Friday, September 17, 2010

Lampe vs. Williams vs. Kirk, Farrer and Dix













As related in the following four threads: John Bugay and the German critical scholar Peter Lampe; John Bugay, Peter Lampe, and William Dever; John Bugay’s latest response; and Another post has vanished, I believe that it is inconsistent for conservative apologists to employ liberal scholarship against their antagonists for polemical purposes. I have been reflecting on John Bugay’s use of Peter Lampe as a prime example. John (a former Roman Catholic—twice now), has become a vocal anti-Roman Catholic critic, and like so many other anti-Roman Catholic apologists, he invokes liberal scholarship (Catholic and Protestant) to attack his former faith, accepting methods and presuppositions that can be used against the RCC, whilst refusing to give any substantial credence to those same methods and presuppositions when they are enlisted against his conservative paradigm. John has launched a vigorous attempt to defend his position, not only in response to my threads and posts, but also against the recent thread, Modern Scholarship, Rome and a Challenge, at Called to Communion (a thread started by Sean Patrick/Blogahon, a participant here); the following are John’s threads (the order is the oldest to the newest):

David Waltz fails to consider what is being studied…

Best-of-Breed New Testament Scholarship

In a discussion at Called to Communion

Some concluding thoughts from the Called to Communion discussion 1

Intellectual Inconsistency in the Infallible Magisterium?

”Objection, Your [dis]Honor!”

A lot of information to digest for sure! However, having read through all these threads (and most of the comments therein), I do not believe that John has adequately addressed the most pressing issue—which I have mentioned on more than one occasion—here it is again:

The premise/presupposition that archeology and secular history must take precedence over Biblical historicity.

This is the method that is foundational for Lampe (and so many other liberal scholars), and he applies it not only to Biblical historicity, but also to the history provided in the writings of early “Catholic” bishops and authors.

In my previous posts linked to above, I gave 3 examples of Lampe’s method at work when turned on the Bible; I supply all 3 together below: “The Pastoral letters presuppose Aquila and Prisca still to be in Ephesus (2 Tim 4:19) while Paul is already in Rome. This is one of the historical inconsistencies found in the Pastorals. [#1]

For example, when Paul moved from Ephesus to Macedonia, by no means did Timothy remain behind in Ephesus, as 1 Tim 1:3 supposes: Acts 19:22; 20:1-4; 2 Cor 1:1; Rom 16:21

How did the author come to the mistake regarding Aquila and Prisca?”...

Conclusion: In a seach for appropriate names to create a literary fiction based in Ephesus, the prominent names of Aquila and Prisca could not miss falling into the hands of the deutero-Pauline author. (Peter Lampe, From Paul to Valentinus, 2003, pp. 158, 159.) [#2]

The writer of Revelation nonchalantly ignored the hierarchical structures that had also emerged in the Christian congregation by the end of the first century [as witnessed by the Pastorals]. Prophecy was the only church office he wanted to acknowledge in the earthly Christian congregation (cf. 10:7; 11:18; 19:10; 22:6, 16). Radical apocalyptic statements and the refusal in any way to integrate into the old Hellenistic Roman context characterized this type of dealing with the coexistence of the two contexts. All evidence indicates that, like many other early Christian teachers, the author of Revelation chose to step out of a settled life in the Hellenistic Roman society and become a wandering prophet in Asia Minor. (Peter Lampe, “Early Christian House Churches: A Constructivist Approach”, in Early Christian Families in Context, ed. David L. Balch. Carolyn Osiek, p. 82.) [#3]

I would now like to provide a 4th example:

The case of Aquila and Priscilla suggests that only the key figures of the conflict were expelled: Aquila and Priscilla were such leading persons, as may be concluded from their later church involvements (Rom 16:3-5; 1 Cor 16:19). If only the key figures were banned, the silence of Josephus and other historiographers concerning the incident is more easily explained. Luke’s formulation that “all of the Jews” were expelled (χωρίζεσθαι πάντας τοὺς Ἰουδαίους) appears, by contrast, redactionally exaggerated: πᾶς is a Lukan term. “All” of the Jews were not forced to leave…(Peter Lampe, From Paul to Valentinus, 2003, p. 14 – bold emphasis mine.)

