If the Roman Catholic Church gave the world the Bible then why...? #2

Hey everyone. Here’s the third question (I’m not really worried about the second one but I may post that eventually) he posed to me about the Church and the canon of the Bible, in which I am woefully uneducated in the History of (which bugs me since I ADORE Church History) so I know not how to respond to it and I’m not sure where else to look. Now, I’m really not sure where he is going with this, but if he somehow thinks this hurts the Church and reaffirms his belief in his Baptist/Non-denominational faith, then here we go:

“If the Roman Catholic Church gave the world the Bible in 397 AD, then why did many different versions of the cannons continue to circulate long afterwards?”

Any help would be appreciated and THANK YOU SO MUCH AHEAD OF TIME!!! :):thumbsup::smiley:


I would simply ask, “What do you mean? Give me some details,” and then address the more specific claims.

Which different canons are being referred to? What peoples/churches were using them? How long is “long afterwards?” Etc.

:thumbsup: Let those making the accusations show you the money.

It depends on what you mean by “gave” the world the bible.

Your friend is correct that there were several different “lists” of which books should be included in a canon and that these different books were used by different groups,and the debate went on for centuries as to which list was complete or correct or not.
This information is easy to look up in any history book or site that describes the evolution of the Christian bible (if I have time later, I’ll post some details for you…).


Are you refering to the different ways the Bible was organized or the fact that some of the Orthodox have a few extra books? ie:
*]1 and 2 Esdras (aka 3 and 4 Ezra)
*]Psalm 151
*]3 and 4 Maccabees
*]The Prayer of Manasseh

Regardless - the canon of the Bible he uses was assembled by the Catholic Church (probably minus the Apocrypha). Evangelical Baptist Christians certainly did not establish the biblical canon. Why would he want to attack the Church for giving him the Bible? I don’t see how this argument does him any good - it doesn’t discredit the Church and if anything, all it does is call into question the integrity of the Biblical canon which would have extreme consequences for the entirely of Christianity, including Baptists - not just Catholics.

As others have said he needs to be more specific but to help you in the future here are a couple of resources to check out…


Here is the book he wrote…




Free online…


Again, as stated in the other thread, **the Roman Catholic Church did not give the world the Bible. ** God gave the world the Bible. We have to stop and think about what we say.

The Bible comes from God, not from the Church. The Third Person of the Trinity breathed it. God the Holy Spirit inspired the writers to write it. The inspired word is a product of God, not a product of the Church.

The Old Testament was written before the Roman Catholic Church existed. There Roman Catholic Church isn’t even the whole Catholic Church. There are 22 other Catholic Churches.

The universal Catholic Church determined the canon of scripture but even that was the work of the Holy Spirit guiding the Church. The best we can say is that God gave the world the Canon of Scripture and the New Testament through the Church.



Great answer…get details…

Something to keep in mind also is that you are allowing your friend to define the argument.
He is framing his argument from the protestant mindset of “Sola Scriptura” The Catholic view of the Scripture is different.
Consider - the Bible canon was set around 400 AD at 72 books. The eastern Churches continued to use additional books…yet this difference did NOT cause a schism between East and West. In fact I’m not aware of any arguments between the patriarchies on this matter.
Because historically the Church is viewed as being authoritative - along with Scripture (both biblical and extra-biblical). The protestant world (to varying degrees) views only Scripture as being truly authoritative.

I know the above isn’t an answer to the question - but hopefully it will give you an insight to help you frame answers.

‘I would not believe the Gospel unless moved thereto by the authority of the Church.’ - St. Augustine (Contra Epis. Manich., Fund., n. 6.)

Hm I just answered this on another thread lol.
Short answer is history. Just as in the time Jesus walked
the earth there have always been those claiming also to be He or otherwise a Messiah
with new contradictory revelations.
By the three hundreds when the Apostles had
passed and their own disciples were passing it was necessary
to sort out and codify what really was from Christ and
the Apostles from Gospel accounts that
were false or at least could not be proven to be
really from Christ. Voila a Canon.
Even so there were Gospel accounts and Epistles
that COULD have been authentic that could not
be known absolutely true or were redundant that
were left out of the Canon. True it was finalized in
397 but the research, study and arguing occurred
for decades prior.

Many people today still are upset that spurious Gospel
or unproven accounts were not included. Many
claim these to be equally true whether or not those
accounts contradict Christ or not.

Obviously the words and revelations of every Tom Dick
and Harry cannot be included in the Canon. Otherwise
we would also have to today include the Book of
Mormon and Jack Chick tracts as well. Wouldn’t
your Baptist friend agree? Scripture would necessarily be
changed annually.

No the Bible MUST include ONLY that which is
undeniably Christ. Wouldn’t your Baptist friend
understand the need for this?

I would simply say…"Why is not one of those canons the same as yours "

How does he know every book that is supposed to be in the Bible is in the Bible?

The early Church writers **compiled **the inspired Word of God into written form . God gave the world the Bible through the inspired early Church writers and their works were compiled by the early Church into what we know as the Bible.

The world was a much larger place way back then (Ye Olde Bible Days, as I like to say…). If the Canon was finalized in 397, how long would it take to bring the finalized Canon to everyone who was a Christian? Remember, no cars, no planes, no phone, no internet… Men on horseback (or donkeyback) had to go from place to place updating everyone.

My comment was about the origin of Scripture. I said nothing about believing in Scripture nor about the authority of the Church.

Scripture comes from God. God breathed it. God inspired the authors to write it. The Old Testament was written before the Church began.

It makes us look like idiots when we say, “The Church gave us the Bible.” That is like saying that the scalpel does the surgery while ignoring the surgeon. The Church is the instrument. God is the origin.


Calm down a bit…brother. When we say church…or the Church…we do not exclude God, for God is always there guiding the Church.

Ask who is asking to give you specifics. For all you know, they do not know either and are trying to trip you. Ask what canon and from what source.

We know that, but non-Catholics don’t understand our beliefs about how the Holy Spirit guides the Church. We have to be conscious of what we say and how it is understood by non-Catholics.


The Eastern and Oriental Churches use more books, but the universal Church agreed on at least the 72 books. In fact, the Church never closed the canon (until Protestants attacked the defined canon), but defined which books were at least inspired. So long as the East used at least these books, there was no contention if they also read aloud from their other traditional books. That is one of the primary purposes of Scripture, after all: reading aloud during the liturgy for the edification of the Church.

The primary purpose of scripture is so that we might be saved. Salvation is the reason God gave us Scripture. All other reasons are secondary.


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