compared to the Latin Mass - a kind of super-Jansenism. It presumes making Holy Mass as stately as possible is somehow some kind of "work" and therefore making it as simple as possible (as well as denying it is a Real Sacrifice, others even denied it is the Real Presence of Christ) is some kind of obedience to Ephesians. Not true. But as far as Baptism is concerned this Lutheran keeps (as Lutherans generally) a Catholic rather than a Jansenist outlook.

Now to the examples given by Jonathan Sarfati to pervert "Baptism is not a work we do to earn salvation, it is a gift we receive from God" into "Baptism is what saved people do, not what people do to be saved."

But Peter said to them: Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins: and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. ... Save yourselves from this perverse generation. They therefore that received his word, were baptized; and there were added in that day about three thousand souls.

This is St Peter's first Sermon. The one in the Portico is the next chapter and contains the words:

Be penitent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.

He was not in another city, everyone knew that Baptism was involved. This happened after the three thousand souls just on Pentecost day - and saying souls were added implies knew Creatures, that is that they were being saved as they were being baptised. The first exhortation to Baptism indeed implies that NOT getting Baptised implied remaining in "this perverse generation". That can by itself - we are bound to take it as taken by the Church but I speak without having checked - either imply "unregenerated sons of Adam" or "sinful Pharisees who have just killed God". Or both at the same time.

To you first God, raising up his Son, hath sent him to bless you; that every one may convert himself from his wickedness.

This means they had to get baptised. If anyone was by any chance (and Jews spread rumours quickly) still unfamiliar with the Baptism going on previous days or weeks or months (since Pentecost day) the wording would have reminded such ones of St John the Baptist.

Next sermon evidence cited by Jonathan Sarfati is St Paul's speech in the Areopagus. One Dionysius heard him more or less and later wrote De Divinis Nominibus, as St Thomas Aquinas believed. The day when people like Valla (not sure if he was himself a culprit in exctaly this case) denied that book was by that Saint reformation was alas not far away. But Jonathan Sarfati's point is that St Paul did not mention Baptism. Let us have a little look at the context:

17 He disputed, therefore, in the synagogue with the Jews, and with them that served God, and in the market-place, every day, with those that were present.

Plenty of time to mention Baptism there. There are no exact relations of their and his words given by St Luke.

18 And certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers disputed with him, and some said: What is it that this babbler would say? But others: He seemeth to be a preacher of new gods: because he preached to them Jesus, and the resurrection.

If they called him a babbler, so much must be true about it that he spoke more than just what is recorded in verses 22-31.

19 And taking him, they brought him to the Areopagus, saying: May we know what this new doctrine is, which thou speakest of?

20 For thou bringest certain new things to our ears: We would know, therefore, what these things mean.

21 (Now all the Athenians, and strangers that were there, employed themselves in nothing else, but either in telling or in hearing something new.)

The context is therefore Apologetics. And what was being defended was certainly not an ablution rite or what must have seemed so to the Pagans who knew no better, they had some such themselves and were not attacking it, what was being defended was the central message. But there is more to it than this:

32 And when they had heard of the resurrection of the dead, some indeed mocked: but others said: We will hear thee again concerning this matter.

33 So Paul went out from among them.

34 But certain men adhered to him and did believed: among whom was also Dionysius, the Areopagite, and a woman, named Damaris, and others with them.

Meaning he was interrupted. On Pentecost the Jews had let St Peter speak, but the other Apostles had been either tired or silenced or started listening to St Peter. On Areopagus, the Greeks did not let Saint Paul speak. Probably because some of them had been tipped off by Jews (see verse 17) who wanted to avoid another Pentecost day.

So, since Christ's Resurrection logically comes before His command to Baptise, we may pretty safely say that St Paul broke off when he was interrupted and had no time to get into Baptism in public, but he of course did so to St Dionysius and to Damaris, since they went off with him and continued listening.**

The book of Acts also provides an example of people who were saved before being baptized, the first Gentile family who became Christians. In Acts 10:44-48, Cornelius and those with him were converted through Peter’s message. That they were saved before being baptized is evident from their reception of the Holy Spirit (v. 44) and the gifts of the Spirit (v. 46) before their baptism. And once again, it was this evidence that they were already saved that led Peter to baptize them (cf. v. 47).

Fact. That is why even a Feeneyite*** must agree that though a man needs to get baptised if he wants God's grace, God does not need to wait till he is baptised with giving it. Also Saint Eustachius was told by Our Lord who appeared to him not only that he must get to the bishop of the city and get baptised, but also that he had pleased Our Lord. One possible case against Feeneyism is the girl who was stoned by Pagans while still a Catechumen, St Emerentiana was praying on the tomb of St Agnes, but they would answer she was already probably Baptised and simply prolonging her Catechumenate. That might be a copout.

