Paul's Gospel In Catholic Tradition?


The following email was sent to Daniel at A Biblical Case for the Catholic Faith on April 8, 2007:

Gal 1:6  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed (anathema).
Gal 1:9  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed (anathema).

That tells me to test what is taught by what Paul taught. Now, outside of scripture, where exactly does Catholic Apostolic Tradition quote the unwritten words of any of Paul's teaching?

Where does Paul teach that Mary was immaculately conceived?
Where does Paul teach that Mary was assumed into heaven?
Where does Paul teach prayer to Mary or other supposed saints?
Where does Paul teach Mary is the mediatrix of all grace?
Where does Paul teach the veneration of images?
Where does Paul teach Sunday keeping has replaced the Sabbath?

Can you show me any of these doctrines in Paul's word-for-word teaching that is found only in Catholic Apostolic Oral Tradition and not in the Bible? Yes or No? If no, then you would automatically agree that all of Paul's gospel can only be found in inspired scripture, and Paul's gospel in scripture is the ruler by which Catholic Tradition can be judged. Right? Would Paul accept those Catholic doctrines or curse them?

Your reply, if any, will be considered as an open letter with your permission that I may post it on my web site, unless you specifically withhold your permission.

Michael
http://biblelight.net

The following reply (in the boxes) was received on April 13, 2007:

Dear Michael,

I would love to be on your website. Please send me the link so I can read what both of us wrote in their entirety.  As for your questions above, they presuppose that the everything is in the Holy Scriptures or that the Scriptures are a final or sole rule of Faith as if this is some requirement written in  the Holy Bible. 

Paul is quite firm in his assertion that not even an angel from heaven can teach a gospel message that differs from the one he preached. I am simply asking you where in Roman Catholic Tradition is Paul's preaching of those particular doctrines to be found? The first two, the immaculate conception and the assumption of Mary are considered infallible papal decrees that all Catholics are bound to believe or they are shipwrecked and fallen completely away from the faith. In other words, they are infallibly declared a part of the Catholic gospel, as a Catholic who rejects those doctrines cannot be saved. Now where exactly does Paul teach this?

This idea is not only unbiblical it is also unworkable if one reads the verses supporting Catholic theology not underlined in their personal Bibles. 

Click here: A Biblical case for the Catholic Faith. 7 Reasons Christians go to church and what it means to be a Bible Believing Christian

Paul's assertion in Galatians 1:6-9 is certainly biblical, and he said he did preach the entire gospel:

Rom 15:19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

So if I want to read Paul's inspired gospel teaching, what must I read?

Many quote 2 Tim 3:16 as teaching the idea of Sola Scriptura or Bible Alone, yet fail to read 2 Tim 3:15 which tells us the Apostle Paul was speaking of the OLD Testament not the unwritten NT in his quote.  So is the OT all we need?  Then let's just shelf the NT. My friend, nowhere and I mean nowhere do the Holy Scriptures teach the SOLA in Sola Scriptura or the ONLY in Bible Only.  This renaissance era idea is unbiblical and unheard of in Apostolic Christianity.  If I am wrong, please send me the verse teaching this "SOLA or ONLY."  Or send me just one Christian in the first millennium who taught this idea, that one's personal interpretation of the Holy Bible can countermand the teachings of Christ's Church,  the Church the Holy Bible calls:  "The church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth" 1 Tim 3:15.  ( Either it is the pillar and foundation of truth or it's not, which is it to you?)

See: THE SOLA SCRIPTURA PRINCIPLE - DOES THE BIBLE TEACH IT?
and The Pillar and Ground of Truth of 1 Timothy 3:15 - Is it the Roman Catholic Church?

As for your quote from Galatians, the Apostle speaks of Preaching the Gospel.  There are so many doctrines / ideas embraced by both our traditions that are outside the Holy Bible. 

This appears to be an admission that the Catholic doctrines I have listed are not taught by Paul in scripture. So where do I find Paul teaching them as part of the gospel in Catholic Tradition?

