Inspired Writings After the Close of the Biblical Canon?


Q. Please consider the following verses:

Revelation 22:18-19 “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: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book”
Proverbs 30: 5-6 “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”
Isaiah 8:20 “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to THIS word, it is because there is no light in them.”

If you would, please provide me with scriptural evidence in which God states men will come after the completion of the Bible and create other inspired writings.

A. The Catholic Church does not claim that any other inspired writings have been created by men after the close of the canon. So, Protestants and Catholics agree that public revelation ended with the death of the last apostle.

You may mistakenly think that the Catholic Church has added to the scriptures because we believe doctrines that Protestants reject. But what the Catholic Church teaches is the whole deposit of faith just as Paul exhorts us to do in:

2 Thessalonians 2:15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

We adhere to both the oral and the written teachings of Jesus to His apostles. And as St. John says:

John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.

So, we know that there is more than just what got written down. The Catholic Church has the Fullness of the Truth. We have both the Oral and the Written Tradition that St. Paul speaks about.

The reason that the Catholic  Church has doctrine that Protestants do not have is not because we have added to the Deposit of Faith, after the Bible was canonized (400 A.D.) but because Protestants have rejected the oral traditions recommended by St. Paul in 2 Thess. that have always and everywhere been believed by historical Christianity.

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4 Responses

  1. The quote I am posting below most certainly explains that the R.C. church teaches equality between scripture and the cathecism.

    (quote) The Documents of Vatican II
    Hence there exist a close connection and communication between Sacred tradition and sacred Scripture. For
    both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a Unity and tend toward the
    same end. For sacred Scripture is theWord of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration
    of the divine Spirit. To the successors of the apostles, sacred tradition hands on in its full purity God’s word,
    which was Entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit . . . Consequently, it is not from
    sacred Scripture alone That the Church draws her certainty about everything which has Been revealed.
    Therefore both sacred tradition and sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of
    Devotion and reverence. Sacred tradition and sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God,
    which is committed to the church (p.117).
    The Question and Answer Catholic Catechism
    59. Where do we find the truths revealed by God?
    We find the truths revealed by God in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.
    60. How does Sacred Scripture compare with Sacred Tradition?
    Both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are the inspired word of God, and both are forms of divine
    revelation. Sacred Scripture is divinely inspired writing, whereas Sacred Tradition is the unwritten word of
    inspired persons.
    89. Why is Sacred Tradition of equal authority with the Bible?
    The Bible and Sacred Tradition are of equal authority because they are equally the word of God’ both derive
    from the inspired vision of the ancient prophets, and especially from the infinite wisdom of God incarnate who
    gave to the apostles what he came down on earth to teach, through them, to all of mankind. (end quote)

    How do you relate John 21:25 to oral teachings? What about 2 Thes. 2:15? Remember scripture backs scripture. Oral traditions get lost over time, but the written word of God has withstood time and persecution. How can you possibly follow “oral” traditions handed down over 2000 years ago? I don’t believe in the lineage of the papacy either so that is not a solid argument. The cathecism is man made laws and traditions that have absolutely no bearing on ones salvation. They are simply tradtion and can not be held to the same standard as God’s word.

    We Protestants and Catholics have the same New Testament. It is the old testament canon that is in question. The 7 added books or apocrypha were written during a period in which the ‘prophetic voices’ were silent. There is a 400 year period from the writing of Malachi until the beginning of the N.T. in which God was silent hence no inspired writing could have possibly taken place. This conclusion came from the Jews themselves. The jews do not and have never considered the apocrypha inspired.