Similarily, in order to be absolved before God for a mortal sin committed after Baptism, one need not always have already confessed and be given the Absolution, one can be absolved before one confesses - but not if one intends not to confess, since that is against God's law as stated in Epistle of St James. And who intends to disobey God is not repenting. But once one has confessed one goes to the priest to get absolution anyway. Why? In the old law, a man who had been cleansed of leprosy had to show himself to the priests. The rite of the two doves, which has been ridiculed as an impossible and superstitious cure for leprosy at least in the common medical sense of the word, Hansen's infection, was in fact a cohen acknowledging that the miraculous cure of leprosy (miraculous in the case of Hansen's infection anyway) had been done. But unlike the cohen who could not cure but only proclaim, the priest who is successor of Christ's Apostles also has the power to "cure of leprosy" in cases like when one approaches the Sacrament of Penance with imperfect contrition or attrition for the sin. And this is precisely not making the penant get saved by "Christ plus my works", it is making him get saved by Christ, because it is by mandate of Christ that they are able to absolve.

Here is the commentary on the Cornelius passage:°

Ver. 44. The Holy Ghost fell upon all them, and made his coming known in some visible manner and exterior signs, as on the day of Pentecost. The Christians who had come with St. Peter, who before had been Jews, were astonished to see that such extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were given to uncircumcised Gentiles. (Witham)

Ver. 47. Can any man forbid water? &c. Or doubt that these, on whom the Holy Ghost hath descended, may be made members of the Christian Church, by baptism, as Christ ordained? (Witham) --- Such may be the grace of God occasionally towards men, and such their great charity and contrition, that they may have remission, justification, and sanctification, before the external sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and penance be received; as we see in this example: where, at Peter's preaching, they all received the Holy Ghost before any sacrament. But here we also learn one necessary lesson, that such, notwithstanding, must needs receive the sacraments appointed by Christ, which whosoever contemneth, can never be justified. (St. Augustine, sup. Levit. q. 84. T. 4.)

Now Jonathan Sarfati is saying that Acts 2 do not show the reverse order, as normal, i e getting saved through Baptism. I find him engaged in ingenuous eisegesis here:

That baptism is the act of a saved person is shown even in the Acts 2:38 passage. Peter appears to link forgiveness of sins to baptism. But there are at least two plausible interpretations of this verse that do not connect forgiveness of sin with baptism. “For” is the Greek word εἰς (eis), and both the English and Greek have several meanings, depending on the context. Certainly it sometimes means “in order to” or “to achieve”, “to obtain” etc., which is the meaning you ascribe to the “for” in this passage, e.g. a diver came up for air, meaning to obtain air. But this is not the only meaning. E.g. if I take an aspirin “for” my headache, it certainly doesn’t mean that I’m taking it to “obtain” a headache. Rather, the “for” here means “because of”.

Similarly, a poster saying “Jesse James wanted for robbery”, would be unlikely to mean Jesse is wanted so he can commit a robbery; rather, it means he is wanted because he has committed a robbery. So too in this passage, the word “for” signifies an action in the past—that we are baptized because we identify with the salvation Christ has already achieved for us. Otherwise, it would violate the entire tenor of the NT teaching on salvation by grace through faith and not by works (e.g. Romans 4, Galatians 3, Ephesians 2:8–9, and about 200 other times where faith/belief is the only condition listed for salvation).

It is also possible to take the clause “and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” as parenthetical. Support for that interpretation comes from the fact that “repent” and “your” are plural, while “be baptized” is singular, thus setting it off from the rest of the sentence. If that interpretation is correct, the verse would read “Repent (and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ) for the forgiveness of your sins.” Forgiveness is thus connected with repentance, not baptism, in keeping with the consistent teaching of the New Testament (cf. Luke 24:47; John 3:18; Acts 5:31; 10:43; 13:38; 26:18; Ephesians 5:26).

First of all, the distinct meanings of eis and the distinct meanings of for are not the same ones. The basic meaning of eis is into. This totally contradicts the idea (which would have been possible if St Peter had been speaking the English of ESV) that forgiveness of sins was cause rather than effect of Baptism. For can sometimes mean because of what has gone before and sometimes because of what one wants. But eis is certainly incompatible with the meaning "because of what has gone before", since it means "into". It can therefore be used as "so that you get" but never as "because you have got". You can take an aspirin "for" headache and Jesse James can have been wanted "for" robbery, but never ever can a Greek take an aspirin "eis" anything other than mouth or stomach, and if Jesse James was [insert verb] "eis" anything it was "into a court" (which did not happen) or "into a tomb" (which did happen due to the dirty little coward who shot mister Howard - he actually did lay Jesse James "eis" his grave).

