SPLIT: Doesn't the Old Testament predate the Catholic Church?


First a disclaimer, this is getting so totally off topic, please start a new thread.

Actually no, it doesn’t. All of writings, of what we now know as the “Old Testament” were, in fact, in circulation and use prior to the institution of His Church, but they were not agreed upon by any Jewish authority. The Palestinian tradition of Jews followed, and taught, from a different collection than the Alexandrian (Septuagint) tradition. There was no “Old Testament” until there was a “New Testament”. The Jews don’t recognize the Christian New Testament as Scripture, and the Jews didn’t “establish” their cannon, or create their “OT” until (around 70 a.d.) after the Catholic Church was established. It should be noted that the Catholic Church did NOT add any books to the Jewish Scriptures. The Catholic Church, and all of Christianity for the first 1500 years, followed the Alexandrian tradition, Septuagint. One reason the Jews rejected the deutrocannon is because it so apparently points to Jesus of Nazareth, as the Messiah. During the reformation, the fathers of the reformation chose to accept the tradition of those who rejected Jesus as the Messiah, the Palestinian tradition, rather than the Alexandrian tradition. Please read both, it is clear that Jesus taught from the Alexandrian tradition, several of His quotes are not found in the Hebrew but only in the Greek translations. Why the protestors use the Jewish cannon, which denies the divinity of Jesus, and reject the Christian tradition, which clearly points to Jesus, baffles me except that the Christian tradition points to many “Catholic” teachings such as praying to and for the dead, purgatory, the resurrection, which the reformers (and the Jewish leaders) disagreed with.


Good question. I know catholics claim its the catholic church but when we look for the infallible interpretation of the scriptures, its not there. Your church can claim to have this authority to be the only one to interpret scripture but it has never done so. Catholics are in the same boat as Protestants.

Pray and fast for conversion of James White
Why is it wrong to love Mary? -2
Guidance on Sacred Tradition

Your last sentence does not follow. The church is made up of people who are fallen and can error. Sometimes they can get it right and sometimes not.

It only doesn’t follow if you ignore what preceded it. If the Church that gave us the Bible can err then the Bible can err. No matter how hard you want to fight it. The Church preceded the Bible and Her doctrines were taught before there was a Bible. The Bible is an extension of the Church not vice versa. The Bible DOSE NOT define what constitutes the Canon. The Church did that. If the Church that said these are books of the Canon can err in matters of the Faith then it could have erred when designating the books of the Canon.

This is true since the church is made up of fallen men and women. Each doctrine and paractice must stand own.

And it does. As promised by Our Lord (Mat. 16:18-19) and further testified too by the St. Paul (1 Tim 3:15).

That is correct. It is only the scriptures that are infallible and inerrant. Not the church

Wrong. Without the Church there is no Bible. You ready to drop the New Testament and accept the seven books that you currently don’t accept?

The church does not make the Bible infallible or inerrant. They are inerrant-inspired in and of themselves because they have their source in God and not the church. The church only discovered what God had already inspired.

So the Bible that you currently hold was a preexisting volume that already had all the books and chapters supplied with a working table of contents and both Testaments that fell from the sky and the Church Fathers simply found the crash site and said: “Oh wow here’s the Bible! We’ve been doing it wrong for 300 years!” No, the Church looked over the many, many available books and knew based on what was already held what was Scripture and what was not.

The church has always had the scriptures but had chosen to introduce the doctrines of men instead.

No the Church has always had the Septuagint. Over the course of the next century it gained New Testament, The Apocrypha and the many other Texts. As to the rest the burden is on you prove it. You might be the first in 5 centuries.

Is it not true that the catholic church has never infallibly defined all the verses of the Bible? If your church has this authority, where is this infallible interpretation of all the verses of the Bible? There is no one in the catholic church that can claim to be the final authority on the interpretation of scripture because of this.

LOL, I’m not sure what the above really has to do with anything. Not all verses in the Bible need individual attention. Now if someone comes along and starts to interpret a passage as something completely off the wall then yes the Church would step in to correct the erroneous interpretation. For the most part the Church assumes correct understanding. This is as it has always been.

The Church assumed correct belief in the Trinity until many Christian displayed an incorrect understanding of God. Then the Church called together a council and stated the correct interpretation. Now using your reasoning above does this mean that we should now discount the Trinity since it was a belief that took several centuries before formal definition?

Also the Bible is understood as whole not as collection of stand alone verses.

