Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Martin Luther, the "Edward Scissor-Hands" of the Canon

More ink has been spilled and digital writing on LCD screens over the determination of the canon than most other issues dividing Protestants and Catholics.  Renee has a post here which truly explains the determination of the canon using history, logic and many Protestant sources.
   My first take home lesson is this:  Saint Jerome is often quoted by our Protestant friends intending to prove that deuterocanonicals were not scripture, yet his opinion was refuted by popes, and several  Church councils multiple times, centuries before Luther decided to rip 7 books from the Holy Bible.
    One more time folks: Catholics didn't add books to the Bible, Luther took them out!
 Don't believe it yet?
Ok, go online then and see the digital copies of Gutenberg's first bible in 1454. Please note that the 7 books that our Protestant friends insist that Catholics added at the Council of Trent were already there half a century before Dr. Luther took it upon himself alone to determine the canon of scripture.
       If Dr. Luther had his way, there would be a lot less books in the Protestant bible than just the 7 deuterocanonicals.
  •  You would not have Revelation:  "It makes me consider it to be neither apostolic nor prophetic…I can in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it."  "Snip"
  • You would be missing the letter to the Hebrews: "In the first place, the fact that Hebrews is not an epistle of St. Paul, or of any other apostle" (Luther, M. Prefaces to the Epistle of the Hebrews, 1546).  "It need not surprise one to find here bits of wood, hay, and straw" ( O Hare)  "Snip"
  • You would not have the Epistle of James which clearly states we are not saved by faith alone. "St. James' epistle is really an epistle of straw…for it has nothing of the nature of the gospel about it" (Luther, M. Preface to the New Testament, 1546).  "Snip"
  • You would be missing the Epistle of Jude: "... it is an epistle that need not be counted among the chief books which are supposed to lay the foundations of faith" (Luther, M. Preface to the Epistles of St. James and St. Jude, 1546).  "Snip"
  • You would not have the books of Moses, the Penteteuch: "We have no wish either to see or hear Moses."  "Snip"
So I ask,  why do our Protestant brothers trust the canon that was determined by this one man (with an intense hatred for the Jews and their writings) who was so willing to delete much of the Old Testament and New Testament and yet refuse to accept the canon determined and discerned with much prayer and council by centuries of bishops, popes and theologians?  If Luther's discernment could be so profoundly off concerning his determination of which scriptures are canonical , why trust his theology when he created his sola system?   But I digress.... Just read Renee's post.


Anonymous Renée said...

You managed to say in one post what it has taken me 14 weeks to express:

1) Since Protestant historians concede that the Old Testament canon was closed AFTER the Resurrection, all reasons for trusting the Protestant discernment of the canon are subjective.

2) If the Protestant doctrine of sola Scriptura is correct, there is NO WAY that Protestants can know that their canon is correct.

The series wraps up tomorrow. You will have no trouble passing the pop quiz! :)

Thanks, Russ!

April 17, 2013 7:18 AM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

Aw shucks thanks Renee! You are a good teacher. I still would like to see your series published or at least in a e book form so it would be available to everyone to read. I hope that our non Catholic brethren could get even just an inkling of the confusion behind their founder's decisions to set the canon the way they wanted it. I am not sure that anyone out there has done the research you have to show the multiplicity of opinions on what the canon should be among Protestant theologians.

April 17, 2013 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Christie said...

Renee and Russ,

Great work! Have you seen this article on the canon? I think it nicely summarizes the historical issues of the Protestant canon and points out the logical fallacies of the sola scriptura paradigm when attempting to answer the canon question:


April 26, 2013 2:38 PM  
OpenID Vladimir said...

Thanks for this blog post. I ran into it from CHN's FB post, and enjoyed the succinct and humorous submerged simile. Now, I'm off to check out Renée's post....

April 26, 2013 2:56 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

Thanks Christie! I may have seen it before since I like to get over there as much as I can., God bless

April 26, 2013 7:26 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

thanks Vladmir!! I always hope that humor can sometimes be the thing that opens people to considering what they never would before.

April 26, 2013 7:26 PM  

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