TITLE: ANSWERS TO ROME'S 25-QUESTION TRACT WHICH TRIES TO REFUTE THE 'BIBLE-ONLY THEORY' -- Part 1 - Questions 1-12
Subtitle: Nothing is more important to both Protestant and Roman Catholic as this issue of whether the Bible is the sole source of Divine Word, knowledge and inspiration. Read both sides of the issue and make up your mind. Author is Becky Sexton, Former Catholics For Christ [FCFC]
One of our Catholic readers sent us the spring, 1994, copy of Crying in the Wilderness Newsletter (a Roman Catholic Quarterly Produced by the Benedictine Monks of Most Holy Family Monastery). This newsletter contained an article entitled, "Answers to 25 Questions on the History of the New Testament which completely refute the Protestant’s ‘Bible Only Theory’". (This article, in turn, was taken from the book, The Catholic Religion Proved by the Protestant Bible).
The first thing you notice when looking at the newsletter is the huge bold print which says:
"The ‘Bible Alone’ is Not Enough"
We here at "Former Catholics For Christ" have decided to use this issue to answer each of their 25 questions and comments. First, we would like to clarify our stand on the "KJB only" issue. We know many people who use the King James Bible and still do not know the truth. We believe that the Bible alone is not enough; you need the Holy Spirit to teach you. Job 32:8 says:
"But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding."
Second, we also believe that "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (Jn.3:3) Third, we also hold that no scripture is of "private-interpretation" (2 Pet.1:20), but rather, the Holy Spirit interprets His own word by comparing scripture with scripture.
One more comment before we proceed. The fact that their newsletter calls the King James Bible a "Protestant Bible", not only brings great joy to our souls, but testifies that the King James Bible truly is a clear protest against Catholicism (read Rev.17 and 18) (The newer versions support unbiblical Catholic doctrine). It also is an admission that they did not give me my Bible, for it is a "Protestant Bible". We proudly hold to the purity of the "Protestant" King James Bible!
Now on to the questions as posed by this Roman Catholic article. We will first post the question, the Catholic answer and comment, to be followed by FCFC’s answers and comments.
- QUESTION #ONE -- Did Our Lord write any part of the New Testament or command His Apostles to do so?
- Catholic Answer -- Our Lord Himself never wrote a line, nor is there any record that He ordered his Apostles to write; He did command them to teach and to preach. Also He to whom all power was given in Heaven and on earth (Matt.28:18) promised to give them the Holy Spirit (John 14:26) and to be with them Himself till the end of the world. (Matt.28:20).
- THEIR COMMENT: If reading the Bible were a necessary means of salvation, Our Lord would have made that statement and also provided the necessary means for his followers.
- FCFC’S ANSWER: There are a total of twelve occurrences where Jesus commanded John to "write". In Rev.1:11, we read: "Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, WRITE IN A BOOK, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia...." (Emphasis mine) (also Rev.1:19; 2:1,12, and 18; 3:1, 7, 12 and 14; 14:13; 19:9; 21:5)
The Apostle Paul also says: "If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that THE THINGS THAT I WRITE UNTO YOU ARE THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD." (1Cor.14:37) (Emphasis mine)
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Tim.3:16) and God has magnified His word above His name. (Psa.138:2)
D) FCFC’S COMMENT: In their answer, they keep saying the Lord promised "them" (the apostles), as though the promises were not for all of us. He promises us that He will never leave us. The Lord Jesus not only commanded His apostles to write, but also provided the necessary means to fulfill His command in 2 Tim.2:15 to:
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
If the Lord had not provided the means, what good would it have been to command us to "study"? Isaiah 34:16 also promises us that those who "Seek ye out of the book of the Lord and read" shall not "fail". Again, did God make a command and then not provide the means to carry out that command? The answer is no! One more comment, in the Roman Catholic answer, they kept saying that Jesus promised "them" (the apostles), but the promises of the Holy Spirit are not limited to a few elite, the promises are to all who call upon the name of the Lord.
- QUESTION #TWO -- How many of the Apostles or others actually wrote what is now in the New Testament?
- Catholic Answer -- A few of the Apostles wrote part of Our Lord's teachings, as they themselves expressly stated; i.e., Peter, Paul, James, John, Jude, Matthew, also Sts. Mark and Luke. None of the others wrote anything, so far as is recorded.
