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Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Yeshua1, Jul 31, 2012.
As their Apologists seem to support?
Yes. Would you like me to go into lengthy detail. Give me a day to pull in all my papers and I will be glad to put forth why I think it is so.
How about sticking to the Bible for the evidence/support and NOT RCC sources though?
Actually, since the bible wasn't a book until long after the book of revelation was written I planned on using actual historical referrences. For instance the Codex in which our format from books come from was developed long after scripture. Therefore scripture has nothing to say on the canon of the bible other than scripture (which ever books the author of the Autograph meant) are inspired. The autographs didn't come with a table of Contents. The autographs, do you know what that means? were written on scrolls. and people collected scrolls and not everyone had a complete set until 250-300 AD - This information comes directly from Norman Geisler. I was also going to put forth prominant evangelist scholars like Geisler and Metzger. So I was going to use actual historical evidence for the development of the Canon.
A point which should be obvious, but which seems to be lost on many modern day advocates of 'Sola Scriptura'.
the originals were the ONLY inspired revelation from god to man...
They were inspired and were to God a canon before the RCC even officially existed!
The full canon of scripture was closed and completed by God after reveltion was written... ALL but a handful 'disputed books" were seen as inpired and being passed away in copies form well before the RCC "canoniozed" the bible!
Even your own words prove my point. If there were disputed books the matter wasn't settled. You need to read more about the canonization of scripture.
That's true as far as it goes, and depending on when you suppose the RCC began to 'officially exist'. My point was none of the books actually contained an authoritative divinely inspired table of contents listing the exact books of the canon. Your comment that 'all but a handful of disputed books were seen as inspired' demonstrates that point--if there was a divinely ordained table of contents, there would be no dispute. All of the canonical books, whether disputed or not, were written by an inspired member of the Church (an apostle or close coworker) to established congregations of the Church and were ultimately agreed on as canonical by the Church at large (even the disputed books, more or less) in the mid 4th to early 5th century.
But you are correct--the CORE of the Canon (which was the Four Gospels, Acts, Paul's letters and 1 John and 1 Peter) was recognized much earlier than that.
God had the entire canon in effect after Revealtion penned down, and the ealy Churches recognized the authority of the core even during the Apsotolic era, as letters were circulated from john/paul etc as inspired texts!
I agree with this. However, it did take a bit longer to agree on the exact boundaries of the wider NT canon (ie the 'disputed books') as you have already mentioned. The Church, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, did however come to such a consensus in the mid-4th/early-5th centuries, and our Bibles since then have that 27 book NT because of that consensus.
The books "agreed upon" though were already in use for doctrines/instruction/practices even during the Apstolic era, the Council merely formally ratified what was already being in use!
The RCC did NOT produce the Canon. nor the bible, the Lord established that during Apsotolic era already!
It merely ratified what was already seen as inspired pretty much before that time!
The canon was closed when Deut. was written. Everything following is commentary.
I don't disagree with this. However, keep in mind that at the CHURCH was started about 20 years before any NT writing was composed, and that the new congregations of the Church relied on the Apostle's oral teaching even for a long time afterward, because it took several more decades for the other canonical books to be written and for what was written to be circulated around to the various local congregations.
Nonetheless, by the mid-60s some of the NT writings were already considered to be Scripture--(1) Peter refers to Paul's letters as Scripture (2 Peter 3:15-16); and (2) Paul considers a quote of Jesus found in both Luke and Matthew's Gospels to be Scripture (1 Tim 5:18b)
It depends on what you mean by "the RCC" and by "produce". I'm NOT a Roman Catholic, and I thus think it it's anachronistic to refer to the early visible Church as such (except perhaps to the local congregation at Rome) so I basically agree with the gist of what you saying. God is certainly the one who inspired the NT writers, so in a sense HE is the primary 'producer' of the canon.
