Why sola scriptura makes no sense.
First off it makes no sense because the Bible is not a complete and articulate protocol on the church that God created. This is obvious because even during apostolic times members of the church were having trouble with Paul’s letters. Peter tells us that Paul’s letters were hard to understand when he talked about salvation. This was so detrimental that Peter emphasized that the unlearned and the unwise read them to their own destruction as they do the rest of the scriptures. They needed to be instructed by the authority of the church in what Paul truly tried to convey. If Paul was trying to write complete doctrines of faith in his letters then he would have been seen to be doing a lousy job. If he was writing to people he lived with up to three years, establishing churches with Bishops, priests and deacons who would baptize, teaching them the narrow road of the sacramental life in obedience to the faith ( which he did) then his epistles would look more reasonable.
He is writing to those he called to obedience to the faith in the sacramental life as our " way" of transforming grace. The " way" was not a name for the church but was a practice of faith as tools against our fallen nature.
Who was predestinated the Son of God in power, according to the spirit of sanctification, by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead: 5By whom we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith, in all nations, for his name
And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles, and in the communication of the breaking of bread, and in prayers Acts 2:42
One doctrine of faith and the Holy Mass.
Paul would have been doing a lousy job of establishing complete doctrines because of the rhetorical nature of the epistles. Assuming those he is writing to already have a basic understanding.
The chalice of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ ? And the bread, which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord ? 1 Cor 10:16
Behold Israel according to the flesh: are not they, that eat of the sacrifices, partakers of the altar ?
1 Cor 10:18
We have an altar, whereof they have no power to eat who serve the tabernacle. Heb 13:10
For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come 1 Cor 11:26
The one thing that is often overlooked is the fact that the gospels and epistles were written during a time of persecution. During persecution people become very cautious and secretive. The symbol of the fish was used to identify who was Christian. A Christian in order to identify another Christian would make an arch with his foot on the ground. The other Christian standing in front of him would do the same completing the sign of the fish meaning Jesus Christ Lord and Savior.
Tertullian, in his treatise On Baptism, makes a pun on the word, writing that "we, little fishes, after the example of our ΙΧΘΥΣ Jesus Christ, are born in water."
It was God who was the one who told the members of the church to be cautious. “Do not give what is Holy to the dogs do not cast your pearls before the swine or they will tear you.” The apostles who were first Jews understood what Christ was saying. What was sacrificed on the altars was sacred and dogs were seen then as vile creatures that ran in packs. Swine have no use for pearls and in giving the deeper mysteries, the pearls of incredible value to those who have not come to develop the faith and love needed to understand them you risk having them turn on you. The same has happened to the church for 2000 years. This is why Catholic RCIA starts with very basic theology.
"That which is holy.—The words point to the flesh which has been offered for sacrifice, the “holy thing” of Leviticus 22:6-7; Leviticus 22:10;Leviticus 22:16, of which no un clean person or stranger, and à fortiori no unclean beast, was to eat. To give that holy flesh to dogs would have seemed to the devout Israelite the greatest of all profanations."
Unclean is fulfilled in unbaptized. Clean refers to baptism into Gods church which the disciples of the apostles referred to as among other things regeneration through the true bronze laver. In Titus 3 Paul says we are saved by the laver which was in front of the Holies the veil which represents the flesh of Christ and the church, Christ's bride. The flesh is washed the flesh is sanctified.
The earliest reference to this phrase " do not give what is holy to the dogs." Is found in the Catholic Churches proto catechism written while some of the apostles were still alive.
