Saturday, 1 March 2008

Who decided which books form the Bible? Answer: a Council of the Roman Catholic Church. True Fact!

Many people simply do not know where the Bible came from.

They think it was “always there”.

Some even think that only the King James Version (KJV) is the real, authentic version, the ONLY one to be inspired by the Holy Ghost.

Some even seem to think that the Evangelists and Apostles actually produced the KJV (presumably in English!).

I have been sent this useful summary of the origins of the Bible by someone engaged in a correspondence with a Protestant scientist who thinks that the KJV is the ONLY inspired text of the Bible.

The KJV was authorised by King James I of England, Scotland and Ireland, who rejected the Protestant Geneva Bible but also the Catholic Bible. He ordered Anglican scholars to translate the original texts into English. This became the KJV. It is not a bad translation but it was chiefly designed to suit Anglican doctrines.

Here is a message to our Protestant Evangelical brothers:

It was the Roman Catholic Church which decided which books would make up the Bible.

Yes. True fact.

In fact, the final canon of Scripture, thereafter recognised by all Christians for over 1,000 years, was settled on 28 August 397 AD by the Council of Carthage after the example set by St Cyril of Jerusalem in 350.

This Council met under the supervision of the Bishop of Carthage, North Africa, and the Western Roman Emperor, Flavius Honorius, the decrees being later approved by the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, who later also approved the definitive translation of St Jerome called the Vulgate.


Biblical texts in original Hebrew


The original texts in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic are the directly inspired texts of the Bible. They were written by the hands, and through the directly and Divinely-inspired understanding and language of the Holy Prophets, Priests and Patriarchs of old, and by the Apostles and Evangelists who are their successors in the New Covenant of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, true God and true man, the Second Person of the Trinity and the son of God (ho huios tou anthropou - as the Biblical Greek has it) and the Saviour of all who believe in Him.

Jews and Christians were loath to translate these texts for the simple reason that meaning can easily be changed in translation. Thus translations required some sort of authorization from the community of believers (usually the leading Jewish/Christian emperor/king or bishop/elder) lest promiscuous translations be spread among Jews and Christians to deceive them and lead them away from the truth.

After the Babylonish captivity, when Aramaic became the common language tending to replace classical Hebrew, the Targums were created to allow the people to understand the Torah when read in the Synagogues. However, the most well-known movement to translate the Bible came in the 3rd century BC when over a third of the population of the great Greek-speaking city of Alexandria, founded by Alexander the Great, were Jews.

With the approval of King Ptolemy II Philadelphus, a group of Hebrew scholars who spoke Koine (or spoken) Greek made what is perhaps the first universally accepted authorised translation thereafter called the Septuagint whereby the original Hebrew and Aramaic Old Testament was translated into Koine Greek.


Printed version of the beginning of Genesis in the Greek Septuagint

The next major translations came after the death of our Saviour and include the most sacred of all texts, those written by the Evangelists and Apostles under the direct inspiration of the Holy Ghost providing the Euangelion, "Glad Tidings" or "Good News" of Jesus Christ.
 
This was rendered as Gospel (originally God-spell) in Anglo-Saxon, the language of the early English who had originated in Fryslan or North Germany (whose inhabitants in turn spoke the original of what is now Frieslandisch, the language of Ost-Friesland in North-West Germany).

Origen's Hexapla placed side by side six versions of the Old Testament, including the 2nd century Greek translations of Aquila of Sinope and Symmachus the Ebionite.
The canonical Christian Bible was formally established by Bishop St Cyril of Jerusalem in 350 (although it had been generally accepted on an informal basis by the Christian community previously), confirmed by the Council of Laodicea in 363 (both lacked the book of Revelation), and later established by St Athanasius of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church, in 367 (with Revelation added).

The Council of Carthage, held on 28 August 397 under the tutelage of the Bishop of Carthage but with imperial and papal approval, issued a definitive canon (legal decree) of Scripture setting out all the texts that form what is now universally called "The Bible". This canon remained unchallenged for over 1,000 years until not long before the Protestant Reformation when the inclusion of the Deutero-Canonical texts was, among other things, repudiated. These texts were thereafter called "Apocryphal" by Calvinists, Lutherans, Anglicans and others but are often included in some Protestant translations.

Co-extensive with Carthage came the magisterial translation of the Vulgate of St Jerome and it was widely received and recognised as authorised by the Christian authorities, princes, governors and spiritual leaders. It has remained so ever since and has stood the test of time clearly under the guidance and indirect inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

 
St Jerome, Cardinal and Doctor of the Western Church, the fiery Illyrian penitent who translated the Bible from the original texts to give us the Vulgate

Jerome's Vulgate Latin translation dates to between AD 382 and 420. Latin translations pre-dating Jerome are collectively known as Vetus Latina texts. Jerome began by revising the earlier Latin translations, but ended by going back to the original Greek, by-passing all translations, and going back to the original Hebrew, wherever he could, instead of the Septuagint (as, later, did the translators of the King James Version).

The New Testament was translated into Gothic in the 4th century by Ulfilas. In the 5th century, Mesrob translated the Bible into Armenian. Also dating from the same period are the Syriac, Coptic, Ethiopic and Georgian translations.

However, important though the Vulgate was, it nevertheless was only indirectly inspired through the scholarship of the Christian doctor, St Jerome. The original texts remained - and still remain - the only DIRECTLY INSPIRED texts written in the hand and language of those authors who were DIRECTLY INSPIRED by the Holy Ghost.

On the other hand, it was important that Scripture be available to the people in their own language since only scholars tended to know Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic and the Latin of the Vulgate. This resulted in various authorised translations.

From the Middle Ages we still have some fragmentary Anglo-Saxon Bible translations, notably a lost translation of the Gospel of John into Old English (Anglo-Saxon) by the Venerable Bede, which he is said to have prepared shortly before his death around the year 735.

An Old High German version of the Gospel of Matthew dates to 748. Charlemagne in ca. 800 charged Alcuin with a revision of the Latin Vulgate. The translation into Old Church Slavonic dates to the late 9th century.

Alfred the Great had a number of passages of the Bible circulated in the vernacular in around 900. These included passages from the Ten Commandments and the Pentateuch, which he prefixed to a code of laws he promulgated around this time. In approximately 990, a full and free-standing version of the four Gospels in idiomatic Anglo-Saxon appeared, in the West Saxon dialect; these are called the Wessex Gospels.

King Alfred the Great who translated parts of the Bible into Anglo-Saxon


In 1199, Pope Innocent III banned unauthorized versions of the Bible as a reaction to the Cathar/Waldensian heresies.

