Is Baruch in the Canon?

In chapters 7ff, Whitaker starts to treat each individual book of the Deutero-Canonical (DC) books, asking if they are canonical, and looking at the evidence for each one. First, he quotes Bellarmine’s arguments, and then refutes them.

Bellarmine’s arguments run as follows: 1. 2 Maccabees 2 quotes Baruch; 2. The councils of Florence and Trent place Baruch among the canonical books; 3. The church uses portions of this book in the lectionary; 4. The early church fathers quote Baruch as canonical (see Whitaker, p. 67).

Whitaker answers run as follows: to the first argument, Whitaker argues that 2 Maccabees is not canonical either, so how could one non-canonical book canonize another non-canonical book? To the second argument, he replies that these councils “were popish and altogether antichristian assemblies…we refuse to be pressed or bound by any such authority.” To the third argument, Whitaker replies that just because the church reads a book in the worship service does not mean that said book is canonical. We have already seen from Whitaker’s arguments from Jerome that Jerome says in several places that some books are read by the church but are not canonical. Therefore, that the church reads a book does not make it canonical. To the fourth argument, Whitaker acknowledges more weight, since some of the fathers thought that Jeremiah wrote Baruch (p. 68). However, the mere fact that some ECF believe a book to be canonical does not make that book canonical. He offers this counter-argument: Irenaeus quotes from the Shepherd of Hermas as Scripture (see Eusebius, 5.8.7, Loeb edition vol 1, p. 457). So the early church fathers could, just possibly, err on the matter of which books were in the canon, since the Roman Catholic Church does not acknowledge Shepherd to be canonical. We have already cited before the evidence of Gregory the Great, who believed that Maccabees was not canonical. Similarly, Athanasius and Cyprian believed that 3 Esdras was canonical, which the Romanists deny as well. The point is that we can disagree with the ECF without being heretical. We can disagree with tradition without being heretical. The diversity of the ECF works in Protestants’ favor on canonical issues.

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34 Comments

  1. Devin Rose said,

    June 30, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    I recall Jerome personally didn’t think that six of the deuterocanonicals were inspired, but did think that Baruch was. Does anyone have confirmation (or refutation) of that?

    I don’t think the ECF diversity on the canon plays in favor of Protestantism at all. Rather, it shows that the canon was not the open-and-shut case that many Protestants think it was. Calvin argued the canon was self-authenticating, easy to tell as black from white, sweet from bitter. What does that say about these supposedly faithful Church Fathers, most of whom got at least some part of the canon wrong?

    All that Protestants have is the inconsistent and contradictory opinions of the early Christians about the canon. But Catholics believe that God has guided the Church herself into all truth, so we rely not on the individual opinions of even the ECFs, but instead the decision of the Church herself.

  2. paigebritton said,

    July 1, 2011 at 6:14 am

    All that Protestants have is the inconsistent and contradictory opinions of the early Christians about the canon. But Catholics believe that God has guided the Church herself into all truth, so we rely not on the individual opinions of even the ECFs, but instead the decision of the Church herself.

    So what you’re saying is, Protestants don’t have an infallible magisterium, but Catholics do? (Only it didn’t bother to communicate “all truth” in its decision about the canon till Trent, so those “faithful” ECF’s had to stay confused till then? Does this square with the “God takes care of his church” picture you folks like to paint re. the Bible?)

    But then really the discussion should be about authority. It’s a worldview question more than a merely canonical one: your version of reality includes something ours doesn’t, a “living voice” that infallibly rules on things when necessary. Any reasons we/Lane/Whitaker give for why certain books are not in the canon will be trumped in your view by this special infallible voice. It’s a dead-end argument. Better to talk about “Pope” or “no Pope,” getting down to the roots of our “worldview trees,” asking the question of “HOW do we know things??”