Douay Rheims also has "for" the forgiveness, but two or three non-Catholic versions actually avoid the English pun involved in Jonathan Sarfati's reasoning:°°

Repent, replied Peter, "and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, with a view to the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- Weymouth Bible

And Petre seide to hem, Do ye penaunce, and eche of you be baptisid in the name of Jhesu Crist, in to remissioun of youre synnes; and ye schulen take the yifte of the Hooli Goost.
- Wycliffe Bible

and Peter said unto them, `Reform, and be baptized each of you on the name of Jesus Christ, to remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,
- Youngs Literal Bible

The German has:

„Petrus antwortete ihnen: Kehrt um und jeder von euch lasse sich auf den Namen Jesu Christi taufen zur Vergebung seiner Sünden; dann werdet ihr die Gabe des Heiligen Geistes empfangen.“
Apostelgeschichte 2,38 EU

Note that Sarfati's reasoning is consistent with "wegen der" but not with "zur". Note also that this passage is giving the original for a part of the Creed of Nice and Constantinople. Lutherans in Sweden recite it as "till syndernas förlåtelse" and Swedish "till" = English "to" = Greek "eis". Since that translation is Catholic, here is the 1984 edition of Luther Bible:

Petrus sprach zu ihnen: Tut Buße und jeder von euch lasse sich taufen auf den Namen Jesu Christi zur Vergebung eurer Sünden, so werdet ihr empfangen die Gabe des Heiligen Geistes.

Now, Jonathan Sarfati may have sensed he needed a backup to this argument. Here it comes:

It is also possible to take the clause “and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” as parenthetical. Support for that interpretation comes from the fact that “repent” and “your” are plural, while “be baptized” is singular, thus setting it off from the rest of the sentence. If that interpretation is correct, the verse would read “Repent (and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ) for the forgiveness of your sins.” Forgiveness is thus connected with repentance, not baptism, in keeping with the consistent teaching of the New Testament (cf. Luke 24:47; John 3:18; Acts 5:31; 10:43; 13:38; 26:18; Ephesians 5:26).

The conclusion would have been more correct, linguistically as well as theologically, to make it: Forgiveness is thus connected with repentance, AND baptism. Because, otherwise it was clumsy to put the parenthesis about baptism between repentance and forgiveness.

Remember, here the Bible is not just telling us what a man like anyone else is saying. It is telling us what St Peter said specifically under inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

The second question of Luther's Smaller Catechism (if you prefer that to Catholic Catechisms) asks "why are you called a Christian" and the answer is "because I am baptised in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost and in baptism have clad myself in Christ and believe and confess that he is my Saviour and the one who shall give me eternal Bliss". It then cites Galatians. Check out the Baltimore Catechism, 1941, on Baptism yourself°°° Note that clothing myself in the righteousness of Christ is not in my human power as approaching Baptism. It is an act of God, but it as considered an act of whoever gets baptised insofar as one is chosing it (and children getting baptised are chosing it through their godfather's and godmother's choice). It is both essential for salvation and a gift of God, and not a work of man.

Unfortunately the juggling with words while not understanding the meaning is not done for Jonathan Sarfati on this one:

Similarly with Acts 22:16, the phrase “wash away your sins” is best connected with “calling on His name”. A connection with “be baptized” would leave the Greek participle ἐπικαλεσάμενος (epikalesamenos = calling) “dangling” without an antecedent. Thus Paul’s sins were washed away by calling on the name of the Lord (cf. Romans 10:9–13; see below), rather than by baptism.

"Calling on his name" is obviously connected both to the "rise up" and to the "and be baptized" and to the "and wash away thy sins". This is one thing a participle can do in Latin or Greek. Has Jonathan Sarfati ever heard of a Baptism where one is NOT calling on the name of the Lord? A jocular one (like the blasphemy when Little John is baptised in beer in the Sherwood forest) or one in a film are baptisms where calling on God's name is not really involved, and in which there is also no real washing away of the sins.

This is a Catholic truth, which Pope Leo X defended against Luther, who tried to make, if not Baptism, at least Absolution, independent of the absolving priest's real intentions. At least if the person in question really believed himself to be absolved.

