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Gold Winger

Catholics Wrote the Bible?

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History of usage of the term

"Catholic Church" and what

was meant by its use.

 

Dear BadenP,

 

If this thread is to become a historial deabate about the existence of the Catholic Church from the time of Peters Apostolate until the present day, then I am perfectly willing to contribute to this forum any evidence to support such a thesis, which I believe to be patenly true and not some wishful aberant revision of reality.

 

A letter written by Ignatius to Christians in Smyrna [1] around 106 A.D. is the earliest surviving witness to the use of the term "Catholic Church" (Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 8). By it Ignatius designated the Christian Church in its universal aspect, excluding heretics, such as those who disavow "the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again" (Smyrnaeans, 7). He called such people "beasts in the shape of men, whom you must not only not receive, but, if it be possible, not even meet with" (Smyrnaeans, 4). The term is also used in the Martyrdom of Polycarp in 155 and in the Muratorian fragment, about 177.

 

St Cyril of Jerusalem (circa 315-386) urged those he was instructing in the Christian faith: "If ever thou art sojourning in cities, inquire not simply where the Lord's House is (for the other sects of the profane also attempt to call their own dens houses of the Lord), nor merely where the Church is, but where is the Catholic Church. For this is the peculiar name of this Holy Church, the mother of us all, which is the spouse of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God" (Catechetical Lectures, XVIII, 26).[2]

 

The term "Catholic Christians" entered Roman Imperial law when Theodosius I, Emperor from 379 to 395, reserved that name for adherents of "that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, as it has been preserved by faithful tradition and which is now professed by the Pontiff (Pope) Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria ...as for the others, since in our judgement they are foolish madmen, we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics, and shall not presume to give their conventicles the name of churches." This law of 27 February 380 was included in Book 16 of the Codex Theodosianus.[3] It established Catholic Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire.

 

The use of the term "Catholic" to distinguish the "true" Church from heretical groups is found also in Saint Augustine who wrote:

"In the Catholic Church, there are many other things which most justly keep me in her bosom. The consent of peoples and nations keeps me in the Church; so does her authority, inaugurated by miracles, nourished by hope, enlarged by love, established by age. The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep (Jn 21:15-19), down to the present episcopate.

 

"And so, lastly, does the very name of Catholic, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house.

 

"Such then in number and importance are the precious ties belonging to the Christian name which keep a believer in the Catholic Church, as it is right they should ... With you, where there is none of these things to attract or keep me... No one shall move me from the faith which binds my mind with ties so many and so strong to the Christian religion... For my part, I should not believe the gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church."

 

St. Augustine (354430): Against the Epistle of Manichaeus called Fundamental, chapter 4: Proofs of the Catholic Faith[4].

A contemporary of Augustine, St. Vincent of Lerins, wrote in 434 under the pseudonym Peregrinus a work known as the Commonitoria ("Memoranda"). While insisting that, like the human body, Church doctrine develops while truly keeping its identity (sections 54-59, chapter XXIII), he stated: "n the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and in the strictest sense 'Catholic,' which, as the name itself and the reason of the thing declare, comprehends all universally. This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity, consent. We shall follow universality if we confess that one faith to be true, which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity, if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is manifest were notoriously held by our holy ancestors and fathers; consent, in like manner, if in antiquity itself we adhere to the consentient definitions and determinations of all, or at the least of almost all priests and doctors" (section 6, end of chapter II).

 

Many protestant revisionists have made claim, and in some sense rightly so, that the early church was a loose affiliation guided by the Holy Spirit. But just look to the Letters of Saint Paul to find a very strong and often stern hand of guidnace and authorty in mattters of liturgy, belief, correct interpretaion, and creed.

 

These same revisionists have also made the unfortunate logical mistep of projecting backwards through time a theological outlook that did not exist in the early or even later Church fathers. By simply stating that when the term Catholic was being used by the men sited above that they didnt really mean the Catholic we think of today, with a Pope, a chair of Saint Peter, a line of Episcopate that goes back to Peter, they are not being accurate.

 

The Credes of belief in a Trinity are the product of Catholic Church fathers who found authoiry in a central college of Bishops with their head the Pope. The Credes were worked out to establish a unified and shared doctrinal stance that defined what a Catholic Christian was and by implication was not.

