protoevangelium of James

I have read that the proto of James cannot be proven to be correct. Is it considered part of the “deposit of faith”? If not then what is?

It is not part of the deposit of the faith, although some in the Church have used parts of it for different things over the years… It was written sometime in the second century by an unknown person who claimed to be the brother of Jesus. It concerned itself primarily with the birth and young years and life of Mary and makes some incredible claims about her and her upbringing. Very incredible indeed:thumbsup:

It was very popular but due to when it was written and the false claims made by the author as to his own identity, it was never seriously considered for inclusion in the modern canon of scripture. It did however appear in a number of earlier compilations of Gospels, Epistles etc.

An entertaining book, but nothing more.

It is not part of the deposit of faith.
It was not written by any of the Church Fathers.
It is not considered by the Church to be an inspired writing, albeit it is interesting.

What exactly is the deposit of faith anyway?

I copied this from an old thread.

The Deposit of Faith: The Deposit of Faith is the body of doctrines handed down from Jesus to the Apostles, from the Apostles to their successors, and so forth to our times. The Deposit of Faith contains the complete body of doctrines that make up the Catholic Faith. Nothing new can be added that is not at least implicitly contained within the Deposit of Faith, and nothing can be taken away, for public revelation ceased with the death of the last apostle. The means by which the Deposit of Faith has been passed down to us is through the written word of God, as contained in the New Testament, and the unwritten word of God, handed down orally by the Apostles. The written word of God – the Holy Bible - exhorts us to hold fast to both the written and unwritten Traditions we have received – “therefore, brethren, hold fast to the traditions which you have received, whether by word or by epistle” (2 Thess. 2:14). Holding fast to both the written and unwritten Traditions is necessary to preserve the integrity of the Gospel.

“Of the dogmas and messages preserved in the Church” writes Basil the Great in A.D. 375 “some we possess from written teaching and others we receive from the Tradition of the Apostles, handed on to us in mystery. In respect to piety, both are of the same force. No one will contradict any of these, no one, at any rate, who is even moderately versed in matters ecclesiastical. Indeed, were we to try to reject unwritten customs as having no great authority, we would unwittingly injure the Gospel in its vitals…” (Basil the Great - The Holy Spirit 27:66).

The Deposit of Faith consists of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.

Isn’t the teaching that Joseph’s rod budded part of tradition? So then that would be part of the deposit of faith? I’ve also heard a story that when John the Apostle was old they would carry him into the church and he would say “love one another”.

It is not part of the Deposit of Faith because it is tradition with a small “t” which is not Sacred Tradition.
Sacred Tradition (with a capital “T”) is Apostolic Tradition and is part of the deposit of faith.

What is “apostolic Tradition” ?

Haven’t you read The Catechism of the Catholic Church? That contains a summary of Church teachings.


CCC 75 “Christ the Lord, in whom the entire Revelation of the most high God is summed up, commanded the apostles to preach the Gospel, which had been promised beforehand by the prophets, and which he fulfilled in his own person and promulgated with his own lips. In preaching the Gospel, they were to communicate the gifts of God to all men. This Gospel was to be the source of all saving truth and moral discipline.”

In the apostolic preaching. . .

CCC 76 In keeping with the Lord’s command, the Gospel was handed on in two ways:

  • orally “by the apostles who handed on, by the spoken word of their preaching, by the example they gave, by the institutions they established, what they themselves had received - whether from the lips of Christ, from his way of life and his works, or whether they had learned it at the prompting of the Holy Spirit”;

  • in writing “by those apostles and other men associated with the apostles who, under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit, committed the message of salvation to writing”.

. . . continued in apostolic succession

CCC 77 "In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority."Indeed, “the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time.”

CCC 78 This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it is distinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, “the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes.” “The sayings of the holy Fathers are a witness to the life-giving presence of this Tradition, showing how its riches are poured out in the practice and life of the Church, in her belief and her prayer.”

CCC 79 The Father’s self-communication made through his Word in the Holy Spirit, remains present and active in the Church: “God, who spoke in the past, continues to converse with the Spouse of his beloved Son. And the Holy Spirit, through whom the living voice of the Gospel rings out in the Church - and through her in the world - leads believers to the full truth, and makes the Word of Christ dwell in them in all its richness.”

Not in its entirety no. I try to live by what is commonly known. I did not know this.

What I mean is if you have a CCC then you just look up apostolic tradition in the index.
If you don’t have one then here is a link to a free online CCC.

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