First question: is the Catholic Church contradicting Holy Writte when saying we have its canon from Tradition? Or is it true?
Matt Slick says nay, claiming this contradicts 1 Cor. 4:6.
How does bishop Witham with some others make out the meaning of 1 Cor. 4:6?
|1 CORINTHIANS - Chapter 4 : 6 But these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollo, for your sakes: that in us you may learn, that one be not puffed up against the other for another, above that which is written.
|Ver. 6. These things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself, and to Apollo. Literally, these things have I transfigured in me and Apollo, that is, I have represented the divisions and disputes among you, as if it were by your contending, whether I, or Apollo, or Cephas were the best preachers, without naming those, as I might do, who are the true causes of these divisions, by striving who should be thought men of the greatest and brightest parts.
That in us, and by our example, who have no such proud disputes, you might learn that one be not puffed up against the other, and above that which is written, against the admonitions given in the holy Scriptures of being humble: or against what I have now written to you, that we must strive for nothing, but to be the faithful ministers of God, and not seek the esteem of men. (Witham)
It is the opinion of St. Thomas Aquinas and likewise of Estius, that St. Paul, Apollo, and Cephas were not the real causes of the divisions that existed amongst the new converts at Corinth, but that in making use of these names, he wished to teach them, that if it was unlawful to keep up these divisions even for the sake of the apostles, how far should they be from doing any thing of this kind for those whose authority was much less in the Church. But Calmet is of opinion, that the divisions amongst the Corinthians were certainly on account of Paul, Apollo, Cephas, and perhaps some others, whose names are not mentioned.
So, no, this socalled "unfortunate psychological effect" of the Catholic claim is not there. It is not unfortunate, it is not contradicted by the Bible.
- First of all,
- Matt Slick
- the Roman Catholic Church was not really around as an organization in the first couple hundred years of the Christian Church.
- The approach makes the argument that what is specific to the Roman Catholic Church is efficient organisation.
In fact, there are some "do it yourself" moments in Catholicism, as Billot discussed about the Nestorius affair, which I was just watching in Father Cekada's video.
Pope Fictions 1: Nestorian Story Time
Rev. Anthony Cekada
You hear your bishop utter heresy, you stop attending his Masses or even all Masses of priests depending on him, even before you get a confirmation from Rome it is heresy. Such "do it yourself" defense of doctrine is part of the Catholic "organisation".
- The Christian church was under persecution,
- and official church gatherings were very risky in the Roman Empire due to the persecution.
- Well, that is more like an argument against Greek Orthodox ecclesiology! It was easier for weighty matters to be brought before the one pope in Rome in presence of some few of his trusted men and that by two delegates from each bishop concerned, than for the bishop(s) concerned to invite all neighbouring ones for a council, in the areas where the persecution was serious.
- Catholicism, as an organization with a central figure located in Rome,
- Catholic hierarchy was headed by the Pope. One of the very early ones was at least acting as patriarch, probably as Pope over Corinth. Papal series from Sts Peter and Paul was the cornerstone of orthodoxy to St Irenaeus. St Ignatius of Antioch - ALSO a successor of St Peter (who had been in Antioch between Jerusalem and Rome, as a residing bishop even) showed clear deference to the Romans.
- did not occur for quite some time in spite of its claim they can trace the papacy back to Peter.
- And we are supposed to take the word of a Protestant for it?
- Matt Slick
- the Christian Church recognized what was Scripture. It did not establish it.
- How do you recognise a thing without establishing it? If you as a state officially recognise today that "all men are created free and equal" you are establishing a precedent for tomorrow someone wanting to abolish slavery.
- This is a very important point. The Christian Church recognizes what God has inspired and pronounces that recognition.
- So far, so good.
And how does she - supposedly - do this without also establishing what she has recognised?
- In other words, it discovers what is already authentic.
