Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

Here's a quote from Luther to ponder this New Year's Eve:

"For through much practice, I have now come to the point (God be praised) that I am just now really beginning to believe that God is the Creator of heaven an earth. Everyone now and at all times understands, has understood, and will understand this text all too well- except for myself alone and a few other poor sinners and fools, like Moses, David, Isaiah, and such people (among whom I can only boastfully place myself by saying: Nos poma natamus ["I am floating along with the other apples"] - [that is,] like horse dung among apples). These people consider God to be a man of wonders and say that His creation  is nothing but wondrous works. Yet very few see God's wondrous works, though everyone sees His creation and cannot help but grasp and feel it, as St. Paul says in Acts 17 [26:-27]. However, I, too, am one of the course fellows who do not yet comprehend His creation and (as I said), I have just begun to believe this, so that, as an old student and a doctor now almost at the end of my days, I must rightly wonder at how the people in our time know everything that the Holy Spirit knows as soon as they have so much sniffed at a book. Yet they go off on their way and see nothing of the things God does daily before our eyes, which are both terrifying and comforting. They give it no heed, as if it were all a charlatan's trick. Through Adam's sin human nature has fallen so far from God and His image- that is, from knowing Him [cf. Col. 3:10]- that we do not understand our own body and life, how wonderfully these are daily created, granted, and preserved by God. Therefore, is it any wonder if we are obstinate, stubborn, utterly blind, and [insensible] logs toward His other wondrous works, which He reveals to us in all creatures, besides our own body and life?" [LW 60:119]

Friday, December 30, 2011

100 Rival Priests clash at Church

"Brooms, fists and vicious insults flew in all directions between 100 priests and monks dressed in their traditional robes."

The Battle of Bethlehem: 100 rival priests clash at church built to mark birth of Jesus

ht: Carm Boars.

How Luther Went Viral 5 Centuries Before Facebook and YouTube

Here's an interesting video link left in a comment box by PBJ:

Social media in the 16th Century: How Luther went viral

The video highlights the use of the printing press as well as the failure of the Roman church to take Luther's protest seriously, much like a big company thinking, "why worry about something on the Internet?"

Some of my favorite works on this topic are from Reformation historian Steven Ozment. Protestants, The Birth of a Revolution presents an interesting look at the spread of the Reformation. I didn't find a free Google preview of it, but Amazon has "look inside" available (as well as used copies available for around 2 bucks). This is  a very readable and popular treatment of this subject.For a more detailed examination, Ozment's The Reformation in the Cities is available via Google's limited preview feature. This one is a little more expensive.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Who Owns the Word "Catholic"?

Here's an interesting addition to my "Blueprint for Anarchy" series from this source:

Archbishop Vigneron Forbids Real Catholic TV to Use the Name "Catholic"
Folks, Archbishop Allen Vigneron of the Archdiocese of Detroit (whose photograph is at the left) forbids Michael Voris of Real Catholic TV to use the name Catholic: Statement Regarding Real Catholic TV and Its Name

Private Interpretation of Scripture for Roman Catholics

Here's a tidbit I came across from Roman Catholic scholar Raymond E. Brown, 101 Questions and Answers on the Bible (New Jersey: Paulist Press, 1990), p. 142.

Here's another comment from the same writer, Raymond E. Brown, The Critical Meaning of the Bible (New York: Paulist, 1981), pp. 39-40.

Monday, December 26, 2011

How to Create a Martin Luther Myth

Here's how to start your own Martin Luther myth. I recently read the following statements from Martin Luther and decided to beat my Roman Catholic friends to the punch.

Writing to his friend Nicolaus von Amsdorf, Luther stated:
"If you would like to refer the matter back to me, considering me as a pope (as I consider you a bishop- may God not be blamed for our great honors!), then you must consider that quite often the bishops have been more erudite and pious than the popes" [WA 38:330-331].

"For myself, I, who permit myself to be named a pope (as indeed I am)" [WA 38:331-333]
After posting these snippets (or perhaps before) declare something like, Luther thought he was a hyper-infallible super pope or some such inflammatory statement. The more shocking, the better. Never make any indication that Luther's contexts dictate the meaning of the sentences, or that Luther's polemical treatises are filled with strong hyperbole. This sort of admission is not at all helpful in spreading propaganda. Rather, describe Luther's words as examples of sadly self-deluded, megalomaniacal language or some other psycho-pleniloquence. If you're somewhat ecumenical, throw in something like Luther was sincere, but deluded.

Now in making a myth, this next part is crucial. If possible, use a secondary source rather than a primary source. This will often insulate your myth from direct exposure.  It's best to give no references. If you'd like to give off the appearance that you've done in-depth research, provide references that most people would have no idea what's being referred to. In the above example, I've used references to "WA". The typical person (say over on the Catholic Answers forums) would have no idea if WA stood for "Walla Walla" or Weimar. If they did get "Weimar" it would depend on their Google-smarts if the actual source could be either named or located. If either occurs, you're still safe because most of the folks I've run into can't read German or Latin. You're also fairly safe if they attempt to Google search the context for this quote in English. It's been my experience that a great majority of people don't care enough to actually look up references anyway. But every so often some pharisee-pest will come along looking to quibble about references and contexts. The more obscure you can make something, the better.

There you have it, a tidbit of propaganda is born. Simply begin posting the material on either your blog or a popular discussion board. Watch the quote travel recklessly through cyber-space!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Visit to Catholic Answers Forum Part #6

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Default Re: Romans 4 and Faith alone.

Originally Posted by Against Heresy View Post
I have been reading up on Protestant arguments to support faith alone and obviously I was led to Romans 4. Can someone explain to me the true meaning of Romans 4, obviously I know it is NOT teaching Sola fidie but I would be very happy for one of you all to tell me the meaning of Romans 4.
Romans four? Not Romans 3 - specifically "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith, apart from the works of the law." (Rom 3:28), which Martin Luther (the guy who invented the Sola Fide theology) famously bastardized in his German "translation" to say "justified by faith ALONE [sic]," which has been represented in Latin as "Sola Fide." Luther simply made it up.

The word "alone" does not appear in any modern English Bible - in either Romans 3 OR 4. Ask any protestant to show you the word "alone" in either chapter, using any Bible he pleases. KJV, RSV, NKJV, NIV, etc, etc. Unless the guy speaks Old German and has a (very rare) copy of Luther's adulterated Bible, he cannot. Case closed.

(Actually, Rom 4:22 says that God's words were not meant for Abraham "alone" - but that is hardly the same as "Sola Fide").

Catholics, of course, believe we are justified by faith. But not faith alone. That is a purely protestant invention, and cannot be demonstrated in Holy Writ (and is actually contrary to the Epistle of James, which Luther was quite content to toss out of his German "translation," calling it an "Epistle of straw').
Tiber Swim Team, Class of 1990

The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake.
Dr. Savielly Tartakower (1887-1956), Russian/French/Polish Chess Grandmaster.

And a very well prepared response by James Swan.

Luther Added The Word "Alone" to Romans 3:28?

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Have you ever been in a discussion in which it was asserted that Martin Luther added words to the Bible?