 

There was in fact a Schism in the Cathloic body as you mentioned in your post that has never been fully healed between East and Western Chuches. But the Catholic See in Rome does not condemn this Church as being heretical as far as I am aware. It is seen as a tragedy, and the result of the error of men on both sides.

 

But to believe that Catholic Church was a creation of the second milenia and then to give credit to Henry the Eighth of England for holding some monks feet over the fire to deliver to us the first Bible is simply a cartoonists sketch of historical truth.

 

What could be said with great accuracy is that the the English and Irish Catholic Monks established Chrisitandom in Germany and Gaul through their efforts of evangelization and scholarship. It was the Monk the Venerable Bede that wrote the first Histry of the British people nearly 500 years before Henry and the Tudors.

 

BEDE was a cleric and joined the monastery at about age 30. He is best known for his writings. In particular, his Historia ecclesiatica, completed about 731/2, told the story of the Christian church in England between the time of Julius Caesar and when St Augustine became the Archbishop of Canterbury (abt 500 years). He also wrote commentaries on various Biblical texts and composed two treatises on the matter of reckoning the date of Easter.

 

In fact, we owe to Bede our contemporary convention of dating events before and after Christ (B.C. and A.D.). He is to this day our main source on the Anglo-Saxon response to Christianity in early England and is known for his searching after the truth and verifying his 'facts' with eye-witness accounts.

 

For the rest,

I'm sure the forum members are a curious lot and could do their own digging if they are interested in such matters.

 

Pappy

(This message has been edited by Pappy)(This message has been edited by Pappy)

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Pappy, despite all of your elaborate copying and pasting, the original point still stands. The Catholics did not write the bible, Jews did that.

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The church fathers (and mothers) were discussing which translation of the Bible should be the standard to use in the Sunday School. After all, one should avoid confusing the children. Should we use "consider the ant, thou sluggard" or "think about the ant, you lazy bones"?

New International Version? Standard Revised? Good News Bible?

An old respected Deacon was consulted. He replied "King James, of course. If it's good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me."

 

So: Which is the Authority? The printed word or the author of those words or the editor of the printing of those words...

...or the SPIRIT that inspired the writing and translation and editing and printing so ANYONE may read and see and know FOR THEMSELVES?

 

* May God bless the proofreaders of the world *

 

 

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Hello Lovers,

 

As I originally stated - I was just trying to get Gold Winger's Goad. AS far as I'm concerned, the authorship of the Bible is ultimately the Holy Spirit. It is not worth quibbling over. I think that all people benefit by the conversation and knowledge of history. The origins of Scouting- and what BP's and Beards' and the rest original intent was -is no less interesting to me than learning about the Founding fathers of our country or the early Church fathers.

 

I meant no disrespect.

 

Catholics have much to learn from Protestants on a number of fronts: whether from the writings of Luther and Wycliffe to their wonderful fellowship and outreach. I also believe Protestants can learn much from Catholics Tradition and History. We should not ignore each other for the sake of peace and coexistence. Peace and coexistence are strengthened by understanding our brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

There is only one Flock, one Church, and one Shepherd. And we can learn from each other without compromising our core beliefs.

 

Not unlike we in scouting- who can look to other models for wisdom without the fear of compromising the essential truths of what constitutes scouting.

 

Have a great week all!

 

 

Pappy

 

(This message has been edited by Pappy)

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"Ah.. but they did, as it appears in the King James version of the bible."

 

Oh, my....I'm speechless.

 

Part of what made Protestants "protesters" is that they didn't agree with what writings the Catholic Church chose to include in the Bible. They removed some things, and chose different versions of others. The King James version is a translation of that.

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Pappy

 

Pontificate all you want with your misunderstanding of early church history but the truth of the matter is that the early church was a mixture of a variety of community groups who celebrated the good news in a variety of ways some good some not so good as Paul's letters bear out. The term "catholic" used by the early leaders of this new religion referred to a universal understanding of something and had NO bearing or reference to the Roman Catholic Church which would not officially come into exsistence until hundreds of years later. I will put my masters degree in theology from Notre Dame and doctorate from Harvard Divinity against your misconceptions any day.

