So I’m in a discussion with my Baptist brother about the deuterocanon being sacred scripture. I mentioned how he and other protestants are missing out on these sacred scriptures and he then stated this
“The gospel is the greatest thing that anyone could ever be missing out on.”
I replied saying “A little besides my point. Are not the rest of the bible sacred? Are they not inspired?”
He then stated “Yes. But knowing all of inspired scripture is not a requirement to get into heaven.”
He seems to almost be saying that all we need are the four gospels and none of the other books of the bible. How can I respond to him?
To truly understand God’s plan for all of mankind requires the whole Bible from the first page to the last page and front to back is the proper way to read the Bible (it was compiled that way by St. Jerome for a reason).
That answer would not be correct, because there was quite a gap between the Ascension of Jesus and the assembly of the books of the Bible. Jesus and the Apostles began Sacred Tradition, a biblical practice of which Sacred Scripture is a part.
In Luke 24:27 Jesus tells 2 disciples how “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets …what was said in all the scriptures concerning himself.” This is the famous scene on the road to Emmaus. The disciples don’t know they are speaking to Jesus. He uses Old Testament scripture to prove that Jesus was the Christ. (Of course the New Testament had not been written.)
I believe you are right. He just replied with this
“God made it simple so that any one of us could get into heaven, no matter how smart or how well-read or unread we are. It’s all summed up in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.””
I was thinking of asking him how he knows john 3:16 is inspired sacred scripture. How can I show him that it’s wrong to say that John 3:16 is all that is necessary?
But your brother didn’t answer the question. Once again, why should the inestimable value of Sacred Scripture be reduced to a question of what is a “requirement to get into heaven”? How does quoting John 3:16 serve as a response to that?
And seeing as he said that it’s all “summed up in John 3:16”, does this mean that we ought to ignore anything else in the Bible except that single verse?
Is the sole purpose of the Bible intended to be nothing more than to provide knowledge of salvation? No book in the Bible ever made that claim. What about instructions on simply how to live ones life better (such as the Wisdom books)? What about the importance of there being a record of salvation history? What about the stories of faith that help bolster us during critical moments in our lives? What about the words of the prophets that challenge modern society as much as they did the ancient world? What about the various parables that instruct us on how to live our lives the way God wants us to?
Going back to the concept of the deuterocanon, if God gave humanity those books as Sacred Scripture then that is enough reason for people to read and appreciate them. Anyone who does not is, by definition, “missing out” (as you put it earlier). People may not be specifically missing out on salvation, but they would still be missing out on knowing aspects of God’s revelation, aspects which serve to enrich us in this life in preparation for the next. I understand that Protestants do not accept the deuterocanon as inspired Scripture, but that doesn’t seem to be the overall concern your brother is expressing. He apparently questions the relevance of these books regardless of whether or not they happen to be legitimate parts of Sacred Scripture.
"I think your definition of “gospel” is different from mine. There is but one main “gospel” throughout the bible. Gospel, while it has various nuances of meaning, it’s most fundamental meaning from the Greek is “good news.” But good news of what? When I say “the Gospel” what I’m saying is the joyous proclamation of God’s redemptive activity in Christ Jesus on behalf of man enslaved by sin. So you see, by this definition your questions about what you call “the Gospels” I cannot answer because you are referring to something different than I am. My point is that whether one has read a particular piece of sacred scripture isn’t as important as realizing that there is something to look forward to after this worldly life ends. This realization that salvation is attainable for everyone because of how much God loves us, transforms people’s lives for the better more than anything else could and is the prominent theme found throughout the bible.
I HIGHLY recommend you read this article. If you are to get one thing from scripture it’s that it: “teaches that no amount of human goodness, human works, human morality, or religious activity can gain acceptance with God or get anyone into heaven. The moral man, the religious man, and the immoral and non-religious are all in the same boat. They all fall short of God’s perfect righteousness.” “What then is the solution?” “He has not left us without hope and a solution.” “Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” “This is the good news of the Bible, the message of the gospel.” https://bible.org/article/gods-plan-salvation"
He still seems to miss my point about the deutero canonicals. If anyone can help please do
Then that is what needs to be clarified. Please explain (to your brother and to us on CAF) exactly what you meant when you said he was “missing out” by not accepting the deuterocanon. This is, of course, the whole focus of the debate, so it really needs to be clearly defined and understood by both parties.
Perhaps he is, but I would suggest holding off any assessment of him changing the subject until you have clarified to him what you meant by the term “missing out.” In other words, I recommend that you set aside everything that has been discussed up to this point, and try to start from scratch. Tell him, “When I said you were missing out by not accepting the deuterocanon, what I specifically meant was ________________.” Be as clear and precise as possible, and ask him if he understands what you are trying to say.
If he does not require any further clarification, then ask if he if agrees or disagrees with your statement. If he agrees then the issue is settled. If he disagrees then the merit of his new response can be examined based upon how well it addresses the point you were actually making.