The Cathars manipulated Scripture in accordance with their real beliefs which were not Christian but rather those of the Chinese philosopher and theologian, Mani, who believed in Dualism (the existence of two equal forces one good, God, and one evil, the Devil, but each of equal strength and standing, a view entirely opposed to orthodox Christianity). They believed that flesh was evil, thus child-birth was evil, and marriage was evil but sodomy, which produced no children, and euthanasia, which eliminated flesh, were good.

They believed in a "sacrament" called the consolamentum which included euthanasia by suffocation or starvation.

They also included many terrorists who regularly murdered orthodox Christians so that the Church was therefore obliged to launch a defensive counter-terrorist war against them, eventually won, at Muret in 1213, by Count Simon de Montfort (whose son founded the English Parliament) when his 700 Knights miraculously defeated a vast Cathar army of 50,000 under King Peter of Aragon.


Count Simon de Monfort led 700 Christian knights against a huge army of 50,000 or more Albigensian Cathars under King Pedro II of Aragon in the Battle of Muret 1213. St Dominic was praying the Rosary for victory in the Church of Muret. The tiny army of Christian knights defeated the brutal and bloody Cathars who fled away, defeated.


The synods of Toulouse and Tarragona (1234) outlawed possession of Cathar renderings of the Bible. There is evidence of some vernacular translations permitted while others were being scrutinized for Catharist influences.

The most notable Middle English Bible translation, Wyclif's Bible (1383), based on the Vulgate, was banned by the Oxford Synod in 1408 because of its alterations to the text. A Hungarian Hussite Bible appeared in the mid 15th century, and in 1478, a Catalan translation in the dialect of Valencia.

In 1521, Martin Luther was placed under the Ban of the Empire, and he retired to Wartburg Castle. During his time there, he translated the New Testament from Greek into German. This was printed in September 1522.

Tyndale's Bible (1526) was met with heavy sanctions given the widespread belief that Tyndale had changed the Bible as he attempted to translate it. William Tyndale was first jailed in 1535 for translating the Old Testament without permission, and, a year later, after refusing to recant or retract, was executed by order of the English King Henry VIII and Parliament.

There was also the 1530 translation of Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples. The Froschauer Bible of 1531 and the Luther Bible of 1534 (both appearing in portions throughout the 1520s) were an important part of the Protestant Reformation.

The vast international missionary activity of the Jesuit order led to a large number of 17th century translations into the languages of the New World, to enable the indigenous Indian natives to understand the Bible.

Each translation of the Bible tends to put its own "spin" on the text and this can give rise to controversy. Thus the translators of the KJV were authorised by King James I of England to undertake their translation work because of the very clear "spin" put upon the texts by the Geneva Bible which both King James and the Fathers of the KJV translation famously rejected.

For example, the Geneva Bible translated episkopoi as "elders" rather than as "bishops". This the KJV translators rejected and returned to the more traditional rendering of "bishop". King James famously said "No bishop, no king" and so would not tolerate the Presbyterian rendering of "elder" which he knew spelt the end of the bishops and thus of himself as king.

So it proved under his son, King Charles I when the even more extreme and revolutionary Congregationalists or Independents, under Oliver Cromwell, banned all bishops and executed the King setting up a military dictatorship of Army generals under Cromwell as the Dictator.

To the extent that any translation of the Bible is faithful to the original texts, it is an INDIRECTLY INSPIRED text and therefore, to a greater or lesser degree (depending upon the faithfulness of the translation), suitable to nourish the faith of Christians and suitable for them to rely upon.

However, the texts of the Bible DIRECTLY inspired by the Holy Ghost are the Old Testament (called the Tanakh by the Jews) in the classical Hebrew of the masoretic texts mostly, but with some (e.g. the Talmud and the Book of Daniel) in Aramaic, and the New Testament in the original Koine Greek with smatterings of Aramaic (the language spoken by Jesus) and various semitisms typical of Greek-speaking Jews.

However, the decision as to which inspired books would make up the Bible was decided by a Council of the Roman Catholic Church in 397.

The Bible is, thus, a Catholic book, not a Protestant one...

...

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,

Just two comments:

(i) The Bible is a Christian book.

(ii) Your statements about Cathars are fully wrong from A to Z. Yo seriously need to update them. Cathars were just Christians, "Good Christians" as they used to call themselves. And nothing else. Their Book was just the Jerome's Vulgate New Testament translated into vernacular languages, for instance Occitanian. Anybody can see one of their Bible at the Library of the City of Lyon, France, in XIIIth Century Occitanian language.

They had nothing to do at all with Mani. This spiteful legend was fully made up by the Church of Rome in order to strenghten its secular power over the Medieval societies and on the other to eradicate any Spiritual streams inside Christianity. That is how and why Inquisition was founded in 1233.

Cathars were not either Ditheist. They believed in One God. Their dualism was just the one any Christians might read today in the Gospel according to Matthew (13, 24-43)i.e. the parable of the tares of the field.

In 2008 all Historians around the World, since 40 years, have all given up the idea of a any link between Mani and Cathars. They all agree with the statement that Cathars were Christians, just Christians.

May I just remind all our current Christian Brethren that Crusaders on duty of the Roman Catholic Church and that the Catholic Inquisition that lasted for Centuries tortured (Pope Innocent IV orders), killed and burnt at the stakes thousands of Cathars (and burnt also their Gospels) "in the Name of God". May I also remind all current Human beings that the Crusades against other Christians took place for 125 years in Occitania (current Southern France), exactly between 1209 and 1231, where they caused the violent death of 1,5 million Occitanian people.

There were also Catholic Crusades against the Bosniac Cathars between 1203 and 1460 when the persecuted Christian Cathars were incorporated inside the Turkish Islam.

I would say all this has nothing to do with the Teaching of Jesus-Christ, the ones any Christian can read in any current Bible or the ones any current Christian Priest could, would and should teach to any Human being.

Christ said: 'A new commandment I give unto you that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another' (John 13,34).

Don't you think the time has widely and seriously come to make this Commandment a daily reality?

It's just up to all of us including you!

Love!

Bertran de La Farge
France

Tribunus said...

Dear Betran,

Read my response on the blog.

Eddie said...

This is an excellent post in many ways, and I will be linking to it on my own blog.

However, it would have been good if you had been fairer to mainstream Evangelicalism/Protestantism. I don't know anyone who seriously believes that the KJV was inspired(though I realise that such people do exist in corners of the internet). Every Protestant I know would agree with you about the origin of the canon.

You also fail, very obviously, to do justice to the Bible translation movement typified by Wycliffe Bible Translators (protestant) and the Bible Societies (ecumenical) which has seen the translation of the Scriptures into hundreds of languages in the last century.