- THEIR COMMENT: If the Bible privately interpreted was to be a Divine rule of Faith, the apostles would have been derelict in their duty when instead, some of them adopted preaching only.
- FCFC’s ANSWER: Not all the disciples were commanded to write, but they all preached the same gospel of grace which was already contained in the Old Testament and by which others could test their doctrine to see if they were truly followers of His word. Jesus taught them from the Old Testament: "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." (Luke 24:27) so the apostles taught in this manner: "NONE OTHER THINGS than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come" (Acts 26:22) (Emphasis mine)
- FCFC'S COMMENT: I don’t think accusing the apostles of being "derelict in their duty" if they did not write is a correct assumption, besides, we fail to see how this affects the "Bible-only" theory. Their premise has now gone from "Bible-only" to "Bible-only privately interpreted. Christians do not teach private interpretation.
- QUESTION #THREE -- Was it a teaching or a Bible-reading Church that Christ founded?
- Catholic Answer -- The Protestant Bible expressly states that Christ founded a teaching Church, which existed before any of the New Testament books were written. Rom. 10:l7: "So then faith cometh by HEARING and hearing by the word of God." Matt. 28:19; "Go ye therefore and TEACH all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Mark. 16:20: "And they went forth, and PREACHED everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen." Mark 16:I5: "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and PREACH the gospel to every creature." (Emphasis in this section is FCFC’s emphasis.)
- THEIR COMMENT: Thus falls the entire basis of the ‘Bible-only’ theory.
- FCFC’S ANSWER: Jesus founded a teaching AND (not or) Bible-reading church. Paul testifies in 1 Thess.5:27: "I charge you by the Lord that THIS EPISTLE BE READ unto all the holy brethren." (Emphasis mine) Again in Colossians 4:16 we have Paul commanding the scriptures to be read: "And when this epistle IS READ among you, CAUSE THAT IT BE READ also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise READ THE EPISTLE from Laodicea." (Emphasis mine) In Revelation 1:3, we read: "BLESSED IS HE THAT READETH, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." (Emphasis mine) We also read in Acts 17:11 of the Bereans who were "more noble" in that they "...received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures DAILY, whether those things were so." (Emphasis mine) In Acts 28:31, we read that Paul for two whole years was "preaching the kingdom of God" and "teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ". (Emphasis mine) Now does this mean that Paul was teaching and preaching something other than scripture? The answer is no. If we back up to verse 23-24 we read: "And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, BOTH OUT OF THE LAW OF MOSES, AND OUT OF THE PROPHETS, from morning till evening. And some believed the things which were spoken [oral], and some believed not." (As it is to this day.)(Emphasis mine) So we see that the early Christians used the Old Testament to prove the gospel as Paul confirms in Romans 1:1-2: "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures)...." And again in Romans 16:25-26: "Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith...." (Emphasis mine)
- FCFC’S COMMENT: This proves beyond a shadow of doubt that the early church was a Bible-reading church.
- Cutting Edge Comment -- Our Lord Jesus Christ also made this point very strongly when He was giving His disciples the many signs and wonders which would herald the End of the Age. In Matthew 24:15, in the middle of a passage of teaching which was obviously given as an oral teaching, Jesus said, "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)" Jesus spoke suddenly to the "readers" of His Words, obviously referring to the fact which He only knew at that time, that future followers would be given the written Word, which He expected them to read carefully.
- QUESTION #FOUR -- Was there any drastic difference between what Our Lord commanded the Apostles to teach and what the New Testament contains?
- Catholic Answer -- (Matt. 28:20); His Church must necessarily teach everything; (John 14:26); however, the Protestant Bible itself teaches that the Bible does not contain all of Our Lord's doctrines: John 20-30: "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book" etc. John 21-25: "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."
- THEIR COMMENT: How would it have been possible for second century Christians to practice Our Lord's religion, if private interpretation of an unavailable and only partial account of Christ's teaching were indispensable?
