If you say the Catholic Church has no authority, why use the 27 books it canonized in the NT?

Prior to Pope Damasus I at the Council of Rome in 382, the contents of the New Testament varied wildly throughout the Christian world. Many books that were once considered scripture, like "The Shepherd" and "The Teaching of the Twelve" are today forgotten, and some books, like 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John and Revelation, were not considered by the whole church to be scripture for the longest time. This is easy enough to verify if you take the trouble.

But it was under Pope Damasus that the 27 books we have today became the official list. Did Damasus and the Council of Rome have that authority? If not, why use only those books?

Update:

I don't, Mountain Man. You incorrectly assume I am Catholic. I am not a Christian of any kind, I'm just interested in how Christians relate to each other.

12 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    why do you pray to statues and chant over worry beads?

    pagan?

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  • Grace
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    The same treatment that I have for the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. If you got what I mean, fine; if not, it's much easier to study the life of king Solomon than to study the history of the Roman Catholic Church. The 27 New Testament books were inspired by God. They could stand on their own ground -- canonized or not canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. The real issue, therefore, is not canonization; it's inspiration. And on that, the Roman Catholic Church has nothing to do; the God of heaven has. Inspired scriptures would remain inspired without canonization; but canonized scripture, like the Apocryphal scriptures, would remain uninspired even with canonization. The One who inspired and the one which canonized are different; I'd rather take the genuine authority of Inspiration rather than the bogus authority of canonization. Inspired scriptures need not be canonized in order to be inspired. So, I won't quick using the 27 NT books. But I don't challenge the issue of canonization -- if that's what the Roman Catholic Church believes, so be it. I don't care!

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  • 1 decade ago

    I know, this is one of the reasons I became Catholic. Protestantisms, Orthodoxies, and Easterns are illogical because they obey the Catholic Church's decree on canonicity and yet not on other matters. Protestants in particular claim that everything necessary for Salvation is in the Bible, yet nowhere in the Bible does it say which books belong in the Bible. What's telling is that the Orthodoxies and the Easterns do not make this claim. So most Christians, except Protestants, started 1500, do not hold that Christ gave the ability to interpret Scripture to anyone but bishops. The same goes for other non-Protestant claimants of christianity. What Catholics have that trumps the Os and Es is that they continue to convene Ecumenical Councils like Rome and Jerusalem, where all participants agree in full because of the final say of the Pope. Christ would not found a Church which is "divided against itself." And such supernatural phenomena as miracles and canonized and un-canonized saints supports both that claim and that of Christ's divinity, for 'you shall do works even greater than these.'

    Source(s): CatholicAnswers.Com Fr. John Laux, "Church History"
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  • John S
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Sorry, in advance for the rant....

    As a Catholic, I agree.

    To say the Catholic church has no authority to interpret the book it created seems a tad absurd. Anyone who uses the 27 books of the NT, is using an arguably Catholic document.

    I mean if the head of Chrysler, wrote a book about the Chrysler corporation, OR the Auto Industry as a whole... and something in his book was being mis-interpreted, you THINK as the guy who made it.. he'd have SOME say in what he meant.

    Now I KNOW the Catholic church didn't "write" the NT, but it did assemble it, pour over it, and use its link back to the Apostles to decide WHAT to include and more important what to exclude when it assembled the scriptures into the bible.

    You'd THINK that mere fact would give it SOME street cred. -- but according to most Protestants.. that means the Catholic church is patently and categorically WRONG about the bible and how it should be interpreted. -- Which I gotta tell ya.. makes no sense to me.

    Even Martin Luther believed this, that everyone owed the Catholic church some appreciation and authority, for giving us the bible.

    I think this fact is made very obvious when later on in the Protestant Reformation, the Protestants sought to CHANGE the bible.. knowing it was a Catholic document. They changed the basis of the OT to differentiate THEIR bible from that of the Catholic church.. Without any unilateral agreement, council, or concensus, many began changeing the basis of the OT from the Septuagint, as it had always been, to the Tanakh. Creating in the process their own version of Scripture. They removed the 7 books of the Deutrocanonicals, which they now labeled the Apocrypha.

    Seems obvious that they would have done this to move away from Catholic authority.

    Martin Luther ALSO inserted the words "only" in to key scriptures to make it read as he KNEW it should have read.

    Do those facts seem more like an authentic reformation or Heresy?

    Changing scripture, using it and then attacking its creator, etc. Seems very disgenuine to me. Intellectually dishonest, and a bit like a heretic would act.

    And then don't get me started on how this topic links in with Sola Scriptura doctrine... let's not go there... I'll rant for days.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The only thing I'm interested in is what the teacher himself taught. That would be Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I've read other gospels which were not canonized. The Gospel of Thomas is one of my favorite not included in the Bible.

    Truly, when one only seeks the words of Jesus Christ does one guess such a deep meaning of what he meant by the Key to the Kingdom. My life has changed a great deal since that was exactly what I did.

    Source(s): Non Mainstream Christian
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  • 1 decade ago

    Of course it has the authority. But who in the Bible speaks of Authority that he can give to anyone he is pleased to give? Luke 4:4-7

    Source(s): www.thename.ph
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  • Lowly
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Mark Twain is alleged to have said something like this: It isn't the things I don't understand in the Bible that trouble me; It's the things I do understand that trouble me most.

    Like the Lord teaching that the "devil came to steal, to kill , and to destroy "....that troubles me.

    Also this one: Be a doer of the Law, and not a hearer only, deceiving yourselves.

    Or the one about wresting the scriptures to our own destruction...that is a troublesome one...

    Or adding to these words, or taking away from these words...those give me fits...

    And that pesky one about the judging of the Law...that if we judge the Law...(the Word of God) we are most likely not obeying the Law ( the Word of God)

    Did any of the books you say are missing...add anything constructive to the discussion, in your opinion ? Just curious...

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    This is no different than someone of Jewish faith saying,

    "If you say that the 1st century Jewish leaders (who rejected Christ as the messiah) had no authority, why use the Hebrew Scriptures they canonized?"

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Most Protestant faiths do not use the Catholic Bible.

    e.g. Book of Tobit does not appear in most Protestant Bibles.

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  • mimjoy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    the books are records of Jesus on earth and his church it does not matter who put them together.

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  • Chris
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I don't use the ones written by Paul.

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