- The claim "the Catholic Church gave us and you the Bible" does not mean the Church enjoyed creativity and liberty in deciding what books to include. It means the Church enjoyed ACCESS to God's authentification.
An access not directly enjoyed by for instance each individual Christian. But the Christian enjoys this access THROUGH the Church.
Back when I was a non-denominational and unbaptised believer, at the start I had access to a Swedish Bible of the 1917 translation promoted by the Swedish Church. It was a 66 book one.
Later I got a Catholic Bible in German (easy enough in Vienna) which included Maccabees and stuff in OT.
As individual believer, how should I know whether Maccabees was part or not? Personally, I didn't doubt it. If you like, "my inner light" led me right. Or my childlike taste in matters of faith. In that case whoever is guided by his inner light to exclude II Maccabees, his inner light leads him wrong.
So, though the inner light led me right for the moment, I have no difficulty in seeing how inner light is a very erratic criterium per se. Unless complemented by a higher one.
Therefore, the Church needs more than just the inner light of each believer.
The Church needs to be able to voice a COMMON decision, and that means some-ONE has to be able to VOICE the decision of the Church.
- Jesus said "my sheep hear my voice and they follow me . . . " (John 10:27). The church hears the voice of Christ; that is, it recognizes what is inspired, and it follows the word.
- Correct. Precisely what we claim the Catholic Church DID and the Protestant "churches" did NOT.
- It does not add to it
- We claim very seriously the Catholic Church has not added to it.
- as the Roman Catholic Church has done.
- We claim very seriously, this is a false and baseless accusation.
- Therefore, it is not following the voice of Christ.
- Rather, YOU are not, as you follow people who for personal preference cut out books they had received by the Church previous to them.
The phrase "the Catholic Church gave the Protestants the Bible" is at LEAST true in the very obvious and immediate sense that it was in Catholic Church buildings and monasteries that Martin Luther, Huldrich Zwingli and his associate Oecolampadius, the less mainstream-Protestant reformers Sozzini and Münzer, and the later ones Calvin and Knox, Farel, Bucer, Cranmer, Tyndale, Petri brothers, Agricola, Tausen, Melanchthon had first found their Bibles.
As I had first found mine in the Swedish Church, basically, though circulating outside it.
Difference, I exchanged to a version existing before me, they made a new version not existing before them.
I ceased to take the Bible from their successors and took it from the Church they had got it from.
- Matt Slick
- the Roman Catholic Church did not give us the Old Testament which is the Scripture to which Christ and the apostles appealed.
- Equivocation. You are taking "not the Catholic Church" as being sufficiently meaningful in the sense of "work done before apostles". But the Catholic Church is built on Patriarchs and Prophets, Apostles and Gospellers, with Christ Himself as corner stone. It reaches back to before Christ came in the flesh.
The Old Testament was produced by the predecessor of the Christian Church which was the Jewish Church, with High Priests between Aaron and Kaiaphas.
But that old Jewish Church is the same, ontologically, as the Christian Church.
In fact, if the Jewish Church ever divided into two, either one or other faction was not just "unfriendly" by not keeping company, but WRONG by no longer obeying the common authority.
So, either Jesus or Kaiaphas broke that unity. If Kaiaphas did it, one cannot appeal to his successors, the successors of his apostasy, nor to the Rabbis for the Old Testament : the first Christian Church already had it.
And faithfully transmitted it.
1517 in West Europe, between Protestants and Catholics, certainly Catholics had the immensely better claim to be continuing this Church.
And in fact, the Reformers were not appealing to Patriarchs of Constantinople or Iasi or Moscow for a shorter OT canon, but to non-Christian rabbis.
Who said the non-Christian rabbis were any longer in any position to know what the Bible was?
- If the Roman Catholic Church wants to state that it gave us the Bible, then how can they rightfully claim to have given us the Old Testament which is part of the Bible?
- By being the legitimate successor AND fulfiller of the Jewish Church, established by Moses with High Priests ranging from Aaron to Kaiaphas.
