Thursday, November 12, 2009

Protestant Canon of Sacred Scripture

This entry is a continuation from here. The previous discussion was really about another topic initially and drifted to one about the Canon of Scripture - so rather than continue under the "Works and Grace" series, I am starting this new thread which better entitles the canon discussion.

Alan,
Why are you so reluctant to just present this allegedly overlooked Deuterocanonical book? I DID go through that series of posts, and did not see what you're referring to. I DID present you with the decree from Trent defining the canon to be according to the old Latin Vulgate. What's missing? All you did was point us down another rabbit hole of a two year old conversation. If I missed this elusive Deuterocanonical book, enlighten me. I have respectfully asked you now a number of times to just provide the name of this book.

Alan, you were asked to provide us with the canon God allegedly provides you defining the Canon of Sacred Scripture - you're evading your responsibility to present this canon - which somehow you have straight from God, assuming you're not willing to give credit where credit is due, namely that God used the Catholic Church to provide you with this canon.

Comparing apples to apples, I can show and HAVE SHOWN you the Canon of Sacred Scripture as defined by the Holy Ghost through the Catholic Church - your challenge is to demonstrate you arrive at YOUR canon outside the Catholic Church.

Your attempt to distract this challenge and "table turn" has not and will not work. You resort to vulgarity and have clearly demonstrated you have lost another round in our debates in doing so.

That being said, your challenge to me regarding a canon of infallible teachings HAS BEEN ANSWERED! I do not deny we do not have such a list. I have explained to you that the Church has not seen the need for such an infallible list. We have the definitions available to us in several sources, a couple of which have been brought to your attention (Denzinger's and Ott's compilations).

So no, we're NOT "as bad" as you are! We HAVE a defined Canon of Sacred Scripture - infallibly declared so at Trent. You have only that what you have received FROM US (minus a few books which Luther chose not to include). You might argue that St. Jerome expressed reservations regarding the Deuterocanonical books - and you'll get no argument from me there - I agree, he DID express concerns, but the book in question ARE part of the canon he ultimately published and ARE what make up what was defined by the Church and were included in the decrees at the councils of Rome, Carthage and Hippo prior to his publishing of the old Latin Vulgate.

In summary, you are still left with the open challenge to document the Canon of Sacred Scripture as something other than what you have received through the Holy Ghost's working in the Catholic Church. You are still left with the challenge to document this alleged Deuterocanonical book which was "passed over in silence" by the Council of Trent.

Yours truly in JMJ,

Scott<<<

Decree from Trent regarding the Canon of Sacred Scripture:
If anyone does not accept as sacred and canonical the aforesaid books in their entirety and with all their parts, as they have been accustomed to be read in the Catholic Church and as they are contained in the old Latin Vulgate Edition, and knowingly and deliberately rejects the aforesaid traditions, let him be anathema. Source.

17 comments:

  1. Going through some of MY OWN discussions on the canon, I found a response I made to William Webster back in 2007. If you're referring to 1 Esdras v. Ezra - as this allegedly "overlooked book" - then you are simply mistaken, just as Mr. Webster was (and I assume continues to be).

    If you plan to respond to what I said to Webster, please do so in this posting, not a 2 year old entry (in fact, I may turn off the ability to respond to older posts).

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

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  2. Hello Mr Windsor,

    RE: The yet-open RC Canon of Scripture.
    From here:

    So what does this all mean? First, it shows that the Catholic canon is imprecise in that it potentially contains books that are less authoritative and not adequate for proving dogma. A two-fold Catholic canon is still an open question according to the Council of Trent. Second, this imprecision translates into uncertainty for the faithful as the authority of any one book in the canon has intentionally been left undecided by the Catholic magisterium. Add to this the fact that a few books in the Vulgate were passed over in silence at the Council of Trent (3 & 4 Esdras, 3 Maccabees, Prayer of Manasseh), meaning that these books may or may not be inspired and deserving of a place in the canon, and we are left with an open Catholic canon containing books of potentially variable authority in matters of faith.