Nonetheless, God used His Apostles to write Scripture, and it was the Church to whom these writings were given that received it as such and who recognized the Divine Authority behind them and who finally 'fixed' the boundaries (ie agreeing on the 'disputed books') of the Canon.
But before this ratification took place there was not a universal agreement on the exact boundaries of the Canon. After this ratification, we've had (near) universal agreement on the boundaries of the NT canon, and our Bibles' 'Table of Contents' testifies to that fact.
Almost all that you have stated I agree with except this last statement. I believe there was universal agreement to the exact boundaries of the whole Biblical canon. Tertullian explicitly states there was agreement in so much they called "the scriptures" the "whole volume" which was "received from the beginning." He claimed that "we" cannot ADD or SUBTRACT to that "whole volume" and only the heretics add and subtract to it.
My position is that the apostolic churches under the last living apostle had received the whole volume. Marcion and other heretics perverted this volume by both adding and subtracting from it and then in addition to them, all of the mainline apostolic churches ultimately apostatized into the Roman Catholic heresy and in that council they too ADDED to the volume of scripture and perverted it.
Mere silence by Tertullian concerning two or three books does not mean he did not recognize them as they were recognized previous to him by other writers. Neither did Tertullian quote the deutercanoncial books as scripture but rather made reference to their statements as we do the Ante-Nicene Fathers or as Protestants do the writings of the Reformers.
Think the main point in all of this is that the RCC did NOT gave us the Bible, merely 'ratified' what had been commonly accepted as being from God!
You are going to have to provide some specific quotes and contexts for these alleged 'explicit statements' of Tertullian, as the historical evidence is decidedly AGAINST your position that there was an EARLY "universal agreement to the exact boundaries of the whole Biblical canon". You're assuming that this "whole volume" to which Tertullian apparently refers must be the exact same 27 book NT canon we have today, but you will need to positively demonstrate this. Why? Because the first list that exactly matches our 27 book NT (no less, no more) is not found until AD 367 in the Paschal Letter of Athanasius--and this includes within orthodox circles. Before then any listing of, or commenting on, NT writings includes LESS or MORE than the 27 books we have now. The closest we get is when Eusebius (in THE CHURCH HISTORY), at the beginning of the 4th century, classifies the books into different categories, with all 27 included in either the undisputed or disputed categories (there are also two additional categories of writings but neither includes writings that were ultimately included in the canon with the exception that Revelation was believed by some to be spurious,a and by others to be in the first category).
So unless one can positively identify Tertullian's 'whole volume' with our exact 27 NT canon, one cannot assume this is what he had in mind without resorting to anachronism and circular reasoning. It's possible he accepted only the 27 books we have, but it's also possible he accepted a few less or a few more. Without positive evidence of that exact 27 book standard (and only that 27 book standard) existing in that time period, one can't prove what the contents of Tertullian's 'whole volume' consisted of, let alone prove there was an early universal consensus regarding the exact boundaries of the canon.
Jey point is that Rome did NOT give us the canon of the Bible, they merely ratified what was commonly held to be sacred texts from God!
Canon wasn't settled until much after the last book was written.
This is an important quote, from a Protestant source, which accurately describes the historical situation in which the acceptance of the Canon took place.
Folks seem to subconciously forget that there was no fax machines, printing presses, express mail back then, and that therefore the circulation of the different writings varied in time and space. Some were more frequently copied and more widely circulated at an earlier date (ie Paul's epistles), while some writings had a more limited area of circulation earlier on (the general epistles). This difference contributed to the early lack of consensus for the 'disputed writings', for at the same time these began to circulate out of the areas in which they were initially received, other spurious writings (claiming apostolic authorship but which promoted heresy) also began to be circulating. Thus local congregations, previously unfamiliar with the 'disputed (but ultimately canonical) writings, were naturally hesitant in accepting these since there were many other writings that were by this time falsely claiming apostolic authorship (Gospel of Thomas, et al) but were patient of gnosticism.