Honest Question: How does Sola Scriptura not REQUIRE tradition?


#1

OK - I'm going to ask my Catholic brothers and sisters to be nice here. I have a number of Protestant FRIENDS and I will have lunch with them from time to time to discuss spiritual things. (That's been my favorite subject these past 6 months.) Let's be honest - protestants are certainly given miraculous graces similar to us Catholics.

One thing has been bugging me, however. When I ask my Protestant friends how they decide that any particular book of their Bible is inspired, they look at me like I have grown a third eye or something.

Perhaps my problem is that I look to the Church to decide what should go into the Bible and what should be excluded. But, if I was going to purposefully reject the Church (which I presume the Protestants do), then I figure that I'd be on my own to decide what was inspired. However, my protestant friends do not see it that way at all. They have indicated that such an "absurd" question on my part is an overt insult.

My discussions with my friends go nowhere (I don't push it since they are already taken aback in the first place). I'm looking for help here - what is the proper question to ask? But, if each individual protestant is not on their own to decide what particular books are inspired - then they must rely on some sort of tradition. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!!


#2

[quote="in_servitude, post:1, topic:278450"]
OK - I'm going to ask my Catholic brothers and sisters to be nice here. I have a number of Protestant FRIENDS and I will have lunch with them from time to time to discuss spiritual things. (That's been my favorite subject these past 6 months.) Let's be honest - protestants are certainly given miraculous graces similar to us Catholics.

One thing has been bugging me, however. When I ask my Protestant friends how they decide that any particular book of their Bible is inspired, they look at me like I have grown a third eye or something.

Perhaps my problem is that I look to the Church to decide what should go into the Bible and what should be excluded. But, if I was going to purposefully reject the Church (which I presume the Protestants do), then I figure that I'd be on my own to decide what was inspired. However, my protestant friends do not see it that way at all. They have indicated that such an "absurd" question on my part is an overt insult.

My discussions with my friends go nowhere (I don't push it since they are already taken aback in the first place). I'm looking for help here - what is the proper question to ask? But, if each individual protestant is not on their own to decide what particular books are inspired - then they must rely on some sort of tradition. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!!

[/quote]

Actually it is very simple: Sola Scriptura is late tradition invented way after Christ founded His Church. Sola Scriptura has no Apostolic origins and history has shown it over and over and over. Ask your friends where does scripture explicitly teach SS? Chapter and verse. And tell them to forget 2 Tim 3:16 because Paul did not the verse in support or defense of SS.


#3

Did not the author of the priciple of sola scripture demand that scripture is the sole rule for faith. And the tenents of this faith must be defined by the church. This church being the continuation of Martin Luther’s teachings.


#4

I am a protestant, but currently seeking answers about the Catholic Church. I have been extraordinarily challenged by the Church Fathers. Anyway, to your question...

There is no real uniform opinion regarding how one should consider which books are inspired or not. It really depends on the person or denomination. If I had to give the most typical, intellectual answer from the Reformed tradition, one would say that we "received them as canonical" we did not "decide that they were canonical." In other words one would say that the Scriptures are "self-authenticating" and we do not decide their authenticity. Which I am beginning to question. It just sounds like word games to me since a person or council has to "decide" that the scriptures are self-authenticating. Protestants are very timid about saying anything that remotely resembles Roman Catholic teaching, except for maybe Trinitarian theology.

Hope this helps.


#5

I am sorry but that reply was not to the point and was more a political polemic than a response. Protestants study the Bible for their take on theology and their interpretation of what is “Scriptural/dogmatic”. “Scripture Alone” was their response to what they viewed as an institutional (meaning political) response to what scripture said. As I am sure we all know that there was great misuse during the dark/middle ages of the institution of the church. Protestants wanting to please God and not man tried to find something that gave them firm ground to argue against what they viewed as wrong.