If I have read John correctly, Lampe’s method/presuppositions when applied to the Bible’s history is/are misguided, and has lead him to incorrect assessments; however, the same method/presuppositions has lead him to correct assessments concerning the nature/history of the early Church at Rome (except, of course, his belief that “All” of the Jews were not forced to leave)—John sees no inconsistency here, which leaves me a bit dumfounded.

Moving on from Lampe’s misguided Biblical assessments to the early history of the Christian church/churches at Rome, one needs to ask the question: are Lampe’s conclusions impeccable? Putting aside the issue of the type of theological diversity that was being tolerated at Rome (Lampe’s view is similar to Dunn, Erhman and so many other liberal scholars), I am going to concentrate on whether or not the “Catholic” church/churches at Rome had a monoepiscopate form of church government (i.e. that one bishop/elder was looked to as the head of rest of the elders in the ‘house’ churches found at Rome) that we find so clearly in the writings of Ignatius. I am going to begin my exploration into this issue with a lengthy quote from the scholarly Anglican work, The Apostolic Ministry –Essays on the History and the Doctrine of Episcopacy (1946, edited by Kenneth E. Kirk)—from the forward we read:


The view that the traditional doctrine of the episcopate is wholly discontinuous from anything contained in the New Testament—and especially from our Lord’s call and commissioning of His apostles—was first clearly asserted in Hatch’s Bampton Lectures of 1880, in which the origins of episcopacy were sought in the episcopi of pagan clubs and societies. It reappeared in Harnack’s theory of the ‘charismatic’ and ‘official’ ministries: the primitive spirit-inspired ministry of apostles, prophets, and teachers was succeeded, as the inspiration died down, by the routine ministry of the executive officers of the local Churches. This assumption of discontinuity has shown a strange persistence; it dominates, for example, Dr. Headlam’s Bampton Lectures of 1920, in which the Church itself, the gospel sacraments, and the apostolate are acknowledged to be of divine institution, but the Episcopal organization of the second-century Church is treated as of ecclesiastical ordinance only, and so as possessing only human authority. Dr. Streeter’s subjective and whimsical rewriting of the history of the first-century Church (in The Primitive Church, 1929) added little of permanent value, but provided evidence of the direction in which thought was tending.

It is not difficult to show that the popularity of the view to which Hatch lent his authority depends on certain obvious misreadings of the evidence. Of these two are all-imortant:

(i) The first is the lack of attention to the implications of the word ‘apostle.’ This is all the more surprising, in that no less than ten long columns of Dr. Hatch’s own Concordance to the Septuagint (completed after his death by Dr. Redpath) proved the intimate connexions of the Greek apostellein with the Hebrew shaliach, and should have led to the conclusion that the deliberate choice of the unusual word apostolos for those whom the Lord sent implied for them identical authority (including the authority to appoint their successors) with that which was within so short a period to be claimed for the bishops. In other words, the position assigned to the bishops at the beginning of the monepiscopal period was no new thing. It was the same as that allotted by the Lord to His apostles; and the undoubted fact to which the pastoral epistles bear witness, and to which Clement of Rome makes unhesitating appeal, that the apostles appointed others with powers like their own to carry on the work, argues effectively for a full continuity between the New Testament and the second century. This contention is abundantly illustrated in these essays, being in fact the pivot of the argument of the book.

(ii) The second confusion centers round the words episcopos, episcopē, episcopein. Most writers on the subject have assumed that in the New Testament these words refer to an office in the Church, and have consequently found themselves involved in the elaborate chess-problem of fitting ‘apostles,’ the ‘bishops,’ and the ‘elders’ into their places in the New Testament hierarchy. But in fact episcopē and its cognate words refer not to an office, but to a function, and describe not the status or rank which certain officers hold, but the work of oversight and pastoral care which they perform. In the same way diakonos, diakonia, and diakonein describe a function, and it is only towards the end of the New Testament period that the ‘deacon’ begins to appear as a Church officer. (Pages v-vii.)

