Some people may know that I consider Kent Hovind pretty bright when it comes to the question between Bible and modern So Called Scholarship. You know the "deep time" thing and the "evolution thing" and "men and dinosaurs never lived together thing" and a few more like that.
But one thing he is not bright on is exact points of moral theology. Like what you need to avoid to get saved ("drinking any alcohol" is not on the correct list) or what you need to do to get saved (baptism and confession and doing the penance set out in confession are clearly on the list of how one gets one's soul washed in the blood of the lamb - and he would include baptism only as a sign to show one's heart is already washed, which is wrong and not confession, not penance).
Now, since that is so, one might take a real wild guess and ask whether we share the same outlook on Church History. We. Do. Not.
Fortunately for him, he is not the chief culprit in his connexion of this issue. Chick is the guy he follows on such things. Here are some of the calumnies and errors.
And since I just admitted that accepting the Gospel depends on credibility for witness of the Church, it so happens I think Chick is a culprit also for those who reject the Gospel - by not giving it a credible pedigree between God some two thousand years ago and us. He can write a thing like this - he gives a history of the Bible, where he is wrong on part 2 "intertestamental period" in saying no Scripture was written and that there was no Church (the "Jewish Church" existed from Moses to Kaiaphas and Jesus showed his unity with Moses by being part of it, and Maccabees were written), but here we get to some anti-catholic stuff, first a straw man:
God the Holy Spirit inspired them, perfectly and accurately, to write the words of God for the church. The church did not "inspire" anything.
It is perfectly true, but the Catholic Church never claimed the Church inspired the Bible. It claims the Catholic Church recognised which version of OT was inspired and which books were inspired under New Testament. Precisely as the Jewish Church soon after it was founded by the Covenant at Sinai had recognised as Holy the books it had watched Moses write.
Not familiar with the word "Jewish Church"? You have not read Haydock, then. It had authority to make new feasts not found in Torah, as we see from Purim and Hanukkah. Exactly so its Perfect Successor before God, the Catholic Church has the right to decide on feasts. And on fasts. But if ever you studied Hebrew, you may have heard the phrase Qahal Israel. Now, Qahal and Ekklesia mean exactly the same thing. They mean the formal assembly of a nation or a city state.
The problem with what Chick says is not that the Church inspired the Gospels or the Epistles or Apocalypse.
The problem is that he seems to think the phrase "we get the Bible from the Catholic Church" somehow mean that.
Pope Leo XIII very clearly stated way before Chick was born that God is author of the entire Bible and of each book and each part of a book. The one thing He is not original author of is of course quotes from what bad characters in the Bible said. "There is no God" - well, that is not God saying it, He is stating that the fool is saying it in his heart. But apart from examples like that God is saying everything that the Canonic Bible of the Catholic Church is saying. God, not just the Church.
However, under God there are human authors, and just as Moses belonged to the Jewish Church before its apostasy by Kaiaphas, so St Paul after his conversion from that apostate Jewish Church belonged to the Christian Church. And just as the Jewish Church had known Moses was part of it, the Christian Church knew St Paul was part of it. Just as the Jewish Church could assess how credible it was that "God spoke to Moses and said" in the light of the Exodus, so the Christian Church could asses the claims of St Paul when he states a thing like "I say this not from Christ but from me" and in another context "I state this not from me but from Christ" - in the light of St Paul working miracles.
When the apostles wrote their letters, the congregations received them. They read them. They spread them. They copied them for other brethren in Christ Jesus. And they recognized their authority in the Christian's life. So the Scriptures were produced by men of God, not by "the church." But they were produced FOR the church.
The men of God were also men of the Church. It was the Church that recognised them as men of God. They were not private people with no connexions previous to writing inspired books, they were not a Camel driver who suddenly got a vision of one claiming to be Gabriel, nor a shepherd who got insulted and then instructed by nine muses, whom he had observed singing hypns to among others "Kronos of the crooked mind" ... they were men already involved in the Church and therefore already accepted as men of God by the Church when they wrote. Moses was already accepted by what became the Jewish Church for the Passover by the time they arrived at Sinai. St Matthew was already accepted as a Disciple of Christ, one of the Twelve before his Gospel.
