John of Damascus' exegesis of De 4:15 is impossible

Alfred Persson

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FormerReformer said:
Alfred Persson said:
There is no evidence the early church practiced icon veneration, the absence of any mention of it is inexplicable if they practiced icon veneration like the Orthodox, for the latter can hardly restrain themselves from writing about it----therefore the lack of writing about it indicates they did not practice icon veneration.
Okay, summing up arguments already made that speak to this (you probably overlooked them because the replies contained pictorial evidence, and you don't answer our "icons sent against you") the presence of icons can be attested to in the historical record from the earliest time of the Church.  They were used, much as the pictures and felt cut-outs of many a Protestant Sunday school and children's church, in order to aid the spreading of the Gospel to a largely illiterate population.  The Gospel was not meant just for Jews and wealthy citizens of the Roman Empire (the only portion of the population with literacy), but (perhaps most especially) for the poor.

We don't need writings about this, we have the actual pictures themselves (see jnorm88's posts above, if you do not mind sullying your eyes with visual evidence).  

Let us accept your argument from silence (just for the time being) that these icons were not "venerated" (that is to say, shown honor and respect) as they are today.  That is all fine and well.  But the icons from eras where there is a textual silence exist.

BUT the Orthodox can hardly be silent about their images, therefore the silence about it in the Bible does indicate they didn't practice it.
Not exactly.  Let us look into the historical record and see when it was that the Orthodox no longer maintained a standard of silence about their icons.... Ah yes, during the time of the Iconoclasts.  Much like Trinitarian theology, which itself receives little textual evidence until it came under attack (by Arius and his spiritual descendants), the Iconophiles are silent until their icons come under attack.  Perhaps, as you say, no reverence was shown before this point, but the very heights of the irreverence of the Iconoclasts prompted a reaction.  St John of Damascus' treatise is one of these reactions, the outcry of just those illiterate peasants the icons were meant for is another.

So that when the Seventh Council is called it is decided that a) icons are an acceptable means of transmission of the Gospel teachings and b) icons are worthy of the same respect and honor (veneration) that we would give to the Gospel.

Which, BTW, I don't know if you know this, but we venerate the Gospel in much the same way we do icons, and have since the time of their writings.  But there has been no loud theological defense of this fact, we don't proclaim it as often as we talk about our icons (Protestants not wanting to go around burning Bibles, for some reason), so obviously it is something that we've never really done and I am just making this little fact up on the spot (the historical record being silent and all).
That there were pictures in the catacombs etc begs the question whether these were worshiped, and are irrelevant to what the apostles taught.

Only in scripture do we read what the apostles taught, every other source is suspect or it would have been canonized.

Of much less weight is the testimony of sub apostolic church fathers, presumably some of them were taught either by an apostle, or someone they taught. To go further away from the apostles begs the question what they apostles taught.


Your argument also fails when you argue icons are teaching tools...1)if that's all they were, I wouldn't be objecting to them nor would you insist they be kissed as did the 7th council 2)As they image the Whole Christ in one icon, they teach the illiterate monophysite heresy, rendering the Transcendent infinite Jesus in two natures, into a finite image the illiterate believes represents the prototype.


Your second argument is revisionist history. Icon veneration arose centuries after the apostles, as the heresy grew, iconoclasm grew, prior to that there was no need for iconoclasm.

That fits the historical record:

Irenaeus [A.D. 130-200]  Against Heresies, Book I, Chapt XXV, 6

6. Others of them employ outward marks, branding their disciples inside the lobe of the right ear. From among these also arose Marcellina, who came to Rome under [the episcopate of] Anicetus, and, holding these doctrines, she led multitudes astray. They style themselves Gnostics. They also possess images, some of them painted, and others formed from different kinds of material; while they maintain that a likeness of Christ was made by Pilate at that time when Jesus lived among them.300 They crown these images, and set them up along with the images of the philosophers of the world that is to say, with the images of Pythagoras, and Plato, and Aristotle, and the rest. They have also other modes of honouring these images, after the same manner of the Gentiles.5- Roberts, A., Donaldson, J., & Coxe, A. C. (1997). The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol.I : Translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325 (351). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.  


God Does Not Give His Majesty to Another. Novatian (Novatian of Rome 235-258): We acknowledge, therefore, and know that he is God, the Creator of all things. He is our Lord, because of his power; our author, because of his creation. “He spoke, and all things were made. He commanded, and all things came forth.”8 Of him it is written, “You have made all things in wisdom.”9 Moses says of him, “God is in heaven above and on earth below,”10 and according to Isaiah, “He has measured the heavens with a span, the earth with the width of the fist”;11 he “looks upon the earth and makes it tremble.”12 He “holds the orb of the earth and those who live on it as if they were locusts”;13 he “weighed the mountains on scales and the groves on a balance,”14 by the exact precision of the divine plan. He laid out this weight of the earth’s mass with precise equipoise, lest the huge ill-balanced mass should easily fall into ruin, if they were not balanced by providential weights.15 It is he who says through the prophet, “I am God, and there is none beside me.”16 He says by means of the same prophet, “I will not give my majesty to another,”17 so that he might exclude all heathens and heretics with their images, proving that he is God who is not made by the hand of an artificer.18 Nor is he some God whom heretical ingenuity has devised.  

