Sola Scriptura: The Bible alone is enough!

Apostolic Fathers used scripture as the primary defense against false doctrine.

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Mandatory: Apostolic Fathers Catechism Class for Catholics and Orthodox.

400 AD: Jerome:

  1. "Don't you know that the laying on of hands after baptism and then the invocation of the Holy Spirit is a custom of the Churches? Do you demand Scripture proof? You may find it in the Acts of the Apostles. And even if it did not rest on the authority of Scripture the consensus of the whole world in this respect would have the force of a command. For many other observances of the Churches, which are due to tradition, have acquired the authority of the written law, as for instance the practice of dipping the head three times in the layer, and then, after leaving the water, of tasting mingled milk and honey in representation of infancy; and, again, the practices of standing up in worship on the Lord's day, and ceasing from fasting every Pentecost; and there are many other unwritten practices which have won their place through reason and custom. So you see we follow the practice of the Church, although it may be clear that a person was baptized before the Spirit was invoked." (Jerome, Dialogue Against the Luciferians, 8)
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    Jerome clearly believes that if the church in the entire world agrees on some doctrine or practice, it is as good as having a Bible verse in scripture and a binding command. We strongly disagree. Jerome even knew at the time he said this, that NONE of what he talks about in this passage like "
    laying on of hands after baptism" and "drinking milk and honey" after baptism, was universally practiced. And no one in the modern Roman Catholic or Orthodox church today does so either! What is most important here, is that the "unwritten customs and laws" that Jerome claims were handed down by the apostles, are all very trivial and optional matters like "standing up in worship on the Lord's day". Any Catholic or Orthodox defender who want to use Jerome as an example of a man who felt "unwritten customs and laws" are as binding as scripture are required to do all the things Jerome here identifies as "unwritten customs and laws". Otherwise they are as hypocritical as they are dishonest.


by Steve Rudd


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