Is Biblical Truth No Different Than the Yanny vs. Laurel Debate?

By Michael Brown Published on May 20, 2018

The Yanny vs. Laurel debate has taken the internet by storm. What did you hear when you heard the robot audio clip?

As I listened, there was no doubt that the word was “Laurel,” no matter how many times I listened. It was “Laurel,” clear as a bell.

For others, the word was definitely “Yanny.” How, they wondered, could anyone hear anything else?

The offshoot of all this is simple (and scary): Two sincere people can hear (or see) two different things at one and the same time, even though they’re hearing (or seeing) the very same thing.

But does that mean all truth is up for grabs? Perish the thought. The Yanny vs. Laurel debate actually underscores this.

“How so?” you might ask?

Well, we’re having a conversation about this issue, and everyone understands what we’re talking about. In other words, if you followed the Yanny vs. Laurel controversy the last few days, you know what’s dividing us.

We listened to the same clip, and some of us heard one thing and others heard another thing. The reason we know this is because when we choose to communicate clearly, we can.

That’s how we know there’s a national controversy. We’ve been communicating about it with each other. And our communication has been simple and clear.

That’s why no one reading this column thinks I’m talking about the NBA playoffs or the Middle East conflict or alpine skiing or favorite pets. When we want to communicate clearly, we can.

That’s why we have traffic lights and traffic signs. (Does anyone think that STOP means “Accelerate now”?) That’s why we have tests with questions and answers. That’s why we have menus with descriptions.

An optical (or auditory) illusion is one thing. Intentional, clear, black and white communication is another thing.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream »

Unfortunately, I can already see what’s coming down the pike based on the Yanny vs. Laurel debate. It’s going to sound something like this: “You have your truth and I have mine. Remember Yanny and Laurel! Your reality may be real for you, but it’s not real for me.”

How much more will we hear this argument when it comes to biblical truth: “Remember Yanny and Laurel!”

Now, as a lifelong student of the Scriptures (from the age of 16 until today), I’d be the first to admit that there are verses in the Bible that are hard to understand. Some are even downright difficult just to translate. And some are subjects of debate to this moment.

At the same time, I’d be the first to affirm that some things are as clear as day, and it is only if we choose not to see what is written that we will remain blind.

That’s why so many people hate God’s Word: The message is all too clear! As the old Mark Twain saying goes, “It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”

Let’s take John 14:6 and Acts 4:12 as examples. In John, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.” In Acts, speaking of this same Jesus, Peter said, “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Does this sound like, “All paths lead to God”? Do these verses say, “Even if you reject Jesus, God will receive you”?

Certainly not. This is not one of those Yanny vs. Laurel examples.

And on and on it goes, in verse after verse through the Scriptures. There is a clear message about the one true God. A clear message about the sinfulness of our race. A clear message about the holy standards of the Lord. A clear message about our need to be forgiven and redeemed. A clear message about a Savior and Redeemer. A clear message about the consequences of rejecting that Savior and Redeemer.

The words are not ambiguous and the message is not unclear. Rather, the truth is staring us right in the face, if we only humble ourselves and believe.

Again, this doesn’t mean that every verse in the Bible is easy to understand. And it doesn’t mean that serious students of the Word won’t have some differences. And, obviously, it doesn’t mean that everyone recognizes the Bible as God’s Word, even though it is His Word.

But it does mean that the objection we’re sure to hear in the days ahead is no objection at all. There’s a massive difference between an auditory illusion and eternal, unambiguous, clearly-communicated truth.

Print Friendly
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
  • Ray

    I heard about a guy that would sometimes run red lights, saying it’s OK because his brother runs them all the time, ’till someone explained how dangerous that was. So then he stopped at a green light, and his answer for that was, “My brother might be coming.”

    • Andrew Mason

      There’s a taxi joke like that yes.

  • Craig Roberts

    Christians can’t agree what the Bible teaches. If they did there wouldn’t be thousands of denominations.

    • GPS Daddy

      Ok, Craig, your exaggerating and misrepresenting the issues.

      By “thousands of denominations” in conjunction with “can’t agree what the Bible teaches” your implying that they all teach different things. This is the furthest from the truth. In fact, its so far off the truth that I’d call it a lie.

      Now I will give you that there is some significant differences on some parts. But these differences tend to be more towards the edge of beliefs verses central themes and doctrines. There have been many mistakes made by Christians since the 1st century that has divided the church and this is not excusable. But to claim that “Christians can’t agree what the Bible teaches” is painting with a huge brush that is completely unwarranted.

      • Craig Roberts

        What do Rob Bell, Michael Brown, Joseph Smith, Thomas Aquinas, Jonathan Edwards, John Calvin, Martin Luther, and Pope Francis all have in common? They’re all Christians? No. They all disagree on what the Bible teaches.

        • GPS Daddy

          What view of Jesus do you want me to find for you? How about that Jesus was an ape? I bet that in the 7 billion people on the planet I can find someone who either believes this or is willing to embrace it. What do you think?

          Why are you so concerned with what every person thinks? What does that have to do with what the truth is? Do you allow your belief system to be changed by every person who comes along that disagrees with you?

          • Boris

            Human beings are a species of ape. So had Jesus actually existed he would have been an ape. We humans are related to a sub species called Creationopithicus Alabamas there Mr. Biblethumpicus Mississippus.

          • Jim

            Your assertion that Jesus didn’t exist demonstrates your lack of research in the matter. He is mentioned in several texts completely independent of the Bible and written by non-Christian, contemporary historians.

