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April 11, 2010 / vivator

Augustine on Purgatory

In his dread of those more serious misfortunes, the speaker disregards this life which causes him to weep and groan with its misery, and makes his entreaty: Rebuke me not, O Lord, in thy indignation [Psalms 38:1]. Let me not be among those to whom thou wilt say: Depart into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels [Matthew 25:41]. Nor chastise me in thy wrath [Psalms 38:1]. Do thou cleanse me in this life and make me such that I shall have no need to pass through the purifying flames prepared for those who will be saved yet so as by fire [1 Corinthians 3:15]. Why? Is it not because in this world they are building upon a foundation of wood, hay, stubble? If they constructed with gold, silver, precious stones, they would be safe from both kinds of fire, not only from the everlasting fire which will torment the wicked forever and ever, but also from that which will purify those who are to be saved by fire. For we are told: He himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire [1 Corinthians 3:15]. And because of the phrase shall be saved, that fire is not taken seriously enough. Clearly, although they will be saved by fire, yet that fire will be more grievous than anything a man is capable of bearing in this life.

Augustine: Discourse on Psalms (Enarrationes in Psalmos) 37.3

English translation from Ancient Christian Writers, Vol. 30, page 330-331

While Augustine did not use the word purgatory he distinguished two kinds of fire, the everlasting fire that will torment the wicked forever and the purifying fire.

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16 Comments

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  1. UnionIEEE / Mar 8 2015 6:33 pm

    No offense, but that’s plain Eisegesis. Augustine gives a pretty thorough exegesis of 1 Cor 3 that is not about purgatory.

    Augustine exegetes the passage in Chapter 68 of his Handbook of Faith, Hope, and Love:

    “The fire shall try every man’s work, of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he has built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire. The fire then shall prove, not the work of one of them only, but of both. Now the trial of adversity is a kind of fire which is plainly spoken of in another place: The furnace proves the potter’s vessels: and the furnace of adversity just men. And this fire does IN THE COURSE OF THIS LIFE act exactly in the way the apostle says. If it come into contact with two believers, one caring for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord, that is, building upon Christ the foundation, gold, silver, precious stones; the other caring for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife, that is, building upon the same foundation wood, hay, stubble—the work of the former is not burned, because he has not given his love to things whose loss can cause him grief…”

    Hence, the purging fire of 1 Cor 3 clearly has to do with trials in the present life according to Augustine’s exegesis.

    Then, in Chapter 69 he writes:

    “And it is not impossible that something of the same kind may take place even after this life. It is a matter that may be inquired into, and either ascertained or left doubtful…”

    So, Augustine speculates that something similar “may take place,” but the fact it is “something of the same kind,” but not literally the same thing discounts any attempt to claim that Augustine viewed 1 Cor 3 as referring to purgatory, where he clearly offered a rationale that excludes the possibility.

    • vivator / Mar 8 2015 7:09 pm

      You quoted only portion of chapter 69. Here is more complete one, which I found from http://taylormarshall.com/2009/08/saint-augustine-on-purgatory.html

      “And it is not impossible that something of the same kind may take place even after this life. It is a matter that may be inquired into, and either ascertained or left doubtful, whether some believers shall pass through a kind of PURGATORIAL FIRE, and in proportion as they have loved with more or less devotion the goods that perish, be less or more quickly delivered from it. This cannot, however, be the case of any of those of whom it is said, that they ‘shall not inherit the kingdom of God,’ unless after suitable repentance their sins be forgiven them. When I say ‘suitable,’ I mean that they are not to be unfruitful in almsgiving; for Holy Scripture lays so much stress on this virtue, that our Lord tells us beforehand, that He will ascribe no merit to those on His right hand but that they abound in it, and no defect to those on His left hand but their want of it, when He shall say to the former, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom,” and to the latter, ‘Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire.’”

      Augustine left it open whether there is purgatory. He did not deny it as you try to prove.