But though the original manuscript of each book was rather for the Church than by the Church, its preservation and the fact of copying and spreading it were acts precisely of the Church. Just as the copying of Torah scrolls had been under the Jewish Church.
And the Church accepting it is not very well formulated in his words about "the congregations" ... first Church does not mean any and every kind of congregation, but Ekklesia means the same as Qahal. And second it had a central authority. In Rome. Even when a council assembled elsewhere about a thing (such as that of Carthage about - among other things I presume - Scripture Canon) it was confirmed by Rome.
The last book of the Bible was Revelation, written about 96 AD, just before the apostle John died around 100 AD. After the apostles died, the churches continued to collect the letters they did not have, to read them and understand the authority under God by which they wrote.
Actually the lives we have state that St John wrote the Gospel after returning from exile on Patmos. Meaning after the Apocalypse. The rest of the statement is correct as far as it goes, but bypasses the fact of central authority.
But no one else shared that place. There is an "epistle of Barnabas" (which bears no proof it was written by Barnabas), which many think was penned in the first century. But the difference between its message of salvation and of the apostolic writings is too easy to see. If you believe the Scriptures, you cannot believe the so-called "epistle of Barnabas."
I have not read Epistle of Barnabas, and I do not recollect if it was condemned as spurious or just left alone. I do know that the Epistle to the Hebrews has by some been consiodered as written by St Barnabas rather than by St Paul. I also know that two Gospels are not written by any of the Twelve : Sts Mark and Luke were thus not Apostles in that restricted sense.
There are the writings of Polycarp, disciple of John (when John was very aged). There are writings of Clement and others. But those are all writings of Christians. Just Christians. Some were even martyrs, but their writings depended on the Scriptures--they were not Scripture themselves.
That much we agree on. Thanks to decision of the Church. One early list of NT books includes Pastor Hermas. I think it is the same one which also includes Epistle of Barnabas, but I might be wrong. Their writings are not Scripture themselves.
Their writings depend on the Scriptures? Actually on Scripture and Tradition.
Anyone who would base their faith on them would have a horrid foundation, just as if there were "Lutherans" today, learning of God's word only what they find in Martin Luther's writings. Interesting writing, at times "inspirational" writing, fine. Inspired? Not a chance.
Anyone basing his faith on their writings would have a better basis than if basing it on Martin Luther's. He was a heretic condemned by the Catholic Church. They were men of the Church and men of God, recognised as such by the Church.
And one needs the Truth of the Bible much more than the text of the Bible. Some parts are explained in appearance clearer in these writings.
Διδαχη explains we fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. In the Gospel it says "when the Bridegroom is present his friends are happy and do not fast" (no fasting on Sundays - except individual medical reasons) "but when the Bridegroom is taken away, then will they fast" (Christ was taken away on the Wednesday when Judas received thirty pieces of silver and on the Friday when he hung on the Cross). Without the explanation of the Διδαχη (from the very earliest Christians) some cut off from Tradition might have taken that word from the Gospel as meaning one can fast no more as Christians after Pentecost happened. Indeed one can and should. Christ recommends prayer and precisely fasting. But not on the days when Christ comes to us (Thursdays and especially Sundays) but on those days when in Holy Week he was taken from us. Wednesdays and especially Fridays. As stated in the Διδαχη.
The Roman Catholic church has had only one aim from its earliest, pagan and political origins: To destroy the true Christians, and to destroy their Bible.
When exactly was that? I know of no moment in history which would fit such a description!
If you mean Bergoglio, he seems to be Jewish one day and is accepted as Catholic the other day. As I said, the Jewish Church apostasised through Kaiaphas. And before Vatican II you do not get very great success for Jewish infiltrators (excepting possibly just Pius XII).