Now we get to James 2:19~

14 What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him?

15 *And if a brother or sister be naked, and want daily food,

16 And one of you say to them: Go in peace, be you warmed and filled: yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself.

18 But some men will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee my faith by works.

19 Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and tremble.

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

And here is the comment:

Ver. 14, &c. Shall faith be able to save him? He now comes to one of the chief points of this epistle, to shew against the disciple of Simon , the magician, that faith alone will not save any one. We may take notice in the first place, that St. James in this very verse, supposes that a man may have faith, a true faith without good works. This also follows from ver. 19., where he says: Thou believest that there is one God: thou dost well. And the same is evident by the words in John xii. 42., where it is said, that many of the chief men also believed in him, (Christ)....but did not confess it, that they might not be cast out of the synagogue. Now that faith alone is not sufficient to save a man, St. James declares by this example: If any one say to the poor and naked, go in peace, be you warmed and filled, and give them nothing, what shall it profit? Even so faith, if it have not works is dead, &c. i.e. such a faith, though it be not lost and destroyed, yet it remains in a soul that is spiritually dead, when it is not accompanied with charity and grace, which is the life of the soul, and without which faith can never bring us to eternal life. In this sense is to be understood the 20th and 26th verses of this chapter, when faith is again said to be dead without good works. This is also the doctrine of St. Paul, when he tells us that a saving faith is a faith that worketh by charity, Galatians v. 6. When he says, that although faith were strong enough to remove mountains, a man is nothing without charity. (1 Corinthians xiii. 2.) When he teacheth us again, that not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. [Romans ii. 13.] St. John teacheth the same (1 John iii. 14.) He that loveth not, remaineth in death. But of this elsewhere. (Witham) --- Grotius in this place makes a very candid and remarkable profession of his faith, very different from that of his associates in the pretended reformation, called Solifideans [who pretend one is justified by faith alone]: "There are some who say, 'My works indeed are not as they ought to be,' but my faith is firm, my salvation is therefore out of danger. This opinion, which has sprung up in this our unhappy age, and recommends itself under the name of reformed doctrine, ought to be opposed by every lover of piety, and all who wish well to their neighbour's faith has ever availed any man, unless it were accompanied by such works as he had time and opportunity to perform." His words are: "Opera quidem mea non recta sunt, sed fides recta est, ac propterea de salute non periclitor....Renata est hoc infelici sæculo ea sententia et quidem sub nomine repurgatæ doctrinæ, cui omnes qui pietatem et salutem proximi amant, se debent opponere....cœterum nulla cuiquam fides profuit, sine tali opere, quale tempus permittebat," &c. In vain do we glory in our faith, unless our lives and works bear testimony of the same. Faith without charity is dead, and charity cannot exist without good works. He who bears the fruits of Christian piety, shews that he has the root, which is faith; but the root is dead, when it affords no produce. Works are to faith what the soul is to the body. See the remainder of this chapter.

Ver. 18. Some men will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works. Shew me thy faith, &c. He confutes the same error, by putting them in mind that one can shew that he has faith, which is an interior virtue, only by good works, and that good works in a man shew also his faith; which is not to be understood, as if good works were merely the marks, signs, and effects of faith, as some would pretend, but that good works must concur with faith to a man's salvation by an increase in grace. (Witham)

Ver. 19. The devils also believe, and tremble. St. James compares indeed faith without other virtues and good works, to the faith of devils: but comparisons must never be stretched farther than they are intended. The meaning is, that such a faith in sinners is unprofitable to salvation, like that of devils, which is no more than a conviction from their knowledge of God; but faith which remains in sinners, is from a supernatural knowledge, together with a pious motion in their free will. (Witham)

So, though the beginning of my salvation is a gift of God and not my work, along with the faith which is a gift of God I also need, even to get saved in the end, and not just as Sarfati would like to pretend that they accompany a salvation already finished, the good works. But the Baptism is not so much a good work on behalf of the one getting baptised as an act of God, which makes this somewhat beside the point.

Sarfati makes one point here:~~

But the James 2:19 passage that J.G. alludes to states that the demons believe in one God—they don’t believe that Jesus died for their sins, so they lack the proper content for saving faith.

If they believed that Christ died for the sins of any non-humans (specifically fallen angels) they would be heretics. But "believing Christ died for MY sins" is not enough and not even the basis.

5 *By faith Henoch was translated, that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had testimony that he pleased God.

6 But without faith it is impossible to please God. For he that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and is a rewarder to them that seek him.

