Skip to comments.Why the Roman Catholic Arguments for the Canon are Spurious
Posted on 07/21/2013 6:01:01 PM PDT by HarleyD
It is often asserted by Roman Catholic apologists that Protestants must rely on their tradition in order to know which books ought to be included in the Biblical Canon. The argument says that since there is no inspired table of contents for the Bible, then we are forced into relying upon tradition to dictate which books belong in the Bible, and which books do not. It was the church of Rome, these apologists alledge, which determined the canon at the Councils of Hippo (393 A.D.) and Carthage (397 A.D.), and it is only due to this, that Protestants know which books are inspired, and which are not. Consequently, it is the Roman Church which should be submitted to on issues of faith.
The argument of Roman Catholics for the Canon is spurious on a number of counts.
First of all, the Councils of Carthage and Hippo did not establish the canon for the Church as a whole. The New Catholic Encyclopedia actually affirms the fact that the Canon was not officially and authoritatively established for the Western Church until the Council of Trent in the 16th century and that even such an authority as Pope Gregory the Great rejected the Apocrypha as canonical:
St. Jerome distinguished between canonical books and ecclesiastical books. The latter he judged were circulated by the Church as good spiritual reading but were not recognized as authoritative Scripture. The situation remained unclear in the ensuing centuries...For example, John of Damascus, Gregory the Great, Walafrid, Nicolas of Lyra and Tostado continued to doubt the canonicity of the deuterocanonical books. According to Catholic doctrine, the proximate criterion of the biblical canon is the infallible decision of the Church. This decision was not given until rather late in the history of the Chruch at the Council of Trent. The Council of Trent definitively settled the matter of the Old Testament Canon. That this had not been done previously is apparent from the uncertainty that persisted up to the time of Trent (The New Catholic Encyclopedia, The Canon).
There are major fathers in the Church prior to the North African Councils who rejected the judgment of these councils such as Origen, Melito of Sardis, Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory of Nazianzus, Hilary of Poitiers, Epiphanius, Basil the Great, Jerome, Rufinus and a host of others. They hold to the view, generally speaking, that the Old Testament books were 22 in number or sometimes listed as 24 depending on how the books were grouped together. This corresponds to the Jewish canon which did not accept the books of the Apocrypha as being canonical. Jerome, who spent many years in Palestine and who had Jewish teachers, rejected the Apocrypha because those books were not recognized as canonical by the Jews. Some have suggested that the Septuagint included these books as canonical which is proof that the Alexandrian Jews had a broader canon than the Jews of Palestine but this is untrue. They make this assertion because the apocryphal books are included in some of the early manuscripts we have of the Septuagint. But all that tells you is that the Septuagint included the books of the Apocrypha along with the canonical books of the Old Testament for reading purposes, not that they were received as canonical. The only manuscripts we posses of the Septuagint are of Christian origin from the 4th and 5th centuries so they are not necessarily reflective of the Jews of Alexandria at all. Also, these Septuagint manuscripts contain works such as III Maccabees which were never received as canonical. In addition, Origen and Athanasius who were from Alexandria both reject the Apocryphal books as being canonical. There are a couple that Athanasius does receive such as Baruch but he mistakenly thought such a work was part of canonical Jeremiah.
Hippo and Carthage were provincial councils which did not have ecumenical authority. In addition, those councils actually contradict the Council of Trent on an important point. Firstly, Hippo and Carthage state that 1 Esdras and 2 Esdras are canonical. They are referring here to the Septuagint version of 1 and 2 Esdras. In this version 1 Esdras is the Apocryphal additions to Ezra while 2 Esdras is the Jewish verion of Ezra-Nehemiah from the Jewish canon. The Council of Trent however states that 1 Esdras is actually Ezra from the Jewish canon and 2 Esdras is Nehemiah from the Jewish canon. Trent omits the Septuagint version of 1 Esdras. Secondly, Hippo and Carthage state that Solomon wrote 5 books of the Old Testament when in actuality he wrote only 3.
A second major point that proves the Roman Catholic claims to be spurious is the fact that the universal practice of the Church as a whole up to the time of the Reformation was to follow the judgment of Jerome who rejected the Old Testament Apocrypha on the grounds that these books were never part of the Jewish canon. Those books were permissable to be read in the Church for the purposes of edification but were never considered authoritative for the establishing of doctrine. This is why I believe that the term canonical in the early Church had 2 meanings, one broad in the sense that it encompassed all the books which were permissable to be read in the Church and another narrow which included only those books which were authoritative for the establishment of doctrine.
Jerome's views are as follows:
These instances have been just touched upon by me (the limits of a letter forbid a more discursive treatment of them) to convince you that in the holy scriptures you can make no progress unless you have a guide to shew you the way...Genesis ... Exodus ... Leviticus ... Numbers ... Deuteronomy ... Job ... Jesus the son of Nave ... Judges ... Ruth ... Samuel ... The third and fourth books of Kings ... The twelve prophets whose writings are compressed within the narrow limits of a single volume: Hosea ... Joel ... Amos ... Obadiah ... Jonah ... Micah ... Nahum ... Habakkuk ... Zephaniah ... Haggai ... Zechariah ... Malachi ... Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel ... Jeremiah also goes four times through the alphabet in different metres (Lamentations)... David...sings of Christ to his lyre; and on a psaltry with ten strings (Psalms) ... Solomon, a lover of peace and of the Lord, corrects morals, teaches nature (Proverbs and Ecclesiastes), unites Christ and the church, and sings a sweet marriage song to celebrate that holy bridal (Song of Songs) ... Esther ... Ezra and Nehemiah.
You see how, carried away by my love of the scriptures, I have exceeded the limits of a letter...The New Testament I will briefly deal with. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John ... The apostle Paul writes to seven churches (for the eighth epistle - that to the Hebrews - is not generally counted in with the others) ... The Acts of the Apostles ... The apostles James, Peter, John and Jude have published seven epistles ... The apocalypse of John ...I beg of you, my dear brother, to live among these books, to meditate upon them, to know nothing else, to seek nothing else (Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1953, Volume VI, St. Jerome, Letter LIII.6-10).
