Friday, January 2, 2015

Ken Temple and the perpetual virginity of Mary


Yesterday, I noticed that Ken Temple posted a new thread at Beggars All with the title:

The heos hou / ἕως οὗ construction in the New Testament proves the RC Perpetual Virginity of Mary dogma wrong  (LINK)

Ken's post relies heavily on Eric Svendsen's book, Who Is My Mother?, and he ends the thread with:

Svendsen also goes through all the LXX constructions; but this is enough to prove you wrong.

I own, and have read Mr. Svendsen's book. I remembered that the book contained a good deal of useful material, including a number of pages which the author intends to serve as proof that the New Testament cannot be used to support the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary. However, I also remembered that the book actually ends up doing the exact opposite when one important piece of information is added.

Mr. Svendsen wrote:

As we have already noted in the previous chapter, an examination of the NT usage of the phrase, ἕως οὗ (ὅτου) has yielded little support for the understanding of this phrase in Matt. 1:25 as it relates to the perpetual virginity of Mary. This in itself does not thereby exclude the interpretation in question, for if evidence in support of this understanding can be found in the literature outside the NT, we may be able to preserve the meaning here as well. (Eric Svendsen, Who Is My Mother?, pp. 56.)

And a few pages later:

The purpose of this inquiry has been to see whether in fact there exists any clear example of either of these phrases that may be taken in such a way as to offer support for the meaning of ἕως οὗ in Matt. 1:25 as it pertains to the perpetual virginity of Mary. (Ibid., p. 77.)

Interestingly enough, Mr. Svendsen states that there are "seven such instances in the LXX" (p. 77), and then adds:

...if this usage for this phrase can also be found in the literature contemporaneous to Matthew's gospel (i.e., the first century AD), then there can be little objection to seeing this same usage in the passage in question, and Mary's perpetual virginity becomes a strong exegetical option. (Ibid., p. 77.)

[In a footnote (#75, p. 291), Mr. Svendsen, "assumes the dating of Matthew after Mark's gospel (AD 50-65) and before the destruction of the temple.".]

Using a what he termed a, "searchable format (i.e., on an electronic database)", Mr. Svendsen came to the following conclusion:

While we do find support for this usage in the LXX, there are nevertheless no clear examples of this usage for at least a century and a half before Matthew wrote his Gospel; nor up to half a century afterwards. (Ibid., p. 77.)

But, such an example does in fact exist in a Greek text that a number of scholars believe to be, "contemporaneous to Matthew's gospel". Note the following:

And, when Joseph had left the house, Pentephres also and all his kindred departed to their inheritance, and Asenath was left alone with the seven virgins, listless and weeping till the sun set ; and she neither ate bread nor drank water, but while all slept she herself alone was awake and weeping and frequently beating her breast with her hand. (E. W. Brooks, Joseph and Asenath - the confession and prayer of Asenath, daughter of Pentephres the priest, 1918, pp. 34, 35.)

Clearly, Asenath did not cease weeping after the sun set. This text was originally written in Greek, and the following is the portion which contains the heōs hou clause:

καἰ κλαίουσα, ἕως οὗ ἔδυ ὁ ἥλιος (Ľ Abbė P. Batiffol, Studia Patristica, 1889, p. 50)

So, if we take Mr. Svendsen at his word, one should then conclude that, "there can be little objection to seeing this same usage in the passage in question, and Mary's perpetual virginity becomes a strong exegetical option."

I sincerely wonder if Ken will adjust his position...


Grace and peace,

David

48 comments:

Ken said...

David,
Thanks for your comments and challenge.

The focus of my article was limited to the New Testament - see the title and the passages listed. Based on the context and Matthew's intent, and the evidence from the other NT books, our position is still stronger.

The point still stands, based on the NT evidence and the context of the passage.

Svendsen admits that 7 occurances in the LXX can have the "until" (and continuing afterward).

The one example of extra-Biblical literature you found was not in Svenden, so I did not know about it.

(E. W. Brooks, Joseph and Asenath - the confession and prayer of Asenath, daughter of Pentephres the priest, 1918, pp. 34, 35.)

What year was that work written in ? You did not give a date for it.

How did you find that?

"And, when Joseph had left the house, Pentephres also and all his kindred departed to their inheritance, and Asenath was left alone with the seven virgins, listless and weeping till the sun set [καἰ κλαίουσα, ἕως οὗ ἔδυ ὁ ἥλιος] ; and she neither ate bread nor drank water, but while all slept she herself alone was awake and weeping and frequently beating her breast with her hand.

It seems to me that the "and" in the second sentence ( I would assume kai / και is here - it seems to me that when there is additional information, and an additional full sentence; then the addition information modifies the first part (weeping until the Sun goes down); but the additional information of "and" and "while everyone else slept, she kept weeping", shows that addition information is needed in order to qualify the first part. Matthew 1:25 does not have any additional information or a second sentence joined by an "and" / kai, as your example does.

If the Matthew 1:25 had been constructed like the example you gave, you would have a point - if Matthew 1:25 had something like this, "and continuing on after Jesus was born, Joseph continued to keep her as a virgin, as Mary had made a life long vow, and she is like a holy vessel and gate, that no one shall pass through, as it is written in the prophet Ezekiel 44:1-3." (something like that).

and she neither ate bread nor drank water, but while all slept she herself alone was awake and weeping and frequently beating her breast with her hand. This phrase provides additional information that specificially says she kept weeping after the sun down. But Matthew 1:25 does not go on to give us new information. Therefore, I don't think that is a good example to defeat our position.

I think Svendsen overtated his case that (obviously, I wish he had not written that; but oh well.)