          • Boris

            You just proved your own lack of research in the matter. You are either misinformed (what Christian isn’t) or lying or both. Even of the entries in Josephus and Tacitus are not Christian forgeries they are from almost a whole century after the supposed time of Jesus. All you have is hearsay accounts and not even first or second hand hearsay. Sorry, not admissible to this argument. The Bible clearly says that Jesus’ fame spread throughout the land. If this was true it is quite impossible that Jesus would not be mentioned by Philo and the other fifty or so historians that reported on this area during the First Century. And the real elephant in the room for you is the fact that none of the supposed apostles are mentioned by any historians either. No reports of Paul preaching on Mars Hill or anywhere else. No reports of Peter bringing new doctrine to Rome or anywhere else. No reports of any disciples being martyred and in Myths of Persecution we see proof that no Christians were ever martyred for their faith. The Church invented all these stories of martyrdom to make excuses for it campaigns of torture and murder of unbelievers. The Christian superstition is the worst human tragedy to ever come upon this planet. If you’e a Christian by definition you are an evil human being. Not to mention delusional.

          • Ken Abbott

            If your reference above is to Candida Moss’s book “The Myth of Persecution,” here is the conclusion of a review of that book written by a distinguished professor of ancient history:

            “In sum, we have a case of over-correction in this book that, in attempting to clean the historical record on persecution and martyrdom, has scrubbed away solid fact as well. Both excessive embellishment and excessive purgation do poor service to the cause of historical truth. This exercise in revisionism, then, has failed.

            “Each of Moss’s eight chapters ends with a helpful conclusion in which she summarizes the arguments set forth therein. A conclusion to this review would merely appeal for a more honest title and subtitle for her book, perhaps something like: ‘The Myth of Exaggerated Persecution: How Later Christians Embellished the Record.’ That would have far more integrity but, of course, sell fewer books.”

          • Boris

            No dice. One of the classes I had in college was “The Emergent Church in Antiquity.” One thing we learned in that class was there was absolutely not a shred of evidence of any Christians being martyred ever, during any period. Notice the liar you quoted presented no evidence to back up his lies and had he had any we would have read all about it. The early church was fabrication factory and I am sorry to see that you have fallen for all the lies of the Christian superstition.

          • Ken Abbott

            Be fair. All I quoted was the concluding two paragraphs. The rest of the article–and it was a very balanced review, by the way–had plenty of scholarly interaction with the author’s thesis and arguments.

          • Boris

            Well it’s so easy to debunk the lies you people tell. This is why no atheist could or has ever lost a debate with a Christian. As soon as the atheist asks for evidence the debate is over. Name ’em and claim ’em. Please document for me the the names, places and times for each Christian you can prove was persecuted. Hint: I will not accept anything coming from the Christian Church and without those lies you’ve got NOTHING.

          • Ken Abbott

            So who made you the arbiter of all evidence?

          • Boris

            You by not producing any. Thanks for proving my point.

          • Ken Abbott

            So quick to assume.

            This will not be a productive use of my time and you’ve proven yourself to be unpleasant company, Boris. You’re blocked.

          • Boris

            So are you.

          • Craig Roberts

            Really? Even atheist scientists that think we evolved from apes don’t think we are the same species.

          • Boris

            Humans are primates, but the primates that we most closely resemble are the apes. We are therefore classified along with all other apes in a primate sub-group known as the hominoids (Superfamily Hominoidea).

            This ape group can be further subdivided into the Great Apes and Lesser Apes. Humans have bodies that are genetically and structurally very similar to those of the Great Apes and so we are classified in the Great Apes sub-group which is also known as the hominids (Family Hominidae).

          • Boris

            No scientists think we evolved from apes. I can tell you get your misinformation about science from creationist literature instead of scientific literature. There’s a huge difference. Creationist literature is a pack of lies written for and by morons.

          • Ken Abbott

            Taxonomically, we’re not even in the same genus as the great apes, so how can we be a species of ape?

          • Craig Roberts

            I think Jesus deliberately remained an enigmatic figure so that we would be forced as individuals to wrestle with the reality of his incarnation. If we could just parrot what the “church” teaches, check the box and move on, we wouldn’t be compelled to seek him out. You can’t get really worked up about finding something if you believe you already have it.

          • GPS Daddy

            Craig, are you a Christian?

          • Craig Roberts

            I’m Catholic. So some “Christians” would say yes and many others would say no.

          • GPS Daddy

            Your comments cause doubt and confusion where there really is none. Catholics have the same core that evangelicals do. There are more differences between us but the core is the same. Why cast doubt where there is no need to?

          • Craig Roberts

            I didn’t create the divisions, I’m just acknowledging that they exist. Christians lose credibility when they deny the obvious. If Dr. Brown wants to protect Christians from the accusation that truth is subjective he needs to answer why unbelievers should listen to him and his particular version of the story. Why not a different denominational voice? If Christians can’t agree why should non-Christians?

          • disqus_FUhBv5Vaag

            “I didn’t create the divisions”

            Are you sure of that? Have you added to it?

            ” truth is subjective ”

            Is there objective truth?

          • Craig Roberts

            I did not say that the “truth is subjective”. I said, “If Dr. Brown wants to protect Christians from the accusation that truth is subjective he needs to answer why unbelievers should listen to him and his particular version of the story.” Big difference.

          • WhatsYourLifeAssumption

            Ok, Craig, let me ask this again:

            Is there objective truth?

          • Craig Roberts

            Of course. But not everyone has “eyes to see and ears to hear.” It doesn’t change the truth.

          • WhatsYourLifeAssumption

            If truth is objective then why do you sow doubt?

