Proofs of Christianity 2


What’s the first proof of Christianity?

The Bible.

I can think of few books that have faced a more dedicated campaign to get rid of it. When other books face a dedicated campaign to find and eliminate, usually the hunt is successful – or only a few copies survive.

I draw attention to the Emperor Qin in China, who simply burned millions of historical texts… so that he could rewrite history and make himself look good.

The Japanese, in each invasion of China, usually carried on book burning campaigns.

The Egyptian libraries also come to mind – many irreplaceable books were lost, including ancient plays by many famous Greek authors.

The Mayan persecution by Catholics also come to mind. The Conquistadors simply burned everything they found with any kind of handwriting in it.

Hitler burned every book he disagreed with.

The Bible faced opposition and destruction at the hands of the Romans, other religions, Roman Catholics, and every Buddhist or Hindu government that took exception to what the bible said. The single biggest campaign was by Roman Catholics, under orders by Popes who hoped that with the real Bible destroyed, they could simply write their own and pass it off as authoritative. One Pope came up with his “translation” of the bible which turned out to be a horrible embarrassment for Rome. After his death, the Vatican simply attempted to collect all copies of it.

So, with pagan governments trying to destroy it, Rome trying to destroy it, the Vatican trying to destroy it, other religions trying to destroy it – you’d expect only perhaps 20 or so existing manuscripts. Not to mention loss by disaster, fires, earthquakes, floods, age, overuse, decay, etc.

There are over 5,200 existing ancient Syrian family manuscripts. That’s not even listing the fragments or partial copies. The number is HUGE.

And what’s amazing is that although minor copying errors can be found in them, all of the Syrian family manuscripts agree nearly letter for letter.

Bible Preservation, which is what this doctrine is called, is nearly statistically impossible. Yet – we have them. We have entire countries where Christian populations were exiled or martyred under the Roman Catholic oppression. A cursory reading of Foxe’s book of Martyrs is recommended for a brief example of them.

“well, only 5,200 copies are not enough to establish authenticity.”

um… there’s only a few copies of Julius Caesar’s “Gallic Wars”, 20 or so copies of Livey’s “Roman history”, Tacitus’s “Annals” only boasts two copies. All these manuscripts are considered authentic. Who’s got the most ancient copies of books considered authentic? Homer’s Iliad, with over 600 copies. The New Testament dwarfs that. And there was no dedicated campaign to eliminate those books. There was of the Bible.

“well, the New Testament was written centuries after the lifetime of the Apostles.”

No that’s not true. The Bible was written during their lifetimes, by the Apostles themselves.

“well, we only have copies from two centuries or so later. Obviously not authentic.”

Some of the oldest copies of the New Testament we have date to within a century of the Apostles. MOST of the New Testament Syrian texts are 200-300 years after. the oldest copies of Caesar’s “Gallic Wars” are 900 years after the time of Caesar. That’s a MUCH greater gap of time. If those manuscripts are considered authentic – the Bible is unquestionable.

Same with Tacitus, at 800 to 1,000 years after – and still considered authentic. Homer’s Iliad – 800 years after, and unquestioned. So, if experts accept those without doubts… they should accept the New Testament, in FAR GREATER numbers (almost a thousand times as many copies as the Iliad) and much closer to

um… many of the Greek New Testament manuscripts date to within a couple hundred years of the Apostles.

And remember, nobody was really hunting down and attempting to burn copies of the Iliad along with their owners.

First proof of Christianity? The Bible.

Advertisements

Author: philipdean2013

Seminary graduate with a Ba. in Theology/Pastoral Studies, Happily married, Independent Baptist. I can't keep silent about what I see going on in Christianity any longer! Apostasy reigns around us, churches are sliding into worldiness, a whitewashed Gospel is preached everywhere... "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Jeremiah 6:16 (KJV) So, I'm speaking out. ...Why aren't you???

4 thoughts on “Proofs of Christianity 2”

  1. Hi. I wonder if you could provide some support for some of your facts?

    You say:

    “The single biggest campaign was by Roman Catholics, under orders by Popes who hoped that with the real Bible destroyed, they could simply write their own and pass it off as authoritative. One Pope came up with his ‘translation’ of the bible which turned out to be a horrible embarrassment for Rome. After his death, the Vatican simply attempted to collect all copies of it.”

    These seem to be references to specific events, but you don’t provide any details. “One pope came up with his [own] ‘translation'” — which pope? What “translation” are you referring to? What popes issued orders to destroy the “real” Bible? When?

