Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Phony Decree of Damasus or Gelasius

A Catholic writer named Michael Gormley, who may have showed up here at Beggars All, has peppered my other blogs with some comments. Most recently he said this:
One example from ancient times of the Catholic Church officially deciding which books belong in the Bible, I'll quote the second part of the DECREE of Pope Damasus I (r. 366-384). The document was a decree of the Council of Rome which met under Damasus' presidency in AD 382.

The text of the DECREE as re the Scriptures was copied from page 406 of Volume 1 of THE FAITH OF THE EARLY FATHERS, edited/translated by William A. Jurgens (Collegevlle, The Liturgical Press: 1970).

"[2] It is likewise decreed: Now, indeed, we must treat of the divine Scriptures: what the universal Catholic Church accepts and what she must shun. The list of the Old Testament begins: Genesis, one book; Exodus, one book; Leviticus, one book; Numbers, one book; Deuteronomy, one book; Jesus Nave [Joshua], one book; of Judges, one book; Ruth, one book; of Kings, four books; Paralipomenon, two books; One Hundred and Fifty Psalms, one book; of Solomon, three books: Proverbs, one book; Ecclesiastes, one book; Canticle of Canticles; one book; likewise, Wisdom, one book; Ecclesiasticus [Sirach], one book. Likewise, the list of the Prophets: Isaias, one book; Jeremias [Baruch was often considered part of Jeremiah], one book, along with Cinoth, that is, his Lamentations; Ezechiel, one book; Daniel, one book; Osee, one book; Amos, one book; Micheas, one book; Joel, one book; Abdias, one book; Jonas, one book; Nahum, one book; Habacuc, one book; Sophonias, one book; Aggeus, one book; Zacharias, one book; Malachias, one book. Likewise, the list of histories: Job, one book; Tobias, one book; Esdras, two books; Esther, one book; Judith, one book; of Maccabees, two books.

"Likewise, the list of the Scriptures of the New and Eternal Testament, which the holy and Catholic Church receives: of the Gospels, one book according to Matthew, one book according to Mark, one book according to Luke, one book according to John. The Epistles of the Apostle Paul, fourteen in number: one to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, one to the Ephesians, two to the Thessalonians, one to the Galatians, one to the Philippians, one to the Colossians, two to Timothy, one to Titus, one to Philemon, one to the Hebrews. Likewise, one book of the Apocalypse of John. And the Acts of the Apostles, one book. Likewise, the canonical Epistles, seven in number: of the Apostle Peter, two Epistles; of the Apostle James, one Epistle; of the Apostle John, one Epistle; of the other John, a Presbyter, two Epistles; of the Apostle Jude the Zealot, one Epistle. Thus concludes the canon of the New Testament."

Alert readers should note how this list includes as fully canonical the Deuterocanonical books which the founders of Protestantism erroneously purged from their editions of the Bible after 1517.
Genuinely alert readers should note that Jurgens is somewhat famous for passing along forged and fake documents like this one as if they were real. The document he cited, as from "Pope Damasus," is also known as the Decree of Gelasius, but it's not written by him, either, but was probably composed by an anonymous source in the sixth century.

In truth, "the Roman Catholic Faith" was shaped by very many incidents such as this, in which a false or forged document is believed as genuine. I've already written about "Pseudo-Dionysius," a neoplatonist writer who purported to be the convert of Paul from Acts 17. Nevertheless, the great Thomas Aquinas thought that he, and other fake sources, was genuine, and Aquinas has a somewhat foundational place in Roman Catholic theology and doctrine today. Much of what is now Marian dogma also had its roots in forged or spurious documents.

So we have the spectacle of Roman Catholic apologists running around telling us how difficult God's own Scriptures are, in the name of having a "living Authority" that passes along spurious documents as foundational for its faith. It truly is a sad situation.

11 comments:

Lvka said...

it's not written by him, either, but was probably composed by an anonymous source in the sixth century.


That's 900+ years before the dawn of Protestantism...

In other words:

Almost an entire millennium before the first Protestant has ever set foot upon the face of the Earth, the historic Christians revered the books you rejected some 1,000 years later as scripture...

So how exactly does this help your case, John? Hmm?

James Swan said...

my 2 cents:

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2006/12/pope-damasus-and-canon-of-scripture.html

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2006/12/pope-damasus-and-canon-of-scripture_31.html

natamllc said...

I'll add one more penny or two, maybe three, we shall see:::>

what the universal Catholic Church accepts and what she must shun....

"Likewise, the list of the Scriptures of the New and Eternal Testament, which the holy and Catholic Church receives:


The problem is this. When anyone or a group wants to add to or take away from what God has done, their error simply is understood by what God has done. He has left us, His active and living epistles, the Holy Spirit, the author and inspirer of the Words of Grace, to guide us today into the living Hope He is.

He has already guided those called to the task of completing a full and comprehensive document, that we know to be the 66 books of the Bible, a full and comprehensive document, known as the 66 books of the Bible. You cannot add to them. You cannot take away from them. If you do, you will incur a curse upon your soul!

