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Canon of the Bible : Determining its Certainty

Why is the Protestant position of rejecting an infallibly guided Church to give us the Canon of the Bible crazy ?

Imagine a person climbing a large tree and going out on a large limb. He is sitting on the limb with a leg on each side and facing the trunk of the tree. He takes out a saw and cuts off the limb he is sitting on from the tree. Now, isn’t it crazy to expect the unattached limb to remain suspended in the air ?

But this is not unlike the Protestant who accepts the Catholic Church’s New Testament, but rejects the Church’s teaching authority. True, it is the Holy Spirit who causes those books to be the inspired word of God, but the question remains, which Books belong in the Bible.

How does a person know with infallible certainty which books belong in the New Testament canon of the Bible?

When discussing this with a Protestant it is vitally important to keep the focus on the New Testament so as not to get sidetracked onto tangentially issues about the Deuterocanonical Books of the Old Testament. Yes, our Bibles do have a different canon, a different list of Books in the Table of Contents, and that fact is important, but the question is,

“How does a person know with certainty that he has the correct books in the New Testament?”

For Catholics, we believe Jesus founded a Church on St. Peter 
that has continued throughout the ages till today by Apostolic Succession,

through which the Holy Spirit infallibly works, despite the sins of the Popes and others like me, to infallible guide her when important decisions have to be made to guide the people to heaven. This includes decisions such as which Books belong in the Bible.

Protestants, on the other hand, have no infallible guide, only the subjective arguments of man.

The Canon, Who decides ? A divinely instituted and guided Church, or human arguments

John 5:33-34
“You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I (Jesus) do not accept testimony from a human being, but I say this so that you may be saved.”

A lesser thing cannot be the foundation and support of something that is greater. Merely human opinion cannot authenticate what is, or what is not, the Word of God. Neither Jesus or His Apostles have written down a Table of Contents for the Bible. The Word of God was not given to us with an inspired canon, or Table of Contents. If Sola Scriptura, Bible Alone, is a true doctrine, then the most Protestants can claim is to have a fallible list of infallible books. The bedrock of all his conclusions on how to interpret Sacred Scripture and even what is Scripture, what is the Bible, is based on his own human authority or opinion. The Protestant’s reasons for his list of Books that belong in the New Testament is merely human opinion and conjecture.

However, if Catholicism is true, and it is, then we have a Church instituted by Christ ( Matthew 16:18-19), which is infallibly guided to the correct answer for this and the other essential questions for our salvation. Our certainty is based on the Love of the Father to guide and save us, and in the truthfulness and integrity of Jesus Christ to be faithful to His Promises for His Church He built on St. Peter, and in the power of the Holy Spirit effects those promises to be true and fulfilled in spite of the sins of the Popes and Bishops, so that the infallible decrees of that Church are protected by God’s grace to be true.

At the bottom on this new page below are placed many links that answer that question. The videos by Patrick Madrid are especially good. Maybe, others on this list can suggest which links are best.

St. Augustine states :

“[In] the Catholic Church, there are many other things which most justly keep me in her bosom. The consent of peoples and nations keeps me in the Church; so does her authority, inaugurated by miracles, nourished by hope, enlarged by love, established by age. The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep, down to the present episcopate. .... For my part, I should not believe the gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church.”
[ Against the Epistle of Manichaeus Called Fundamental.
[Contra Epistolam Manichaei Quam Vacant Fundamenti.]
A.D.  397. Chapters 4 and 5  ]


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Sections :

1.  Deuterocanonical books - what they are
2.  Saint Jerome  updated !
3.  Jews
4.  Encyclopaedia Britannica
5.  Origen
6.  Justin the Martyr
7.  New Catholic Encyclopedia
8.  Protestants
9.  Martin Luther
10.  Protestant scholars
11.  Allusions in the New  Testament to the Deuterocanonical   "apocrypha"   books
12.  True Prophecy in the Deuterocanonical Books
13.  How To Read the Fathers on the Canon.  Easy  guide!

14.  Catholic German Language Bibles Before Luther with Deuterocanonical Bks
15. Bible Canon Uncertainties if No Infallible Church
16. Did Jesus ever quote any OT books that Protestants don’t “believe in”?
17. Canon of the Bible : Determining its Certainty
18.  Did original King James Version of 1611 contain these 7 Books  “So called Apocryphal” by the Protestants, but usually called Deuterocanonical Books by Catholics ?
19.  Bible Codex Amiatinus AD 713 contained the Deuterocanonical Books



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