          • Craig Roberts

            The objective capital ‘T’ Truth is that Christians don’t agree on what the objective capital ‘T’ Truth is…
            I’m not “sowing doubt”, I’m stating the obvious. “Obvious” is another word for “objective truth”. If you have an objective perspective on why, I would be interested to hear it, but don’t bother denying it.

          • WhatsYourLifeAssumption

            Does God exist?

          • Craig Roberts

            Yes. Of course. Anyone with half a heart knows that. The question isn’t “does God exist?” but “what does God want?” THAT is the question that nobody can agree on. Some Christians think He wants to punish us for not having faith and some think He wants to forgive us for not keeping the commandments. Some think we have to follow the pope and some think the pope is the anti-Christ. Some Muslims think he wants them to fly planes into buildings. It’s all very confusing but the one thing that is clear is that nobody agrees.

          • WhatsYourLifeAssumption

            Well, now wait a minute Craig. Your running a mile down the road sooo fast that your missing things along the way.

            So let me ask several questions here:

            Are you God or are you a “piece” of God?
            Will you one day be a god?
            Are you a created being?
            Is God a created being?

            Lets stop there for now for after you answer these, if your willing, then we need to discuss what this means.

          • Craig Roberts

            No. No. Yes. No.

            Do you think I’m a Mormon?

          • WhatsYourLifeAssumption

            Ok, so what can we know from these questions?

            If your NOT a “piece” of God then any worldview that says that your are cannot be right, correct? What worldviews say this? Hinduism for one. We know that Hinduism cannot be objectively true.

            You will not be a god one day. What religions say you will if you follow their teachings? Mormonism. If Mormonism is a false religion then what does it matter what Joseph Smith says about Jesus or the bible?

            The last, God being a created being, is another Mormon teaching. According to them the god of the bible was once a man that was a created being that became a god.

            You see what I am doing, right? I am filtering out those ideas that cannot be true. Am I or you going to do this perfectly? No. But the bigger the life question the easier it is to see what is right and what is wrong. That is why I am starting with these kinds of questions. There are actually some more basic questions that can be asked but I assumed how you would answer those.

            I do not have time to continue this until later this weekend. If your wanting to continue I can do so then. But I want to encourage you to think differently about these things.

          • Craig Roberts

            Sounds good. Although, I wouldn’t assume that my thinking on these matters is much different from your own. God bless.

        • Bryan

          I can’t say for certain on everyone in your list. While most Catholics and Orthodox and Protestants will say (if somewhat grudgingly) that the others are Christians, those three would say Joseph Smith was not or at least the teachings he professed and the movements he inspired were not Christian. What Dr. Brown, and everyone else on the list would agree on (or in the case of Mr. Bell what he used to profess as I haven’t really followed what he’s into now) are the principle things:
          -That God created the universe and everything in it,
          -That he created Man and that the first man and woman entered into sin through disobedience and brought sin into creation
          -That because of this, God sent Jesus to live as a man on earth and to suffer and die for this sins of the world.
          -And that those who confess and believe in Jesus will be reconciled to God and be united with God for eternity.
          Many denominations vary over the form of governance over their churches and there is little else that the disagree on. So while there are many denominations, many of the differences are not primary. As GPS said above, your claim is a broad stroke on a more complicated topic.

          • Craig Roberts

            You’re right. I just think that to try to boil down the difference to “laurel” vs, “yanny” doesn’t do the big questions (e.g. why do so many Christians disagree with each other?) justice.

          • Bryan

            Isn’t that exactly the opposite of what Dr. Brown argued in this article? He said there will be those that use this as a reason to justify personal truth instead of recognizing absolute truth. That’s not saying anything about why Christians disagree with each other.

          • Craig Roberts

            Christians say they recognize “absolute truth” and then go on to squabble about everything. Dr. Brown is putting the focus of the article on the accusations of unbelievers but if you look at his body of work he has devoted entire books to refuting the claims of other Christians. If Christianity provides a coherent, workable, framework for identifying and complying with the “absolute truth”, why does Dr. Brown accuse so many fellow Christians of doing it wrong? And why should I believe that he is the one that has it right?

          • Bryan

            Absolute Truth applies to the things that are absolutely true, not to everything a Christian says. The four points in my earlier comment are not refuted by Dr. Brown here and I don’t believe they are refuted in his body of work. He has refuted claims by others about specific facets of understanding the Holy Spirit and how He chooses to work in our lives for example, or about other important, but not primary, details. But he has not, to my knowledge, called into question whether someone is a Christian because they believe in Young Earth vs Old Earth.
            So when Dr. Brown or other Christian leaders debate or question specific points about what is revealed through scripture, they are rarely (if ever) debating the primary points. Those primary points are the absolute truth. All else is secondary. That said, we have many denominations today because of these secondary arguments. But you won’t find many Presbyterians who say Lutherans believe a different gospel than they do, for example.
            As for your last question, you don’t have to believe he’s right on many of his views. You can study revealed scripture and decide for yourself. But if you don’t believe that Jesus is God’s son and that he died for your sins, then you are in conflict with absolute truth.

        • Barefoot Soul

          Um, some of those people are dead. How could they disagree?

    • Andrew Mason

      Some of those differences are due to differences in language or culture, others are due to differences in emphasis. It’s not a case of only one true denomination. Consider the example of the body found in Scripture – some are feet, some are hands, some are eyes … Why should denominations all be the same?

      • Craig Roberts

        Good point but denominations are not individuals. Paul was referring to individuals within a unified body.

