You simply do not know what you are talking about when it comes to St. Paul's office. He was an Apostle, which by definition also places him squarely among the bishops. The witness to that aspect of the Apostles' ministry is universal in the Early Church. And, in several places, St. Paul makes reference to his ordaining various people via the "laying on of hands." That's what bishops did, and still do. This laying on of hands transmitted power and authority, an effect not to be trifled with or otherwise disposed of in a trivial manner, as St. Paul admonishes St. Timothy to remember in 1 Timothy 5:22. The basis of "apostolic succession, " shared by Catholic, Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches down to this day (but by no Protestant bodies, as they, or they early-Reformation ancestors, explicitly denied and rejected in their break from Catholicism), rests on the concepts St. Paul makes plain about the laying on of hands.
Your historical assertions are based on not much of anything. Show me, for example, the continuous trail of existence for this "remnant" you speak of. In order to do this, you must be able to span the entire 2000 year Christian Era, with a demonstrably coherent doctrine that can be said to preserve the Deposit of Faith left to us by the Apostles. Be specific as to groups. If you can only point to a few individual believers in any given lifespan of time, I would suggest that that utterly fails to confirm Christ's promise to be with His Church all days, or His promise to send the Holy Spirit to guide it.
You also don't connect the dots for logic very well. One example will have to suffice, since it is clear you're not getting my points very well anyway. You say that the Catholic canon was not finally codified until 1400 years after the last book was written. This is at best a half-truth. It is true that no ecumenical council defined the canon until Trent. But several regional councils of the 4th and 5th Centuries had in fact confirmed the canon with papal approbation. These certainly settled the matter to everyone's general satisfaction until the "Reformation" began shredding settled doctrine in the middle of the 16th Century. Trent only confirmed the canon as an official reference standard and rebuke against the "Reformers," who had already, via various of its early leaders, begun to remove books from both Testaments, or declare them "apocrypha" fit for use as an appendix at the end of their Bibles. The canon itself had been long since settled. Trent only declared it dogmatically closed in response to revolution that threatened to make the matter of what books constituted the Bible an "open question" on a level not seen since the 2nd Century.
Your statement on Jamnia is pretty garbled. It's hard to get a good read on what you're trying to say.
You make a reference to "mortal sin," and say it does not necessarily damn anyone. This is just displaying ignorance of the basic definition. It is precisely the type of sin that damns someone, insofar as the "mortal" part refers to spiritual death, which is nothing less than damnation.
Your understanding of Catholic beliefs and practices, as manifested in your posts, at any rate, is nothing more than a shadowy caricature of their true nature. It's hard to properly respond to a set of straw-man arguments. What coherency you do muster is based pretty much on the assumption that Sola Scriptura is a valid concept, though, not being found in Scripture anywhere explicitly, it is certainly self-refuted. You object, on sola scriptura grounds, to many Catholic beliefs and practices, saying the Bible alone does not authorize them.
This is mostly not true, but, to the extent that some things, such as priestly and episcopal celibacy are not explicitly mandated by Scripture, our response is "so what?" We have never elevated the practice to a doctrine; it is merely a discipline, which could, in theory, change tomorrow. Nevertheless, 1 Corinthians 7 makes a powerful witness to the soundness of the practice, even if there is nothing there that absolutely mandates it.
But there are some things that the Catholic Church does hold to doctrinally that do not find much in Scripture to explicitly back them up - though nearly every example can show a trail of Biblical inference. Again, we say "so what?" We recognize Sacred Tradition, as do all of the ancient Churches that predate Protestantism. You would do well to explore what authority existed in the "reformers" to throw Tradition out, and why all of the Apostolic Churches have retained it from the beginning. Has it ever occurred to you that people first making an appearance on the Christian scene 1500 years after Acts 2 and radically altering many things tracing back into the mists of the Era just might be lacking in authority to make those changes? Sola Scriptura, as a concept, is biblically bankrupt and internally self-refuting. Everything flowing from it, including the utter rejection of Sacred Tradition, is of similar pedigree.
>You simply do not know what you are talking about when it comes to St. Paul’s office. He was an Apostle, which by definition also places him squarely among the bishops.<
No, we are not talking about exercising some functions which apostles and bishops did, but about formally being a bishop, who was in charge of a local flock, not a traveling evangelist whom no wife could likely keep up with. Regardless, since the rest of the apostles themselves were married, including Peter, then and your desperate focusing on Paul’s celibacy will not provide the necessary warrant for requiring all bishops/elders to be celibate. The explicit Biblical statements on the matter refute such an idea, but blind loyalty to Rome compels the defense the indefensible.
>priestly and episcopal celibacy are not explicitly mandated by Scripture, our response is “so what?” We have never elevated the practice to a doctrine; it is merely a discipline, which could, in theory, change tomorrow. .<
As stated before while it is only church law, the fact is that it is an warranted requirement,<
>Nevertheless, 1 Corinthians 7 makes a powerful witness to the soundness of the practice, even if there is nothing there that absolutely mandates it<
The latter has always been the issue here, not whether celibacy is virtuous, but that all bishops must have that gift.
I am sorry that you fail comprehend that I am not saying the church ceased to exist, with some true believers in it, and at least a basic form of its structure, but that it was corrupted, and needed reformation, which is not yet complete. Perpetuating the corruptions of Rome which you suppose makes it the true church is counter productive to that end, and yet is it not Scripure, but Rome sad historical records that you rest upon. God can raise up a true church today, on an island, using a man, who like Peter, effectually confessed Christ as Lord, as Jesus said he could raise up sons of Abraham from stones. It is faith which produces Biblical obedience that is key, not outward show and autocratic corruptions of faith, which is what Rome glories in.
Also, your rejection of those like Jerome who rejected the Apocrypha,and adoption of it, like false doctrines, does not establish its canonicity.
>You make a reference to “mortal sin,” and say it does not necessarily damn anyone.<
Sorry. I get tired. Let me clarify:
“While praying for deceased idolaters may be compassionate, if problematic - as Rome excludes [that] there is hope for those who die in mortal sin, and [though] I would not see this [praying for the dead] as necessarily damning those who may ignorantly engage in such, [yet] in no place will you find this [praying for the dead] being sanctioned in any other book of the Bible.
It is Rome that infers hope for these apparent idolaters in 2 Mac.
>Sola Scriptura, as a concept, is biblically bankrupt and internally self-refuting.<
Not so, properly understood. Once Scripture was given, then it became the standard by which progressive revelation was tested. Thus Acts 17:11, and the constant referencing and allusions to it by Jesus and the apostles, while Jesus rebuked additions such as the law of Corban which contradicted it. Unlike the bottomless pit of church tradition, the Scriptures are declared to be wholly inspired, and while the Word of God includes things not written down, they cannot contradict it or fail to have manifest support. The apostles preaching was the word of God, but as the Bereans shows, it was Biblical. And the apostles were clearly attested to be such by mighty signs and wonders,(2Cor. 12:12), and which, along with the O.T., provided warrant for what they said. But besides lacking such manner of Divine attestation, or the clear establishment for Rome which the O.T. high priest had for his prophetic office (while a Caiaphas type head could not even remain in a true church), since the canon is closed, to make church tradition equal to it is essentially adding to the canon. In this case, the baby and the bath water are equal.
Nothing above Scripture should convince me, by which all revelation is proved by, rather than a self-proclaimed infallible magisterium.