Here Are Some "choice" comments from the depths of cyber-space:

"Martin Luther ADDED words to the Bible that were not there. When he was confronted with this sin of adding to the Bible he replied: "Bacause Dr. Martin Luther will have it so!" This man was one ego-maniac with delusions of popehood." [Source]

"Romans 3:28 states, "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law" (NKJV). Martin Luther, in his German translation of the Bible, specifically added the word "allein" (English 'alone') to Romans 3:28-a word that is not in the original Greek. Martin Luther reportedly said, "You tell me what a great fuss the Papists are making because the word alone in not in the text of Paul…say right out to him: 'Dr. Martin Luther will have it so,'…I will have it so, and I order it to be so, and my will is reason enough. I know very well that the word 'alone' is not in the Latin or the Greek text" (Stoddard J. Rebuilding a Lost Faith. 1922, pp. 101-102; see also Luther M. Amic. Discussion, 1, 127). This passage strongly suggests that Martin Luther viewed his opinions, and not the actual Bible as the primary authority--a concept which this author will name prima Luther." [Source]

"By September 1522, Luther had translated the New Testament into his version of the German Bible. It is to be noted that Luther taught a false doctrine that man was saved by faith alone, and upon his own recognizance and without any authority, he added the word "alone" to Romans 3:28, ... thereby ignoring all of the verses which admonish anyone not to add to or take away from, the Holy Word of GOD. He displayed his inflated ego and total arrogance, when he wrote the following regarding his addition:"If your Papist annoys you with the word (alone), tell him straightway, Dr. Martin Luther will have it so: Papist and ass are one and the same thing. Whoever will not have my translation, let him give it the go-by: the devil's thanks to him who censures it without my will and knowledge. Luther will have it so, and he is a doctor above all the doctors in Popedom."Amic. Discussion, 1, 127. Demonizing again! My My, tsk tsk, such language Dr Luther, and didn't he elevate himself above everyone on earth?This is the example set by the first Protestant, for his version of the command of Jesus Christ of, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matthew 22:36-40)." [source]

"...Luther insists on his own (in effect) absolute infallibility. In defending his addition of the word "alone" to Romans 3:28 ("faith alone"), Luther railed: Thus I will have it, thus I order it, my will is reason enough . . . Dr. Luther will have it so, and . . . he is a Doctor above all Doctors in the whole of Popery. (O'Connor, 25; Letter to Wenceslaus Link in 1530)One wonders whether Luther uttered these absurd sentiments with a smile on his face, or with tongue in cheek. In any event, such boastful, essentially silly and foolish rhetoric is not uncommon in Luther's voluminous writings." [source]

The arguments above are fairly simple: Luther simply inserted the word “alone” into Romans 3:28. Luther is painted as outrageous- he shows a total disregard for the sacred text, simply making it say what he wanted it to.

How to respond:

1. First, locate the context.
The main text of Luther used for these type of comments are his Open Letter on Translating (1530). Luther says in the introduction:

“…there has been much discussion about the translating of the Old and New Testaments. It has been charged by the enemies of truth that the text has been modified and even falsified in many places, which has startled and shocked many simple Christians, even among the educated who do not know the Hebrew and Greek languages. It is devoutly to be hoped that with this publication the slander of the godless will be stopped and the scruples of the devout removed, at least in part. Perhaps it may even give rise to more writing on such questions and matters such as these. Therefore I ask all lovers of the truth to take this work to heart seriously, and faithfully to pray to God for a right understanding of the divine Scriptures, to the improvement and increase of our common Christendom.”

The first section of the treatise is actually fairly angry, sarcastic, and humorous. Luther shows himself fed up with his Papal critics. His anger was fueled against them for an ironic reason- they rallied against his translation, while at the same time utilizing it for their own new translations. A strong Papal critic of Luther (Emser) did just that:

We have seen that scribbler from Dresden play the master to my New Testament. I will not mention his name again in my books, as he has his Judge now, and is already well-known. He admits that my German is sweet and good. He saw that he could not improve upon it. Yet, eager to dishonor it, he took my New Testament nearly word for word as it was written, and removed my prefaces and notes, replaced them with his own, and thus published my New Testament under his name!”

2. Put this context into the quotes being misued.
With this context in mind, point out that Luther was blasting away at his Papal critics:

If your papist wishes to make a great fuss about the word sola (alone), say this to him: "Dr. Martin Luther will have it so, and he says that a papist and a donkey are the same thing." …For we are not going to be students and disciples of the papists. Rather, we will become their teachers and judges. For once, we also are going to be proud and brag, with these blockheads; and just as Paul brags against his mad raving saints, I will brag against these donkeys of mine! Are they doctors? So am I. Are they scholars? So am I. Are they preachers? So am I. Are they theologians? So am I. Are they debaters? So am I. Are they philosophers? So am I. Are they logicians? So am I. Do they lecture? So do I. Do they write books? So do I.”

I will go even further with my boasting: I can expound the psalms and the prophets, and they cannot. I can translate, and they cannot. I can read the Holy Scriptures, and they cannot. I can pray, they cannot. Coming down to their level, “I can use their rhetoric and philosophy better than all of them put together. Plus I know that not one of them understands his Aristotle. If any one of them can correctly understand one preface or chapter of Aristotle, I will eat my hat! No, I am not overdoing it, for I have been schooled in and have practiced their science from my youth. I recognize how deep and broad it is. They, too, are well aware that I can do everything they can do. Yet they treat me as a stranger in their discipline, these incurable fellows, as if I had just arrived this morning and had never seen or heard what they teach and know. How they do brilliantly parade around with their science, teaching me what I outgrew twenty years ago! To all their noise and shouting I sing, with the harlot, "I have known for seven years that horseshoe nails are iron."

Let this be the answer to your first question. Please do not give these donkeys any other answer to their useless braying about that word sola than simply this: "Luther will have it so, and he says that he is a doctor above all the doctors of the pope." Let it rest there. I will from now on hold them in contempt, and have already held them in contempt, as long as they are the kind of people (or rather donkeys) that they are.”

One can almost feel Luther’s anger towards his Papal critics. They discredited him as a doctor of theology, a degree he earned in a rather quick period of time, and his academic abilities were above most. Indeed, he had done the work necessary to be taken seriously. His critics criticized his German translation while at the same time stealing it for their own translation- this infuriated him, and rightly so.

3. Luther's actual reasoning for using "alone" in Romans 3:28
This is the sad part about those who use Luther's Open Letter On Translating against him. He actually goes on to give a detailed explanation of why he uses the word "alone" in Romans 3:28. In the same document, in a calmer tone, Luther gives his reasoning for those with ears to hear:

I know very well that in Romans 3 the word solum is not in the Greek or Latin text — the papists did not have to teach me that. It is fact that the letters s-o-l-a are not there. And these blockheads stare at them like cows at a new gate, while at the same time they do not recognize that it conveys the sense of the text -- if the translation is to be clear and vigorous [klar und gewaltiglich], it belongs there. I wanted to speak German, not Latin or Greek, since it was German I had set about to speak in the translation.”

