Answering Steve Rudd, part 3

[A table is a bit tricky]

Correcting the table given in Q 16,
which concerns what traditions are known by not Bible but tradition alone:*

Tertullian in De Corona, 3** = T Luciferanus in St Jerome’s dialogue, 8*** = L/J My own comments = C

T : To deal with this matter briefly, I shall begin with baptism.

T : When we are going to enter the water, but a little before, in the presence of the congregation and under the hand of the president, we solemnly profess that we disown the devil, and his pomp, and his angels.

C : This is still done, both by Catholics and by Orthodox. In the case of childrern it is the sponsor who makes the renunciation.

T : Hereupon we are thrice immersed, making a somewhat ampler pledge than the Lord has appointed in the Gospel

L/J : 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 laver,

C : Thrice is absolute rule, both among Catholics and among Orthodox. Immersions of full body is directly said by Tertullian, but in St Jerome’s time immersion of the head might have sufficed. Still the spilling of water on the head is carried out three times. Orthodox require full immersion of body all three times.

T : Then when we are taken up (as new-born children), we taste first of all a mixture of milk and honey,

L/J : and then, after leaving the water, of tasting mingled milk and honey in representation of infancy;

C : I thought this was a metaphor for the Eucharist, this seems to be a custom lost among Latin rite Roman Catholics. Maybe among Orthodox too, unless it refers to what is now colliva – a dish used in many Liturgic circumstances: wheat kernels, honey, cinnamon and some more – it is also in use among Uniates.

T: and from that day we refrain from the daily bath for a whole week.

L/J : 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. […]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.

C : In the old church confirmation was given immediately after baptism, now there may pass years between among cradle Catholics, Orthodox still confirm after baptism, even for infants. Confirmation involves unction, and after receiving it on the brown one takes or took care not to wash it away. Orthodox (maybe Uniates too) are usually supposed to wear a bandage for a week on the forehead, among Catholics (at least Latins) one takes chrism away with salt and cotton tissue then burning it – before it is licit to wash again. The reference on Confirmation to Acts is ch. 8.

T : We take also, in congregations before daybreak, and from the hand of none but the presidents, the sacrament of the Eucharist, which the Lord both commanded to be eaten at meal-times, and enjoined to be taken by all alike.

T : As often as the anniversary comes round, we make offerings for the dead as birthday honours.

C :Thus 29 of June for Sts Peter and Paul, maybe already the protomartyr Stephen in Christmastide (26/27 December according to Catholics/Orthodox). In other words: Saints’ days are kept. Mass in honour of a Saints day is not idolatry, unlike what Reformers pretended.

T : We count fasting or kneeling in worship on the Lord’s day to be unlawful. We rejoice in the same privilege also from Easter to Whitsunday.

L/J : and, again, the practices of standing up in worship on the Lord’s day, and ceasing from fasting every Pentecost;

C : Kneeling. One Liturgic accusation from Orthodox against Catholics. The word is about a gesture of penitence. Latin Catholics respond that kneeling as standing on knees is not at all same gesture. Orthodox make that gesture with crooking the back and bowing down the head too.

T : We feel pained should any wine or bread, even though our own, be cast upon the ground.

T : At every forward step and movement, at every going in and out, when we put on our clothes and shoes, when we bathe, when we sit at table, when we light the lamps, on couch, on seat, in all the ordinary actions of daily life, we trace upon the forehead the sign.

C : Two responses are possible: Both Catholics and Orthodox start the sign of the cross on the forehead. Or: both use it on forehead, mouth and breast before hearing the Gospel still (unless I misrecall the Orthodox usage). The full sign of the cross which only begins on the forehead but continues to mid-breast and shoulders might have been not used in public during the persecution epoch when Tertullian wrote.

Finally on the non-Biblical Traditions enumerated by Tertullian and the Luciferan (a heretic who refused readmission of bishops fallen into heresy as bishops when they repent, but who obviously has common ground on liturgy) there is the question: do the Bible only group of Churches where Steve Rudd worships do everything exactly as in the Bible/New Testament? Have they like Mormons a hierarchy with “apostles, evangelists, prophets, angels, bishops/overseers, presbyters, deacons/servers” or do they accept adaptation in details?

Where his question 16 says only Orthodox use only one of the items, in reality both Catholics and Orthodox do all of them, except some adaptations with Catholics. That is we claim they are licit adaptations. Some Orthodox claim they are not licit.

Now, what questions have we covered? 26/27 with 29, 16 – see previous list where I correct the table of Steve Rudd – with 9 and 10. 25 too, unless one should add that Tertullian did not consider Hebrews to be the work of St Paul but of his twin in Pharisaic discipleship under Gamaliel and Christian conversion, St Barnabas. Leaves 1-8, 11-15, 17-24, 28.

*Irrefutable questions that Roman Catholics and Orthodox can’t answer

**De Corona (Tertullian)

***Dialogue Against the Luciferians (Jerome)


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I might be attacking groups - if they see it as attacks. But not anonymously. My name is real, I was born in Vienna, I am Swedish. I did time, for resisting a policeman taking me to shrinks by taking his own gun for some moments (5-II-1998). I started blogging (2001) after release (in 2000).

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