I have begun this thread based on some claims of another poster,John 17 3, in another thread. Here are his claims. I would like some discussion on this.
I agree with your following comment:
You are right–the CHURCH accepted what was and what wasn’t a part of the canon pretty early on.
The problem is that “The Church” is not the Roman Catholic Church! The word “church” is from the Greek word ekklesia, and means “the called out.” Thus, the church is that body of people who have been called out of the world by the gospel (2 Thessalonians 2:14), by obedience thereto (2 Thess. 1:7-9). Christ rules as the singular head of the church (Colossians 1:18), and the Spirit dwells within her (Ephesians 2:22, 23).
The church is singular in number. There is one fold (John 10:16). The church is that fold (Acts 20:28). There is one body (Ephesians 4:4); that body is the church (Ephesians 1:22, 23). The Lord taught the monogamy of marriage (Romans 7:1-4) and the church is his bride (Ephesians 5:22-33).
The church of Christ is that one, true New Testament church which existed in the first century.
The history of the events leading to the universal acceptance of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament as inspired Scripture spans several centuries. However, it should be noted that the role that church councils played in the process is often overstated by Roman Catholics.
The first councils to have addressed the question as to which books were inspired and were rightfully part of the Bible appear to have been the North African Councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397). The list of books accepted by the Council of Hippo no longer exists. The Council of Carthage, however, is believed to have repeated the same list and its decree on the matter is extant.
Both councils were regional synods. They were not universal or ecumenical councils. About 50 bishops from the provinces of Africa attended each. These councils did not have authority to speak for the whole fourth-century church.
It is also important to note that by the time these councils addressed the matter at the close of the fourth century, the canon or list of books recognized as forming the New Testament was well established. F. F. Bruce comments:
**What is particularly important to notice is that the New Testament canon was not demarcated by the arbitrary decree of any Church Council. When at last a Church Council, the Synod of Carthage in A.D. 397, listed the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, it did not confer upon them any authority which they did not already possess, but simply recorded their previously established canonicity. **
Furthermore, the decision reached by these councils has never been universally accepted. The controversy centers around writings referred to by Roman Catholic scholars as the deuterocanonicals and by Protestant scholars as the Apocrypha. In that non-Catholics have never accepted the decision of the councils to accept the Apocrypha as part of the Bible, it can hardly be argued that were it not for the Roman Catholic Church no one would know with certainty which books belong in the Bible.
I hope this helps.
The Roman Catholic Church is not the Universal Church! It did not exist in the first century!
Now let’s please get back to the topic before I get accused of trying to highjack this thread!