...if this usage for this phrase can also be found in the literature contemporaneous to Matthew's gospel (i.e., the first century AD), then there can be little objection to seeing this same usage in the passage in question, and Mary's perpetual virginity becomes a strong exegetical option. (Ibid., p. 77.)

So, you found one example outside the NT; ok. But the second additional specific information is what tells us she continued weeping after sundown, not the heos hou phrase construction by itself.

Does that overthrow the vast majority of the meanings in favor against the PVM position, both in the NT and LXX? No

Svendsen notes that even heos/ 'εως by itself (without the particle hou/ 'ου) - almost half give the meaning of "until, but not afterward" and 75 % of heos an / εως αν give that meaning. (footnote # 76, page 291)

So, we are back to context as the final determiner of meaning as always. It seems that there are always exceptions to these Greek prepositional constructions, and yet the majority of them do mean, "until, but not afterward".

guy fawkes said...

Ken,

I notice you rely almost exclusively on Wm Webster, Eric Svensen, Rob Zins, John Bugay and I am pretty sure I have seen you reference Tim Kauffman too.

I am positive all of these dudes are former Catholics. With the exception of James White, you seem to use guys with a decided ax to grind against the Faith of their childhood as your sources.

Did you ever click on that link I gave you for Dr. Paul Vitz in which he explores the psychology of atheism? Did my theory about the psychology of lapsed and bitter anti-Catholics fit?

Ken said...

How do you know that those former Roman Catholics are bitter?

Maybe they are just passionate for the Biblical truth to expose the errors of Roman Catholicism.

Are all the former Reformed at "Called to Communion" and others like Jason Stellman, Scott Hahn, bitter at their former Evangelical / Reformed faith?

guy fawkes said...

Ken,

None of the former Reformed like Dave Anders, Jason Stellman, Scott Hahn, Tim Staples, etc. are bitter.
As a matter of fact, former Protestants turned Catholic universally have nothing but love and gratitude for their former denominations and the background in the Bible they got there. They always stay in touch with their families ( unless the family cuts them off ).

Lapsed Catholics turned Protestant are practically 100% rabid in their detestation of all things Catholic and cut off their reprobate parents.

Tim Kauffman teaches his own children that his Catholic mother ( the kids' grandmother ) is a bread worshiper. ). He says so on his blog.
Ask Bill W. about his relationship with his family. If you doubt me, check it out for yourself.

Do a little study of your own. The difference between Protestants and Catholics who switch is startling.

One group borders on mental illness. They have to cut off their entire childhood and deny there was ever anything good about it.They are filled with hate.

The other group brings all of their family history in with them and builds on it. They jettison nothing.

Listen to a few episodes of Marcus Grodi's "Coming Home Network".

If you deny noticing what I am asserting, you are either fibbing or haven't taken the time to ponder it.



David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

Thanks much for taking the time to respond to my musings. In your response, you wrote:

== The focus of my article was limited to the New Testament - see the title and the passages listed. Based on the context and Matthew's intent, and the evidence from the other NT books, our position is still stronger.

The point still stands, based on the NT evidence and the context of the passage.==

Me: I agree with you that if one limits themselves to the NT alone, that the traditional Protestant position is much stronger than the Catholic/EO position. However, it is not a total 'slam-dunk', so I personally would avoid terms like "proves".

==Svendsen admits that 7 occurances in the LXX can have the "until" (and continuing afterward).

The one example of extra-Biblical literature you found was not in Svenden, so I did not know about it.

(E. W. Brooks, Joseph and Asenath - the confession and prayer of Asenath, daughter of Pentephres the priest, 1918, pp. 34, 35.)

What year was that work written in ? You did not give a date for it.==

Me: Hmmm...1918 is the published date. The following is a link to a free online PDF copy:

Joseph and Asenath - English translation

>>How did you find that?>>

Me: I have known about the passage from Joseph and Asenath for years now. I think (and this from my aging memory) that Gerry Matatics mentioned Joseph and Asenath on a radio program I listened to at least a decade ago. Since I have an extensive collection of apocryphal and pseudepigraphal writings in my library, I was able to hunt down the exact passage.

==It seems to me that the "and" in the second sentence ( I would assume kai / και is here - it seems to me that when there is additional information, and an additional full sentence; then the addition information modifies the first part (weeping until the Sun goes down); but the additional information of "and" and "while everyone else slept, she kept weeping", shows that addition information is needed in order to qualify the first part. Matthew 1:25 does not have any additional information or a second sentence joined by an "and" / kai, as your example does.==

Me: But the argument presented by Mr. Svendsen is that the heōs hou construct is never accompanied by "the additional information", and hence, must always be understood in a temporal sense.


==I think Svendsen overtated his case that (obviously, I wish he had not written that; but oh well.)==

Me: But it was written, and it cannot be brushed aside as if it did not exist.

==...if this usage for this phrase can also be found in the literature contemporaneous to Matthew's gospel (i.e., the first century AD), then there can be little objection to seeing this same usage in the passage in question, and Mary's perpetual virginity becomes a strong exegetical option. (Ibid., p. 77.)

So, you found one example outside the NT; ok. But the second additional specific information is what tells us she continued weeping after sundown, not the heos hou phrase construction by itself.==

Me: I think you are missing Mr. Svendsen's argument, it is "the second additional specific information" which "tells us she continued weeping after sundown", and that is the specific usage that he said was non-existent.

==Does that overthrow the vast majority of the meanings in favor against the PVM position, both in the NT and LXX? No==

Me: You say no, but the expert on the subject says YES.


Grace and peace,

David


P.S. A PDF copy of the Greet text is available at the following link:

Studia Patristica - Greek text

Ken said...

What year was that work written in ? You did not give a date for it.==

Me: Hmmm...1918 is the published date. The following is a link to a free online PDF copy:

Joseph and Asenath - English translation

I don't mean what year the modern translation of it was published; I mean what year was the original written in? 100 BC or AD 120 or 150 AD or 90 AD or what? You don't provide THAT.

