The Canon & Catholicism


#1

Hello friends,

I’m having a conversation with someone, and I wanted to get some opinions on some of the content. I mentioned the Councils of Rome, Hippo, and Carthage where the Canon was established, and also mentioned regarding 2 Timothy about how the Scriptures Paul was talking about were the ones from Timothy’s youth. This is the response from a Sola Scriptura advocate;

"If Hippo and Carthage made decrees binding on the whole Church (which they didn’t according to the Catholic Encyclopedia because they were provincial, local councils) how is it that Pope Leo X and Clement VII went against their canon by approving works which taught against it? As did Jimenez and Cajatan (and many others). Cajatan even specifically said that Carthage was a provincial council to be corrected by Jerome (quote provided in my last reply). We’re these all heretics?

Also, what about he fact that that statement on canon from the council at Rome, attributed to Damasus, is recorded centuries later in the Galasian Decree (6th century) and is possibly not original to that council? As a matter of fact there is no formal written record of what happened at Rome in 382, so at best all of this is speculative. As a matter of fact, it was Damasus who commissioned the Latin Vulgate from Jerome who rejected the deuterocanonical books as scripture! But again, even if it IS authentic, are these later Cardinals and Popes heretics for not teaching the same Canon?

And please tell me how a Jewish person 50 years before Jesus knew that 2 Chronicles and Isaiah were both scripture in a way that is consistent with the fact that the deuterocanonical books were not considered scripture by the Jews and many Church Fathers."

What would you say in response to the above? I have some ideas, but I wanted to check in here and get the opinions of others.


#2

Just an opinion. The Church is a living breathing Church, guided by the Holy Spirit as promised by Christ. The teachings promoted by councils in the formative years of the Church centuries ago must be continually evaluated in light of new scholarship. Unless declared infallibly by the church, dogma and doctrine need to be critically examined.

Your Sola Scriptura friend (I’m assuming he/she is Protestant) sees Scripture as dead, or maybe better frozen in time, unassailable by discoveries in the fields of history, language, and culture. To me, (and I don’t mean this in any insulting way) SS advocates would be like an American citizen who believes that what was written in 1776 cannot be evaluated in light of advances in civilization. Heck, if that were true, women would not have the right to vote, slavery would still be the norm, stealing a horse or rustling cattle would be punishable by hanging, and lord know what else.

If everything in Church History and especially Scripture were to be cast in stone and no change or revision allowed, please ask your SS friend how he/she views the 48th verse of the 2nd chapter of Luke. Without church teaching, that verse would send me screaming into the night - at least from the standpoint of my belief the Jesus is the Son of God. Scripture and history must be always open to further understanding.

My :twocents:

Shalom


#3

Hippo (393) and Carthage (393) were synods held in North Africa, not ecumenical councils, and Rome (382) was likewise not an ecumenical council. The Canon that these synods identified is the same Canon that the Catholic Church continues to profess, to the present day.

We don’t mention these three synods because they were “binding on the whole Church”; we mention them because they’re examples that the Canon was already understood in the Church in the 4th century to be what we know it today to be.

Cardinal Cajatan seems to have been sympathetic to earlier scholarship that called into question the longer ending of the Gospel of Mark. He didn’t dispute that Mark was canonical. Not sure what you mean by saying that Leo X and Clement VII “went against their canon”, though…

Also, what about he fact that that statement on canon from the council at Rome, attributed to Damasus, is recorded centuries later in the Galasian Decree (6th century) and is possibly not original to that council?

Hmm… not a ‘fact’, but a ‘theory’, right?

As a matter of fact, it was Damasus who commissioned the Latin Vulgate from Jerome who rejected the deuterocanonical books as scripture!

Jerome didn’t have the authority to declare the Canon. The Church does, and it made its declaration of the Canon.

But again, even if it IS authentic, are these later Cardinals and Popes heretics for not teaching the same Canon?

No.

And please tell me how a Jewish person 50 years before Jesus knew that 2 Chronicles and Isaiah were both scripture in a way that is consistent with the fact that the deuterocanonical books were not considered scripture by the Jews and many Church Fathers."

Not really sure what he’s claiming, here…


#4

Hi!