Luther continues to give multiple examples of the implied sense of meaning in translating words into German. He then offers an interpretive context of Romans:

So much for translating and the nature of language. However, I was not depending upon or following the nature of the languages alone when I inserted the word solum in Romans 3. The text itself, and Saint Paul's meaning, urgently require and demand it. For in that passage he is dealing with the main point of Christian doctrine, namely, that we are justified by faith in Christ without any works of the Law. Paul excludes all works so completely as to say that the works of the Law, though it is God's law and word, do not aid us in justification. Using Abraham as an example, he argues that Abraham was so justified without works that even the highest work, which had been commanded by God, over and above all others, namely circumcision, did not aid him in justification. Rather, Abraham was justified without circumcision and without any works, but by faith, as he says in Chapter 4: "If Abraham were justified by works, he may boast, but not before God." So, when all works are so completely rejected — which must mean faith alone justifies — whoever would speak plainly and clearly about this rejection of works will have to say "Faith alone justifies and not works." The matter itself and the nature of language requires it.”

4. Previous translations of the word “alone” in Romans 3:28
Luther offers another line of reasoning in his “Open Letter on Translating” that many of the current Cyber-Catholics ignore, and most Protestants are not aware of:

Furthermore, I am not the only one, nor the first, to say that faith alone makes one righteous. There was Ambrose, Augustine and many others who said it before me.”

Now here comes the fun part in this discussion.

The Roman Catholic writer Joseph A. Fitzmyer points out that Luther was not the only one to translate Romans 3:28 with the word “alone.”

At 3:28 Luther introduced the adv. “only” into his translation of Romans (1522), “alleyn durch den Glauben” (WAusg 7.38); cf. Aus der Bibel 1546, “alleine durch den Glauben” (WAusg, DB 7.39); also 7.3-27 (Pref. to the Epistle). See further his Sendbrief vom Dolmetschen, of 8 Sept. 1530 (WAusg 30.2 [1909], 627-49; “On Translating: An Open Letter” [LuthW 35.175-202]). Although “alleyn/alleine” finds no corresponding adverb in the Greek text, two of the points that Luther made in his defense of the added adverb were that it was demanded by the context and that sola was used in the theological tradition before him.

Robert Bellarmine listed eight earlier authors who used sola (Disputatio de controversiis: De justificatione 1.25 [Naples: G. Giuliano, 1856], 4.501-3):

Origen, Commentarius in Ep. ad Romanos, cap. 3 (PG 14.952).

Hilary, Commentarius in Matthaeum 8:6 (PL 9.961).

Basil, Hom. de humilitate 20.3 (PG 31.529C).

Ambrosiaster, In Ep. ad Romanos 3.24 (CSEL 81.1.119): “sola fide justificati sunt dono Dei,” through faith alone they have been justified by a gift of God; 4.5 (CSEL 81.1.130).

John Chrysostom, Hom. in Ep. ad Titum 3.3 (PG 62.679 [not in Greek text]).

Cyril of Alexandria, In Joannis Evangelium 10.15.7 (PG 74.368 [but alludes to Jas 2:19]).

Bernard, In Canticum serm. 22.8 (PL 183.881): “solam justificatur per fidem,” is justified by faith alone.

Theophylact, Expositio in ep. ad Galatas 3.12-13 (PG 124.988).

To these eight Lyonnet added two others (Quaestiones, 114-18):

Theodoret, Affectionum curatio 7 (PG 93.100; ed. J. Raeder [Teubner], 189.20-24).

Thomas Aquinas, Expositio in Ep. I ad Timotheum cap. 1, lect. 3 (Parma ed., 13.588): “Non est ergo in eis [moralibus et caeremonialibus legis] spes iustificationis, sed in sola fide, Rom. 3:28: Arbitramur justificari hominem per fidem, sine operibus legis” (Therefore the hope of justification is not found in them [the moral and ceremonial requirements of the law], but in faith alone, Rom 3:28: We consider a human being to be justified by faith, without the works of the law). Cf. In ep. ad Romanos 4.1 (Parma ed., 13.42a): “reputabitur fides eius, scilicet sola sine operibus exterioribus, ad iustitiam”; In ep. ad Galatas 2.4 (Parma ed., 13.397b): “solum ex fide Christi” [Opera 20.437, b41]).

See further:

Theodore of Mopsuestia, In ep. ad Galatas (ed. H. B. Swete), 1.31.15.

Marius Victorinus (ep. Pauli ad Galatas (ed. A. Locher), ad 2.15-16: “Ipsa enim fides sola iustificationem dat-et sanctificationem” (For faith itself alone gives justification and sanctification); In ep. Pauli Ephesios (ed. A. Locher), ad 2.15: “Sed sola fides in Christum nobis salus est” (But only faith in Christ is salvation for us).

Augustine, De fide et operibus, 22.40 (CSEL 41.84-85): “licet recte dici possit ad solam fidem pertinere dei mandata, si non mortua, sed viva illa intellegatur fides, quae per dilectionem operatur” (Although it can be said that God’s commandments pertain to faith alone, if it is not dead [faith], but rather understood as that live faith, which works through love”). Migne Latin Text: Venire quippe debet etiam illud in mentem, quod scriptum est, In hoc cognoscimus eum, si mandata ejus servemus. Qui dicit, Quia cognovi eum, et mandata ejus non servat, mendax est, et in hoc veritas non est (I Joan. II, 3, 4). Et ne quisquam existimet mandata ejus ad solam fidem pertinere: quanquam dicere hoc nullus est ausus, praesertim quia mandata dixit, quae ne multitudine cogitationem spargerent [Note: [Col. 0223] Sic Mss. Editi vero, cogitationes parerent.], In illis duobus tota Lex pendet et Prophetae (Matth. XXII, 40): licet recte dici possit ad solam fidem pertinere Dei mandata, si non mortua, sed viva illa intelligatur fides, quae per dilectionem operatur; tamen postea Joannes ipse aperuit quid diceret, cum ait: Hoc est mandatum ejus, ut credamus nomini Filii ejus Jesu Christi, et diligamns invicem (I Joan. III, 23) See De fide et operibus, Cap. XXII, §40, PL 40:223.

Source: Joseph A. Fitzmyer Romans, A New Translation with introduction and Commentary, The Anchor Bible Series (New York: Doubleday, 1993) 360-361.

Even some Catholic versions of the New Testament also translated Romans 3:28 as did Luther. The Nuremberg Bible (1483), “allein durch den glauben” and the Italian Bibles of Geneva (1476) and of Venice (1538) say “per sola fede.”

Further Information

I've also had a written debate with a Roman Catholic on Luther's use of the word "alone." That can be found here.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Visit to Catholic Answers Forum Part #5

Is Sola Scriptura Biblical? You Betcha!

Old May 27, '11, 8:15 pm
Join Date: January 30, 2010
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Default Re: Is Sola Scriptura Biblical? You Betcha!

Originally Posted by inkaneer View Post
I think 2 Thess 2:15 makes your wishfull thinking null and void.