Ken said...

Does that overthrow the vast majority of the meanings in favor against the PVM position, both in the NT and LXX? No==

Me: You say no, but the expert on the subject says YES.

Who is that? I see no expert you quoted; only one example of a modern translation of a prayer that you didn't give the original date for. weak.

My point still stands.

Ken said...

==It seems to me that the "and" in the second sentence ( I would assume kai / και is here - it seems to me that when there is additional information, and an additional full sentence; then the addition information modifies the first part (weeping until the Sun goes down); but the additional information of "and" and "while everyone else slept, she kept weeping", shows that addition information is needed in order to qualify the first part. Matthew 1:25 does not have any additional information or a second sentence joined by an "and" / kai, as your example does.==

Me: But the argument presented by Mr. Svendsen is that the heōs hou construct is never accompanied by "the additional information", and hence, must always be understood in a temporal sense.

The additional information qualifies the heos hou of the first sentence; but with it, it changes the meaning. Without it, it would communicate, "until, and after not continuing" - as in 15 of the 17 examples that Svenden gave of the NT, the other two of those 15 meaning "while". the additional info changes the whole issue.

David Waltz said...

Hello again Ken,

Earlier today you posted:

==I don't mean what year the modern translation of it was published; I mean what year was the original written in? 100 BC or AD 120 or 150 AD or 90 AD or what? You don't provide THAT.==

Me: In my opening post I wrote:

>>But, such an example does in fact exist in a Greek text that a number of scholars believe to be, "contemporaneous to Matthew's gospel". >>

That means a number of scholars (but not all) place the original document between 50-125 AD.

==Does that overthrow the vast majority of the meanings in favor against the PVM position, both in the NT and LXX? No

Me: You say no, but the expert on the subject says YES.

Who is that? I see no expert you quoted; only one example of a modern translation of a prayer that you didn't give the original date for. weak.

My point still stands.
==

Me: I was referring to Mr. Svendsen. Once again, the following is from my opening post:

>>As we have already noted in the previous chapter, an examination of the NT usage of the phrase, ἕως οὗ (ὅτου) has yielded little support for the understanding of this phrase in Matt. 1:25 as it relates to the perpetual virginity of Mary. This in itself does not thereby exclude the interpretation in question, for if evidence in support of this understanding can be found in the literature outside the NT, we may be able to preserve the meaning here as well. (Eric Svendsen, Who Is My Mother?, pp. 56.)>>

And:

>>...if this usage for this phrase can also be found in the literature contemporaneous to Matthew's gospel (i.e., the first century AD), then there can be little objection to seeing this same usage in the passage in question, and Mary's perpetual virginity becomes a strong exegetical option. (Ibid., p. 77.)>>

Me: So, "usage for this phrase" (in the continuation sense) has been "found in the literature contemporaneous to Matthew's gospel"; as such, "there can be little objection to seeing this same usage in the passage in question, and Mary's perpetual virginity becomes a strong exegetical option." That is Mr. Svendsen's take, and it is he that I called "the expert". You certainly have the right to disagree with him, but with all due respect, I would argue that his expertise in the field is greater than yours.

cont'd

David Waltz said...

cont'd

== The additional information qualifies the heos hou of the first sentence; but with it, it changes the meaning. Without it, it would communicate, "until, and after not continuing" - as in 15 of the 17 examples that Svenden gave of the NT, the other two of those 15 meaning "while". the additional info changes the whole issue.==

Me: You are missing the import of Mr. Svendsen's argument. It is his belief that because he had found no use of the heōs hou construct, circa the Apostolic period, which clearly forces one to interpret the said construct in a sense that allows continuation, then the Matt. 1:25 MUST be in interpreted in the cessation sense. However, he stated that if such an example could be found then, "there can be little objection to seeing this same usage in the passage in question, and Mary's perpetual virginity becomes a strong exegetical option."

Matt. 1:25 does not say after the heōs hou construct that Mary had sexual relations, but without the Joseph and Asenath passage, it can be argued (and has been argued) that the cessation understanding the ONLY legitimate way to understand the passage, for every other example must be read as such. But the Joseph and Asenath passage is a clear example that the heōs hou construct is COMBATABLE with the continuation sense.

You can still argue that one example does not overthrow all the others, but Mr. Svendsen, the expert, has certainly 'opened the door' for the continuation sense as being a valid one.

But, with that said, I personally believe that the cessation sense is the much stronger option for those who are not Catholic or EO.


Grace and peace,

David

guy fawkes said...

Guys,

Since you moved the discussion over here to David's blog, probably so you can avoid the interruption from non Greek readers ( like myself ) I will make this brief.
I just have to comment on what you seem to already know; I Chronicles 23 and the men who married their cousins, brothers, relatives, kinsmen. brethren, ( according to which English translation you use ).
In the LXX, the word "Brother"/ adelphos is used here, not anepsios. This Hebraicism was carried over into the NT.
Finally, as I said on the other blog, although modern spoken Greek has evolved from the ancient Greek of the Bible, the change did not happen over night. The same Greek Christians from the time of Chrysostom, ( who wrote on the very terms you argue over Ken ), believed the brothers of Jesus not be uterine brothers and the "until" not to demand a change.

While the the language may have morphed, the belief in Mary's Perpetual Virginity has been constant in the Greek Church.

If only I had not alienated the local Orthodox priest here in my area over the issue of contraception, I would simply ask him about this the next time I see him at our local swimming pool or when our wives get together to talk music.
You guys can always pick up a phone and ask a priest.
David, I believe you live near or in Portland. On more than one occasion, when I live there, I dropped in on the priest at Holy Trinity to ask about the dating of Easter, and the word "bread" used by St. Paul. While he did reveal a bit of anti-Catholic sentiment, he was happy to chat.

