Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Divine Nature of Scripture and the Magisterium

Whitaker comes to the defense of four arguments from Calvin, which Stapleton attempts to refute, the first of which is (in the words of Calvin, not the summary Whitaker provides) as follows (emphasis mine):

A most pernicious error has very generally prevailed; viz.,that Scripture is of importance only in so far as conceded to it by the suffrage of the Church; as if the eternal and inviolable truth of God could depend on the will of men. With great insult to the Holy Spirit, it is asked, who can assure us that the Scriptures proceeded from God; who guarantee that they have come down safe and unimpaired to our times; who persuade us that this book is to be received with reverence, and that one expunged from the list, did not the Church regulate all these things with certainty? On the determination of the Church, therefore, it is said, depend both the reverence which is due to Scripture, and the books which are to be admitted into the canon. Thus profane men, seeking, under the pretext of the Church, to introduce unbridled tyranny, care not in what absurdities they entangle themselves and others, provided they extort from the simple this one acknowledgement, viz., that there is nothing which the Church cannot do. But what is to become of miserable consciences in quest of some solid assurance of eternal life, if all the promises with regard to it have no better support than man's judgement? On being told so, will they cease to doubt and tremble? On the other hand, to what jeers of the wicked is our faith subjected - into how great suspicion is it brought with all, if believed to have only a precarious authority lent to it by the goodwill of men?1


Yet what is Stapleton's reply? He claims that the Magisterium's judgment is not merely human, but really is both divine and infallible, therefore Calvin's argument fails to be of relevance.

Here Whitaker raises a point I would raise as well, one that is equally relevant today: "But what is the meaning of this assertion, that the church's judgment is not merely human? Be it so. But is it merely divine? For surely it is requisite that the truth of the promises of eternal life should be propped and supported by a testimony purely divine."2

What, exactly, is meant by saying that the nature by which the Magisterium has come to identify the canon for us is not just human opinion, but is divine and infallible, yet not totally divine and infallible? Scripture, we would say, has been inspired by God in a completely and totally divine manner, therefore it is binding and authoritative. The Holy Spirit superintended the writing of the Scriptures such that in no way did any of it originate or arise through human wisdom, creation, thought or contribution (even if human means--learning, intelligence, writing ability, etc.--were still used). It is completely and totally the intentions, thoughts, words, etc. of God toward humanity, therefore we should respect it as if God himself were speaking directly and presently to us.

But does the Magisterium, in its judgment that Scripture is really the Word of God, claim to be inspired, superintended, etc. by the same process as that which the Holy Spirit used to write inspired Scripture? I don't see how that's the case. Consider CCC #66 where the revealing of revelation proper is considered to have ended in the Apostolic era:
The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive Covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And since the infallible identification of the canon within Roman Catholicism first occurred at Trent, it cannot be said that this proclamation was purely divine. And if it is not purely divine, why is it ultimately binding?

Only the thoughts of God are infallible. These can be expressed through various means (the burning bush, dreams, written Scripture, etc.), yet all are categorized as revelation. If Roman Catholicism denies that the Magisterium has received additional revelation by which to identify the canon for believers, it is difficult to see how the pronouncements of Trent would be authoritatively binding in any real sense. Where in Scripture are the words of the uninspired ever held to the same authoritative standard as those who said or wrote inspired material? For Scripture there are two categories: inspired and uninspired. By placing itself in the latter camp, the Magisterium has denied itself access to binding, infallible authority.

But, returning to the line of argumentation provided by Whitaker, let us suppose it is divinely inspired in the same manner Scripture is divinely inspired. If it is divine, then it carries the same nature and authority as Scripture. But if that is the case, why do we need the former to know the latter? Cannot the divine nature of Scripture speak to us directly, just as the divine nature of the pronouncements of the Magisterium speaks to us directly? What is preventing us from accessing the authoritative of Words of God in Scripture directly?

_____________________________


1. Henry Beveridge, trans., Institutes of the Christian Religion, I.7.1.

2. William Whitaker, Disputations on Holy Scripture (Cambridge: Parker Society, 1894; reprint, Orlando: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 2005), 340.

44 comments:

natamllc said...

The Holy Spirit superintended the writing of the Scriptures such that in no way did any of it originate or arise through human wisdom, creation, thought or contribution (even if human means--learning, intelligence, writing ability, etc.--were still used).

Now, of course, one would have to hold to Sola Scriptura to understand that Our God is alive, active and accurate in all Their dealings with creation. It makes no difference from which part of Their creation you come from. You are subject to Their decree.

Is it hard for an unbeliever and reprobate to understand the great Work of Sanctification administered by the Holy Spirit?