So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter. [2 Thess 2:15 RSV]

Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. [2 Thess 2:15 KJV]

God's word is immutable. It is the same yesterday, today and forever. Those words penned by Paul almost 2,000 years ago are just as valid today as they were when the ink was still wet. 2Thess 2:15 is the wooden stake in the heart of the sola scriptura vampire.
In Galatians 1:14, Paul makes reference to 'the traditions of my fathers' and in Colossians 2:8, 'the tradition of men'. Charles Hodge notes that Galatians 1:14 and Colossians 2:8 are references 'to what is human and untrustworthy...and frequently in the gospels of the elders.'

Only in the remaining three instances (1 Cor. 11:2, 2 Thess. 2:15, 3:6), where the noun (paradosis) appears, do we find binding Christian tradition in the New Testament. In each of these, the apostle makes reference to authoritative apostolic tradition which he had 'delivered' (1 Cor. 11:2), 'taught' (2 Thess. 2:15), or 'commanded' (2 Thess. 3:6).

In all three cases, the tradition(s) to which he referred could be objectively identified by his readers.

These traditions were not something awaiting the future development of a living voice because, firstly, they had already been 'delivered' to the Corinthians who were 'keeping' them (1 Cor. 11:2), and secondly, they had already been 'taught' to the Thessalonians who were commanded to 'stand fast' in them and 'hold them' (2 Thess. 2:15). Thirdly, they were commanded to 'walk' according to them, clearly indicating that the Thessalonians were already acquainted with them (2 Thess. 3:6).

This being the case, not one of these texts supports the modern Roman view that 'tradition' in the New Testament can refer to a future unfolding of doctrinal development, or unidentified dogma awaiting future definition.

Why? Because the Church was already in possession of these traditions. They were already 'keeping' them, 'holding' them, and 'walking' in them.

The verbs used to describe the relationship of these traditions to Christian observance make no sense unless they had already been identified and defined. Every reference to 'tradition' in these passages has to do with doctrinal or moral rules already delivered.

David T. King p.112 Holy Scripture The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith Vol. I

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Why Roman Catholics Really Do Have a Different Canon

What exactly is meant by the term "canon"? Technically, the word  comes from a Semitic root basically meaning "reed." The sense of the term was expanded to mean "straight rod" or "staff." This term was used as descriptive of a measuring rod or ruler in architecture. In Biblical Greek the term means measure, rule, or norm. When we think of the Scriptures as "canon", we're saying that it alone is the measuring rod or standard all else is be judged by.  The canon of Scripture is a collection of writings recognized as inspired, authoritative and normative for the faith and practice of the church.  Since the Bible is the very word of God, how could it be any other way? How could there be any other or higher ultimate standard, measuring rod, or ruler that is authoritative and normative than the very words of God?

This is often missed by those engaging Roman Catholics. If the canon is the very voice of God and the measuring rod, then it must be that which judges all things, including church history, any alleged "infallible" pronouncements, [T]radition and [t]radition. It can't logically be any other way. It can't be that infallible pronouncements and Tradition measure or rule what the Bible says on anything. The Bible is to measure and rule the church rather than the church measuring and ruling the Bible. If this were reversed, the Bible in effect would no longer be functioning as canon. The church, Tradition, infallible pronouncements, etc., would be functioning as the canon. This is what is meant by the phrase sola ecclesia. I'm not sure who originally coined the phrase, but it is indeed an apt way to summarize the actual Roman Catholic rule of faith or measuring rod.  Dr White explained long ago:
What is sola ecclesia? It is the concept that the Roman Church (exemplified in the Papacy especially) is the sole and final authority in all matters. Scripture and Tradition (whatever that is in particular) are subservient to the Church, despite Rome’s protests otherwise. A moment’s reflection demonstrates why this is: Rome claims to define both what Scripture is (the canon), and what Scripture says (interpretation of particular passages, as well as the message of Scripture en toto). Likewise, she claims to be able to determine what is "tradition"... and what this tradition then means. Hence, if you control the definition of both the content and meaning of both Scripture and Tradition and you claim to be infallible as well (meaning you cannot retract what you have decided these things teach and have officially defined these views in the past), the result is inevitable: sola ecclesia. The Church as the final authority in all things.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Visit to Catholic Answers Forum Part #4

Hello, this is Algo.

I am continuing my series on my visit to C.A.F. (Catholic Answers Forum).

Old Jun 8, '11, 10:11 pm
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Default Re: Do Catholics believe in imputed righteousness?

Originally Posted by Algo1 View Post
Christ's propitiation in which HE bore the wrath of GOD The Father on the cross was indeed a suffering beyond what any one sinner could ever experience in hell.

Yes, as a Penal Substitutionary Atonement.
These notions emanate from the Reformation, and the heresies introduced by Calvin. As an attorney, he was looked at Christian theology through the forensic lens.

They represent a departure from what the Apostles believed and taught.

Originally Posted by Algo1 View Post
Did it come directly from Calvin?
Or did he possibly glean it from ECFs like Augustine and others?

Gleaned, certainly. And this is the major source of the trouble. The gospel is to be RECEIVED from those who are authorized by Christ to transmit it. It is not to be "gleaned" from the pages of books, however holy. Every time a Christian has attempted to "glean" the Gospel from the pages, errors result. The "gleaning" method is insufficient.


Jun 11, '11 1:44 pm

This topic is truly fascinating. The more I look into the early writers the more I am finding many of them to be in agreement regarding Anselm's model of satisfaction with respect to the atonement.


Thomas Aquinas commenting on Hebrews 1:3: Third, there is the guilty state of punishment to which man is turned by his fault; and to satisfy for this He offered Himself as a victim to God on the altar of the cross. St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, trans. Chrysostom Baer ( South Bend : St. Augustine ’s Press, 2006), Chapter 1, Lecture 2, #40, p. 22.

Thomas Aquinas commenting on Hebrews 2:14: It must be known, however, that no other satisfaction was fitting. For man was a debtor. However, one can very well make satisfaction for another out of charity. No one, however, can make satisfaction for the whole human nature, since no one has power over it. Nor also was the human race itself able to make satisfaction sufficiently, since the whole race was liable to sin. Nor was also an angel, since that satisfaction is for glory, which exceeds the faculty of the nature of an angel. It was necessary, therefore, that there be a man who had to make satisfaction, and a God, Who alone has power over the whole human race, Who could make satisfaction for the whole human race. Therefore, through the death of God and man, He destroyed him who has the empire of death. St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, trans. Chrysostom Baer ( South Bend : St. Augustine ’s Press, 2006), Chapter 2, Lecture 4, #143, pp. 69-70.

We even have a couple of Popes that have elements in their theology that support this view of Substitutionary Atonement.