    • Bezukhov

      That truth makes a mockery out of Pascal’s Wager. It isn’t enough that you believe that God exists. If you don’t give Him His jollies just the way He wants, you suffer the same fate as any hardened Atheist.

      • Craig Roberts

        Atheists fail to appreciate God, but believers fail to give Him His perfect sacrifice. That’s why Jesus is essential and everything else is just arguing.

    • Barefoot Soul

      So you don’t like diversity?

    • Jim Walker

      That is why I always say, I’m a Christian first and there is no second. I ditch denominations because I want to unify.

  • James Blazsik

    That’s why Jesus instituted the Chair of St. Peter.

    • Craig Roberts

      Michael Brown says no.

      • James Blazsik

        It’s the only thing that makes sense. Jesus left a Church that was organized. Any dispute has to have the buck stop somewhere. That’s why He instituted the Chair of St Peter. Or you have thousands of denominations as the result.

        • Craig Roberts

          I totally agree! But…alas…Michael Brown, the author of this article does not concur.

        • Jim

          Except history doesn’t back up the claim.

          • James Blazsik

            Are you kidding me? St. Clement to the present day. That’s why we have a papacy.

    • Andrew Mason

      Except Jesus didn’t. Catholicism and the papacy is the product of human hands not God. The church Jesus left behind was led by apostles and elders not a ‘king’ so more akin to the SBC structure. 😀

      • James Blazsik

        More anti- Catholic dribble. Every group and denomination is man made.

        • Andrew Mason

          I’m confused. If every group is man made yet you contend above that the Chair of St Peter, by which I presume you mean Roman Catholicism, was instituted by Jesus, you’re contradicting yourself. Which is it, are all denominations manmade, or is one denomination divinely appointed? If you mean something else by Chair of St Peter then clearly it’s a tad too cryptic and needs clarification.

          • James Blazsik

            Don’t be an idiot. Of course the Chair of St Peter was instituted by Christ. I was making the point that all groups and denominations are man made except the Chair of St. Peter.
            You are anti-Catholic.

          • Andrew Mason

            Only anti-heresy. The papacy was instituted by man not Christ. See my other post about Peter not being the rock Jesus founded the church on. Note too that the early church had nothing in common with Catholicism, and was more akin to the SBC structure – independent institutions led by elders, but with some respected individuals with specialized knowledge floating about teaching or evangelizing as inspired. It wasn’t until several centuries after Christ that the heresy of Roman supremacy was really pushed. Given this is one of the major Catholic:non-Catholic divides I’m not sure this’ll be a productive point to debate though.

          • James Blazsik

            The only way to identify what is heresy is the Throne of St Peter. It was founded by Christ by giving Peter the gift of loosing and binding. There is no other way to understand Matt 16.
            The early Church was the Catholic Church.
            If the sbc is the baptist church – you have got to be kidding. The baptist church is a european thing from the middle ages.
            If you want to understand the early Church, then read the Church fathers. They were Catholic.
            If there is anything that is heretical – it’s the baptist church. There are some good things, but the baptist faith resembles a gnostic faith.
            Catholicism is the only faith founded by Christ. All other faiths rely on a human founder.

          • Andrew Mason

            Not so. Sola Scriptura. The only way to determine heresy is to see what God has said and that is the standard God Himself set. As for Matthew 16, no the loosing and binding doesn’t mean Christ was founding His church on Peter. According to commentaries it was standard Jewish phrasing that simply meant the apostles were to teach what was lawful and what was unlawful. It wasn’t significant, and it definitely did not establish any church beyond the generic concept of spreading the Gospel which is a commandment to all believers.

            We will need to agree to disagree regarding the early church!

            Actually the SBC is simply one particular Baptist denomination – there’s plenty others, but I thought it’d be the one you’re most likely familiar with. And there are assorted versions of history including the claim that the denomination in its entirety is descended from John the Baptist. Questionable, but an interesting notion that its ministry precede’s Jesus’ Apostles. Certainly the notion of people preaching the gospel of John the Baptist before knowing Jesus is recorded in Acts and Apollos is identified as one of the leaders in the early church and mentioned in conjunction with Peter and Paul.

            Except the early church fathers weren’t Catholic but Christian, barring those that deviated into heresy e.g. Tertullian. Catholicism wasn’t invented ’til later. And while they may make for interesting reading, and certainly something I should look into if available somewhere, they’re far from infallible! Augustine for instance had some grossly mistaken ideas, but understandable in light of his history.

            Not really sure how you reconcile Gnosticism – the notion of secret knowledge which saves, versus Baptists who simply teach Scripture. Or perhaps you’re thinking of something else? I’m surprise you’re not more concerned about the Catholic Pantheon given its disquieting parallels with ancient polytheistic pantheons. While Catholic saints may not be full deities in their own right the notion that mere mortal might be elevated to authority or have power over particular professions, regions, diseases, or disasters is disturbingly similar to ancient pagan concepts.

            As noted we’ll have to agree to disagree. Catholicism was invented centuries after Christ whilst according to at least one branch of Baptist history, the denomination preceded Peter and the other Apostles. There’s also the fact that other churches were founded by other disciples at the time. Parts of Indian Christianity for instance trace their history back to the Apostles, but not Peter. And since Jesus chose followers in His own time there is absolutely nothing preventing Him from selecting and motivating followers in our time, especially where the church has fallen away from Him in an area, or never been established. There are various books around about individuals led to establish their own organisations in obedience to Christ. Brother Andrew is one who springs to mind, but there’s many others. True most aren’t churches or denominations, but the overlap can be … fuzzy.