Yes it is.

What is preventing us from accessing the authoritative of Words of God in Scripture directly?

With that question, I would say it isn't so much a "what" question that prevents us from accessing the authoritative Words of God in Scripture directly as it is rather a "who" is preventing us from having access to God question?

My answer to the question is, "God, because no one can stop Him from saving His Elect"; however ...!

Well, the Apostle Paul opens this question up rhetorically and then gives us a Holy Spirit inspired answer. I haven't found anyone overjoyed by his answer to the question he asks as I haven't found anyone overjoyed to have finally discovered we are going to physically die someday in the future!

See or understand that it is God alone Who has taken all the work out of our salvation, that is, our being saved! We truly can enter into that Sabbath Rest predetermined for us to enter.

Shouldn't we then have to heed what is written in God's inspired Word?

Of course we will if we hold to the inspiration of Scripture as the sole written authority for "all" creation when heeding the Apostle's Words, found here:

Eph 3:8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
Eph 3:9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,
Eph 3:10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
Eph 3:11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Eph 3:12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.

steelikat said...

You make things more difficult than they have to be. The Church is infallible, in a sense, not because it is divine but because the Holy Spirit is at work within it. in terms of the canon, the upshot is that we know what the NT books are because the whole Church, essentially, agrees and the Holy Spirit would not allow his Church to fall into error on this subject. The same is true of the OT. As for the apocrypha, either they are not inspired or the Church doesn't need to know whether they are inspired, it is not necessary for our salvation.

James Swan said...

You make things more difficult than they have to be. The Church is infallible, in a sense, not because it is divine but because the Holy Spirit is at work within it.

And, now let's apply this same paradigm to the Old Testament and God's "church."....

How odd, God was able to provide His word and have His Spirit in
His people, and these people didn't need to be infallible or have an infallible magisterium. Go figure.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

steelikat writes:

You make things more difficult than they have to be.

I appreciate this sentiment. As I reflect on the issue in light of your response, I'm not sure if it is applicable to what I wrote in my post.

The Church is infallible, in a sense, not because it is divine but because the Holy Spirit is at work within it.

The Holy Spirit is at work in all Christians, yet I would not think that this entails infallibility for each and every Christian or Christianity as a whole. So if we assume the Holy Spirit is also at work in the Magisterium, then why are all Christians or all of Christianity fallible, while the Magisterium is infallible? It seems you need an additional condition to show why there is a difference here.

Jae said...

"And since the infallible identification of the canon within Roman Catholicism first occurred at Trent, it cannot be said that this proclamation was purely divine"

Hmmmm, this is utterly false statement that doesn't even agree with historical facts. Just ask a question to our Eastern Othodox brothers who split from the Catholic Church in 1100 A.D....400 years before even Martin Luther was born and they have the same number of Books as the Catholics. The canon was closed and practiced for thousands of years until reformation era.

It is a fact that Luther and his pals with their own brand of authority subtracted some Books from the Holy Writ. I read it somewhere (!) warning people about removing some parts of the Holy Writ.

Jae said...

"How odd, God was able to provide His word and have His Spirit in
His people, and these people didn't need to be infallible or have an infallible magisterium. Go figure."

A classic James White assertion. Ever heard of jewish Oral Tradition? Isralites look and listen to Moses and their prophets for the word of God even when they have the written Torah.

Jae said...

"How odd, God was able to provide His word and have His Spirit in
His people, and these people didn't need to be infallible or have an infallible magisterium. Go figure."


This very statement also doesn't help sola scriptura principle at any rate since Bible alone cannot even answer this very problem.

How do you know what books belong in the Bible?

Without appealing to an outside source of authority (Tradition) and thus violating the principle of Sola Scriptura. Since no instruction are found in the scripture itself on how to identify which books are inspired and gives no definitive standard for obtaining the canon (list of books) thus the very assertion of protestants that books written by mere men (Scriptures) bears a characteristic of God which only those who have a relationship with him can recognize violates the very nature of Sola Scriptura which teaches that we don't need to look elsewhere beyond the pages of Scripture to determine this very information.

Well, at least the jewish people don't have to question whether a book belongs to their OT or not because they follow their Inspired Oral tradition set from Moses, Patriarchs and Prophets above them.

Individual jews don't settle for themselves which one is or not. Nowhere found in the Bible.

John Bugay said...

How do you know what books belong in the Bible?


Jason Engwer has done a thorough job of describing the development of the New Testament canon, here, for example:

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2009/06/new-testament-canon.html

If you expect us to entertain more of your inane comments, you'll no doubt want to interact with the historical data given in this link.