Leo the Great (pope 440-461): For we were taken up into its own proper self by that Nature (which condescended to those limitations which loving-kindness dictated and which yet incurred no sort of change. We were taken up by that Nature, which destroyed not what was His in what was ours, nor what was ours in what was His; which made the person of the Godhead and of the Manhood so one in Itself that by co-ordination of weakness and power, the flesh could not be rendered inviolable through the Godhead, nor the Godhead passible through the flesh. We were taken up by that Nature, which did not break off the Branch from the common stock of our race, and yet excluded all taint of the sin which has passed upon all men. That is to say, weakness and mortality, which were not sin, but the penalty of sin, were undergone by the Redeemer of the World in the way of punishment, that they might be reckoned as the price of redemption. What therefore in all of us is the heritage of condemnation, is in Christ “the mystery of godliness.” For being free from debt, He gave Himself up to that most cruel creditor, and suffered the hands of Jews to be the devil’s agents in torturing His spotless flesh. Which flesh He willed to be subject to death, even up to His (speedy) resurrection, to this end, that believers in Him might find neither persecution intolerable, nor death terrible, by the remembrance that there was no more doubt about their sharing His glory than there was about His sharing their nature. NPNF2: Vol. XII, Sermon 72- On the Lord’s Resurrection, §II.

Leo the Great (pope 440-461): The true birth of Christ, therefore, is confirmed by the true cross; since He is Himself born in our flesh, Who is crucified in our flesh, which, as no sin entered into it, could not have been mortal, unless it had been that of our race. But in order that He might restore life to all, He undertook the cause of all and rendered void the force of the old bond, by paying it for all, because He alone of us all did not owe it: that, as by one man’s guilt all had become sinners, so by one man’s innocence all might become innocent, righteousness being bestowed upon men by Him Who had undertaken man’s nature. NPNF2: Vol. XII, Letter 139, §3.

Gregory the Great (Gregory I c. 540-603): Guilt can be extinguished only by a penal offering to justice. But it would contradict the idea of justice, if for the sin of a rational being like man, the death of an irrational animal should be accepted as a sufficient atonement. Hence, a man must be offered as the sacrifice for man; so that a rational victim may be slain for a rational criminal. But how could a man, himself stained with sin, be an offering for sin? Hence a sinless man must be offered. But what man descending in the ordinary course would be free from sin? Hence, the Son of God must be born of a virgin, and become man for us. He assumed our nature without our corruption (culpa). He made himself a sacrifice for us, and set forth (exhibuit) for sinners his own body, a victim without sin, and able both to die by virtue of its humanity, and to cleanse the guilty, upon grounds of justice. Moralium Libri, Sive Expositio In Librum B. Job, Liber Decimus Septimus, Caput XXX, verse 12, §46, PL 76:32-33.

Gregory the Great (Gregory I c. 540-603) commenting on Job 17:2: But I think that we shall make out these words the better, if we understand them as spoken in the voice of the Head. For our Redeemer, in coming for our Redemption, at once did not sin and did ‘undergo bitterness,’ in that being without sin He undertook the punishment of our sin. See Library of the Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church, Gregory the Great, Morals on the Book of Job, vol. II, Parts 3 and 4, Book XIII, §34 (Oxford: Parker, 1845), p. 106.

Latin text Sed credo quod melius haec verba discutimus, si dicta ex voce capitis sentiamus. Redemptor etenim noster ad redemptionem nostram veniens, et non peccavit, et amaritudinem pertulit, quia poenam culpae nostrae sine culpa suscepit, Moralium Libri, Sive Expositio In Librum B. Job, Liber XIII, Caput XXX, verse 2, §34, PL 75:1032D.

Gregory the Great (Gregory I c. 540-603): Yet He, that is equal to the Father by the Divine Nature, came for our sakes to be under stripes in a fleshly nature. Which stripes He would never have undergone, if he had not taken the form of accursed man in the work of their redemption. And unless the first man had transgressed, the second would never have come to the ignominies of the Passion. When then the first man was moved by Satan from the Lord, then the Lord was moved against the second Man. And so Satan then moved the Lord to the affliction of this latter, when the sin of disobedience brought down the first man from the height of uprightness. For if he had not drawn the first Adam by wilful sin into the death of the soul, the second Adam, being without sin, would never have come into the voluntary death of the flesh, and therefore it is with justice said to him of our Redeemer too, Thou movedst Me against him to afflict him without cause. As though it were said in plainer words; ‘Whereas this Man dies not on His own account, but on account of that other, thou didst then move Me to the afflicting of This one, when thou didst withdraw that other from Me by thy cunning persuasions.’ And of Him it is rightly added, without cause. For ‘he was destroyed without cause,’ who was at once weighed to the earth by the avenging of sin, and not defiled by the pollution of sin. He ‘was destroyed without cause,’ Who, being made incarnate, had no sins of His own, and yet being without offence took upon Himself the punishment of the carnal. For it is hence that speaking by the Prophet He says, Then I restored that which I took not away. For that other that was created for Paradise would in his pride have usurped the semblance of the Divine power, yet the Mediator, Who was without guilt, discharged the guilt of that pride. It is hence that a Wise Man saith to the Father; Forasmuch then as Thou art righteous Thyself, Thou orderest all things righteously; Thou condemnest Him too that deserveth not to be punished.

27. But we must consider how He is righteous and ordereth all things righteously, if He condemns Him that deserveth not to be pimished. For our Mediator deserved not to be punished for Himself, because He never was guilty of any defilement of sin. But if He had not Himself undertaken a death not due to Him, He would never have freed us from one that was justly due to us. And so whereas ‘The Father is righteous,’ in punishing a righteous man, ‘He ordereth all things righteously,’ in that by these means He justifies all things, viz. that for the sake of sinners He condemns Him Who is without sin; that all the Elect might rise up to the height of righteousness, in proportion as He Who is above all underwent the penalties of our unrighteousness. What then is in that place called ‘being condemned without deserving,’ is here spoken of as being ‘afflicted without cause.’ Yet though in respect of Himself He was ‘afflicted without cause,’ in respect of our deeds it was not ‘without cause.’ For the rust of sin could not be cleared away, but by the fire of torment. He then came without sin, Who should submit Himself voluntarily to torment, that the chastisements due to our wickedness might justly loose the parties thereto obnoxious, in that they had unjustly kept Him, Who was free of them. Thus it was both without cause, and not without cause, that He was afflicted, Who had indeed no crimes in Himself, but Who cleansed with His blood the stain of our guilt. See Library of the Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church, Gregory the Great, Morals on the Book of Job, vol. I, Parts I and II, Book III, Chapter 14, §26-27 (Oxford: Parker, 1845), pp. 148-149.


Originally Posted by gurneyhalleck1 (Post 7960716)

I think it's interesting that the Orthodox point to the problems they see with Anselm's doctrine and that it's this Anselmian Catholic doctrine that opened the door to worse atonement views like penal substitution

It's true that the Orthodox hate penal substitution. However some of their greatest patriarchs have written quite supportively of it.

Athanasius (297-373): He suffered for us, and bore in Himself the wrath that was the penalty of our transgression, even as Isaiah says, Himself bore our weaknesses.

Athanasius, On the Incarnation, trans. and ed. A Religious of C.S.M.V. (Crestwood: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1996), to which is appended a Letter of St. Athanasius to Marcellinus on the Interpretation of the Psalms, pp. 100-101.

The irony of the above translation is that it is from an E.O Press.

