Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
AskACatholic.com
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Adoration
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines and Practices
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Homosexual Issues
Life and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
back
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History


Robert Kahl wrote:

Dear Mike,

After reading through the long answer to a very simple question:

  • Is the Catholic Church the only way to salvation?

I understand why so many Catholics are wrapped in darkness. The answers are long and tedious. This, in turn, makes my response necessarily some what long, but there is error to be corrected.

The answer is simple. Jesus said to him,

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

(John 14:6 [NKJV])

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me."

(John 14:6 [DRB])

Notice, it doesn't say that we have to go through a certain church. It doesn't say you have to be a Catholic, or a Methodist, or a Presbyterian, or a Baptist. Christ simply says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

In Ephesians 2:4-10 (DRB) Paul says:

4 But God (who is rich in mercy) for his exceeding charity wherewith he loved us. 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together in Christ (by whose grace you are saved), 6 And hath raised us up together and hath made us sit together in the heavenly places, through Christ Jesus. That he might shew 7 in the ages to come the abundant riches of his grace, in his bounty towards us in Christ Jesus.

    8 For by grace you are saved through faith: and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God. 9 Not of works,° that no man may glory. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus in good works, which God hath prepared that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:4-10

In Ephesians 2:4-10 (NKJV) Paul says:

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that 7 in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:4-10

I draw your attention to verses 8 and 9 where we are told, we are saved by grace through faith.

It does not mention any given church. It says we are saved by grace through faith. The text goes on and says that is the gift of God. It is a gift proffered by God, not through any church or denomination. The text goes on and says it is: not by works. Roman Catholics erroneously insist that works are necessary, but the text insist that it is by grace through faith.

Now listen to me, there is strong warning about adding to or taking from the Precious Word of God!

I plead with you, come to Jesus acknowledging your sin and seek His forgiveness.

The Roman Road To Heaven:

  1. The Fact of Sin:

    10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understands, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

    Romans 3:10-12

    For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

    Romans 3:23

  2. The Desperate Problem:

    For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Romans 6:23


  3. The Solution To This Desperate Problem:

    But God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

    Romans 5:8

  4. You Must Receive:

    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart, man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    Romans 10:9-13

  5. The Results of This Receiving:

    But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:

    John 1:12

Robert Kahl

  { Can I correct your view on whether you need just the Scriptures or your church for salvation? }

Mike replied:

Hi Robert,

I would recommend you read the entire section of Salvation and Justification in the on-line Catechism of the Catholic Church.

If you haven't tried, you lack sincerity.

  • If I want to know what Baptist's believe, do I go to a Methodist?
  • If I want to know what Methodist's believe, do I go to a Lutheran?

Instead of learning from close friends and family, probably former Catholics who left the Church and never understood it, learn about our faith on you own.

If you want to know what Catholics believe, read the Catechism on-line or buy a cheap copy on Amazon.

We have seen these Campus Crusade for Christ hand-outs numerous times and while they do have some real truths in their pamphlets, they omit a lot.

How often, if any, are these Scripture Passages mentioned in "your group":

Matthew 16:13-20; 1 Timothy 3:15; John 6:41-70.

When Jesus refers says:

18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build MY CHURCH; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

  • What do you plan to say on judgment day: I thought you were just joking?

When Jesus refers says:

"This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me."

Luke 22:19

  • What do you plan to say: I didn't want to?

You said:
I understand why so many Catholics are wrapped in darkness.

No, many Catholics have not been catechized correctly.

You said:
The answers are long and tedious.

People have free will and use it in many ways. Some for holy purposes, others for unholy purposes. If the answers seem long and tedious, it is because we are addressing visitor's individual situations and their unique question need.

My colleague Eric, in another answer stated:

(Interesting factoid: the first use of the term Catholic is in 110 A.D., where St. Ignatius of Antioch, a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. There he said:

Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.

Some articles that you may find of interest are:

If your friends looked into the writings of the Early Church Fathers, I believe they would be surprised at how Catholic they were.