          • James Blazsik

            Sola Scriptura isn’t Biblical. Try to prove it from the Bible.
            Study history. The baptist church is creation of man in the middle ages. This trying of making the baptist church go back to John the Baptist is ridiculous. There is no historical proof.
            You have no idea about the church fathers. They were Catholic.
            You really don’t know what you are talking about.

          • Bryan

            I’m sorry to butt in but I agree the early church father were catholic. But catholic with lower case “c” as in the Church universal. Not all denominations are equal and not all denominations have great track records. However this does not make them inherently evil or heretical. Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox have much more in common than not, particularly in the things of primary importance, namely, that Jesus is the Christ, God’s son, who was sent to earth to die an excruciating death so that our sins would be wiped clean by His blood, and who rose from the dead and then ascended into heaven so that we, too, would one day be resurrected and live for eternity in fellowship with God.
            That’s the point. We can differ on interpretation of various portions of scripture and how some of the mystery of God working in our sphere actually works, but in the primary things we can agree.

          • James Blazsik

            I appreciate your heart.
            The Church Fathers were Catholic with a capital “C’. There is only one Catholic Church, there is no such thing as a small “c” catholic church.
            That’s why Jesus instituted the Chair of St Peter. You have a good heart. God will lead you to His truth: there was only one Church, a Church with a capital “C’. There is only one altar that we receive the Body and Blood of the Lord. We can be one with this heart, one Body.

          • Andrew Mason

            Except it is. Jesus Himself on numerous occasions responded to question with “It is written …” True He based His response on the Old Testament, but the New Testament hadn’t been lived at that stage let alone written.

            In Timothy it is recorded that all of Scripture is God breathed, and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. In numerous passages throughout the New Testament we are instructed to test everything, including the spirits, to ensure that we are not mislead by false prophets and anti-Christs. By what do we test? Scripture. Again in Timothy Paul wrote that he was writing so that believers might know how to conduct themselves as Christians. In Corinthians he instructs the faithful to not go beyond what is written, and Jesus Himself condemned the Pharisees for nullifying the Word of God in favour of their own man made traditions. Note the parallel there! And not only does the Old Testament instruct that nothing be added to God’s Word, the New Testament closes with the same command: Rev 22:18-19 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. Solar Scriptura is what God has commanded.

            As I said. agree to disagree.

            If you mean I’m no professor lecturing at a theology college you’re quite correct, however I have read a number of books and articles on Christianity so have at least a better than average awareness of the history. That Jesus founded the papacy is pure myth. Whether it is more or less mythical than Baptist successionism is something for academics to quibble over. It’s honestly an irrelevancy for those simply seeking to follow Christ.

          • James Blazsik

            You haven’t proved sola scriptura. Nothing you said proves that we are only to use Scripture to believe what we believe. There isn’t any such thing, and it has never been done. There is always someone telling you what Scripture says. You simply follow your faith tradition made by men.
            The Bible says that the Church “is the pillar and ground of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15.
            Jesus founded the Teaching Chair of St. Peter. Again, there is no other way to interpret Matthew 16.
            How can you say that Jesus didn’t found the papacy? Simply because you refuse to believe Scripture when you don’t agree with it. In other words, you have made yourself a judge of Scripture based simply on what you want to believe.

          • Andrew Mason

            Haven’t proved, or haven’t proved to you? This assumes you’re open to the possibility that the Catholic position is wrong, and nothing I’ve read suggests you are. I honestly don’t know how much plainer Scripture could be in advocating sola scriptura.

            Except the verse you quote doesn’t say the Catholic church is the pillar and ground of the truth. You also ignore verse 14 which starts the passage: [i]14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, 15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. [/i] It is Scripture that matters, as that is what informs us as to how we are to conduct ourselves in the household of God.

            Again Matthew 16 does not support the papacy as the Greek does not permit such an interpretation. Peter is petros, whilst the church is founded on petra. Petros is a movable unstable stone, like Peter, whilst petra is an immovable stable mass of rock. In Matthew 16 Jesus commends Peter for recognising Him as the Messiah, which was revealed to him by God the Father, and states that this (or He) is what the church would be built on.

            I’m not the one refusing to accept Scripture I don’t agree with. The Greek makes clear that the Catholic position on this is contrary to Scripture. Before judging me I suggest you consider your own position in light of the Greek text as opposed to Catholic doctrine.

          • James Blazsik

            Sola Scriptura is a man made doctrine. You only believe it because Martin Luther said it. You didn’t prove it, and you only believe a man made doctrine. The Church never believed in Sola Scriptura until Martin Luther who used it to advocate what he believed. Just read “The Jews and their LIes” also by Martin Luther. He advocated persecuting the Jews. See if you believe that too.
            Jesus spoke in Aramaic, there is isn’t any distinguishing between the petros or petra. The problem with your argument: the papacy happened! It was practiced very early in Church history. Again, the Scripture says that the Church is the pillar and ground of the truth. 1 Tim. 3;15. Question: what are the keys given to Peter? What is the binding and loosing that is given to Peter? The portion in Matthew 16 is significant. What happened?

          • Andrew Mason

            Repeating an assertion doesn’t make it so. Nor does the fact that Martin Luther said something matter in the slightest. I do note that you appear to have deliberately avoided responding to my points, though I guess it’s easier to attack than defend.

            What the Catholic Church believes about sola scriptura really doesn’t matter, only what the Christian Church holds about it. And since Martin Luther is but a man, I’m not in the least surprised that he made some errors in judgement. So too did Peter.