Here is the Apostle Paul's take on the direction we should go in finding out that the 66 books are indeed what the Holy Spirit intended and not one word, sentence, paragraph, chapter or book more:::>

Act 20:32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.


and one should realize why he wrote those words by these words too:

Act 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me.
Act 26:14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'
Act 26:15 And I said, 'Who are you, Lord?' And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.
Act 26:16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,
Act 26:17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles--to whom I am sending you
Act 26:18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'
Act 26:19 "Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
Act 26:20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.


and this is why he qualifies himself this way:::>

Php 4:9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

LVKA, to you I would say, "go and do likewise"!

When we do a self test of the Faith we have received as His Gift to His sons of the resurrection, if, at the end of the day, our words fall flat and onto the ground, it will be because the "God of Peace" was not speaking through us by them WORDS!

john said...

John what many, if not most Roman Catholic "pew mushrooms" don't realise si that most uniquely RCC Dogmas are based on mere man-made ideas. The Papacy is built on fraud, lies, forgeries, political power plays, poltical statecraft, and twisting and distorting the Scriptures. Catholic Scholars and academics admit as much, IE that the Papacy was the result of all of the above.

Catholic "Apologists" deny the truth and call those Catholic scholars "liberals, dissenters", etc. So these Catholic "Apologists"

1. Know the truth and lie through their teeth to defend Rome and try to get Evangelical and Reformed Christians to become Roman Catholics.

2. They are so brainwashed that no matter how many facts of History and honest Biblical interpretation and hermeneutics you tell them Rome is right Period.

3. They are psychologically disturbed in that in order to cope with the world and society and to avoid grappling with understanding the Scriptures they abdicate their God given ability to think and reason. They have what one might call a "rage for order" and need everything neatly prepackaged so they can open and use without any fuss or muss. To them Protestant Christianity is just too messy, chaotic, and disorganised, they psychologically need an alleged Divinely established central human authority to tell them what to do and when to do it rather than struggling to understand God's written Word the Bible and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to understand that written Word.

Well my RC friend there never was a time when the Church was a nice neat package, Christianity has always been "messy" and "untidy" all one has to do is read a good reliable Church History book to see that. There NEVER WAS "one united Holy and Catholic Church". Up until Constantines time the Christians were loosely organised and each congregation was more or less independant with leaders appointed from within those congregations "elders and deacons" the whole concept of the "Monarchial Bishop took a while to develop, and even then it was for administrative and organisational needs, not by Divine Mandate. Right after Chalcedon half if not more of the Christians in the world went their separate ways, the "Oriental Orthodox" which at that time made up at least half of all Christians in the world. Did we hear of any "Anathema Sits" and Bulls of Excommunication from the Bishop of Rome? No. Because the Bishop of Rome was only the Bishop of Rome, there was no Papacy as we know it at that time. Then in 1054 the rest of the East went their separate ways from the West. So you see there NEVER was a United undivided.

Andrew said...

Lvka, why would it matter how by how many years a forged document pre-dates the reformation?

Lvka said...

Because, although it does not express the opinion of fourth-century popes, it DOES reveal the beliefs of sixth-century Christians: which obviously weren't Protestants, by the looks of it.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Because, although it does not express the opinion of fourth-century popes, it DOES reveal the beliefs of sixth-century Christians: which obviously weren't Protestants, by the looks of it.

The best you'd be able to say is that it reveals a part of what some professing Christians believed during the time. It's not enough to make the kind of sweeping claims you're implying here.

natamllc said...

LVKA

what amazes me is you are alive in this generation as the rest of us posting hereon. All that you have received and believe you have received from outside yourself.

You make a historical distinction about some being a "Protestant" above. What is the distinction?

So, are you saying or implying that "Protestants" are not similarly "Spirit" filled and "born again" as any that were born again of the first Century or the second or third or every other generation from Adam until now?

And, do you accept that the Holy Spirit is One of Three Eternal Spirits far more erudite than all of us combined of every generation and in fact, Omniscient, Who is actively mandated in every generation to sanctify those of God's Election co-working with Christ?

I really would like to read your responses to these questions.

Would you clarify just what distinction you make when you write this: "Almost an entire millennium before the first Protestant has ever set foot upon the face of the Earth,...."

Nicholas Gulda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicholas Gulda said...


(Edited to give source)

I think that that claim that, "...Jurgens is somewhat famous for passing along forged and fake documents like this one as if they were real..." can give someone the wrong impression about Jurgens.

But, in his very work in mention one can read:

"'The first part of this decree has long been known as the Decree of Damasus, and concerns the Holy Spirit and the seven-fold gifts. The second part of the decree is more familiarly known as the opening part of the Gelasian Decree, in regard to the canon of Scripture: De libris recipiendis vel non recipiendis. It is now commonly held that the part of the Gelasian Decree dealing with the accepted canon of Scripture is an authentic work of the Council of Rome of 382 A.D. and that Gelasius edited it again at the end of the fifth century, adding to it the catalog of the rejected books, the apocrypha. It is now almost universally accepted that these parts one and two of the Decree of Damasus are authentic parts of the Acts of the Council of Rome of 382 A.D.' (Jurgens, Faith of the Early Fathers, vol. 1, p. 404)"

(Edit:)

Source: http://thecatholicvoyager.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-canon-of-scripture-damasus-and.html

(12/16/2012)

PeaceByJesus said...

Hi James. Came across this looking for info on Jurgens, whom you said "is somewhat famous for passing along forged and fake documents like this one as if they were real." But outside of a like comment by steelikat, i do not see any documentation on your site.

Could you elaborate on what you are referring to?