Another Problem with W-w

At a time when Europeans and their former colonial outposts are reflecting on the nation state, political union, and the shelf-life of post-World War II peace-keeping institutions, the celebration of U.S. independence was another chance to ponder the merits of political autonomy and state sovereignty. But notice the way that some Christians decided to frame the matter:

Those of us who identify as Christians should never fear admitting the truth, even when it means letting go of the myth of a “Christian America.” And those of us who identify as both Christian and social conservative should not fear that admitting this particular truth means abandoning what we believe the “We hold these truths” line to mean. Unlike with the Constitution, the “original intent” of the authors shouldn’t necessarily be our guide. If it really is a truth—and a “self-evident” one—it is only because it was revealed to us by Jesus Christ.

In an age when even many Christians are hostile to religiously informed public philosophy, it’s understandable that social conservatives would turn to the past for examples and look to the founding documents for affirmation. But such an effort is likely to be as unproductive as it is unpersuasive.

If Christians wish to build a polis informed by Christian convictions, if we want the truths we hold to be seen once again as “literally true,” we must look to the future, thick with possibility, rather than to the thin material left over from the religious sentiments of our Founding Fathers.

Really? The best Christians can do is ask once again what kind of believers the founders were or whether the Declaration’s self-evident truths are compatible with special revelation?

Compare this to Noah Millman’s thought experiment. Imagine if the Declaration left out self-evident truths:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. . . .

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Which leads Millman to make this point:

One people is oppressed by another, suffering a long chain of abuses. Eventually, the abuses can no longer be tolerated. They constitute a tyranny, and they oblige the oppressed people to throw off the tyrant’s yoke.

That’s not a new story – nor is it a story that requires a new political theory to justify rebellion. The Dutch Revolt required no such theory. Neither did Tyrone’s Rebellion. Why, then, did America’s founders find it necessary to introduce such a theory into the document justifying our own rebellion against the crown?

It’s hard to believe that this philosophical language was introduced to win the support of the France’s absolute monarchy. The philosophes might have applauded, but Louis XVI would surely have preferred to back a rebellion that cast no particular doubt on the legitimacy of hereditary monarchy to one that did. It is even harder to believe that the language was intended to justify a revolution in the domestic arrangements of the colonies. The Declaration was a document intended to be something that the colonies – from slaveholding South Carolina to loyally-inclined Pennsylvania – could assent to unanimously. An alarmingly revolutionary doctrine would surely be the last thing the Congress would have wished to include.

Was it revolutionary, though, to American ears? Quite likely not. In fact, the most stirring portion of the Declaration, the words that have had profound implications for American and world history, may have been so much boilerplate. Americans from Virginia to Vermont, with long experience with self-government, casually assumed Lockean premises about where government legitimately derived and what was its legitimate purpose. Including these words in the document justifying American independence may not have established an American creed so much as they reiterated the largely unexamined premises that many Americans already assumed.

Whether you agree with Millman or not (and the whole piece is a plausible case for American exceptionalism), you have to admit that his take is much more interesting than Joe Carter’s. The latter feels compelled to squeeze a political statement into a theological mold. Millman simply imagines the political stakes. No religious references. And in so doing, the Declaration takes on even more significance than when Christians try to find America’s eternal meaning (or not).

If U.S. Christians thought about politics politically rather than religiously, they might not look so odd to their neighbors.

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138 thoughts on “Another Problem with W-w

  1. To w-wers credit, sometimes they make interesting observations about federalism:

    Yet this tale of discontent need not be the whole story. It may well be that future federations will more resemble the Holy Roman Empire or the pre-1848 Swiss confederation than the United States of America or Australia. Canada and Spain have already led the way towards a more asymmetrical federalism in which provinces or regions relate to the federal or central government in different ways. The notion that all component units of a federation must be treated the same is itself an abstraction that may be hindering just governance. If one of your children requires braces on her teeth, you wouldn’t think of getting braces for all of your children for the sake of equality of treatment. Similarly, if one state or province aspires to greater autonomy than the others in certain policy areas, granting this in no way undermines just governance and may in fact facilitate it. While formally possessing the same powers as the other provinces as set out in section 92 of Canada’s Constitution Act, 1867, Québec in practice exercises certain powers, for example, over language, that the other provinces are content to leave to Ottawa. While Spain is formally a unitary state, Madrid has devolved powers unevenly to its regions, with Euskadi (the Basque region) and Catalunya retaining more autonomy than others.

    If we abandon the peculiarly modern quest for strict equality of treatment, it should be possible for the EU to function with its member states unevenly integrated into the whole. A two- or three-tier Union would be the result. France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries might be the most tightly integrated federal core of the Union, with no internal border controls restricting the free movement of persons and goods. Other states could remain members of the Union but opt out of some of its integrating features, including the euro zone and the Schengen Agreement. These would retain greater autonomy vis-à-vis Brussels, keeping their own currencies and central banks, along with other markers of independent nationhood.

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  2. Just possibly, the references to God in the Declaration were made for the same reason that churches from different denominations were no longer to be intolerant of each other, the rebellion needed people. Need to realize who wrote the Delcaration of Indepence to realize which god is being referred to. It was Thomas Jefferson who denied that God supernaturally intervened in the history recorded by the Scriptures.

    When it comes to religion, especailly the Christian religion, it isn’t what people claim to believe or say about themselves alone that is important, it is also how people treat those who are different. And in that respect, America fails to be exceptional and all of the political ideas cherished by social conservatives were really written with one race in mind and considering how we lagged behind Britain in terms of opposing slavery, we have no case to make at being exceptional regardless of what we found to be self-evident.

    As for comparing Millman’s article to Carter’s, the latter person seemed more intent describing social conservatives today while the former was describing the people back then. What was written by the latter person seemed to combine claims about one’s group along with a motivational-inspirational part. It was written to glorify one’s own group while telling them to improve. With the latter, the focus was on the past and thus on others. So on that point, Millman’s article should be more interesting. But something that Millman recorded along with history of that time shows that sometimes, the object of worship in our religion is ourselves and/or our particular group.

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  3. ORD-VIE is a flight from Chicago to Vienna. Possibly something deep and mysterious there, but probably not.

    Is Occupied on Netflix?

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  4. I’ll add it to the list DG. Currently giving Breaking Bad a second chance cause the guy I eat lunch with every day is a big fan. It definitely has its moments. My critique is that every situation is either mundane or all out and super intense. They could use some advice from Kramer: Levels.

    Also if you like Norway and Stellan Skaarsgard (River) check out The King of Devil’s Island. Also A Hijacking is a good Norwegian film.

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  5. Some get trapped in theological prisons of their minds, on things like creation, how many steps they can take on the Sabbath, how agreeing with Republication means you are clearly going to hell, what they can watch on TV, whether the Antichrist uses an Apple laptop.

    That’s cool for you, but don’t go around telling people this means godliness, and pointing your finger at anyone about it. Actually it really isn’t okay to reduce Christianity into five rules of behaviour…but hey whatever, bless your hearts.

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  6. Ali, like opinions and body parts? Sure but two things. First, not everyone has faith, which contra “orldvie” is the biblical category–so why do some Christians speak as if they’re one and the same? Second, when that happens it’s called baptizing an opinion, or for the biblicists among us minting a tradition of men, which the Bible warns against–so why do some Christians seem to not care very much?

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  7. Zrim says: Ali, like opinions and body parts? Sure but two things. First, not everyone has faith, which contra “orldvie” is the biblical category–so why do some Christians speak as if they’re one and the same? Second, when that happens it’s called baptizing an opinion, or for the biblicists among us minting a tradition of men, which the Bible warns against–so why do some Christians seem to not care very much?

    morning Zrim, not sure what you are saying. Hope your kids understand clearly what you are saying, ‘cause it’s a confusing world and worldview out there, for sure -with lots of words, reasoning, reasons, thinking -and they are considering it all;
    as DG says ,words matter – the Lord’s words, that is; and reasoning and thinking in accordance with them

    …according to Paul’s custom, he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks…..

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  8. kent says: Some get trapped in theological prisons of their minds,

    oh kent, ..
    “on things like creation”, “what they can watch on TV” , in the same category as
    “how agreeing with Republication means you are clearly going to hell,” ,” whether the Antichrist uses an Apple laptop” ?

    and this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Phil 1:9-11)

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  9. …and speaking of words, zrim , as a ‘biblicist’, love to look them up topically and reading context to learn so much…
    eg ‘for this reason’ sampling …

    Matthew 6:25 [The Cure for Anxiety ] “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life…
    Matthew 18:23“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared…
    Matthew 24:44 For this reason you also must be ready…
    Mark 12:24 “Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God?
    John 6:65 “For this reason ..no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”
    Romans 1:2 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions..
    Romans 4:16For this reason it is by faith…
    Ephesians 3:14For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
    Ephesians 5:14For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper,…
    Ephesians 5:31For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife..
    2 Thess 2:11For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence..
    1 Timothy 1:16Yet for this reason I found mercy…
    2 Timothy 1:12For this reason I also suffer these things…
    2 Timothy 2:10 For this reason I endure all things …
    Hebrews 2:1[ Give Heed ] For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard….
    Hebrews 2:11for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
    Hebrews 9:15For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant…
    2 Peter 1:5 Now for this very reason also….,
    1 John 3:1 For this reason the world does not know us…
    1 John 3:12 And for what reason did he slay him?.
    Revelation 7:15For this reason, they are before the throne of God..

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  10. oh, but ‘course, kent, not implying by that prayer, an expectation that discernment be just plopped into one’s head, apart from ..

