Skip to comments.EARLY HISTORY OF THE BIBLE
Posted on 05/14/2014 10:02:57 PM PDT by NKP_Vet
The original writings from the Apostles themselves (the autographs) no longer exist.
This is due partly to the perishable material (papyrus) used by the writers, and partly the fact that the Roman emperors decreed the destruction of the sacred books of the Christians (Edict of Diocletian, A.D. 303).
Before translating the Bible into Latin, St. Jerome already translated into more common languages enough books to fill a library. (Saint Jerome, Maisie Ward, Sheed & Ward; A Companion to Scripture Studies, Steinmuller.)
In the year 383, he revised the Latin New Testament text in accordance with some Greek manuscripts. Between the years 390 and 406 he translated the Old Testament directly from the Hebrew, and this completed work is known today as the "Old Latin Vulgate". The work had been requested by Pope Damasus, and Copies of St. Jerome's Latin Vulgate appeared uncorrupted as late as the 11th century, with some revisions by St. Peter Damian and Lanfranc. (Catholic Encyclopedia, "Place of the Bible in the Church", C.U.A.)
Pope Benedict XV wrote about St. Jerome's translation in his 1920 encyclical, Spiritus Paraclitus, "Nor was Jerome content merely to gather up this or that teacher's words; he gathered from all quarters whatever might prove of use to him in this task. From the outset he had accumulated the best possible copies of the Bible and the best commentators on it," . . . "he corrected the Latin version of the Old Testament by the Greek; he translated afresh nearly all the books of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Latin; . . . he discussed Biblical questions with the brethren who came to him, and answered letters on Biblical questions which poured in upon him from all sides; besides all this, he was constantly refuting men who assailed Catholic doctrine and unity."
(Excerpt) Read more at cathtruth.com ...
“The first person known with certainty to apply the term canon to the Sacred Scriptures was St. Athanasius, about 350A.D., although his private estimate of the number of canonical books differed from the books he quoted in his writings. Like him, a few other early fathers doubted some of the deutero-canonical books, but would cite them. (A Companion to Scripture Studies. Steinmueller.)”
This statement is a bit deceptive. The early fathers, and not merely a “few,” but the majority, including Jerome, held to a tiered view of scripture. What the papists call apocrypha was then considered “canonical” but only in the sense of being useful for the “edification of morals.” They were not to be used for the creation of doctrine. What that means is that, if these people were acting in accordance with the “Holy Spirit,” then they did so by rejecting what the RCC would later embrace.
Athanasius on the apocrypha:
But for the sake of greater exactness I add this also, writing under obligation, as it were. There are other books besides these, indeed not received as canonical but having been appointed by our fathers to be read to those just approaching and wishing to be instructed in the word of godliness: Wisdom of Solomon, Wisdom of Sirach, Esther, Judith, Tobit, and that which is called the Teaching of the Apostles, and the Shepherd. But the former [standard new and old testament canon], my brethren, are included in the Canon, the latter being merely read. (Thirty-Ninth Festal Epistle, A.D. 367.)
Rufinus on the Apocrypha:
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.).
Jerome on the Apocrypha
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 Jeromes 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).
Cardinal Cajetan calls them not canonical for the confirmation of the faith, but canonical only in a certain sense for the edification of the faithful.
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 Ecciesiasticus, as is plain from the Protogus 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. (Cardinal Cajetan, Commentary on all the Authentic Historical Books of the Old Testament, cited by William Whitaker in A Disputation on Holy Scripture, Cambridge: Parker Society (1849), p. 424)
Official prefaces to Latin translations, endorsed by Popes, of the scripture making the same distinction:
At the dawn of the Reformation the great Romanist scholars remained faithful to the judgment of the Canon which Jerome had followed in his translation. And Cardinal Ximenes in the preface to his magnificent Polyglott Biblia Complutensia-the lasting monument of the University which he founded at Complutum or Alcala, and the great glory of the Spanish press-separates the Apocrypha from the Canonical books. The books, he writes, which are without the Canon, which the Church receives rather for the edification of the people than for the establishment of doctrine, are given only in Greek, but with a double translation. ( B.F. Westcott, A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament (Cambridge: MacMillan, 1889), pp. 470-471.)