Ver. 5. Henoch[Enoch] was translated, so as not to die nor see death. In Ecclesiasticus (Chap. xliv.) he is said to be translated into paradise. By these words, that he should not see death, it is the general exposition of the ancient interpreters, that he is not dead; but in what place, or in what manner God preserveth him, we know not. See St. Augustine, lib. de pec. orig.[on Original Sin] chap. xxiii.; St. Chrysostom; &c. (Witham)

Ver. 6. He proves the Henoch[Enoch] was translated by faith, or on account of faith, thus: Henoch was translated because he pleased God; now he could not please God but by faith; therefore by faith he was translated. (Menochius)

Obviously, the demons believe the first part, and if they do not deny the second part, they are not affirming it in their eternal deadness either. Insofar precisely as they give no good works. Where in all of the Bible does Jonathan Sarfati even find such a thing as believing Christ died for one is the proper content of saving faith? It is very firmly condemned by the Council of Trent, and seems to be to be as much of illicit eisegesis (a stranger reading his own understandings into a culture not really his own) as the wordplay on "for" in a verse where "unto" or "into" would have been clearer.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Agatha

Thank you, St Agatha, for your intercession 16 years ago!/HGL

PS, the best argument for Jonathan sarfati and Kent Hovind not being heretics is they are not yet Baptised. And as such not yet Christians. Since valid Baptism involves the intention of the person baptising to make - under God (as St Peter and St Paul and Elijah worked cures under God) - a new child of God and since these are baptised in congregations where the intention is rather to recognise a recent child of God, their baptism might be invalid and thus they would be godfearing gentiles. Or in Sarfati's case, a godfearing non-Christian Hebrew./HGL

* It may be argued Father Bryan was probably a cheesemaker, he kept nannygoats in Provence. It is certain that he tried to be a peacemaker, between those using New and Older Liturgies (the one he rejected and the one he stuck to, see chapter "La Bombe" in the French translation "Prêtre rejeté"). There might be a reference to him in "Brian" hearing the words of Our Lord (not shown!) ... especially if "Cultural Protestants" (I owe the expression to a "Cultural Muslim" who was an Atheist) like Monty Python also believed Father Bryan Houghton had got the words of Our Lord wrong in certain contexts. If you so much as chuckled at any scene in Life of Brian, you owe it both to the honour of Our Lord and to the memory of this possible inspiration for the film's central character, to read Unwanted Priest by Father Bryan Houghton.

** Not sure if she has thereafter lived before the eyes of the Church the kind of life or the kind of death that would have gotten her honoured as a saint. But of course that does not mean that she was no saint in private. I do not know her from the Calendar.

*** Feeneyites are those claiming that in the New Testament era no one is ever saved without getting baptised before he dies. Other Catholics hold that the grace of Baptism can be given even finally to someone not baptised in case he either wanted Baptism but had no chance to get it or he died as a martyr for the Christian faith. But Cornelius means they have to agree grace can be given before the Sacrament is given. It is just that they say that in every such case, if they are faithful to the grace, God will give them Sacramental Baptism.

° Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition : ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 10

°° King James Bible Online : Acts 2:38

Not sure if what we have as Wycliffe Bible is really Wycliffe's work, Belloc had doubts on that matter.

°°° Catholicity, the Catholic Church Simplified : Baptism
Lesson 24 from the Baltimore Cathechism

~ Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition : ST. JAMES - Chapter 2

~~ Here I give the link to Sarfati's article:

CMI : Feedback archive → Feedback 2009
Is baptism necessary for salvation? Is death such a bad thing?
Published: 14 February 2009(GMT+10)

söndag 2 februari 2014

Patrick Madrid is right about kecharitomene and blessed among women

1) deretour : Mariologic Bible study, 2) New blog on the kid : Ipsa conteret, by Heinz Lothar Barth, German Book Tip, 3) Great Bishop of Geneva! : Patrick Madrid is right about kecharitomene and blessed among women

I do not know exactly where to find his article, but I do know where to find a pretended refutation of it. One which I set about to refute.