As, then, the Church reads Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees, but does not admit them among the canonical Scriptures, so let it also read these two volumes (Wisdom of Solomon and Eccesiasticus) for the edification of the people, not to give authority to doctrines of the Church...I say this to show you how hard it is to master the book of Daniel, which in Hebrew contains neither the history of Susanna, nor the hymn of the three youths, nor the fables of Bel and the Dragon...(Ibid., Volume VI, Jerome, Prefaces to Jerome's Works, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs; Daniel, pp. 492-493).
Let her treasures be not silks or gems but manuscripts of the holy scriptures...Let her begin by learning the psalter, and then let her gather rules of life out of the proverbs of Solomon...Let her follow the example set in Job of virtue and patience. Then let her pass on to the gospels...the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles...let her commit to memory the prophets, the heptateuch, the books of Kings and of Chronicles, the rolls also of Ezra and Esther. When she has done all these she may safely read the Song of Songs...Let her avoid all apocryphal writings, and if she is led to read such not by the truth of the doctrines which they contain but out of respect for the miracles contained in them; let her understand that they are not really written by those to whom they are ascribed, that many faulty elements have been introduced into them, and that it requires infinite discretion to look for gold in the midst of dirt (Ibid., Letter CVII.12).
What the Savior declares was written down was certainly written down. Where is it written down? The Septuagint does not have it, and the Church does not recognize the Apocrypha. Therefore we must go back to the book of the Hebrews, which is the source of the statements quoted by the Lord, as well as the examples cited by the disciples...But he who brings charges against me for relating the objections that the Hebrews are wont to raise against the story of Susanna, the Song of the Three Children, and the story of Bel and the Dragon, which are not found in the Hebrew volume, proves that he is just a foolish sycophant...The apostolic men use the Hebrew Scripture. It is clear that the apostles themselves and the evangelists did likewise. The Lord and Savior, whenever He refers to ancient Scripture, quotes examples from the Hebrew volumes...We do not say this because we wish to rebuke the Septuagint translators, but because the authority of the apostles and of Christ is greater..."(The Fathers of the Church (Washington: Catholic University, 1965), Volume 53, Saint Jerome, Against Rufinus, Book II.27, 33, pp. 151, 158-160).
Rufinus who was a contemporary of Jerome's, a fellow student with him at Rome. He dies shortly after 410 A.D. He writes these comments on the Canon AFTER the Councils of Hippo and Carthage:
"And therefore it seems proper in this place to enumerate, as we have learnt from the tradition of the Fathers, the books of the New and of the Old Testament, which according to the tradition of our forefathers, are believed to have been inspired by the Holy Ghost, and have handed down to the churches of Christ. Of the Old Testament, therefore, first of all there have been handed down five books of Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; then Jesus Nave, (Joshua the son of Nun), the Book of Judges together with Ruth; then four books of Kings (Reigns), which the Hebrews reckon two; the book of Omissions, which is entitled the Book of Days (Chronicles), and two books of Ezra (Ezra and Nehemiah), which the Hebrews reckon one, and Esther; of the Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel; moreover of the twelve minor Prophets, one book; Job also and the Psalms of David, each one book. Solomon gave three books to the Churches, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles. These comprise the books of the Old Testament.
Of the New there are four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John; the Acts of the Apostles, written by Luke; fourteen Epistles of the apostle Paul, two of the Apostle Peter, one of James, brother of the Lord and Apostle, one of Jude, three of John, the Revelation of John. These are the books which the Fathers have comprised within the Canon, and from which they would have us deduce the proofs of our faith.
But it should be known that there are also other books which our fathers call not 'Canonical' but 'Ecclesiastical:' that is to say, Wisdom, called the Wisdom of Solomon, and another Wisdom, called the Wisdom of the Son of Syrach, which last-mentioned the Latins called by the general title Ecclesiasticus, designating not the author of the book, but the character of the writing. To the same class belong the Book of Tobit, and the Book of Judith, and the Books of the Maccabees. In the New Testament the little book which is called the Book of the Pastor of Hermas (and that) which is called the Two Ways, or the Judgment of Peter; all of which they would have read in the Churches, but not appealed to for the confirmation of doctrine. The other writings they have named 'Apocrypha.' These they would not have read in the Churches. These are the traditions which the Fathers have handed down to us, which, as I said, I have thought it opportune to set forth in this place, for the instruction of those who are being taught the first elements of the Church and of the Faith, that they may know from what fountains of the Word of God their draughts must be taken" (Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1953), Rufinus, Commentary on the Apostles' Creed 36, p. 557-558.).
Pope Gregory the Great, writing at the end of the 6th century states that the book of 1 Maccabees is NOT canonical. I give the exact quote below. And Cardinal Cajetan, the leading scholar in the Church of Rome at the time of the Reformation affirms that the Church of his day followed the authority of Jerome and he suggests that there were 2 concepts of the term canon as I have just explained. He gives the following counsel on how one is to properly interpret the Councils of Hippo and Carthage under Augustine:
"Here we close our commentaries on the historical books of the Old Testament. For the rest (that is, Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees) are counted by St Jerome out of the canonical books, and are placed amongst the Apocrypha, along with Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, as is plain from the Prologus Galeatus. Nor be thou disturbed, like a raw scholar, if thou shouldest find anywhere, either in the sacred councils or the sacred doctors, these books reckoned as canonical. For the words as well of councils as of doctors are to be reduced to the correction of Jerome. Now, according to his judgment, in the epistle to the bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus, these books (and any other like books in the canon of the bible) are not canonical, that is, not in the nature of a rule for confirming matters of faith. Yet, they may be called canonical, that is, in the nature of a rule for the edification of the faithful, as being received and authorised in the canon of the bible for that purpose. By the help of this distinction thou mayest see thy way clearly through that which Augustine says, and what is written in the provincial council of Carthage." (In ult. Cap. Esther. Taken from A Disputation on Holy Scripture by William Whitaker (Cambridge: University, 1849), p. 48. See also Cosin's A Scholastic History of the Canon, Volume III, Chapter XVII, pp. 257-258 and B.F. Westcott's A General Survey of the Canon of the New Testament, p. 475.)
