If the Canon was settled in 390


why is it the Eastern Orthodox has a different canon? They split circa 1000 AD, right? Shouldn’t they have the same canon as us?


The Councils that defined the Canon of the Bible were not Ecumenical Councils, but only Local Councils in the West.

Therefore the difference in the Canon of the Bible.

The Eastern Orthodox Church has never defined their Canon, but has always used the Septuagint.


The Pope at the time approved of the synod and councils that fixed the Canon as we know it today. It was never declared a dogma throughout the Church because it was never raised as a big issue.

Until our friends of the Reformation started removing books from the Canon. Only then did the Church feel the need to make it a binding teacher to prevent further abuse of the canon.

This is how most of the Church dogmas were developed. Transubstantiation was taught from Augustine’s time (I believe, circa 390’s), into the 12th or 13 century. Only then was there sufficient questioning of this teaching to warrant a dogmatic statement.


Yes, I know that the church doesn’t take a stand unless there’s a controversy; so adding books to the canon is NOT a controversy?

Also, since it is faily common for catholic apologists to list the councils of Hippo, Carthage and Rome as proof to show that the canon was declared then, don’t you think that the fact that not the whole church adopted the canon, takes the wind out of the argument of an established canon?


Not really because the Eastern Churches that ratified the Quintesext Canons of Nicaea II ratified a canon that explicitly reaffirmed the findings of Carthage and made the findings of carthage binding on the eastern churches. Also the ecumentical council of Basel-Florence had also produced the list of carthage and had ratified it and the Jacobite Orthodox Churches had also signed on to the Florentine list.


What are you saying? That some Eastern churches have the same canon as us while others don’t?


I’m saying both east and west have recieved the 7 Dueterrocanonical books as Scripture. That much is de fide.


So no one seems to see any problem with the fact that the councils, which we’ve bandied about as settling the canon, has, in fact, not really done that i.e. they have not categorically stated what’s in and what’s not?


I thought they did do that.


I thought they did that too! But then how would you explain the fact that the Eastern churches have a canon larger than ours? Mind you, the big split came about 600 years after the canon was supposedly decided.


You, uh, might want to ask them.


The eastern orthodox do not have a larger canon, because as mentioned earlier, they don’t have a dogmatic canon at all. They use the same Holy Scripture within their liturgy but this whole notion of having, “The Official Document of the Lord” is a 15th century idea. True the Holy Writ is only document written by the Lord, but the Church never needed to dogmatically declare that because it was taken for granted that it had been written for and by the Church. I don’t need to tell my roommates that all the books on my bookshelf are mine and not theirs, it goes with the territory. I think the fact that the early council didn’t have to be dogmatic speaks for the canon anyway, the early church couldn’t agree on very much, the fact that every one agreed on the canon is quite impressive. Ultimately the canon is a confusing issue, but the fact that it is confusing makes it much more in favor of Catholicism than Protestantism.


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