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Hypocritical to accept the Bible but not the Catholic Church?

Discussion in 'Denomination Specific Theology' started by Turkleton, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. Turkleton

    Turkleton Yeah, I'm that Papist punk

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    Now don't freak out at me. Read my statements carefully and think before posting. Be open to what I state and be charitable when answering. I really want to know where protestants stand on this topic. Correct whatever statements I've made that are incorrect (fact wise). Make sure you are well informed on the history of Christianity when answering here.

    Historically, the Catholic Church used her authority to determine which books belonged in the Bible, and to assure us that everything in the Bible is inspired. This is historical fact. Apart from the decision of the Church, we simply have no way of knowing either truth.

    Martin Luther himself admits in his Commentary on St. John (ch. 16), "we are obliged to yield many things to the papists [Catholics]--that they possess the word of God which we received from them, otherwise we should have known nothing at all about it." Luther is admitting that Christians owe their Bible to the efforts of the Catholic Church.

    Luther's statement support the argument that without the decisions of the Catholic Church, we would not know which books of the Bible are inspired. St. Augustione says in "Contra Epistolam Manichaei, "I would put no faith in the Gospels unless the authority of theCatholic Church had directed me to do so." St. Augustine recognized that theonly way to determine which books are inspired is to accept the teaching authority of the Cahtolic Church.

    Historically, the Bible is a Catholic Book. The official canon of books of the Bible was authoritatively determined by the Catholic Church in the 4th century. Thus it is from the Catholic Church that protestants have a Bible at all.

    And here is my main point I would like to see most of the discussion go towards...

    Logically, the Church with the authority to determine the infallible Word of God, must have the infallbible authorty and guidance of the Holy Spirit. As we have seen, apart from the declatartion fo the Catholic Church, we have abosulutely no guarantee that what is in the Bible is the genuine Word of God. To trust the Bible is to trust the authority of the Church which guarantees the Bible. It is contradictory for Protestans to accept the Bible and et to reject the authority of the Catholic Church.

    Logically, Protestants should not quote the Bible at all, for they have no way of determining which books are inspired--unless, of course, they accept the teaching of the Catholic Church.
     
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  2. bbbbbbb

    bbbbbbb Guest

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    I will rise to the occasion here and provide my insights since you have asked for them. I hope you will not be offended. I will be inserting them in green.

    Although your logic is clear, your premise is flawed. Many of us Protestants have no difficulty in using the Septuagint used by Greek-speaking Jews prior to Christ and still in use in the EOC to this day. Should it then be said that we, as well as yourself, should submit to their infalliable authority?
     
  3. Aibrean

    Aibrean Honest. Maybe too Honest.

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    We can accept the teachings of the Catholic church at one point in time, we do not have to universally for all times.
     
  4. Turkleton

    Turkleton Yeah, I'm that Papist punk

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    bbbbbbb = green
    turkleton's rebuttal = blue

     
  5. Turkleton

    Turkleton Yeah, I'm that Papist punk

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    That would mean that the Church (at least at one time according to your beliefs) could infallibly decide on such an issue?
     
  6. cobweb

    cobweb Cranky octogenarian at heart

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    As someone who is neither Roman Catholic nor Protestant, I disagree with your premise that the Catholic Church (as it is currently known) compiled the canon of Scripture.

    I would argue that any of the ancient Churches could concievably make that claim (although I do have my own opinions as to which is correct). It is a matter of debate as to who schismed from whom.
     
  7. Turkleton

    Turkleton Yeah, I'm that Papist punk

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    If the Orthodox schism was in 1054 and the reformation around 1500 then what other ancient Churches are there? What evidence is there that one of the ancient churches could make that claim?
     
  8. MrPolo

    MrPolo Woe those who call evil good + good evil. Is 5:20

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    Just so you know, the Orthodox believe it was the Catholic Church that went into schism, making them the original Church.
     
  9. Turkleton

    Turkleton Yeah, I'm that Papist punk

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    That would be helpful to know... Thanks for enlightening me!
     
  10. bbbbbbb

    bbbbbbb Guest

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    bbbbbbb = green, now red
    turkleton's rebuttal = blue

    Now don't freak out at me. Read my statements carefully and think before posting. Be open to what I state and be charitable when answering. I really want to know where Protestants stand on this topic. Correct whatever statements I've made that are incorrect (fact wise). Make sure you are well informed on the history of Christianity when answering here.