These statements by Catejan are a fair summary of the overall view of the Church in both the East and West from the time of Athanasius and Jerome up through the 16th Century. Jerome's opinion completely dominated that of the ensuing centuries in the Western Church as is seen in the testimony of Cajetan. The following is a brief documentation of some of the leading theologians and doctors of the Church throughout the centuries as confirmation of Cardinal Cajetan's views:
Gregory the Great - "With reference to which particular we are not acting irregularly, if from the books, though not Canonical, yet brought out for the edification of the Church, we bring forward testimony. Thus Eleazar in the battle smote and brought down an elephant, but fell under the very beast that he killed" (1 Macc. 6.46). (Library of the Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church, (Oxford: Parker, 1845), Gregory the Great, Morals on the Book of Job, Volume II, Parts III and IV, Book XIX.34, p.424.)
Junilius - North African Bishop - States that the books that are canonical are those according to the Hebrew Canon - He follows Jerome.
Primasius - North African Bishop - Follows Jerome in his evaluation of the canonical OT books.
Anastasius of Antioch - States that there are 22 OT canonical books
Leontius - Follows the Hebrew Canon
6th Ecumenical Council - "It has also seemed good to this holy Council, that the eighty-five canons, received and ratified by the holy and blessed Fatliers before us, and also handed down to us in the name of the holy and glorious Apostles should from this time forth remain firm and unshaken for the cure of souls and the hearing of disorders. And in these canons we are bidden to receive the Constitutions of the Holy Apostles written by Clement. But formerly through the agency of those who erred from the faith certain adulterous matter was introduced, clean contrary to piety, for the polluting of the Church, which obscures the elegance and beauty of the divine decrees in their present form. We therefore reject these Constitutions so as the better to make sure of the edification and security of the most Christian flock; by no means admitting the offspring of heretical error, and cleaving to the pure and perfect doctrine of the Apostles. But we set our seal likewise upon all the other holy canons set forth by our holy and blessed Fathers, that is, by the 318 holy God-bearing Fathers assembled at Nice, and those at Ancyra, further those at Neocesarea and likewise those at Gangra, and besides, those at Antioch in Syria: those too at Laodicea in Plirygia: and likewise the 150 who assembled in this heaven-protected royal city: and the 200 who assembled the first time in the metropolis of the Ephesians, and the 630 holy and blessed Fathers at Chalcedon. In like manner those of Sardica, and those of Carthage: those also who again assembled in this heaven-protected royal city under its bishop Nectarius and Theophilus Archbishop of Alexandria. Likewise too the Canons [i.e. the decretal letters] of Dionysius, formerly Archbishop of the great city of Alexandria; and of Peter, Archbishop of Alexandria and Martyr; of Gregory the Wonder-worker, Bishop of Neocaesarea; of Athanasius, Archbishop of Alexandria; of Basil, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia; of Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa; of Gregory Theologus; of Amphilocius of lconium ; of Timothy, Archbishop of Alexandria; of Theophilus, Archbishop of the same great city of Alexandria; of Cyril, Archbishop of the same Alexandria; of Gennadius, Patriarch of this heaven-protected royal city. Moreover the Canon set forth by Cyprian, Archbishop of the country of the Africans and Martyr, and by the Synod under him, which has been kept only in the country of the aforesaid Bishops according to the custom delivered down to them. And that no one be allowed to transgress or disregard the aforesaid canons, or to receive others beside them, supposititiously set forth by certain who have attempted to make a traffic of the truth. But should any one be convicted of innovating upon, or attempting to overturn, any of the aforementioned canons, he shall be subject to receive the penalty which that canon imposes, and to be cured by it of his transgression" (Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, The Seven Ecumenical Councils, p. 361).
Roman Catholics apologists often assert that the canons of the council of Carthage were authoritatively received by the 6th ecumenmical council. What they never add is that this council also authoritatively received the canons of Athanasius and Amphilocius which also have to do with the canon. Both of these fathers rejected the apocrypha. The council did receive the canons of Carthage also which suggests that they are either in complete contradiction or they received the canons of Carthage with the understanding that the term canonical was to be interpreted in the sense that the books listed were the books authoritatively received for reading in the Church.
John of Damascus - "Observe, further, that there are two and twenty books of the Old Testament, one for each letter of the Hebrew tongue. For there are twenty-two letters of which five are double, and so they come to be twenty-seven...And thus the number of the books in this way is twenty-two, but is found to be twenty-seven because of the double character of five. For Ruth is joined on to Judges, and the Hebrews count them one book: the first and second books of Kings are counted one: and so are the third and fourth books of Kings: and also the frirst and second of Paraleipomena: and the first and second of Esdra. In this way, then, the books are collected together in four Pentateuchs and two others remain over, to form thus the canonical books. Five of them are of the Law, viz. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. This which is the code of the Law, constitutes the first Pentateuch. Then comes another Pentateuch, the so-called Grapheia, or as they are called by some, the Hagiographa, which are the following: Jesus the Son of Nave, Judges along with Ruth, first and second Kings, which are one book, third and fourth Kings, which are one book, and the two books of the Paraleipomena which are one book. This is the second Pentateuch. The third Pentateuch is the books in verse, viz. Job, Psalms, Proverbs of Solomon, Ecclesiastes of Solomon and the Song of Songs of Solomon. The fourth Pentateuch is the Prophetical books, viz the twelve prophets constituting one book, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel. Then come the two books of Esdra made into one, and Esther.
There are also the Panaretus, that is the Wisdom of Solomon, and the Wisdom of Jesus, which was published in Hebrew by the father of Sirach, and afterwards translated into Greek by his grandson, Jesus, the son of Sirach. These are virtuous and noble, but are not counted nor were they placed in the ark" (Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, Nicene and Post-NiceneFathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955), Series Two, Volume IX, John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Chapter XVII).
Bede - In his Commentary on Revelation he gives the number of OT Books in conformity with that given by Jerome.
