Were St. Cyril of Jerusalem and St. Irenaeus Sola Scripturists?
An Exchange on the Bible,
Tradition and Authority
by Matt1618

Here is part of an exchange that I had on the Catholic Converts Message Board, a ways back. This message board that I participated in, is here, although this discussion is no longer there: http://www.catholic-convert.com/wwwboard/index.html. A “Reformed” Apologist, Tim Enloe, came upon this board to argue that some of the Church Fathers believed in Sola Scriptura. I gave a response that it is foolishness to believe that any of the Fathers taught Sola Scriptura, or any form thereof. I argued that they taught that authority and the Magisterium were of equal value in authority as Scripture, which as a Sola Scripturist, Tim must deny. Even though Tim would admit that tradition and authority are authorities to be considered, he responded to me by arguing that those authorities do not have equal authority to Scripture, and thus can be discarded if it conflicts with one’s personal interpretation of Scripture. He held that the Fathers he referred to believed that. He argues here that St. Cyril of Jerusalem and St. Irenaeus believed in Sola Scriptura. I respond to his arguments. My original comments are in black. Tim’s response to me is in red. My response to his comments are in blue.

(1) You seem very confused about what the concept of Sola Scriptura actually teaches (your quotations of the WCF notwithstanding) and from this basic confusion proceed many of your errors.

I very clearly know that you see Scripture as the only infallible authority, and though you give weight to Church and Tradition, you do not give it the same status as Scripture. I was careful to point that out. I have not only read the WCF (the Westminster Confession of Faith) on the matter, but various apologetic books such as “Sola Scriptura-The Protestant Position on the Bible”, a collaboration of mostly Calvinists types like James White, RC Sproul, and Robert Godfrey, and critiqued a chapter by John MaCarthur here: http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/macart.html Of course, I have also debated a Church of Christ fellow, who I am sure you believe is ‘not a true Protestant’ who has a totally different view: http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/soladeb.html I guess the Calvinist magisterium gets to decide what is ‘really Sola Scriptura.’ ? Why is there such a variety of views on what Sola Scriptura is, by those who claim it as its authority? It is a moving target.

(2) You miss key distinctions in Cyril's teaching on "Tradition" and its relationship to Scripture and so you wrongly conclude that he is talking about the kind of "Tradition" you believe in.

We will examine this claim.

(3) You seem to have ignored the scholarly introduction and footnotes to Cyril's Lectures in NPNF, and so you draw simplistic conclusions about his Eucharistic theology.

We will examine this claim as well.

(4) Your entire post amounts to the hypocritical assertion that if I don't believe everything Cyril taught, I can't justify believing anything he taught. That is so ludicrous as to be beyond the need for refutation, and since you don't practice it yourself, you should drop the "argument" so premised.

No. You miss the entire point that I made. The clear citations of Cyril on salvation for example, clearly show the wrongness of the WCF declaration that on the issue of salvation, that Scripture is clear. Let us look again at what your profession of faith says on the issue of the perspecuity of Scripture in reference to salvation, Chapter 1, section 7.

VII. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all; yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed, for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them
What your confession of faith sees as clear on the issue (Justification by imputation through the instrument of faith alone) was clearly not seen by Cyril or anybody else for 1500 years. The claim of clarity on this issue contradicts not only Cyril, but 1500 years of the Christian view of justification. You are creating a straw man by saying that I was saying you could only use Cyril if you believed absolutely everything that he did. Not only does he not teach Sola Scriptura, but the specific 9 points which I brought up shows him to be Catholic, not Calvinist. If Scripture is so clear on salvation, besides at least giving some hint of forensic justification, he should have at least come to your view that there is no need to pray for the dead, for example. Remember, it is your confession of faith that delineates especially on the clarity of Scripture on salvation.

[Matt1] Before I get to that, on using Cyril of Jerusalem’s quote in Lecture 4:17, where the authority of Scripture is given, and Cyril shows a materially sufficient view of Scripture (and Tim attempts to say that apparently Cyril is a Sola Scripturist),
That's because "material sufficiency" properly understood is the doctrine of Sola Scriptura properly understood. Allow me to explain. Sola Scriptura states that the only infallible source of doctrine is the Scriptures. Material sufficiency says that all doctrines of the faith are in Scripture (else, Scripture would not be materially sufficient). Many times in the Fathers, this notion is combined with the idea that the Church's living preaching contains the exact same thing as is found in the Scriptures, and hence, Catholic apologists jump to the conclusion that these Fathers are talking about a "Tradition" that is a coordinate and independent source of revelation. But this conclusion is a simple non sequitur. There are two options, not just one, when we consider the issue of an oral doctrinal Tradition and its relationship to Scripture: (1) this Tradition is derived from the Scriptures (Protestant view), or

(2) the Scriptures are derived from this Tradition (Roman Catholic view)

Option (2) can be further subdivided as follows: (2a) this Tradition is a separate (independent) transmission of revelation that by God's design happens to be entirely coincident with the Scriptures, or (2b) this Tradition contains some items of revelation that were never inscripturated. The latter is the older partim-partim view apparently discarded by Trent, and since I'm not aware of many Catholic apologists who hold it, I won't focus on it.

Now, there can be no denying that the Apostles first preached the truth orally and then later wrote what we call the New Testament. Thus we find Irenaeus saying: "The apostles at that time first preached the Gospel but later, by the will of God, they delivered it to us in the Scriptures…" (AH 3.1.1). In this sense, "oral Tradition" preceded the NT Scriptures. As I said, I don't dispute this, and neither will any reflective Protestant.

Nevertheless, it still does not follow from this admission that "Tradition" either was or is now a transmission of Apostolic doctrine independent from Scripture--and much less does it follow that this "Tradition" once admitted to exist is necessary for the "clarification" of the Scriptures. The Apostle's "oral Tradition", even when it took the "veil" off Moses was never something essentially different from what the OT contained in mystery form. The mere fact that the Apostles always disputed with the Jews from the Scriptures indicates that they thought the revelation already given was the final authority by which even their own words could be judged. Their own revelations and oral preaching were in no sense independent from the written record of the OT. That is a most telling fact indeed.

Many errors in the above. Where do I start? How do I count the ways? I’ll take on the most glaring ones.

First, the idea that Catholics believe that Tradition is limited to an interpretation of Scripture. No. Tradition is also the life of the Church, from its apostolic age. What was most reflective of Tradition in the early Church? Its liturgy, which is a reflection of life in the Church. The liturgy, reflected the life and beliefs of the early Church. We get a hint of this tradition in Justin Martyr, in the 2nd Century (but also other early liturgies):

The First Apology of Justin:,, Chapters LXV-LVI

But we, after we have thus washed him who has been convinced and has assented to our teaching, bring him to the place where those who are called brethren are assembled, in order that we may offer hearty prayers in common for ourselves and for the baptized [illuminated] person, and for all others in every place, that we may be counted worthy, now that we have learned the truth, by our works also to be found good citizens and keepers of the commandments, so that we may be saved with an everlasting salvation. Having ended the prayers, we salute one another with a kiss.(3) There is then brought to the president of the brethren(4) bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands. And when he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. This word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to ge'noito [so be it]. And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion.

And this food is called among us Eucharisti'a(5) [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, AND WHO HAS BEEN WASHED WITH THE WASHING THAT IS FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS, AND UNTO REGENERATION, AND WHO IS SO LIVING AS CHRIST HAS ENJOINED. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.(6) For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, "This do ye in remembrance of Me,(7) this is My body;" and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, "This is My blood;" and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn.


And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday,(1) all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability,(2) and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given,(3) and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration.”

Within this liturgy we have doctrines that reflect truth. This liturgy is reflected of the life of the early Church. Tradition is not merely an interpretation of Scripture. It’s Liturgy reflects the Tradition of what the apostles and their successors believed. This tradition is apostolic. The Tradition of Sunday worship is established here. Within this liturgy we have a belief in water baptism for the remission of sins (which of course does reflect Acts 2:38 and one of the texts you Calvinists do many jumps to avoid what the text teaches on baptism). Next, a belief in the necessity of still having to work to achieve salvation, and the necessity of keeping the commandments in order to be saved (not merely being a result of already being saved). He has been taught from the preceding generation which has been orally taught perhaps by the apostles themselves, that the Eucharist is the bread and wine being transformed into the body and blood of Christ. Of course the Schaff editor doesn’t like this text, which is clearly antecedent to the belief in transubstantiation, and calls it ‘vague’, but that is a little like the Calvinist saying James 2:24 is unclear on justification by works: It is not vague at all, but cleary reflects ‘Catholic’ belief that the bread and wine is physically transformed into the body and blood of Christ, which is the whole basis for belief in transubstantiation, just as James clearly denies your belief on salvation. Also, in all the liturgies that we have, from the beginning show prayers written to pray for the dead, something reflecting Catholic, not Calvinist beliefs.

2) The idea that Tradition as you represent as totally dependent upon Scripture is false. Very few of the apostles actually wrote a thing. There is no record of one apostle saying, “Well, before I die, go to the apostle Paul’s writings and the gospels, and read it as your only infallible guide, although Church and Tradition will help.” To your denial that Tradition was in any way independent of Scripture, is the establishment of many apostolic Churches which were not in any way dependent on the New Testament writings. Since most of the apostles wrote nary a sentence of Scripture, it is absolutely amazing that you say Tradition was dependent upon Scripture, when there was not a NT canon for about 3 1/2 centuries. The tradition that established those Churches was dependent upon the successors of the Apostles having binding authority on the followers in Christ. For example, how was the apostolic community founded by Thomas the apostle in India dependent upon Scripture, when as far as I know they did not have NT Scriptures? However, when discovered in the 1500s or so, these Indian believers had all the beliefs that the Romanists as your side likes to call us, have. They somehow even believed the outrageous things like the Assumption of Mary. Their tradition, even though cut off from the other Churches, even submitted to Rome, because this tradition even passed on its authority. This tradition had the same belief system in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, Mary, etc. Also, all of those who hold to tradition, even the Orthodox Church believes that she was assumed into heaven, even if they don’t want it dogmatized. Can you produce a bishop in the 1st 1500 centuries who rejected Mary’s assumption, for example? Even if Cyril of Jerusalem, for example, did not specifically write on the matter, the fact that no one raised an eyebrow, when her assumption was written down as fact later on, reflects that this tradition was ancient, even if this specific doctrine does not have alot of written support in the several centuries (Besides the fact that although all the Saints died and towns associated with those places claim the bones of those saints, not one town ever ventured to make the claim that they had Mary’s bones).

3) The following statement made by you, Tim, is not only laughable, but silly:

The mere fact that the Apostles always disputed with the Jews from the Scriptures indicates that they thought the revelation already given was the final authority by which even their own words could be judged. Their own revelations and oral preaching were in no sense independent from the written record of the OT.

Obviously, the apostles and Jesus referred to the Old Testament, because it was a point of reference that they both had in common. There were a variety of Jews throughout. When Jesus spoke with the Sadduccees, who only accepted the 5 books of Moses as Scriptural, he only referred to the Books of Moses, to show that his truth was rooted in the Pentateuch. He did not cite the prophets to the Sadduccees, even though he accepted them as true, because that was a common ground. That does not mean that he only accepted the Books of Moses, as to others he would cite the prophets. Likewise, because they cited from the OT does not mean that the apostles accepted only the OT writings as divinely inspired.