Ferreiro, A. (2003). The Twelve Prophets. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture OT 14. (35). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.  



The Gnostic practice of icon veneration, like other heresies, was adopted by the Catholic church, but not without a fight, which we lost.

But history is clear, icon veneration is a non apostolic practice.



 

Shanghaiski

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Alfred Persson said:
But history is clear, icon veneration is a non apostolic practice.
But, the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of which you have no part says that it is. Really, you have no argument. If it were only the veneration of icons that you reject, we might be able to have a conversation. But you have shown here that you reject far more than that, so we really have no common ground to start from.
 

Alfred Persson

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Shanghaiski said:
Alfred Persson said:
But history is clear, icon veneration is a non apostolic practice.
But, the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of which you have no part says that it is. Really, you have no argument. If it were only the veneration of icons that you reject, we might be able to have a conversation. But you have shown here that you reject far more than that, so we really have no common ground to start from.
Its elementary deduction, as human nature does not allow the Orthodox religion be silent about icon veneration, wherever human religion is silent about icons, they aren't like the Orthodox.

The church seen in the pages of the New Testament is silent about icons, therefore it isn't like the Orthodox.

Indeed, the silence about icon veneration in the Bible is an overwhelming mass of irrefutable evidence they didn't practice it, given the heat and froth of the Orthodox manifest on this thread.




 

Alfred Persson

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Fr. George said:
Alfred Persson said:
Referring me to a thread is absurd, that's not proof...its like pointing to a public library and claiming "the refutation is there!" That ain't proof, its evasion.
I've shown you otherwise, and yet you continue to stomp your feet and shout.  Too bad.

Alfred Persson said:
Fact is, nothing I've said has been refuted...its all been buried under icons, ad hominem, and tangential material.
I'm 25 minutes into compiling all the refutations - by the time I'm finished, I'll give you enough to get a PhD in the Theology of iconography. ( ;) )

Alfred Persson said:
That is why you won't copy paste my argument with its precise refutation...none were given.
The reason why I wouldn't do it before is because it is a tedious process - I'm 25 minutes in, and I've only copied 4 refutations for your 1st point of your first post; there are still probably a half a dozen more.

Alfred Persson said:
You are at a loss how to respond...admit it.
How childish of you.  Pray that I run out of free time in my day before I finish the compilation.
Still waiting for that compilation. NOT rushing you, just letting you know I patiently wait.



 

dcommini

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Alfred Persson said:
Shanghaiski said:
Alfred Persson said:
But history is clear, icon veneration is a non apostolic practice.
But, the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of which you have no part says that it is. Really, you have no argument. If it were only the veneration of icons that you reject, we might be able to have a conversation. But you have shown here that you reject far more than that, so we really have no common ground to start from.
Its elementary deduction, as human nature does not allow the Orthodox religion be silent about icon veneration, wherever human religion is silent about icons, they aren't like the Orthodox.

The church seen in the pages of the New Testament is silent about icons, therefore it isn't like the Orthodox.

Indeed, the silence about icon veneration in the Bible is an overwhelming mass of irrefutable evidence they didn't practice it, given the heat and froth of the Orthodox manifest on this thread.
Human Nature does not change? Oh really? Well, I guess all hope is lost. If human nature does not change then why does the mass murder who repents of his sins and becomes a Christian not go out and start killing again? What of the thief who repents and becomes a Christian who then no longer steals? What about those who have persecuted Christians who then become Christians and never persecute again?

I guess those people are not human? Or perhaps human nature can not change with out outside circumstances.

Now, excuse me, I have to go venerate a deceased Veteran for his service to his country.
 

Alfred Persson

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dcommini said:
Alfred Persson said:
Shanghaiski said:
Alfred Persson said:
But history is clear, icon veneration is a non apostolic practice.
But, the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of which you have no part says that it is. Really, you have no argument. If it were only the veneration of icons that you reject, we might be able to have a conversation. But you have shown here that you reject far more than that, so we really have no common ground to start from.
Its elementary deduction, as human nature does not allow the Orthodox religion be silent about icon veneration, wherever human religion is silent about icons, they aren't like the Orthodox.

The church seen in the pages of the New Testament is silent about icons, therefore it isn't like the Orthodox.

Indeed, the silence about icon veneration in the Bible is an overwhelming mass of irrefutable evidence they didn't practice it, given the heat and froth of the Orthodox manifest on this thread.
Human Nature does not change? Oh really? Well, I guess all hope is lost. If human nature does not change then why does the mass murder who repents of his sins and becomes a Christian not go out and start killing again? What of the thief who repents and becomes a Christian who then no longer steals? What about those who have persecuted Christians who then become Christians and never persecute again?