As a Bible translator myself, I am happy to work with anyone who wants to live as a disciple of Christ and to benefit from the words of Scripture in their own language. I've blogged on the way in which Bible Translation can draw Christians together here; http://www.kouya.net/?p=171#more-171

Tribunus said...

Thank you Eddie (and Sue?) Arthur.

Thanks very much for your comments.

My friend has been corresponding with an Evangelical Protestant who believes that the KJV is the ONLY inspired version of the Bible.

That's what inspired me to write this post.

Although I have many close Protestant friends and respect them greatly, I part company with them on the well-defined and well-known differences with Roman Catholicism. That does not stop us being good friends and praying together. Within reason, one should be able to respect differences of opinion and belief.

The Wycliffe Bible, like many another more modern translation, had an agenda and a "spin" which is anti-Catholic. There's no getting away from that. Wycliffe himself intended it. He often said so.

Being a Catholic I natrually disagree with his spin.

However, having said that I am very happy to work with, and pray with, Evangelical Protestants and often enough do so, and I find that they are closest to us Catholics among all other Christian groups. I count some of them among my closest friends.

Thanks again for your comments.

yeomanrycavalry said...

Yeah, the typical very Catholics demonizing the very threat of their existence and call it a heresy. The massacre of innocent people known as the Cathars is equally as disgusting as what Hitler did to the Jews. For this every Pope should be exhumed and crucified as an outward public apology for the atrocities caused by all the Romans and the Roman Catholics. History has proven the Romans were more evil than Nazis and when Constantine had visions or hallucinations of the cross it was only an excuse to justify the very first crusade against those who did not believe in the lies of the Roman ideals of a "better world" by destroying others who stood in its way. Those base ideas of the Romans continued on by the Pope is basically the equivalent of today's radical muslim clerics brainwashing the followers under the guise of some greater cause for humanity (a lie in of itself). Popes are really just sanctioned terrorists equivalent to UBL with the agenda to force their ideals on others and the world itself!!!

Tribunus said...

Well folks, this kind of ignorant, irrational, half-witted rant seems to be the kind of thing that now passes for an argument with some anti-Catholic bigots.

Comment is really superfluous.

The inanity of the rant speaks for itself.

Never mind the fact that this poor fellow's sense of history has plainly been left home in a locked draw marked "not to be touched except by grown-ups".

I wonder what his problem is?

No doubt the usual: sex, money or power.

lovinangels said...

Aren't Catholics Christians?

Tribunus said...

Of course.

Catholics are the real Christians.

David Clarke said...

I thought that the bible stated that 'Christians' where those who had accepted Jesus Christ into their lives - being born-again. A catholic or any other cannot be a Christian by means of birth, therefore the comment is ridiculous.

Tribunus said...

Dear Mr Clarke,

I don't know what comment you are referring to.

Entry into the Church comes through Baptism, not birth.

There is one Baptism, in three forms:

(1) Baptism by water, invoking the name of the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

(2) Baptism by blood, whereby a man is martyred for believing in Christ.

(3) Baptism by repentance or desire, by which a man is conditionally baptised into the Church through his belief in the Triune God and his sorrow for sin, even though, through no fault of his own, he does not yet understand or accept the fullness of the Faith.

It may be that this latter form of Baptism is what you are referring to.

Merely believing, however, is not enough, one must also be sorry for sin and try to live a good life in charity with one's neighbour.

The Bible makes this abundantly clear - see James 2:17-20 - "Faith without works is dead".

It is not enough to believe. One must also do good.

Anonymous said...

All very interesting! Catholic or Christian? They are NOT synonymous terms. A Christian is someone who believes in and lives by every word of scripture - as such we are NOT to venerate dead people - ie Mary is just another dead person - the same as all other dead people = she is not alive and does not appear to anyone. There is no such thing as purgatory - there is only hell or heaven. Paying churches for souls in limbo is abominable. There is NO head of the chirstian church aprt from Christ - when will everyone accept that Peter was NEVER head of any church? I could go on and on - in fact the Catholic church goes against at least 32 major doctrrines/tenets of scipture - so how can they call themselves Christian?

Tribunus said...

Anonymous, you define what a Christian is according to YOUR OWN unsupported definition. Why should we accept YOUR definition?

Are you God?

No.

Then admit that it is arrogant for you to claim the right to define Christianity on you rown.

Scriputre is against you.

Not only does it not forbid the honouring of the Dead but it actually mandates it.

"It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins." 2 Machabees 12:46

Tribunus said...

Mary is not just another dead person. According to Scripture (in the original Greek) she is "kehari tou mene" - "full of grace".

Christ, who is God, was born from her.

You (arrogantly) say that "she does not appear to anyone".

How would you know?

You cannot see something NOT happening, can you?

The fact is that too many people ahve seen Mary appear for us to be able to ignore.

Likewise, you pontificate about heaven, hell and purgatory.

Who are you to pontificate?

Indeed Scripture says:

"And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he paid the debt." Matthew 18:30

"And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt."
Matthew 18:34

These are but 2 passages that are taken as references to purgatory by Scripture scholars.

And no-one ever paid for souls in Limbo. Limbo is the name given to the top layer of Hell, a place of natural, rather than supernatural, happiness.

Tribunus said...

You say:

"There is NO head of the chirstian church aprt from Christ - when will everyone accept that Peter was NEVER head of any church?"

Everyone already does!

Catholics do NOT (that's N-O-T) say that St \Peter was the Head of teh Church.

Catholics say that CHRIST is the head of the Church.

Got that?

The Pope is the "Vicar" of Christ i.e. he is the person put in place by Christ, as Christ's appointee to rule.

He is NOT (reapt N-O-T) "Head" of the Church.

Got it, now?

Anonymous said...

Interesting article and most interesting responses. Everyone today believes a certain way and they do not agree. This shows there is error in today's beliefs and we tend to believe our way is the true way and want to defend it as though our very lives depend on it. What is apparent is that we all love God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. I am not Catholic, but I will agree that the Catholic Church was the force behind our current Bible, but I will disagree with the author of this article that that makes it a Catholic book. The Catholic church also holds many Apostolic writings in custody. What I would love is for them to open their vaults and release the sacred writings they secretly (not so secretly now) guard. I could care less what any council has canonized. I am interested in truth and I would love to have all the writings that were inspired by God for men to write. Most Christians today falsely claim the Bible is complete and perfect. How can anyone be so naive? I challenge anyone to copy by hand the entire Bible and not make a mistake. Also, as was alluded to, translations purposefully were altered to put the King in good light. These adulteration's are an abomination. I personally read from the King's Jame version, however, if I could read German, I would read their version of The Bible. How many of you speak and read a foreign language and have read the Bible in that language? There are many differences in interpretation. So do you believe that only the American Version is perfect and complete? How ridiculous! Some of the scriptural texts that were not chosen to be included in the Bible are still referred to in the Bible we Christians read today. There are at least 18 references in the Bible to scriptural texts that are not there now. How can one honestly trust man's decision of what texts are to be deemed "sacred" when those very texts invoke other texts which man discarded as unsacred? I say to you all, wake up. The Bible is not perfect. May we work together for the better and become perfect in Christ. Even He commanded us "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect." Are you willing to obey His command? Scott (not anonymous)

Tribunus said...