Why not just cut to the chase and ask a Greek about this?

Rory said...

As always, the Sacred Scriptures alone are inadequate to resolve doctrinal controversy. Those who argue without regard for what the early churches believed and practised (Sacred Tradition) have to perpetuate this unfortunate myth about how the Scriptures unambiguously teaches every doctrinal distinctive. Every experience of my life involving biblical arguments teaches me the truth that the current issue vividly illustrates.

The Scriptures alone are always inadequate to resolve doctrinal controversy.

I think there is a reason Non-Traditionalist Christians prefer sola scriptura. They have a hunch that church history condemns everybody except Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. If only Ignatius and Irenaeus had taught the local pastor was the highest officer in God's church, and that we are saved by faith alone, and eternally secure, apart from water baptism, even Reformed Baptists would be touting the authority of that Tradition!

As it is they are stuck with an "authority" that is unconvincing when being used to support their unique distinctives to any except those who are already convinced.

Ken said...

As always, the Sacred Scriptures alone are inadequate to resolve doctrinal controversy.

And the Pope as infallible interpreter, resolves doctrinal controversy?

Many People always rebel or disagree anyway.

Luther disagreed, he was from within Roman Catholicism. The fact that all of Protestantism was a break-off from Roman Catholicism is proof that the claims of the RCC did not resolve doctrinal controversy.

The Papal tradition of the final authority to rule and interpret Scripture was strong in Innocent III's (1198-1216 AD, organizer of fourth Crusade) time and Boniface VIII's Unam Sanctum. (1302)

Yet, Wycliffe, Huss, Luther, Calvin, etc. rebelled against the Pope and RCC.

Von Dollinger rebelled against the 1870 dogma and was excommunicated; and influenced the "Old Catholic Church" group, though didn't formally join them.

Gerry Matatics rebelled and joined the "Sedevecantists".

There are the "Trad-Rads", or Traditional Catholic Church that believes all Popes after Pius XII are false Popes - they believe only the old Latin Mass is valid and that Vatican 2 and post Vatican 2 theology is wrong.

So how exactly does the Pope and Magisterium and counsels actually solve doctrinal controversy?

My friend Rod Bennett (evangelical convert to Rome, author of Four Witnesses) told me of the priest that did his RICA classes - "I have several problems with the Nicean Creed"; Rod wrote, "did not that priest just anathematize himself?" yes!

There are RCs who disagree with contraception rules, don't go to mass regularly, have pro-abortion and pro-homosexual movements, women priests, etc.

Raymond Brown and other RC Biblical scholars wrote things that questioned the historicity of the Infancy narratives and inerrancy.

So how does your system actually solve the problem any better?

Even with the ideal claim that the Councils, historical traditions, EFCs, Papal infallibility, etc. can solve disunity and the doctrinal disputes over what Scripture means, people still rebel against the "infallible" interpretations all through history.

Your system is no better. People still rebel.

Ken said...

They have a hunch that church history condemns everybody except Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism.

no; history is history; what happened. It cannot judge what is right or wrong; and many wrong things happens. God in His sovereignty allows many bad things to happen. Rather, we have to test what happened by Scripture. We can appreciate the good from church history and see where things were added and corrupted and where they "kept the faith", etc.

Furthermore, Eastern Orthodoxy says the RC Pope dogma is not tradition or historical, and wrong.

EO does not agree with Augustine on original guilt in Adam.

Ken said...

David,
IMO, you did not seem to address the point I was making by the additional information in the example you gave; and the lack of it in Matthew 1:25. (see embolding part)

Matthew 1:25 does not have any additional information or a second sentence joined by an "and" / kai, as your example does.

If the Matthew 1:25 had been constructed like the example you gave, you would have a point - if Matthew 1:25 had something like this, "and continuing on after Jesus was born, Joseph continued to keep her as a virgin, as Mary had made a life long vow, and she is like a holy vessel and gate, that no one shall pass through, as it is written in the prophet Ezekiel 44:1-3." (something like that).

"and she neither ate bread nor drank water, but while all slept she herself alone was awake and weeping and frequently beating her breast with her hand."

This phrase provides additional information that specificially says she kept weeping after the sun down. But Matthew 1:25 does not go on to give us new information. Therefore, I don't think that is a good example to defeat our position.

guy fawkes said...

Ken,

We have laws against bank robbery,
right?

Thieves still rob banks, right?

Do they invalidate the laws against bank robbery by their actions?

Because heretics disobey the Church's authority does not argue against that authority.

You seem to think both the Pope and dissenters like Wycliffe or Luther speak for the Church.

Ken said...

Guy Fawkes / Jim -
Of course people violate the law and rebel. You see, we understand that and are not afraid of disunity and disagreement. It is you and your false church that puts unity above Truth.

We put Truth first, above unity. True Biblical unity is around the truth of God's word.

But it is you and your false church and RC apologists who make the appeal that, "the Scriptures are not enough to solve disagreements over interpretation and controversy, you have to have a living voice who can walk into the room and solve the disunity problem"

Since your own RCC has NEVER been able all through history to solve these problems, that whole argument and appeal fails; since it the living voice CANNOT walk into the room and solve the problem and DOES not even clean its own house of heretics and liberals, etc.

We don't make that claim, and in fact, we are not afraid of disunity or disagreements - Truth is more important than a false unity.

in Romanism, a Uniformity of dead external rituals in dead churches with neat old architecture - is putting that kind of dead formal organizational unity above Truth - like thinking the outward forms of water baptism and latin words spoken over a child while water is placed on the head or Latin words spoken over bread and wine - like bowing down before bread (Kauffman is right, yes, I agree) and praying to statues ( idolatry) and thinking that your giving to the poor or going through Satis passio after you die is going to make you justified in the end so that then you finally work your way and earn your way to heaven (false doctrine that falls under the anathema of God Himself - Galatians 1:6-9).