I guess those people are not human? Or perhaps human nature can not change with out outside circumstances.
That didn't change his nature, only his personality.
 

dcommini

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Alfred Persson said:
dcommini said:
Alfred Persson said:
Shanghaiski said:
Alfred Persson said:
But history is clear, icon veneration is a non apostolic practice.
But, the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of which you have no part says that it is. Really, you have no argument. If it were only the veneration of icons that you reject, we might be able to have a conversation. But you have shown here that you reject far more than that, so we really have no common ground to start from.
Its elementary deduction, as human nature does not allow the Orthodox religion be silent about icon veneration, wherever human religion is silent about icons, they aren't like the Orthodox.

The church seen in the pages of the New Testament is silent about icons, therefore it isn't like the Orthodox.

Indeed, the silence about icon veneration in the Bible is an overwhelming mass of irrefutable evidence they didn't practice it, given the heat and froth of the Orthodox manifest on this thread.
Human Nature does not change? Oh really? Well, I guess all hope is lost. If human nature does not change then why does the mass murder who repents of his sins and becomes a Christian not go out and start killing again? What of the thief who repents and becomes a Christian who then no longer steals? What about those who have persecuted Christians who then become Christians and never persecute again?

I guess those people are not human? Or perhaps human nature can not change with out outside circumstances.
That didn't change his nature, only his personality.
For many murders it has been shown that it is in their nature to murder, yet those who become saved murder not any more... That sounds like nature changing to me.
 

FormerReformer

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Alfred Persson said:
That there were pictures in the catacombs etc begs the question whether these were worshiped, and are irrelevant to what the apostles taught.

Only in scripture do we read what the apostles taught, every other source is suspect or it would have been canonized.

Of much less weight is the testimony of sub apostolic church fathers, presumably some of them were taught either by an apostle, or someone they taught. To go further away from the apostles begs the question what they apostles taught.


Your argument also fails when you argue icons are teaching tools...1)if that's all they were, I wouldn't be objecting to them nor would you insist they be kissed as did the 7th council 2)As they image the Whole Christ in one icon, they teach the illiterate monophysite heresy, rendering the Transcendent infinite Jesus in two natures, into a finite image the illiterate believes represents the prototype.
If you would read the entire post instead of just cherry-picking to suit your tastes you would find that (1) is already answered:

We kiss the GOSPEL as well!  Icons, as visual representations of the Gospel, are accorded with the same respect.

(2) Is only useful if one takes a full Iconoclast position and argues against ANY depiction of Christ, whether or not such an image is venerated.  You have already stated many times over now that an image is okay.  So now the question is that of veneration.

Your second argument is revisionist history. Icon veneration arose centuries after the apostles, as the heresy grew, iconoclasm grew, prior to that there was no need for iconoclasm.

That fits the historical record:

Irenaeus [A.D. 130-200]  Against Heresies, Book I, Chapt XXV, 6

6. Others of them employ outward marks, branding their disciples inside the lobe of the right ear. From among these also arose Marcellina, who came to Rome under [the episcopate of] Anicetus, and, holding these doctrines, she led multitudes astray. They style themselves Gnostics. They also possess images, some of them painted, and others formed from different kinds of material; while they maintain that a likeness of Christ was made by Pilate at that time when Jesus lived among them.300 They crown these images, and set them up along with the images of the philosophers of the world that is to say, with the images of Pythagoras, and Plato, and Aristotle, and the rest. They have also other modes of honouring these images, after the same manner of the Gentiles.5- Roberts, A., Donaldson, J., & Coxe, A. C. (1997). The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol.I : Translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325 (351). Oak Harbor: Logos Research
St Irenaeus' complaint, if one reads the whole thing and does not just settle on "images", is that the images are set along with those of the Greek philosophers!  Surely our Christ deserves pride of place, and will not share His worship with Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle, just as He will not share His worship with Buddha, Mohammed, and Krishna.

God Does Not Give His Majesty to Another. Novatian[/i] (Novatian of Rome 235-258): We acknowledge, therefore, and know that he is God, the Creator of all things. He is our Lord, because of his power; our author, because of his creation. “He spoke, and all things were made. He commanded, and all things came forth.”8 Of him it is written, “You have made all things in wisdom.”9 Moses says of him, “God is in heaven above and on earth below,”10 and according to Isaiah, “He has measured the heavens with a span, the earth with the width of the fist”;11 he “looks upon the earth and makes it tremble.”12 He “holds the orb of the earth and those who live on it as if they were locusts”;13 he “weighed the mountains on scales and the groves on a balance,”14 by the exact precision of the divine plan. He laid out this weight of the earth’s mass with precise equipoise, lest the huge ill-balanced mass should easily fall into ruin, if they were not balanced by providential weights.15 It is he who says through the prophet, “I am God, and there is none beside me.”16 He says by means of the same prophet, “I will not give my majesty to another,”17 so that he might exclude all heathens and heretics with their images, proving that he is God who is not made by the hand of an artificer.18 Nor is he some God whom heretical ingenuity has devised.  

