Latest

29 Oct 2015 News USA Comments (3)

Hollywood Star and Strong Catholic Maureen O’Hara die at 95

Maureen O’Hara a famous Hollywood star, one of the lasts of her kind. She featured in popular movies in the 90s like “How Green Was My Valley", “Miracle on 34th…

Read more

21 Jun 2016 Articles Comments (1)

Answering Pope Francis on Invalid Marriages

Pope Francis said outright yesterday what before could only be intuited from his comments: that most sacramental marriages today are not valid. According to …

Read more

15 Mar 2016 Q&A No comments

If I show up for confession but the priest isn't there, will my sins be forgiven if I am immediately…

Full Question I arrived a few minutes early for confession, but the priest never showed. If I had I been hit by a bus and died, would my sins have been for…

Read more

11 Nov 2014 Q&A No comments

Did the Council of Carthage select only the books of the New Testament for the canon?

Full Question A friend tells me the Council of Carthage in 397 listed only the books of the New Testament. As a result, he says your argument for including…

Read more

02 Apr 2015 Q&A Comments (3)

Did the Church change its position on the punishment of heretics?

Full Question An anti-Catholic claims that the Church at the Fourth Lateran Council said heretics should be exterminated, but now the Church denies that th…

Read more

10 Aug 2016 News No comments

Pope makes impromptu visit to convents near Rome

Pope Francis surprised nuns with the spontaneous visit to two convents north of Rome Pope Francis visited two convents of religious sisters in Italy on Tuesday…

Read more

19 Sep 2015 Middle East News No comments

Pope reveals he carries small cross held by Iraqi priest as he was martyred

Pope Francis addressed the World Meeting for Young Consecrated Men and Women yesterday Pope Francis has revealed that he keeps a small cross held by an Iraqi…

Read more

26 Oct 2016 Articles No comments

Catholic Church issues new guidelines for cremation. Here's what you need to know

The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has issued new guidelines for cremation for Catholics. Cremation has been permitted in the Catholic Chu…

Read more

16 Apr 2015 News No comments

Why Pope Francis was right to call the Armenian massacres ‘genocide’

A century after the genocide began, Turkey still refuses to accept the truth. Yet for the sake of today’s persecuted Christians, the past must not be forgotten …

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
«
»

If we dug up a lost book by one of the apostles, could it be added to the canon of the Bible or would that be impossible?

Full Question

If we dug up a lost book by one of the apostles, could it be added to the canon of the Bible or would that be impossible?

Answer

It would take an ecumenical council or an ex cathedra statement by the pope to settle the issue definitively (assuming non-Catholics would give either one credence), but it almost certainly would never happen.

The first problem we would have to settle is how to prove, after an absence of so many centuries, that the work in question really was by an apostle or an apostolic man. This in itself would be insurmountable. There is no way that we today could establish that the work was genuine.

The early Church judged which books were apostolic and which were not based on which had been handed down to them as apostolic by Church Tradition. Those books which had been widely handed down as apostolic were regarded as apostolic when the canon was settled in the late 300s.

But by definition we could not apply that test to a manuscript we just now dug up. It is difficult to imagine evidence that could show conclusively that it was written by an apostle rather than by someone pretending to be an apostle. (There were such individuals in the first century, and Paul had to warn against them and give his audience a way to know his letters were genuine; cf. 2 Thes 2:2, 3:17.)

The book would have to be unknown at the time the canon was settled in the 300s, because a negative judgment was passed at that time on all books which were known and were not identified as Scripture. Books not included in the canon by the Fathers of the 300s were rejected as uncanonical, meaning our newly discovered manuscript would need to have been lost before that time.











3 comments

  1. Silvano Toso Reply

    That very question, although all questions are legittimate in themselves, if they are really put to search for an answer an not to trial someone (like the pharisees were doing with Jesus) shows a lack of understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit. Imagine, the Holy Spirit “dictating” a message for the Human kind to an Apostle, and just because that message was misplaced somewhere, the Holy Spirit failed to deliver that message….. if so, the Holy Spirit would have done something well before 2000 years, in order that His message would have been received, don’t you think so?
    Havng stated that, the decision taken by the Ecumenical Council of Nicea, back in 325 AD, that established which book were holy and apostolic and had to be included in the official list of the sacred scriptures, that we know today as the Bible, was a decision taken by the Holy Church, and a true beliver knows, that the Holy Church and Jesus Christ are one and the same. In fact, it is interesting to know, that at the time of that Council of Nicea, the most popular sacred book was “The Shepperd” written by Hermas, before 100 AD (some say that Hermas was another name for our Saint Paul). I got a copy of this book and it is a quite interesting reading. It was the most quoted and read holy book in the churches all over the places, and yet, when it came to canonise the books, it was not included. The same thing happened to the seven epistles of St. Ignatius of Antioch, written just before or after 100 AD. I got them, they are a blessing to the readers, and yet, they have been not included. Acceptance of the Magisterium Ecclesiae, is a duty of every Catholic, because Jesus and the Church are one and the same.

