Peer-reviewed explanation of Luther’s canon?


In the immortal words of Vic Ketchman:



Who are ‘the people’?


The aforementioned Jews.

Still waiting on the apology.


Could you be more specific?

For what?


The people who spoke Hebrew.
Who worshiped in Hebrew.
Who wrote all of Holy Scripture up to the coming of Christ in Hebrew.
That specific enough for you?


You realize there were different sects of Jews, yes?


Assigning an untrue motive to me. Accusing me of using “tactics” of evasion, of “deliberate cop out,” and insinuating throughout that I was less-than-truthful.

I’m waiting.


None that worshiped in Greek, had Greek Scriptures, or spoke Greek widely until the Ptolomies made them do so in the 3rd Century BC.

So unless you can come up with some long-lost tribe of the Jews who did so, the Greek additions were not considered part of Jewish Scripture until no earlier than that time, as those portions of those books simply do not exist in Hebrew.


I did not accuse you of anything. I shared a similar experience I had with a Lutheran pastor that would not or could not provide answers. Nowhere did I accuse you of anything, name-call you, or suggest anything.

Again, I did not ‘accuse’ you of anything. I asked you:

All you had to do was simply answer no. But, I get the impression that might not be the case. :wink:

I cannot help what you think I insinuate! However, if that is what you think, why don’t you debunk this seeming ‘less-than-truthful’ position by proving, or even suggesting to me, that Luther did not put certain inspired books of the Bible into a non-inspired appendix? I have brought this fact up many times and you have yet to attempt to refute it.


Again, you are being overly general and ambiguous! You do realize there were Jews outside of European Jews, yes? You do realize that the Council of Javneh in 90AD was not binding for all Jews, yes?


You may want to look into Machuta’s book…Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger:

Randy Carson: I got the following in an email from Gary Michuta, who is an expert on these matters:

The Canon and the Council
Refuting the Argument that Canon was not established until the Council of Trent
By Gary Michuta

Today, some Protestants are arguing that Luther did not subtract books from the Canon of Scripture, because the canon was not officially adopted until the Council of Trent which began in 1545. Since the canon was not formally recognized prior to Luther’s rejection of the Deuterocanonicals, it is not correct to say that he subtracted books from the Bible.

This type of argument is quickly beginning to become a favorite among our separated brethren. They want to divert attention away from how these books were accepted within Christianity and focus instead on technical language in regards to their definition by the Church.

The fact of the matter is that even if something like the definition given at Trent had happened before Luther’s day, Luther would have rejected it as being in error, and Protestants wouldn’t have abandoned Luther because of his position any more than they abandoned Luther when he brushed aside other councils. In other words, this argument really isn’t about the legitimacy of the Protestant position, but rather it is a form of propaganda to make it look like the Church is dishonest.

In 1519, Johann Eck debated Luther and pointed out to him that the Church had already confirmed that the Deuterocanon was canonical Scripture and he explicitly cited Florence as a proof of this. What was Luther’s response? Was it that the Church has authoritatively defined the canon yet so everything is still up for grabs? This is what the Protestant historian H. H. Howorth says about what Luther said:

“He [Luther] says he knows that he Church had accepted this book [2 Maccabees], but the Church could not give a greater authority and strength to a book than it already possessed by its own virtue.” (Gary Michuta, Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger, p. 251).

So, Luther knew the Church accepted the Deuterocanon as canonical Scripture. He was aware of Florence and the other decrees (apparently), but by this point he believed that Church councils could err. Moreover, Luther seems to have been working on a principle that he would more explicitly develop a few years later; namely, that a book is canonical and authoritative to the extent that Luther heard “Christ preached” in it.


Bologna. Even in your trite little post here, you still backhandedly make accusations.

You think you’re quite clever, but you’re really just being uncharitably duplicitous. Make it plain: Am I a liar in this thread or am I not?

This is a loaded question, filled with insipid presuppositions that are counter-factual to actual history. No, I will not play your game. Instead, I will answer with truth:

Luther did not “put certain inspired books of the Bible into a non-inspired appendix,” because he did not understand those “certain books” to be inspired in the first place! He was not alone in Catholic academia on this view; as I quoted earlier, Erasmus held even less esteem for certain books and Rome still loved him. Cardinal Catejan tended to side with Luther on this point. Luther moved no books he thought inspired.

Secondly, Luther removed no books. If you want to play the semantics game about your reversion/conversion, then you must likewise respect the clear distinction between Luther’s categorization of the canon and, say, Marcion’s actual shrunken canon. Luther removed no books from his translation. He moved certain books to another part of his bible, but they remained within it and he expressly admitted that others may come to different conclusions – as was the Catholic norm at the time.