Ever heard of jewish Oral Tradition? Isralites look and listen to Moses and their prophets for the word of God even when they have the written Torah.

This is another inane statement. Do you know what the "Oral Torah" was? Do you know that Jesus took great exception with many elements of it? Do you know that it was not viewed as "inspired" as you said it was? Which elements of the "oral Torah" did the Roman church teach? How was it brought over into Christianity.

On the other hand, you cannot cite even one "doctrine" from the early church's "oral tradition" that has been kept through time orally. Whatever the early church retained as "oral" was either written down or unimportant enough to be forgotten.

James Swan said...

Hmmmm, this is utterly false statement that doesn't even agree with historical facts.

Jae, Matthew wrote, "And since the infallible identification of the canon within Roman Catholicism first occurred at Trent..."

if you can point out an infallible dogmatic Romanist statement on the contents of the canon previous to Trent, I'd like to see it.

James Swan said...

A classic James White assertion. Ever heard of jewish Oral Tradition? Isralites look and listen to Moses and their prophets for the word of God even when they have the written Torah.

So, exactly where does the Bible state this Jewish Oral tradition was infallible? I suggest reading the interaction of Jesus with the Jewish leaders on tradition very closely.

True, God's word can be oral at times (during periods of inscripturation), but the Bible (in either testament) never speaks of an infallible oral extra-Biblical oral tradition or infallible magisterium.

James Swan said...

It is a fact that Luther and his pals with their own brand of authority subtracted some Books from the Holy Writ. I read it somewhere (!) warning people about removing some parts of the Holy Writ.

Do you believe that the early canons of Hippo, Rome, and Carthage were simply reaffirmed at Trent? If they were, why were some books passed over in silence by Trent, and determined to be (or not be) canonical?

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Jae writes:

Hmmmm, this is utterly false statement that doesn't even agree with historical facts. Just ask a question to our Eastern Othodox brothers who split from the Catholic Church in 1100 A.D....400 years before even Martin Luther was born and they have the same number of Books as the Catholics. The canon was closed and practiced for thousands of years until reformation era.

1. For someone who thinks history is so obviously against what I wrote, you cite precious few resources.

2. The New Catholic Encyclopedia, a standard reference work from The Catholic University of America (which itself was founded by the USCCB) disagrees:

"According to Catholic doctrine, the proximate criterion of the biblical canon is the infallible decision of the Church. This decision was not given until rather late in the history of the Church at the Council of Trent...The Council of Trent definitively settled the matter of the Old Testament Canon. That this had not been done previously is apparent from the uncertainty that persisted up to the time of Trent" (New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. II, Bible, III (Canon), p. 390; Canon, Biblical, p. 29; Bible, III (Canon), p. 390).

There's also the eminent Congar:

"...an official, definitive list of inspired writings did not exist in the Catholic Church until the Council of Trent (Yves Congar, Tradition and Traditions" [New York: Macmillan, 1966], p. 38).

Which carries more weight? Your unsubstantiated assertions or the words of Catholic scholars?

3. Cardinal Cajetan held to a canon different from the one promoted later at Trent. Your assertions evaporate in light of merely Reformation era facts (let alone a consideration of the state of the canon in the early church):

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2010/01/cajetan-on-canon-hes-ok-bcause-hes-one.html

4. Either way, the issue I raised in this post does not turn on whether the canon was closed at Trent or earlier. The key consideration is that the allegedly infallible recognition of the canon occurred after the end of the revelatory period. But how can something be infallible unless it is inspired in the same manner Scripture is inspired?

You've assigned a great deal of import to when the canon was closed, yet that has nothing to do with the post I wrote. You need to try harder to address the core considerations I raised, or at least mention that you're going to raise generally off-topic objections.

How do you know what books belong in the Bible?

That question has been addressed in various ways in the series before. You seem to habitually ask questions or raise issues we've already addressed elsewhere.

We know what belongs in the Scriptures because the Holy Spirit guides us to a knowledge of his written Scriptures. We can, as Jason Engwer does in the link John Bugay provided, look at the means by which this process was carried out in the early church, a valuable enterprise in its own right, but it is still the work of the Spirit who used (and uses) these means to bring about knowledge of the canon to the Church.

James Swan said...

We know what belongs in the Scriptures because the Holy Spirit guides us to a knowledge of his written Scriptures. We can, as Jason Engwer does in the link John Bugay provided, look at the means by which this process was carried out in the early church, a valuable enterprise in its own right, but it is still the work of the Spirit who used (and uses) these means to bring about knowledge of the canon to the Church.

