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True2Ourselves Forums   > Community Topics > Theology  > Authority to Teach, by Jim Blackburn

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Old 05-14-2012, 07:11 PM
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Post Authority to Teach, by Jim Blackburn

Authority to Teach
By Jim Blackburn
>> Authority to Teach (This Rock: July-August 2006)

Quote:
When talking with other Christians, Catholics often find themselves discussing various interpretations of specific Scripture passages, many of which can be agreed upon as allowable interpretations, but many others about which the parties must remain at odds. Intelligent, sincere, non-Catholic Christians have studied the Bible and listened to enough Bible teaching to genuinely believe that their interpretations are correct and to be unconvinced of any flaw in their understanding. No two people in conversation about Scripture will see eye to eye on everything.

Has the interpretation of Scripture always been an issue? Was it a problem in the earliest days of Christianity? In fact, even during the apostolic era there was concern about misguided interpretations of Scripture. Peter wrote, "There are some things in them [Paul’s letters] hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures" (2 Pet. 3:16). He went on to warn Christians, "You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability" (2 Pet. 3:17).

How were early Christians to know who was teaching the truth? Was there a way to discern who was teaching Christ’s truth and who was not? There was.

Sent by Christ

Jesus gave certain followers the authority to teach. The early Christians knew they could trust Peter’s teaching because he was one of Jesus’ apostles. The word apostle comes from the Greek word apostolos, which denotes one who is sent as a messenger. Early Christians recognized that the apostles were sent by Christ and endowed with the authority to teach in his name.

At the Last Supper, Jesus promised the apostles that the Father "will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever . . . the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. . . . He will guide you into all the truth" (John 14:16, 26; 16:13).

Before his ascension, Jesus instructed the apostles, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Matt. 28:19–20).


False Teachers among You

Peter taught that "no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God" (2 Pet. 1:20–21) and went on to warn about those who taught without authority: "There will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction" (2 Pet. 2:1).

Paul instructed, "Stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thess. 2:15), and "If any one refuses to obey what we say in this letter, note that man, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not look on him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother" (2 Thess. 3:14–15).

The letter to the Hebrews states, "Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings; for it is well that the heart be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited their adherents" (Heb. 13:7–9). It goes on, "Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account. Let them do this joyfully, and not sadly, for that would be of no advantage to you" (Heb. 13:17).

The apostles had authority to teach, and they warned Christians to follow only those teachings and to beware of those without it. Scripture even provides evidence that the early Christians recognized the apostles’ authority. Paul wrote, "I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you" (1 Cor. 11:2).

But what happened after the apostles were gone? To whom did the authority to teach pass? Was it open to anyone who knew Scripture or had a teaching credential or a theology degree? How were later Christians to determine who was teaching the fullness of the truth?


The Laying On of Hands


Scripture indicates that the apostles endowed bishops and elders with their special authority to teach. We see the earliest evidence of the apostles conferring authority in the account of the appointing of Judas’s replacement:
"For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘Let his habitation become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it’; and ‘His office let another take.’ So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection." And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, "Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside, to go to his own place." And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:20–26)
In his first letter to Timothy, a bishop—in which Paul calls the Church "the pillar and bulwark of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15)—he instructs him, "Till I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you. Practice these duties, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. Take heed to yourself and to your teaching; hold to that, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers" (1 Tim. 4:13–16).

It is obvious to Catholics that Paul was speaking of Timothy’s ordination, through which he received the sacrament of holy orders. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains:
No one can give himself the mandate and the mission to proclaim the gospel. The one sent by the Lord does not speak and act on his own authority but by virtue of Christ’s authority; not as a member of the community but speaking to it in the name of Christ. No one can bestow grace on himself; it must be given and offered. This fact presupposes ministers of grace, authorized and empowered by Christ. From him, bishops and priests receive the mission and faculty ("the sacred power") to act in persona Christi Capitis; deacons receive the strength to serve the people of God in the diaconia of liturgy, word, and charity, in communion with the bishop and his presbyterate. The ministry in which Christ’s emissaries do and give by God’s grace what they cannot do and give by their own powers is called a "sacrament" by the Church’s tradition. Indeed, the ministry of the Church is conferred by a special sacrament. (CCC 875)
After this the apostles went on to appoint others: "And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they believed" (Acts 14:23).

Paul’s writings provide early evidence that at least some of those appointed by the apostles had authority to go on and appoint still others. To Timothy he wrote, "What you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2). And to Titus, "This is why I left you in Crete, that you might amend what was defective, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you" (Ti. 1:5).