 

By the way Jesus never started a formal religion himself rather he brought a new way to understand God's love for humanity and to give all humanity a way to obtain eternal life through his death and resurrection. All religious doctrines are man made creations based on these teachings and some are more accurate than others. Contrary to what you may have been taught Jesus did not create a papal hierarchy that exsists today, he in fact condemned the priesthood of his day as being self absorbed, caring more about themselves than their congregations. That is the reason the priesthood of his day plotted early on to have Jesus killed. So if you are going to quote the early church leaders please do so in the proper context.(This message has been edited by BadenP)

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Hi Folks,

Here is some more background information expaninding on what Fire Cat and the others were refering to. Thanks to the folks at Wikipedia.

 

The Biblical canon is the set of books Christians regard as divinely inspired and thus constituting the Christian Bible. Though the Early Church used the Old Testament according to the canon of the Septuagint, the apostles did not otherwise leave a defined set of new scriptures; instead the New Testament developed over time.

 

The writings attributed to the apostles circulated amongst the earliest Christian communities. The Pauline epistles were circulating in collected form by the end of the end of the first century AD. Justin Martyr, in the early second century, mentions the "memoirs of the apostles," which Christians called "gospels" and which were regarded as on par with the Old Testament h the Old Testament.

 

A four gospel canon (the Tetramorph) was in place by the time of Irenaeus, c. 160, who refers to it directly. By the early 200's, Origen may have been using the same 27 books as in the modern New Testament, though there were still disputes over the canonicity of Hebrews, James, II Peter, II and III John, and Revelation (see also Antilegomena). Likewise by 200 the Muratorian fragment shows that there existed a set of Christian writings somewhat similar to what is now the New Testament, which included the four gospels and argued against objections to them. Thus, while there was a good measure of debate in the Early Church over the New Testament canon, the major writings were accepted by almost all Christians by the middle of the second century.

 

In his Easter letter of 367, Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, gave a list of exactly the same books as what would become the New Testament canon, and he used the word "canonized" (kanonizomena) in regards to them. The African Synod of Hippo, in 393, approved the New Testament, as it stands today, together with the Septuagint books, a decision that was repeated by Councils of Carthage in 397 and 419.

 

These councils were under the authority of St. Augustine, who regarded the canon as already closed. Pope Damasus I's Council of Rome in 382, if the Decretum Gelasianum is correctly associated with it, issued a biblical canon identical to that mentioned above,[21] or if not the list is at least a sixth century compilation.[2 Likewise, Damasus's commissioning of the Latin Vulgate edition of the Bible, c. 383, was instrumental in the fixation of the canon in the West.[23]In 405, Pope Innocent I sent a list of the sacred books to a Gallic bishop, Exsuperius of Toulouse.

 

When these bishops and councils spoke on the matter, however, they were not defining something new, but instead "were ratifying what had already become the mind of the Church." Thus, from the fourth century, there existed unanimity in the West concerning the New Testament canon (as it is today),[] and by the fifth century the East, with a few exceptions, had come to accept the Book of Revelation and thus had come into harmony on the matter of the canon. Nonetheless, a full dogmatic articulation of the canon was not made until the Council of Trent of 1546 for Roman Catholicism, the Thirty-Nine Articles of 1563 for the Church of England, the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1647 for Calvinism, and the Synod of Jerusalem of 1672 for the Greek Orthodox.

 

 

[Modern interpretation

 

Many Evangelical Christian groups do not accept the theory that the Christian Bible was not known until various local and Ecumenical Councils, which they deem to be "Roman-dominated", made their official declarations.

 

These groups believe that, in spite of the disagreements about certain books in early Christianity and, indeed, still today, the New Testament supports the view that Paul (2 Timothy 4:1113), Peter (2 Peter 3:1516), and ultimately John (Revelation 22:1819) finalized the canon of the New Testament. Some note that Peter, John, and Paul wrote 20 (or 21) of the 27 books of the NT and personally knew all the other NT writers. (Books not attributed to these three are: Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts, James, and Jude. The authorship of Hebrews has long been disputed.)