Dear Scott,

I’m glad that you agree that the Catholic Church was the force behind our current Bible.

If you were to be the author of a book, it would be YOUR book.

Likewise the Bible, chosen, authored and edited by the Catholic Church is, therefore, a Catholic book.

There is no getting around it.

Face it.

The so called “secret” writings in the “vaults” of the Church are open for all to see and have always been.

You are fantasising if you think otherwise.

If you are genuinely interested in the truth then you should be interested in what Councils of the Christian Church, approved by Christ’s Vicar, the Pope, and inspired by the Holy Spirit, taught about the books of Scripture.

If you are not interested in them then you are not interested in truth and should stop pretending.

The Bible is complete and perfect in the sense that the body that Christ established to guide us in truth and teaching has declared – infallibly – that the books of Scripture are true.

The original languages of the Bible are Hebrew and Greek – not German.

You are right that there are many differences of interpretation as to what Scripture means but that is precisely why Christ left us a Church to tell us which interpretation is the true one.

The Church is inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit to teach us that truth.

That is why Scripture calls the Church “the pillar and ground of the truth” [1 Tim 3:15].

The King James’ Bible is useful but it is not authoritative. It was not approved by the Church, still less was the American Bible.

The fact that the Bible refers to texts outside of the canon of Scripture is neither here nor there. So what? The Bible refers to the pagan Greek temples. Does that make them Christian? No, of course not.

The mistake you make is to think that the Church’s infallible teaching about the canon and meaning of Scripture is merely “man’s decision”.

It is not.

It is the decision of the Holy Spirit speaking through the Church that God created. THAT IS WHAT THE CHURCH IS FOR.

You are right that Christ commanded us “"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect” but how do you know that Christ actually said this, truly and accurately?

You know it because the Roman Catholic Church teaches you so and chose the book in which that text appears as part of the canon of Scripture. THAT’S WHY!

So if you want to be perfect then you need recognise that same Church that Christ founded and which the Holy Spirit teaches and instructs.

Are you willing to obey Christ’s Church?

I say to you “wake up” and follow Christ and His Church.

Then you can begin to be "perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect".

Miss Elizabeth Diana said...

Tribunus you're posts are well informed & extremely inspirational, you really know your stuff. After reading all the comments, I am now inspired to research & investigate more on certain topics. Thank you :)

David Crupe said...

You mention that the Bible was wrote by only Catholics. Tell me then why does the Catholic Bible that exist today contain books that the church fathers did not included in the beginning?

Tribunus said...

Dear David,

The Bible of today does NOT include books the Fathers did not recognise or include.

The Council of Trent (1545-1564) infallibly reiterated what the Church had long taught regarding the canons of the Old and New Testaments. Pope Damasus promulgated the Catholic canons at the Synod of Rome in A.D. 382, and later, at the regional councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397, 419), the Church again defined the same list of books as inspired.

The canons of the Old and New Testaments, as defined by Pope Damasus and the Councils of Hippo and Carthage, were later ratified (though the books were not enumerated individually) by the later Ecumenical councils of Nicaea II (787) and Florence (1438-1445). Although the Council of Trent, in response to the Protestant violation of the Bible in deleting the seven Deutero-canonical books plus portions of Daniel and Esther, was the first infallible conciliar listing of each individual book, it certainly did not add those books to the canon.

If that were the case, how could Martin Luther and the other Reformers have objected to the presence of those books decades before the Council of Trent if they weren't already in the canon to begin with?

Finally, you have to face the fact that Protestants get their bible from the Catholic Church.

No Catholic church - no Bible.

Fact.

Anonymous said...

So I assume you have it all figured out. You know the truth of what, how and when things happened in history and the rest of us are ignorant. To say the protestant movement was an agenda and catholic teachings are truth is foolish. We are basing our opinions on the writings and flawed history of tyrants and evil. Do you really think the father of lies "satan" has had no influence on what we now consider truth (aka the bible), religion, government, etc.. I ask most people today, Do you trust your government? Really? I know some say they do because they have been taught to do so blindly, or because they say scripture says to do so. But to those who say no I'm right there with you. So...if we do not trust our man led, lying, deciving, etc government today..why should we trust the man led, lying, deciving, etc government in 397AD at Carthage ? Who decided what is inspired or not. This is where so many who claim to know history say I'm ignorant.. Exuse me, but were you there? Did you witness all these things first hand? Do you know beyond any doubt that there was no scheming or agenda behind the Roman empire to dictate all of humanity through religion? Incorporating their pagan sun worship to dilute the truth? Catholicism and Protestantism today are nothing more than prideful, arrogant bigotry. Making false claims of partial truths as absolutes. Most mainstream assumptions are meant to keep us in the dark. My only advise, allow God to know you, Regardless of your sinful nature, and in return you will come to know Him and His ways. Organized and structured religion have taken us away from His ways, and have confused the truth.

Anonymous said...

And yet we would still have The Word. My understanding is... In the beginning was The Word. And The Word was with God. AND THE WORD WAS GOD... Not a collection of books to be manipulated... Fact

Tribunus said...

Dear Anonymouse (or is it Scott?),

You are ranting badly and foolishly. I have no wish to offend, but I’m afraid that you merely demonstrate your ignorance and inability to argue rationally or logically.

You have signally failed to answer even a single one of the arguments.

You therefore lose the debate. Sorry – but that is how debate works.

You have no rebuttal. Therefore, you lose the debate.

Furthermore, you argue against yourself. You complain that the Council of Carthage is a mere “man-led” Council and so is fallible.

But the same can be said of the Bible!

The Bible was written by men. Therefore, on your fatuous and ridiculous argument, it is also fallible.

But then you say that we must follow it as the Word of God.

Well - make up your mind. Which is it: fallible work of men or Word of God?

And how do you KNOW it is the Word of God? Who told you? Or, as you put it, “excuse me…were you there?”. Well? Were you? Then how do you know? What evidence have you for that proposition?

None. Except the Catholic Church.

No Catholic Church, no Bible.