The Successors to the Apostles


Not all teachers are worthy of our confidence. Only the successors of the apostles, through the sacrament of holy orders, can be trusted in their teaching authority and interpretation of Scripture. The Church Fathers were mostly bishops, and every pope’s succession can be traced back to Peter. Quoting the Second Vatican Council, the Catechism speaks to the importance of apostolic authority in Catholic teaching:
"The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ." This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the bishop of Rome. (CCC 85; cf. Dei Verbum 10)
How assuring it is to know that even today our teachers are successors of the apostles, with God-given authority! How much easier this makes it to let go of misguided Scripture interpretations and to embrace the truth that Jesus wanted all of us to know: the fullness of the Catholic faith.
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Last edited by CatholicCrusader : 02-26-2019 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:31 AM
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Default Re: Authority to Teach, by Jim Blackburn

((bumping))
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:49 PM
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Default Re: Authority to Teach, by Jim Blackburn

Comes from God,not man, thats why we are given the Holy Spirit to show us the truth as Christ and the Holy Spirit and God are all in agreement. The bible tells us that all men are liars, so why would one not desire the truth from the one who is the truth, Jesus. One ca fond oodles of books that tell them waht they want to her,that doesnt make it the truth,

In all His Love
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: Authority to Teach, by Jim Blackburn

The word of God tells us that God will teach and reveal the meaning of scripture to His people. The only thing Jesus did was convey the words to His disciples and they were suppose to relay the word of God to the nations. Everyone will get the same interpretation if they do what is right and just by walking in the light and serving the Lord. Jesus said this in various ways that most overlook because they continue in the dark as if they are in the light.

Here is a verse that tells us how to know the meaning of the word of God.
"If you continue in my teaching you are truly my disciple, then you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." Since Jesus wants all to become disciples then everyone will know Gods word by continuing in His teaching. No need for others to teach because God will reveal His secrets to His true disciples. The disciple is only to spread the word as Jesus did not to interpret it because it's meaning is for those who earn it.


It is written;

(Israel) "The Lord will be your light, your God shall be your glory."

"Offer to God praise as a sacrifice and fulfill your vows to the Most High, then call upon me in your time of distress and I shall answer you and you shall glorify me, says the Lord"

"Once you have the light keep faith in the light and you will become a child of light."
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:54 PM
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Default Re: Authority to Teach, by Jim Blackburn

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Originally Posted by mjrhealth View Post
Comes from God, not man.......
Yes, we all know that the authority to teach comes from God, not man.

But it is given BY God TO certain men, men that Jesus chose, and then after them, to men that those chosen men chose. Thats what the Bible says plan and clear.
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: Authority to Teach, by Jim Blackburn

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But it is given BY God TO certain men, men that Jesus chose, and then after them, to men that those chosen men chose. Thats what the Bible says plan and clear.
No the Holy Spirit was given the Job, plane and clear, even the apostles accepted that, they had nothing that no other man could receive, but for some to accept that fact would undermine their belief in their religion.

In All His bountiful grace.
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Old 08-25-2012, 10:38 AM
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Default Re: Authority to Teach, by Jim Blackburn

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Originally Posted by CatholicCrusader View Post
Yes, we all know that the authority to teach comes from God, not man.

But it is given BY God TO certain men, men that Jesus chose, and then after them, to men that those chosen men chose. Thats what the Bible says plan and clear.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjrhealth View Post
No the Holy Spirit was given the Job, plane and clear.........
Sometimes I wonder if you ever bother to read your Bible.

The Great Commission:

Then the eleven apostles went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

There you go. He gave the commission to the apostles to teach.

Please read you Bible before you post more.
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: Authority to Teach, by Jim Blackburn

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Originally Posted by CatholicCrusader View Post
Sometimes I wonder if you ever bother to read your Bible.

The Great Commission:

Then the eleven apostles went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

There you go. He gave the commission to the apostles to teach.

Please read you Bible before you post more.
He gave His true disciples authority to teach others to do as He did not to interpret scripture but to deliver it. They are only to make disciples as Jesus made them by those who continue in the way He taught.

"If you continue in my teaching you are truly my disciple, then you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free".

The truth, the word, reveals himself to those who love Him and keeps His commandments as He has stated in the Gospel of John.
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Old 08-25-2012, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Authority to Teach, by Jim Blackburn

Quote:
There you go. He gave the commission to the apostles to teach.

Please read you Bible before you post more.
I do read my bible dont you

Joh_15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

Joh_14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

and then if He dwells in you

1Jn_2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

In all His most abundant Love and Grace
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:39 AM
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Default Re: Authority to Teach, by Jim Blackburn

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Originally Posted by CatholicCrusader View Post
Sometimes I wonder if you ever bother to read your Bible.

The Great Commission:

Then the eleven apostles went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

There you go. He gave the commission to the apostles to teach.

Please read you Bible before you post more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjrhealth View Post
I do read my bible dont you

Joh_15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

Joh_14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you..........
Yes, and who was Jesus saying that to? Read it in context; he was speaking to the twelve apostles, not all of his followers. That Comforter, that Spirit of truth, would enable those whom Jesus appointed as teachers to do their job without error.

And that gift has been handed down through the laying on of hands to the apostles' successors. Hence the term, Apostolic Succession.
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