Repent - you must be born again by the Spirit of God (your church's interpretation of John 3:5 has been wrong from day one- you replaced the truth for a lie, for dead external physical ritual and got rid of the Holy Spirit), not by dead rituals by priests and formulas and Latin and statues of Mary.

The water does not cause you to be born again. But if you are born again, you want to be baptized in a Biblical local church and you will want to follow the Lord in baptism and testify to others that you have been changed, immersed, died with Christ, buried with Him, and raised to walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:1-7)

Ken said...

Guy / Jim,
I like David Anders; he is normal and engaging and doesn't play the philosophical games that Bryan Cross does.

Scott Hahn refused to debate Dr. White (long time ago), so, that shows he is afraid of something. At least Matatics and Robert Sungenis were not afraid of debate.

Jason Stellman, IMO, does seem bitter, and drowns his bitterness and sorry with drinking hard liquor and dark humor and cynicism with his "Drunk former pastors" blog.

But I don't see bitterness in having passion against false doctrine.

Jesus called the false teachers vipers and snakes -
Matthew 12:33-37

Was Jesus bitter for putting truth and the Holy Spirit before external ritual and physical water and Latin dead code language ex opere operato (magic)?

Your church of external ritual puts the cart before the horse.

First clean out the inside of the cup - Matthew 23:26 - Be born again first, then baptism, so that you can clean the outside also - not external ex opere operato water ritual Latin baptism on a baby that cannot repent, etc.

that is what causes so much nominalism and deadness in your religion.

Ken said...

Because heretics disobey the Church's authority does not argue against that authority.

Except you are the heretics. Your Church has no Biblical or just authority.

The RCC is nothing but dead man's bones, empty rituals, statues, idolatry, bread worship, uniformity without truth, no true unity of John 17 or Ephesians 4; false doctrine under the anathema of Galatians 1:6-9; external dead ritualistic baptismal forms that washes pigs and dogs and cannot change the heart. 2 Peter 2:22.

The apostle Paul reserves his highest condemnation for systems like yours. Galatians 1:6-9

Jamie Donald said...

Ken,

I am unaware of the details of Scott Hahn's refusal to debate James White. I am simply aware that he did not accept the invitation. What details do you have in the refusal that Hahn sent to indicate that he is "afraid?"

Ken said...

Since so many others were willing to debate him, and they were always treated with respect, for example the best debates are with the priest, Mitchell Pacwa. Mattatics, Sungenis, Mitchuta, Tim Staples, Patrick Madrid, Peter Stavinskas, Fastiggi, etc. - they are all good debates. (others exist also)

Since so many Roman Catholics were willing to debate him, then it seems to me that Hahn was afraid to debate him. That is my opinion, because it would be a good resource to have, along with the others.

Scott Butler still has the video tapes of 2 of the debates with Mitch Pacwa and won't release them - shame on Scott Butler.

Rory said...

Rory said:

[i]As always, the Sacred Scriptures alone are inadequate to resolve doctrinal controversy.[/i]

Ken replies:

"And the Pope as infallible interpreter, resolves doctrinal controversy?"

No. No Ken. I never suggested that. What I did was point out that only by distancing ourselves ecclesiastically and soteriologically from the first century martyrs can we arrive at any level of comfort with being a modern day Reformed Baptists. You don't have any roots Ken. There is nothing to link you with the Apostles except a short Bible that disagrees with what the faith was that conquered pagan Rome.

Here is my quote with which you cannot argue:

[1]I think there is a reason Non-Traditionalist Christians prefer sola scriptura. They have a hunch that church history condemns everybody except Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. If only Ignatius and Irenaeus had taught the local pastor was the highest officer in God's church, and that we are saved by faith alone, and eternally secure, apart from water baptism, even Reformed Baptists would be touting the authority of that Tradition![/i]

You talk about the pope? I don't care about a "pope" if he says that I can dump the first three centuries of Christianity like you would have us do! The pope isn't the authority. I won't follow him and I won't follow you if either of you try to turn me away from the Sacred Tradition derived from the Apostles and the martyrs of the first centuries.

As an argument for why Tradition with Scripture doesn't resolve doctrinal controversy either Ken says:

"People always rebel or disagree anyway."

You then cite Luther and other Catholics who go apostate! It would seem then that you concede that Scripture alone is always inadequate to resolve doctrinal controversy. Why else would you divert the question by making an absurd argument about how if anyone would leave the Catholic Church, it is proven that Sacred Tradition is of no help in resolving doctrinal controversy? We all know Luther rejected Sacred Tradition, and adopted sola scriptura. How does that prove that Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture together are also inadequate to resolve doctrinal controversy, Ken?

Jamie Donald said...

Ken,

I submit to you that you are inconsistent in the method you use to interpret and evaluate language.

Your above claim is that "until" must imply something afterward unless there is amplifying language which accompanies the phrase containing “until.” Your focus on “kai” (“and”) suggests that this amplifying language should accompany the original phrase in the form of a conjunction.

However, a refusal or declination is simply that. Without similar amplifying language, no motivation can be assigned to a refusal – this would include emotional motivation (such as fear or being “afraid of something”). Yet you add to the meaning of “refuse” when you simultaneously admit that there is no amplifying, accompanying language to support that modification.

In other words, to expand the meaning of one word, you require an amplification (contained within the source). But you expand the meaning of another word without the same amplification.