In chapter 1, "The Apostolic Ministry", K. E. Kirk, D.D., Bishop of Oxford, demonstrates with remarkable clarity, that the Bible supports (dare I say demands) the position that the episcopate is the inheritor of the apostolic responsibility in terms of church oversight and leadership.

Chapter 3, “The Ministry of the New Testament”, has A. M. Farrer, D.D., Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford, building upon Dr. Kirk’s marvelous essay focusing in on the NT warrant for a three-fold ministry and apostolic succession.

And in chapter 4, “The Ministry in the Early Church”, Rev. Dom Gregory Dix, moves on from NT writings to early patristic period. This 122 page essay presents a picture of the early Church that is considerably different from what we find in the writings of Bauer, Dunn, Ehrman, Lampe, and so many other liberal revisionists.

I have perhaps, saved the ‘best’ for last. Dr. Williams (a member of the Evangelical Theological Society), author of Bishop Lists, published in 2005, is a conservative New Testament and patristic scholar, who obviously begins his research with a different set of presuppositions than Lampe and his ilk.

[Dr. Williams impressive credentials can be accessed at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary website.]

Dr. Williams’ (certainly no novice when it comes to liberal scholarship), Bishop Lists is, IMO, a powerful antidote to the revisionist history that has dominated much of the early patristic academia since Hatch’s Bampton Lectures of 1880. One can hope that this masterful work will be built upon by other conservative scholars in the near future.

I shall end this post with an exhortation to Lampe fans that they obtain copy of Bishop Lists, as well as The Apostolic Ministry –Essays on the History and the Doctrine of Episcopacy; I am confident that those who take the time to read these two important works will come to the conclusion that Lampe, and so many other liberal revisionists, have offered us little more than dubious theories filled with gaping holes.


Grace and peace,

David

17 comments:

Martin said...

Quote/
proved the intimate connexions of the Greek apostellein with the Hebrew shaliach, and should have led to the conclusion that the deliberate choice of the unusual word apostolos for those whom the Lord sent implied for them identical authority (including the authority to appoint their successors) with that which was within so short a period to be claimed for the bishops
/quote

Please don't leave the ignorant hanging, what does the hebrew word mean and what is the significance of the Greek "apostle".

Ken said...

שְׁלָחַ

(Sh-L-kh) "shaliach" (in the Quote - I don't know why there is an extra "i" in the English) is the OT root equivalent of "to send" and "send", "send out", to the NT - apostle, apostolos, - sent ones


the Lord sent prophets - Isaiah 6:8, Jer. 1:7; 25:4; 26:5: 35:15; Ezk 2:3-4; Judges 6:8

the Lord send His Messiah - Isaiah 61:1

sends His word with a purpose - Isaiah 55:11

the Father sent Jesus, Jesus sends His apostles - John 20:21 - two different words
apestalken from apostello ἀπέσταλκέν
and
Pempo πέμπω


εἶπεν οὖν αὐτοῖς πάλιν· εἰρήνη ὑμῖν· καθὼς ἀπέσταλκέν με ὁ πατήρ, κἀγὼ πέμπω ὑμᾶς.

churches send missionaries -
Acts 13:1-4
Holy Spirit sends
and the church sends

Apostles appoint elders
Acts 14:23
Titus 1:5-7

there is no problem with the fact that the elders are suppossed to do the function of overseeing - (episkopaw)

that is what
ACts 20:17 says elders

are suppossed to do

Acts 20:28
Shepherd, pastor, feed the flock spiritually and drive out wolves and false teachers/teachings

oversee - look, lead, be aware, oversee, know what's going on in people's lives

I Timothy 5:17-18
the elders who rule well . . .

Unfortunantely, the early church after the period of the apostles and when the God-breathed Scripture was given once for all, 48-70 AD or 48 - 80 AD or 48-96 AD - the human tendency for power to be in one man took hold gradually.

