Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Welcome Envoy Participants: Compare & Contrast


Welcome Envoy participants.
A friend of mine was posting on the Envoy boards and was asked by Patrick Madrid to take the conversation "elsewhere." Please continue here if you so choose.


51 comments:

Carrie said...

I love Sippo's conclusion:

"I hope that Mr. Webster will see the light and turn his attention to some other more credible project. I also hope that this has been enlightening for him and that he will take the time to re-evaluate his position before God. The time to commit himself to Christ is now, not later. Time is running short and there is no salvation outside of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church founded by Jesus. I invite Mr. Webster to come to his senses and to leave his bondage to the Protestant lie and join us on the Barque of Peter. May God bring him to everlasting life!"

------- Theo ------- said...

Regarding the spirit of that conclusion: I try to pray for non-Catholic Christians in a manner that allows them to "amen" without reservation, if they so desire.

Obviously, Dr. Sippo and I would both agree that Mr. Webster's coming into full communion with the Church would be in his best interest; however, neither he nor I nor any other being but the Divine Himself are in a position to speak authoritatively about Mr. Webster's commitment to Christ--especially in light of his own testimony of repentance and submission.

Jesus shall come to judge the living and the dead. It will be best for us individually if we each follow the example of the five wise virgins by seeing to our own lamps lest we ourselves be wrapped in darkness when The Bridegroom comes.

Indeed, I do say, "amen" to this: may God bring Mr. Webster (and us all) into everlasting life, and I add, may God bless Mr. Webster for all he does truly for the kingdom of God and may He make fruitful all his labors that bring glory to our only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

This I sincerely pray in Christ, Jesus, whose sacred image our model must be;
Your servant and brother,
--Theo

EA said...

Webster clearly has a better grasp of the historical issues than does Sippo.

I'll say this for Sippo though; what he lacks in knowledge of the subject matter he makes up for in invective.

Algo said...

Greetings Envoy Visitors.

I will attempt to address Dr. Sippo's claims:

[i]Originally posted by artsippo[/i]
[br]Dear Algo,

So you want to play games instead of discuss the issues? You asked me for sources, and I have given them to you. White holds to the same position that Webster, Swan, Geisler, MacKenzie, and Svendsen do. Read it for yourself in his work. They claim that the Catholic Bible never included the Deuterocanonicals as Scripture until the Catholic Church added them at the time of the reformation. They claim that the list at the Council of Trent was the first magisterial and infallible statement concerning the Biblical Canon. I have shown that they are wrong on both counts. My position has never changed:

1) From the time of the Council of Hippo (393 AD) until Trent there were multiple magisterial declarations concerning the biblical canon and they always supported the canon given at Trent.

2) Furthermore, it is not the Catholic Church that added the deuterocanonical books to Scripture in the 16th Century. To the contrary, it was the Protestants who removed them to make the Bible conform to their own theological systems.

Do you deny eiher of these statements? If so, what proof do you have?

Art

Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH said...

Okay, Algo. If you want to hide over here that's fine. But I will respond to anything you say here on my blog. Anytime you feel up for it, I would be happy to hear your response to my piece.

Arthur C. Sippo MD. MPH

Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH said...

[The previous post of this had otten garbled. This is a corrected copy.]

ea sez:

"Webster clearly has a better grasp of the historical issues than does Sippo. "

Ah, the blind allowing themsleves to be led by the blind.

Frankly, ea, no one reading my piece with integrity could say that. I will let my document stand on it own in condemnation of the lies of the sad Mr. Webster. Let honest men with open minds judge for themsleves.

Arthur C. Sippo MD. MPH

EA said...

Dr. Sippo sez:"Let honest men with open minds judge for themselves."

They have; you lost. You can console yourself with the illusion that I'm a narrow minded "anti-Catholic" or whatever makes you feel better (blind, no integrity, dishonest, etc...).

To my mind, William Webster has the better argument. Perhaps that's only because he has the better facts. Maybe if you had better facts...

Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH said...

Talk is cheap, ea. Show me. Point out where Webster is right and I am wrong.

Art

EA said...

A couple of inconsistencies in your argument will have to suffice for the present.

"The universal practice of the church from the time of St. Jerome up to the “reformation” was to argue about the canonicity of these books but to simultaneously quote from them as Scripture. While there were people who did not accept these books as canonical, the mainstream of Catholic thought (typified by St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and the Ecumenical Councils) always did."

"If as Mr. Webster alleges Quinisext was accepted in the West as ecumenical, then why were none of its canons ever enforced in the Latin Church?"

I would ask you a similar question Doctor; in what tangible way are these decrees of the Magesterium, allegedly ratifying the Canons from the Councils of Hippo And Carthage, binding upon the "Universal Church" while at the same time the "universal practice of the church" was to question the canonicity of the very books that were "infallibly defined" as Canonical? If this teaching was "infallible" then why was dissent not reigned in? If your premise is correct, we should be able to find a simple line of argumentation to refute those "out of the mainstream" who thought as Jerome did. And that line of argumentation would be as follows; "Of course, the Deuteros are Holy Scripture you heretic, Pope Zosimus has infallibly defined them as such!". Have you any evidence that this line of reasoning was employed by any theologian? The lack of such "might" indicate that there was not an infallible pronouncement on the Canon in place. Do the Tridentine Fathers cite Zosimus?

Another gem: "Since the long Canon has always predominated in the Eastern Church we can only surmise that Quinisext would have given pride of place to the Canon of Scripture from Hippo/Carthage."

What evidence do you have for the assertion that "the long Canon has always predominated in the Eastern Church"? Are you the George Barna of 2nd & 3rd century Eastern Orthodoxy? Have you some Sacred Tradition sampling data that you would like to share with us?

Further, how does that statement square with this: "A mere show of hands among “acknowledged experts”, a rhetorical flourish in written form, or even an opinion from someone with an academic degree can do nothing to make a falsehood become true."

I guess a show of hands from those who preferred the long canon is the exception that proves the rule.

Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH said...

Trivia. It always amount to trivia with you people. You cannot see the forest for the trees

Ea sez:

{I would ask you a similar question Doctor; in what tangible way are these decrees of the Magesterium, allegedly ratifying the Canons from the Councils of Hippo And Carthage, binding upon the "Universal Church" while at the same time the "universal practice of the church" was to question the canonicity of the very books that were "infallibly defined" as Canonical? }

First of all, you suffer the same delusion as virtually all Protestants concerning authority within the Church. You confuse clear guidance from the Magisterium with obedience in the ranks. They are not the same.

You may be surprised to know this, but lots of people challenge authority because they think they are smarter than their superiors. Most of these challengers are wrong. That is the case with those who questioned the place of the Deuteros in the Bible. These books were in the Bible consistently from the very beginning. They were affirmed by Hippo which was the council that settled the OT and NT Canon for the Universal Church. The Popes always supported them. Virtually all of the Church Fathers quoted from them as Scripture as did the Councils of the Church. The long OT canon was affirmed at Quinisext, Nicea II,and finally Basle/Florence in a definitive way a century before the so-called "reformation".

Why did people argue about it still? Simple. For the same reason that the Protestant apostates invented their new religions: the sin of pride. Men thought that they were smarter than the Holy Spirit and in every generation they practiced disobedience and rebellion to puff themselves up.

You totally ignore the critical point. If anyone had paid attention to the Magisterium of the Church they would have seen that the Long Canon was affirmed consistently by the hierarchy whenever the question had been raised from the 4th Century onwards. It was individual theologians wallowing in their pride who had reservations. Whenever the Church gathered in council it always affirmed the Long Canon.

To give you an analogy, the mere fact that people constantly drive too fast on the highway does not imply that there is no speed limit. It can mean that they are ignoring the limit and thus breaking the law. That is the case here as I have clearly proven.


[What evidence do you have for the assertion that "the long Canon has always predominated in the Eastern Church"?]

The evidence is in the writings of the Fathers and the traditions of the Church. The Greek speaking Eastern Church never received the Hebrew Bible. Instead it used the Septuagint (LXX). They quoted from it liberally and they used the Deuteros all the time. You can see this in the Apostolic Fathers (all of whom were Greek speakers).

The following quotation is from Introducing the Apocrypha : Message, Context, and Significance by Protestant David Arthur DeSilva. I think it shows how we know that the Deuteros were well accepted in the Eastern Church. I highly recommend this book for giving an up to date view on how the Deuteros were seen among the Jews, within the NT, and in the period of the Early Church.

{Regarding the early church, we find that although the books of the Apocrypha are not recited as Scripture in the New Testament, Jesus, Paul, James, and others show their familiarity with the contents of much of the Apocrypha, especially Ben Sira, Wisdom, Tobit, and 1 and 2 Maccabees. It may be that these resonances, noticed by early Christians who came into contact also with, say, Wisdom of Solomon, contributed to the status that Wisdom of Solomon enjoyed in the church. At the end of the first century and beginning of the second, Christian authors refer more and more to these texts and even ascribe to them the status of Scripture (shown usually in the way the quotation is introduced, as in “as it is written”). Thus, the Didache, a church manual written at the turn of the first century, paraphrases Tob. 4:15 (Didache 1.2; this is the negative form of the Golden Rule) and Sir. 4:31 (Didache 4.5; an instruction about almsgiving) as rules binding for Christians. The pseudonymous Epistle of Barnabas quotes as “another of the prophets” 4 Ezra (= chs. 3–14 of 2 Esdras). The quotation (Epistle of Barnabas 12.1) is a compilation of 4 Ezra 4:33 and 5:5, embellished with a phrase whose source cannot be identified. Here, the fairly recent Ezra apocalypse rises to instant esteem as a prophetic witness to the cross, “when blood drips from a tree.” First Clement, written by Clement of Rome around 96 c.e., incorporates Wis. 2:24 (1 Clement 3.4) and 12:12 (1 Clement 27.5). In the former passage, Clement assumes Wis. 2:24 to provide accurate information about “envy” as the origin of death and uses this tradition to interpret the significance of the story of Cain and Abel. Polycarp of Smyrna (To the Philippians 10.2) has learned from Tobit (4:10; 12:9) that “almsgiving delivers from death.” Irenaeus accepted the Greek form of Daniel, with its additions, as the canonical prophet (Adversus haereses 4.26.3), as would Origen (along with Esther and Jeremiah, to which were linked Baruch and Letter of Jeremiah). Clement of Alexandria (d. 216 c.e.) quotes Wisdom and Ben Sira as Scripture; the Muratorian Canon and Tertullian both indicate an acceptance of Wisdom as Scripture.13

Furthermore there is not a single Eastern Church that does accept the books in the Catholic Canon. They may include other books as well, but the contents of the Canon of Hippo is universally recognized in the Eastern Church.

[Further, how does that statement square with this: "A mere show of hands among “acknowledged experts”, a rhetorical flourish in written form, or even an opinion from someone with an academic degree can do nothing to make a falsehood become true."]

Once again you show the Protestant proclivity for Theological Pelagianism. You are laboring under the misconception that Catholic doctrine is the product of the opinions of mere men as your false religion is. We have always insisted that it is the charism of the Holy Spirit which guides the Catholic Church through Apostolic Succession.

It is as Jesus himself told us:

Matthew 10:19 When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Contrarily, all Protestant beliefs are the product of mere human effort and nothing more. This desire to concoct eternal verities by human effort is just another form of the Pelagian heresy. You have no valid ordinations and no Apostolic Succession so that you do not have the divine assistance. Laying your hands on each other is not a valid ordination and canot convey the Holy Spirit.

In short, Magisterial Catholic teaching is protected by the Holy Spirit and is not the product of human scholarship. Scholarship can be the handmaid of the Magisterium but it can never replace the Spirit of truth that Christ gave to His Catholic Church:

John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.


You have not given me any substantial objections nor have you provided anything to support Webster's contentions. All you are doing is playing childish word games.

My challenge remains unanswered. What proof can you give me to show that Webster is right and I am wrong?

Art

Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH said...

Where is little Algo? I am still waiting for him to respond.