Fact.

Get used to it.

And do you think God is so weak that He cannot work over and despite the corruption of human governments?

The lying, deceitful, pride-filled and arrogant arguments are all YOURS.

It is YOU who make false claims of partial truths as absolutes.

It is YOU who have confused the truth.

You quote the first chapter of St John’s Gospel “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God and the Word was with God…” but you reject the Church that put this book into the canon of Scripture, the same Church that the Bible calls “the pillar and foundation of the truth”.

It is YOU who reject truth.

Because you are so ignorant of history you are clearly unaware that many of the Apostles became Catholic bishops e.g. St James the Less was Bishop of Jerusalem, St Peter became Bishop of Rome, and St Timothy was Bishop of Ephesus.

Instead, in an earlier email, you told us that the Cathars, who believed Satan was as powerful as God, that marriage and child-birth are evil, that euthanasia is good and who practised sodomy so as to avoid having children, were “true” Christians!

You are very far from Christ and His Gospel, my dear Anonymouse!

Repent and be saved.

Joel Hodnett said...

Very informative post, sir. I have no disagreement with your views on how the Canon of the Scriptures came to be. You gave great sources and I applaud you for your research.

I must pose a question or rather ask for further explanation concerning something I am not clear on based on your post.

You have made your point: "No Catholic Church = No Bible." That is not really something that constitutes any argument in my opinion. You seem to be trying to argue a different point using this fact, a point that does not require you to use said argument.

My point being, to argue that the Catholic church is the only TRUE church of Christ and that Catholicism is the only TRUE practice of "Christianity", by attributing the Canon of the Scriptures to it, does not cover the claim itself entirely. It merely is, if anything, theoretical evidence...which does not "PROVE" the claim I believe you are really trying to make. (Catholicism = True Christianity).

Now, I am willing to hear your views on why that is the case, again, as I believe that is your intention all along. I was actually going to ask you to present that argument as you did this post concerning the Bible.

I find your writing to be quite informative and I am currently doing my own research on the History of Christianity.

As a follower of Christ, I would like to know why you consider Catholicism as the only true form of Christianity.

All due respect, please use historical and biblical support...not biased opinion.

Tribunus said...

On the contrary, Joel. It is you who are trying to argue a different point than the one at issue.

My post is not chiefly a post to prove the truth of the Catholic faith. That is a merely false assumption on your part.

The point of my post was to show and prove that the Bible is a Catholic book, written by Catholics, edited by Catholics, selected by Catholics, approved by Catholic authorities and accepted by Christians the world over BECAUSE it was approved by Catholic authorities (even if they reject those Catholic authorities).

That is not certainly something that constitutes, not only an argument, but a successful argument.

You as good as admit as much in your earlier sentence.

If you want a debate about whether the Catholic Church is the true Church that requires a great many other issues to be covered. We win on those, too, but I was not arguing that in this post.

You are, I'm afraid, attacking a straw man.

Instead of trying to second guess my intentions, you would do better looking at what I write. It is easier to address that than trying to read my thoughts.

And you do not help your own approach by first telling me that you like my research and sources and then telling me not to use "biased opinion".

You argue against yourself by so doing!

Tribunus said...

Joel,

To argue the whole case for the Catholic Church would take far too long to achieve in one - or even several - posts.

I don't have time for that right now.

However, there are plenty who have already done so whom you can read for yourself e.g.

Cardinal Blessed John Newman On the Development of Christian Doctrine (this book converted me)

St Thomas Aquinas Summa Contra Gentiles

Many books by St Robert Bellarmine, St Alphonsus Liguori, St Francis de Sales or St Thomas Aquinas.

They will be more than enough for starters but - be warned - they are intellectually challenging books.

When I have time I shall write a post on the truth of the Catholic faith but it won't be right away.

In a nutshell, for the present:

- The original Church can be proven to be Roman and Catholic;

- The only Church never to change its fundamental doctrines is the Catholic Church. It is - like its Founder Jesus Christ - the same yesterday, today and forever.

- The Catholic Church has a consistently truth-telling final authority which can tell you - infallibly - what is definitely true and what false. It is called the "Magisterium" or teaching office and consists of the Pope and the Bishops of the Catholic Church. This can be proven true, scientifically and logically.

- All of the doctrines of the Catholic Church are defensible on the ground of logic and reason and can, also logically, rationally, reasonably and truthfully, be shown to subsist in and from the Bible, without any exception.

That gives you a taster. More to come in due course.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that all these posts are like how religion has been and will always be from the beginning of it. What happened to the relationship wI think Jesus? Take up your cross...deny yourself... and follow Jesus does not mean telling someone who is right and who is wrong. It means to love someone unconditionally like God does. The Holy Spirit will take you farther and closer with God than any discussion of religion. I pray that you find the key to a true relationship with God...Submittion. Be blessed!!

Tribunus said...

Dear anonymous,

Sorry - but that's just a lot of pious poppycock.

You cannot have a relationship with Jesus Christ if you don't know who He is, what He wants of you and how you develop that relationship.

A mushy, wishy-washy "Jesus" with no basis in reality is not Jesus Christ at all but the invention of sinful men.

It is part of the teaching to "Take up your cross...deny yourself... and follow Jesus" to learn and understand who He is and what He wants. You cannot love someone you don't yet know.

Love certainly DOES mean telling someone who is right and who is wrong. It is essential to love.

Pretending that there is no right or wrong is not love; it is hatred. It does not come form God but from Satan.

To love someone unconditionally like God does requires you to know them.

You cannot expect the Holy Spirit to take you farther and closer with God if you are not prepared to make an effort to learn about Him and understand Him.

If you think that truth does not matter then your religion comes not from God but from Satan.

Flee the lies of Satan and embrace the truth which comes from God!

pray that you find the key to a true relationship with God which is to know Him, to love Him and to follow Him.

If you make no effort to know Him then you are not submitting to God but to Satan.

And you need to learn how to spell while you are at it.

It's "submission".

Learn about the Christian faith and then - and only then - will you be blessed.

Kimberly Smith said...

Was Jesus a Christian? Am I wrong, but didn't man create all of the rituals of religion well past the death of Jesus? What about Constantine's role at the council of Nicea? Seems as if he and the council made up some ideas and dates of holidays and now Christians blindly follow. I mean how can the date of Easter change every year? Why do Christians celebrate pagan holidays? I also noticed that when people mention atrocities, the Jews are always mentioned. I agree that Hitler was terrible, but has everyone forgotten the 400 years of slavery in America?

Anonymous said...