    “We have entire countries where Christian populations were exiled or martyred under the Roman Catholic oppression. A cursory reading of Foxe’s book of Martyrs is recommended for a brief example of them.”

    I’ve read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. There’s nothing in it about “entire countries where Christian populations were exiled or martyred.” So what are you referring to?

    There’s one very large problem with your whole allegation, that the Catholic Church has sought to “destroy the ‘real’ Bible”: Who is it that preserved and copied the text of Scripture over the centuries, who produced the vast majority of extant manuscripts, even of your “Syrian” text of the New Testament? Catholic monks, that’s who.

    You might be very surprised to learn that Catholic Christians read, value, and cherish the Bible, too; and that the Catholic Church has produced, over the ages and up until today, many of the world’s most gifted scriptural exegetes.

    Like

    1. Hi Joseph, glad you asked.

      I am not attacking, but if I hide the truth from you, I am not helping you at all.

      Well, for starters, You say “Catholic Christians” – I’m sorry, but you cannot be a good Roman Catholic and be a Christian – the two religions teach completely different doctrines. A Christian believes in Salvation by grace through faith – a Catholic believes Christ purchased salvation and gave it to the Roman Church, who dispenses it in the form of sacraments – a concept which can be found nowhere in the bible. Since the Roman Catholic church espouses salvation by works (see the Council of Trent and its articles on salvation), it thereby places itself as an unChristian religion, and liable to the curses listed in Galatians 1:8-9 –

      8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

      8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:8-9 (KJV)

      I respect the fact you are dedicated to your faith, but it remains a fact – ye must be born again to enter heaven. I have included some links to help you below with further information, including one by William Webster on this very subject.

      As for your request on info that can be freely found, the Pope in question was Pope Sixtus. Here’s a quote out of “the Bible version question and answer database” by David Cloud, one source of the information. I also recommend “A woman rides the beast” by Dave Hunt.

      “One, the Latin Vulgate was not in a settled state until long after Rome had pronounced it authentic. In spite of the pontifications of the Council of Trent, it was not until more than forty years later that an authentic edition of the Latin Vulgate appeared. A papal commission worked for more than 40 years after Trent, but failed to produce an authentic edition. Frustrated by the slow progress of this commission, Pope Sixtus V took matters into his own hands and produced his own revision, which appeared in May 1590. He died three months later. There was a small problem. The Sixtus Latin Vulgate was full of errors, “some two thousand of them introduced by the Pope himself” (Janus, The Pope and the Council, Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1870). In September 1590 the College of Cardinals stopped all sales and bought up and destroyed as many copies as possible! Another edition appeared in 1592 and became the official Bible of the Roman Catholic Church (H. Wheeler Robinson, Ancient and English Versions of the Bible, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1940, p. 120). The Authorized Version, on the other hand, has been in a mature, settled state for more than three centuries. (Bible Version Question and Answer Database, David Cloud,pg. 118, Way Of Life Publishing)

      Pope Leo X (1513-1521), who railed against Luther’s efforts to follow the biblical precept of faith alone and Scripture alone, called the fifth Lateran Council (1513-1517), which charged that no books should be printed except those approved by the Roman Catholic Church. “THEREFORE FOREVER THEREAFTER NO ONE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO PRINT ANY BOOK OR WRITING WITHOUT A PREVIOUS EXAMINATION, TO BE TESTIFIED BY MANUAL SUBSCRIPTION, BY THE PAPAL VICAR AND MASTER OF THE SACRED PALACE IN ROME, and in other cities and dioceses by the Inquisition, and the bishop or an expert appointed by him. FOR NEGLECT OF THIS THE PUNISHMENT WAS EXCOMMUNICATION, THE LOSS OF THE EDITION, WHICH WAS TO BE BURNED, a fine of 100 ducats to the fabric of St. Peters, and suspension from business for a year” (Henry Lea, The Inquisition of the Middle Ages). Rome’s Persecution of the Bible

      IT SHALL NOT BE LAWFUL FOR ANYONE TO PRINT OR TO HAVE PRINTED ANY BOOKS WHATSOEVER DEALING WITH SACRED DOCTRINAL MATTERS WITHOUT THE NAME OF THE AUTHOR, OR IN THE FUTURE TO SELL THEM, OR EVEN TO HAVE THEM IN POSSESSION, UNLESS THEY HAVE FIRST BEEN EXAMINED AND APPROVED BY THE ORDINARY, UNDER PENALTY OF ANATHEMA AND FINE prescribed by the last Council of the Lateran” (Fourth session, April 8, 1546, The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, Translated by H.J. Schroeder, pp. 17-19).

