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Holy Scripture and Church Authority

A great deal of discussion is going on in a current study.  For some background history of the Bible, go here, under “Canon, Bible” (see also the Apocrypha).

For a more thorough reading of the history of the Apocrypha [esp. concerning Jerome (his translation of the Bible is the basis for the Roman Catholic Bible) and the non-uniform recognition of them], see the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia. For background to the Canon of Scripture

Lutherans (and protestants) do not accept the Apocryphal books as part of the Canon (Holy Scriptures), whereas Roman Catholics (RC) do.  Catholics claim that the Catholic church is infallible, and therefore, since the church has declared that the Apocrypha, the Old Testament, and the New Testament are of the canon, such is their belief.  Lutherans (and most protestants) confess that the Bible alone is authoritative and normative for faith and life.

These distinctions are incredibly important, for if only the Old and New Testaments are normative, then anything contrary to them and not according to them is not authoritative or binding.  On the other hand, if the Apocryphal writings (and Church tradition as defined by the Catholic church), in addition to the Old & New Testaments, are authoritative as they are interpreted by the church, then only what the Catholic church actually declares (and not the Bible) “rules the day.”

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