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Archive for April, 2008

Answers to Biblical Contradictions

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on April 28, 2008

Originally By: Andrew Tong, Michael J. Bumbulis,  MaryAnna White, Russ Smith, and others (1994-1995)

Answers to Biblical Contradictions, 1-10

Link: http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/bible.htm

1. God is satisfied with his works

“God saw all that he made, and it was very good.” [Gen 1:31]

God is dissatisfied with his works.

“The Lord was grieved that he had made man on earth, and his heart was filled with pain.” [Gen 6:6]

This is an obvious case of both/and, for something occurred after Gen 1:31 and before Gen 6:6, namely, the Fall. Evil entered creation as a result of man’s volition. One can argue the theological implications elsewhere, as the only relevant point is that this is not an obvious contradiction. When God created, all was good. After man rebelled, God grieved.

2. God dwells in chosen temples

“the LORD appeared to him at night and said: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple of sacrifices…..I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.” [2 Chr 7:12,16]

God dwells not in temples

“However, the Most High does not live in houses made by men.” [Acts 7:48]

I fail to see the contradiction here. The claim that “my eyes and heart will always be there” appears to mean nothing more to me than the fact that the LORD would pay special attention to the temple and have a special affinity for it; the LORD would reveal Himself to His people through the temple. Stephen’s speech in Acts merely highlights the transcendence of God. Put simply, if you put these together you arrive at the following truth – God is transcendent, yet He reveals Himself where He will.

3. God dwells in light

“who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light whom no one has seen or can see.” [1 Tim 6:16]

God dwells in darkness

“Then spake Solomon. The Lord said that he would dwell in the thick darkness” [1 Kings 8:12]

“He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.” [Ps 18:11]

“Clouds and darkness are round about him.” [Ps 97:2] The first thing I would point out is these are likely to be metaphors and it would seem unwise to take such language too literally when describing God. But what could such seemingly contradictory metaphors convey? Note that in both cases there is the theme of the unsearchableness of God. That is, the light is unapproachable and the darkness is thick and covers a secret place. Thus, these verses could actually be teaching the same thing – simply that God is unapproachable.

One could also note that Paul’s account is quite optimistic following from a consideration of Christ. Prior to the Incarnation, there was indeed a certain darkness associated with the hidden God. But the eyes of the blind have been opened!

Or it could be said that the verses in 1 Kings and Psalms need be nothing more than a description of God perceived through the memory of His interation with His people described in Exodus19:9.

4. God is seen and heard [Ex 33:23 / Ex 33:11 / Gen 3:9,10 / Gen 32:30 / Is 6:1 / Ex 24:9-11]

God is invisible and cannot be heard [John 1:18 / John 5:37 / Ex 33:20 / 1 Tim 6:16]

These “contradictions” are easily resolved if one accepts the Trinitarian view of God. Allow me to repost a reply which addressed a similar point, and in doing so, resolves this contradiction….

In a previous post, someone attempts to discredit the deity of Christ by appealing to John 1:18:

“No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (KJV)

He notes:

“If no man has seen God, then logically Jesus was not God, since there is no secular record of an outbreak of sightlessness in Judea in Jesus’ time”.

How shall the Christian respond? Well, let’s consider the statement that “No man hath seen God.” Consider the following verses from the Old Testament (OT):

Sarai says “You are the God who sees me,” for she said,
“I have now seen the One who sees me” (Gen 16:13)

“So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” (Gen 32:30)

“Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel.” (Ex 24: 9-10)

“they saw God” (Ex 24:11)

“We have seen God!” (Judges 13:22) Now while this person’s logic seems to rule out that Jesus was God, it also means that the Bible contains a very significant contradiction. If no one has seen God, how is it that Sarai, Jacob, Moses et al, and Monoah and his wife are said to have seen God?

Actually, this is a problem only for those who deny the deity of Christ while claiming to follow the teachings of the Bible. Let’s look again at John 1:18:

“No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only (or Only Begotten), who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.”

I think it is clear that John is speaking of the Father as the one who has not been seen. To paraphrase it, “No one has ever seen God, but the Son, who is at His side, has made Him known”. This interpretation not only seems to follow naturally from this verse, but is also quite consistent with the Logos doctrine taught in John 1. Recall, it is the Logos who mediates between God and man, and who reveals God to man. Jesus would later say, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” Prior to the Incarnation of the Son, no one had seen the Father, for it is through the Son that the Father is revealed.

So for the Trinitarian, there is no Bible contradiction. No one ever saw God the Father, and what Sarai, Jacob, Moses, etc saw was God the Son. This can be seen from many perspectives, but let’s simply consider one from Isaiah 6. Isaiah “saw the Lord” (v 1). Seraphs were praising the “Lord Almighty” (v 3). Isaiah is overwhelmed and responds, “Woe to me, I am ruined. For I am a man of unclean lips [this rules him out as the servant in Isaiah 53], and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty” (v 5). Later, we read:

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” (vs. 8).

Again, the plurality of God is implied. Isaiah asks God to send him, and then God gave him a message to preach.

Now it’s time to jump to John 12:37-41. John claims that the peoples failure to believe in Jesus was a fulfillment of these teachings Isaiah received from the Lord in Isaiah 6. Then note verse 41.

“Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him”.

Here is a clear example where John equates Jesus with the Lord Almighty seen by Isaiah! This all fits together beautifully. Isaiah sees the Lord Almighty, yet he sees Jesus’ glory. Jesus speaks as a plural being (who will go for US). It is the Son who is seen, not the Father.

Thus, John 1:18 does not mean that Jesus was not God, it only means He is not the Father. This verse presents no problems for the Trinitarian, and in fact, when studied, serves as a great launching point for finding Christ in the OT. Prior to the Logos dwelling amongst us and revealing the Father to us, no one had seen the Father. But because of the Incarnation, we can now cry, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15) and “Our Father who art in heaven”! Those who see the Son can see the Father.

5. God is tired and rests

“In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” [Ex 31:17]

God is never tired and never rests

“The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary.” [Is 40:28]

According to Haley, and many others, the term “rested and was refreshed’ is simply a vivid Oriental way of saying that God ceased from the work of creation and took delight in surveying the work.

6. God is everywhere present, sees and knows all things [Prov 15:3 / Ps 139:7-10 / Job 34:22,21]

God is not everywhere present, neither sees nor knows all things

“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.” [Gen 3:8]

“But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that men were building.” [Gen 11:5]

“The the LORD said, ‘The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sins so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.” [Gen 18:20-21] I accept the teaching that God is everywhere present and sees and knows all things. So let’s consider the instances in Genesis that are cited:

Gen 3:8 – “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.”

Let’s also add the next verse to strengthen the critics case: “But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

How could one hide from God? Why does God need to ask this question?

First, what Adam and Eve could have hid from is merely the visible and special manifestation of the Lord. As for God’s seeming ignorance, anyone with children can recognize the utility of such questions. If a child is known to have broken a lamp, it is better to question the child than to simply accuse her. The former approach enables the child to take an active role in her wrong-doing, and allows for her to apologize. Note that God asked several questions:

“Where are you?….Who told you that you were naked?….Have you eaten of the fruit of the tree?”

Note the response. Instead of begging for mercy and confessing their sins, both the man and woman justified themselves and sought to put the blame on another. So typically human! By asking these questions, God enabled the man and woman to either freely repent or to firmly establish their sinfulness. Thus, while the critic thinks these are questions demonstrating ignorance, such an interpretation can be easily dismissed in light of the above considerations. What of the others?

“But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that men were building.” [Gen 11:5]

“The the LORD said, ‘The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sins so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.” [Gen 18:20-21] These look like common human notions of someone coming down to check out what is going on. And perhaps, that’s how the writer of these accounts understood God. But perhaps there is also another layer to the account. Obviously, it teaches God’s transcendence. But it also demonstrates God’s interest. He is not an aloof sky-god. And he doesn’t watch from afar. He gets right down into human history.

But there is more. Maimonides once noted that just as the word ‘ascend’, when applied to the mind, implies noble and elevated objects, the word ‘descend’ implies turning one’s mind to things of lowly and unworthy character. Thus, God is not “coming down” in a physical sense, but in a “mental” sense, where he turns his attention to the sinful activity of men and invokes judgment. Of course, it is hard to describe God in human language, but I think the above account is not unreasonable.

Since these supposed contradictions depend on a particular interpretation which is (or at the very least may be) in error, no contradiction has been established.

7. God knows the hearts of men [Acts 1:24 / Ps 139:2,3]

God tries men to find out what is in their heart

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God.” [Gen 22:12]

“Remember how the LORD your God lead you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and test you in order to know what was in your hearts.” [Deut 8:2]

“The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.” [Deut 13:3] We’ll assume that God knows the hearts of men, so let us determine if the above three verses are necessarily contradictions.

Could it be that these three instances simply serve to reveal and verify to man that which is already known by God? Anyone who has ever had a college chemistry course can probably relate to the following. A chemistry professor comes into class, and says, “I will now add acetic acid to this compound to see what happens.” The professor already knows what will happen! After the experiment, he might even add, “I now know that such and such results will occur after adding the acid.” Here he is simply putting himself in the place of the class, and speaking for them.

What the three verses could be showing is that once again, God is not some aloof sky-god who merely dictates. Instead, he relates. By asking questions, by claiming to have found something, he relates and allows man to play an active, not passive, role in the relationship. For example, Abraham now knew that God knew his heart. And he also knew God’s knowledge was true in light of the ‘test’ that he just went through.

In this supposed contradiction, along with the one immediately prior, the critic perceives ignorance on the part of God because of a belief that an omniscient God ought to dictate. Why can’t an omniscient God refrain from dictating, and simply relate in a way which intimately involves humanity?

8. God is all powerful [Jer 32:27 / Matt 19:26]

God is not all powerful

“The LORD was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but they were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had iron chariots.” [Judg 1:19]

This is obviously not a contradiction. John Baskette notes that the critic is “reading the verse as saying that the LORD … he … could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley.” He adds: “This is an egregiously bad misreading of the text. The ‘he’ is Judah! not the LORD. That should be obvious to even the most obtuse objector.”

9. God is unchangeable [James 1:17 / Mal 3:6 / Ezek 24:14 / Num 23:19]

God is changeable [Gen 6:6 / Jonah 3:10 / 1 Sam 2:30,31 / 2 Kings 20:1,4,5,6 / Ex 33:1,3,17,14]

Once again, these purported contradictions all presuppose some platonic-type sky god. Christianity has always believed that God is a God who relates and who is personal. And whenever there is a personal relationship, there is a dynamic. And dynamics can involve both immutability and change. Whenever you have a personal dynamic, when one person changes, the other responds in a way which reflects this change. But all is not relative. If God’s essence is immutable, then He is the standard by which such change is understood.

For example, imagine you are in a field standing next to a tree. As you walk around the tree, you may end up north of the tree (and the tree is south of you). If you continue walking, such a relative relationship changes, so that you might find yourself south of the tree (and the tree is north of you). In the same way, our behavior towards God is like walking around the tree. Depending upon what we do, God is in a different relationship with us.

Let’s consider a better analogy. A man and a wife are in a happy marriage. The man commits adultery, and the wife becomes unhappy. Has the wife changed in a significant manner? Not really. Her change is a function of what her husband did, and reflects the immutability of her belief that infidelity is wrong.

In the purported contradictions, we have a set of Scriptures which speak of God’s essence – it is unchangeable. The other set deal with God’s relationships with men (they don’t abstractly speak of God’s essence). Thus, as the above analogies show, there need be no contradiction.

10. God is just and impartial

“To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock and there is no unrighteousness in him.” [Ps 92:15]

“Far be it from Thee to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from Thee! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” [Gen 18:25]

“The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He.” [Deut 32:4]

“Yet you say, “The way of the LORD is not right.” Here now, O house of Israel! Is My way not right? Is it not your ways that are not right?” [Ezek 18:25]

“For there is no partiality with God.” [Rom 2:11]

God is unjust and partial

“So he said, Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers.” [Gen 9:25]

“You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers in the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me.” [Ex 20:5]

“for though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God’s purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” [Rom 9:11-13]

“For whoever has, to him shall more be given, and he shall have in abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken from him.” [Mt 13:12] The first set is as follows:

“To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock and there is no unrighteousness in him.” [Ps 92:15] = Basic Teaching (BT) — God is righteous

“Far be it from Thee to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from Thee! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” [Gen 18:25] = (BT) — God does not condemn the righteous with the wicked.

“The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He.” [Deut 32:4] = (BT) — God is righteous

“Yet you say, “The way of the LORD is not right.” Here now, O house of Israel! Is My way not right? Is it not your ways that are not right?” [Ezek 18:25] = (BT) — God’s ways are right, the ways of Israel, when the prophet spoke, were not.