2Tim 3:16 is a strong argument for scripture being infallible:
(here are a number of translation so that you can view all the possibilities and in Latin and Greek for those that can read it. The numbers respond to a Strong Numbers a Greek exegetic.

(ASV) Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness.

(ESV) All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

(GNT-BYZ+) πασαG3956 A-NSF γραφηG1124 N-NSF θεοπνευστοςG2315 A-NSF καιG2532 CONJ ωφελιμοςG5624 A-NSM προςG4314 PREP διδασκαλιανG1319 N-ASF προςG4314 PREP ελεγχονG1650 N-ASM προςG4314 PREP επανορθωσινG1882 N-ASF προςG4314 PREP παιδειανG3809 N-ASF τηνG3588 T-ASF ενG1722 PREP δικαιοσυνηG1343 N-DSF

(GNT-TR+) πασαG3956 A-NSF γραφηG1124 N-NSF θεοπνευστοςG2315 A-NSF καιG2532 CONJ ωφελιμοςG5624 A-NSM προςG4314 PREP διδασκαλιανG1319 N-ASF προςG4314 PREP ελεγχονG1650 N-ASM προςG4314 PREP επανορθωσινG1882 N-ASF προςG4314 PREP παιδειανG3809 N-ASF τηνG3588 T-ASF ενG1722 PREP δικαιοσυνηG1343 N-DSF

(ISV) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

(Murdock) All scripture that was written by the Spirit, is profitable for instruction, and for confutation, and for correction, and for erudition in righteousness;

(NASB+) R1AllG3956 ScriptureG1124 is N1inspiredG2315 by GodG2315 and profitableG5624 for teachingG1319, for reproofG1649a, for correctionG1882, for N2trainingG3809 in righteousnessG1343;

(NET.) Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

(NIV) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

(Vulgate) omnis scriptura divinitus inspirata et utilis ad docendum ad arguendum ad corrigendum ad erudiendum in iustitia

There are other arguments but this is possibly the strongest from their point of view.

Now to the rest of your questions. Protestants have tradition same as the Roman Church. The difference is the importance or weight - theologians would argue the positional relation of tradition. Let me explain it this way. To the protestant theologian scripture is the only INFALLIBLE source. So in matters of conflict in scripture you must use scripture to interpret scripture. That is your explanation in matters of dogma should not contradict scripture in any way. Tradition therefore is subject or submissive to scripture.
The Roman tradition is seen as ON PAR with scripture - that is the interpretations of those in authority are said to be so closely guided by the Holy Spirit that they cannot make a mistake in matters of Faith and Morals.
The conflict arises then, when are they speaking in Faith and morals, and when they are not. Some, like Francis of Assisi and others would argue, that to often the Church has intermingled the political with the theological. Or to put it another way often those in authority are seen as following mammon rather than Christ.
Now let me be clear, I am not saying that this is the case all or even most of the time but it has happened enough to damage the credibility of the Church in the eyes of some.

Have a God Filled day…I hope this answers your question.

Jay


#6

[quote="Christ_Bearer, post:4, topic:278450"]
... If I had to give the most typical, intellectual answer from the Reformed tradition, one would say that we "received them as canonical" we did not "decide that they were canonical."...

[/quote]

That's the answer I've heard also.

I remember being a new Protestant convert (for which I will always be grateful, BTW!) and deciding for myself which books were "canonical", and leaning towards the gospels only, when I was firmly told that I should not do that, and so I asked "How do we know that which books are canonical?". The answer was fuzzy, because the person had to avoid saying "the Church" :)

Edit. I've just recalled why I thought the epistles were not canonical. It was because I noticed in many places, particularly in Paul, temporal refences indicating that the author was not aware that they were writing scripture. It must have been at some time later that the Church decided they were inspired.


#7

On re-reading the thread it seems that I had over looked a part of the topic.

