My prayers go out to William's family, and I do pray for his soul - may God have mercy on him.
|Photograph: Ken Hively/Los Angeles Times/ContourPhotos.com|
|Photograph: Ken Hively/Los Angeles Times/ContourPhotos.com|
|"Be Careful the way you communicate the issue of the canon in the early church"
7 Comments -
1 – 9 of 9
|Scott Windsor, Sr. said...|
The fact that there was no "Bible" prior to the 4th-5th century is quite true. It is also true that all the books which comprise that which would be declared to be "The Bible" were all written prior to 96AD. That some books were widely read in the early churches MAY be true, but the fact is that there were few copies available in the first 300 years of the Catholic Church and not because they were forbidden, but because all copies would have been hand-written. There is no doubt that many of the books are rightly declared as being part of the Canon of Sacred Scripture in the earliest of canon lists - but likewise several books were included in these lists which eventually were not included while others were excluded but eventually made it into the official canon.
Should pastors be careful in how they describe the early canons? Yes, I would agree with that! They should also be honest about how the canon developed and was not 100% accepted.
7:31 PM, July 26, 2014
Basically I agree, if there is enough time to make clear that the individual books were already canon when written, because they are "God-breathed".
But I suppose you are also wanting books like Shepherd of Hermas, Barnabas, Didache, Wisdom of Solomon, and Apocalypse of Peter to be mentioned as possibly considered by some (Muration Canon and Codex Siniaticus) as "canon" also. But it could be argued that Codex Siniaticus is just making use of the space and material, not proof that they thought they were canonical.
4:05 PM, July 28, 2014
|Scott Windsor, Sr. said...|
And I would agree as well... except for the point of "just making use of space." In the time before the printing press (and we're talking more than 1000 years prior to it) adding to the "space" was much more laborious and thus not a very logical argument. So, while it "could be argued...", such a paradigm is quite unlikely. The more likely is that they appreciated the Shepherd, Barnabus, Didache, etc. and included them because they did preach the Gospel message - but for any number of reasons (and there are a few) the later counterparts decided against their inclusion in the canon.
As for the point about them being "canonical" at the time they were penned, while it is true they were and are God's Word at the time they were penned, it is a bit anachronistic to argue they were canonical prior to the existence of canon lists.
7:38 PM, July 28, 2014
|Joey Henry said...
Scott, you have to define what you mean by canon. If canon for you means that there should be a canonical list defined by an ecclesiastical body, then you correct in saying that it is anachronistic to assert the canon prior to the list.
However, the definition of what is a canon and when a book becomes canonical is at issue. For me, the canon is a result of inspiration. When God inspired some books and not all books, he basically created the canon. Thus, the canon exist even if no ecclessiatical body defines it.
7:21 AM, July 31, 2014
|Scott Windsor, Sr. said...|
I understand what you're saying - but I must stress - words have meanings. A "canon" (in this context) is a LIST or COLLECTION of sacred books which are accepted as genuine. Thus, to say a book or collection of books is "canonical" BEFORE the LIST or COLLECTION is assembled is purely anachronistic. To be "canonical" does not equivocate to being "inspired." In the case of Scripture, those books which were eventually included in the Canon of Sacred Scripture are indeed ALSO inspired (God breathed) and the inclusion into the canon did not make them inspired. They were, indeed, inspired even prior to them being penned (the writer first had the inspiration and THEN put it to paper/papyrus). By the same token, just because something is not in the formal canon does not mean it is not inspired! Many other books are considered worthy to be read and could be considered inspired and inspirational - they just were not part of the official canon.
Back to the point - NONE of the books were "canonical" prior to the establishment of a "canon." In simpler terms, NONE of the books were part of the "list" prior to the "list" being compiled.
Also keep in mind, there were SEVERAL "canons" prior to the 4th-5th century.
Words mean things.
11:04 PM, July 31, 2014
. . . words have meanings. A "canon" (in this context) is a LIST or COLLECTION of sacred books which are accepted as genuine.
Words have meanings, yes. But the original meaning of "canon" was not a list, rather "criterion" / "standard" / "rule" - the meaning of "list of sacred books" came much later.
(the writer first had the inspiration and THEN put it to paper/papyrus).
