Vs. J. Oliveira #8: Rule of Faith

Vs. J. Oliveira #8: Rule of Faith October 5, 2023
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Brazilian Protestant Juan Roberto de Oliveira is the author of the book, Nenhum Caminho Leva a Roma: O pecurso até o protestantismo [No Road Leads to Rome: The Path to Protestantism]. It has no date or publisher listed. But it was “recently released.” He’s a “law graduate” and is active on Twitter (now “X”) and, especially, Instagram. When I informed Juan of my replies, he quickly wrote on Twitter: “I’ll be rebutting your rebuttals.” I wish him all the best in that endeavor. If anyone discovers that he has ever answered any of my critiques, please let me know.
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His words will be in blue. Translations from the Portugese of his book will be made with Google Translate (with an occasional additional modification). I will use RSV for Bible translations.
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Just as I finished my tenth installment (10-5-23), Fraternidade Newman Brasil [Newman Brazil Fraternity] published a devastatingly comprehensive (and shocking) expose entitled “Apologética da Desonestidade: Evidências de Plágio e outras Trapaças no Livro do Protestante Juan Roberto Oliveira” [Apologetics of Dishonesty: Evidence of Plagiarism and other Cheating in the Book of Protestant Juan Roberto Oliveira].
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In light of this new information, this will be my last critique. It’s a shame, because I was enjoying myself so much, and I felt that I came up with some fresh arguments, but this book deserves no further response. It was already a very weak, poor volume (desperately in need of an editor), even if these factors weren’t in play. What I have written thus far has, in my opinion, value in and of itself, as a ten-part Catholic apologetics “course.” So it wasn’t a waste of time at all. But no more. I’m only interested in responding to serious, adequately researched, honest apologetics.
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Sola Scriptura is a theological principle that is based on the belief that The Bible is the only final and infallible authority for Christian faith and practice. . . . the Bible is the supreme source of authority in matters of faith and morals, above traditions, church teachings or human opinions. . . . the norm by which all other authorities must be evaluated. (p. 42)

We agree on the definition. We disagree on whether it is a true or false and biblically supported viewpoint.

[A]ny teaching or tradition that does not conform to the Scriptures must be rejected. (p. 42)

What cannot be tradition is anything that is in conflict with the scriptures. (p. 43)

Catholics wholeheartedly agree. That’s why we are so opposed to several Protestant man-made doctrines; “traditions of men”: because they are contrary to Holy Scripture. Nothing personal against them; we’re just trying to be consistently “biblical.” We must, however, define what we mean by “biblical”. Catholics mean by that, that every doctrine must be in harmony with Scripture and not contrary to it. Protestants often mean by the word, “explicitly mentioned in Scripture.” We agree with Martin Luther, when he wrote that “what is not against the Scriptures is for the Scriptures and the Scriptures are for it” (Letter to Philip Melanchthon, 13 January 1522). I wrote in my article, “Explicit” Bible Proofs & Protestant Double Standards [2-12-16; with a little added presently]:

A doctrine can be “biblical” without explicit mention in the Bible. Some things are implicit / indirect only, or logically deduced from other more explicit passages. Some doctrines, including many distinctively Protestant ones, are arguably not in the Bible at all. The New Testament never mentions an “altar call”. It never has the typical “sinner’s prayer” of evangelicals. It doesn’t mention church buildings. It never uses the frequently mentioned evangelical terminology of “personal relationship with Jesus.” It never lists its own books (the biblical canon comes from the authority and proclamations of the Catholic Church and tradition). It never teaches sola Scriptura, or the concept that the Bible is the only infallible source of authority. Yet –oddly enough and passing strange —  this is one of the very “pillars” of the Protestant worldview.

Other beliefs or practices not explicitly mentioned in the Bible are Bible studies, grape juice as an element to be consecrated for communion (rather than wine), “asking Jesus into one’s heart,” a “body of believers,” Scripture interpreting Scripture (the more clear helping to understand the less clear), agreeing on “essential” or “primary” doctrines and permitted relativism regarding “non-essential” or “secondary” doctrines, denominations (vs. the biblical “one Church”). Of course, this very idea that one must find explicit biblical proof for every doctrine or it can’t / mustn’t be believed (even with high selectivity or rank inconsistency) is not found in the Bible anywhere, either. It’s (irony of all ironies!) a mere tradition of men.