      • UnionIEEE / Mar 8 2015 7:23 pm

        I have issues trying to reply here, but that was the point of my post http://christianreformedtheology.com/2014/11/20/saint-augustine-and-the-existence-of-purgatory . You just cited Augustine’s reflections on 1 Cor 3 as proof he adhered to the existence of purgatory. However, Augustine clearly exegeted the passage without any reference to purgatory, and then speculated that perhaps a similar purgatory in the afterlife is possible.

        He was open to it, but if the belief in purgatory was a solid tradition and not a developing idea, one would expect Augustine to have a firm stand on the issue…which he doesn’t.

        God bless,
        Craig

    • vivator / Mar 8 2015 7:28 pm

      Read also the following quote from Augustine: City of God, Book 21, chapter 24 (emphasis in capital is mine)
      It is then, I say, the same reason which prevents the Church at any time from praying for the wicked angels, which prevents her from praying hereafter for those men who are to be punished in eternal fire; and this also is the reason why, though she prays even for the wicked so long as they live, she yet does not even in this world pray for the unbelieving and godless who are dead. FOR SOME OF THE DEAD, INDEED, THE PRAYER OF THE CHURCH OR OF PIOUS INDIVIDUALS IS HEARD; BUT IT IS FOR THOSE WHO, HAVING BEEN REGENERATED IN CHRIST, DID NOT SPEND THEIR LIFE SO WICKEDLY THAT THEY CAN BE JUDGED UNWORTHY OF SUCH COMPASSION, NOR SO WELL THAT THEY CAN BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE NO NEED OF IT. AS ALSO, AFTER THE RESURRECTION, THERE WILL BE SOME OF THE DEAD TO WHOM, AFTER THEY HAVE ENDURED THE PAINS PROPER TO THE SPIRITS OF THE DEAD, MERCY SHALL BE ACCORDED, AND ACQUITTAL FROM THE PUNISHMENT OF THE ETERNAL FIRE. For were there not some whose sins, though not remitted in this life, shall be remitted in that which is to come, it could not be truly said, They shall not be forgiven, neither in this world, neither in that which is to come [Matthew 12:32].
      Augustine believed in praying for the dead, which is meaningless unless they are in purgatory.

  2. Craig Truglia / Mar 9 2015 8:15 am

    Why is it meaningless? I don’t really feel like debating this issue, but it is possible that the damned experience varying degrees of punishment. If that be the case, then the prayers may avail the sting of punishment and not the length of purgatory (or for what it is worth, the sting of punishment IN purgatory.)

    I have found Augustine’s speculations on the matter confusing to say the least. Take the following from Chapters 109 and 110 from the same Handbook:

    Therefore, it is in this life that all the merit or demerit is acquired, which can either relieve or aggravate a man’s sufferings after this life. [I wish I can underline the previous sentence.] No one, then, need hope that after he is dead he shall obtain merit with God which he has neglected to secure here. And accordingly it is plain that the services which the church celebrates for the dead are in no way opposed to the apostle’s words: For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad; for the merit which renders such services as I speak of profitable to a man, is earned while he lives in the body. It is not to every one that these services are profitable…When, then, sacrifices either of the altar or of alms are offered on behalf of all the baptized dead, they are thank-offerings for the very good, they are propitiatory offerings for the not very bad, and in the case of the very bad, even though they do not assist the dead, they are a species of consolation to the living. And where they are profitable, their benefit consists either in obtaining a full remission of sins, or at least in making the condemnation more tolerable.

    (http://christianreformedtheology.com/2014/11/22/prayers-for-the-dead-or-prayers-to-the-dead-part-ii/)

    So, Augustine may have believed in purgatory, We can certainly infer that much. However, he explictly writes that it is “possible,” which is hardly a ringing endorsement. So, we may have scribal interpolations that confuse the matter, or a very confused Augustine. He never explicitly endorses the doctrine and at points writes things that mitigate against it and vice versa.