That is why Cyprian and all the N. African and Asian (Firmillian) objected to bishop of Rome Stephen's attempt at absolute power as "bishop of bishops". (And they were right!) Tertullian, Irenaeus, and Von Dollinger were right.

But it is understandable that one of the more gifted elders would develop into a bishop, spokesman, leader, best preacher, overall leader who gave vision for the church. But that is a historical development thing, not a NT God-breathed thing. The college of elders were suppossed to be equal so they could keep each other accountable and not have the problems that we see today in little "popes" in Baptist churches, and Anglican apostates, and RCC claims of infallibility.

they drifted and neglected their first love and God judged them - Rev. 2:4-5

We believe in church planting and that churches should have elders and missionaries (from the Latin form of the Greek apostle) and they are to appoint a group of elders, but the elders were never meant to be dictators, they were to keep going back to the "once for all delivered to the saints faith" and "devote themselves to the apostles teaching" and "to the word and to prayer.

Ken said...

But David,
If Bahai'ism is true,(see the comment sections in the 2 posts below) as you think it is possible that it might be true; then all of this will have to re-interpreted again. Lampe or Williams are both wrong, if Bahai'ism is true.

It over-turns all of Christian history and the Bible on its head and is a contradiction.

Why be thirsty for something more when Jesus is the Living Water who satisfies completely and is the "final word/revelation" from God - Hebrews 1:1-3?

By definition, Christianity is the final word/revelation. All other claims are false. Jude 3

Ken said...

εἶπεν οὖν αὐτοῖς πάλιν· εἰρήνη ὑμῖν·

He said therefore to them again, "Peace to you"

καθὼς ἀπέσταλκέν με ὁ πατήρ, κἀγὼ πέμπω ὑμᾶς.

"Just as He sent Me, the Father, so also I am sending you."

John 20:21

David Waltz said...

Hi Martin,

Thanks much for responding to my opening post; you wrote:

>>Please don't leave the ignorant hanging, what does the hebrew word mean and what is the significance of the Greek "apostle".>>

Me: Shaliach is the Hebrew substantive to the passive participle of the Hebrew verb shalach (this is a 'fancy' way of saying that shaliach is functioning as a noun). While the Hebrew shalach is the equivalent of the Greek verb apostellō/apostellein (send), shaliach is the is the equivalent of the Greek noun apostolos (sent one, representative, envoy, messenger—i.e. an apostle).

The significance of the term "apostle", is the invested authority of the one who is sent to act as the agent of the one sending. Jesus said:

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me." John 13:20 - NASB)

Such was the authority bestowed upon the Twelve (and Paul) by Jesus. In turn, Jesus' apostles sent "apostles" (e.g. Timothy, Titus, et al.), agents who acted in their place. It was these agents of the apostles who were truly the first 'bishops', in that hierarchically speaking, they held a position between the apostles appointed by Jesus and the local elders appointed by the apostles and the apostles agents.

Sincerely hope I have given some clarity to your questions; please feel free to enquire further if I have not adequately addressed your questions.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hello Ken,

Thanks for responses. With that said, I would like to request that you post your Bahai comments in the combox of the Another post has vanished thread, for I would like to try and keep this thread on topic.

Thanks much in advance...


Grace and peace,

David

Martin said...

Thanks Dave,

That does help. If you don't mind, I think you, similar to Ken, reject the apostolic athority of the RCC.. Can you clarify how the church lost what was given? I read your original posts when tutu left but still don't appreciate the difficulty.

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi David, I am finishing my own interaction with Chapter 41 of Lampe's book. It is sort of funny seeing folks adapt Lampe's notion of fractionation to their pet theological enterprises to put down the Bishop of Rome but then ignore his methodology in arriving at his notion by citing Cyprian.

Ken, you are aware that Cyprian is a Catholic saint, right? Do you think that the Catholic Church would be so stupid to make Cyprian a saint if he had persisted in having such views against the authority of Rome?