Whoops, I said “What the Papists call apocrypha.” I meant to say, what Protestants call apocrypha.
So then Jews are the author of the Old Testaments... not God
So we follow the books of men, some Jewish some Catholic..not the word of God..how confusing...how arrogant ..to claim both the authority of God for the Bible when convenient and the Church when convenient.
So by your logic does the Pope have a Rabbi to guide him and the Catholic church for the old testament? ..
By the way didn't Jesus get in trouble for daring to teach from the scriptures with authority and not following the dictates of the Pharisees as the official scriptural interpreters?..
So besides being our Lord and Savior..Jesus was the first heretic ...it what he was charged with ..so it would make him the first Protestant..as in “protest” the religious authoritarians of his day
What causes you to laugh at history? St. Jerome would not approve of this rolling on the floor laughing. Try reading some serious scholarship on St. Jerome before you ridicule and mock automatically.
Thank you NKP vet. Actual history is with the Catholics. Luther is a weak vessel to lay a faith foundation upon - his switching the bible to sola fide and sola scriptura began a grave error.
Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman who converted to Catholicism (and was ostracized in many circles for it) said that: “to be deep in history is to cease to be protestant.”
PS Many former evangelical pastors such as Scott Hahn, Jimmy Akin, etc. became Catholic once they had a better understanding of church history.
St. Jerome is one of my all time favorite saints and I hope to read the book that you referenced.
Ora Pro Nobis
Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman
Ora Pro Nobis
It’s all good. Jesus knows who are His. I don’t think it matters which church one goes to. It’s what’s in the heart.
Except for the fact that Jesus established only one Church and the rest are just sects established by men and teach doctrines differing one from the other.
St Paul, in writing the Bible, says that he laid a foundation and others are building on it. He said the foundation he laid was not based on the foundation of anyone else. Paul told Peter he was wrong to his face. How was Paul Catholic?
Have fun devoting yourself "to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith."
Catholics may have compiled what we have to day of scripture.
In music when someone composes a song, that person is the song “writer”. Sometimes a popular song will be rearranged and the new arrangement will be more popular than the original song version. The arranger is not the song writer, he is not the composer and lists himself or herself as the “arranger”.
The Catholic Church arranged the scriptures (New Testament) we have today, the authors were the apostles, actually the authors were those who heard the apostles speak and later recorded what they said. Apostles would travel from church to church telling their story of their memory of being with Christ The Lord. The other writings of the New Testament in large part are from letters written to churches from Apostles. We have to assume that the copies we have of those letter were copied from the originals. In all cases we assume that the Apostles were speaking as moved by the Holy Ghost. Since the Gospels and Epistles don't altogether agree with one another it is safe to say these scriptures were not written by God but by His inspired servants.
When the texts we have in our New Testament, that is the many varieties of The New Testament, were written there was no Roman Catholic Church, the Bishop in Rome had no more authority than other Bishops. After the Apostles died off there was a struggle for leadership, indeed there was no “one”, “Universal” church. There were many different churches each with differences from the next.
When Constantine Took control of the “Christian Churches” his council decided what would be “cannon” although they didn't use that word. From that point the universal or (Catholic) church grew in strength and spoke more or less with one voice. It was a new era for Christendom, a lot of what remains today traces back to that first council.
There are perhaps many writings of apostles and those that traveled with them that we don't have today that were destroyed in one of the various councils trying to decide what was of value and what was not of value to the Church.
I don't know what was left out but I do feel strongly that the church leaders of the third century did a good job at least as far as picking texts for scripture that were true. I can't vouch for their changes over the years, I don't like to argue over one or two words but like to take the text as a whole. this is because we can't possibly now know the origin of a word in many, perhaps most cases.
I read the scriptures given to us by the earliest councils of what we now call the Catholic Church but I don't use them to split hairs. The story of the Gospels, namely that the Son of Man was indeed The Son of God. That He lived among men and performed many good works and miracles and gave the keys of the kingdom to Peter to continue in His absence is enough for me.
I am not a Roman Catholic but I am grateful that they preserved what we have of the scriptures today. I wish they would have preserved more but I do like what we have.
Protestants derive their religion from a mere reading of the Bible which they interpret according to their own private judgment. Catholics derive their doctrines from the Church which propounds to them infallibly the teachings of the Bible and of Tradition.
