Some last few corrections – Bible canon.
1. If the Roman Catholic church gave the world the Bible, being infallible, then why did Rome reject or question the inspiration of James and Hebrews , then later accept it? Conversely, Rome accepted as scripture books that were later rejected [like Pastor Hermas]. If the Catholic church really is illuminated by the Holy Spirit so that men can trust her as “God’s organization”, why was she so wrong about something so simple? Should not the “Holy See” have known?*
2. If the Orthodox church gave the world the Bible, being infallible, then why did the eastern churches reject or question the inspiration of Revelation, then later accept it? Conversely, the east accepted as scripture books that were later rejected. If the Orthodox church really is illuminated by the Holy Spirit so that men can trust her as “God’s organization”, why was she so wrong about something so simple?*
There are local and temporary traditions and there is universal tradition all around it. So, Rome has too functions: a see, and the see that other sees appeal to. It is only in the latter sense that Rome is claimed to be infallible, and its decisions have been claimed to be irreformable – except when Rome itself recognises an earlier lapse (Latinists are advised to search Denzinger for the phrase “nisi quid subreptum sit”, I know it was written by Pope St Leo IX, and I recall it was written once earlier, I think some time 6th or 7th C.) So, accepting Pastor Hermas but not St James was a local lapse, noone claims they excommunicated anyone – like the East who rejected Apocalypse at the time – over it.
Same thing applies to Eastern Orthodox understanding. They do not as a truth in itself identify the Orthodox Church and the Church of Byzantium: they even admit Byzantium was heretic under iconoclasm, except for commoners and monks, while Rome was Orthodox in its then bishops.
8. Both Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox church leaders make the identical claim that they gave the world the Bible. If both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches make the same claim they gave the world the Bible, why do they have different books in each of their Bibles? Whose “church authority” shall we believe? Whose tradition is the one we should follow?
There is a link to a page examplifying: 1. Esra, 3. and 4. Maccabees, Psalm 151 are not in Roman Catholic but in various Greek Orthodox Bibles. Now, like earlier when it came to Apocalypse of St John and Epistel of St James, these differences were tolerated. Unlike the case between Cathodox and Protestants, where II Maccabees were attacked for an obvious reason: they said one was to sacrifice for the dead so they could be cleansed from their sins. And Protestants to attach themselves to the Talmudic OT canon to get rid of it.
Now, here is an argument from the page linked to:
4 The New Testament never quotes from the any of the apocryphal books written between 400 – 200 BC. What is significant here is that NONE of the books within the “apocryphal collection” are every quoted. So the Catholic argument that “the apocryphal books cannot be rejected as uninspired on the basis that they are never quoted from in the New Testament because Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon are also never quoted in the New Testament, and we all accept them as inspired.” The rebuttal to this Catholic argument is that “Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther” were always included in the “history collection” of Jewish books and “Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon” were always included in the “poetry collection”. By quoting one book from the collection, it verifies the entire collection. None of the apocryphal books were ever quoted in the New Testament. Not even once! This proves the Catholic and Orthodox apologists wrong when they try to defend the apocrypha in the Bible.**
On another page*** Steve Rudd refers to the Septuagint (LXX = 70 in Roman Numerals for short, and septuaginta means seventy) which he accepts. But these books were in that Collection. In the Septuagint certainly Tobit, Judit and I and II Maccabees, probably or at least possibly I Esra, III and IV Maccabees were in the History Collection or a continuation of it. And the Wisdom of Solomon and the Wisdom of Jesus Syrach were also in the poetry or wisdom collection of the LXX. Which brings us to the next point:
12. Why did God fail to provide an inspired and infallible list of Old Testament books to Israel? Why would God suddenly provide such a list only after Israel was destroyed in 70 AD?
Problem is there were three, possibly four lists in competition. Samaritan list excluded book of Ruth and anything after it. One Palestinian list was in Hebrew and provided what was later to become the Biblia Hebraica – and Protestant OT. And LXX provided what was to become early Christian OT, which included the books Steve Rudds cavalierly insists on calling apocryphic. There are variants as to what are its exact limits. Roumanian Bible has IV Maccabees as a kind of PS to the Old Testament, written as it supposes it by Flavius Josephus, which is why its title is Iosip. Slavonic Bible has another post-script to OT which begins with I Esdras (and I think continues with II Esdras – usually known as book of Ezra or in Vulgate as I Esdras – then III Esdras=Vulgate II Esdras=Nehemiah). Fact is that Jews did not decide between these lists until Jamnia, by Rabbis who at exactly same occasion excommunicated Christians of Jewish origin.
3. If the Roman Catholic church gave the world the Bible in 397 AD, then why did many different versions of canons continue to circulate long afterwards?
7. If the Catholic church, “by her own inherent God given power and authority” gave the world the Bible, why did she not get it right the first time? Why did the Roman Catholic church wait until 1546 AD in the Council of Trent, to officially add the Apocrypha to the Canon?
Council of Carthage was not an Ecumenic Council, did not oblige the East, was however approved by Rome (similar status to the famous Councils of Orange and Toledo).° Trent claimed to be fully ecumenic, at the time Photians were not only thought of as Schismatic but as even heretic, and therefore assistance of what now would be called Greek or Russian Orthodox bishops was not seen as necessary. Obviously Orthodox answered by the councils that condemned both Trent – and even harder condemned the Protestantism condemned by Trent: Iasi in Roumania and Jerusalem. Orthodox give them a similar status as we give to I of Toledo. And none of these councils ever gave an OT that is identic to Protestant one, that of Carthage gave exactly same canon (though on a lower level of juridic-canonic obligation) as later Trent. As I recently found out on FB.
4. If the Roman Catholic church gave us the Bible, why were the two synods of Hippo (393 AD) and Carthage, (397 AD) African councils, and not initiatives of Rome?
5. Since the synod Carthage in 393 AD stated, “But let Church beyond sea (Rome) be consulted about confirming this canon”, does this not prove that Rome had no direct input or initiative in determining the canon.
6. Since the two synods of Hippo (393 AD) and Carthage, (397 AD) were under the control of what would later become the “orthodox church”, how can the Roman Catholic church claim they determined the Canon? Would not such a claim be more naturally due the Eastern Orthodox church?
First of all this is once again reading a doctrinal and ecclesiologic clear division of our times backward into the history of the provinces later concerned.
Second of all Africa was anyway part of Latin sphere: it was there that Mass was first said in Latin. Between Vandals and French conquest of 1830 there was not much of a Church there anyway, except as underground practising individuals in slavery, often Roman Catholics, sometimes Lutheran (Iceland after Reformation had been a victim of Algerian pirates headed by a Dutch renegade).
But last, Roman Catholicism does not mean that Rome and the Pope take all initiatives. It means the initiatives are taken where they seem to be needed, and then appeal is made to Rome – as from both Toledo (our copies were written on orders of Rome° or Carthage).
° And first council of Toledo is a testimony against Photians claiming filioque to be heretic. It was held way before Barbarian invasions, under the Papacy of St Leo I whom even Orthodox consider a saint, since both the council and the Pope do confess filioque:
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