    For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Heb 5 :13-14

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  11. D. G. Hart says:
    July 10, 2016 at 6:18 pm
    Mermaid, heard of the Old Testament, Scripture without a council of bishops or a pope.>>>>

    Yes. It’s called the Septuagint.

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  12. Hello Mrs Webfoot,

    Glad you found me on FB. Out of curiosity, I searched for our host and I learned that he acts. If the info is correct (and if it’s is our own cantankerous DG Hart) he was or is part of Alleyway Theatre. That was a neato surprise.
    He also was a guest speaker (or just there to learn )during The Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism. That was a big suprise.

    He’s a thespian and an infiltrator( albeit a friendly one).

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  13. Mrs. Webfoot, good to hear from you. Hope you’re still pursuing knowing Jesus more.

    As you know, protestants reject the apocrypha because they include different doctrine/practices than scripture and also are never cited as being God’s word or authoritative. I should say what I ought have said recently to some missionary boys – what are you wanting for me that I don’t already have? In your case – is it purgatory, praying to the dead, salvation merit? Church anathema for not believing those books as inspired and the story of heavy, heavy gold plates that camedisappeared are both disturbing

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  14. Ali:
    As you know, protestants reject the apocrypha because they include different doctrine/practices than scripture and also are never cited as being God’s word or authoritative.>>>>

    Ali, you may have missed my question. I post it again below. Remember. In the time of the Apostle Paul, there was no such thing as a Protestant. All those who believed in Christ were just one thing – Christians.

    That moniker – Christian – was first used in Antioch, as you know from Scripture.

    Ali:
    …according to Paul’s custom, he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, ….>>>>

    What did Paul use as Scripture? Notice Paul’s reasoning in Romans 1 echoing Wisdom 13-15, as Akin points out.

    http://jimmyakin.com/deuterocanonical-references-in-the-new-testament

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  15. D. G. Hart says:
    July 11, 2016 at 7:48 am
    Mermaid, did you also hear that the Septuagint came before the papacy?>>>>>

    Oh, Brother Hart, read my comment more carefully. As you must know, the Apostle Paul used the Septuagint, as did the other Apostles and Jesus Himself.

    Actually, the Apostle and first Pope, Peter, used the Septuagint. It was in use long before he was born, so yes. It predates the papacy.

    The Apostle Paul considered it to be Scripture. So, when he says that all Scripture is God breathed, he was talking about the Septuagint as well as the Hebrew Scriptures. I thought you knew that.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Darryl,

    Not you? Okay. Sorry about that 😏.
    It looked like you. The actor has your facial profile(and name). Anyways, it was just two photos, I didn’t go digging. Someone must have created a fan page.

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  17. Webfoot,

    1. That Paul may or may not allude to apocryphal literature in no way means he viewed it as Scripture. If that were the case, Rome better got off its rear and add the philosophers he quotes in Acts 17 to the canon.

    2. The Apostles use a number of different Greek versions of the OT. Sometimes they do their own translation. Sometimes they use the Septuagint. Sometimes they use something else. But even if they were to use the Septuagint exclusive, it has no bearing on what they viewed as canonical.

    If you want to argue for the RC canon as reflecting Apostolic practice, fine. But use arguments that support your position is all I’m saying.

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  18. @Jeff,

    Haha! Yes you are right, I do need to be careful. It was never really an important issue if it did happen to be Darryl the actor or the publically ( I think it’s all a persona)cantankerous infiltrater:) I thought it would be great fun factoid if it were. The actor looks to be too young and the historian at the Cuchaw Center, too tall and dapper anyways :)~

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  19. Robert says:
    1. That Paul may or may not allude to apocryphal literature in no way means he viewed it as Scripture. If that were the case, Rome better got off its rear and add the philosophers he quotes in Acts 17 to the canon.>>>>

    This is a dodge. Here is the real challenge. Refute the overwhelming evidence for the fact that the Apostle Paul and other NT writers considered the Septuagint to be inspired Scripture.

    No one has ever said that they considered Greek philosophers to be inspired in the same way Scripture is.

    Robert says:
    2. The Apostles use a number of different Greek versions of the OT. Sometimes they do their own translation. Sometimes they use the Septuagint. Sometimes they use something else. But even if they were to use the Septuagint exclusive, it has no bearing on what they viewed as canonical.>>>

    I did not say the Apostles used the Septuagint exclusively. I have never heard anyone make that argument. It was considered to be inspired Scripture. The Apostle Paul obviously used it as a reference in numerous places. Romans 1 is just one example of that. That is the argument you need to interact with.

    Now, Ali says that the Deuterocanonical books are just like the Book of Mormon, as far as I can tell. If she didn’t mean that by equating Catholicism with Mormonism, then she can clarify.

    Woud you ever say that Catholicism and Mormonism are alike?

    Robert:
    If you want to argue for the RC canon as reflecting Apostolic practice, fine. But use arguments that support your position is all I’m saying.>>>>

    I did. I began with Romans 1 compared to Wisdom 13-15.

    Here is another question that Protestants have trouble answering? Who determines the “Protestant canon”? Notice the present tense verb, since the “Protestant canon” has never been closed. It is being revised as we speak. Sola Scriptura today may include the Pericope Adulterae, and tomorrow exclude it.

    Yet it is allegedly infallible. etc.

    For your consideration.
    http://jimmyakin.com/deuterocanonical-references-in-the-new-testament

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  20. MWF: Who determines the “Protestant canon”? Notice the present tense verb, since the “Protestant canon” has never been closed. It is being revised as we speak. Sola Scriptura today may include the Pericope Adulterae, and tomorrow exclude it.

    Yet it is allegedly infallible. etc.

    As has been explained previously, the Protestant canon is not “allegedly infallible.” It is rather a fallible list of infallible books.

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  21. Webfoot,

    You are missing the point entirely. The Apostles’ use of the Septuagint is largely irrelevant to whether or not they considered the Septuagint canon, as it were, the right one. For starters, the simple fact that apocryphal books were included in codices with the Hebrew canon in versions of the Septuagint in itself says nothing about what the people who read those books thought about their biblical status. Paper was expensive. Books were expensive. It’s cheaper to bind valued books together in the ancient world. Doesn’t mean all books in a collection were viewed as divinely inspired.

    If an allusion in the Wisdom of Solomon in Paul means the Wisdom of Solomon is Scripture, his quotation of the Cretan philosopher in Titus means that Cretan philosopher is Scripture. This really isn’t difficult.

    You want to know what the Apostles considered Scripture, look at what they call Scripture. Look at where they say “as it is written.” Jesus explicitly refers to the threefold Hebrew canon.

    The weight of the evidence is that the First-century Jews, Jesus, and the Apostles viewed the books in the Hebrew canon, either in their Hebrew originals or in their Septuagint translation, to be sacred Scripture. Not the Apocrypha.

    You want to prove your case, give us Paul or Peter quoting Maccabees or something else and calling it Scripture. Otherwise, you are making a similar error to those who used to point to the Apostle John using the contrast of light and dark as proof that the Gospel of John was a 2nd century document influenced by Hellenistic literature.

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  22. Robert,
    You might also note that there are several parts of the Septuagint are not included in the RC cannon. Curiously enough, many of these are part of the EO canon. Obviously inclusion in the Septuagint is not sufficient to establish canonicity for RCs. There are also texts the EOs reject but various Oriental and/or Coptic groups accept – not sure whether they are all included in the Septuagint or not. I don’t think there are any texts that prots accept that are not accepted by all other branches of Christianity, nor are there very many variations among the NT books among Christians with the exception of perhaps certain Coptic branches.

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  23. Robert, Jeff, and sdb,

    If the situation is as you say- that all we have is an fallible list of infallible books, how do we know which ones are infallible? Why is the Protestant Canon absolute while that of the Catholic, EO and Coptics( according to sdb….who may be correct) not thought inspired? I mean you can’t begin at the protestant Canon to decide without being circular. Or so you see a way out of this?
    All the more reason for “the Church” I’d say.

    Appreciate your thoughts,
    Susan

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  24. Susan V: If the situation is as you say- that all we have is an fallible list of infallible books, how do we know which ones are infallible? Why is the Protestant Canon absolute while that of the Catholic, EO and Coptics( according to sdb….who may be correct) not thought inspired? I mean you can’t begin at the protestant Canon to decide without being circular.

    This is the itch we keep on trying to scratch, right? How do I really know? (…know … knowow…)

    Susan: … All the more reason for “the Church” I’d say.

    If the problem you want to solve is how to REALLY know that you have found infallible truth, “the Church” will not scratch the itch, except in an illusory manner.

    We’ve talked previously about why, but just to recap:

    (1) First, you would have to infallibly know that you’ve found the right Church. If there is a possibility that you are mistaken in your identification of the infallible Church, then there is a possibility that haven’t really found an infallible authority.

    (2) Second, even if somehow you infallibly know — Newman suggests that we know by faith, right? — that you’ve found the right Church, you would also need an infallible way to interpret the statements of that Church. Otherwise, what you believe to be infallible truth might very well not be.

    So even if I were to fulfill your fondest dream and convert to Catholicism and accept “whatsoever the Church teaches” as true — I still wouldn’t have a single infallible statement to point to. Only copies of translations, interpreted by my local, fallible, priests and bishops and cardinals and popes while not speaking ex cathedra.

    If you want infallible truth in the sense of knowing without a shadow of doubt that you are right, then your quest is doomed. You cannot have infallible truth in that sense, not even if the RC Church is in fact the true Church with the ability to teach infallibly as it claims.

    Susan: Or so you see a way out of this?

    Yes. It is to give up the quest for what we cannot have, and which Scripture tells us we cannot have (1 Cor 13.8-12), and instead to focus on the quest to know God’s infallible truth fallibly.