Athanasius (297-373): He next offered up His sacrifice also on behalf of all, yielding His Temple to death in the stead of all, in order firstly to make men quit and free of their old trespass, and further to shew Himself more powerful even than death, displaying His own body incorruptible, as first-fruits of the resurrection of all.... For there was need of death, and death must needs be suffered on behalf of all, that the debt owing from all might be paid. 6. Whence, as I said before, the Word, since it was not possible for Him to die, as He was immortal, took to Himself a body such as could die, that He might offer it as His own in the stead of all, and as suffering, through His union with it, on behalf of all, “Bring to naught Him that had the power of death, that is the devil; and might deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” NPNF2: Vol. IV, On the Incarnation of the Word, §20, 1-6.

Athanasius (297-373): And thus much in reply to those without who pile up arguments for themselves. But if any of our own people also inquire, not from love of debate, but from love of learning, why He suffered death in none other way save on the Cross, let him also be told that no other way than this was good for us, and that it was well that the Lord suffered this for our sakes. 2 For if He came Himself to bear the curse laid upon us, how else could He have “become a curse,” unless He received the death set for a curse? and that is the Cross. For this is exactly what is written: “Cursed is he that hangeth on a tree.” NPNF2: Vol. IV, On the Incarnation of the Word, §25, 1-2.

Athanasius (297-373): All these were theirs through that Savior Who suffered in our stead. And verily for their darkness and blindness, He wept. For if they had understood the things which are written in the Psalms, they would not have been so vainly daring against the Savior, the Spirit having said, ‘Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?’ And if they had considered the prophecy of Moses, they would not have hanged Him Who was their Life. NPNF2: Vol. IV, Letters of Athanasius, I. Festal Letters, Letter 10, §5, For 338

Athanasius (297-373): Formerly the world, as guilty, was under judgment from the Law; but now the Word has taken on Himself the judgment, and having suffered in the body for all, has bestowed salvation to all.. NPNF2: Vol. IV, Four Discourses Against the Arians, Discourse I, Chapter 13, §60.

Athanasius (297-373): He is the Life of all, and He it is that as a sheep yielded His body to death as a substitute, for the salvation of all, even though the Jews believe it not. NPNF2: Vol. IV, On the Incarnation of the Word, §38, 7.

Athanasius (297-373): Formerly the world, as guilty, was under judgment from the Law; but now the Word has taken on Himself the judgment, and having suffered in the body for all, has bestowed salvation to all. NPNF2: Vol. IV, Four Discourses Against the Arians, Discourse 1, Chapter 13, §60.

Greek text Τότε μν γρ ς πεύθυνος κόσμος κρίνετο π το νόμου·ρτι δ Λόγος ες αυτν δέξατο τ κρμα, κα τ σώματι παθν πρ πάν των, σωτηρίαν τος πσιν χαρίσατο. Contra Arianos, Oratio I, §60, PG 26:137-140.

Athanasius (297-373): that, paying the debts in our stead (αϕνθ ϕ ηϑμων τη;ν οϕφειλη;ν αϕποδιδου;), NPNF2: Vol. IV, Four Discourses Against the Arians, Discourse II, Chapter 21, §66.

Epiphanius of Salamis (310/320-403): Christ has indeed redeemed us and bought us “free from the curse of the Law by being made a curse for us.” And the teacher of the church immediately adds the way in which Christ bought us and says, “Ye were bought with a price,” “the precious blood of Christ, the lamb without blemish and without spot.” Now if we were bought with the blood, you are not one of the purchased, Mani, for you deny the blood. Frank Williams, trans., The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis: Book II and III (Sects 47-80, De Fide) 66. Against Manichaeans, 79,3 (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1994), p. 298.

Cyril of Jerusalem (318-386): But behold the wisdom of God; He preserved both the truth of His sentence, and the exercise of His loving-kindness. Christ took our sins in His body on the tree, that we by His death might die to sin, and live unto righteousness. Of no small account was He who died for us; He was not a literal sheep; He was not a mere man; He was more than an Angel; He was God made man. The transgression of sinners was not so great as the righteousness of Him who died for them; the sin which we committed was not so great as the righteousness which He wrought who laid down His life for us, — who laid it down when He pleased, and took it again when He pleased. NPNF2: Vol. VII, Catechetical Lectures, Lecture XIII:33.

Macrina: Thou hast saved us from the curse and from sin, having become both for our sakes. St. Gregory of Nyssa, The Life of St. Macrina, trans. W. K. Lowther Clarke (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1916), p. 55.

Greek text: Σ ἐῤῥύσω μς κ τς κατάρας κα τς μαρτίας, μφότερα πρ μν γενόμενος. De Vita S. Macrinae, PG 46:984C.

More on penal substitution from a Great Eastern Father.

Chrysostom (349-407): For as when (Paul) says, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us,” he does not mean that His essence removing from Its proper glory took upon It the being of an accursed thing, (this not even devils could imagine, nor even the very foolish, nor those deprived of their natural understanding, such impiety as well as madness does it contain,) as (St. Paul) does not say this, but that He, taking upon Himself the curse pronounced against us, leaves us no more under the curse; so also here he (St. John) says that He “was made Flesh,” not by changing His Essence to flesh, but by taking flesh to Himself, His Essence remained untouched. NPNF1: Vol. XIV, Homilies on the Gospel according to St. John, Homily 11, §2.

Chrysostom (349-407): What he says, amounts to this nearly. What armed death against the world? The one man’s eating from the tree only. If then death attained so great power from one offense, when it is found that certain received a grace and righteousness out of all proportion to that sin, how shall they still be liable to death? And for this cause, he does not here say” grace,” but “superabundance of grace.” For it was not as much as we must have to do away the sin only, that we received of His grace, but even far more. For we were at once freed from punishment, and put off all iniquity, and were also born again from above (John 3:3) and rose again with the old man buried, and were redeemed, justified, led up to adoption, sanctified, made brothers of the Only-begotten, and joint heirs and of one Body with Him, and counted for His Flesh, and even as a Body with the Head, so were we united unto Him! All these things then Paul calls a “superabundance” of grace, showing that what we received was not a medicine only to countervail the wound, but even health, and comeliness, and honor, and glory and dignities far transcending our natural state. And of these each in itself was enough to do away with death, but when all manifestly run together in one, there is not the least vestige of it left, nor can a shadow of it be seen, so entirely is it done away. As then if any one were to cast a person who owed ten mites (βόλους) into prison, and not the man himself only, but wife and children and servants for his sake; and another were to come and not to pay down the ten mites only, but to give also ten thousand talents of gold, and to lead the prisoner into the king’s courts, and to the throne of the highest power, and were to make him partaker of the highest honor and every kind of magnificence, the creditor would not be able to remember the ten mites; so hath our case been. For Christ hath paid down far more than we owe, yea as much more as the illimitable ocean is than a little drop. NPNF1: Vol. XI, Homilies on Romans, Homily 10, Romans 5:12.