“For there is no partiality with God.”  [Rom 2:11] = (BT) — God is impartial. However, it seems clear from the context that we are talking about God being impartial when it comes salvation being offered to both Jew and Gentile. Thus, the verses cited below could only be contradictory if they teach that Christ’s atonement was only for the Jews or Gentiles. Since they don’t, we need only consider if God is unrighteous in any of them.

The second set is as follows:

“So he said, Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers.” [Gen 9:25] Here, one must read a contradiction into the teachings as it is unclear whether Noah’s curse would make God “unrighteous.”

“You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers in the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me.” [Ex 20:5] The following verse notes that loving-kindness extends to thousands of generations of those who love God. This leads me to believe this verse is hyperbolic and thus difficult to make into a contradiction. For example, is God really unrighteous for bestowing blessings for a thousand generations, yet visiting iniquity for ONLY three or four generations? The thrust seems to run in the other direction. Whether or not one views this as “unrighteous” is a function of their ethics, and thus the “contradiction” is read into the scripture. (BTW, I would note, however, that sinful behavior is often transmitted in families. For example, the son of an alcoholic is often an alcoholic himself.)

MaryAnna responds to another related “contradiction” which is also relevant here:

Are children punished for the sins of the parents?

Exo. 20:5 tells us that God is to be feared, as He has the ability to visit the sins of the fathers on the children.

Ezek. 18:20 tells us this will not happen if the children repent and turn away from the ways of their fathers. Not a contradiction.

“for though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God’s purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” [Rom 9:11-13] Again, I view that “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated” as a hyperbole which indicates that God simply favored Esau. This is not a clear case of unrighteousness.

“For whoever has, to him shall more be given, and he shall have in abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken from him.” [Mt 13:12] I view this as a proverbial way of saying that he who improves upon the gifts that he receives will receive more, but he who does not improve upon them (i.e., neglects or takes them for granted) shall have them removed. I find this the very opposite of unrighteousness.

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Posted in Error in the Bible? ANSWERED !!! | 4 Comments »

John Salza

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on April 24, 2008

Yes, you can cut and paste portions of the segments, but please not
 entire 
links. 

God bless.
John Salza 

G-one Paisones writes: 

> Dear Bro. John, 
> 
> 
>    Good day, Peace 
> 
>     I would Like to ask a permission to upload your articles in our
 blog.  Could we upload your apologetics and other articles that can help
 Pilipino people in apologetics study? 
> 
>    I am a member of Catholic Faith Defender -Cebu Chapter
 Philippines-. I am active in participating a informal debate at freedom park of
 Cebu Philipinnes.  I also teach Catholic Doctrine in Ibo, Lapu-lapu City
 Philippines. 
> 
>    Thank you very much. 
> 
> 
> Best Regards, 
> 
> G-one Paisones 

Posted in Permission | 1 Comment »

Filipino Catholic

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on April 24, 2008

This message is not flagged. [ Flag MessageMark as Unread ]

Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2008 20:42:03 -0700 (PDT)
From: Send an Instant Message “Filipino Catholic” <filipino_catholic2@yahoo.com>  Add Mobile Alert
Yahoo! DomainKeys has confirmed that this message was sent by yahoo.com. Learn more
Subject: Re: Please Provide a URL On Some Apologetics Articles
To: “G-one Paisones” <philans_57cdo@yahoo.com>

No problem brad! All for the service of faith! We are very thankful pa nga that you have been instrumental in spreading the gospel. CFD ba ka? Ang president sa CFD sa Davao si John Diona apil man sa apologia yahoogroup. Naga txt2x pud me. Gusto me maka create ug network of Filipino Apologists diri sa Pilipinas, para mag ilhanay pud tang tanan ba. Ug maka tabang ta sa evangelization ug influence sa mga tao about apologetics. Especially ang mali na pagsabot sa “RESPECT” towards other religion.
Kung united ta ug well-organized, maybe we could work together para maka invite ug mga American Apologists na maka tabang sa atoa. Ang DFF ang nagdala ila Tim Staples ug Steve Ray diri sa Pilipinas. Basig next year, muadto napud si Steve Ray. Kaya keep in touch brad!
I add pud ko sa Yahoomessenger, kung nagachat ka. Ayo2x brad!

G-one Paisones <philans_57cdo@yahoo.com> wrote:

Hi Brad,

Peace:

Salamat sa reminders ha, marami pa akong mga na post na walang paalam..sa may ari ng article.
Mag Send nalang ako sa kanila para  magpaalam.
Salamat talaga brad kasi, kung hindi ka nag email sa akin talagang hindi ako magpapaalam, hehehe

Salamat..

Best Regards,

G-one Paisones

Filipino Catholic <filipino_catholic2@yahoo.com> wrote:

Hi Bro.! Gud day!
Bro.,  I talked to Ben Douglass, the author of the article against Soriano and Fr. Abe. I see that you’ve uploaded those materials in your blog.  It’s ok for them to upload their works in your blog. However, I think it is a proper courtesy and ethics to ask them first for their permission. Uploading the works of other people without their permission would tantamount to plagiarizing and violation of the copyright law.
Ben told me it is ok that his work on Ang Dating Daan would remain in your site provided that you put the URL on the article for people to see where the original article is located. For Fr. Abe, he told me, that he’s willing to share his works to all Catholics as possible, especially fellow Catholic Apologists. But he said, you should’ve ask him first before you have uploaded his materials because that would be plagiarizing if done without his permission.
My apology to you Bro. for my mistake. I was just asking you if you could provide the URL on some of the apologetics articles in your blog and not upload them. Fr. said he would be very willing to allow his works to remain in your site but you must first ask his permission and provide the URL for his articles. And for me, I think it is proper we should both apologize for this unintentional mistake. Clearly this is just a case of a simple misunderstanding. No intent to commit a wrong.
Dara diay ang e-mail ni Fr. Abe bro. in case you want to contact him:
Mabait naman si Fr. bro. eh, he’ll understand.
We are all working in the vineyard of the Lord to spread His love to the world through His  Church. I hope this minor incident would not affect our friendship and our bond in Christ. I pray that we can both continue to work together, keep in touch with each other, exchange materials and insights, all for AD MAJOREM DEI GLORIAM and for the good of His Church.

Posted in Permission | Leave a Comment »

Anthony Malleus

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on April 24, 2008


Dear G-one Paisones, 

Permission is granted, all we ask is that you place a link to our main
 page
acknowledging our site. 

Keep up the good work. 

Let us both continue to pray and work for the salvation of souls, 

Yours in Christ Our King and His Most Holy Mother, 

Anthony Malleus, 

www.catholicapologetics.info, 


--- G-one Paisones <philans_57cdo@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Dear Bro. Anthony,
> 
> 
>    Good day, Peace
> 
>     I would Like to ask a permission to upload your articles in our
 blog. 
> Could we upload your apologetics and other articles that can help
 Pilipino
> people in apologetics study?
> 
>    I am a member of Catholic Faith Defender -Cebu Chapter
 Philippines-. I am
> active in participating a informal debate at freedom park of Cebu
> Philipinnes.  I also teach Catholic Doctrine in Ibo, Lapu-lapu City
> Philippines.
> 
>    Thank you very much.
> 
> 
> Best Regards,
> 
> G-one Paisones

Posted in Permission | 4 Comments »

Paulus Gamaliel

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on April 24, 2008

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Private Message: Re: Permission to upload those materials in your blog

Apr 17, ’08, 8:16 pm

kat_holos kat_holos is offline vbmenu_register(“postmenu_”, true);
Junior Member
Join Date: October 11, 2005
Posts: 16

Default Re: Permission to upload those materials in your blog

Quote:
Originally Posted by 006038
Brad,

Good Day, Peace

Brad hihingi sana ako ng permission sayo na ‘pwedi kobang e-upload ang mga article mo sa aming non-official wave-site ng Catholic Faith Defender -Freedom park of Cebu Chapter-

Pls email me: philans_57cdo@yahoo.com

Best Regards,

G-one Paisones

PERMISSION GRANTED
-paulus gamaliel

Forward Message Reply With Quote

Posted in Permission | Leave a Comment »

Paul Flanagan

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on April 24, 2008

Yes, you may use this material. However, there are some restrictions:
1) please keep intact the links to catholicapologetics.org
2) please keep the copyright notice on each page
3) please do not charge any money to view the material. Please do not sell it in any form.
God bless you,
Paul Flanagan
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 10:47 AM
Subject: Fwd: Permission to upload your articles in our blog

Dear Brother,

Good day, Peace

I would Like to ask a permission to upload your articles(http://www.catholicapologetics.org/cabiapbk.htm) in our blog (https://catholicfaithdefender.wordpress.com/).  Could we upload your apologetics and other articles that can help Pilipino people in apologetics study?

I am a member of Catholic Faith DefenderCebu Chapter Philippines-. I am active in participating a informal debate at freedom park of Cebu Philipinnes.  I also teach Catholic Doctrine in Ibo, Lapu-lapu City Philippines.

Thank you very much.

Best Regards,

G-one Paisones

Posted in Permission | Leave a Comment »

John Martignoni

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on April 24, 2008

Dear G-one,

You indeed have my permission to upload the articles from my website into your blog…as long as you simply mention the website where they came. �I am familiar with the Catholic Faith Defenders and your work. �I will keep your efforts at evangelization in my prayers. �I hope to one day make it over to the Philippines with Steve Ray.

God bless!

John Martignoni

P.S. �If you know Rey Entila, please tell him I send my greetings and prayers!

admin@biblechristiansociety.com wrote:

The following person would like to be contacted regarding: Other.
Name: G-one Paisones
Email: philans_57cdo@yahoo.com
Comments:

Dear Brother,

Good day, Peace

I would Like to ask a permission to upload your articles(http://www.biblechristiansociety.com/) in our blog (https://catholicfaithdefender.wordpress.com/). Could we upload your apologetics and other articles that can help Pilipino people in apologetics study?

I am a member of Catholic Faith DefenderCebu Chapter Philippines-. I am active in participating a informal debate at freedom park of Cebu Philipinnes. I also teach Catholic Doctrine in Ibo, Lapu-lapu City Philippines.

Thank you very much.

Best Regards,

G-one Paisones

Posted in Permission | 1 Comment »

Felix Y. Manalo, Anghel nga Walay Langit? ni Bro. Wendell Talibong

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on April 22, 2008

Felix Y. Manalo, Anghel nga Walay Langit?


Gipatuo sa mga Ministro ni Felix Y. Manalo ug ni Manalo mismo nga siya ang katumanan sa ika limang anghel sa Pinadayag 7:1-3, sumala sa ilang Pasugo Magazine/March 2002, page 23, ni Eneliano P.Magtuto, Sr., nga nag-ingon: “Ang Iglesia ni Cristo ay sumasampalataya na ang katuparan ng hinuhulang ibang anghel sa Apocalipsis 7:2-3 ay si Kapatid na Felix Manalo. Siya ang kinatuparan ng ibang anghel na may taglay na tatak ng Diyos na buhay.”

Ang upat ka anghel gipatuo ni Manalo nga mao ang gitawag og Big Four kon upat ka ministro de giyera nga mao sila si: 1.) George Eugene Benjamin Clemenceau (1841-1929) Premiero Ministro sa Francia; 2.) Vittorio Emanuele Orlando (1860-1952) Premiero Ministro sa Italya; 3.) Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) ika 28 nga Presidente sa Amerika; ug 4.) David Lloyd George (1863-1945) Premiero Ministro sa Englatera. Mabasa nato ang ilang pagpatuo nga ang Big Four mao kuno ang upat ka mga anghel sumala sa ilang libro nga SULO sa pahina 84-85, kini nag-ingon: “Ang apat na anghel na pumipigil ng apat na hangin ng lupa ay simbolikong kumakatawan ng apat na sinugo na pipigil ng Digmaang Pandaigdig, upang huwag magpatuloy, na ang mga ito ay sina Lloyd George, Premier nga Britania; Clemenceau, Pangulo ng Gabineteng Pranses; Orlando, Premier nga Italya; at Wilson, Pangulo ng Amerika.”

Aron atong maklaro ang kasaypanan sa pagpangangkon ni Manalo sa katungdanan sa usa ka anghel atong basahon ang Pinadayag 7:1-3 (K.J.), kini nag-ingon: “Tapus niini nakita ko ang upat ka manolunda nga nagtindog diha sa upat ka tumoy sa yuta, ug nagpugong sa upat ka hangin sa yuta, aron walay hangin nga mohuyop sa yuta o sa dagat o sa bisan unsa nga kahoy. 2 Unya nakita ko ang laing manolunda nga mikayab gikan sa silangan sa Adlaw, ug nagdalag timri sa buhi nga Dios. Ug sa makusog nga tingog iyang gisingitan ang upat ka manolunda nga gihatagan sa kagahum sa pagpangdaut sa yuta ug sa dagat, 3 nga nag-ingon kanila, ‘Ayaw usa ninyo pagdagmali ang yuta o dagat o ang kakahuyan, hangtod nga ang mga ulipon sa atong Dios amo nang katimbrihan diha sa ilang mga agtang.’”