Which of these two formulas is supported by the Bible itself and by the facts of history, and which consequently is correct?
The Bible makes it clear that Christ established the Church as a teaching organization to speak to the world in His name and with His authority. The Church was to teach men whatsoever He had taught - nothing more and nothing less: “All power is given to Me in heaven and earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:18-20). Christ placed on all men the obligation of hearing His Church as they would hear Himself: “He that heareth you, heareth Me” (Luke 10:16); “Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). He promised to be with the Church and guide it until the end of time: “And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world” (Matthew 28:20). He sent the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of infallible truth, upon the Apostles and their successors in order that they might be illumined and assisted in the work of continuing the teaching mission of God’s own Son.
Our Lord Himself wrote nothing. He commanded the Apostles not to write but to teach and preach: “Going, therefore, teach all nations” and “preach the Gospel to every creature.” Christ’s disciples and the Christians were commanded to hear the Church, not to read the still nonexistent or at best incomplete New Testament Scriptures: “He who hears you, hears Me.”
The teaching Church was in existence long before a single line of the New Testament was written. The Apostles evangelized different peoples, not by presenting to them a copy of the New Testament which did not as yet exist, but by preaching the Gospel, the oral message of Christ to them. Thousands of men became Christians and adhered to the whole truth of God before they saw or read a single book of the New Testament.
It was the leaders of the existing teaching Church who wrote the books of the New Testament. It was the Church which collected and preserved these books, and distinguished them from spurious books which might have otherwise found their way into the Bible. It was from the Catholic church that the Protestants of the sixteenth century took their Bible and also their belief in its divine inspiration.
How illogical, then, it is for a group to step in fifteen hundred years later, wrest the Bible from its historical and lawful possessor and fosterer, put the Bible in the place of the Church, and pretend to possess a true understanding of the purpose and meaning of the Bible?
The different books of the New Testament were for many centuries scattered in the various Christian communities of the Orient. Being written on papyrus which was fragile and breakable, these books could not be widely circulated and hence were read by a comparatively few groups. It was only in 397 A.D. that the Council of Carthage finally decided which books belong to the Bible, and it was about this time, too, that the books of the Bible were combined into one volume. Yet prior to this, the Church spread rapidly to many lands, converts were received into the Church by the thousands, the faith of the people was so strong that it peopled heaven with countless saints and martyrs.
Before the invention of printing in the sixteenth century, copies of the Bible written by hand were so rare and costly that only the rich could procure them. To own a Bible during this period was to own a fortune, and in many instances the Bible had to be chained in order to prevent its being stolen. Were the poor, then, during all these centuries, without a religious guide and teacher?
Was God indifferent to the salvation of the countless souls that passed into eternity during these fifteen hundred years? Did not our Lord provide for the salvation of these unnumbered millions, event though they could not procure, or read, or understand the Bible? We are sure that even our non-Catholic brethren would hardly subscribe to these blasphemous conclusions.
Bible Christianity, then, is an invention of the sixteenth century. In the previous centuries it was not only unknown but it was impossible. Bible Christianity is a formal denial of the Catholic Church, of her divine authority and mission to teach all men. It strives to abrogate the Church which Christ instituted, endeavours to substitute in its place a book, and makes the Bible, as interpreted by one’s own private judgment, the sole and supreme rule of faith and morality.
That the Bible is not self-explanatory is apparent, for example, from a mere casual reading of any chapter of the Epistle to the Romans or of the Apocalypse. That it is not self-sufficient is evident from the countless commentaries and books on Sacred Scripture. St. Peter himself was aware of certain difficult passages in the Pauline Epistles when he wrote: “Our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath written to you, as also in all his epistles speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, to their own destruction” (II Peter 3:15-16).
The Bible is a large and ancient book, and no book can be perfectly intelligible to all man and of all times. It was written at first in the Hebrew and Greek languages which today are understood perfectly by only a few. It reflects the customs, habits of thought and conditions of an ancient civilization and was written in part to meet the problems of those times. It contains supernatural truths which transcend the capacity of human reason. These are only a few reasons why the Bible stands in need of an authoritative explanation.