  • Why?

Because they were!

Check out my other web site for more:

BibleBeltCatholics.com

Hope this helps.

Mike

Eric replied:

Robert,

Mike Humphrey invited me to respond to your e-mail to him.

You wrote:
After reading through the long answer to a very simple question:

  • Is the Catholic Church the only way to salvation?

I understand why so many Catholics are wrapped in darkness. The answers are long and tedious. This, in turn, makes my response necessarily some what long, but there is error to be corrected.

The answer is simple. Jesus said to him,

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

(John 14:6 [NKJV])

"I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me."

(John 14:6 [DRB])

Notice, it doesn't say that we have to go through a certain church. It doesn't say you have to be a Catholic, or a Methodist, or a Presbyterian, or a Baptist. Christ simply says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

Surely you are aware that the Church is called the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 5). The head, which is Jesus, and the Church are thus inseparable. To sever Christ from the Church would be like severing the head from the body. Going through the Way, the Truth, and the Life necessarily involves going through the Church.

Christ founded one Church (Matthew 16:18ff). Christ calls all to be a member of this one Church, which is His Bride (Ephesians 5). We believe we are that one Church that Christ founded, and history backs us up.

This brings us to the nature of the Church. You will no doubt argue that the Church is the invisible collection of all believers, not an organization, but we can see from Scripture this is not true.

In Matthew 18:16, Jesus says that if a brother refuses to listen to the Church, treat him as you would a tax collector or a sinner. This implies that the Church has authority and that the Church has unity.

Authority, because it can cut off a member from its communion. Unity, because for that sentence to be effective, it must be recognized by all the local churches. 1 Timothy 3:15 says that the Church is:

"the pillar and foundation of the truth." (1 Timothy 3:15)

It is hard to imagine the invisible collection of all true believers as a pillar and foundation of truth, especially when said collection can hardly agree on even the basics of the faith!

That the Church of Christ is visible, and not invisible, is demonstrated by ample Scriptures.

  • First, it is called a Kingdom in 1 Peter 2:9.
  • In Ephesians 2:12, it is called a commonwealth.
  • It is a building, with a foundation, the apostles and prophets, a holy temple, the household of God (Ephesians 2:20).
  • St. Peter says that we are living stones, being built up into a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5).
    By "spiritual" is not meant purely invisible, or without organization or structure or visible bonds of unity, but rather a divine, eternal house with a spiritual purpose.
  • Jesus also referred to His People as a flock in a sheep pen (cf. John 10).
  • The church is Mount Zion, the City of the Living God (Hebrews 12:22,
    cf. Revelation 21:10).
  • It is a "city set on a mountain that cannot be hidden" (Matthew 5:14).
  • It is the nation of Israel (Galatians 6:16, cf. Romans 9:8, cf. James 1:1). A city and a nation, of course, imply not only definite, visible boundaries, but authority, government, and everything which accompanies a real society.

St. Paul talks about the church as a Body (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:12-31), that is, the Body of Christ. A body is a corporeal reality, with a head, and different parts connected together in a visible way. If they were not connected in a visible way, the body would die. Without real bonds between the different parts of the body, there would be no body to speak of.

You said:
In Ephesians 2:4-10 (DRB) Paul says:

4 But God (who is rich in mercy) for his exceeding charity wherewith he loved us. 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together in Christ (by whose grace you are saved), 6 And hath raised us up together and hath made us sit together in the heavenly places, through Christ Jesus. That he might shew 7 in the ages to come the abundant riches of his grace, in his bounty towards us in Christ Jesus.

    8 For by grace you are saved through faith: and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God. 9 Not of works,° that no man may glory. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus in good works, which God hath prepared that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:4-10

In Ephesians 2:4-10 (NKJV) Paul says:

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that 7 in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:4-10

I draw your attention to verses 8 and 9 where we are told, we are saved by grace through faith.

It does not mention any given church.