…there’s much to argue about when it comes to the Canon of the Bible… here’s what I’ve gathered:

  • Several Councils determined the Canon
  • As today, many spoke from their personal understanding–which brought about the conflicting lists of books that were supported or rejected as authoritative
  • While some would argue for/against… the Canon did not depend upon one person or another
  • The inclusion of the books was determined by what the Church had been using as part of her Liturgy
  • There were discrepancies from about these books both in the East and West
  • Those books that made the “final cut” were included because of the use in Church Liturgy and because they were cited in the New Testament Scriptures

…then there were the various findings of ancient scrolls that facilitated the acceptance of the Canonized books–i.e.: the Septuagint.

Now, for people who claim Inspiration of the Holy Spirit for everything they claim as “correct” theology, how hard is it for him to believe that the Holy Spirit could have Inspired the various groups of Bishops that took part in the various Councils?

Remember Jesus’ Word: “a tree is known by its fruits?”

The Catholic Canon of the Bible was a Unity of the Faith.

The Protestant’s claim to their “inspiration of the Holy Spirit” seems to forever serve for further splintering of the Unity of the Body of Christ…

Maran atha!

Angel


#5

Hi.

I’m having a conversation with someone, and I wanted to get some opinions on some of the content.

I don’t know if you’re paraphrasing or quoting. But some of the ideas are convoluted and hard to understand. I’ll give it a shot though.

I mentioned the Councils of Rome, Hippo, and Carthage where the Canon was established, and also mentioned regarding 2 Timothy about how the Scriptures Paul was talking about were the ones from Timothy’s youth. This is the response from a Sola Scriptura advocate;

From a Sola Scripturist? So, what is his claim? Does he think that the New Testament fell down from heaven?

"If Hippo and Carthage made decrees binding on the whole Church (which they didn’t

Agreed. The point is that the Church did not correct their decrees in an ecumenical council. In fact, two ecumenical Councils confirmed their decrees. The Council of Florence and the Council of Trent.

according to the Catholic Encyclopedia because they were provincial, local councils) how is it that Pope Leo X and Clement VII went against their canon by approving works which taught against it?

Not sure what he’s talking about? Are you?

I’m not aware of any Pope contradicting the validity of the Canon established in those councils.

As did Jimenez and Cajatan (and many others). Cajatan even specifically said that Carthage was a provincial council to be corrected by Jerome (quote provided in my last reply). We’re these all heretics?

As far as I’m aware, St. Jerome used the exact same Canon. I believe St. Jerome’s Canon preceded Carthage.

There is no difference in the canon used by St. Jerome and the one decreed at Carthage. Some of the books simply use different nomenclature and are combined.

Also, what about he fact that that statement on canon from the council at Rome, attributed to Damasus, is recorded centuries later in the Galasian Decree (6th century) and is possibly not original to that council?

He’s splitting hairs. We know that it is from the Council of Rome because that is what the Church Teaches. If he has any proof, and speculation is not proof, he needs to produce it.

As a matter of fact there is no formal written record of what happened at Rome in 382, so at best all of this is speculative. As a matter of fact, it was Damasus who commissioned the Latin Vulgate from Jerome who rejected the deuterocanonical books as scripture! But again, even if it IS authentic, are these later Cardinals and Popes heretics for not teaching the same Canon?

He’s looking at the Catholic Canon through Protestant eyes.

  1. First of all, St. Jerome accepted the Deuterocanonical books. The proof is that he included them in his Vulgate translation of the Bible.
  2. The Catholic canon is not closed. More books can be added and I expect will be added, if the Orthodox are reunited with the Church at large. Because their canon is bigger and I doubt they’ll discard 11 books of their Holy Book.
  3. The Council of Trent declared anathema for anyone to question the inspiration of the 73 book canon of the Latin Vulgate. Those 73 books are fixed, they can’t be removed.
  4. Any questioning of the Canon before the Council of Trent, was permissible. But now, the Church has spoken.

And please tell me how a Jewish person 50 years before Jesus knew that 2 Chronicles and Isaiah were both scripture in a way that is consistent with the fact that the deuterocanonical books were not considered scripture by the Jews and many Church Fathers."

I’m guessing that he’s asking, how a Jew could know that Chronicles and Isaiah were Scripture without the necessity of an infallible Church?

