Friday, June 24, 2016

1 Esdras - 3 Esdras and the Question of a Closed Canon

I read an article by James Swan posted on Friday, June 17, 2016, wherein he states he had been challenged to defend both his and James White's position on 1 Esdras, 3 Esdras and whether or not the Canon of Sacred Scripture is indeed a "closed canon."  I will say that I found Swan's article interesting, to say the least.  It is an interesting discussion, but beyond mere interest - it carries no weight theologically speaking.

I was tempted, when I first began reading, to just dismiss the article, after all - "Rome has spoken, the case is closed" - to paraphrase St. Augustine.  Regardless of debates which may have taken place prior to the Council of Trent, the fact remains that Trent infallibly decreed the Canon of Sacred Scripture - end of story - the canon is closed.  Still, I repeat, I did find Swan's article to be interesting.

Of course the reason folks like Swan, White or Webster (whom Swan also mentions) will make such speculations is clear - they wish to undermine the authority of the Catholic Church to infallibly define ANYTHING.  Ironically though, in doing so they undermine one of their own pivotal and foundational tenets, sola scriptura.  Why?  Because if we define sola scriptura as the sole infallible rule of faith for the Christian church, as White & Co. does, and Scripture itself records God Himself giving this infallible authority to the first leaders of His Church (Matthew 16:18-19 and 18:18) then Scripture has confounded the argument of sola scriptura in CLEARLY presenting us with ANOTHER infallible authority - so much for White's definition of sola scriptura (which I believe Swan and Webster both subscribe to).  As I have previously pointed out, this is "the other pen" White has challenged others to present.

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