Perhaps you could use the same litmus test you are pressing on me on yourself in this endeavor. For example:  Here are but the first 3 of 40 unbiblical ideas embraced by the Protestant communities. From my article at:  Bible Believing Christian? 40 Unbiblical Protestant Practices and Doctrines

40 examples of UnBiblical ideas/doctrines practiced by the Protestant churches.

#1. Praying to Jesus i.e., the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

Praying to Jesus is good, healthy and wise, but itís not Biblical. In fact Jesus himself tells us in Matt 6:9-15 that we should pray to his Father (the First Person of the Blessed Trinity) and he tells us how. That is how we got the ďOur FatherĒ or the "Lordís Prayer."

Protestants pray to Jesus because that is what the Apostles taught Christ's early Church to do. But it is UNBiblical. Is it then a "tradition of man" because it is not in the Bible? No, itís a Tradition/Teaching of the Apostles, or an "Apostolic Tradition" with a Capitol T.

Verses a tradition of man with a lower case t. Apostolic Tradition (Capitol T), along with the Holy Bible is Godís way of speaking to us. Together they give us the Gospel of Christ or the Word of God. This is what the Apostles taught and the Holy Bible tells us this in many places.

Here are but two examples from the Holy Bible that Christ's Gospel is found in both his written Word, and the oral teachings of his Apostles to his early Church:

"Hold fast to the traditions whether they come in oral or written form." 2 Thess 2:15

"The things which you have heard from me through many witnesses you must hand on to trustworthy men who will be able to teach others." (2 Tim, 2:2)

Praying to God the Father, the First Person of the Trinity IS Biblical and our Lord Jesus Christ tells us how in Matt 6:9-15 and he again tells us in Luke 4:8 that it is God the Father alone that should be worshiped. "Jesus answered, It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only'" Luke 4:8. We are never commanded to pray or worship Jesus (the Second Person of the Trinity) or even Pray to the Holy Spirit (the Third Person of the Trinity). Both of these ideas are UNBiblical. It is good and healthy and wise to pray to Jesus but the origin of this idea comes from Apostolic Tradition or the Teachings of the Apostles, (Capitol T) not the Holy Bible. Apostolic Tradition/Teachings (Capitol T), along with the Holy Bible is Godís way of speaking to us, they both give us the Word of God. Just as the Holy Bible tells us.

In the Old Testament the pre-incarnate Son of God, Jesus Christ, is referred to as Jehovah (H3068). In the following verses, the LORD is the translation for the word Jehovah.

Num 21:7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. [It was Jesus who met with Moses on mount Sinai.]

1 Sam 7:5 And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the LORD.

Jer 42:4 Then Jeremiah the prophet said unto them, I have heard you; behold, I will pray unto the LORD your God according to your words; and it shall come to pass, that whatsoever thing the LORD shall answer you, I will declare it unto you; I will keep nothing back from you.

I conclude that it is biblical to pray to the Lord Jesus Christ, Jehovah, as well as to God the Father, as Jesus did. However, you will not find anyone in scripture teaching or practicing prayer to anyone but God. Prayer to Mary or other dead saints is not taught anywhere in scripture.

#2.
The definition of the Trinity. That the Holy Spirit is eternally coexistent with the Father and the Son, that it is the 3rd person of the Holy Trinity and that it proceeded from the Father and the Son as the Nicene Creed of the 4th century states. In fact the very word "Trinity" is unbiblical. We know
this definition and this term, not because it is in the Holy Bible, but because Christ's Church, which embraced the only Christian Faith for the first 1000+ years of Christianity taught us this. Just as the Holy  "Hold fast to the traditions whether they come in oral or written form." 2 Thess 2:15 It is a teaching of the Apostles outside of Holy Writ.

For this see The Doctrine Of The Trinity and Blinded by Tradition at The Catholic Legate.

For the moment I will not respond to the remaining points, but they can be read here:
Bible Believing Christian? 40 Unbiblical Protestant Practices and Doctrines.


Excerpts from Daniel's email of 14 April, 2007:

Dear Michael, you seem to be confusing the oral "preaching" of the full Gospel with the "Writing" of the full Gospel.  Nowhere does the Apostle Paul say that the "full" Gospel has been "recorded" in words or written down. In fact he says the opposite. Therefore your premise is faulty and which renders your null.