Chrysostom (349-407): For if it was not through any liability to it that He died the former death, save only for the sin of others, much less will He die again now that He hath done that sin away. And this he says in the Epistle to the Hebrews also, “But now once,” he says, “in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the Sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after that the judgment; so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:26-28.) And he both points out the power of the life that is according to God, and also the strength of sin. For with regard to the life according to God, he showeth that Christ shall die no more. With regard to sin, that if it brought about the death even of the Sinless, how can it do otherwise than be the ruin of those that are subject to it? NPNF1: Vol. XI, Homilies on Romans, Homily 11, Romans 6:10.

Chrysostom (349-407): [3.] But first it is worth while to hear what those who are infected with the Manichaean doctrines say here, who are both enemies to the truth and war against their own salvation. What then do these allege? By death here, they say, Paul means nothing else than our being in sin; and by resurrection, our being delivered from our sins. Seest thou how nothing is weaker than error? And how it is taken by its own wings, and needs not the warfare from without, but by itself it is pierced through? Consider, for instance, these men, how they too have pierced themselves through by their own statements. Since if this be death, and Christ did not take a body, as ye suppose, and yet died, He was in sin according to you. For I indeed say that He took unto Himself a body and His death, I say, was that of the flesh; but thou denying this, wilt be compelled to affirm the other. But if He was in sin, how saith He, “Which of you convinceth Me of sin?” and “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me?” (John 8:46; 14:30.) and again, “Thus it becometh Us to fulfill all righteousness?” (Matthew 3:15.) Nay, how did He at all die for sinners, if Himself were in sin? For he who dies for sinners ought himself to be without sin. Since if he himself also sin, how shall he die for other sinners? But if for others’ sins He died, He died being without sin: and if being without sin He died, He died — not the death of sin; for how could He being without sin? — but the death of the body Wherefore also Paul did not simply say, “He died,” but added, “for our sins:” both forcing these heretics against their will to the confession of His bodily death, and signifying also by this that before death He was without sin: for he that dies for others’ sins, it followeth must himself be without sin.

Neither was he content with this, but added, “according to the Scriptures:” hereby both again making his argument credible, and intimating what kind of death he was speaking of: since it is the death of the body which the Scriptures everywhere proclaim. For, “they pierced My hands and My feet,” (Psalm 21:18.) saith He, and, “they shall look on Him Whom they pierced.” (John 19:37. Zechariah 12:10.) And many other instances, too not to name all one by one, partly in words and partly in types, one may see in them stored up, setting forth His slaughter in the flesh and that He was slain for our sins. For, “for the sins of my people,” saith one, “is He come to death: “and, the Lord delivered Him up for our sins: “and, “He was wounded for our transgressions.” (Isaiah 53) But if thou dost not endure the Old Testament, hear John crying out and declaring both, as well His slaughter in the body as the cause of it: thus, “Behold,” saith he, “the Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sin of the world:” (John 1:29.) and Paul saying, “For Him Who knew no sin, He made to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him:” (2 Corinthians 5:21.) and again, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us:” (Galatians 3:13.) and again, “having put off from himself principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them;” (Colossians 2:15.) and ten thousand other sayings to show what happened at His death in the body, and because of our sins. Yea, and Christ Himself saith, “for your sakes I sanctify Myself” and, “now the prince of this world hath been condemned;” showing that having no sin he was slain. NPNF1: Vol. XII, Homilies on First Corinthians, Homily 38, §3.

Chrysostom (349-407): If one that was himself a king, beholding a robber and malefactor under punishment, gave his well-beloved son, his only-begotten and true, to be slain; and transferred the death and the guilt as well, from him to his son, (who was himself of no such character,) that he might both save the condemned man and clear him from his evil reputation ; and then if, having subsequently promoted him to great dignity, he had yet, after thus saving him and advancing him to that glory unspeakable, been outraged by the person that had received such treatment: would not that man, if he had any sense, have chosen ten thousand deaths rather than appear guilty of so great ingratitude? This then let us also now consider with ourselves, and groan bitterly for the provocations we have offered our Benefactor; nor let us therefore presume, because though outraged He bears it with long-suffering; but rather for this very reason be full of remorse. NPNF1: Vol. XII, Homilies on Second Corinthians, Homily 11, §6.

Chrysostom (349-407): And what hath He done? “Him that knew no sin He made to be sin, for you.” For had He achieved nothing but done only this, think how great a thing it were to give His Son for those that had outraged Him. But now He hath both well achieved mighty things, and besides, hath suffered Him that did no wrong to be punished for those who had done wrong. But he did not say this: but mentioned that which is far greater than this. What then is this? “Him that knew no sin,” he says, Him that was righteousness itself, “He made sin,” that is suffered as a sinner to be condemned, as one cursed to die. “For cursed is he that hangeth on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13.) For to die thus was far greater than to die; and this he also elsewhere implying, saith, “Becoming obedient unto death, yea the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:8.) For this thing carried with it not only punishment, but also disgrace. Reflect therefore how great things He bestowed on thee. For a great thing indeed it were for even a sinner to die for any one whatever; but when He who undergoes this both is righteous and dieth for sinners; and not dieth only, but even as one cursed; and not as cursed [dieth] only, but thereby freely bestoweth upon us those great goods which we never looked for; (for he says, that “we might become the righteousness of God in Him;”) what words, what thought shall be adequate to realize these things? ‘For the righteous,’ saith he, ‘He made a sinner; that He might make the sinners righteous.’ Yea rather, he said not even so, but what was greater far; for the word he employed is not the habit, but the quality itself. For he said not “made” [Him] a sinner, but “sin;” not, ‘Him that had not sinned’ only, but “that had not even known sin ; that we” also “might become,” he did not say ‘righteous,’ but, “righteousness,” and, “the righteousness of God.” For this is [the righteousness] “of God” when we are justified not by works, (in which case it Were necessary that not a spot even should be found,) but by grace, in which case all sin is done away. And this at the same time that it suffers us not to be lifted up, (seeing the whole is the free gift of God,) teaches us also the greatness of that which is given. For that which was before was a righteousness of the Law and of works, but this is “the righteousness of God.” NPNF1: Vol. XII, Homilies on Second Corinthians, Homily 11, §5.

Chrysostom (349-407): For he makes a wide distinction between ‘commandments’ and ‘ordinances.’ He either then means ‘faith,’ calling that an ‘ordinance,’ (for by faith alone He saved us, π γρ πίστεως μόνης σωσεν· PG 62:39) or he means ‘precept,’ such as Christ gave, when He said, ‘But I say unto you, that ye are not to be angry at all.’ (Matthew 5:22.) That is to say, ‘If thou shalt believe that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.’ (Romans 10:6-9.) And again, ‘The word is nigh thee, in thy mouth, and in thine heart. Say not, Who shall ascend into heaven, or who shall descend into the abyss?’ or, who hath ‘brought. Him again from the dead?’ Instead of a certain manner of life, He brought in faith. For that He might not save us to no purpose, He both Himself underwent the penalty (κα ατς κολάσθη, PG 62:40), and also required of men the faith that is by doctrines. NPNF1: Vol. XIII, Homilies on Ephesians, Homly 5, Ephesians 2:13-15. See PG 62:39-40.