Art

EA said...

"You confuse clear guidance from the Magisterium with obedience in the ranks. They are not the same."

Maybe not, however a lack of being able to force obedience was hardly a weakness of the RCC in the Middle Ages. The Albigensian Crusade is but one example of the Church's ability to ensure doctrinal uniformity. So the initial objection remains.

"It was individual theologians wallowing in their pride who had reservations.

The Church found it easier to deal with the Cathars who had protection from certain nobles (with armies) than it did in handling individual theologians, monks, or teachers at Universities who held positions at the whim of Bishops? Whatever.

"They may include other books as well, but the contents of the Canon of Hippo is universally recognized in the Eastern Church.

How does an unidentical canon accrue to your position? I thought that not having the same OT Canon as the RCC was evidence of 'apostasy'. Is it or isn't it?

Matthew 10:19-20
"When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you."

Since you brought it up, how does this passage have any bearing at all on the charism of infallibility of the guidance of the Holy Spirit in defining doctrine?

Thanks for the DeSilva reference, I'll have to look into acquiring it.

Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH said...

Ea continues to run away from the topic under discussion.

{Maybe not, however a lack of being able to force obedience was hardly a weakness of the RCC in the Middle Ages.}

FORCE OBEDIENCE? What is the matter with you. Is that the only way you know to convince people of the rightness of our views by using FORCE?

We Catholics take a more pastoral view. We want to convert minds and hearts not force people into conformity. During the Middle Ages they discussed these matters within the universities like gentlemen. When simple appeals to reason were not enough, the matter was referred up the chain culminatin in General Councils. At that point, everyone submitted. End of story.

What are we supposed to do today? Take away the licenses of everyone who ever exceeded the speed limit? You want to beat speedeers over the head to force tehm o conform? Is your answer to all disagreements to brutalize people?

The only kind of authority you seem to understand is violence and coercion. I am sorry but your approach is sub-christian.

It is impossible to win with you people. Either you complain that the Catholic Church was too repressive or that it was not violent enough.

Right is right if nobody is right. Wrong is wrong if everybody is wrong. I have documented that the Magisterium gave clear guidance on the Canon. The fact that heretics existed does mean that there was no orthodoxy. It just shows that arrogant people will not conform to what they know has been taught "even if one should rise from the dead."

[How does an unidentical canon accrue to your position? ]

You don't get it. All of the Eastern Churches accept the Canon from Hippo. To that they may add others but they do not accept the short Canon of the Jewish Bible as normative. Every book that the Catholic Church accepts as Scripture is seen as Scripture in these Eastern Churches.

This proves that Webster lied when he claimed that the short Canon was normative prior to the Deformation.

Now let me turn this back on you: How does the fact that the Eastern Churches have longer OT Canons (which include all the books in the Catholic Canon) support Webster's contention that the OT Canon before Trent was limited to the Jewish Bible? DUH!

[Since you brought it up, how does this passage have any bearing at all on the charism of infallibility of the guidance of the Holy Spirit in defining doctrine?]

You can't read? Jesus promised that in bearing their witness before the world, the Apsotles would not speak for themselves but the Holy Spirit would speak through them. This has always been the case in the Traditions of the Catholic Church. The Magisterium is founded on this promise of Christ.

St. Paul acknowledged this quite clearly:

2Ti 1:6 Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands;

You on the contrary being outside the Church with no valid ministry have no such promise.

You just keep playing more word games and have given no substantive arguments. What fact of history supports your contention that the short canon was EVER normative in the Church?

You have not shown me where Webster gets it right even once. All I hear you saying is that violence should have been used to crush any deviant opinions and that if the Eastern Church did not hold to the EXACT Canon as we did, then the Canon cannot have been defined.

I have shown that no short Canon was ever advocated by the Magisterium. It consistently advocated the Long Canon. The Fathers consistently used the Long Canon as Scripture.
Bottom line: Webster lied about the Canon, and I have proven this.

Do you have anything substantive to contribute to this discussion or are you just going to dance around the issues and play games?

Art

EA said...

"During the Middle Ages they discussed these matters within the universities like gentlemen. When simple appeals to reason were not enough, the matter was referred up the chain culminating in General Councils. At that point, everyone submitted. End of story."

Previously you stated that the universal practice was to argue against the Deuteros even after the ratification of Hippo/Carthage by Zosimus, now you're saying that everyone submitted when General Councils ruled. Which is it?

As to your speeding analogy; if the penalty for breaking the speed limit is a fine, then all those that speed 'ought' to get fined. If it is unrealistic to issue tickets to 'every speeder' then the principle of 'fractional policing' is invoked whereby enough people 'are fined' so as to inculcate a law abiding fear of being fined in the majority.

Since you claim to have a better grasp of church history than Mr. Webster, perhaps you can regale us with a SINGLE DOCUMENTED attempt of anyone in the RCC between Zosimus and the Council of Florence admonishing a wayward theologian (pastorally, of course) regarding their refusal to recognize the 'clear Magesterial teaching' on the Deuteros.

Incidentally, you give the impression that Carthage was submitting their Councilar Decrees to Zosimus for his approval. How can that be if in subsequent Councils at Carthage in 419 and 424 appeal to Rome was forbidden?

If the Canon was settled so surely so early, how is it possible that the Codex Vaticanus doesn't include any of the Books of Maccabees? The Codex Sinaiticus leaves out 2 and 3 Macabees, as well as 1 Ezra, Baruch and Letter of Jeremiah. What gives?

Also it seems that John Meyendorff disagrees with you regarding an early Canonical consensus in the East.

"The Christian East took a longer time than the West in settling on an agreed canon of Scripture. The principal hesitations concerned the books of the Old Testament which are not contained in the Hebrew Canon ('shorter' canon) and the book of Revelation in the New Testament. Fourth-century conciliar and patristic authorities in the East differ in their attitude concerning the exact authority of Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Esther, Judith, and Tobit. Athanasius in his famous Paschal Letter 39 excludes them from Scripture proper, but considers them useful for catechumens, an opinion which he shares with Cyril of Jerusalem. Canon 60 of the Council of Laodicea - whether authentic or not - also reflects the tradition of a 'shorter' canon. But the Quinisext Council (692) endorses the authority of Apostolic Canon 85, which admits some books of the 'longer' canon, including even 3 Maccabees, but omits Wisdom, Tobit, and Judith. John of Damascus (t ca. 753), however, considers Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus as 'admirable,' yet fails to include them in the canon. Therefore, in spite of the fact that Byzantine patristic and ecclesiastical tradition almost exclusively uses the Septuagint as the standard Biblical text, and that parts of the 'longer' canon - especially Wisdom - are of frequent liturgical use, Byzantine theologians remain faithful to a 'Hebrew' criterion for Old Testament literature, which excludes texts originally composed in Greek. Modern Orthodox theology is consistent with this unresolved polarity when it distinguishes between 'canonical' and 'deuterocanonical' literature of the Old Testament, applying the first term only to the books of the 'shorter' canon." (Byzantine Theology [New York: Fordham University Press, 1987], p. 7)

I may not be a doctor, but I can recognize a dead man.

Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH said...

Much better. Now we are talking issues.

The "universal practice" was to use and quote Deuteros as Scripture. During that time, many scholars argued about how the books should be received. The term 'canonical' was used by many to indicate books that were in the Jewish Bible. Those OT books not in the Jewish Bible were judged by some to be 'ecclesiastical'. They were still considered inspired and were used extensively in the Church for instruction. But they were not as important as the Torah, the Psalms, and the Major prophets.

The Deuteros were used more like like Esther, Song of Songs, and Proverbs from the Protocanon. They were less central to the Christian reception of the OT and did not cause doctrinal controversy.

The most widely used material in the Deuteros were the Wisdom literature (Sirach, Tobit, and Wisdom of Solomon). Baruch was important because it contained messianic prophecy. The Two books of Maccabees presented the history of the revolt against the Selucids in the Second Century BC. Judith was an allegory written during this based upon stories from the Assyrian Invasion but using Greek names. The additions to Esther took an non-religious story and interjected theological elements. The additions to Daniel included more material from the Daniel cycle that was circulating during the 2nd Century BC.

The Deuteros were mostly edifying literature about fighting paganism and resisting religious persecution and were far more relevant in the Early Church than some of the minor prophets. By their very nature they were not major sources of doctrine.

This is the point where Protestants lose their sense of history. Our modern attitude toward Scripture is to see all inspired books as sources of doctrine using modern literary analysis. These modern techniques were products of scholarly advances at the end of the Medieval Period. Before 1250 AD there were no chapter and verse numbers in the Bible. Concordances likewise were unknown. Before the printing press, complete copies of the Bible were few and very expensive. Most available biblical manuscripts were of individual books or of subsets of them (e.g., the Gospels) often times including commentary (e.g., the Glossa Ordinaria). Scholars concentrated their efforts on the exegesis of the more important biblical books.

Nevertheless, all of the major medieval scholars (e.g., Aquinas, Albertus Magnus, Bonaventure, etc.) -- as all of the major Fathers -- quoted from the Deuteros as Scripture. The Church Councils quoted them as Scripture. Complete editions of the Bible (including the Glossa Ordinaria) always included them.

The point is that they were USED as Scripture across the board even by the men who had questions about their canonicity.

Webster claims that the Deuteros were never considered part of the Bible before Trent. That is a lie. There were diverse opinions about the status of these books but the UNIVERSAL PRACTICE was to use them as SCRIPTURE. At no time did the Christian Church ever declare the Jewish Bible to be her OT.

[Since you claim to have a better grasp of church history than Mr. Webster, perhaps you can regale us with a SINGLE DOCUMENTED attempt of anyone in the RCC between Zosimus and the Council of Florence admonishing a wayward theologian (pastorally, of course) regarding their refusal to recognize the 'clear Magesterial teaching' on the Deuteros. ]

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Once again you are looking for some draconian authority to beat people up as if that proves the Deuteros were canonical. But there is more pastoral evidence that you keep ignoring.

During the time between Zosimus and Florence, all complete Bibles included the Deuteros. The Glossa Ordinaria included the Deuteros. Aquinas and all the medieval doctors quoted from the Deuteros as Scripture. The Eastern Churches likewise used the longer canon. Several Church Councils as I documented quoted the Deuteros as Scripture.

You also forget that Quinisext and Nicea II both included the Canons of the North African Councils as official Church teaching.

I am sorry that I cannot produce someone who was tortured for having qualms about the Deuteros. I know you want to see violent repression and abuse as a major method of religious instruction, but it was just not there. Instead, all I can show you is that the Deuteros were used and recognized by the Universal Church as Scripture during this period. I think that the POSITIVE evidence of their reception is far more important and meaningful.

[Do the Tridentine Fathers cite Zosimus?]

They not only quote him, but Hippo and Florence as well. This was discussed in detail in the ACTA of the Council as they prepared the Canons of the 4th Session. I refer you to Gary Michuta's book "Why Catholic Bibles are Bigger" for the details.

[Incidentally, you give the impression that Carthage was submitting their Councilor Decrees to Zosimus for his approval. How can that be if in subsequent Councils at Carthage in 419 and 424 appeal to Rome was forbidden?]

This is garbled nonsense. The text of Canon 36 of HIPPO in 393 AD says that it was being sent to the "Transmarine Church" for confirmation. I included that quotation in my paper. Rome was on the opposite side of the Mediterranean Sea and was the "Transmarine Church". And Zosimus was not the Pope at that time.

The issue of the appeal to Rome was a canonical matter. After 418, Pelagianism was clearly and definitively condemned. Canonical action taken in North Africa against Pelagians therefore did not allow any appeal to the Pope. Prior to this time, Pope Celestius had heard appeals and deliberated on the matter before condemning the Pelagians. After the confirmation of the North African Canons by Pope Zosimus, no further appeals about Pelagianism would be accepted at Rome.

[If the Canon was settled so surely so early, how is it possible that the Codex Vaticanus doesn't include any of the Books of Maccabees? The Codex Sinaiticus leaves out 2 and 3 Maccabees, as well as 1 Ezra, Baruch and Letter of Jeremiah. What gives?]

