protestant bible and "only faith"


#1

So I know that luther apendixed several books when he did his translation, the apocrypha, James, Revelations. My question is this: does the protestant bible still not contain the letter of James? If it does, how in the world can they still preach “only faith”? And why was Revelations reinstated when luther obviously thought it didnt belong?


#2

Yes the protestant Bible contains James. How do they get around it? I know I never had a bible study on the book of James. Romans, Ephesians, never James.


#3

Actually, my understanding is that Luther did have both James & Revelation in the Bible; it was in his other writings that he criticised both.
In fact, Luther translated James & Revelation for the German Bible that he produced…


#4

[quote=MariaG]Yes the protestant Bible contains James. How do they get around it? I know I never had a bible study on the book of James. Romans, Ephesians, never James.
[/quote]

??? I have had such bible studies… and still do. You can’t have services of heailng/anointing without the book of James!

O+


#5

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]So I know that luther apendixed several books when he did his translation, the apocrypha, James, Revelations. My question is this: does the protestant bible still not contain the letter of James? If it does, how in the world can they still preach “only faith”? And why was Revelations reinstated when luther obviously thought it didnt belong?
[/quote]

Hi,

Yes, the Protestant Bibles have James, and the answer as to how Protestants understand James is readily available. For instance, R.C. Sproul gives this concise statement:

“The relationship of faith and good works is one that may be distinguished but never separated. Though our good works add no merit to our faith before God, and though the sole condition of our justification is our faith in Christ, if good works do not follow from our profession of faith, it is a clear indication that we do not possess justifying faith. The Reformed formula is “We are justified by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone.” True justification always results in the process of sanctification. If there is justification, sanctification will inevitably follow. If sanctification does not follow, it is certain that justification was not really present. This does not mean that justification depends or rests upon sanctification. Justification depends on true faith, which in turn will inevitably lead to works of obedience. When James declared that faith without works is dead, he asserted that such “faith” cannot justify anyone because it is not alive. Living faith produces good works, but these good works are not the basis for justification. Only the merit achieved by Jesus Christ can justify the sinner.”

Luther though saw a contradiction between Paul and James, though he did become aware of the “solution.” Roland Bainton has pointed out,

“Once Luther remarked that he would give his doctor’s beret to anyone who could reconcile James and Paul. Yet he did not venture to reject James from the canon of Scripture, and on occasion earned his own beret by effecting a reconciliation. ‘Faith,’ he wrote, ‘is a living, restless thing. It cannot be inoperative. We are not saved by works; but if there be no works, there must be something amiss with faith’"

Paul Althaus agrees: “[Luther] also agrees with James that if no works follow it is certain that true faith in Christ does not live in the heart but a dead, imagined, and self-fabricated faith.” In The Disputation Concerning Justification, Luther answered this spurious proposition: “Faith without works justifies, Faith without works is dead [Jas. 2:17, 26]. Therefore, dead faith justifies.” Luther responded:

“The argument is sophistical and the refutation is resolved grammatically. In the major premise, “faith” ought to be placed with the word “justifies” and the portion of the sentence “without works justifies” is placed in a predicate periphrase and must refer to the word “justifies,” not to “faith.” In the minor premise, “without works” is truly in the subject periphrase and refers to faith. We say that justification is effective without works, not that faith is without works. For that faith which lacks fruit is not an efficacious but a reigned faith. “Without works” is ambiguous, then. For that reason this argument settles nothing. It is one thing that faith justifies without works; it is another thing that faith exists without works.”

Even though Luther arrived at a harmonizing solution, it is probably the case that the question of James’ apostleship (as debated through church history) out-weighed it. One cannot argue that Luther was never presented with a harmonization between Paul and James. He seems to have granted the validity of it, yet still questioned the canonicity of the book.