While Romanists balk at comments like this, again they're stuck with no explanation for the Old Testament based on their own paradigms.

In the New Testament, Jesus clearly held his hearers responsible for what was in the Old Testament (see Mt 22:31), without pointing to an infallible magisterium or infallible oral tradition.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

James Swan writes:

While Romanists balk at comments like this, again they're stuck with no explanation for the Old Testament based on their own paradigms.

I'd also add that they are ultimately stuck with a similar appeal. To just say that the Magisterium brings us the canon only pushes back the larger epistemological issue. How does the Catholic know that the Magisterium is correct in identifying the canon? It's either the Holy Spirit or another means (Scripture, Tradition, history, reason, logic, etc.), the former being the same reply Protestants give (exempting it from the initial criticism) and the latter suffering either from vicious circularity (in the case of appeals to Magisterium arbitrated Scripture and Tradition) or the same regress of epistemological certainty (How do you know history, reason logic, etc. identifies the Magisterium as the arbiter of the canon?).

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"For Scripture there are two categories: inspired and uninspired. By placing itself in the latter camp, the Magisterium has denied itself access to binding, infallible authority."

Looks to me like the Magisterium shoots itself in the mouth.

Rhology said...

Jae,

How do you know what infallible teachings the Magisterium has produced?

Without appealing to an outside source of authority (ie, non-Magisterial sources)) and thus violating the principle of the infallible church?

This question is possibly THE most inane and dead-end question an RC could ask a Sola Scripturist.

dtking said...

Hmmmm, this is utterly false statement that doesn't even agree with historical facts. Just ask a question to our Eastern Othodox brothers who split from the Catholic Church in 1100 A.D....400 years before even Martin Luther was born and they have the same number of Books as the Catholics. The canon was closed and practiced for thousands of years until reformation era.

It is a fact that Luther and his pals with their own brand of authority subtracted some Books from the Holy Writ. I read it somewhere (!) warning people about removing some parts of the Holy Writ.


I guess this expresses the of the Roman apologetic today, and it illustrates why such a bold but uninformed assertion should be as promptly ignored. Both Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox scholars disagree with this stupid statement.

I will follow up with proof...

dtking said...

cont.

Demetrios J. Constantelos: The canonicity of the Deuterocanonical books is still a disputed topic in Orthodox biblical theology. See his article “Eastern Orthodoxy and the Bible” in Bruce M. Metzger and Michael D. Coogan, eds., The Oxford Companion to the Bible (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), p. 175.

John Meyendorff: 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 the 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 the Apostolic Canon 85, which admits some books of the “longer” canon, including even 3 Maccabees, but omits 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. John Meyendorff, Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes, 2nd rev. ed. (New York: Fordham University Press, 1983), p. 7.

dtking said...

cont.

Daniel J. Harrington, S.J.: There are many lists of canonical Old Testament books from various church fathers and councils. The lists from the Eastern churches tend to support a restricted canon very much like that of the Hebrew tradition. See his chapter “The Old Testament Apocrypha in the Early Church and Today” in Lee Martin McDonald and James A. Sanders, eds., The Canon Debate (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 2002), p. 199.

Daniel J. Harrington, S.J.: Further Christian evidence for the twenty-two book canon appears in the writings of Origen, Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory Nazianzus, and Epiphanius. While several of these writers recommended the reading of the apocrypha, their Old Testament lists reflect the tradition, first glimpsed in Josephus, that the number of biblical books equals the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet. See his chapter “The Old Testament Apocrypha in the Early Church and Today” in Lee Martin McDonald and James A. Sanders, eds., The Canon Debate (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 2002), p. 199.

dtking said...

cont.

J. N. D. Kelly: Jerome’s conversion to ‘the Hebrew verity’ [i.e. in contrast to the LXX] carried with it an important corollary—his acceptance also of the Hebrew canon, or list of books properly belonging to the Old Testament. Since the early Church had read its Old Testament in Greek, it had taken over without question the so-called Alexandrian canon used in the Greek-speaking Jewish communities outside Palestine. This had included those books (Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Judith, etc.) which are variously described as deutero-canonical or as the Apocrypha. Around the end of the first century, however, official Judaism had formally excluded these, limiting the canon to the books which figure in English Bibles as the Old Testament proper. Since Origen’s time it had been recognised that there was a distinction between the Jewish canon and the list acknowledged by Christians, but most writers preferred to place the popular and widely used deutero-canonical books in a special category (e.g. calling them ‘ecclesiastical’) rather than to discard them. Jerome now takes a much firmer line. After enumerating the ‘twenty-two’ (or perhaps twenty-four) books recognised by the Jews, he decrees that any books outside this list must be reckoned ‘apocryphal’: ‘They are not in the canon.’ Elsewhere, while admitting that the Church reads books like Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus which are strictly uncanonical, he insists on their being used solely ‘for edifying the people, not for the corroboration of ecclesiastical’. This was the attitude which, with temporary concessions for tactical or other reasons, he was to maintain for the rest of his life—in theory at any rate, for in practice he continued to cite them as if they were Scripture. Again what chiefly moved him was the embarrassment he felt at having to argue with Jews on the basis of books which they rejected or even (e.g. the stories of Susanna, or of Bel and the Dragon) found frankly ridiculous. J. N. D. Kelly, Jerome: His Life, Writings, and Controversies (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 2000), pp. 160-161.