The Codices are incomplete. We only have parts of them. But please notice that the Deuteros were included in both of them.

This is from he Catholic Encyclopedia Article on Siniaticus:

A Greek manuscript of the Old and New Testaments, of the greatest antiquity and value; found on Mount Sinai, in St. Catherine's Monastery, by Constantine Tischendorf. He was visiting there in 1844, under the patronage of Frederick Augustus, King of Saxony, when he discovered in a rubbish basket forty-three leaves of the Septuagint, containing portions of I Par. (Chron.), Jer., Neh., and Esther; he was permitted to take them. He also saw the books of Isaias and I and IV Machabees, belonging to the same codex as the fragments, but could not obtain possession of them; warning the monks of their value, he left for Europe and two years later published the leaves he had brought with him under the name of Codex Friderico-Augustanus, after his patron. They are preserved at Leipzig. On a second visit, in 1853, he found only two short fragments of Genesis (which he printed on his return) and could learn nothing of the rest of the codex. In 1859 he made a third visit, this time under the patronage of the Czar, Alexander II. This visit seemed likewise fruitless when, on the eve of his departure, in a chance conversation with the steward, he learned of the existence of a manuscript there; when it was shown to him, he saw the very manuscript he had sought containing, beyond all his dreams, a great part of the Old Testament and the entire New Testament, besides the Epistle of Barnabas, and part of the "Shepherd" of Hermas, of which two works no copies in the original Greek were known to exist.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04085a.htm

This is from the article on Vaticanus:

The Old Testament (Septuagint Version, except Daniel, which is taken from the version of Theodotion) takes up 617 folios. On account of the aforementioned lacunae, the Old Testament text lacks the following passages: Genesis 1-46:28; 2 Samuel 2:5-7, 10-13; Pss. cv,27-cxxxvii, 6. The order of the books of the Old Testament is as follows: Genesis to Second Paralipomenon, First and second Esdras, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticle of Canticles, Job, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Esther, Judith, Tobias, the Minor Prophets from Osee to Malachi, Isaias, Jeremias, Baruch, Lamentations and Epistle of Jeremias, Ezechiel, Daniel; the Vatican Codex does not contain the Prayer of Manasses or the Books of Machabees.The New Testament begins at fol. 618. Owing to the loss of the final quinterns, a portion of the Pauline Epistles is missing: Heb., ix,14-xiii,25, the Pastoral Letters, Epistle to Philemon; also the Apocalypse. It is possible that there may also be some extra-canonical writings missing, like the Epistle of Clement. The order of the New Testament books is as follows: Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, Catholic Epistles, St. Paul to the Romans, Corinthians (I-II), Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Thessalonians (I-II), Hebrews.

In both codices, parts of the Protocanonical OT are missing and Vaticanus is missing several epistles of St. Paul and Revelation. But the Deuteros were included in both Codices no as addenda but interspersed within the OT as it is in the LXX.

Sorry. You get no help here.

Your quote from Meyendorff is interesting but I don't entirely agree with him. The 85 Canons from Quinisext include the North African Canons and that does not distinguish between the Protos and the Deuteros.

His claim that Byzantine theologians hold to a 'Hebrew' criterion is overly simplistic. There has always a diversity of opinion among them about the Deuteros. But the Eastern Church sees the Canon of Scripture as only one part of a larger body of Traditional material which remains authoritative.

Please note this quotation from a paper Old Testament Canon and Text in the Greek-speaking Orthodox Church by Miltiadis Konstantinou (page 9&10):

Protestant orthodoxy of the seventeenth century would absolutize Holy Scripture to such a degree, that it became an unshakeable and objective criterion for Christian truth.

Within this new context Holy Scripture was no longer understood as a part of a broader tradition, within which a canon of its books would have been essentially meaningless, since the works which were excluded from the so-called canon had never ceased being part of the same reliable and sacred tradition within which the books of Holy Scripture originated. On the contrary, when the ancient writers of the Church called upon the testimony of tradition, they were not referring to some objectively reliable source, but to the living witness of the people of God, with which they felt themselves to be on a continuum. The formula “in accordance with the Scriptures” was understood to be referring to a collection of data, received and transmitted. Nevertheless, this collection could have no authority apart from the realm of their reception and transmission, that is, the Church...

As has been stressed above, the issue of canon was never faced by the Eastern Church, as an internal problem, and therefore could not have obliged her to be tied to a specific textual tradition.


http://users.auth.gr/~mkon/S065.doc

The point he makes in the paper is that Orthodoxy preferred the Hebrew Canon of the OT, but recognized the Deuteros as part of authoritative Tradition. For Orthodoxy, here is no strict separation between Scripture and Tradition. Consequently, they accept the Deuteros on their own terms. And since the 17th Century, many Orthodox have adopted the position that the Deuteros should be considered part of Scripture.

In short, the Orthodox accept the authority of the Deuteros as inspired and part of Revelation but they disagree among themselves whether they should be included in the Bible. Nevertheless, these book are collected in the Orthodox Bible and dispersed among the OT books as in the LXX.

This is a hard concept for Protestants to understand. Your unilateral reduction of revelation to the Biblical text is an heretical innovation that deprives you are the true source of Christian teaching which is "the living witness of the people of God." You prefer the dead letter to the living spirit. As St. Paul cautioned, "The written word kills but the Spirit gives life." A text without a context is a pretext. The context of the Bible is the Christian Church.

Sorry, ea. Your arguments come to nothing. The universal practice of the Church was to use the Deuteros as Scripture despite some reservations by a few scholars. The use of the Deuteros throughout Church history demonstrates that the exclusion of them from the Bible by Protestants was a heretical innovation. The 4th Century Codices included the Deuteros without distinction and interspersed them within the OT in the manner of the LXX. The Orthodox have wrangled with the question of whether or not the Deuteros should be considered part of the Bible, but they accept them as authoritative Tradition and continue to use them in this fashion.

Once again I see no evidence to support Webster's contention that the Deuteros were not included in the Bible until Trent. Even those who questioned the place of these books in the Bible quoted them as Scripture and/or considered them to be authoritative.

You are right. You are no doctor, but you can't distinguish between death and life. Sad.

Now where is litle Algo?

Art

GeneMBridges said...

This is a hard concept for Protestants to understand. Your unilateral reduction of revelation to the Biblical text is an heretical innovation that deprives you are the true source of Christian teaching which is "the living witness of the people of God." You prefer the dead letter to the living spirit. As St. Paul cautioned, "The written word kills but the Spirit gives life." A text without a context is a pretext. The context of the Bible is the Christian Church.

1. The irony here is that in order to make this appeal, you're appealing to written texts.

2. So, I take it you affirm that revelation is continuing? How then can we distinguish between true and false revelation.

3. Please document for us the appropriate revelations that are to be followed as true revelations. If you can document them, they would be written and thus canonized, and if written and canonized there goes your appeal to non-written traditions. This must present quite the conundrum for you.

4. You said: "The written word kills but the Spirit gives life." A text without a context is a pretext. The context of the Bible is the Christian Church.

a. This text has nothing to do with making the written word have context in the life of the Church. So, another irony here is that you are wresting the text from its context and thus guilty of the very charge you make against us. Good job, doctor. I hope you don't prescribe drugs with the same level of competence with which you use Scripture.

b. In context, Paul is dealing with a contrast between living life by the letter of the text (specifically the law), eg. externally by paying lip service to it (which you are here doing by abusing it), vs. obeying the text from the heart, eg. by the living giving power of the Spirit of God, that is to say internal obedience to God's Word,not external obedience.

He is using the historic setting of the OT Israelites disregard for words of the Old Covenant, which is an example of the letter that kills. Instead, they turned to their own traditions, like the Golden Calf, what we might call "the life of the Church" - an activity that was repeated several times in their history. So, in reality, this text teaches the exact opposite from the use to which you've put it. I do so enjoy it when unbelievers point to texts that, in reality, incriminate them.

Carrie said...

They not only quote him, but Hippo and Florence as well. This was discussed in detail in the ACTA of the Council as they prepared the Canons of the 4th Session. I refer you to Gary Michuta's book "Why Catholic Bibles are Bigger" for the details.

Art,

Can you give me a page number for Gary's book, b/c I am having trouble finding the these quotes?

EA said...

Jesus spoke of the time “from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah” (Luke 11:51; cf. Matt. 23:35) when referring to the martyrs of the Old Testament. The first martyr of the Old Testament was Abel and the last martyr was Zachariah (cf. 2 Chron. 24:20-21). Since Chronicles is the last book in the Hebrew Bible, Jesus, Himself , was making a comprehensive statement covering the known Old Testament (Genesis—Chronicles). The canonical writings, according to Jesus, are composed of the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. This threefold division is equivalent to the three divisions of the Hebrew Scriptures—the Law, the Prophets and the Writings (Luke 24:44).

Josephus stated, “We have not tens of thousands of books, discordant and conflicting, but only twenty-two containing the record of all time, which have been justly believed to be divine.” (Against Apion, I. 8).

“It is the opinion of most scholars that Josephus in deriving his number of twenty-two books joined Ruth to Judges and Lamentations to Jeremiah; and remembering that the Jews enumerated their books differently. . . the twenty-two books mentioned by Josephus equal our present thirty-nine books” (Lightfoot, How We Got the Bible, 8)).

“It is unlikely that Josephus’s classification of the books was his own; he probably reproduces a tradition with which he had been familiar for a long time, having learned it either in the priestly circle into which he was born or among the Pharisees with whose party he associated himself as a young man” (Bruce, The Canon of Scripture, Dowers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1988, 33-34).

Regarding the article on the Codex Vaticanus: "Sorry. You get no help here."

You're incorrect.
While some material originally included in the codex is missing, the Books of Maccabees were NEVER part of this Codex. Why not?

The Catholic Encyclopedia, I'm afraid, is also mistaken on two points:
1) It states that the Codex Sinaiticus is the older than the Codex Vaticanus. Modern scholarship overwhelmingly identifies Vaticanus as older.
2) It contradicts itself with respect to the script found in Vaticanus, first stating it as uncial then as having no capital letters. Uncial is majuscule script, it is composed of only capital letters.

Further, your argument rests upon the presumption that any inclusion of any combination of the Deuteros in the Codices proves that they were regarded as inspired regardless of what else they contain. A more reasonable conclusion is that early Christians saw fit to place Holy Scripture and the type of writings that Luther referred to as 'good to read' side by side.

“Nor is there agreement between the codices which of the Apocrypha to include. Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Alexandrinus all include Tobit, Judith, Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, and integrate them into the body of the Old Testament, rather than appending them at the end; but Codex Vaticanus, unlike the other two, totally excludes the Books of Maccabees. Moreover, all three codices, according to Kenyon, were produced in Egypt, yet the contemporary Christian lists of the biblical books drawn up in Egypt by Athanasius and (very likely) pseudo-Athanasius are much more critical, excluding all apocryphal books from the canon, and putting them in a separate appendix. It seems, therefore, that the codices, with their less strict approach, do not reflect a definite canon so much as variable reading-habits; and the reading-habits would in the nature of the case be those of fourth and fifth-century Christians, which might not agree with those of first-century Jews,” R. Beckwith, The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church (Eerdmans 1986), p. 383.

The Codex Hierosolymitanus (dated 1056) contains the Didache, the Epistle of Barnabas, 1 Clement and 2 Clement, and the long version of the letters of Ignatius of Antioch. While these books pertain to the NT Apocrypha, this Codex is proof positive against a "universally accepted Canon" such as you suggest.

Moving on.

The Glossa Ordinaria was the standard work of Biblical instruction in the Middle Ages. You said: "Complete editions of the Bible (including the Glossa Ordinaria) always included them (the Deuteros)." Since you brought it up, what does the Glossa say about the Deuteros?