    To do that, one must first learn that uncertainty is not the opposite of knowledge. When you turn on your car, you know that it will not explode. Yet you only have fallible confidence in that fact. It could be (but isn’t) the case that the OL mafia, led by CW, has planted a bomb hardwired to the ignition. There is a non-zero probability that such is the case.

    Yet we all know that there is in fact no such mafia, CW is not its leader, he doesn’t know where your car is, etc. The probability is low enough that we can say with confidence “Your car is not going to explode.”

    That’s how we know things in a world that operates infallibly but is perceived fallibly. We bite the bullet and get about the business of knowing what we can.

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  25. Jeff:
    That’s how we know things in a world that operates infallibly but is perceived fallibly. We bite the bullet and get about the business of knowing what we can.>>>>

    Do you know that Scripture is the only infallible rule of faith and practice?

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  26. Robert:
    You are missing the point entirely. >>>>

    No, you are. The point is that you have no authoritative basis for claiming that Protestants 1.) have a canon of Scripture 2.) that this “canon” is an infallible list of inspired Scripture 3.) that there even is such a thing as infallible, inspired Scripture 4.) that this “canon” is alone the rule of faith and practice that God has given to the Church.

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  27. Jeff:This is the itch we keep on trying to scratch, right? How do I really know? (…know … know…ow…)>>>

    You convinced me that you don’t really know anything. 😉 Let’s revisit 2 + 2. I loved that. sdb, do you have something to add?

    Just kidding! Sort of. …and sheesh, man, I think you owe Susan an apology. She’s a nice Catholic lady.

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  28. Susan,

    Personally, I don’t find “fallible list of infallible books” a helpful phrase. I agree with what it is ultimately trying to communicate, namely, that the church is not what gives Scripture it’s authority. The list itself is either correct or incorrect. If the statement means that the church arrived at a correct list without being granted infallibility, that is fine and the whole entire point of the phrase.

    I don’t understand why you all have such a problem with this, honestly. Fallible people and institutions get things right all the time. You didn’t come to believe in Rome through an infallible process, so I fail to see why Protestantism’s not imputing infallibility to the church should be such a problem for you guys.

    Read what Jeff said. All of these many, many discussions we’ve had with you, Cletus, CtC, Jason Stellman, etc. all boil down to “How do we know, really, really know.” And the church can’t give you any better of an answer than we can unless you can somehow impute infallibility to yourself.

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  29. Webfoot,

    No, you are. The point is that you have no authoritative basis for claiming that Protestants 1.) have a canon of Scripture 2.) that this “canon” is an infallible list of inspired Scripture 3.) that there even is such a thing as infallible, inspired Scripture 4.) that this “canon” is alone the rule of faith and practice that God has given to the Church.

    I don’t have an authoritative basis according to the way the SOME Roman Catholics define authority. But that hardly means I don’t have an authoritative basis. You may not like my Reformed authoritative basis, but it is hardly “no authoritative basis.” The best you can say about it is that it is inadequate. But merely positing RCC as adequate because it claims infallible authority in some select cases doesn’t cut the mustard, as many of us have pointed out via different angles.

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  30. Jeff,

    So looking at the landscape and considering that there are choices( as in denominations), I would be at a loss because I would have to pick the one I thought had the correct Canon. If I took a stab at that I could potentially have some doctrine that I thought my faith community was mistaken about and could condone grave sin( homosexual union, surrogacy..)
    So if by chance I chose a community that I though had the correct Canon yet condoned sin, did I actually find the community that had the correct Canon does that mean they will be in agreement about its interpretation? If they do and I still disagree am I just a bigot?

    Like you said, we’ve gone round and round so I won’t beleager it any longer.

    Yes, if you converted, I’d be thrilled for you, but I love you if you never do.

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  31. @Susan

    If the situation is as you say- that all we have is an fallible list of infallible books, how do we know which ones are infallible? Why is the Protestant Canon absolute while that of the Catholic, EO and Coptics( according to sdb….who may be correct) not thought inspired? I mean you can’t begin at the protestant Canon to decide without being circular. Or so you see a way out of this?

    I wouldn’t say that the Protestant Canon is absolute while the RC, EO, Copt, etc… canons are not thought inspired. I would say that none of the lists are infallible. I believe we are right and you are wrong, but then I wouldn’t be a protestant if I believed otherwise would I. Not such an interesting observation I guess. A few things you might want to consider:

    1) Christians did not finally settle on a canon until relatively late. There was dispute among the ECFs about various books and the there were debates about the canon in the medieval western church. Even for your tradition, there was no infallible list for over ~1500yrs. We prots aren’t in a worse place than Aquinas.

    2) There is no disagreement on the NT as far as I can tell and very little disagreement on the OT. To be sure there have been those like Martin Luther who have questioned certain books and so forth, but even he eventually came around. The consensus on the bulk of the OT and the NT gives me very strong confidence that we have God’s word preserved there.

    3) My confidence that Genesis is part of God’s Word is much stronger than my confidence that Tobit is not and much, much stronger than my confidence that Psalm 151 is not. Could I be wrong about Wisdom or Psalm 151? Of course!

    4) Sola Scriptura is not the belief that the scriptures are our only guide, but that they are the only infallible final criterion. We can learn lots of stuff of great stuff from all sorts of sources (including what we prots consider the apocrypha). We can also learn from uninspired texts like the 1 and 2 Clement, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Didache. The fact that they are not the infallible word of God does not mean that they are worthless – only that they are in the same class of Calvin’s Institutes or Aquinas’s Summa Theologica. Namely, they are to be judged in light of scripture. Calvin can (and did) err. Similarly with Aquinas. Not so with the words preserved from Paul or Isaiah. As the Belgic Confession states, “The church may certainly read these books and learn from them as far as they agree with the canonical books. But they do not have such power and virtue that one could confirm from their testimony any point of faith or of the Christian religion.”

    5) The answer as to how prots settled on the canon can be answered several different ways: Sociologically, historically, and theologically. In short, I suspect that most prots (like most catholics) accept the canon because that is what happens to be in the Bible. It’s sort of a brute fact that a lot of people simply take for granted. Historically, you can take a look at what the Westminster Divines (for example) debated when they put down the section on the canon:
    https://archive.org/details/minutesofsession00west
    I think what most prots will say is that we look for Apostolic origin (in the case of the NT), Universal acceptance by early church (or Jewish believers as it relates to the OT), and self consistency. But when it comes down to it as a believer, I think the WCF I.5 puts it best, “We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture. And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it does abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.”

    Like

  32. “I would have to pick the one I thought had the correct Canon.”
    Or perhaps God could pursue you and direct you by his Holy Spirit into all truth? Maybe you aren’t the one that has to figure it all out?

    Like

  33. Robert:
    I don’t have an authoritative basis according to the way the SOME Roman Catholics define authority. But that hardly means I don’t have an authoritative basis. You may not like my Reformed authoritative basis, but it is hardly “no authoritative basis.” The best you can say about it is that it is inadequate. >>>>

    Well, I think it’s more than inadequate.

    Robert:
    But merely positing RCC as adequate because it claims infallible authority in some select cases doesn’t cut the mustard, as many of us have pointed out via different angles.>>>>

    It is only Protestants who reject all of the Deuterocanonical books as inspired Scripture, and that only in the last 500 years or so.

    Both the EO and the western Churches have always accepted the Deuterocanonical books as Scripture with very little difference of opinion on the matter.

    It is Protestants who have to give some kind of evidence to prove that the Holy Spirit used you guys to correct the rest of the Church. What line of authority do you appeal to?

    The decision of Jewish scholars who don’t seem to agree?

    The decision of Bible translators and publishers?

    Do you accept the approach of Martin Luther, who seemed to think that each Christian was supposed to decide for himself or herself, just as he did? Remember, it wasn’t just the canon of the OT that he questioned so he put the Deuterocanonical books as an appendix. He also questioned the inspiration of the books of Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation, moving them to the back of his German translation.

    It seems that the Deuteros were removed from the KJV in the early 1800s.

    These are things that Protestants do not have adequate answers for. The evidence that Akin presents – and that I have begun to notice as I read the Deuteros – should be hard to ignore. It is so clear that these books had a huge influence on the NT writers.

    You have no basis for saying that they are not inspired.
    ———————————————————–
    All King James Bibles published before 1666 included the Apocrypha,[36] though separately to denote them as not equal to Scripture proper, as noted by Jerome in the Vulgate, to which he gave the name, “The Apocrypha.”[37] In 1826,[38] the National Bible Society of Scotland petitioned the British and Foreign Bible Society not to print the Apocrypha,[39] resulting in a decision that no BFBS funds were to pay for printing any Apocryphal books anywhere. Since that time most modern editions of the Bible and reprintings of the King James Bible omit the Apocrypha section. In the 18th century, the Apocrypha section was omitted from the Challoner revision of the Douay-Rheims version. In the 1979 revision of the Vulgate, the section was dropped. Modern reprintings of the Clementine Vulgate commonly omit the Apocrypha section. Many reprintings of older versions of the Bible now omit the apocrypha and many newer translations and revisions have never included them at all.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_apocrypha#The_Bible_and_the_Puritan_revolution

    Like

  34. sdb says:
    July 11, 2016 at 5:06 pm
    “I would have to pick the one I thought had the correct Canon.”
    Or perhaps God could pursue you and direct you by his Holy Spirit into all truth? Maybe you aren’t the one that has to figure it all out?>>>>

    Ah, but in your religion, you do have to figure it all out, sdb.

    Like

  35. Jeff Cagle says:
    July 11, 2016 at 4:43 pm
    MWF: Do you know that Scripture is the only infallible rule of faith and practice?