Chapter 9. The Thanksgiving (Eucharist)
Now concerning the Thanksgiving (Eucharist), thus give thanks. First, concerning the cup: We thank you, our Father, for the holy vine of David Your servant, which You made known to us through Jesus Your Servant; to You be the glory for ever. And concerning the broken bread: We thank You, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You made known to us through Jesus Your Servant; to You be the glory for ever. Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let Your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Your kingdom; for Yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever. But let no one eat or drink of your Thanksgiving (Eucharist), but they who have been baptized into the name of the Lord; for concerning this also the Lord has said, Give not that which is holy to the dogs. Matthew 7:6
Jude in his epistle told us that there were people who secretly entered into the church in order to destroy it. He said that they have derided majesty and gone in the way of Core and have fallen into the error of Balaam. Core and his people challenged the authority of Moses and the earth opened up revealing a chasm of fire that swallowed all of them. God did not take kindly to those who challenged the authority he sanctioned. Every time Balaam tried to curse the people of Israel God miraculously made him bless them instead. In Acts 15 we read that Baptized Pharisees were trying to exert their power on the church and trying to make Gentile converts follow Mosaic Law. Peter declared that we are all saved by grace and don’t need to be responsible for Mosaic Law. ( The prophecy fulfilled of the law written on our hearts is grace given freely. The gifts of the sacraments are grace given freely...)
The church had to be very cautious and even separated the Holy Mass which is the heavenly Reality of the true Passover for the general redemption of the world into two parts this was done through the influence of the synagogue and how the scriptures were read but it was also done due to the sacredness of the Eucharist so that those who have not been completely tried and found worthy would (Casting pearls to the swine) not be able to use the deeper mysteries against them and tear them.
This became the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the Eucharist. After readings from the Old Testament and later the new also, those who were not yet baptized into the church and professed loyalty to the faith which later became the creed, were required to leave before the liturgy of the Eucharist.
The Our Father which included the prayer of giving us this day are super-substantial bread (Eucharist) was said during the liturgy of the Eucharist. For hundreds of years the Mass was simply known as the mysteries. Paul tells us “Consider us as the dispensers of the mysteries of God .” Paul was a priest who dedicated himself to the Doctrine and the breaking of the bread and the prayers.
In History of the World by Cambridge Publishing, we get a little insight into what the results were when people reported to Roman authorities who had no understanding of what the Christians were doing. It says that the Christians were known as magicians and cannibals because they said they ate their God. Paul gives us more insight on this dilemma when he says “I fed you with milk because you are not ready for meat”, and when he explains that the apostles did not teach a wisdom of this world but a spiritual mystery that the sensual man or those who think with the mind of the flesh cannot comprehend; he was talking about the deeper mysteries of the faith.
The apostles believed that the church was the fulfillment of the promise that the Kingdom of David would last forever. This is why when writing to the Jewish converts they show the genealogy of Christ going back to David. This is why Christ gives Peter the symbolic keys (Isaiah 22) that in addition of having the power of binding and loosening in Gods kingdom also according to Jewish tradition gave the authority of divine interpretation of the holy books. “Whatever is bound on earth is bound in heaven, or already bound in heaven because heaven is outside of the concept of time and the Holy Spirit would guide the church to all truth and would never leave the church orphan. Paul even tells us that the church would teach the angels. Paul goes further by telling us in Hebrews 12 that we have come to Mount Zion and to the New Jerusalem. Mount Zion is the mystical mountain of the Lord that everyone will go to in order to learn the ways of God. Jesus would never have given Peter the keys of binding and loosing if he was not reestablishing the kingdom of David in its sacramental nature. " I have not come to destroy the law but to fulfill the law."
When Paul in Hebrews 9 begins to explain the mysteries of the meeting tent saying that everything about it is shadows of heavenly realities that require much greater sacrifices then the Old Covenant sacrifices provided, he stops and says, “Of this it is not now needful to explain in detail.” This is a death blow to sola scriptura. Nowhere else in scripture does Paul explain the mystery. So obviously he told someone. It was passed down in tradition.
“Hold fast to the traditions oral and written”. If it is oral then it is not going to be found in scripture which is written. If you read the New Testament as if the words were first directed to yourself you will never understand the mysteries of faith. Paul’s letters are letters to people who had already been instructed in the basics of the faith and in other cases those who have been let into the deeper mysteries. They are written to those who were participating in the seven sacraments all of which are in scripture. They are all in the context of being written to those who were inside the church this is why he says it is his duty to bring about “Obedience to the faith.” They are written to those whom he has already visited so he did not need to re-hash every aspect of the faith that was deposited into the church which God calls the pillar and foundation of truth.