      The Catholic monks did not copy and preserve the Textus Receptus – in fact, they attempted to burn them, along with their owners. And when a British Monarch was commissioning a translation into English so that the common man could own a Bible in their own language, the Jesuits responded – by attempting to blow up that British King. See “guy Fawkes Day”. That happened in 1611 to prevent the publishing of the King James Bible.

      What about Tyndale? What about John Rogers?

      As for requests of where entire countries where Baptists were banished, burned, tortured, drowned, exiled, thrown into freezing rivers, stripped and had water poured over them in the winter and banished from their lands (they usually froze to death within a few hours)… here’s a few excerpts.
      12TH CENTURY

      The Roman Catholic Church persecuted Peter Waldo and refused to accept his translation of the New Testament into the Romaunt language. Pope Alexander III (1159-1181) expelled Waldo and his followers from his diocese, and the next pope, Lucius III, put his papal curse upon them (William Blackburn, History of the Christian Church, 1880, pp. 309, 310). The Council of Tours in 1163 promoted inquisition against Bible believers, issuing a decree that stated: “No man must presume to receive or assist heretics, nor in buying or selling have any thing to do with them, that being thus deprived of the comforts of humanity, they may be compelled to repent of the error of their way” (Gideon Ouseley, A Short Defence of the Old Religion, 1821, p. 221). “Many Albigenses, refusing the terms, were burnt in different cities in the south of France” (G.H. Orchard, A Concise History of the Baptists, 1855, p. 199). The Third Lateran Council “gave permission to princes to reduce heretics to slavery and shortened the time of penance by two years for those taking up arms against them” (Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, V, p. 519).

      13TH CENTURY

      In the year 1209, Pope Innocent III called for a crusade against the Waldenses in France. Anyone who volunteered to war against the “heretics” (so called by Rome because they dissented from her dogmas) was promised forgiveness of sin and many rewards. Tens of thousands took up arms for the Pope and marched against the hated Waldenses. Some 200,000 dissenters were killed by the Pope’s army within a few months. Two large cities, Beziers (Braziers) and Carcasone, were destroyed, together with many smaller towns and villages. The war was conducted for 20 years! Thousands were made homeless and were forced to wander in the woods and mountains to escape their tormentors. The cruelties practiced by the Catholic persecutors were horrible. The Christians were thrown from high cliffs, hanged, disemboweled, pierced through repeatedly, drowned, torn by dogs, burned alive, crucified. In one case, 400 mothers fled for refuge with their babies to a cave in Castelluzzo, which was located 2,000 feet above the valley in which they lived. They were discovered by the rampaging Catholics; a large fire was built outside of the cave and they were suffocated.

      15TH CENTURY

      In 1487 Pope Innocent VIII called for a crusade against the Waldenses in Italy, Germany, and elsewhere. He promised forgiveness of sins and a share in the plunder to those who joined. Charles VIII of France and Charles II of Savoy agreed to raise an army for the destruction of the Waldenses. This regular army numbered about 18,000 soldiers and thousands of “ruffians” joined, urged on by the promise of forgiveness of sins and the expectation of obtaining spoil from the Waldensian possessions. Wylie describes these volunteers as “ambitious fanatics, reckless pillagers, merciless assassins” (James Wylie, History of the Waldenses, 1860, p. 29). This army attacked the Waldensian mountain valleys in northern Italy simultaneously from the plains to the south and from France to the west. Thousands of Bible-believing Christians perished in this crusade. Their homes and crops were destroyed. Many entire villages were razed. Their women were raped and then viciously murdered. Their children were dashed against trees and thrown off cliffs. More than 3,000 Waldensian Christians, men, women, and children, perished in one cave called Aigue-Froid to which they had fled for safety. These were the inhabitants of the entire village of Val Loyse, and the property of these pitiful people was distributed to the participants of the crusade. Many entire large valleys were burned and pillaged and depopulated. This crusade against the Waldensians lasted for a year.

