What happened to the Damasus list


#1

About 6 years ago I made a youtube video on the development of the Bible.
All the research (granted it was internet based and relied heavily on wikipedia) said that Pope damasus issued a list of canon at the council of Rome in 382 which is exactly what we Catholics have today.
Recently, I started researching the development of the bible again. Only this time everything says the Damasus list was most likely a forgery.
So, Can anyone point me to good scholarly information on the formation of the bible? Preferably on the internet.


#2

Try here at the Catholic Encyclopedia: Link

If that's not where you need to go, it's a good resource to start. :)


#3

I think you are referring to the internet claim about the Gelasian decree? Here is research I did a while back on this issue. :o

[quote="MarcoPolo, post:24, topic:135667"]
the Gelasian decree does not debunk Damasus' decree as he asserts. Here is the pertinent excerpt from Jurgens' Faith of the Early Fathers: Volume 1, page 404:

The first part of this decree has long been known as the Decree of Damasus, and concerns the Holy Spirit and the seven-fold gifts. The second part of the decree is more familiarly known as the opening part of the Gelasian Decree, in regard to the canon of Scripture: De libris recipiendis vel non recipiendis. **It is now commonly held that the part of the Gelasian Decree dealing with the accepted canon of Scripture is an authentic work of the Council of Rome** of 382 A.D. and that Gelasius edited it again at the end of the fifth century, adding to it the catalog of the rejected books, the apocrypha. It is now almost universally accepted that these parts one and two of the Decree of Damasus are authentic parts of the Acts of the Council of Rome of 382 A.D.The assertion from Wiki that this decree of Damasus is a fraud is cross-referenced to an article which in turn cites a Ernst von Dobschutz. The reason he says the decree of Damasus is false is because within it is a quotation from Augustine from 416. He does not provide the quote or the context, but he therefore concludes that the entire decree cannot be attributed to Damasus. Wiki's, and in turn RD's entire allegation, are based on von Dobschutz' claim.

But as you can see from Jurgens, the document did indeed undergo an edit after Augustine would have made his quote available to the world. This edit would in no way discredit the prior portions that were the authentic parts of Damasus' Decree.

In summary the timeline would go like this.

[LIST]
*]382 - Pope Damasus makes his decree, lists the authentic canon (which would make sense in light of his order to Jerome to translate the canon)
*]416 - Augustine makes his comments.
*]ca. 490 - Gelasius takes Damasus' decree, and edits it, adding to it
[/LIST]

Von Dobschutz speciously takes the edits by Gelasius to discredit what was originally Damasus'. Given Damasus' concern with the canon, the repeat of his canon at Hippo and Carthage, what Jurgens wrote of his decree is by far the more plausible explanation. And this is probably why, as Jurgens stated, the almost universally accepted position is that Damasus authored the parts on the canon at the Council of Rome. :o

[/quote]


#4

I also included a lot of the previous post in a blog post: The canon of scripture, Damasus, and the "Gelasian Decree" ;)


#5

[quote="MarcoPolo, post:3, topic:336115"]
I think you are referring to the internet claim about the Gelasian decree? Here is research I did a while back on this issue. :o

[/quote]

That's great information. the part that concerns me, and again this is wiki, is that wiki says that the majority of scholars agree with
Von Dobschutz.
But you are saying that's not true right?


#6

[quote="Steveabrous, post:5, topic:336115"]
That's great information. the part that concerns me, and again this is wiki, is that wiki says that the majority of scholars agree with
Von Dobschutz.
But you are saying that's not true right?

[/quote]

The evidence does not seem to support that claim. Jurgens, whom I quoted above, goes so far as to say the opposite when he says, "almost universally accepted that these parts one and two of the Decree of Damasus are authentic parts of the Acts of the Council of Rome." So I see Jurgens, a scholar saying the canon of Rome is almost universally accepted as authentic. And the evidence itself favors the authenticity of the Rome canon. I wouldn't concern myself much with opposing views, like Von Dobschutz' until they can sustain scrutiny, which it appears they cannot. If there is evidence indicating the canon at Rome is specious, I would like to see it. What has thus far been presented is unconvincing.


#7

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.