I only have to use the short link to get to:

Aristophrenium : Fisher* : Was Mary Sinless

Look first at two passages in Luke 1. In verse 28, the angel Gabriel greets Mary as “kecharitomene” (“full of grace” or “highly favored”). This is a recognition of her sinless state. In verse 42 Elizabeth greets Mary as “blessed among women.” The original import of this phrase is lost in English translation. Since neither the Hebrew nor Aramaic languages have superlatives (best, highest, tallest, holiest), a speaker of those languages would have say, “You are tall among men” or “You are wealthy among men” to mean “You are the tallest” or “You are the wealthiest.” Elizabeth’s words mean Mary was the holiest of all women.[5]

If this exegetical (or rather, eisegetical) argument proves anything, however, it proves too much. There is no reason to believe that κεχαριτωμένη is “a recognition of her sinless state,” because if this was the intended of the word, then we end up with all sorts of exegetical absurdities. For example, Saint Stephen is referred to as being “full of grace and power” [πλήρης χάριτος καὶ δυνάμεως] in Acts 6:8. If being full of grace is a description of being immaculately conceived, then we must therefore conclude that the Bible is teaching the immaculate conception of Stephen! Not only that, but the exact same verb that is used of Mary is also used of all believers in the aorist tense in the epistle to the Ephesians:

…he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given [ἐχαρίτωσεν] us in the One he loves.
(Ephesians 1:5-6)

The text is literally saying that God has graced (ἐχαρίτωσεν) Christians with His glorious grace. If the usage of κεχαριτωμένη in Luke 1:28 is good enough to prove the immaculate conception of Mary, then the usage of ἐχαρίτωσεν in Ephesians 1:6 is good enough to prove that every true believer is just as immaculately conceived as Mary is.

We Catholics agree that St Stephen individually was sinless while the Church is collectively sinless. St Stephen was - at least as to his habitual state - not in any sin either original or mortal. And venial sins do not define a state. They only lessen the intensity of grace. However, since the word pleros charitos is used (and its tranlation into Latin, "gratia plenus" is the model for the Latin translation of Gabriel's greeting "gratia plena") he was not committing any venial sins either at the time that Acts is referring to, but, probably since Pentecost day, enjoying a life without even any venial sins. That and not just the martyrdom is what we mean by calling Stephen a Saint.

Unlike kecharitomene which is a verb form referring to a present constant result of a past action - I will return to that - charitos pleros** is a phrase comprising no references to time. St Stephen was probably in a state of original sin up to his circumcision - meaning he was not yet pleros charitos** or even half full of grace, and he may have done venial sins between his circumcision and later on getting baptised and receiving the Holy Ghost on Pentecost Day. We need not suppose he was pleros charitos for all of his life, it is sufficient he was that between Pentecost and Martyrdom, especially between getting ordianed as a Deacon and Martyrdom for the words in Acts to be true of him.

But for that time we indeed think he was not even committing venial sins which would have meant less intensity of the charis and would therefore not have been in accordance with pleros. That gift we think he received by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who, since watching Her Divine Son die on Calvary, is Queen of the Martyrs. And Saint Stephen is the first to join her in martyrdom. It was therefore behooving of God to make him this gift of grace for tha last and crucial part of his life, which He had given his Queen for all of Hers.

Therefore the parallel with Saint Stephen does not prove us guilty of eisegesis, or of absurd such, but rather strengthen and clarifies the true exegesis.

Now, to Ephesians. One reply to Fisher on Aristophrenium would be that gracing us with Christ and filling us with grace are two distinct actions to each of us. Since some of us have grace before knowing Christ and others when knowing Christ do not immediately receive Him fully and therefore do not immediately have the grace that corresponds to him. But that would be the wrong reply. One of us who has not fully been graced because not fully having received Christ would not yet be quite one of the "us" that Saint Paul is talking about.

The true reply is rather this, that yes "we" are collectively, insofar as members of the Church, sinless. He has graced us - collectively and also insofar as each one of us is truly a member of the Church, and He has done so first and foremost in the Sinless Head of the Church, that is in Christ.

Once again, there is no exegetic absurdity in saying that Mary is Sinless as the Church is Sinless. It becomes one to Fisher only because he thinks of St Paul's "we" or of the Church only as a figure of speech, an abstraction which covers the reality of several "Is" [pronounce like "eyes", not like the verb "is"]. He thinks of the Church as the mathematical sum or "Menge" of individual faithful. We think of the Church as an organism, a people, a thing which Christ has established, a collective personality enduring from Her birth out of His side at Calvary beyond time to the Eternal Wedding Feast. And once again taking the parallel to the full does not make our understanding of Luke 1:28 absurd, on the contrary it is said of the Church collectively, that is of Christ's Bride, that She has no wrinkle. The Blessed Virgin Mary is as Sinless as Her daughter in law the Church.

Sure, the individual members of the Church sin, or some do. Even mortally and in that case they must be reconciled to Christ and to His Church in order to save their souls. But the Church itself never ever sins at all. Precisely as the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Now the Blessedness of the Blessed Virgin. Fisher very righly points out that Jael was also called Blessed among women. However, he draws the wrong conclusion:

If we applied Madrid’s eisegesis of the phrase “blessed among women” consistently throughout the whole Bible, then we are forced to conclude that Jael is also immaculately conceived. It should be clear at this point that Roman Catholic apologists cannot consistently apply their eisegetical tricks without proving the immaculate conception of other persons besides Mary.