Knowing God isn't the same as having an experience of him guiding your life, and being guided by his love. Tribunus, knowing the bible and being able to talk authoritatively about it will give you a knowing, but stops short of having an experience of him in your life. I am a very analytical guy traditionally I suspect much like you. For me God's usefulness works on my intuition where only experience matters. Einstein said, "The analytical mind is a trusted servant, the intuitive mind is a sacred gift; we've created a society which values the sacred gift over the trusted servant. This is so true of Western Society. What Einstein's statement says to me is the intuitive mind should inspire and guide our analytical abilities. Accepting this truth has had a profound affect on my world view and view of religion.
Christ's basic message was Love and tolerance. Every religion including the Catholic Church from the beginning has drifted off this basic truth. Every translation has just added more noise and confusion for me. By the way I was raised Catholic, and feel refreshed attending. I feel it's getting back toward Christ's basic message. I feel this Pope is leading the Church back to it's fundamentals. My biggest issue is the lack of tolerance within the Christian community, and the joint intolerance and fear that exists with and within Muslim faiths. I feel the Pope could lead a spiritual reconciliation by having a summit with all faiths focusing on the common themes we all share and minimizing our marginal differences. I hope you discover your intuitive mind an allow it to guide your words and actions. Only a relationship with a God of my understanding enabled me to open my heart and mind.

With Love,

Jeff

BTW, do you know how Armaggedon was included in the Bible? It's inclusion seems antithetical to Christ's basic message. It seems to create fear; for me when fear is present there's no room for Love in my heart or our collective hearts?


Tribunus said...

If JESUS CHRIST is not a Christian then who is? Since He founded our religion, the answer is pretty obvious. The clue is in the name - Christian, i.e. the religion of Christ.

Yes, you are wrong.

No, man didn't create all of the rituals of religion well past the death of Jesus since most of our rituals originate in the Jewish religion and its rituals are specifically given to the Jews by God - see Exodus, Deuteronomy and Leviticus.

The rituals were, moreover, consecrated by Christ Himself and have been sanctioned by the Holy Spirit acting through His Church, namely the Roman Catholic Church.

What about Constantine's role at the council of Nicea?

He, as Emperor, presided at the Council and emperors presided at the Councils of the Church for over 1,000 years. So what? The Church had no difficulty with that.

No, neither he, nor the Council fathers made anything up. They followed and built upon previous traditions that originate with the Jews of the Old Testament.

Criticism of our rituals and traditions are usually fatuous. They either say we made them up or, when they discover that the Church used the traditions of both the Jews and of the Greeks and Romans, then they variously accuse us of stealing traditions, perverting traditions or paganising Christianity by inculturation.

It's "damned if you, damned if you don't" and it is about as crassly silly a criticism as one could imagine.

The Church uses the Jewish traditions as the stem and ingrafts any human traditions that are good and compatible with Christianity. That is plainly the best policy that one could imagine and, moreover, represents part of the particular genius of Christianity: we condemn nothing that is good since everything good comes ultimately from God.

The feasts of Easter, Pentecost and other feasts derive directly from the Jewish Passover, Pentecost and other feasts, specifically given by God to the Jews. Christ Himself said that He had not come to destroy the Law (i.e. the Old Testament law) but to fulfil it.

Just as Passover changes every year, so does Easter.

According to Eusebius' Church History, quoting Polycrates of Ephesus, churches in the Roman Province of Asia "always observed the day when the people put away the leaven", namely Passover, the 14th of the lunar month of Nisan.

Other documents from the 3rd and 4th centuries reveal that the customary practice was for Christians to consult their Jewish neighbors to determine when the week of Unleavened Bread would fall, and to set Easter on the Sunday that fell within that week.

By the end of the 3rd century some Christians had become dissatisfied with what they perceived as the disorderly state of the Jewish calendar. The chief complaint was that the Jewish practice sometimes set the 14th of Nisan before the spring equinox.

For instance, Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, noted that "the men of the present day now celebrate [Passover] before the [spring] equinox...through negligence and error."

Aditionally, the Jews computed the date of Passover differently in different places and the Church sought a more unified approach.

Nicea adopted the unified approach which is now universal through the Western Church.

The Eastern Church would use the same but for the fact that they still use the atronomically incorrect Julian Calendar not the scientifically correct Gregorian Calendar (although even that will need updating in due course).

How can the date of Easter chagne every year? Simple: because the Feast of the Passover did and it was at Passover that Christ, building upon and transforming the Old Law, suffered, died, was buried and resurrected, the chief event of the Christian religion and its sine qua non.

There is thus no "blind" following but an entirely rational and well-argued basis for the date of Easter.

The fact that you ask these questions does not challenge those reasons but only serves to demonstrate your lack of knowledge of the issues.

Tribunus said...

As to "pagan" holidays, Christians, as I said, use what is good and reject what is bad. Thus the Church "inculturated" the former pagan feasts turning them into Christian feasts so as to avoid unduly disturbing the cultural traditions of the people and recognising what was good in them, rejecting only what was bad.

The Church still does that, for instance in Africa.

No, the Jews are not "always mentioned when people mention atrocities". Your imagination is running away with you!

Tribunus said...

As to slavery, no-one has forgotten it. But plenty of people (you included) have either forgotten, or never knew, that the Catholic Church condemned the slave trade and chattel slavery with particular force and did so from the beginning of its return to the West directly after the Protestant Reformation when Protestant bigots began to teach blatantly racist doctrines about negores and other races.

Take care, particularly when dealing with dishonest atheist abusers, to ensure that you do not allow them to merge the meanings of chattel slavery and indentured servitude. They are not the same.

In Biblical times, there were no prisoner of war camps or cages. Prisoners of war were thus rendered into indentured servants. Likewise some criminals were punished by the same servitude. This was not slavery (as we know it) but a just relationship permitted by the Natural Law.

The odious and evil slave trade, however, is grossly unnatural and contrary to the moral law, as is chattel slavery, treating human beings as mere goods to be bought and sold and deprived of their human rights. This the Catholic Church always gravely condemned.

Tribunus said...

The modern slave trade and chattel slavery was expressly condemned in the Apostolic Constitution IN SUPREMO APOSTOLATUS of Pope Gregory XVI in 1839 and in it he cites earlier condemntations of the trade and practice.

A quote to give you a flavour:

"In the process of time, the fog of pagan superstition being more completely dissipated and the manners of barbarous people having been softened, thanks to Faith operating by Charity, it at last comes about that, since several centuries, there are no more slaves in the greater number of Christian nations. But—We say with profound sorrow—there were to be found afterwards among the Faithful men who, shamefully blinded by the desire of sordid gain, in lonely and distant countries, did not hesitate to reduce to slavery Indians, Negroes and other wretched peoples, or else, by instituting or developing the trade in those who had been made slaves by others, to favour their unworthy practice. Certainly many Roman Pontiffs of glorious memory, Our Predecessors, did not fail, according to the duties of their charge, to blame severely this way of acting as dangerous for the spiritual welfare of those engaged in the traffic and a shame to the Christian name; they foresaw that as a result of this, the infidel peoples would be more and more strengthened in their hatred of the true Religion.