Because the apostles referred to the Old Testament, did not mean that their message was strictly limited to the OT writings. For example, there are numerous passages with Jesus and apostles passing on as truth oral tradition coming from the time of the Old Testament (Mt. 2:23, Jude 14-15, Mt. 23:2-3, 1 Cor. 10:4, among others. I can show through non-Catholic sources that Moses seat, nowhere mentioned in the Old Testament, is oral tradition that Jesus proclaimed as binding (Mt. 23:2-3). First, let us look at Moses' seat as mentioned in Matthew 23:2-3: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you...”. Why does Jesus bind people to obey something based on Moses’ seat when there is nothing in the Old Testament saying anything about Moses seat? Jewish and scholars explain:

The particular place in the synagogue where the leaders used to sit was known metaphorically as the seat of Moses or as the throne of Torah, symbolizing the succession of teachers of Torah down through the ages.’ (William G. Braude and Israel J. Kapstein, Pesikta diRav Kahana, Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America.)
Protestant scholars explain as well:
The astounding authority conceded ‘the teachers of the law and the Pharisees’ in Mt. 23:2 becomes explicit in v. 3. Even if the emphasis in v. 3 falls at the end, where Jesus denounces the Jewish leaders, hypocrisy, the beginning of the verse give them full authority in all they teach, even if they do not live up to it. Panta hosa (‘everything’ in v. 3) is a strong expression and cannot be limited to ‘that teaching of the law that is in Jesus’ view a faithful interpretation of it’; they cover everything the leaders teach, including the oral tradition as well. Nor does the test say their authority rests in their roles but not in their doctrine, on the contrary, v. 3 affirms their doctrine but condemns their practice. DA. Carson, Matthew in “The Expositor’s Bible Commentary” Vol 8 (Matthew, Mark, Luke), Zondervan, 1984, p. 471-472.
Thus, even Non-Catholic sources affirm that Moses Seat speaks of oral tradition, a position of authority, leadership, and succession. In addition, Jude 14 quotes verbatim, a statement from the book of Enoch, (7th from Adam), an extrascriptural revelation, written approximately 200 BC. Oral tradition passed that on reliably and infallibly from the time of Enoch until written in an unscriptural book. Jude refers to this as infallible truth. Mt. 2:23 states that the prophets spoke that the Messiah would be a Nazarene, binding truth that instructs us but not in the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit uses binding Oral tradition. Hebrews 11:35 clearly alludes to 2nd Maccabees 7, which you say is not Scripture. But in any case, the point is that neither Jesus nor the apostles solely relied on the OT. Thus, your statement ‘always’ is not true.

Now, as to the NT just being a recitation of the Old Testament, I have a couple of questions for you, as cited by Gary in his questions to AC who thinks, like you that “Their own revelations and oral preaching were in no sense independent from the written record of the OT”. AC had stated that the Bereans in Acts 17:11 were Sola Scriptura advocates. Gary asked him some questions that were never answered. Maybe, since you think that there was no independence from the written record of the OT, you can provide the Scriptures from the OT that Gary asked of AC (Gary is Gary Hoge, who is a Catholic Apologist who runs the following web site: http://catholicoutlook.com. He has had a running dialogue with the same apologist, Tim Enloe who I am responding to here):

So you think the Bereans were busy checking their Scriptures every day to verify every point of Paul's apostolic message, not just the fact that Jesus was the Messiah? Okay, let's test that. First of all, the word "Scriptures" in this verse obviously refers only to the Old Testament because (1) these guys were Jews, and (2) the New Testament hadn't been written yet. So you are claiming that the Bereans were able to verify what Paul "taught on many subjects to them" by looking in the Old Testament to see if these things were true. Presumably, then, you are able to do the same today. You can verify everything that Paul taught in Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, etc., from the Old Testament alone. I also assume that like a good Berean you have actually done this, and you didn't just accept those apostolic letters because someone else put them in a leather binding and told you they were the Word of God. I assume you verified that allegation for yourself.

Well, if you did, I'm very impressed, because I say that much of Paul's teaching can't be verified by comparing it to the Old Testament for the simple reason that it was new revelation from God. According to Paul himself, this new Gospel "was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets." (Eph. 3:5). It had been "kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints." (Col. 1:26). Therefore, I say your claim that every time Paul opened his mouth, the Bereans would have been able to "see if what Paul said was true" by searching the Old Testament is nonsense. However, I'd like to give you the opportunity to prove me wrong. I want you to pretend for a moment that you are a first-century Berean Jew. Now suppose one Saturday a stranger comes into your synagogue and addresses the congregation. He says that his name is Paul, and he brings you the exciting news that the long-awaited Messiah has finally come! No, he didn't actually restore the kingdom to Israel, as expected. In fact he was murdered a few decades ago by the Romans. But, Paul says, that this is exactly what was supposed to happen to the Messiah, and he offers to prove it from Scripture. As he does so, you read along with him to make sure he's giving you the straight scoop. Eventually, you're convinced. Jesus is the Messiah, and Paul is his "ambassador" (2 Cor. 5:20). So now that that's out of the way, Paul can get down to the business of sharing with you the Messiah's new teachings. What I want you to do, being the good Sola Scriptura Jew you supposedly are, is whip out your pocket Tanakh (with words of Moses in red) and show me the verses you'd use to verify the following apostolic teachings:

  • "If you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all." (Gal. 5:2. HINT: see Gen. 17:10-14).
  • "You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you." (Gal. 4:10-11. HINT: see Ex. 12:17, Ex. 31:13, Lev. 23:31, Lev. 23:41).
  • "[B]y observing the Law no one will be justified." (Gal. 2:16. HINT: see Lev. 18:5).
  • "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
  • "[After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." (1 Thess. 4:16-17).
  • "["As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself" (Rom. 14:14).
  • ["For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the first fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. . . . When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all." (1 Cor. 15:22-26, 28).
  • "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!" (1 Cor. 6:2-3).
  • "And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming." (2 Thess. 2:8).
  • "[The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator." (Gal. 3:19 Where does the OT say the law was put into effect through angels?)

  • Now, you argue: Their own revelations and oral preaching were in no sense independent from the written record of the OT. If you can not answer Gary’s challenge, you must admit that your foundational premise is in error. In fact there was obviously new revelation given that in many places could not be found in the Old Testament. Now if you could find the answers above from the OT, you may have a point, but please give the texts if you can to prove the NT dependence on the OT as the sole source of divine revelation.

    The fact, of course that they reasoned from Scripture is the same reason that I will reason with Protestants from Scripture. That is something that we will agree on: That Scripture is authoritative. The fact that the apostles appealed to Scripture, does not mean, though that it was the only infallible, binding authority. The same with the Fathers. When Jesus referred to the Sadduccees to refute their theology, and that they only accepted the first 5 books of the OT, he would allude only to Moses’ books, as that was the common ground. Just because in his dealings with the Sadducees he did not quote the major or minor prophets did not mean that the only thing he accepted was the Pentateuch. To say that in no way was the apostolic tradition independent upon Scripture gives you alot of unanswered questions, unless you can answer from above. BTW, the fact that the Fathers referred to Scripture has absolutely nothing to do with Sola Scriptura.

    Note that in the above quote, Irenaeus doesn't say "The Apostles first preached the truth orally and committed this oral teaching to their successors as a means of clarifying the Scriptures which were later derived from that teaching." No, he says the Apostles first preached the truth (oral revelation, yes, but to whom? To their own contemporaries!) and then delivered that truth to "us" (Irenaeus and his contemporaries) in the Scriptures which are "the foundation and pillar of our faith” (end of same quote given above). I'm sorry, but I just can't see the Catholic concept of an independent oral transmission of doctrine in Irenaeus, and this is only confirmed the more by his comment about how it was the Gnostics who believed in a separate viva voce transmission of doctrine alongside the Scriptures:

    "When, however, they are confuted from the Scriptures, they turn round and accuse these same Scriptures, as if they were not correct, nor of authority, and [assert] that they are ambiguous, and that the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition." (Irenaeus, AH 3.2.1) So it is the Gnostic heretics who say the truth cannot be extracted from the Scriptures without the aid of "Tradition". Interesting.

    This is not to mention that Irenaeus also says: "it comes to this, therefore, that these men do now consent neither to Scripture nor to tradition." (AH 3.2.2) A strange thing for one to say if one believed that "Tradition" was so decisive in the interpretation of Scripture. Apparently not even the grand authority of "Tradition" can convince someone who doesn't want to see (and the Fathers say repeatedly that the heretics distort the Scriptures because of their "evil intentions" and bad exegesis).

    Of course your selective quotation of Irenaeus only backfires, as Irenaeus nowhere states that Scripture is the only inerrant source, and his reference to tradition and the Church authority are equally authoritative, not as something inferior to Scripture. In fact, just because at that point Irenaeus focuses on Tradition as being necessary to clarify Scriptures, does not mean that that was the whole extent of tradition. Irenaeus knew clearly that it did much more than that, as he shows elsewhere. The fact that Irenaeus used Scripture to confute his adversaries is nothing more than Catholics using James 2:24 or Romans 2:6-13 to confute Sola Fide, or John 3:5 to prove the necessity of Baptism. You wouldn’t say because we quote Scripture that we are Sola Scripturists, so why because Irenaeus quotes Scripture to confute his opponents would that make him a Sola Scripturist? There is absolutely nothing Sola Scriptura about that. The fact that he uses Scripture says absolutely nothing it being the sole authority.

    What is interesting is your attempt to twist Irenaeus to say that the Gnostics used bad tradition, and that somehow means that Catholics aren’t supposed to use Tradition as a binding force. That is clearly a ridiculous assertion, especially since Irenaeus clearly uses Tradition as a binding force. Let us look at the paragraph you alluded to by Irenaeus, IMMEDIATELY AFTER HIS MENTION OF SCRIPTURE:

    2. But, again, when we refer them to that tradition which originates from the apostles, [and] which is preserved by means of the succession of presbyters in the Churches, they object to tradition, saying that they themselves are wiser not merely than the presbyters, but even than the apostles, because they have discovered the unadulterated truth. For [they maintain] that the apostles intermingled the things of the law with the words of the Saviour; and that not the apostles alone, but even the Lord Himself, spoke as at one time from the Demiurge, at another from the intermediate place, and yet again from the Pleroma, but that they themselves, indubitably, unsulliedly, and purely, have knowledge of the hidden mystery: this is, indeed, to blaspheme their Creator after a most impudent manner! It comes to this, therefore, that these men do now consent neither to Scripture nor to tradition.” (Irenaeus, AH 3.2.2)

    Thus, immediately after referring to Scriptures’ authority in refuting the Gnostics, he said absolutely nothing about, “You must test tradition only by Scripture”. Why not, if as you say, Tradition is dependent upon Scripture? He sees them as at the same level. Instead tradition is the succession of presbyters in the Churches. Thus, apostolic succession preserves the truth. Scripture is one realm of truth. Tradition is another realm of truth. And apostolic succession, is a part of tradition. The truths that they hold, comes down from the time of the apostles.

    Next, Irenaeus shows that there are many sources to confute the heretics: Not just one binding, infallible source - Scripture. There is thus more than one source to confute them:

    “3. Such are the adversaries with whom we have to deal, my very dear friend, endeavouring like slippery serpents to escape at all points. Where- fore they must be opposed at all points, if per- chance, by cutting off their retreat, we may succeed in turning them back to the truth. For, though it is not an easy thing for a soul under the influence of error to repent, yet, on the other hand, it is not altogether impossible to escape from error when the truth is brought alongside it.” (Irenaeus, AH 3.2.3)
    Thus, in order to confute them, he sees tradition as well as Scripture as the means of doing so. Nowhere does he even give a hint that Tradition as only dependent upon Scripture. In fact, as he goes on, to explain in more detail about how to confute the heretics, nowhere does he attempt to use tradition asonly a way to interpret Scripture, but as the binding force that confutes the heretics:


    (Irenaeus, AH 3.3.1) 1. It is within the power of all, therefore, in every Church, who may wish to see the truth, to contemplate clearly the tradition of the apostles manifested throughout the whole world; and we are in a position to reckon up those who were by the apostles instituted bishops in the Churches, and [to demonstrate] the succession of these men to our own times; those who neither taught nor knew of anything like what these [heretics] rave about. For if the apostles had known hidden mysteries, which they were in the habit of imparting to "the perfect" apart and privily from the rest, they would have delivered them especially to those to whom they were also committing the Churches themselves. For they were desirous that these men should be very perfect and blameless in all things, whom also they were leaving behind as their successors, delivering up their own place of government to these men; which men, if they discharged their functions honestly, would be a great boon [to the Church], but if they should fall away, the direst calamity.”
    Notice what Irenaeus says here, in his confuting the heretics. He says absolutely nothing about Scripture relegating tradition to an inferior position, as you say. He says to those who wish to see the truth, contemplate clearly the tradition of the apostles manifested throughout the whole world, and he looks specifically to succession. If the apostles had known these things the Gnostics had, he says absolutely nothing about, ‘well they would have given to them in Scripture”. It was important to the apostles that these truths were passed on, but as we know, most apostles didn’t write one iota of Scripture, and what was important is that it was delivered to their successors. Of Course Irenaeus is referring to the church government as being essential to pass truth, and it was no way, exclusively dependent upon Scripture, nor does Irenaeus even imagine so. This anachronistic Sola Scriptura reading would amaze St. Irenaeus.

