Critics on this letter I wrote?


#1

Peace be with you!

I wrote this letter to some people that run an organization called Evangelical Outreach after I came across a letter on their website (the address is included in my letter, please read their letter on that page; it’s fairly short). I was wondering if everyone here could critic this letter for me; let me know if it’s good enough or if I should change/add/leave anything out before sending it. Thanks!

Dear Dan and Cheryl Corner,
Peace be with you!

I am writing in response to the letter posted on your webpage ([evangelicaloutreach.org/kjvo.htm]("http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/kjvo.htm")) that was written to the King James Only Advocate. First off, I must commend you on your work against the King James Only crowd. As someone who has debated a couple of those people, I feel it is important work and I think it important to stick with it. However, this letter does not pertain to the King James Version of the Bible, but to two specific statements in your letter posted online. I would appreciate a response, as the letter posted on your website was a response to the King James Only Advocate.

In the third paragraph, you state, “By the way, I was saved by reading a Bible that wasn’t the KJV! As a former Catholic, I would never have trusted any translation other than a Catholic Bible, so that is what I read and got saved through!” I find the notion that a Catholic must be “saved” distasteful, condescending, and even offensive. This paragraph says to me, “Catholics are not Christians; therefore they are in need of saving.” I would present the challenge to you to name what it is about Catholicism that is in contradiction with what it means to be Christian. Most [Protestant] Christians I know and/or have spoken with define the term “Christian” as one who accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and follows faithfully all of his teachings. To this day I have never met a Catholic who does not accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. And, with the obvious exception of the “cafeteria Catholics”, I have not met a Catholic who believes that a Christian does not have to hold to Our Lord’s commandments. If you are in agreement that the definition of the term “Christian” is as I have stated, how then can you say that Catholics are in need of “saving”?
My second concern is your reference to the “Apocrypha” (henceforth in this letter I will refer to them as the Deuterocanonicals). While I am in agreement that it is a good point to make to King James Only crowd–those books being included in the 1611 version–, I once again find it offensive that you claim people are being “decieved into thinking Purgatory exists”. I would place the challenge before you: Show me that Purgatory does not exist, and that I am being decieved. It appears to me that, based upon the wording in your letter, the existance of Purgatory is proved in 2 Maccabees. Therefore, you must discount that book as being inspired Scripture to keep from accepting the doctrine.


#2

cont’d

But under whose authority are those books to be removed? Under your personal authority? Under Martin Luther’s authority? Under the authority of Evangelical Outreach? Who is to make that decision? I suppose it would be prudent for me to explain why the books appear in the Catholic Bible and not the Protestant Bible. I am sure you are well aware that the Bible, as a single book, did not exist until the late fourth/early fifth century. If you were to look at the original canon of Scripture from the Councils of Carthage in AD 397 and AD 419, you would find listed among those books which are to make up the Holy Bible the seven books of the Deuterocanonicals. The Councils of Carthage were comprised of Catholic bishops and called under the authority of the Bishop of Rome, the Patriarch of the West, the Pope. If not the Church, who would have decided which of the 200+ pieces of writings existing in the centuries after Christ (all claiming Apostolic origin) were or were not Inspired Scripture? So, it appears that you are willing to accept the Church’s canon for the New Testament, but not that of the Old, which was decided at the same council. By admitting that the canon is closed and the New Testament is Inspired Scripture, you are recognizing the authority of the Catholic Church. These books appear in Jerome’s Vulgate and were used by all Christians (both Catholic and Orthodox) up until the time of the Reformation. Martin Luther could not *personally] accept the existance of Purgatory, so he took it upon himself to remove the book which supports it–over 1,000 years after it was declared canonical. Along with it were also removed the other six books of the Deuterocanonicals, the Epistle of James (because of its contradiction with Luther’s sola fide belief; his addition to Romans 3), the letter of Paul to the Hebrews (Hebrews 11:13 cites 2 Maccabees 7:1-9), and the book of Revelation. Now the latter three have since been placed back in the Protestant Bible. So we must conclude that Luther is not the authority to be appealed to by Protestants; for if he were, your Bible would not contain Hebrews, James, or Revelation (and possibly not even 2 Peter, which he wanted to remove; it warns against personal interpretation of Scripture). So now whose authority are you appealing to for the removal of those books?
I find the conversion stories of former Catholics predictable, to say the least. Every one reads the same: “I read the Bible and I was saved.” This is simply placing oneself as the sole authority on the interpretation of Scripture…is there any wonder why today there are over 33,000 different Protestant denominations in the United States alone, all professing to have the correct interpretation? Personal interpretation of Scripture is something Peter warns us about: “Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20).
As I said in my first paragraph, I hope to recieve a response to this letter. I understand you may be quite busy, but even a short response would be appreciated. I would be more than happy to address any concerns you may have about the Catholic Church and I hope that this letter (and others, if you choose to respond) will help you to understand your misconceptions about the Church.

In Christ Our Savior,



#3

It is short and sweet in it’s format, which is good since I have found many people instead of responding will look for what is wrong(typos etc.), or ignore the contents as it gets longer. I am not much of a proofreader so I am just offering encouragement.

This is something I would save also if I were you as it is something that might be useful to send to other similar websites.

God Bless
Scylla


#4

Indeed. If you are justified by faith alone, then why are Catholics not Christians? We have faith, but we don’t think it’s the end of the story. Yet even though we have faith, we are not saved…?! So I guess you are not justified by faith alone after all!