"How was Scripture selected?" or made authoritarian? Well that is a long history... but to start lets go with the simplest answer.
The earliest Christian documents are currently from about CE 90 to 105 and are the epistles of clement. There is talk that a first century copy of Mark is now being studied but that has not been publicly confirmed yet. There are about 5500 fragments of the New Testament from the first 200 years of the history of the universal Church. Enough so that almost all the books of the New Testament are represented in their entirety including extra-biblical statements of Jesus known as Agraphia. The earliest list of the books of the N.T. is know as the Muratorian Canon (found by 8th century Cardinal L.A. Muratori) from about 190 CE. But the New Testament as we know with the exception of a couple of books has been around from the beginning say 110 CE onward. The Last to be accepted generally was Revelations, James, Hebrews but all were considered "Apostolic" very early and finally confirmed as the "measure" (that's what canon means) of Faith by (I am not absolutely positive about which council) the council of Nicea in 325 CE to my best recollection. The next time Scripture was added to was the council of Trent in 1546 when the Catholic Apocrypha was added.

There you have it in a very shallow nut shell.. hope this helps..

Have a God filled Day,

Jay


#8

[quote="johnjay01, post:7, topic:278450"]

...
The next time Scripture was added to was the council of Trent in 1546 when the Catholic Apocrypha was added.

...
Jay

[/quote]

:popcorn:


#9

[quote="in_servitude, post:1, topic:278450"]
But, if each individual protestant is not on their own to decide what particular books are inspired - then they must rely on some sort of tradition.

[/quote]

*...ah! but who says that the tradition must be infallible? God is the author of the canon; He is the one who reveals it. Why need an infallible Church to do it? God Himself is the infallible party in all of this. You're not really proving anything, you're just explaining something with something else which you can't prove: the infallibility of the Church. Prove that! *

I think the above is a valid objection you'd hear in response to what I'd quoted. The Protestant may not be willing to admit that his definition of canon is based on tradition; but if he does, he certainly would be quick to point out he doesn't feel the tradition must necessarily be infallible.

Also, I would recommend something, humbly. Protestants may be very, very cautious with someone trying to get them to, in effect, doubt that they can know what is or is not Sacred Scripture. Often, they will say:

Catholics wants us to doubt the bible, and then to snatch what faith we have left, and place it in their Church.

I think it wise not to push too hard, as it can often have negative reactions. :(

On the other hand, it might be useful to point out that God not only inspires the bible, not only gives us a means through which to know it, and not only does so in a definitive way so that we will be beyond question.... He does these things because He loves us, and because this is part of what Our Lord promised. He's not playing with our heads, just to get us to accept authority for the sake of it. He wants these things settled, so that the wolves will not rip our spiritual lives to bits.


#10

[quote="johnjay01, post:7, topic:278450"]
The next time Scripture was added to was the council of Trent in 1546 when the Catholic Apocrypha was added.

[/quote]

Well, Protestants call it the "apocrypha", and they are talking about the 7 books not in Protestant Bibles. Catholics call those 7 books the Deuterocanonical books. The history here (as I recall from a talk that I heard in the past) is that the Jewish leadership that rejected Jesus had a council about the year 80 and they decided that the Deuterocanonical books were "apocryphal". From what I understand, we know that the Deuterocannonical books were considered to be a part of Sacred Scripture by the actions of the very early Popes (their writings) and the writings from councils in the 4th century. The council of Trent, as I understand it, was held to confirm a number of beliefs under attack at that time.

In any regard, the point of my post here is to try and reconcile something so that I can build on my discussions with my Protestant friends. It seems like a fatal flaw to me to say, on the one hand, that Sacred Tradition is bogus and that Sacred Scripture is all that matters. But then, when I ask about how scripture is selected from all that is available (INCLUDING even choosing 2 Timothy as sacred) - there is a big block that I do not see around.

I will have lunch today with another of my Protestant friends - I'll try again and see what I get.


#11

[quote="AdesteFideles, post:9, topic:278450"]
God is the author of the canon; He is the one who reveals it.