dtking said...

cont.

Gregory the Great: With reference to which particular we are not acting irregularly, if from the books, though not Canonical, yet brought out for the edification of the Church, we bring forward testimony. Thus Eleazar in the battle smote and brought down an elephant, but fell under the very beast he killed (1 Macc. 6:46). See Library of the Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church, Gregory the Great, Morals on the Book of Job, vol. II, Parts III and IV, Book XIX.34 (Oxford: Parker, 1845), p. 424.

dtking said...

cont.

Leonard Foley: It may be a surprise to some to know that the “canon,” or official list of books of the Bible, was not explicitly defined by the Church until the 16th century though there was a clear listing as early as the fourth century. Leonard Foley, O.F.M., Believing in Jesus: A Popular Overview of the Catholic Faith, rev. ed. (St. Anthony Messenger Press, 1985), p. 21.

George Tavard: The question of the “deutero-canonical” books will not be settled before the sixteenth century. As late as the second half of the thirteenth, St Bonaventure used as canonical the third book of Esdras and the prayer of Manasses, whereas St Albert the Great and St Thomas doubted their canonical value. George H. Tavard, Holy Writ or Holy Church: The Crisis of the Protestant Reformation (London: Burns & Oates, 1959), pp. 16-17.

dtking said...

cont.

As so often here, Jae speaks with a great deal of zeal for Romanism, but his comments often reflect the reality that he is very uninformed.

dtking said...

Above, I meant to say...

I guess this expresses the *state* of the Roman apologetic today, and it illustrates why such a bold but uninformed assertion should be promptly ignored. Both Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox scholars disagree with this stupid statement made about the canon above.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Both Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox scholars disagree with this stupid statement made about the canon above."

Thanks Pastor King for your distinction. You're focusing on the statement, not the person. All sorts of people can make stupid statements. Smart people, average people, stupid people. So just because a statement is stupid, doesn't necessarily mean that the person who made the statement is stupid.

BTW, have you ever noticed that some people strongly self-identify with either the statements they make or the positions they hold? So that if you comment about their position or statement in a way that doesn't affirm their perspective, they take it as a personal affront and insult?

James Swan said...

Hey Jae,

It's not to late to abandon Romanism. We've given you a lot to chew on.

Take your time, and work through the comments.

Jae said...

@ James said, "So, exactly where does the Bible state this Jewish Oral tradition was infallible?"

Is it pretty obvious to you, nowhere in Scripture do we see each Jew individually out to determine whether this or that book was inspired. Rather, they were presented with books and writings from (manifest) human authorities like Moses, Patriarchs Prophets etc and they accepted what their superiors said. When it came time for worship, they would hear whatever Books/Scrolls were read as Scripture in the Temple or Synagogue, not stopping to check for themselves if the book was inspired or not. The fact is, this question doesn’t help the Sola Scriptura case at all, since Sola Scriptura cannot answer this very question at all.

Scripture is a Tradition by itself...a recorded Tradition.Figure out how this recorded tradition became "Inspired" thus infallibly put together and by whom again? by James White and his Ecumenical Council?


By your statement, do you then believe the Jewish Oral Tradition doesn't have sort of authority manifested by Moses, Patriarchs, prophets and other leaders to make an infallible collection? thus basing your salvation on fallible collection OR as James White had said it's just a collection of books of "high probability".


@ James said, "It's not to late to abandon Romanism."

It is wise for me to err with the Apostolic church that could be traced all the way back to the early christians who were followers of the original 12 Apostles themselves than err with mere men 1,570 years later. Thanks though for asking but do you consider my offer too?

@Dtking said, "Both Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox scholars disagree with this stupid statement."

This is really a STUPID remark not worthy of a response that belongs to the book of lies. All these people you're citing doesn't really matter you could quote all the people to all I care...the buck already had made a stop, enough said.

@Matthew S. wrote, "The Council of Trent definitively settled the matter of the Old Testament Canon."