    Historically, the Catholic Church used her authority to determine which books belonged in the Bible, and to assure us that everything in the Bible is inspired. This is historical fact. Apart from the decision of the Church, we simply have no way of knowing either truth.

    It is only historical fact according to the Catholic Church. Ask any Eastern Orthodox or Oriental Orthodox Christian as to who determined which books belonged in the Bible and they will tell you that their true and Orthodox Church did. There is also the not inconsiderable difficulty with the fact that the Old Testament was established by the Jews long before the birth of Jesus Christ. It is true that the Council of Nicea ratified that canon and that the Jews themselves at the council of Jamnia in A.D. 70 also ratified it.

    Well sure they'll claim to have compiled it (through he holy spirit). The schism was in 1054, The newly formed Orthodox Christians were there every step of the way when compiling the Bible.

    I refer you to the posts by Cobweb and Mr. Polo.

    _________________________________________________________
    Martin Luther himself admits in his Commentary on St. John (ch. 16), "we are obliged to yield many things to the papists [Catholics]--that they possess the word of God which we received from them, otherwise we should have known nothing at all about it." Luther is admitting that Christians owe their Bible to the efforts of the Catholic Church.

    He is admitting that Protestants received the Bible through the Catholic Church. Although his statement is true, the whole context is only partially true. He and other Reformers returned to the Jewish roots of the Old Testament and excluded the deutercanonical books as being inspired, although they did retain them in the Bible as additional (deutero) reading.

    The Councils of Hippo, 393, and Carthage, 397 approved the 46 books of the Alexandrian canon for the OT. For sixteen centuries the Alexandrian canon was a matter of uncontested faith. Each of the seven rejected books is quoted by the early Church fathers (Polycarp, Irenaeus, Clement and Cyprian) as "scripture" or as "inspired" right along with the undisputed books. 1529 Martin Luther proposed the Palestinian canon of 39 books in Hebrew as the OT canon. Luther found justification in the removal of these books because of the concerns that the Council of Jamnia had when removing the same 7 books. This concern was that the Greek books had no Hebrew counterparts (it's important to note that research into the Dead Sea Scrolls found at Qumran has discovered ancient Hebrew copies of some of the disputed books making the rejection unsupportable). Now the question is, how can Luther accept other books approved by early councils (note that he wanted other books out including James calling it "an epistle of straw") but then remove other books that have been approved in the same manner that every other piece of scripture has?

    There are apocryphal books such as the Epistle to the Laodiceans which have also been shown to have better credentials than once thought. Should we now add them to the canon? The fact of the matter is that the Church did not invent the canon of the Old Testament. It did, however, endorse the Septuagint which had been in existence prior to the first century. The additional deutercanonical books in the Septuagint were, indeed, expunged by the Jews for very good reasons and, to this day, they are like the human appendix - something that is of some curiosity, but of no real purpose or function. It would not matter a whit to either Protestant or Catholic theology if the deutercanonical books were included or excluded in the canon of scripture.
    __________________________________________________________
    Luther's statement support the argument that without the decisions of the Catholic Church, we would not know which books of the Bible are inspired. St. Augustine says in "Contra Epistolam Manichaei, "I would put no faith in the Gospels unless the authority of the Catholic Church had directed me to do so." St. Augustine recognized that the only way to determine which books are inspired is to accept the teaching authority of the Catholic Church.

    You seem to have two misunderstandings here. We Protestants, especially those of us who are not Lutheran, do not hold Luther in the same regard as Catholics hold the Pope. We do not believe that any of his statements are infallible truth but, rather, test them according to scripture. For example, although Luther believed in the perpetual virginity of Mary, very few Protestants, including Lutherans, agree with him. If Luther thought the Roman Catholic Church was in existence at the Council of Nicea, then he was in error. It did not exist apart from the Eastern Churches until after the Great Schism in 1054. As for Augustine, I think he would be quite bewildered to imagine that one segment of the church arrogated to itself the term "catholic" which, in his day, hardly referred to the Roman Catholic Church.