Because of this unwarranted modification, you have made a personal statement about Professor Hahn; and it is a derogatory statement (suggesting that he is afraid or lacks courage). Your reply to me indicates that you made this public statement without the requisite knowledge to make it. You ought to retract the assertion that Hahn fears White or that Hahn fears defending the Catholic faith.

Please note that how other people respond to Dr White’s invitation to debate is a reflection on them and no one else. Their choices do not reflect upon Hahn’s character and motivation.

Ken said...

ok, I am sorry about what I wrote about Dr. Hahn being afraid; I agree that that was too harsh; and I don't know that.

I retract that.

I wish he would debate though, as his book was very influential (Rome Sweet Home) in getting other Protestants to convert to Rome.

I think he said something like, "debating is not profitable", but in his book, he is also putting forth arguments against Protestantism and Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide, etc.

But by now, those arguments have been answered by our side. And many others have developed websites and books, etc. - on both sides - Called to Communion, Beckwith, Stellman, Devin Rose, etc.

Ken Temple

I guess I was emotionally responding to Guy Fawkes/ Jim's charge that former Roman Catholics were bitter and I thought that was unfair.

Ken said...

but my other argument about the additional information that actually says "they kept on weeping" after the first phrase with heos hou in it still stands.

Because the Matthew 1:25 does not have an additional sentence with more information, (that the continution of Mary's virginity kept on going), then I don't think the parallel is a valid example.

David Waltz said...

Hello Ken and Jamie,

Ken stated:

==but my other argument about the additional information that actually says "they kept on weeping" after the first phrase with heos hou in it still stands.

Because the Matthew 1:25 does not have an additional sentence with more information, (that the continution of Mary's virginity kept on going), then I don't think the parallel is a valid example.==

Me: For you to be consistent with the above statement you would have to remain neutral on whether or not Mary remained a virgin for as you said, " Matthew 1:25 does not have an additional sentence with more information."

I am so glad that Jamie commented on this very issue, because I thought I was failing to communicate the import of what Mr. Svendsen was saying; but, Jamie clearly picked up on this—THANKS MUCH JAMIE !


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

no, I don't have to remain neutral,

1. because of context,
"before they came together",
"do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife",

2. and the brothers and sisters of Jesus all through all four gospels;

3. Greek word cousin and kinsman available, if brothers had meant that, etc.

But, I will admit that Jamie wrote the issue clearer than you did. Sometimes David, you are hard to understand.

Jamie Donald said...

Ken,

Thank you for your response. I know that we are passionate and zealous for the Lord. Sometimes this causes us to let our emotions take over our rational thoughts. I know it's happened to me. Again, thank you.

I would like to try to better elaborate David's argument. Still don't think you're following him completely. This elaboration is somewhat lengthy (sorry). I ask that you read all of it, then form your opinion. My intent is to try to help you and David avoid talking past one another.

Jamie Donald said...

David's 1st point.
When it comes to understanding “Heos Hou” when it is reasonably translated to English as “until,” we have 2 choices. (For now, assume that when I use “until,” I am using the “Heos Hou” construction. This way we can keep it in English, making easier for Guy Fawkes to follow.). Choice 1: at the time limit or event indicated by “until,” the situation at hand always undergoes a substantial change. Choice 2: at the limit or event indicated by “until” the situation at hand may undergo a substantial change, but a substantial change is not mandatory. We (you, me, David, Svendsen) all agree that these are the two only two possibilities.

David's 2nd point.
Svendsen goes through the effort of analyzing “until” in all NT references (other than Matt 1:25) demonstrating that each falls into “Choice 1.” From this analysis, he concludes that “Choice 2” is not a viable choice – leaving “Choice 1” as the only true possibility. Thus, Matt 1:25 must fall under the only viable option, “Choice 1.” The situation at hand (Mary's virginity) undergoes a substantial change at the indicated event (the birth of Christ). Again, we all agree that this is what Svendsen is asserting.

David's 3rd point.
Svendsen acknowledges biblical (OT – including the deuteros) support for “Choice 2,” but rejects these as being too ancient with respect to Matthew, so they do not overturn the conclusion in the 2nd point that “Choice 1” is the only option. Svendsen asserts that in order to find “Choice 2” as a viable option, there must be some Greek usage which a) definitely shows “Choice 2,” and b) is contemporary to Matthew. The assumption here is that a contemporary source will show “Choice 2” to be an allowed usage at the time Matthew wrote. But if “Choice 2” is an allowed usage, then the conclusion voiced in the 2nd point is no longer valid. The language of Matt 1:25 does not settle the perpetual virginity issue. (David quoted Eric on this).

David's 4th point
Svendsen asserts that there is no contemporary usage of “until” which falls under “Choice 2,” so the conclusion that “Choice 1” is the only viable option remains.

Jamie Donald said...

David's 5th point.
“Joseph and Asenath” is a Greek source using “until” in the “Choice 2” category and is contemporary with Matthew. David asserts that a “Choice 1” usage here is meaningless because it would literally state that a substantial change both did and did not take place. When you point out the conjunctive phrase, you tacitly agree to this assertion. (I'll talk more about how you're treating the conjunction in a moment.) Because David knows of a Greek usage meeting the criteria Svendsen outlined in the 3rd point, he says that both “Choice 1” and “Choice 2” are viable, and that they are viable per Svendsen's stated requirements. Thus, Matt 1:25 does not settle the perpetual virginity issue.

David's 6th point.
“Does not settle” means just that and nothing more. Matt 1:25 does not say one way or the other on Mary's perpetual virginity (per accepted usage of “until” contemporary with Matthew's writing). It is neutral on the subject. David further asserts that if you are using Svendsen as a source and reference, you should also see this verse as being neutral. Note that David is not saying anything about the other verses you bring up. He is talking about this verse alone being neutral – neither supporting nor denying your thoughts on the subject.

