Church Councils recognized by Protestants?


#1

Other than the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:6), what other councils, if any, are recognized by Protestants? For example, is the Council of Nicea recognized by Protestants?

Thanks…


#2

[quote=matthew1624]Other than the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:6), what other councils, if any, are recognized by Protestants? For example, is the Council of Nicea recognized by Protestants?

Thanks…
[/quote]

Protestants recognize the Council of Nicaea, at least unconciously, every time they use the word ‘trinity’, as this word is nowhere in the Bible.


#3

I have been quoted innumerable articles from the Council of Trent (1545) by evangelicals and fundamentalists.
They use it to try to discredit many of the Church teachings. And all, or most, anyway, of the teachings were reinforced at Trent because it was the beginning of the counter-reformation.


#4

Protestants only formally accept the council of Jeruselem. This is because most Protestants think that the Church got messed up at the time of Constantine, so all councils after that time would be viewed as apostate.


#5

[quote=Juxtaposer]Protestants only formally accept the council of Jeruselem. This is because most Protestants think that the Church got messed up at the time of Constantine, so all councils after that time would be viewed as apostate.
[/quote]

I’m sorry to disagree with you. “In the dark all cats look gray” But Not All Protestants are alike. Let me as a Lutheran Pastor assure you that Anglicans and Lutherans accept the first Seven Ecumenical Councils as well: Nicaea 1, Constaninople 1, Ephesus, Chalcedon, Constantinople 2, Constaninople 3 and Nicaea 2. I would think that all true Protestants–please pardon the same generalization I deplored from you;) —would accept the 1st Four Councils, EVERYone who considers themself a Christian should accept the Chalcedonian Definition and the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed that resulted from it.


#6

[quote=headman13]I’m sorry to disagree with you. “In the dark all cats look gray” But Not All Protestants are alike. Let me as a Lutheran Pastor assure you that Anglicans and Lutherans accept the first Seven Ecumenical Councils as well: Nicaea 1, Constaninople 1, Ephesus, Chalcedon, Constantinople 2, Constaninople 3 and Nicaea 2. I would think that all true Protestants–please pardon the same generalization I deplored from you;) —would accept the 1st Four Councils, EVERYone who considers themself a Christian should accept the Chalcedonian Definition and the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed that resulted from it.
[/quote]

How do you feel about Trent and the fact that it reaffirmed Church teachings and did not “invent” or “create” new doctrine? Also, where does the Lutheran theology stop or start accepting the Church Councils. Finally, in reference to more recent (last 500 years) councils restating doctrine — are those councils accepted?

Thanks and God Bless,

MrS


#7

[quote=MrS]How do you feel about Trent and the fact that it reaffirmed Church teachings and did not “invent” or “create” new doctrine? Also, where does the Lutheran theology stop or start accepting the Church Councils. Finally, in reference to more recent (last 500 years) councils restating doctrine — are those councils accepted?

Thanks and God Bless,

MrS
[/quote]

We accept the 1st Seven Ecumenical Councils I list above because they were before Eastern and Western Christianity split up sadly. As for Trent, I wish it had happened a generation or so earlier while Luther and the other conservative Reformers were still talking to Rome and calling for a reforming church council. We might have avoided a lot of the schism and mess we Western Christians are in now if it had. I personally regret the bitter polemical language of Luther and many of the reformers. I believe it came from the broken heart of a spurned lover, because he did love the Church. It certainly did nothing to heal wounds, however. I also regret that Trent devoted itself to recriminations against the Reformers and to so much negative reaction and retrenchment. That did little but reinforce the Protestants’ legitimate concerns and make bad matters worse for 400 years. All the negativity and beard pulling and eye poking has gotten both sides nowhere. I think it’s time to get over it, as I have said many times before. There are far too many people who hate ALL Christians, Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox alike, for us to waste our energy fighting the battles of the 16th Century again and again and again and again and again and again.