God bless!

David Waltz said...

Hello again Martin,

You posted:

>> That does help. If you don't mind, I think you, similar to Ken, reject the apostolic athority of the RCC.. Can you clarify how the church lost what was given?>>

Me: Since I maintain that the RCC is a valid Christian communion, I do not believe that the RCC has lost episcopal succession.

>>I read your original posts when tutu left but still don't appreciate the difficulty.>>

Me: OK, now I am the ignorant one: what is "tutu"?


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi Paul,

Always good to see you back at AF! You wrote:

>> Hi David, I am finishing my own interaction with Chapter 41 of Lampe's book. It is sort of funny seeing folks adapt Lampe's notion of fractionation to their pet theological enterprises to put down the Bishop of Rome but then ignore his methodology in arriving at his notion by citing Cyprian.>>

Me: Indeed! Though I am sure I have not entirely avoided inconsistency and/or double-standards in my extant writings, I do know that I really do try to avoid them, and sincerely appreciate it when others bring any such infractions to my attention. It is very frustrating to me though when I point out clear inconsistencies and/or double-standards I observe in my studies/readings that such attempts almost always falls on deaf-ears.

Please let me know when you post your interaction with chapter 41!!!


Take care and God bless,

David

Ken said...

Paul Hoffer wrote:
Ken, you are aware that Cyprian is a Catholic saint, right? Do you think that the Catholic Church would be so stupid to make Cyprian a saint if he had persisted in having such views against the authority of Rome?

Yes, I am aware that Cyprian is a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. When did they make him a saint officially? What year was it?

Was it before the split with the east (1054 AD) or before Trent or after Trent or after Vatican 1 or 2?

When did that unbiblical practice start, seeing that the Bible calls all true Christians "saints", "holy ones"?

Ephesians 1:1-18
Romans 1:7
I Corinthians 1:1-2; 6:9-11
I Corinthians 6:1-6
Hebrews 10:10-14

Not "stupid", just anachronistic and fallible and inconsistent.

Ken said...

David W. wrote:
Thanks for responses. With that said, I would like to request that you post your Bahai comments in the combox of the Another post has vanished thread, for I would like to try and keep this thread on topic.


Ok, go there and see my last 2 posts and interact.

David Waltz said...

Hello Ken,

Thanks much for taking the Bahai issues over to the other thread, will head over there after this post.

In your response to Paul, you wrote:

>>Not "stupid", just anachronistic and fallible and inconsistent.>>

The above is perhaps the most accurate description of Reformed theology (the conservative branch) that one could pen.


Grace and peace,

David

Martin said...

David: OK, now I am the ignorant one: what is "tutu"?

Martin: :*-) Color me embarrassed again by my phone inserting the wrong guess. I scanned my post but missed that, "tutu" for "you".


David: "The above is perhaps the most accurate description of Reformed theology (the conservative branch) that one could pen."

Martin: Please do not pick on Saint Ken.
;-)

Ken said...

So, when did the Roman Catholic Church make Cyprian a "saint"??

He, Firmillian and 86 other bishops were right to oppose Stephen, bishop of Rome, and the RCC apologetic cannot deal with the historical evidence against the papacy.

"no one calls himself "bishop of bishops" - council of Carthage, around 255 AD (257 ?)

One of the clearest historical evidences against the Roman C. C. claims and one of the main evidences that Von Dollinger protested against the 1870 dogma.

Martin said...

Ken,

Your quote sent me to the catholic encylcopedia and I found this under St. Cyprian, " The other Apostles were indeed what Peter was, but the primacy is given to Peter, and the Church and the chair is shown to be one."

Perhaps I have the wrong Cyprian? I do see you mastered DA's technique of using the opposing sides own people for quotes. What you have missed is his habit of carefully placing the quotes in context and suppling the source.

Acolyte4236 said...

David,

If you enjoyed Kirk's bk, try Felix Cirlot's rather large, Apostolic Succession: Is it True? You won't be disappointed.