    In fact, J.N.D. Kelly the noted Protestant historian writes of similar attempts to relegate authority and tradition to second class status in reference to Scripture:

    He writes:

    “Throughout the whole period Scripture and tradition ranked as complementary authorities, media different in form but coincident in content. To inquire which counted as superior or more ultimate is to pose the question in misleading and anachronistic terms. If Scripture was abundantly sufficient in principle, tradition was recognized as the surest clue to its interpretation, for in tradition the Church retained, as a legacy from the apostles which was embedded in all the organs of her institutional life, and unerring rasp of the real purport and meaning of the revelation to which Scripture and tradition alike bore witness.” J.N.D.Kelly,

    Your misleading and anachronistic attempt to ‘corral’ Irenaeus doesn’t cut it.

    So, back to my idea that material sufficiency, properly understood, is the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, properly understood. The concept of an oral doctrinal tradition enshrined in the Church's preaching and life did not appear until the late second century, in Irenaeus and Tertullian--long after all of the NT books had been written and most of them universally accepted. This fact alone militates against the notion that Scripture derives its authority from an earlier independent "Tradition", which still existed (exists) as a separate source handed down by episcopal succession and by which the Scriptures are "proved" and "clarified".

    That is again false history. Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch both spoke of the necessity of Bishops, and the necessity of preserving truth through their succession, in the midst of preaching truth on such things as the Eucharist, salvation, Succession of Bishops, etc., baptism, etc. Of course there is no hint from the earliest of Fathers for Sola Scriptura, let alone the contents of Scripture. There of course were many books in question that you want to overlook when you say “most of them universally accepted” (such as Revelation, 2nd Peter, Jude, James, Hebrews, etc.) that were not recognized for centuries by different Church communities. If Sola Scriptura was the way, the NT contents clearly would have been decided at an early date. That alone speaks volume against Sola Scriptura. The fact that the Church was not concerned with setting a table of contents for the NT (and the OT, for that matter), shows that its main concern was not being relegated to an inferior level to the Scriptures.

    The reason Irenaeus and Tertullian and Athanasius and the rest even started talking about traditions passed down orally through episcopal succession was simply to demonstrate that the Catholic churches had all been teaching the same things about God from the beginning, unlike the heretics, whose teachings were obvious novelties. If the "oral Tradition of the Church" proved anything for these Fathers, it proved that the churches they themselves belonged to weren't upstart assemblies like the heretics belonged to, but had their roots in the Apostolic age itself.
    Ok. That is fine, Catholic teaching. I don’t have any problem with that. Yes, the Catholic teaching on the Sacrifice of the Mass, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, Baptismal Regeneration, Succession of Bishops and the absolute need of submitting to Bishops, were all rooted in the Apostolic Age. No problem at all, although it is for you. In fact, if you agree that these are apostolic traditions, then welcome to the Catholic faith and you can say bye-bye to Calvinism.

    It is your following quote that is off the mark:

    Certainly it did not "prove" the authority of Scripture, but was merely an oral summary of what Scripture said. If this is not so, why when they speak of this "oral Tradition" of doctrine, is it always in the immediate context of expositing Scripture?

    Huh? Since when do any of the Apostolic Fathers say that tradition is merely ‘expositing scripture’. Now, true, expositing Scripture is one aspect of it, and in fact those that don’t exposit the way that the Catholic Church exposits it are condemned. For example, every single Church Father ‘exposits’ that John 3:5 means the necessity of water baptism (of water and Spirit), not merely a spiritual baptism. No one used the amniotic fluid argument constructed almost a couple of thousand years later. Yes. That is a part of tradition. But even when mentioning things like that, Tradition is seen to be much bigger. For example, Irenaeus writes, in Book 5 of his Against Heresies 20:5, (Irenaeus, AH 5.20.1) ANF 1:547-548:

    “CHAP. XX.--THOSE PASTORS ARE TO BE HEARD TO WHOM THE APOSTLES COMMITTED THE CHURCHES, POSSESSING ONE AND THE SAME DOCTRINE OF SALVATION; THE HERETICS, ON THE OTHER HAND, ARE TO BE AVOIDED. WE MUST THINK SOBERLY WITH REGARD TO THE MYSTERIES OF THE FAITH. 1. Now all these [heretics] are of much later date than the bishops to whom the apostles committed the Churches; which fact I have in the third book taken all pains to demonstrate. It follows, then, as a matter of course, that these heretics aforementioned, since they are blind to the truth, and deviate from the [right] way, will walk in various roads; and therefore the footsteps of their doctrine are scattered here and there without agreement or connection. But the path of those belonging to the Church circumscribes the whole world, as possessing the sure tradition from the apostles, and gives unto us to see that the faith of all is one and the same, since all receive one and the same God the Father, and believe in the same dispensation regarding the incarnation of the Son of God, and are cognizant of the same gift of the Spirit, and are conversant with the same commandments, and preserve the same form of ecclesiastical constitution,(1) and expect the same advent of the Lord, and await the same salvation of the complete man, that is, of the soul and body. And undoubtedly the preaching of the Church is true and stedfast, in which one and the same way of salvation is shown throughout the whole world. For to her is entrusted the light of God; and therefore the "wisdom" of God, by means of which she saves all men, "is declared in [its] going forth; it uttereth [its voice] faithfully in the streets, is preached on the tops of the walls, and speaks continually in the gates of the city."(3) For the Church preaches the truth everywhere, and she is the seven-branched candlestick which bears the light of Christ. 2. Those, therefore, who desert the preaching of the Church, call in question the knowledge of the holy presbyters, not taking into consideration of how much greater consequence is a religious man, even in a private station, than a blasphemous and impudent sophist.(4) Now, such are all the heretics, and those who imagine that they have hit upon something more beyond the truth, so that by following those things already mentioned, proceeding on their way variously, in harmoniously, and foolishly, not keeping always to the same opinions with regard to the same things, as blind men are led by the blind, they shall deservedly fall into the ditch of ignorance lying in their path, ever seeking and never finding out the truth.(5) It behoves us, therefore, to avoid their doctrines, and to take careful heed lest we suffer any injury from them; but to flee to the Church, and be brought up in her bosom, and be nourished with the Lord's Scriptures. For the Church has been planted as a garden (paradisus) in this world; therefore says the Spirit of God, "Thou mayest freely eat from every tree of the garden,"(6) that is, Eat ye from every Scripture of the Lord; but ye shall not eat with an uplifted mind, nor touch any heretical discord. For these men do profess that they have themselves the knowledge of good and evil; and they set their own impious minds above the God who made them. They therefore form opinions on what is beyond the limits of the understanding. For this cause also the apostle says, "Be not wise beyond what it is fitting to be wise, but be wise prudently,"(7) that we be not east forth by eating of the "knowledge" of these men (that knowledge which knows more than it should do) from the paradise of life.”
    Sure, this tradition, way down the road, does include expositing the Scriptures the proper way. It includes the doctrine of God the Father and God the Son (of course way pre-Nicaea so very much open to doctrinal development) but it includes ecclesiastical constitution, and the church commandments, and how man is saved, which of course is not Sola Fide or anything approaching Sola Fide. The Church sheds light on all these things. These traditions are nowhere relegated to ‘expositing Scripture’, or here shown as its main focus. When mentioning these ecclesiastical commandments and constitutions, it is nowhere limited to, ‘well, this is merely a byproduct of Scripture’. Notice that the Church is true and stedfast. Thus, Scripture can only properly be exposited when seen through the eyes of the Church.

    Notice, what Irenaeus’ focus is: The importance of fleeing the doctrines of those who depart from the Catholic teaching. He who deserts the teaching of the Church are described to be blasphemous and impudent sophists... What is his emphasis in reference to Scripture when he does bring it up? “That Scripture is the only thing infallible, and tradition is dependent only upon Scripture?” No. It is that we can only truly be nourished upon the Scriptures when we are fed its understanding when we go to the Church. Absolutely nothing about Scripture being the only infallible guide.

    Again, Catholic apologists jump to Option (2) given above, but that is by no means a self-evident conclusion. Oral preaching preceded the writing of the NT, but by Irenaeus's day, it is as plain as the words on his pages that Scripture is where one goes to prove Apostolic doctrine. The succession lists prove only that Irenaeus doesn't belong to a Church that started yesterday, but the validity of those lists is premised on the idea that each member of the succession can be proved to have taught the same thing the Scriptures say. All the doctrines of the faith are in Scripture (material sufficiency), and "Tradition" is obviously dependent on Scripture, not vice versa.
    In any case, even if we limited tradition to merely expositing Scripture, (which we don't), the way St. Irenaeus uses it would not be Sola Scriptura anyway, in any way, shape or form. This tradition, as seen by St. Irenaeus, is not something that is inferior to Scripture. This tradition St. Irenaues sees as absolutely binding upon the believers. You believe that tradition can be discarded if it disagrees with your personal interpretation of Scripture. St. Irenaeus had just written that those who departed from the tradition were impudent. Again, the lack of a defined canon as of this point with no canons given at all at this point (the Second Century, with the Muratorian fragments including ‘The Acts of Peter’ as Scripture, was not something given wide distribution) and Clement’s letter to the Corinthians was read in some parts as Scripture, and thus undercuts the premise that tradition was dependent upon Scripture. Let alone the fact that Scriptures were not available on a broad scale at the time and the literacy rate was very low. The fact that most apostles established Churches without writing a thing shows that the Church’s establishment was not dependent upon Scripture. The liturgies established by the apostles, which reflect Catholic doctrine, which included prayers for the dead, shows that it was done outside the realm of merely being dependent upon Scripture.

    The fact that at times Scripture is cited as proof shows nothing more than Catholics cite Scripture. This dependence upon Scripture thing, again, doesn’t work with such limited access to Scripture, whereas the oral proclamations of the truth, was handed on down, and the Succession of truth was the trademark. Again, let us go back to book 3, Chapter 3, and the succession list. Let us see if Irenaeus says, "the main purpose of Tradition is show its dependence upon Scripture." Let us see the list and see if Irenaeus gives your premise as the main point:

    Against Heresies, Book 3, ch. 2, 2-3, ANF415-16

    2. Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority,(3) that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolical tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere. 3. The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church,committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles. In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren at Corinth, the Church in Rome dispatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace, renewing their faith, and declaring the tradition which it had lately received from the apostles, proclaiming the one God, omnipotent, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Creator of man, who brought on the deluge, and called Abraham, who led the people from the land of Egypt, spake with Moses, set forth the law, sent the prophets, and who has prepared fire for the devil and his angels. From this document, whosoever chooses to do so, may learn that He, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, was preached by the Churches, and may also understand the apostolical tradition of the Church, since this Epistle is of older date than these men who are now propagating falsehood, and who conjure into existence another god beyond the Creator and the Maker of all existing things. To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telephorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus; after him, Pius; then after him, Anicetus. Sorer having succeeded Anicetus, Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate. In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth.”
    Now, is there even a hint that apostolic tradition is limited to merely expositing Scripture? (Remember, even if it did, that would not be enough to show that he taught Sola Scriptura, because the tradition and the Church's interpretation was absolutely binding. Tradition and the Church were not inferior in authority to Scripture). Or is there a hint that tradition is limited to being dependent upon tradition? With all due respect, during the mention of this list of successors to the Bishop of Rome, there is not even a mention of Scripture at all, much less limit tradition to merely expositing Scripture. What is important is that every Church be in agreement with the Roman Church. That is what is important to the ecclesiastical tradition. What is important is that this Roman Church preserves continuously the faithful deposit of divine revelation. This is where the faithful go to. What does Irenaeus say after he wrote the above? Maybe there he says "tradition is utterly dependent upon Scripture?" as you say he says? No, instead he says:

    book 3, Ch. 4, 1, NPNP pp 416-417:

    1. Since therefore we have such proofs, it is not necessary to seek the truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church; since the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money] in a bank, lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth: so that every man, whosoever will, can draw from her the water of life.(1) For she is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers. On this account are we bound to avoid them, but to make choice of the thing pertaining to the Church with the utmost diligence, and to lay hold of the tradition of the truth. For how stands the case? Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question(2) among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary, [in that case,] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches?
    Doesn’t seem like even a hint of being relegated to second class status to Scriptures. What is important is that we heed to what the apostles passed on down. Not passed on down only through Scriptures. He nowhere says, ‘Well, since Thomas, and Simon, and Andrew didn’t write a Scripture, we leave what those folks taught as relegated to depending upon what other people wrote”. Those Churches, which what Irenaeus stressed as dependent upon not Scriptures. Nowhere does Irenaeus limit it to what those people wrote, or didn’t write.