Karon, ato kining ipatin-aw sa punto por punto gayud. Matod pa sa INC nga ang upat ka anghel mao sila si Wilson sa Amerika; Lloyd George sa Engletera; Clemenceau sa Francia ug si Orlando sa Italya. Nan, unsa may relihiyon aning upat? Si Wilson sa Amerika ug si Lloyd George sa Engletera mga Protestante samtang sila si Clemenceau sa Francia ug Orlando sa Italya mga Katoliko, klaro nga kining upat nga gipatuong anghel ni Manalo nagtuo nga si Cristo Dios ug Tawong Matuod.

Ang I.N.C. nagtudlo nga ang nagtuo nga si Cristo Dios, matod pa nila mga anti-Cristo kuno. Pasugo/Oktubre 1965, p. 5, nagkanayon: “Mga magdaraya at anti-Cristo, ang mga nagtuturong si Cristo ay Dios.” Gipatuo pa gayud ni Manalo nga ang mga Katoliko mao kuno ang sakop sa anti-Cristo. Pasugo/Agosto 1962, p. 9, nag-ingon: “At ang tunay na ampon ng anti-Cristo ay ang mga Katoliko.” Kon ang nagtuo nga si Cristo Dios giilang anti-Cristo ni Manalo, nganong gitudlo man ni Manalo nga ang duha ka sakop sa Protestante ug duha ka sakop sa Katoliko mga anghel sumala sa Pinadayag 7:1?

Kon tinuod nga anhel ang duha ka miyembre sa Protestante ug duka sakop sa Katoliko, milutaw nga labing maayo ang Protestante ug Katoliko kay adonay duha ka anghel itandi sa I.N.C. nga usa lang ka anghel.

Angayan natong bantayan nga sa Pinadayag 7:1-3 ang upat ka anghel nag-una sa ika limang anghel nga misinggit ngadto sa upat. Apan ang pagpahaom ni Manalo sa panagna nabaliktad, sanglit nag-una ang usa ulahi na ang upat. Kini Tungod kay matod pa sa I.N.C. nga sa 1914 nahitabo ang pagsinggit ni Manalo ngadto sa upat. Sa ilang SULO, p.108, nagkanayon: “Noong 1914, nang sumigaw ng malakas na tinig sa apat na anghel.” Apan kanos-a miapil sa pangkalibutanong gubat ang upat ka nasud? Ang Francia miapil sa gubat kaniadtong Agosto 3, 1914; ang Englatera miapil sa gubat niadtong Agusto 4, 1914: ang Italya miapil sa gubat niadtong Mayo 1915; ug ang Amerika kaniadtong Abril 6, 1917. Dinhi atong maklaro ang kasaypanan ni Manalo, kanus-a siya misinggit? Kaniadtong 1914. Kinsa ang iyang gisingitan? Ang upat ka Ministro de Giera. Klaro nga gisinggitan niya ang wala pa moapil sa gubat nga pangkalibutan.

Unsa may kahulogan sa singgit alang sa mga I.N.C.? Ang singgit mao kuno ang pagsangyaw sa ebanghilyo. Sa SULO, P. 99-103, nag-ingon: “Ang sigaw ni Kapatid na Felix Manalo ay ang pangangaral ng ebanghelyo.” Kon mao, gipatuo ni Manalo nga ang upat ka Ministro de Giera iyang giwalihan sa ebanghilyo. Giunsa pagwali ni Manalo nga matod pa nila wala man kini maka eskwela? Pasugo/Enero 1983, p. 10, nagkanayon: “Natupad din it okay Kapatid na Felix Manalo. Siya’y walang katangian ayon sa lamang. Hindi siya nag-aaral sa paaralan ng tao.” Kon mao kana nga si Manalo wala makaeskwela, giunsa man niya pag wali kining upat ka Ministro de Giera nga nagkalainlain man ang ilang pinolungan? Bisan sa Kasaysayan wala gayud kitay mabasa nga ang upat gisinyasan lang ni Manalo.

Kanus-a man gitawag og Big Four ang upat ka Ministro de Giera? Kaniadtong January 18-June 28, 1919 didto sa Paris Peace Conference lang. Sa Hutchison Concise Enyclopedia Dictionary, Helicon Publishing, 1992, p. 367, nagkanayon: “conference of the victorious World War Allies which organized the League of Nations, the predecessor of the United Nations.” Niining tuig 1919 asa man si Manalo? Ang gipatuo nilang wala makaeskwela nagtungha diay didto sa California, U.S.A. niining tuiga. Pasugo/Hulyo 27. 1964, p. 182 (Ika-50 Anibersaryo), nagkanayon: “nagpunta si Kapatid na Felix Manalo sa America noong 1919, at nag-aral siya sa Pacific School of Religion sa California, U.S.A.”

Ang tulo ka Ministro de giera nga gipatuong anghel ni Manalo mga lumolupyo sa Europa. (Englatera, Francia ug sa Italya) Samtang si Wilson sa Amerika. Ang giingong sa Pinadayag 7:1-3 nga ang upat ka anghel gikan sa upat ka tumoy sa yuta. Apan ang Engletera, Francia, Italya ug ang Amerika dili mao ang upat ka tumoy sa yuta.

Kining ikalima nga anghel nga mao kuno si Manalo maoy matimbri sa katawhan. Unsa man kini nga timbri? Sa A Commentary on the New Testament, by W. L. Newton, p. 664, nag-ingon: “The seal of the living God is an emblem of security. This symbolism is taken from Ezech. 9, 4. Ang komentaryo sa Pinadayag 7:3 mao nga kining timbre o patik gikan sa Ezequiel 9:4. Unsa may nasulat sa Ezequiel 9:4? Sa Bibliya sa Cristohanong Katilingban, ika tulong edisyon Ang Ezequiel 9:4, nag-ingon: “Miingon siya: ‘Agi sa tunga sa Syudad sa Jerusalem, ug markahi sa krus ang agtang sa mga lalaki nga nagapanghupaw ug nagaagulo tungod sa mga ngil-ad nga nahimo dinhi.’”

Ang timbre kon patik di-ay mao ang krus. Busa dili gayud mahimo si Manalo ang katumanan sa maong anghel nga mopatik sa katawhan tungod kay ang INC allergic man og krus.

FELIX MANALO ANG LANGGAM NGA DUMADAGIT

ISAIAS 46:11?

Ang langgam nga dumadagit mao kuno si Felix Manalo sumala sa ilang libro nga Pagbubunyag sa Iglesia ni Cristo. p/ 161-162, nag-ingon: “Ang hulang ito ang tumotukoy sa sugo (Manalo) ng Dios sa huling araw. Ang ibong mandaragit ang tatawagin ng Dios mula sa silangan, ang taong gumagawa ng payo ng Dios mula sa malayong lupain.” Aron atong masabtan giunsa pagmaniobra sa I.N.C. ang Balaang Kasulatan, atong basahon ang Isaias 46:11, kini nag-ingon: “Nagatawag sa usa ka dumadagit nga langgam gikan sa silangan, ang tawo sa akong pagtambag gikan sa usa ka halayo nga yuta; oo, ako na nga gisulti, ako usab nga pagapahinaboon kini; ako nga gitinguha, ako usab nga pagahimoon.”

Matod pa sa mga Ministro, nga ang silangan mao ang Pilipinas, ug ang langgam nga dumadagit mao si Felix Manalo. Apan ang mga batid nga mga Bible Scholars nag-asoy nga ang langgam nga Dumadagit mao si Cyrus. Sa The New American Bible, page 763, ang komentaryo sa Isaias 46:11, nag-ingon: “From the east a bird of prey: Cyrus. Sa Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Bible, page 896, nag-ingon: “God by his counsel calls a bird from the east, a bird of prey, Syrus, who had a nose like the beak of a hawk or eagle.”

Klaro nga dili si Manalo ang katumanan sa langgam nga Dumadagit. Ang laing pangutana, ang Pilipinas ba ang gihisgutang silangan sa Isaias? Asang dapita sa kalibutan ang gitumbok sa Bibliya nga Silangan. Sa Genesis 25:6, nag-ingon: “ apan sa wala pa siya mamatay gihatagan niyag mga gasa ang mga anak sa uban niyang mga asawa, ug gipaadto niya sila sa silangan aron mahilayo sa iyang anak nga si Isaac.”

Klaro nga ang mga anak ni Abrahan iyang gipaadto sa silangan, kon ang silangan mao ang Pilipinas buot bang ipasabot sa INC nga miabot dinhi sa Pilipinas ang mga anak ni Abrahan?

Sa Genesis 29:1, 4, nagkanayon: “Mipadayon si Jacob sa iyang panaw ug mipaingon siya sa yuta sa katawhan sa silangan. 4 Gipangotana ni Jcob ang mga magbalantay sa karnero kon taga diin sila, ug mitubag sila, ‘Taga Haram kami.’”

Angayang bantayan nga ang tubag sa mga magbalantay sa mga karnero nga taga Haran kami, wala moingon nga taga Pilipinas kami.

Sa Deut. 4:47-49, nag-ingon: “Ug gipanag-iya nila ang iyang yuta ug ang yuta ni Og nga hari sa Basan, ang duha ka hari sa Amomihanon nga nagpuyo sa silangang bahin tabok sa Jordan. 49 lakip sa tibuok Araba sa silangang bahin sa Jordan sa Dagat nga patay, sa tiilan sa Bukid sa Pisga.”

Angayang bantayan nga ang Silangan nga gihisgutan sa Isaias 46:11, walay ngalan sa nasud, ug tungod kay ang Bibliya ang nagpahayag niini, ang Bibliya usab ang motumbok niini kon asa kining dapita. Karon ang Bibliya nag-ingon nga ang silangan anaa sa tabok sa Jordan.

Sa Bag-ong Tugon ang tulo ka mago gikan sa Silangan. Sa Mateo 2:1 nagkanayon: “Si Jesus natawo sa lungsod sa Bethlehem, sa yuta sa Judea, sa panahon ni Hari Herodes. Unya may pipila ka mga tawo nga maalamon bahin sa mga bitoon nangabot sa Jerisalem gikan sa Sidlakan.”

Karon kon ang Pilipinas mao ang katomanan sa Silangan o Sidlakan, buot bang ipasabot sa I.N.C. nga ang tulo ka mga maalamon gikan sa Pilipinas? Lain na usab kining paltos nga pagtulon-an ni Manalo.

PILIPINAS BA ANG KATUMANAN SA ISAIAS 24:15?

“didto samga pulo sa dagat”

Ang Isaias 24:15 (K.J.), nag-ingon: “Busa himayaa ninyo si Jehova sa silangan, bisan pa ang ngalan ni Jehova, ang Dios sa Israel, didto sa mga pulo sa dagat.”

Pangutana: Duna bay gihisgutang dapit nga nagtumbok sa mga pulo sa Dagat? Naa, sa Isaias 11:11-12 (K.J.), nagkanayon: “Ug mahitabo niadtong adlawa, nga igadapion pag-usab sa Ginoo ang iyang mga kamot sa ikaduha aron sa pagbawi sa salin sa iyang katawhan, nga nahabilin pa, gikan sa Asiria, ug gikan sa Egipto, ug gikan sa Parthia, ug gikan sa Etiopia, ug gikan sa Persia, ug gikan sa Caldea, ug gikan sa Amath, ug gikan sa mga pulo sa dagat.”

Klaro nga sa gihisgutang mga pulo sa dagat wala malakip niini ang Pilipinas. Sa Ester 10:1 (K.J.) nagkanayon: “Ug ang hari nga si Assuero naghimo og usa ka buhis sa yuta, ug sa mga pulo sa dagat.”

Karon ang pangutana, ang Nasud sa Pilipinas nga matod pa sa mga Ministro ni Manalo mao ang katumanan sa gihisgutan sa Bibliya nga mga Pulo sa Dagat, nagbayad bag buhis ang Pilipinas ngadto sa hari nga si Assuero? Mabasa ba usab sa kasaysayan nga ang Pilipinas naulipon ni Hari Assuero? Kini nga pangutana siguradong mangamote sa pagpangitag tubag ang mga Ministro ni Manalo

PILIPINAS BA ANG KATUMANAN SA ISAIAS 46:11?

“usa ka halayo nga yuta”

Ang Isaias 46:11 (K.J.), nagkanayon: “Nagatawag sa usa ka dumadagit nga langgam gikan sa silangan, ang tawo sa akong pagtambag gikan sa halayo nga yuta.” Karon ang pangutana, asa man mabasa ug unsa nga nasud ang gitumbok nga usa ka halayo nga yuta?

