Detractors of the INC from the past and until now are all aggressive and desperate on saying that the INC is a false religion with false teachings then came to conclude that the INC ministers are twisting the bible.
One of the many attacks is this, they say, what was written in the bible is not (capital letter)"Iglesia ni Cristo" but only (small letter) "iglesia ni Cristo". So, when quoting Romans 16:16 in filipino bible, it is said, "mga iglesia ni Cristo" or in english bible "churches of Christ" not in capital letters, but the Pasugo Magazine change it with a capital letter always.
They also accuse the ministers that they intentionally do that to say that the Iglesia ni Cristo was the Church of Christ written in the bible.
Is this true?
That ministers INTENTIONALLY do that to favor their side?
Well, let us now be enlightened whats the truth about this capital or small letter in the phrase "Iglesia ni Cristo".
The bible is composed of two testament namely Old and new testament, the Old testament is originally written in Hebrew while the New Testament is originally written in Greek.
The New Testament (Koine Greek: Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Hē Kainḕ Diathḗkē) is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament.
Unlike the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible, of which Christians hold different views, the contents of the New Testament deal explicitly with 1st century Christianity, although both the Old and New Testament are regarded, together, as Sacred Scripture. source: wikipedia
What kind of Greek the New Testament is written?
The majority view is that all of the books that would eventually form the New Testament were written in Koine Greek. source: wikipedia
What do we need to know about Koine Greek?
Koine Greek was the language used by writers of the Old Testament Greek Septuagint and the Greek New Testament. The original Greek New Testament was written in all capital letters, without spaces, punctuation, accents or diacritical marks. source: biblescripture.net
Meaning, the New Testament is originally written in all capital letters, but why do we see capital and small letters of Koine Greek nowadays?
In classical Greek, as in classical Latin, only upper-case letters existed. The lower-case Greek letters were developed much later by medieval scribes to permit a faster, more convenient cursive writing style with the use of ink and quill. source: wikipedia
It is because it was developed that's why we can see capital and small letters written in Greek bibles.
Let us now go back on the topic...
I will quote some content of the article, ofcourse again by Catholicdefender2000, because what he writes on his blog is always same to the attacks of the detractors of the INC. Let us see his ignorance about this, the article is entitled Iglesia ni Cristo member deceived about Romans 16:16
It doesn’t matter if the word “church” in Tagalog is spelled “iglesia” or “iglesya”. But it definitely CONCERNS me when your Iglesia ni
Cristocult DELIBERATELY ALTERED what was written in Romans 16:16 to be a PROPER NOUN "Iglesia" or "Iglesya".
Please care to read what was written in your PASUGO as your Ministers QUOTED the same passage from Romans 16:16?With DUE RESPECT, in all TRANSLATIONS of the Bible, Romans 16:16 has these words “… churches” NOT “Churches”. It has “… mga iglesia” NOT “… mga Iglesia” or Iglesya. (even the Lamsa Translation has it).
The display of ignorance is really shameful, right? First, he is correct, whether it is "Iglesia" or "Iglesya" it doesnt matter because its the same it means church, and also it doesnt matter if it is "Kristo" or "Cristo" because it both means Christ. Its just part of the language differences because Filipino language is still not accurate/definite, as you can see Iglesia and Cristo are spanish words while Iglesya and Kristo are Filipino words, but it doesnt matter because Filipino language is composed of many languages like spanish, english, chinese, tagalog and so on.
Another thing, the phrase "churches of Christ" is not the name of the church that was established by Christ, it only denotes that Christ's church has congregations in other parts of the world. Because in the time the church was preached by the apostles, there are congregations or churches in other countries. For example, there is also a church in U.S.A, Europe, China, Philippines and Indonesia that's why it is said to be "churches of Christ", but the church that was established by Christ is not many, but only ONE that's why it should also be singular, "Church of Christ" or "Iglesia ni Cristo".