That is why they substituted the corrupt Alexandrian perversions of scripture, instead of using the preserved, prophetic and apostolic Words of God as found in Antioch of Syria, where "the disciples were first called Christians" (Acts 11:26).
OK, which of the Apostolic Churches has totally renounced the Alexandrian version (which Genealogy of St Luke agrees with, see "second Cainaan")? Was the OT that Chick describes as preserved found in connexion of a NT? But above all, since we have the Bible in the sense I already explained (and not in the strawman sense Chick needlessly refuted) from the Church, which Apostolic Church preserved exactly that text?
That is why they also added the Alexandrian writings we now call "Apocrypha" to their perverted bibles.
I suppose this means the books excluded from the 66 books version. Included in Septuagint.
That Roman Catholics recognise seven (if you count Baruch a k a "Baruch 1" as a separate book rather than appendix to Jeremiah) plus two chapters in Daniel and some other detail.
The Nestorian or Syrian Old Testament includes several of these or all and Baruch 2. And more psalms than 150. Its NT excludes books which Chick agreeing with RCC accepts as canonic.
The Copts in Ethiopia also have more Psalms than 150, and they have Book of Henoch. Let us quote good old wiki: "The Ethiopian "narrow" canon includes 81 books altogether: The 27 book New Testament; those Old Testament books found in the Septuagint and accepted by the Orthodox; as well as Enoch, Jubilees, 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Rest of the Words of Baruch and 3 books of Meqabyan (these three Ethiopian books of Maccabees are entirely different in content from the four Books of Maccabees known elsewhere)."
The diverse Eastern Orthodox Churches also have more books than RCC, not 66. Roumanians have Third and Fourth Maccabees (the last of these is held as written by Flavius Josephus). Russians have Three Books of Ezra instead of the two we often call Ezra and Nehemia. They add a first book that is a prequel to them.
No Apostolic Church has accepted just the 66 books. That is a purely Protestant invention, absent from 1500 years of Christian Tradition. And none of the books that Chick would describe as "added" contradict Genesis either.
That is why they used their Jesuits to infiltrate the Protestant Seminaries, Colleges and Bible Schools.
Well, the first goal of Jesuits - when getting to England rather than Ethiopia or Angola or Brazil as missionaries - was rather to celebrate Mass for faithful Catholics. Some were martyred at Tyburn for it. But if they sometimes tried to reach out to people honestly deluded by Protestantism and pious enough to try to become servants of God, and if they did not directly lie on any point, I am not inclined to grieve for any supposed dishonesty therein.
But look what a giant leap from "earliest Pagan political origins" to the RCC as contemporary with Protestants.
He even skips the clear fact that RCC preceded Protestants. That Protestants actually had been in but not of the Catholic Church.
Their Jesuits became the "teachers" and planted seeds of doubt in the Christians' minds. These doubt-ridden Christians then taught at other colleges and schools. All the while they planted that same seed of doubt of God's word in their students.
Cardinal Newman - I was reading his lecture series about the Idea of an University yesterday - actually said it was Protestant "free exmination" of Scripture which led to doubt. From the first.
Socinians were less Christian the Watchtower Society, as far as Bible doctrine is concerned. Luther wanted to do away with Epistle fo St James. Calvin thought of Jonah as a "religious novel". Anabaptists threw moral doubts about Romans Chapter 13. Modernism came from Protestants to Catholics, not from Jesuits to Protestants. Atheism was proposed by Lord Shaftesbury - in a Protestant nation. Accepting miracles and portents in history (and ultimately therefore also Gospels) was attacked by a Protestant called Bayle. He was followed by one Hume - who was inheritor of the most ruthless Protestant Reformation and the most ruthless hunt of Jesuits of them all - he was a Scotsman.