Sa Isaias 39:3 (K.J.), nag-ingon: “Unya mianha si Isaias ang manalagna kang hari Ezechias, ug miingon kaniya: Unsay giingong niining mga tawhana? Ug diin gikan sila nga mianhi kanimo? Ug si Ezechias miingon: Sila mianhi kanako gikan sa halayo nga yuta, nga mao ang Babilonia.”

Klaro nga ang halayo nga yuta nga gihisgutan sa Bibliya mao ang Babilonia ug dili ang Pilipinas. Tungod niini kinsa man ang angayang tuohan? Ang mga Ministro ni Manalo ba? o si Propeta Isaias nga nagbutyag sa Isaias 39:3 nga nga Babilonia mao ang halayo nga yuta.

Angayan masayran nga adonay nagsulat og kasaysayan nga ang Lalawigan sa gihulagway niya sa upat ka direksyon. Silangan – Isabela, Kanuloran, Vigan, Ilocos Sur; Hilaga –Laoag, Ilocos Norte; ug Timog – La Union o Cabanatuan. Ang iyang paghulagway adunay kinutoban. Tungod niini siya nga nagsulat maoy angayang pangotan-on kon usa ang buot ipasabot sa iyang gisulat ug dili kadtong laing mga magsusulat.

Ang akong buot ibasabot usab mao, nga sanglit si Propeta Isaias ang nagsulat sa dapit sa SILANGAN, HALAYO NGA YUTA, UG MGA PULO SA DAGAT, busa si Propeta Isaias usab ang angayang motudlo kon asa kining mga dapita.

Felix Y. Manalo, Anghel nga Walay Langit?

Gipatuo sa mga Ministro ni Felix Y. Manalo ug ni Manalo mismo nga siya ang katumanan sa ika limang anghel sa Pinadayag 7:1-3, sumala sa ilang Pasugo Magazine/March 2002, page 23, ni Eneliano P.Magtuto, Sr., nga nag-ingon: “Ang Iglesia ni Cristo ay sumasampalataya na ang katuparan ng hinuhulang ibang anghel sa Apocalipsis 7:2-3 ay si Kapatid na Felix Manalo. Siya ang kinatuparan ng ibang anghel na may taglay na tatak ng Diyos na buhay.”

Ang upat ka anghel gipatuo ni Manalo nga mao ang gitawag og Big Four kon upat ka ministro de giyera nga mao sila si: 1.) George Eugene Benjamin Clemenceau (1841-1929) Premiero Ministro sa Francia; 2.) Vittorio Emanuele Orlando (1860-1952) Premiero Ministro sa Italya; 3.) Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) ika 28 nga Presidente sa Amerika; ug 4.) David Lloyd George (1863-1945) Premiero Ministro sa Englatera. Mabasa nato ang ilang pagpatuo nga ang Big Four mao kuno ang upat ka mga anghel sumala sa ilang libro nga SULO sa pahina 84-85, kini nag-ingon: “Ang apat na anghel na pumipigil ng apat na hangin ng lupa ay simbolikong kumakatawan ng apat na sinugo na pipigil ng Digmaang Pandaigdig, upang huwag magpatuloy, na ang mga ito ay sina Lloyd George, Premier nga Britania; Clemenceau, Pangulo ng Gabineteng Pranses; Orlando, Premier nga Italya; at Wilson, Pangulo ng Amerika.”

Aron atong maklaro ang kasaypanan sa pagpangangkon ni Manalo sa katungdanan sa usa ka anghel atong basahon ang Pinadayag 7:1-3 (K.J.), kini nag-ingon: “Tapus niini nakita ko ang upat ka manolunda nga nagtindog diha sa upat ka tumoy sa yuta, ug nagpugong sa upat ka hangin sa yuta, aron walay hangin nga mohuyop sa yuta o sa dagat o sa bisan unsa nga kahoy. 2 Unya nakita ko ang laing manolunda nga mikayab gikan sa silangan sa Adlaw, ug nagdalag timri sa buhi nga Dios. Ug sa makusog nga tingog iyang gisingitan ang upat ka manolunda nga gihatagan sa kagahum sa pagpangdaut sa yuta ug sa dagat, 3 nga nag-ingon kanila, ‘Ayaw usa ninyo pagdagmali ang yuta o dagat o ang kakahuyan, hangtod nga ang mga ulipon sa atong Dios amo nang katimbrihan diha sa ilang mga agtang.’”

Karon, ato kining ipatin-aw sa punto por punto gayud. Matod pa sa INC nga ang upat ka anghel mao sila si Wilson sa Amerika; Lloyd George sa Engletera; Clemenceau sa Francia ug si Orlando sa Italya. Nan, unsa may relihiyon aning upat? Si Wilson sa Amerika ug si Lloyd George sa Engletera mga Protestante samtang sila si Clemenceau sa Francia ug Orlando sa Italya mga Katoliko, klaro nga kining upat nga gipatuong anghel ni Manalo nagtuo nga si Cristo Dios ug Tawong Matuod.

Ang I.N.C. nagtudlo nga ang nagtuo nga si Cristo Dios, matod pa nila mga anti-Cristo kuno. Pasugo/Oktubre 1965, p. 5, nagkanayon: “Mga magdaraya at anti-Cristo, ang mga nagtuturong si Cristo ay Dios.” Gipatuo pa gayud ni Manalo nga ang mga Katoliko mao kuno ang sakop sa anti-Cristo. Pasugo/Agosto 1962, p. 9, nag-ingon: “At ang tunay na ampon ng anti-Cristo ay ang mga Katoliko.” Kon ang nagtuo nga si Cristo Dios giilang anti-Cristo ni Manalo, nganong gitudlo man ni Manalo nga ang duha ka sakop sa Protestante ug duha ka sakop sa Katoliko mga anghel sumala sa Pinadayag 7:1?

Kon tinuod nga anhel ang duha ka miyembre sa Protestante ug duka sakop sa Katoliko, milutaw nga labing maayo ang Protestante ug Katoliko kay adonay duha ka anghel itandi sa I.N.C. nga usa lang ka anghel.

Angayan natong bantayan nga sa Pinadayag 7:1-3 ang upat ka anghel nag-una sa ika limang anghel nga misinggit ngadto sa upat. Apan ang pagpahaom ni Manalo sa panagna nabaliktad, sanglit nag-una ang usa ulahi na ang upat. Kini Tungod kay matod pa sa I.N.C. nga sa 1914 nahitabo ang pagsinggit ni Manalo ngadto sa upat. Sa ilang SULO, p.108, nagkanayon: “Noong 1914, nang sumigaw ng malakas na tinig sa apat na anghel.” Apan kanos-a miapil sa pangkalibutanong gubat ang upat ka nasud? Ang Francia miapil sa gubat kaniadtong Agosto 3, 1914; ang Englatera miapil sa gubat niadtong Agusto 4, 1914: ang Italya miapil sa gubat niadtong Mayo 1915; ug ang Amerika kaniadtong Abril 6, 1917. Dinhi atong maklaro ang kasaypanan ni Manalo, kanus-a siya misinggit? Kaniadtong 1914. Kinsa ang iyang gisingitan? Ang upat ka Ministro de Giera. Klaro nga gisinggitan niya ang wala pa moapil sa gubat nga pangkalibutan.

Unsa may kahulogan sa singgit alang sa mga I.N.C.? Ang singgit mao kuno ang pagsangyaw sa ebanghilyo. Sa SULO, P. 99-103, nag-ingon: “Ang sigaw ni Kapatid na Felix Manalo ay ang pangangaral ng ebanghelyo.” Kon mao, gipatuo ni Manalo nga ang upat ka Ministro de Giera iyang giwalihan sa ebanghilyo. Giunsa pagwali ni Manalo nga matod pa nila wala man kini maka eskwela? Pasugo/Enero 1983, p. 10, nagkanayon: “Natupad din it okay Kapatid na Felix Manalo. Siya’y walang katangian ayon sa lamang. Hindi siya nag-aaral sa paaralan ng tao.” Kon mao kana nga si Manalo wala makaeskwela, giunsa man niya pag wali kining upat ka Ministro de Giera nga nagkalainlain man ang ilang pinolungan? Bisan sa Kasaysayan wala gayud kitay mabasa nga ang upat gisinyasan lang ni Manalo.

Kanus-a man gitawag og Big Four ang upat ka Ministro de Giera? Kaniadtong January 18-June 28, 1919 didto sa Paris Peace Conference lang. Sa Hutchison Concise Enyclopedia Dictionary, Helicon Publishing, 1992, p. 367, nagkanayon: “conference of the victorious World War Allies which organized the League of Nations, the predecessor of the United Nations.” Niining tuig 1919 asa man si Manalo? Ang gipatuo nilang wala makaeskwela nagtungha diay didto sa California, U.S.A. niining tuiga. Pasugo/Hulyo 27. 1964, p. 182 (Ika-50 Anibersaryo), nagkanayon: “nagpunta si Kapatid na Felix Manalo sa America noong 1919, at nag-aral siya sa Pacific School of Religion sa California, U.S.A.”

Ang tulo ka Ministro de giera nga gipatuong anghel ni Manalo mga lumolupyo sa Europa. (Englatera, Francia ug sa Italya) Samtang si Wilson sa Amerika. Ang giingong sa Pinadayag 7:1-3 nga ang upat ka anghel gikan sa upat ka tumoy sa yuta. Apan ang Engletera, Francia, Italya ug ang Amerika dili mao ang upat ka tumoy sa yuta.

Kining ikalima nga anghel nga mao kuno si Manalo maoy matimbri sa katawhan. Unsa man kini nga timbri? Sa A Commentary on the New Testament, by W. L. Newton, p. 664, nag-ingon: “The seal of the living God is an emblem of security. This symbolism is taken from Ezech. 9, 4. Ang komentaryo sa Pinadayag 7:3 mao nga kining timbre o patik gikan sa Ezequiel 9:4. Unsa may nasulat sa Ezequiel 9:4? Sa Bibliya sa Cristohanong Katilingban, ika tulong edisyon Ang Ezequiel 9:4, nag-ingon: “Miingon siya: ‘Agi sa tunga sa Syudad sa Jerusalem, ug markahi sa krus ang agtang sa mga lalaki nga nagapanghupaw ug nagaagulo tungod sa mga ngil-ad nga nahimo dinhi.’”

Ang timbre kon patik di-ay mao ang krus. Busa dili gayud mahimo si Manalo ang katumanan sa maong anghel nga mopatik sa katawhan tungod kay ang INC allergic man og krus.

FELIX MANALO ANG LANGGAM NGA DUMADAGIT

ISAIAS 46:11?

Ang langgam nga dumadagit mao kuno si Felix Manalo sumala sa ilang libro nga Pagbubunyag sa Iglesia ni Cristo. p/ 161-162, nag-ingon: “Ang hulang ito ang tumotukoy sa sugo (Manalo) ng Dios sa huling araw. Ang ibong mandaragit ang tatawagin ng Dios mula sa silangan, ang taong gumagawa ng payo ng Dios mula sa malayong lupain.” Aron atong masabtan giunsa pagmaniobra sa I.N.C. ang Balaang Kasulatan, atong basahon ang Isaias 46:11, kini nag-ingon: “Nagatawag sa usa ka dumadagit nga langgam gikan sa silangan, ang tawo sa akong pagtambag gikan sa usa ka halayo nga yuta; oo, ako na nga gisulti, ako usab nga pagapahinaboon kini; ako nga gitinguha, ako usab nga pagahimoon.”

Matod pa sa mga Ministro, nga ang silangan mao ang Pilipinas, ug ang langgam nga dumadagit mao si Felix Manalo. Apan ang mga batid nga mga Bible Scholars nag-asoy nga ang langgam nga Dumadagit mao si Cyrus. Sa The New American Bible, page 763, ang komentaryo sa Isaias 46:11, nag-ingon: “From the east a bird of prey: Cyrus. Sa Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Bible, page 896, nag-ingon: “God by his counsel calls a bird from the east, a bird of prey, Syrus, who had a nose like the beak of a hawk or eagle.”

Klaro nga dili si Manalo ang katumanan sa langgam nga Dumadagit. Ang laing pangutana, ang Pilipinas ba ang gihisgutang silangan sa Isaias? Asang dapita sa kalibutan ang gitumbok sa Bibliya nga Silangan. Sa Genesis 25:6, nag-ingon: “ apan sa wala pa siya mamatay gihatagan niyag mga gasa ang mga anak sa uban niyang mga asawa, ug gipaadto niya sila sa silangan aron mahilayo sa iyang anak nga si Isaac.”

Klaro nga ang mga anak ni Abrahan iyang gipaadto sa silangan, kon ang silangan mao ang Pilipinas buot bang ipasabot sa INC nga miabot dinhi sa Pilipinas ang mga anak ni Abrahan?

