24 October, 2009

Continuing discussion with "Bourn Again" about the veracity of Scriptures

(Cristoiglesia) By what authority does any Protestant have to question the authority given by Jesus to His Church?

(Bourn Again) If you disagree with the Bible then it is our job to step in. Jesus never gave authority to the Roman Catholic Church. The Apostles had authority in the sense that they:
1. Had the Holy Spirit, but so do all true Christians
2. They were preaching the Gospel, giving them the power to weigh who was following it.

(Cristoiglesia) Really, so the professed heretics have a “job” to decide the meaning of Scripture and to step in when they disagree with the God given authority of the Church in interpreting Scripture. Jesus gave all authority to the Church here:

Matthew 16:18 (King James Version)
18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

The Bible explicitly says it is not for private interpretation outside the Church that produced it here:

2 Peter 1:20-21 (King James Version)
20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

(Bourn Again) To say the Church is infalliable in a whole is the same as saying the President or Dictators are infalliable. Are they not also given power by God? Right, right, "the church will never fall to the gates of hell". When Jesus said this He wasn't refering to the what we see physically as a Church, but to all who follow him. The catholic church, not the Catholic church. It also does not make it infalliable, but it does mean that the flame of Christian salvation will never extinguish. You seem to think that it can't be diminished. Satan can not blow out this candel, but he can make it smaller (by which I mean, make mistakes). The body of Christ can not be killed, but it can be wounded!

(Cristoiglesia) To compare the authority from Christ to His Church to secular authority is ridiculous. Did Jesus give the following authority to secular authorities like He did His Church?

Matthew 16:19-22 (King James Version)
19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Jesus only founded one Church and that Church biblically, historically and patristically is proven to be the Catholic Church which is undeniably the enduring Church Jesus spoke of in Scriptures. There is no other as you labor to suggest. If the Church has the authority to bind or to loose on earth and heaven as Jesus said, then it would logically follow that the Church is infallible when acting within that authority. The Church can be wounded by heresy as in the Protestant rebellion against the Church but the Church remains everything Jesus promised it would be. It should not be judged by those who willingly separate from the Church because they can no longer endure sound doctrine but by those who are the faithful and the obedient who reject the worldly and the doctrines of men. Satan has no power or authority over Christ’s Church. Certainly the 30,000+ schisms among the Protestants reveal the fact that there is no unity and that the source of this disunity is the author of confusion and the author of lies Satan himself who teaches another authority on earth for Christians besides Christ’s Church. He uses God’s written Word to divide the Church by calling it the authority instead of the Church. He deceives humanity by appealing to their pride that they can found a church superior and with greater veracity than what Jesus founded. They are further deceived in believing that they individually can come to separate and differing interpretations of Scripture according to their desires and that these interpretations are true when they conflict with the teaching authority of Christ’s only Church the Catholic Church. This is a great deception and false teaching that seduces those desiring God but following another spirit into destruction.

Matthew 7:21-23 (King James Version)
21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

(Bourn Again) In Luke 24:44 Jesus clearly states that the OT was broken into the Law, the prophets, and the psalms. Where do the deutercanonicals fall under this? They are either either weren't in the Septuigint, or they were ignored.

(Cristoiglesia) Jesus is speaking of the prophetic statements about His coming. He was speaking of the Old Testament which was the Septuagint from which He quoted and from which contains the Deuterocanonicals. He did not exclude any of the books of the Old Testament by this statement as you presume.

(Bourn Again) Josephus (a non-Christian, I know, but still a great historian that confirms that speaks of Jesus) said in Contra Apion 1:7-8 that there were 22 books in the Jewish Testament (currently there are 24, but He most likely considered either Ruth a part of Judges and Lamentations a part of Jeremiah or Esther and Ecclesiastes were not included in the canon), which according to the Jewish numbering (combining books and such) is the same as the 39 in the Protestant Bible. This excludes the Deutercanonicals as part of the Septuigiant.

(Cristoiglesia) There was no Jewish Canon until the Council of Jamnia (90 AD) when the Pharisaical Canon was adopted by the Jews. This Canon was not the same Canon chosen by the Christians at the African Synods which was the Canon of the Septuagint used continuously by the Catholic Church from Pentecost. Josephus was either referring to the canon in use by the Pharisees which is most likely or the Canon of the Sadducees. Obviously He was not referring to the canon of the Essenes/ Diaspora or the Ethiopian Jews. You seem to think that the Jews in Jesus’ time had only one canon of Scriptures and that is a false assumption. It was not unified until Jamnia in 90 AD with the adoption of the canon of the Pharisees. This is the same canon adopted by the Protestants 1500+ years afterwards. To the Christian Church it does not matter which Canon the Jews adopted as it was not binding on Christ’s Church.