    No one doubts that the Fathers believed in an authoritative, teaching Church whose bishops could help people understand Scripture by means of oral proclamations, but that simply isn't the same concept that your Church presents, nor is it something denied by Sola Scriptura. The Reformers and their theological heirs absolutely did not disdain the concept of a teaching Church, a living Church which recognized the canon of Scripture over time and which expounds the Scriptures orally to the faithful, and so any Catholic apologist who attempts to portray Sola Scriptura as the idea that the Bible is formally sufficient (which translates to "the individual interpreter of the Bible is formally sufficient") is simply beating at the air.
    The important aspect from Clement to Ignatius to Irenaeus is that they hold succession of the bishops from the apostles. That is what is important. We saw Irenaeus specifically say that if one departs from the teaching of bishops who did the teaching on these matters, as this teaching came from the apostles, they are blasphemous and impudent sophists. Does Calvin say that? Or wasn’t he one of the ones who did such departing? The whole premise of a teaching Church that departs from its apostolic foundations as preserved by the Bishops, according to St. Irenaeus, is that those so depart from that Church are blasphemous and impudent sophists. In any case, there are not even Bishops in the so-called ‘reformed’ camp, who would not be so-labelled. They certainly departed and with all due respect, would be labeled by St. Irenaues as imputdent sophists. Didn’t the Marcionites also have a concept of a teaching Church? The whole premise why Irenaeus could so criticize them is because they separated themselves from the teaching Church that had the succession of the apostles. So it is not enough to say, ‘Well, we too believe in teaching Church.”

    Sola Scriptura means "material sufficiency" precisely because the additional concept of a "tradition" standing alongside the Scriptures is plainly said by the Fathers to be no more than an oral proclamation of what the Scriptures say. All the doctrines of the faith are found in Scripture, and when the Church faithfully preaches those doctrines and no others, her teaching can be said to be infallible because it is simply a verbal annunciation of what God Himself said. But that's something quite different from positing an infallibility existing in the Church herself. And it's a far, far cry from the concept of an independently transmitted oral tradition standing alongside the Scriptures.
    See Above. Been there dealt with those faulty premises.

    [Matt1] He says Gary says of that quotes: “They don’t really mean what they say.” On the other hand, Tim himself is reduced to saying such things as Cyril of Jerusalem, who wrote that doctrine must come from Scripture also saying: “Hold fast these traditions (the doctrines regarding the Mass, such as the Sacrifice of the Mass and real presence, doctrine of transubstantiation as elaborated by Cyril almost a millennium ahead of 1215) undefiled and keep yourselves free from offense. Sever not yourselves from the Communion; deprive not yourselves, through the pollution of sins, of these Holy and Spiritual Mysteries.” Catechetical Lectures, Mystagogogical Catechesis 5:23, NPNF 2, VII 157.
    Not so fast, Matt. Presumably, since you are citing from NPNF, you are aware of the extensive scholarly discussion of Cyril's Eucharistic theology on pp. xxxv-xl. The summation of this discussion is found on pg. xxxix, and xl, where the translator writes: "In this view the Bread and Wine are signs or figures of the natural Body of Christ crucified; but they are also much more, they are endued by the Divine Word, and through the operation of the Holy Ghost, with the life giving power of the same Body and Blood of Christ,--a power which being imparted to the faithful recipient makes him to be 'of the same body and the same blood with Christ', thereby assuring him of the resurrection of the body to eternal life, and at the same time strengthening and refreshing the soul by its being united through faith with the Word, and being thus made 'partaker of the Divine nature.'"

    Further, "…according to Cyril's doctrine as already explained, the bread after the Invocation, without ceasing to be bread, not only signifies but also is, the Body, and we see how natural it was for him to say in one passage that 'His body bore the figure of bread,' and in another that 'in the figure of the bread the Body is given.' The Body which 'is given' cannot be an absent Body of our Lord, but must be that Sacramental Body, of which Cyril goes on to say in the same sentence that it is 'distributed to our members'. Thus the bread broken is a type or figure of Christ's Body as crucified for us; and by virtue of its union with the Divine Word it becomes the life-giving Body, which makes the faithful recipient to be, in Cyril's words, 'of the same body and same blood with Christ.' "

    Cyril plainly believed that there was something mysterious about the Eucharist, but beyond positing a sacramental union of visible sign linked to invisible thing signified by faith (just like many other Fathers, especially Augustine) that is used by God to nourish our souls, he doesn't spell out exactly what has happened to the elements after their consecration. So while it may certainly be said that Cyril believed in the Real Presence (as do I), it is a stretch to say he believed in "transubstantiation". And anyway, even if he did so believe, it's irrelevant to my reasons for quoting him.

    And as for Cyril's supposed belief in "the Sacrifice of the Mass" (Lecture 23.8), well, the preceding context makes it plain that the "spiritual sacrifice" he is speaking of there is the sacrifice of praise given to God by the assembled believers. Schaff notes that: "This eucharistic sacrifice, however, the ante-Nicene Fathers conceived not as an unbloody repetition of the atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross, but simply as a commemoration and renewed appropriation of that atonement, and, above all, a thank offering of the whole church for all the favors of God in creation and redemption. Hence the current name itself--eucharist; which denoted in the first place the prayer of thanksgiving, but afterwards the whole rite." (Church History, Vol. 2, 245) So once again, the issues don't appear to be as simple as your above paragraph supposes.

    This citation of St. Cyril is very relevant. Remember, you are saying that he is a believer in Sola Scriptura. As a Sola Scriptura advocate, he must believe, according to your WCF confession, that Scripture is perspicuous on the issue of salvation. Thus, your use of him must show him in some way approximating your view of salvation. Otherwise, at a a minimum, Scripture would be unperspicuos on that point. Thus, your use of him falls by the wayside on that point alone. His use of Scripture to show that the Eucharist is a transformation of the physical elements of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is exactly opposite of your view. Also, this is a propitiatory sacrifice that forgives sins. Since the Eucharist forgives sins, it goes into how he sees salvation.

    Well, I read the texts themselves. To be honest, before I posted them, I did not read the Schaff comments. After your reference, I did go there. However, this James 2:24 type spin doesn’t cut it. You also only agree to a Spiritual presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Christ is always spiritually present according to that. However, that is not what Cyril is getting at. You deny the materiality of which he speaks. That what he partakes is actually, physically the body and blood of Christ.

    Notice that his citation, that you mentioned, we physically receive the Lord’s body and blood. In any case, let us look at one of the texts that you and your Schaff editors try to use to say that I am misreading, because he at one time he uses the word figure:

    “(ON THE MYSTERIES. IV.) ON THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST. 1 Cor. xi. 23. I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, how that the Lord Jesus, in the night in which He was betrayed, took bread, &c. 1. Even of itself(1) the teaching of the Blessed Paul is sufficient to give you a full assurance concerning those Divine Mysteries, of which having been deemed worthy, ye are become of the same bad(2) and blood with Christ. For you have just heard him say distinctly, That our Lord Jesus Christ in the night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks He brake it, and gave to His disciples, saying, Take, eat, this is My Body: and having taken the cup and given thanks, lie said, Take, drink, this is My Bloods(3). Since then He Himself declared and said of the Bread, This is My Body, who shall dare to doubt any longer? And since He has Himself affirmed and said, This is My Blood, who shall ever hesitate, saying, that it is not His blood? 2. He once in Cana of Galilee, turned the water into wine, akin to blood(4), and is it incredible that He should have turned wine into blood? When called to a bodily marriage, He miraculously wrought s that wonderful work; and on the children of the bride-chamber(6), shall He not much rather be acknowledged to have bestowed the fruition of His Body and Blood(7)? 3. Wherefore with full assurance let us partake as of the Body and Blood of Christ: for in the figure(8) of Bread is given to thee His Body, and in the figure of Wine His Blood; that thou by partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, mayest be made of the same body and the same blood with Him. For thus we come to bear Christ(9) in us, because His Body and Blood are distributed(1) through our members; thus it is that, according to the blessed Peter, we became partakers of the divine nature(2).”
    The words can not be any plainer. He uses the phrase this is my blood. Who can say otherwise, he says. If you really believe Jesus, according to Cyril, you must really believe it is his blood. If it was merely a belief in a figurative blood, what is the miraculous thing that you have to believe? Why would the mention here, be any different at all from believing that Jesus is really here with me, when I type in the computer? Yes, the fact that Jesus is spiritually present with us, is in fact miraculous, but that is not what Cyril is getting at. He plainly speaks of him physically being there. Thus, he uses the reality of Christ’s transforming water into wine as being a parallel, and being a reality where the bread really becomes the Body of Christ. If there was to be no physical transformation, with no change in substance, why does he use the exact parallel where there was indeed a physical, and substantial change, from water into wine, when he mentions Bread transforming into his body? Cyril says that this transformation is a real transformation, physically, not merely spiritually, unless you deny that Jesus changed water into wine. Btw, the use of the word ‘figure’ does not mean that he cancels out what he said elsewhere. As J.N.D. Kelly writes in Early Christian Doctrines, p. 212. When speaking of similar comments by Tertullian on the matter, he writes:
    “Occasionally these writers use language which has been held to imply that, for all its realist sound, their use of the terms, ‘body’ and ‘blood’ may after all be merely symbolic. Tertullian, for example, refers to the bread as ‘a figure’ of Christ’s body, and one speaks of the bread by which he represents his very body.’ Yet we should be cautious about interpreting such expressions in a modern fashion. According to ancient modes of thought a mysterious relationship existed between the thing symbolized and its symbol, figure or type; the symbol in some sense was the thing symbolized. Again, the word represents, in Tertullian’s vocabulary, retained its original significance of ‘to make present.’ All that language really suggests is that, while accepting the equation of the elements with the body and blood, he remains conscious of the sacramental distinction between them. In fact, he is trying with the aid of the concept of figure, to rationalize to himself the apparent contradiction between a) dogma that the elements are now Christ’s body and blood, and b) the empirical fact that for sensation they remain bread and wine’.” That is, the fact that, as Cyril says that it remains in the figure of bread, even though it is not bread. He said: Since then He Himself declared and said of the Bread, This is My Body, who shall dare to doubt any longer? And since He has Himself affirmed and said, This is My Blood, who shall ever hesitate, saying, that it is not His blood? Yes. It looks like bread, and is even in the figure of bread. But it is not really bread. It really is his blood. So we see a delineation of substance and accidents, about a millenium beforehand.
    Notice that right after Cyril says that “the figure of his blood” he says:
    that thou by partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, mayest be made of the same body and the same blood with Him. For thus we come to bear Christ(9) in us, because His Body and Blood are distributed(1) through our members; thus it is that, according to the blessed Peter, we became partakers of the divine nature(2).”
    If he was only spiritually partaking of the body and blood, why does immediately after using the word does he say: that we are made of the same body and blood with him? His Body and Blood are physically distributed through our body. If it was merely a spiritual figure, Cyril makes absolutely no sense. But it does make sense that his Blood and Body are really distributed through our members.