Alcuin - Writing against Elipantus, Bishop of Toledo, who made reference to Ecclesiasticus in defending a doctrine he rebuked him saying: That the prophets of God failed him, whereof he had never a one to bring for the defense of his error; and then, that the book of the Son of Sirach, which he had produced, was, both by Jerome's and Isidore's undoubted testimonies, since it was apocryphal, and therefore a dubious scripture, having not been written in the time of the Prophets, but in the time of the priests only, under Simon and Ptolmey.'
Nicephorus of Constantinople - Lists the canonical books and those that were only received as ecclesiastical following the standard set by Athanasius.
Rabanus Maurus - Archbishop of Mentz - Greatly influenced by Alcuin - followed the teaching of Isisdore and numbered the OT canonical books at 22.
Agobard of Lyons - States expressly that the OT contains 22 conanical books.
Zonaras - Eastern Theologian - Wrote Commentaries upon the Canons that were received in the Greek Church - He states that the best rule for knowing what ought to be read in the Eastern Churches is to have recourse to the Apostles' Canons, the Council of Laodicea, and the canonical epistles of Athanasius, Gregory Nazianzen and Amphilochius, who had given their rules as they had received them from the Apostles and their successors.
Rupert of Tuits - Wrote concerning the book of Wisdom that it is not in the canon. In his discourse on the 24 elders in Revelation he makes mention of the 24 canonical books of the OT.
Petrus Mauritius - Abbot of Cluny and friend of Bernard of Clairveaux - In a treatise in which he refutes the writings of certain heretics who wrote against the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments he defends the integrity of each of the books of the Old Testament and lists them as does Jerome. He then mentions the apocryphal books of Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Tobit, Judith and Maccabees as books very useful and commendable in the Church' but then he adds that they are not to be placed in the same sublime and equal dignity with the rest' that he had mentioned before; thereby plainly distinguishing between the Divine canon of Scripture, and those that were merely Ecclesiastical and used for the general edification of the Church.
Hugo of St. Victor - Abbot of St. Victor's in Paris - At least 5 times he sets forth a list of canonical OT books. He lists the 22 books of the Hebrew Canon as enumerated by Jerome and then lists Wisdom, Tobit, Judith, Ecclesiasticus and Maccabees saying of them: That though they be read and used in the Church, yet they are not written in the Canon.'
Richard of St. Victor - Is in complete agreement with the judgment of Hugo.
Peter Comestor - He wrote an abbreviated history of the Bible and called it the Scholastical History. In his preface on Joshua he gives the division of the Canonical OT books as the 5 books of Moses, the 8 books of the Prophets and the 9 books of the Hagiographa following the order of Jerome. When referring to Judith he explicitly states that it was not part of the canon.
John Beleth - Doctor of Divinity in Paris - In his book of Divine Offices he specifically says that Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Tobit and Maccabees are apocryphal and states though the Chruch allows them to be read yet she does not receive them as being canonical.
John of Salisbury - Bishop of Chartres - Follows Jeorme in numbering the OT canon at 22 books. He states that neither Wisdom, nor Ecclesiasticus nor Judith, nor Tobit, nor the Pastor, nor either of the Maccabees are to be considered canonical.
The Ordinary Gloss upon the Bible known as the Glossa Ordinaria - This became the standard authoritative biblical commentary for the Western Church as a whole. The New Catholic Encyclopedia describes its importance:
A designation given during the Middle Ages to certain compilations of "glosses" on the text of a given MS. The earliest glossa ordinaria is that made of the Bible, probably made in the 12th century...Although glosses originally consisted of a few words only, they grew in length as glossators enlarged them with their own comments and quotations from the Fathers. Thus the tiny gloss evolved into a running commentary of an entire book. The best-known commentary of this type is the vast Glossa ordinaria of the 12th and 13th centuries...So great was the influence of the Glossa ordinaria on Biblical and philisophical studies in the Middle Ages that it was called "the tongue of Scripture" and "the bible of scholasticism" (The New Catholic Encyclopedia, Glossa Ordinaria; Glosses, Biblical, pp. 515-516).
Johannes de Columna - Archbishop of Messina - Author of the book The Sea of Histories. In this work he names all six apocryphal books and states that they are not to be numbered within the canon of divine Scriptures, though otherwise allowed by the Church. He qualifies what he means by use in the Church when he says they are to be used for edification in good life and manners, although insufficient for the resolution of any doubts in matters of faith.
Nicholas of Lira - He was converted from Judaism to Christianity. He wrote commentaries on all the books of the Bible which were highly regarded by the Churchmen of his day. In his preface to the Book of Tobit he states that by the favor of God assisting him he had already written upon all the canonical books of Scripture from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation. He then declared his further intention to write upon those books which he said were not canonical, namely, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Judith, Tobit, and the Maccabees. He distinguished the apocrypah from the canonical books in the following way: the canonical books were not only before them in time, but in dignity and authority; while those that are not in the canon, were received into the Church, to be read there for men's instruction in manners, but not for any establishment of their Faith, while the others which were canonical were the prime source of doctrine of the true religion and contained nothing in them but what is true. In his Commentary on Ezra he states that he passed by the histories of Tobit, Judith and the Maccabees because they were not in the canon of Scripture, either with the Jews, or with Christians.
William Occham - He states that neither Judith, nor Tobit, nor the Macabees, nor Wisdom nor Ecclesiasticus, are to be received into any such height of honour' (as compared to Scripture), since the Church did not number them among the canonical Scriptures.'
Antoninus - Archbishop of Florence - Specifically states that the canon of the Old Testament consists of 22 books. He holds this view he says on the authroity of the Hebrews themselves as well as the common judgment of the Latin Church for which he appeals to Jerome, Thomas Aquinas and Nicholas of Lira. The apocryphal books while held in high esteem are not considered to be on the same level as those which are truly canonical and inspired.
Alphonsus Tostatus - Bishop of Avila - He follows the judgment of Jerome in excluding the apocrypha from the canon of the Old Testament stating that the Church of his day did not receive these books as canonical but allowed them merely to be read in the Churches for the purpose of edification.
