Peer-reviewed explanation of Luther’s canon?


Did you not read what your own Cardinal Cajetan taught, believed and confessed regarding those councils? Again, for your benefit:

This was Luther’s view exactly, and was common to Catholics of the time. Trent changed that with its anathemas, which were very close and contested votes.

Your words, not mine.

Good, we’re agreed.


That’s precisely what it reads! To pretend it means anything else takes either incredible suspension of disbelief or a willful ignorance of the whole body of Luther’s work, which would be a terrible abuse of the 8th Commandment.

And ‘Footloose’ was obviously a joke. Thought the mood here could be lightened.

I’m disappointed you’ve sunk to this sort of polemic. When you joined the thread, you were quite respectful. I think it’s time I bow out. The Luther haters can continue their bashing without me.


Did the pope at the time hold a different understanding?

Do you have the minutes of that council?

As for St. Jerome’s personal views, did you know that, as Luther, he had his eyes trained on removing books which he, in his wisdom, considered not inspired or befitting Sacred Scriptures?:

At the turn of the 5th century, St Jerome translated the Bible into vernacular Latin. As he went along he decided that the Septuagint and other Greek and Latin translations of Judaic scripture weren’t sufficient, that he had to translate from the Hebrew. This changed things, since the Septuagint had included books and passages of existing books which were not in Hebrew. Jerome did not accept the authority of all the books before him, especially some Christian works as Revelation, the epistle to the Hebrews, and the epistles of Peter. The Pope, however, pressed him to translate these, anyway. He appears simply to have added then-available translations of these books to his own translations of those he did consider sacred. (

Did those that you site that followed Jerome held the same view (Luther did–he determine that he alone was authority and he fought for a splintered body of Christ) and since you are appealing to Jerome’s views, should we remove those books that he wanted to remove from the Bible’s canon?

Maran atha!



But is Luther teaching not flawed?

How can I teach non-Catholics that God’s mercy abounds by sinning profusely and making such outlandish suggestions (murder, adultery, sin to take away the devil’s power…)?

I work in a place where people take things… cheap and expensive items; should I show God’s mercy by robbing the place to demonstrate that God forgiveness is beyond my abilities to strip the place down or should I show my Obedience to Christ to exercise greater Justice than anyone who chooses to steal?

This is my argument against what you claim is sound teaching from Luther.

…as for your choice to leave or stay… it is your choice.

I do apologize for my inability to help you understand a different position from the Lutheran; it is not my intention to diminish you in any form.

Maran atha!



The results and histories are readily available online. The vote to attach an anathema to the canon was 24-15 with 16 (yes, 16!! abstentions). It’s also worth noting that Trent didn’t have the same views as the local councils of Hippo and Carthage, which are continually cited by Roman Catholics as some sort of proof that the canon was already set. This poses problems for those certain Roman Catholic apologists who’d prefer to reinterpret history. Google Gary Michuta’s defense of 1 Esdras against James Swan if you want a laugh.

Do you understand that the Septuagint was a compilation and translation that was demanded of the Jews by the Ptolemies, their Greek oppressors before the Romans came to town? Knowing history, isn’t it logical that a good researcher like Jerome should look to earlier history and original languages? Is it any surprise that Old Testament and Hebrew scholars like Cardinal Cajetan, Erasmus and Luther would’ve therefore come to similar conclusions, regardless of their disagreement on other topics?

You are slandering Luther. He is not advocating “murder, adultery, sin to take away the devil’s power.” He specifically cites what the people called “little sins” - dancing, drinking in moderation, etc. I just explained to you that Luther was an occasional theologian; that is, he wrote to specific occasions. This particular occasion was a pastoral teaching for people who feared that everything they did was a sin and therefore had no enjoyment of God’s many gifts. You are twisting Luther just as the press twisted Francis’s “who am I to judge?” comments.

I’ve explained this twice now. If I’m still not getting through, the fault does not lie in my explanation. Now I’ll make good on my promise to leave the thread.


No. You’re missing my point.


The point I attempted to make is that rather than quote about what took place why not take the experience (arguments) for a trek and see why such points were brought up.

