I never could shake this argument

All Protestants intuitively know this.  However, as some begin to move into Patristics they pretend it isn’t there.   I first came across it in Jim Jordan’s brief commentary on Revelation (which I don’t endorse).  Jordan writes,

Anyone who reads the Bible, climaxing in the New Testament, and then turns to the “apostolic fathers” of the second century, is amazed at how little these men seem to have known. The Epistle of Barnabas, for instance, comments on the laws in Leviticus, but completely misinterprets them, following not Paul but the Jewish Letter of Aristeas. It is clear that there is some significant break in continuity between the apostles and these men.

No argument here.  It’s the next sentence that loses all his readers,

What accounts for this? I can only suggest that the harvest of the first-fruit saints in the years before ad 70, which seems to be spoken of in Revelation 14, created this historical discontinuity. (I’d say the first-fruits Church was the Pentecostal harvest of the third month; we look toward the Tabernacles harvest of the seventh month; note Leviticus 23:22, which comes right after the description of the Pentecostal feast, and may well shed significant light on the problem we have here mentioned.)

That might be true, but you just can’t drop bombs like this out of nowhere and expect people to follow along.  But I digress.  Back to Aristeas.   There are a number of comments that OB didn’t approve on the LXX.  His next point is spot-on.

We ought to be careful, too, in assuming we have a comprehensive picture of the early church. We have a few writings of a few men, many of whom were not pastors and teachers but educated first generation converts from paganism, lay scholars who were engaged in debate.

Anchorites love to appeal to St Ignatios and the fact that he was a disciple of John.  What of it?  What gives you the right to take a mere selection (fewer than 20 pages) of one man’s writing and apply them to the whole church?  This is the crudest of logical fallacies

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One comment on “I never could shake this argument

  1. Benjamin P. Glaser says:

    What is most annoying about the whole FV movement is that Jordan, Leithart, Wilson, etc… are wickedly smart and if their powers had been used for good instead obfuscation we’d be in a lot healthier place right now.

    (I place blame on this in two fronts, 1) RTS’s ham-handed dealing with Bahnsen made that whole side of the fence reactionary toward the “traditional” power structures thereby making them always operate on the fringes, 2) R.J. Rushdoony’s abandonment of any semblance of Presbyterian ecclesiology led his followers into the ecclesiastical weeds they are now.)

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