Thanks for the reply, bro...but my point is the church ACTING to preserve orthodoxy and truth always through her history when in a point in time there arises a false claim like that of Arius who denied the Deity of Jesus Christ in 400 A.D. the Church at the Ecumenical Council of Nicea definitively proclaimed and declared the TRUE NATURE of Jesus Christ so the flock wouldn't be led astray , however, the belief has been practiced long way back prior the false claim by Arius.

Same thing happened at 1600 A.D. when Martin Luther was tampering with the Canon of Scripture the church at the Council of Trent in order to protect again the flock from grave error declared and proclaimed definitively the Canon of the Scripture which is believed and practiced thousands of years prior to the reformation. It is an historical fact!

@Rhology said, "How do you know what infallible teachings the Magisterium has produced?"

Really is this even a common sense question? or are you just playing comical inquiry?

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Jae writes:

This is really a STUPID remark not worthy of a response that belongs to the book of lies. All these people you're citing doesn't really matter you could quote all the people to all I care...the buck already had made a stop, enough said.

This kind of rhetoric directed toward David King is unacceptable, even more so since you haven't explained why the scholarship he cited is unacceptable. King has a substantial amount of learning under his belt, so his arguments deserve a fair hearing.

Please at least explain why we should except your word over these scholars. If you won't, then I suggest you move on to another thread; your comments will not be welcome here.

Jae said...

@Matthew, "How does the Catholic know that the Magisterium is correct in identifying the canon?"

Well you are exactly correct, it is the Spirit of God that guides as ALLLL are claiming it, however, Jesus Christ Himself gave His very own authority and speak for Him in his absence NOT to all believrs but only to His apostles.

Read the entire chapter of Matthew 10: 1-19 ff - Jesus Sends Out the Twelve - They were inspired preachers and teachers -- they had the "Spirit of the Father" speaking through them (Apostles). That is not true of all believers. If there is an "OFFICE" of bishops, priests and deacons IT LOGICALLY FOLLOWS that the office does not die when the person occupying it died, it must continue to exist beyond the death of the current occupant then to the next person entrusted. Think of it as the "Office" of the U.S. President. So, therefore if it's an OFFICE it must be traced back from the very beginning all the way down to Mr. George Washington.

Ps. it is Mr. DTKing who started the first blood not me. So how about admonishing the former too?


Peace to you.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Jae writes:

Ps. it is Mr. DTKing who started the first blood not me. So how about admonishing the former too?

Thanks for reminding me why I have decided to close comments a great deal more than before. I'm asking you to respect someone who has not only done a good deal of research into these issues, but is also an ordained pastor. Just as you would expect me to speak to a priest with a greater level of respect than a lay person, I expect you to treat the honored members of the Protestant community in the same manner.

So if you want to charge me with inconsistency, at least obtain the same level of theological education and historical knowledge so as to merit the same level of respect he does.

Now, let's try this again. Please explain why we should accept your words over the scholars Pastor King quoted. Indeed, this really has nothing to do with who "started" anything, since I also quoted Catholic scholars who disagree with your position. Try to deal with the substance instead of deflecting onto (false) charges of inconsistency.

dtking said...

This is really a STUPID remark not worthy of a response that belongs to the book of lies. All these people you're citing doesn't really matter you could quote all the people to all I care...the buck already had made a stop, enough said.

Yes, When no argument can be offered, ipse dixit from a magisterium of one will do to declare victory, a classic case of vox et praeterea nihil.

Jae said...

@ Matthew , "is also an ordained pastor. Just as you would expect me to speak to a priest with a greater level of respect than a lay person, I expect you to treat the honored members of the Protestant community in the same manner."

I totally agree with you and not right for me to launch counterattack eventhough PASTOR King was unbecoming of the pastoral office he holds. Anyways...not in line with Our Lord's wishes.

It's totally irrelevant (shouting on roof tops) about one's intellectual, academic prowess in order to be respected as a person because catholic scholars are of a very high caliber respected by all academia.

I'm not selling my stuff to you , it's not my job. The point of the matter is one could quote practically anybody like "highly regarded scholars or even catholic saints" regarding certain disagreements in doctrines with the Teaching authority (Magisterium)of the church but once the Church has spoken definitively, it is a DONE DEAL. That is my point.

Good example of the great Thomas Aquinas's concept against the doctrine of Immaculate Conception of Mary.