I’m finishing up some major work this week, so I can’t dialog much on this topic with you. Last summer, I did a lot of research on this topic, perhaps it will be of help to you:

Luther’s View of the Canon of Scripture

Regards,
James Swan


#6

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]So I know that luther apendixed several books when he did his translation, the apocrypha, James, Revelations. My question is this: does the protestant bible still not contain the letter of James? If it does, how in the world can they still preach “only faith”? And why was Revelations reinstated when luther obviously thought it didnt belong?
[/quote]

Within 30 years that was accepted as wrong of Martin and corrected, only the apocryphal books were left out due to the fact that the early church fathers rejected them as canon, the Roman church went further from Christ by making them canon, and creating a Godess in Mary, they are ever nearer to the gnostics spoken of by Irenaeus in his’ Against heresies ’ letters, and they have knowledge of these letters, now if they wont even listen to the brother they named St Irenaeus how much less would they listen to their brother Luther, this is what tells me how far they have fallen in their Tradition which of course is vastly different to Christian Tradition, being given by one blind leader to the next, and never corrected for the good of “the church” and certainly not in obediance to Christ.In the Christian tradition there would be many bishops in Rome and no Pope, there never was one human leader until 200 years (at lest) after Christ, this Pope tradition is against Church tradition.


#7

posted by O.S. Luke

??? I have had such bible studies… and still do. You can’t have services of heailng/anointing without the book of James!

O+

I am glad you have had Bible studies on James. I was simply saying that I hadn’t. Romans was emphasized more than even the Gospels.

However, that brings up a question that I will then ask you personally.

The cry of the reformation was faith alone. How do you reconcile this with James 2:14-25, specifically James 2:24?

:bible1: You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. James 2:24.

God Bless,
Maria


#8

[quote=MariaG]I am glad you have had Bible studies on James. I was simply saying that I hadn’t. Romans was emphasized more than even the Gospels.

However, that brings up a question that I will then ask you personally.

The cry of the reformation was faith alone. How do you reconcile this with James 2:14-25, specifically James 2:24?

:bible1: You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. James 2:24.

God Bless,
Maria
[/quote]

I am United Methodist… of the Anglican line. Our “cry” of the Reformation (I don’t think we ever had a cry, as Luther did) was never faith alone. John Wesley’s writings and sermons were full of “faith without works is dead”, and works of piety are seen as a means of grace. And the book of Romans, as far as my tradition, has never been emphasized more than the Gospels.

You can’t paint all Protestants with the same brush.

O+


#9

JUST AN EXAMPLE: (very personal interpretation:)

faith is like a masters degree or a diplomma from college, you got it, but if you dont get a job, and start working you’re done for it and out for the count.
another example:
i might have a lamberghinni, but with no gas and oil, its just a piece of useless junk
hope this helps.


#10

[QUOTEposted by O.S. Luke
I am United Methodist… of the Anglican line. Our “cry” of the Reformation (I don’t think we ever had a cry, as Luther did) was never faith alone. John Wesley’s writings and sermons were full of “faith without works is dead”, and works of piety are seen as a means of grace. And the book of Romans, as far as my tradition, has never been emphasized more than the Gospels.

You can’t paint all Protestants with the same brush.

O+
:wave:

I was not trying to paint all with the same brush, my first statement was personal experience. What books were studied were part of that personal experience.

In the Nazarene Church I was in, the pastor was a great fan of Wesley. The pastor frequently used the term faith alone. However, his teaching was not faith alone. It was very much like the Catholic teaching and apparrently Methodist.

It may be possible we studied James (As he was such a fan of Wesley I am trying to really think back?), but faith alone were the words used in conjuction with it. I don’t know if this was because he knew I was a baptized Catholic and was trying to make sure I did not confuse it with what he thought the Catholic Church taught. (He didn’t need to bother since I really had had no teaching in the Catholic Church at all!)

One of the things he used to say was, “You don’t have to go to church but you ought to want to.”

So peace friend, I was not trying to paint all protestants with the same brush. I was relating it to my Protestant churches. Sorry if I did not make that clear or made assumptions to the contrary. I went to Assembly of God, Nazarene and Evangelical. All preached faith alone, used the words faith alone, but meant faith without works.

Incidently, Lutherans and Catholics have recently made a statement about justification. Faith *alone *is not part of the statement. (Can’t find the link, but I’ll look. It was posted on the threads here somewhere.)

