Originally Posted by Newman
So, are you saying the apostles were infallible, whereas Timothy and Titus and everyone else they ordained were not? Did all the apostles have to be alive? They could have convened an infallible council in AD 90 (while John was still alive,) but not in AD 100?

The apostles were not inherently infallible, no; but they had unique authority given to them by Christ, from whom they received teaching directly & of whose death & resurrection they were eyewitnesses. As an apostolic conference, then, the Jerusalem Council had unique authority in the infancy of the catholic church, when revelation was not yet complete, since Christ had ordained that apostolic teaching was to be part of the foundation of the church going forward. No one after the apostles was granted apostolic authority. I'm not going to speculate uselessly about the possibility of other such councils before John's death; there simply weren't any, & there cannot be any more since John's death.

Originally Posted by CiB
What Pilgrim is saying is that the Jerusalem Council was unique. It is not repeatable & not a clear paradigm for the resolution of disputes regarding doctrine & practice in the post-apostolic era.
Is this based on scripture or on opinion? I ask sincerely.

The apostles have passed on, as is universally acknowledged. As such, how could an apostolic conference be repeatable or a paradigm for the resolution of future disputes in the absence of the apostles themselves? It is simply not possible.

Originally Posted by CiB
The elders/presbyters/bishops, which are the office ordained perpetually in the church for the preaching, teaching, & maintaining true doctrine in the post-apostolic era, are to do so according to the teachings of the apostles contained in Scripture, since the apostles are no longer with us.
Well, I actually agree with this, but it seems, to me, your previous statements do not. If you and I interpret scripture differently and call each other heretics, how do we settle this dispute? Matthew 18:17 provides the answer. Jesus says to take it to the church…ie. the elders/presbyters/bishops you just mentioned. Is the command of Jesus irrelevant?

I don't see where I've disagreed with anything I've written. Whether councils are useful or possess some kind of authority in the post-apostolic age is not the question. The question is whether councils have the authority to determine what is essential & what is not. Councils do not have that authority; only God, speaking through Scripture, does. Inasmuch as the Jerusalem Council was addressing a new situation in the church, at a time before revelation was complete, the Jerusalem Council is not an applicable paradigm in the post-apostolic era in which revelation has been closed & in which there is no longer an apostolic office. All men & councils are bound to the Word of God in Scripture.

Originally Posted by CiB
All you do is push the question back another step. No mere man is infallible, & no council of mere men is infallible. Only God is infallible, & His Spirit speaks through Scripture.
You just got through implying that the apostles were infallible, and now you’re telling me no mere man is infallible, only God. Which is it?

Only God is infallible; I've never said otherwise.

And mere men wrote scripture, by the way, inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can inspire men to write scripture and can inspire men to hold a council during a certain period of time, yet can’t inspire “the elders/presbyters/bishops” charged with “preaching, teaching, & maintaining true doctrine in the post-apostolic era” to hold a council in the post-apostolic era?

The church's foundation has been established; revelation is closed; there is no need of further revelation. Do you posit an ongoing apostolic office? (Who could fulfill the prerequisites of the apostolic office, seeing as no one today can be an eyewitness to Christ's resurrection nor a disciple who sat at his feet?) Do you suggest that God is still revealing new things today? Is God still laying the foundation of the church, or has He actually been building upon that foundation for some time?

Last edited by CovenantInBlood; Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:48 PM.


I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.