      16TH CENTURY

      Following is a brief description of the persecutions in the 16th century as given by a Waldensian pastor: “There is no town in Piedmont under a Vaudois pastor, where some of our brethren have not been put to death … Hugo Chiamps of Finestrelle had his entrails torn from his living body, at Turin. Peter Geymarali of Bobbio, in like manner, had his entrails taken out at Lucerna, and a fierce cat thrust in their place to torture him further; Maria Romano was buried alive at Rocco-patia; Magdalen Foulano underwent the same fate at San Giovanni; Susan Michelini was bound hand and foot, and left to perish of cold and hunger at Saracena. Bartholomew Fache, gashed with sabres, had the wounds filled up with quicklime, and perished thus in agony at Fenile; Daniel Michelini had his tongue torn out at Bobbio for having praised God. James Baridari perished covered with sulphurous matches, which had been forced into his flesh under the nails, between the fingers, in the nostrils, in the lips, and over all his body, and then lighted. Daniel Revelli had his mouth filled with gunpowder, which, being lighted, blew his head to pieces. Maria Monnen, taken at Liousa, had the flesh cut from her cheek and chin bone, so that her jaw was left bare, and she was thus left to perish. Paul Garnier was slowly sliced to pieces at Rora. Thomas Margueti was mutilated in an indescribable manner at Miraboco, and Susan Jaquin cut in bits at La Torre. Sara Rostagnol was slit open from the legs to the bosom, and so left to perish on the road between Eyral and Lucerna. Anne Charbonnier was impaled and carried thus on a pike, as a standard, from San Giovanni to La Torre. Daniel Rambaud, at Paesano, had his nails torn off, then his fingers chopped off, then his feet and his hands, then his arms and his legs, with each successive refusal on his part to abjure the Gospel” (Alex Muston, A History of the Waldenses: The Israel of the Alps, 1866).

      Rome’s Persecution of the Bible
      Born out of persecution
      Papal Persecution
      Did the Roman Catholic Church give us the Bible?
      Catholicism – An Examination
      Justification and the Roman church
      What Is The Gospel? How to be saved

      I’m sorry to have to disagree with you, but you’ve been misled by your church. i beg you to investigate this for yourself, and get saved.

      Like

      1. Hello Philip, and thank you for the kind and generous response. I do appreciate that you are concerned for me. And you do seem to genuinely interested in truth, facts, and sources. So let’s examine some of these claims.

        I’m sorry, but you cannot be a good Roman Catholic and be a Christian – the two religions teach completely different doctrines. A Christian believes in Salvation by grace through faith – a Catholic believes Christ purchased salvation and gave it to the Roman Church, who dispenses it in the form of sacraments – a concept which can be found nowhere in the bible.

        Let’s start here. You say that a Christian believes in salvation by grace through faith — and this is what the Catholic Church teaches, and has always taught. You say that “a Catholic believes Christ purchased salvation and gave it to the Roman Church, who dispenses it in the form of sacraments” — but this is a gross distortion of what Catholics believe and what the a Catholic Church teaches. I would rephrase your statement to say that “Christ purchased salvation and gives it by grace to all who believe in Him, delivering them through the Church, which is His Body and His Bride” (Ephesians 5:23–27). The Church is the Body of Christ. We do believe it subsists, historically and ontologically, in the Catholic (Universal) Church — but “the Roman Church” is only one member of that whole.

        Since the Roman Catholic church espouses salvation by works (see the Council of Trent and its articles on salvation), it thereby places itself as an unChristian religion…

        The Catholic Church does not espouse “salvation by works.” Full stop. The Catholic Church teaches that salvation is by the grace of God alone, through faith (e.g. CCC 1996, 1999, 1987, etc.), just as surely and certainly as any Protestant church ever has, despite many false aspersions to the contrary. To return to your original thesis: these verses you cite to me have not been expurgated, but are still just as much a part of Catholic Bibles as of yours, and Catholics do read them and believe them.

        As for your request on info that can be freely found, the Pope in question was Pope Sixtus.

        Okay. Your historical statement was garbled to the point that I didn’t recognize what you were referring to. Thanks for providing some context. What you said was:

        One Pope came up with his “translation” of the bible which turned out to be a horrible embarrassment for Rome. After his death, the Vatican simply attempted to collect all copies of it.

        (1) The Sistine Vulgate was not a “translation.” It was an early printed edition of the Latin Vulgate Bible, the Latin translation of the Scriptures made by St. Jerome in the fourth century, over a thousand years before the events in question. (2) The problem was that for those 1,000+ years, the Vulgate Bible existed only in manuscript form — as did all books. And as you surely know from studying the transmission of the Bible, the more something is copied, the more textual variants creep in — such that by the sixteenth century, there was no definitive edition of Vulgate. (3) Another problem was, as your quote says, that Pope Sixtus was not all that great of a textual scholar. (4) Another, even more serious problem, is that the typesetting and printing of the Sistine Vulgate were hastily done (this in the early days of printing, when pages were assembled from movable type by hand), and ended up being a pretty shoddy edition indeed, full of printing errors, typographical errors, sloppy editing, and inferior textual scholarship.

