Over 250 Protestant Leaders Sign 'Reforming Catholic Confession' on Essentials of Christian Faith


Because each communion, including Catholic and Orthodox, make a determination about the canon, and how to use it.


Sola scriptura does not deny the teaching role of the Church.


But if any group of people can be a communion and determine the canon for themselves then the canon doesn’t have any real authority.

It couldn’t even exist as a principle without that teaching role to tell us what Scripture is.


If what you’re saying is there is no unified authority, I agree. If you’re saying is it potentially adds to the differences and divisions within the Church, again I agree.

No hermeneutical principle could


The evidence suggests that they don’t. They all accept almost the same canon, with very slight differences, usually for liturgical purposes.

They can, and do, interpret - “use” - the NT thousands of different, often wildly contradictory ways. That part, the “use”, yes, each communion does make their own determination. But the canon?

The mass of communions will accept slight differences (for instance, among the Eastern Churches) in canon, that are rarely significant in shaping doctrine. But if any Christian communion determines a canon much different from the template, like the Mormons, the great majority of communions reject their right to “make a determination about the canon”.

Because the great majority of communions follows the same template. (From where?)


I think, generally, you are correct, and of course, the definition of canon can vary. And in fact the only books in dispute in the west are the ones that have been questioned by respected people in the Church over the centuries.
As for your implementation that the early Church is responsible for the vast agreement on the canon, no doubt.


Well, as you should know, things aren’t as cut and dry as that, to treat it all equal. For me certain things decreed in history directly oppose scripture in obvious ways, while other things not so much.

One quick example: When the bible says “and (he Joseph) did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn son. And he called His name Jesus.” Mt. 1:15.

Church tradition at some point decreed that Mary remained a virgin after the birth of Christ. This decree became equal to scripture in terms of authority according to many RC sources I’ve read.

Some people on this site put such a spin on the obvious that it became disingenuous to me. When you find the names of Jesus brothers and at least two sisters in scripture and then spin it into a very unconvincing argument, this is where reason is thrown out for the sake of a dogma or a tradition.

A first-born son was not just anything in Jesus time. In Jewish culture, as I’m sure you know, the firstborn son got a double portion of his father’s inheritance. It was hugely significant for Jesus to be the first born, not just for natural reasons but spiritual as well.


I would say Tradition maintained the fact that Mary was ever virgin. The same Tradition that gave us Scripture maintained this truth of the Faith.

Actually, the named brothers are later mentioned with different parents i.e. not Mary or Joseph.


This teaching may now be in danger, since Luther wrote in defense of it. Specifically, regarding Mt 1.

**When Matthew says that Joseph did not know Mary carnally until she had brought forth her son, it does not follow that he knew her subsequently; on the contrary, it means that he never did know her **

I’m sure Jaaye will claim he mangled this, too.


In light of the scriptures that name her children and the fact that Jesus was the first-born, … I don’t buy the argument. It is weak and unconvincing. But I have no problem if you have bought in.

Blessings to you from God’s rich treasure of grace.


You left out the word first born.



Protestants (and atheists) that I have talked to who have criticised the church have spoken about a strict church hierarchy with small minded men claiming authority over people they expected to be sheep.

These people tended to think the church is something that hinders free thought and leads people into error. This feeds into the idea of the protestant work ethic, enlightenment, capitalism, a Catholic church suppression of science, great atrocities being committed by the church and its opposition to personal freedoms.

I personally think a lot of this is propaganda but as I grow older I am amazed and embarrassed to have run into a few of these 'small minded men now in the Catholic church. Of course these types of people are found in all hierarchies. The bigger the organisation the more chance these people will be attracted to it.

I have some sympathy with the protestant and atheist views now and have to admit unfortunately our church too has our share of class conscious close minded men who expect others to be sheep and castigate them when they are not thorough demands of position. Perhaps we had an overabundance of these types of people at the time of the Luther rebellion but I am not so sure. Certainly lazy and bullying appeals to position from the church would tend to encourage rebellion.

I think it is important with protestants and atheists to relate to their argument but to point out that this negative is a small part of the life and workings of our church and something most people don’t want or support.


An only child is a “firstborn”, every bit as much as one with younger siblings. He is deemed the firstborn right away, before it is known if other siblings will follow.


Utter nonsense. What leads communions into error is exactly the opposite.

“When error is admitted into the Church, it will be found that the stages of its progress are always three. It begins by asking toleration. Its friends say to the majority: You need not be afraid of us; we are few, and weak; only let us alone; we shall not disturb the faith of the others. The Church has her standards of doctrine; of course we shall never interfere with them; we only ask for ourselves to be spared interference with our private opinions. Indulged in this for a time, error goes on to assert equal rights. Truth and error are two balancing forces. The Church shall do nothing which looks like deciding between them; that would be partiality. It is bigotry to assert any superior right for the truth. We are to agree to differ, and any favoring of the truth, because it is truth, is partisanship. What the friends of truth and error hold in common is fundamental. Anything on which they differ is ipso facto non-essential. Anybody who makes account of such a thing is a disturber of the peace of the church. Truth and error are two co-ordinate powers, and the great secret of church-statesmanship is to preserve the balance between them. From this point error soon goes on to its natural end, which is to assert supremacy. Truth started with tolerating; it comes to be merely tolerated, and then only for a time. Error claims a preference for its judgments on all disputed points. It puts men into positions, not as at first in spite of their departure from the Church’s faith, but in consequence of it. Their recommendation is that they repudiate the faith, and position is given them to teach others to repudiate it, and to make them skillful in combating it.”

We see this far more often in non-Catholic communions, particularly those influenced by progressive secularism - allowing for abortion, gay marriage, and the like. The ELCA that I grew up in is allowing error, not because it limited free thought, but because it permitted free thought outside of doctrine. And it isn’t a dispute over what a doctrine means, it is a repudiation of doctrine,replacing it with innovative heterodoxy.

Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2012/04/the-three-stages-of-error/#0z8kiTf1qhzYYWzZ.99


Yes but in this case the Bible narrative gives the names of 4 sons and at least 2 daughters. Therefore, he was born first.


They were not children of Mary.




I think we are talking about different things.


I don’t think so. The Catholic Church has done hard work to maintain its teachings, not giving in to secular progressivism. Non-Catholic western traditions that still maintain orthodoxy in their own teachings have become fewer and fewer. We haven’t hindered @free thought" enough

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.