It doesn't mention baptism, either, but baptism is mentioned elsewhere (1 Peter 3:21, Mark 16:16,   Acts 2:38). Repentance isn't mentioned, either, but we know that's essential.

  • Is Paul then contradicting the Scriptures?

Only if you make the mistake of thinking that he intends to give an exhaustive list of everything involved in salvation. The fact is, Paul was making a narrow and specific point, viz., that we are saved, not by the works of Torah (Law) — the ceremonial rituals of the law of Moses, circumcision in particular — but by grace and faith. He was arguing with the Judaizers. Their point was not that Baptism was not necessary, nor that repentance was not necessary. Their claim was that circumcision was necessary, so Paul is saying, no, not works of Law (including circumcision), but grace (through faith) saves us. He did not mention Baptism, repentance, or the Church because they were simply not germane to his point.

You said:
It says we are saved by grace through faith. The text goes on and says that is the gift of God. It is a gift proffered by God, not through any church or denomination.

Just because it is proffered by God does not exclude it being proffered through the Church. After all, in Matthew 28:18-20 it says,

"All power is given unto Me in Heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."

Matthew 28:18-20

Here, obviously, he is commissioning his disciples to proffer his gift to the whole world. The whole point in evangelization, in fact, is to offer God's gift to other people, to be an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).

You said:
The text goes on and says it is: not by works. Roman Catholics erroneously insist that works are necessary, but the text insist that it is by grace through faith.

Not true. We agree that we are saved by grace through faith, faith, that is, working through love (Galatians 5:6).

There are some caveats here. A key issue is defining what works is.

The context of the term as it is used in Romans indicates that it is works of Law, a technical term for the ceremonial rites of the Law of Moses. See <this article> for an extended discussion of this.

We know that St. Paul cannot be referring to Baptism, since as I indicated before, elsewhere Scripture indicates Baptism is a necessary part of salvation.

  • Is he referring to good deeds?

Well, if he is speaking of our initial justification, we would agree with that, since we believe that our initial justification does not depend on anything we do, save cooperation, faith, and baptism (which we believe to be merely an instrument of grace, not a 'work' that 'merits' us salvation, as testified by our practice of infant baptism).

Since Protestants typically do not believe in more than one point of justification (or, at least, increase in justification for the justified), within the framework of your belief, we believe we are justified apart from good deeds. This poses a problem when it comes to James 2:24:

"You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone."

James 2:24

We understand this to refer to justification of the justified, not justification of the wicked. That is how we reconcile it with St. Paul's words, which, we believe, refer to the justification of the wicked.)

You said:
Now listen to me, there is strong warning about adding to or taking from the Precious Word of God!

I plead with you, come to Jesus acknowledging your sin and seek His forgiveness.

The Roman Road To Heaven:

A. The Fact of Sin:

10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understands, there is none that seeketh after God.

Funny.

  • What about Zechariah and Elizabeth?

"In the days of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah of the priestly division of Abijah; his wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both were righteous in the eyes of God, observing all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly." (Luke 1:5-6)

You are taking this verse out of context. Paul's point here is that both Jews and Greeks are under the power of sin (verse 9), not that there is no such thing as a righteous individual. He asks, Are we Jews any better off?, in other words, are Jews righteous simply because they are Jews? (2:17-20)

You see, the people he was writing to were smug in their own self-assurance that they were righteous, and the Gentiles were condemned. His point is that not only are Gentiles under sin, but so are Jews, and so he quotes Psalm 14. Now I submit that Paul would not take Psalm 14 out of context, so it is profitable to examine it:

"The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any that act wisely, that seek after God. They have all gone astray, they are all alike corrupt; there is none that does good, not one. . . .There they shall be in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous."

Psalm 14:2-5

So the same Psalm that says that none are righteous says that there is a generation of the righteous. Thus, we cannot interpret this verse in such a way that means that no single individual is ever righteous.

That being said, it is true that all are born deprived of righteousness and in need of salvation but once one is justified, he is truly righteous.

You wrote:
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Romans 3:10-12

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

True enough.