            As said, Jesus spoke Aramaic at times yes, but He also spoke Hebrew, and possibly Greek andor Latin. Remember He communicated with non-Jews at times and we don’t know what language He spoke to them in. Furthermore the Gospels are written in Greek. If we ignore what the Text actually says, in favour of what someone claims they must be based on – whether the mythical Q Source, a Pope or someonesomething else, we’re elevating human claims over divinely inspired text.

            No the papacy didn’t occur early in church history, it developed over the centuries. Furthermore the papacy only ever controlled Europe, never the churches founded outside the region so at best the papacy was a Eurocentric denomination.

            And again verse 14 leading into 15 states that Scripture is written so that the faithful will know how to behave in the household of God. The church referenced does not refer at all to the Catholic church but the entirety of Bible Believing Christians – Anglicans, Baptists, Brethren, Lutherans, Pentecostals, Presbyterians etc. Remember, the faithful comprise the Bride of Christ, and yes this does include the odd Catholic.

            Except Peter was never given keys, nor was Peter’s binding and loosing exclusive. Matthew 16 is not significant as you claim. The reference to keys refers to stewardship – which was conferred on Peter and the other apostles on Pentecost. As disciples who’d walked with Christ they, and Paul, had a unique ability to express the Lord’s Will. To a lesser degree all those who minister share in this stewardship. The bind and loosing is standard Rabbinic canon-law phraseology and again reflects that Christ’s apostles were granted authority. As Matthew 18 shows it was a generic thing, not exclusive to Peter. Note too that in Matthew 16:20 the disciples were instructed not to tell anyone that He was the Messiah, and yet they would later be commanded to spread the Word.

          • Jim

            You are antichristian. There is no textual evidence that Peter is the rock. His confession is the rock.

          • James Blazsik

            You are hopelessly anti-Catholic. Read Matthew 16. There isn’t any other way to interpret it other than the Catholic way.

        • Jim

          So is Catholicism. Your popes are mostly political, not spiritual figures. They were worldly and in many cases very wicked. Your church is more pagan than Christian, and left the roots of the Bible for the ramblings of corrupt men.

          • James Blazsik

            You don’t know Catholic history. You are believing anti-Catholic protestant history. There are many holy popes. You are hopelessly anti-Catholic. The Catholic faith is the faith handed down from the very beginning. Whatever you believe isn’t that faith. It’s whatever you want it to be.
            The Bible says the Church is the pillar and ground of the truth. 1Tim 3:15

          • davidrev17

            Actually, the historical foundations of the NT “Church” is utterly Jewish, through and through; in spite of the embarrassing factual truths to the contrary, that the “Church,” or “ekklesia” to which you’re referring in 1 Tim. 3:15, had historically predated the clearly unbiblical example of such “Constintinian Christianity” we find revealed, and thus imposed upon those “whosoever wills” living under its imperial aegis; and whose advent emerged at least some 200 years AFTER Christianity’s true birthplace in Jerusalem.

            Remember Peter’s first sermon during the Jewish Passover in Acts 2, and remember your use of 1 Tim. 3:15? Plus, if you’ll simply read Acts 11:26, you’ll see where its human writer Luke makes the astute observation, that “Christians [aka the pejorative labeling “The Way,” or “little Christ’s”] were first called Christians in Antioch.”

            And this historical event took place by the way, while both Peter & Paul were still alive and ministering to Jews & Gentiles; THE TWO very crucial eyewitnesses of the resurrected/glorified Lord Yeshua/Jesus of Nazareth – of whom both unambiguously identify the Lord Jesus HIMSELF, as being that so-called elusive “rock/stone” of Matthew 16:18, mentioned so enigmatically throughout the Hebrew Scriptures.

            (Simply compare Paul’s statements in this regard, i.e., Ephesians 2:19-22 & 1 Corinthians 10:4, with say Exodus 17:5-7; or even Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 118:22-23; Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45 [“the STONE cut out without hands”]; Isaiah 8:12-15 & 28:16.)

            Then, on top of this, Peter’s own metaphorical description re: Messiah’s centuries-old OT identification with THE titles “stone,” “rock” etc. – see 1 Peter 2:4-8 for the apostle’s classic exegesis of this NON-negotiable theological truth, long-ago established in orthodox historical Christianity – should certifiably remove ALL doubt for anyone who still struggles with Jesus’ no doubt cryptic reference in Matthew 16:18. The Lord Yeshua is, was, and always has been that “ROCK,” or “STONE,” of whom one finds “triunely” identified throughout the OT.

            Thus biblical Christianity – i.e., historical, orthodox, theological etc. – WAS/IS ethnically Jewish to its core & foundation, for roughly the first 10 years of Church history. (Just compare Acts 15 1-29, with Paul’s autobiographical details of these same events in Galatians 1:15-2:10; or his teaching of this in Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 2:11-22; 3:1-12; 5:29-33.)

          • davidrev1911

            James:

            I sent the following post below to you several days ago, under the (then) username of davidrev17 – yet I continued to experience SPAM-RELATED challenges for the first time, since I started using Disqus back in 2011-2012.

            I do hope this attempt will be reproducible however, as your response to these long-standing biblical facts, now millenia-old; facts about which I’ve noticed on this particular story, and so many others over the years – actually receive ZERO legitimate and/or credible exposure during these unfortunately misguided theological debates within the professing “Church.”

            So please don’t ignore the abundance of truth contained in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures of which I provided below. And may Almighty God richly bless your studies my friend!