Ferreiro, A. (2003). The Twelve Prophets. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture OT 14. (35). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.  
Novatian was a heretic and an Anti-pope, first of all.  Second, his writings are against those who fell during the persecutions and offered sacrifice to the idols of the Roman gods in order to save their lives, as would once again be seen if his works were taken from their proper context and not just a modern commentary (on the Old Testament at that!).  His heresy was his refusal to forgive those who fell during the persecution instead offering only damnation.

I'm sorry, you'll have to do better than Gnostics (the liberal ecumenicists of Rome) and Roman gods.
 

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elijahmaria said:
Alfred Persson said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Alfred Persson said:
There is no evidence the early church practiced icon veneration, the absence of any mention of it is inexplicable if they practiced icon veneration like the Orthodox, for the latter can hardly restrain themselves from writing about it----therefore the lack of writing about it indicates they did not practice icon veneration.
Hasty and anachronistic generalization.  You're drawing conclusions about the Early Church from the practice of the Church today without accounting for the differences between the specific circumstances the Early Church faced and the specific circumstances today's Church faces.
and do the homework needed to construct a much more cogent argument, then maybe I'll listen to you.  Right now, you're just babbling incoherently.
Your objection is specious, there is nothing different about human nature, that hasn't changed.
You might want to edit this.
Why, its a cogent argument. Human nature doesn't allow divine words not be written down, the testimony of history supports that. That's what make Catholic claims to have apostolic tradition from the very lips of the apostles, so unbelievable. If they did, they would have written it down, and canonized it.

Icon veneration doesn't happen in a corner, its a public activity. Just as we can locate icon veneration by the "noise" it makes i.e., by the statements of icon venerators in their writings, so also we can determine who is not practicing icon veneration, by the lack of references to it in their writings.

The Bible never refers to icon veneration in any context, therefore they are among the groups that didn't practice it.

Therefore icon veneration is not an apostolic practice.

 

Alfred Persson

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FormerReformer said:
Alfred Persson said:
FormerReformer said:
Your second argument is revisionist history. Icon veneration arose centuries after the apostles, as the heresy grew, iconoclasm grew, prior to that there was no need for iconoclasm.

That fits the historical record:

Irenaeus [A.D. 130-200]  Against Heresies, Book I, Chapt XXV, 6

6. Others of them employ outward marks, branding their disciples inside the lobe of the right ear. From among these also arose Marcellina, who came to Rome under [the episcopate of] Anicetus, and, holding these doctrines, she led multitudes astray. They style themselves Gnostics. They also possess images, some of them painted, and others formed from different kinds of material; while they maintain that a likeness of Christ was made by Pilate at that time when Jesus lived among them.300 They crown these images, and set them up along with the images of the philosophers of the world that is to say, with the images of Pythagoras, and Plato, and Aristotle, and the rest. They have also other modes of honouring these images, after the same manner of the Gentiles.5- Roberts, A., Donaldson, J., & Coxe, A. C. (1997). The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol.I : Translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325 (351). Oak Harbor: Logos Research
St Irenaeus' complaint, if one reads the whole thing and does not just settle on "images", is that the images are set along with those of the Greek philosophers!  Surely our Christ deserves pride of place, and will not share His worship with Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle, just as He will not share His worship with Buddha, Mohammed, and Krishna.

God Does Not Give His Majesty to Another. Novatian[/i] (Novatian of Rome 235-258): We acknowledge, therefore, and know that he is God, the Creator of all things. He is our Lord, because of his power; our author, because of his creation. “He spoke, and all things were made. He commanded, and all things came forth.”8 Of him it is written, “You have made all things in wisdom.”9 Moses says of him, “God is in heaven above and on earth below,”10 and according to Isaiah, “He has measured the heavens with a span, the earth with the width of the fist”;11 he “looks upon the earth and makes it tremble.”12 He “holds the orb of the earth and those who live on it as if they were locusts”;13 he “weighed the mountains on scales and the groves on a balance,”14 by the exact precision of the divine plan. He laid out this weight of the earth’s mass with precise equipoise, lest the huge ill-balanced mass should easily fall into ruin, if they were not balanced by providential weights.15 It is he who says through the prophet, “I am God, and there is none beside me.”16 He says by means of the same prophet, “I will not give my majesty to another,”17 so that he might exclude all heathens and heretics with their images, proving that he is God who is not made by the hand of an artificer.18 Nor is he some God whom heretical ingenuity has devised.  