    Also, the idea that the Sacrifice is merely a commemoration doesn’t cut it. Yes, the Sacrifice of the Mass does include ‘sacrifice of praise.’ The Catechism in fact calls the Eucharist a ‘sacrifice of praise’ (CCC 1361). But you and the Schaff editors are either ignoring or overlooking the substance of the following words:

    NPNF II, vol. 7, p. 154, Catechical Lectures, On the Mysteries, 23, 7,8:

    7. Then having sanctified ourselves by these spiritual Hymns, we beseech the merciful God to send forth His Holy Spirit upon the gifts lying before Him; that He may make the Bread the Body of Christ, and the Wine the Blood of Christ(8); for whatsoever the Holy Ghost has touched, is surely sanctified and changed. 8. Then, after the spiritual sacrifice, the bloodless service, is completed, over that sacrifice of propitiation(9) we entreat God for the common peace of the Churches, for the welfare of the world(1); for kings; for soldiers and allies; for the sick; for the afflicted; and, in a word, for all who stand in need of succour we all pray and offer this sacrifice. 9. Then we commemorate also those who have fallen asleep before us, first Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, that at their prayers and intercessions God would receive our petition(2). Then on behalf also of the Holy Fathers and Bishops who have fallen asleep before us, and in a word of all who in past years have fallen asleep among us, believing that it will be a very great benefit to the souls(3), for whom the supplication is put up, while that holy and most awful sacrifice is set forth. 10. And I wish to persuade you by an illustration. For I know that many say, what is a soul profited, which departs from this world either with sins, or without sins, if it be commemorated in the prayer? For if a king were to banish certain who had given him of-fence, and then those who belong to them(4) should weave a crown and offer it to him on behalf of those under punishment, would he not grant a remission of their penalties? In the same way we, when we offer to Him our supplications for those who have fallen asleep, though they be sinners, weave no crown, but offer up Christ sacrificed for our sins(5), propitiating our merciful God for them as well as for ourselves.
    Since when in Calvinist Liturgies does the sacrifice of praise become, a spiritual Sacrifice that becomes a bloodless worship, over the propitiatory victim through which we intercede? How is that not a real sacrifice.? That is Tridentine Language that I can get out for you, if you want it. The Sacrifice of the Mass is an appeasement to God. This is offered so that God will have mercy on us. These are offered up for God, that not only we may benefit, but those who have died in God’s grace, which of course implicitly refers to purgatory. St. Cyril asks that this be offered up so that there is a remission of penalties for those who have died. We offer up the Eucharistic Sacrifice for those who have died. This Eucharistic sacrifice propitiates our sins! Is that standard Calvinist lingo for a ‘sacrifice of praise’? How does that fit for the forensic imputation of Christ's righteousness? Also, Cyril prays that Martyrs and apostles, who are saints, intercede for us.

    J.N.D. Kelly admits that the Eucharist was seen as a real sacrifice unaminously, and not just as a sacrifice of praise:

    “The writers and liturgies of the period are unanimous in recognizing it as such.” Early Christian Doctrines,” pp. 215-216.
    [Matt1]What does Tim say? Well, look at my quote of Cyril, not Gary’s!! Cyril means what he says in Catechetical Lectures 4:17 (which somehow thinks he means he believes in Sola Scriptura), not here!!! Notice by the way, that Cyril of Jerusalem is quoting 2 Thes. 2:15.
    I had difficulty determining what you were referring to here until I looked up 2 Thess. 2:15 in the Index to Cyril's works. Cyril only quotes the passage one time, and it is NOT in Lecture 4.17, as you seem to imply.
    Well, it is a clear allusion where he says hold to the traditions. What other Scriptural text says that, except 2 Thes. 2:15, even if your index doesn’t want to admit it?

    Actually, it is in Lecture 5.12, and the way in which he quotes the passage demolishes the point you are trying to make. Observe--

    Cyril opens section 12 of Lecture 5 with the statement: "But in learning the Faith and in professing it, acquire and keep that only, which is delivered to thee by the Church, and which has been built up strongly out of all the Scriptures." At first glance one might think Cyril is here talking about two coordinate authorities of equal weight--after all, he says the catechumens should keep what is "delivered to thee by the Church" and "what has been built up strongly out of all the Scriptures."

    But as usual, some deeper digging brings out the truth. Cyril goes on to say that the oral teaching of the Creed (note how he spells out exactly what he is referring to by the term "traditions"--he doesn't leave one with some vague "well, I'll just believe whatever the Church tells me to believe" implicit faith nonsense!) is done because not all believers can read the Scriptures. He then says: "So for the present listen while I simply say the Creed, and commit it to memory; but at the proper season expect the confirmation out of Holy Scripture of each part of the contents. For the articles of the Faith were not composed as seemed good to men; but the most important points collected out of all the Scripture make up one complete teaching of the Faith." (5.12, emphasis mine). Now you tell me, Matt, who is trying to "corral" Cyril here? It's pretty plain that for him, what the Church is passing down orally is THE CREED, and that all of the statements of THE CREED are derived from the Scriptures. There's no hint of what you are saying about "Tradition" in Cyril.

    The only problem with all this is that here, Cyril is not forgetting all the other doctrines that he espouses. He still remembers prayers for the dead. He still remembers in the Eucharist that it is a propitiatory sacrifice for the dead, and belief that it is so. All the doctrines that he believes, and I note that you don’t as a Calvinist, is part of that tradition. The way that the liturgy is done is part of this tradition, even if not explicitly written in Scripture. The Liturgy is part of that tradition, and you are not serious if you think the whole liturgy was given in Scripture. There is no entrance hymn section, whatever given in Scripture, now is there? Don’t you think that the Liturgy is a part of the holding Fast to tradition thing? The way the Church is to worship in Liturgy, clearly an important matter, is surely not given in detail in Scripture. We get bits of it in various places alone. However, in tradition, we have Liturgies that can be traced to the apostolic age.

    [Matt1] Tim had stated that well, Paul wrote that only to the Thessalonians, and only the Thessalonians had to remember what Paul said. After Paul died, I suppose, they were only to remember what he wrote down (Paul forgot to mention that in 2 Thes. 2:15). Hold Fast, according to Tim, means it is not a binding norm of faith after Paul dies?
    Of course not. Obviously, if Paul told the Thessalonians to hold fast something he had told them orally, that command would not be rendered null and void by his mere act of writing letters to them. Such a silly idea is not what is maintained by Sola Scriptura, so I can't imagine why you talk like this. My point was that Paul's "oral tradition" was something delivered personally by him to the Thessalonians (not something delivered second-hand to you by Petrine Successor #235 two thousand years later), and it was the latter who were commanded to maintain this tradition (not some abstract entity called "the Church" and not you and I). 2 Thess. 2:15 is utterly irrelevant to any case for Roman Catholic "Tradition".
    You miss the point. The exact point is that you say that they are supposed to pass on what is written but the oral is not of equal binding force. Paul however nowhere states that since he passed it on to them orally, what they receive orally has no equivalent binding force on the succeeding generations at all. Paul nowhere in 2nd Thes. 2:15 gives any priority whatsoever to the written tradition. It is put on the same level as the oral. If the written tradition is to be passed on personally to the Thessalonians, as they were the only ones who received it, and you expect them to pass it on to the succeeding generation, but what they received personally orally was not to be binding on the succeeding generation, why does he put them on such the same level? You still haven’t addressed the point at all. I don’t think btw that the Church is an abstract entity at all. It is a visible physical entity. The one who so spiritualizes into some merely vague, spiritual "body of believers” is the one who makes it a abstract entity. According to Ignatius, the only real believers were those who were physically united to the One Catholic Church in accord with the Bishops who succeeded the apostles. Other than that were the heretics, who separated from them.

    Think "Old Testament pattern" and the answer to your silly question is obvious. God spoke orally to the Jews many times, and not all of this revelation got written down. But so what? There's plenty of evidence in what did get written down (passages in Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and many of the Prophets) that when God wanted something transmitted to future generations, He directed it to be written down. Not once did He direct it to be orally transmitted through some approved hierarchy. Such a teaching is a definite novelty in the history of redemption.
    If that is the case, why did God nowhere command any of the people in the thousands of years between Adam and Moses, to once write Scripture? To argue that if God wanted divine revelation in order to be infallibly passed on one needed to write it down, Scripture gives absolutely no evidence of that at all, but especially no evidence in the Old Testament He commanded people to know what they were supposed to do, but nowhere did he command Adam, Noah, Abraham, etc. to write a thing down, yet they were all expected to obey them. Again, Sola Scriptura is defeated by your very allusion!

    [Matt] Paul makes no such case in 2 Thes. 2:15. Paul puts them on the exact same par. If the succeeding generations are not to have oral tradition as a binding rule of faith, then the same would have to apply to Scripture.
    Non sequitur. Part of the problem here is that we simply don't know what Paul told the Thessalonians orally. There are two possibilities: what he told them was substantially the same as what he was writing then (and later) or what he told them was substantially different from what he was writing then (and later). If the former, your case is not helped, since any Christian with a Bible has access to the substance of Paul's oral teaching without going and asking some bishop what his successors have passed on to him. If the latter, it cannot contradict what was written down and by reason of having been transmitted ONLY orally, it obviously was not intended by God for the whole Church.
    Again, it is the principle that is established that is important, even if we aren’t given the specifics of the oral traditions (after all, it is oral). The fact that we aren’t given the specifics does not undercut our case one bit. The principle established is that if the written was to be passed on, so is the oral. The best way we can find out what was passed on, from Paul, Simon, Andrew, Thomas, to all the other Churches, is what they believed in. And this obviously includes such things as the Real Material physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and that of not merely a Sacrifice of praise, but as the Early Fathers unanimously showed, the Eucharist is a sacrifice that fulfilled Mal. 1:11. All the Fathers agreed, as the Protestant JND Kelly admits that it was a sacrifice that was propitiatory. It was the Gnostics who denied the real transformation of Christ in the Eucharist as Ignatius said. The liturgy of the Mass reflected the life and doctrine of the Church. The most important part of the Church was nowhere written down in Scripture, as we only have Jesus’ consecratory words, and Synoptic versions of it. But that was the life of the Church. We have hints of the liturgy in the early centuries. The catacombs, with prayers to the saints and for the dead, were not dependent upon Scripture, but reflected the apostolic tradition. The liturgy itself, as done throughout the apostolic Churches, reflect Catholic doctrine, such as prayers for the dead and to the saints. Yes, this is something orally told by Paul to the Thessalonians, and other liturgies came that were developed from them.

    But in any case, what we have from all the Apostolic Churches are beliefs consonant with Catholic teaching. Now true, not absolutely everything is laid out via Vatican II, but the roots of everything is there. However, many teachings explicitly contradict your teaching: IE. Baptismal regneration, Eucharist teaching on the Sacrifice and real presence (physically, not merely spiritually), Apostolic succession, Bishops, Sacraments, prayers to the saints & prayers for the dead, etc, and the Catholic Liturgy.