Darwin was an Anglican. His model in Geology, Lyell, was catering to Protestant modernism at a time when Catholics would only have shook their heads at such things. His model in zoology and "natural theology", Pailey, was an Anglican clergyman, not a Catholic one. The inventor of deep time was also a Scottish Protestant. James Hutton.*
If you want continental Englightenment in the Culprit list, ok, but Kant was a Protestant and Spinoza was a Jew. Rousseau, though converting to Catholicism was not totally true to it (and Confession of a Savoyard Country Priest can be taken as an act of apostasy and was on index of forbidden books). His background also was Protestant. Those with Catholic background still engaging in sowing doubts - like Voltaire - lauded Protestantism as much as a man with Austrian background nevertheless lauded Prussia. I like to remember him as a decent painter. Or as model for a Dictator in a funny film by Charlie Chaplin. But those loyal to Catholicism in Austria were not typical Nazis and those loyal to Catholicism in XVIIIth C. were not sowing any seeds of doubt.
Didn't Christianity consist of the Catholic Church for the first 1500 years?
No. While the Catholic Church was seeking to control the world through religion, true Christians were running for their lives from the Catholic holocaust that ran for centuries.
God has always had His people, faithful to Him and His Word. They had no part in the Roman Catholic Church. Through much of history, organized religion has hunted and slaughtered God's people. For an excellent overview of this, read the classic work, "The Trail of Blood."
Let us suck the marrow of each bone ...
While the Catholic Church was seeking to control the world through religion, ...
Again, since when? I find really and truly no date fitting that description!
... true Christians ...
Who were they? Albigensians who believed Satan had created the world? Bogumils?
Or Donatists who on the one hand differred from Protestants by Seven Sacraments and on the other hand said that someone really fallen after baptism cannot be saved or restored?
The only true Christians I can fit into tenth Century are clearly Catholics. Unless you would like to add Ethiopians and Nestorians. Even Eastern Orthodox were not separate from us back then?
... were running for their lives from the Catholic holocaust that ran for centuries.
Problem 1: Inquisition starts targetting Albigensians, who cannot by any stretch of imagination or charity be called Christians. They were, like a sect that St Augustine left for the Catholic Church, Manicheans.
Problem 2: Inquisition starts well after any kind of societal change that Protestants like these would describe as a fake Church taking the place of the real one.
When Priscillianists are condemned and persecuted, the ecclesiastic condemnation is not equal to asking the Emperor for persecution. He does so because of certain disorders other than merely being heretics condemned by the Church. Same as with revolutionary killing machines among the Donatists.
Problem 3: this means that we would have a real gap between early true Christians and later Protestants.
A gap which contradicts the words of the Lord in Matthew 28 as much as it throws a stupid doubt about the divinity of the Christian Bible.
Unless of course he would settle for pretty late just-before-Inquisition and otherwise clearly Roman Catholics as the very latest early true Christians. But if early Christianity is found in pre-Inquisition Catholicism, how come anyone could settle for Protestantism?
Problem 4: earliest burning of a Heretic for Heresy (as totally distinct from witchcraft or sedition, meaning Priscillianists and Donatists) was not done by the Catholic Church or at demand of the Catholic Church.
One Basil the Physician thought was apprehended and condemned as secret leader of a Bogumil sect. So the Basileus, the Roman Emperor, Alexius I Comnenus tried to convert him, failed and the burned him at a stake. Of the two, certainly Alexius did believe in Genesis and Basil did not. It may be noted Alexius was in schism with Rome in a sense - though the schism was favourably overlooked when he asked Urban II for the help known as First Crusade (which in the end he did not accept as such).
Two heretics had been executed in the West the Century just before - but those were popular lynchings, not official executions. In one of the cases it was a reaction to him burning crosses - which was considered as a pretty clearly diabolic act. And they had as pretty clearly not been providing good copies of the Bible.
Nanterre - Paris X
Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary
*I could have added that Buffon was a Freemason, and the first lodge was from London and its earliest members Protestants. Cuvier was from a Lutheran family. "Natif d'une famille luthérienne de Montbéliard, territoire alors rattaché au duché de Wurtemberg où l’école est obligatoire, c’est la lecture de Buffon au cours de ses études brillantes qui orientera la vie de Georges Cuvier." Lutheran and from a region with compulsory schools ... not a Catholic, thus.