The Bible is not a textbook or a systematic exposition of Christian doctrine. It does not pretend to be a complete statement of Christian teaching. Three of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) are largely three versions of one and the same story. The Pauline Epistles are not doctrinal treatises but letters prompted by the needs of individuals and particularly communities. The thought furthest from the minds of these sacred writers was that their writings should be collected into one volume and considered as a complete statement of Christian theology.
The Bible nowhere states how many of its books are inspired and why. It nowhere teaches the abolition of the Sabbath or the abrogation of the precept prohibiting the eating of blood or things strangled (Acts 15:29). The basic Protestant article that Scripture is the sole rule of faith is not found on its pages. On whose authority, then, do the Protestants accept these doctrines and facts?
Bible Christianity is the motivating idea in two contemporary movements: The reading of the Bible in public schools, and second, the distribution of copies of the Bible in every tongue and in every country of the globe. We shall briefly evaluate these two activities.
Bible Reading In Public Schools
In the 1940’s, twelve states by statute require Bible reading in the public schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. Seven states have statutes specifically permitting the reading of the Bible in the public schools: Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota. The authorities of a state or of a public school who demand Bible reading as a means of moral education, tacitly recognize the Bible Christianity of the Protestants, impose it on the children of Catholic taxpayers, and thereby infringe on the latter’s sacred convictions. Apposite in this regard is the statement of the attorney general of Michigan: “The principle of unfettered individual liberty of conscience necessarily implies what is too often forgotten, that such liberty must be exercised by him to whom it is given so as not to infringe upon the equally sacred right of his neighbor to differ from him. To that end it is fundamental that the law itself shall be watchful to forbid the use or abuse of any of its powers or privileges in the interests of any church or sect. Nowhere is such an abuse more likely to manifest itself than in our system of public schools.”
Protestant Bibles - whether it be the King James Version or any other version - omit seven books from the Old Testament and sections of two other books. If they do not omit these books entirely, they relegate them to an Appendix and label them as “Apocrypha” (spurious books).
Should state and school authorities impose the reading of a Protestant version in the public schools, they would thereby adopt and indorse the Protestant canon of Scripture, and with the force of civil law impose this arrangement on the children of Catholic taxpayers.
The problem as to what Bible would be used in the public schools, whether it would be a Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish version, offers almost insurmountable difficulties. The plan to read only certain passages from the Bible is unsatisfactory. By the very fact that they are mere selections, they exclude the Bible as a whole and in this way infringe on the religious convictions of Catholics. Again, these selected readings would have to be non-dogmatic and colorless so as not to offend anyone. The great New Testament passages on the Church, the primacy of St. Peter, the Real Presence in the Eucharist would have to be excluded. The Jew, in turn, would oppose everything distinctively Christian and insist upon reading principally from the Old Testament.
Finally, the readings of passages from the Bible can hardly be more than a literary exercise unless it be accompanied by an interpretation. But such an interpretation is likely to take on a sectarian complexion and again subject the Catholic pupil to offense or to proselytism.
Bible Societies are based on the principle that the Bible and the Bible alone is the foundation and source of all religion. The Catholic Church objects to Bible Societies for the following reasons:
1) Bible Societies are a denial of the Church as a divinely instituted teaching organization and the infallible interpreter of Sacred Scripture. It is an affirmation of Bible Christianity and of the principle of private judgment.
2) Divine revelation is contained not only in the Bible but also in Tradition. The Bible alone, consequently, is an insufficient rule of faith.
3) The Bible is a difficult book and needs interpretation. If even the Biblical scholar and preacher must make constant use of commentaries, how can an unlessoned pagan, as he labors through the pages of the Bible, solve the critical problems of Scripture and construct for himself from his unexplained text an adequate concept of the teaching of Christ? Does not the existence of countless Protestant sects show that many have wrested the Scripture unto their own destruction?
4) The mere possession or reading of a Bible does not work wholesale conversion of individuals and nations. The distribution of thousands of Bibles frequently fails to produce a single convert
5) Copies of the Bibles, distributed by these Societies, are often used for vulgar and profane purposes. Wrapping up groceries, papering walls, lining slippers are some of the uses pagans find for Bibles.