    Comparing apples to apples, I can show and HAVE SHOWN you the Canon of Sacred Scripture as defined by the Holy Ghost through the Catholic Church

    This is not a clear-cut case of apples to apples. If anythg, you're skipping around the real apple on the RC side, which is the question of infallible teachings. Scripture is, by your own proud proclamation, not your only source for divine revelation, so your idea of Scr is not particularly analogous to the Sola Scripturists' idea. To the SS-ist, Scr and only Scr contains infallible teaching. To the RC, there's more than just Scr that's infallible.
    When you ask me for a Canon of Scr, you're in effect asking me for a Canon of infallible teachings.
    I turn right around and ask you for your own Canon of infallible teachings, and you can't give it to me, even though you claim to have the mechanism in place for finding it! How much worse off, then, is your position that your allegedly-sufficient source, the Magisterium, hasn't answered your own question to me?


    That being said, your challenge to me regarding a canon of infallible teachings HAS BEEN ANSWERED! I do not deny we do not have such a list.

    Brilliant, that's appreciated.
    Now, will you please be so kind as to agree that this makes your question to me about the Canon of Scr an opportunity to:
    1) demonstrate an area in which the SS-ist has an epistemological advantage, if I can answer the question, or
    2) show that we are at minimum at an equal footing w.r.t. to this kind of Canon question? (And therefore show that it wasn't a good move for you to bring it up?)


    You have only that what you have received FROM US (minus a few books which Luther chose not to include).

    1) I don't get my Canon just from Luther.
    2) You do realise that Trent came AFTER the Reformation? Just checking. how could Luther somehow choose not to include books that weren't proclaimed until Trent, especially since Luther died while Trent was in early session, in 1546?


    You might argue that St. Jerome expressed reservations regarding the Deuterocanonical books

    And I might mention Athanasius, Gregory the Great, Cardinal Cajetan...


    Finally,
    You resort to vulgarity

    I don't know if I've ever met someone so prone to oversensitive, hypocritical special pleading as you. I suppose it comes with the territory.

    Peace,
    Rhology

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  3. Actually, Alan - this was not a discussion about sola scriptura at all, well maybe tangentially. This discussion solely asks the canon question. Now, being that you are an adherent to sola scriptura then perhaps we would be expecting you to show us the canon from Scripture itself - but we both know that is not possible (I hope). That's about as close to a sola scriptura discussion that I had in mind - and truly was not going down the sola scriptura debate route in this discussion. We can do that later if you wish, but from my side it's like shooting fish in a barrel.

    Your challenge is to document the Canon of Sacred Scripture from a source OTHER THAN the Holy Ghost working through the Catholic Church. We're still waiting for that, and we're not going to be diverted from that question so easily.

    And, as I suspected, it appears you're at least in part referring to the Esdras/Ezra issue for your alleged "overlooked book," and that has already been answered. The simple fact of the matter, the decree of Trent is that we are to use the canon according to the old Latin Vulgate. Whether each and every book from that canon is enumerated in other places in Trent is irrelevant, and it is still a distraction from the challenges you have before you. Anyone who has been around debate for any length of time at all knows the cheap debate trick to try and put your challenger on the defensive. You have a challenge to deal with here and trying to table-turn does not relieve you of that challenge. If we were scoring this, you lose points for such distractions/table turning and I would lose points if I allowed myself to be distracted. So, how about sticking to the point?

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

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  4. >> sw: You resort to vulgarity
    >
    > I don't know if I've ever met
    > someone so prone to oversensitive,
    > hypocritical special pleading as
    > you. I suppose it comes with the
    > territory.

    Alan, (and to my other readers, please excuse me) you used the word "crappy" which is a softer word for the "dirty" word which starts with "sh" - and just as vulgar. Then rather than apologize for such a choice of words, you attack me personally (ad hominem) invalidating your argumentation further, not to mention demonstrating a lack of Christian charity. You're not being a very good example for your cause. When you turn like that, you actually make Catholicism look so much better - but I'd rather have a clean debate than "win" because my opponent invalidates his position through emotional outbursts. That sort of "win" is not on the merits of my arguments, but on the demerits of my opponent, so it's rather shallow.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

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  5. Why in the world does Rhology think that it is a significant argument that we do not have a "canon of infallible teachings"? Is he not aware that the Magisterium is not a thing of the past that we look back to, but is something that exists today to correct? If he has a question as to whether some particular teaching is infallible then there are ways he can find this out. Look at the example for women priests and then Cardinal Ratzinger's response found in the Responsum ad Dubium concerning Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. Our position in this case is far different than that of Rhology's because while we might not have a list we do know exactly who the authority is and when they speak they do so infallibly. Rhology on the other hand, by rejecting the authority of the Church and accepting his own fallible/non-authoritative ecclesial confession cannot possibly have any certainty as to what belongs in the canon from that which doesn't.