Francis Ximenius - Cardinal and Archbishop of Toledo - Was responsible for producing an edition of the Bible called the Biblia Complutensia. In producing this work he collaborated with the leading theologians of his day. In the Preface of this work there is an admonition given regarding the apocrypha. It states that the books of Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, the Maccabees, the additions to Esther and Daniel (which were given there in Greek only), were not canonical Scripture. The Preface goes on to say that the Church did not receive the apocryphal books for confirming the authority of any fundamental points of doctrine, though the Church allowed them to be read for purposes of edification. This Bible and its Preface was published by the authority and consent of Pope Leo X, to whom the whole work was dedicated.
Jacobus Faber Stapulensis - Doctor at the University of Paris - Likewise states that the apocryphal books were not reckoned as part of the canon by the Church. They were not considered to be Scripture.
Erasmus - In his Explication of the Apostles' Creed, and the Decalogue he deals with the question as to the number of canonical books in the Old Testament. He states that the number is precisely that as given by Rufinus in which he enumerates the specific books listed by him and he concludes by saying that the ancient Fathers admitted no more, of whose authority it was not lawful for any man to doubt.' He goes on to say that the Church did not grant the same authority to books like Tobit, Judith and Wisdom which it did to the canonical Scriptures.
In light of this history it is understandable how BF Westcott could make the following judgment regarding the decree of Trent relative to the Canon of the Old Testament:
This fatal decree in which the Council...gave a new aspect to the whole question of the Canon, was ratified by fifty-three prelates, among whom there was not one German, not one scholar distinguished for historical learning, not one who was fitted by special study for the examination of a subject in which the truth could only be determined by the voice of antiquity. How completely the decision was opposed to the spirit and letter of the original judgments of the Greek and Latin Churches, how far in doctrinal equalization of the disputed and acknowledged books of the Old Testament it was at variance with the traditional opinion of the West, how absolutely unprecedented was the conversion of an ecclesiastical usage into an article of belief, will be seen from the evidence which has already been adduced' (BF Westcott, A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament (MacMillan: Cambridge, 1889), p. 478).
The claims of Rome for the Canon are historically bankrupt. She suggests that we should receive her as supreme authority because of this issue of the canon. This would be equivalent to the Pharisees demanding that Jesus receive their teaching as supreme authority simply because as Jews they had determined which books were truly the word of God. Even if the claims of the Roman Church were true with respect to the canon, and they aren't, it doesn't follow that this makes them automatically authoritative in every area and are to be blindly followed any more than the Jews and Jesus should follow the Pharisees. The teachings of Rome contradict Scripture and much of its teaching, such as that on Tradition, the Papacy, Mary, the sacraments, purgatory, in addition to that of the Canon is patently contradictory to much of the teachings of the early Church. More importantly, its gospel message is a perversion of the teaching of the Scriptural gospel.
Rome is guilty of misrepresenting history and the teachings of the Reformation and has misinterpreted Scripture. It is a false system which has become corrupted over time, just as the Jewish system did in the Old Testament.
Without including the Didache, both lists are bogus!
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Is the Bible the Only Revelation from God? (Catholic / Orthodox Caucus)
History of the Bible (caution: long)
Catholic and Protestant Bibles
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: ON READING THE BIBLE [Catholic Caucus]
Because I Love the Bible
Where Is That Taught in the Bible?
When Was the Bible Really Written?
Three Reasons for Teaching the Bible [St. Thomas Aquinas]
The Smiting Is Still Implied (God of the OT vs the NT)
Where Is That Taught in the Bible?
Friday Fast Fact: The Bible in English
Bible Reading is Central in Conversions to Catholicism in Shangai, Reports Organization
Verses (in Scripture) I Never Saw
5 Myths about 7 Books
Lectionary Statistics - How much of the Bible is included in the Lectionary for Mass? (Popquiz!)
Pope calls Catholics to daily meditation on the Bible
What Are the "Apocrypha?"
The Accuracy of Scripture
US Conference of Catholic Bishops recommendations for Bible study
CNA unveils resource to help Catholics understand the Scriptures
The Dos and Donts of Reading the Bible [Ecumenical]
Pope to lead marathon Bible reading on Italian TV
The Complete Bible: Why Catholics Have Seven More Books [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Books of the Catholic Bible: The Complete Scriptures [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: When Was The Bible Written? [Ecumenical]
The Complete Bible: Why Catholics Have Seven More Books [Ecumenical]
U.S. among most Bible-literate nations: poll
Bible Lovers Not Defined by Denomination, Politics
Dei Verbum (Catholics and the Bible)
Vatican Offers Rich Online Source of Bible Commentary
Clergy Congregation Takes Bible Online
Knowing Mary Through the Bible: Mary's Last Words
A Bible Teaser For You... (for everyone :-)
Knowing Mary Through the Bible: New Wine, New Eve
Return of Devil's Bible to Prague draws crowds
Doctrinal Concordance of the Bible [What Catholics Believe from the Bible] Catholic Caucus
Should We Take the Bible Literally or Figuratively?
Glimpsing Words, Practices, or Beliefs Unique to Catholicism [Bible Trivia]
Catholic and Protestant Bibles: What is the Difference?
Church and the Bible(Caatholic Caucus)
Pope Urges Prayerful Reading of Bible
Catholic Caucus: It's the Church's Bible
How Tradition Gave Us the Bible
The Church or the Bible
Well, why don’t you start a thread on it?
Answer a simple question.
It’s a yes or no question.
Did the Catholic church recognize the Apocrypha as Scripture, as canon, before the Council of Trent?
I’m guessing at least a ten link answer.
This mackerel snapper doesn’t give a rip what some snake handler thinks.
Long live the Pope!
Do have anything of more substance than name calling to contest the premise of the article?
Like some facts to refute it?
The simple answer is yes. The decree from the Council of Trent which often referenced in the attempt to show that the Catholic Church only accepted the Deuterocanonical (known as the Apocrypha by Protestants) books in the 16th century was, as the council stated, done only "lest a doubt may arise in any one's mind." This was not a new teaching by the Church. Again, as the council stated the list was "as they have been used to be read in the Catholic Church, and as they are contained in the old Latin vulgate edition." This ancient usage is confirmed by both their inclusion in approved editions of the Bible and in the readings used at the Mass.