As for the Canon itself, if the Church established (as demonstrated by Wikipedia) it in the 4th century (yes, even in the monumental back and forth) there’s nothing to do but accept or reject it.

Heresies have been fought the same way; they are introduced; even some devote Believers run with them; when there’s a final word bonding them they are set as heresies and rejected.

Yet, as with the Bible’s Canon, even today there are those who turn to yesteryears heresies and seek to annul what has been held as orthodox–interestingly enough, they appeal to Church history to defend their heresies.

Maran atha!



1.the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.Compare with libel.


a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation; a written defamation.Compare with slander.

Here’s the problem:

I am quoting sources that state that Luther wrote such statements; I am not putting those statements in his mouth/text.

I cannot slander Luther by repeating what he stated–even if during a personal correspondence or weekend theology session.

Maran atha!



…actually not.

The inference is that Jesus and the Apostles did not quote from the 7; hence, the 7 are not inspired.

A person here has determined that Jesus would not have held the 7 as inspired (now this is taking liberties–this person intimates that he knows the mind of Christ); clearly, I don’t miss the point since the point is that the veracity of the 7 depends upon Jesus’ and the Apostles quoting other scrolls, making that the proof-text of inspiration.

Maran atha!



That may be your point but it is not mine.


Well that was the argument presented:

Prior to this you’ve stated that Jesus makes some 200 quotes from the LXX, but that to your estimation not once from the 7.

So are these 200 quotes from all of the books of the LXX with the exception of the 7?

Maran atha!



That is exactly the question I was asking in that post. Are they or aren’t they? I am still hoping to find some that are undeniably quotations from the seven books.


Here’s where we disagree. In the 1540-some odd years prior to Trent, Christianity did just fine without submitting to that false dichotomy of “accept or reject [and get anathematized].” Lutherans prefer the old way of things. Living with tension is fine and healthy. Not everything needs to be perfectly understood and tied neatly with a bow — especially things of the Divine.

I’m not going to get into the semantic difference between slander and libel; the line is legally blurred in online forums anyway. But I will speak to what you have done here.

You have used his words out of context and with different meanings than he intended. So you are not simply “repeating what he stated.” You are changing the meaning of his words to suit your own personal views. You are effectively making him say what he did not say; you slander him.


Yet, as I’ve posted previously, there are very specific passages from Wisdom that demonstrate that there is a definite delineation. Just take the example of the Holy Spirit. St. Peter tells us that no Prophecy has ever had its origin from man, that it was the Holy Spirit that Inspired them–Wisdom tells us the same in a different way: it is the Holy Spirit that has Revealed God to man; it is the Holy Spirit that has made some men into “friends” of God.

Jesus Reveals that there’s only one sin that is not forgiven on this life and the next: blasphemy against the Holy Spirit–where in the Old Testament Writings do we find the Holy Spirit as in Wisdom?

St. Paul speaks about the battle armaments of the Christians (Believers) where else other than in Wisdom do we find that very similarity?

…and what of the term “saints?” Where do you suppose St. Paul picked that gem up? Again, it is Wisdom that speak of “Gods friends” as “saints.”

So it is a weak argument to suggest that unless we find a direct quote from the 7 (while not holding up the same demands on the rest of the Old Testament Writings) they must be deemed uninspired and they must be removed from the Bible or set apart as some folklore-good-feel-stories.

Now lets take those quotes and the ones that are said to be directly related to the 7 and see where they lead!

Maran atha!



I could almost agree with you; yet, there are defining moments for all things God.

We either accept Jesus, the Incarnate Word that existed as God and with God from the Beginning, is Divine or we do not. Some definitely reject Jesus’ Divinity and they attempt to find their theology in the Revealed Word of God–we find that right from Scriptures as Jesus Divinity is brought into Definition. Then there are those who are so bent on Jesus’ being Devine that they reject His Incarnation–also found directly in the arguments (apologetics) in Scriptures: Jesus is Truly God and Truly man. It was Defined!

