This Wednesday we had the pleasure of Bob Buschine giving a presentation about our Blessed Virgin Mary from the Protestant perspective. The first question discussed was how we as Catholics worship the Blessed Virgin. We discussed what “Worship” means.
The Hebrew word for “Worship” that came to mind in the discussion was, “השְׁתַּחֲוֶ,” “Ishtachu” which means to place one’s face in the dirt in humble adoration. This is not what we do when we venerate Our Blessed Virgin. The second word is the Greek word, “λειτουργία,” ‘Liturgy,” which means public service. We do not bow down to Our Blessed Virgin any more than Gabriel gives to Our Blessed Virgin in Luke 1:28.
During the class, we discussed the Protestant concept of “Solo Scriptura,” by scripture alone. We discussed what is wrong with this understanding. Deuteronomy 5:1-6 is directly translated from the Hebrew as, “Moses summoned all Israel and told them, Hear, Israel, the customs and correct judicial precedents, (הַחֻקִּים וְאֶת-הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים) (Cook of and the Miss boat) which I proclaim in your hearing, this day, that you may learn them and guard to do them.
A custom is something that comes over time, generations, and centuries. By definition, Moses could not have received them at Horeb, Sinai. Hebrew has the “Ethics of the Fathers” which states Moses received the Commandments from God, and gave them to the prophets who gave them to the Great Assembly, who gave them to the rabbis, who transmitted them to us. Each of these interpretations of the Ten Commandments in light of present events, present as of the time of interpretation, is part of that הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים and are to be viewed as if they came from Sinai/Horeb.
When they are transmitted correctly, they are הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים, which literally means, “From the lips,” of God. Muslims, Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Catholic continue that chain of tradition, which Deuteronomy 5 refers to, intact. All of the Mediterranean based religions have this understanding. Even in our law courts, the US Constitution is not read by itself, but in light of judicial precedents as they grow from year to year. Only the Protestants deny the chain of tradition, which the text itself tells us is present. We agreed that it is so strange that Protestant tradition which is 1500 years and 1500 miles removed from the original writing of the original text is correct, while the three main religions originating from the religion are all wrong on this key point.