    Scripture is intended for the whole Church; Paul's commands to the Thessalonians were intended for them. And anyway, since you don't claim succession from the Bishop of Thessalonica, how do you have access to what Paul orally told the Thessalonians? I guess the Bishop of Thessalonica shared all his "oral tradition" with the Bishop of Rome, who has handed it all down inviolate to your bishop, right? This being the case, it should be easy for you to list these items of belief that Paul orally transmitted to the Thessalonians. Please do so without delay so that I can compare them to the Scriptures and assure myself that they are genuinely Apostolic.
    Of course nowhere does Paul say what you say here in Thessalonica that “Only Scripture is intended for the entire Church and you can take or leave oral tradition, as it is not ultimately binding.” You can read into that, but Paul does not say that. The same thing goes for the Churches established by Andrew, Peter, Simon, Jude, Thomas, Matthew, etc. What they told them was binding on those Churches. The traditions passed on to each generation. Where does Paul say, ‘well, only those things that are written are ultimately binding.’ Of course, nowhere and you know it. Of course the bishop of Rome had primacy in the very 1st century, (as a quick look at Bishop Clement's letter to the Corinthians shows) although not of course to the extent now. Of course you don’t take any of the teachings as apostolic, even though the teachings on the above things are unaminously held (baptismal regeneration, Eucharist sacrifice, prayers for the dead, etc.) . To say that you compare them to Scripture is of course, you comparing it to your own personal interpretation of Scripture, as guided by Calvin. Scripture does not speak to you personally, or even with Calvin’s ghost saying, ‘This is what it really means’ so cut the nonsense as though you ‘objectively compare it to Scripture’. The jumps that you make to avoid James 2:24, 1 Pet. 3:21, John 20:23, etc. (verses which teach explicitly Catholic teachings) show clearly that you do not just compare it to Scripture. The Liturgy was intended for the whole Church as well.

    [Matt1] Where does Paul anywhere in any of his writings say that future generations would read what he wrote? Nowhere?
    What a silly question. Jews understood the importance and permanence of written records of what God had said to them. Think like a Jew and half of your apologetic vanishes like the smoke and mirrors it is (and no, I'm not saying you personally are dishonest by saying that--I'm just saying that half your apologetic is nonsense derived from thinking like a Roman instead of like a Jew).
    It is not a silly question. That is the foundation of your whole faith. And the Jews, via Moses’s seat, Jude alluding to Enoch, Moses as having infallible truth passed on to him without there being a thing written down from the time of Adam to Moses, and many other allusions that I can point to that show that people had a reliance on oral traditions that was seen just as reliable as written traditions. And in the New Covenant, as I have shown, there were many things that were new, never found in the Old Testament. So, Jesus really metamorphasized to them that the apostles were to write things? And why if the Jews who followed Jesus did not really think like Jews and instead like Romans when most of them didn’t write a thing? What do you think of their work since what they did was not binding? Should the liturgies and churches that they have established stopped, after they died, since they were not based on Scripture, and access to the NT Scriptures especially was extremely limited? Also, as shown in another piece, the reliance on oral tradition was much more prevalent then, as opposed to our Western Culture. Your presumption is blown away, when one realizes that when one is dependent upon oral tradition, that oral tradition is exceedingly reliable. http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/oraltradition.html.
    [Matt1] Actually, we have 4 generations in 2 Tim. 2:2 as passing on oral tradition:

    And what you (2nd Generation) have heard from me (1st Generation) before many witnesses entrust to faithful men (3rd Generation) who will be able to teach others (4th Generation) also.

    I don't have to, since again, the Jews understood the permanence of written records of God's Words. And again, your attempted reversal only works if what Paul told the Thessalonians and Timothy was substantially different from what he wrote down.
    [Matt] In any case, Cyril of Jerusalem, the supposed Sola Scripturist, applies 2 Thes. 2:15 to himself and the generations that he is teaching. Thus, what is orally passed on, he sees just as reliable as Scripture, just as the apostle Paul sees it.

    [Matt1] And the specific item that he is referring to is the Mass, and many doctrines on the Mass, which set Catholics apart from Protestants, and Cyril is on the Catholic, not Calvinist side on the matter.

    Not "the Mass" as you understand it, no. But that's been discussed above. Cyril's view of the Real Presence is not transubstantiation as you understand it, and his view of the relations between sign and thing signified is remarkably similar (but not identical) to Augustine's, which is enshrined in the Reformed confessions of faith. You're beating at the air, Matt.
    You will never get a quote from Augustine who denies the physical real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Does the Reformed Confession of Faith say that it is a sin to not adore the Eucharist such as Augustine says in his commentary on Psalm 98? Augustine, of course many times affirm the real presence in a material manner of Christ in the Eucharist. Hopefully I don’t need to show that.

    [Matt] That said, let us take a quick look at his quotation of Cyril.

    In regard to the divine and holy mysteries of the faith, not the least part may be handed on without the Holy Scriptures. Do not be led astray by winning words and clever arguments. Even to me, who tell you these things, do not give ready belief, unless you receive from the Holy Scriptures the proof of the things which I announce. The salvation in which we believe is not proved from clever reasoning, but from the Holy Scriptures." (Catechetical Lectures 4:17).

    Thus, the background to the passage in 4:17, is 4:16, which says it is concerning that which ‘hast received’. Cyril, in the background to his quotation of 4:17, is referring to holding the same opinions as that which has been received!! Thus, this truth that he commands people to believe is that which has been held and passed down. What is that except authoritative tradition!!! And what does he speak of next? Oh, then comes his quote on Scripture. So, thus the background to the quotation on Scripture is it is essential to hold to the teaching that has been passed on, in reference to the matter. He does not say, ‘well, ya know tradition is nice, but the only infallible guide is Scripture”, as you are assuming.

    So what do you think he means when he says that the catechumens are to test everything he says against the Scriptures and that all the elements of his lectures have been derived from the Scriptures? That doesn't sound like he's saying his tradition is something independent of Scripture and which is used to "interpret" Scripture. It also doesn't sound like he thinks there's anything terribly wrong with the catechumens comparing what he says to the Scriptures and making a "private judgment" about what is true. Just like you do with the evidences for Rome. Amazing coincidence, is it not?
    However, you overlook the point that prior to that he said: which says it is concerning that which ‘hast received’. Cyril does not say that you must test everything against one’s own personal interpretation of Scripture, or Scripture as interpreted by Calvin, or anybody else. That is what you say he says. He is using this against the heretics who twist Scriptures. They are outside the valid tradition. He does not say “Well you test this tradition against what the Catholic Church teaches.” You are setting them up as polar opposites. He nowhere is even thinking like you. No, he does not say, make a private judgment against the tradition or the Church. On the contrary, he is stating to stay with what ‘has been received.’ What has been received except the tradition and the Church? Right after he says that you must hold fast to the traditions he says:

    “Guard them with reverence, lest per chance the enemy despoil any who have grown slack; or lest some heretic pervert any of the truths delivered to you. For faith is like putting money into the bank[7], even as we have now done; but from you God requires the accounts of the deposit.”
    In other words they must keep what he has been and is teaching. This is tradition. Yes, part of it is to interpret Scripture but nowhere does he say that this is what tradition is limited to. Also, in the context of his teaching on baptismal regeneration, despite your words, you know that as a Calvinist you do not accept baptismal regeneration, he writes:


    8. Having been sufficiently instructed in these things, keep them, I beseech you, in your remembrance; that I also, unworthy though I be, may say of you, Now I love you(1), because ye always remember me, and hold fast the traditions, which I delivered unto you. And God, who has presented you as if were alive from the dead(2), is able to grant unto you to walk in newness of life(3): because His is the glory and the power, now and for ever. Amen. Mystagogical Catechesis 2:8 NPNF 2, VII:148.
    After teaching the necessity of baptism, where he went well beyond a strict reading of Scripture, but he also instructed on what baptism does. Yes, baptismal regeneration is clearly Biblical, but the people needed to hear ultimately from the Church to get the exact teaching on the issue, and one was not to stray from that teaching.

    Cyril also wrote, Lecture XVIII:

    23. It is called Catholic then because it extends over all the world, from one end of the earth to the other; and becauseit teaches universally and completely one and all the doctrines which ought to come to men's knowledge, concerning things both visible and invisible, heavenly and earthly(6); and because it brings into subjection to godliness the whole race of mankind, governors and governed, learned and unlearned; and because it universally treats and heals the whole class of sins, which are committed by soul or body, and possesses in itself every form of virtue which is named, both in deeds and words, and in every kind of spiritual gifts.
    The Church teaches universally and completely. Nowhere in the context does it say, well, you test what the Church teaches against your own interpretation of Scripture. Nowhere does Cyril limit the Church’s power to be second grade to Scripture. In fact, in the context of here, there is absolutely nothing saying that Scripture is superior to the Church.

    [Matt1] When he refers people to Scripture, the whole background is holding on to what was taught. I.E. Tradition. What is the clever reasoning that Cyril condemns in 4:17? This very tradition that he said that they must hold to in 4:16? No. As the Trinity is a heavy topic twisted in many ways by many, including the teaching on the Holy Spirit (Ask Protestant oneness Pentecostal John F) as is the background to 4:17, this ‘clever reasoning’ that he says that one is not to listen to, is exactly that which misinterprets the Holy Scriptures, and is not in accordance with that tradition. What is that reasoning that misinterprets Scripture? Well, it is that which is not in accord with tradition!!!
    Nope. Since Cyril explicitly says his tradition derives from Scripture (5.12), he can't be saying what you say he is saying. There's no doubt that he speaks of a tradition passed on alongside the Scriptures, but that's not the same thing as a "Tradition" passed on independent of Scripture and which "verifies" Scripture. And just as an aside, I have to wonder about your understanding of the term "Protestant" if you think a Oneness Pentecostal is one. That's a bit like saying that a Pelagian or an Arian is a Catholic.
    Of course nowhere does Cyril merely say that tradition was derived from Scripture. 5:12 doesn’t say that at all. You go from one error to another and jump from one false premise to another one. Of course, Cyril himself said that the only reason we know what Scripture is, is from the Church. Since it is the Church and tradition is the one that compiled it, it is nonsense to say that tradition is derived from Scripture.

    Of course, according to you, only the Lutherans and Calvinists, and maybe Anglicans are true Protestants. You have absolutely no responsibility for Sola Scriptura’s fruit. The Oneness Pentecostals just did what the so-called ‘Reformers’ did: Interpreted Scripture personally, and created their own denomination. Why run away from the Thousands of denominations you created as a result of ‘testing what they teach against Scripture”. Do you not hold that it was legitimate for Martin Luther to break away from the Catholic Church because the Catholic Church did not get it right? Do you not hold that it was legitimate for John Calvin to create a new Protestant Church because he believed that Luther was wrong on a few things? Why do you say that that splintering off is Ok, while other people who go by Scripture as the only infallible guide, come to other conclusions such as the Oneness Pentecostals do when they read Scripture, is not Ok?

    [Matt1] Now. In reference to what Cyril teaches in reference to the canon. If he is a Sola Scriptura Protestant, then he should give us the Wesminster confession of faith on the issue, or at least something proximate. Scripture needs no external, binding authority that is just as authoritative as Scripture itself.

    On the authority of Scripture, the Westminster confession says:

    IV. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received because it is the Word of God.(i) Thus, this confession says that there is no need for an external testimony to verify it. We get it directly from God himself, testifying to us, I guess. Does Cyril go along with the following from the Westminster Confession of Faith?

    Cyril says, in Lecture 4:33:

    Now these the divinely-inspired Scriptures of both the Old and the New Testament teach us. For the God of the two Testaments is One, Who in the Old Testament foretold the Christ Who appeared in the New; Who by the Law and the Prophets led us to Christ's school. For before faith came, we were kept in ward under the law, and, the law hath been our tutor to bring us unto Christ[1]. And if ever thou hear any of the heretics speaking evil of the Law or the Prophets, answer in the sound of the Saviour's voice, saying, Jesus came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it[2]. Learn also diligently, and from the Church, what are the books of the Old Testament, and what those of the New.
    So what? How do you think "the Church" recognized the canon if not by hearing the voice of her Shepherd in some books and not others? And why do you think that the Westminster Confession teaches that the Church didn't formally list the canon?
    But you’ve been telling me all along that tradition came from the Bible. It is the Church and its tradition that defined the Scriptures, that I guess you now admit. So I take it that you now admit that tradition is no longer a product of Scripture?

