SPLIT: Through whom did the Spirit work in order to give us the biblical canon?


#1

Hello, everyone. I’m fulloffaith. I would just like to ask Atemi through whom she believes the Spirit worked in order to give us the biblical canon?

Thank you.


#2

Hello,

I am a he, by the by.

As to whom the Spirit worked through in order to give “us” the biblical canon…which canon?

There are about 85 different canons out there.

In any event, that is off topic regardless.


#3

A worthy topic. Split to allow discussion.
MF


#4

Generally, I would say that God worked through church leaders of the day to confirm in them which writings were valid. This would be what I choose to call the Apostolic Church. There is not likely much argument on this point I’d think.

The question it all seems to be leading to is whether or not that church is the RCC we see today.


#5

Considering that those church leaders of the day affirmed in every case the inspiration of the Deuterocanonicals, I think the least one could say is that the Apostolic Church is not found in the vast array of Protestant denominations, all of which reject the inspiration of those Deuterocanonicals.


#6

Let’s back up. Is it your position that the African synods infallibly determined the canon or are you talking about Trent?
:confused:


#7

My position is that at no time did an authoritative determination of the canon (either by Council or Pope) come up with the Protestant canon. Recognition of the Protestant canon simply cannot be found in the Church at any point in her history.


#8

Methodists are the brothers, some would argue distant cousins, :smiley: of the Anglicans and thus we have the 39 articles that does exactly what you said has not been done :confused:
BH


#9

As to whom the Spirit worked through in order to give “us” the biblical canon…which canon?

The Synod of Hippo listed the New Testament books AT THE SAME TIME the whole of the Old Testament were canonized, but this was only part of a process.

There are about 85 different canons out there.

No, there was only one. A new “canon” was invented by ommitting books that disagreed with reformist opinions.

In any event, that is off topic regardless.

No, the topic is who did the Spirit work through to give us the Bible. You would agree that the Bible did not fall from the sky. We both agree that the Bible came from God. But to whom did God give the Bible to?

The only way to escape the truth that the bishops of the Catholic Church proved inspiration and compiled the holy books is to formulate false theories that fit an agenda.
“Independent churches made copies and circulated scripture and the Holy Spirit told each individual Christian which books were inspired and they grew into a book.” This theory is contrary to the evidence, totally impractical without a centralized authority, and is anti-biblical.

Back to the Council of Hippo. It took the Church over 3 centuries and 4 councils to develop the Bible. It was a long and complicated process. I use Hippo as a frame of reference to avoid 5 miles of posts.

Besides the canonical Scriptures, nothing shall be read in the church under the title of divine writings. The canonical books are:—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, the four books of Kings , the two books of Chronicles, Job, the Psalms of David, the five books of Solomon , the twelve books of the Prophets , Isaiah, Jeremiah [including Baruch], Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobit, Judith, Esther, two books of Esdras , two books of the Maccabees. The books of the New Testament are:—the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, thirteen Epistles of S. Paul, one Epistle of S. Paul to the Hebrews, two Epistles of S. Peter, three Epistles of S. John, the Epistle of S. James, the Epistle of S. Jude, the Revelation of S. John. Concerning the confirmation of this canon, the transmarine Church * shall be consulted*
Synod of Hippo, Canon 29, A.D. 393

“Besides the canonical Scriptures, nothing shall be read in the church under the title of divine writings…”

That means that if it is called a divine writing, it must be from the approved list to be READ IN THE CHURCH. The main reason they put the holy books together into a Bible was so that the Church would know for sure what could legitimately be read as divine writings IN THE CHURCH. That means any formal public liturgy. Simply put, they had to know what could legitimately be proclaimed as inspired during Mass and other liturgies. Individual ownership of copies of the Bible was totally unthinkable at this time.

The bishops did not prophecy the invention of the printing press 1200 years into the future when each member of a European bourgeois class could possess a copy.


#10

Was I not clear? I am saying that at no time before the Protestant Reformation did the Church authoritatively accept the Protestant canon as the correct canon. And of course, neither at any point after the Reformation did the Catholic or Orthodox Churches accept it. So the Protestant canon has never had the authority of the early Church to support it.


#11

Well. to me you were not;)
Protestants do not appeal to local African synods. That is correct.


#12

Then to what authoritative early Church bodies/judgements do they appeal to justify their canon over a canon which was pronounced by authoritative early Church bodies?


#13

They do not appeal to an earlier church ruling.
Have you read the Articles?


#14

The dilemna that some Protestants face is whether or not the Holy Spirit superintended the Catholic Church in the compilaton of the holy books into the Bible as we know it today.

To accept the bible as inspired but reject the authority of the Church to compile it is an absurdity.

There were two main criteria for accepting a book as inspired.

  1. it had to be in line with Apostolic Teaching
  2. it had to be universally accepted.

There are others. It was serious business and it would have been impossible to accomplish without the Holy Spirit guiding the Church. So here is a question:

How were the bishops at Hippo and Carthage able to determine the correct canon of Scripture, in spite of the fact that they believed all the distinctively Catholic doctrines such as the apostolic succession of bishops, the sacrifice of the Mass, Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist, baptismal regeneration, etc?
A) the Whore of Babylon compiled the bible as a means of deception
B) writings of the Early Church Fathers of the 1st and 2nd and 3rd centuries, confirm these doctrines as originally from the Apostles
C) an inspired book can come from a false church


#15

How were the bishops at Hippo and Carthage able to determine the correct canon of Scripture,

But Catholic doctrine does not hold that local synods are infallible, for example when northern African bishops at Carthage said that Rome could not interfere…?
How can one say they “determined the canon” when others before them had stated it in the form?