Some popular Protestant (and also often Catholic) words or phrases  that do not appear in the Bible are raptureinvisible church, incarnationvirgin birth, holy communionLord’s prayerBibleoriginal sinfall of mantheologygo[ing] to churchgrace alone[total] depravityunconditional electionlimited atonementirresistible graceperseverance of the saintsspiritualityScripture alone, pray for guidancepray for directionspiritual warfare, and sin natureFaith alone only appears once:

James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

Protestants manage to believe all these things (or use these words) with no problem whatever. Why? Or, more specifically, why do they believe these things, which are absent from or non-explicit in the Bible, while giving Catholics misery for similar things, or else doctrines and practices with far more indication of various sorts than the things above, that Protestants accept? Why the double standard? Or is it just that the Protestants who sling these sorts of “arguments” about never think about them very deeply, or have never met a Catholic who can show that they are very weak arguments indeed?

Sorry to get so in-depth about this, but the above clarifications are supremely important to keep in mind as we proceed with this vexed and vastly misunderstood topic.

We have the famous verse that Catholics love to use to extol tradition, which is in 2 Thessalonians 2.15: “So, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, whether by word or by letter.” But this spoken tradition was the teachings contained in the letters from the apostles, and when not, the apostles did not introduce innovations. (pp. 42-43)

Now here is a classic / “textbook” example of utterly wrongheaded and unbiblical Protestant tradition. What Juan is attempting to argue is absolutely absent from Holy Scripture. Nowhere does it ever claim that when “tradition” is mentioned, it can only refer to teachings in other portions of the Bible (which at the time were not even finally determined yet) and can never be anything beyond those (while still in harmony with them). It’s a very silly, confused, unsupported claim, and its simply assumed without no basis for doing so. This is the notion that Protestants call “inscripturation.” It was explained at length by the late Protestant apologist Norman Geisler, writing with Ralph MacKenzie, in the article, “A Defense of Sola Scriptura (Christian Research Institute, 4-8-09; my italics):

It is not legitimate to appeal to any oral revelation in New Testament times as proof that nonbiblical infallible authority is in existence today. …

Since the death of the apostles the only apostolic authority we have is the inspired record of their teaching in the New Testament. That is, all apostolic tradition (teaching) on faith and practice is in the New Testament. … all apostolic teaching that God deemed necessary for the faith and practice (morals) of the church was preserved (2 Timothy 3:15-17). …

There is not a shred of evidence that any of the revelation God gave them to express was not inscripturated by them in the only books — the inspired books of the New Testament — that they left for the church.

I wrote about it in National Catholic Register (3-15-21):

Protestants have to believe something akin to this notion, because of their aversion to extrabiblical (yet harmonious with Scripture) authoritative, binding tradition. They agree that what apostles taught was binding, but they fail to see that some of that teaching wouldn’t be recorded in Scripture. The Bible itself teaches us that there are such teachings and deeds not recorded in it (John 20:30, 21:25, Acts 1:2-3, Luke 24:15-16,25-27). The logic is simple:

Apostles’ teaching was authoritative and binding (i.e., for all practical purposes, “infallible”). Some of that teaching was recorded in Scripture, but some was not. The folks who heard their teaching were bound to it whether it was later “inscripturated” or not. If they were so bound, it stands to reason that we could and should be, also. Scripture itself does not rule out the presence of an authoritative oral tradition, not recorded in words. Paul refers more than once to a non-written tradition (e.g., 2 Timothy 1:13-14, 2:2).

When Paul was preaching he did so authoritatively, as an apostle. Not everything he said was later included in the Bible; therefore it was not all inspired (he was no walking Bible-machine any more than Jesus was). But he was an authority, and acted consciously upon this authority. Inscripturation teaches that anything not recorded in Scripture could not have been passed down by Paul: a contention that is absurd on its face.