[/quote]

Yeah, that is correct. But, it seems that God didn't hand it down directly. He chooses to go through our fellow humans who are made leaders - which basically forces the use of tradition.

Catholics wants us to doubt the bible, and then to snatch what faith we have left, and place it in their Church.

I agree that this would be a disaster in some circumstances. I'd rather try to help people come to know Jesus better than to tear up the last bit of faith they have. I guess I get in a double bind in this regard when they wish to take one piece of scripture to try and take down the Church with it. That is where it starts to feel like a problem.


#12

[quote="in_servitude, post:11, topic:278450"]
Yeah, that is correct. But, it seems that God didn't hand it down directly. He chooses to go through our fellow humans who are made leaders - which basically forces the use of tradition.

I agree that this would be a disaster in some circumstances. I'd rather try to help people come to know Jesus better than to tear up the last bit of faith they have. I guess I get in a double bind in this regard when they wish to take one piece of scripture to try and take down the Church with it. That is where it starts to feel like a problem.

[/quote]

There is a dirty little secret here for Both Catholics and Protestants: very few read the Bible with any depth of perception. Even less spend any time in true exposition or exegesis or even begin to develop a good hermeneutic with which to grasp the unbelievable wealth of information available in scripture. So both groups end up depending on their clergy to fill in the gaps. Most clergy time is spent in managing and supporting their flock not in study and discussion of God's plan as expressed in scripture. The great theologian of the past on both sides had a luxury of time and staff that is hard to come by now. The only way, in my opinion, that things will really change is if an empowered laity begins to "engage" as envisaged by the Vatican II. Protestant for all their complaining about scripture are, as a group, as ignorant as Roman Catholics about Scripture. The difference is that they quote their leaders speaking about scripture and Roman Catholics quote their leaders interpretation of Scripture as expressed in tradition. So it sounds to the protestant "ear" that scripture is not important. That is a false assumption.

Have a God filled day,

Jay


#13

[quote="in_servitude, post:10, topic:278450"]
Well, Protestants call it the "apocrypha", and they are talking about the 7 books not in Protestant Bibles. Catholics call those 7 books the Deuterocanonical books.

In any regard, the point of my post here is to try and reconcile something so that I can build on my discussions with my Protestant friends. It seems like a fatal flaw to me to say, on the one hand, that Sacred Tradition is bogus and that Sacred Scripture is all that matters. But then, when I ask about how scripture is selected from all that is available (INCLUDING even choosing 2 Timothy as sacred) - there is a big block that I do not see around.

I will have lunch today with another of my Protestant friends - I'll try again and see what I get.

[/quote]

The argument is NOT that sacred tradition is bogus. Anyone who says that is wrong - plain and simple. The argument is that Tradition - Sacred or otherwise - is not MORE important than scripture.

Protestants, by the way, claim Apostolic Succession as well. Roman Catholic's say the succession is a function of the office passed from person to person. Protestant say it is a function of the knowledge. Again, going by Scripture, they would argue that it is "by the fruits" do you see the activity of the Holy Spirit (John15:26, 16:13 and a whole host of others).

When you get deep into these things, you begin to see that very little is black and white.
We are all still human and as capable of denying Christ three times as was Peter, and, we all are then capable of being re-reconciled to God as was Peter. That is why all our arguments , in my opinion, have to be irenic and not polemic. The more combative we are the less likely we are to see the Holy spirit show up to illuminate us. If you are a Pneumatologist (PNEUMATOLOGY :Study of the Holy Spirit) you begin to see him work in many strange ways.

By the way, hope you had a great lunch!.

Have a God filled day,
Jay


#14

[quote="in_servitude, post:11, topic:278450"]
Yeah, that is correct. But, it seems that God didn't hand it down directly. He chooses to go through our fellow humans who are made leaders - which basically forces the use of tradition.