Anyways, since we are discussing about the "canonicity" of Scripture most specially the validity of the so called deuterocanonical books. In first century Jerusalem there were at least four OT Canons in use by different Jewish Groups. There was the Canon of the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Ethiopian Jews and the Diaspora/Essene Jews. Jesus and the disciples used the Septuagint which was the Canon of the Diaspora/Essenes which was also the "Bible" of the Apostles which included the deuterocanonical books. To make the story short and the shortage of this space please follow these links if you care to read about the Fathers and the Deuterocanonicals true story:

http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/DEUTEROS.htm

http://catholic-legate.com/Apologetics/Scripture/Articles/AreDCBooksPartOfTheBible.aspx

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

http://catholic-legate.com/Apologetics/Scripture/Articles/CanonOfTheOldTestament.aspx

About The Church Always Had Monarchical Bishops:

http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/a80.htm

I hope it's more than enough.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Jae: "The point of the matter is one could quote practically anybody like "highly regarded scholars or even catholic saints" regarding certain disagreements in doctrines with the Teaching authority (Magisterium)of the church but once the Church has spoken definitively, it is a DONE DEAL. That is my point."

"Once the Church has spoken definitively, it is a DONE DEAL."

Alrighty then! Oookay!

Then the following conference sounds like it's for you: Gallileo Was Wrong: The Church Was Right, the First Annual Catholic Conference on Geocentrism.

"Galileo Was Wrong is a detailed and comprehensive treatment of the scientific evidence supporting Geocentrism, the academic belief that the Earth is immobile in the center of the universe. Garnering scientific information from physics, astrophysics, astronomy and other sciences, Galileo Was Wrong shows that the debate between Galileo and the Catholic Church was much more than a difference of opinion about the interpretation of Scripture.

Scientific evidence available to us within the last 100 years that was not available during Galileo's confrontation shows that the Church's position on the immobility of the Earth is not only scientifically supportable, but it is the most stable model of the universe and the one which best answers all the evidence we see in the cosmos."

Let's recall what Jae said again: "The point of the matter is one could quote practically anybody like "highly regarded scholars or even catholic saints" regarding certain disagreements in doctrines with the Teaching authority (Magisterium)of the church but once the Church has spoken definitively, it is a DONE DEAL. That is my point."

The Teaching Authority (Magisterium) of the Church spoke definitively against Galileo and his rebuttal of the Church's dogmatic affirmation of geocentrism.

dtking said...

No surprise with respect to the URLs set forth, but consider for example the first web site http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/DEUTEROS.htm , some of the things asserted and alleged there.

1) The claim about the alleged council of Jamnia or Javneh by the Jews meeting in A.D. 90 to "determine" the canon has been repudiated by every scholar. The Jews did not meet to determine the canon.

2)The apologist makes a pitch for the books of Maccabees suggesting and/or implying they were always received as part of the canon, yet men like Pope Gregory I rejected them, and one never hears them complain about this Pope "removing" them from the canon.

3) The claim that Hippo & Carthage approved the same canonical list as Trent is wrong. Hippo (393) and Carthage (397) received the Septuagint version of 1 Esdras as canonical Scripture, which Innocent I approved. However, the Vulgate version of the canon that Trent approved was the first Esdras that Jerome designated for the OT Book of Ezra, not the 1 Esdras of the Septuagint that Hippo and Carthage ( along with Innocent I) received as canonical. Thus Trent rejected as canonical the version of 1 Esdras that Hippo & Carthage accepted as canonical. Trent rejected the apocryphal Septuagint version of 1 Esdras (as received by Hippo and Carthage) as canonical and called it 3 Esdras.

4) The claim about the Council of Rome (382) approving a canon of Scripture has been rejected as well by Roman scholars who think now that it was a private work put together in northern Italy or southern France at the beginning of the 6th cent.

5) The observations of Kelly are carefully presented so that all that he said about the disputed books is omitted, etc.

The adherents of Rome have form years been misled by Roman apologetics sites like this one. I could go one, but many of the claims of this site have been disproved.

In short, the adherents of Rome are misled by such sites, and are made to depend on information that has either been rejected and/or disproved.

dtking said...

Once the Church has spoken definitively, it is a DONE DEAL

That would be only since Trent with respect to the claim for the canon. And yes, it is a done deal for the adherents of Rome who accept the claims of Trent uncritically (i.e., without research). But history and research has proven that this claim about the church having always received the apocrypha as part of the canon of Holy Scripture is the kind of stuff from which fantasy is created.

dtking said...

I totally agree with you and not right for me to launch counterattack eventhough PASTOR King was unbecoming of the pastoral office he holds.

