Protestant authority that says the Catholic Church decided what was in the Bible?



I am trying to look for Protestant authorites that agree that the Catholic Church decided what was in the Bible. I was under the impression that this accepted in many Protestant denominations, but maybe I’m wrong…

Thanks for your help…


Unless I miss my history, I do not think they recognize any athority other than that King James joker. But I could be wrong.

You know the one, the fellow that chopped up the Bible :wink:


I could have sworn I have read apologetic books written by converts who said that the they were taught this in seminary school. I have also talked to some people of other denominations(various anabaptists) that agree that the Catholic Church decided what was in the Bible…

I guess, the authorites don’t have to be protestant, just other authorties in other denominations…


“We are obliged to yield many things to the Papists [Catholics]–that they possess the Word of God which we received from them, otherwise we should have known nothing at all about it.”

Martin Luther–Commentary on St. John, ch. 16


Most protestants will agree that the CC decided what was in the Bible. The reason they don’t still follow the CC is that they believe it’s not the same CC that wrote the Bible (corruption through the years changed the early CC into what it is today).


Why did the same Jesus that said about His church “The gates of Hell shall not prevail against it”–why would that same Jesus""

Let “the Gates of Hell prevail against it” by letting it become corrupt?

Either Jesus was speaking the truth about His church or He wasn’t!

That is why Protestants who believe the Catholic Church became corrupt are Wrong because if they are right then Jesus doesn’t tell the truth.

That is impossible–the Protestants and not Jesus are wrong!


You define “church” as a religion. They define “church” as a body of believers (a.k.a. Christians).


That is a Protestant with some authority :smiley:


So much truth in Martin Luther’s words. I would believe he made the statement because before Protestantism everyone in the Western European who was a Christian is Catholic…


I think that most protestants do not accept the Catholic Church’s claim to have the authority to determine what books belong in the bible. If they did, we could use the same bible for all books, but we cannot. They have a different cannon of scripture to choose. It could be Jamnian or some other cannonizing. Martin Luther did his own with a “sharp knife”.



Define “Catholic Church.” Of course the early Catholic Church decided the canon. Convinced Protestants believe that they are still part of the Catholic Church, and that the “Roman Catholic Church” is either a heretical and apostate body (typically the more historically aware conservative Protestants would date this from the Council of Trent) or just another Christian denomination, albeit a very large and important one.

Most Protestant seminaries today would teach the latter. They would speak of the pre-Reformation Church as the common heritage of Catholics and Protestants. They may admit that the post-Reformation “Roman” Catholic Church has particular continuity with the pre-Reformation Church, and some less thoughtful Protestants may speak of the “Roman Catholic Church” before the Reformation. But those who think carefully about the matter would generally take the view I have described above. As I see it, this is the only way Protestantism can be defended. And I’m not sure it works. But it has to be taken seriously.



No, he didn’t. The KJV originally included the “Apocrypha.”

And if you seriously think most Protestants are KJV-only folks, you need to study Protestantism a lot more carefully (or else stop talking about it).

Or are you joking?


FF Bruce or Bruce metzer books on canonacy will recognise that the church put the bible together.

Thus, the church existed for roughly twenty years with no New Testament books, only the oral form of the teaching of the apostles. Even after a book was written, it was not immediately widely available. Some books like II Peter were read almost exclusively in their target area, a situation which continued for a long time, leading to their (temporary or permanent) rejection from the canon due to doubts about their apostolic origins. Thus, for instance, II Peter was rejected for centuries by many, and it is rejected by Nestorians to this day.(2) Even if not universally accepted, a book was highly regarded by its recipients and those church’s in the surrounding areas. This led to local canonicity, a book being used in public worship in a particular region. Twenty-seven of these books came in time to have universal canonicity, but others (e.g. Didache, Shepherd of Hermas, Barnabas, I Clement, Gospel of the Hebrews) were rejected for inclusion in the New Testament canon, even though they often retained a reputation for being profitable Christian reading.(3)

check out the books in the footnotes to the above web page for books.

R. Laird Harris, Inspiration and Canonicity of the Bible: An Historical and Exegetical Study

Books on the Biblical Canon

The Canon of Scripture. By F.F. Bruce. The best introduction.

The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance, by Bruce Metzger. More detailed than Bruce’s survey, but very readable.

Introducing the Apocrypha: Message, Context, and Significance, by David DeSilva (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002). A thorough and readable introduction from a conservative Protestant point of view.
Introduction to the Apocrypha, by Bruce Metzger.

Roger T. Beckwith, The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church and Its Background in Early Judaism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985). 536 pages. ISBN: 0802836178. The best comprehensive treatment of the Old Testament canon. Out of print.


Slightly off topic…

We define the Church as the body of believers, too. We’re just more specific:

The Church is the congregation of all baptized persons united in the same true faith, the same sacrifice, and the same sacraments, under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff and the bishops in communion with him.



Oh, yeah, the Catholic king who included the apocrypha in the translation. Yeah, what a dweeb.


Sigh, I wish I had read this before I had posted. Your post was much better than mine.


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