No, 2 Timothy 3:16 says the writings are God-breathed, not the person. The person was guided by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21), using their own personality, but it was the writings themselves that are God-breathed.
3:25 PM, August 01, 2014
|Scott Windsor, Sr. said...|
> KT: Words have meanings, yes.
> But the original meaning of
> "canon" was not a list, rather
> "criterion" / "standard" /
> "rule" - the meaning of "list of
> sacred books" came much later.
sw: Without going into the etymological fallacy, the use that we are talking about (as indicated by "in this context") is clearly the use of canon lists as produced (several different ones) in the first 400 years of the Church.
The real underlying point here is that the canon did not determine itself. If the canon were self-determining, there would not have been any debate over it - much less 400(+) years of said debate! No, it was ultimately declared by the Church through the Holy Ghost.
The real reason you do not accept this explanation is that it is quite damning to the concept of sola scriptura because you accept, without exception, the canon of the New Testament as declared by the Catholic Church through the Holy Ghost. <> Scott<<<
1:50 PM, August 03, 2014
Before the word "canon" was used as a list of NT books, it meant "rule", "criterion", "standard" in the explanations of "the rule of faith" or "canon of truth" - in Irenaeus(180-200 AD), Tertullian(190-220 AD), Origen (250 AD) (D. L. Williams, The Free Church and the Early Church, page 17) and was basically organized around the Trinitarian formula of Matthew 28:18-20; and is basically, the same doctrinal content as what later became the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Chalcedonian and Athanasian Creeds.
This "rule of faith" or "canon of truth" was also called "the tradition", "the faith", "the teaching" (Athanasius, To Serapion, on the Holy Spirit, Epistle 1, 28) or "the preaching" (Irenaeus)
So, you are wrong. The standard, rule, criterion was the doctrinal truths of Christianity (which Protestants agree with because they came from Scripture and were taught to new converts before baptism, and functioned as "the standard" until all the NT books were discerned and discovered and put togehter under one "book cover", so to speak.
So, I did not make an etymological fallacy.
There was no real debate over the four gospels, Acts, Paul's letters, 1 John and 1 Peter.
Clement and Pseudo Barnabas seem to allude to 2 Peter.
Irenaeus, Tertullian - 180-220 AD affirm most of the NT books, both Irenaeus and Tertullian affirm the book of Revelation - before those 2 writers, there is just not much extant from the earlier writers; their output was small - Clement, Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Polycarp, Papias. What we have of their writings is too small to even quote or allude to very many of the NT documents, though they do allude to and quote from some. Clement, very early, uses Hebrews.
The only debate was over Hebrews, Revelation, James, Jude, 2-3 John, 2 Peter. (mostly Eusebius tells us that there was debate over these books.)
But Revelation (Irenaeus, Tertullian) and Hebrews (Clement) are mentioned and affirmed early. 2 Peter by Clement and Psedo-Barnabas.
The power of the NT documents is self-evident and they eventually won because of their self-evident power and quality as being "God-breathed".
12:52 PM, August 04, 2014
What is the context of this discussion? Beyond etymology, we're talking about canon lists of the Canon of Sacred Scripture. Yes, the word "canon" or "kanon" also has the meaning of a "rule" or "criterion," but in this context we're speaking of the lists which were put together, several of them in the Early Church. So, when we speak of the Canon of Sacred Scripture, these books were not canonical until there was a canon or list to which they belonged. One canon of the Old Testament is the Septuagint or Greek canon, another is the Palestinian or Hebrew canon. Catholics, along with Jesus and the Apostles, used the Greek canon; Protestants and post-Christian Jews adhere to the Palestinian canon. Pre-Christian Jews followed a mix between the Alexandrian (Greek) canon and the Palestinian (Hebrew) canon.
Then there came the New Testament canons. One of the first recorded canon lists was the Marcionian Canon, and while Marcion was declared an heretic, it was not because of his canon - though it was controversial. Irenaeus argued for a 4 book Gospel canon and Origen presented a canon quite similar to the current New Testament canon, except he did not include James, 2 Peter 2nd and 3rd John and he did include the Shepherd of Hermas. I could go on, but the point is which canon list? If any book belonged to any canon, then it was "canonical" per that canon. The final canon of Scripture does not exist until the late 4th century, so per that canon, while many books were not disputed by that time, none were part of that canon until that canon existed.