Ferreiro, A. (2003). The Twelve Prophets. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture OT 14. (35). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.  
Novatian was a heretic and an Anti-pope, first of all.  Second, his writings are against those who fell during the persecutions and offered sacrifice to the idols of the Roman gods in order to save their lives, as would once again be seen if his works were taken from their proper context and not just a modern commentary (on the Old Testament at that!).  His heresy was his refusal to forgive those who fell during the persecution instead offering only damnation.

I'm sorry, you'll have to do better than Gnostics (the liberal ecumenicists of Rome) and Roman gods.
I cannot picture an icon venerating Orthodox writing as Irenaeus did about icons being venerated by the Gnostics, therefore I conclude he was not like the Orthodox. In other words, if an Orthodox of today were teleported back into time, and found the same thing as Irenaeus did, he would speak about it in approving terms...or with  some astonishment how these were close to Orthodoxy


Your second objection is unsound ad hominem. His witness about his day vis a vis icons stands, there is no record of anyone from his time disputing this testimony.

To illustrate, if ad hominem is sound, then when Hitler says "2+2=4" we must reject that also, as he was a Progressive fully enabled.

 

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dcommini said:
Alfred Persson said:
dcommini said:
Alfred Persson said:
Shanghaiski said:
Alfred Persson said:
But history is clear, icon veneration is a non apostolic practice.
But, the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of which you have no part says that it is. Really, you have no argument. If it were only the veneration of icons that you reject, we might be able to have a conversation. But you have shown here that you reject far more than that, so we really have no common ground to start from.
Its elementary deduction, as human nature does not allow the Orthodox religion be silent about icon veneration, wherever human religion is silent about icons, they aren't like the Orthodox.

The church seen in the pages of the New Testament is silent about icons, therefore it isn't like the Orthodox.

Indeed, the silence about icon veneration in the Bible is an overwhelming mass of irrefutable evidence they didn't practice it, given the heat and froth of the Orthodox manifest on this thread.
Human Nature does not change? Oh really? Well, I guess all hope is lost. If human nature does not change then why does the mass murder who repents of his sins and becomes a Christian not go out and start killing again? What of the thief who repents and becomes a Christian who then no longer steals? What about those who have persecuted Christians who then become Christians and never persecute again?

I guess those people are not human? Or perhaps human nature can not change with out outside circumstances.
That didn't change his nature, only his personality.
For many murders it has been shown that it is in their nature to murder, yet those who become saved murder not any more... That sounds like nature changing to me.

na·ture n. 1. The material world and its phenomena.-American Heritage Dictionary

Then explain how acts change a person's human nature.

Does repentance result in a physical change?

Does one's heart grow bigger?


What happens to one's material form when they stop murdering, what new "organ" or body part appears?


To discuss theological concepts, one must be precise, unless one wants to be a fool, then what the heck...why not use any word you want...

 
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Well we can go one step further than icon veneration and find that relic veneration was practiced by the early Christians. In the martyrdom of Polycarp (2nd c.) it is stated that the devil, "...proceeded to do his best to arrainge that at least we should not get possession of his (St. Polycarp's) mortal remains, although numbers of us were anxious to do this and to claim our share in the hallowed relics." Tertullian asserts that St. Polycarp was appointed by the apostle St. John, he was known by St. Ignatius (who was known by St.Paul), and highly revered by St. Irenaeus whose words our inquisitor has used in attemp to undermine holy tradtion. So what does he know from the Bible of what is holy tradition vs. the tradition of man?
 

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Alfred Persson said:
Why, its a cogent argument. Human nature doesn't allow divine words not be written down, the testimony of history supports that.
Not the testimony of St John: "And there are also many other things Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written."  John 21:25

That's what make Catholic claims to have apostolic tradition from the very lips of the apostles, so unbelievable. If they did, they would have written it down, and canonized it.
I Clement 44:Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office(1) of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions,(2) that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them,(3) or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole Church, and who have blame-lessly served the flock of Christ in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we eject from(1) the episcopate(4) those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties.(5) Blessed are those presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure [from this world]; for they have no fear lest any one deprive them of the place now appointed them. But we see that ye have removed some men of excellent behaviour from the ministry, which they fulfilled blamelessly and with honour.

[/quote]

Alfred Persson said:
I cannot picture an icon venerating Orthodox writing as Irenaeus did about icons being venerated by the Gnostics, therefore I conclude he was not like the Orthodox. In other words, if an Orthodox of today were teleported back into time, and found the same thing as Irenaeus did, he would speak about it in approving terms...or with  some astonishment how these were close to Orthodoxy
Irenaeus' outcry was about these images being placed with other images of pagan philosophers.  Placing the image of the Divine Lord in the ranks of human philosophers was the symbolic version of the statement: "Jesus was a great teacher, like Plato or Buddha, but that's all he was."

Note that by the time of Irenaeus icons adorned churches all over, and he says not one word about that.

AND your second objection is ad hominem. His witness about his day vis a vis icons stands, there is no record of anyone from his time disputing this testimony.

