Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Unloading 35 Loaded Questions for "Bible Christians" 10/35

Steve Ray has a list of 35 loaded Questions for "Bible Christians" (quotation marks his)(link to the whole list). This is number 10/35. I'm trying to provide the answers in a common format, for easy reference.

10) Where in the Bible do we find an inspired and infallible list of books that should belong in the Bible? (e.g., Is the Bible’s Table of Contents inspired?)

Simple Answer(s):

We don't find such a list, and the Table of Contents of our Bibles, while derived from the titles of the books of the Bible, is not itself a separately inspired document.

Important Qualification(s):

1) It is baffling why anyone thinks that it would be necessary for Christians to have an infallible list. Until the 16th century, no one claimed to have an inspired and infallible list, and the only people who claimed it then were Roman Catholics.

2) But if such a list is necessary for the Scripture, why isn't it also necessary for the rest of tradition? Why is Scripture singled out for this criticism by Roman Catholics? If the canon of Scripture is problem for "Bible Christians" the canon of Tradition is a much bigger problem for Roman Catholics.

- TurretinFan

3 comments:

natamllc said...

What we do find in scripture is an ever broadening reference to prior written words of God though, starting in Exodus and seeing Our Lord making the most comprehensive broad stroke reference to the two walking to Emasus.

natamllc said...

oops, "Emmaus".

And then, of course, these words by Peter, which broadens the scope of the future for us even more:

2Pe 3:15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
2Pe 3:16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

john said...

“1) It is baffling why anyone thinks that it would be necessary for Christians to have an infallible list. Until the 16th century, no one claimed to have an inspired and infallible list, and the only people who claimed it then were Roman Catholics.”

Actually the reverse is more baffling. It is baffling why anyone thinks that it would not be necessary for Christians to have an infallible list when the list is not in scripture itself.

TF- Until the 16th century, no one claimed to have an inspired and infallible list,”

But the decree at Trent only ratified local councils and tradition. Tradition is infallible just as Trent was infallible.

TF- “no one claimed to have an inspired and infallible list” shows you have a false understanding of a teaching of the church. Church teaching doesn’t need to be inspired to be infallible.

The only people who claimed an infallible list should make something tweak a little shouldn’t it. If no one else made an infallible statement about the canon then either –

The Catholics are right and we should all be Catholics
The Catholics were wrong and nobody knows what the canon is.

“2) But if such a list is necessary for the Scripture, why isn't it also necessary for the rest of tradition?”

Tradition isn’t inspired like scripture. Tradition is infallible, apostolic and binding when proclaimed by the church in its official capacity as the church teaching, or by the church, through universal practice and consent.

“ Why is Scripture singled out for this criticism by Roman Catholics?”

Scripture alone has the unique supernatural charism of being inspired. Tradition is not inspired, meaning the Holy Spirit did not author the precise wording used in church documents and the church fathers as He authored scripture. Nevertheless tradition is protected by the charism of infallibility.

“ If the canon of Scripture is problem for "Bible Christians" the canon of Tradition is a much bigger problem for Roman Catholics.”

Tradition is not found in an inspired collection of books like the scripture canon, but is found in the church fathers, church practice and the official church teaching.

JM