- FCFC’S ANSWER: No. There is no difference between what Our Lord commanded the Apostles to teach and what the New Testament contains. Paul clearly says that he preached "NONE OTHER THINGS than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the Gentiles." (Acts 26:22-23) (Emphasis mine)
- FCFC’S COMMENTS: We think it interesting that Catholics ask if there was a "drastic difference" between what is written and what the apostles taught. Is this an admission that their traditions differ "drastically" from the New Testament gospel? Also the scriptures that they quoted were not a proof text in their defense. John 20:30 says that there were many "signs" (not doctrines) that were not written in "this book" but in verse 31, John clearly states: "But THESE are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." (Emphasis mine) John’s book taught the divinity of Jesus and didn’t go into all the miracles which Jesus did as recorded in the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke. There was ample evidence already WRITTEN to prove that Jesus was the Messiah Who had been promised in the Old Testament prophecies.
- Cutting Edge Comments -- When John wrote his statement in 20:30, he was merely stating the obvious, i.e., that no book could contain the total verbatim notes of Jesus' life and ministry. If that had been done, all the books in the world could not contain the full text. Did you ever stop to think that most novels written in the world focus on a very small portion of the lives of the people who comprise the novel? Finally, the text clearly states that there were many "signs" or miracles which Jesus did that were not included in John's epistle. But, John makes it quite clear that all the "teachings" which were essential to attaining unto eternal life were included in the Book of John. As usual, when reading Roman Catholic writing, you must clearly differentiate between what the Bible really says and what Catholics say it says.
- QUESTION #FIVE -- Does the New Testament expressly refer to Christ's "unwritten word"?
- Catholic Answer -- The New Testament itself teaches that it does not contain all that Our Lord did or, consequently, all that He taught. John 20-30: And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book, etc. John 21-25: And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written everyone, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."
- THEIR COMMENT: Since the Bible is incomplete, it needs something else to supplement it; i.e., the spoken or historically recorded word which we call Tradition.
- FCFC’S ANSWER: No. As shown in our previous answer, the gospel of grace, whether "oral" or "written" was the same message. Paul taught "none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come".
- FCFC’S COMMENT: To say the Bible is "incomplete" and "needs something else to supplement it" reveals the true attitude of Rome against God’s Holy Word. First of all, the word of God completes man, man does not complete the word of God. 2 Tim.3:15 clearly shows us that: "...from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 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 perfect [Strong's Concordance #739 = "complete"], thoroughly furnished unto all good works." Rome’s claim that the Bible needs something to "supplement" it goes against the scriptures that clearly states: "Ye shall NOT ADD unto the word which I command you, NEITHER SHALL YE DIMINISH ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you." (Deut.4:2) (Emphasis mine) "What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it." (Deut.12:32) "Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." (Prov.30:6) "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book." (Rev.22:18) "I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: NOTHING CAN BE PUT TO IT, NOR ANY THING TAKEN FROM IT: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him." (Ecc.3:14) (Emphasis mine) It’s very clear that if no one can "add" to God’s word, or "take" from it, then it stands "alone". I wonder how many authors would appreciate someone rewriting their words and adding things to their writings they never said. How much more God’s holy word? "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matt.4:4)
- Cutting Edge Comments -- This Catholic doctrine is clearly putting words into the mouth of the Apostle John that John simply did not say. Catholics substitute the word, "teachings" for John's word, "signs". These are two very different words. Teachings are the doctrines necessary for attaining eternal life, which John boldly states in the very next verse [verse 31]. Signs were the miracles which Jesus used to validate His Divinity and power. Signs may be left out of the written record, but never would any teaching be left out, or God would not be perfect, nor would He be capable of ensuring that His Word would not be corrupted.
- QUESTION #SIX -- What became of the unwritten truths which Our Lord and the Apostles taught?
- Catholic Answer -- The Church had carefully conserved this ‘word of mouth’ teaching by historical records called Tradition. Even the Protestant Bible teaches that many Christian truths were to be handed down by word of mouth. 2 Thes. 2- 15: Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Tim.2-2: And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. [Emphasis is FCFC’s, to prove that the verse they used reveals that the traditions were written in the epistle and does not support their position that the traditions were "unwritten".]
- THEIR COMMENT: Hence not only Scripture but other sources of information must be consulted to get the whole of Christ's teaching. Religions founded on ‘the Bible-only’ are therefore necessarily incomplete.