These Bible societies would do well to reflect seriously on the following remarks of a contemporary author: “While their societies are distributing abroad, to the confusion of the heathen, innumerable copies of the Bible, their religious brethren at home are busy tearing the book to pieces and robbing its pages of all authority. Large portions are rejected as spurious. Inspiration is denied to what remains. Young men are ordained ministers who do not believe in the Virgin Birth and corporal Resurrection of Our Lord. In the chairs of Protestant universities are seated the most ruthless destroyers of the Bible’s sacred character. Inconsistency, however, was never a more striking note of Protestantism than it is today.”
1. What is the difference between the Protestant and Catholic rules of Faith?
2. Christ established the Church as a teaching organization. Explain.
3. Did Our Lord write anything? Did He command the Apostles to write anything?
4. Did the Catholic Church exist before the Bible? Explain.
5. Was it easy for a Christian before the sixteenth century to procure a copy of the Bible?
6. Is the Bible self-explanatory?
7. Is the Bible a systematic, complete textbook of religion?
8. What doctrines and facts, accepted by the Protestants, are not found in the Bible?
1. Does Bible reading in public schools endorse Bible Christianity? Explain.
2. What Bible would be read in public schools?
3. Would it be satisfactory to read only select passages from the Bible?
4. Would anyone interpret the Bible in the public schools?
1. On what principle are Bible Societies based?
2. Why is the Church opposed to so-called Bible Societies?
3. Will mere reading of the Bible bring about conversions?
4. Is the study of the Bible an easy task?
5. How are non-Catholics tearing down with one hand what they are building up with the other?
1. I will always recognize and hear the voice of Christ in the voice of the Church.
2. I will adhere confidently to the teaching of the Church which proposes to me the entire truth as found not only in the Bible but also in Tradition.
3. I will assent to the Church’s teachings without any fear because the Church being infallible cannot err.
The first person known with certainty to apply the term canon to the Sacred Scriptures was St. Athanasius, about 350A.D., although his private estimate of the number of canonical books differed from the books he quoted in his writings. Like him, a few other early fathers doubted some of the deutero-canonical books, but would cite them. (A Companion to Scripture Studies. Steinmueller.)
The Council of Carthage (397) was the first Council to publish a list of all the inspired books of the Bible. The Council of Florence repeated the canon of the Bible, and it was restated at the Council of Trent. (No action of the Church causes a book to be inspired. The Church exercises its infallible judgment to certify post factum that a particular book was inspired when it was written. The fact that God is its Author makes a book to be inspired. The Holy Spirit prevents the Church from erring in judging which books are inspired and included in the Bible.)
Versions of the whole or parts of the Bible in the language of the common people first appeared in Germany in the eighth century, in France and Hungary in the twelfth, and Italy, Spain, Holland, Poland and Bohemia in the thirteenth century. (Catholic Encyclopedia.)
In the 1500's in Italy, there were more than 40 vernacular editions of the Bible. France had 18 vernacular editions before 1547, and Spain began publishing editions in 1478, with full approval of the Spanish Inquisition.
In all, 198 editions of the Bible were in the language of the laity, 626 editions all together, and all before the first Protestant version, and all having the full approval of the Church. (Where We Got the Bible, TAN Publishers)
The area known as England was invaded and settled by Germanic tribes called "Saxons" who aligned with tribes from the area of Denmark called "Angles". In the 700's, (St. Bede the Venerable), the area was speaking a Germanic dialect. In the Middle Ages, between 1066-1377, there were different dialects depending on where you went, between the different tribes. The Normans had invaded the area, There was no written vocabulary, so Latin and Greek were most commonly used by the literate.
After 1300, the English population was still much smaller than others like the Italians or Spanish, and it was still unintelligible in a written form. After the 1500's, England became more important politically.
For centuries before the invention of printing, the only way to duplicate the text of the Bible was to copy it by hand. Copyists could have made mistakes, but, they took more care with Scripture than with any other book. Errors, while they are possible and certainly have occurred in some instances, can not be too easily admitted or accepted as an excuse to disregard these copies. Moreover, God in His Providence has faithfully protected His Bible from any serious corruption.
Even a perfectly written Bible would still need an authoritative explanation of various passages.