 

Evangelicals tend not to accept the Septuagint as the inspired Hebrew Bible, though many of them recognize its wide use by Greek-speaking Jews in the first century. They note that early Christians knew the Hebrew Bible, since around 170 Melito of Sardis listed all the books of the Old Testament that those in the Evangelical faiths now use (without mentioning, at least explicitly, the Book of Esther and, on the other hand, explicitly including the deuterocanonical Book of Wisdom). Melito's canon is found in Eusebius EH4.26.1314

 

Accordingly when I went East and came to the place where these things were preached and done, I learned accurately the books of the Old Testament, and send them to thee as written below. Their names are as follows: Of Moses, five books: Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy; Jesus Nave, Judges, Ruth; of Kings, four books; of Chronicles, two; the Psalms of David, the Proverbs of Solomon, Wisdom also, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Job; of Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah; of the twelve prophets, one book ; Daniel, Ezekiel, Esdras. From which also I have made the extracts, dividing them into six books.

 

However, Melito's account, as well as including the Book of Wisdom, does not determine that the specific documentary tradition used by the Jews was necessarily that which was eventually assembled into the Masoretic text, several centuries later.

 

St Athanasius is often quoted as endorsing 39 books in his Old Testament, rejecting any apocryphal writings. However his 39 books are a little different from the Protestant canon. He rejects Esther and includes Baruch; hardly a Protestant canon. .

 

"But for greater exactness I add this also, writing of necessity; that there are other books besides these not indeed included in the Canon, but appointed by the Fathers to be read by those who newly join us, and who wish for instruction in the word of godliness. The Wisdom of Solomon, and the Wisdom of Sirach, and Esther, and Judith, and Tobit, and that which is called the Teaching of the Apostles, and the Shepherd. But the former, my brethren, are included in the Canon, the latter being [merely] read; nor is there in any place a mention of apocryphal writings. But they are an invention of heretics, who write them when they choose, bestowing upon them their approbation, and assigning to them a date, that so, using them as ancient writings, they may find occasion to lead astray the simple.

 

Many modern Protestants point to the following four "Criteria for Canonicity" to justify the selection of the books that have been included in the New Testament:

1. Apostolic Origin attributed to and based on the preaching/teaching of the first-generation apostles (or their close companions).

2. Universal Acceptance acknowledged by all major Christian communities in the ancient world (by the end of the fourth century).

3. Liturgical Use read publicly when early Christian communities gathered for the Lord's Supper (their weekly worship services).

4. Consistent Message containing a theological outlook similar or complementary to other accepted Christian writings.

 

The basic factor for recognizing a book's canonicity for the New Testament was divine inspiration, and the chief test for this was apostolicity. The term apostolic as used for the test of canonicity does not necessarily mean apostolic authorship or derivation, but rather apostolic authority. Apostolic authority is never detached from the authority of the Lord.

 

It is sometimes difficult to apply these criteria to all books in the accepted canon, however, and some point to books that Protestants hold as apocryphal which would fulfill these requirements.

 

Pappy

 

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BadenP,

 

As I stated before, people can find this stuff out for themselves. They don't need you or I to enlighten them.

 

I didn't begin this thread. But if you want to believe that Christ didn't give the Church to Peter, and make a coveneant to him that what he bound on Earth would be bound in heaven than be my guest.

 

And congratulations on your degrees.

 

Yours in Christ

Pappy

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Yah, yeh know. I'd never met a Catholic who sounded like an evangelical before!

 

Me, I confess I find Catholic theology a bit contrived (purgatory? limbo??). I find Mormon theology unfathomable. But I've known quite a few scouts and scouters of both persuasions and found 'em to be good people by and large, whose faith called them and challenged them each day to be better people.

 

I reckon that's the real test, eh? A faith that has real value is one that challenges each individual personally to strive harder, pray more deeply, sacrifice more, love more unconditionally - and reach out without reservation to the Samaritan, the tax collector, the adulteress, the leper, the blind, the lame, and the children. Not a faith that you can hang a cross or a crescent or a star of David on so as to view yourself as more worthy.

 

To me, that's also where faith should inform Scouting. Scouting must truly challenge each individual boy - to give more, to care more, to live a life of honor and service, to reach out to da young lads in his patrol and troop, and then to the wider community, to grow and do hard things and learn well. Not a Scouting where you can sew on a patch, don some beads, or add a resume line so as to view yourself as more worthy.