    • vivator / Mar 10 2015 6:27 pm

      For me Augustine statement you cited and the one I refer to earlier simply shows that he did believe in purgatory. I understand that you want to make him “proto-Calvinist” – and belief in purgatory will disqualify him. Augustine also believed in other things that won’t go in-line with Reformed Church teaching of today like Baptism of regeneration, sinlessness of Mary and her perpetual virginity and canonicity of Catholic Bible.

    • A. Sanchez / Apr 11 2015 12:55 am

      Craig, with all due respect, I’m confused as to why you’re confused. Maybe you think purgatory is a “second chance” after death to merit heaven. If this is the case then I can see why St Augustine’s statement, “Therefore, it is in this life that all merit or demerit is acquired, which can relieve or aggravate a mans sufferings after this life.” is confusing to you.

      If we start from the beginning of chapter 110 we read “Nor can it be denied that the souls of the dead are benefited by the piety of their living friends, who offer the sacrifice of the Mediator, or give alms in the Church on their behalf.” If there is no state of purification after death, aka purgatory, then what do you suppose that St Augustine is speaking about here concerning benefits given by the living to those loved ones whom have died?

      St Augustine goes on to say, “But these services are of advantage only to those who during their lives have earned such merit, that services of this kind can help them. For there is a manner of life which is neither so good as not to require these services after death, nor so bad that such services are of no avail after death; there is, on the other hand, a kind of life so good as not to require them; and again, one so bad that when life is over they render no help. Therefore, it is in this life that all merit or demerit is acquired, which can relieve or aggravate a mans sufferings after this life.”

      Now let’s compare some quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church: paragraph 1023, on Heaven, “Those who die in God’s grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ.”

      And paragraph 1030, “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.”

      Paragraph 1031 goes on to say, “The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect”

      Concerning hell, paragraph 1033 states, “…To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice.”

      I think St Augustine’s views are perfectly united to the Church when it comes to purgatory.

      • Craig Truglia / Apr 12 2015 6:56 pm

        I’ll let Augustine’s words speak for themselves. He clearly wrote that it was a debatable topic. The doctrine of the trinity, for example, is not debatable.

  3. UnionIEEE / Mar 10 2015 7:32 pm

    1. Augustine taught baptismal regeneration. So did Luther and several Calvinist reformers.
    2. Luther and Calvin adhered to the sinlessness of Mary and her perpetual virginity.
    3. You are still speculating something from an inference from Augustine, and not actually pulling out something he explicitly said. He writes, “Therefore, it is in this life that all the merit or demerit is acquired, which can either relieve or aggravate a man’s sufferings after this life.” Now, how this makes sense with praying for the dead, I do not know, but there is no mention there of there explicitly being a purgatory. You are simply reading into the text something that is not there.

    May I add, it is a reference found in the same book where Augustine said it “may” be “possible” there is a purgatory. If he was certain of its existence, and that this was a tradition from the Apostles that was viva voce, why the speculation and apparent inconsistency? Would you affirm that it is possible that there may not be a purgatory?

    • vivator / Mar 10 2015 9:16 pm

      So you are aware that Reformers believed in such things but I bet you don’t. So who is correct? If, according to you, they were wrong on those issues then they could be wrong on other issues as well.
      If you read my earlier reply (8 March 2015) where I quoted from another work of Augustine you will note that he used the word purgatorial fire. In his work your friend cited, Augustine wrote “And accordingly it is plain that the services which the church celebrates for the dead are in no way opposed to the apostle’s words” and “When, then, sacrifices either of the altar or of alms are offered on behalf of all the baptized dead, they are thank-offerings for the very good, they are propitiatory offerings for the not very bad, and in the case of the very bad, even though they do not assist the dead, they are a species of consolation to the living. And where they are profitable, their benefit consists either in obtaining a full remission of sins, or at least in making the condemnation more tolerable.” Isn’t that clear enough?