1:54 AM, August 06, 2014
Not only is the sacramentality of a marriage NOT determined in an annulment case, the question of its sacramentality is not even RAISED in the process. The annulment process is about the validity of marriage and only about validity; a successful petition results in a “declaration of nullity”, not in a declaration of non-sacramentality.All of us Catholics, and especially apologists, should not only be aware of this distinction, but should be prepared to answer to it when false information is presented. Not all sacramental marriages are valid; not all valid marriages are sacramental.
R. C. Sproul demonstrates the contradiction in Roman Catholic Theology, when it claims it agrees with Augustine against Pelagius and the Semi-Pelagians (Provincial Synod of Orange in 529 AD), but later re-affirms Semi-Pelagianism by the decrees of Trent (1545-1563) and then, later, arguably, it approves of even Pelagianism by the condemnation of the Jansenists (roughly, 1638-1713) and the modern Roman Catholic Catechism of 1994. Sproul calls it an "ambiguity". Indeed, it is more than that; it is a real contradiction. It also shows the Roman Catholic Church to be fallible; thus bringing down the whole system of its claim to be infallible.Embedded Ken has a video with Dr. RC Sproul wherein Sproul makes the statement that the Catholic Church has theological hemophilia, and if you scratch her, she bleeds to death. That is, since the Catholic Church claims to be infallible, if one can demonstrate a contradiction in infallible teachings - then infallibility is destroyed - "she bleeds to death." In the video Sproul deals with the matter of Free Will and Original Sin.
Pelagianism views humanity as basically good and morally unaffected by the Fall. It denies the imputation of Adam's sin, original sin, total depravity, and substitutionary atonement. It simultaneously views man as fundamentally good and in possession of libertarian free will. With regards to salvation, it teaches that man has the ability in and of himself (apart from divine aid) to obey God and earn eternal salvation. Pelagianism is overwhelmingly incompatible with the Bible and was historically opposed by Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo, leading to its condemnation as a heresy at Council of Carthage in 418 A.D. These condemnations were summarily ratified at the Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431). http://www.theopedia.com/PelagianismSt. Augustine opposed Pelagianism in this respect:
Jansenism was a Christian theological movement, primarily in France, that emphasized original sin, human depravity, the necessity ofdivine grace, and predestination.
They even go so far as to say that the life of the righteous in this world has no sin, and thus the Church of Christ in this mortal state is so perfected as to be altogether “without spot or wrinkle. ” As if it were not the Church of Christ throughout the world which cries to God, “Forgive us our trespasses.” They also deny that infants, born according to Adam after the flesh, contract by their first [sc. Natural] birth the infection of the ancient death. So they assert that they are born without any bond of original sin: with the result, of course, that there is in them nothing that has to be released at their Second [or New] Birth. The reason why they are baptized is that by their New Birth they be adopted and admitted into the kingdom of God, carried from good to better—not, by that renewal, delivered from any evil of ancient entail. For even if they are not baptized, they promise them eternal life and bliss of a sort, though not within the kingdom of God. Adam also himself, they say, even if he had not sinned, would have undergone bodily death; though, if he so died, it would have been due not to the deserts of his guilt, but to the conditions of his nature. Several other things are charged against them. But these are especially the points on which it may be understood how all, or nearly all, the rest depend. http://www.earlychurchtexts.com/public/augustine_on_pelagianism.htm
1731 Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one's own responsibility. By free will one shapes one's own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude.
1732 As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfection or of failing and sinning. This freedom characterizes properly human acts. It is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach.
But the Vatican issued a statement saying some parts of a long article in the left-leaning La Repubblica were not accurate, including one that quoted the pope as saying that there were cardinals among the abusers.
The article was a reconstruction of an hour-long conversation between the pope and the newspaper's founder, Eugenio Scalfari, an atheist who has written about several past encounters with the pope.
The pope was quoted as saying that, while most paedophilia took place in family situations, "even we have this leprosy in our house".
He vowed zero tolerance for abusers and said bishops would be held accountable if they covered up crimes by priests in their diocese.