Sa Genesis 29:1, 4, nagkanayon: “Mipadayon si Jacob sa iyang panaw ug mipaingon siya sa yuta sa katawhan sa silangan. 4 Gipangotana ni Jcob ang mga magbalantay sa karnero kon taga diin sila, ug mitubag sila, ‘Taga Haram kami.’”

Angayang bantayan nga ang tubag sa mga magbalantay sa mga karnero nga taga Haran kami, wala moingon nga taga Pilipinas kami.

Sa Deut. 4:47-49, nag-ingon: “Ug gipanag-iya nila ang iyang yuta ug ang yuta ni Og nga hari sa Basan, ang duha ka hari sa Amomihanon nga nagpuyo sa silangang bahin tabok sa Jordan. 49 lakip sa tibuok Araba sa silangang bahin sa Jordan sa Dagat nga patay, sa tiilan sa Bukid sa Pisga.”

Angayang bantayan nga ang Silangan nga gihisgutan sa Isaias 46:11, walay ngalan sa nasud, ug tungod kay ang Bibliya ang nagpahayag niini, ang Bibliya usab ang motumbok niini kon asa kining dapita. Karon ang Bibliya nag-ingon nga ang silangan anaa sa tabok sa Jordan.

Sa Bag-ong Tugon ang tulo ka mago gikan sa Silangan. Sa Mateo 2:1 nagkanayon: “Si Jesus natawo sa lungsod sa Bethlehem, sa yuta sa Judea, sa panahon ni Hari Herodes. Unya may pipila ka mga tawo nga maalamon bahin sa mga bitoon nangabot sa Jerisalem gikan sa Sidlakan.”

Karon kon ang Pilipinas mao ang katomanan sa Silangan o Sidlakan, buot bang ipasabot sa I.N.C. nga ang tulo ka mga maalamon gikan sa Pilipinas? Lain na usab kining paltos nga pagtulon-an ni Manalo.

PILIPINAS BA ANG KATUMANAN SA ISAIAS 24:15?

“didto samga pulo sa dagat”

Ang Isaias 24:15 (K.J.), nag-ingon: “Busa himayaa ninyo si Jehova sa silangan, bisan pa ang ngalan ni Jehova, ang Dios sa Israel, didto sa mga pulo sa dagat.”

Pangutana: Duna bay gihisgutang dapit nga nagtumbok sa mga pulo sa Dagat? Naa, sa Isaias 11:11-12 (K.J.), nagkanayon: “Ug mahitabo niadtong adlawa, nga igadapion pag-usab sa Ginoo ang iyang mga kamot sa ikaduha aron sa pagbawi sa salin sa iyang katawhan, nga nahabilin pa, gikan sa Asiria, ug gikan sa Egipto, ug gikan sa Parthia, ug gikan sa Etiopia, ug gikan sa Persia, ug gikan sa Caldea, ug gikan sa Amath, ug gikan sa mga pulo sa dagat.”

Klaro nga sa gihisgutang mga pulo sa dagat wala malakip niini ang Pilipinas. Sa Ester 10:1 (K.J.) nagkanayon: “Ug ang hari nga si Assuero naghimo og usa ka buhis sa yuta, ug sa mga pulo sa dagat.”

Karon ang pangutana, ang Nasud sa Pilipinas nga matod pa sa mga Ministro ni Manalo mao ang katumanan sa gihisgutan sa Bibliya nga mga Pulo sa Dagat, nagbayad bag buhis ang Pilipinas ngadto sa hari nga si Assuero? Mabasa ba usab sa kasaysayan nga ang Pilipinas naulipon ni Hari Assuero? Kini nga pangutana siguradong mangamote sa pagpangitag tubag ang mga Ministro ni Manalo

PILIPINAS BA ANG KATUMANAN SA ISAIAS 46:11?

“usa ka halayo nga yuta”

Ang Isaias 46:11 (K.J.), nagkanayon: “Nagatawag sa usa ka dumadagit nga langgam gikan sa silangan, ang tawo sa akong pagtambag gikan sa halayo nga yuta.” Karon ang pangutana, asa man mabasa ug unsa nga nasud ang gitumbok nga usa ka halayo nga yuta?

Sa Isaias 39:3 (K.J.), nag-ingon: “Unya mianha si Isaias ang manalagna kang hari Ezechias, ug miingon kaniya: Unsay giingong niining mga tawhana? Ug diin gikan sila nga mianhi kanimo? Ug si Ezechias miingon: Sila mianhi kanako gikan sa halayo nga yuta, nga mao ang Babilonia.”

Klaro nga ang halayo nga yuta nga gihisgutan sa Bibliya mao ang Babilonia ug dili ang Pilipinas. Tungod niini kinsa man ang angayang tuohan? Ang mga Ministro ni Manalo ba? o si Propeta Isaias nga nagbutyag sa Isaias 39:3 nga nga Babilonia mao ang halayo nga yuta.

Angayan masayran nga adonay nagsulat og kasaysayan nga ang Lalawigan sa gihulagway niya sa upat ka direksyon. Silangan – Isabela, Kanuloran, Vigan, Ilocos Sur; Hilaga –Laoag, Ilocos Norte; ug Timog – La Union o Cabanatuan. Ang iyang paghulagway adunay kinutoban. Tungod niini siya nga nagsulat maoy angayang pangotan-on kon usa ang buot ipasabot sa iyang gisulat ug dili kadtong laing mga magsusulat.

Ang akong buot ibasabot usab mao, nga sanglit si Propeta Isaias ang nagsulat sa dapit sa SILANGAN, HALAYO NGA YUTA, UG MGA PULO SA DAGAT, busa si Propeta Isaias usab ang angayang motudlo kon asa kining mga dapita.

Posted in Apologetics-Visayan, Iglesia ni Cristo-Manalo | Leave a Comment »

Ang Nagbanging Pagtulan-an sa INC ni Bro. Wendell Talibong

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on April 22, 2008

Ang Nagbanging Pagtulan-an sa INC

Ang panagbangi sa PASUGO sa Iglesia ni Cristo nga gitukod ni Felix Manalo nagpaila sa ilang pagka pirated nga Iglesia ni Cristo.
Gipanghimakak sa Iglesia ni Manalo nga nakadawat silag ayudang panalapi gikan sa gawas sa atong nasod alang sa ilang mga kapilya. PASUGO July 1997, p. 10: “the Iglesia has supported itself purely with its own resources from the start, entirely without outside assistance. As Brother Erdy has emphasized, ‘all our chapels, from the smallest to the biggest, have been built through the voluntary contributions of our brethren, with the grace of God. Not a single centavo has come from a foreign source.”Apan ang Pasugo July 1964, p. 182, nag-angkon nga miadto si Felix Manalo sa America aron pagpangitag pundo alang sa ilang main chapel: “Felix Manalo sailed for America with the secretary of the Church at the time, Cirilo Gonzales. The secretary was to act as intrpreter for the executive minister, who was supposed to deliver a series of lectures in Indiana. Thus did the religious leader hope to raise funds for a main chapel of the Iglesia ni Cristo.”

Giinsister sa INC nga ilang gibarugan nga dili si Manalo ang Founder sa Iglesia ni Cristo sa PASUGO /August 1995, p.3 : “The Iglesia ni Cristo stands firm in its teaching that Christ (not Brother Felix Y. Manalo) is the founder of the Church.”


Apan sa laing bahin, giangkon usab sa ilang PASUGO May 1997, p. 11, Thomas C. Catangay, nga si Manalo mismo ang founder sa INC. : “…Brother Felix Y. Manalo is the founder of the Iglesia ni Cristo.”


Posted in Apologetics-Visayan, Iglesia ni Cristo-Manalo | 6 Comments »

THE PERPETUAL VIRGINITY OF BLESSED MARY: Against Helvidius

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on April 10, 2008

THE PERPETUAL VIRGINITY OF BLESSED MARY:

Against Helvidius

by St. Jerome

http://www.catholicapologetics.info/

This pamphlet, which appeared about A.D. 383, contains a rebuttal to the theological innovator Helvidius, who denied the faith of the entire Christian world by suddenly asserting, contrary to virtually all earlier authors, that Mary had children besides Jesus. As the pamphlet reveals, modern anti-virginitists have done little more than reinvent the wheel.

INTRODUCTION

1. I was requested by certain of the brethren not long ago to reply to a pamphlet written by one Helvidius. I have deferred doing so, not because it is a difficult matter to maintain the truth and refute an ignorant boor who has scarce known the first glimmer of learning, but because I was afraid my reply might make him appear worth defeating.

There was the further consideration that a turbulent fellow (the only individual in the world who thinks himself both priest and layman, one who, as has been said, thinks that eloquence consists in wordiness and considers speaking ill of anyone to be the witness of a good conscience), would begin to blaspheme worse than ever if opportunity of discussion were afforded him. He would stand as it were on a pedestal, and would publish his views far and wide.

There was reason also to fear that when truth failed him he would assail his opponents with the weapon of abuse.

But all these motives for silence, though just, have more justly ceased to influence me, because of the scandal caused to the brethren who were disgusted at his ravings. The axe of the Gospel must therefore be now laid to the root of the barren tree, and both it and its fruitless foliage cast into the fire, so that Helvidius — who has never learnt to speak — may at length learn to hold his tongue.

2. I must call upon the Holy Spirit to express His meaning by my mouth and defend the virginity of Blessed Mary. I must call upon the Lord Jesus to guard the sacred lodging of the womb in which He abode for ten months from all suspicion of sexual intercourse [NOTE: Jerome uses the ancient method of counting parts of months as whole months, hence a pregnancy of a little more than nine months is called ten months long; he later, chapter 20, shows that he knows pregnancy normally lasts nine months]. And I must also entreat God the Father to show that the mother of His Son, who was a mother before she was a bride, continued a virgin after her son was born.

We have no desire to careen over the fields of eloquence, we do not resort to the snares of the logicians or the thickets of Aristotle. We shall adduce the actual words of Scripture. Let him be refuted by the same proofs which he employed against us, so that he may see that it was possible for him to read what is written, and yet to be unable to discern the established conclusion of a sound faith.

3. His [Helvidius’s] first statement was:

“Matthew says, ‘Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened like this: When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately. But when he thought on these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, you son of David, fear not to take unto you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit”‘ [Matt. 1:18-20]. Notice, he [Matthew] says, that the word used is ‘betrothed,’ not ‘entrusted’ as you [Jerome] say, and of course the only reason why she was betrothed was that she might one day be married. And the Evangelist would not have said ‘before they came together’ if they were not to come together, for no one would use the phrase ‘before he dined’ of a man who was not going to dine. Then, again, the angel calls her ‘wife’ and speaks of her as united to Joseph. We are next invited to listen to the declaration of Scripture: ‘And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took unto him his wife; and knew her not till she had brought forth her son’ [Matt. 1:24-25a].”

4. Let us take the points one by one, and follow the tracks of this impiety that we may show that he [Helvidius] has contradicted himself. He admits that she was ‘betrothed,’ and in the next breath will have her to be a man’s wife, even though he has admitted her to be his betrothed. Again, he calls her ‘wife,’ and then says the only reason why she was betrothed was that she might one day be married. And, for fear we might not think that enough, “the word used,” he says, “is ‘betrothed’ and not ‘entrusted,'” that is to say, not yet a wife, not yet united by the bond of wedlock.

“BEFORE THEY CAME TOGETHER”

But when he continues, “the Evangelist would never have applied the words, ‘before they came together’ to persons who were not to come together, any more than one says, ‘before he dined,’ when the man is not going to dine,” I know not whether to grieve or laugh. Shall I convict him of ignorance, or accuse him of rashness? Just as if, supposing a person to say, “Before dining in harbor, I sailed to Africa,” his words could not hold good unless he were compelled some day to dine in harbor. If I choose to say, “the apostle Paul, before he went to Spain, was put in fetters at Rome,” or (as I certainly might) “Helvidius, before he repented, was cut off by death,” must Paul, on being released, at once go to Spain, or must Helvidius repent after death, although the Scripture says “In sheol who shall give you thanks?” [Ps. 6:5].

Must we not rather understand that the preposition ‘before,’ although it frequently denotes order in time, yet sometimes refers only to order in thought? So there is no necessity (if sufficient cause intervened to prevent it) for our thoughts to be realized.

When, then, the Evangelist says “before they came together,” he indicates the time immediately preceding marriage, and shows that matters were so far advanced that she who had been betrothed was on the point of becoming a wife, as though he said, “before they kissed and embraced, before the consummation of marriage, she was found to be with child.” And she was found to be so by none other than Joseph, who watched the swelling womb of his betrothed with the anxious glances, and, at this time, almost the privilege, of a husband.

Yet it does not follow, as the previous examples showed, that he had intercourse with Mary after her delivery, when his desires had been quenched by the fact that she had already conceived. And although we find it said to Joseph in a dream, “Fear not to take Mary your wife ” [Matt. 1:20]; and again, “Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took unto him his wife” [Matt. 1:24], no one ought to be disturbed by this, as though, inasmuch as she is called “wife,” she ceases to be betrothed, for we know it is usual in Scripture to give the title [“wife”] to those who are betrothed.