Loaded questions like this are why I detest dialogue with you. You do not dialogue to learn, but to ‘win’ and ‘score points’ and toss around polemics.


Who said anything about Jamnia? That’s 400 years later than I’m talking. Stay on target.

Unfortunately, Michuta makes the mistake of falling into the false dichotomy that one either believes in some inerrant “Protestant” canon of 66 books based on their own self-evident witness, or you believe that an infallible Church took some inerrant holy vote and defined the canon, and that we have to accept it based only on the authority of the Church. His ideas will work fine against most “Protestants,” but they fall flat against Lutherans, who actually ask the historical questions because when it comes to the canon, they aren’t really “Protestants.” They’re basically just pre-Tridentine Catholics. Consequently, they don’t fit neatly into either category.


Except…you forgot to mention, these remained Catholic…and deferred to Church authorities…like Cajetan deferred to Augustine and Hippo/carthage…and Jerome to the Church on Daniel.

And this is what Machuta wrote and warned about…that…“This type of argument is quickly beginning to become a favorite among our separated brethren. They want to divert attention away from how these books were accepted within Christianity and focus instead on technical language in regards to their definition by the Church.”


That is a lie. The Council of Florence explicitly promulgates ‘those certain books’ to be inspired:

"Most firmly it believes, professes and preaches that the one true God, Father, Son and holy Spirit, is the creator of all things that are, visible and invisible, who, when he willed it, made from his own goodness all creatures, both spiritual and corporeal, good indeed because they are made by the supreme good, but mutable because they are made from nothing, and it asserts that there is no nature of evil because every nature, in so far as it is a nature, is good. It professes that one and the same God is the author of the old and the new Testament — that is, the law and the prophets, and the gospel — since the saints of both testaments spoke under the inspiration of the same Spirit. It accepts and venerates their books, whose titles are as follows.

Five books of Moses, namely Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; Joshua, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings, two of Paralipomenon, Esdras, Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, Job, Psalms of David, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Baruch, Ezechiel, Daniel; the twelve minor prophets, namely Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi; two books of the Maccabees; the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; fourteen letters of Paul, to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to the Philippians, two to the Thessalonians, to the Colossians, two to Timothy, to Titus, to Philemon, to the Hebrews; two letters of Peter, three of John, one of James, one of Jude; Acts of the Apostles; Apocalypse of John."

In case you’ve forgotten, the Council of Florence was from 1438-1445 A.D. Martin Luther absolutely, 100% positively knew those seven books were inspired!

‘Another part of his bible’; yes, ‘his bible’ for sure! Why would he ‘move’ them if not to categorize them as non-inspired?! Why did he ‘move’ the books of James, Jude, Hebrews and Revelation (without page numbers!) in like manner? Just to express an opinion? :rofl:


[quote=“steido01, post:33, topic:480786, full:true”]

Then whose authority do you propose are we to accept the bible canon? Luther’s?


Because there were Jews who accepted those portions of Daniel and Esther written in Greek as being inspired Scripture. You are focusing on one group of Jews who determined what was Scripture in 90 AD and using that as what shouldn’t belong in the Bible; funny thing is, those Jews that rejected those portions of Daniel and Esther are the same Jews that rejected all 27 books of the New Testament!


This is an absurd thing to say.
Cajetan died before Trent.
Erasmus died before Trent.
Luther died before Trent.

I’m doing precisely the opposite. I’m asking the historical questions exactly about how certain books were accepted, and your response is simply “Roma locuta est!” You can’t just anathematize those pesky minds who won’t just shut up and quit asking those troublesome historical questions!

It is most certainly not a lie. Luther did not hold certain books to be inspired. That is no lie. The Council of Florence was viewed by Luther, and others, as a local council and therefore did not carry the weight of an ecumenical council of the Church. Modern-day Catholics dispute him, but the fact is not changed. That is not a lie.

You may apologize to me.

No, you are! You brought up Jamnia. I’ve made no mention of that silly council. Don’t lump me in with the “Protestants” who look there for their authority; Lutherans do not fit neatly there as I’ve already mentioned. It has no bearing on the simple historical questions. But please, enlighten me: By what authority do you add to the Hebrew Scriptures with the language of their Ptolomeic oppressors?


I hope those who are reading this conversation are enjoying the very obvious false accusations and “re-imaginings” of history here.


To say ‘he did not understand’ is not the same has he ‘viewed’. He surely understood what Florence promulgated and he certainly was docile to its defined canon during his tenure as a Catholic priest! Of course he ‘viewed’ Florence as non-binding, but only after he got excommunicated! How convenient!

So, do you care to answer my question regarding as to why Luther ‘moved’ books of the Bible into an appendix if not to view them as non-inspired? If you can, that is.

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