The church before the bible?


#1

I know the church existed before the bible…but how could they practice the teachings of jesus such as the eucarist or his ways and teachings if they didnt have the bible?..im very confused on this subject.

When the serperate sacred texts were found before they were chosen and compiled into the bible we have today…who chose and decided that the texts were inspired by god?

Very appericated if helped!


#2

Christians had the oral teachings of the apostles before the NT was written. Of course, they had the Old Testament Scriptures, but they didn’t contain specifically Christian teaching. You will find several references to oral teaching in the New Testament. John 21:25 even says that not everything Jesus said and did was recorded in writing. 2 Thessalonians 3:5 and 2 Timothy 2:1 speak of the handing on of oral teaching. The first book of the New Testament wasn’t written for about 20-30 years after Pentecost, and the last book, Revelation, not until AD 90-100.

There was no set canon of Christian Scripture until the late 4th century. The Synod of Rome in 386 and the Councils of Carthage and Hippo, all held in the 390s, determined the canon of Scripture. Pope Damasus I convened the Synod of Rome and Pope Innocent I affirmed the regional councils’ determination of the canon of Scripture in the early fifth century. That canon was the identical canon we use today.

Catholics United for the Faith have “Faith Facts” handouts you can download online (www.cuf.org) and some of them deal with the canon of Scripture with specific historical details. Hope this helps!


#3

[quote=godsent]I know the church existed before the bible…but how could they practice the teachings of jesus such as the eucarist or his ways and teachings if they didnt have the bible?..im very confused on this subject.

When the serperate sacred texts were found before they were chosen and compiled into the bible we have today…who chose and decided that the texts were inspired by god?

Very appericated if helped!
[/quote]

They had the Apostles with them who had been instructed by Jesus. And the Apostles imparted that knowledge to their successors, and so on and on until the present. Apostolic Succession has preserved the teachings of Jesus.

I’m not sure what you mean by the sacred texts being “found”. Texts were used in liturgies, and in fact it was use in liturgy that was one of the criteria used for determining the canon. The texts weren’t discovered under a rock; they were compiled by the early Christians. I would recommend a book caled “Where We Got the Bible” by Graham. The links below are to articles that might be helpful.

catholic.com/library/Apostolic_Tradition.asp

catholic.com/library/Scripture_and_Tradition.asp


#4

[quote=godsent]I know the church existed before the bible…but how could they practice the teachings of jesus such as the eucarist or his ways and teachings if they didnt have the bible?..im very confused on this subject.

When the serperate sacred texts were found before they were chosen and compiled into the bible we have today…who chose and decided that the texts were inspired by god?

Very appericated if helped!
[/quote]

That is what is called Tradition (with a capiatl T). Revelation is what guides the Christian not Scripture. Scripture is itself a part of revelation. The best axiom to follow is that the Church was not born of Scripture but rather it was Scripture that was born from the Church.


#5

[quote=godsent]I know the church existed before the bible…but how could they practice the teachings of jesus such as the eucarist or his ways and teachings if they didnt have the bible?..im very confused on this subject.

When the serperate sacred texts were found before they were chosen and compiled into the bible we have today…who chose and decided that the texts were inspired by god?

Very appericated if helped!
[/quote]

Godsent - An example that came to my mind:

Consider the rich traditions in the U.K. surrounding the celebrations of Christmas. Now, do you have to have a written text in order to know how to celebrate the Lord’s Nativity? How much more, then, was the Eucharist of the Church protected in it’s celebration by SACRED Tradition before the New Testament was canonized. Further, one of the indications of what would be recognized by the Church (those bishops with the authority to do so) as inspired scripture was the use of the writings of the Apostles within the Liturgy itself.


#6

Oral tradition was the way many things were passed down… for thousands of years.

The Epistles and Gospels and, of course, the Old Testament were in writing and copied by hand and passed around. Not many people could read.

The first written Church document was the Didache, which was kind of a volume of Canon Law. Around the first century.

Finally around AD400, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, and others sat down and put together what we know as the Bible.


#7

godsent

The criteria for salvation is not progressive based upon historical trends or the institutionalization of religious truth. The same truths taught by Christ Jesus on any random afternoon are still the means by which all may be saved today.
When the requirements for eternal life are multiplied based upon the teachings of man, it causes the very confusion you are experiencing.

Brian


#8

[quote=BrianH]godsent

The criteria for salvation is not progressive based upon historical trends or the institutionalization of religious truth. The same truths taught by Christ Jesus on any random afternoon are still the means by which all may be saved today.
When the requirements for eternal life are multiplied based upon the teachings of man, it causes the very confusion you are experiencing.

Brian
[/quote]

Are you saying, then, that doctrine does not develop? If so, then where is the concept of the Trinity found plainly in Scripture?


#9

Godsent,

Most of what a person learns comes not from reading a text, but instead from interacting with somebody else who already knows the subject. (Have you ever tried to learn to swim from a correspondence course?) The Apostles lived with Jesus for three years, and then after the Ascension and Pentecost the rest of the early Church learned from the Apostles. They learned by listening to the Apostles’ stories about Jesus, certainly, but they also learned by watching the Apostles do things.