To illustrate, if ad hominem is sound, then when Hitler says 2+2=4" we must reject that also, because he was a Progressive.
Going to a heretic to find the proper practice of the Church is like going to a Scientologist to find the truth behind psychiatry.  Still, I treat Novatian's statement, which is about Christians who bought out of martyrdom by offering sacrifice to idols (actual idols of actual Roman gods or the pagan Emperor), which was Novatian's biggest pet peeve.  He is not speaking of icons at all.  But the fact that Novatian was a heretic does come into play.

To illustrate: If Hitler (have we reached Godwin's law already?) were a mathematician who conclusively stated that 5+5= 12 then we might want to go back and recheck his figures for 2+2, just to be on the safe side.
 

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recent convert said:
Well we can go one step further than icon veneration and find that relic veneration was practiced by the early Christians. In the martyrdom of Polycarp (2nd c.) it is stated that the devil, "...proceeded to do his best to arrainge that at least we should not get possession of his (St. Polycarp's) mortal remains, although numbers of us were anxious to do this and to claim our share in the hallowed relics." Tertullian asserts that St. Polycarp was appointed by the apostle St. John, he was known by St. Ignatius (who was known by St.Paul), and highly revered by St. Irenaeus whose words our inquisitor has used in attemp to undermine holy tradtion. So what does he know from the Bible of what is holy tradition vs. the tradition of man?
Only proves we cannot go far from the apostles, if we are to learn what they  believed.

"Claim our share," neither can the ghoulish practice of dismembering the dead be found in the New Testament.  When Jesus died, they no one "claimed their share" of body  parts. When James was stoned, same thing. Not once in the NT do we see the ghoulish superstition.

That Polycarp is relevant to what the apostles taught is not disputed, someone writing about him in the 2nd century, is.


 

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Alfred Persson said:
recent convert said:
Well we can go one step further than icon veneration and find that relic veneration was practiced by the early Christians. In the martyrdom of Polycarp (2nd c.) it is stated that the devil, "...proceeded to do his best to arrainge that at least we should not get possession of his (St. Polycarp's) mortal remains, although numbers of us were anxious to do this and to claim our share in the hallowed relics." Tertullian asserts that St. Polycarp was appointed by the apostle St. John, he was known by St. Ignatius (who was known by St.Paul), and highly revered by St. Irenaeus whose words our inquisitor has used in attemp to undermine holy tradtion. So what does he know from the Bible of what is holy tradition vs. the tradition of man?
Only proves we cannot go far from the apostles, if we are to learn what they  believed.

"Claim our share," neither can the ghoulish practice of dismembering the dead be found in the New Testament.  When Jesus died, they no one "claimed their share" of body  parts. When James was stoned, same thing. Not once in the NT do we see the ghoulish superstition.

That Polycarp is relevant to what the apostles taught is not disputed, someone writing about him in the 2nd century, is.
Someone writing about him in the 2nd century, which is the same century in which he died, is irrelevant?

The "claiming of the share" by the way refers to recovering the body of St Polycarp, not dismemberment (St Joseph of Arimethea "claimed" this particular "share" after our Lord died).  St Polycarp's body was seen by the Church he led as their inheritance, and it was practice of the ancient Church to commemorate a martyr over their remains on the anniversary of the day of their death.  Much the same as it was the practice of pious Jews to gather in the tombs of the Patriarchs in remembrance.  Our Lord would have been commemorated by His disciples in this way, except He did something beyond all expectation.

By the way, refer to the bones of Elisha (II Kings 13:21) for an account of God working a miracle through the remains of a holy man.
 

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FormerReformer said:
Alfred Persson said:
FormerReformer said:
FormerReformer said:
Why, its a cogent argument. Human nature doesn't allow divine words not be written down, the testimony of history supports that.
Not the testimony of St John: "And there are also many other things Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written."  John 21:25

That's what make Catholic claims to have apostolic tradition from the very lips of the apostles, so unbelievable. If they did, they would have written it down, and canonized it.
I Clement 44:Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office(1) of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions,(2) that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them,(3) or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole Church, and who have blame-lessly served the flock of Christ in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we eject from(1) the episcopate(4) those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties.(5) Blessed are those presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure [from this world]; for they have no fear lest any one deprive them of the place now appointed them. But we see that ye have removed some men of excellent behaviour from the ministry, which they fulfilled blamelessly and with honour.
Alfred Persson said:
I cannot picture an icon venerating Orthodox writing as Irenaeus did about icons being venerated by the Gnostics, therefore I conclude he was not like the Orthodox. In other words, if an Orthodox of today were teleported back into time, and found the same thing as Irenaeus did, he would speak about it in approving terms...or with  some astonishment how these were close to Orthodoxy
Irenaeus' outcry was about these images being placed with other images of pagan philosophers.  Placing the image of the Divine Lord in the ranks of human philosophers was the symbolic version of the statement: "Jesus was a great teacher, like Plato or Buddha, but that's all he was."