  4. Craig Truglia / Mar 11 2015 6:33 am

    “So who is correct? If…they were wrong on those issues then they could be wrong on other issues as well.”

    Personally, I do not believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary or baptismal regeneration. I am much more open to the former than the latter, as the latter I believe is mitigated against on solid Scriptural grounds and I have investigated tradition and have found it lacking until the early third century.

    However, I do not think Augustine, Luther, you, or me have to be right about everything. My study of the early church has shown me that God has been gracious to all sorts of men, all cross the spectrum of certain ideas.

    Concerning your Augustine quote from City of God, I already addressed it (Mar 9 2015 8:15 am). There’s nothing in that quote explicitly about purgatory. He said “eternal fire,” so it is a reference to Hell.

    Now, concerning the quote I myself cited, you ask whether it is clear enough. Yes, I know what the quote says, but in the words of Augustine: ” it is not impossible that something of the same kind may take place even after this life. It is a matter that may be inquired into, and either ascertained or left doubtful…”

    The fact that he then speculates about purgatory and prayers for the dead, and then in the same book says, “Therefore, it is in this life that all the merit or demerit is acquired, which can either relieve or aggravate a man’s sufferings after this life” leads me to believe he is inquiring. Otherwise, he is promoting purgatory on logically inconsistent grounds (his own logic.) What we can be sure of is that we cannot be sure, his language explicitly says “it is a matter that may be inquired into, and either ascertained or left doubtful.”

    Jerome did not leave “doubtful” the perpetual virginity of Mary. Doctrines considered crucial, with the full weight of tradition behind them, are not left doubtful.

    • vivator / Mar 11 2015 6:58 pm

      You wrote “I do not think Augustine, Luther, you, or me have to be right about everything”. I fully agree with you and that’s why Scripture says the Church is the foundation and pillar of truth (1 Tim 3:15) and Christ will send the Holy Spirit to guide them in truth (John 16:13). You should know how and where to find truth! But it seems to me you are not so concerned about truth as you wrote “My study of the early church has shown me that God has been gracious to all sorts of men, all cross the spectrum of certain ideas”. If that is the case why you criticize other beliefs that are not in-line with you and try so hard to make Augustine belief in-line with you, if according to you, God has been gracious to all sorts of men, all cross the spectrum of certain ideas?
      When Christ ascended to heaven He did not leave His Church fully established with all fundamental beliefs already in place. There is what we call development of doctrine. For example it took over three hundred years before we have the final formula of Trinity, i.e. One God in Three Persons. The early Christians for sure believed in the divinity of Christ and the Holy Spirit but their relation with God the Father was not fully defined until fourth century. Other two examples are (1) the belief that Christ is one person with two natures also took four hundred years and (2) Christians in the first four hundred years or so, did not know which and how many books belong to the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. Therefore I am not surprise if you cannot find Baptism of Regeneration stated explicitly prior to Augustine time, just like you cannot find any early Christian wrote that God is one God in Three Persons. The same applies to purgatory – Augustine did not make firm statement about its existence but one thing for sure, he was not against it!

  5. Craig Truglia / Mar 12 2015 11:40 am

    ” But it seems to me you are not so concerned about truth …”

    I do not think you are really meaning that, and I do not think you even succeeded in conveying the rhetorical effect you were looking for.

    “…why you criticize other beliefs that are not in-line with you and try so hard to make Augustine belief in-line with you…”

    I do not criticize absolute everything, but when I know something clearly contradicts the Scripture or something in the written historical record I will say so. As for Augustine, I think I have treated him very fairly, covering in full what he has discussed about prayers to the dead in two articles on the subject.

    “When Christ ascended to heaven He did not leave His Church fully established with all fundamental beliefs already in place. There is what we call development of doctrine.”