The only criticism I would have would be in your discussion of Luther and the removal of books from the Bible. I read a Protestant website somewhere that swore Luther did not remove any books from the Bible. I know he had problems with the books that you mentioned, but did he actually remove them? Now I don’t know what to believe, but if what you said is true then I think some references or hyperlinks could back up your statements on this matter.

Other than that, good work!


#5

Peace be with you!

Thanks for the responses.
One thing I just realized is that I should probably change some of my wording. I think I’ll say, instead of “Luther removed these books from the Bible”, “Luther removed these books from the canon”…because he did actually appendicize them without page numbers.

In Christ,
Rand


#6

Sounds good :thumbsup:


#7

Part I of your letter (first post)

Dear Dan and Cheryl Corner,
Peace be with you!

I am writing in response to the letter posted on your webpage (evangelicaloutreach.org/kjvo.htm) written to the King James Only Advocate.

I commend your work against the King James Only crowd. As someone who has debated a couple of those people, I feel it is important work and important to stick with it.

However, this letter addresses two specific statements in your letter posted online. I would appreciate a response, as the letter posted on your website was a response to the King James Only Advocate.

In the third paragraph, you state, “By the way, I was saved by reading a Bible that wasn’t the KJV! As a former Catholic, I would never have trusted any translation other than a Catholic Bible, so that is what I read and got saved through!”

This paragraph says to me, “Catholics are not Christians; therefore they are in need of saving.” Most Protestant Christians I know and/or have spoken with define the term “Christian” as one who accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and follows faithfully all of his teachings. To this day I have never met a Catholic who does not accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. And, with the obvious exception of the “cafeteria Catholics”, I have not met a Catholic who believes that a Christian does not have to hold to Our Lord’s commandments. If you are in agreement that the definition of the term “Christian” is as I have stated, how then can you say that Catholics are in need of “saving” unless you are speaking personally of a subjective experience of Christ which you could very well have embraced without abandoning the Church, yet for some reason you understood as antithetical to the Catholic faith.

My second concern is your reference to the Apocrypha" (henceforth I will refer to theese books as the Deuterocanonicals). While it is a good point to make to King James Only crowd–those books being included in the 1611 version-- I find it **perplexing **that you claim people are being “decieved into thinking Purgatory exists”. I would place the challenge before you: Show me that Purgatory does not exist, and that I am being decieved. It appears to me that, based upon the wording in your letter, the existance of Purgatory is **demonstrated **in 2 Maccabees. Therefore, you must discount that book as being inspired Scripture to keep from accepting the doctrine.


#8

Under whose authority were those books removed from the canon? Under your personal authority? Under Martin Luther’s authority? Under the authority of Evangelical Outreach?

Why do these books appear in the Catholic Bible and not the Protestant Bible? I am sure you are well aware that the Bible, as a single book, did not exist until the late fourth century. If you were to look at the original canon of Scripture from the Councils of Hippo (AD 393) and Carthage (AD 397), you would find listed among those books which are to make up the Holy Bible – including the seven Deuterocanonical books.

These Councils were attended by Catholic bishops and reported their conclusions were reatified by Bishop of Rome, the Patriarch of the West: the Pope.

If not the Church, who would have decided which of the 200+ pieces of writings existing in the centuries after Christ (all claiming Apostolic origin) were or were not Inspired Scripture? It appears that you are willing to accept the Church’s canon for the New Testament, but not that of the Old, which was ratified at the same councils. By admitting that the canon is closed and the New Testament is Inspired Scripture, you are recognizing the authority of the Catholic Church.

TheDeuterocanonical books appear in Jerome’s Vulgate and were used by all Christians (both Catholic and Orthodox) up until the time of the Reformation. Martin Luther could not *personally] accept the existance of Purgatory, so he took it upon himself to remove the book which supports it–over 1,000 years after it was declared canonical. Along with it were also removed the other six books of the Deuterocanonicals, the Epistle of James (because of its contradiction with Luther’s sola fide belief (his addition to Romans 3), the letter of Paul to the Hebrews (Hebrews 11:13 cites 2 Maccabees 7:1-9), and the book of Revelation. The latter three have been retained in the Protestant Bible. So we must conclude that Luther is not the final authority appealed to by Protestants; for if he were, your Bible would not contain Hebrews, James, or Revelation (and possibly not even 2 Peter, which he wanted to remove; it warns against personal interpretation of Scripture). So to whose authority **do you validate **the removal of those books?

I find the conversion stories of former Catholics **painfully **predictable. Every one reads the same: “I read the Bible and I was saved.” This is simply placing oneself as the sole authority on the interpretation of Scripture. is there any wonder why today there are over 33,000 different Protestant denominations in the United States alone, all professing to have the correct interpretation? Personal interpretation is something Peter warns us about: “Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20).

I understand you may be quite busy, but even a short response would be appreciated. I would be more than happy to address any concerns you may have about the Catholic Church and I hope that this letter (and others, if you choose to respond) will help clarify your **evident **misconceptions about the teachings of the Church.

In Christ Our Savior,


#9

I edited lightly. Bolded text is added. I thought of it too late but should have introduced ellipses where I deleted text – it wasn’t much, mostly just tightening the language.

The paragraph is a useful tool. Make it your friend. :wink:


#10

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