I agree that this would be a disaster in some circumstances. I'd rather try to help people come to know Jesus better than to tear up the last bit of faith they have. I guess I get in a double bind in this regard when they wish to take one piece of scripture to try and take down the Church with it. That is where it starts to feel like a problem.

[/quote]

This article/s hopefully will give you more insights into protestant thinking:

calledtocommunion.com/2009/07/ecclesial-deism/

On Sacred Tradition: mark-shea.com/tradition.html

I usually ask a question first to get them thinking and this is the question I usually ask (courtesy of the BibleChristianSociety.com):

How would you know the Gospel of Mark was actually authored by Mark? Where is the chapter and verse where Mark claims authorship of the Gospel of Mark?

And when you find this chapter and verse, why do you now consider the Gospel of Mark as part of the Bible? as Scripture? as inspired?

And how would you know that it is not anybody named Mark who wrote the Gospel?

Then, after they research and think, you can start your conversation on the history of the Bible, and the authority behind why the Gospel of Mark is Scripture, and the Bible as a whole.


#15

[quote="johnjay01, post:13, topic:278450"]
Protestants, by the way, claim Apostolic Succession as well. Roman Catholic's say the succession is a function of the office passed from person to person. Protestant say it is a function of the knowledge. Again, going by Scripture, they would argue that it is "by the fruits" do you see the activity of the Holy Spirit (John15:26, 16:13 and a whole host of others).

[/quote]

What is the mechanism by which the Holy Spirit gives us the general knowledge that any given book - let's say the book of John for example - is divinely inspired? For Catholics (the way I understand it), the Holy Spirit works through the authority of the Church. I do not understand the mechanism professed by Protestants. It is neither God nor the Holy Spirit working directly with each individual. For them, God must use some other mechanism.


#16

=johnjay01;9109136]I am sorry but that reply was not to the point and was more a political polemic than a response. Protestants study the Bible for their take on theology and their interpretation of what is "Scriptural/dogmatic". "Scripture Alone" was their response to what they viewed as an institutional (meaning political) response to what scripture said. As I am sure we all know that there was great misuse during the dark/middle ages of the institution of the church. Protestants wanting to please God and not man tried to find something that gave them firm ground to argue against what they viewed as wrong.

May I also add that they saw contradiction in councils and popes.For example, we would say that the claim of universal jurisdction is contrary to Nicea canon 6. One, I believe, has to look at 1054 to see the questioning of Tradition as a par with scripture.

2Tim 3:16 is a strong argument for scripture being infallible:
(here are a number of translation so that you can view all the possibilities and in Latin and Greek for those that can read it. The numbers respond to a Strong Numbers a Greek exegetic.

(ASV) Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness.

(ESV) All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

There are other arguments but this is possibly the strongest from their point of view.

As you will see in my coming quote, the Lutheran confessions point to Psalms.

Now to the rest of your questions. Protestants have tradition same as the Roman Church. The difference is the importance or weight - theologians would argue the positional relation of tradition. Let me explain it this way. To the protestant theologian scripture is the only INFALLIBLE source. So in matters of conflict in scripture you must use scripture to interpret scripture. That is your explanation in matters of dogma should not contradict scripture in any way. Tradition therefore is subject or submissive to scripture.

I think, if I'm understanding correctly,you are essentially correct. The Formula of Concord:

  1. We believe, teach, and confess that the sole rule and standard according to which all dogmas together with [all] teachers should be estimated and judged are the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures of the Old and of the New Testament alone, as it is written Ps. 119:105: Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. And St. Paul: Though an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you, let him be accursed, Gal. 1:8.

2] Other writings, however, of ancient or modern teachers, whatever name they bear, must not be regarded as equal to the Holy Scriptures, but all of them together be subjected to them, and should not be received otherwise or further than as witnesses, [which are to show] in what manner after the time of the apostles, and at what places, this [pure] doctrine of the prophets and apostles was preserved.