    Yes.>>>>

    Oh, Jeff, here we go again, my brother. HOW do you know? AARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nice to see you, Jeff.

    Like

  36. I know by the universal consent of the church. RC, EO, Protestant, Coptic — all agree that the 66 books in the Protestant canon are inspired Scripture. That is the highest degree of confidence one could possibly have on the question.

    Like

  37. I don’t want to detract from what I addressed to Jeff(above). I hope what I said was understandable( sorry about the typos. I was waiting for paint to be mixed at Home Depot) because I would like to hear Jeff’s thoughts.

    I will respond to you, SDB.

    “1) Christians did not finally settle on a canon until relatively late. There was dispute among the ECFs about various books and the there were debates about the canon in the medieval western church. Even for your tradition, there was no infallible list for over ~1500yrs. We prots aren’t in a worse place than Aquinas.”

    Maybe you are right about the diputes, but if any book was used in the liturgy then it was considered inspired.

    “2) There is no disagreement on the NT as far as I can tell and very little disagreement on the OT. To be sure there have been those like Martin Luther who have questioned certain books and so forth, but even he eventually came around. The consensus on the bulk of the OT and the NT gives me very strong confidence that we have God’s word preserved there.”

    Should Martin Luther have “come around”? In your paradigm, he could be right and everyone else wrong.

    “3) My confidence that Genesis is part of God’s Word is much stronger than my confidence that Tobit is not and much, much stronger than my confidence that Psalm 151 is not. Could I be wrong about Wisdom or Psalm 151? Of course!”

    What are you using to gauge your confidence level? What’s the clear giveaway that it isn’t also inspired? If Tobit was used in Christian liturgy for 2000 yrs, why would you not trust that the Holy Spirit was guiding the Church that taught from those books? I’m trying to see how you’re not appealing to a burning in the bosom.

    “4) Sola Scriptura is not the belief that the scriptures are our only guide, but that they are the only infallible final criterion. We can learn lots of stuff of great stuff from all sorts of sources (including what we prots consider the apocrypha). We can also learn from uninspired texts like the 1 and 2 Clement, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Didache. The fact that they are not the infallible word of God does not mean that they are worthless – only that they are in the same class of Calvin’s Institutes or Aquinas’s Summa Theologica. Namely, they are to be judged in light of scripture. Calvin can (and did) err. Similarly with Aquinas. Not so with the words preserved from Paul or Isaiah. As the Belgic Confession states, “The church may certainly read these books and learn from them as far as they agree with the canonical books. But they do not have such power and virtue that one could confirm from their testimony any point of faith or of the Christian religion.””

    The church decides what is scripture and what is helpful. So what if the different churches disagree? Aren’t you trusting the determination of early Reformers who delineanated for the reason that those books supported Catholic doctrine?

    “5) The answer as to how prots settled on the canon can be answered several different ways: Sociologically, historically, and theologically. In short, I suspect that most prots (like most catholics) accept the canon because that is what happens to be in the Bible. It’s sort of a brute fact that a lot of people simply take for granted. Historically, you can take a look at what the Westminster Divines (for example) debated when they put down the section on the canon:
    https://archive.org/details/minutesofsession00west
    I think what most prots will say is that we look for Apostolic origin (in the case of the NT), Universal acceptance by early church (or Jewish believers as it relates to the OT), and self consistency. But when it comes down to it as a believer, I think the WCF I.5 puts it best, “We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture. And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it does abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.””

    Okay that was circular. You are trusting the testimony of the Church but obviously you deny the visible one that guarded, painstakingly copied, and taught scripture since the beginning of the Church age.

    Like

  38. Mrs Webfoot: Now, Ali says that the Deuterocanonical books are just like the Book of Mormon, as far as I can tell.

    Mrs Webfoot, please reread my comment, I mentioned ‘disturbing things.’

    speaking of being disturbed about anathema-hurling, here is the Lord’s word on that word:

    1 Cor. 12:3, “Therefore I make known to you, that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed” (anathema); and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.”
    1 Cor. 16:22, “If anyone does not love the Lord, let him be accursed. Maranatha.”
    Rom. 9:3, “For I could wish that I myself were accursed (anathema), separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.”
    Gal. 1:8-9, “But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed (anathema). 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed (anathema).”

    but: http://www.biblebc.com/Roman%20Catholicism/summary_of_trent.htm

    sheesh. speaking of sheesh, also disturbing :

    Whereupon, Daniel took some pitch, some fat and some hair and boiled them up together, rolled the mixture into balls and fed them to the dragon; the dragon swallowed them and burst. Daniel said, ‘Now look at the sort of thing you worship! Daniel 14:27

    Prayer is good with fasting and alms: more than to lay up treasures of gold: for alms delivereth from death, and the same is that which purgeth away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting Tobias 12:8,9.

    after this he took a collection from them individually, amounting to nearly two thousand drachmas, and sent it to Jerusalem to have a sacrifice for sin offered, an action altogether fine and noble, prompted by his belief in the resurrection.44 For had he not expected the fallen to rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead, whereas if he had in view the splendid recompense reserved for those who make a pious end, the thought was holy and devout. Hence, he had this expiatory sacrifice offered for the dead, so that they might be released from their sin. 2 Mac 12: 43-36

    Like

  39. Susan: In your paradigm, he could be right and everyone else wrong.

    “Could be right, could be wrong” is practically meaningless, hence not an effective tool for thought. It covers the probability range from “coin toss” to “snowball’s chance in the open desert.”

    Like

  40. Jeff Cagle says:
    July 11, 2016 at 6:07 pm
    I know by the universal consent of the church. RC, EO, Protestant, Coptic — all agree that the 66 books in the Protestant canon are inspired Scripture. That is the highest degree of confidence one could possibly have on the question.>>>>>

    The Protestant view is a dissenting one when it comes to the Deuterocanonical books. You have excluded them altogether from the versions of Scripture you use.

    Will you advocate for their inclusion in further printings so that your Bible can be more in line with historical Church precedence?

    Including them in the Bible had universal consent even in the Authorized Version – authorized by King James, head of the Church of England at the time – until the early 1800s. Why do you not protest their exclusion?

    Like

  41. Jeff,

    ““Could be right, could be wrong” is practically meaningless, hence not an effective tool for thought. It covers the probability range from “coin toss” to “snowball’s chance in the open desert.”

    Here’s our set: The books that Luther wanted to throw out (and nothing else).
    What was his reason for not wanting to include them? Do you have any idea?
    I don’t, except for what I’ve been told.
    And he was right about what he thought or he was wrong.

    Like

  42. Ali:
    Mrs Webfoot, please reread my comment, I mentioned ‘disturbing things.’>>>

    Ali, what about all the NT references taken from the Deuterocanonical books proving that the Scripture the writers were using included the Septuagint?

    Your claim was and is that Paul reasoned from Scripture. I agree. Let’s focus on that point. Paul reasoned from Scripture. What Scripture?

    Would he agree with you that Scripture could not possibly include the Deuterocanonical books because they allegedly disagree with your particular flavor of Protestant theology?

    Like

  43. “Though the unbelieving Jews eventually rejected the deuterocanonical books as Scripture, the earliest Christians did not. Protestant historian JND Kelly writes in his book Early Christian Doctrines:

    It should be observed that the Old Testament thus admitted as authoritative in the Church was somewhat bulkier and more comprehensive than the twenty-two, or twenty-four, books of the Hebrew Bible of Palestinian Judaism. It always included though with varying degrees of recognition, the so-called Apocrypha, or deuterocanonical books. For the great majority, however, the deuterocanonical writings ranked as Scripture in the fullest sense.”

    Like

  44. mrswebfoot says: Your claim was and is that Paul reasoned from Scripture. I agree.
    That’s good for both of us , because that’s what the Lord says.

    Mrswebfoot: Paul reasoned from Scripture. What Scripture?
    I think the men have spoken to that above.

    re: you being the one making faith comparisons, found this for you then since you are: http://www.angelfire.com/de/knowledgeoftruth/rcmormon.html

    Like

  45. Susan: What was his reason for not wanting to include them? Do you have any idea?

    Some. It’s a historical question that I’m not expert on.

    He had trouble with James ultimately because it was used to deny JFBA. Clearly he changed his mind about its canonical status.

    Like

  46. Robert, and the odd thing is James Young, Susan, Mermaid and Stellman all think they really really really really really know — wait for it — MAY end up in Purgatory.

    Like

  47. Susan, “So if by chance I chose a community that I thought had the correct Canon yet condoned sin…”

    Isn’t that what happened to you. Think the movie Spotlight.

    Like

  48. MWF: The Protestant view is a dissenting one when it comes to the Deuterocanonical books. You have excluded them altogether from the versions of Scripture you use.

    Including them in the Bible had universal consent …

    Not true. As we previously saw, the Deuteros were rejected as scripture by Athanasius, Jerome, and other fathers, by the glossa ordinaria (the leading theological textbook of the middle ages), and by leading theologians even at Trent.

    You are mistaken to assert consensus.

    http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2012/12/why-do-i-reject-the-apocrypha/

    Like

  49. ” Maybe you are right about the diputes, but if any book was used in the liturgy then it was considered inspired.”
    There have been texts used liturgically by the Eastern church prior to the E-W split that Rome now rejects (Psalm 51). I was also under the impression that the Didache was used liturgically though not inspired.

    ” Should Martin Luther have “come around”? In your paradigm, he could be right and everyone else wrong.”
    The evidence was not in his favor.

    “The church decides what is scripture and what is helpful.”
    NO!!!!!!!!!!! God speaks through the apostles and prophets and uses his church (old and new covenant ) to preserve His Word.