Note that by the time of Irenaeus icons adorned churches all over, and he says not one word about that.

AND your second objection is ad hominem. His witness about his day vis a vis icons stands, there is no record of anyone from his time disputing this testimony.

To illustrate, if ad hominem is sound, then when Hitler says 2+2=4" we must reject that also, because he was a Progressive.
Going to a heretic to find the proper practice of the Church is like going to a Scientologist to find the truth behind psychiatry.  Still, I treat Novatian's statement, which is about Christians who bought out of martyrdom by offering sacrifice to idols (actual idols of actual Roman gods or the pagan Emperor), which was Novatian's biggest pet peeve.  He is not speaking of icons at all.  But the fact that Novatian was a heretic does come into play.

To illustrate: If Hitler (have we reached Godwin's law already?) were a mathematician who conclusively stated that 5+5= 12 then we might want to go back and recheck his figures for 2+2, just to be on the safe side.
[/quote]


Beneath my "Its a cogent argument" you cite Joh 21:25 hyperbole as proof its wrong? That's hyperbole, an exaggeration, literally the earth certainly can contain all that Christ did in those 3 1/2 years of ministry. A moderate size book can contain every word and deed.

John's hyperbole expresses His appreciation of what Christ did, its importance far greater than human  language can communicate, and in that sense the world cannot contain the books.

The soundness of my premise is proved by the world's religions...whenever words are thought to be divine, they are written down into "holy books".

A relevant example, Jewish oral tradition was eventually written down, the Mishnah in the Talmud.

Bible manuscripts were copied by the thousands.

These facts make Catholic claims of possessing apostolic oral tradition only the Magisterium can interpret, incredible. IN fact, their claim is analogous to Mormon Joseph Smiths claim to finding golden tablets that could be read only with special glasses. One could be a metaphor of the other.


As for I Clement, this thread is about icon veneration by the apostolic church which your reply glaringly omits any proof for.

The point is, Ireneaus isn't like any modern Orthodox writer today, therefore He wasn't a modern Orthodox.  He was a primitive Orthodox like me.

Finally, ad hominem against Novatian's testimony about icons is unsound. If you could find a contemporary of his that disputes his testimony about this, you would cite it.

Instead you smear him because his testimony is correct, only heretics venerate icons. That the heresy overtook the Catholic church is irrelevant and immaterial, we are discussing what the apostles likely believed. I only cite him to show the "silence" about icons stretches far from the apostles in time.





 
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Alfred Persson said:
recent convert said:
Well we can go one step further than icon veneration and find that relic veneration was practiced by the early Christians. In the martyrdom of Polycarp (2nd c.) it is stated that the devil, "...proceeded to do his best to arrainge that at least we should not get possession of his (St. Polycarp's) mortal remains, although numbers of us were anxious to do this and to claim our share in the hallowed relics." Tertullian asserts that St. Polycarp was appointed by the apostle St. John, he was known by St. Ignatius (who was known by St.Paul), and highly revered by St. Irenaeus whose words our inquisitor has used in attemp to undermine holy tradtion. So what does he know from the Bible of what is holy tradition vs. the tradition of man?
Only proves we cannot go far from the apostles, if we are to learn what they  believed.

"Claim our share," neither can the ghoulish practice of dismembering the dead be found in the New Testament.  When Jesus died, they no one "claimed their share" of body  parts. When James was stoned, same thing. Not once in the NT do we see the ghoulish superstition.

That Polycarp is relevant to what the apostles taught is not disputed, someone writing about him in the 2nd century, is.
All proper Christian burial would be observed since apostolic Christians administered the rite. since St. Polycarp died in the 2nd c. the authentic eyewitness account was written then & preserved in the apostolic tradition. Your earler claims of us (meaning those who you perceive as being apostolic) are faulty, unsupported by sources, & only relies on how you interpret scripture.
 

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FormerReformer said:
Alfred Persson said:
recent convert said:
Well we can go one step further than icon veneration and find that relic veneration was practiced by the early Christians. In the martyrdom of Polycarp (2nd c.) it is stated that the devil, "...proceeded to do his best to arrainge that at least we should not get possession of his (St. Polycarp's) mortal remains, although numbers of us were anxious to do this and to claim our share in the hallowed relics." Tertullian asserts that St. Polycarp was appointed by the apostle St. John, he was known by St. Ignatius (who was known by St.Paul), and highly revered by St. Irenaeus whose words our inquisitor has used in attemp to undermine holy tradtion. So what does he know from the Bible of what is holy tradition vs. the tradition of man?
Only proves we cannot go far from the apostles, if we are to learn what they  believed.

"Claim our share," neither can the ghoulish practice of dismembering the dead be found in the New Testament.  When Jesus died, they no one "claimed their share" of body  parts. When James was stoned, same thing. Not once in the NT do we see the ghoulish superstition.

