Where is the evidence that any catholic could decide what books ought to included in the Bible.
Would you say, Pat, that if a Catholic cardinal stated as much, without reprimand, that there was at least liberty to do so?
Here we close our commentaries on the historical books of the Old Testament. For the rest (that is, Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees) are counted by St Jerome out of the canonical books, and are placed amongst the Apocrypha, along with Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, as is plain from the Prologus Galeatus. Nor be thou disturbed, like a raw scholar, if thou shouldest find anywhere, either in the sacred councils or the sacred doctors, these books reckoned as canonical. For the words as well of councils as of doctors are to be reduced to the correction of Jerome. Now, according to his judgment, in the epistle to the bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus, these books (and any other like books in the canon of the Bible) are not canonical, that is, not in the nature of a rule for confirming matters of faith. Yet, they may be called canonical, that is, in the nature of a rule for the edification of the faithful, as being received and authorised in the canon of the Bible for that purpose. By the help of this distinction thou mayest see thy way clearly through that which Augustine says, and what is written in the provincial council of Carthage.”
**"The Council of Hippo, **a local north Africa council ****of bishops created the list of the Old and New Testament books in 393 which is the same as the Roman Catholic list today.
The Council of Carthage, a local north Africa council of bishops created the same list of canonical books in 397. This is the council which many Protestant and Evangelical Christians take as the authority for the New Testament canon of books. The Old Testament canon from the same council is identical to Roman Catholic canon today. Another Council of Carthage in 419 offered the same list of canonical books.
Since the Roman Catholic Church does not define truths unless errors abound on the matter, Roman Catholic Christians look to the Council of Florence, an ecumenical council in 1441 for the first definitive list of canonical books.
***The final infallible definition of canonical books for Roman Catholic Christians came from the Council of Trent in 1556 in the face of the errors of the Reformers who rejected seven Old Testament books from the canon of scripture to that time." ***
The key to Hippo and Carthege are as your quote states - local councils, not general councils. and further, your quote shows Trent as the “final infallible definition”. and of course, that on;y applies to Rome, since the Eastern patriarchates were not including, but I won’t go into whether or not a council is truly ecumenical without all the patriarchates.
Additionally, the early local councils you site seem to have no application for the whole Church, as the East had a different canon even then.
I will say, however, that Hippo, et al, should not be set aside totally, because they are important parts of the hstory of the Church. But even they did not limit the liberty of Catholics to question the canonicity of the historically disputed books.
IF Martin Luther did not remove or at least approve of the removal of these SEVEN books; to whom ought we give credit?
As has been said, the removal seems to be a latter event, as even the 1611 KJV contained 73 books. Luther, himself, saw to it that they were all translated (he did have help) and continue today to be included in his translation.
God Bless my friend,
His blessing also with you, my friend.