The Bible was written down later, when the Apostles were fairly old, and people were starting to realize that the Second Coming probably wasn’t going to happen in the next few years. The Church recorded her knowledge in the books that were later gathered into the New Testament; she did not learn from the New Testament.

The list of books that are in the Bible was made by a couple of local Church councils and generally accepted by the Church as a whole. After about the fourth century it wasn’t an issue until Martin Luther threw out the Deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament; the Council of Trent then reiterated what books were in the Bible.

  • Liberian

#10

[quote=Liberian]Godsent,

Most of what a person learns comes not from reading a text, but instead from interacting with somebody else who already knows the subject. (Have you ever tried to learn to swim from a correspondence course?) The Apostles lived with Jesus for three years, and then after the Ascension and Pentecost the rest of the early Church learned from the Apostles. They learned by listening to the Apostles’ stories about Jesus, certainly, but they also learned by watching the Apostles do things.

The Bible was written down later, when the Apostles were fairly old, and people were starting to realize that the Second Coming probably wasn’t going to happen in the next few years. The Church recorded her knowledge in the books that were later gathered into the New Testament; she did not learn from the New Testament.

The list of books that are in the Bible was made by a couple of local Church councils and generally accepted by the Church as a whole. After about the fourth century it wasn’t an issue until Martin Luther threw out the Deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament; the Council of Trent then reiterated what books were in the Bible.

  • Liberian
    [/quote]

I am always reminded of this when I see my Great Grandparents. They don’t know much about the bible line and verse but the know the bible because they live within the Gospels. It is an amazing simplicity of faith and catholicity and I find very beautiful.


#11

OK, the Vatican sez that they canonized what books are in the New Testament in the 4th century.

So why couldn’t the Pope(s) at that time whip up some document, ANYTHING that had the word “eucharist” in it and include that in the New Testament. I mean anything, a short epistle or teaching on early church doctrine on the “eucharist”.

Come on now, even if there was nothing written about the “eucharist” and it was all oral teaching at the time of canonizing the NT, those in charge preached, teached, and practiced that sacred tradition according to the vatican. So something could of been added. By the recently found doctrine the Didache, it clearly states that the practice of the “eucharist” was in full swing with such detail on the sacrament.

Come on now, we all know the Holy Spirit will not confuse those that accept the gift of the Spirit and have total faith in the Spirit. So how can those who were responsible for canonizing the N.T. not know that what books were to be presented could of shed doubt to catholics who took it upon themselves to line up scripture with what the church teaches. Oops, wait, can’t do that, church magesterium. The ol’ catch “22”.

Even after the fact, this problem was never corrected. As much as the vatican writes or changes doctrine, they just couldn’t get “The Word of God” in peoples hands like they would of liked to.

I’m not buying it.


#12

It’s not for sale. It’s free, but not cheap. If you feel that religion is man-made, as stated in your profile, why are you even here?


#13

Dear Geno, it’s history, not Catholic Church history, world history. The Catholic Church in the first four centuries was not the huge Catholic Church we have today. It was not powerful enough to perpetrate the fraud you are suggesting. Today there are still archeological finds from the first and second century affirming the truths of the Catholic Church. If you are interested in finding the truth, please, do some un-biased research. Do not use obviously opinionated sources. After years of research I myself am quite content in the truth of the Catholic faith, but I’m still researching, on a daily basis. The search for truth never ends, but, I now know I can trust the Catholic faith.


#14

[quote=geno75] So why couldn’t the Pope(s) at that time whip up some document, ANYTHING that had the word “eucharist” in it and include that in the New Testament. I mean anything, a short epistle or teaching on early church doctrine on the “eucharist”…
[/quote]

Well, first of all, the word “Eucharist” does not appear in my Bible, neither the OT or the NT. Is your problem with a word? Or with the real presence of the body and blood of our Lord, Jesus the Christ? Or perhaps with following what our Lord commands us to do? We don’t speak Aramaic and our Lord didn’t need to name His Sacrament, so we need the name to differentiate it from oh, say Baptism. It simply makes it easier for us to communicate. We say the Eucharist, you know what it means, we don’t need to describe the Eucharist, imagine if we did not name it. Well today I went and ate the body and received the blood of our Lord, Jesus the Christ at that meeting we have daily with fellow people who follow the teachings of that God, Jesus the Christ who lived and dies 2,000 years ago, because He instructed us to “Do this in memory of me”. Isn’t it easier to say today I went to Mass and received the Eucharist?


#15

[quote=geno75] Come on now, even if there was nothing written about the “eucharist” and it was all oral teaching at the time of canonizing the NT, those in charge preached, teached, and practiced that sacred tradition according to the vatican.
[/quote]

No, not according to the Vatican. You really need to do some historical research.