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  6. Um, it's significant b/c you're asking for the same from me.

    Is he not aware that the Magisterium is not a thing of the past that we look back to, but is something that exists today to correct?

    So when are they going to correct whoever thinks (wrongly) that 'infallible teaching X' is actually not infallible?

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  7. Alex,
    Very true. Keep in mind too - this thread is NOT about authority, it is about knowing the Canon of Sacred Scripture. I merely ask Alan/Rho how can he KNOW this outside of the Catholic Church as guided by the Holy Ghost? He refuses to answer the question and attempts to table-turn and get me to provide an infallible list of infallible teachings. The subject is NOT Catholicism and Catholic authority, but the Protestant Canon of Sacred Scripture - WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?! Oh, he provided a non-answer, "It comes from God," but when pressed for any sort of evidence outside the Holy Ghost guiding the Catholic Church - he goes silent and/or presses for a change of topic.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  8. Alan asks:
    > So when are they going to correct
    > whoever thinks (wrongly) that
    > 'infallible teaching X' is
    > actually not infallible?

    1) That's not the subject here.

    2) The Church attempts correction first and if that doesn't work, excommunication follows. Do you need a laundry list of Catholics who have been excommunicated for rejecting dogma? Regardless, I am not going to provide that sort of list in this thread. Your question is a distraction from what confronts you to answer - and your dipping and dodging speaks volumes.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

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  9. I merely ask Alan/Rho how can he KNOW this outside of the Catholic Church as guided by the Holy Ghost?

    And I merely ask you how you can KNOW this INSIDE of the RCC. The reasons should be obvious.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The real Protestant downfall is that (I'm willing to bet) a new wave of Protestant Scholars (i.e. of the N.T.Wright variety) are going to start questioning/rejecting books of the NT...and at that point the Confessional Protestant is trapped, for it becomes a purely subjective standoff. Nothing at all - save traditions of men - is holding back any given Protestant from dumping any given book of Scripture...and for a whole host of reasons (some even probable, e.g. Titus and Timothy were private letters addressed to single individuals).

    For fun, I'd like to go around calling myself Protestant but rejecting the Book of Romans...after all, Paul didn't actually even write it (Rom 16:22)!
    ;-)

    And what can a White or a Piper really do in this situation? Nothing. The amazing thing is that this 'questioning of canon' hasn't really gained a foot hold among the various Protestant sects, though there's really no reason why not.

    ReplyDelete
  11. >> sw: I merely ask Alan/Rho how can
    >> he KNOW this outside of the
    >> Catholic Church as guided by the
    >> Holy Ghost?
    >
    > AR: And I merely ask you how you
    > can KNOW this INSIDE of the RCC.
    > The reasons should be obvious.

    sw: You're still doing the avoidance thing in not answering my question, but asking a diversionary question. When will you learn that diversion, distraction and confusion tactics are tools of Satan?

    sw: Yes, the reasons are quite obvious, so much so I don't know why you continue outside the One, True Church. Scripture tells you that the Holy Ghost would come and guide the Church to all truth. Jesus gave authority to infallibly bind or loose to the first bishops of His Church. Those bishops were sent out by Jesus, just as the Father sent Jesus out - therefore they could not fail to send out others, just as they were sent out. The truth IS so obvious! So when THAT Church declared, infallibly, the Canon of Sacred Scripture - I can KNOW this INSIDE the Catholic Church.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

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  12. When will you learn that diversion, distraction and confusion tactics are tools of Satan?

    You really don't see the relevance? Really?


    So when THAT Church declared, infallibly, the Canon of Sacred Scripture - I can KNOW this INSIDE the Catholic Church.

    And when their infallible council passes over some books in silence, that means nothing to you?


    Also, on the vulgarity front, what do you make of Matthew Bellisario's use of language that's quite a bit more offensive than my "vulgarity"?
    Just curious about how consistent you're willing to be on this count.

