Catholic Verses - 95 Bibles Passages That Confound Protestants?
THE CASE OF ONESIPHORUS: DID ST. PAUL PRAY FOR A DEAD MAN?
Page 169: 2 Timothy 1:16-18. Catholics believe in prayers for the dead, in order to aid them in their journey through purgatory to heaven. In fact, praying for the dead makes sense only if some sort of purgatory or intermediate state is presupposed, because it would be futile to pray for those in hell (prayer cannot help them; it is too late) and unnecessary to pray for those in heaven (they have everything they need). This verse offers one probable biblical support for this belief.
Note: There is no purgatory after death.
Hebrews 9:23-28 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another—He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
Page 170: The vast majority of Protestants, however, do not and will not accept the practice of praying for the dead, because they do not see that it is supported in the New Testament (and sola Scriptura pretty much requires every doctrine to be explicitly taught in Holy Scripture). 2 Timothy 1:16-18 offers a possible instance of a prayer for the dead in the New Testament and, as such, is quite similar to 1 Corinthians 15:29. But Protestant commentators have been hopelessly confused about it and cannot offer a coherent, unified testimony as to its meaning. Catholics agree with Protestants that some passages are more difficult to exegete than others, even considerably so. But we maintain that the primary reason for Protestant confusion with regard to certain "Catholic-sounding" texts (such as those dealt with in this book) is that they ignore one straightforward reading (in this case, that Paul is praying for a dead person) because such a viewpoint is not allowed within Protestantism; it is outside acceptable parameters.
Note: Saint Paul was grateful to Onesiphorus and was writing about him to Timothy not praying for him.
2 Timothy 1:15-18 This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me. The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day—and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesus.
Note: The author of Catholic Verses assumes that Onesiphorus was dead at the time of this letter to Timothy.
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