Well, they didn’t. The fact is, that if you look up the true history of Scripture, you’ll find that the Jews had hundreds of books that they considered inspired. There was no one to tell them that they weren’t.

Then Christ came and began to use the version known as the Septuagint. The Catholic Church, which He founded, followed His Tradition.

As you may or may not know, the Septuagint is a Jewish translation of the Hebrew and Aramaic Scriptures into Greek. It includes the Deuterocanonicals. Because they are the Scriptures which Jesus used, the Jews rejected them.

In following the Jewish tradition, Protestants reject the Tradition established by Jesus Christ.

What would you say in response to the above?

I hope that helps, somewhat.

I have some ideas, but I wanted to check in here and get the opinions of others.

God bless you for your efforts. It sounds like the guy is really misinformed.


#6

Thank you all for your responses. The conversation has continued, with him;

  1. Refusing the acknowledge the Decree of Damasus as being authentic, which is frustrating.

  2. Referencing that later Popes condoned/approved documents that rejected the Deuterocanonicals before Trent, which is interesting.

Thank you for your continued feedback (and earlier feedback).


#7

Fine. If he disputes the synod of Rome, that still leaves Hippo and Carthage as expressions of what the Church held in that time period. Does he have arguments against the authenticity of these synods’ declarations? If not, then he’s on thin ice…

  1. Referencing that later Popes condoned/approved documents that rejected the Deuterocanonicals before Trent, which is interesting.

What, precisely, is he claiming these popes said?


#8

Does he dispute the fact that the 1st KJV and Luther’s German translations included the Dutero’s? Why would they have included these if what they were translating from didn’t have them?

Peace!!!


#9

I would refer to Gregory the Great:

With reference to which particular we are not acting irregularly, if from the books, though not Canonical, yet brought out for the edifying of the Church, we bring forward testimony. Thus Eleazar in the battle smote and brought down an elephant, but fell under the very beast that he killed.

Gregory the Great (An Exposition on the Book of the Blessed Job, Volume 2, Part 3, Book 19, Paragraph 34)
lectionarycentral.com/GregoryMoralia/Book19.html


#10

Not really sure why this should be relevant to a discussion of which books are canonical. Gregory isn’t saying “these other books I’m using should be in the canon”; he’s just saying “look… I make no apologies for quoting from non-canonical books.”

In fact, in context, it makes sense. If you read the previous paragraph in order to understand the context, he asserts: “that each one might scan himself diligently on this side and on that side, and as long as he is in this life know that he is set in pitched battle against spiritual enemies, lest the reward which he is making up by one set of actions, he should lose by another set, lest on this side he bar the door against the enemy, but on another side open an entrance.”

In other words, he’s fending off potential criticism for quoting from non-canonical books. He’s not disputing the decision of their exclusion from the canon; he’s not advocating their subsequent inclusion in the canon; and he’s certainly not discussing the notion that some books should be removed. Rather, he’s defending the use of them in argumentation, arguing, essentially, that the use of them (in particular situations, I’d assume) isn’t harmful.

Why’s that a problem?


#11

The book he is quoting from as being non-canonical is 1 Maccabees.


#12

I study all sorts of scripture and have learned that Bible Canon’s arent a big deal UNLESS you are under the curse of Sola Scriptura

How is this? The number of man is 6, and he completes his ‘self’ with 66 books. Thus, his ‘body and spirit’ wears the number 666.

The same number of the legion on earth who deny Christ. How is this possible?

Because the 66 book Canon comes from shotenning the OT Canon. This is naturally divine and not coincidence. The descicion to REJECT tose books are from those who officialy deny Christ.

So the person under the Sola Scriptura curse is chosing THEIR Canon over the CHRISTIAN CHURCH’s Canon.

He CHOOSES to follow after those who officially, and outwardly DENY Christ as point of their own identity and REJECT him as Messiah resulting in 1 Jn 2:22.

Its SO IMPORTANT to FIGHT against the Church, that they will gladly follow the council of those who DENY Christ and he will wear a mark of 666 without hesitation or pause. Why? Because they dont believe the 666 stuff like they claim they do. They reject what the Bible says at heart. They are incapable of reading a line and taking it seriosuly. They only use the book to make their own pet philosophies tailored to them. If they DID truly believe the Bible as they claim, they would FOLLOW what Jesus said about eating is fleash and blood.

