Thank you for that. The reason for the question is simple: The Catholic Church has always taught one way without ever changing that one way. Doctrines may have developed over time but they never contradicted doctrines that were present before.
The Catholic Church says this, and I know you believe it, and that’s fine. Orthodox, Lutherans, and others do disagree with the contention, however. We would point to Transubstantiation, and papal primacy as examples of what we would term innovations.
The Bible always remained 73 Books and that has never changed. Martin Luther, however, proposed to take away the Books of James, Revelations, and Hebrews, in addition to the 7 that were removed by the original reformation. So I guess my question is simple. If one holds themselves to a Lutheran belief system, how does one justify the elimination of 7 Books from the Canon (which was Luther’s doing), the proposal of the elimination of three other Books (which was also Luther’s doing)…
First, Luther’s Bible contained all the books traditionally contained in the western Bible. His challenge of the deuterocanonical books and the NT books you mentioned was no different than challenges to the canon from St. Jerome on, including Cardinal Cajetan. This was permitted by Rome until Trent, which did not apply to Luther.
The fact that Lutherans consider the d-c books as not canonical reflects a point of view held by many thoughout the history of the Church. It is interesting to point out that Luther, even near the end of his life, preached from Revelations and James and Hebrews, and more importantly, are regularly used in Lutheran liturgy.
Remember what I said, Lutherans are Lutheran because we believe, teach, and confess the Augsburg Confession asa right reflection of scripture and early church teachings, not because of Martin Luther necessarily. So, Luther’s speculations about Hebrews, for example, are interesting, but not necessarily relevant to a Lutheran, especially since he changed his thinking about those NT books as he got older.
…as well as the insertion of one word that transformed the views of non-Catholics to believe in a dogma no one had preached prior to Luther (I’m referring to the insertion of the word “only” into Romans 3:28 which Luther also did).
As for the inclusion of “alone” in Romans, Luther was translating into German. In the German it was necessary to properly show the meaning. It is not in any English translation since the word is not necessary for the meaning to be conveyed. The contention that “Faith Alone” as Luther taught it was not known before him is also debatable.
I’m sure you won’t agree with me, but I hope you understand this explanation of our POV.