"Here, then, we distinguish and number distinctly first the canonical books and then the non-canonical, among which we further distinguish between the certain and the doubtful. The canonical books have been brought about through the dictation of the Holy Spirit. It is not known, however, at which time or by which authors the non-canonical or apocryphal books were produced. Since, nevertheless, they are very good and useful, and nothing is found in them which contradicts the canonical books, the church reads them and permits them to be read by the faithful for devotion and edification. Their authority, however, is not considered adequate for proving those things which come into doubt or contention, or for confirming the authority of ecclesiastical dogma, as blessed Jerome states in his prologue to Judith and to the books of Solomon. But the canonical books are of such authority that whatever is contained therein is held to be true firmly and indisputably,
and likewise that which is clearly demonstrated from them
"(Biblia cum glosa ordinaria et expositione Lyre litterali et morali [Basel: Petri & Froben, 1498], British Museum IB.37895, Vol. 1, “On the canonical and non-canonical books of the Bible”. Translation by Dr. Michael Woodward)

How is it possible that the most influential Biblical commentary in use in Western Christendom for hundreds of years would make such a Doctrinally unsound statement as we read hear without correction from the "gentlemen scholars" using it?

Looks like you've diagnosed incorrectly Dr. If you have this kind of trouble with a 'nobody' like me, it's no wonder that the Whites, Websters, and Svendsens of the world so easily dispose of your arguments.

Your turn.

Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH said...

I am not interested in arguing about the serious failures in the Protestant systems. I am here to talk about the Canon. Sorry GeneMBridges. Some other debate.

ea:

The Zechariah argument has nothing to do with my critique of Webster, but it also has nothing to do with the Canon. Both Abel and Zechariah were men whose death "cried out to heaven for vengeance" in Jewish tradition. This has nothing to do with the Biblical Canon.


Josephus was Jew and his opinions about the Jewish Bible have nothing to do with the Christian OT.

As to the Codex Vaticanus and Maccabees, I am afraid that you are arguing way above your level of knowledge. Whether or not the books of Maccabees were ever part of the whole from which these fragments come is a matter of conjecture.

But I would remind you that both Vaticanus is an early 4th Century texts probably done around the time of Constantine (@325) long before the Council of Hippo (393).

Also you completely ignore the incompleteness of the NT. How do you explain that?

Here is a list of all the books included in Vaticanus:

Vaticanus originally contained a complete copy of the Septuagint ("LXX") except for 1-4 Maccabees and the Prayer of Manasseh. Genesis 1:1 - 46:28a (31 leaves) and Psalm 105:27 - 137:6b (10 leaves) are lost and have been filled by a recent hand. 2 Kings 2:5-7, 10-13 are also lost due to a tear in one of the pages. The order of the Old Testament books is as follows: Genesis to 2 Chronicles as normal, 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras (which includes Nehemias), the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Job, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Esther, Judith, Tobit, the minor prophets from Hosea to Malachi, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Baruch, Lamentations and the Epistle of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel.


A section of the Codex Vaticanus, containing 1 Esdras 2:1-8. The extant New Testament of Vaticanus contains the Gospels, Acts, the General Epistles, the Pauline Epistles and the Epistle to the Hebrews (up to Heb 9:14, καθα[ριει); thus it lacks 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon and Revelation. These missing pages were replaced by a 15th century minuscule supplement (no. 1957).


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Vaticanus

Please note that all the rest of the Deuteros are in this Codex interspersed within the OT without distinction from the Protos.

Sinaiticus is a much harder text to date because it has been corrected several times over the centuries. Simple Paleographic dating is obscured by this. Very likely the textual content dates back to a 4th Century source. The experts still fight over this.

But as I showed in my previous posting, the contents of the OT includes the Deuteros interspersed within the OT without distinction from the Protos.

Remember that the thesis of Webster that you are defending is that the Deuteros were not considered part of the Bible before Trent. Well here you have two sources going back as far as the 4th Century (thus predating Hippo!) with Sinaiticus having been actively used up to the 15th Century (100 years before Trent). they both contain the Deuteros within the OT and obviously considered as Scripture.

I repeat, you get no help here.

[A more reasonable conclusion is that early Christians saw fit to place Holy Scripture and the type of writings that Luther referred to as 'good to read' side by side.]

You are funny! The books are quoted as Scripture by all the Fathers - including the ones who have reservations about their canonicity. They are collected in a codex which is a bound book where they are sown together and interspersed within the OT without distinction. And you want me to believe Luther's insane raving that this was all just a great big coincidence that doesn't mean anything!

Please, don't embarrass yourself with such nonsense. Admit the obvious. The compilers of the Codices believed that the Deuteros were Scripture and they treated them as such.

Now let me explain something about Beckwith's trashy book. When it was published the Anglican Scholar John Barton wrote a scathing review comdemning it as a "fundamentalist tract." Beckwith is committed to Protestant theology and distorts the facts to suit his desired conclusions.

I find his views laughable. they are logical non-sequitors. He admits:

Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Alexandrinus all include Tobit, Judith, Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, and integrate them into the body of the Old Testament, rather than appending them at the end.

Anyone with integrity would recognize that this meant that the compilers believed the books to be Scripture.

But Beckwith doesn't want this to be true, so he postulates "varying reading habits" whatever that is supposed to mean!

This is my problem with you people and the Deuteros. You refuse to admit the obvious out of pure prejudice. You make such fools of yourselves I wonder why I even bother arguing with you.

With regard to your quote from the Glossa Ordinaria, please note that it says "doubtful" books , not non-canonical books. There was some question among the experts about how these books were to be received.

Why did such a statemetn stand in that book? Because they were WRONG!

I reiterate, there have been heretics and schismatics in every age. Just like many people ignore the speed limit today, many people in those times thought they were too sophisticated to accept the Traditional Bible and they invented these trite objections to appear special.

But when the Magisterium - the Popes and the Bishops in union with them - pronounced on the contents of the Bible, they always followed the Canon of Hippo. This was not only the the official position, but it represented the "the living witness of the people of God."

I am sorry that the consistent witness of the Church on this is not enough for you. I am also sorry that I know of no case where someone had been beaten up or tortured for raising questions about the Canon since you only will accept physical violence as proof of the Church's teaching and refuse to accept the consistent practices of the Popes, Councils, Fathers, and Doctors of the Church.
I think you have a serious problem with anger issues.

Once again, Webster is utterly refuted. You have given me no substantive arguments that prove that the Deuteros were not considered as Scripture before Trent. The codices, the North African Councils, the Papal statements form the early 5th Century, the compilation of the Latin Vulgate, the use made of the Deuteros by Church Councils, the Eastern understanding that the Deuteros were part of Sacred Tradition, the use made of the Deuteros by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, the clear witness of Basle/Florence, all of these show that Webster's claim that the Deuteros were not considered to be Scripture during the period before Trent is a LIE.

Furhermore, the negative attitude taken towards the Deuteros by Webster and other modern Protestants does not reflect the position of those in the Medieval period who questioned the canonicity of the Deuteros. Despite their reservations aboput eht books, they continued to use them, study them, and include them in the Bible. as a bare minimum considered them to be useful for "devotion and edification."

This is clearly not Webster's position, nor is it that of the radical anti-Catholic fringe people who support his views.

My conclusion stands unrefuted.

Art

Algo said...

I would like to start here.

Dr Sippo wrote:

"5) The books called 1 & 2 Esdras at Hippo and Carthage are not the same as the books of the same name recognized at Trent.

This is a complicated issue. For the sake of convenience I will use the following conventions in referring to these books:

LXX1Esdras = Apoc1Esdras = Vg3Edsras
LXX2Esdras = Ezra + Nehemiah
Hebrew-Ezra = Vg1Esdras
Hebrew-Nehemiah = Vg2Esdras

I first want to compliment Mr. Webster on coming up with a truly new issue in the study of Church History, which is worthy of serious scholarly study. The exact meaning that the fathers at the Council of Hippo gave to the ‘two books of Esdras’ is not clear. It is rare in apologetics that you discover a new issue that is worthy of extended investigation. I fear that I do not possess the necessary tools and expertise to settle this issue. But I am afraid that it does not have the apologetic importance that Mr. Webster thinks it does. First of all, the Council of Hippo had no magisterial authority of its own, but derived it from the support given to it by the confirmation of the ‘Transmarine Church’ (i.e., Rome). Consequently, what the fathers of Hippo meant when they spoke of the “two books of Esdras” is really immaterial. It is what the Popes intended when they promulgated the Council’s teaching that counts."
For more on this see:
http://art-of-attack.blogspot.com/2008/01/dr-sippo-utterly-refutes-webster-on.html

"But I am afraid that it does not have the apologetic importance that Mr. Webster thinks it does." Or Does It?

"First of all, the Council of Hippo had no magisterial authority of its own, but derived it from the support given to it by the confirmation of the ‘Transmarine Church’ (i.e., Rome)." Interesting.

"Consequently, what the fathers of Hippo meant when they spoke of the “two books of Esdras” is really immaterial. " Wait, meaning is immaterial? I guess when I say Dr. Sippo is a Roman Catholic I really (could) mean he is a Muslim.

"It is what the Popes intended when they promulgated the Council’s teaching that counts." I'm still thinking about this one.

Here's another approach to this issue:
http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2006/02/canon-brain-teaser.html

Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH said...

Carrie:

I don't have my copy of Gary's book with me at work. I will check into it tommorrow.

Meanwhile, there is this from hte Catholic Encyclopedia:

The Council of Trent's Definition of the Canon (1546)
It was the exigencies of controversy that first led Luther to draw a sharp line between the books of the Hebrew Canon and the Alexandrian writings. In his disputation with Eck at Leipzig, in 1519, when his opponent urged the well-known text from II Machabees in proof of the doctrine of purgatory, Luther replied that the passage had no binding authority since the books was outside the Canon. In the first edition of Luther's Bible, 1534, the deuteros were relegated, as apocrypha, to a separate place between the two Testaments. To meet this radical departure of the Protestants, and as well define clearly the inspired sources from which the Catholic Faith draws its defence, the Council of Trent among its first acts solemnly declared as "sacred and canonical" all the books of the Old and New Testaments "with all their parts as they have been used to be read in the churches, and as found in the ancient vulgate edition". During the deliberations of the Council there never was any real question as to the reception of all the traditional Scripture. Neither--and this is remarkable--in the proceedings is there manifest any serious doubt of the canonicity of the disputed writings. In the mind of the Tridentine Fathers they had been virtually canonized, by the same decree of Florence, and the same Fathers felt especially bound by the action of the preceding ecumenical synod. The Council of Trent did not enter into an examination of the fluctuations in the history of the Canon. Neither did it trouble itself about questions of authorship or character of contents. True to the practical genius of the Latin Church, it based its decision on immemorial tradition as manifested in the decrees of previous councils and popes, and liturgical reading, relying on traditional teaching and usage to determine a question of tradition. The Tridentine catalogue has been given above.


There is a section on this also in Fr. Hubert Jedin's multivolume "History of the Council of Trent." Only 2 volumes have been translated into English, but the first volume deals with the scripture decrees.

Art

Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH said...

Oops! Forgot to give the Encyclopedia the reference:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03267a.htm

Art

Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH said...

Algo! I was starting to think you were hiding from me.

The whole Esdras thing was a tempest in teacup that Webster dredged up for himself 12 years ago. He was all puffed up with his own importance about it and of course Protestants of all stripes will use any club to beat up on Catholics.

But the sad and disreputable Mr. Webster did not do his homework.

As I have noted, St. Jerome was doing his critical work on the Vulgate version of Ezra Nehemiah right around that time. He was doing this under the patronage of the Pope. When the Council of Hippo sent Canon 36 to Rome for approval, the pope would have been aware of St. Jerome's conclusions. The "two books of Esdras" that he would have understood to be part of Scripture would have been Ezra and Nehemiah. In fact, these two Protocanonical OT books had been referred to as the "two books of Esdras" for over a century before that.

When the Vulgate was officially published in 407-410, it was the books of Ezra and Nehemiah that were included in the main Canon. 3Esdras was relegated to the Apocrypha.