    Peace,
    Rhology

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  13. Oh, and Nick, while you're trying your little experiment, why not go around in RC circles and pretend you don't accept as Scr the books that Trent passed over in silence? If someone objects, then educate them.

    How well do you think that would go over? What defense would your RC counterparts have?

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  14. >>> AR: And I merely ask you how
    >>> you can KNOW this INSIDE of
    >>> the RCC. The reasons should
    >>> be obvious.
    >>
    >> sw: You're still doing the
    >> avoidance thing in not
    >> answering my question, but
    >> asking a diversionary question.
    >> When will you learn that
    >> diversion, distraction and
    >> confusion tactics are tools of
    >> Satan?
    >
    > AR: You really don't see the
    > relevance? Really?

    sw: Tangential relevance? Sure, but your question is not directly relevant to the question put before you (which you STILL have not answered, so let's add "evasion" to that list). I am asking you how you KNOW the Canon of Sacred Scripture IS those books you have, no more, no less - and your silence on that speaks volumes. Your evasion and diversion on that speaks volumes. You're trying to table-turn and get me to answer a question which has nothing to do with Protestant authority - UNLESS you are conceding to me that you know your canon because of the Catholic Church! IF you are calling that "relevance" - then I accept your concession - otherwise ANSWER THE QUESTION!

    >> sw: So when THAT Church
    >> declared, infallibly, the Canon
    >> of Sacred Scripture - I can
    >> KNOW this INSIDE the Catholic
    >> Church.
    >
    > AR: And when their infallible
    > council passes over some books
    > in silence, that means nothing
    > to you?

    sw: You have been corrected on this already and you continue to boastfully repeat this lie. I presented you the decree from the Council of Trent - and the decree itself does not enumerate the books, but refers to the canon of the "old Latin Vulgate." Just concede and stop lying - you've lost that argument. Repeating a false answer is not going to make it true.

    sw: Then Alan, not able to let go of a passing comment which really had no relevance to the topic, but was just an observation of vulgarity continues:
    > AR: Also, on the vulgarity
    > front, what do you make of
    > Matthew Bellisario's use of
    > language that's quite a bit more
    > offensive than my "vulgarity"?
    > Just curious about how
    > consistent you're willing to be
    > on this count.

    sw: Let's see, he referred to you folks as "idiots." That was an ad hominem attack - but not hardly even AS offensive, much less "more" offensive than substituting the "sh" word with the "cr" word. The use of "idiots" is a personal attack and I try to avoid direct namecalling, as this is invalid in debate and only tends to escalate into more ad hominem - so it is quite counter productive. Or perhaps you refer to his comparing you to "donkeys" (he said "asses"). Now in context, unless he said "holes" along with that word, you're imputing upon him something which wasn't said - or, as you folks like to accuse, you were mind-reading. As for me, since that word CAN be used both to refer to donkeys and the more vulgar reference to a portion of the human anatomy - I avoid it and would recommend others do as well. Now, in THIS case, you COULD ask him if he was referring to animals or anatomy - if you're REALLY that interested in this rabbit hole (and that is a reference to a hole in the ground, as in the multiple rabbit holes Alice found in "Wonderland"). As for YOU - there is no other alternative for the "cr" word you used, it is a replacement word for the "sh" word. Take your reproof and amend your ways - stop trying to say "he's as bad as me" - OWN your faults and REPENT of them. That's what TRUE Christians do.

    sw: Your comment to Nick was already corrected previously in this post and prior to that too.

    sw: Accept that you've made some errors here - OWN them - REPENT and move on.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

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  15. Oh sure, b/c that word is VERY commonly used to refer to "donkeys". Anything for Mother Rome and her own, it would appear. Your hypocrisy is very telling.

    And you've PRETENDED to overturn the argument, but you've failed to even address the issue of Trent's passing books over in silence. You've also failed to do any damage to the obvious comparison between canons of infallible teaching. Let the reader judge whether, even if I can't answer your question, the Roman position is in any better position. That's been my point from the start anyway, and I'm only too happy to leave it there, your complaints notwithstanding.

