Apologetics

Posts related to the defense of the Christian faith.

“Deciding” the Canon of Scripture: Damasus and the Council of Rome in 382 AD

Historical recognition of the canon of Scripture is far more complicated than most realize, particularly for the Old Testament (OT). I’m planning a series on the OT canon, but here I hope to address a commonly asserted but false claim, namely that: Pope Damasus/the Council of Rome in 382 decided (or canonized) books of the Bible.

This claim surfaces frequently in online discussions. Both lay and professional apologists repeat it. The latter should keep the former in check but that rarely happens. Repetition of these false claims does not contribute to productive dialog. I suppose those who make a living preaching to the choir don’t consider historicity and productive dialog of much concern. A scholar with whom I recently corresponded said it well: “The biggest pitfall of most avowed apologists (of all stripes) is back-projection, wanting to see the present Church (and typically the one to which they profess membership) in the past.”

The books of the Codes Sinaiticus do not exactly match the canon of Scripture recognized by any Christian tradition.
Codex Sinaiticus (source) is a mid-4th century manuscript that contains the earliest complete copy of the NT. It also contains some, but not all, of the contested OT books that appear today in Catholic Bibles (see here).

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The Origin of the Eliakim-Peter Typology, Part 3: The Silence of the Fathers

The 17th century commentary on Isaiah 22 by Jacobus Tirinus from the previous post didn’t outline an elaborate Eliakim-Peter typology. It is so brief it defies interpretation, apart from his poor understanding of Scripture, but as with any historical inquiry, there are other concerns. Anachronism is an enemy of understanding and we should be cautious of projecting ideas familiar to us back into a time when they were unknown and drawing unwarranted conclusions. We should also be careful to discern whether Tirinius or others do the same. Upon examination, we’ll see Tirinus does and we’ll also see a deafening silence in the fathers regarding the Eliakim-Peter link.

As a reminder, the English text of his commentary (via Google Translate), stated the following: “…The Messiah is allegorically represented by Eliakim, says Cyril. & Theodoretus. And here St. John observes [in Revelation 3:7] where he speaks of Christ, he who has the key of David opens and no one closes. And Christ promised to delegate the same key to his Vicar Peter, [in Matthew 16:19]. I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” – Jacobus Tirinus (c. ~1645 AD)

Theodoret of Cyrus (Syria): I wonder if he looked anything like this. It’s difficult to decide if he looks contemplative or confused.[1]”File:Theodoret of Cyr (in A. Thevet1584).png.” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. 28 Sep 2020, 00:50 UTC. 21 Jun 2022, 08:01.

References

References
1”File:Theodoret of Cyr (in A. Thevet1584).png.” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. 28 Sep 2020, 00:50 UTC. 21 Jun 2022, 08:01.

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The Origin of the Eliakim-Peter Typology, Part 1: Keys, Stewards, and Fathers, Oh My!

The key of David, typology, and the papacy
Isaiah 22:22 – “And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open” is echoed in Revelation 3:7 – “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.'”

What is the Eliakim-Peter Typology claim?

The Eliakim-Peter typology is a now popular interpretation of Isaiah 22:15-24 that involves constructing a multi-faceted, complex typological relationship between it and two New Testament passages (Matthew 16:18-19 and Revelation 3:7). The interpretation attempts to correlate various Biblical and cultural concepts, words, and phrases from those passages. In recent years, it has become perhaps the most popular apologetic defense of the papacy. I will examine the particulars of the “interpretation” in a subsequent post but for the sake of simplicity, the current discussion is mostly focused on tracing the origin of the claim that Eliakim in Isaiah 22 prefigured Peter in Matthew 16 (and the papacy). I will also examine the recent developments in, and popularity of the claim.

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