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Wes Hardin wrote:

Hello Mike,

I've been looking through your site because I enjoy the study of various faiths. I like the concept of a "Pizza and Theology" society. I'm not really sure how you implement it, but I like the idea.

Anyway, I was looking through your site and kept running across a phrase that disturbs me.
In a few of your postings, it has said the Bible was:

"Written by Catholics, for Catholics in the Catholic worship."
or
"The Bible is our book."

I think you do yourself more harm than good by being exclusionary and limited in your view of the Bible. You should say:

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

(2 Timothy 3:16-17)

It can't really be said any better than that!

Wes Hardin

  { Is the Bible written by Catholics, for Catholics, for use in Catholic worship, the Holy Mass? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Wes —

Thanks for the comment.

You said:
I've seen in a few places that the Bible was:

"Written by Catholics, for Catholics in the Catholic worship."
or
"The Bible is our book."

I think you do yourself more harm than good by being exclusionary and limited in your view of the Bible.

First, let me clarify that it would be better to state that the Catholics collected and preserved the various biblical texts and determined which books would go into the Bible.

I did not mean to imply that Catholics wrote all books of the Bible, although one could make the argument that all of the writers, including the Old Testament writers, were following God's plan for salvation and are part of God's one true Church.

The Bible was "written and compiled by Catholics, for Catholics, for Catholic worship" would have been more clear.

In this sense, the Bible was "written by Catholics, for Catholics, for the Catholic worship".
The Bible is OUR book. As Scott Hahn says,

"When Catholics gather to faith share, we're playing a home game, not an away game."

To a certain extent, even our separated non-Catholic Christian brethren, are Catholic, without even knowing it. What do I mean?

If you open your Bible you will see a list of books in the table of contents.

  • Who chose those books?
  • How do we know those are the right books?
  • How do we know those books are God's Inspired Word?

The Bible does not tell us "What are the inspired books of the Bible" nor, from a Protestant view, does it give us any inspired table of contents anywhere in the Scriptures.

The approved the table of contents you have in your Bible was first chosen in 382 A.D. at the Council of Rome under the direction of Pope Damascus I. (366-383 A.D.)

Here is the chronology:

  • 51 A.D. to 125 A.D. — The New Testament books are written.
  • 367 A.D. — The earliest extant list of the books of the New Testament, in exactly the number and order in which we presently have them, is written by Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, in his Festal letter # 39 of 367 A.D.
  • 382 A.D. — Catholic Council of Rome, whereby Pope Damascus (366-383 A.D.) started the ball rolling for the defining of a universal canon for all city-churches, listed the New Testament books in their present number and order.
  • 393 A.D. — the Council of Hippo  began "arguing it out." The Canon was proposed by Bishop Athanasius. Pope St. Siricius (384-399) was Pope during this period.
  • 397 A.D. — The Council of Carthage, which refined the canon for the Western Church, sending it back to Pope Innocent for ratification. In the East, the canonical process was hampered by a number of schisms (especially within the Church of Antioch). However, this changed by ...
  • 787 A.D. — The Ecumenical Council of Nicaea II, which adopted the canon of Carthage.
    At this point, both the Latin West and the Greek/Byzantine East had the same canon. However, the non-Greek, Monophysite and Nestorian Churches of the East (the Copts,
    the Ethiopians, the Syrians, the Armenians, the Syro-Malankars, the Chaldeans, and
    the Malabars) were still left out but these Churches came together in agreement,
    in 1442 A.D., in Florence.

    Source: Timeline of how the Bible came to us from CatholicBridge.com

So the approved the table of contents you have in your very own Bible was first put together at the Catholic Council of Rome in 382 A.D. and reaffirmed at the Seventh Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church: the Second Council of Nicea in 787 A.D. by Pope Adrian.

So every time a Protestant opens a Bible to read it, they are re-affirming that:

The Pope and Catholic Bishops got it right!

If the Pope and Bishops were correct on an issue of faith and morals then, why couldn't they be correct now? Every time you open a Bible, you are implicitly said:

"I believe in the decision that the Pope and Catholic bishops made back in 382 A.D."

  • If you can trust them with decisions on the Written Word, why not trust them with the Traditions of the Oral Word? (2 Thessalonians 2:15, 2 Timothy 2:2)
  • Or are you being "exclusionary and limited" on what you want to believe and what you don't want to believe?
  • Are you being your own Pope?
  • Are you deciding what Christianity is, and is not?

During the Reformation, Calvin and Luther took Catholic Bibles from Catholic Churches and
re-wrote them to meet their own needs.

Luther wanted to throw out the book of James and other books and called them "Epistles of straw"!

You said, quoting Scripture:

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Yes, all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof,
for correction, for instruction in righteousness — but not only Scripture.

God, due to His Love for us, always gives us far more than we need and it is a historical fact that Our Lord wished to pass down through history many of His Divine Teachings by the oral word; choosing men and putting them in authority in His Church:

  • to protect and safeguard His Teachings, while
  • verbally instructing the faithful when confusion arose within the Church.

Luke 10:16 - Whoever hears you, hears me, he who rejects you, rejects me.

I used to run a free program that sent Catechisms to seeking Protestants and non-Christians but no longer have the financial or operational means to do this anymore. Nevertheless, if you wish to go deeper, consider buying a cheap copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn everything we believe as Catholics.

  • Is a Baptist going to be able to tell you what a faithful Catholic believes?
  • Will a faithful Catholic be able to tell you what a faithful Baptist believes?

Getting a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church will tell any non-Catholics what we truly believe, as Catholics, in context!

Written with the love of Our Lord,

Mike Humphrey

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
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