From another unknown and ignorant Catholic defender who made a supposed "exposition" of the teachings of the INC, the website iglesia ni Cristo exposed, he said:
The Fallacy of this Gospel of Manalo Doctrine Lesson 7:
We have already exposed the Manalo lie in Part 4 of the series that the name Church of Christ is not written in the Bible. What is written in Lamsa's Acts 20:28 is "church of Christ". What Manalo had been doing is taking away the written small letter "c" and adding big letter "C" in place of it to make it agree with its Church of Christ or Iglesia ni Cristo name. This taking away and adding to the words of God is strictly prohibited by Christ in Rev. 22:18-19 NKJV.
INC uses Acts 20:28 Lamsa translation and Romans 16:16 (that are both in the New Testament, meaning, written in Koine Greek, meaning, written in capital letters) to prove about the church that was established by Christ.
First of all, the INC doesnt care if it is written as Iglesia ni Cristo or iglesia ni Cristo or iglesia ni cristo or IGLESIA NI CRISTO because these are all the same! What the INC teaches is that the church that was established by Christ is none other than the Iglesia ni Cristo.
For the sake of the argument
As for the sake of the argument, ill give you then!
I was surprised then when im reading my bible that in Romans 16:16, it is written as "Iglesia ni Cristo" and not "iglesia ni Cristo" and this is unusual. From a Catholic bible itself "Ang sambayanang Pilipino Katolikong Edisyon Pastoral" it is stated:
"Magbatian kayo sa banal na halik.
Kinukumusta kayo ng lahat ng Iglesya ni Kristo"--says a Catholic Bible edition
Kinukumusta kayo ng lahat ng Iglesya ni Kristo"--says a Catholic Bible edition
Want an English version? From Weymouth New Testament:
"Salute one another with a holy kiss. All the Churches of Christ send greetings to you."
French version? From Louis Segond (1910):
"Saluez-vous les uns les autres par un saint baiser. Toutes les Eglises de Christ vous saluent."
Spanish version? From Sagradas Escrituras (1569):
"Saludaos los unos a los otros con beso santo. Os saludan todas las Iglesias del Cristo."
See? There are versions/translations of the bible that says (capital) "Iglesia ni Cristo"!
We believe that the true church that was established by Christ is the Church of Christ, but then it was apostatized it became "Holy Apostolic Roman Church" as it teaches not from the Gospel of Christ and God but teaches man-made teachings, thus, it cannot claim anymore that they are still the continuation of the Church of Christ in the 1st century, that's why the restoration of the true Church of Christ is needed.
My sources said that there is indeed "Church of Christ" and not "church of Christ" only:
"In the writings of the New Testament the words are sharply distinguished. With them ecclesia denotes the Church of Christ; synagoga, the Jews still adhering to the worship of the Old Covenant." source: Catholic Encyclopedia
"The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Saviour, after His Resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it .... This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him." source: Catholic-pages.com
"This is the one Church of Christ which in the Creed is professed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic, (12*) which our Saviour, after His Resurrection, commissioned Peter to shepherd,(74) and him and the other apostles to extend and direct with authority,(75) which He erected for all ages as "the pillar and mainstay of the truth".(76) This Church constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him,(13*) although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure. These elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward catholic unity." source: vatican.va
"We can see this, in theology proper (the Catholic Church as the continuing incarnation of Christ); in bibliology (Catholicism as the only true Church of Christ);" source: apologesticsindex.org
"It is in his writtings that we find the word Catholic used for the first time. St. Augustine, when speaking about the Church of Christ, calls it the Catholic Church 240 times in his writings." source: americancatholictruthsociety.com
I also found interesting articles:
1. Is the Catholic Church the Church of Christ?
On this topic one can read apparently contradictory statements by theologian Avery Dulles.
