What would of happened had these 2 books been put in the Bible?

I read the Protoevangelium of James, which talks about Mary and how she was consecrated to the temple as a virgin, and how Joseph took her, and states that he had kids from a previous marriage. Now some Protestants state that Mary had other children besides Jesus stating that our belief that Mary was ever virgin is not biblical.

And the Didache, which states about the importance of Baptism, about the Eucharist and other important Catholic beliefs.

Had these 2 books been in the Bible do you believe that we would still have the 45,000 different Christian Churches (or denominations)?

I think that yes we would have division but not 45,000 different ones.

I guess they knew those books didn’t belong in the Bible. The books we have are sufficient.

But had you included those books, you would see that the Eucharist is the truly the body and blood of Jesus. With those books you would see that Mary was ever virgin. You know those 2 topics are a hot button issue with Christian Churches

The thing is, that there are a number of criteria involved when Christians decided upon which books are held to have authority. Two of these I’d call for the moment ‘catholicity’ (in the sense of ‘universality’) and ‘public lection’. In other words, the book in question must have a wide circulation and hold a major significance for believers everywhere, not just in a particular geographical region or a certain faction of Christianity or a single local community, and should have a place in the Liturgy (i.e. being read at Church).

While there are people who looked at the Didache as authoritative (although at the same time, others rejected it).

While the Protoevangelium did have a very wide circulation (proving its popularity), we don’t really have proper evidence that contemporary Christians took it seriously to the point that they read it in the liturgy alongside say, the four gospels. It seems that they considered it more as a form of pious entertainment: it (along with related literature) is fun to read because it fills in the gaps of the canonical gospels and speculates about familiar people, but apparently no one seriously thought that it could hold a candle to Matthew or Luke. The Didache had some circulation, but while there are people who accepted it as authoritative, others spoke out against it.

Satan would still cause division. They wouldn’t be able to deny Mary’s virginity, and a few others, but that’s about it. It wouldn’t stop the reformation. the original reformers believed these things. Once you tell someone that they can read scripture and make up their own theology the sky’s the limit.

There are Protestant sects that deny the clear teaching of scripture. like the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Why? because he said “In MEMORY of me”. And somehow that negates everything else that is said on the subject. So no i don’t think adding those books would have made a difference.

Everything in the Catholic Church and even in the Orthodox Church can be found in the Bible when it refers to salvation. The Protestants argue about Mary because they want to argue. The fact is if Protestants want to really study the Bible they would know that Jesus giving the care to His Mother while on the Cross would have disobeyed the Mosaic Law had there been other siblings. Since He gave His Mother to John’s keeping then Jesus had no brothers or sisters at all, at least blood siblings. The fact is we are all brothers and sisters to our Lord Jesus. In fact this person Jesus is our Big Brother.

The problem with this book of James is it refers to Joseph as having children. Again this might be a problem as well. Joseph was to be the caretaker of this Holy Family and been part of it means two things. First is he must be much older than Mary since we do not see him when Jesus began His ministry so he must have passed on. St. Mary Faustina describes St. Joseph quite often in her visions of the Holy Family as that “Old Man”. Joseph represents a third member of the Holy Family. Having other children somewhere else would only distort this vocation he was called into. This Holy Family is another Trinity on earth. It fact the Holy Family represents the Trinity. Joseph represents the Eternal Father, Mary is representative of the Holy Spirit and of course Jesus represents Himself. Every family on earth is an example of the Trinity. The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph than is the best example we have. Anyone baptised into the Church automatically becomes a member of this family. So in this sense Jesus has many brothers and sisters.

We do know/see that the Eucharist is truly the body and blood of Jesus.

We do know/see that Mary was ever virgin.

The Eucharist could easily be taken symbolically with the existence of the Didache anyways. I would actually have loved to see the Didache in our Bibles because of how close it is to Matthew.

It really gives extra validity to the early teachings of the Christian Church, I love it.

These books are available for anyone to read that are inclined to do so. They are not forbidden as they, too, are Truth. Much can be learned from the early church fathers.