It is at these practices that are aimed the Letter Apostolic of Paul III, given on May 29, 1537, under the seal of the Fisherman, and addressed to the Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo, and afterwards another Letter, more detailed, addressed by Urban VIII on April 22, 1639 to the Collector Jurium of the Apostolic Chamber of Portugal. In the latter are severely and particularly condemned those who should dare 'to reduce to slavery the Indians of the Eastern and Southern Indies,' to sell them, buy them, exchange them or give them, separate them from their wives and children, despoil them of their goods and properties, conduct or transport them into other regions, or deprive them of liberty in any way whatsoever, retain them in servitude, or lend counsel, succour, favour and co-operation to those so acting, under no matter what pretext or excuse, or who proclaim and teach that this way of acting is allowable and co-operate in any manner whatever in the practices indicated."

[CONTD]

Tribunus said...

[CONTD]

"Benedict XIV confirmed and renewed the penalties of the Popes above mentioned in a new Apostolic Letter addressed on December 20, 1741, to the Bishops of Brazil and some other regions, in which he stimulated, to the same end, the solicitude of the Governors themselves. Another of Our Predecessors, anterior to Benedict XIV, Pius II, as during his life the power of the Portuguese was extending itself over New Guinea, sent on October 7, 1462, to a Bishop who was leaving for that country, a Letter in which he not only gives the Bishop himself the means of exercising there the sacred ministry with more fruit, but on the same occasion, addresses grave warnings with regard to Christians who should reduce neophytes to slavery.

...This is why, desiring to remove such a shame from all the Christian nations, having fully reflected over the whole question and having taken the advice of many of Our Venerable Brothers the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, and walking in the footsteps of Our Predecessors, We warn and adjure earnestly in the Lord faithful Christians of every condition that no one in the future dare to vex anyone, despoil him of his possessions, reduce to servitude, or lend aid and favour to those who give themselves up to these practices, or exercise that inhuman traffic by which the Blacks, as if they were not men but rather animals, having been brought into servitude, in no matter what way, are, without any distinction, in contempt of the rights of justice and humanity, bought, sold, and devoted sometimes to the hardest labour. Further, in the hope of gain, propositions of purchase being made to the first owners of the Blacks, dissensions and almost perpetual conflicts are aroused in these regions."

What could be clearer?

Read first....and only then criticise, my friend. Otherwise you will do no more than demonstrate your own ignorance of that which you claim the right to condemn.

Tribunus said...

Einstein was probably a theist but certainly no Christian. He can hardly be the last word on the proper interpretation of the Christian religion.

Christ's message was Love, yes, but not mere "tolerance". He did not tolerate evil, save where it would be more evil not to do so.

I think you mean "forebearance" which is certainly a Christian virtue.

No - the Catholic Church has not "drifted off" the truth. It is the Church of God and is empowered (by God) to teach the truth authoritatively - and does so - however, weak some or all of its servants may be.

Without the Catholic Church there would BE NO BIBLE.

"Reunion all round" as Fr Ronald Knox used to call it, is NOT the solution. TRUTH is the solution - TRUTH IN CHARITY. And that is to be found in the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church.

If you are not interested in truth but only some kind of vague, woolly and waffly "intuition" then you are liable to be led into all sorts of confusion.

On the other hand, since you extol and believe in love then, if you really mean it, you are, at least, well on the way to finding the right road which is, ultimately the TRUTH IN CHARITY.

As to fear, the Psalmist teaches us that Timor Domini, initium sapientiae - the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

And that means a holy, not a servile, fear i.e. a profound respect, adoration and obedience to God as our Creator, Father and Sustainer who knows what is best for us long before we do ourselves.

Tsidi said...

Quite surprised by all these comments! Is this book, Maccabees, divinely inspired? Is it not one of the apocryphal writings? Are we not under Christ's testamentary convenant? If under the dispensation of the new testament, what does Hebrews 9:27 says?

Tsidi said...

If purgatory is taken in that sense as purported by you, then I am afraid that's a misinterpretation. If you disagree please check the concluding verse: Matthew 18:35

Tsidi said...

Jesus is the truth and as long as He lives, the truth cannot be concealed. No tradition can subvert that! @Tribunus, can you tell us why the reformers broke away from the Roman Catholic Church?

Tribunus said...

Dear Tsidi,

You shouldn't be surprised by the truth although people often are.

All the books of the Bible are divinely inspired, and that includes the Books of Maccabees. It is not one of the "apocryphal" texts but an authentic book of the Bible, in the Second Canon of Scripture (the so-called Deutero-canonical texts) recognised by Jews and Christians alike and recognised as such by all Christians and by the Church from the beginning (until the ridiculous Luther claimed to cut it out of the Bible).

Yes, we are indeed under Christ's testamentary covenant which is why we should choose the true Christian Church, namely the Catholic Church.

And Hebrews 9:27 says this: "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment".

So - hurry along and join the Church now, while you still can.

See you there!

Tribunus said...

If you think that purgatory as taken in that sense as taught by the Church is a misinterpretation, then you are wrong.

If you disagree then please explain by what authority you claim the right so to do.

Face it: you have no such right. You are only you. You are neither God nor the Church.

So stop pretending.

Matthew 18:31-35 says this:

"[31] Now his fellow servants seeing what was done, were very much grieved, and they came and told their lord all that was done. [32] Then his lord called him; and said to him: Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me: [33] Shouldst not thou then have had compassion also on thy fellow servant, even as I had compassion on thee? [34] And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt. [35] So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts."

This parable of our Lord precisely teaches the basis for the doctrine of Purgatory - we shall not be let out until we have paid ALL the debt of sin.

God is just: he punishes evil. But God, being also (and chiefly) merciful, then restores us to full favour with Him when we have paid the debt and accepts us back as His sons and daughters.

Thus Purgatory is a merciful doctrine unlike the Protestant doctrine which sends all non-Protestants to Hell and, in the case of the odious Calvinist doctrine of Double Predestination, sends them to Hell regardless of whether they do evil or good!

No wonder the Council of Trent condemned this utterly hateful Calvinist doctrine "with detestation"!!

Tribunus said...

Jesus is indeed the truth and the truth cannot be concealed. And He does not merely live "long", He lives forever since He is God.