            ☆ ☆ ☆

            Actually, the historical foundations of the NT “Church” is utterly Jewish, through and through; in spite of the embarrassing factual truths to the contrary, that the “Church,” or “ekklesia” to which you’re referring in 1 Tim. 3:15, had historically predated the clearly unbiblical example of such “Constintinian Christianity” we find revealed, and thus imposed upon those “whosoever wills” living under its imperial aegis; whose Christian counterfeit “advent” amongst humanity, wound-up emerging at least some 200 years AFTER NT Christianity’s true birthplace in Jerusalem. The Bible itself makes this perfectly clear, if one would simply read its content carefully!

            Remember Peter’s first sermon during the Jewish Passover in Acts 2, and remember your use of 1 Tim. 3:15? Plus, if you’ll simply read Acts 11:26, you’ll see where its human writer Luke makes the astute observation, that “Christians [aka the pejorative labeling “The Way,” or “little Christ’s”] were first called Christians in Antioch.”

            And this historical event took place by the way, while both Peter & Paul were still alive and ministering to Jews & Gentiles; THE TWO very crucial eyewitnesses of the resurrected/glorified Lord Yeshua/Jesus of Nazareth – of whom both unambiguously identify the Lord Jesus HIMSELF, as being that so-called elusive “rock/stone” of Matthew 16:18, mentioned so enigmatically throughout the Hebrew Scriptures.

            It’s a simple case of logic to recognize that “they” all can’t be right, when making these diametrically opposed truth claims. Either Jesus was wrong – or BOTH “St. Peter” & “St. Paul” were wrong – as well as the writers of the Four Gospels – of whom also utilized some of the same OT passages, one sees employed by Peter and Paul.

            (Simply compare Paul’s statements in this regard, i.e., Ephesians 2:19-22 & 1 Corinthians 10:4, with say Exodus 17:5-7; or even Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 118:22-23; Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45 [“the STONE cut out without hands”]; Isaiah 8:12-15 & 28:16.)

            Then, prayerfully consider Peter’s own metaphorical description re: Messiah’s centuries-old OT identification with THE titles “stone,” “rock” etc. – see 1 Peter 2:4-8 for the apostle’s classic exposition of this NON-negotiable theological truth, long-ago established in orthodox historical Christianity – should certifiably remove ALL doubt for anyone who still struggles with Jesus’ no doubt cryptic reference in Matthew 16:18. The Lord Yeshua is, was, and always has been – that “ROCK,” or “STONE,” of whom one finds “triunely” identified throughout the OT.

            Thus biblical Christianity – i.e., historical, orthodox, theological etc. – WAS/IS ethnically Jewish to its core & foundation, for roughly the first 10 years of Church history. (Just compare Acts 15 1-29, with Paul’s autobiographical details of these same events in Galatians 1:15-2:10; or his teaching of this in Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 2:11-22; 3:1-12; 5:29-33.)

    • Jim

      Jesus fid not found the church on Peter, He founded it on the truth that he was the Messiah, the Son of God. This is underscored by the fact that the play on words in Greek is not found in Aramaic which is what Jesus actually spoke. It is reinforced by the fact that Peter soon fades into the background as Paul becomes the major theologian and evamgelist of the church who feels very comfortable calling Peter on the carpet for showing favoritism to Jews over Gentiles.
      The last brick in this wall is the fact that there were actually 5 major church centers in the early centuries before Rome and Byzantium became the eastern and western centers of Christianity. Rome was not even the dominant church during Peter’s day, nor would it be for several hundred years.
      It’s time for the Catholic Church to drop this piece of fiction and admit it was a lie.

      • James Blazsik

        You don’t know what you’re talking about. Aramaic proves that Peter is the rock. That’s the point. There is no other way to properly interpret the events of Matthew 16.
        Peter doesn’t fade anywhere. That’s apparent when Paul seeks the right hand of fellowship from Peter. It’s not Paul that opens ministry to the Gentiles. It was Peter
        Become a student of history. Of the five major church centers that you mention: what major center became the center of Christianity?

        • Andrew Mason

          Except this isn’t true.The Gospels are written in Greek not Aramaic so any debate about Jesus’ phrasing is speculative at best, heresy at worst. There is only one use of the term cephas in the Gospels, and a translation is provided – petros rather than petra. Other passages in the NT make the distinction between petros (Peter) and the rock (petra) upon which Christ will build His church. Where the rock (petra) is a large immovable mass, petros (Peter) is movable and unstable, as shown throughout the New Testament.

          Actually Peter does fade quickly – he largely vanishes midway through Acts. By contrast Paul appears shortly before Peter vanishes in Acts, then writes more than half the remaining books of the New Testament, including Galatians where he condemns Peter for his hypocrisy regarding the Gentiles.

          Hasn’t Jerusalem always been the centre of Christianity? I’m guessing you probably mean Rome – I’m assuming you’re a Roman Catholic, but the problem is Rome is also thought to be the Wh0re of Babylon. I think we can agree that ByzantineConstantinople, Alexandria and Antioch are not the centres of Christianity that they once were, though it is interesting that Turkey occupies 2 of the ancient centres.

          • Jim

            That Jesus spoke Aramaic and Hebrew is not speculative. It was the language of the area of the Holy Land during his day. He read from the Hebrew scrolls in the synagogue.
            You need to get a definition of heresy. You throw the word around like a weapon. Heresy is a departure from the faith. Asserting a historical probability is not heresy. Denying the resurrection s a heresy.

          • James Blazsik

            Of course Jesus spoke in aramaic. That proves He instituted the Chair of St Peter. There isn’t any distinguishing of masculine or feminine in aramaic. In New Testament Greek there isn’t a little stone and a big stone in Matt. 16. There is no other way to interpret Matt 16. Why wouldn’t Jesus set up a system of binding and loosing? How do you explain Matthew 16?
            This is borne out in Church history. It actually happened.