#8

The reason that we continue to “fight the battles of the 16th century” is that the Church still teaches (regardless of whether or not people believe it) that “Outside the Church there is no salvation.” Those who already have some theological agreements with Catholicism are the prime targets for conversion whereas those who have fewer (or no) theological agreements with Catholicism are less likely to convert (unless, perhaps, they have never even heard of Catholicism at all). In any event, the Church’s commission by Christ stands today. Although some Protestants may be validly baptized, they must still be made true disciples, converting to the One True Church outside of which “no one at all can be saved.” (Fourth Lateran Council)


#9

[quote=headman13]I’m sorry to disagree with you. “In the dark all cats look gray” But Not All Protestants are alike. Let me as a Lutheran Pastor assure you that Anglicans and Lutherans accept the first Seven Ecumenical Councils as well: Nicaea 1, Constaninople 1, Ephesus, Chalcedon, Constantinople 2, Constaninople 3 and Nicaea 2. I would think that all true Protestants–please pardon the same generalization I deplored from you;) —would accept the 1st Four Councils, EVERYone who considers themself a Christian should accept the Chalcedonian Definition and the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed that resulted from it.
[/quote]

And what of the regional Synods held during the same time period? For example the numerous African Synods.


#10

[quote=headman13]I’m sorry to disagree with you. “In the dark all cats look gray” But Not All Protestants are alike. Let me as a Lutheran Pastor assure you that Anglicans and Lutherans accept the first Seven Ecumenical Councils as well: Nicaea 1, Constaninople 1, Ephesus, Chalcedon, Constantinople 2, Constaninople 3 and Nicaea 2. I would think that all true Protestants–please pardon the same generalization I deplored from you;) —would accept the 1st Four Councils, EVERYone who considers themself a Christian should accept the Chalcedonian Definition and the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed that resulted from it.
[/quote]

Thanks for your post Headman. What about the Council of Carthage? I have some questions regarding the canon of scripture as well and have been wondering which Council Protestants look to for determining what’s in their bibles. Can you shed some light on this as well? Again, thanks for your insight.

Blessings…


#11

[quote=amarkich]The reason that we continue to “fight the battles of the 16th century” is that the Church still teaches (regardless of whether or not people believe it) that “Outside the Church there is no salvation.” Those who already have some theological agreements with Catholicism are the prime targets for conversion whereas those who have fewer (or no) theological agreements with Catholicism are less likely to convert (unless, perhaps, they have never even heard of Catholicism at all). In any event, the Church’s commission by Christ stands today. Although some Protestants may be validly baptized, they must still be made true disciples, converting to the One True Church outside of which “no one at all can be saved.” (Fourth Lateran Council)
[/quote]

See what I mean? Thanks for proving my point. You folks never learn do you. My poor old grey haired mother taught me “You catch more flies with Honey than with vinegar” and you seem never to have learned that. Instead, you bring on the Spanish Inquisition and say “Let’s get out the Thumbscrews and have a nice old-fashioned burning at the stake.” I wish you could get beyond that. Peace be with you.


#12

[quote=matthew1624]Thanks for your post Headman. What about the Council of Carthage? I have some questions regarding the canon of scripture as well and have been wondering which Council Protestants look to for determining what’s in their bibles. Can you shed some light on this as well? Again, thanks for your insight.

Blessings…
[/quote]

Protestants dont use the Christian Canon of the OT but rather the Jewish Canon. Its a Canon of consensus rather than one set by authority. What I mean by that is the disputed books were generally reject by the Rabbis but not by all. The Song of Solomon was in dispute until well into the 2nd century and as late as the 5th century Talmudic writings quote Sirach as inspired. The Jews of Egypt, especially those of Alexandria and Elephantine accepted the disputed books as Inspired. Ethiopian and Armenian Jews also accepted them. The Ethiopian Jews still do.

Protestants follow the consensus of the Rabbis on the undisputed books. It wasnt even the reformers directly who caused the removal of the Deuterocanonical books from Protestant bibles. Our oldest exisiting copies have the deuteros in the Table of Contents in their usual place but either not in the text or in an appendix. The responsible parties? Ther printers themselves. Some modern scholars think the mutilation of the Christian Canon during the reformation was a reaction of the laity and not thier leaders. I dont think the reformers had the power to change the Canon without the lay peoples active consent. Luther tried removing numerous books from both the old and new testaments and failed. He place them all in an appendix in his German bible.