So as I clearly indicated WHATEVER the Bishops in Hippo may have thought it is immaterial. St. Jerome's textual opinions carried the day and was what the Popes themselves taught.

My good friend and Catholic Apologist John Betts has an extensive article on this matter which you may refer to here:

http://www.catholic-legate.com/articles/esdras.html

And here is his rebuttal to the nonsense you seem to be so proud of:

http://www.catholic-legate.com/articles/esdras2.html

Once again, you have focused on irrelevant trivia which could have been dismissed with a little bit of actual research. But that is the problem with all of the Protestant proposals in this thread. None of you have made a serious effort to understand the issues in historical context. All you do is play word games. I remain unimpressed.

And my conclusions remain unrefuted.

Art

Carrie said...

I don't have my copy of Gary's book with me at work. I will check into it tommorrow.

That would be great. I looked at Gary’s Trent section but couldn’t find anything, but maybe it is elsewhere. Gary’s book lacks an index, so that makes it difficult.

Neither--and this is remarkable--in the proceedings is there manifest any serious doubt of the canonicity of the disputed writings.

This isn’t entirely accurate, and if you have read Jedin you will know why. The “doubt” at Trent was the same doubt throughout history, whether the deuteros were canonical in the same way as the other books. You have sort of alluded to this in your comments, but I think you are missing the importance of this fact.

It has been awhile since I have read Webster’s articles, but I don’t believe his arguments are that the deuteros were never part of the Bible, as in part of a collection of writings compiled in a book, but that they were never considered to be canonical as the other books are considered canonical. This was the view of Jerome (despite including them in the Vulgate) and this was the view of many throughout history.

So to say that the deuteros were present in a particular codice does not mean they were regarded as sacred scripture, no more than a map and concordance in my own bible means I consider them inspired. To prove that the owners of the codices considered those books canonical on par with the undisputed books, you need some other evidence.

In the mind of the Tridentine Fathers they had been virtually canonized, by the same decree of Florence, and the same Fathers felt especially bound by the action of the preceding ecumenical synod.

The “virtually” part doesn’t fit in with your argument. Neither does the fact that there was a dispute in the Council of Trent as to whether or not the Florentine decree was even conciliar fit with your argument (see Jedin). If all the council decisions of the past on the canon were all conciliar/binding prior to Trent, nobody seems to have been aware of it. That is why you have the discussions that occurred in Trent as well as the doubts of many theologians that were never reigned in (as ea has pointed out). Certainly you would expect a slap on the hand for Ximenes and Cajetan if your argument were true, but there is no evidence of such.

True to the practical genius of the Latin Church, it based its decision on immemorial tradition as manifested in the decrees of previous councils and popes, and liturgical reading, relying on traditional teaching and usage to determine a question of tradition.

Again, not entirely accurate since some books used throughout history were left out of the canon, although technically they could be added back in at anytime since no decision was made on them. These books are 3-4 Esdras, 3 Maccabees, and Prayer of Manasseh. James has dealt with Augustine’s usage of 3 Esdras. Brown & Fitzmyer had this to say about some of the other books:

“if Church usage was the norm for selecting the books of the canon, then several books that had been used in the Church were omitted. For instance, 1 Esdras was used by the Fathers more than was canonical Ezr/Neh, and the requiem liturgy cites 2 Esdras. Copies of the Vulgate often contained 1-2 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh – books not accepted at Trent.” The Jerome Biblical Commentary

In general, there are two difficulties with this whole conversation. First, the requirements supposedly used by the Roman Catholic Church (historical usage) to define the canon are inconsistent – some books that were used historically were not included at Trent. Second, there is a nuance within the Catholic use of the word “canonical”, at least historically, that is being somewhat overlooked here.

But anyway, I have a rather long post to write directly related to this subject, so forgive me if I cannot continue this conversation. I allow myself to get distracted with combox discussions when I should be focusing on a post I have had cooking for awhile. I'll try to stop by later on.

EA said...

The Zechariah argument has nothing to do with my critique of Webster, but it also has nothing to do with the Canon. Both Abel and Zechariah were men whose death "cried out to heaven for vengeance" in Jewish tradition. This has nothing to do with the Biblical Canon.

This is mistaken on a couple of levels:
1) Jesus is not referring to Jewish "Tradition", but Jewish Scripture.

2) It does have to do with the OT Canon here's why:
Jesus in Matt 23:13-33 enumerates the transgressions of the "scribes & Pharisees".
Why?
Because they did not heed the teachings in the Scripture given to them.
When Jesus pronounces the judgement in v. 35, He does so using the entirety of revealed
Scripture to illustrate the enormity of their guilt.
He is saying in esessnce, here is ALL of Scripture, you are guilty of violating all of it.
This principle can be found elsewhere as well (James 2:10).

Luke 24:44-45
He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
What is being referred to as Scripture in these verses? The Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms. The Deuteros do not qualify as fitting into one of these three categories.


As to the Codex Vaticanus and Maccabees, I am afraid that you are arguing way above your level of knowledge. Whether or not the books of Maccabees were ever part of the whole from which these fragments come is a matter of conjecture.

If I'm in way above my level, you have a remarkedly inept way of illustrating it.
I don't deny that this is a matter of scholarship, would you care to cite any standard scholarship that posits the original inclusion of Macabees 1-4, or Manasseh or should I just take your word for it?

I also consulted the wiki entry for the Vaticanus. It doesn't say what you think it does.

"Vaticanus originally contained a complete copy of the Septuagint ("LXX") except for 1-4 Maccabees and the Prayer of Manasseh."

Time for a remedial reading comprehension lesson. The Vaticanus MS originally contained a complete copy of the Septuagint EXCEPT for Maccabees and Manasseh.

Try this thought exercise: "My baseball card collection at one time included every Hall of Fame player EXCEPT for Honus Wagner and Babe Ruth."
Question: What players' cards were NEVER in the collection? HELLO?!?!


"Now let me explain something about Beckwith's trashy book. When it was published the Anglican Scholar John Barton wrote a scathing review comdemning it as a "fundamentalist tract." Beckwith is committed to Protestant theology and distorts the facts to suit his desired conclusions."

Simple ad honimem invective or second hand ad honimem invective? Why decide? Treat yourself to both.

Moving along.

Let's see...tedious diatribe; don't need to interact with that....


Oh here's something: "With regard to your quote from the Glossa Ordinaria, please note that it says "doubtful" books , not non-canonical books. There was some question among the experts about how these books were to be received. Why did such a statemetn stand in that book? Because they were WRONG! I reiterate, there have been heretics and schismatics in every age. Just like many people ignore the speed limit today, many people in those times thought they were too sophisticated to accept the Traditional Bible and they invented these trite objections to appear special.


speeders:heretics :: po-TAY-to:po-TAH-to
Sure, I get it. Whatever.

You say that there was some question among the experts about these books - that sounds reasonable.
But in the next breath you say that these megalomaniancs needed to perpetuate their rebellion in the foremost and authoritative Bible Commentary of the Age. And all of this occurred outside of the knowledge and control of the RCC?

You're not self-prescribing by any chance are you? Try cutting the dosage by half.

Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH said...

Hi Carrie!

This is a verbatim quote from Webster:

"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."

This is manifestly not true. Some people questioned the place of the Deuteros in the canon but MOST did not.

Webster also argues with Geisler that the Deuteros were added to the the Bible at the time of the Deformation for theological support against the Protestants. This is also not true. As I have shown, the Deuteros were used and quoted as Scripture for the entire period from the 2nd Century onward.

Sadly, I think you are not understanding the importance of the authority of the Magisterium. As I stated before, right is right if nobody is right and wrong is wrong if everybody is wrong. The Holy Spirit spoke definitively in the late 4th and early 5th Century several times in support of the Long Canon every Church Council that dealt with this issue explicitly sided with the Long Canon. There is no question that this was defined infallibly long before Trent. In fact this is what Trent actually said that it was doing:

DECREE CONCERNING THE CANONICAL SCRIPTURES
The sacred and holy, ecumenical, and general Synod of Trent,--lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost, the Same three legates of the Apostolic Sec presiding therein,--keeping this [Page 18] always in view, that, errors being removed, the purity itself of the Gospel be preserved in the Church; which (Gospel), before promised through the prophets in the holy Scriptures, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, first promulgated with His own mouth, and then commanded to be preached by His Apostles to every creature, as the fountain of all, both saving truth, and moral discipline; and seeing clearly that this truth and discipline are contained in the written books, and the unwritten traditions which, received by the Apostles from the mouth of Christ himself, or from the Apostles themselves, the Holy Ghost dictating, have come down even unto us, transmitted as it were from hand to hand; (the Synod) following the examples of the orthodox Fathers, receives and venerates with an equal affection of piety, and reverence, all the books both of the Old and of the New Testament--seeing that one God is the author of both --as also the said traditions, as well those appertaining to faith as to morals, as having been dictated, either by Christ's own word of mouth, or by the Holy Ghost, and preserved in the Catholic Church by a continuous succession. And it has thought it meet that a list of the sacred books be inserted in this decree, lest a doubt may arise in any one's mind, which are the books that are received by this Synod. They are as set down here below: of the Old Testament:
{THE LISING FOLLOWS}
But if any one receive not, as sacred and canonical, the said books entire with all their parts, as they have been used to be read in the Catholic Church, and as they are contained in the old Latin vulgate edition; and knowingly and deliberately contemn the traditions aforesaid; let him be anathema. Let all, therefore, understand, in what order, and in what manner, the said Synod, after having laid the foundation of the Confession of faith, will proceed, and what testimonies and authorities it will mainly use in confirming dogmas, and in restoring morals in the Church.


During the deliberations, they discussed all these matters but the Bishops did not for one moment think that they were closing the Canon. They were merely explicitly support the Traditions that they had received. Note how important is was to them that they were following the traditional usage of the Church and the contents of the Vulgate.

Questions did arise as to whether the decree from Florence was part of the Council. That is because it was promulgated after the Council in an attempt to heal the breach with the Jacobites. But this was a formal document sent by the Pope along with the Canons of the Council which explicitly set forth the faith of the Church. Whether or not the document was part of the Council in the technical sense, it was a definitive statement of Catholic Doctrine and thus was formally infallible.

It always surprises me that Protestants want Catholic Doctrine to fall from heaven with no ambiguity or discernment needed. When you say that the hammer did not come down on Ximenes and Cajetan you act as if it should have. Why can't you see that the teaching authority was exercised in a pastoral way for the most part? Persuasion and rational arguments was how they dealt with this issue.

There is another point which I have hesitated to bring up because it very subtle and hard for most of my opponents to understand.

The Eastern Church accepted eh Traditional authority of the Deuteros even though some of their scholars thought they were not canonical. For them denying that the Deuteros were Biblical did not deny their importance and use within the Church.

Many in the West likewise questioned the place of the Deuteros in the Canon but they also quoted them as Scripture anyway. This is because they considered them to be inspired Scripture but not Canonical. The term 'canonical' was in their minds meant being part of the Jewish Bible. Obviously, the Deuteros were not that.

Placing them in a third category did not diminish their importance or mean that they were not part of the Bible, but rather placed them in an intermediate position between the OT and the NT. The term 'Ecclesiatical' was often applied to them to show that they had importance in the Church that they had not had in the Synagogue.

As to other books like Mannassah and 3 Esdras, I think we need to be realistic. There was a wide literature from both Jewish and Christian sources that came down from antiquity. The Christian Church discerned that some books were good, others were bad and others acceptable with reservations. Not every religious text was considered inspired or authoritative. You have to draw the line someplace.

When the Magisterium confirmed the canon from Hippo, it did just that. It did not necessarily condemn other books but it said that THESE books were fit to be read publicly in the Church.

And I would reiterate that this was not a human effort. the Holy Spirit superintended the Church in this endeavor and guided it int he truth. This is not continuing revelation. it is the fulfillment of Jesus' promise to send the Holy Spirit who "will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you (John 14:26)."