 

B

 

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"As I originally stated - I was just trying to get Gold Winger's Goad"

 

No, you may have been trying to "get my GOAT"

 

In any case, I know that the Jews who wrote the bible were inspired to do so by Znorfran, the Lord of Znerflot.

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I stand corrected Gold Winger. I was trying to Goad you.

 

And Beav, Well said. You have a charitable spirit.

 

Christ was born into a Greek world -not a Latin one. The lingua-Franca for the Empire was Greek. Even Romans required Greek language skills for civil service jobs. This is why the Gospels were written in the KOINE (Common) Greek. Wealthy Romans would hire or acquire Greek Slaves to be their childrens tutors. Romans who had pretensions of being well-heeled embraced Greek culture, philosophy, religions, and science. It was the most widely understood language throughout the Alexandrian world- Which the Romans had ben conquering as it moved East and South into Africa. While Christ most likely only spoke Aramaic and Hebrew, Pilate would certainly have known Greek, and may have addressed the crowd in Greek.

 

Old Grey Eagle, LUKE was indeed a Greek, educated in the Greek schools, prepared for the medical practice which was held in high regard as a profession, and among the Greeks had attained to a place of eminence among the nations of the world. Greek doctors of medicine were in attendance upon many of the royal families of other nations. The Greeks were by nature and training, a race of creative thinkers who pursued their studies in a scientific manner. Their sense of what really constituted scientific accuracy and method in the recording of history was well developed.

 

The writings of Luke, both his Gospel and The Acts, demonstrates Luke's training as an historian. He writes his Gospel to a Gentile friend, Theophilus. The name means "a god-lover," or "god-beloved," and may have been given him when he became a Christian. The words "most excellent" according to Ramsay, were a title like "Your Excellency," and show that he held office...Luke wrote the Gospel for Theophilus to use as a standard whereby to judge the accuracy of the many inspired accounts of our Lord's life which were written in the first century.

 

The facts he records were most surely believed by the first century church. Luke arranges the facts of our Lord's life in historical order as they occurred. The other Gospels do not claim to do that. The arrangement of events was dictated by the purpose which each author had in writing his account. The sources of Luke's information were oral and written, from eye-witnesses of the events recorded.

 

He as a trained historian would carefully check over these accounts, investigating and verifying every fact. And this is what he has reference to when he uses the words "having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first." The words "having had perfect understanding" are literally, "having closely traced." The verb means "to follow along a thing in the mind." The word was used for the investigation of symptoms. Thus it speaks of a careful investigation of all sources, oral and written, which purport to be accounts of our Lord's life.

 

Luke had the historian's mind, a thing native to the educated Greek. Herodotus, the father of Greek history, exhibited the Greek determination to get at the truth no matter how much work it required, when he traveled to central Africa to verify the account of the annual rise and fall of the Nile River. In those days this was a long and difficult journey. Sir William Ramsey said, "I regard Luke as the greatest historian who has ever lived, save only Thucydides." Thus we have no doubt but that Luke made a personal investigation of all the facts he had recorded. He interviewed every witness, visited every locality. If Mary was still alive, he, a doctor of medicine investigated the story of the virgin birth by hearing it from Mary's own lips. And as Professor John A. Scott, a great Greek scholar has said, "You could not fool Doctor Luke."

 

But Luke was not dependent alone upon his personal investigations for the accuracy of his record. He says that he closely traced all things from above. The words "from above" are from a Greek word translated "from the very first," in the Authorized Version. The word occurs in John 3:31; 19:11; James 1:17; 3:15, 17, and is in every instance translated "from above." It is used often in contrast to a word which means "from beneath." Paul had doubtless heard the account of the institution of the Lord's Supper from the eleven, but he also had it by revelation from the Lord (I Cor. 11:23). He had received his gospel by direct revelation in Arabia, and this was his check upon the gospel he heard at Jerusalem from the apostles.

 

So Luke claims to have closely investigated the facts he had received, and to have done so through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, which fact guarantees the absolute accuracy of the record (Luke 1:1-4)."

 

Pappy

 

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...sucking air noise..."join with me Luke..."

 

Not Greek but actually the son of Anakin and Padm Amidala of Naboo, raised on Tatooine, he was 'The One' who cleansed the universe and brought redemption to his own fallen father. Wow, I can just imagine the profit potential still untapped.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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