#16

Which means that they would have no more (comparable) standing in your eyes than the the councils of Hippo and Carthage wouldn’t it?

What you seem to be missing here is that these councils all agreed as to what was the inspired canon, and there though there was some discussion over time, there was never any opposition to the 73 book canon that Catholics have always had.

The Council of Trent only dogmatically defined it when the reformers erred in attacking it as they did. The canon that we have today was not added to, but was actually dogmatically affirmed as something that the church had always held and that the Reformation departed from.


#17

You’re insinuating that because there is difference on this one point, that Protestantism is completely different from the Apostolic Church and post-Apostolic Church. This simply isn’t a tenable position.

That’s like me saying that because of X thing in Roman Catholicism, it’s a completely different belief system than the Apostolic Church. If you accept the former, you must admit to the latter.

I hold that it is possible to be wrong on a few things, without missing the majority of importance in Jesus’ message.

Generally, yes, though most of the formalization of the books of the Old Testament was established well before then via the Septuagint. One might say the RCC has chosen to omit some books as well.

I believe the main concern with the early councils was to try to establish which works of newer origin were considered divinely inspired, in order to try to keep heresy out of the young church. This happened over the course of several centuries.

The only way to escape the truth that the bishops of the Catholic Church proved inspiration and compiled the holy books is to formulate false theories that fit an agenda.

I find this statement rather biased, because you seem not to have accepted the possibility of the RCC having gone astray from the doctrinal positions of the early church.

“Independent churches made copies and circulated scripture and the Holy Spirit told each individual Christian which books were inspired and they grew into a book.”

We do know that the early churches did indeed make copies of the letters of Paul, and the gospels. Lists were compiled recommending these to be read in churches. The lists varied a little, but a lot had been established as a solid foundation well before Hippo, Carthage, et al. A gradual development does seem to fit here.

I use Hippo as a frame of reference to avoid 5 miles of posts.

Perhaps you’d like to provide the 5 miles of posts? I mean, it might help us to understand your position a bit better.

Besides the canonical Scriptures, nothing shall be read in the church under the title of divine writings. The canonical books are:—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, the four books of Kings , the two books of Chronicles, Job, the Psalms of David, the five books of Solomon , the twelve books of the Prophets , Isaiah, Jeremiah [including Baruch], Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobit, Judith, Esther, two books of Esdras , two books of the Maccabees. The books of the New Testament are:—the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, thirteen Epistles of S. Paul, one Epistle of S. Paul to the Hebrews, two Epistles of S. Peter, three Epistles of S. John, the Epistle of S. James, the Epistle of S. Jude, the Revelation of S. John. Concerning the confirmation of this canon, the transmarine Church * shall be consulted*
Synod of Hippo, Canon 29, A.D. 393
Notice what this does not say. It doesn’t say that all of these volumes are required to be read. It only says that nothing outside of these may be considered canon. It also doesn’t say that the “transmarine church” (don’t capitalize inappropriately, please) shall be the deciding authority, but rather that it shall be consulted.

And, I’d really appreciate it if you can provide more information on what exactly the “transmarine church” is.

Continued…


#18

If the Reformation was right (a point we obviously disagree on), then what the RCC says after that doesn’t matter. If it’s wrong…who cares what Protestants do?

Previously to the Protestant Reformation, every single volume present in protestant Bibles was considered canon, was it not? Even now, everything in my Bible is considered canon by you, right?

Tell me, would it make a difference if I said that I accepted the apocryphal books as divinely inspired?

Perhaps, but I know very few Protestants who believe that the early church did a bad job in assembling canon. What they usually disagree with is whether or not that church was the RCC.

There were two main criteria for accepting a book as inspired.

  1. it had to be in line with Apostolic Teaching
  2. it had to be universally accepted.

Premise 2 is false, for no book used in the church was without its detractors. Heretics certainly denounced most of scripture, I’m sure. As for being in line with apostolic teaching, it seems to me that we should try to understand which teachings were not in line that caused some books to be rejected.

How were the bishops at Hippo and Carthage able to determine the correct canon of Scripture, in spite of the fact that they believed all the distinctively Catholic doctrines such as the apostolic succession of bishops, the sacrifice of the Mass, Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist, baptismal regeneration, etc?

Care to provide evidence that they all believed in this way?

As for the solution, a very obvious answer is…

D. The Roman Catholic Church is not representative of the church which established such canons.


#19

It would make no difference to me, personally, but I think it would make a difference to you, because then you would have to find a Church that reads these books out at least sometimes during its Liturgy. In your neighborhood and immediate surroundings (meaning, what you can easily drive to) is most likely to be a Catholic Church.

Perhaps, but I know very few Protestants who believe that the early church did a bad job in assembling canon. What they usually disagree with is whether or not that church was the RCC.

Once you say that, then you have to explain, first of all, where the RCC actually came from (no one from that viewpoint seems to agree on this), and secondly, what happened to the Church that compiled the canon of the Scriptures? Where is it, today?


#20

As to the first point, all I’d need to find is a group of believers which I’m in-sync with doctrinally. I realize that’s difficult, but I certainly don’t care whether or not they use every book of the Bible in liturgy. For that matter, I object to the use of formalized liturgy.

As to the second, I’ve previously explained that the RCC can be explained as a gradual divergence among Christian believers away from the truth of God. The split between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism is explained in much the same way.


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