  3. greenbaggins said,

    July 1, 2011 at 9:25 am

    In his prologue to the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah, Jerome wrote: “For this reason he prophesied only in Judah and Benjamin, and he lamented the ruins of his city in a fourfold alphabet, which we have presented in the measure of the meter and in verses. Besides this, the order of visions, which is entirely confused among the Greeks and Latins, we have corrected to the original truth. And the Book of Baruch, his scribe, which is neither read nor found among the Hebrews, we have omitted, standing ready, because of these things, for all the curses from the jealous, to whom it is necessary for me to respond through a separate short work.” http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/jerome_preface_jeremiah.htm

    If he didn’t include Baruch in his translation of Jeremiah, then how could Jerome think that Baruch was canonical?

  4. Devin Rose said,

    July 1, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Paige,

    Yes I am pointing out that Protestants have an Academic “Magisterium,” which no Protestant thinks has been protected from error by God. So the best you can do is point out this or that Christian who gave an opinion on the canon, as is done with Jerome. If that’s the way it is, I can pit Jerome against Augustine against Athanasius against the Muratorian fragment against the Codex Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, and we will get X number of conflicting canonical opinions from people. The Catholic position is preferable because it provides the way of knowing divine revelation while Protestantism only gives opinions of men.

    Sure, the canon wasn’t declared dogmatically until Trent. Well, the Trinity wasn’t declared dogmatically until the 4th century. Was the Church “confused” til then and was God slow in keeping His promise? No. The Trinity was known by the Church since the beginning, though the understanding of it deepened and developed over time, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Just because it wasn’t made dogma til the 4th century doesn’t mean everyone was confused (though certainly the Arians and Sabellians were–they were part of the impetus to make it dogmatic).

    Same with the canon. The Council of Florence affirmed the 73 book canon a century prior. The councils and the pope in the 4th century affirmed the 73 book canon. Sure there was argument and debate over this or that book for some time, and that’s okay, but there was not some widespread confusion. If sola Scriptura is true, then these matters would be cause for concern, as the Church would need to know the exact canon perfectly immediately or risk falling into grave error, but the Church has operated from the beginning with the Apostolic Tradition and the Scriptures working together, forming the one deposit of faith, entrusted to the Magisterium to faithfully explicate by the Spirit’s guidance.

    Yes it is a worldview question, which is why we place ourselves in the Protestant worldview (or paradigm) and see how things look and whether we can make sense of history and theology, and then we do the same for the Catholic one. I think you’ve probably read Michael Liccione’s article on why the Catholic paradigm is preferable.

  5. Devin Rose said,

    July 1, 2011 at 9:48 am

    greenbaggins,

    I will check out the Jerome quotation and also look at the other sources I had read about his opinion on Baruch. In any event, whatever he personally thought, he submitted his own opinion to that of the Church, trusting that God was guiding her. That has been the mark of a saint in every age.

  6. greenbaggins said,

    July 1, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Devin, I wouldn’t call omitting Baruch from the canon submission to the church, if the church ruled at that time that Baruch was in the canon! Either the church had not ruled that Baruch was in the canon, or else Jerome, a saint and doctor of the church, was in complete rebellion to the church. Either way, that poses quite the dilemma for you, doesn’t it now?

  7. Devin Rose said,

    July 1, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Green,

    My argument is that Jerome was obedient to the Church and translated Baruch along with the rest of the Bible. Do you evidence that he refused to translate books he personally didn’t think were on par with other books of Scripture?

    So the Church hadn’t irreformably “ruled” that the canon was composed of XYZ books–it was still an issue where legitimate discussion could take place, but the canon was getting more and more firm, as the councils in North Africa and in Rome around this same time demonstrate.

  8. TurretinFan said,

    July 1, 2011 at 10:40 am

    You have to love this, Jerome supposedly bends to the authority of “the church,” although “the church” hasn’t spoken on the matter.

    But where is the evidence that Jerome translated Baruch?

    On the contrary, Robert Henry Charles, in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English, Volume 1 (p. 580) writes:

    On the other hand Jerome, who studied and followed Hebrew tradition, forms a unique exception. He separates the Book of Baruch, together with the Epistle of Jeremiah, from the book of the prophet Jeremiah as non-Canonical: ‘Librum autem Baruch notarii eius, qui apud Hebraeos nec legitur nec habetur, praetermisimus.’ … In the Latin Bible (as revised by Jerome) Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremiah are omitted. Thus they are not to be found in the Cod. Amiatinus, the oldest known MS. of the Vulgate.