          • Andrew Mason

            I”m not debating that Jesus generally spoke Aramaic or Hebrew, merely noting that the Gospels are in Greek. Insisting that Jesus spoke a particular phrase in Aramaic isn’t in accordance with the documentation. We can’t know when Jesus spoke Hebrew (though in the Synagogue is highly likely), when He spoke Aramaic, and when He spoke something else – Greek, Latin etc. All we can know for sure is what is recorded in Greek. To attempt to translate from Greek back into Aramaic presupposes not only that He actually was speaking Aramaic at that specific moment, and that there’s a direct correlation between the Aramaic spoken, and the Greek recorded. Those two presuppositions are unfounded and dangerous.

        • Jim

          I am a student of church history. The problem for the Roman Catholic is that I don’t view it through a tainted lens. Paul, not Peter becomes the main player in establishing Christian theology and evangelizing the Roman Empire. James, not Peter becomes the main player in Jerusalem and heads up the Jerusalem congregation. Peter wrote two epistles, Paul wrote over a dozen.
          As to the pre-eminence of Rome over the other 4 churches, that is something that only happens several hundred years after the resurrection and is not due to great spirituality on the part of the Roman bishops, but has more to do with Rome being the seat of political power. In fact, the pre-eminence of Rome is to the church’s undoing because it ushers in the dark ages when the Bible was forbidden to the people and the church became more pagan than Christian.

    • Barefoot Soul

      You mean that Bergoglio fellow in Rome, the one who says homosexuality is not a sin?

      I don’t think he’s even a Christian.

      • James Blazsik

        The papacy is greater than any one pope.

  • RλiαηηΩη ωεlτΩη

    And the actual word said was Laurel. It wasn’t something else. So the established truth is the word is Laurel.

    • Ken Abbott

      I think it was “Yerry.” That’s what I heard, anyway. My wife agrees.

      By the way, the capital letter omega doesn’t typically appear in the middle of Greek words–lower case omega or omicron is used instead.

      • RλiαηηΩη ωεlτΩη

        “In somewhat of a disappointment to the many people who heard ‘Yanny’ in the clip, the actual word recorded in the original clip is laurel, defined as a ‘wreath worn on the head, usually as a symbol for victory.'” – from amp.timeinc. net/time/5279727/yanny-laurel-original-clip (I’m not sure if my post will be published with a link so I put a space before net. I tried submitting one and don’t see it showing up but I want to give the source for the quote).

        And about my name, I simply had fun using symbols that resembled the letters in my name. There’s no deep meaning behind it.

        • Ken Abbott

          No disappointment here. “Yerry” is what I heard, that’s all. Just like that dress was blue.

  • Ken Abbott

    But according to the Starman, yellow means “Go very fast.”

  • Craig Roberts

    The only thing all Christians agree on is that everybody else is doing it wrong.

    • Ken Abbott

      Why do you suppose that is?

      • Craig Roberts

        Because at the heart of Christianity is a profound mystery. Every Christian wants to solve it and nobody wants to admit that there are elements that simply defy explanation. So they make stuff up.

        We’re like children discussing the relative merits of the “cabbage patch theory” versus the “stork theory”. For some kids, the mystery of where babies come from is just too compelling to let go unanswered.

        Does that make sense? If you’ve got another theory I’d like to hear it.

        • Ken Abbott

          Without doubt human intellectual curiosity (and no little pride and arrogance) drives prying past the things revealed into the secret things that belong to God (Deuteronomy 29:29). Despite the richness of what has been given, some will never be content. But when the thoughts of God are higher than our thoughts we will only end up frustrated that we cannot understand; there is some solace, I suppose, in making up stuff, as you put it.

          • Craig Roberts

            Well said! I don’t think Christians are consciously “making stuff up” like they know that they’re fabricating untruths. I just think a lot of people get so enamored with their own ideas and theories they think that they can blaze new trails into revelation.

        • davidrev17

          Craig:

          I’m not sure if you’re referencing the same subject here (i.e., your use of “mystery”), but if that’s not the case, “at the heart of Christianity” – meaning its very historical, non-negotiable bedrock “truths” – has always been the Lord Jesus’ physical/bodily resurrection from the grave, “on the third day.”

          (e.g., 1 Cor. 15:1-28; Ephesians 1:15-23; Jude 1-3; Acts 22:1-21; 24:10-16; 26:12-23; 1:1-3, 15-26…esp. v. 22; see also 2:22-24; 3:14-21; 4:8-22; 5:29-32; 7:51-60; 8:26-39; 9:1-30; 10:34-48; 11:1-18; 13:26-40; 15:1-29…then compare this historical gathering called the “First Jerusalem Council,m” in Acts 15, with Paul’s autobiographical details provided for this same event, in Galatians 1:18-2:10.)

          “Cabbage patch theory versus the stork theory”?? YIKES Craig! Is this what postmodern deconstructionism has long-since done – through and by its “leavening influence” – to the biblical concept of absolute truth & the Great Commission of Matt. 28:18-20; whose other-worldly (i.e., transcendent) source for this absolutely binding, normative Truth, was revealed BY God himself (aka the Ruach haKodesh, or Holy Spirit) in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures??

          • Craig Roberts

            Nice. You’ve boiled it down to its essence. I was referring to the perennial debates about authority and the Eucharist. If Christians can’t agree on who’s in charge now and what do we do to celebrate the good news then it’s useless to tell pagans that we have THE plan for man.

Inspiration
A Picture of Prayer
Dudley Hall
More from The Stream
Connect with Us