Chrysostom (349-407): For as when (Paul) says, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us,” he does not mean that His essence removing from Its proper glory took upon It the being of an accursed thing, (this not even devils could imagine, nor even the very foolish, nor those deprived of their natural understanding, such impiety as well as madness does it contain,) as (St. Paul) does not say this, but that He, taking upon Himself the curse pronounced against us, leaves us no more under the curse; so also here he (St. John) says that He “was made Flesh,” not by changing His Essence to flesh, but by taking flesh to Himself, His Essence remained untouched. NPNF1: Vol. XIV, Homilies on the Gospel of John, Homily 11, §2.

Chrysostom (349-407): In reality, the people were subject to another curse, which says, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in the things that are written in the book of the Law.” (Deuteronomy 27:26.) To this curse, I say, people were subject, for no man had continued in, or was a keeper of, the whole Law; but Christ exchanged this curse for the other, “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” As then both he who hanged on a tree, and he who transgresses the Law, is cursed, and as it was necessary for him who is about to relieve from a curse himself to be free from it, but to receive another instead of it, therefore Christ took upon Him such another, and thereby relieved us from the curse. It was like an innocent man’s undertaking to die for another sentenced to death, and so rescuing him from punishment. For Christ took upon Him not the curse of transgression, but the other curse, in order to remove that of others. For, “He had done no violence neither was any deceit in His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:9; 1 Peter 2:22.) And as by dying He rescued from death those who were dying, so by taking upon Himself the curse, He delivered them from it. NPNF1: Vol. XIII, Commentary on Galatians, Chapter 3, v. 13.

Greek text: Κα μν τέρ κατάρ λας πεύθυνος ν τ λεγούσ· πικατάρατος πς, ς οκ μμένει ν τος γεγραμμένοις ν τ βιβλί το νόμου. Κα τί τοτο; μν γρ λας πεύθυνος ν· ο γρ νέμεινεν, οδ ν τις πεπληρωκς τν νόμον παντα. δ Χριστς τέραν κατάραν ταύτης λλάξατο τν λέγουσαν· πικατάρατος πς κρεμάμενος π ξύλου. πε ον κα κρεμάμενος π ξύλου πικατάρατος, κα τν νόμον παραβαίνων πικατάρατος, μέλλοντα δ κείνην λύειν 61.653 τν κατάραν πεύθυνον οκ δει γενέσθαι ατς, δε δ δέξασθαι κατάραν ντ' κείνης, τοιαύτην δέξατο, κα δι' ατς κείνην λυσε. Κα καθάπερ τινς καταδικασθέντος ποθανεν, τερος νεύθυνος λόμενος θανεν πρ κείνου, ξαρπάζει τς τιμωρίας ατόν· οτω κα Χριστς ποίησεν. πειδ γρ οχ πέκειτο κατάρ τ τς παραβάσεως, νεδέξατο Χριστς ντʼ κείνης ταύτην, να λύσ τν κείνων· μαρτίαν γρ οκ ποίησεν, οδ δόλος ερέθη ν τ στόματι ατο. In Epistolam Ad Galatas Commentarius, Caput III, v. 13, PG 61:652-653.

Chrysostom (349-407) on Hebrews 9:28. “So Christ was once offered.”: By whom offered? evidently by Himself. Here he says that He is not Priest only, but Victim also, and what is sacrificed. On this account are [the words] “was offered.” “Was once offered” (he says) “to bear the sins of many.” Why “of many,” and not “of all”? Because not all believed, For He died indeed for all, that is His part: for that death was a counterbalance against the destruction of all men. But He did not bear the sins of all men, because they were not willing.

And what is [the meaning of] “He bare the sins”? Just as in the Oblation we bear up our sins and say, “Whether we have sinned voluntarily or involuntarily, do Thou forgive,” that is, we make mention of them first, and then ask for their forgiveness. So also was it done here. Where has Christ done this? Hear Himself saying, “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself.” (John 17:19) Lo! He bore the sins. He took them from men, and bore them to the Father; not that He might determine anything against them [mankind], but that He might forgive them. NPNF1: Vol. XIV, Epistle to the Hebrews, Homly 17.

This is truly amazing. Bellarmine (no friend of Calvin) actually admitted the following:

Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621): “…because he satisfied the Father for us, and gives and communicates that satisfaction to us, when he justifies us, so that he can be called our satisfaction and righteousness, as if we ourselves had satisfied God. For trans., see Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, trans. George Musgrave Giger, ed. James T. Dennison, Jr., Vol. 2 (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 1992), XVI.iii.3, p. 134.

Latin text: quoniam satisfecit Patri pro nobis, et eam satisfactionem ita nobis donat et communicat, quum nos justificat, ut nostra satisfactio et justitia dici posit. …ac si nos ipsi Deo satisfecissemus. Roberti Bellarmini, Opera Omnia, De Controversiis, Tomus Quartus, Pars Prima, De Justificatione (Neapoli: Apud Josephum Giuliano, 1858), Liber II, Caput 10, p. 523.

Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621): And in this way, it were not absurd, if any one should say that the righteousness and merits of Christ are imputed unto us, when they are given and applied unto us, as if we ourselves had satisfied God. For translation, see The Works of John Owen, The Doctrine of Justification by Faith, General Considerations, ed. William H. Goold, (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, Third printing, 1977), vol. V, p. 56

Latin text: Et hoc modo non esset absurdum, si quis diceret nobis imputari Christi justitiam et merita; cum nobis donentur et applicentur; ac si nos ipsi Deo satisfecissemus.

Roberti Bellarmini, Opera Omnia, De Controversiis, Tomus Quartus, Pars Prima, De Justificatione (Neapoli: Apud Josephum Giuliano, 1858), Liber II, Caput 10, p. 523.

Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621): By reason of the uncertainty of our own righteousness, and the danger of vain-glory, it is the safest course to repose our whole trust in the mercy and kindness or grace of God alone. For translation, see The Works of John Owen, The Doctrine of Justification by Faith, General Considerations, ed. William H. Goold, (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, Third printing, 1977), vol. V, p. 32.

Latin text: Propter incertitudinem propriae justitiae, et periculum inanis gloriae tutissimum est. fiduciam totam in sola Dei misericordia et benignitate reponere. Roberti Bellarmini, Opera Omnia, De Controversiis, Tomus Quartus, Pars Prima, De Justificatione (Neapoli: Apud Josephum Giuliano, 1858), Liber V, Caput 7, Propositio 3, p. 615.

Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621): If the Pope should err by enjoining vices and forbidding virtues, the Church would be bound to believe vices to be good, and virtues to be evil, unless she would be willing to sin against conscience.

For translation, see William John Hall, The Doctrine of Purgatory and the Practice of Praying for the Dead (London: Henry Wix, 1843), p. 400.

Latin text: Si Papa erraret praecipiendo vitia, vel prohibendo virtutes, teneretur ecclesia credere vitia esse bona, et virtutes malas, nisi vellet conscientiam peccare. Roberti Bellarmini, Opera Omnia, De Controversiis, Tomus Primus, De Romano Pontifice (Neapoli: Apud Josephum Giuliano, 1856), Liber Quartus, Caput 5, p. 484.