Chapter and verse divisions are not found in our oldest manuscripts of the Bible, and there is evidence that the early Hebrew writers did not even separate the words of the text, following a Hebrew tradition that Moses wrote the Law as one continuous word. The division into chapters was a gradual process that began in the Middle Ages. The divisions now used were introduced by Stephen Langton (d. 1228), later archbishop of Canterbury, and are found in the Biblia Parisiensis, used at the University of Paris as early as the 13th century. (English Versions of the Bible, Rev. Hugh Pope, O.P.)
The division of Bible chapters into numbered smaller sections was introduced to facilitate scholarly reference to the individual passages. In 1528, Santes Pagnino, a Dominican, published a Bible where each chapter was divided into verses usually consisting of single sentences.
Robert Estienne, a French printer, less than thirty years later, introduced the figures that divide or "chop up" verses of the Bible. His verse divisions became standard because he also printed a Concordance based on these editions. (New Catholic Edition of the Holy Bible.) Although at times it divides a passage, the procedure has been sanctified by the Church.
In 1452, the Vulgate was the first book to be printed on the first mechanical press, invented by a Catholic - Johann Gutenberg; that particular edition is commonly known as the Gutenberg Bible. Again, the text was in Latin. (The Gutenberg Bible, Martin Davies.)
By the time of the Protestant Reformation in the 1500's, there were: 104 Latin editions of the Bible - 9 before Martin Luther's birth, and 27 before his edition. (Where We Got the Bible) About this time though, some Latin editions were defective, owing to the creativity or errors of the various publishers, so the Council of Trent intervened, choosing the "Clementine" edition as the official Latin version, authentic and approved for use in public lectures, disputations, sermons and expositions. (Canons & Decrees of the Council of Trent, TAN Publishers, page 10.) Many translators during the 1500-1900's chose the Latin Vulgate over the Greek because it was difficult to find a good Greek translation.
In the late 1500's, there were about 120 Greek versions with 30,000 different readings. For example, one rendition had Isaiah 7:14 using neanis (young woman) instead of parthenos [virgin]. ("Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanual". The gospel of Matthew 1:23 makes reference to this passage, "Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son; and they shall call his name Emmanual, which being interpreted is, God with us.").
The Latin language gradually changed. The Latin used in the Vulgate is from around 400A.D. Gradually, Latin evolved into French, Italian and Spanish. In the treaty of Verdun, (843 A.D.) the text shows the shift of vocabulary - some Latin and some Middle French. The last recorded usage of Latin being preached to the common people was around the year 800, in Italy.
However, latin remained the universal written language in Europe for many centuries. Up to the 1400's, it was the only language to be generally used. As late as the 1660's Isaac Newton, requiring a large audience for his theories, would write his Principlicae Mathematica in Latin for publication, not English (which was still obscure as a written language at the time).
From 1578 to 1593 the English College of Douay was temporarily housed at Rheims. It was during this period that the Vulgate was translated into the new language called English. In 1582, Queen Elizabeth ordered searchers to confiscate every copy of the New Testament newly translated into English by the College of Rheims. Priests were imprisoned for having it, and the sentence of "torture by rack" was given to those who circulated it. The publication of the Old Testament was delayed until the Douay College had returned to England. In 1609, the College of Douay published the Old Testament English translation.
(Although some Catholic critics scoff at the "archaic English" used in this edition put out by these colleges, the preface of The Protestant Revised Version, or King James version (1611) credits the deliberately literal translation, and the coinage of Latin-English words for theological terms.)
Between 1609 and 1749, there were more than 23 different Catholic editions of the Bible produced, about half of which were New Testament editions, the remaining being editions of the Penitential Psalms.
Bishop Richard Challoner (1691-1781), who was previously the vice-president of the Douay College, began in 1749 the first of several revisions of the Bible from the "Old English" style into the newer English then in use. It is his work that, for the first time provided English-speaking Catholics with a portable, inexpensive and readable version of the Bible, in spite of a few inevitable defects. In all, he was responsible for 5 different editions of the New Testament, and 2 editions of the Old.
The other portable editions of the 8th through 16th century were parts or sections of the Bible, like the Penitentail Psalms, and the Pauper's Bible.