        So yes, this edition was an “embarrassment” — but not at all for the reasons you alleged, that the Catholic Church was campaigning to “destroy the ‘real’ Bible” or falsify the Scriptures, or that this pope was attempting to “write [his] own [Bible] and pass it off as authoritative.” This is merely a case of human error, shoddy workmanship, and the pitfalls of the early days of textual criticism and printing. There was nothing false or misleading about this edition of the Scriptures — it was, after all, still the Scriptures — other than being an inferior text full of typos.

        Pope Leo X (1513-1521), who railed against Luther’s efforts to follow the biblical precept of faith alone and Scripture alone, called the fifth Lateran Council (1513-1517)…

        You might want to check your dates. The last session of the Fifth Lateran Council sat on 16 March 1517. Martin Luther promulgated his Ninety-Five Theses on 31 October 1517. So yes, Leo X was the pope at that time; but despite your placing them together here, the teachings of the Fifth Lateran Council were in no way related, or could have foreseen, anything Luther or any other Protestant Reformer said or did.

        … which charged that no books should be printed except those approved by the Roman Catholic Church.

        I’m not sure you are aware — you may just be citing your secondary source without realizing — but this quotation is grossly misquoted and taken out of context. The full context:

        Wherefore, that that invention [i.e. the printing press], so advantageous to extending the glory of God, to the increase of the faith, and the diffusion of the arts and sciences, may not have the contrary result and become an obstacle to the salvation of souls, we have deemed it advisable to direct our attention to the printing of books, lest in the future thorns grow up with the good seed or poisons be mixed with the medicine. Wishing, therefore, to provide an opportune remedy in regard to this matter, we, with the approval of the holy council, decree and ordain that in the future no one shall presume to print or cause to be printed, in Rome or in any other city or diocese, any book or any other writing whatsoever unless it has first been carefully examined and its publication approved by our vicar and the master of the Sacred Palace, in other cities and dioceses by the bishops or by competent persons appointed by them and by the inquisitor of the city or diocese in which the books are to be printed. This approval must be given over the personal signatures of the censors, free of charge and without delay, under penalty of excommunication. Those who act contrary to this constitution shall, besides the loss and destruction of such books by fire, the payment of 100 ducats toward the construction of the Basilica of St. Peter, and suspension from the printing of books for a period of one year, incur the sentence of excommunication, and, should they continue in their obstinacy, they shall be punished by the bishops or by our vicar with all the penalties of the law, so that from their example others may be deterred from committing similar offenses. (From the bull Inter sollicitudines [session X, May 4, 1515], in H.J. Schroeder, Disciplinary Decrees of the General Councils: Translation and Commentary, 504–505)

        This is not quite the tyrannical, overbearing declaration your source or your quotation presents it as. The Church had to approve printed books. The Church was, after all, the protector of faith and morality. In many other times and places, various other (Protestant) churches, and even secular states, have acted in the same capacity as censor and guide. This was not, as you allege, an attempt to censor Protestants (there were no Protestants in 1515), and this has nothing to do with the printing of the Bible — which was already being printed, and widely, even in vernacular languages, with approval of the Church. This was an honest and well-meaning measure designed to protect the people from objectionable or harmful publications. It was not of particular import, to anything, since after the beginning of the Reformation, Protestants ignored it with impunity anyway.

        The Catholic monks did not copy and preserve the Textus Receptus – in fact, they attempted to burn them, along with their owners.

        So who copied and preserved it? And I wonder if you can you show me some examples of “Catholic monks attempting to burn [manuscripts of the “Textus Receptus”], along with their owners”?

        And when a British Monarch was commissioning a translation into English so that the common man could own a Bible in their own language, the Jesuits responded – by attempting to blow up that British King. See “Guy Fawkes Day”. That happened in 1611 to prevent the publishing of the King James Bible.

        Yes, I’m well familiar with Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot — I wonder if you are? For one thing, the plot was uncovered, and Fawkes captured, in 1605, not 1611. Those involved must have been some truly prophetic individuals if its motive was “to prevent the publishing of the King James Bible.” And aside from unsubstantiated conspiracy theories and scapegoating, there is no real evidence that Jesuits or any other Catholic clergy were in involved in planning or carrying out the plot.

        What about Tyndale? What about John Rogers?

        What about them? Both were convicted of heresy, and translating the Bible was not among the charges against either. It was a brutal and tragic time, and there were wrongs committed both by Catholics against Protestants and by Protestants against Catholics. What about Edmund Campion? John Houghton? Henry Walpole? Margaret Clitherow?