As an example of a Protestant who accepts the binding, infallible nature of a teaching even if it isn’t taught in the Bible, I submit Martin Luther, the founder of Protestantism. He wrote a letter [regarding infant baptism] to Albrecht (or Albert), Margrave of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia, dated April 1532 by some and February or early March by others. The well-known Luther biographer Roland H. Bainton cites the following portion of it:

This testimony of the universal holy Christian Church, even if we had nothing else, would be a sufficient warrant for holding this article [on the sacrament] and refusing to suffer or listen to a sectary, for it is dangerous and fearful to hear or believe anything against the unanimous testimony, belief, and teaching of the universal holy Christian churches, unanimously held in all the world from the beginning until now over fifteen hundred years. (Studies on the Reformation, Boston: Beacon Press, 1963, p. 26; primary source: WA [Werke, Weimar edition in German], Vol. XXX, 552; my italics)

St. Augustine had taught the same 1100 years earlier:

As to those other things which we hold on the authority, not of Scripture, but of tradition, and which are observed throughout the whole world, it may be understood that they are held as approved and instituted either by the apostles themselves, or by plenary Councils, whose authority in the Church is most useful, . . . For often have I perceived, with extreme sorrow, many disquietudes caused to weak brethren by the contentious pertinacity . . . of some who, in matters of this kind, which do not admit of final decision by the authority of Holy Scripture, or by the tradition of the universal Church. (Letter to Januarius, 54, 1, 1; 54, 2, 3)

Since Old Testament times we see God preserving his word through of writing. This is why the Bible often uses the expression “it is written”, 31 times in the Old Testament and 78 times in the New Testament. God said it in Isaiah 30:8: “Go now, write this on a tablet before them and record it in a book; so that it may remain until the last day, forever and ever perpetually.” The way God uses to preserve his word throughout the ages centuries is not through word of mouth, it is through writing. (p. 43)

God does primarily use writing, but it’s not all He uses, and the Bible bears witness to oral tradition as well:

Biblical Evidence for Apostolic Oral Tradition [2-20-09]

Biblical Evidence for the Oral Torah & Oral Apostolic Tradition [10-18-11]

Anglican Newman on Oral & Written Apostolic Tradition [10-12-19]

Oral Tradition According to Great Historic Apologists [10-18-19]

In the Bible, “Word of God” Usually Means Oral Proclamation [National Catholic Register, 12-17-19]

Jesus the “Nazarene”: Did Matthew Make Up a “Prophecy”? (Reply to Jonathan M. S. Pearce from the Blog, A Tippling Philosopher / Oral Traditions and Possible Lost Old Testament Books Referred to in the Bible) [12-17-20]

Oral Tradition: More Biblical (Pauline) Evidence (. . . and an Examination of the False and Unbiblical Protestant Supposed Refutation of “Inscripturation”) [2-27-21]

Authoritative Non-Biblical Oral Proclamation from a Prophet (Not an Apostle) Led by the Holy Spirit, After the Day of Pentecost [Facebook, 4-1-21]

In the Torah (first five books of the OT), nothing can be found in Mosaic Law forbidding the carrying of objects from one’s house on the Sabbath. Yet according to the prophet Jeremiah, God willed that Jerusalem be destroyed for not abiding by this oral tradition and command:

Jeremiah 17:21-22, 27 Thus says the LORD: Take heed for the sake of your lives, and do not bear a burden on the sabbath day or bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem. [22] And do not carry a burden out of your houses on the sabbath or do any work, but keep the sabbath day holy, as I commanded your fathers. . . . [27] But if you do not listen to me, to keep the sabbath day holy, and not to bear a burden and enter by the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem and shall not be quenched.

Thus, the written revelation of the Old Testament referred to the oral Torah, given to Moses (according to Jewish tradition) on Mt. Sinai at the same time he received the written Law. It even says that God “commanded” this stipulation for the Sabbath. Since it isn’t found in the written Torah, then it had to come from the authoritative oral Torah.

Surprisingly enough, the written Torah never specifies that Jerusalem would be the central place of worship, or that a temple was to be built there (neither the words “temple” — in this sense — nor “Jerusalem” ever appears in the Pentateuch or Torah: first five books of the Bible). It’s never taught in the Torah that a permanent temple would replace the tabernacle (extensively dealt with in the Torah) as the central place of worship. If God didn’t authoritatively reveal His plan concerning a future temple to Moses, then all of the sacrificial worship of Israel from the time of Solomon was invalid. Therefore, the command had to be in the oral Torah.