I can't emphasize this enough. The letters are written to those who have been baptized and anointed into the church and have professed that they renounce Satan. They understood that saving grace was baptism which removed all active sin and the punishment for that active sin and the hereditary sin placed on the soul by our first parents falling to Satan, so when Paul says you are saved by grace freely given, they understood this free gift to be baptism which destroys the original sin that kept us from all possibility of entering heaven and redeemed us in Christ.
In Galatians 3 Paul explains that we are made heirs to the promise of Abraham because we have been baptized into Christ Jesus. What makes us Heirs? Baptism into Christ Jesus. Peter says Baptism is salvific. “Baptism now saves you”. To believe in Christ is to believe in his entire message and the church that he created which is his mystical body perpetuated through time by the sacraments. The original disciples developed faith thorough Gods grace then through grace they were washed in the blood of the lamb through baptism which is the mystical water and blood that flows from the side of the true Adam through the sign of the cross.
We entered Gods mystical body living in the grace the sacraments provide. The sacraments help us stay in a state of Righteous that is lost in sin which corrupts the body and separates us from God. After going to confession knowing that after confessing with a contrite heart that you were free of sin, would you not focus on not trying to sin again? Every contrite confession is being born again. After experiencing the Love of Christ through the ultimate act of Humility in the Eucharist are you not more prone to spread that love in humility as flesh of his flesh and blood of his blood? We walk by faith not by sight.
The apostles and early Christians hid from persecutors in the catacombs and in the catacombs wrote and depicted on the walls images of the mysteries of their faith and said Mass both in the catacombs and in private homes.
These images in the catacombs included a three legged table which signified the mystery of the Holy Mass. A table is always referenced as an altar. Paul tells us that “WE have an altar at which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat of. “Behold Israel according to the flesh are not those who offer the sacrifices partakers of the altar?” The Jews sacrificed the animals to God and the priests ate the sacrifices. The Christians had a sacrifice in which they also partook of the altar. Also on the walls in the catacombs is the image of the loaves and fishes. From the beginning of Christianity this symbolized the mystical body of Christ and feeding as many as needed through the sacrament of the Eucharist. And of course some of the earliest painted images are images of Jesus and Mary and the history of the church tells us that from the earliest days of Christianity the Gentile converts were making statues of Jesus, Mary and the apostles in order to show veneration of our spiritual family and the heroes of righteousness who have won the race. From the earliest records of Christianity we hear of the common practice of making the sign of the cross which is not in scripture but passed down in oral tradition.
Tertullian (d. ca. 250) described the commonness of the sign of the cross:
"In all our travels and movements, in all our coming in and going out, in putting on our shoes, at the bath, at the table, in lighting our candles, in lying down, in sitting down, whatever employment occupies us, we mark our foreheads with the sign of the cross" (De corona, 30).
St. Cyril of Jerusalem (d. 386) in his Catechetical Lectures stated, "Let us then not be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Be the cross our seal, made with boldness by our fingers on our brow and in everything; over the bread we eat and the cups we drink, in our comings and in our goings out; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we awake; when we are traveling, and when we are at rest"
The Fathers wrote that the process of the Mass and how the sacraments are administered was passed down by the apostles through oral tradition.
Peter even gave a code name for his location when he wrote from Rome as Babylon. There were three popes before the last book of the bible was even written. You do not expose the King nor the Queen on the chess board. Therefore Luke who was in the presence of Mary and who even painted pictures of her, secretly encrypted in his gospel the mystery of Mary as the true ark of the covenant and John who was her caretaker also followed suit in the Apocalypse. The image is both the church and the woman who gave birth to the church by giving birth to Christ. The church is the flesh of Christ, the veil between the Father and the sins of the world which Satan will always try to destroy, shame, hide and confuse until the end of time. This is why the Fathers called Mary the Mother of our religion. The disciples of the apostles taught that Satan created paganism in order to accomplish this task. What did he create Isis and Semiramis for?