- It didn't, so it cannot make that claim.
- She did in this indirect manner (if you call a reference to its OT pre-existence indirect, when apostles were of Jewish Church) and that is why she can make the claim.
- The fact is that the followers of God, the true followers of God, recognize what is and is not inspired.
- Individually or by collective decision? If by collective, by hierarchic or by huge assemblies (hint : huge assemblies were dangerous in the Roman Empire before Constantine, as you mentioned yourself).
If either way by a collective decision, where were the true followers simply KEEPING the canon already given in 1517?
Among Catholics? Among Churches of Constantinople and Iasi (which have both books of Maccabees, and even a III and a IV)? Among Church of Moscow? It has a First Esra, to which our First Esra or Esra is their Second Esra.
Prot RC RsO - - I Esra Esra I Esra II Esra Nehemia II Esra III Esra
Among Nestorians? I thought they had a book of Barch that even we lack.
Or Copts? They have another book of Baruch than even we lack.
Prot RC Nest Copt - (I) Baruch ? ? - - II Baruch - - - - III Baruch - - - (Eth.) Henoch
So, for the 66 books, the only two options are, either they got it from pure non-hierarchical inspiration without any known precedent or they were mixing the Christian canon's new testament with the canon of the rabbis.
Either way, the Reformers were not taking the Word of God from any previous Church of God existing before them.
The Rabbinic Judaism is not legitimate heir, more like a fossil, of Jewish Church as extant between Aaron and Kaiaphas.
And an inner light, why did the Holy Ghost wait to 1500's?
- Matt Slick
- when the apostles wrote the New Testament documents, they were inspired by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- There wasn't any real issue of whether or not they were authentic.
- To themselves no, but the rest of the Church needed at least to be notified.
And the notification to be ratified as really coming from an apostle and not from a fraud.
- Their writings did not need to be deemed worthy of inclusion in the Canon of Scripture by a later group of men in the so-called Roman Catholic Church.
- The RC claim of having given the Church (and the parallel claims of GkO, RmO, RsO, Nest, Copt, Arm Churches) the canon is NOT a claim about a "later group of men".
It is directly a claim about the Apostles and about what MS called "a later group of men" NOT being really later, but reaching back to precisely these, since being the Church Christ founded on them.
- To make such a claim is, in effect, to usurp the natural power and authority of God himself that worked through the Apostles.
- No, for the Church does NOT claim to have inspired the Scriptures and does NOT claim any power of adding new books to it.
At utmost, she could ratify books claimed by Copts or Nestorians, by Orthodox bodies and Armenians as original part of OT canon despite these not having been recognised by councils of the real Church after the schism.
But she cannot add any new ones, and never did claim any such power.
- Matt Slick
- the Scripture says, "But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." (2 Pet. 1:20-21).
- Very accurate reason why:
- final redaction of Genesis was by Moses and not by any previous patriarchs who redacted parts of it
- certain OT books, like the 4 books of Kings (or "book of Samuel" and "book of Kings" as the Jews say) or Paralipomenon or Psalms having a collective and usually (except most individual Psalms) anonymous authorship
- either Christians or Jews needed to have the right canon from start of division AND the one who are the right Church of God needed to be the one having that
- Reformers were in a worse position than the Catholic Church.
- The Bible tells us that the Scriptures are inspired by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the very nature of the inspired documents is that they carry power and authenticity in themselves. They are not given the power or the authenticity of ecclesiastical declaration.
- This contradicts the very point made by the quote. 2 Peter 1:20-21. Unless by "carrying authenticity in themselves" you mean one which can be recognised and definitely so by - precisely the Church. Or unless by "give authenticity" you were to mean anything other than "give voice to recognising authenticity".
And that is all the Catholic Church claims to do or rather to have done and to continue to do in the matter.
Hans Georg Lundahl
St Callixtus I, Pope and Martyr