The following evidence from Deuteronomy establishes the point. “If the man,” says the writer, “finds the damsel that is betrothed in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her, he shall surely die, because he has humbled his neighbor’s wife” [Deut. 22:25-27].

And in another place, “If there be a damsel that is a virgin betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; then you shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and you shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he has humbled his neighbor’s wife: so you shall put away the evil from the midst of you” [Deut. 22:23-24].

Elsewhere also, “And what man is there that has betrothed a wife, and has not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her” [Deut. 20:7].

But if anyone feels a doubt as to why the Virgin conceived after she was betrothed rather than when she had no one betrothed to her, or, to use the Scripture phrase, no “husband,” let me explain that there were three reasons — First, that by the genealogy of Joseph, whose kinswoman Mary was, Mary’s origin might also be shown. Secondly, that she might not be stoned as an adulteress in accordance with the Law of Moses. Thirdly, that in her flight to Egypt she might have some comfort, though it was that of a guardian rather than a husband. For who at that time would have believed the Virgin’s word that she had conceived of the Holy Spirit, and that the Angel Gabriel had come and announced the purpose of God? And would not all have given their opinion against her as an adulteress, like Susanna [Dan. 13]?

For at the present day, now that the whole world has embraced the [Christian] faith, the Jews argue that when Isaiah says, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son” [Is. 7:14], the Hebrew word denotes a young woman, not a virgin, that is to say, the word is almah, not bethulah, a position which, farther on, we shall dispute more in detail.

Lastly, excepting Joseph, and Elizabeth, and Mary herself, and some few others who, we may suppose, heard the truth from them, all considered Jesus to be the son of Joseph. And so far was this the case that even the Evangelists, expressing the prevailing opinion, which is the correct rule for a historian, call him the father of the Savior, as, for instance, “And he (that is, Simeon) came in the Spirit into the Temple. And when the parents brought in the child Jesus, that they might do concerning him after the custom of the Law” [Luke 2:27], and elsewhere, “And his parents went every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the Passover” [Luke 2:41]. And afterwards, “And when they had fulfilled the days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and his parents knew not of it” [Luke 2:43].

Observe also what Mary herself, who had replied to Gabriel with the words, “How shall this be, seeing I know not man?” [Luke 1:34, literal translation from Greek], says concerning Joseph, “Son, why have you thus dealt with us? Behold, your father and I sought you anxiously” [Luke 2:48]. We have not here, as many maintain, the utterance of Jews or of mockers. The Evangelists call Joseph “father.” Mary confesses he was father. Not (as I said before) that Joseph was really the father of the Savior, but that to preserve the reputation of Mary he was regarded by all as his father, although before he heard the admonition of the angel, “Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” [Matt. 1:20] he had thoughts of putting her away quietly; which shows that he well knew that the child conceived was not his.

But we have said enough, more with the aim of imparting instruction than of answering an opponent, to show why Joseph is called the father of our Lord, and why Mary is called Joseph’s wife. This also at once answers the question why certain persons are called his brethren.

“TILL”

5. This, however, is a point which will find its proper place further on. We must now move on to other matters. The passage for discussion now is, “And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took unto him his wife and knew her not till she had brought forth a son, and he called his name Jesus” [Matt. 1:24-25].

Here, first of all, it is quite needless for our opponent to show so elaborately that the word “know” has reference to coitus, rather than to intellectual apprehension, as though anyone denied it or any person in his senses could ever imagine the folly which Helvidius takes pains to refute.

Then he would teach us that the adverb “till” implies a fixed and definite time, and when that is fulfilled, he says the event takes place which previously did not take place, as in the case before us, “and knew her not till she had brought forth a son.” It is clear, says he, that she was known after she brought forth, and that that knowledge was only delayed by her engendering a son. To defend his position he piles up text upon text, waves his sword like a blindfolded gladiator, rattles his noisy tongue, and ends with wounding no one but himself.

6. Our reply is briefly this — the words “knew” and “till” in the language of Holy Scripture are capable of a double meaning.

As to the former, he himself gave us a dissertation to show that it must be referred to sexual intercourse, and no one doubts that it is often used of the knowledge of the understanding, as, for instance, “the boy Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem, and his parents knew it not.”

Now we have to prove that just as in the one case he has followed the usage of Scripture, so with regard to the word “till” he is utterly refuted by the authority of the same Scripture, which often denotes by its [“till”‘s] use a fixed time (he himself told us so) [and] frequently time without limitation, as when God by the mouth of the prophet says to certain persons, “Even unto old age I am He” [Is. 46:4]. Will He cease to be God when they have grown old?

And the Savior in the Gospel tells the Apostles, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” [Matt. 28:20b]. Will the Lord then after the end of the world has come forsake His disciples, and at the very time when seated on twelve thrones they are to judge the twelve tribes of Israel will they be bereft of the company of their Lord?

Again Paul the Apostle writing to the Corinthians says, “Christ the first-fruits, afterward they that are Christ’s, at his coming. Then comes the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father, when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he has put all enemies under his feet” [1 Cor. 15:23-25]. Granted that the passage relates to our Lord’s human nature, we do not deny that the words are spoken of Him who endured the cross and is commanded to sit afterwards on the right hand. What does he mean then by saying, “for he must reign, till he has put all enemies under his feet”? Is the Lord to reign only until His enemies begin to be under His feet, and once they are under His feet will He cease to reign? Of course His reign will then commence in its fullness when His enemies begin to be under His feet [cf. Luke 1:33, Rev. 11:15].

David also in the fourth Song of Ascent [Ps. 123] speaks thus, “Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look unto the Lord our God till he has mercy upon us” [Ps. 123:2] Will the prophet, then, look unto the Lord till he obtain mercy, and when mercy is obtained will he turn his eyes down to the ground? — although elsewhere he says, “Mine eyes fail for your salvation, and for the word of your righteousness” [Ps. 119:123].

I could accumulate countless instances of this usage, and cover the verbosity of our assailant with a cloud of proofs; I shall, however, add only a few, and leave the reader to discover like ones for himself.

7. The word of God says in Genesis, “And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and the rings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem, and lost them till this day” [Gen. 35:4].

Likewise at the end of Deuteronomy, “So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And he buried him in the valley, in the land of Moab over against Beth-Peor. But no man knows of his sepulcher unto this day” [Deut. 34:5-6].

We must certainly understand by “this day” the time of the composition of the history, whether you prefer the view that Moses was the author of the Pentateuch or that Ezra re-edited it. In either case I make no objection. The question now is whether the words “unto this day” are to be referred to the time of publishing or writing the books, and if so it is for him to show, now that so many years have rolled away since that day, that either the idols hidden beneath the oak have been found, or the grave of Moses discovered; for he obstinately maintains that what does not happen so long as the point of time indicated by “till” and “unto” has not been attained, begins to be when that point has been reached.

He would do well to pay heed to the idiom of Holy Scripture, and understand with us (it was here he stuck in the mud) that some things which might seem ambiguous if not expressed are plainly intimated, while others are left to the exercise of our intellect. For if, while the event was still fresh in memory and men were living who had seen Moses, it was possible for his grave to be unknown, much more may this be the case after the lapse of so many ages.

And in the same way must we interpret what we are told concerning Joseph. The Evangelist pointed out a circumstance which might have given rise to some scandal, namely, that Mary was not known by her husband until she had delivered [her Son], and he did so that we might be the more certain that she, from whom Joseph refrained while there was room to doubt the import of the vision, was not known after her delivery.

8. In short, what I want to know is why Joseph refrained until the day of her delivery?

Helvidius will of course reply, “Because he heard the angel say, ‘that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit'” [Matt. 1:20b]. And in turn we rejoin that he had certainly heard him say, “Joseph, you son of David, fear not to take unto you Mary your wife” [Matt. 1:20a]. The reason why he was forbidden to forsake his wife was that he might not think her an adulteress. Is it true then, that he was ordered not to have intercourse with his wife? Is it not plain that the warning was given him that he might not be separated from her? And could the just man dare, he says, to think of approaching her, when he heard that the Son of God was in her womb?

Excellent! We are to believe then that the same man who gave so much credit to a dream that he did not dare to touch his wife, yet afterwards, when he had learnt from the shepherds that the angel of the Lord had come from heaven and said to them, “Be not afraid: for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people, for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” [Luke 2:10ff], and when the heavenly host had joined with him in the chorus “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men of good will” [Luke 2:14], and when he had seen just Simeon embrace the infant and exclaim, “Now let you your servant depart, O Lord, according to your word in peace: for mine eyes have seen your salvation” [Luke 2:29], and when he had seen Anna the prophetess, the Magi, the Star, Herod, the angels; Helvidius, I say, would have us believe that Joseph, though well acquainted with such surprising wonders, dared to touch the temple of God, the abode of the Holy Spirit, the mother of his Lord?

Mary at all events “kept all these sayings in her heart” [Luke 2:51]. You cannot for shame say Joseph did not know of them, for Luke tells us, “His father and mother were marveling at the things which were spoken concerning Him” [Luke 2:33]. And yet you [Helvidius] with marvelous effrontery contend that the reading of the Greek manuscripts is corrupt, although it is that which nearly all the Greek writers have left us in their books, and not only so, but several of the Latin writers have taken the words the same way. Nor need we now consider the variations in the copies, since the whole record both of the Old and New Testament has since that time been translated into Latin, and we must believe that the water of the fountain flows purer than that of the stream.

9. Helvidius will answer, “What you say, is m my opinion mere trifling. Your arguments are so much waste of time, and the discussion shows more subtlety than truth. Why could not Scripture say, as it said of Tamar and Judah, ‘ And he took his wife, and knew her again no more’ [Gen. 38:26]? Could not Matthew find words to express his meaning? ‘ He knew her not,’ he says, ‘until she brought forth a son.’ He did then, after her delivery, know her, whom he had refrained from knowing until she was delivered.”

10. If you are so contentious, your own thoughts shall now prove your master. You must not allow any time to intervene between delivery and intercourse. You must not say, “If a woman conceive seed and bear a man child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of the separation of her sickness shall she be unclean. And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. And she shall continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days. She shall touch no hallowed thing” [Lev. 12:2-3], and so forth.

On your showing, Joseph must at once approach, her, and be subject to Jeremiah’s reproof, “They were as mad horses in respect of women: every one neighed after his neighbor’s wife” [Jer. 5:8]. Otherwise, how can the words stand good, “he knew her not, till she had brought forth a son,” if he waits after the time of another purifying has expired, if his lust must brook another long delay of forty days?

The mother must go unpurged from her child-bed taint, and the wailing infant be attended to by the midwives, while the husband clasps his exhausted wife. Thus indeed must their married life begin so that the Evangelist may not be convicted of falsehood.

But God forbid that we should think thus of the Savior’s mother and of a just man. No midwife assisted at His birth; no women’s officiousness intervened. With her own hands she wrapped Him in the swaddling clothes, herself both mother and midwife, “and laid Him,” we are told, “in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” [Luke 2:7]; a statement which, on the one hand, refutes the ravings of the apocryphal accounts, for Mary herself wrapped Him in the swaddling clothes, and on the other makes the voluptuous notion of Helvidius impossible, since there was no place suitable for married intercourse in the inn.

11. An ample reply has now been given to what he advanced respecting the words “before they came together” and “he knew her not till she had brought forth a son.” I must now proceed, if my reply is to follow the order of his argument, to the third point.

“FIRST-BORN SON”

He will have it that Mary bore other sons, and he quotes the passage,

“And Joseph also went up to the city of David to enroll himself with Mary, who was betrothed to him, being great with child. And it came to pass, while they were there, the days were fulfilled that she should be delivered, and she brought forth her first-born son” [Luke 2:4ff]. From this he endeavors to show that the term “first-born” is inapplicable except to a person who has brothers, just as he is called only begotten who is the only son of his parents.

12. Our position is this: Every only begotten son is a first-born son, but not every first-born is an only begotten. By first-born we understand not only one who is succeeded by others, but one who has had no predecessor.

“Everything,” says the Lord to Aaron, “that opens the womb of all flesh which they offer unto the Lord, both of man and beast, shall be your: nevertheless the first born of man shall you surely redeem, and the firstling of unclean beasts shall you redeem” [Num. 18:15].

The word of God defines first-born as everything that opens the womb. Otherwise, if the title belongs to such only as have younger brothers, the priests cannot claim the firstlings until their successors have been begotten, lest, perchance, in case there were no subsequent delivery it should prove to be the first-born but not merely the only begotten.

“And those that are to be redeemed of them from a month old shall you redeem, according to your estimation for the money of five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary (the same is twenty gerahs). But the firstling of an ox, or the firstling of a sheep, or the firstling of a goat, you shall not redeem; they are holy” [Num. 18:16].