Yet, when divorced from Church history, Arianism continues to allure those who rely on their own knowledge and understanding.

It is because of that very fact that definition must take place.

And while you state a preference for the “old ways of things” how can that be true since Luther departed from the old ways and injected his own way–not to mention the many redefinitions and injections throughout the centuries that have followed his parting from the old ways?

Did he state that he could kill or commit adultery a thousand times per day?

What is the consequence of such calloused act, according to him?

Maran atha!



Hold up. You accused him of encouraging people to “sin profusely” and commit “murder and adultery.” He does not.

Now you’ve moved the goalposts to “did he really say…” just as the serpent did. Yes, he really said those words in a hyperbolic, hypothetical sense. Does that somehow mean he encourages people to do this? “By no means!”

Now answer a question for me. Do you deny that God has the power to forgive someone who murdered or committed adultery thousands of times a day? If not, you agree with Luther. If so, why is your Christ’s atonement so limited? Can he not actually forgive all the sins of the world? Is he so weak? Where do you draw your line for forgiveable sins? At seven? Seventy? Seventy times seven and no more?

Surely, you must see that Luther’s words, crude as they were to make a point, are true.


That’s not what it says at all! The context is the devil harassing you, and Luther is saying, “sin a little to spite the devil”, i.e. fight fire with fire. I’m amazed at how you brought in Puritans and shifted the blame to them to attempt to exonerate Luther.

Luther could have wrote: “The sky is blue.” And, anyone using that quote would have been admonished by your words using the ‘context’ argument attempting to debate that he meant to say the sky was actually red.


Everything is context. The context also moves beyond the written words.

The problem with those who think Luther here was admonishing someone to perpetual gross sin is that when it gets plugged back into history, it doesn’t make any sense. Luther spent a lifetime exhorting people to live uprightly before the face of God, in sermon after sermon, ad nauseam… The person this quote was written to was actually living in Luther’s house (Luther was away when he wrote it). The person was therefore around Luther’s wife and children. Would Luther really be counseling someone to get drunk around his wife and small children? I don’t think so. Luther’s house was alive with friends and faculty, as well. I hardly doubt Luther’s counsel is to be taken as an interpretive theological paradigm, governing his life and theology. The private counsel was just that private counsel. The letter was written specifically to a man who was timid, depressive, and melancholic.

There is no record that i know of that this person took this private counsel and went on to live a live of perpetual sin. Quite the contrary, it was said of him, "He was a holy man, not merely a scholar, but also a practical theologian, exercised through the cross of spiritual affliction and capable of comforting the souls of those afflicted in the heart and capable of quickening them through the life-giving Word of Christ.”


He absolutely did! He wrote many beautiful things. However, those beautiful writings do not magically justify those not-so-beautiful writings.

It’s funny how anytime someone quotes one of Luther’s commendable statements, there is no argument. But, as soon as one of his lewd quotes pops up, then those who follow him, instinctively and almost uncontrollably, use the ‘context’ defense. Weird how no one ever mentions context when one of his pious sentiments gets quoted…:thinking:


I don’t follow Luther, nor am I a Lutheran. In fact, I disagree with Luther on a number of important issues.

I see the study of church history as an exercise in love of God and neighbor. If false witness is brought upon any figure in church history (Catholic or Protestant), we are not loving him (or her). I would even defend you if your words were being taken out of context.

Yes, it is all about context. Quotes have an immediate context, a context within an entire person’s written corpus, and an historical context (the time in which that person lived), to name but a few.

When it comes to Luther, I’ve found that many times, people are not willing to look beyond their own bias and worldview to treat him fairly, according to all the levels of context I’ve mentioned.

Yes, it is true, Luther said some odd things, Luther said some hateful things, Luther said some stupid things. The quote you’ve put forth though does not fit any of those categories when placed back in the contexts in which the quote lives and breathes. Simply saying in response “context defense” is not a meaningful counter. What it suggests is an unwillingness to go beyond inherent bias, and it also demonstrates an illogical worldview: your counter, “context defense” was in its own… context! Certainly you want people to read all your words, and not simply pour the meaning in they want to?

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