    Why not canonical? Unger’s Bible Dictionary states the reasons for being excluded from Hebrew canon are:
    1. They abound in historical and geographical inaccuracies and anachronisms
    2. They teach doctrines that are false and foster practices that are at variance with inspired Scripture
    3. They resort to literary types and displays an artificiality of subject matter and styling out of keeping with inspired Scripture
    4. They lack the distinctive elements that give genuine Scripture its divine character, such as prophetic power and poetic religous feeling (Unger, NUBD, 85)

    Do you know that neither Jesus Christ or the N.T. writers ever quoted anything from the apocrypha? Many great leaders of the early church spoke out against the apocrypha-Origen, Cyril of Jerusalem, and Athanasius. Jerome rejected the apocrypha and would not include it into his Latin Vulgate translation. He eventually translated a few after being pressured by Augustine.

    It is apparent that even the early church leaders rejected the O.T. apocrypha. The apocrypha has not “always and everywhere been believed by historical Christianity”. Remember scripture backs scripture. Could God’s “chosen” people who never recognized the apocrypha as canon be wrong? I don’t think so.

  2. My response to this comment can be seen HERE Here and Here

  3. I am sorry, but none of the three links below worked. I do have to say that this sort of debate is very difficult and time consuming to follow. It would be much better suited if you did not create mulitple links for me to follow. I don’t have the time to respond to 4, in some cases, or 3, in this case, links. I would very much like to continue our discourse, but not in this manner. If you would like to keep this going in a linear fashion, I would be more than happy to continue.

    Remember; scripture backs scripture.

  4. I agree. Nothing the Catholic Church teaches opposes anything in Scripture. Our beliefs only oppose the Protestant INTERPRETATION of Scripture. And that is entirely different than opposing Scripture.

    But then, this is exactly why there has to be some way to determine which interpretation is accurate since the writings contained in the Bible are very voluminous all kinds of interpretations are possible as evidenced by +40,000 Protestant sects. But there is NO final authority in all of Protestantism that is able to infallibly define what any scripture in particular means. And everything in the Bible MUST be interpreted/understood. It doesn’t explain itself in every instance. For example, take this one seeming simple sentence.

    I never said I stole the money.

    The meaning of this sentence seems simple enough. But I can show you how it can actually be interpreted in several different ways. All using the same words. Italics
    is for emphasis.

    I never said I stole the money.

    Meaning: I didn’t say that, someone else did….

    I never said I stole the money.

    Meaning: I wrote it, used sign language, implied it etc.

    I never said I stole the money.

    Meaning: I said someone else stole the money.

    I never said I stole the money.

    Meaning: I embezzled it, I lost it, the accounts didn’t balance etc.

    I never said I stole the money.

    Meaning: I stole something else.

    These are perhaps, other possible interpretations possible with these words that do not make themselves clear in the plain sentence above. Obviously the Bible doesn’t use emphasis as I have done. But a similar problem occurs because In Hebrew this sentence would be

    ineversaidistolethemoney.

    So someone has to decide where one word ends and another begins…..for millions of sentences in the OT. What is a tremendous help to translators is the Greek Septuagint, the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek by the Jewish scholars, according to the Traditional readings of these scriptures.

    Also, there was no punctuation in the Greek and punctuation can change the meaning of a sentence by grouping words into a phrase that otherwise might be read differently.

    For instance, in my RSV I have

    Luke 23:43: And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

    This indicates that the thief would go to Paradise on Friday, the day of his death, thus possibly providing Protestant evidence to discount the Doctrine of Purgatory.

    But, if the comma is moved it could be:

    Luke 23:43: “Truly, I say to you today, you will be with me in Paradise.”

    In this sentence, with the comma moved, Jesus is not saying when the man will enterParadise, He is simply emphasizing what He is saying TODAY. Which aligns better with the fact that we know Jesus did not go to Paradise/Heaven on Friday b/c He tells Mary Magdalene on Sunday morning that He hasn’t ascended to the Father yet. So, presumably, neither has the Good Thief.

    So, since the Bible cannot interpret itself it must be interpreted. And there must be a final authority able to determine: Yes, this interpretation aligns with the FAITH. or No, that interpretation does not align with the Faith. If every man interprets scripture according to “what is right in his own eyes” there can be no unity.

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