    “So what if the different churches disagree? Aren’t you trusting the determination of early Reformers who delineanated for the reason that those books supported Catholic doctrine?” Sure, but so what? I’m not arguing against trusting ecclesiastical authorities, just that they are never infallible.

    ” Okay that was circular. You are trusting the testimony of the Church but obviously you deny the visible one that guarded, painstakingly copied, and taught scripture since the beginning of the Church age.”
    You are mistaken. I agree with the reformers that there is much to commend in the western, Latin church and that God used it to preserve his word. I believe the same about his people in the OT who were clearly fallible. Of course , despite their many shortcomings (I’ve been reading through Hosea, so this is fresh on my mind), he preserved a remnant…the gates of hell never prevailed. I don’t have to accept the purported legitimacy (much less infallibility) of a group God used to preserve God’s word, to learn from them how God preserved his word.

    I’ll stop here since you said you are never coming back (again). It is a bit odd to be asked questions only to havensure the questioner bail out (again).

    Like

  50. Jeff Cagle says:
    July 11, 2016 at 10:26 pm
    MWF: The Protestant view is a dissenting one when it comes to the Deuterocanonical books. You have excluded them altogether from the versions of Scripture you use.

    Including them in the Bible had universal consent …>>>>

    Jeff said:
    Not true. As we previously saw, the Deuteros were rejected as scripture by Athanasius, Jerome, and other fathers, by the glossa ordinaria (the leading theological textbook of the middle ages), and by leading theologians even at Trent.>>>

    Irrelevant. They were always included in the KJV, even, until the early 1800s. Including them in the Bible is just a fact of history.

    However, this is a distraction. The real issue has to do with what the Apostle Paul believed about Scripture. Not just Paul, but Jesus as well and the other NT writers.

    That is what I was trying to get Ali to look at – and now you. When the Apostle Paul reasoned from Scripture, did that include the Septuagint – the Greek translation which included the Deuterocanonical books – or only the Hebrew texts?

    That is the important question. When Paul said that all Scripture is God breathed, what did HE mean by Scripture? He was not a Protestant, nor was he writing as an apologist for Protestantism.

    When I began attending Mass, one of the readings I heard sounded very similar to Romans 1. It was not Romans 1. It was from Wisdom, one of the Deuterocanonical books. The parallel was unmistakable. I was shocked, even. I had never heard it read before. How could this have been hidden from me? How could I have missed it? I had read the Deuteros before, but this hit me like a beam of light.

    That was not the last such experience with a Scripture I had not known was Scripture. There have been quite a few other such discoveries.

    Akin’s list is quite extensive. I have been making my own. His work is impressive – comparing Scripture to Scripture.

    It is a shame for Protestants to ignore the evidence in favor of including them as inspired Scripture. At the very least, Protestants should read them and cherish them as Christians for the last 2,000 years have done. Jews also cherish them.

    Why do Protestants since the early 1800s have such a low view of those books? It’s as thought the Catholic Church had slipped them in to somehow pervert the truth of the Gospel or something. It’s a real shame.

    Like

  51. D. G. Hart says:
    July 11, 2016 at 10:10 pm
    Mermaid, how could Jesus and the apostles use the Septuagint before the papacy approved it? You know, the church gave us Scripture and all.>>>>

    I KNEW you were going to say something really lame and irrelevant! Brother Hart, you did not disappoint. Thank you!

    Like

  52. Mrswebfoot: Paul reasoned from Scripture. What Scripture?
    Ali:
    I think the men have spoken to that above.>>>>

    So, are they your teaching magisterium? I thought you were a good Berean. Why not look into it for yourself?

    Like

  53. sdb:
    I’ll stop here since you said you are never coming back (again). It is a bit odd to be asked questions only to havensure the questioner bail out (again).>>>>

    Maybe if you guys weren’t so mean to Susan she would stick around. Maybe if you guys didn’t treat her like dirt you would have a different outcome.

    She tries to be friendly. She tries to express Christian sisterly love and concern for you guys. She presents good arguments. She is kind.

    Oh, never mind…

    Like

  54. MWF: Irrelevant. They were always included in the KJV, even, until the early 1800s. Including them in the Bible is just a fact of history.

    It’s true, they were included. Here is another historical fact: The Apocrypha were included in the KJV not as Canon but as “helpful books.”

    We know this because the creedal document of the Anglican church, the 39 Articles of 1562/3, says this

    Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the holy Scripture, we do understand those Canonical books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.

    Of the Names and Number of the Canonical Books

    Genesis
    Exodus
    Leviticus
    Numbers
    Deuteronomy
    Joshua
    Judges
    Ruth
    The First Book of Samuel
    The Second Book of Samuel
    The First Book of Kings
    The Second Book of Kings The First Book of Chronicles
    The Second Book of Chronicles
    The First Book of Esdras
    The Second Book of Esdras
    The Book of Esther
    The Book of Job
    The Psalms
    The Proverbs
    Ecclesiastes or Preacher
    Cantica, or Songs of Solomon
    Four Prophets the greater
    Twelve Prophets the less

    And the other Books (as Hierome [Jerome] saith) the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine; such are these following:

    The Third Book of Esdras
    The Fourth Book of Esdras
    The Book of Tobias
    The Book of Judith
    The rest of the Book of Esther
    The Book of Wisdom
    Jesus the Son of Sirach Baruch the Prophet
    The Song of the Three Children
    The Story of Susanna
    Of Bel and the Dragon
    The Prayer of Manasses
    The First Book of Maccabees
    The Second Book of Maccabees…

    So the Anglicans are more faithful to genuine church tradition than the Catholics, who accept Jerome’s translation as infallible, yet reject his own understanding of what he translated.

    Like

  55. Mermaid, and you still haven’t accounted for the church before Peter — you know, Israel? Odd since you pattern the Mass and its officiants after their sacrifices and priests.

    Like

  56. Mermaid, “She tries to be friendly. She tries to express Christian sisterly love and concern for you guys. She presents good arguments. She is kind.”

    So was Donny (Big Lebowsik).

    Like

  57. MWF: When the Apostle Paul reasoned from Scripture, did that include the Septuagint – the Greek translation which included the Deuterocanonical books – or only the Hebrew texts?

    The question as you pose it suffers from the same reasoning error as your treatment of the KJV: you mistakenly assume that all the contents were considered canon.

    This is clearly not so. Our modern Bibles have concordances, maps, and commentary that we all understand are not canonical.

    So here: Paul clearly believed that the Septuagint OT books were he graphe, the Scripture, because he quotes various passages from the Septuagint and marks them as Scripture with “thus it is written”

    It does not follow that he thought every book included in the Septuagint was Scripture.

    Paul quoted Plato, Epimenides, and Seneca — but not as Scripture.

    And which copy of the Septuagint, anyway? Different manuscripts include or exclude different deutero books. Do you know what copy of the Septuagint that Paul used and which books were in it?

    I am genuinely interested in Akin’s hard work, but unless he has Paul saying “thus it is written” about a text not found in the (proto)canonical OT, he doesn’t prove anything.

    Like

  58. MWF: Maybe if you guys weren’t so mean to Susan she would stick around.

    Susan and I seem to get along well, thanks. If there’s an offense, she knows that she has but to say the word.

    On the other hand, I have a significant problem with how you treat me and others around here: insinuations, untruths, head games, refusal to admit error.

    As the latest example, look at what did above:

    You: “the deuteros had universal consent.”
    Me:”no, they didn’t [evidence]”.
    You: “Irrelevant”

    Who are we kidding here?

    What we need between us is sincerity, not persona, love not debating points.

    Like

  59. DGH: Akin does work for those minds that want apodictic certainty.

    That raises an interesting question: what is the affiliation of an apologist like Akin or Cross or Hahn? Are their organizations sponsored by diocese, or organization, or are they freelance? Do they collaborate?

    Like

  60. Akin’s “research,” as it were, draws conclusions that aren’t justified by the evidence. And that is the point. First-century Jews spoke a common cultural language that included writings that they found extraordinarily helpful, even true in many places, but just weren’t inspired Scripture. It’s like Protestants writing things that have allusions to Pilgirm’s Progress or RCs that allude to Thomas Aquinas. Both groups believe those respective works are very helpful and teach many true things. But no one thinks they are inspired Scripture.

    So the fact that the Apostles speak language in extra canonical books at times is no proof of what they thought about the canon. And incidentally, where the apocryphal books speak truth, it’s generally because they are repeating or expanding upon Scripture.

    The historical record is rather clear that the only canon that has achieved universal consent both by the Old Testament Church and the New Testament Church is the 39-book Hebrew canon. It was the canon of our Lord. It was the canon of Peter and Paul. It was the canon of Jerome. It was the canon of leading RC Counter-Reformation figures. It’s not a matter of Protestants leaving something out. It’s the matter of the EO and RCC adding stuff that was heavily, heavily disputed.

    The 3-legged stool of Scripture, tradition, and Magisterium falls apart on the canon of the OT. It’s the Magisterium all the way, demonstrating Rome’s sola ecclesia position.

    Like

  61. Mrswebfoot says: Paul reasoned from Scripture. What Scripture? Ali:I think the men have spoken to that above.>>>>
    Merwebfoot says: So, are they your teaching magisterium? I thought you were a good Berean. Why not look into it for yourself?

    what I meant was, they said things…specifically this summary: Robert says that Paul may or may not allude to apocryphal literature in no way means he viewed it as Scripture, I agree.

    what part of Jesus says “and He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;( Eph 4:11-12) are you saying I should reject, mrsw ?

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  62. Rome’s relationship with Cross, Akin, et al appears to be one of gladness that they’re making converts, and they’ll let them alone as long as that happens. If you look at the hierarchy and teaching, there isn’t any way that someone like Cross would receive any kind of official support. The phrase “useful idiots” comes to mind.