    Regardless of how you portray Luther (I am aware that no protestants hold him in the position of pope) it is still fact that a large majority of what protestants believe is based on what Luther and other reformers like him taught as truth.

    I realize that Catholics have great difficulty in understanding the Protestant mentality. Many, if not most, Protestants are unaware of the existence of Luther's Greater or Smaller Cathechisms or of Calvin's Institutes of Religion or of the Westminster Confession of Faith, to name three of the more prominent sets of documents, much less what is contained in any of these historical documents. Most Protestants derive their theology from the Bible or from preachers in their churches, even as most Catholics know Catholic teaching from homilies in the church. Very few Catholics are aware of the works of Augustine or Aquinas, much less are coversant in their theology.

    It is historical that Rome was considered the center of the Church. Now I'm going to do something I'm not so fond of but here are some exerts from Wikipedia

    << In the second century (AD 189), the assertion of the primacy of the Church of Rome may be indicated in St. Ireanaeus of Lyon's Against Heresies
    (3:3:2): "With [the Church of Rome], because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree... and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition." >>

    << This passage in Irenaeus [from Against Heresies 3:4:1] illuminates the meaning of his remarks about the Church of Rome: if there are disputes in a local church, that church should have recourse to the Roman Church, for there is contained the Tradition which is preserved by all the churches. Rome's vocation [in the pre-Nicene period] consisted in playing the part of arbiter, settling contentious issues by witnessing to the truth or falsity of whatever doctrine was put before them. Rome was truly the center where all converged if they wanted their doctrine to be accepted by the conscience of the Church. They could not count upon success except on one condition -- that the Church of Rome had received their doctrine -- and refusal from Rome predetermined the attitude the other churches would adopt. There are numerous cases of this recourse to Rome... >>

    << The first bishop to claim primacy in writing was 254-257 (Pope Stephan I) >>

    << Pope Damascus (366-384) was first to claim that Rome's primacy rested solely on Peter, and was the first pope to refer to the Roman church as the "Apostolic See". The prestige of the city itself was no longer sufficient; but in the doctrine of apostolic succession the popes had an unassailable position. >>

    St. Augustine, living from 384 to 430, unless unaware of what was going on was completely aware of the superiority of Rome.

    There's more on that wiki page but I'd prefer to stop embarrassing myself using such a source. If you see any errors correct me please

    There are several threads in General Theology addressing this topic with similar quotes from more reliable sources. Suffice it to say, that both the EOC and OOC not to mention Protestants are quite adept at sourcing Church Fathers to support their positions. I do recommend that you read some of these threads as they are really quite interesting.

    However, I think we are shifting away from your OP which was that it is hypocritical to accept the Bible and not the (Western or Roman) Catholic Church. I think I have sufficiently demonstrated that your church does not have an undisputed claim to creating the canon of the Bible. Therefore, I find any denomination which makes that claim to be either ignorant of history or guilty of distorting history to its own ends.
     
  11. cobweb

    cobweb Cranky octogenarian at heart

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    I do agree that it is a bit hypocritical to accept the canon of the Bible (or at least the New Testament... since the number of books in the Old Testament differs) but to reject doctrines like Mary as Theotokos which was accepted by an earlier council.

    My main disagreement here is which Church was the original one. You believe that it is the Roman Catholic Church. I do not.
     
  12. Turkleton

    Turkleton Yeah, I'm that Papist punk

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    But bbbbbb you do admit that there was, whether the Catholic/Orthodox Church at the time, was able to infallibly decide on the inspired books to be compiled in the bible?
     
  13. Aibrean

    Aibrean Honest. Maybe too Honest.

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    I said we, as a generalization to all protestants (because the belief system has been rooted from the Catholic church. The Lutheran mass for instance is not much different than a Catholic mass). I also said teaching, not infallibility. We are all human and we can easily be tempted to do things for our own gain.

    I would like to point out that there was also one point in time when the Catholic church was using its "authority" as a way to gain power (i.e. the Crusades).

    I'm referring specifically to certain Ecumenical councils (which is why I said, one point in time) which of course included the now Orthodox church (I haven't read what happened in all the councils so I am not sure what was discussed post-Schism, I'm still a newbie on the subject since I wasn't raise Lutheran...now I have an interest in learning).
     