Today, according to The Times Picayune (TP), Dulles said: “Many think the Council taught that non-Christian religions could offer a path to salvation. Rather …. they all have fatal flaws. The one true religion exists in the Catholic Church.” According to The Washington Times (WT) Dulles also stated: “The greatest post-Vatican II misunderstanding is that the Church gave up her claim to be the only way to salvation.”
Anyone who quickly reads these statements reaches the conclusion that Cardinal Dulles is talking about the Catholic Church and is defending the dogma extra Ecclesia nulla salus [outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation]. Hence, for this reader the Cardinal appears as a strong conservative and perhaps even a traditionalist. This conclusion, however, is not as objective as it appears from the first reading.
There are two problems involved with this statement. One is to know what Church Dulles is talking about. Another is to know if he in fact was defending the mentioned dogma. In my first question I will deal with the former, and in my second question with the latter.
When Cardinal Dulles affirmed that “the one true religion exists in the Catholic Church,” was he saying that the Catholic Church is the true religion? Or was he stating that there would be another religious entity broader than the Catholic Church existing somewhere else and sharing a part of its plenitude with the Catholic Church?
If one goes back to read what Dulles defended in the past, an interesting clarification enters the picture. Twenty-three years ago addressing the same topic, Dulles published the article “Ecumenism: Problems and future possibilities” for a book of collected works by various authors published in Italian: Toward the Church of the Third Millennium [Verso la Chiesa del Terzo Millennio, Brescia: Queriniana, 1979]. In that article he wrote:
“The Church of Jesus Christ is not identified with the Roman Catholic Church. Certainly, it subsists in Roman Catholicism, but it is also present in various ways and in various degrees in other Christian communities in so far as they are also faithful to that which God initiated in Jesus and they obey the inspiration of the Spirit of Christ” (pp. 108-9).
If today Fr. Dulles still defends the same thesis that the Church of Christ is different from and broader than the Catholic Church, then his recent statements to the TP and WT should be understood as referring to this strange “Church of Christ.” If the reader is interested in knowing what is behind and who supports this “Church of Christ” he can refer to my recently released Animus Delendi II, part II, chapter II. This “Church” would encompass Catholics, Protestants, and Schismatics. Then, when Cardinal Dulles said that “the one true religion exists in the Catholic Church,” he would not be defending that the Catholic Church is the true religion, but that she shares the “true religion” that would exist elsewhere. It would be a Jesuit twist in a way of presenting the words to give the impression that he was defending a conservative position.
Also, when he stated that “many think the Council taught that non-Christian religions could offer a path to salvation. Rather …. they all have fatal flaws,” he would not be referring to Protestant and Schismatics, as a quick reading might suggest. These people would have open access to Heaven, since they would be included in the “Church of Christ.” Actually Dulles would be referring to Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. That is to say, he would be dealing with an entirely different reality than what appears in the first reading. If this is the case, then he would be playing a trick: a subtle progressivist thesis is presented in a way that gives the impression that he is defending the traditional teaching of the Catholic Church, but actually he is defending the opposite.
If Cardinal Avery Dulles would have used these hermeneutic ruses to appear conservative to his audience, then one would be dealing with a crafty sophist instead of a respectable teacher.
How can the dilemma be resolved? Without rushing to make a judgment, I choose the direct method. I respectfully place my question to him here:
Could Your Eminence be so kind as to clearly answer this question: Do you still defend what you wrote in 1979 about the Church of Christ? Id est, do you still defend that there is a Church of Christ different from and broader than the Catholic Church?
And another one, from the article "The Church of Christ and Catholic Church":
With the support of numerous statements of the Magisterium, it was customary for Catholics prior to the Second Vatican Council to defend the thesis that they belonged to the "one, true Church" founded by Jesus Christ himself. For them, the Nicene confession of faith, "We believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church" referred unambiguously to that Christian community which was united in faith and obedience with the Bishop of Rome, the successor of St. Peter.