Probably the next most popular Catholic Bible was the "Haydock" revision of the Challoner-Rheims Bible, which actually came about from the suggestion of Thomas Haydock, a printer and schoolmaster. His brother, Rev. George Leo Haydock, published the first edition during the years of 1811-1814, and printings continued well into 1859, after his death. Unique at the time of the Haydock editions was the inclusion of historical and chronological indexes, lists of miracles and parables, some of St. Jerome's letters added to the Addenda, and massive amounts of notes from the fathers and doctors of the Church. It was the first publication of its kind, and editions were immediately successful with several reprints.
In 1790, the first Catholic Bible was printed in the United States, (a lot of printing for America had been done in Belgium) under the encouragement of its' first bishop, John Carroll of Baltimore. It was based on Challoner's second edition of the Bible printed in 1764. In 1805, another version was published in the U.S., based on the Dublin "fifth edition" of Challoner, having been slightly revised under Archbishop John Troy of Dublin. (English Versions of the Bible.)
Various versions and editions of the Douay-Rheims Bible were printed in the United States up until 1947.
As a sidenote, St. Thomas More, in his Dialogue Concerning Tyndale, wrote against Tyndale's New Testament. St. Thomas noted "there were wrong and falsely translated above a thousand texts", and took as examples three words; "priest", "Church" and "charity", which Tyndale changed to "senior", "congregation" and "love". Possibly minor changes as far as the language is concerned, but these were considered fundamental for the doctrinal positions involved. In other verses Tyndale removed "grace", "confession", "penance", and "contrition", changing the biblical text to correspond with his abolition of the Mass. Tyndale is also noted as the first to use the word "Jehovah" as a name for God.
**St. Thomas noted “there were wrong and falsely translated above a thousand texts”, and took as examples three words; “priest”, “Church” and “charity”, which Tyndale changed to “senior”, “congregation” and “love”. **
Catholic compiled the Bible, both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
That’s why Catholics have a bigger and more complete Bible.
At least I'm not having to rebut the "documentary hypothesis" on this thread, which is what I expected to have to do when I clicked on it.
The Bible Reborn
Where We Got The Bible
Some Biblical Truths
The "Apocrypha": Why It's Part of the Bible
How to Read the Bible A Three Step Plan (written for Catholics - valid for all)
Where Does the Bible Say We Should Pray to Dead Saints?
The Canon of Scripture [Ecumenical]
To understand Bible, one must understand its nature, pope says
Let the Bible be entrusted to the faithful
But Seriously Who Holds the Bibles Copyright?
Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ
Apostolic Authority and the Selection of the Gospels (Ecumenical)
The Bible - 73 or 66 Books? (Ecumenical Thread)
How Rediscovering the Plot of Sacred Scripture is Essential to Evangelization
The Word of God is a Person Not Merely a Text
Are Catholics into the Bible?
Are the Gospels Historical?
What is Biblical Prophecy? What Biblical Prophecy is NOT, and What It Really IS
Biblical Illiteracy and Bible Babel
The Pilgrims' Regress - The Geneva Bible And The "Apocrypha"
The "Inconvenient Tale" of the Original King James Bible
The Bible - an absolutely amazing book
Christian Scriptures, Jewish Commentary
Essays for Lent: The Canon of Scripture
Essays for Lent: The Bible
1500 year-old Syriac Bible found in Ankara, Turkey
How we should read the Bible
St. Jerome and the Vulgate (completing the FIRST Bible in the year 404) [Catholic Caucus]
In Bible Times
Deuterocanonical References in the New Testament
Translations Before the King James: - The KJV Translators Speak!
EWTN Live - March 23 - A Journey Through the Bible
"Our Father's Plan" - EWTN series with Dr. Scott Hahn and Jeff Cavins on the Bible timeline
The Daunting Journey From Faith to Faith [Anglicanism to Catholicism]
Reflections on the Soon to Be Released New American Bible (Revised Edition)[Catholic Caucus]
New American Bible changes some words such as "holocaust"
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
Always interesting to read revisionist history and how many people are sucked into garbage like this.
“We are compelled to concede to the Papists
that they have the Word of God,
that we received it from them,
and that without them
we should have no knowledge of it at all.”
~ Martin Luther
Please proovide the actual source of that quote as it certainly isn’t in the link you provided.
Catholic history is a unique point of view.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.