That Polycarp is relevant to what the apostles taught is not disputed, someone writing about him in the 2nd century, is.
Someone writing about him in the 2nd century, which is the same century in which he died, is irrelevant?

The "claiming of the share" by the way refers to recovering the body of St Polycarp, not dismemberment (St Joseph of Arimethea "claimed" this particular "share" after our Lord died).  St Polycarp's body was seen by the Church he led as their inheritance, and it was practice of the ancient Church to commemorate a martyr over their remains on the anniversary of the day of their death.  Much the same as it was the practice of pious Jews to gather in the tombs of the Patriarchs in remembrance.  Our Lord would have been commemorated by His disciples in this way, except He did something beyond all expectation.

By the way, refer to the bones of Elisha (II Kings 13:21) for an account of God working a miracle through the remains of a holy man.
Yes, that's "hearsay," inadmissible testimony because that kind of testimony is notoriously unreliable.

Given the ghoulish glee over claiming their share of body parts, its odd any think this is Christian. Find that practice in Jesus' teachings.

Your Jewish analogy also fails, they did not exhume the dead and "claim their share" of remains.


Ghoulish.

"If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! (Mat 6:23 NKJ)
 

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recent convert said:
Alfred Persson said:
recent convert said:
Well we can go one step further than icon veneration and find that relic veneration was practiced by the early Christians. In the martyrdom of Polycarp (2nd c.) it is stated that the devil, "...proceeded to do his best to arrainge that at least we should not get possession of his (St. Polycarp's) mortal remains, although numbers of us were anxious to do this and to claim our share in the hallowed relics." Tertullian asserts that St. Polycarp was appointed by the apostle St. John, he was known by St. Ignatius (who was known by St.Paul), and highly revered by St. Irenaeus whose words our inquisitor has used in attemp to undermine holy tradtion. So what does he know from the Bible of what is holy tradition vs. the tradition of man?
Only proves we cannot go far from the apostles, if we are to learn what they  believed.

"Claim our share," neither can the ghoulish practice of dismembering the dead be found in the New Testament.  When Jesus died, they no one "claimed their share" of body  parts. When James was stoned, same thing. Not once in the NT do we see the ghoulish superstition.

That Polycarp is relevant to what the apostles taught is not disputed, someone writing about him in the 2nd century, is.
All proper Christian burial would be observed since apostolic Christians administered the rite. since St. Polycarp died in the 2nd c. the authentic eyewitness account was written then & preserved in the apostolic tradition. Your earler claims of us (meaning those who you perceive as being apostolic) are faulty, unsupported by sources, & only relies on how you interpret scripture.
Its hearsay, unreliable.

What they believed does not prove what Polycarp believed and certainly not what the apostles taught.

Can you find Polycarp "claiming his share" of body parts?

No.

That some in the Second Century were robbing graves does not make Polycarp a relic merchant.


And all this should prove too much...unless you want icon veneration likened to greedily claiming "their share" of body parts from corpses.
 
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Alfred Persson said:
recent convert said:
Alfred Persson said:
recent convert said:
Well we can go one step further than icon veneration and find that relic veneration was practiced by the early Christians. In the martyrdom of Polycarp (2nd c.) it is stated that the devil, "...proceeded to do his best to arrainge that at least we should not get possession of his (St. Polycarp's) mortal remains, although numbers of us were anxious to do this and to claim our share in the hallowed relics." Tertullian asserts that St. Polycarp was appointed by the apostle St. John, he was known by St. Ignatius (who was known by St.Paul), and highly revered by St. Irenaeus whose words our inquisitor has used in attemp to undermine holy tradtion. So what does he know from the Bible of what is holy tradition vs. the tradition of man?
Only proves we cannot go far from the apostles, if we are to learn what they  believed.

"Claim our share," neither can the ghoulish practice of dismembering the dead be found in the New Testament.  When Jesus died, they no one "claimed their share" of body  parts. When James was stoned, same thing. Not once in the NT do we see the ghoulish superstition.

That Polycarp is relevant to what the apostles taught is not disputed, someone writing about him in the 2nd century, is.
All proper Christian burial would be observed since apostolic Christians administered the rite. since St. Polycarp died in the 2nd c. the authentic eyewitness account was written then & preserved in the apostolic tradition. Your earler claims of us (meaning those who you perceive as being apostolic) are faulty, unsupported by sources, & only relies on how you interpret scripture.
Its hearsay, unreliable.

What they believed does not prove what Polycarp believed and certainly not what the apostles taught.
Lets see you claim to be in apostolic sucession & yet say that someone (me) who finds an apostolic source as evidence of a veneration practice by apostolic Christians of the remains a martyred apsotolic Christian & that I trust these people as observing proper Christian burial rite as relying on unreliable hearsay? You were doing much better in this phase of the thread when you cited St. Irenaeus to bolster your point & even though there is disagreement it was fair & square exchange.
 
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