- FCFC’S ANSWER: Paul said: "For I have not shunned to declare unto you ALL THE COUNSEL of God." (Acts 20:27) This same apostle also said: "For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." (1Cor.2:2) Paul not only put an anathema on anyone who preached any other gospel (Gal.1:8-10), but also gave us a summary of the gospel in 1Cor.1-11: "Moreover, brethren, I DECLARE UNTO YOU THE GOSPEL WHICH I PREACHED unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; BY WHICH ALSO YE ARE SAVED, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time...Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed."(Emphasis mine)
- FCFC’S COMMENT: We have several warnings concerning man-made traditions that were contrary to the word of God. In Mt.15:3, Jesus said, "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" And again, Jesus said, "Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition." (Mt.15:6) In Mark 7:8, Jesus again says, "For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men." Jesus again says, "Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." (Mr.7:9) In verse 13, He continues saying, "Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered...." Paul continues with the warnings against traditions in Col.2:8: "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." We are also told by Peter in 1:18-21: "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your VAIN CONVERSATION RECEIVED BY TRADITION FROM YOUR FATHERS; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God...." (Emphasis mine) There is a difference between the traditions that coincide with the word of God and man-made traditions. Which will you trust?
- Cutting Edge Comment -- Jesus blasted the Jewish systems of Traditions, telling the Jewish leaders that they were going to Hell for, among other things, creating a Tradition which contradicted the actual Word of God, the Old Testament. Understand this one thing: The Roman Catholic Church has recreated the horrible sin of the Jewish Tradition and then have the gall to force Catholics to accept it as equal to the true written Word of God!
- QUESTION #SEVEN -- Between what years were the first and last books of the New Testaments written?
- Catholic Answer -- This first book, St. Matthew's Gospel, was not written until about ten years after Our Lord's Ascension. St. John's fourth gospel and Apocalypse or Book of Revelations were not written until about 100 A.D.
- THEIR COMMENT: Imagine how the present-day privately interpreted ‘Bible-only’ theory would have appeared at a time when the books of the New Testament were not only unavailable, but most of them had not yet been written.
- FCFC’S ANSWER: By 100 A.D. all the books were completed. Until the testimony of Jesus was written down, they depended on the Old Testament, which prophesied of that same grace. (1 Pet.1: 10-12) As the apostles wrote the epistles, faithful men copied them and sent them to all the churches commanding them to be read. This means that the early Christians had access to the word of God at all times. How else could the Bereans search the scriptures daily?
- QUESTION #EIGHT -- When was the New Testament placed under one cover?
- Catholic Answer -- In 397 A.D. by the Council of Carthage, from which it follows that non-Catholics have derived their New Testament from the Catholic Church; no other source was available.
- THEIR COMMENT: Up to 397 A.D., some of the Christians had access to part of the New Testament; into this situation, how would the ‘Bible-only privately interpreted’ theory have fitted?
- FCFC’S ANSWER: The true Bible was placed under one cover no later than 145A.D., and was known as the Syrian Peshitto. The "Old Latin Vulgate" was the next Bible to be compiled by the year 157 A.D. The corrupted Latin version of Jerome, translated by order of Constantine, was published in about 380 A.D. The RCC chose the name "Vulgate" or "Common" for Jerome’s translation in an attempt to deceive loyal Christians into thinking that it was the true common Bible of the people. It was rejected by real Christians such as the Waldenses, Gauls, Celts, Albigenses, and other groups throughout Europe who held doctrinal purity dear to their hearts. According to Dr. Bill Grady, in his book Final Authority, page 34:
"For the Syrian people dwelling northeast of Palestine, there were at least four major versions: the Peshitta (A.D. 145); the Old Syriac (AD. 400); the Palestinian Syriac (A.D. 450); and the Philoxenian (A.D. 508), which was revised by Thomas of Harkel in A.D. 616 and henceforth known as the Harclean Syriac. True to the meaning of its name (straight or rule), the Peshitta set the standard because of its early composition and strong agreement with the Greek text underlying the King James Bible. Because of the obvious embarrassment caused by this document bearing witness to a text some two centuries older than either X [Codex Sinaiticus]or B [Codex Vaticanus] , modern Nicolaitane scholarship has conveniently assigned the Peshitta's origin to A.D. 415. The first translation into a purely European tongue is known as the Gothic version. This work was prepared in 330 A.D. by the soul-winning missionary Ulfilas...Once again, the strength of this version is found in its age and agreement with the Textus Receptus. Edward Hills cites F.G. Kenyon's 1912 edition on New Testament criticism that, ‘The type of text represented in it is for the most part that which is found in the majority of Greek manuscripts. Thus, Ulfilas had access to King James Version readings a full two decades before Sinaiticus or Vaticanus were copied. An excellent example of his superior manuscripts is reflected by the Gothic inclusion of the traditional ending to ‘The Lord's Prayer’ of Matthew 6:13. The familiar words, ‘for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen’, are conspicuously absent from both of the ‘two most ancient authorities.’ There are only eight surviving manuscripts of the Gothic version."