The Jerusalem Council issued four commands to Gentile believers. Three dealt with food (Acts 15:20, 29; 21:25), and two of those derived from the oral Torah (written down much later): namely, not to eat things sacrificed to idols (Mishnah Avodah Zorah 2:3) or things strangled (Mishnah Chullin 1:2). The written Torah doesn’t prohibit either, yet Jesus strongly condemns Pergamum and Thyatira for not observing their ban (Rev 2:14, 20).

John Chrysostom exhorted his congregation not to seek any other teaching than the oracles of God, as everything that was needed could be extracted directly and clearly from the Bible. (p. 59)

That’s untrue. He also wrote:

Not by letters alone did Paul instruct his disciple in his duty, but before by words also which he shows, both in many other passages, as where he says, “whether by word or our Epistle” (2 Thess. ii. 15.), and especially here. Let us not therefore suppose that anything relating to doctrine was spoken imperfectly. For many things he delivered to him without writing. Of these therefore he reminds him, when he says, “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me.” (Homily III on 2 Timothy – on 2 Tim 1:13-18)

“That ye remember me in all things, and hold fast the traditions, even as I delivered them to you.” It appears then that he used at that time to deliver many things also not in writing, which he shows too in many other places. But at that time he only delivered them, whereas now he adds an explanation of their reason: thus both rendering the one sort, the obedient, more steadfast, and pulling down the others’ pride, who oppose themselves. (Homily XXVI on 1 Corinthians; commenting on 1 Corinthians 11:2)

“So then, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye were taught, whether by word, or by Epistle of ours.”Hence it is manifest, that they did not deliver all things by Epistle, but many things also unwritten, and in like manner both the one and the other are worthy of credit. Therefore let us think the tradition of the Church also worthy of credit. It is a tradition, seek no farther. Here he shows that there were many who were shaken. (On Second Thessalonians, Homily IV)

Chrysostom even appeals to an apostolic unwritten tradition of intercessory prayers for the dead:

Not in vain did the Apostles order that remembrance should be made of the dead in the dreadful Mysteries. They know that great gain resulteth to them, great benefit; for when the whole people stands with uplifted hands, a priestly assembly, and that awful Sacrifice lies displayed, how shall we not prevail with God by our entreaties for them? And this we do for those who have departed in faith, . . . (On Philippians, Homily 3)

Concerning the “sacred writers,” St. John Chrysostom commented:

. . . it was no object with them to be writers of books: in fact, there are many things which they have delivered by unwritten tradition. (On Acts of the Apostles, Homily 1)

In St. Paul’s epistles tradition, gospel, and word of God are synonymous concepts. They’re all predominantly oral, not written, and are referred to as being “delivered” and “received”:

1 Corinthians 11:2  . . . maintain the traditions . .  . . even as I have delivered them to you.

2 Thessalonians 2:15  . . . hold to the traditions . . . .  taught . . . by word of mouth or by letter.

2 Thessalonians 3:6  . . . the tradition that you received from us.

1 Corinthians 15:1  . . . the gospel, which you received . . .

Galatians 1:9  . . . the gospel . . . which you received.

1 Thessalonians 2:9  . . . we preached to you the gospel of God.

1 Thessalonians 2:13  . . . you received the word of God, which you heard from us, . . . (cf. Acts 8:14)

Athanasius wrote that “the holy Scriptures and inspired were completely sufficient to proclaim the truth.” (p. 59)

Of course they are. But Athanasius did not hold to sola Scriptura. St. Athanasius affirmed infallible Church and conciliar pronouncements, the Catholic rule of faith, and the binding, infallible nature of doctrines received through apostolic succession and apostolic tradition (all expressly contrary to sola Scriptura):

But the word of the Lord which came through the ecumenical Synod at Nicea, abides forever. (Ad Afros Epistola Synodica2; in NPNF2, IV:489)

But let the Faith confessed by the Fathers at Nicæa alone hold good among you, at which all the fathers, including those of the men who now are fighting against it, were present, as we said above, and signed: in order that of us too the Apostle may say, ‘Now I praise you that you remember me in all things, and as I handed the traditions to you, so hold them fast 1 Corinthians 11:2.’ (Ad Afros Epistola Synodica10)