#16

[quote=geno75] So something could of been added. By the recently found doctrine the Didache, it clearly states that the practice of the “eucharist” was in full swing with such detail on the sacrament.
[/quote]

This seems to repudiate your earlier claims.

[quote=geno75] Come on now, we all know the Holy Spirit will not confuse those that accept the gift of the Spirit and have total faith in the Spirit
[/quote]

We “know” no such thing. If you read Scripture and keep it in its intended context, there are many gifts of the Spirit, not all receive the same gift. The ONLY group of people which was promised that the particular gift of being led to the truth were the leadership of His Church, specifically the Bishops (as successors to the Apostles) as a group, and the Pope, as the leader of the Bishops. You and I, although filled with the Holy Spirit and NOT guaranteed we will not be led into confusion or lies. Simply look around at all of the different church groups who feel they and they alone have the “truth”. There aren’t thousands of differing truths out there. There is only one truth, and only one Church which has been guaranteed that it will be led to the truth. Welcome to the Catholic Church.


#17

[quote=geno75] So something could of been added. By the recently found doctrine the Didache, it clearly states that the practice of the “eucharist” was in full swing with such detail on the sacrament. This seems to repudiate your earlier claims.

[quote=geno75] Come on now, we all know the Holy Spirit will not confuse those that accept the gift of the Spirit and have total faith in the Spirit
[/quote]

We “know” no such thing. If you read Scripture and keep it in its intended context, there are many gifts of the Spirit, not all receive the same gift. The ONLY group of people which was promised that the particular gift of being led to the truth were the leadership of His Church, specifically the Bishops (as successors to the Apostles) as a group, and the Pope, as the leader of the Bishops. You and I, although filled with the Holy Spirit and NOT guaranteed we will not be led into confusion or lies.

[quote=geno75] So how can those who were responsible for canonizing the N.T. not know that what books were to be presented could of shed doubt to catholics who took it upon themselves to line up scripture with what the church teaches. Oops, wait, can’t do that, church magesterium. The ol’ catch “22”.
[/quote]

Independent research will show you that what the Catholic Church teaches is in accordance with Scripture. Scripture is the inspired Word of God. It was established from Tradition. There is no “catch 22”. The Church teaches what is in the Holy Scripture

[quote=geno75] As much as the vatican writes or changes doctrine, they just couldn’t get “The Word of God” in peoples hands like they would of liked to
[/quote]

The Church does not change doctrine. You may be confusing doctrine with simple procedures or disciplines. Doctrine does not change.
[/quote]


#18

[quote=Sherlock]Are you saying, then, that doctrine does not develop? If so, then where is the concept of the Trinity found plainly in Scripture?
[/quote]

The Trinity is an attempt to define the relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The truth behind our attempt to define it is unchanging. As Christians institutionalized the truth of Christ, yes, “doctrine” developed.
Is there a different criteria for salvation from 33 CE to 2006 CE?


#19

Hi geno -

Please examine this passage from Luke 22:17 It is the Greek concordance. Notice the words “and gave thanks”.

blueletterbible.org/tmp_dir/c/1140620587-7165.html#17

Subrosa


#20

[quote=geno75]OK, the Vatican sez that they canonized what books are in the New Testament in the 4th century…
[/quote]

“They” did? The Vatican didn’t exist at the time

[quote=geno75]So why couldn’t the Pope(s) at that time whip up some document, ANYTHING that had the word “eucharist” in it and include that in the New Testament. I mean anything, a short epistle or teaching on early church doctrine on the “eucharist”. .
[/quote]

Doctrine is not “whipped up”. Doctrine is protected and passed down, not created.

[quote=geno75]Come on now, even if there was nothing written about the “eucharist” and it was all oral teaching at the time of canonizing the NT, those in charge preached, teached, and practiced that sacred tradition according to the vatican. So something could of been added. By the recently found doctrine the Didache, it clearly states that the practice of the “eucharist” was in full swing with such detail on the sacrament…
[/quote]

How could “those in charge” do all of those things according to “the vatican”, when the Vatican didn’t exist?.

[quote=geno75]Come on now, we all know the Holy Spirit will not confuse those that accept the gift of the Spirit and have total faith in the Spirit. So how can those who were responsible for canonizing the N.T. not know that what books were to be presented could of shed doubt to catholics who took it upon themselves to line up scripture with what the church teaches. Oops, wait, can’t do that, church magesterium. The ol’ catch “22”…
[/quote]

Christ founded a Church and gave it authority. The authority comes from Christ, not from man. The claim to authority is not circular (as sola scriptura is), but linear. Also, I read the Scripture everyday and it simply reinforces my appreciation for the Church, not “shed doubt”. So what are you talking about?

[quote=geno75]Even after the fact, this problem was never corrected. As much as the vatican writes or changes doctrine, they just couldn’t get “The Word of God” in peoples hands like they would of liked to..
[/quote]

You don’t make a lot of sense. Is English your second language?

[quote=geno75]I’m not buying it.
[/quote]

Because you don’t get it.


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