- QUESTION #NINE -- Why so much delay in compiling the New Testament?
- Prior to 397 A.D., the various books of the New Testament were not under one cover, but were in the custody of different groups or congregations. The persecutions against the Church, which had gained new intensity, prevented these New Testament books from being properly authenticated and placed under one cover. However, this important work was begun after Constantine gave peace to Christianity in 313 A.D., allowing it to be practiced in the Roman Empire.
- THEIR COMMENT: This again shows how utterly impossible was the 'Bible-only' theory, at least up to 400 A.D.
- FCFC’S ANSWER: There was no delay. As previously shown, the Syrian Peshitto existed no later than 145A.D. and the Latin Vulgate by 157A.D.
- FCFC’S COMMENT: Rome’s deception here is in order to pass off as genuine a false bible compiled from corrupt manuscripts, and to cast doubt against the Holy Bible as God's own true testimony.
- QUESTION #TEN -- What other problem confronted those who wished to determine the contents of the New Testament?
- Catholic Answer -- Before the inspired books were recognized as such, many other books had been written and by many were thought to be inspired; hence the Catholic Church made a thorough examination of the whole question; biblical scholars spent years in the Holy Land studying languages of New Testament writings.
- THEIR COMMENT: According to the present-day ‘Bible-only’ theory, in the above circumstances, it would also have been necessary for early Christians to read all the doubtful books and, by interior illumination, judge which were and which were not divinely inspired.
- FCFC’S ANSWER: Since several Bibles were already in use by 397, there was no need for anyone to wonder which books were to be included. But due to the fact that the manuscripts that the RCC would come to depend on disagreed with each other in over 3,000 places (Final Authority, Grady, 98), it must have been quite a task to decide which manuscripts they could trust, and without the Holy Spirit, the task proved to be impossible, leaving them with several apocryphal books that contain historical and geographical errors as well as teaching divination and giving false prophecies that never came to pass.
- QUESTION #ELEVEN -- Who finally did decide which books were inspired and therefore belonged to the New Testament?
- Catholic Answer -- Shortly before 400 A.D. a General Council of the Catholic Church, using the infallible authority which Christ had given to His own Divine institution, finally decided which books really belonged to the New Testament and which did not. Either the Church at this General Council was infallible, or it was not. If the Church was infallible then, why is it not infallible now? If the Church was not infallible then, in that case the New Testament is not worth the paper it is written on, because internal evidences of authenticity and inspiration are inconclusive and because the work of this Council cannot now be rechecked; this is obvious from reply to next question.
- THEIR COMMENT: In view of these historical facts, it is difficult to see how non-Catholics can deny that it was from the (Roman) Catholic Church that they received the New Testament.
- FCFC’S ANSWER: The Roman Catholic General Council erred when they used the corrupted manuscripts out of Alexandria, Egypt, instead of the true manuscripts out of Antioch. Samuel Gipp, in his book An Understandable History of the Bible, page 73 notes: "The corrupt and unreliable nature of these two manuscripts is best summed up by one who has thoroughly examined them, John W. Burgon: ‘The impurity of the text exhibited by these codices is not a question of opinion but fact...In the Gospels alone, Codex B (Vatican) leaves out words or whole clauses no less than 1,491 times. It bears traces of careless transcriptions on every page. Codex Sinaiticus abounds with errors of the eye and pen to an extent not indeed unparalleled, but happily rather unusual in documents of first-rate importance. On many occasions 10, 20, 30, 40 words are dropped through very carelessness. Letters and words, even whole sentences, are frequently written twice over, or begun and immediately cancelled; while that gross blunder whereby a clause is omitted because it happens to end in the same words as the clause preceding, occurs no less than 115 times in the New Testament.’"