  2. Mario Simonelli Reply

    The Catholic Church was never strong on the New Testament and the bible in general. After 2000 years of history Christianity today doesn’t understand the New Testament, they have allowed themselves to be blinded by the tares that have been disseminated throughout the New Testament, those tares are lies that act like leaven in our souls, so why look for new scriptures when we do not yet understand what we have. In my book “The Way God Told It” is an eye opener: I explain why Matthew 6:13, should read: “And lead us into repentance, and deliver us from evil." and Why we should read in Galatians 3:13, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having fulfilled the law for us."
    Matthew 27:5253 is a blatant lie inserted in the sacred scriptures because In Matthew 27:52-53 we trustfully read: “And the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many."
    I believe that the above two verses report something which never took place and therefore those lies are used to divert our attention from the Lord, because it is impossible for it to have occurred before or after the resurrection of the Lord, for we read in 2Timothy 2:18 about: “Men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and thus they upset the faith of some."
    In Acts 2:29, Peter says, “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day." So Peter effectively says some time after the day of Pentecost that the body of David is still in his tomb (Confirmed by Acts 2:30-36) It is reasonable for us to assume that if the body of King David did not qualify for that alleged resurrection we can be certain that it never took place.
    In addition to that, the numbers of anomalies that those two verses contain are also an indication that our Lord never dictated them because:
    1) The resurrection of the body will take place on the last day (Read John 11:24, 1Corinthians 15:52, and all of chapter 20 of Revelation.)
    2) It should be obvious to anyone that even if those verses in Matthew were true, they are written in the wrong place and therefore are not in harmony with what was actually taking place. Jesus had just died and the alleged resurrection supposedly took place after His resurrection, so why write it there?
    3) If the alleged resurrection was after the Lord’s resurrection, why is it conveniently connected with the strange natural things that were happening in relation with the Son of God’s death? (Earthquake etc.)
    4) Also if those verses were true, the resurrection of our Lord with His heavenly body would become one of many and no longer one of a kind.
    5) Any Christian writer would have known that Jerusalem was no longer the “Holy City" because the presence of God was no longer in the temple (read Matthew 23:38) and the city’s destruction had been foretold (read Mark 13:2).
    6) We should also consider that the above verses do nothing to advance the knowledge of God but they are used extensively by the untaught to promote their own useless fantasies. Those who do not understand the Word preach best through their fleshly imagination by abandoning themselves to colourfully speculate what Jesus supposedly did while He was dead in the tomb.
    2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says it all: “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the Knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."
    In other words, speculations are to be treated with the contempt they deserve, but the truth is supported by a variety of thought (or Scriptures) which are relevant to our every day lives and behaviour pleasing to Christ.

  3. Silvano Toso Reply

    Dear Mario, I admire you for having written a book, and a book about God. It is always with admiration that I look at people, who manage to write a book. I personally wrote only essays. Having said that, from what I can read from your comments, it seems that you are interpreting events written in the Bible, which are not in line with the teaching of the Catholic, meaning Universal Church, founded by Jesus Christ. The Bible is not to be interpreted by others then by appointed people, like priests and bishops, as we read in the 2nd letter of Peter, 1:20-21 and Peter finds this matter so important that in the same letter, e repeats it with even sharper tone in 3:16. You see, there is no room for “free thinking” when reading the Bible, as it gives the Truth, which is one only and only one, and therefore there could be only one interpretation. Oh, yes, you would say, my interpretation. And that is not the case. There is what is called the “Deposit of Faith”, of which Saint Paul speaks of when writing to Timothy in his first letter 1:20-21 and in his second letter to the same 1:12-14, and also to Titus and so fort. There is such thing as the explanation of the Word given and entrusted to the Apostles and only to the Apostles, as Jesus said in the Gospel of Saint John, 17:6-8, speaking to His Father, that Jesus has received the twelve from His Father, to them Jesus gave the whole message, the twelve have listened to it, they have aknowledge it, they have accepted it and finally they have believed it. This is the clear indication that God the Father has given a selected small number of people the knowledge of the Truth, which will be completed by the Holy Spirit, and these twelve now know and believe it. This knowledge has been past on, since then, from bishops to bishops, from bishops to priests. It is therefore so vital that we accept, what the Church says in reference to the Bible, that there is no room for free interpretation, free thinking (called heretics) if that differs from the official line of our Mother Church (Magisterium Ecclesiae), otherwise something terrible is going to happen. I am not talking about punishments of whatever kind, no. I am talking how Jesus sees whoever does not listen or does not goe along with what the church says: ” Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” (Gospel of Saint Luke 10:16)
    I am sure you know that, and I am sure that you gave your script to Mother Church, before going to print, to humbly ask if there is anything that may go agaisnt the official line of the Holy Church. And if you managed to be free of errors of interpretation, which is possible, you would have got the “Imprimatur” and the “Nulla Obstat” from a Bishop, just like thousands of books proudly show in the inner cover. Have you got the “Imprimatur” and the “Nulla Obstat” on your book “The Way God Told It” ? May God bless you and keep you in faith.

Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories