Saturday, February 18, 2017

Did The Catholic Church Give Us The Bible?

  • Defining The Issues:
          -The Church of Rome argues that if we did not have its "divinely inspired" oral traditions, we would not have the canon of Scripture. This claim is obviously one of the Catholic Church's attempts to exalt itself as an infallible authority in addition to the Bible.
          -It is claimed that the canon issue was settled at the Council of Hippo (393 AD) and the Council of Carthage (397 AD). Then, it was supposedly reaffirmed at the Council of Trent (1546 AD). As a result of this major accomplishment, the entire world is indebted to the Roman Catholic Church and is therefore obligated to give complete submission to its claims to infallible teaching authority.
  • A Circular Appeal?:
          -When Roman Catholics claim that we can only accept the Bible on the basis of their "infallible" church councils assembling the canon of Scripture, they are guilty of using circular reasoning. We cannot blindly accept the books of the Bible only on the basis that the Roman Catholic Church says so. How can we know that the Church's claims to infallibility are true or not?
          -The claim that the Roman Catholic Church gave the world the Bible can be illustrated to be circular in the following manner: "The Bible and Tradition are true because the infallible Church defined them as such. The Roman Catholic Church is true because the Bible and Tradition told us so." The ultimate argument offered by Rome is that we must accept the canon of Scripture on the basis that it says so, which is circular reasoning.
  • What About The Old Testament Canon?:
          -How can the Catholic Church claim to have given us the Bible when the Old Testament canon was settled prior to its existence? How did the Jews correctly identify the Old Testament Scriptures? Just as the Jews recognized the Old Testament Scriptures without an infallible organization, the same is true with the early Christians and the New Testament Scriptures.
  • The Councils Of Hippo And Carthage Were Local Synods, Not Ecumenical:
          -The Councils of Hippo and Carthage were only provincial, which means that their rulings were not binding on the entire church. Neither were they able to finally settle any issues occurring in the church during that specific time.
  • The Canon Of Scripture And Church Councils:
          -There has always been a general consensus on the New Testament writings that were later consolidated into one volume. Though a few of the canonical writings were called into question on the issue of divine origin, the issues were worked through by examining the internal consistency of the documents and by appealing to outside traditions. The early church examined available material. While church councils may have helped to make more pronounced the New Testament canon, they most certainly did not give the New Testament books authority. Scripture is inherently authoritative because it is God-breathed. The degree of certainty that we can posses regarding the canon is sufficient certainty. The early Christians identified the inspired writings and affirmed them as such. The New Testament Scriptures were being recognized as inspired and circulated even as the apostles were still alive (Colossians 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:27).

1 comment:

  1. The Roman Catholic Church as such did not even exist in the 4th Century, although it was soon coming to be.

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