Irrefutable proof that the Bible of the Early Church was different to the Evangelical Bible of today

Christian missionaries often tell me that the Bible contains 66 books. And it is true that modern Evangelical Bibles do contain 66 books of the Old Testament and New Testament. However, reliable witnesses from the ancient church such as the celebrated Bishop and theologian St Augustine bear witness to a different number of books. Bizarrely, Christian Bibles in use today range from the 66 books of the Protestant canon to 73 books of the Roman Catholic Church to 81 books of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church canon! So who is right?

What was the practice of the ancient universal Church? Which Bible did Christians accept as authoritative for faith? The complete canon of the Bible is listed in the book On Christian Teaching by the great Christian leader St Augustine who was born in AD 354. The list of Bible books is identical to the 73 books of the modern Catholic Church. I have taken pics of the relevant passages as evidence.

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Categories: Bible, Catholicism, Christianity

8 replies

  1. DID PAUL KNOW HE WAS WRITING SCRIPTURE? Ijaz Ahmad

    ”James White concedes that Paul had no idea that his words would eventually become to be seen and believed to be scripture. He says and I quote, “No, I don’t think Paul had to, be able to go when he was done writing Romans and he goes ooh, I definitely felt that one, it’s going into the canon“. Therefore according to James White, he merely repeats what Islamic scholarship has been saying for centuries, if Paul did not consider his own work to be scripture, why should we? ”

    https://callingchristians.com/2013/01/30/did-paul-know-he-was-writing-scripture/

    The Inventor of the Christian Faith did not believe that most of the Scripture that make up the NT was from God or Divinely Inspired.

    ”But please be patient with me a little, while I SPEAK FOOLISHLY , even if you are impatient with me.” 2 Corinthians 11:1. How can Muslims be patient with Paul if his own followers and companions were ”impatient” with the ”FOOLISHNESS” that Paul was speaking when he was possessed by the Holy Spirit?

    ”Such boasting is not from the Lord, but I am acting like a fool.” 2 Corinthians 11:17

    ”Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. ” 2 Corinthians 12:7

    Paul admits he is a Messenger of Satan.

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  2. Can you tell me which Old Testament you believe in?

    Greek Septuagint.
    Hebrew Vorlage based on the Septuagint.
    Masoretic Text.
    Samaritan Pentateuch.
    DSS/ Qumran Scrolls.
    Mystery Source of the Greek Septuagint.

    Can you tell me which New Testament you believe in?

    Marcion’s Canon.
    Tatian’s Diatesseron.
    Codex Sinaiticus.
    Textus Receptus.
    Codex Vaticanus.
    Codex Alexandrius.
    Codex Bezae.
    Codex Syriac.
    Codex Washingtonesis.
    Nestle Aland Greek New Testament Codices through to the 28th Edition..
    UBS 1 through 5 Greek New Testament Editions.
    John Mill’s 1707 Greek New Testament Codex.
    Codex Ephraemi-Rescriptus.
    Westcott and Hort Greek New Testament (1881).

    There is no “one Biblical text” that all Christians agree on. What you call the Bible today is a translated text based on Greek, Arabic, Syriac and even Ethiopian writings. All collected and pieced together. What you call the Bible in 2014, is not what the first Christians called it some 2000 years ago.

    This case begets another problem, as the God of the Old Testament, proclaims that there is one eternal word of God, in Psalms 119:89, it reads:

    “Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.”

    Which word is it referring to? There are so many canons and codices to choose from, none being the same from the first complete codices in the third century to those of today. How can you ask the Muslim to accept, what the Christian faith itself cannot decide upon?

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  3. It’s definitely a great book. Keep reading Augustine! Here’s a post that I wrote on the canon.
    http://allanruhl.com/refuting-matt-slick-on-the-historicity-of-the-canon/

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    • Allan, there was a webinar tonight featuring Matt Slick, I think the topic was Catholicism. Would you be interested in responding to it?

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    • Hi Yahya,

      I normally don’t pay much attention to Matt Slick as his arguments against Catholicism are very weak. I specifically responded to him on this issue because I had been meaning to do a post on this topic and he was the most recent one to bring this issue up i.e. – extra 7 books supposedly being added to Scripture at Trent.

      Regardless, I’ll see if I can track down this talk and if there are any half decent criticisms, I’ll post a response.

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  4. Follow my debate about the Biblical canons on twitter with Dr James White

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    • Paul Williams vs Dr. James White at last. Ken Temple will be interested in this debate.

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    • Interesting. Dr. White has wanted to debate you formally in the past, Paul. And he has at least one formal debate on the Biblical canon. However, the debate on the canon I saw was with a Roman Catholic (Gary Michuta, of whom I am a great admirer), and in that debate White sought to create an uncomfortable situation for his Catholic opponent in part by noting figures from Catholic history who sided with a shorter canon (most notably Jerome). I imagine a different approach would have to be taken when debating the canon with a Muslim, and perhaps White would be less comfortable. Perhaps you should invite Dr. White to have a formal debate with you on the subject?

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