    No question, as God was still revealing Scripture that gave a full view of His own teachings in Christ. What you cannot show (either in the Bible or the writers in the early Church) that there was some sort of continuence in doctrine past the APostolic period. Even Apostolic teachings that were Viva Voce, in theory, should have not been added to. Any elaboration on a doctrine, like that concerning the triune nature of God, does not give us new information but rather makes clear what has not been historically believed by the Church since Apostolic times.

    The fact that RCC apologists fall onto the “development of doctrine” and Apostolic Succession being a “living institution,” two things that no one in the early Church taught, leads me to believe they are clearly teaching innovations.

    God bless,
    Craig

    • vivator / Mar 24 2015 8:33 pm

      I wrote that are not so concerned about the truth because of what yourself wrote “However, I do not think Augustine, Luther, you, or me HAVE TO BE RIGHT about everything. My study of the early church has shown me that God has been gracious to all sorts of men, all cross the spectrum of certain ideas.”

      You claimed that you treated Augustine and others fairly but to me what you did is simply cherry picking. You have no problem when early Christians did not express their belief in Trinity in the same way we do today and when some of them believed in dual nature of Christ and some believe in single nature of Christ. Why no problem? Because you believe in Trinity and dual nature of Christ! On the other hand you have big issues when early Christians did not express clear belief on purgatory and baptism of regeneration – in fact you use it as good excuses not to believe in them because, unlike Trinity and dual nature of Christ, you don’t want to believe in them! Isn’t that cherry picking? For sure you are entitled to do that!

      Finally you think Catholic belief of apostolic succession as living institution as innovation. Well, I must say you did not do your homework well. Let me quote from Irenaeus – I understand you cited from him in your web site to debunk tradition and apostolic succession – another example of cherry picking attitude of yours. Read what Irenaeus wrote in Against Heresies Book III Chapter 3:

      1. It is within the power of all, therefore, in every Church, who may wish to see the truth, to contemplate clearly the tradition of the apostles manifested throughout the whole world; and we are in a position to reckon up those who were by the apostles instituted bishops in the Churches, and [to demonstrate] the succession of these men to our own times; those who neither taught nor knew of anything like what these [heretics] rave about. For if the apostles had known hidden mysteries, which they were in the habit of imparting to “the perfect” apart and privily from the rest, they would have delivered them especially to those to whom they were also committing the Churches themselves. For they were desirous that these men should be very perfect and blameless in all things, whom also they were leaving behind as their successors, delivering up their own place of government to these men; which men, if they discharged their functions honestly, would be a great boon [to the Church], but if they should fall away, the direst calamity.

      2. Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority — that is, the faithful everywhere — inasmuch as the Apostolic Tradition has been preserved continuously by those who are everywhere.

      3. The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles. In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren at Corinth, the Church in Rome despatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace, renewing their faith, and declaring the tradition which it had lately received from the apostles, proclaiming the one God, omnipotent, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Creator of man, who brought on the deluge, and called Abraham, who led the people from the land of Egypt, spake with Moses, set forth the law, sent the prophets, and who has prepared fire for the devil and his angels. From this document, whosoever chooses to do so, may learn that He, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, was preached by the Churches, and may also understand the apostolical tradition of the Church, since this Epistle is of older date than these men who are now propagating falsehood, and who conjure into existence another god beyond the Creator and the Maker of all existing things. To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telephorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus; after him, Pius; then after him, Anicetus. Sorer having succeeded Anicetus, Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate. In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth.