God Bless,
Maria


#11

[quote=Timothy888]Within 30 years that was accepted as wrong of Martin and corrected, only the apocryphal books were left out due to the fact that the early church fathers rejected them as canon, the Roman church went further from Christ by making them canon, and creating a Godess in Mary, they are ever nearer to the gnostics spoken of by Irenaeus in his’ Against heresies ’ letters, and they have knowledge of these letters, now if they wont even listen to the brother they named St Irenaeus how much less would they listen to their brother Luther, this is what tells me how far they have fallen in their Tradition which of course is vastly different to Christian Tradition, being given by one blind leader to the next, and never corrected for the good of “the church” and certainly not in obediance to Christ.In the Christian tradition there would be many bishops in Rome and no Pope, there never was one human leader until 200 years (at lest) after Christ, this Pope tradition is against Church tradition.
[/quote]

Friend, you couldnt be more wrong. Mary has never been viewed or made into a goddess by the Catholic Church…ever.
The church fathers USED the apocrypha, and spoke of it in their writings:

“Since, therefore, [Christ] was about to be manifested and to suffer in the flesh, his suffering was foreshown. For the prophet speaks against evil, ‘Woe to their soul, because they have counseled an evil counsel against themselves’ [Is. 3:9], saying, ‘Let us bind the righteous man because he is displeasing to us’ [Wis. 2:12.]” (Letter of Barnabas 6:7 [A.D. 74]). - Barnabas

“By the word of his might [God] established all things, and by his word he can overthrow them. ‘Who shall say to him, “What have you done?” or who shall resist the power of his strength?’ [Wis. 12:12]” (Letter to the Corinthians 27:5 [ca. A.D. 80]). - Clement, bishop of Rome (ordained by Peter himself)

You mentioned Irenaeus. Let’s see what he had to say:

“Those . . . who are believed to be presbyters by many, but serve their own lusts and do not place the fear of God supreme in their hearts, but conduct themselves with contempt toward others and are puffed up with the pride of holding the chief seat [Matt. 23:6] and work evil deeds in secret, saying ‘No man sees us,’ shall be convicted by the Word, who does not judge after outward appearance, nor looks upon the countenance, but the heart; and they shall hear those words to be found in Daniel the prophet: ‘O you seed of Canaan and not of Judah, beauty has deceived you and lust perverted your heart’ [Dan. 13:56]. You that have grown old in wicked days, now your sins which you have committed before have come to light, for you have pronounced false judgments and have been accustomed to condemn the innocent and to let the guilty go free, although the Lord says, ‘You shall not slay the innocent and the righteous’ [Dan. 13:52, citing Ex. 23:7]” (Against Heresies 4:26:3 [A.D. 189]; Daniel 13 is not in the Protestant Bible).

“Jeremiah the prophet has pointed out that as many believers as God has prepared for this purpose, to multiply those left on the earth, should both be under the rule of the saints and to minister to this [new] Jerusalem and that [his] kingdom shall be in it, saying, ‘Look around Jerusalem toward the east and behold the joy which comes to you from God himself. Behold, your sons whom you have sent forth shall come: They shall come in a band from the east to the west. . . . God shall go before with you in the light of his splendor, with the mercy and righteousness which proceed from him’ [Bar. 4:36—5:9]” (ibid., 5:35:1; Baruch was often considered part of Jeremiah, as it is here).

As Irenaeus also said:
“But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the succession of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church, because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition” (Against Heresies 3:3:2 [A.D. 189]).

And finally, *** St. Augustine said, “The matter is settled. Rome has spoken.”


#12

[quote=Timothy888]Within 30 years that was accepted as wrong of Martin and corrected, only the apocryphal books were left out due to the fact that the early church fathers rejected them as canon, the Roman church went further from Christ by making them canon, and creating a Godess in Mary, they are ever nearer to the gnostics spoken of by Irenaeus in his’ Against heresies ’ letters, and they have knowledge of these letters, now if they wont even listen to the brother they named St Irenaeus how much less would they listen to their brother Luther, this is what tells me how far they have fallen in their Tradition which of course is vastly different to Christian Tradition, being given by one blind leader to the next, and never corrected for the good of “the church” and certainly not in obediance to Christ.In the Christian tradition there would be many bishops in Rome and no Pope, there never was one human leader until 200 years (at lest) after Christ, this Pope tradition is against Church tradition.
[/quote]

Looks like you got your hands on a really bad anti-Catholic study manual. :whistle:


#13

[quote=Rand Al’Thor] My question is this: does the protestant bible still not contain the letter of James? If it does, how in the world can they still preach “only faith”?
[/quote]

Yes, it has James.

They simply tap dance around the truth. They don’t hold to the Apostolic interpretation of scripture, but rather their own.


