Bible or the Church?

How was it decided?

Origen Church History (Book III)
5. And the rest of the followers of our Saviour, the twelve apostles, the seventy disciples, and countless others besides, were not ignorant of these things. Nevertheless, of all the disciples of the Lord, only Matthew and John have left us written memorials, and they, tradition says, were led to write only under the pressure of necessity.

  1. For Matthew, who had at first preached to the Hebrews, when he was about to go to other peoples, committed his Gospel to writing in his native tongue, and thus compensated those whom he was obliged to leave for the loss of his presence.
    Tertullian mentions Matthew as the author of a Gospel
    I believe the testimony of those who were close to the event rather than those 2000 years separated from the event.

The Torah (Old Testament) came before and the Church was before the New Testament and also the Bible (Old and New Testament).

For more info read “Where We Got The Bible” by Bishop Henry G. Graham

As luck would have it, good ol’ Father Saunders has the answer once again in his trusty column! :smiley:

See below for the relevant quote and link:

Meanwhile, the writing of the New Testament books occurred between the time of our Lord’s death and the end of the first century. (Recent studies of the Dead Sea Scrolls by some scholars suggest a date of the earliest writings closer to the time of our Lord’s death, whereas much scholarship seems to place the writings between 50 and 100 AD). After the legalization of Christianity in 313, we find the Church striving to formalize what writings of the New Testament were truly considered inspired and authentic to the teachings of our Lord. St. Athanasius in his Paschal Epistle (367) presented the complete list of 27 books of the New Testament saying, “These are the sources of salvation, for the thirsty may drink deeply of the words to be found here. In these alone is the doctrine of piety recorded. Let no one add to them or take anything away from them.” This list of 27 books along with the 46 books of the Old Testament (including the deuterocanonical ones) was affirmed as the official canon of Sacred Scripture for the Catholic Church by the synods of Hippo (393), Carthage I & II (397 and 419). The letter of Pope St. Innocent I in 405 also officially listed these books.


You can read about it here: [ IV]( IV).

Remember the Church put the Bible, the Bible didn’t make the church.

The chapter and verse divisions were added centuries later as a reference tool, of course, but are you suggesting that the texts themselves were adjusted to fit a certain style or rhythm? I don’t think that’s supportable.

I also don’t think that God would inspire writings and then see them be lost to the ages, so I believe that what we have is all that He inspired (with allowances for the variance between Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox OTs, but not for entirely lost works).

Or maybe they had the same translator(s) who made it look that way (short sentences in mainly subject-verb-object order, pretty much at the same grade level), I don’t know. I certainly don’t believe the translators or interpreters were more divinely inspired than the original authors, some of which no doubt ran into some very complex and philosophical thoughts.

Funny you should ask. John Martignoni has a free MP3 that deals with exactly this topic.
Which Came First, the Church or the Bible?

Discussion of the Bible and how it was authored by the Church

I’ll add that the Church is the pillar and ground of truth. (1 Tim. 3:15)


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit