The Bible

Hello,
Please help!
I am not knowledgable enough to rebute this information passed along to me by a “born again” Christian.
This is the e-mail I received:
I thought this link may be helpful in explaining the 66 vs. 73 books in the bible.[font=Arial]nm.essortment.com/apocryphacanon_rwvk.htm[/font]
[font=Arial] [/font][font=Arial]Actually, I just finished doing some research on the canonization of the bible (Council at Nicea called by Emperor Constantine), where the purpose was to come up with a standard as there were Agnostic teachings and teachings that Christ was not a deity or God and other pagan teachings being taught.[/font]
[font=Arial][/font][font=Arial]The first council of the apostles is recorded in Acts 15. The next one was in 325 (in Nicea), called by Emperor Constantine to promote unity. It is interesting to note that this council did not decide which books were in the bible, but mainly the standard by which all the letters and books (writings) being read throughout the churches and in homes were to be measured or the standard for whether it is heretical or not. The Nicene Creed resulted. It is also interesting to note there was no one universal head of the church (i.e., the Roman church, which is widely believed incorrectly (by myself included)) – see below.[/font]
[font=Arial][/font]CANON #6
While the creed of the council was its central achievement, it was not the only thing that the bishops accomplished during their meeting. Twenty canons were presented dealing with various disciplinary issues within the church. Of most interest to us today was the sixth, which read as follows:

Let the ancient customs in Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis prevail, that the Bishop of Alexandria have jurisdiction in all these, since the like is customary for the Bishop of Rome also. Likewise in Antioch and the other provinces, let the Churches retain their privileges.20

This canon is significant because it demonstrates that at this time there was no concept of a single universal head of the church with jurisdiction over everyone else. While later Roman bishops would claim such authority, resulting in the development of the papacy, at this time no Christian looked to one individual, or church, as the final authority. This is important because often we hear it alleged that the Trinity, or the Nicene definition of the deity of Christ, is a “Roman Catholic” concept “forced” on the church by the pope. The simple fact of the matter is, when the bishops gathered at Nicea they did not acknowledge the bishop of Rome as anything more than the leader of the most influential church in the West.21

The New Testament canon was developed later by regional councils (Hippo in 393 and Carthage in 397). Although the writings were already widely accepted. The Roman Catholics added the additional 7 books in 1546 at the council of Trent. I have read the Wisdom of Solomon and the overviews of Tobit and Judith, but not the rest.

Hello,
Please help!
I am not knowledgable enough to rebute this information passed along to me by a “born again” Christian.
This is the e-mail I received:
I thought this link may be helpful in explaining the 66 vs. 73 books in the bible.[font=Arial]nm.essortment.com/apocryphacanon_rwvk.htm[/font]
[font=Arial][/font][font=Arial]Actually, I just finished doing some research on the canonization of the bible (Council at Nicea called by Emperor Constantine), where the purpose was to come up with a standard as there were Agnostic teachings and teachings that Christ was not a deity or God and other pagan teachings being taught.[/font]
[font=Arial][/font][font=Arial]The first council of the apostles is recorded in Acts 15. The next one was in 325 (in Nicea), called by Emperor Constantine to promote unity. It is interesting to note that this council did not decide which books were in the bible, but mainly the standard by which all the letters and books (writings) being read throughout the churches and in homes were to be measured or the standard for whether it is heretical or not. The Nicene Creed resulted. It is also interesting to note there was no one universal head of the church (i.e., the Roman church, which is widely believed incorrectly (by myself included)) – see below.[/font]
[font=Arial][/font]CANON #6
While the creed of the council was its central achievement, it was not the only thing that the bishops accomplished during their meeting. Twenty canons were presented dealing with various disciplinary issues within the church. Of most interest to us today was the sixth, which read as follows:

Let the ancient customs in Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis prevail, that the Bishop of Alexandria have jurisdiction in all these, since the like is customary for the Bishop of Rome also. Likewise in Antioch and the other provinces, let the Churches retain their privileges.20

This canon is significant because it demonstrates that at this time there was no concept of a single universal head of the church with jurisdiction over everyone else. While later Roman bishops would claim such authority, resulting in the development of the papacy, at this time no Christian looked to one individual, or church, as the final authority. This is important because often we hear it alleged that the Trinity, or the Nicene definition of the deity of Christ, is a “Roman Catholic” concept “forced” on the church by the pope. The simple fact of the matter is, when the bishops gathered at Nicea they did not acknowledge the bishop of Rome as anything more than the leader of the most influential church in the West.21

The New Testament canon was developed later by regional councils (Hippo in 393 and Carthage in 397). Although the writings were already widely accepted. The Roman Catholics added the additional 7 books in 1546 at the council of Trent. I have read the Wisdom of Solomon and the overviews of Tobit and Judith, but not the rest.

Hello,

I’m sorry. This tread was supposed to be posted in the Apologetics forum.
But, any helpful replies would be appreciated to.
Thank you!

Since it is the Old Testament Canon that is in question, not the New, I recommend you read the following article.

catholic.com/library/Old_Testament_Canon.asp

In a discussion with a Protestant friend who disputes the “extra” books as Cannonical, he states that “None of these books claim to be inspired by God. In fact, the author of 2 Maccabees admits that this book is merely an abridgement of another man’s work (2Mac2:23)” My friend does not think that a book inspired by God would be “Cliff Notes” from another man’s more detailed work.

Do all the other books of the bible “claim to be inspired by God”? I don’t think this is sufficient “proof” that they are. Otherwise, I could write a book myself and proclaim divine inspiration.

How can I respond to this?

[quote=ernie5349]In a discussion with a Protestant friend who disputes the “extra” books as Cannonical, he states that “None of these books claim to be inspired by God. In fact, the author of 2 Maccabees admits that this book is merely an abridgement of another man’s work (2Mac2:23)” My friend does not think that a book inspired by God would be “Cliff Notes” from another man’s more detailed work.

Do all the other books of the bible “claim to be inspired by God”? I don’t think this is sufficient “proof” that they are. Otherwise, I could write a book myself and proclaim divine inspiration.

How can I respond to this?
[/quote]

Easy, if God was moving the pen that was in the inspired writer’s hands, why doesn’t Paul know who he baptized in Corinth? (I did baptize also the household of Steph’anas. Beyond that, **I do not know whether I baptized any one else. ** 1 Cor 1:16). Additionally, there are no books which explicitly claim inspiration.

[quote=Apologia100]Easy, if God was moving the pen that was in the inspired writer’s hands, why doesn’t Paul know who he baptized in Corinth? (I did baptize also the household of Steph’anas. Beyond that, **I do not know whether I baptized any one else. **1 Cor 1:16). Additionally, there are no books which explicitly claim inspiration.
[/quote]

Well I am going to nit pick sorry.:stuck_out_tongue:
Actually the book of Revelation claims to be inspired. But that’s about it. Considering that book was unregnized until the fourth century as being canonical that goes to show how much weight was thrown to a book that claimed to be inspired. Heck the Book of Mormon, the gnostic gospels, The Quaran and many other books claim to be inspired it a non issue. Your right though some books that are deemed canonical are not written as directly from the clould of heaven there are moments of doubt in the book of Ecclesiastes, and Corinthians. Philemon sure isn’t awe inspiring it appears to condone slavery of all things how is this book canonical? Any mere one human could tear apart the canon by his own subjective interpretation of what is inspired in fact Luther did that not only with the dueteros but to Hebrew, James, Jude and Revleation which he deemed non canonical.
Trust the church not a friend or another man’s opinion like Luther. They were not given the authority of Peter and the apostolic church.

[quote=KLDAVIS]Hello,
Please help!
I am not knowledgable enough to rebute this information passed along to me by a “born again” Christian.

[/quote]

Forgive me because it’s late and I don’t have a lot of time to go into detail but let me give you a couple little quite snippets.

  1. Your friend is making an incorrect assumption that after the Council of Nicea there is no other mention of the Canon until Trent. The Canon was finalized at the Council of Carthage around the year 400 which you can read about briefly at the following address of the Catholic Encyclopedia (newadvent.org/cathen/03267a.htm “The Synod of Hippo (393) and the three of Carthage (393, 397, and 419), in which, doubtless, Augustine was the leading spirit, found it necessary to deal explicitly with the question of the Canon, and drew up identical lists from which no sacred books are excluded.”) Also there is the Muratonian fragment which dates to an even earlier period which has the same books as the Catholic bible.

  2. He fails to understand how Councils work. They take up the task of defining an issue when it has been called into question by HERESY. The reason the most profound proclamation of the Canon is made at the Council of Trent (though as I showed it was finalized ~ the year 400) is because the 73 books were UNIVERSALLY ACCEPTED by Christianity until Martin Luther CUT OUT the 7 books he didn’t like. Why else would he himself exclude them saying “I can not find God in these books.” He also dropped Revelation, James and a couple of New Testament books, but fortunately he was eventually convinced to put them back in. So it was not Catholics who added, but Protestants who eliminated books from the Canon.

Hope this helps,
God Bless

A Chart exists at St Charles Borromeo showing:

  1. Writings which the Catholic Church decided to be the “Canon” of Scripture of the New Testament.

  2. Writings (existing today) which the Church decided would NOT be included in the “Canon”

  3. Writings (no longer in existence) which the Church decided would NOT be included in the “Canon”

The earliest Christian Bibles in Greek still in existance are the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus which date to the mid A.D. 300s and Codex Alexandrinus which dates to early A.D. 400s. They each contain most, if not all, of the deuterocanonical books (Tobit, Judith, 1 & 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, and Baruch):

Codex Sinaiticus has Tobit, Judith, 1 & 4 Maccabees, Wisdom and Sirach.

Codex Vaticanus has Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach, and Baruch.

Codex Alexandrinus has Tobit, Judith, 1, 2, 3 & 4 Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, and Baruch.

The fact that these books were included in the earliest extant Christian Bibles should count for something. Don’t you think?

These are excerpts from reading material Q&A

You claim, of course, that the Pope is supreme head of this organised hierarchy. Yet urns it not the Emperor Phocas who first gave the Pope his title and universal jurisdiction? History records this as having happened in 607 A.D.

It does not. It records that, at the request of the Pope, the Emperor made it illegal for any other Bishop to usurp the title which had always belonged to the Bishop of Rome. To forbid others to take a title which has ever been the rightful possession of one is not to confer the title upon that one. And if the Pope did not possess universal jurisdiction until 607, how could St. Clement, third successor of St Peter as Bishop of Rome, write to the Christians at Corinth, “If any disobey the words spoken by God through us, let them know that they will entangle themselves in transgression and no small danger, but we shall be clear of this sin.” Thus the fourth Pope demanded obedience under pain of sin from Christians living abroad. Again, how could St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons in Gaul, and who died in the year 202, say that all churches were subject to, and must agree with the Church at Rome, because St. Peter had founded the Church there, and the Bishops of that city were his lawful successors, beginning with Linus? Irenaeus died over 400 years before the date you give. The Council of Ephesus in 431, embracing all Bishops and not even held at Rome, decreed, “No one can doubt, indeed it is known to all ages, that Peter, Prince and Head of the Apostles and Foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from Christ our Redeemer, and that to this day and always he lives in his successors exercising judgment.” This was 176 years earlier than the date you give.

Does Scripture show that Peter was even aware of or openly claimed supreme power?

Since none of the Apostles disputed it, St. Peter had no need to insist upon it. All knew that Christ had said to him, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.” Matt. XVI., 18. And again, “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and do thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.” Lk. XXII., 32. They knew, too, that Christ’s commission to St. Peter to feed both the lambs and the sheep of the flock included themselves. Jn. XXL, 15-17. Implicitly St. Peter claimed his right by being the first to announce the Gospel after Pentecost, by conducting the election of Matthias as an Apostle in place of Judas, by presiding at the Council of Jerusalem, etc. St. Paul wrote to the Galatians L, 18, that he went to Jerusalem to see Peter, and stayed there fifteen days with him. Why to Peter rather than to any other of the Apostles? And why does he add that, having gone to Jerusalem, he also saw James? He does not say that he went to see such Apostles as were at Jerusalem, or that he went to see James, and also happened to see Peter whilst there.

Yet did not James preside at the Council of Jerusalem, although Peter was present?

He did not. St. Peter presided. Acts XV., 7, says, “After much disputing Peter rose up and said”; he then solved the question. Verse 12 tells us that after Peter had spoken all held their peace. James then spoke in support of Peter’3 decision, as much as to say, “Peter is right. I too think that the Gentiles should not be disquieted.” St. Jerome remarks, concerning this incident, “The whole multitude held their peace, and James the Apostle together with all the priests passed over to the judgment of Peter. . . . Peter was the prime mover in issuing the decree.” St. John Chrysostom wrote, “See the care of the teacher towards his subjects! He has the first authority in the discussion because to him all were committed.”

But if all this he so, why did Paul boast that he resisted Peter to the face?