        As for requests of where entire countries where Baptists were banished, burned, tortured, drowned, exiled, thrown into freezing rivers, stripped and had water poured over them in the winter and banished from their lands (they usually froze to death within a few hours)… here’s a few excerpts.

        Wow. Once again, these are some very specific, and broad, allegations — and yet none of these “excerpts” actually support a single one of those claims.

        The Roman Catholic Church persecuted Peter Waldo…

        As near as I can tell from my sources (a variety of historical encyclopedias, both Catholic and Protestant), this statement is almost completely false.

        The Council of Tours in 1163 promoted inquisition against Bible believers, issuing a decree that stated: “No man must presume to receive or assist heretics…”

        So, “heretics” = “Bible believers”?

        Many Albigenses, refusing the terms, were burnt in different cities in the south of France.

        Really? You are identifying the Albigenses with Baptists? I wonder if you know anything about the Albigenses — who were Cathari?

        In the year 1209, Pope Innocent III called for a crusade against the Waldenses in France.

        I would like to think your author is making honest mistakes here — but this seems to be describing the crusade against the Albigenses (who, again, were Cathari, not Christians at all) — not Waldenses. Also, even the most extravagant accounts place the death toll there at about 20,000 — so your author seems to be fibbing by a factor of ten. That incident was an atrocity and an example of “crusading” gotten out of hand: many of those who died were innocent Catholics. But I do not think this example illustrates what you are trying to illustrate.

        In 1487 Pope Innocent VIII called for a crusade against the Waldenses in Italy, Germany, and elsewhere.

        The first part of this quotation, the one supported by a source, seems reasonably accurate. The rest does not seem historically credible. On what sources is this based? Yes, the Waldenses were a persecuted sect, after they were declared heretical. In retrospect, many such persecutions may have been unjust, but at that time, the preservation of orthodoxy was seen to be interests of public order and safety and the salvation of souls. In any case, before you identify the Waldenses with “Bible believers,” you might want to do some reading about their doctrines and practices.

        “Following is a brief description of the persecutions in the 16th century as given by a Waldensian pastor…”

        An undocumented quote from a nameless pastor? And this is credible how?

        Most of these “excerpts” are marginal, if not completely irrelevant, to the matter of the Catholic Church and her attitude toward Scripture. The facts are that the Catholic Church has preserved, protected, and promulgated the Scriptures, and continues to today. Let me ask you this: why would the Catholic Church be interested in “destroying” Scripture? If she had ever sought to “rewrite” or “falsify” Scripture, why would all extant manuscripts, even those with the most diverse textual variants, teach the very same Christian truths? Should there not be some textual evidence of this “falsification”? How was Scripture transmitted and preserved — yes, by Catholic monks — for 1,500 years, without serious error, if there was some desire, let alone an orchestrated effort, to “destroy” or “falsify”? Why do even Catholic Bibles today — translated, published, and promulgated by the authority of the Church — still preserve and teach the very same Scriptures? All of the facts you are presenting for the truth and the preservation of Scripture owe themselves to the Catholic Church, and are proofs of the truth of Catholic Christianity as surely as of any other sect.

        I love and trust my Lord Jesus Christ as surely as you do. Again, I appreciate your concern — but you would do well to do some investigation of your own. Your claims are not based in fact.

        Like

      2. Brother, before I answer these, there’s a series of questions I need to ask that I think will help illuminate we are talking about two different things when we talk about salvation.
        1. When were you converted?
        2. How were you converted?
        3. To what, or to whom, were you converted?
        4. What do you believe now that you did not believe before your conversion?
        5. What does it mean to be saved?
        6. On what scriptural promises do you base your salvation?
        7. What does it mean to be born again?
        8. Are you sure today that if you die tomorrow, or at any time in the future, you will be in heaven immediately after death?
        9. What do you believe about Purgatory?
        10. What do you believe about the Mass?
        11. Do you still participate in the Mass?
        12. Do you believe that any sinner can be saved who dies without trusting in Jesus Christ alone for the salvation of his
        soul and forgiveness of his sins?
        13. Do you believe that Mary and Roman Catholic saints can answer your prayers or help you get to heaven?
        14. How do you believe that the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ is applied to your soul?
        15. Have you told your priest you have been saved?
        16. Do you believe you will still go to heaven if you leave the Roman Catholic Church, receive believer’s baptism and
        join a fundamentalist Bible believing, non-Catholic church?
        17. When and where do you plan to do this?