As early as 150AD we hear from the church at Gaul (Eusebius History of the church Book V) That Mary was an eternal virgin, that she was in heaven and that she was our spiritual Mother. AS early as 200 AD Origen wrote that in order to truly understand the mysteries of the book of John (The wedding Feast of the Lamb, The Holy Mass) you have to have Mary as your mother. God calls the church the pillar and foundation of truth and says that if they do not listen to the church that they should be treated as heathens and publicans, why? Because whatever is bound on earth is bound in heaven. What the church teaches is what has been sanctioned as Gods truth. The truth cannot be understood without Gods guidance and both the written word and the oral tradition combined. This is secured through the sacraments which makes the church Gods mystical body. Paul says “The cup of benediction that we bless is it not participation in the blood of Christ?” Does scripture explain how that cup is blessed, who is allowed to partake of that cup?
Concerning the teachings of the Church, whether publicly proclaimed (kerygmata) or reserved to members of the household of faith (dogmata), we have received some from written sources, while others have been given to us secretly, through apostolic tradition. Both sources have equal force in true religion. No one would deny either source—no one, at any rate, who is even slightly familiar with the ordinances of the Church. If we attacked unwritten customs, claiming them to be of little importance, we would fatally mutilate the Gospel. St Basil
On the Holy Spirit tract 66
TRADITIONS OF THE CHURCH
“Is anyone sick among you call for the priest and he will anoint you with oil.” Does scripture explain what oil is used and how it is applied and which prayers are said? In Paul’s letter to Titus we read: “To Titus my beloved son, according to the common faith, grace and peace from God the Father, and from Christ Jesus our Saviour.5 For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and shouldest ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee: Does Paul explain the process of ordination what one who is to become a priest should know before hand? Tertullian tells us that Clement the third bishop of Rome (Who is also in scripture) was ordained by Peter. What was the process of ordination?
One of the objections heard most is the objection that the Catholic Church teaches traditions of man. “ I go straight to Christ in the scripture”. Actually what is right is wrong what is up is down. What is the same between protestants and Catholics goes back to the apostles, what is different only goes back 500 years to the reformation, this is why protestants have to deny the church of the disciples of the apostles in order to believe what is comfortable to believe. If you do not seek the truth and only seek to be right then you will never find truth. If you can go straight to Christ in the scripture then their would not be thousands different denominations and counting all claiming to be the Bible church.
Luther was amazed at how fast the church began to splinter as soon as they took on his doctrine of sola fide and sola scripture which was completely foreign to the early church. From the beginning those who were taught by the apostles taught that if you did not have the oral tradition passed on by the church and were not secured through apostolic succession then the truth was impossible to obtain. Christ put down tradition Paul supported tradition. The bible can not contradict itself so the only logical conclusion is that Christ and Paul are talking about two different types of tradition. The same applies to justification. Paul says Abraham was not justified by works James says Abraham was justified by works and calls those fools who think otherwise. Abraham was not justified by works of mosaic law but he was justified through faith and love expressed in doing the will of God.
But you may say the bible is sufficient because Paul tells Timothy: “All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice,17 That the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.” Who is Timothy? “To Timothy my dearly beloved son, grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from Christ Jesus our Lord.” Timothy is a son in Christ to Paul because he brought him up in the faith, teaching him the faith then ordained him. The City of God on a hill that cannot be hidden brings forth instruction in Gods ways. How can one preach unless he is sent? They are sent by the reestablished kingdom of David. Paul says, " Obey your prelates who have the rule over you for they watch over your souls." Obviously Paul is referring to a select group of prelates/bishops, overseers. The same Paul who said, that the manifold wisdom of God would be known to the principalities and powers in heavenly places through the church." So Paul is not telling people to obey every pastor of every denomination but obey those who are sent. Those who come from the reestablished kingdom of David only.