You wrote:
B. The Desperate Problem:

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:23

Absolutely.

You wrote:
C. The Solution To This Desperate Problem:

But God commemdeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

Which we celebrate in the Mass every day.

You wrote:
D. You Must Receive:

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart, man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Romans 10:9-13

E. The Results of This Receiving:

But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:

John 1:12

No arguments here.

Eric

Mary Ann replied:

Bob,

The answer is simple. You are right: Jesus Christ is the Way to life. So we must be part of Him, part of His Body. His Body on earth is the Catholic Church.

His Life flows to us through the sacraments, and his word comes to us through being passed down in Scripture and in teaching from the Apostles. It's as simple as that.

Those who don't know where to find Christ but are seeking the light and the truth, these people also are saved by Christ's action continued on earth through the Church and the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself said that the nations (unbelievers) will be judged on their charity, even if they did not know Him.

Mary Ann

Eric followed-up:

Very simple and elegant, Mary Ann:

Jesus Christ is the Head, the Church is the Body.

Cut oneself off from the Body, and one dies. He is the Vine, we are the branches. Without Him (and his Body) we can do nothing.

Eric

Robert replied:

Thank for your comments Mary Ann, but where is your Scriptural proof.

I am not interested in Catholic traditions but only with Scripture. With a right heart before God please give close attention to the following Scripture:

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:4-10

Mary Ann it is so important that you understand. It is the difference between life and death!

Please don't let the Catholic Church mislead you to the point of Hell. I beseech you in Jesus name, trust the Scriptures not the Church! I will be praying for you.

Mike one of these days when I can schedule adequate time I will respond to your diatribe type response to me. I have read it several times and like Mary Ann you fail to provide Scriptural proofs. And by the way, I have studied your Catechisms more than any of the Catholics that I have known.

Robert Kahl

Mike replied:

Hi Robert,

First, I'm sorry if you perceived my answer as a diatribe; that was not my intent when answering.
There is no need to reply if you thought I was attacking you and I do apologize.

Second, we agree, we are saved by grace from beginning to end. Grace is the divine foundation assisting us throughout our life, but that grace is an active, not dead grace. We are saved by grace, working in love with the Holy Spirit. The Catechism states:

2003 Grace is first and foremost the gift of the Spirit who justifies and sanctifies us. But grace also includes the gifts that the Spirit grants us to associate us with his work, to enable us to collaborate in the salvation of others and in the growth of the Body of Christ, the Church. There are sacramental graces, gifts proper to the different sacraments. There are furthermore special graces, also called charisms after the Greek term used by St. Paul and meaning "favor," "gratuitous gift," "benefit." Whatever their character - sometimes it is extraordinary, such as the gift of miracles or of tongues - charisms are oriented toward sanctifying grace and are intended for the common good of the Church. They are at the service of charity which builds up the Church.

Fr. Francis in a related question stated:

We are saved by the grace of Jesus Christ (His whole Life in obedient Gift of Self <sacrifice> to the Father), but we too need to respond. Here is where it gets real interesting. Those who would claim that we are saved through faith alone, forget something.

Faith itself is a human response, no matter how one translates or understands the word faith. Now Catholics are not scandalized by the need for a human response. We have stated all along that people need to respond and that response to the grace of Jesus Christ begins with faith!

You see it is not grace alone because the grace-gift needs to be received in some way. Thus it is grace and . . . it is faith! but Jesus Himself teaches faith alone is not enough.

In the Sermon on the Mount, He teaches that it is not enough to say "Lord, Lord" but instead one must do the will of the Father. Paul teaches the same thing, speaking in Galatians of faith working through love. In Romans after his long dissertation on faith concluding with the teaching on love in Romans 12-14 and in 1 Corinthians he shows that it is love even more than faith that is permanent.

  • Are you willing to share with us your educational background?

I personally believe there are many good-hearted separated brethren in America who, for one reason or another, received a slanted or bias education from one of many Protestant seminaries.