The word of God compels me to dedicate to God everything that opens the womb if it be the firstling of clean beasts: if of unclean beasts, I must redeem it, and give the value to the priest. I might reply and say, Why do you tie me down to the short space of a month? Why do you speak of the first-born, when I cannot tell whether there are brothers to follow? Wait until the second is born. I owe nothing to the priest, unless the birth of a second should make the one I previously had the first-born. Will not the very points of the letters cry out against me and convict me of my folly, and declare that first-born is a title of him who opens the womb, and is not to be restricted to him who has brothers?

And, then, to take the case of John, we are agreed that he was an only begotten son. I want to know if he was not also a first-born son, and whether he was not absolutely amenable to the law. There can be no doubt in the matter.

At all events Scripture thus speaks of the Savior,

“And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were fulfilled, they brought him up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord) and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons” [Luke 2:22ff].

If this law relates only to the first-born, and there can be no first-born unless there are successors, no one ought to be bound by the law of the first-born who cannot tell whether there will be successors. But inasmuch as he who has no younger brothers is bound by the law of the first-born, we gather that he is called the first-born who opens the womb and who has been preceded by none, not he whose birth is followed by that of a younger brother. Moses writes in Exodus,

“And it came to pass at midnight, that the Lord smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon, and all the first-born of cattle” [Ex. 12:29].

Tell me, were they who then perished by the destroyer, only your first-born, or, something more, did they include the only begotten? If only they who have brothers are called first-born, the only begotten were saved from death. And if it be the fact that the only begotten were slain, it was contrary to the sentence pronounced, for the only begotten to die as well as the first-born. You must either release the only begotten from the penalty, and in that case you become ridiculous: or, if you allow that they were slain, we gain our point, though we have not to thank you for it, that only begotten sons also are called first-born.

“HIS BRETHREN”

13. The last proposition of Helvidius was this, and it is what he wished to show when he treated of the first-born, that brethren of the Lord are mentioned in the Gospels.

For example, “Behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, seeking to speak to him” [Matt. 12:46]. And elsewhere, “After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren” [John 2:12]. And again, “His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judea, that your disciples also may behold the works which you do. For no man does anything in secret, and himself seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, manifest yourself to the world” [John 7:3-4]. And John adds, “For even his brethren did not believe on him” [John 7:5].

Mark also and Matthew, “And coming into his own country he taught them in their synagogues, insasmuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence has this man this wisdom, and mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren James, and Joseph, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us?” [Matt. 13:54-55, Mark 6:1-3]. Luke also in the Acts of the Apostles relates, “These all with one accord continued steadfastly in prayer, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren” [Acts 1:14].

Paul the Apostle also is at one with them, and witnesses to their historical accuracy, “And I went up by revelation, but other of the apostles saw I none, save Peter and James the Lord’s brother” [Gal. 2:2, 1:19]. And again in another place, “Have we no right to eat and drink? Have we no right to lead about wives even as the rest of the Apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?” [1 Cor. 9:4-5].

And for fear any one should not allow the evidence of the Jews, since it was they from whose mouth we hear the name of His brothers, but should maintain that His countrymen were deceived by the same error respect of the brothers into which they fell in their belief about the father, Helvidius utters a sharp note of warning and cries,

“The same names are repeated by the Evangelists in another place, and the same persons are there brethren of the Lord and sons of Mary.”

Matthew says, “And many women were there (doubtless at the Lord’s cross) beholding from afar, which had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: among whom was Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee” [Matt. 27:55-56]. Mark also, “And there were also women beholding from afar, among whom were both Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joseph, and Salome” [Mark 15:40]; and in the same place shortly after, “And many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem” [Mark 15:41]. Luke too, “Now there were Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them” [Luke 24:10].

14. My reason for repeating the same thing again and again is to prevent him from raising a false issue and crying out that I have withheld such passages as make for him, and that his view has been torn to shreds not by evidence of Scripture, but by evasive arguments. Observe, he says, James and Joses are sons of Mary, and the same persons who were called brethren by the Jews. Observe, Mary is the mother of James the Less and of Joses. And James is called the Less to distinguish him from James the greater, who was the son of Zebedee, as Mark elsewhere states, “And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid. And when the Sabbath was past, they bought spices, that they might come and anoint him” [Mark 15:47-16:1]. And, as might be expected, he says:

“What a poor and impious view we take of Mary, if we hold that when other women were concerned about the burial of Jesus, she His mother was absent; or if we invent some kind of a second Mary; and all the more because the Gospel of S. John testifies that she was there present, when the Lord upon the cross commended her, as His mother and now a widow, to the care of John. Or must we suppose that the Evangelists were so far mistaken and so far mislead us as to call Mary the mother of those who were known to the Jews as brethren of Jesus?”

15. What darkness, what raging madness rushing to its own destruction! You say that the mother of the Lord was present at the cross, you say that she was entrusted to the disciple John on account of her widowhood and solitary condition, as if upon your own showing, she had not four sons, and numerous daughters, with whose solace she might comfort herself?

You also apply to her the name of “widow” which is not found in Scripture. And although you quote all instances in the Gospels, the words of John alone displease you. You say in passing that she was present at the cross, that you may not appear to have omitted it on purpose, and yet not a word about the women who were with her. I could pardon you if you were ignorant, but I see you have a reason for your silence.

Let me point out then what John says, “But there were standing by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene” [John 19:25]. No one doubts that there were two apostles called by the name James, James the son of Zebedee, and James the son of Alphaeus. Do you intend the comparatively unknown James the Less, who is called in Scripture the son of Mary, not however of Mary the mother of our Lord, to be an apostle, or not?

If he is an apostle, he must be the son of Alphaeus and a believer in Jesus, “For neither did his brethren believe in him.” If he is not an apostle, but a third James (who he can be I cannot tell), how can he be regarded as the Lord’s brother, and how, being a third, can he be called “Less” to distinguish him from greater, when “greater” and “less” are used to denote the relations existing, not between three, but between two?

Notice, moreover, that the Lord’s brother is an apostle, since Paul says, “Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and tarried with him fifteen days. But other of the Apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother” [Gal 1:18-19]. And in the same Epistle, “And when they perceived the grace that was given unto me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars” [Gal. 2:9], etc. And that you may not suppose this James to be the son of Zebedee, you have only to read the Acts of the Apostles, and you will find that the latter had already been slain by Herod.

The only conclusion is that the Mary who is described as the mother of James the Less was the wife of Alphaeus and sister of Mary the Lord’s mother, the one who is called by John the Evangelist “Mary of Clopas,” whether after her father, or kindred, or for some other reason. But if you think they are two persons because elsewhere we read, “Mary the mother of James the Less,” and here, “Mary of Clopas,” you have still to learn that it is customary in Scripture for the same individual to bear different names.

Raguel, Moses’ father-in-law, is also called Jethro. Gideon, without any apparent reason for the change, all at once becomes Jerub-Baal. Uzziah, king of Judah, has an alternative, Azariah. Mount Tabor is called Itabyrium. Again Hermon is called by the Phoenicians, Sanior, and by the Amorites, Sanir. The same tract of country is known by three names, Negev, Teman, and Darom in Ezekiel. Peter is also called Simon and Cephas. Judas the zealot in another Gospel is called Thaddeus. And there are numerous other examples which the reader will be able to collect for himself from every part of Scripture.

16. Now here we have the explanation of what I am endeavoring to show, how it is that the sons of Mary, the sister of our Lord’s mother, who though not formerly believers afterwards did believe, can be called brethren of the Lord.

Possibly the case might be that one of the brethren believed immediately while the others did not believe until long after, and that one Mary was the mother of James and Joses, namely, “Mary of Clopas,” who is the same as the wife of Alphaeus, the other, the mother of James the Less. In any case, if she (the latter) had been the Lord’s mother Saint John would have allowed her the title, as everywhere else, and would not by calling her the mother of other sons have given a wrong impression.

But at this stage I do not wish to argue for or against the supposition that Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary the mother of James and Joses were different women, provided it is clearly understood that Mary the mother of James and Joses was not the same person as the Lord’s mother.

How then, says Helvidius, do you make out that they were called the Lord’s brethren who were not his brethren? I will show how that is.

In Holy Scripture there are four kinds of brethren — by nature, race, kindred, love.

BRETHREN BY NATURE

Instances of brethren by nature are Esau and Jacob, the twelve patriarchs, Andrew and Peter, James and John.

BRETHREN BY RACE

As to race, all Jews are called brethren of one another, as in Deuteronomy, “If your brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto you, and serve you six years; then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you” [Deut. 15:12]. And in the same book, “You shall in anywise set him king over you, whom the Lord your God shall choose: one from among your brethren shall you set king over you; you may not put a foreigner over you, which is not your brother” [Deut.17:15]. And again, “You shall not see your brother’s ox or his sheep go astray, and hide yourself from them: you shall surely bring them again unto your brother. And if your brother be not nigh unto you, or if you know him not, then you shall bring it home to your house, and it shall be with you until your brother seek after it, and you shall restore it to him again” [Deut. 22:1]. And the Apostle Paul says, “I could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren’s sake, my kinsmen according to the flesh: who are Israelites” [Rom. 9:3-4].

BRETHREN BY KINDRED

Moreover they are called brethren by kindred who are of one family, that is patria, which corresponds to the Latin paternitas, because from a single root a numerous progeny proceeds. In Genesis we read, “And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray you, between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren” [Gen. 13:8]. And again, “So Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east: and they separated each from his brother” [Gen. 13:11]. Certainly Lot was not Abraham’s brother, but the son of Abraham’s brother Aram. For Terah begot Abraham and Nahor and Aram,and Aram begot Lot. Again we read, “And Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife. and Lot his brother’s son” [Gen. 12:2].

But if you still doubt whether a nephew can be called a son, let me give you an instance. “And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen” [Gen. 14:14]. And after describing the night attack and the slaughter, he adds, “And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot.” Let this suffice by way of proof of my assertion.

But for fear you may make some caviling objection, and wriggle out of your difficulty like a snake, I must bind you fast with the bonds of proof to stop your hissing and complaining, for I know you would like to say you have been overcome not so much by Scripture truth as by intricate arguments. Jacob, the son of Isaac and Rebecca, when in fear of his brother’s treachery he had gone to Mesopotamia, drew nigh and rolled away the stone from the mouth of the well, and watered the flocks of Laban, his mother’s brother. “And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s brother, and that he was Rebecca’s son” [Gen. 29:11]. Here is an example of the rule already referred to, by which a nephew is called a brother.

And again, “Laban said unto Jacob. Because you art my brother, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me what shall your wages be” [Gen. 29:15]. And so, when, at the end of twenty years, without the knowledge of his father-in-law and accompanied by his wives and sons he was returning to his country, on Laban overtaking him in the mountain of Gilead and failing to find the idols which Rachel hid among the baggage, Jacob answered and said to Laban, “What is my trespass? What is my sin, that you have so hotly pursued after me? Whereas you have felt all about my stuff, what have you found of all your household stuff? Set it here before my brethren and your brethren, that they may judge between us two” [Gen. 31:36-37]. Tell me who are those brothers of Jacob and Laban who were present there? Esau, Jacob’s brother, was certainly not there, and Laban, the son of Bethuel, had no brothers although he had a sister Rebecca.

BRETHREN BY AFFECTION

17. Innumerable instances of the same kind are to be found in the sacred books. But, to be brief, I will return to the last of the four classes of brethren, those, namely, who are brethren by affection, and these again fall into two divisions, those of the spiritual and those of the general relationship.

I say spiritual because all of us Christians are called brethren, as in the verse, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” [Ps. 133:1]. And in another Psalm the Savior says, “I will declare your name unto my brethren” [Ps. 22:22] And elsewhere, “Go unto my brethren and say to them” [John 22:17].

I say also general, because we are all children of one Father, there is a like bond of brotherhood between us all. “Tell these who hate you,” says the prophet, “you are our brethren” [Is. 66:5]. And the Apostle writing to the Corinthians: “If any man that is named brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner: with such a one no, not to eat” [1 Cor. 5:11].

“THE LORD’S BRETHREN”

I now ask to which class you consider the Lord’s brethren in the Gospel must be assigned. They are brethren by nature, you say. But Scripture does not say so; it calls them neither sons of Mary, nor of Joseph. Shall we say they are brethren by race? But it is absurd to suppose that a few Jews were called His brethren when all Jews of the time might upon this principle have borne the title. Were they brethren by virtue of close intimacy and the union of heart and mind? If that were so, who were more truly His brethren than the apostles who received His private instruction and were called by Him His mother and His brethren? Again, if all men, as such, were His brethren, it would have been foolish to deliver a special message, “Behold, your brethren seek you,” for all men alike were entitled to the name. The only alternative is to adopt the previous explanation and understand them to be called brethren in virtue of the bond of kindred, not of love and sympathy, nor by prerogative of race, nor yet by nature.