Now, the words "if we applied [it] consistently throughout the whole Bible" makes it sound as if Jael and quite a few other women were each in their generation called blessed among women before the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Note, even if that were true, this would only have been in their own generation, whereas the Blessed Virgin Mary is called Blessed by us, very many generations after her Assumption into Heaven, as She prophecied:

Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Luke 1, Magnificat

All generations of what? Of all mankind both blessed and damned, both Christian and Heathen together? No, then the prophecy failed. Of Jews? Hardly. Of Protestants? When will they start calling her the Blessed Virgin Mary then? No, all generations of the true people of God. She has identified the people of God for all generations between when She said Magnificat and to Judgement Day by the parameter of calling Her Blessed. Catholics or Orthodox might both do, in this particular aspect of it, but Protestants will not do. They are as much outside the true Church as the Gnostic Sects who believed the pseudo-Gospel of Thomas.

But it is not true that the Old Testament in each generation has a new woman who is blessed among women. There is one in the 66 Books that Fisher accepts, he mentioned her, Jael, there is another one who has a whole book named after her, it is in the 73 Books (or 72 if Baruch counts as one book with Jeremiah) of the true Bible. Both of these women were called "blessed among women" for having killed an enemy of Israel, for having delivered Israel from an agressor. The other one is called Judith:

And Ozias the prince of the people of Israel, said to her: Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon the earth.
Judith chapter 13***

So, the Blessed Virgin after hearing either angel or Elisabeth call her Blessed among women would not have wondered at first (she might have guessed it before she met Elisabeth or have got it the second time) why she was holy, but what enemy of Israel she had killed. There is only one enemy of Israel which she can be said in any sense to have killed, and his name or title is Satan. Not a mere Sisera, not a mere Holophernes, however gruesome these were, but Satan himself. And when St Elisabeth repeated the Blessed art thou among women which she had already heard from the angel, and then added "and blessed is the fruit of thy womb" (who had not yet been born and received the name Jesus, but His Mother knew the Redeemer of mankind), she finally at the latest must have grasped what that part of the greeting meant:

He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.

By mighty and rich She is not excepting Sisera or Holophernes, nor for that matter certain yet to be damned, like Herod or Caiaphas, but Satan was mightier and richer than they. He had conquered mankind. And he had been sent away emptyhanded. She was herself part of God's reconquest. Now that Elisabeth could add "and blessed is the fruit of thy womb" she was so because "she said yes" (or fiat). But according to the angel, she had already been God's instrument for defeating the fallen one before saying yes.

The word kecharitomene referred in the angel's greeting to an act of God already past and already and still and forever giving the result that she was (as was said of St Stephen too) "full of grace". But this act of God is not mentioned here the first time. It is prophecied like a back then yet only awaited but certain future act of God:

I will put enmities between thee and the woman.
Genesis 3:15.

If by sin we - it is the we of mankind, which has sinned in Adam, not the we of the Church - are starting out as slaves of Satan, and if slavery is not consistent between enmity between lord and slave, then Mary was never sinning, not even "in Adam" (any more than her Son) since God had already before the angel greeted her put enmity between Satan and her. The same act of God which to the serpent is referred to as putting enmity is to herself referred to as having established her in grace.

So she defeated Satan three times. The third time was when uniting herself under the Cross to Her Son's prayer. The second was when "she said yes". And the first time was when God graced her and put enmity between the devil and herself. Even that must have been a defeat to Satan. One human soul conceived without being his indentured slave. One human soul he never had a grip on. One human soul which was from the first his enemy and not his plaything.

Otherwise, she would not have already been victorious over the serpent when the angel spoke to her, and thus the angel would not yet have had any more of a right to call her blessed (before she said yes) than to add "and blessed is the fruit of thy womb" (before Christ had been conceived).

We have a right to read the Evangelical Tradition of the Orthodox Faith of the Catholic religion into every passage of the Bible. And as is shown, against one calling the bluff, we Catholics can do so without absurdity.