        Next, I need to comment on one thing – you used the word Protestant two or three times. Let me explain first and foremost – I am not a Protestant. I am a Baptist by faith, and Jewish by heritage. My faith in Jesus Christ completes my cultural Jewish heritage in a fulfilled way, as He is the Jewish Messiah.
        Baptists are not Protestant, as we predate the entire Luther-Melancthon event by over 1400 years.

        I’ve got to wonder – how CAREFULLY did you read what i wrote? your answers showed in at least one case, you glanced at the answer before answering, and didn’t read it. Did you visit the links I provided? Are you interested in the TRUTH, no matter where it leads? Or are you interested only in defending the church at Rome? If you are not committed to following the truth no matter where it leads, then we can stop this right now. I’ve mentioned on this blog that I have NO TIME for online debates. Indeed, answering you takes up the time I would need to write more columns on the proofs of Christianity. If it means leading you to Jesus Christ, I’m VERY willing!

        Okay, you mentioned that the RCC believes in and HAS ALWAYS BELIEVED IN salvation by faith through grace, and not of works. You’re either mistaken, or have been lied to.
        “Just as Christ was sent by the Father so also he sent the apostles … that they might preach the Gospel to every creature and proclaim that the Son of God by his death and resurrection had freed us from the power of Satan and from death, and brought us into the Kingdom of his Father. But he also willed that the work of salvation which they preached SHOULD BE SET IN TRAIN THROUGH THE SACRIFICE AND SACRAMENTS, around which the entire liturgical [ritualistic] life revolves” (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Chap. 1, I, 5,6, pp. 23-24).
        I know that Vatican II took place before you were born, but you need to look that up.

        “For ‘God’s only-begotten Son … has won a treasure for the militant Church … he has entrusted it to blessed Peter, the key-bearer of heaven, and to his successors who are Christ’s vicars on earth, so that they may distribute it to the faithful for their salvation. They may apply it with mercy for reasonable causes to all who have repented for and have confessed their sins. At times they may remit completely, and at other times only partially, the temporal punishment due to sin in a general as well as in special ways (insofar as they judge it to be fitting in the sight of the Lord). The merits of the Blessed Mother of God and of all the elect … are known to add further to this treasury’” (ellipsis are in the original) (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, Chap. 4, 7, p. 80).

        “For it is through Christ’s Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help towards salvation, that the fulness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God” (Vatican II, Decree on Ecumenism, chap. 1, 3, p. 415).

        Vatican II says it is through the sacraments, as I had said previously, and you had vigorously disagreed with. Was the Roman church wrong then and right now? Or wrong now and right then? Vatican II upholds the Council of Trent, which pronounced damnation upon ANYONE who believed in salvation by grace through faith , without works. If you’d prayerfully examined the links I provided you with, you’d have seen that already by now.

        “THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS ARE THE NECESSARY MEANS ESTABLISHED BY CHRIST THROUGH WHICH HIS REDEEMING, LIFE-GIVING, SANCTIFYING GRACE IS IMPARTED TO INDIVIDUALS’ SOULS. You must centre your life upon the sacraments established by Christ if you want to save your soul. means of salvation. … The sacraments are the source of your real life, the divine life that will unite you with God in this world and in eternity. Let nothing make you think that you can get along without the sacraments. Without them your soul must die. … IF YOU DON’T RECEIVE THE SACRAMENTS AT ALL, YOU DON’T RECEIVE GRACE. If you don’t receive them properly, that is, if you receive them seldom and with little devotion, you receive less grace” (L.G. Lovasik, The Eucharist in Catholic Life, pp. 14,15).

        Concuil Of Trent, Session 6:
        CANON XIV.-If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because that he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema.

        CANON XIX.-If any one saith, that nothing besides faith is commanded in the Gospel; that other things are indifferent, neither commanded nor prohibited, but free; or, that the ten commandments nowise appertain to Christians; let him be anathema.

        CANON XX.-If any one saith, that the man who is justified and how perfect soever, is not bound to observe the commandments of God and of the Church, but only to believe; as if indeed the Gospel were a bare and absolute promise of eternal life, without the condition of observing the commandments ; let him be anathema.

        From Session 7:
        CANON V.-If any one saith, that baptism is free, that is, not necessary unto salvation; let him be anathema.

        CANON XIII.-If any one saith, that little children, for that they have not actual faith, are not, after having received baptism, to be reckoned amongst the faithful; and that, for this cause, they are to be rebaptized when they have attained to years of discretion; or, that it is better that the baptism of such be omitted, than that, while not believing by their own act, they should be bapized in the faith alone of the Church; let him be anathema.

        There you go. You can find the text of Trent online at a number of websites. I suggest consulting the official RCC website.