St. Peter was supreme head of the Church and infallible in his doctrinal teaching, but it does not follow that he would not be indiscreet in some act of administration. Now no doctrinal error was involved in this particular case. St. Peter indiscreetly ceased to eat with the Gentiles because of the presence of some Jews. But to cease from doing a lawful thing for fear lest others be scandalized is not a matter of doctrine. It is a question of prudence or imprudence. St. Paul did not act as if he were St. Peter’s superior. Nor did he boast. To show the urgency of the matter, he practically said, “I had to resist even Peter—to whom chief authority belongs.” And his words derive their full significance only from the fact that St. Peter was head of the Apostles. St. Cyprian, who lived in the third century, knew of this passage and certainly understood Christianity. Yet he did not perceive any objection against St. Peter’s supremacy in this case. He writes, “Peter, whom the Lord chose to be first and upon whom He built His Church, did not proudly assert the primacy he possessed, nor despise Paul who had once been a persecutor of the Church; but he accepted meekly, giving us an example of patience.” St. Hilary, in the fifth century, says, “Both Paul and Peter are to be admired; Paul because he did not fear to point out the right practice to his superior; Peter because, knowing that all acknowledged his primacy, he had too much humility to resent any reproach offered to himself.”

Christ said, “Upon this rock,” meaning Himself not Peter.

That is erroneous. In Jn. I., 42, we find Christ saying to Peter, “Thou art Simon . . . thou shalt be called Cephas, Which is interpreted Peter.” Christ had a special purpose in thus changing his name to Cephas or rock, a purpose manifested later on as recorded by Matt. XVI., 18, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.” Let us put it this way. Supposing that your name were Brown, and I said to you, “They call you Brown, but I am going to call you Stone. And upon this stone I shall build up a special society I have in mind to establish,” would you believe that I was alluding to you, or to myself? Now Peter’s name was Simon, and Christ changed it to Peter, or in the original Aramaic language, Kepha, which was the word for rock or stone, and which was never used as a proper name in that language. Thus He said, “Thou art Kepha, and upon this Kepha I will build my Church.” In modern English it would sound thus, “Thou art Mr. Stone, and upon this stone I will build my Church.” The word could not possibly refer to Christ in this text

I have heard it said that St. Peter never was in Rome.

You may have heard that stated, but you have never heard any proof advanced in its favor. It is simple history that St. Peter went to Rome about the year 43 A.D., went back to Jerusalem after a few years for a short time, and then returned to Rome until his death, save for very short absences. He died about the year 67, during the reign of Nero. Papias wrote, about 140 A.D., “Peter came and first by his salutary preaching of the Gospel and by his keys opened in the city of Rome the gates of the heavenly kingdom.” Lanciani, the eminent archaeologist, wrote, “The presence of St. Peter in Rome is a fact demonstrated beyond a shadow of doubt by purely monumental evidence.”

Did not the selection of the Gospels to be regarded as Canonical depend upon the various Councils?

The selection of the Gospels depended upon the authoritative decisions of the Catholic Church, decisions formulated in her official Councils, and always to be approved by the Pope. And it is the authority of the Pope which alone counts in the final analysis. Above all, such matters are not dependent upon the authority of “various” Councils, when you wish to include false gatherings of recalcitrant bishops whose proceedings have been repudiated by the Church, and whose decisions have been declared null and void. The authority of Councils can be cited only when those Councils have been authorized by the Holy See, and when their decisions have been approved and sanctioned by the Pope. Under these conditions, the decisions of Councils are quite reliable.

Matthew Tindal says that no good ever came of any Council, and that if all the accusations and libels were extant which the bishops hurled at each other, few would have reason to boast of the First Oecumenical Council.

Matthew Tindal was a rationalist, and an enemy of the Christian religion. His verdict, therefore, is prejudiced. But any man who says that no good ever came of any Council stands self-condemned. He is talking obvious nonsense. As for the First ecumenical Council, if the accusations and libels of the bishops are not extant, information concerning them is wanting, and to hazard a guess is valueless. The First ecumenical Council of Nicea, in 325 A. D., was a Council of the utmost importance to the Church, and did immense good. That it condemned heretics is not surprising, since it was convened for the purpose of safeguarding the truth against false teachings. And that the heretics who were condemned should have taken their condemnation badly is not surprising. They were not men of outstanding patience and virtue.

Bravo 6;9643653]Christ said, “Upon this rock,” meaning Himself not Peter.

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

What you are suggesting is: I tell you that you are Peter, and on me as the rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Hmm…

8 year old thread…closed

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