Those who DENY that red letter scripture end up TURNING THEIR BACK on Christ and they are NO LONGER his followers. Dont think it’s real? Well these very people are described in John 6:66.

Or is this just another coincidence? All a game eh? Just follow the Rabbis (an act that is PROHIBITED for his followers and COMMANDED to us by Christ Himself in the red letter).

And people think nothing bad will come out of it! This is why Christians in America are become less and less recognizable by each year.

They dont grasp the newness of their CRAFT and how they are in a vast MINORITY of Christians doing the same worldwide (despite the deceiving media/youtube saturation).


#13

Hi!

…people used to say… “say what?”

Can you expand on what you’ve cited?

Where does it say that the 7 books rejected by Protestantism, decades after Luther and their other founders accepted them, were rejected by the Catholic Church and the Councils that Canonized the Bible?

Maran atha!

Angel


#14

At a time when the canon had not yet been dogmatically decreed. What’s the problem?


#15

A comment was made about any Pope who rejected any of the books. Gregory commented that 1 Maccabees was not canonical when he referred to it. He was Pope after the African councils and the Council of Rome that supposedly set the canon.


#16

Hi!

WOW!

I thought I was the only one making those connections… you have given an excellent presentation on the follies of “sola” Scriptura, OSAS and other Protestant theologies that basically war against Christ’s only Founded Church, side against her with those who reject Christ’s Divinity, and, in spite, of their claimed fervor and obedience to Scriptures, refuse to Believe Christ when He states that:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]53 Jesus replied: I tell you most solemnly, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you. 54 Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him.

(St. John 6:53-56)
…their temerity is astounding… even in the face of Jesus’ insistence, they claim to Follow Him but through their actions they demonstrate that they do not:

15 If you love me you will keep my commandments.

(St. John 14:15)
…Jesus is not merely Speaking about the 10 Commandments… He is telling us that we must Believe Him, Obey Him, Eat His Flesh and Drink His Blood, Be one (the Church: One Body) in Him as He is One with the Father, and Love one another to Witness to the world that He in deed has Been Sent by the Father!

Maran atha!

Angel

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#17

Claims are made that Pope Damasus ratified the local councils. If that is true then Gregory indicates he did not accept at least one of the books as not canonical. If the canon was not set until the Council of Trent, the Protestant reformers did not depart from a dogmatically decreed canon.


#18

Hi!

…please, reread what you’ve cited:

yet brought out for the edifying of the Church, we bring forward testimony. Thus Eleazar in the battle smote and brought down an elephant, but fell under the very beast that he killed.

Gregory the Great (An Exposition on the Book of the Blessed Job, Volume 2, Part 3, Book 19, Paragraph 34)
lectionarycentral.com/GregoryMoralia/Book19.html
…did you noticed that the Pope did not state “not Canonical” but rather “thought not Canonical?”

…here’s the difference: rejected as claimed not Canonical vs. found/decreed not Canonical.

The first implies that some people hold the belief that they are not Canonical; the other states that they have in deed been found to be not Canonical.

The same Church that put together the Bible decreed all 77 books as Canonical!

I hope this helps.

Maran atha!

Angel

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#19

The source given in the link says though not Canonical. It is though, not thought. He is saying he is referring to it despite it not being Canonical.


#20

Wrong.

The difference between Pope Gregory and the Protestant Reformers, is one of authority.

  1. Pope Gregory, as Pope, had the authority to decide which books he would accept on behalf of the Catholic Church. Notice that he did not make any declarations from the Chair of Peter. IN other words, he did not make any infallible proclamations.

2nd. The Protestant Reformers, from the beginning, starting with Luther, THUMBED THEIR NOSE at the Catholic Church. They declared that they would not obey the Catholic Church and that they considered the Catholic Church the Whore of Babylon.

Therefore, when the Catholic Church declared the canon of the Vulgate to be unassailable and declared that any who denied the inspiration of the Vulgate’s canon to be anathema, the Protestant Reformers refused to comply. But, if Pope St. Gregory had been alive, he would have been the first to comply. As did St. Jerome in his time and any other faithful Catholics.


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