Were you aware that the CC does teach that the Eucharist is symbolic?

Just that it is not ONLY symbolic.

I would actually have loved to see the Didache in our Bibles because of how close it is to Matthew

But the fact that it is not, and that you do not claim that the Didache is theopneustos and quote from it as the Word of God means that you are giving tacit submission to the authority of the Catholic Church. You defer to her authority to tell you what is inspired and what is not.

Hadn’t the Didache been lost until only a couple hundred years ago, or was it discussed when the Canon was being assembled?

Eusebius talked about the Didache in a negative way:

Since we are dealing with this subject it is proper to sum up the writings of the New Testament which have been already mentioned. First then must be put the holy quaternion of the Gospels; following them the Acts of the Apostles. After this must be reckoned the epistles of Paul; next in order the extant former epistle of John, and likewise the epistle of Peter, must be maintained. After them is to be placed, if it really seem proper, the Apocalypse of John, concerning which we shall give the different opinions at the proper time. These then belong among the accepted writings.

Among the disputed writings, which are nevertheless recognized by many, are extant the so-called epistle of James and that of Jude, also the second epistle of Peter, and those that are called the whether they belong to the evangelist or to another person of the same name.

Among the rejected writings must be reckoned also the Acts of Paul, and the so-called Shepherd, and the Apocalypse of Peter, and in addition to these the extant epistle of Barnabas, and the so-called Teachings of the Apostles; and besides, as I said, the Apocalypse of John, if it seem proper, which some, as I said, reject, but which others class with the accepted books. And among these some have placed also the Gospel according to the Hebrews, with which those of the Hebrews that have accepted Christ are especially delighted. And all these may be reckoned among the disputed books.

Awesome, thank you. I wonder what the reasoning was for the Didache. It seems pretty solid to me.

I hadn’t heard that.

What is your source for the Didache being lost until only a couple hundred years ago? And when did it “go missing”?

I wasn’t making a claim just to be clear, I was rather asking if this was true. I got the information from wiki:

Lost for centuries, a Greek manuscript of the Didache was rediscovered in 1873 by Philotheos Bryennios, Metropolitan of Nicomedia in the Codex Hierosolymitanus. A Latin version of the first five chapters was discovered in 1900 by J. Schlecht.[6] The Didache is considered part of the category of second-generation Christian writings known as the Apostolic Fathers.

So when did it go missing?

How do we know that this was not one of the texts that the Catholic bishops considered and rejected, because it was missing?

All good questions. As stated it was rejected by Eusebius in the early 4th century. Not sure what happened afterwards and whether or not it was discussed. Also, how the Church determined what the reasons were for its rejection.

The reasons it was rejected was that it was not part of the Sacred Tradition of the Church.

I’m gonna answer for him here. Frankly, we don’t know exactly when it got lost: like many other lost works it simply fell into the wayside one day and most everyone forgot about it. In fact, when the text we now consider to be the Didache (entitled in the manuscript The Teaching of the Lord by the Twelve Apostles) was rediscovered by the then forty-year-old Bryennios - causing an overnight sensation - some scholars thought that it was too good to be true and dismissed it as a modern forgery.

We can pretty much guess what criteria was employed when deciding the books that were considered to be authoritative. I’ll name four of them here: (1) ‘apostolicity’, (2) ‘catholicity’, (3) ‘orthodoxy’, and (4) ‘public lection’. In other words, for a given book to be considered authoritative it should: (1) come from an apostolic tradition whereby direct or indirect apostolic contribution was evident (the gospels, for instance, are attributed to the apostles Matthew and John and to Mark and Luke, the disciples of Peter and Paul), (2) have a wide circulation and hold a major significance for believers everywhere, not only in a particular region or community (this disqualifies apocryphal literature and the gnostic gospels, many of which were specific only to a particular region or were used only by a single sect), (3) mirror the teachings and intentions of the apostles themselves (i.e. it should be in harmony with the Tradition of the Church), and (4) should have a place in the Liturgy (i.e. being read at Church).

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