Ultimately, by arguing with you I am making a concession to the hardness of your hearts. Godly people would accept the teaching the Church as a religious submission to Christ in his Mystical Body. As such, the declaration of Hippo in and of itself commands assent regardless of any other evidence.

In fact I know that I am unable to convince you people of anything. You do not need rational arguments. You need a new heart. All that I can do is to show you that my position is rational. After that, you must be called by the Holy Spirit to repent of your errors and submit to God. My arguments are mere an aid to that.

The idea that I must give you arguments that compel your assent is pure Pelagianism. And it is the supreme error that lies at the root of Protestantism. When Luther was at Wurms, he was asked to submit to the solemn teachings of the Church. His answer was that he refused to do so unless he was personally convinced.

This was his actual act of apostasy and it harkens back to the sin in Genesis when the Devil said that our First Parents did not have to believe God but their eyes would be opened and they would see for themselves.

Faith is not believing because you understand it to be true. It is believing because God has revealed it and He can neither deceive nor be deceived.

Look back at the history of the Bible in the Church. There was no Tradition from the Apostles about Biblical content. The content of the Bible was discerned by the Church over a period of 4 centuries. Prior to Hippo, there were only private opinions about the content of the canon. After Hippo every Magisterial statement on the Canon from Popes and Councils was the same. Certain private opinions differed from that, but those individuals had have no teaching authority.

The issue is consistency. There are no Magisterial documents that reject the Deuteros as Scripture. The Catholic Church has been consistent in its Magisterial teaching on this point and has never taught otherwise.

Meanwhile. the Protestant dismissal of the Deuteros is an innovation. The Deuteros were part of the Church's Bible from the very beginning. By not publishing them and not reading them, you are not following "the more critical attitude of Jerome", you are in fact setting out on your own in a direction completely different than anyone had done before.

By what authority do you challenge the tradition of the Church? What gives you the right to do so?

Answer: Your own willfulness. Nothing more. You have created new religions unrelated to the historic Catholic religion. You had no right to do this but you did it anyway.

In the end, my position follows the consistent teaching of the Popes and the Councils. Yours is based on the opinion of mere-men.

Nolo contendere! You put our faith in Luther. I put mine in God.

Ar

my3sons said...

(Raymond E.)Brown was appointed in 1972 to the Pontifical Biblical Commission and again in 1996. He was professor emeritus at the Protestant Union Theological Seminary in New York where he taught for 23 years. He served as president of the Catholic Biblical Association, the Society of Biblical Literature (1976-7) and the Society of New Testament Studies (1986-7). He was a Roman Catholic priest in the diocese of Baltimore, Maryland. Widely regarded as one of America's preeminent biblical scholars, Brown was awarded 24 honorary doctoral degrees by universities in the USA and Europe, many from Protestant institutions.[3]

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_E._Brown

Question for Dr. Sippo. Was Fr. Brown ever censored by the Vatican for his work? Thank you.

EA said...

The Council of Sippo continues...

Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH said...

The section in Gary Michuta'd book that deals with the deliberations from Trent on the canon is on pages 234ff. The material of most interest is on pages 235 and 236. It is all there. The Council Fathers made reference to the Third Council of Carthage (of which Hippo was one session), the letter of Pope St. Damasus, and of course Florence. It is as i remebered it.

art

Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH said...

recclyhpEa sez:

1) Jesus is not referring to Jewish "Tradition", but Jewish Scripture.

Nope. You are assuming that without any proof. Many people have assumed that Jesus was referring to the death of Zechariah in Chronicles which was the last book collected in the current Jewish listing of the Tanach. But there was no fixed order to the Tanach in Jesus' day and Chronicles was not listed last until several centuries after Christ. Besides, the story in Chronicles preceded the Babylonian exile. So Zechariah was not the last person killed in the pre-Christian era.

But he and Abel both had their blood cry to heaven for vengeance. There is a very good article about this here:

www.journalofbiblicalstudies.org/Issue4/Articles/jesus_use_of_old_tesament_themes.doc

This is a relevant quote from that article:

In fact, Edersheim states that there was a Jewish legend that Zechariah's blood "did not dry up those two centuries and a half, but still bubbled on the pavement, when Nebuzar-adan entered the Temple and at last avenged it."

Please note that the author does not find any reference to the canon in this statement.

But even if Jesus was referring to the Tanach, that is immaterial. What we are discussing is the Christan OT not the Jewish Bible. Whatever the Jews did before Christ does not bind the Church. If the Biblical canon was closed before Christ as Beckwith claims then there could be no NT. If the Church could add the NT books to the biblical Canon she could add others as well. Considering the extensive use that Jesus and the Apostles made of the deuteros (See DeSilva) it was reasonable for hte Church to have done so.

Beckwith admits in the introduction to his book that the standard understanding about the origina of teh OT canon supports the Catholic position and he says that he wants to support the Reformation view. So from the very beginning he is prejudiced and has already assume dhte conclusion which he then tries to justify.

Sadly he is totally out of touch with the majority of experts. James Vanderkam is a reformed expert on Qumran and in his books he has made it clear that the Jewish Biblcial canon was not defined as Beckwith claims in the 2nd Century BC but in the 2nd century AD. This is the position of the majority of experts including Vanderkam, Frank Moore Cross, John Barton, Lee Martin McDonald,and James A. Sanders (all of whom are Protestants).

The rest of your comments are childish jibes not worthy of comment.

And Fr. Brown supported the Catholic Canon unequivocally. His comments about apocryphal Esdras do not challenge that.

I still don't understand why protestants keep looking for the Catholic Church to attack scholars. It is a well known principle in academe that schalrs are granted leeway in their research. You have been brainwashed into thinking of Catholicism as repressive. It never has been.

Carrie: I forgot to comment on The sad and dyspeptic Mr. White's views concerning St. Augustine and 3Esdras. They are pathetic and embarrassing for him. He has nothing to say that is worth reading or commenting about. instead read John Bett's articles and the section on Esdras in Gary's book. (It starts right afer the section on Trent that I noted above.)

Art

EA said...

The rest of your comments are childish jibes not worthy of comment.

Considering the withering, condescending, and uncharitable adjectives that you use in describing those that don't agree with you, I would suggest that YOU remove the log from your own eye. Advice, by the way, that you have received before.

Carrie said...

The section in Gary Michuta's book that deals with the deliberations from Trent on the canon is on pages 234ff. The material of most interest is on pages 235 and 236. It is all there. The Council Fathers made reference to the Third Council of Carthage (of which Hippo was one session), the letter of Pope St. Damasus, and of course Florence.

Thanks for getting back to me with the page numbers.

Yes, I saw that section, but I didn’t think that was what you were referring to when you said:

[ea: Do the Tridentine Fathers cite Zosimus?]

They not only quote him, but Hippo and Florence as well. This was discussed in detail in the ACTA of the Council as they prepared the Canons of the 4th Session. I refer you to Gary Michuta's book "Why Catholic Bibles are Bigger" for the details.


Gary’s books says:

“That night, the Cardinal Legates wrote that all three Particular Congregations had agreed on the accep¬tance of the Books of Scripture pure and simple, "...as was done by many of the ancient Fathers, by the third Provincial Council of Carthage, by that of Pope Gelasius, by Innocent 1, and lastly by the Council of Florence.”

So there is no quote or even a reference to Zosimus, and no quoting of the Councils, just a reference. Perhaps I misunderstood you, but I was expected something more than just that brief reference in the legate’s letter.

Carrie: I forgot to comment on The sad and dyspeptic Mr. White's views concerning St. Augustine and 3Esdras.

Actually, that article was written by James Swan, not White. And I disagree with you, it does show an inconsistency in the Church’s method for choosing the books of the canon since books that were used by the Fathers and the Church were left out (as I elaborated on from Brown & Fitzmyer).

I did read Michuta’s book section on Esdras and he says “Many things are questionable about Esdras. The Council of Carthage may have included Esdras on its list. We don’t know for certain” which conflicts with what Bett seems to say in his article, so I am not sure whom to believe, Michuta or Bett. Either way, 3 Esdras may or may not be canonical, the Church has not been able to figure that out it appears.

GeneMBridges said...

Nope. You are assuming that without any proof. Many people have assumed that Jesus was referring to the death of Zechariah in Chronicles which was the last book collected in the current Jewish listing of the Tanach. But there was no fixed order to the Tanach in Jesus' day and Chronicles was not listed last until several centuries after Christ. Besides, the story in Chronicles preceded the Babylonian exile. So Zechariah was not the last person killed in the pre-Christian era.

But he and Abel both had their blood cry to heaven for vengeance. There is a very good article about this here:

www.journalofbiblicalstudies.org/Issue4/Articles/jesus_use_of_old_tesament_themes.doc

This is a relevant quote from that article:

In fact, Edersheim states that there was a Jewish legend that Zechariah's blood "did not dry up those two centuries and a half, but still bubbled on the pavement, when Nebuzar-adan entered the Temple and at last avenged it." his is a relevant quote from that article:

In fact, Edersheim states that there was a Jewish legend that Zechariah's blood "did not dry up those two centuries and a half, but still bubbled on the pavement, when Nebuzar-adan entered the Temple and at last avenged it."

Please note that the author does not find any reference to the canon in this statement.


This same author also says:

As for Zechariah, which Zechariah Jesus was referring to in making this statement has been the subject of much debate. In Matthew, he is specified as the "son of Berechiah." Three primary options exist. One is that Jesus was referring to Zechariah who is designated in Zechariah 1:1 as the son of Berechiah. However, nowhere does scripture record this Zechariah as having been murdered by the Israelites on the temple grounds. The second option is that Jesus is referring to Zechariah, son of Jehoiada the priest, who is written of as being murdered in the court of the temple (2 Chr. 24:20-22). Some arrive at this last option based on commonalties between the context of this judgment in Matthew and the account of his death. This view held by the majority of commentators, would lead to Jesus' reference to blood shed from "Abel to Zechariah" being a reference not necessarily chronological according to time, but according to the Old Testament text. Thus, ui`ou/ Baraci,ou may be a later addition to the text, although there are no textual variants or other evidence of such an addition.16 Another option is that Jesus is referring to someone in his lineage other than his immediate paternal father.17 However, others have disputed the theory on Chronicles being the last book of the older form of the Old Testament canon. Those who argue this opt for the first option or a third option that Jesus is referring to another Zechariah, as Berechiah was a common name in Judaism.

You seem to suffer from a bad case of reading miscomprehension, Dr. Sippo. Here's the whole paragraph from which your quote is taken:

What usually tips the scales in favor of this being the son of Jehoida is the striking similarities in context between this account and Jesus' words in Matthew with the reference to the stoning taking place in the house of the Lord and Zechariah's cry for God to avenge his blood. Furthermore, the record of Zechariah's death became the symbol for the way Israel treated the prophets. In fact, Edersheim states that there was a Jewish legend that Zechariah's blood "did not dry up those two centuries and a half, but still bubbled on the pavement, when Nebuzar-adan entered the Temple and at last avenged it."19 It is likely, then, in light of the similarities in context and the way this Zechariah's death was thought of in Jewish tradition, that Jesus was intending to make reference to this prophet in stating that his blood would fall on them.20 This may also explain his description of him being killed "between the temple and the altar" having the intention of pointing out which Zechariah he was indicating.

1. Notice that Ms. Rieske is taking about the death of Zechariah, son of Jehoiada, which in the paragraph immediately beforehand, is stated to be recorded in 2 Chronicles 24.

2. She says that those who reject the majority position (the majority position is that Chronicles was the last book of the Jewish canon) take the first position or a third option.

a. Position 1: Jesus was referring to Zechariah who is designated in Zechariah 1:1 as the son of Berechiah. However, nowhere does scripture record this Zechariah as having been murdered by the Israelites on the temple grounds.

b. Position 3:Jesus is referring to another Zechariah, as Berechiah was a common name in Judaism. She also notes: Jesus is referring to someone in his lineage other than his immediate paternal father.