Good question. I know catholics claim its the catholic church but when we look for the infallible interpretation of the scriptures, its not there. Your church can claim to have this authority to be the only one to interpret scripture but it has never done so. Catholics are in the same boat as Protestants.

Except that Christ stated otherwise (Mat. 16:18-19) and St. Paul re-affirmed (1 Tim 3:15). If you think these verse are in error then it is up to you show how that Church has fallen away from its function.


Tradition can be misleading? So can the Bible.
Tradition can be misleading? So can the Bible.

Excellent response. Now, are the leaders of your particular denomination directly descended from the Apostles? IOW, have they maintained an unbroken line of Apostolic Succession from Peter and the other Apostles all the way down to the Bishops of this present day?

Ours has.

Jesus founded one Church. The Catholic Church is it.

Plain and simple.

It is from the scriptures that the church derives its authoirty.

Really? Then what authority did the Church have for the first three years or so before the books of the Bible were formally canonized?

The Church received its authority directly from Jesus; later, the Church wrote the Bible under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

John 20:21-23
Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

How did the Father send Jesus?
With all authority.
How did Jesus send the Apostles?
“Just as the Father has sent me.” With authority.

In regards to the canon, the church discovered what the canon was by testing which books belonged in the canon. This was a complex process.

You’re right. The Church did this.

Was it the Baptist Church? The Methodist Church? The Church of God in Christ?

Nope. There was one Church - the Catholic Church. You are aware that the Church was called “Catholic” as early as 110 AD?

This is true. It could have erred. So long as humans are invovlved in the process that is always a possiblity.

If this is true, then your Bible cannot be the sole infallible rule of faith for the beleiver that Protestants claim it to be. Wow. That was easy.

Not so. The OT was already in existence before there was the church. God used the church to bring all the inspired books and letters of the NT together. Those works were already inspired-inerrant before they were put together in what we call the canon.

Who wrote the NT? Pagans? Nope. Members of the Church - the Catholic Church.

No. There are good reasons to reject those books as being inspired-inerrant. Even Jerome did not accept their canonicity until he was forced to. Even in the catholic church itself there were many that felt it should not be in canon.

I understand this is what you have been told all your life. Time to start reading. Gary Michuta’s Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger is hot off the presses and should clear up any misconceptions about why Protestants rejected some of the “God-Breathed” books.

No. The canon of scriptures was not made in this way.

Correct. The Bible was inspired by God, written by men and canonized by the Church. The Church did not make any book scripture by declaring it to be so; this is a common straw-man. The Church recognized which books were inspired and which were not, and formalized the canon.

Again, the Catholic Church gave the Bible to the world.

Wrote it, recognized it, copied it, preserved it, protected it from truncation, promoted it, interpreted it…

Hope this helps. :tiphat:


Let’s be precise.

  1. The Holy Spirit inspired the men who wrote the books and letters of the New Testament.

  2. These authors were members of what was referenced in writing as early as 107 A.D. as the Catholic Church - a fact which indicates that it was known by that name probably during the lifetime of John the Apostle.

  3. After carefully and prayerfully considering all of the available books and letters that were in circulation in the first three centuries under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Catholic Church infallibly recognized and canonized those books that were and are to be held as “God-breathed” scripture.

  4. When Martin Luther attempted to remove certain books from his German edition of the Bible, his course of action was stayed in part by his own associates in recognition of the fact that the canon established by the Catholic Church was without error.

  5. No Christian denomination today accepts any canon of the New Testament other than that which was infallibly established by the Catholic Church.

Therefore, it is rightly said that the Catholic Church wrote, canonized and preserved the Bible from Apostolic times to our own present day under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. To claim anything else is to be ignorant of history or willfully in error.

Finally, the existence of a Catholic Church led by the Spirit of God has significant implications for those who seek to deny her primacy and authority.

Hope this helps. :tiphat:


Absolutely NOT. It is from God, Jesus Himself gives the Church His authority.


Only if Jesus lied! Jesus Himself guaranteed the Catholic Church leadership that they would be led to all truth. If the Church leadership could err in terms of its’ official teachings about Scripture or Christian morals, then Jesus lied. Did He? “Luke 10,16 He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me.” Can He say this if the Church leadership can teach in err?


[nitpick] The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has no explicit NT canon and often includes, in addition to the 27 books of the Catholic canon, the Shepherd of Hermas, and varying other books, numbering a total of up to 35.[/nitpick]


I stand corrected.

Is this forum great or what? :stuck_out_tongue:


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