#14

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]Friend, you couldnt be more wrong…The church fathers USED the apocrypha, and spoke of it in their writings:

St. Augustine said, “The matter is settled. Rome has spoken.”
[/quote]

Yes Rome has spoken, and the matter may be “settled” as far as you’re concerned. However, as you point out the church fathers did speak of the Apocrypha in their writings. Let’s see what some of the other church fathers thought of the Apocryphal Books…

Origen, who is considered to be the greatest Bible scholar among the Greek Fathers, limited the accepted OT scriptures to the twenty-four books of the Hebrew canon. Although he defends the use of such books as the History of Susanna, he rejects their canonicity. Both Athanasius and Gregory of Nazianzus limited the OT canon to the books of the Hebrew tradition. Athanasius wrote in his thirty-ninth festal letter (which announced the date of Easter in 367) of his concern about the introduction of “apocryphal” works into the list of holy scripture. Although he agreed that there are other books “to be read to those who are recent converts to our company and wish to be instructed in the word of true religion,” his list of OT agrees with the Hebrew canon. Gregory of Nazianzus is known for arranging the books of the Bible in verse form for memorization. He did not include the “Apocrypha” in his list.

Tertullian accepted the entire “Septuagint plus Apocrypha” as canon, but this is not quite the boon to the Catholic position it would seem as he was willing to open the list even wider. He wanted to include 1 Enoch because of its mention in Jude. He also argued for the divine nature of the Sibylline Oracles as a parallel revelation to the Bible.

Jerome, having mastered both Greek and eventually Hebrew, realized that the only satisfactory way to translate the OT is to abandon the Septuagint and work from the original Hebrew. Eventually, he separated the Apocryphal books from the rest of the Hebrew OT saying that “Whatever falls outside these (Hebrew texts) . . . are not in the canon.” He added that the books may be read for edification, but not for ecclesiastical dogmas.

Although Augustine included the “Septuagint plus” books in his list of the canon, he didn’t know Hebrew. Jerome later convinced him of the inspired nature of the Hebrew OT, but Augustine never dropped his support for the Apocrypha. The early church Fathers were anything but unanimous in their support for the inspiration of the Apocrypha.

For further information:
F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988)
Gleason L Archer., A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1974)
Merrill F. Unger, Introductory Guide to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1970)


#15

[quote=EA_Man] The early church Fathers were anything but unanimous in their support for the inspiration of the Apocrypha.

For further information:
F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988)
Gleason L Archer., A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1974)
Merrill F. Unger, Introductory Guide to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1970)
[/quote]

Very true. However, the very fact that the OT Canon was subject to such a variation of opinions points to why the authority of the Church is such a blessing. Otherwise, we’re all left to read your references and decide for ourselves what constitutes the Bible.


#16

[quote=JohnPaul0]Very true. However, the very fact that the OT Canon was subject to such a variation of opinions points to why the authority of the Church is such a blessing. Otherwise, we’re all left to read your references and decide for ourselves what constitutes the Bible.
[/quote]

While I’m sure that not having to research this and presumably other issues must be an enormous convenience to you, maybe you could enlighten me by letting me know how many differently “constituted” Bibles are out there? I’m thinking that basically there are two. One with 66 inerrant inspired books and the other with the same 66 plus 13 others.

I wasn’t suggesting that we all need to “decide” which books belong in the Bible and which do not. However, the RCC has determined that some of the church fathers should be preferred over others on this and other issues. What is the official criteria for deciding which church fathers positions are to be adhered to on what issues? Do you know? Is there an official church teaching on how differences between church fathers are resolved?


#17

[quote=EA_Man]While I’m sure that not having to research this and presumably other issues must be an enormous convenience to you, maybe you could enlighten me by letting me know how many differently “constituted” Bibles are out there? I’m thinking that basically there are two. One with 66 inerrant inspired books and the other with the same 66 plus 13 others.

I wasn’t suggesting that we all need to “decide” which books belong in the Bible and which do not. However, the RCC has determined that some of the church fathers should be preferred over others on this and other issues. What is the official criteria for deciding which church fathers positions are to be adhered to on what issues? Do you know? Is there an official church teaching on how differences between church fathers are resolved?
[/quote]

there are 7 other books, not 13. I think the fact that when the bible was put together and the apocrypha was included should settle the matter. It was not until Martin Luther that bibles began to be printed without them…where does his authority for removing books from the Holy Bible come from?
The church policy has been councils if there is a disagreement. These councils were usually called through history to combat heresies, but I believe some were called to verify dogma. That was the sort of council called to determine what books to place in the bible. So then in the 1500s people started thinking "Oh, martin luther and john calvin must know better than people who knew Christ personally what His teachings were. Let’s disregard what the people who have a line going back to the apostles say, and go with what these two guys say. They’ve read the bible, after all; they must know what they’re talking about."
God didnt talk to luther or calvin; He talked to the apostles. And then they talked to the patriarchs who became their successors. And those patriarchs passed those same teachings along to their successors, and so on. The foremost of the apostles was Peter, and the foremost of the patriarchs was the pope, the bishop of Rome. His word on matters of doctrine, as was Peter’s, is the final word.