There is often a misunderstanding of the infallible Magisterium of the Church. It includes the universal day to day teaching of the Church, the ordinary Magisterium, as well as the explicit decrees of either popes or councils, the extraordinary Magisterium. The latter only arises when there is a doubt or controversy about the former. When such does occur either pope or council are not free to decide de novo what is the truth but seek to proclaim what the Church as always and everywhere taught.
Again, to answer your question, despite the doubts of certain individuals, the Church through her ordinary Magisterium has since ancient times accepted the Deuterocanonical books as Scripture.
I totally agree, like the priest said the other day, oh never mind
See post #11. Meanwhile, I’m tired of Protestants bad-mouthing the Catholic Church although it doesn’t bother me because I personally don’t give a rip and I’ve heard it for more than sixty years of my existence and the condemners of Holy Mother Church can go sing the Roll is Called Up Yonder until the cows come home.
There are some lovely Protestant hymns which this Romanist/Papist enjoys singing but right now isn’t the right time so tell Martin Luther to go hit the salad bar just look at his 16th Century images & I’m German too.
“The simple answer is yes.”
That simply isn’t true, as all the facts in the article show. You might wish it were true. Roman revisionist history might want you to think it’s true. But it simply isn’t.
Of course. The reunion council of Florence, which the West considers ecumenical, promulgated the same canon as Trent more than a century earlier. The Gutenburg Bible contained the Tridentine canon when it was published in 1454. I can provide you with more examples, but you asked specifically in re Trent.
It should be noted that the Greeks accept all of the books in the Catholic OT (and sometimes a few more). The schism between the Greeks and the Latins occurred in 1054, long before Trent.
Webster is good at spin. You notice he just asserts what a lot of his sources say, rather than giving you quotes and context.
Here's the relevant text from Florence:
It [the Church] professes that one and the same God is the author of the old and the new Testament that is, the law and the prophets, and the gospel since the saints of both testaments spoke under the inspiration of the same Spirit. It accepts and venerates their books, whose titles are as follows.
Five books of Moses, namely Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; Joshua, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings, two of Paralipomenon, Esdras, Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, Job, Psalms of David, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Baruch, Ezechiel, Daniel; the twelve minor prophets, namely Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi; two books of the Maccabees; the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; fourteen letters of Paul, to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to the Philippians, two to the Thessalonians, to the Colossians, two to Timothy, to Titus, to Philemon, to the Hebrews; two letters of Peter, three of John, one of James, one of Jude; Acts of the Apostles; Apocalypse of John.
("Paralipomenon" is Chronicles; "Ecclesiasticus" is Sirach.)
The Protestant scholar JND Kelly runs tight little rings around Webster as a scholar, and he disagrees with you.
Besides, I posted the canon list of Florence immediately above. There's an actual "fact" for you, as distinct from Webster's voluminous distortions.
I would like to hear your opinion on why the Armenians (split from Rome 453) and the Ethiopians (split in 453, but practically contact was severed earlier and not restored until modern times), and the Greeks (split from Rome in 1054) ALL accept ALL of the books in the Catholic Bible as canonical (as well as some others).
Here is a nice chart that lays it all out in one place.
When did St. Jerome translate it?
Were you addressing me?
Were you addressing me? You know the rules.
“The Protestant scholar JND Kelly runs tight little rings around Webster as a scholar, and he disagrees with you.”
Isn’t Kelly an Anglo-Catholic? And he doesn’t trump Jerome, Pope Gregory, Cardinal Cajetan, and your own Catholic websites on Trent.
Instead of bluffing, stick to what the facts actually are and address them. I care not for bland assertions.
Nice xhart — thanks for the link.
“A second major point that proves the Roman Catholic claims to be spurious is the fact that the universal practice of the Church as a whole up to the time of the Reformation was to follow the judgment of Jerome who rejected the Old Testament Apocrypha on the grounds that these books were never part of the Jewish canon.”
So the Orthodox Churches reject those books because they weren’t part of the Jewish canon at the time of the Reformation? I thought they accepted all those and more? What books to the Orthodox have?
And you are ‘evil’ and will ‘experience hellish nightmares tonight’ for even questioning.
William Webster did an excellent job of documenting the issue of the canon of Holy Scripture and he especially noted the motive behind the oft-used criticism several Catholics are known for on this forum. The constant hook they try to utilize is the idea that non-Catholics are "cheated" by having a "truncated" canon unlike them, therefore, ONLY they have the fullness of the Christian faith. It can be historically proven that the Roman Catholic Church only "officially" added the Apocryphal books to the Biblical canon at Trent to respond to the claims of the Reformation specifically related to the rule of faith of Christianity and the church's faithfulness to the ancient doctrines that were "always and everywhere believed".
One of the "biggies" was Purgatory and it was undeniable that this doctrine was unheard of until much later in the history of the Roman church. That's why the book of II Maccabees HAD to be included because it mentions an incident that Catholics insist speaks of Purgatory (but which it doesn't at all). That the Orthodox STILL reject the dogma is proof that this as well as other areas were innovations of Rome and that the complaints the Reformers had against Rome were correct. Thanks for posting this excellent article.
Thank-you and God Bless.
But you HAD to come on a thread and tell eveyone you don’t give a rip? Sounds like a rip to me.
Then let's clarify a bit further...what does "accepted as Scripture" mean? Are you saying the Catholic Church holds these Apocryphal books as fully, Divinely-inspired, Holy Spirit revealed truth as equal to the Pentateuch, the Law, the Prophets, the Psalms and all the books of the New Testament? Are these books binding upon the Christian and useful for the teaching of the doctrines of the faith and morals?
And when the roll is called up yonder I WILL be there!
Thanks for this wholesome and illuminating comment on the perplexing misconception by some of how The Holy Ghost preserves and identifies His Own stamp on the authenticity of the written Word. It is clear that Jerome is not an authenticator, but is able, standing a bit closer to the authors, to underwrite the commonly known limit of genuine components.