3] 2. And because directly after the times of the apostles, and even while they were still living, false teachers and heretics arose, and symbols, i. e., brief, succinct [categorical] confessions, were composed against them in the early Church, which were regarded as the unanimous, universal Christian faith and confession of the orthodox and true Church, namely, the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed, we pledge ourselves to them, and hereby reject all heresies and dogmas which, contrary to them, have been introduced into the Church of God.

Lutherans, at least, see the early councils and creeds as a right reflection of the truth of the faith, though not equal t scripture.

Jon


#17

[quote="johnjay01, post:7, topic:278450"]
On re-reading the thread it seems that I had over looked a part of the topic.

"How was Scripture selected?" or made authoritarian? Well that is a long history... but to start lets go with the simplest answer.
The earliest Christian documents are currently from about CE 90 to 105 and are the epistles of clement. There is talk that a first century copy of Mark is now being studied but that has not been publicly confirmed yet. There are about 5500 fragments of the New Testament from the first 200 years of the history of the universal Church. Enough so that almost all the books of the New Testament are represented in their entirety including extra-biblical statements of Jesus known as Agraphia. The earliest list of the books of the N.T. is know as the Muratorian Canon (found by 8th century Cardinal L.A. Muratori) from about 190 CE. But the New Testament as we know with the exception of a couple of books has been around from the beginning say 110 CE onward. The Last to be accepted generally was Revelations, James, Hebrews but all were considered "Apostolic" very early and finally confirmed as the "measure" (that's what canon means) of Faith by (I am not absolutely positive about which council) the council of Nicea in 325 CE to my best recollection. The next time Scripture was added to was the council of Trent in 1546 when the Catholic Apocrypha was added.

There you have it in a very shallow nut shell.. hope this helps..

Have a God filled Day,

Jay

[/quote]

Jay,
I don't believe the Council of Nicea, 325, deals with the canon of scripture. In fact, I don't believe any of the first 7 do.

Jon

Jon


#18

[quote="in_servitude, post:15, topic:278450"]
What is the mechanism by which the Holy Spirit gives us the general knowledge that any given book - let's say the book of John for example - is divinely inspired? For Catholics (the way I understand it), the Holy Spirit works through the authority of the Church. I do not understand the mechanism professed by Protestants. It is neither God nor the Holy Spirit working directly with each individual. For them, God must use some other mechanism.

[/quote]

The mechanism is the same Roman Catholic's Tradition (Regula Fidie). It is called technically the

Vincentian Canon

[INDENT]Describes the rule of faith proposed by St. Vincent of Lerins in the fifth century A.D. which seeks a universal consent of the faith that bears the mark of antiquity—ubique, semper, omnibus (“everywhere, always, all”). If one’s faith did not meet this criteria, it was not considered “catholic” (that of the true, “universal” church).

From the fourth chapter of The Commitorium:

“Now in the Catholic Church itself we take the greatest care to hold that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all. That is truly and properly ”catholic,” as is shown by the very force and meaning of the word, which comprehends everything almost universally. We shall hold to this rule if we follow universality (i.e., ecumenicity), antiquity, and consent. We shall follow universality if we acknowledge that one Faith to be true which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is clear that our ancestors and fathers proclaimed; consent, if in antiquity itself we keep following the definitions and opinions of all, or certainly nearly all, bishops and doctors alike.”

The Universal Church came together in 325 and Canonized the "Deposit of Faith" given by the apostles at the Council of Nicea. The Universal Church as expressed through the Bishops said after seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the immediate tradition of the teaching of the Apostles, and the Authority of the patriarchs, of which Rome was one, declared it to be so. Believing they spoke Infallibly (same as Jerusalem).
Thus the canon was born. After that then is the internal "self-Authority" in which scripture declares itself to be directly inspired by God. As far as I can determine ALL Christianity agrees with this (thus the Vincentian Canon which is a formulation of what was already agreed to by all till the formal split with the Eastern church. Thus the Bible as we know it was born. Next problem is translations but another post.
I know this is somewhat simplistic since it covers about 18 months of hard work reading rather droll ancient reports and letters from the Patristic and Anti-Nicene Fathers to get here but I think this is a fair summation.