Because of the time and money they have invested at such biased, anti-Catholic institutes, they would never consider any truth in Catholicism.

I hope you are not in this category; but if some readers of this posting are, I would like to throw out a few questions for them to pray over:

  • If you don't recognize the One Church, Jesus established on St. Peter and His successors; a choice He made; who are you serving?

    • "Christ" or "Who you want to be Christ"?
    • "Christ's understanding of the Bible" or "your understanding of the Bible"?

    Most Evangelicals, acknowledge that the Bible cannot interpret itself. That case is closed and is the reason we have so many broken Christian denominations (over 30,000)

  • Are you putting your own interpretation of the Holy Scriptures, before that of the Church Jesus established on St. Peter and His successors?
  • If so, will you be prepared to give a good reasonable answer why, at your Particular Judgment?

It is a historical fact that the Bible you are using, was written by Catholics and their ancestors, for Catholics, for use in the Catholic Mass. [Read a previous posting on this issue.]

The books of the Bible were written at various times, but only until 393 A.D. did anyone, know what the canon of inspired books were.

The decision, as to which books belonged in the Bible, was made by Catholic bishops guided by the Holy Spirit at the Councils of Hippo and Carthage.

Whenever you open up a Bible for a Bible study you are implicitly saying:

  • I trust the decision that Catholic bishops, guided by the Holy Spirit, made at the Councils of Hippo and Carthage in 393 A.D.

Can you show me in the Bible where it says:

  • The Bible is the sole rule of Faith?

2 Timothy 3:15 states all Scripture is inspired but not only Scripture.

Also check out my web site dedicated to Early Church Fathers at:

BibleBeltCatholics.com

Below is from Ignatius of Antioch in 110 A.D. less than 80 years after our Lord's Ascension.

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans written in 110 A.D.

Chapter 7. Let us stand aloof from such heretics

They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not 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. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect, that they also might rise again. It is fitting, therefore, that you should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion [of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved. But avoid all divisions, as the beginning of evils.

Chapter 8 . — Let Nothing Be Done Without The Bishop.

See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution (17) of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.

Chapter 9. Honor the bishop

Moreover, it is in accordance with reason that we should return to soberness [of conduct], and, while yet we have opportunity, exercise repentance towards God. It is well to reverence both God and the bishop. He who honors the bishop has been honored by God; he who does anything without the knowledge of the bishop, does [in reality] serve the devil. Let all things, then, abound to you through grace, for you are worthy. You have refreshed me in all things, and Jesus Christ [shall refresh] you. You have loved me when absent as well as when present. May God recompense you, for whose sake, while you endure all things, you shall attain unto Him.

(more)

Mike

John replied:

Hi Robert,

If I might offer a slight correction to part of Mike's reply.

The Canon of Scripture as we have today was given by the Council of Rome in 382 A.D.

Hippo and Carthage which were also local Councils (as was Rome) which also ratified the Canon in between 393 and 419 A.D. The first Church-wide or Ecumenical to ratify the work of the local Councils was the Second Council of Nicea in 787 A.D. so while the Canon was universally accepted by the late fourth to early fifth century as ordinary Magisterial teaching, it was not part of extraordinary teaching until the late eighth century. In any case, the same exact Canon of 73 books (46 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament) have been recognized as Scripture since 382 A.D.

When faced with Luther's heresies at the time of the Reformation, Trent simply reiterated, what was already universally held by the whole Church including those Churches of the East who had gone into schism.

I said all this to say: Long before there was a Canon of Scripture, the Church was discerning Doctrine such as the Trinity. Long before we had a Bible as we know it, the Church was functioning and holding to the Doctrines which Protestants insist are not biblical.

The fact is Sacred Scripture as the Written Word of God is part of, and flows from, Apostolic Tradition. The Canon was measured against Sacred Tradition when it was established.

We would not have the current Canon of Scripture, if the Church, which is the earthly extension of the Incarnation, did not give it to us.

John

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.