    Like

  63. Ali:
    what I meant was, they said things…specifically this summary: Robert says that Paul may or may not allude to apocryphal literature in no way means he viewed it as Scripture, I agree.>>>>>

    You agree, but you have not examined it for yourself, Ali. No problem. You don’t want to.

    Hey, have a great day.

    Like

  64. Webfoot,

    I guess if Pope Francis in a homily uses language that alludes to secular writings on ecology, that means that those secular writings are divinely inspired, right? Just like Paul thought the Cretan philosophers were inspired because he quotes them in Titus.

    Just be consistent. Petition Rome to add every single writer or book to which there might be some kind of illusion or similarity in the existing canon to the canon. That would be quite a long list:

    Ancient Near East Epic Poetry
    The philosophers Paul quotes on Mars Hill
    Enoch
    And many more.

    But I don’t think you’ll do that because the interest isn’t really in a consistent position but in grasping at anything that will defend what Rome has said about the canon. Who cares about history or what even your own RC Bible scholars say about the canon of the ancient Christians.

    Ironically, you could actually make a case that would stand up far better under scrutiny for including the apocrypha. But you’d have to actually care about history first.

    Like

  65. Robert says:
    July 12, 2016 at 9:49 am
    Rome’s relationship with Cross, Akin, et al appears to be one of gladness that they’re making converts, and they’ll let them alone as long as that happens. If you look at the hierarchy and teaching, there isn’t any way that someone like Cross would receive any kind of official support. The phrase “useful idiots” comes to mind.>>>>

    Aw, Robert. That’s just mean. Boohoo.

    You have made the argument that the subject of the canon of Scripture has been debated throughout all of Church history.

    The Catholic Church made an executive decision, you might say. It is well founded and well defended. It is based on the fact that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church on the Day of Pentecost. It is based on the fact that Jesus’ promise to His apostles was that the Spirit would guide them – and us through and with them – into all truth.

    The Protestant “canon” of Scripture is not closed and will never be. Yet you pretend it is. Now who are the useful idiots?

    We believe that the Bible is an infallible list of infallible books. Therefore it is not reformable.

    You believe that the Bible is a fallible list of infallible books. Therefore it is reformable.

    In your system, I’d say that the Holy Spirit is MIA when it comes to identifying the books of Scripture. That is, He went missing in any way that can be deemed absolute. He took the time to inspire Scripture in an infallible way. He left it up to all y’all to grope around in hopes of figuring out what that Scripture is. However, all y’all are left with never being able to come to any foolproof conclusions.

    Pericope adulterae, in or out? There is solid evidence to prove that John did not write that passage. It was put in later. Therefore it cannot be inspired, since your standard is human authorship. You discount the fact that the Holy Spirit wanted the story of the Woman Caught in Adultery to be in Scripture. Even John said that his writing was only a small sample of all that Jesus said and did. Yet you stick to the manmade standard of human authorship.

    The book of Ephesians. In or out? Some allege that the Apostle Paul did not write the letter. Someone else did. There is solid evidence to support that case. Yet you would never use the standard of consistency about authorship to Ephesians that you apply to John So, it stays.

    The books of Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation. In or out? Remember that Luther voted those last 4 books out. Why did he question their inspiration? He did so because some of the early Church fathers had questions about their inspiration. So, he felt free to question them. Why don’t average Protestants do more of that kind of thing? Your canon is not closed.

    You guys like the sense of control it gives you to be able to say that the list of books is fallible. Then you, – as in all of you, together and separately – get to decide what stays and what goes. Fortunately, for the most part, all of you have decided that all the NT stays – at least for now, and at least most of it. There is not really a consensus, as you well know.

    As the evidence shows, it was the Bible society of Scotland that decided on your present canon. It also decided that it would no longer tolerate the presence of the Deuterocanonical books in their Authorized Version – the KJV. So, it’s out altogether. No one in your circles gets to look at the evidence and decide for themselves, which is what Protestants should be doing.

    Bible publishers and market forces decided your “canon” – for now – and that based on prejudice.

    BTW, the Akin list was taken directly from a source you should be interested in, if nothing more for historical and textual reasons. It shows that NT textual critics take this subject seriously. Too bad you do not. He also has his own list, as do I.

    In fact, recognizing the influence the Deuterocanonical books had on the NT writers will not necessarily make you a Catholic. It would make you better informed. After all, you guys are the ones who claim sola scriptura. What scriptura? Do you accept the OT scriptura that Paul used or not?

    You, Robert, know that the Septuagint with the Deuterocanonicals influenced all the NT writers. At least you accept that much.
    —————————————————————————

    “The following (huge) list is taken from pp. 800-804 of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 27th edition (Novum Testamentum: Graece et Latine, published by Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft).”

    http://jimmyakin.com/deuterocanonical-references-in-the-new-testament

    Liked by 1 person

  66. Mrswebfoot says You agree, but you have not examined it for yourself, Ali. No problem. You don’t want to. Hey, have a great day.

    I don’t want to? I’m studying Mrsw, or do you have some special insight into that being not true. It wasn’t that long ago (relatively) I had no interest, so the curve has been/is steep (sorta, the basics are plain, by the word and Spirit).

    I did include though, for you, a step yesterday. I reject these. There is no possibility they are scripture:

    Whereupon, Daniel took some pitch, some fat and some hair and boiled them up together, rolled the mixture into balls and fed them to the dragon; the dragon swallowed them and burst. Daniel said, ‘Now look at the sort of thing you worship! Daniel 14:27

    Prayer is good with fasting and alms: more than to lay up treasures of gold: for alms delivereth from death, and the same is that which purgeth away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting Tobias 12:8,9.

    after this he took a collection from them individually, amounting to nearly two thousand drachmas, and sent it to Jerusalem to have a sacrifice for sin offered, an action altogether fine and noble, prompted by his belief in the resurrection.For had he not expected the fallen to rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead, whereas if he had in view the splendid recompense reserved for those who make a pious end, the thought was holy and devout. Hence, he had this expiatory sacrifice offered for the dead, so that they might be released from their sin. 2 Mac 12: 43-36

    You too have a great day.

    Like

  67. @Ali & Robert Good references and points! You might also note that there are a number of texts in the Septuagint that the RCC does not include in their canon. Simply being part of the Septuagint is not sufficient for the RCC to accept a text as part of the canon. Further, the RCC mistakenly concluded that Psalm 151 should not be included because they thought it was composed in Greek (their canon was infallibly defined as an article of faith at Trent) – discoveries among the Dead Sea Scrolls show that they were incorrect – the text was written in Hebrew and was in liturgical use. The EOs, Assyrians, Copts, and Oriental churches accept it as part of their canon. Obviously the RCC erred (like we all do) – perhaps they can still be infallible if their article of faith is right for the wrong reason?

    Akin’s approach to the apocryphal books is interesting in that it raises a potential dilemma for RCs – if he is right that inclusion in the Septuagint is sufficient to conclude that the text was part of the scripture that Paul refers to in his letters (the Septuagint is God-breathed?), then the RCC made a mistake when they defined their canon as an article of faith as they excluded portions of the Septuagint. In which case the purported infallibility of the RCC is clearly falsified. If inclusion in the Septuagint is not sufficient to warrant inclusion in the canon, then his entire exercise is pointless – at least as an argument for canonicity. But then the reformed confessions point out that reading these uninspired texts can be worthwhile.

    Like

  68. Jeff:
    On the other hand, I have a significant problem with how you treat me and others around here: insinuations, untruths, head games, refusal to admit error.>>>

    You wouldn’t be slandering me, would you? Not even just a little? Sheesh.

    You know that Susan is mistreated here, especially by the blog owner. Are you denying that? Yet she is sweet and kind all the time. She is smart and she presents good arguments.

    Then she is criticized publicly for not sticking around for more mistreatment.

    It annoys me. If you disagree with the way that Susan is treated here, then say so. If you agree, then that’s on you.

    Now, for a sincere attempt to clarify my point – yet one more time.

    When Paul said “all Scripture is God-breathed” did he include the Septuagint in that?

    I think the evidence is on the side of “yes.” I brought in the example of Romans 1 compared with the book of Wisdom. He did include the Septuagint, – as did all the NT writers – in his designation of “all Scripture”.

    What do you think?

    You tried to take the conversation in another direction. Therefore what you said may or may not all be true. It is irrelevant to the point I was wanting to make.

    Paul accepted the Deuterocanonical books as inspired Scripture. Do you agree? If not, then what was the attitude of the apostles and Jesus Himself towards the Septuagint?

    Did the Jews of that time read from the Septuagint or not? Did they accept it as Scripture?

    If not inspired, then what? The evidence is clear. The Septuagint had a huge influence on Jewish theology, esp. of the 1st Century. Therefore Paul was heavily influenced by it.

    That is what interests me and what I was hoping to get Ali to interact with.

    Now, calm down, Jeff. I hope for better things from you. This subject fascinates me. If you are not interested, then I understand. You have other concerns and other interests.

    No problem.

    Like

  69. Ali:
    I did include though, for you, a step yesterday. I reject these. There is no possibility they are scripture:

    Whereupon, Daniel took some pitch, some fat and some hair and boiled them up together, rolled the mixture into balls and fed them to the dragon; the dragon swallowed them and burst. Daniel said, ‘Now look at the sort of thing you worship! Daniel 14:27>>>>>

    Thank you for your kind response, Ali. I appreciate it.

    That’s a cool story.

    Is it possible that Revelation 12 is Scripture?

    The Woman and the Dragon
    12 A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth. 3 Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule[a] all the nations with a rod of iron. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne; 6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, so that there she can be nourished for one thousand two hundred sixty days.