Since the celebration of the last Council, this sense of Catholic self-identity has been challenged and even denied. It is asserted that the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church are not the same reality. The Council, which used both expressions, namely, "Church of Christ" and "Catholic Church," is claimed to have drawn a distinction between the two, thereby indicating that they are not one and the same. In speaking of the society founded by Jesus himself, the Council referred to the "Church of Christ" and confessed that this "is the only Church of Christ which we profess in the Creed to be one, holy, catholic, and apostolic."1
It is, however, nowhere stated that this unique Church of Christ is the Roman Catholic Church, nor is it affirmed that Jesus founded the historical reality which we know as the Catholic Church — at least so it is claimed. While teaching, indeed, that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church, the Council explicitly recognized the right of other Christian bodies to be called "Churches," thus giving authoritative confirmation to a use of language which was long-standing and consistent, at least in respect to the separated Churches of the East, i.e., Eastern Orthodoxy.
The bishops at Vatican II, furthermore, formally admitted that the Christian Churches and Communities separated from the Catholic Church have been and are being used by the Holy Spirit as "means of salvation"2 for those who belong to them.
Now it must be admitted that we are faced with three facts concerning the teaching of Vatican II about the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church: first, the assertion that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church; second, the admission that at least some Communities not in union with the Catholic Church are truly Churches; third, the recognition that such Churches and even other ecclesial Communities serve as "means of salvation" in the effectuation of God's redemptive plan in Christ. Since Vatican II did not give us an elaborated ecclesiology, theological reflection is left to give an integrated picture of its teaching, keeping in mind the three facts just mentioned.
That theological picture has developed in some authors in the following way. The one Church of Christ, founded by him, now perdures or subsists in various forms or manifestations, each of which retain—to a greater or lesser degree—the essential ecclesial characteristics willed by the Lord. No one of the various forms can claim exclusive identity with the Church of Christ — which now exists like some kind of Platonic form, which variously informs different communities. De facto, the unique Church founded by Christ now exists in different and separated bodies, although not necessarily in equal degrees.
The consequences of such a view are manifold. Among the more important may be cited the diminishment in appreciation of the Church's unique role as means and sacrament of salvation, and the necessity of the Sacraments and of sacramental grace. Questions have been raised about the true ecumenicity of those Councils held since the division among Christians became a fact, particularly about the Councils of Trent and Vatican I.
The missionary activity of the Church has likewise suffered, being reduced at times in theory and in practice to no more than efforts to better the temporal social, political and economic situation of peoples. Efforts for conversion among non-Christians and for the bringing of non-Catholic Christians as individuals into full communion with the Catholic Church have been adversely affected.
It is the Catholic Authorities itself that says there is a Church of Christ and not "church of Christ" only. Now, can you deny these facts?^^
Another explanation is this, even if it is written in Romans 16:16 and Acts 20:28 Lamsa Translation was "church of Christ" it doesnt matter, why? Here we go.
For example i am singing a song, it goes like this:
If you could see, what i see, that you're the answer to my prayers
And if you could feel, the tenderness i feel
You would know, it would be clear, that angels brought me here...
As you can see the title of the song is (capital) "Angels Brought Me Here" by Guy Sebastian, but in the lyrics, it is written in small letters. Why?
In our elementary days its been taught to us the rules about capitalization, do i need to explain it?^^
If a phrase becomes a title, then it should be capitalized, like in Romans 16:16, it is said to be "mga iglesia ni Cristo" but because it became a title then it should be "Iglesia ni Cristo" not "iglesia ni Cristo"!
Ive presented to you these just for the sake of THEIR ARGUMENT, now, show your ignorance again about the verse in Romans that should be capitalized or not! It is indeed that it is not the Iglesia ni Cristo or Church of Christ who twist the bible, it is them who twist the truth on what the INC upholds, mainly because they want to deceive you!
See, the New Testament is in Koine Greek and was originally written in all capital letters, the name IGLESIA NI CRISTO is written in capital letters in every house of worship worldwide, meaning, the Iglesia ni Cristo teaches the truth!