  14. shinbits

    shinbits Well-Known Member

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    Not at all. God used Solomon to build the temple, but Solomon still turned from God when he was old, and worshipped idols.

    Just because the RCC boasts about being used to bring about the New Testement, it doesn't mean they haven't strayed into error.
     
  15. Turkleton

    Turkleton Yeah, I'm that Papist punk

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    Most of this is irrelevant to the question. Do you not believe that the Bible is infallible word of God? Would that not mean that some one had to infallibly compile it?
     
  16. Turkleton

    Turkleton Yeah, I'm that Papist punk

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    John 16:13 - But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

    Luke 10:16 - "He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."

    1 Timothy 3:15 - church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

    Saint Irenaeus (200) "for where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God; and where the spirit of God, the Church and every grace. The spirit, however, is Truth" Against Heresies 3, 24, 1.
     
  17. Aibrean

    Aibrean Honest. Maybe too Honest.

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    The compilation is separate from what I am taking about in regards to the Catholic church. That's why I specified the ecumenical councils where much of the content of the Bible was decided upon. I can't say the Catholic church's authority was infallible for all time because some was founded upon greed and power.
     
  18. Turkleton

    Turkleton Yeah, I'm that Papist punk

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    Bit of confusion there then. For clarification to what you are saying though. You admit, at least at one time, the Church had the power to infallibly compile the bible right?
     
  19. Jason Engwer

    Jason Engwer Newbie

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    Turkleton wrote:

    "The official canon of books of the Bible was authoritatively determined by the Catholic Church in the 4th century. Thus it is from the Catholic Church that protestants have a Bible at all."

    Jews and Christians believed that particular books are scripture, and held themselves and others accountable to those books as scripture, for hundreds of years prior to the fourth century. There was no papal ruling or council in the fourth century that was widely perceived as having settled the canon. Canonical disputes, over both the Old Testament and the New, continued for hundreds of years beyond the fourth century. As the Roman Catholic patristic scholar Joseph Lienhard notes:

    "For the first fifteen centuries of Christianity, no Christian Church put forth a definitive list of biblical books. Most Christians had followed St. Augustine and included the 'Apocrypha' in the canon, but St. Jerome, who excluded them, had always had his defenders." (The Bible, The Church, And Authority [Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1995], p. 59)

    I recently completed a series of articles on the subject of the New Testament canon. You can find a list of those articles and a list of some of the points I make within the articles at triablogue.blogspot.com/2009/06/new-testament-canon.html. Readers of this thread may especially be interested in the article titled "Popes, Councils, And The New Testament Canon".

    And I deny that the earliest Christians were Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox. See "The Historical Roots Of The Reformation And Evangelicalism" in my sig below.

    You write:

    "Logically, Protestants should not quote the Bible at all, for they have no way of determining which books are inspired--unless, of course, they accept the teaching of the Catholic Church."

    Then how did pre-Christian Jews recognize the scriptural status of the Old Testament books? Jesus held the Jewish people of His day accountable for recognizing and obeying scripture. How could He do so if they needed a fourth-century teaching of your denomination to tell them what is and isn't scripture? How did Christians before the fourth century know what is and isn't scripture?

    If you can identify the allegedly infallible church by means of your own study of church history, without the church telling you what to believe (you can't justify church authority on the basis of church authority), then why can't Protestants identify scripture by means of their own study of the relevant evidence? The early Christians repeatedly said that they recognized the scriptural status of books without a church ruling on the subject. See the examples I cite in my article titled "The Means Of Identifying A New Testament Canon" on the page referenced above.

    Turkleton has also made some inaccurate claims about the Old Testament canon in this thread. I address the Old Testament briefly in one of the articles in my series, the one titled "Why Do Evangelicals Agree With The Christian New Testament Consensus, But Disagree With The Christian Old Testament Consensus?".

    Since Turkleton also made some claims about Roman primacy, some readers might be interested in a couple of articles I've written on the history of the papacy. See the relevant links under "The Historical Roots Of The Reformation And Evangelicalism" in my sig below.
     
  20. ThomasAbel70

    ThomasAbel70 Thoroughbred Christian

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    Not hypcritical.

    Just an uninformed decision.

    :liturgy:
     
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