Yes, the judgment of "unbecoming of the pastoral office" would mean anything that aggressively disproves the claims of Rome. I would argue that answering the claims of the Roman communion is becoming of the pastoral office, so I am not surprised that this angers Roman wanna-be apologists when their claims are proven to be either nonsense, stupid, or simply accepted uncritically based upon what they are spoon-fed as "truth" from other Roman apologists.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Jae writes:

I'm not selling my stuff to you , it's not my job. The point of the matter is one could quote practically anybody like "highly regarded scholars or even catholic saints" regarding certain disagreements in doctrines with the Teaching authority (Magisterium)of the church but once the Church has spoken definitively, it is a DONE DEAL. That is my point.

Of course we all agree that within the Roman Catholic denomination the infallible word of the Magisterium is binding and authoritative. The question is who has rightly interpreted the Magisterium's teachings. As a Protestant, I am currently reduced to choosing between the various and competing interpretations of that infallible authority within Catholicism. And if I am forced to choose, I think the scholarship cited in this thread carries more interpretive weight than anything an unqualified lay-Catholic has to offer; I think it more likely Catholic scholars have correctly interpreted the Magisterium on this point. Why would I be wrong, especially since these Catholic scholars agree with Eastern Orthodox and Protestant scholars on this point?

Anyways, since we are discussing about the "canonicity" of Scripture most specially the validity of the so called deuterocanonical books.

We're only "discussing" (a generous characterization at this stage) this issue because you initially brought it up. As I've explained, it is irrelevant to the point I was making in my initial post.

natamllc said...

JAE,

what foolish remarks are these that you publish hereon?

"Well you are exactly correct, it is the Spirit of God that guides as ALLLL are claiming it, however, Jesus Christ Himself gave His very own authority and speak for Him in his absence NOT to all believrs but only to His apostles...."

"...That is not true of all believers. If there is an "OFFICE" of bishops, priests and deacons IT LOGICALLY FOLLOWS that the office does not die when the person occupying it died, it must continue to exist beyond the death of the current occupant then to the next person entrusted."


Well, consider your errors there in light of these verses:

Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Heb 8:11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
Heb 8:12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more."
Heb 8:13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Luk 10:9 Heal the sick in it and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.'

1Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
1Pe 2:10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.


JAE, your problem is you simply cannot align your fleshly wisdom up with the Spirit of Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding residing within the Royal Priesthood.

Why?

You do not have the Spirit of Grace and Truth, that's why.

Your anachronism is so noted, though.

And as James Swan offered you already, so it is I do now, too: "it ain't to late for you, JAE. All you need do is turn around and fall on your proverbial face and Worship the Stone of Stumbling and Rock of Offense! He can save you from your sins!"

Turretinfan said...

In response to this: "Once the Church has spoken definitively, it is a DONE DEAL"

David King replied: "That would be only since Trent with respect to the claim for the canon. And yes, it is a done deal ..."

May I dare for once to disagree with my good friend Pastor King?

You might think it was done. And for hundreds of years, people did think that it was done. Trent didn't just list the books, it even identified an edition (which wasn't yet in existence) as being the authentic edition:

"Moreover, the same sacred and holy Synod,--considering that no small utility may accrue to the Church of God, if it be made known which out of all the Latin editions, now in circulation, of the sacred books, is to be held as authentic,--ordains and declares, that the said old and vulgate edition, which, by the lengthened usage of so many years, has been approved of in the Church, be, in public lectures, disputations, sermons and expositions, held as authentic; and that no one is to dare, or presume to reject it under any pretext whatever. "

But now there is a Nova Vulgata, and we have Gary Michuta saying that the canonical status of 3 Esdras is open.

Even the issue of the canon, you see, is subject to the death of a thousand qualifications.

-TurretinFan

Dozie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dtking said...

At the basic level, one needs to be reminded that those who occupy positions of honor should be held to greater standards; not less. Further, respect is earned and not grabbed.

Agreed, I don't know how your pope sleeps at night after protecting all those pedophile priests. He has not earned the respect of the world on account of this, and still he wants to "grab" power over all of Christendom. I share your sentiments.

steelikat said...

James,

I agree, the Holy Spirit provided for the OT church as well. It's as simple as that.

Matthew,

While I suppose it's not literally true, in the strictest sense, that the Holy Spirit has made the NT canon known to "each and every" Christian, it is manifestly true that He has made that canon infallibly known to His Church. To doubt it not only manifests a lack of faith in the Holy Spirit it is to enter a spiral of doubt that can only end in atheism and despair.

It's simple. That doesn't mean it isn't profound.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Dozie, after that last post, you are not welcome to post in this thread.

dtking said...

Even the issue of the canon, you see, is subject to the death of a thousand qualifications.

TF, amazing - I had paid no attention to that magisterium of one.