#13

[quote=matthew1624]Thanks for your post Headman. What about the Council of Carthage? I have some questions regarding the canon of scripture as well and have been wondering which Council Protestants look to for determining what’s in their bibles. Can you shed some light on this as well? Again, thanks for your insight.

Blessings…
[/quote]

Hi Matt. The Lord be with you. I would say—although I have no reference for it—that those councils, like the Carthage, Orange etc, which were not considered ecumenical would also still be accepted as authoritative, because they did deal with doctrines, like combating Pelagianism, that are accepted by all orthodox Christians. As for the Canon of Scripture, it is my understanding that the Synod of Westminster (1571) in drawing up the 39 Articles of the Church of England was the only official listing of canonical books by a Protestant Church body—I may be wrong. I think Dr. Luther’s translation ofthe Bible into German set the canon for German-speaking & Lutheran countries, sort of by default. I don’t think there was ever a council per se. I think most Protestants just assume that the Canon of Scripture has just always existed. Like a colleague of mine says, they think the Bible arrived in 1611 in a box addressed to King James I, with a note from God saying “Dear Jim, please publish this.” They have very little idea at all of where the Bible as we have it came from. Actually it is my study of the development of the Canon of Scripture and its dependence on the Oral Tradition of the Apostles that has brought me much closer to the roman view of Scripture and tradition.


#14

[quote=metal1633]Protestants dont use the Christian Canon of the OT but rather the Jewish Canon. Its a Canon of consensus rather than one set by authority. What I mean by that is the disputed books were generally reject by the Rabbis but not by all. The Song of Solomon was in dispute until well into the 2nd century and as late as the 5th century Talmudic writings quote Sirach as inspired. The Jews of Egypt, especially those of Alexandria and Elephantine accepted the disputed books as Inspired. Ethiopian and Armenian Jews also accepted them. The Ethiopian Jews still do.

Protestants follow the consensus of the Rabbis on the undisputed books. It wasnt even the reformers directly who caused the removal of the Deuterocanonical books from Protestant bibles. Our oldest exisiting copies have the deuteros in the Table of Contents in their usual place but either not in the text or in an appendix. The responsible parties? Ther printers themselves. Some modern scholars think the mutilation of the Christian Canon during the reformation was a reaction of the laity and not thier leaders. I dont think the reformers had the power to change the Canon without the lay peoples active consent. Luther tried removing numerous books from both the old and new testaments and failed. He place them all in an appendix in his German bible.
[/quote]

Actually it was only the Epistle of St. James, which he referred to as a “right strawy epistle” that Dr. Luther put at the end of his New Testament. But he also says of it “it sets up no doctrines of men but vigorously promulgates the law of God…he tries to accomplish by harping on the Law what the Apostles accomplish by stimulating people to love…” He says that that’s the reason he can’t include James in the chief books but encourages people to read James “for there are otherwise many good sayings in him” Luther’s Works, vol. 35, p.397


#15

Actually it was only the Epistle of St. James, which he referred to as a “right strawy epistle” that Dr. Luther put at the end of his New Testament. But he also says of it “it sets up no doctrines of men but vigorously promulgates the law of God…he tries to accomplish by harping on the Law what the Apostles accomplish by stimulating people to love…” He says that that’s the reason he can’t include James in the chief books but encourages people to read James “for there are otherwise many good sayings in him” Luther’s Works, vol. 35, p.397
More than just James. Scanning through my primary Luther source (Works of Martin Luther, Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1932, copyrighted by the United Lutheran Church in America, vol. 6.), I see that Luther rejects the apostolicity of Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation, although he does say they are “fine” books.


#16

[quote=headman13]Hi Matt. The Lord be with you. I would say—although I have no reference for it—that those councils, like the Carthage, Orange etc, which were not considered ecumenical would also still be accepted as authoritative, because they did deal with doctrines, like combating Pelagianism, that are accepted by all orthodox Christians. As for the Canon of Scripture, it is my understanding that the Synod of Westminster (1571) in drawing up the 39 Articles of the Church of England was the only official listing of canonical books by a Protestant Church body—I may be wrong. I think Dr. Luther’s translation ofthe Bible into German set the canon for German-speaking & Lutheran countries, sort of by default. I don’t think there was ever a council per se. I think most Protestants just assume that the Canon of Scripture has just always existed. Like a colleague of mine says, they think the Bible arrived in 1611 in a box addressed to King James I, with a note from God saying “Dear Jim, please publish this.” They have very little idea at all of where the Bible as we have it came from. Actually it is my study of the development of the Canon of Scripture and its dependence on the Oral Tradition of the Apostles that has brought me much closer to the roman view of Scripture and tradition.
[/quote]

Well that good. Do you use the Canon promulgated by the Synod at Hippo in 393 A.D? Its the Catholic one with all the extra books.