    Like

  70. Webfoot,

    When Paul said “all Scripture is God-breathed” did he include the Septuagint in that?

    The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. If it did, then your church is wrong because it doesn’t include every book in the Septuagint in the canon of Paul.

    The answer is a qualified yes. He included the books of the Hebrew/Jewish/Protestant canon in that. So he freely quoted from Septuagint translations of those books as Scripture, calling them so. He doesn’t do that with the Wisdom of Solomon.

    So we’re back to you having to prove that an allusion means Paul thought it was canonical. Take off the Rome-colored glasses and think about your argument. Why, if Paul alludes to the Wisdom of Solomon, is the Wisdom of Solomon Scripture but Paul’s direct quoting of Cretan philosophers does not make them Scripture? Simply because Rome says so? You are telling me that Rome knows that Paul viewed the Wisdom of Solomon as Scripture even if Paul never says so?

    And then you should ask why Paul didn’t say “as it is written” or “as the Scripture says” when referring to the Wisdom of Solomon when he freely does so for books of the Hebrew canon?

    To quote Darryl:

    THINK!

    Like

  71. Jeff Cagle says:
    July 12, 2016 at 4:17 pm
    MWF: You wouldn’t be slandering me, would you? Not even just a little?

    Not even a little bit.>>>>

    I forgive you – yet once again.

    Like

  72. Ali, in all the flurry of comments I think I missed your point. You are looking into it for yourself. Good for you! Your love for God and His Word is evident, and I respect you greatly for that.

    Thank you for being a good example.

    Like

  73. @Robert
    “And then you should ask why Paul didn’t say “as it is written” or “as the Scripture says” when referring to the Wisdom of Solomon when he freely does so for books of the Hebrew canon?”

    I’m not so sure about this. Does Paul always write “as it is written” or something along those lines when he quotes scripture? For evaluating whether various part of the Septuagint should be considered part of the canon, I don’t see that it matters though. The fact of the matter is that prots and RCs agree that not all of the Septuagint is inspired scripture, so inclusion is not sufficient grounds for inclusion in the canon. Additionally, Paul quoted pagan sources (and Moses evidently quoted non-canonical sources as well in the Pentateuch), so being quoted in scripture does not necessarily indicate that the quoted source is canonical. So we are left in an interesting place. Either, all of this discussion of the Septuagint is utterly useless for determining the scope of the canon or the RCC dogmatic definition of an article of faith at Trent was in error.

    Like

  74. SDB,

    Off the top of my head, without looking it up, I’m not sure. But it does matter. Paul alludes to and quotes lots of stuff in his letters (as do the other Apostles), but not once do they say anything that would lead us to believe they viewed anything but the Hebrew canon as Scripture. That is, the only times he says “this is Scripture” in some way is when he’s quoting the Hebrew Scriptures. So we have this:

    Hebrew canon—Apostles sometimes use allusions and other things, as well as directly calling the Hebrew canonical books Scripture.

    Apocrypha—Apostles often speak in ways that betray their familiarity with these works, but never ever quote them as Scripture or refer to them in a way that would make us think they thought they were Scripture.

    And that’s significant for figuring out whether Trent did the right thing.

    Like

  75. To quote Darryl:

    THINK!>>>>

    You know, Robert, you are angry and shouting at me.

    Whatever glasses you guys are wearing, I have no interest anymore in putting them on.

    You like yours. I like mine. Let’s leave it at that for now. Thank you for your time.

    Like

  76. What I’m picking up, here, is that the reaction is not so much to the Deuterocanonical books themselves as it is to the Council of Trent.

    Interesting.

    So, when you look at the Deuteros, is Trent all you can see?

    Like

  77. Jeff Cagle says:
    July 12, 2016 at 5:42 pm
    MWF, I forgive you likewise. But I still appeal to you that your behavior is hindering your cause.>>>>>

    What is my cause, Jeff? What if my cause is to make myself look stupid? Can you agree that I have succeeded?

    Your behavior is hindering your cause as well, I suppose, if your cause includes a relationship with me. 😉 Relax, man. There are real enemies out there. I am a Mermaid, for goodness sake!

    Thank you for your forgiveness. That’s better than an apology!

    Like

  78. Having been constructively engaged for the last few months, my retirement now resumes. Now that I have time to read past DGH’s posts and into the comments, I find that I haven’t missed a thing. MWF is still hung up on the Deutereos. Now it is all the Scottish Bible Society’s fault. Oh well, I guess that is progress, though I missed the part where she apparently let Luther off the hook.

    One issue, which Jeff Cagle alludes to, is “which LXX?”. There is a good book that is reasonably accessible to those of us who have no Greek or Hebrew skills, https://www.amazon.com/When-God-Spoke-Greek-Septuagint/dp/0199781729 which I may have linked to before. Just how the Masoretic text came to be preferred is also an interesting story, one in which some guy named Jerome plays a big part. Apparently the field of Septuagint studies is flourishing right now, and is of interest to Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant scholars. Too bad that some can only use it as a cudgel to beat up separated brethren.

    BTW, in the small town Southern Baptist Church where I grew up, copies of Bibles that had the supposedly suppressed books in them were in pretty much all of the Sunday School classrooms, and certainly by the time I finished High School I was used to chasing down the more obvious references to them in the canonical NT. Not a big deal. But I grew up at a time and in a place where the Bible was, we thought, honored by trying to learn all we could about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  79. (A different) Dan says:
    July 12, 2016 at 10:17 pm
    Having been constructively engaged for the last few months, my retirement now resumes. >>>>

    Welcome back. I hope your are feeling well.

    Dan:
    MWF is still hung up on the Deutereos. Now it is all the Scottish Bible Society’s fault. Oh well, I guess that is progress, though I missed the part where she apparently let Luther off the hook.>>>>

    The Scottish Bible Society insisted that the Deuteros be removed from the KJV, so they were. That was in the early 1800s. Until that time, the Ds had been included in the KJV, but at the end as per Luther’s example. I don’t know the motive for their removal. It could have had to do with keeping the price of the book down.

    Luther had moved them to the back of his German translation of the Bible. He’s not off the hook. Yes, I think he has a lot to do with the Protestant attitude towards the Deuterocanonical books. Don’t you? His intro. to those books can be found online for anyone who wishes to read his explanation.

    Thankfully his suggestions about Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation did not prevail. It is easy in our day to find his intros to each one of those books explaining why he did not think they rose to the level of inspired Scripture.

    Luther’s views and actions are a matter of history. Protestants are free to disagree with Luther, and even protest his actions. Protestants do not have a closed canon. What Reformed Protestants have is a fallible list of infallible books – which does not make sense to me.

    Dan:
    One issue, which Jeff Cagle alludes to, is “which LXX?”. >>>>

    Not all that big a deal, really. It sounds like a killer question, but it really isn’t.

    Dan:
    There is a good book that is reasonably accessible to those of us who have no Greek or Hebrew skills, https://www.amazon.com/When-God-Spoke-Greek-Septuagint/dp/0199781729 which I may have linked to before. >>>

    Thanks.

    Dan:
    Just how the Masoretic text came to be preferred is also an interesting story, one in which some guy named Jerome plays a big part. Apparently the field of Septuagint studies is flourishing right now, and is of interest to Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant scholars.>>>>

    Yes, because it is now much easier for everyone to have access to all the documents of the early Church. It is much harder for Protestants to sustain their narrative, esp. about Jerome and his view of the Ds. It is not as cut and dried as Prots have alleged. The Septuagint was the Old Testament for the early Church. It was also included as Scripture for Jewish believers and the writers of the New Testament. The guys can get as angry with me as they wish for saying so. What they can’t do is prove otherwise.

    It is good to see the prejudice against the Deuteros breaking down as people become better informed.

    Are the guys here afraid that if they accept the Deuteros as inspired in whole or in part that they will have to then join the Catholic Church? Why would that be? Why can’t Protestants accept those books or at least parts of them as inspired? The early Church did not have the problems with it that Protestants have traditionally had.

    Robert consistently argues that the early Church was just made up of Christians, not Roman Catholics. Why not use the Scripture the Christians used, then – all of it?

    BTW, I DO THINK. Sheesh. So lame.

    Dan:
    Too bad that some can only use it as a cudgel to beat up separated brethren.>>>

    Too bad that some here at Old Life prefer to use their knowledge as a cudgel to beat up those who are no longer separated – whom they deem to be inferior in every way.

    Dan:
    BTW, in the small town Southern Baptist Church where I grew up, copies of Bibles that had the supposedly suppressed books in them were in pretty much all of the Sunday School classrooms, and certainly by the time I finished High School I was used to chasing down the more obvious references to them in the canonical NT. Not a big deal. But I grew up at a time and in a place where the Bible was, we thought, honored by trying to learn all we could about it.>>>>

    The Deuterocanonical books were not suppressed. They were removed from the KJV, which I am sure was the Bible you used in your Southern Baptist Church where you grew up. It would be good to put them back in. People can afford to pay for a bigger Bible in our time if economics were the problem back in the day. They belong.

    So, rah, rah, rah for the Deuteros! I’m thinking of making some hand written signs and marching around my neighborhood in support of the oppressed D’s. All books matter! Only thing is most of our neighbors are of the 4 legged kind – deer, bear, raccoon, tree rats, owls, and I am afraid to find out what else lives in the woods.
    🙂

    BTW, did you know that building a nest to attract owls is a good and natural way to keep the population of moles down? You don’t have to gas them or drown them. Just send them into the mouths of your friendly neighborhood predator.

    So, that’s that, for now. You take care of yourself, Dan. Nice to see you. Seriously.

