Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Canon Votes at Trent

One Roman Catholic apologist has made a claim regarding a vote at Trent regarding the Canon of Scripture.

A few websites state that the Council of Trent voted 24 aff/ 15 neg/ 16 abstain to adopt the canon of the Old Latin Vulgate version of the Bible. It's interesting that the dogmatized view did not command a majority vote (only a plurality vote) on the topic. It really makes one wonder what goes through the minds of Roman Catholics who adopt Trent's definition as infallible.

So far, I cannot see any other references to votes on the topic of the canon that were made at Trent.

Can anyone point me to more information?



RCC apologist's claim: "From these we see that the bishops at Trent were not silent about their silence on this question. They had a discussion about it. At the end of that discussion, they took a vote. This is a matter of record, not of interpretation. On March 29, 1546 the Council Fathers took up the fourth of fourteen questions (Capita dubitationum) on Scripture and Tradition. At issue was whether those books that were not included in the official list, but were included in the Latin Vulgate (e.g. The Book of Esdras, Fourth Ezra, and Third Maccabees), should be rejected by a Conciliar decree, or be passed over in silence. Only three Fathers voted for an explicit rejection. Forty-two voted that the status of these books should be passed over in silence."

But a primary source:
Paolo Sarpi Istoria del Concilio tridentino ("History of the Tridentine Council), Libro secondo (Second Book), L'edizione volgata approvata in congregazione (The Vulgate edition approved in congregation).

La congregazione de' 29 tutta fu consummata sopra il quinto articolo, perché avendo parlato i teologi con poca risoluzione e col rimetter al voler della sinodo, a quale appartiene far i statuti, i padri ancora erano ambigui. (emphasis added)

The point that I'm drawing from this is that Sarpi claims that enitre 29th day (of March 1546) was consumed with discussion of the fifth (quinto) article.

No mention is made in Sarpi of any vote taking place on 29 March 1546.

Furthermore, from the same book, chapter "Il canone de' libri sacri stabilito, e si tratta della traslazione latina" (The canon of Holy Scripture established ...)

Sarpi writes:
"Il dí 15, proposte le tre formule, se ben ciascuna ebbe chi la sostentò, la terza però fu approvata dalla maggior parte. Nelle seguenti congregazioni parlarono i teologi sopra gli altri articoli, e molta differenza fu nel terzo sopra la translazione latina della Scrittura tra alcuni pochi che avevano buona cognizione di latino e gusto di greco, et altri nudi di cognizione di lingue."

The point I'm making here is that the 15th day of March is the day, according to Sarpi, when the canon of Scripture was established. Likewise, there is no mention in Sarpi of any such vote either on the 15th nor in the interim until the 29th as discussed above.

Here's a woodcut of Sarpi:


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