        The RCC teaches that salvation was purchased for the church by Christ, and is dispensed by means of the Sacraments. They taught that at Trent, they teach that in Vatican II, and it is upheld even today.

        Another thing – you dismissed all that I quoted about the Waldenses. I studied them in Seminary. We know from their writings – not the court writings assembled in Inquisitions and Crusades, but their own writings and books which survive to this day. While some groups did apostate, the majority held to basic Christian beliefs = believers Baptism, soul liberty, church body composed of born again individuals, a born again experience of salvation as an adult believer, inspiration of the bible, and the Trinity.
        Were it not that the Baptists have been grievously tormented and cut off with the knife during the past twelve hundred years, they would swarm in greater numbers than all the reformers.’ Cardinal Hosius, president of the Council of Trent

        I also provided the sources I obtained of the quotes. I do not have the library of David Cloud – his library is MASSIVE, containing reprints of and often original copies of many, many works – including the writings of Waldenses, Catharists, Albigenses, Paulitians, Donatists, and other ancient Baptists. You can contact him via wayoflife.org for information about the original volumes the quotes are obtained from. He’s got the books – I do not. I can only quote them as I have them in my library.

        “The Waldensian’s traditions invariably point to an unbroken descent from the earliest times, as regards their religious belief.
        The Nobla Leycon [Noble Lesson], which dates from the year 1100, goes to prove that the Waldenses of Piedmont did not owe their rise to Peter Waldo of Lyons, who did not appear till the latter half of that century (1160). The Nobla Leycon, though a poem, is in reality a confession of faith, and could have been composed only after some considerable study of the system of Christianity, in contradistinction to the errors of Rome“ (J.A. Wylie, The Waldenses, c. 1860, p. 3).
        “Petrobrusians and Henricians [12th and 13th centuries] … rejecting infant baptism, image worship, cross worship, saint worship, the use of consecrated church buildings, and all the non-scriptural appurtenances of the hierarchical church… rejecting the authority of the Fathers [Catholic leaders] and tradition, adhering to the Scriptures alone” (Albert Newman, A Manual of Church History).
        “Arnoldists [13th and 14th centuries] … agreed in their uncompromising hostility to the Roman Catholic Church … they are mentioned with sufficient frequency in the Roman Catholic literature of the 13th and 14th centuries to prove that they persisted as a distinct party until long after the rise of the Waldenses. … They made the apostolic church their model, and aimed to restore Christianity to its primitive purity and simplicity” (Newman).
        “Misc. evangelical groups in the Netherlands and Germany in the 13th to the 15th centuries. … denied the transmutation of the bread and the wine into the body and blood of Christ in the hands of the priests, nor did they say that the sacrament of baptism profits little children unto salvation [speaking of infants too young to trust Christ in a personal way] … making void the priesthood of the church for sins, and as calling ‘superstitions’ all observances in the church ‘that Christ and his Apostles have not established.’ … Taborites [14th to 15th centuries in Germany and Italy] … They rejected the apocryphal scriptures, tradition, and ecclesiastical authority, asserting the sole and absolute authority of the canonical Scriptures in matters of faith and practice … regarding the Roman Catholic Church as ‘the church of the malignant and of the beast and of the harlot,’ as ‘the house of lies’ …
        They rejected the entire body of ceremonies that had grown up in connection with the mass … rejected transubstantiation and consubstantiation alike … rejected with the utmost decision all ecclesiastical fasts and festivals, except such as have apostolic sanction, and ecclesiastical chanting and all liturgical devices, and repudiated the doctrines of purgatory, prayers for the dead, intercession of saints, the veneration of relics, shrines, images” (Newman).

        Again, if you are interested in following truth, no matter where truth may lead, then I’ll be happy to help. Other than that, you need to read my comment policy.

        As for your catholic bibles, please take the time to read my pages on the Bible versions. I’ve got a LOT of info, especially on verses missing from Vaticanus, and how it’s the true source of modern bibles. As for the Vulgate, why is the Vatican relying on a Latin translation, when they could rely on the Textus Receptus? The Textus Receptus has ALWAYS been used by the churches of Jesus Christ.

        Please, I beg you – stop and PRAY to Jesus Christ and ask Him to lead you in the way of truth. If your definition of Born Again is baptism, then you’re in for a desperate shock when you go to your eternal destiny. We are saved by faith, not by Baptism. And Baptism implies a full immersion. No infant can decide that Jesus Christ is their Lord – so no infant can be considered born again. If you are not born again, you cannot be baptized.

        John 3:3 says you must be born again. I beg you, get saved!

        Like

Comments are closed.