    [Matt] Notice that, even before the canon was finalized, and the Church had as of then not issued an official canon, (which by the way is a tremendous problem for those who say God established Sola Scriptura, why if Sola Scriptura was the rule of faith, for more than 300 years there not be an official canon?), Cyril says that we are to go to this external authority (the Catholic Church ) as the guide to what the contents are.
    My but you are confused as to what Sola Scriptura means! I am so weary of hearing all this hyped up nonsense about how we absolutely must have an "official" (and "infallible") canon of Scripture if we are to know what God said. The Jews didn't act this way, and it was to them that the oracles of God were initially committed. The history of canon recognition in the NT era closely follows that of the OT era--most of the books were accepted without question while only a handful were questioned here and there but never universally. Whether you think the first infallible definition of the canon occurred in the fourth / fifth centuries or the sixteenth at Trent, you are the one who has a problem if you think this was necessary since everyone from Christ to the Pharisees to the Apostles to the Apologists to the ante and post Nicene Fathers didn't have any trouble whatsoever treating "Scripture" as if it was a definitely recognized body of writings that bear divine authority. People knew what Scripture was long before anybody said "Hey, let's have a council and make an official list of the canonical books."
    The Jews didn’t act that way because they didn’t believe in Sola Scriptura. As the early Christians did not believe in Sola Scriptura, and they believed in the necessity of the Church as at the level of and not less important than Scripture, and Tradition as an equal copartner, it was not absolutely necessary to have a list of the canon. You are the one saying that it is the only infallible guide so therefore with the Sola Scriptura ideology, the canon should have been first on the list of the apostles’ priority. You realize that this is so, so you just want to ignore the fact that the apostles or the early Church never gave to us a canon,..The list of canons were few, but disparate. How many lists in the 1st 2 centuries matched the canon of Rome in 382? Isn’t Hebrews an important part of Scripture? Isn’t James? What about the Book of Revelation, a very important book? What about 2nd Peter? What about Philemon? The Muratorian Fragment had the “Acts of Peter’ I believe as part of the NT. Some thought Clement’s letter was part of the canon. What about the OT canon? You can’t just brush aside all these different canons and say it doesn’t really effect your position and say, “Well, even though we don’t know what the canon is, whatever it is, that is our only infallible guide!” You know very well that those books are important and you can’t dismiss the uncertainty of the canon as irrelevant to Sola Scriptura. The Catholic Church, on the other hand, never held to Scripture as the only infallible guide.
    [Matt1] Does Cyril mean what he says? This is contrary to the Westminster Confession, which says it is not dependent upon the Church.

    [Matt1 ] Now, you say that tradition and the Church are nice supplements, and you don’t go by the me in the woods reading the Bible on one’s own. Fine. However, you say that the Church and tradition are not of equal level as the Bible as far as authority. That the only ultimately binding authority is Scripture, as everything else is fallible. What does Cyril say?

    On the Authority of the Catholic Church:, Lecture XVIII, 23:

    23. It is called Catholic then because it extends over all the world, from one end of the earth to the other; and because it teaches universally and completely (some translations infallibly) one and all the doctrines which ought to come to men's knowledge, concerning things both visible and invisible, heavenly and earthly(6); and because it brings into subjection to godliness the whole race of mankind, governors and governed, learned and unlearned; and because it universally treats and heals the whole class of sins, which are committed by soul or body, and possesses in itself every form of virtue which is named, both in deeds and words, and in every kind of spiritual gifts. Ok, So Cyril says that all are brought into subjection to the Church., as it teaches universally and infallibly. But I thought the only infallible guide, is the Bible? Does Cyril really mean what he says? Cyril seems to think otherwise from the Westminster Confession of faith.

    Not if you understand from his earlier Lectures (4 and 5 particularly) that everything the Church teaches (which, you will recall, is qualified by him as being the Creed) has been derived from the Scriptures. I have no trouble saying that the preaching of the Church is infallible IF it is exactly what is in the Scriptures, since to repeat God's Words verbatim is to proclaim infallible truth. You folks look at the concept of a teaching Church in the Fathers and think it means the Church must be infallible in se, but that is simply a non sequitur.
    Of course Cyril doesn’t qualify his statement by saying of the necessity of the Church’s teaching ‘as long as it is in tune with ‘my personal interpretation of Scripture’. No. Cyril does not say, “As long as it repeats God’s word, verbatim.’ He says it universally teaches and heals, and provides Sacramental graces that are not merely symbols, or outward signs. And all are brought into subjection, according to Cyril. He doesn’t qualify it as you say.

    [[Snip quotes from Cyril on Eucharist and sacrifice of "the Mass", already dealt with above]]
    You did not deal with the fact that the Eucharistic sacrifice propitiates sins and how that plays into Sola Scriptura’s perspicuity on the issue of salvation, especially in the case of St. Cyril of Jerusalem who you represent as a believer in Sola Scriptura.
    Matt1] Cyril explicitly teaches baptismal regeneration and is the means of salvation.
    So what? I believe in baptismal regeneration in the sense that the outward washing with water is a sign of the inward cleansing by the Spirit, and I'm even willing to concede that perhaps sometimes the two are chronologically synonymous (though even then I'd agree with Augustine that regeneration only occurs if the person is elect). What is your point?
    You know very well that you do not believe in baptismal regeneration anything like either Cyril of Jerusalem or any Church Father. He does not say. ‘well, sometimes there may be a lucky coincidence that the cleansing comes at the same time that the water comes.’ He most assuredly speaks of John 3:5 as teaching baptismal Regeneration (Lecture III, Section 4, NPNF, p. 15). He in fact goes to Scripture as proof that grace comes not by coincidence but by water: “5. But if any one wishes to know why the grace is given by water and not by a different element, let him take up the Divine Scriptures and he shall learn.” And there is a 1500 year tradition that teaches it and that Scripture teaches it, until your Father Calvin denied it.
    [Matt] St. Cyril, Catechetical Lectures, XIII, 4: 4. Jesus then really suffered for all men; for the Cross was no illusion(4), otherwise our redemption is an illusion also.

    St. Cyril says that Christ died for all men.

    Sure, I believe that too, in its proper context of Christ's federal headship over the race His Father chose from before the foundation of the world. Christ died for His sheep, not for the goats. That is plain from Scripture. So "all men" doesn't mean "each and every individual without distinction." Again, what is your point?
    The point is, Cyril does not so qualify it. He doesn’t say, ‘Well, even though I say here that Christ died for all men, Christ really didn’t die for the goats.’ The way you try to qualify these statements renders his statements as meaninglesee. Of course there are many places in the Bible which say that Christ died for all men without your qualifications (1 Jn 2:2, 2 Pet. 3:9, 1 Tim. 4:10, 1 Tim. 2:4), etc. but that is besides the point. The point is that Cyril does not believe that Christ died only for the elect and he doesn’t see salvation the way you see it, even though supposedly Scripture is perspicuous on the matter.

    [Matt] On Justification before God - Catecheticl Lecture, XV. 26

    26. Terrible in good truth is the judgment, and terrible the things announced. The kingdom of heaven is set before us, and everlasting fire is prepared. How then, some one will say, are we to escape the fire? And how to enter into the kingdom? I was an hungered, He says, and ye gave Me meat. Learn hence the way; there is here no need of allegory, but to fulfill what is said. I was an hungered, and ye gave Me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took Me in; naked, and ye clothed Me; I was sick, and ye visited Me; I was in prison, and ye came unto Me(7). These things if thou do, thou shall reign together with Him; but if thou do them not, thou shalt be condemned. At once then begin to do these works, and abide in the faith; lest, like the foolish virgins, tarrying to buy oil, thou be shut out.

    Cyril teaches that good works are necessary to enter salvation, not merely a nice effect of being saved. No hint of an imputation.

    The Reformed believe good works are necessary to enter salvation, too. We just don't think those good works have anything to do with our justification. They are necessary because every justified person will be sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and persistent lack of such works for one's whole life proves one wasn't justified. Your attempt at describing the Reformed view of good works as "merely a nice effect of being saved" is trite and foolish. It shows you don't really grasp what the Reformed teach.

    And anyway, the theology of justification was not something that the Fathers as a whole ever got the chance to work on, so I fail to see the relevance of quoting them on it. They surely didn't believe the complex stuff you believe about it. (I now await the inevitable appeal to "development of doctrine", which, curiously, only seems to work one way--the way that "proves" your beliefs. Very convenient.)

    Your snide comments do not do me justice. I have looked at James White, have RC Sproul’s book “Faith Alone” and I happen to have Buchanan’s book on justification. Many of the Fathers directly had a chance to ‘work on’ their view of justification. They all knew nothing of a forensic justification and saw that works were a grounds of one’s justification. I know what you folks teach on the matter, and I quote them in context all the time. I know you make the very distinction. However, I note very clearly, as you say, that good works are never any part of the grounds of justification. Not once did either of the three authors ever quote Mt. 25:31-46 as grounds of one’s justification. I invite you to my discussion of the matter at the following address. When I address the opposing view, I quote directly from their works: http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/paul.html. BTW, I have James White book on Roman Catholicism, Sproul, and James Buchanan’s books on justification. I know what you teach. I was not saying that you don’t think that good works are not necessary to show that one is justified. St. Cyril clearly says that the people do stuff, that is part of the grounds of one’s justification, clearly reflecting Jesus’ words: Remember, St. Cyril explains the grounds of one’s justification:

    “The kingdom of heaven is set before us, and everlasting fire is prepared. How then, some one will say, are we to escape the fire? And how to enter into the kingdom? I was an hungered, He says, and ye gave Me meat. Learn hence the way; there is here no need of allegory, but to fulfill what is said. I was an hungered, and ye gave Me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink”.
    You just said that doing stuff is never the grounds of one’s justification. You clearly disagree with Cyril, who takes Matthew 25 at face value, which clearly refutes any concept of Sola Fide. He clearly says that one must do these things in order to enter the kingdom (which is exactly what Jesus says.) Thus, Cyril clearly sees these things as causative, and surely doesn’t say, “We just don't think those good works have anything to do with our justification”, as you say.
    [Matt] Of course so-called Reformed Protestant Alistair McGrath admits that there was no one who had the Calvinist idea of Faith Alone for 1500 years.
    I assume you are referring to pg. 184 of McGrath's Iustitia Dei? Perhaps you should balance out this oft-quoted summary of what he says with some context from that work, or perhaps even some context from his lengthy discussion in another book, The Intellectual Origins of the European Reformation of how Luther's theological method was fully continuous with the early and late Medieval one and how his solifidian view was a perfectly acceptable option given the state of the Church's theology at that time. Would some context be too much to ask from Catholic apologists who like to pontificate about what the Reformation "really meant"? Would more than soundbites be too much to ask?
    I presently don’t have the book on me, but before I quoted the book, I went to the library, looked and read the whole chapter from which I took the quotes. You want a few quotes out of that same chapter I referred you to? I took nothing out of context: but I do have a few more quotes from him in the very same chapter:

    McGrath on justification and regeneration Iustitia Dei, Vol. 1.

    p. 182 "Although Luther regarded justification as an essentially unitary process, he nevertheless introduced a decisive break with the western theological tradition as a whole by insisting that, through his justification, man is intrinsically sinful yet extrinsically righteous."

    p. 184 "The significance of the Protestant distinction between justification and regeneration is that a fundamental discontinuity has been introduced into the western theological tradition where none had existed before. Despite the astonishingly theological diversity of the late medieval period, a consensus relating to the nature of justification was maintained throughout. The Protestant understanding of the nature represents a theological novum, whereas its understanding of its mode does not."

    p. 36 "Augustine demonstrates of iustitia, effected only through man's justification, demonstrates how the doctrine of justification encompasses the whole of Christian existence from the first moment of faith through the increase in righteousness before God and man, to the final perfection of that righteousness in the eschatological city. Justification is about being made just."

    p. 185 "The medieval period was astonishingly faithful to the teaching of Augustine on the question of the nature of justification, where the reformers departed from it."

    p. 186 "The essential feature of the Reformation doctrines of justification is that a deliberate and systematic distinction is made between justification and regeneration. Although it must be emphasized that this distinction is purely notional, in that it is impossible to separate the two within the context of the ordo sautis, THE ESSENTIAL POINT IS THAT A NOTIONAL DISTINCTION IS MADE WHERE NONE HAD BEEN ACKNOWLEDGED BEFORE IN THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE. A FUNDAMENTAL DISCONTINUITY WAS INTRODUCED INTO THE WESTERN THEOLOGICAL TRADITION WHERE NONE HAD EVER EXISTED, OR EVER BEEN CONTEMPLATED BEFORE. The Reformation understanding of the nature of justification - as opposed to its mode - must be regarded as a genuine theological novum."

    p. 182 " Although Luther regarded justification as an essentially unitary process, he nevertheless introduced a decisive break with the western theological tradition as a whole by insisting that, through his justification, man is intrinsically sinful yet extrinsically righteous."