    Like

  80. Just a quick note, MWF, the KJV with Apocrypha has always been available. The Bible Society’s decisions were not binding on the official publishers of the KJV (Cambridge, Oxford, etc) , which have always had versions of the KJV in print with the Apocrypha; , versions of the KJ V were published in the US and UK with and without the Apocrypha by commercial! Publishers. My brother has my Father’s Collins KJV with Apocrypha dating from the 1930’s. As for the issue of the LXX, in my personal experience I can’t recall ever owning a good reference or study Bible that didn’t have extensive references to the LXX in it. The various Pastors I have had over the years have never been the least bit bashful about using the LXX when they thank that version helps clarify a passage. The idea that Protestants somehow don’t have the whole Bible that is promoted by various RC apologists is a crock.

    Like

  81. Dan:
    The idea that Protestants somehow don’t have the whole Bible that is promoted by various RC apologists is a crock.>>>>

    Protestants always have the problem of authority. There is no way for Protestants to determine the canon of Scripture. Therefore the only appeal left is to some “fallible list of infallible books.”

    No Holy Spirit. No magisterium. No authority. No priesthood. No continuity. No eucharist. No Real Presence.

    Your mother loves you and wants you to come Home. You are not left as orphans. He has come to us in a real way, He has a Body. She is called the Church.

    Protestant objections to the Ds is really not the issue. That’s just a side show, and side shows interest me, of course. 🙂

    Who did God leave in charge of His Church? Now that is the real issue. Jesus promised not to leave us as orphans. He promised to come to us. He promised the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost. He came to the Church as a whole and to each of her members.

    Why did I become Catholic? Catholicism is all there is. There is nothing else or nothing more.

    Like

  82. Why did I become Catholic? Catholicism is all there is. There is nothing else or nothing more.

    What about Jesus, Mrs W? I think it is possible your statement does say it all.

    Like

  83. and, in a way, Mrsw, that also reminds me of a part of the conversation with the missionaries the other week,
    when saying eternal life= knowing God (John 17:3; 1 John 5:20) and how we long for His appearing (2 Tim 4:8)
    and they honestly looked puzzled, then they said something like,well, that is a part of it …. and I was thinking, that is all of it.

    Like

  84. @Robert

    Hebrew canon—Apostles sometimes use allusions and other things, as well as directly calling the Hebrew canonical books Scripture.

    Apocrypha—Apostles often speak in ways that betray their familiarity with these works, but never ever quote them as Scripture or refer to them in a way that would make us think they thought they were Scripture.

    And that’s significant for figuring out whether Trent did the right thing.

    Perhaps, but I don’t think that is what they did at Trent. For starters, Trent did not accept all of the Septuagint as Scripture. They accepted some parts of the Septuagint and rejected others. Thus I think this whole line of argument about Trent accepting the same OT as the apostles is nonsense. Inclusion in the collection of writings called the Septuagint is not a sufficient condition for inclusion in the Biblical canon for either RCs or prots. Additionally, being quoted in the NT is not a sufficient condition for establishing that the source is holy writ as Paul quoted pagan poets.

    Like

  85. MWF, one danger of retirement is that Someone Up There decides that you have nothing to do all dau but deal with banks and insurance companies. Thought I was through, but the bank messed up a simple notarial acknowledgement, so I will have to go back.

    No holy spirit? That is massively offensive.

    Like

  86. Additionally, being quoted in the NT is not a sufficient condition for establishing that the source is holy writ as Paul quoted pagan poets.

    That’s right. It has to be quoted as Scripture in order for it to be established as holy Writ. Which is why MWF’s argument fails unless she is going to accept everything quoted in the NT as holy writ.

    Basically what Trent did was say that the only criteria for canonicity was the council of Trent. That’s the biggest problem.

    Like

  87. @Robert It would be interesting to know what arguments were made by the Bishops in favor of the sections of the Septuagint they accepted as part of the canon and against the sections they rejected. I came across one tidbit that noted Psalm 151 was rejected because it was thought to have been written in Greek. However, the DSS show that it was written in Hebrew and in liturgical use at least among the Essenes. This raises an interesting question – if the council defined an article of faith (Psalm 151 is not part of the canon) for the wrong reason (it was written in Greek), is the church still infallible? I think most of us would agree that someone who got the right answer for the wrong reason has erred. Perhaps in the RC tradition, the church’s conclusions are protected from error if not the reasoning leading to those conclusions. But that would seem to lead to a sort of fideism, right? I’m not sure what to do with that – it is worth thinking about anyway.

    Like

  88. Mermaid, “Who did God leave in charge of His Church? Now that is the real issue. Jesus promised not to leave us as orphans. He promised to come to us. He promised the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost. He came to the Church as a whole and to each of her members.

    “Why did I become Catholic? Catholicism is all there is. There is nothing else or nothing more.”

    God left Francis in charge? Why do you never mention him? I can well imagine your response. “He’s such a nice man and he means well. I forgive him.”

    So you left Protestantism (which you couldn’t abide) to put up with something worse than liberal Protestantism?

    Brilliant defense.

    Like

  89. Ali says:
    July 13, 2016 at 9:50 am
    Why did I become Catholic? Catholicism is all there is. There is nothing else or nothing more.

    What about Jesus, Mrs W? I think it is possible your statement does say it all.>>>>

    Jesus is the Head of the Church. Remember that all who are baptized into Christ in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit are Christians.

    I would ask you what about Christ’s Body? What about His Bride? He laid down His life for her. Is it possible to be in Christ and not be part of His Church? There is only one, not many. Denominationalism is a manmade aberration, the result of sin and rebellion.

    It will not follow us into eternity.

    Colossians 1:15-20New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

    The Supremacy of Christ
    15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in[a] him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things, and in[b] him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

    Like

  90. (A different) Dan says:
    July 13, 2016 at 11:38 am
    MWF, one danger of retirement is that Someone Up There decides that you have nothing to do all dau but deal with banks and insurance companies. Thought I was through, but the bank messed up a simple notarial acknowledgement, so I will have to go back.>>>>

    That is not how you should have to spend your well earned rest. I hope it gets cleared up as quickly and painlessly as possibly.

    Dan:
    No holy spirit? That is massively offensive.>>>

    I thought you might take issue with that.

    Can you say that the Holy Spirit led Martin Luther – my favorite whipping boy 😉 – to rearrange the Bible? If so, how did He do that?

    Did the Holy Spirit lead him to claim that Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation were good books, but not inspired Scripture?

    Did the Holy Spirit lead Luther to add the word “alone” to the text of Scripture so he could defend his Prot. doctrine of “justification by faith alone”? He claimed that he did it on his own authority. He was just wrong and indefensible.

    Did the Holy Spirit lead the Scottish Bible Society to insist that the Ds be removed from the KJV? Or did market forces make that determination?

    When did Protestants call an ecumenical council in order to discern the mind of the Lord in the matter of the canon of scripture? I know of none.

    Possibly the Holy Spirit is now correcting Protestant error by stirring up renewed interest in the Ds and the Septuagint. Could it be? I wonder.

    Thank you for not yelling at me.

    Like

  91. Thank you mrsw, I love Colossians 1 too and v 28 too … 28 We proclaim HIM …, so, could you please then tell your people to quit making Jesus share the candle aisle at the grocery store with Mary; quit having the media show swooning over the pope , your holy father, your vicar of Christ ; and can you quit implying the Spirit can’t/isn’t always doing His job perfectly. Thank you.

    Like

  92. MWF, what you see as bugs others might see as features.

    As a believer, the NT contains multiple scriptural promises that the Holy Spirit will be present, with power, in my life. (I am sure Ali can provide the citations😀😀. ) That’s enough for me.

    Like

  93. (A different) Dan says:
    July 13, 2016 at 5:32 pm
    MWF, what you see as bugs others might see as features.

    As a believer, the NT contains multiple scriptural promises that the Holy Spirit will be present, with power, in my life. (I am sure Ali can provide the citations😀😀. ) That’s enough for me.>>>>

    I have no reason or desire to doubt the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life or that of any other believer in Christ.

    What keeps Protestants from doing what Martin Luther did with Scripture? Answer: nothing.

    Like

  94. Ali:
    ….and can you quit implying the Spirit can’t/isn’t always doing His job perfectly. Thank you.>>>>

    Actually, Ali, I am saying the exact opposite.

    In the case of God-breathed Scripture, the Holy Spirit inspired it. It is infallible because the Spirit of God does not fail in what He sets out to accomplish.

    He has led the Church infallibly to the infallible list of books that belong in the Bible. He has made no mistake in that, in spite of the weaknesses of the human beings He used to make that list clear and certain.

    We have been given an infallible list of infallible books. That includes the Deuterocanonical books.

    It is nonsense to talk about a fallible list of infallible books, which is what Protestants allege. That is not how the Holy Spirit works, leaving us to wonder about what Scripture we are supposed to accept as authoritative.

    We do not have to grope around like half blind moles trying to figure out what should be in the Bible. Why would God do that to us?

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  95. MWF:. “What keeps Protestants from doing what Martin Luther did with Scripture? Answer: nothing,”.The church I go to would never hear of such a thing. Everybody else can answer for themselves.

    Like

  96. (A different) Dan says:
    July 13, 2016 at 7:35 pm
    MWF:. “What keeps Protestants from doing what Martin Luther did with Scripture? Answer: nothing,”.

    The church I go to would never hear of such a thing. >>>

    Of course it wouldn’t. You’re Baptist. 🙂 I love Baptists. They weren’t afraid to come into our neighborhood when I was a kid. 🙂

    Dan:
    Everybody else can answer for themselves.>>>>

    Exactly!

    Hey, Dan, you stay well. Again, thanks for not yelling at me. Sometimes I want to yell at me. 😉

    Like

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