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Cure of Ars

Early Church Confusion

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Cure of Ars

Some do not realize that it was not totally clear when it came to what books were inspired in the early Church. This controversy ended with the council of Hippo, which ended the controversy on this matter. A clear example of the confusion about what books were inspired is in Eusebius of Caesarea’s Church History. His history was written in A.D. 325. This quote shows that some books in the Bible were not disputed but others were even as late as 325.

Eusebius of Caesarea

Church History

Book III Chapter 25

Since we are dealing with this subject it is proper to sum up the writings of the New Testament which have been already mentioned. First then must be put the holy quaternion of the Gospels; following them the Acts of the Apostles. After this must be reckoned the epistles of Paul; next in order the extanfinal former epistle of John, and likewise the epistle of Peter, must be maintained. After them is to be placed, if it really seem proper, the Apocalypse of John, concerning which we shall give the different opinions at the proper time. These then belong among the accepted writings. Among the disputed writings, which are nevertheless recognized by many, are extant the so-called epistle of James and that of Jude, also the second epistle of Peter, and those that are called the second and third of John, whether they belong to the evangelist or to another person of the same name. Among the rejected writings must be reckoned also the Acts of Paul, and the so-called Shepherd, and the Apocalypse of Peter, and in addition to these the extant epistle of Barnabas, and the so-called Teachings of the Apostles; and besides, as I said, the Apocalypse of John, if it seem proper, which some, as I said, reject, but which others class with the accepted books. And among these some have placed also the Gospel according to the Hebrews, with which those of the Hebrews that have accepted Christ are especially delighted. And all these may be reckoned among the disputed books. But we have nevertheless felt compelled to give a catalogue of these also, distinguishing those works which according to ecclesiastical tradition are true and genuine and commonly accepted, from those others which, although not canonical but disputed, are yet at the same time known to most ecclesiastical writers -- we have felt compelled to give this catalogue in order that we might be able to know both these works and those that are cited by the heretics under the name of the apostles, including, for instance, such books as the Gospels of Peter, of Thomas, of Matthias, or of any others besides them, and the Acts of Andrew and John and the other apostles, which no one belonging to the succession of ecclesiastical writers has deemed worthy of mention in his writings. And further, the character of the style is at variance with apostolic usage, and both the thoughts and the purpose of the things that are related in them are so completely out of accord with true orthodoxy that they clearly show themselves to be the fictions of heretics. Wherefore they are not to be placed even among the rejected writings, but are all of them to be cast aside as absurd and impious. Let us now proceed with our history.

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ICTHUS

However, I have heard in debates with Protestants that the councils of Carthage and Hippo were not applicable to the entire Church, and were only regional councils.

What say you to that?

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Cure of Ars

However, I have heard in debates with Protestants that the councils of Carthage and Hippo were not applicable to the entire Church, and were only regional councils.

What say you to that?

It is true that they were not ecumenical councils. There were three councils on this issue Hippo, Carthage, and Rome. Carthage was ratified by Pope St. Innocent I and because the pope backed Carthage it did resolve the controversy of that time period. It did not have to be made a dogma until the Protestant revolt. I would just have them keep in mind that the issue is not over infallability or when it became dogma but an issue of authority. Here is a good artical on the subject.

Can Protestants tell us what the Bible is?

DEFENDING THE DEUTEROCANONICALS

Edited by Cure of Ars

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