      4. But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, for he tarried [on earth] a very long time, and, when a very old man, gloriously and most nobly suffering martyrdom, departed this life, having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true. To these things all the Asiatic Churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp down to the present time — a man who was of much greater weight, and a more stedfast witness of truth, than Valentinus, and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics. He it was who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus caused many to turn away from the aforesaid heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received this one and sole truth from the apostles — that, namely, which is handed down by the Church. There are also those who heard from him that John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and perceiving Cerinthus within, rushed out of the bath-house without bathing, exclaiming, “Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within.” And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, “Dost thou know me?” “I do know thee, the first-born of Satan.” Such was the horror which the apostles and their disciples had against holding even verbal communication with any corrupters of the truth; as Paul also says, “A man that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.” There is also a very powerful Epistle of Polycarp written to the Philippians, from which those who choose to do so, and are anxious about their salvation, can learn the character of his faith, and the preaching of the truth. Then, again, the Church in Ephesus, founded by Paul, and having John remaining among them permanently until the times of Trajan, is a true witness of the tradition of the apostles.

  6. Craig Truglia / Mar 25 2015 7:03 am

    “You claimed that you treated Augustine and others fairly but to me what you did is simply cherry picking.”

    That’s your opinion, one that you have no substantitated.

    “You have no problem when early Christians did not express their belief in Trinity in the same way we do today and when some of them believed in dual nature of Christ and some believe in single nature of Christ. Why no problem?”

    Actually, there are several Church Fathers that I would correct them on. Didmyus the Blind says, “So too the Son is said to receive from the Father the very things by which he subsists.” Hilary of Potiers writes, “In the fact that before times eternal your [the Father’s] only-begotten [Son] was born of you.” The Son is eternal, not “born”, and self-sufficient, very God of very God.

    I suppose that there are fine technical details that can explain away the subtle problems with what they clearly said. However, being that Tertullian and contemporary writers had better Christology, the “development” hypothesis in my mind fails. It jsut shows the usefulness of Nicea and later councils which defined the terms which the Church as a whole always believed, excusing ideas that were not believed.

    “On the other hand you have big issues when early Christians did not express clear belief on purgatory and baptism of regeneration – in fact you use it as good excuses not to believe in them because, unlike Trinity and dual nature of Christ, you don’t want to believe in them! Isn’t that cherry picking?”

    The difference is that the preponderance of early Fathers had correct Christology as soon as the issue became elaborated upon. In the Scripture, in Ignatius, and CLement, the issue appears fairly consistent and settled. Purgatory does not appear until centuries later where Augustine was not even confident that it truly existed. A Church doctor would certainly endorse an unviersal idea if it were at that time universal.

    Baptismal Regeneration is arguably correct, so I am not going to debate this topic. It is not a clear innovation or throw Scripture into contradiction like purgatory does.

    “Finally you think Catholic belief of apostolic succession as living institution as innovation. Well, I must say you did not do your homework well…”

    Perhaps you do not understand my terms, or I do not understand yours. When someone says “living” it is usually a euphemism for “changing” and “Adaptable” (i.e. “living Constitution.”) So, while the Constitution in of itself is stagnant (in fact it still physically exists in the National Archives.) Yet, the way the Constitution is interpreted, the document has become fluid in its application and interpretations have changed in jurisprudence.

    So, my point is that while the successors of the Apostles are literally living (as Irenaeus points out, you did not quote to me anything new), the correct doctrine that proceeds from them is not living, but the same in which they were originally delivered, at least in theory. That is Irenaeus’ assertion. He is not asserting that by virtue of being a descendant of an APostle, you can now contrive new doctrines. Technically, this is not the teaching of the RCC or EO. However, in apologetics, I have seen the institution of APostolic Succession defended in terms perilously close to this.

    GOd bless,

    Craig

    • vivator / Apr 12 2015 10:56 am

      You keep on denying that you practice cherry picking. For sure you are entitled to do such things. Purgatory is alluded in Zech 13:8-9, long before Augustine was born – because you don’t want Scripture to teach such thing then obviously you tune the verses to match your predefined belief, i.e. there is no purgatory. On the other hand, there is NO single verse in the Scripture saying (1) Christ has dual nature and (2) God is one God in Three Persons – it took the early Christians few centuries to develop that belief and you have no problem because they belong to acceptable belief of yours. You don’t need to comment back – there is no point to continue this discussion as we are going in circle.

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