Scanning over the article briefly, in effort to evaluate the above statement of yours be true or not, it is plain it be not entirely true, and in fact a bit of spin on your own part.
Much of the quotes are well enough sourced.
Of those which are not, I chose one at random, highlighted "John Beleth-Doctor of Divinity in Paris" (whom I do not recall previously encountering mention of) then executed search from there. That search yielded a book in the #2 hit, the author of which (John Cosin) Webster may otherwise have previously sourced in some of his other works (for the name Cosine rings a bell) although historical account/mention can appear and reappear in any number of volumes.
Try this link for possible source. Scroll up to page 213 where mention of Beleth follows some discussion of Comester, with Beleth purporting to be following Jerome's opinion, which is then at that source followed by mention of Salisbury. That's three down, and a possible source for more uncovered?
Easy as pie. Those three (educated theologians of their times, I take it) are shown to be following Jerome's lead in regards to what I prefer to refer to as "the Apocrypha" (for Jerome himself did upon occasion use that very term, and although seen to later speak towards some acceptance of the works, never fully retracted his own commentary, or his "helmeted" introductions). These three having written as they are apparently documented as doing so does establish yet further support that there were differing schools of thought concerning the OT canon, and this problematic Apocrypha -- most particularly among those more learned as to the matter.
Footnotes in Cosine's A Scholastical History Of The Canon of The Holy Scripture in places give the Latin text which is being translated from, with the name or identity of those texts given within Cosine's own discussion, and/or also in footnote. From there, one may be able to follow the bread crumb scholarly trail, all the way back to the texts Cosine is presenting he is working from. It's the way of scholarship, which Webster does seem to pay heed towards. Whether he himself has gone all the way back along each and every "trail" to original (or as best as possible near-autograph or copies of same) I do not know, although that would be the real test as for verification of information. In these instances, what is being reported on, is what was believed by who, and when, as expressed in part, in their own words. If there is anything of exculpatory nature missing --- hoo-boy. Digging for Cosine's sources could be a daunting task. It may be easier to check for both other usages, and possible refutations of Cosine, as a start.
As for two others Webster speaks of;
How can Catejan and Francis Ximenius be so easily swept aside? (ignored, actually) They were both Cardinals. Would not they be in their own times, or have significant heft within, the magesterium? If that magesterium they both be a part of be infallible --- then how would any of their era know those two to be wrong in their own views towards the Apocrypha, at least before the voting at Trent (where they were outvoted)? Ximenius (also known as Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros) went to considerable effort (and self expense) to produce Complutensian Polyglot Bible as Webster mentioned. If there be any error as to that which is said by Webster to have been included in the Preface, that it not
"[go] on to say that the Church did not receive the apocryphal books for confirming the authority of any fundamental points of doctrine, though the Church allowed them to be read for purposes of edification. This Bible and its Preface was published by the authority and consent of Pope Leo X, to whom the whole work was dedicated."then please show us.
If there is any factual problem with Webster's usage and presentation of the information, as in regards to the information itself (not to be confused with opinions, or allowed to be so easily covered over with "other" information) please show us how and where, precisely.
This complaining about "assertion" as to what sources say without traceable sourcing, I do understand. I have the same problem, not necessarily with yourself doing so, but with many FRoman's doing so by habit, while I myself seem forced to document things as I go along.
Webster, in comparison to that which is jibber-jabbered against himself and a few others, is wide open as to his own sourcing, in many instances of his other writings, documenting each step along the way. Even here, he gave indication for where exactly he was sourcing the bulkier quotations. Not one of those was without some source mention?
I dare say that is better than many if not most Roman Catholic apologetic sites which I have encountered...and beats holy heck out of what we are frequently served up on a daily basis around here in various efforts towards Romanist propaganda. There is some argument by assertion here on this thread already, along with the usual snarling attacks towards any whom dare oppose the Romish "party line", and the presence of those who either whine, or in some way express view along lines of "this is just another attack on the church!", when what it really is, is criticism towards certain particular Romanist claims, and not attack upon the greater universal, which does extend far beyond Romanist confine or wall.
Which leaves this apparent effort to discredit the man for being some way in error for "just asserting what a lot of his sources say" a miserable failure, if it were an attempt to hint that he is misquoting, or taking out-of-context. The information itself appears near beyond reproach.
... Towards the close of the second century, when as a result of controversy with the Jews it became known that they were now united in repudiating the deutero-canonical books, hesitations began to creep in; Melito of Sardes (fl. 170), for example, satisfied himself, after a visit to Palestine, that the Hebrew canon was the authoritative one. Origen, it is true, made extensive use of the Apocrypha (as indeed of other truly apocryphal works), but his familiarity as a scholar with the Hebrew Bible made him conscious that there was a problem to be faced. A suggestion he advanced was that, when disputing with Jews, Christians should confine themselves to such books as they recognized; but he added with caution that the further extension of such a self-denying ordinance would necessitate the destruction of the copies of the Scriptures currently read in the churches.
It was in the fourth century, particularly where the scholarly standards of Alexandrian Christianity were influential, that these doubts began to make their mark officially. The view which now commend itself fairly generally in the Eastern church, as represented by Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory of Nazianzus and Epiphanius, was that the deutero-canonical books should be relegated to a subordinate position outside the canon proper. Cyril was quite uncompromising; books not in the public canon were not to be studied even in private. Athanasius displayed greater flexibility, ruling that they might be used by catechumens for the purpose of instruction. Yet it should be noted (a) that no such scruples seem to have troubled adherents of the Antiochene School, such as John Chrysostom and Theodoret; and (b) that even those Eastern writers who took the strict line with the canon when it was formally under discussion were profuse in their citations from the Apocrypha on other occasions. This official reserve, however, persisted for long in the East. As late as the eighth century we find John Damascene maintaining the Hebrew canon of twenty-two books and excluding Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, although he was ready to acknowledge their admirable qualities.