This would be a variation of "another Zechariah."

c. The paragraph from which you wrested your acontextual quote is supporting the second position, not the first or third (which are taken in opposition to the second). You seem confused about this statement: This view held by the majority of commentators, would lead to Jesus' reference to blood shed from "Abel to Zechariah" being a reference not necessarily chronological according to time, but according to the Old Testament text. However, others have disputed the theory on Chronicles being the last book of the older form of the Old Testament canon. Those who argue this opt for the first option or a third option that Jesus is referring to another Zechariah, as Berechiah was a common name in Judaism.

So, you have a big problem here, for Ms. Rieske is advocating position 2, not 1 or 3. Why? Because, when you read those who argue for the canonical, not chronological order you find them arguing that 2 Chronicles is placed outside the chronological/historical order in the older Jewish canon. For example, here is Bahnsen:The traditional Jewish canon was divided into three sections (Law, Prophets, Writings), and an unusual feature of the last section was the listing of Chronicles out of historical order, placing it after Ezra-Nehemiah and making it the last book of the canon. In light of this, the words of Jesus in Luke 11:50-51 reflect the settled character of the Jewish canon (with its peculiar order) already in his day. Christ uses the expression "from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah," which appears troublesome since Zechariah was not chronologically the last martyr mentioned in the Bible (cf. Jer. 26:20-23). However, Zechariah is the last martyr we read of in the Old Testament according to Jewish canonical order (cf. II Chron. 24:20-22), which was apparently recognized by Jesus and his hearers.

Rieske says that those who oppose the majority position do so on by taking positions 1 or 3 NOT the position that the reference is to Zechariah in 2 Chronicles.

The third speaks for itself.

The first refers to the Book of Zechariah. Zechariah 1:1 places Zechariah's authoriship in the reign of Darius - historically, chronologically, after Chronicles. So, we're left with Edershiem writitng in support of the SECOND view, the majority view, which, according to Rieske affirms that the reference is to the Zechariah in 2 Chronicles. She is not taking your position at all.

If you can't read a simple article like that one, I have to wonder about your mastery of the others you quoted in your last response to EA.

But even if Jesus was referring to the Tanach, that is immaterial. What we are discussing is the Christan OT not the Jewish Bible. Whatever the Jews did before Christ does not bind the Church.

You're shifting the argument. You are bound to what Jesus actually affirms, and Jesus does not refer to the DC's but to the content of the Jewish canon, which excludes them.

If the Biblical canon was closed before Christ as Beckwith claims then there could be no NT.

Irrelevant. What is in question here is the inclusion of the DC's as part of the OT canon. You're conflating 'the biblical canon' with the 'OT canon.' These are not convertible. They intersect, but they are not convertible.

"The Church" can add to the canon by particular authors being inspired to write. The NT was written because the Holy Spirit inspired certain authors.

However, I don't think this is what you have in mind. You have in mind the idea that "the Church" can add to the canon by decree, not be inspiration. So, can we conclude that you affirm these decrees are "inspired?"

Let's take an example from your list of canonical books, Wisdom of Solomon to illustrate the differences here to see where this might lead.

Why don’t we begin by quoting some scholarly observations by the author of the standard modern commentary on this particular book of the OT apocrypha:

“Thus the author of Wisd is quite capable of constructing sentences in true period style (12:27; 13:11-15), and his fondness for compound words is almost Aeschylean. His manner at times has the light tough of Greek lyric poetry (17:17-19; 2:6-9; 5:9-13), and occasionally his words fall into an iambic or hexameter rhythm. He employs…Greek philosophical terminology,” D. Winston, the Wisdom of Solomon: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Doubleday 1979), 15-16.

“These characteristics, in addition to the author’s many favorite ‘theme words and expressions which recur throughout the work, argue for unity of authorship, and make the hypothesis that Wisd is a translation of a Hebrew original virtually untenable,” ibid. 16-17.

Now the book clearly intimates Solomonic authorship. But I don’t think one can seriously contend that Solomon wrote in Greek—especially the kind of Greek we encounter in Wisdom.

So that would make Wisdom the work of forgery. My theory of inspiration does not extend to inspired forgeries. You, Dr. Sippo may beg to differ,and if you think the decrees that add to the canon are "inspired" then that means you affirm that the Church can, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, canonize forgeries.

Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH said...

Carrie:

Again you forget that Hippo was a session of the Third Council of Carthage and it was Pope Zosimus who declared it to represent official Church teaching. The only reason to consider the local synod at Carthage as magisterial was because of Pope Zosimus' declaration in 418. This is why it is CRITICAL to understand the actual history and not play word games.

As to the criteria used to include books in the canon you seem to forget that there was a process of discernment. The decision was not made by men but "men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." The Canon was not derived by human reasoning, but rather through the superintendence of the Holy Spirit. The decision was not the mechanical result of methodology.

There never was any time when 3 books of Esdras were considered canonical. Only 2 were. And for a century before Hippo, the two were Ezra and Nehemiah.

In all honesty, a question was raised about which books were being referred to as "the two" and there is sufficient ambiguity that we cannot say with certainty what the Fathers of Hippo thought. But they referred the list to The 'Transmarine' Church for final confirmation and we know what the Popes intended.

The only major difference between Apoc1Esdras and Biblical Ezra is the addition of the one story about the elephant. As John showed in his paper, the rest of Apoxc1Esdras was derived from Biblical EZRA. Many Fathers thought Apoc1esdras was just a textual variation on Ezra.

The elephant story was an excellent wisdom parable and the Fathers often quoted it. But it was not anything major. It did not teach any new doctrines and was not critical for any revealed truth. Its inclusion or exclusion in the canon really changed nothing.

Meanwhile, the wisdom sections of the deuteros were well known and used by Jesus and his disciples in their teachings. The additions to Esther changed it from a secular story to a religous one. Baruch contained Messianic Prophecy. The additions of Daniel likewise fleshed out his story and represented a more complete section of the Daniel cycle of stories that5 circulated in the 2nd century BC. Maccabeees described the "abomination of desolation" predicted in Daniel and gave the history for the Maccabean revolt and for the feast of Dedication which Jesus himself celebrated. Also, the Deuteros gave the same interpretation of the Aquedah (the sacrifice of Isaac) that St. James had in his epistle. They assist us in understanding where St. James was coming from.

As I said earlier, not every book used in the Early Church was considered inspired. The line had to be drawn somewhere. The Church was guided to draw the line with Apoc1Esdras outside the canon.

In fact I would argue that there is no way for mere-men unguided by the Holy Spirit to discern the Canon using any human based methodology. To do so is pure Pelagianism.

This does not diminish the value of the one section in Apoc1Esdras that was unique. It was a good story, but not an INSPIRED story.

Art

Carrie said...

Again you forget that Hippo was a session of the Third Council of Carthage and it was Pope Zosimus who declared it to represent official Church teaching. The only reason to consider the local synod at Carthage as magisterial was because of Pope Zosimus' declaration in 418. This is why it is CRITICAL to understand the actual history and not play word games.

I'm not playing word games, Art, but you implied that the Tridentine Fathers quoted Zosimus when in fact they did not. And I think the viewpoint of the Tridentine fathers is important since they were trying to make a final decision on the matter.

As far as the rest of the argument, I will have to go back and read your post again. I have forgotten all the particulars.

As I said earlier, not every book used in the Early Church was considered inspired. The line had to be drawn somewhere. The Church was guided to draw the line with Apoc1Esdras outside the canon.

No, that line was not drawn with regards to Apoc1Esdras. The Tridentine fathers passed over that book and a few others in silence. That book may still be inspired and deserving a place in your Catholic canon, you can never know until your Church makes a decision to accept or reject.

In fact I would argue that there is no way for mere-men unguided by the Holy Spirit to discern the Canon using any human based methodology.

I don't think any Protestant would disagree. However, we don't need a select group of men to be infallible to be guided by the Holy Spirit.

But the fact remains that the early church made judgments on the canon based on what appears to us as human-based methodology, things like apostolic authorship, church usage, etc. It is not like they threw lots or something. So these "methods" can still be evaluated years later for assurance in areas of dispute.

------- Theo ------- said...

"That book may still be inspired and deserving a place in your Catholic canon, you can never know until your Church makes a decision to accept or reject."

Carrie, precious sister in Christ:
The Church closed the canon at Trent. Unless I'm mistaken (a fair possibility: I am mistaken often enough.), it is dogmatically so. If so, the question of whether or not any other book is to be added to or removed from the canon is settled for us Catholics, who recognize the authority of the Magesterium; and we have specific authority to cite in the event any rogue Catholic asserts another canon.

I leave the obvious follow-up question for you and your readers to both fashion and answer as the Holy Spirit of God leads.

As always, I remain by His good grace,
Your servant and brother in Christ,
---Theo

EA said...

Theo says: "The Church closed the canon at Trent....the question of whether or not any other book is to be added to or removed from the canon is settled for us Catholics..."

"Trent settles the issue": this is an attractive position to adopt if you're Catholic. However, when pressed about the 'late definition of the Canon at Trent', Catholic apologists insist that the Canon was defined earlier. This smacks of a classic 'bait and switch' scam.

Art Sippo is trying to establish that the Canon passed by Hippo / Carthage and ratified by Pope Zosimus established once and for all the Canon for the Catholic Church and that subsequent Councils merely reiterate it. It seems as though there is disagreement within Catholicism as to when the Canon was established definitively.
Where is that 'certainty' when you need it?

To Sippo's point that ALL Councils that cite the books of the Canon reiterate the same list as was passed from Hippo / Carthage and approved by Zosimus; but why are NO direct references made in any of the Councilar Pronouncements stating that the definition of Zosimus (and / or of Hippo / Carthage) still stand(s)? In other words, why don't the Councils of Basle / Florence and others DIRECTLY cite the "infallible" definition of the Canon instead of (or in addition to) an enumeration of the books? If the definition of Zosimus was recognized by the fathers of other Ecumenical Councils as being binding on the Universal Church, why don't any of them cite Zosimus directly? That would be a much more direct appeal and would also lend credence to the early acceptance of Papal Infallibility. Instead what we have is a series of events which undercut support for both the early definition of the Canon AND Papal Infallibility.

------- Theo ------- said...

"Trent settles the issue": this is an attractive position to adopt if you're Catholic. However, when pressed about the 'late definition of the Canon at Trent', Catholic apologists insist that the Canon was defined earlier. This smacks of a classic 'bait and switch' scam."

Dear Carrie: beloved of Christ and sister by the power of He who created us all:

I do not agree. I would hope it is clear to all Catholics--whether they are active defenders of the Church or not--that the council of Trent made the canon a matter of dogma, also that the canon had already been defined prior is also clear, and also that the canon remained a matter that could be properly debated prior to Trent. There is no bait and switch: merely history.

Please consider that up until the Reformation and the removal of the tempering roles of Sacred Tradition and Apostolic Authority in succession by the introduction of Sola Scriptura, the Church (obviously) saw no need to state the canon dogmatically. Until then we did not ask "What is the canon beyond doubt," because there was no need. We'd gotten along fine for 15 centuries without it, depending upon the authority of the Church and Tradition as rules of faith to settle any uncertain issues and also to allow what issues might remain debated without harm to Christendom or the Gospel.

Yes, it is a good answer for Catholics, and it is not a good answer for our Protestant brothers and sister--which again leads back to the obvious question of how then those who profess sola scriptura know without doubt what "scriptura" they depend upon as their sole rule of faith. As far as I can tell by your position, Protestants ought to be as beholden to revelation revealed in the books Macabees as they are to those of Romans--or just as easily beholden to neither.

I have noted elsewhere that the questioning of the canon by reformers was by no means an unconventional thing: Up until Trent, there would have been no reason why theologians could not debate the canon in good faith and as rightful ministers of the Gospel. It was the introduction into the mix of saying that "only" these books (meaning the new protestant canon" are our rule of faith, and all others are either false or merely edifying, that was unconventional--and in my view (and that of the Church from what I can tell) was heretical.