Just as Lot was called Abraham’s brother, and Jacob Laban’s, just as the daughters of Zelophehad received a lot among their brethren, just as Abraham himself had to wife Sarah his sister, for he says, “She is indeed my sister, on the father’s side, not on the mother’s” [Gen. 22:11], that is to say, she was the daughter of his brother, not of his sister. Otherwise, what are we to say of Abraham, a just man, taking to wife the daughter of his own father? Scripture, in relating the history of the men of early times, does not outrage our ears by speaking of the enormity in express terms, but prefers to leave it to be inferred by the reader, and God afterwards gives to the prohibition the sanction of the law, and threatens, “He who takes his sister, born of his father, or of his mother, and beholds her nakedness, has committed abomination, he shall be utterly destroyed. He has uncovered his sister’s nakedness, he shall bear his sin” [Lev. 18:9].

18. There are things which, in your extreme ignorance, you had never read, and therefore you neglected the whole range of Scripture and employed your madness in outraging the Virgin, like the man in the story who, being unknown to everybody and finding that he could devise no good deed by which to gain renown, burned the temple of Diana, and when no one revealed the sacrilegious act, it is said that he himself went up and down proclaiming that he was the man who had applied the fire. The rulers of Ephesus were curious to know what made him do this thing, whereupon he replied that if he could not have fame for good deeds, all men should give him credit for bad ones.

Grecian history relates the incident. But you do worse. You have set on fire the Temple of the Lord’s body! You have defiled the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit from which you are determined to make a team of four brethren and a heap of sisters come forth! In a word, joining in the chorus of the Jews, you say, “Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren James, and Joseph, and Simon, and Judas? and his sisters, are they not all with us? The word all would not be used if there were not a crowd of them” [Matt. 13:55, Mark 6:3].

Pray tell me, who, before you appeared, was acquainted with this blasphemy? who thought the theory worth a tuppence? You have gained your desire, and are become notorious by crime. For myself, who am your opponent, although we live in the same city [Rome], I don’t know, as the saying is, whether you are white or black. I pass over faults of diction which abound in every book you write. I say not a word about your absurd introduction. Good heavens! I do not ask for eloquence, since, having none yourself, you applied for a supply of it to your brother Craterius. I do not ask for grace of style; I look for purity of soul: for with Christians it is the greatest of solecisms and of vices of style to introduce anything base either in word or action.

I have come to the conclusion of my argument. I will deal with you as though I had as yet prevailed nothing; and you will find yourself on the horns of a dilemma. It is clear that our Lord’s brethren bore the name in the same way that Joseph was called his father: “I and your father sought you sorrowing” [Luke 1:18]. It was His mother who said this, not the Jews. The Evangelist himself relates that His father and His mother were marveling at the things which were spoken concerning Him, and there are similar passages which we have already quoted in which Joseph and Mary are called his parents.

Seeing that you have been foolish enough to persuade yourself that the Greek manuscripts are corrupt, you will perhaps plead the diversity of readings. I therefore come to the Gospel of John, and there it is plainly written, “Philip finds Nathaniel, and says unto him, We have found him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” [John 1:45]. You will certainly find this in your manuscript.

Now tell me, how is Jesus the son of Joseph when it is clear that He was begotten of the Holy Spirit? Was Joseph His true father? Dull as you are, you will not venture to say that. Was he His reputed father? If so, let the same rule be applied to them when they are called brethren, that you apply to Joseph when he is called father.

THE “ALLIES” OF HELVIDIUS

19. Now that I have cleared the rocks and shoals I must spread sail and make all speed to reach his epilogue. Feeling himself to be a smatterer, he there produces Tertullian as a witness and quotes the words of Victorinus bishop of Petavium. Of Tertullian I say no more than that he did not belong to the Church. But as regards Victorinus, I assert what has already been proved from the Gospel — that he spoke of the brethren of the Lord not as being sons of Mary, but brethren in the sense I have explained, that is to say, brethren in point of kinship not by nature. We are, however, spending our strength on trifles, and, leaving the fountain of truth, are following the tiny streams of opinion.

THE OPPONENTS OF HELVIDIUS

Might I not array against you the whole series of ancient writers? Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, and many other apostolic and eloquent men, who against Ebion, Theodotus of Byzantium, and Valentinus, held these same views, and wrote volumes replete with wisdom. If you had ever read what they wrote, you would be a wiser man. But I think it better to reply briefly to each point than to linger any longer and extend my book to an undue length.

20. I now direct the attack against the passage in which, wishing to show your cleverness, you institute a comparison between virginity and marriage. I could not forbear smiling, and I thought of the proverb, “Did you ever see a camel dance?”

“Are virgins better,” you ask, “than Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who were married men? Are not infants daily fashioned by the hands of God in the wombs of their mothers? And if so, are we bound to blush at the thought of Mary having a husband after she was delivered? If they find any disgrace in this, they ought not consistently even to believe that God was born of the Virgin by natural delivery. For according to them there is more dishonor in a virgin giving birth to God by the organs of generation, than in a virgin being joined to her own husband after she has been delivered.”

Add, if you like, Helvidius, the other humiliations of nature, the womb for nine months growing larger, the sickness, the delivery, the blood, the swaddling-clothes. Picture to yourself the infant in the enveloping membranes [the amniotic sack]. Introduce into your picture the hard manger, the wailing of the infant, the circumcision on the eighth day, the time of purification, so that he may be proved to be unclean. We do not blush, we are not put to silence. The greater the humiliations he endured for me, the more I owe him. And when you have given every detail, you will be able to produce nothing more shameful than the cross, which we confess, in which we believe, and by which we triumph over our enemies.

21. But as we do not deny what is written, so we do reject what is not written. We believe that God was born of the Virgin, because we read it. That Mary was [carnally] married after she brought forth, we do not believe, because we do not read it. Nor do we say this to condemn marriage, for virginity itself is the fruit of marriage; but because when we are dealing with saints we must not judge rashly.

If we adopt possibility as the standard of judgment, we might maintain that Joseph had several wives because Abraham had, and so had Jacob, and that the Lord’s brethren were the issue of those wives, an invention which some hold with a rashness which springs from audacity not from piety.

You say that Mary did not continue a virgin: I claim still more, that Joseph himself on account of Mary was a virgin, so that from a virgin wedlock a virgin son was born. For if as a holy man he does not come under the imputation of fornication, and it is nowhere written that he had another wife, but was the guardian of Mary whom he was supposed to have to wife rather than her husband, the conclusion is that he who was thought worthy to be called father of the Lord, remained a virgin.

VIRGINITY AND MARRIAGE

22. And now that I am about to institute a comparison between virginity and marriage, I beseech my readers not to suppose that in praising virginity I have in the least disparaged marriage, and separated the saints of the Old Testament from those of the New, that is to say, those who had wives and those who altogether refrained from the embraces of women. I rather think that in accordance with the difference in time and circumstance one rule applied to the former, another to us upon whom the ends of the world have come.

So long as that law remained, “Be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth” [Gen. 1:28]; and “Cursed is the barren woman that bears not seed in Israel” [cf. Ex. 23:26], they all married and were given in marriage, left father and mother, and became one flesh.

But once in tones of thunder the words were heard, “The time is shortened, that henceforth those that have wives may be as though they had none” [1 Cor. 7:29], cleaving to the Lord, we are made one spirit with Him. And why? Because “He that is unmarried is careful for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord: but he that is married is careful for the things of the world, how he may please his wife. And there is a difference also between the wife and the virgin. She that is unmarried is careful for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married is careful for the things of the world, how she may please her husband” [1 Cor. 7:32-33].

Why do you cavil? Why do you resist? The vessel of election says this; he tells us that there is a difference between the wife and the virgin.

Observe what the happiness of that state must be in which even the distinction of sex is lost. The virgin is no longer called a woman. “She that is unmarried is careful for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit” [1 Cor. 7:34]. A virgin is defined as she that is “holy in body and in spirit,” for it is no good to have virgin flesh if a woman be married in mind. “But she that is married is careful for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”

Do you think there is no difference between one who spends her time in prayer and fasting, and one who must, at her husband’s approach, make up her face, walk with mincing gait, and feign a show of endearment?

The virgin’s aim is to appear less comely; she will wrong herself so as to hide her natural attractions. The married woman has the paint laid on in front of her mirror, and, to the insult of her Maker, strives to acquire something more than her natural beauty.

Then come the prattling of infants, the noisy household, children watching for her word and waiting for her kiss, the reckoning up of expenses, the preparation to meet the outlay.

On one side you will see a company of cooks, girded for the onslaught and attacking the meat. There you may hear the hum of a multitude of weavers. Meanwhile a message is delivered that the husband and his friends have arrived. The wife, like a swallow, flies all over the house. “She has to see to everything. Is the sofa smooth? Is the pavement swept? Are the flowers in the cups? Is dinner ready?” Tell me, pray, where amid all this is there room for the thought of God? Are these happy homes? Where there is the beating of drums, the noise and clatter of pipe and lute, the clanging of cymbals, can any fear of God be found? The parasite is snubbed and feels proud of the honor.

Enter next the half-naked victims of the passions, a mark for every lustful eye. The unhappy wife must either take pleasure in them, and perish, or be displeased, and provoke her husband. Hence arises discord, the seed-plot of divorce. Or suppose you find me a house where these things are unknown, which is a rata avis indeed! Yet even there the very management of the household, the education of the children, the wants of the husband, the correction of the servants, cannot fail to call away the mind from the thought of God.

“It had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women” [Gen. 18:11], so the Scripture says, and afterwards Abraham received the command, “In all that Sarah says unto you, hearken unto her voice” [Gen. 21:12].

She who is not subject to the anxiety and pain of childbearing and having passed the change of life has ceased to perform the functions of a woman, is freed from the curse of God: nor is her desire to her husband, but on the contrary her husband becomes subject to her, and the voice of the Lord commands him, “In all that Sarah says unto you, hearken unto her voice.” Thus they begin to have time for prayer. For so long as the debt of marriage is paid, earnest prayer is neglected.

23. I do not deny that holy women are found both among widows and those who have husbands; but they are such as have ceased to be wives or such as, even in the close bond of marriage, imitate virgin chastity.

The Apostle, Christ speaking in him, briefly bore witness to this when he said,

“She that is unmarried is careful for the things of the Lord, how she may please the Lord: but she that is married is careful for the things of the world, how she may please her husband” [1 Cor. 7:34].

He leaves us the free exercise of our reason in the matter. He lays no necessity upon anyone nor leads anyone into a snare; he only persuades to that which is proper when he wishes all men to be as himself. He had not, it is true, a commandment from the Lord respecting virginity, for that grace surpasses the unassisted power of man, and it would have worn an air of immodesty to force men to fly in the face of nature, and to say in other words, “I want you to be what the angels are.”

It is this angelic purity which secures to virginity its highest reward, and the Apostle might have seemed to despise a course of life which involves no guilt. Nevertheless in the immediate context he adds,

“But I give my judgment, as one that has obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. I think therefore that this is good by reason of the present distress, namely, that it is good for a man to be as he is” [1 Cor. 7:25].

What is meant by present distress? “Woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days!” [Matt. 24:19, Mark 13:17].

The reason why the wood grows up is that it may be cut down. The field is sown that it may be reaped. The world is already full, and the population is too large for the soil. Every day we are being cut down by war, snatched away by disease, swallowed up by shipwreck, although we go to law with one another about the fences of our property.

It is only one addition to the general rule which is made by those who follow the Lamb, and who have not defiled their garments, for they have continued in their virgin state. Notice the meaning of defiling. I shall not venture to explain it, for fear Helvidius may be abusive.

I agree with you, when you say, that some virgins are nothing but tavern women; I say still more, that even adulteresses may be found among them, and, you will no doubt be still more surprised to hear, that some of the clergy are innkeepers and some monks unchaste. Who does not at once understand that a tavern woman cannot be a virgin, nor an adulterer a monk, nor a clergyman a tavern-keeper? Are we to blame virginity if its counterfeit is at fault? For my part, to pass over other persons and come to the virgin, I maintain that she who is engaged in huckstering, though for anything I know she may be a virgin in body, is no longer one in spirit.

CONCLUSION

24. I have become rhetorical, and have despotted myself a little like a platform orator. You compelled me, Helvidius; for, brightly as the Gospel shines at the present day, you will have it that equal glory attaches to virginity and to the marriage state.

And because I think that, finding the truth too strong for you, you will turn to disparaging my life and abusing my character (it is the way of weak women to talk tittle-tattle in corners when they have been put down by their masters), I shall anticipate you. I assure you that I shall regard your railing as a high distinction, since the same lips that assail me have disparaged Mary and I, a servant of the Lord, am favored with the same barking eloquence as his mother.

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