For had they believed aright, they would have been satisfied with the confession put forth at Nicæa by the whole Ecumenical Council; . . . Observe how entirely they disregard the truth, and how everything they say and do is for the sake of the Arian heresy. For in that they dare to question those sound definitions of the faith, and take upon themselves to produce others contrary to them, what else do they but accuse the Fathers, and stand up in defense of that heresy which they opposed and protested against? (Ad Episcopos Aegypti et Libyae, 5)

Who, then, that has any real regard for truth, will be willing to suffer these men any longer? Who will not justly reject their writing? Who will not denounce their audacity, that being but few in number, they would have their decisions to prevail over everything, and as desiring the supremacy of their own meetings, held in corners and suspicious in their circumstances, would forcibly cancel the decrees of an uncorrupt, pure, and Ecumenical Council? (Ad Episcopos Aegypti et Libyae, 7)

It is enough merely to answer such things as follows: we are content with the fact that this is not the teaching of the Catholic Church, nor did the fathers hold this. (Letter No. 59 to Epictetus, 3)

What defect of teaching was there for religious truth in the Catholic Church . . .? (De Synodis, I, 3)

But ye are blessed, who by faith are in the Church, dwell upon the foundations of the faith, and have full satisfaction, even the highest degree of faith which remains among you unshaken. For it has come down to you from Apostolic tradition, . . . (Fragment from Letter No. 29 [Migne, xxvi, p. 1189] )

St. Athanasius makes it very clear that Paul made a distinction between man-made, merely human traditions, and apostolic tradition and succession: classifying the latter as a good and necessary thing:

6.  . . . Therefore Paul justly praises the Corinthians [1 Corinthians 11:2]because their opinions were in accordance with his traditions. And the Lord most righteously reproved the Jews, saying, ‘Wherefore do you also transgress the commandments of God on account of your traditions [Matthew 15:3].’ For they changed the commandments they received from God after their own understanding, preferring to observe the traditions of men. And about these, a little after, the blessed Paul again gave directions to the Galatians who were in danger thereof, writing to them, ‘If any man preach to you anything else than that you have received, let him be accursed [Galatians 1:9].’

7. For there is no fellowship whatever between the words of the saints and the fancies of human invention; for the saints are the ministers of the truth, preaching the kingdom of heaven, but those who are borne in the opposite direction have nothing better than to eat, and think their end is that they shall cease to be, and they say, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die [Isaiah 22:13].’ Therefore blessed Luke reproves the inventions of men, and hands down the narrations of the saints, saying in the beginning of the Gospel, ‘Since many have presumed to write narrations of those events of which we are assured, as those who from the beginning were witnesses and ministers of the Word have delivered to us; it has seemed good to me also, who have adhered to them all from the first, to write correctly in order to you, O excellent Theophilus, that you may know the truth concerning the things in which you have been instructed [Luke 1:1].’ For as each of the saints has received, that they impart without alteration, for the confirmation of the doctrine of the mysteries. Of these the (divine) word would have us disciples, and these should of right be our teachers, and to them only is it necessary to give heed, for of them only is ‘the word faithful and worthy of all acceptation [1 Timothy 1:15];’ these not being disciples because they heard from others, but being eye-witnesses and ministers of the Word, that which they had heard from Him have they handed down. (Festal Letter No. 2, 6-7; my bolding)

Juan presents partial truths; I present the whole truth. Let the reader decide where the truth resides. Athanasius is expressly stating that he passes down the tradition that he received from men who knew and learned from the apostles and writers of the Bible. That’s apostolic tradition!

Athanasius offered a magnificent description of conciliar infallibility and the Catholic rule of faith, including apostolic succession (even including, for good measure, the authority of the pope):

The letters are sufficient which were written by our beloved fellow-minister Damasus, bishop of the Great Rome, and the large number of bishops who assembled along with him; and equally so are those of the other synods which were held, both in Gaul and in Italy, concerning the sound Faith which Christ gave us, the Apostles preached, and the Fathers, who met at Nicæa from all this world of ours, have handed down. For so great a stir was made at that time about the Arian heresy, in order that they who had fallen into it might be reclaimed, while its inventors might be made manifest. . . . they were not afraid of God, who says, ‘Remove not the eternal boundaries which your fathers placed [Proverbs 22:28],’ and ‘He that speaks against father or mother, let him die the death [Exodus 21:17]:’ they were not in awe of their fathers, who enjoined that they who hold the opposite of their confession should be anathema. (Ad Afros Epistola Synodica 1; my bolding)