    [Matt1] Now, all these items are distinctly Catholic. Now you are trying to use Cyril of Jerusalem as a Sola Scripturist. Either way, he destroys your position.
    I don't see how. Sola Scriptura doesn't say that people who believe it don't misunderstand Scripture or oftentimes hold beliefs that, if not specifically condemned by Scripture, are nonetheless not derived from Scripture. Do you even understand what Sola Scriptura means? You seem very confused on the issue.
    No. I am not confused at all. As I guess you think the Calvinist view of Sola Scriptura is the only real view of Sola Scriptura, you have some problems. I will requote for your benefit your own confession (Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter I, Section VII):
    VII. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all; yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed, for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them
    It is the issue of salvation. You have no one even approaching your view of a forensic imputation of an alien righteousness. Any quotes from any Fathers that you try to cobble together to say, “See, at least he gives a rudimentary understanding of Sola Fide” can not pass the laugh test. These Fathers believe in purgatory, the Eucharist Sacrifice as a propitiatory sacrifice, the necessity of works as a grounds of justification, baptismal regeneration, praying for the dead, sacrament of penance as forgiveness of sins. These Fathers have these views which destroy any even rudimentary concept of Sola Fide (the only exception being baptism as Luther held to Sola Fide but accepted baptismal regeneration). Someone sent me an email which exactly claimed that some of the Fathers taught Sola Fide, when their teachings on the issue are so far from that concept. The following examination deals with that far-fetched idea:http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/page5.html. Every Father thinks that works are in some sense a cause of one’s justification.

    [Matt] Now, according to your confession, the positions that you hold on salvation, are to be directly or indirectly deduced from Scripture. The Holy Spirit guides individuals to get a saving understanding of such things. However those things that are necessary for salvation are so clearly propounded in Scripture that not only the learned, but the unlearned will believe the truths of salvation.

    That said, even an unlearned man must read James 2:24 where it says that one is justified by works and not by faith alone, and say, well, it clearly means that one is justified by faith alone, and not by works. Where it says Baptism doth now save you (1 Pet. 3:21), it actually means, Baptism does not save you. Learned and unlearned men alike must clearly understand that when Jesus says one must be born of water and Spirit, it does not mean baptism (Jn 3:5). That when Peter said that you will get the gift of the Holy Spirit when you repent and get baptized (Acts 2:38-39), he actually means that water baptism is a demonstration that you have already received the Holy Spirit. That when Jesus says to the apostles that If you forgive men sins they are forgiven and if you retain the sins of men, they are retained, (Jn 20;23), it clearly means that they don’t have authority to forgive or retain sins, and it only means to preach. That when Jesus said “This is My Body”, it means this represents my body. Well, it doesn’t seem like Cyril of Jerusalem had the acumen or knowledge of the people who wrote the Westminster confession of Faith more than a millennium later.

    This is one of the silliest and trite paragraphs I've ever read from a Roman apologist.
    Thank you. I must have really hit your nerve.

    I can't believe you folks can content yourselves with such "brilliant" analyses of your opponents' positions!
    I never claimed it to be brilliant. You are the folks who say, in the WCF, Chapter 1:
    VII. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all:[15] yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.[16]
    I understand that you guys do not say everything is clearly understood in Scripture. However, one thing that is clear to me, even if it is not clear to you. On the issue of salvation, Scripture is supposedly clear on the matter. Those are the words of the Confession that you hold to. That is what you believe, not me. These verses that I brought up are on face value at least contrary to your view of Scripture and salvation. Now, no matter how you slice those Scriptures, we will all agree that these issues talk on the issue of Salvation. If those issues talk on salvation, your confession says that those things necessary to be believed on the issue of salvation are clearly propounded. Thus, if your view of Scripture is that salvation is clearly propounded, then what I said is true. All these verses must clearly mean that they don’t mean what they seem to say. What is so hard about that? If you don’t agree with what I said, then you clearly don’t agree with your own confession!!

    Give me a break! Have you no familiarity with the Protestant exegesis of James 2:24 relative to Romans 4?
    I very clearly understand your exegesis of James 2:24 through Romans 4. Of course you don’t read Romans 4 through James 2:24. Why is that? I understand quite clearly the Protestant view of Romans 4, which clearly twists the life of Abraham. I am aware of the hatchet job you do on the life of Abraham: yes: I show that here: http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/abraham.html . I have also studied Rom. 4:4-8 specificially here: Romans 4:4-8: Proof for Justification by Faith Alone?

    Have you no familiarity with what the Reformed confessions and catechisms and theological textbooks say about signs and things signified relative to baptism? Have you no familiarity with the Reformed expositions of the words of institution? I don't have time to refute this type of nonsense. All I can say is that you need to study what you are trying to refute in quite a bit more detail.
    I have done that before. This refutation should be enough detail. In reference to my supposed ignorance, look at my salvation page: I have a very long study of the issue of Paul and works and salvation. I do that here: http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/salvation.html . I not only present the Catholic view, but I present your view and I quote from White, Sproul, and Buchanan: I quote and critique your buddy James White in the following pieces: http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/abraham.html , http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/white.html, and http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/white2.html .
    [Matt] Now. If Sola Scriptura clearly teaches salvation by faith alone and there are only two sacraments, and they only symbolize things that point to Christ, and they are not regenerative, why didn’t Cyril get it?
    The same reason he didn't get the Marian doctrines or an infallible and universally ruling Papacy or Vatican II ecumenism or any number of other things that you believe. You repeatedly miss the point that I quote Cyril about the material source of Christian truth, not about particular doctrines believed by some Christians here and there.

    Further, your entire post comes down to the hypocritical and irrational insistence that if I don't believe everything Cyril of Jerusalem taught, I can't consistently believe anything he taught. This kind of sloppy thinking is par for the course with Roman apologists, as I've learned over time. I guess I should just hang it all up, because you folks play with loaded dice.

    No. There is a tremendous difference between us on the issues. Now on Cyril of Jerusalem, it is true that he did not speak a lot on the Marian issues. However, he did not explicitly deny Mary’s assumption. In fact no Bishop for 15 centuries denied it, even if in the first few centuries, the Fathers did not mention it. In this case, however, Cyril, who you are using as a Sola Scripturist, explicitly affirms Catholic Doctrines, despite your ingenuous dodging, and denies the Calvinist outlook on such things as the Mass as a propitiatory sacrifice, prayers to angels and for the dead, the Eucharistic presence, Sacramental means of salvation, baptismal regeneration, etc. This directly relates to the issue of salvation which your confession on Sola Scriptura says is perspicuous in affirming a foresnsic justification. Your attempt to say, ‘well, I am not really against baptismal regeneration” is disingenuous. All these issues are linked with the view of salvation. On these issues, where there are clear differences between the Calvinist and Catholic view, Cyril comes down on our side. Yet, you attempt to use him as a Sola Scripturist, when his view on salvation, proves that Scripture and salvation are not so perspicuous, since he disagrees with you in a big way.

    [Matt1] In fact, if the Westminster Confession of faith is correct so that even unlearned men are guided by the Holy Spirit, shouldn’t we have reams of people in the 1st 1500 years coming up with Sola Fide, as it supposedly clearly teaches Salvation by Faith Alone and Imputation alone? Where are they? Or was there no one so illumined by the Holy Ghost for 1500 years.
    More dumb questions from someone who supposedly believes in development of doctrine over time.
    You are the one claiming Scriptures perspicuity on the issue of Salvation, not me. You see, I see that you admit that there are many things unclear in Scripture. I am not attacking that, as I see your confession acknowledges that. To remind you yet again, the Westminster confession of Faith says on this specific issue, chapter 1, section VII:
    VII. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all:[15] yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.
    You believe that Scriptures are clear on salvation, not me. If you think that there are any Sola Scripturists in the Fathers, you should have some Fathers have some agreement with you on the imputation and alien righteousness thing. That is why since you think it is so clear on the issue of Salvation, you should be able to produce Fathers who believe in the imputation principle, and the forensic scheme. Especially since you believe at least some went by the Bible Alone. You are claiming perspicuity. The fact that the one you produce, Cyril, is very far from you on the issue, indeed undercuts your whole position. The very fact that you can produce no Fathers who talk of justification as imputation via an alien righteousness through the instrument of faith alone shows that it is not so clear. Also, it is not enough to cite a Father who says that one is justified by faith alone, if that same Father says that the Eucharist is a propitiatory sacrifice, that works are a grounds of justification, that purgatory exists, that one prays to the saints, that confession is a means of forgiving sins, etc. James Buchanan tries that tact in his book. That won't work. Plus, I really can’t find the imputation principle found in the teachings of Jesus, John, Peter, James, Jude, etc. But that is another issue.

    [Matt1] In any case, the use of Cyril of Jerusalem for your end is self defeating. Not only does he teach the binding authority of the Church and Tradition on the same level as Scripture,
    Refuted above.
    Refuted above.
    You are only correct if you concede that the authority of the Church and Tradition are dependent on the Word of God, which is entirely materially contained in Scripture.
    Tradition is not dependent upon the Written Word of God, as shown earlier. You have failed to do that, and what you show is otherwise than what you claim. How many Sola Scripturists, for example, say that “You must be in agreement with This Church”, (Irenaeus) which happens to be the Church of Rome.
    The Church was ruled by the Words of her God--in the OT and the revelation initially given orally through the Apostles, but subsequently written down for future generations as what we call the NT.
    The Binding Word of God in neither case was limited to the Written Word of God.
    [Matt1] but he also teaches exactly distinctly Catholic things that you oppose on all levels as a Protestant. If we ignored his quotations on the binding authority of Tradition and the Church, and just said he did believe in Sola Scriptura, the very fact that he interpreted Scripture in the ways that so oppose you on the issue of salvation, shows that Scripture and salvation is not so perspicuos the way that the Westminster confession of faith says so.

    [Matt1] His view of salvation is so opposed to yours it is not even funny.

    So what if it is? (And that's perhaps still open to question.) His view of Scripture relative to "Tradition" was all I was concerned with. On that issue, Cyril and I are of one mind.
    You’re on a treadmill that you can’t run. I’ve already quoted him to show you that you are not of one mind on the issue. You again can’t get away that you teach perspicuity of Scripture in reference to salvation, and the fact that on the issue of Salvation his view is totally different from you that contradicts the WCF assertion on the issue of the perspicuity on Scripture on salvation.

    Thanks for giving me one more opportunity to realize why many of the standard Roman Catholic apologetics tactics are silly, irrelevant, and utterly unconvincing to anyone but those who are already leaning towards Rome.
    Your argument is silly, irrelevant, and utterly unconvincing when you try to use Church Fathers as propounders of what you believe in when they teach things like the Mass as a propitiatory sacrifice, in which they offer prayers to the saints on behalf of believers, and for the dead. Neither St. Cyril or Irenaeus taught that tradition or the Church were not at the same level of authority as Scripture. They have the same binding force as Scripture. The Fathers unanimously teach baptismal regeneration, not in your disingenous way. Those Fathers teach the other Sacraments. They teach that good works are the grounds of one’s justification. And yet you claim Cyril believes in Sola Scriptura? These issues very much pertain to the issue of Sola Scriptura since your own confession says that Scripture is perspicuous on that very issue of salvation. You attempt to use another Father (Irenaeus) who is a supposed Sola Scripturist, who says that “One must be in agreement with This Church” being the Roman Church. I must have missed that in the Westminster Confession of Faith.

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