Ok now for any given Book in the Bible that is determined by two basic things and a great many small things.... but basically it is:

  1. Any one interpretation cannot contradict Scripture. Example.. The birth of Jesus does not imply that he was "created".' 2: Since all Scripture is divinely inspired any seemingly contradiction represents a lack of knowledge or insight on Humanities part. and we must wait for illumination.
  2. The Roman Church asserts "Prima Scripture" (First Scripture then Tradition) as being infallible. So they reserve the right to interpret paradosis (unwritten Tradition) under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the "throne of St Peter" as Infallible and the same as Scripture. 4: Fruit of the Spirit", God will through the Holy Spirit demonstrate the correction of your interpretation.. the same as the Roman church but less people involved.

Hope this helps...

Have a God filled Day,

Jay

Have a God filled day

Jay


#19

[quote="JonNC, post:17, topic:278450"]
Jay,
I don't believe the Council of Nicea, 325, deals with the canon of scripture. In fact, I don't believe any of the first 7 do.

Jon

Jon

[/quote]

Jon, you are correct. Here is a reference from F.F. Bruce one of the best exegetical scholars of the modern age:

"One thing must be emphatically stated. The New Testament books did not become authoritative for the Church because they were formally included in a canonical list; on the contrary, the Church included them in her canon because she already regarded them as divinely inspired, recognizing their innate worth and generally apostolic authority, direct or indirect. The first ecclesiastical councils to classify the canonical books were both held in North Africa-at Hippo Regius in 393 and at Carthage in 397-but what these councils did was not to impose something new upon the Christian communities but to codify what was already the general practice of these communities" (F. F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?. 1960

Hence the books we have as Scripture were inspired by God and recognized such by man.

I apologize for my error...

have a God filled evening...

Jay


#20

[quote="johnjay01, post:18, topic:278450"]
The mechanism is the same Roman Catholic's Tradition (Regula Fidie). It is called technically the

Vincentian Canon

[INDENT]Describes the rule of faith proposed by St. Vincent of Lerins in the fifth century A.D. which seeks a universal consent of the faith that bears the mark of antiquity—ubique, semper, omnibus (“everywhere, always, all”). If one’s faith did not meet this criteria, it was not considered “catholic” (that of the true, “universal” church).

From the fourth chapter of The Commitorium:

“Now in the Catholic Church itself we take the greatest care to hold that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all. That is truly and properly ”catholic,” as is shown by the very force and meaning of the word, which comprehends everything almost universally. We shall hold to this rule if we follow universality (i.e., ecumenicity), antiquity, and consent. We shall follow universality if we acknowledge that one Faith to be true which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is clear that our ancestors and fathers proclaimed; consent, if in antiquity itself we keep following the definitions and opinions of all, or certainly nearly all, bishops and doctors alike.”

[/quote]

Yeah, this doesn't look the same as the Catholic Tradition as I understand it.

As a Catholic, I believe in the authority bestowed upon Peter as the 1st Pope by Jesus himself (Matthew 16:18). In my view, it is from there flows all of the authority to decide what is Sacred Scripture and what is apocryphal.

Is it a general Protestant belief that St. Vincent of Lerins was given this authority to determine the Sacred?

What I see in your writing is that there is supposed to be this universal understanding that what is Sacred Scripture - it's just known by everyone. In practice, I don't see that working at all. What I see, in fact, is that church after church will bust into two or more entities based on some kind of theological disagreement. That runs completely counter to what I see you quoting from St. Vincent. Perhaps you could help me understand how it is consistent to say that Protestants can have so many different flavors of Christianity - but will somehow just know what is supposed to be Sacred Scripture.

(My lunch today, by the way, was postponed - so I can't report any new info from that direction.)


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