By Rev. Dr. Curian Kaniyamparambil
Yes. In the Bible the word 'disciples' were used in place of apostles many times. So in John 20:21-23, the word used is 'disciples'. (i.e. "the disciples were glad when they saw Jesus Christ") So some people argue that since the disciples include even females, this right is given to all and not limited to the apostles alone. But if you read John 20:19-29, we can easily see that it was said to the apostles alone (Thomas called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came). We can see that the word disciples was used to refer to the apostles throughout the Bible. But only here, there is a dispute that the word 'disciples' in this context includes all.
Such an argument arises because it questions the very existence of many churches (also refer to Question 85). By arguing in this manner, they try to get around the truth. In one version of the Bible (Oswald Smith), they have added a sentence. "Your sins are forgiven you, in the name of Jesus Christ if you receive him as Savior." How dare that one adds a sentence to our Lord's words, and twists what our Lord has commanded us.
If praying directly to God will result in ones forgiveness of sins, why should our Lord Jesus Christ give the apostles the authority to absolve sins? Why did He not say, 'To Forgive your sins pray to the Father Almighty or to the Lord? Again, He gave them this authority until His Second Coming. Jesus Christ and the apostles knew that the apostles would not be alive till His Second Coming. So what does this mean? Apostles or people appointed by them will have this authority! That is what the apostles did by ordaining elders in each town. Since the apostles were given the authority to absolve a church member's sins, unless they know what sins each member had committed, how can they absolve their sins? So the church members have to confess before an authorized priest.
TOC Section 1 (Q 1-26) | Section 2 (Q 27-56) | Section 3 (Q 57-81) | Section 4 (Q 82-115) | Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
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