"The canonical books are: – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, the four books of Kings *, the two books of Chronicles, Job, the Psalms of David, the five books of Solomon Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus], the twelve books of the Prophets , Isaiah, Jeremiah [including Baruch], Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobit, Judith, Esther, two books of Esdras , two books of the Maccabees. The books of the New Testament are: – the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, thirteen Epistles of S. Paul, one Epistle of S. Paul to the Hebrews, two Epistles of S. Peter, three Epistles of S. John, the Epistle of S. James, the Epistle of S. Jude, the Revelation of S. John. Concerning the confirmation of this canon, the transmarine Church * shall be consulted.” Synod of Hippo, Canon 29


#17

[quote=matthew1624]Other than the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:6), what other councils, if any, are recognized by Protestants? For example, is the Council of Nicea recognized by Protestants?

Thanks…
[/quote]

The Church of England has always recognised the first four as of high authority, without regarding them as protected from error.


#18

[quote=metal1633]More than just James. Scanning through my primary Luther source (Works of Martin Luther, Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1932, copyrighted by the United Lutheran Church in America, vol. 6.), I see that Luther rejects the apostolicity of Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation, although he does say they are “fine” books.
[/quote]

I’ll have to look up that quote. The more recent Luther’s Works, published more recently by Augsburg/Fortress & Concordia in cooperation are much more extensive and authoritative. The Bible books that you mention are the “Antilegoumena” books which were **controversial **in the early church and not universally accepted. The Muratorian Fragment [a truly interesting document transmitting the canon of the Church at Rome about 200 AD—on purple leather in silver ink] The Muratorian Fragment does not contain Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2&3 John or the Apocalypse. Origen classified the books vying for inclusion in the the NT as “Genuine,” “rejected” & “doubtful” He considered James, 2 Peter, 2&3 John & Jude doubtful but accepted the Apocalypse. Eusebius followed him. The universally accepted books were the “Homolegoumena” like the 4 Gospels, the 13 letters of Paul and 1 Peter, 1 John. The synods at Hippo Regius and Carthage finalized the list, supported by St. Augustine.


#19

[quote=Gottle of Geer]## The Church of England has always recognised the first four as of high authority, without regarding them as protected from error. ##
[/quote]

See, I would say the 5th & 6th councils (Constantinople 2 & 3) are absolutely necessary as well. * because those councils condemned both Monophysitism [Constantinople 2 confirmed Chalcedon] and Monothelitism, both of which denied the union in Christ of a human and divine nature and will. As for Nicaea 2, council # 7, it aimed to stop the Iconoclastic Controversy—which as a woodcarver I must applaud----and I believe the C of E also accepts that:)*


#20

**"**No one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church." -Ecumenical Council of Florence (infallible) AMARKICH
Headman13 allow me to apologize for the way AMARKICH used the above quote - you were absolutely right to be offended by it. I’m Catholic and was offended by the uncharitable manner in which AMARKICH apparently used it. We are all on a journey spiritually. The concept of being in “the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church” is not as simple as some might think - and no one here should be judging others. And in case anyone is confused, there are “Catholics” who are not within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church. Let me share something from the CCC which is similar yet stated in an inclusive manner rather than an exclusive one:
**1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, …brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament."

I have become increasingly aware of how difficult it is to alter one’s theological stance - and I have tremendous compassion towards those who find themselves contemplating such a situation (and Im not implying you are). I find it almost as difficult to comprehend how God could exclude entirely the many apparently sincere, faithful Christians from His kingdom based on their denominational affiliations. That much being said, I, like St Augustine, have my opinions, but defer to God (and the Church) such matters…

Peace be with you


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