    Peace,
    Rhology

    ReplyDelete
  16. > AR: Oh sure, b/c that word is
    > VERY commonly used to refer to
    > "donkeys".

    sw: It is. An ass is a stubborn animal, hard to move from its position if it doesn't want to move. The phrase in non-vulgar meaning is quite common. Get your mind out of the gutter.

    > AR: Anything for Mother Rome and
    > her own, it would appear.

    sw: No Alan, not quite. I simply did not purposefully try to put the worst possible light on his use of that word. There is no positive light on your choice of words - which is REALLY what this is about. You were caught using vulgarity and rather than repent you try to point to others who did it too. That's like the highway patrolman who gets 10 cars on his radar going 20 over the speed limit, he can only pull one over and that one guy says, "what about the other 9? They were speeding too!" The patrolman will just answer, "That doesn't make YOUR infraction any less." Apologize Alan, and THEN move on. That's what a Christian would do.

    > AR: Your hypocrisy is very
    > telling.

    sw: I am not being hypocritical, nor did I support everything which Matthew B. said on that other blog. YOU took a word HE used which has at least TWO meanings, and YOU applied the worst possible meaning. Again, did you ASK him if he meant a stubborn beast or a part of personal anatomy? No, you merely ASSUMED the worst! I also reiterated it is not my preference to use ad hominem at all and I encourage others not to do so.
    (breaking here)

    ReplyDelete
  17. (continuing...)
    Getting back to one of the other tangents of this thread you introduced:
    > AR:And you've PRETENDED to
    > overturn the argument, but
    > you've failed to even address
    > the issue of Trent's passing
    > books over in silence.

    sw: Again, what Trent did after Luther's death had NOTHING to do with what I said about what Luther did! It's a constant tactic you employ, to divert and confuse the reader by attempting to turn the tables (which is an invalid argument in debate - though it can be an effective tactic if your opponent loses focus). I remind you again, confusion tactics are tools of Satan, the Father of Confusion. That being said, I DID answer you the very first time! This argument IS overturned! The DECREE from Trent does not enumerate ANY of the books individually - so by your argument, Trent passed over ALL of them "in silence." However, what Trent DID do is cite the canon of the "old Latin Vulgate." That is the Canon of Sacred Scripture for the Catholic Church.

    > AR: You've also failed to do any
    > damage to the obvious comparison
    > between canons of infallible
    > teaching.

    sw: I haven't failed because I have openly stated there is no such canon AND such a canon does not affect the infallibility of teachings we KNOW to be infallible! I provided you no less than TWO very good "canons" or "lists" but I seriously doubt you've looked at either one.

    > AR: Let the reader judge
    > whether, even if I can't answer
    > your question, the Roman
    > position is in any better
    > position.

    sw: Well, the fact is you CAN answer, you choose NOT to! You know full well there is no "inspired table of contents" and further that the first STABLE canon of the New Testament came nearly 400 years into Christendom by the Catholic Church in at least three different local councils. When it comes to the Old Testament, there were at least 2 Jewish canons out there, the Hebrew Canon and the Greek Canon. Since Christianity was primarily Greek speaking - AND - the Deuterocanonicals not found in the Hebrew Canon also pointed to Christ and other Christian practices - AND - the Jews rejected the Greek Canon along with the entire New Testament Canon, well - how many more reasons do you need to accept the TRUTH here? Admit it, Alan, you received the Canon of Sacred Scripture from the Catholic Church, minus a few books of the OT which Luther and his contemporaries left out of their canon.

    > AR: That's been my point from
    > the start anyway, and I'm only
    > too happy to leave it there,
    > your complaints notwithstanding.

    sw: Your complaint from the start has been invalid from the start. A complaint of "you're just as bad" (and we're not) has no bearing on how bad YOU are!

    sw: Why can't or won't you just answer where the Protestant Canon of Sacred Scripture came from? Yes, you said "from God" earlier, but when pressed for documentation of that statement, you cower back into (tools of Satan) diversions again. The REAL point is you're not being honest here. If you were being honest, you would admit to the fact that you received the Canon of Sacred Scripture from the Catholic Church as guided by the Holy Ghost - with the exception of the OT, for which you do not rely upon the Holy Ghost through the Catholic Church, but upon those who rejected Jesus and rejected the NT entirely. Those are the facts here.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete

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