But it is important to note that you are looking at this differently than Svendsen did (or at least differently than how he wrote). The difference is subtle, but very important. In the combox here you have modified “Choice 2.” You now see it as at the limit or event indicated by “until” the situation at hand may undergo a substantial change, but a substantial change is not mandatory but when no change takes place, it must be clearly stated adjacent to the usage of “until.” You had not voiced this subtle difference when you wrote over at James' blog. Now that you have voiced it, David no longer needs “sincerely wonder if Ken will adjust his position ...”

Up to this point, I have not voiced my opinion on the topic. I do not find Svendsen's limiting Greek usage of “Heos Hou” to a period contemporary with Matthew to be convincing. I find the limitation rather arbitrary. There are several places where the NT authors strove to use the same language as is in the OT – even when it was several hundred years (even over a thousand years) prior. Knowing that this continuity in language was employed – especially with the Greek LXX – to exclude a majority of the OT becomes very arbitrary. When OT usage is considered, then “Choice 2” (without your subtle modification) becomes viable. That returns Matt 1:25 to a neutral status.

I could write more, but this is already a rather long response. Hopefully, 1) now you will see David's point clearly, 2) David will see that you have adjusted your position, and 3) you have a small (admittedly very small) insight into my own opinion. It is my hope that the weight of (1) and (2) will help you and David avoid talking past one another.

guy fawkes said...

Ken,


How does Judith 16:22 read in the Greek? In English it says something about many men wanting to marry her after her husband died but the remained single until she died. I don't know. I am just asking.

David Waltz said...

Hello again Jamie,

Thank you so much for taking the time to systematize my musings on Matt. 1:25 and the heōs hou construct—excellent work !!!

As you know, my focus was on Mr. Svendsen's remark that, "if this usage for this phrase can also be found in the literature contemporaneous to Matthew's gospel (i.e., the first century AD), then there can be little objection to seeing this same usage in the passage in question, and Mary's perpetual virginity becomes a strong exegetical option."

Though I did not focus on LXX, I totally agree with the following you wrote:

>>I do not find Svendsen's limiting Greek usage of “Heos Hou” to a period contemporary with Matthew to be convincing. I find the limitation rather arbitrary. There are several places where the NT authors strove to use the same language as is in the OT – even when it was several hundred years (even over a thousand years) prior. Knowing that this continuity in language was employed – especially with the Greek LXX – to exclude a majority of the OT becomes very arbitrary. When OT usage is considered, then “Choice 2” (without your subtle modification) becomes viable. That returns Matt 1:25 to a neutral status.>>


Once again, thank you for your efforts, they are greatly appreciated...


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi Guy,

You asked Ken about the Greek text of Judith 16:22; hope you don't mind if I jump in...

The Greek text of Judith 16:22 does not contain the heōs hou construct. Here is the Greek:

καὶ πολλοὶ ἐπεθύμησαν αὐτήν, καὶ οὐκ ἔγνω ἀνὴρ αὐτὴν πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας τῆς ζωῆς αὐτῆς, ἀφ᾿ ἧς ἡμέρας ἀπέθανε Μανασσῆς ὁ ἀνὴρ αὐτῆς, καὶ προσετέθη πρὸς τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ


Grace and peace,

David

guy fawkes said...

David,

Thanks for the clarification on Judith. Michael Voris said the "until" business appeared in Judith but I didn't see it in the English so I was just wondering. I wouldn't want to assert that it did only to wind up with egg on my face. Being the stuffed shirt that I am, I appreciate you saving me from such a fate worse than death.

Speaking of egg on one's face, Ken's sidekick James Swan posted a mammoth piece on Luther and the Canon yesterday. I gleaned this little jewel of a quote from Luther himself,

"This epistle is ascribed to the holy apostle St. Jude, the brother of the two apostles James the Less and Simon, the sons of the sister of the mother of Christ who is called Mary the wife of James or Cleophas".

Funny how our Protestant friends trust the Reformers on some things but not others.

Rory said...

So we have arrived at happy agreement? All who have commented are in agreement then that Mt. 1:25 does NOT speak to the question of the perpetual virginity of the Mother of God's Son?

Ken said...

no, I don't agree with that, Rory.

It shows that Mary was NOT a perpetual virgin. Only a virgin before Jesus was born, yes.

Ken said...

It shows it, along with all the other information - brothers, sungenis, anepsios, context, verse 18, etc.

Rory said...

Hey Ken,

Not to be tedious, but if I may inquire a little further? You continue to hold that Mt. 1:25 disproves, or at least contributes towards disproving the perpetual virginity of Mary as taught by the Catholic Church.

It seems to me like you either have two choices:

1) You disagree with what Dave has presented with regards to contemporaneous non-biblical Greek, that uses the same expression without the implications you attach to Mt. 1:25

2) You disagree with Mr. Svendsen's criteria whereby he admits that Mt. 1:25 would have to be considered neutral on the question of perpetual virginity if an example such as Dave claims to have located is found.

Briefly, you have to disagree with Dave's example or with Svendsen's criteria if you still insist on saying that Mt. 1:25 speaks to the question of Mary's perpetual virginity.

You have been silent about why you still believe in the importance of Mt. 1:25 as evidence for the discussion. This is after the reasons for your belief about Mt. 1:25 as evidence seem to go away. I was hoping you could explain why Dave's example fails to meet Svendsen's criteria, or what is flawed in Svendsen's criteria. Unless you can do this, you can now have no reason for your persistent insistence that Mt. 1:25 "shows that Mary was NOT a perpetual virgin".

Thanks,

Rory

Ken said...

Hi Rory,
Sorry, I was busy. Forgot to look back here in a few days. Been commenting at Devin Rose's blog.