No tradition can subvert the truth and the Catholic tradition least of all since it teaches the very truth.

It is the Protestant tradition which subverts the truth - the truth as taught by both the Bible and by Jesus Christ Himself.

The reformers broke away from the Roman Catholic Church because the Reformers had lost the faith and ceased to be true Christians.

So much is obvious from the many utterly appalling curses and blasphemies of Martin Luther.

Try the next few posts for a taste of some of his horrors.

Tribunus said...

Some of Luther’s quoted words, taken from his tischreden or “table talk” are, on the face of them, redolent of a high degree of scandal and worse. To be fair, table talk is not always the best way to judge anyone but nevertheless it was thought sufficient for Johannes Schlaginhaufen to record the same in 1531-2 and publish it for the benefit of others.

Martin Luther on the Dignity and Majesty of God

1. “I look upon God no better than a scoundrel” (Tishreden, Weimar Edition, Vol. 1, p. 487).

2. “Christ committed adultery first of all with the women at the well about whom St. John tells us. Was not everybody about Him saying: ‘Whatever has He been doing with her?’ Secondly, with Mary Magdalen, and thirdly with the women taken in adultery whom He dismissed so lightly. Thus even, Christ who was so righteous, must have been guilty of fornication before He died.” (Tishreden, Weimer Edition, Vol. 2, p. 107)

3.“I have greater confidence in my wife and my pupils than I have in Christ” (Tishreden, Weimer Edition, Vol. 2, p.239).

Tribunus said...

Martin Luther on the 10 Commandments

4. “It is more important to guard against good works than against sin.” (Trischreden, Wittenberg Edition, Vol. VI, p. 160).

Martin Luther on the Material Necessity of Good Works

5. “Good works are bad and are sin like the rest.” (Denifle, Luther et Lutheranisme, Etude Faite d’apres les sources, trans. J. Paquier, Picard, Paris, 1912-13, vol III, p.47).

6. “There is no scandal greater, more dangerous, more venomous, than a good outward life, manifested by good works and a pious mode of life. That is the grand portal, the highway that leads to damnation.” (Denifle, Luther et Lutheranisme, Etude Faite d’apres les sources, trans. J. Paquier, Picard, Paris, 1912-13, vol II, p.128).

Martin Luther on the Unimportance of Free-Will

7. “Man is like a horse. Does God leap into the saddle? The horse is obedient and accommodates itself to every movement of the rider and goes whither he wills it. Does God throw down the reins? Then Satan leaps upon the back of the animal, which bends, goes and submits to the spurs and caprices of its new rider… Therefore, necessity, not free will, is the controlling principle of our conduct. God is the author of what is evil as well as of what is good, and, as He bestows happiness on those who merit it not, so also does He damn others who deserve not their fate.” (De Servo Arbitrio, 7, 113 seq., quoted by O’Hare, in The Facts About Luther, TAN Books, 1987, pp. 266-267).

8. “His (Judas’) will was the work of God; God by His almighty power moved his will as He does all that is in this world.” (De Servo Arbitrio, against man’s free will).

9. “No good work happens as the result of one’s own wisdom; but everything must happen in a stupor . . . Reason must be left behind for it is the enemy of faith.” (Trischreden, Weimer Edition, Vol VI, p.143, 25-35).

Tribunus said...

Martin Luther on Christian Living

10. “Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides… No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day.” (Saemmtliche Schriften, Letter No. 99, 1 Aug 1521, quoted in Denifle, Luther et Lutheranisme, Etude Faite d’apres les sources, trans. J. Paquier, Picard, Paris, 1912-13, vol II, p. 404)

11. “Do not ask anything of your conscience; and if it speaks, do not listen to it; if it insists, stifle it, amuse yourself; if necessary, commit some good big sin, in order to drive it away. Conscience is the voice of Satan, and it is necessary always to do just the contrary of what Satan wishes.” (J. Dollinger, La Reforme et les resultants qu’elle a produits, trans. E. Perrot, Gauem, Paris, 1848-49), Vol III, p.248).

Yet, despite this, Luther nevertheless believed that sin and evil should be punished – and with capital punishment, too, in many cases.

Martin Luther on Capital Punishment and Charity

12. “If some were to teach doctrines contradicting an article of faith clearly grounded in Scripture and believed throughout the world by all Christendom, such as the articles we teach children in the Creed — for example, if anyone were to teach that Christ is not God, but a mere man and like other prophets, as the Turks and the Anabaptists hold — such teachers should not be tolerated, but punished as blasphemers . . . By this procedure no one is compelled to believe, for he can still believe what he will; but he is forbidden to teach and to blaspheme.” (Luther, Werke, Vol. 13, 61-62).

13. “That seditious articles of doctrine should be punished by the sword needed no further proof. For the rest, the Anabaptists hold tenets relating to infant baptism, original sin, and inspiration, which have no connection with the Word of God, and are indeed opposed to it . . . Secular authorities are also bound to restrain and punish avowedly false doctrine . . . For think what disaster would ensue if children were not baptized? . . . Besides this the Anabaptists separate themselves from the churches . . . and they set up a ministry and congregation of their own, which is also contrary to the command of God. From all this it becomes clear that the secular authorities are bound . . . to inflict corporal punishment on the offenders . . . Also when it is a case of only upholding some spiritual tenet, such as infant baptism, original sin, and unnecessary separation, then . . . we conclude that . . . the stubborn sectaries must be put to death.” (Luther, pamphlet of 1536, in Johannes Janssen, History of the German People From the Close of the Middle Ages, trans A M Christie, Herder, St Louis, 1910, Vol. X, .222-223)

Martin Luther on Social Justice

14. “Peasants are no better than straw. They will not hear the word and they are without sense; therefore they must be compelled to hear the crack of the whip and the whiz of bullets and it is only what they deserve.” (Erlangen, Vol 24, p. 294).
15. “To kill a peasant is not murder; it is helping to extinguish the conflagration. Let there be no half measures! Crush them! Cut their throats! Transfix them. Leave no stone unturned! To kill a peasant is to destroy a mad dog!” – “If they say that I am very hard and merciless, mercy be damned. Let whoever can stab, strangle, and kill them like mad dogs.” (Luther, Werke, Erlangen edition, Vol 24, p. 294).

16. “Like the drivers of donkeys, who have to belabour the donkeys incessantly with rods and whips, or they will not obey, so must the ruler do with the people; they must drive, beat throttle, hang, burn, behead and torture, so as to make themselves feared and to keep the people in check.” (Luther, Werke, Erlangen edition, Vol 15, p.276).

Tribunus said...

Martin Luther, the so-called Reformer, was clearly inspired far more by Satan than by God or Jesus Christ.