(Cristoiglesia) Of course the Canon was not decided until the completion of the three African Synods of Hippo and Carthage.

(Bourn Again) My main point here is that he was denying their authority. Not only this, but he sets them aside from the Septuagint.

(Cristoiglesia) I still do not see your point since there was no binding authority.

(Cristoiglesia) This is nonsense. The Septuagint always contained the Deuterocanonicals since before the Church was founded. The Canon of the Septuagint was the Canon of the Diaspora and the Essene Jews in its entirety including the deuterocanonical books. The Christian Bible was canonized in the late fourth century and it contained the same books we have today including the Deuterocanonicals."

(Bourn Again) Prove it. I have seen numerous sources that would argue against you.

(Cristoiglesia) I am sure that you can but I am also sure that their scholarship would be flawed by prejudice. There is no scholarly source that would deny the presence of the Deuterocanonicals in the Septuagint whether Protestant or Catholic. The Deuterocanonical books were found among the scrolls of Qumran supporting the fact that they were among the Canon of the Essenes.

(Bourn Again) Besides, if it was already there when the Bible was canonized, why didn't they do it the first time? It was there, but they ignored it. If it's God's Word, when they should have accepted it with open arms, seeing as how they had the chance. You said you became a Catholic because they didn't change? This is an obvious change. They rejected the Apocrypha (I decided I will no longer call it the Deutercanonicals because they are not canoncial). I challenge you to find a Septuagint translation or source that claims that the septuagint included the apocrypha before the fourth century.

(Cristoiglesia) It was done the first time at the African Synods. It was always accepted as Canon. No part of the Septuagint was excluded as Canon. There was NEVER a rejection of any books of the Septuagint by the Church. The Septuagint contained the Deuterocanonicals at least in the year 150 BC but there is no reason to believe that they did not exist 150 years before this in the Septuagint. There is no record of them not being a part of the Septuagint.

(Cristoiglesia) You need to show me the doctrines by which you think the Deuterocanonical books disagree and why.

(Bourn Again) This was a little confusing. I thought I gave you that. And I don't think the Apocrypha disagrees with it, but I think that the doctrins were based on the Apocrypha and thereby disagree with scripture.

(Cristoiglesia) No, you made empty allegations without supporting your eisegesis.

(Cristoiglesia) The Bible being a teaching tool is not an insult but testimony to its veracity.

(Bourn Again) Don't blaspheme and lower the value of the Word of God. The word of God is not a tool, but is alive and active. If it was just a teaching tool, why was it canonized? The Bible is the infalliable inspired word of God, not just a simple teaching tool on the same level or a textbook.

(Cristoiglesia) Yes, it is a part of Sacred Tradition.

(Cristoiglesia) Yes, the Septuagint was the accepted Canon by the first Christians and certainly by the New Testament authors and Jesus.

(Bourn Again)Yes, but that did not have the Apocrypha in it, as we see in Luke 24:44.

(Cristoiglesia) Luke 24:44 does not say anything about the Deuterocanonicals.

(Bourn Again)"Jesus' golden rule "do unto others" is the converse of Tobit 4:15 - what you hate, do not do to others. " Wow. I said it to. I must be a prophet. There's a difference in teaching the same thing and making a prophesy. Most of your so called prophesies are similar teachings. I'm not saying it's 100% off, but it isn't 100% on meaning it is not God's word.

(Cristoiglesia) Well if close similarity between Scriptures excludes them as canonical then there is a lot more to exclude besides the Deuterocanonicals.

Indeed, the author of Tobit goes out of his way to make clear that his hero is fictional.

(Bourn Again) Where? And if it's a fictional story, should it be considered inspired, esspecially if it contains inaccurate history? God would not give one an inaccurate history for a story, even if it was fictional. Jesus' stories never make wrong claims of real historical figures.

(Cristoiglesia) So any historical inaccuracy found we must exclude it from the canon? No, that is not a test of inspiration.

(Bourn Again) That's all for now. I hope you can't find a argument against this (i.e. I'm right), but none the less, good luck finding one. God bless!

(Cristoiglesia) Actually, I find it quite humorous when a Protestant argues against the Bible which they believe is their only regula fidei. Thanks for the opportunity to set you straight. God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

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