I am not claiming this is a neutral exegesis. I am not claiming to approach the Bible like one learning a foreign language. I am not claiming to be neutral or dispassionate as one able to discover by tomorrow that neither Satan for the Serpent nor Good Angel for the Donkey of Balaam were acting in a way related to but not identical to perhaps ventriloquism. I am not claiming I could tomorrow discover "the serpent" was a political cartoon about a nonserpentine tempter or that Balaam listening to his donkey was a satire about him being a false prophet. I am claiming that as being a Catholic I am reading the Bible as a native. And that precludes certain neutralities and certain kinds of scientific objectivity such as would be appropriate in an archaeological investigator unearthing the correspondence of Shupililiuma of the Hittites. But I am claiming that reading the Catholic Tradition into the Bible is not eisegesis of a strange paradigm.

Rather it is Protestantism which is guilty of eisegesis in for instance Ephesians 1:6 by supposing "we" means "each one of us". Precisely as passages stating the Church is redeemed once and for all and cannot fall into apostasy must not be interpreted as if this were true of each individual member of the Church. But it was and remains, on the contrary, very eminently true of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As for the individual believers, when they are "born of water and the Holy Ghost" they are indeed as Sinless as the Blessed Virgin Mary, unless they have posed an obstacle by approaching the Font or Baptisterial Basin with a defect in intention. A believer who becomes so by day eight is certainly in one moment - before being baptised into the death of Christ - a sinner having sinned in Adam and a few seconds later, after baptism, a new creature, conceived as such without sin. But our claim is that for Mary this salvific moment was not differred till any later moment than her very first moment of existence in the womb. God no sooner created Her than He established Her in grace and put enmity between Her and Satan.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
Sunday and Feast of
the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary

As to the purification, other women needed purification after childbirth, according to the law of Moses, since the lawgiver God knew procreation usually involves continuation of Adam's sin, even when done righteaously and without own sin. But the Blessed Virgin Mary today needed the ceremony only to show Her perfect obedience - an attitude in which She raised the one Man who was more Blessed than She: Her Divine Son.


* Same Fisher does a very much better job here: Why Evangelicals Doubt Historical-Critical Theories About the Gospels (Pt. 1 – On Methodological Assumptions), Why Evangelicals Doubt Historical-Critical Theories About the Gospels (Pt. 2 – On the Synoptics)

St Pius X might be applauding him from Heaven. While being less gentle with some purported but non-inerrantist "Catholics". He had more in common with CSL than with Bultmann or Loisy.

** I meant pleres charitos, of course. My Latin is better than my Greek.

*** Ozias here mentioned is not the son of Joram, King of Judah but:

Judith 6:11 In those days the rulers there were Ozias, the son of Micha, of the tribe of Simeon, and Charmi, called also Gothoniel.

Appendix on "benedicta":

Other women who have been greeted "benedicta" in the Vulgate:

[10] And he said: Blessed art thou of the Lord, my daughter, and thy latter kindness has surpassed the former: because thou hast not followed young men either poor or rich.

[10] Thy latter kindness: to thy husband deceased in seeking to keep up his name and family by marrying his relation according to the law, and not following after young men. For Booz, it seems, was then in years.

Ruth, the ancestor of King David and of Our Lord. Ruth 3:10. Blessed, yes, but "not among women". However, she is an image of the Blessed Virgin insofar as she was at age twelve betrothed to an old widower, as Protevangelium Jacobi states of St Joseph.

And Abigail:

And David said to Abigail: Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, who sent thee this day to meet me, and blessed be thy speech: And blessed be thou, who hast kept me today, from coming to blood, and revenging me with my own hand. Otherwise as the Lord liveth the God of Israel, who hath withholden me from doing thee any evil: if thou hadst not quickly come to meet me, there had not been left to Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall. And David received at her hand all that she had brought him, and said to her: Go in peace into thy house, behold I have heard thy voice, and have honoured thy face.

I Kings or I Samuel, chapter 25, verses 32 - 35. Abigail who had appeased the Ancestor of Our Lord, otherwise he would have done a great massacre. As it is also Our Lady who more than once has stopped the ire of Her Divine Son from doing another Flood or another Fire on Sodom act. Note that King David in gracing Nabal is using the words Our Lord used to the adulteress. Though King David did not adress them to Nabal but to the one he had called Blessed. But as for the rest of King David's words, they were not repeated to the adulteress.

The search on "benedicta" gave only thirteen lines in all. Two of them about the Blessed Virgin. Of the three about Judith, the one from chapter 15 also excludes Protestants and Jews from being the true Israel, since they are not honouring the Book of Judith as a canonical writing./HGL

PS: and Abigail, like Ruth was also just "benedicta" but not "benedicta in mulieribus"./HGL

PPS: to further bring out the parallel between Abigail and the Blessed Virgin, she had in her appeasing speech called her self "handmaiden" (v. 25)./HGL