The West, as a whole, was inclined to form a much more favourable estimate of the Apocrypha. Churchmen with Eastern contacts, as was to be expected, might be disposed to push them into the background. Thus Hilary, though in fact citing all of them as inspired, preferred to identify the Old Testament proper with the twenty-two books (as he reckoned them) extant in the Hebrew; while Rufinus described Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Tobit, Judith and 1 and 2 Maccabees as not canonical, but ecclesiastical, i.e. to be read by Christians but not added as authoritative for doctrine. Jerome, conscious of the difficulty of arguing with Jews on the basis of books they spurned and anyhow regarding the Hebrew original as authoritative, was adamant that anything not found in it was to be classed among the apocrypha, not in the canon; later he grudgingly conceded that the Church read some of these books for edification, but not to support doctrine. For the great majority, however, the deutero-canonical writings ranked as Scripture in the fullest sense ... (Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, revised edition [HarperSan Francisco, 1978], pp. 54-55; bold emphasis added)
We need not rely upon Kelly, alone. It is best to gather from many. The historians are in (as far as I can tell) near unanimous agreement ---- that the history of the canon is not exactly, as GPH said, as "Roman revisionist history" purports it to be.
Bumper sicker idea;
I dunno, but it sure seems someone’s going to have to go to CONFESSION for smacking the RCC.
Pope John XII (955964), who gave land to a mistress, murdered several people, and was killed by a man who caught him in bed with his wife.
Pope Benedict IX (10321044, 1045, 10471048), who "sold" the Papacy
Would be seen mostly in SLC...
"All of this should be conveyed without having priesthood leaders focus upon intimate matters which are a part of husband and wife relationships. Skillful interviewing and counseling can occur without discussion of clinical details by placing firm responsibility on individual members of the Church to put their lives in order before exercising the privilege of entering a house of the Lord. The First Presidency has interpreted oral sex as constituting an unnatural, impure, or unholy practice. If a person is engaged in a practice which troubles him enough to ask about it, he should discontinue it."
- Official Declaration of the First Presidency of the Church, January 5th, 1982
"Among the most common sexual sins our young people commit are necking and petting. Not only do these improper relations often lead to fornication, [unwed] pregnancy, and abortions - all ugly sins - but in and of themselves they are pernicious evils, and it is often difficult for youth to distinguish where one ends and another begins. They awaken lust and stir evil thoughts and sex desires. They are but parts of the whole family of related sins and indiscretions. Almost like twins, 'petting' and fornication are alike."
- Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, page 65
"Also far-reaching is the effect of the loss of chastity. Once given or taken or stolen it can never be regained. Even in a forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a more favorable position. There is no condemnation where there is no voluntary participation. It is better to die in defending one's virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle."
- Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, page 196
"And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth." (Genesis 4:9-14.) That was true of murder. It is also true of illicit sex, which, of course, includes all petting, fornication, adultery, homosexual acts, and all other perversions. The Lord may say to offenders, as He did to Cain, "What hast thou done?" The children thus conceived make damning charges against you; the companions who have been frustrated and violated condemn you; the body that has been defiled cries out against you; the spirit which has been dwarfed convicts you. You will have difficulty throughout the ages in totally forgiving yourself."
-Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, "Love Versus Lust", BYU Speech January 5, 1965. Often-used quote still used today in LDS seminary classes.
"I do not find in the Bible the modern terms "petting" nor "homosexuality," yet I found numerous scriptures which forbade such acts under by whatever names they might be called. I could not find the term "homosexuality," but I did find numerous places where the Lord condemned such a practice with such vigor that even the death penalty was assessed."
- Apostle Spencer W. Kimball, "Love Versus Lust", BYU Speech January 5, 1965
"If adultery or fornication justified the death penalty in the old days, and still in Christ's day, is the sin any less today because the laws of the land do not assess the death penalty for it? Is the act less grievous? There must be a washing, a purging, a changing of attitudes, a correcting of appraisals, a strengthening toward self-mastery. There must be many prayers, and volumes of tears. There must be an inner conviction giving to the sin its full diabolical weight. There must be increased devotion and much thought and study. And this takes energy and time and often is accompanied with sore embarrassment, heavy deprivations and deep trials, even if indeed one is not excommunicated from the Church, losing all spiritual blessings."
-Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, Page 155
"How like the mistletoe is immorality. The killer plant starts with a sticky sweet berry. Little indiscretions are the berries -- indiscretions like sex thoughts sex discussions, passionate kissing, pornography. The leaves and little twigs are masturbation and necking and such, growing with every exercise. The full-grown plant is petting and sex looseness. It confounds, frustrates, and destroys like the parasite if it is not cut out and destroyed, for, in time it robs the tree, bleeds its life, and leaves it barren and dry; and, strangely enough, the parasite dies with its host."
- Apostle Spencer W. Kimball, General Conference Address, April 1, 1967.
Kelly was a liberal and a stooge of Rome.
I’m evil for Rome? Or I’m evil for noticing she posts scores and scores of Catholic links every week?
I’m a modern Berean and if you are wise you will be one too. Anyone who compares the things said and done in the name of God to the Word of God will inevitably question Rome. Based on the Bible I know there is no hope for Rome as an institution, but based on that same Bible I remain hopeful for individual Catholics.
“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:10-11)
Well, obviously you don't have the integrity to be an equal opportunity objector to Protestant bashing by Catholics seeing as you just engaged in it yourself.
Therefore, you just invalidated your complaint.
No, I responded to a comment posted by .45 Long Colt.
OK, I know all about the Renaisance Popes, Popes with mistresses & offspring, warrior Popes, got it.
So what’s been shakin’ in the Vatican since 1534, hmmmm?
As noted, Catholic-bashing used to bother me. But now it’s actually gotten kind of fun to listen to the brush-arbor crowd go on ‘bout them Romish Mary-worshippers with their holy water & rosaries & `cursin’ themselves’ (making the sign of the Cross) oh and you know them Catholics is a bunch of drunks.
I’m being awful, aren’t I? Did this entire thread start over the validity of the books of the Apocrypha as part of the Biblical Canon? We sure ran off the rails in a hurry.
“Im evil for Rome?”
That should have read:
I’m evil for *questioning* Rome?
Yes, they always do eventually, but I think this thread set the modern record for speed in running off the rails.
I was just giving the unchristian examples I have received. Not calling you evil.