Sunday, January 24, 2010

Unloading 35 Loaded Questions for "Bible Christians" 15/35

Steve Ray has a list of 35 loaded Questions for "Bible Christians" (quotation marks his)(link to the whole list). This is number 15/35. I'm trying to provide the answers in a common format, for easy reference.

15) If the books of the New Testament are “self-authenticating” through the ministry of the Holy Spirit to each individual, then why was there confusion in the early Church over which books were inspired, with some books being rejected by the majority?

Simple Answer(s):

There was disagreement (confusion is not the right term) for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons for the disagreement arose because of human traditions: if a book was not included in the calendar of liturgical readings, this sometimes lead folks to question whether it was Scripture; or, if the book made it into a collection of Greek writings alleged to be the Old Testament Scriptures, it was taken for granted that this had been part of the Jewish Scriptures.

Important Qualification(s):

1) The fact that the Holy Spirit authenticates his Word to believers doesn't guarantee each believer that he will be 100% right about every last book or about every last part of every last book, or about ever last word, jot and title of every passage.

2) There doesn't appear to ever have been any significant uncertainty about most of the New Testament books like the gospels or Paul's epistles - especially the gospels.

3) There likewise doesn't appear to have been any significant uncertainty about more than one or two of the 37 canonical Old Testament books.

4) What should be truly remarkable for Mr. Ray is the fact of Protestantism's virtually unanimous acceptance of the 66 book canon (there are a few that would get lumped in with "Protestants" that would try to eliminate one or more books, but they are an insignificantly tiny minority).

- TurretinFan

2 comments:

natamllc said...

What seems to me to be missing is one or more of the solas, i.e., fide.

The axiom: "The major thing here is to keep the major thing here the major thing here".

That would be my variant on it.

When I read the Ray questions, without much effort I conclude the questions do not originate from one who has the Faith once delivered to the Saints, rather I read of one who has read and understood the teachings of others other than the teachings of the Holy Spirit; Who is the Spirit of Grace and Truth sent to guide the Elect out of darkness and into His Marvelous Light, that is, the Truth and I might say, that is the truth!

Now the irony is you can read other writings besides the 66 books in question or you can read just other writing and refer to anyone of the 66 books, having never read the 66 Book Bible in question and you will discern from those writing that those writings I am pointing to that Steve Ray refers to, to qualify why his holy writ is more comprehensive and my Holy Writ, that is the 66 books, is inferior!

Why?

Because of the Spirit of Grace and Truth is not in those writings. The Spirit of Truth is not limited to the 66 books because He it is Who only speaks on the authority of the One Who sent Him to guide the Elect out of darkness and into Light, that is the Truth and that is the truth.

Reading the patristic writings that you have pasted as reference material speaks clearly to that.

I can see why one without the Spirit of Grace and Truth would manipulate those writings or any writings, including the compliation of writings that make up the 66 Books of Our Bible to make their case.

Now we can talk about confusion and why that exists so much in the world today?

john said...

15) If the books of the New Testament are “self-authenticating” through the ministry of the Holy Spirit to each individual, then why was there confusion in the early Church over which books were inspired, with some books being rejected by the majority?

Simple Answer(s):

”There was disagreement (confusion is not the right term) for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons for the disagreement arose because of human traditions: if a book was not included in the calendar of liturgical readings, this sometimes lead folks to question whether it was Scripture; or, if the book made it into a collection of Greek writings alleged to be the Old Testament Scriptures, it was taken for granted that this had been part of the Jewish Scriptures.”

But as a non Catholic you reject the liturgy so why do you believe the liturgical readings have any bearing on the determination of the canon when you don’t believe the liturgy was from God?

Important Qualification(s):

”1) The fact that the Holy Spirit authenticates his Word to believers doesn't guarantee each believer that he will be 100% right about every last book or about every last part of every last book, or about ever last word, jot and title of every passage.”

The HS is evoked when he’s needed and when the SS system doesn’t work, the HS is evoked as not being a guarantee.

”2) There doesn't appear to ever have been any significant uncertainty about most of the New Testament books like the gospels or Paul's epistles - especially the gospels.”

Several books were in dispute and there were others believed to be scripture that were later rejected by the church. The formalization of the canon wasn’t made until Hippo and Carthage and later ratified at Trent. These Councils in union with tradition confirmed the canon through the teaching authority given to the church.

”3) There likewise doesn't appear to have been any significant uncertainty about more than one or two of the 37 canonical Old Testament books.”

The OT was largely agreed upon by the OT church through tradition, liturgical practice and the chair of Moses. This doesn’t help SS.

”4) What should be truly remarkable for Mr. Ray is the fact of Protestantism's virtually unanimous acceptance of the 66 book canon (there are a few that would get lumped in with "Protestants" that would try to eliminate one or more books, but they are an insignificantly tiny minority).”

Protestants is only a vague term that means a group of persons who protest against the Catholics. This group has a wide variety of beliefs and practices and for some of them to have the 66 books is only because they agree those books are found in church history and tradition. For Protestants to have a canon, means they only have some of the revelations from God in union with the Catholics and reject much of tradition and other canonical books. This is hardly a validation for the action of the Holy Spirit in Protestantism.

Also the witness of the HS argument is subjective and circular and therefore doesn’t help SS.

Luther was a founding “reformer” who rejected several NT books. Apparently he didn’t have the HS inform him of the canon.

JM