Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Canon of Scripture and the King James Only Cultists (links to videos)

Recently I had the unfortunate displeasure of meeting a strange fellow on YouTube, who goes by the username Edwardpf123. Edward is a King James Only advocate: meaning he believes that the King James Version of the Bible is the ONLY TRUE INFALLIBLE Word of God, that all other Bible versions (including the NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, etc, but most especially Catholic Bibles) are demonic, corrupted, and used by apostates (any Christian who does not use a KJV Bible). Anyways, while I commented on another video, entitled "Why I Am Not A Papist", a ridiculous rant posted by yet another KJV Onlyite, Edwardpf123 decided inserting his little rants and raves in the comments as well. Now folks, if any of you know me in the slightest, I love to dialogue intelligently with people, learn from people, show people a few facts from Scripture and history, walk them through the beliefs of the Church, and so on, and I have never had any problems dialoguing with intelligent people who held views opposed to mine. There was always mutual respect. However, with a KJV Only cultist, you do not find intelligence, but only stupid ranting and absurd a-history and out-of-context Scripture quotations to bolster their view. They damn anyone to hell who does not read out of the KJV Bible. Anyone. That aside, as I tried to dialogue with Edward we got onto the topic of the canon. Naturally my view from history was that the Bible has always been held by the Christian Church to have 73 books (which includes the Deuterocanonicals, commonly referred to as the Apocrypha by Protestant churches). I'd like to give you a sample of some of Edward's comments, just to show you what kind of statements were made during that dispute.

"Well, you have shown yourself to be a liar, it will be fun to watch you lie on video tape.
But lets be clear on my position. That it wasn't UNTIL Trent that the RCC Canon was OFFICALLY AND FINALLY SETTLED.
Don't talk about what you THINK the RCC believed, the fact is that there was widespreadh dissension against the Augustine view and FOR the Jerome view right up UNTIL Trent."

No, take your pompus attitude somewhere else, you have been proven wrong and your 'great' knowledge exposed as being a joke.

Why should he accept anything from you, you foul liar! Your lies have been exposed. No Apocrypha books were forced to be accepted by the RCC UNTIL Trent.
No Council gave us our Bible.
No Council gave us correct doctrine.
No Council has ever been worth anything.

Wow, what does one say in response to all this a-history and ad hominem? But this is nothing compared to his buddy, Tallswede68, who posted the "Why I Am Not A Papist" video. To be clear on Edward's position: that it wasn't until Trent that the canon was officially settled, I'm honestly not quite sure where he feels he has an argument here. Just because a Council officially declares a certain doctrine of belief does not at all mean that Christians before that declaration were free to believe otherwise. What amazes me is that the same argument was made against Christ in the Da Vinci Code, namely, that it wasn't until Nicea that the Deity of Christ was officially recognized, and therefore, invented; thus Christians before Nicea never believed Christ was Deity. The argument isn't even worth being called an argument, given the facts of history and the biblical texts. Yet this is the type of 'argument', along the same line of 'logic', that the KJV Only advocates especially use against the Deuterocanonicals. My answer for this is a little more accurately explained in my letter to a kind Lutheran - who, unlike Edward, was a pleasure to meet and dialogue with - concerning this issue:

"No Catholic has any problem with the official formal infallible decision of the Church concerning the canon being given late in Church History - the witness of the fathers and saints all declare unofficially that the majority of the Church saw the books as Scripture. You and I both know that Councils do not 'invent' new doctrines or canons, but simply ratify what the Church already believes, preaches, and professes. Nicea did not invent the doctrine of Christ, but it was at Nicea where the doctrine was formally and infallibly made 'official' Church doctrine. We can turn to the Scriptures as evidence for Christ's deity, likewise we can turn to the Scripture for evidence that the NT writers relied on and quoted the Deuterocanon. But then Protestants will say the Apostles quoted from other non-canonical sources as well, so it means nothing. Therefore, we turn to the church fathers. But the church fathers, some of them, had various opinions regarding the canon. Finally, though majority of the fathers saw it as Scripture, we turn to the councils. And it is at the Councils, which quoted the Deutero as Scripture, and finally declared them to be such, where the question is settled. The witness of Scripture, the Fathers, and the Councils all affirm the Deuterocanonical as Scripture. It's simply an early Christian teaching."

It must be said that some Protestants produce the same argumentation the KJV advocates produce against the Deuterocanon. But when Protestants produce this evidence, you can bet that 9.9 times out of 10 they're not doing it in a judgmental attitude, or in a "holier than thou" manner, but simply because the facts made available to them lead them to conclude that the Deuterocanonicals have no place in Scripture. And so all they want to do is bring Catholics to that light. However the Catholic can just as easily dialogue with the Protestant, walk them through history, point out the biblical harmony and quotations the Deuterocanon has in the NT and OT, and a mutual agreement may take place. Of course, it's a lot more complicated than that, but what I'm saying is there can be respectful, friendly, Christian dialogue between two believers. At the end of the dialogue I can respect the Protestant more so than I did before.

Not so with the King James Only advocates.

Seeing as how the responses to Edward's claims were too long for comments, I decided to post up my own videos and place them on YouTube. So far all I have is one up, but I have three already made concerning the Canon. Click on the links below to view them. Thanks for your time. God bless.

PS: I'd also encourage you to check out these videos, posted by a very kind Anglican man who also takes an interest in refuting the cultish KJV Only movement. He has some good stuff concerning Church History too, videos which prove very educational.

"King James Onlyists and the Canon of Scripture: Part 1"

King James Onlyists and the Canon of Scripture: Part 2

King James Onlyists and the Canon of Scripture: Part 3

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