- FCFC’S COMMENT: The Council’s decision to use corrupt manuscripts is only one example of her fallibility.
- QUESTION #TWELVE -- Why is it impossible for modern non-Catholics to check over the work done by the Church previous to 400 A.D.?
- The original writings were on frail material called papyrus, which had but temporary enduring qualities. While the books judged to be inspired by the Catholic Church were carefully copied by her monks, those rejected at that time were allowed to disintegrate, for lack of further interest in them.
- THEIR COMMENT: What then is left for non-Catholics, except to trust the Catholic Church to have acted under divine inspiration; if at that time, why not now?
- FCFC’S ANSWER: Although the "originals" have long been gone, there is more evidence in favor of the Received Text (Also known as the Majority Text, Byzantine Text, Imperial Text, Traditional Text, Reformation Text and Textus Receptus) than any other. According to Samuel Gipp, An Understandable History of the Bible, page 64, the evidence can be places in three groups, in which combined, give us in excess of 5,250 witnesses: 1.Copies (also divided into three groups - Miniscules, Majuscules or Uncials, and Lectionaries). 2.Versions. 3.The writings of the early "church fathers" which provided us with 30,147 Scripture citings alone. Dr. Bill Grady, expounds on this: "When we consider that the great majority of their [the "church fathers"] quotations agree with the Textus Receptus, their worth is even more appreciated. However, when it is further discovered that all five men died anywhere from 20-150 years before X [Codex Sinaiticus] and B [Codex Vaticanus] were copied [Jerome’s Latin Vulgate comes from these manuscripts] or that all but one died even before the suggested Recension, the readings of the King James Bible are established beyond question. Edward Miller (Dean Burgon's editor) summarized the massive amount of patristic testimony at his disposal: As far as the Fathers who died before 400 A.D. are concerned, the question may now be put and answered. Do they witness to the Traditional Text as existing from the first, or do they not? The results of the evidence, both as regards the quantity and the quality of the testimony, enable us to reply, not only that the Traditional Text was in existence, but that it was predominant, during the period under review. Furthermore, as it was demonstrated that a single version would outweigh a single Greek copy, we find that the same principle applies to patristic evidence as well. Dean Burgon comments accordingly: It has been pointed out elsewhere that, in and by itself, the testimony of any first-rate Father, where it can be had, must be held to outweigh the solitary testimony of any single Codex which can be named . . . For instance, the origin and history of Codexes AB X is wholly unknown: their dates and the places of their several production are matters of conjecture only. But when we are listening to the articulate utterance of any of the ancient Fathers, we not only know with more or less of precision the actual date of the testimony before us, but we even know the very diocese of Christendom in which we are standing. To such a deponent we can assign a definite amount of credibility, whereas in the estimate of the former class of evidence we have only inferences to guide us. Individually, therefore, a Father's evidence where it can be certainly obtained-caeterius paribus, is considerably greater than that of any single known Codex" (Final Authority, Dr. Bill Grady, 36-37).
- FCFC’S COMMENT: The Catholic church’s own "church fathers" used a "Protestant Bible" that came from a different source than their own, and interestingly enough was quoting, reading and teaching from it long before Rome put their "bible" together! Today, we have 350 copies of the Syrian Peshitto, not including thousands of other copies, versions, and early writings to support the "Protestant Bible" that Rome so despises.
- Cutting Edge Comment -- The final momentous defining factor is whether or not any of the Roman Catholic Tradition contradicts God's own Word. The Roman Catholic doctrines as taught in their Tradition clearly contradicts so much of Old and New Testament teaching. Since God is perfect, and He can never contradict Himself, nor allow anyone else to contradict Him, the very fact that much of the Catholic Tradition does contradict established Scripture is proof enough that the Catholic Tradition is false and untrustworthy. Your precious eternal soul is too precious to be carelessly thrown away by not heeding our warnings and trusting only in the pure Word of God.
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