Gardening Mommy, Thanks for answering the question, a breath of fresh air. My questions are sincere and I have been open about my motivation for asking them–to see if the catholic church can be verified as true. unfortunatly a lot of people seem to be more interested in using my questions as a jumping off point to shoot down some position they think I hold. When its important I have been sincere about that too. the following is a response to the other people who have replied.
once again, I’m getting answer’s from the horse behind the cart. here’s the correction on the argument.
A divine authority is not divided against itself.
the meaning of james and paul’s propositions are divided against each other.
therefore the bible contains at least some material that is not of divine authority.
the catholic church endorces the whole bible on grounds of divine authority,
the bible contains at least some material that is not of divine authority.
Therefore the catholic church endorses the whole bible on false grounds.
the bible contains some error
the bible comes through catholic authority
therefore error comes through the catholic church.
error does not come from God
catholic authority has error
Therefore catholic authority does not come from God.
The overarching Hypothosis:
Catholics always seem to be refering to the apostolic authority of their bishops for verification of the proof of true Christian doctrine and dogma. this is very much like the evangelical insistance on the bible as being the highest tangeble authority without any justification. to an outsider, “peter’s succesor says,…” does not do much in the way of persuasion. not only that, citing an historical process of succession does nothing to verify that at no point did error creep in as peter, john, paul, jude, and Jesus “alegedly” warned would happen. as a result, the theme of most of my posts is as follows
God’s authority is absolutely correct
Catholic authority is/is not correct about something.
Therefore: catholic authority could be/is not divine depending on the verification of the second assumption.
correctness can be verified imperfectly by internal consistancy, external consistancy, apparent correspondence to reality etc.
this is why it does’nt matter to me which books are in the bible if they all agree. if they don’t agree, the point is’nt for me to take one out(although some sects have) and be my own pope, the point is that the claim of divine authority of the canonizer is proved false.
This method cannot ultimately prove the correctness of the church. however, if no rigorous proof to it’s falsness can be found, “softer” evidence in favor of catholocism is more persuasive. right now however, I have tons of assumed proofs to its falsness. therefore any positive “soft” evidence is unpersuasive to me as yet.
with respect to comparing the gospels, it is easier for me to simply accept that different whitnesses will remember different parts of the same events. the slight differences in writing style can be accounted for by recognizing that the gospels contain a careful paraphrase of Jesus words that convey an equivelant meaning to what he literally said. Divine providence is still in play here. in the james/paul case, I’ve discussed this with protestant pastors only to get implausable answers. I thought maybe the catholic church could do better since they claim it’s their book.