I think that that example that David gave does not meet Svenden's criterion, because it has two sentences. The first sentence by itself with the heos hou construction says the same thing as the 15 of 17 examples in the NT; but the second sentence with "and" / kai and additional information that says specifically that they kept weeping AFTERWARD changes the conditions.

None of the 17 examples I cited from Svendsen at my article give additional information that would change the verse.

Svendsen closed down his blog years ago; and has been a pastor and still is as far as I know; and, as I recall, did not want to do debating anymore. I thin he would agree with me if he could see this example.

Also, I don't think he was right, (in his statement that seems to say that just one example will change his argument.) Even the other "until " constructions have different meanings, all depending on context. But some are like 75 % of the time meaning "until, and not afterward" and 25 % of the time meaning, "until, and continuing on afterward". at the end of the day, context tells us.

The context of Matthew 1:18-25 is clear - betrothal, marriage, "do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife", etc. "took her into his home" etc.

Also the Greek words sungenis (kinsman/kinswoman/relative) and asepsis (cousin) are clear also, and so they totally defeat Jerome and the brothers are cousins argument.

The weight of evidence is on our side.

Rory said...

Ken, understood. Thanks for clearing up your position. A last question: Why do you suppose Svendsen would allow one exception to overthrow his whole theory? Any ideas?

Ken said...

Why do you suppose Svendsen would allow one exception to overthrow his whole theory? Any ideas?

I don't know really. Except maybe he was thinking that one exception to the otherwise documented rule would weaken being "definite" and "dogmatic" and "irrefutable" to "probably" or "most likely".

Sorry, been busy again and forgot to check back here.

Rafe said...

Hello David,
I have been following the blog for awhile and I realize this may be a bit late on this thread but I thought I would go ahead and comment anyway. I am Rory's son in law by the way he may have mentioned my name to you at some point.
In regard to the perpetual virginity I think one can make a better case for it by referring to the first chapter of Luke specifically verses 30-34.
Mary asks the angel Gabriel "How shall this be done, because I know not man?"
If she had been planning on having normal conjugal relations with her husband it does not seem this question would need to be asked. She would assume the reference would be to the first child of herself and the man she was espoused to. Her response seems to indicate that she was not only a virgin but intended to remain so even after entering into the married state.
I doubt that I am the first to present this argument so I assume somewhere there is a protestant answer to it. But it seems a better argument than quibbling over the meaning of a Greek phrase with men who don't have authority to interpret Scripture.
Pax
Rafe

David Waltz said...

Hi Rafe,

Welcome to AF !!!

It is good to learn that you have been following the blog, and I sincerely appreciate that you have taken the time to comment. And what an interesting comment. I personally have not heard/read the argument you presented before. It has certainly got me rethinking the whole issue from another angle.

I am currently working on another thread for AF, but once I finish and publish it, I will check my commentaries on the Gospel of Luke and see if any of them have presented a similar argument.


God bless,

David

Jamie Donald said...

Rafe,

Gregory of Nyssa is reported to have used this same argument to support Mary's perpetual virginity. According to Wikipedia, he stated it in "On the Holy Generation of Christ." I have not yet been able to confirm it.

David Waltz said...

Hi Jamie,

Thanks much for the info concerning Gregory of Nyssa. Will try to confirm if he did in fact put forth a similar argument to the one that Rafe provided; but, it may not be until Friday before I can do so.


Grace and peace,

David

Jamie Donald said...

Augustine also made this argument. See

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1310.htm

It's in the 4th paragraph.

I also found some stuff in Jerome which may be interesting. But as this particular blog post is getting a little "long in the tooth," I'll ask -- David, would you like me to post here, or send you what I found in Jerome in an e-mail?

David Waltz said...

Hello again Jamie,

Last night, I woke up about 2:00 AM and could not fall back to sleep. I ended up pulling Luigi Gambero's, Mary and the Fathers of the Church off the shelf, and found the Gregory of Nyssa reference, Augustine's "vow" argument, and I suspect the same "stuff in Jerome" that you found.

I am currently working on a second post concerning monespisopacy in the early church, focusing on James the Just—since Ken is still questioning his role monarchical role after the quotes I already provided—and probably will not finish it until sometime tomorrow.

I would like to do a second thread on Mary's PV, concentrating on the CFs interpretation of Luke 1:34, but have guests coming in for the extended weekend on Friday, so I will not be able to get the this thread up until Tuesday.

Anyway, please feel free to post your research in the combox of this thread. Hopefully it will keep some interest in the topic until I can get the new thread up.


God bless,

David

Cal Johnson said...

I realize this thread is over a year old, but I just now stumbled upon it. Svendsen had an extended dialogue with Robert Sungenis on the "Joseph and Aseneth" occurrence of heos hou after the passage came to light. Although the site is now defunct, you can still access the archived version here. It offers a lot of clarity on some of the questions I read in this thread. Scroll down to the section that responds to robert Sungenis to get to the Aseneth part.

https://web.archive.org/web/20081013043603/http://www.ntrmin.org/sungenis_and_heos_hou_3.htm

Just a note on the quote by Svendsen that I keep seeing cited here (viz., that if a single instance of an exception for the usage of this phrase is found in contemporary literature, "then there can be little objection to seeing this same usage in the passage in question, and Mary's perpetual virginity becomes a strong exegetical option." This book is the published version of his doctoral dissertation. As someone who has written at that level I can speak from personal experience that dissertation committees do not like strong, certain stances (nor the string statements that accompany them), and the candidate is often instructed to rewrite and "soften" those statements based on suggestions by the mentor or another committee member. In fact that happens more often than you might think in the dissertation process.

Given Svendsen's sentiments in the protracted discussion in the link above, I suspect he was compelled to rewrite many statements to make them more palatable to the dissertation committee. Just a hunch.