"Hold fast to the traditions whether they come in oral or written form." 2 Thess 2:15

"The things which you have heard from me through many witnesses you must hand on to trustworthy men who will be able to teach others." (2 Tim, 2:2)

See:  http://www.catholic.com/library/Apostolic_Tradition.asp

The Catholic concept of apostolic oral Tradition does not confuse me.

In my original email I asked you to produce Paul's verbatim teaching of 6 specific doctrines from this alleged repository of Catholic Tradition. Can you cite Paul teaching them or not?

Of course Catholics can't do any such thing. Paul did not teach them because he knew nothing of these alleged Traditions. None of the Apostles knew or taught them. The apostolic oral Tradition of the Catholic Church is an empty box, a myth, without the slightest bit of substance in it.

Paul simply did not teach the Catholic gospel, consequently Paul's condemnation [Gal 1:8-9] applies to those who teach it. If I want to know precisely what the apostolic church taught, there is only one trustworthy infallible source, and that is the Bible.

I am very interested in your reply to the following logic arguments. They are very straight forward. Will you please address them. For many Christians have embraced belief systems they have not tested for apostolicity.

I am asking you for proof from Catholic Tradition that 6 doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church were taught by the Apostle Paul. Where and when did Paul, or any of the apostles teach them?

I just want to believe as the Apostles taught Christ's early Church, no matter where it leads me and no matter what it costs me. Do you feel the same way?

And we would probably agree that the Bible is a reliable doctrinal teacher, that the New Testament presents the pure apostolic gospel. The Catholic Church, however, teaches that the fullness of the Catholic gospel is only available with the addition of apostolic Tradition, which by its own definition is not found in scripture. So the question I am posing is this: please cite in Catholic Tradition where Paul or the other Apostles taught those six doctrines? How can this be totally absent, yet maintain the apostolic church of the first century believed and taught them?

The laws of deductive logic tell us:

If the premises of a valid argument are true, then its conclusion must also be true.
and
It is impossible for the conclusion of a valid argument to be false while its premises are true.

A. All boys are human.
B. Billy is a boy.
C. Therefore Billy is human.

The premises in this case are true, therefore Billy is human.
(For a crash course in deductive logic and the laws thereof visit: http://www.philosophypages.com/lg/e01.htm

And likewise:

A. In the first millennium, there was but one Christian Faith.
B. The apostles lived in the first millennium.
C. Therefore the faith of the first millennium, was the faith of the apostles (and therefore that of the Holy Bible).

The Faith of the 1st millennium was the Catholic or Universal Faith (Catholic or Katholikos in Greek) Faith. All Bible Believing Christians should "TestĒ premise A as the Holy Bible commands:

ďTest everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.Ē
 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22

Test premise A. If one cannot find any of the Protestant theologies predating the renaissance era, nor even the 10th century, why would one erroneously assume the Apostles taught these ideas in the 1st century? No Protestant idea was taught in the first 1000+ years of Christianity. No Protestant idea was taught before the renaissance era. For the invention of Protestantism and the Protestant belief system was born in the middle if not the latter half of the second millennium. 1000+ years after the Apostles wrote the Holy Bible. One can not find a single Christian who taught Protestant ideas or embraced the Protestant belief system in any shape or form.

The Protestant Reformation was fueled by the availability of the Bible in the vernacular, when people could read what it had to say for themselves. In doing so they could see that much of what they had been taught was not only not found in scripture, but was flatly contradicted by scripture.

The Protestant motto Sola Scriptura does not promote "new" doctrines, it proclaims a return to the pure doctrinal teaching of the Apostles as found in the Bible, and rejects the novel unbiblical Traditions of the Catholic Church, just as Jesus rejected the Traditions of the scribes and Pharisees. To be sure, however, many Protestants still hold to and teach Catholic Traditions that are contrary to the Sola Scriptura principle (like Sunday keeping replacing the Sabbath). For this they can rightly be criticized as not really teaching or following the "Bible Only".



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