He taught that the Council of Nicaea was in line with apostolic succession as well as Scripture:

For that of Nicæa is sufficient, agreeing as it does with the ancient bishops also, in which too their fathers signed, whom they ought to respect, on pain of being thought anything but Christians. But if even after such proofs, and after the testimony of the ancient bishops, and the signature of their own Fathers, they pretend as if in ignorance to be alarmed at the phrase ‘coessential,’ . . . (Ad Afros Epistola Synodica 9)

Cyril of Jerusalem argued that “in the divine and saving principles of faith, no doctrine, however common, can be taught without the support of the divine Scriptures.” (p. 59)

That’s fine; we agree with that. But did Cyril believe in sola Scriptura? Absolutely not. He refers to the passing-on of apostolic tradition:

And now, brethren beloved, the word of instruction exhorts you all, to prepare your souls for the reception of the heavenly gifts. As regards the Holy and Apostolic Faith delivered to you to profess, we have spoken through the grace of the Lord as many Lectures, as was possible,. . . (XVIII:32)

He regards the Church as the determinant of orthodoxy, insofar as what it holds, is apostolic Christianity:

And to be brief, let us neither separate them, nor make a confusion : neither say thou ever that the Son is foreign to the Father, nor admit those who say that the Father is at one time Father, and at another Son: for these are strange and impious statements, and not the doctrines of the Church. (XI:18)

And formerly the heretics were manifest; but now the Church is filled with heretics in disguise. For men have fallen away from the truth, and have itching ears[2 Tim 4:3] Is it a plausible discourse? All listen to it gladly. Is it a word of correction? All turn away from it. Most have departed from right words, and rather choose the evil, than desire the good. This therefore is the falling away, and the enemy is soon to be looked for: and meanwhile he has in part begun to send forth his own forerunners , that he may then come prepared upon the prey. Look therefore to yourself, O man, and make safe your soul. The Church now charges you before the Living God; she declares to you the things concerning Antichrist before they arrive. Whether they will happen in your time we know not, or whether they will happen after you we know not; but it is well that, knowing these things, you should make yourself secure beforehand. (XV:9)

[T]he Catholic Church guarding you beforehand has delivered to you in the profession of the faith,  . . . (XVII:3)

He speaks in terms of the Catholic “three-legged stool” rule of faith: tradition, Church, and Scripture: all harmonious:

But in learning the Faith and in professing it, acquire and keep that only, which is now delivered to you by the Church, and which has been built up strongly out of all the Scriptures. For since all cannot read the Scriptures, some being hindered as to the knowledge of them by want of learning, and others by a want of leisure, in order that the soul may not perish from ignorance, we comprise the whole doctrine of the Faith in a few lines. This summary I wish you both to commit to memory when I recite it , and to rehearse it with all diligence among yourselves, not writing it out on paper , but engraving it by the memory upon your heart , taking care while you rehearse it that no Catechumen chance to overhear the things which have been delivered to you. . . . for the present listen while I simply say the Creed , and commit it to memory; but at the proper season expect the confirmation out of Holy Scripture of each part of the contents. For the articles of the Faith were not composed as seemed good to men; but the most important points collected out of all the Scripture make up one complete teaching of the Faith. And just as the mustard seed in one small grain contains many branches, so also this Faith has embraced in few words all the knowledge of godliness in the Old and New Testaments. Take heed then, brethren, and hold fast the traditions which you now receive, and write them on the table of your heart.

Guard them with reverence, lest per chance the enemy despoil any who have grown slack; or lest some heretic pervert any of the truths delivered to you. For faith is like putting money into the bank , even as we have now done; but from you God requires the accounts of the deposit. I charge you, as the Apostle says, before God, who quickens all things, and Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good confession, that you keep this faith which is committed to you, without spot, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. (V: 12-13)

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Summary: I refute Juan Oliveira’s weak “proofs” for sola Scriptura as the rule of faith, from the Bible & from the Church fathers (Athanasius, Chrysostom, & Cyril of Jerusalem).

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