It is for this reason that from my Catholic perspective I say that the reformers "removed" books from the canon: not that they ripped out books that were immutably part of it, but that they forever ruled out their inclusion, which unless they claimed apostolic authority themselves, they could not do.

Further, the implication of sola scriptura must be that the canon is absolutely correct and without fault, even if we try to claim those who set it, did so fallibly.

The result is that by the time Trent formed as a council it was the reformers who actually required a defacto infallible canon: lest anyone claim that the books of Maccabeus or "Fred’s Gospel" for that matter applied as rule of faith. The Catholic council, under the ultimate leadership of the Holy Spirit whom Jesus promised as Paraclete, countered this defacto claim of the reformers by stating the canon dogmatically.

I realize that this answer does not satisfy your own doctrine; however, please know that it is not birthed of deception, and to me it is both reasonable and clear--and as far as I know, may be viewed as doctrinally and historically accurate.

As always, I write by God's good grace as your servant and brother,
--Theo


As a polite PS:
As one who is himself so often insensitive, I most humbly remind you of your own sensitivity to accusations of motive? Perhaps you might consider the effect that you have in stating things like "This smacks of a classic 'bait and switch' scam." I assure you that nobody is trying to "scam" anyone; rather; we hold these beliefs and encourage others to investigate them for the only good reason to hold them: that they are the best picture of truth we can know.

May God bless you with all good things you need for His kingdom's sake.
Your bro,
--Theo

------- Theo ------- said...

In the above, I wrote in part: "...the Church (obviously) saw no need to state the canon dogmatically. Until then we did not ask 'What is the canon beyond doubt,' because there was no need. We'd gotten along fine for 15 centuries without it..."

This was a poor place for me to use a pronoun. I should have written"
"...the Church (obviously) saw no need to state the canon dogmatically. Until then we did not ask 'What is the canon beyond doubt,' because there was no need. We'd gotten along fine for 15 centuries without stating the canon dogmatically..."

Thanks much,

--Theo

Carrie said...

As one who is himself so often insensitive, I most humbly remind you of your own sensitivity to accusations of motive? Perhaps you might consider the effect that you have in stating things like "This smacks of a classic 'bait and switch' scam."

Theo,

It was "ea" who said that, not me.

You were responding to another commenter.

EA said...

Theo said: "Dear Carrie: beloved of Christ and sister..."

First of all, I'm EA and I'm a man.

Secondly,

"We'd gotten along fine for 15 centuries without stating the canon dogmatically..."

"Up until Trent, there would have been no reason why theologians could not debate the canon in good faith and as rightful ministers of the Gospel."

With all due respect, you're simply illustrating the confusion within Catholicism regarding the first infallible definition of the Canon. You claim it was first defined infallibly at Trent. Dr. Sippo on the other hand claims it was first infallibly defined when Pope Zosimus ratified the Councilar Decrees from Hippo (and Carthage).

If Dr. Sippo is correct, then theologians were not 'free' to debate the Canon.

Since you are both putting forth mutually exclusive propostions, at least one of you must be incorrect on this point.

Carrie said...

The Church closed the canon at Trent.

Okay, this comment was correctly directed at my comment.

I guess it depends on how you defined "closed". But the fact that Trent purposely left some books from the Vulgate undefined as far as their canonicity, that is "open" in my mind.

------- Theo ------- said...

"Theo,

It was "ea" who said that, not me.

You were responding to another commenter."


oops! sorry to you and EA.:

See, I told you I make plenty of mistakes.

E.A.
I can't speak for him; however, I suspect that Dr. Sippo and I are not making mutually exclusive statements, but expressing the same (or quite similar) thing in different ways. I suspect you're dealing with what is more a difficulty of my own limited ability to communicate effectively rather than a difficulty of doctrine.

The canon had been established long before Trent: the NT canon since Hippo: and although there was no reson to prevent the issue from being debated from then until Trent when it was made a mater of dogma.

Carrie, regarding your comment about the Vulgate, I'm out of my depth to answer cogently, as the particulars of what you describe are not something I've ever looked into. The implications might prove interesting as far as my personal understanding of Trent is concerned. We'll see.

Humbly submitted, I remain your servant and brother in Christ,

--Theo.

EA said...

Theo said: "The canon had been established long before Trent: the NT canon since Hippo: and although there was no reason to prevent the issue from being debated from then until Trent when it was made a mater of dogma."

Art Sippo said: "They (the DeuteroCanonical books) were affirmed by Hippo which was the council that settled the OT and NT Canon for the Universal Church."

I'm still confused; you say that Hippo settled the NT Canon while Dr. Sippo says that both the NT & the OT Canons were settled at Hippo. Additionally, Dr. Sippo states that the Canon was defined for the Universal Church. Maybe I have this wrong, if so please correct me; I thought that in order for a doctrine to be defined for the Universal Church, it has to be an infallible (ex cathedra) teaching, otherwise it IS NOT binding on the Universal Church.

What was established by the Council of Hippo? The OT Canon? The NT Canon? Both? Neither? Also, was what was established at Hippo (once ratified by Pope Zosimus) binding on the Universal Church or not?

Many Thanks,
EA

------- Theo ------- said...

EA:

I'm sorry that you are confused and that my poor communication skills seem unequal to assist in your clarity.

All decisions of councils are binding on all of the Church--or on whatever potion of the Church that is targeted by the canon law. Not all directives or statements are dogmatic. Not all necessarily universal for all time. For a specific example that I pray you will find reasonable please reflect on the first Council of Jerusalem as recorded in a source I also pray you will find reasonable: the book of Acts.

In that account we see that the Church ordered in a manner that was bound all Christians to obtain from particular kinds of meat in spite of the Master's explicit teaching that it is not what a man puts into his mouth that defiles him, but what comes out. Many of these were eye witnesses to Christ's teaching, and Peter himself had experienced a direct revelation from Our Lord affirming that no food is now unclean.

Nevertheless, a situation had arisen whereby in order to keep the weak from sinning, the Council commanded that all refrain from what would otherwise be lawful. The only constraint was the edict of the council, and for as long as that edict stood, it was sin for any Christian who was aware of it to flaunt it without prudence.

As to the exact edict and canon of Hippo, I cited it as establishing the NT canon in a more exact sense because to my knowledge its composition was never successfully challenged afterword. However, the OT canon was more controversial, and between various statements, its composition was altered--authoritatively, but not necessarily in the final form it had at Florence and other later councils.

Regardless, the canon as it exists had been established well before the Reformation--but it had not been dogmatically stated until after: at the Council of Trent.

If Dr. Sippo is still following this, he might correct me if I'm mistaken; however, I believe this is also what he conveyed.

If you remain confused, I again apologize for whatever gaps are due to my own failings.

Regardless, I ask our gracious Lord to bless and purify all of your studies and effort dedicated to the advancement of His kingdom and that you and I both be rewarded By God according to our deeds, and better wherever they fall short of the mark.

In His Holy Name, I submit this as your servant and brother,
--Theo

EA said...

Theo said: "However, the OT canon was more controversial, and between various statements, its composition was altered--authoritatively, but not necessarily in the final form it had at Florence and other later councils.

Regardless, the canon as it exists had been established well before the Reformation--but it had not been dogmatically stated until after: at the Council of Trent.

If Dr. Sippo is still following this, he might correct me if I'm mistaken; however, I believe this is also what he conveyed."



I'm sorry this doesn't clarify the matter to my mind.


Theo said: "I'm sorry that you are confused and that my poor communication skills seem unequal to assist in your clarity."

A direct 'yes' or 'no' response to the following question would be ideal.

Was the Canon of Scripture (both the NT & the OT) settled for the Universal Church once the decrees of the Councils of Hippo and Carthage were ratified by Pope Zosimus?

Theo said: "The only constraint was the edict of the council (of Jerusalem), and for as long as that edict stood, it was sin for any Christian who was aware of it to flaunt it without prudence."

When was this edict rescinded? And by whom?

------- Theo ------- said...

"Was the Canon of Scripture (both the NT & the OT) settled for the Universal Church once the decrees of the Councils of Hippo and Carthage were ratified by Pope Zosimus?"

I'm sorry I did not answer you more directly.

Settled: Yes.
--Unless by "settled" you mean "beyond debate." It was settled to the full extent that the councils addressed the canon and the Pope sanctioned their harmony. Since it was not dogma, it could still be debated and any disparity that could be found in the slightest between Hippo and Carthage would be prime for such.

I'll add a question you failed to ask: was it settled FOREVER?

Settled forever: No.
--That did not happen until Trent--or so I have long thought, but Crrie has just brought to our attention that some small fraction of that might still be unsettled, being officially placed in the "unknown" column. We'll see.

The thing that is curious to me is if this is indeed so, how it matters... to Catholics. You see, if I discovered today that some portion of the canon is unsettled, it has zero effect on me as I have the authority of the Church and Sacred Tradition under the direct promise of Christ to send the Paraclete. To me, Christianity is not a religion "of the book." Alas, this would not be so were I fettered by sola scriptura, for then my only unquestionable source of truth would in itself be in question.

This is the sort of thing I was talking about in another thread when I observed the tendency for articles on this site intended to attack the Church having the opposite effect.


theo said: "The only constraint was the edict of the council (of Jerusalem), and for as long as that edict stood, it was sin for any Christian who was aware of it to flaunt it without prudence."

When was this edict rescinded? And by whom?


I do not know. Am I required to know?

We do know that it was rescinded, however, for we have records of Christian communities not under the ban in the same generation by the time of Justin Martyr, who described many of the contemporary practices and as implied in the epistles of St. Paul.

Does my not knowing mean that it's still binding on me? I think not. Are you trying to imply it never was binding on even the Christians of that day? I don't know. It is your turn, my fellow laborer.

Your bro,
--Theo

EA said...

Theo said: "Settled: Yes.
--Unless by "settled" you mean "beyond debate." It was settled to the full extent that the councils addressed the canon and the Pope sanctioned their harmony. Since it was not dogma, it could still be debated and any disparity that could be found in the slightest between Hippo and Carthage would be prime for such.


In what sense what is it "settled" if it could still be debated?

To be settled means to be established, to have ceased moving, to be defined.


Theo said: "To the full extent that the councils addressed the canons."

And what was that? Since the proceedings of these councils are lost to history and the participants are unavailable for comment, the question as to what the extent was that these councils addressed the canon is an open question. This entire 'explanation' rests upon an equivocation of terms.

The fact that the canonicity of certain books was still debated is proof positive that their status was not 'settled'.

Theo said: "I'll add a question you failed to ask: was it settled FOREVER?

Settled forever: No.
--That did not happen until Trent--or so I have long thought, but Carrie has just brought to our attention that some small fraction of that might still be unsettled, being officially placed in the 'unknown' column. We'll see."


Settled, but open for debate. Defined for the entire Church, except it might still be unsettled.

Again where's that certainty when you really need it?

------- Theo ------- said...

EA, dear brother in Jesus, whose precious blood is offered for our sins:

Yes. The issue of food sacrificed to idols was settled--yet open for debate. What do the Apostles make of your criticism, I wonder?

You wish to force a contradiction on ontological grounds, as if by defining something as "authoritatively decided" always must equal "authoritatively decided once and for all." You make a false dichotomy. I'm sorry if this confuses you or incites you to imagine wry observation that is in fact mundane. I find no fault or ambiguity in it.

Christ himself gave authority to the apostles who we know through written record, including Holy Scripture also passed on that authority to successors. He also explicitly gave authority to his Church which He himself founded. I know of no record where He removed either. Until you can show me that He did so, I am little inclined to find your would-be criticism cogent, let alone appropriate.

Regarding Carrie’s article, I’ve started through it. So far, nothing new, but we’ll see.

Still, as always, I pray for your true blessing in Christ our savior. May we all come to eternal salvation through the Lamb of God. May all you do as His agent be made fully effective by the very power of the Holy Spirit among us and let no man resist it.

tap said...

Responded to your comments on beggars all, was wondering if you were still interested, interacting to this points on your blog?

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=19795707&postID=2416096723929820095