#18

[quote=EA_Man]While I’m sure that not having to research this and presumably other issues must be an enormous convenience to you, maybe you could enlighten me by letting me know how many differently “constituted” Bibles are out there? I’m thinking that basically there are two. One with 66 inerrant inspired books and the other with the same 66 plus 13 others. ?
[/quote]

Actually, I have done research, and I wanted to hand you the club to beat me with that the Canon of the OT, from my reading, is the least supported of any of the teachings that are found in the Catholic Church.

In fact, the Church recognizes the controversy by calling these the deuterocanonical (secondary canonical books).

As you point out, there are only two choices nowadays among Christians. So, everyone is accepting the one tradition or the other. This is an important point in and of itself. If you or I didn’t accept some tradition, we would be left deciding for ourselves which is the point I was trying to make.

Actually, the Church doesn’t decide by picking one Church Father over another. We do believe that the decisions are guided by the Holy Spirit, though informed by careful study of what the Church Fathers said.

I don’t blame you for being skeptical on this point, because there was a wide variety of opinion, much of it against the Greek OT.


#19

[quote=EA_Man][T]he RCC has determined that some of the church fathers should be preferred over others on this and other issues. What is the official criteria for deciding which church fathers positions are to be adhered to on what issues? Do you know? Is there an official church teaching on how differences between church fathers are resolved?
[/quote]

As a follow-up to how I responded earlier, here is a quote from top of the Doctrinal Index of William A. Jurgen’s The Faith of the Early Fathers. This three-volume set is helpful to see where Catholic teaching was taught in the early Church.

Anyway, here is what Jurgens writes:
“The Fathers and the early Christian Writers do not agree with each other with a precise mathematical unanimity, nor could it be expected that they would. And in any case we must stress that an isolated patristic text is in no instance to be regarded as a ‘proof’ of a particular doctrine. Dogmas are not ‘proved’ by patristic statements but by the infallible teaching instruments of the Church. The value of the Fathers and Writers is this: that in the aggregate thye demonstrate what the Church did and does yet believe and teach.”


#20

This is a great source of information. It includes Martin Luther’s early bible with the canons. Click on the part that says [/font][font=Book Antiqua]*over * to get to the articles about the Bible.

catholicapologetics.net/

About St. James “Martin Luther thought that James and Paul were irreconcilable. He said he would give his monk’s cowl to anyone who could reconcile them. In the end he concluded that James was not apostolic and he removed it to the end of his New Testament (along with Hebrews, Jude, and Revelation).”

catholicoutlook.com/apocdialog1.php?logo=dialogues

“Luther called the book of St. James an “epistle of straw”. Why? Because in the book of St. James is found the ONLY place in the Bible the phrase “faith alone”. James said (James 2:24) that “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” This did not fit Luther’s opinion so he wanted to rip out the book of St. James.”

“This profound arrogance and pride of Luther is second to only the arrogance and pride of Satan. The riff in the Church caused by this arrogant and most likely demonized man pleased Satan to no end. We are still reaping the evil effects of the rebellion.”
“Today, many Protestants maintain this same arrogance and self-proclaimed authority (albeit the Bible’s admonition that no Scripture is to be privately interpreted (i.e… 2 Peter 1:20).”

saint-mike.org/apologetics/qa/Answers/Defending_Faith/p0305200040.html

HOW CAN LUTHERANS JUSTIFY THIS? "When Luther was confronted with why he added the word ‘alone’ to the passage in Romans 3:28 in his German translation he admitted that the word ‘alone’ was not in the original Greek or Latin and he advised people to respond to this criticism with “say right out to them: ‘Dr. Martin Luther will have it so.’ He went on to say, ‘I will have it so, I order it to be so, and my will is reason enough.’”


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