    And, of course, you have Jerome’s own words above.

    -TurretinFan

  9. Devin Rose said,

    July 1, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    TF, that is news to me, and I find it interesting. It must be balanced against the references I have seen to Jerome acceding to the Church and the Pope (I think I read some of those on the CtC article on the canon).

    Your first statement is misleading. Just because some teaching has been declared dogmatically does not mean the Church has never “spoken” on the matter.

    Nonetheless, you have Jerome’s opinion against others. Under Protestantism, given that you have no confidence in the Church–the agent which discerned the canon–during this period, you can only weigh the conflicting opinions and make a best guess at the canon. Sola Scriptura cannot rest on such uncertainty.

  10. Devin Rose said,

    July 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    * should read above “just because some teaching has _not yet_ been declared dogmatically…”

  11. TurretinFan said,

    July 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    “TF, that is news to me, and I find it interesting. It must be balanced against the references I have seen to Jerome acceding to the Church and the Pope (I think I read some of those on the CtC article on the canon).”

    Why don’t you go find whatever references you think you read and see what they say about Baruch. And if you find them actually talking about Baruch, come back and share that with us. Until then, there’s nothing to balance against what’s been presented.

    “Your first statement is misleading. Just because some teaching has been declared dogmatically does not mean the Church has never “spoken” on the matter.”

    What is misleading is claiming that “the Church” has spoken about the matter, when “the Church” did not. Maybe some council or bishop(s) did, but that’s not the same thing. If it were, then “the Church” has often contradicted herself, since many councils and bishops have disagreed with one another.

    “Nonetheless, you have Jerome’s opinion against others. Under Protestantism, given that you have no confidence in the Church–the agent which discerned the canon–during this period, you can only weigh the conflicting opinions and make a best guess at the canon. Sola Scriptura cannot rest on such uncertainty.”

    Sola Scriptura rests on the Scriptures (as should be clear from the name). If you want to assert that we should be uncertain about the books we hold as Scripture, I suppose you have freedom of speech to so assert. But your skeptical assertions don’t actually weaken our confidence in Scripture, particularly because we know full well that you admit the canonicity of the books that you would like us to be uncertain about.

    -TurretinFan

  12. Devin Rose said,

    July 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    TF, I challenged you and your colleague James White to answer the challenge on Called to Communion’s Canon Question article. I never saw that either of you guys showed up, even though on my blog you commented that you were working on a response. Can you point me to your comments on that post at Called to Communion, so I can see how you rebut their arguments?

    Your above comment tries to keep the focus on Baruch. But I’m willing to concede, in lieu of more research on my part, that Jerome didn’t think Baruch canonical. My broader argument doesn’t depend on what X early Christian thought about Y book. Neither does Called to Communion. Your statements about the Church not making any teaching on the canon are false. But I challenge you again: be not afraid. Man up and take the challenge to answer the canon question at CtC.

    That’s my last comment to you here.

  13. TurretinFan said,

    July 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Mr. Rose:

    “Your above comment tries to keep the focus on Baruch. But I’m willing to concede, in lieu of more research on my part, that Jerome didn’t think Baruch canonical.”

    Great. Finally.

    “My broader argument doesn’t depend on what X early Christian thought about Y book. Neither does Called to Communion.”

    I’m guessing that I didn’t address your broader argument at all.

    “Your statements about the Church not making any teaching on the canon are false.”

    Since you don’t address my argument, I’m not sure what to make of your assertion, except that you’re trying to assert the same thing you were asserting before.

    “But I challenge you again: be not afraid. Man up and take the challenge to answer the canon question at CtC.”

    I have not made responding to that particular article from CtC a big priority. I do plan to respond eventually, and perhaps your frequent reminders will be a reason for me to do so sooner rather than later.

    But it’s good to know that you think it’s manly when I respond to CtC posts. I recently provided a detailed refutation to Mr. Turner’s post on Trent, the Vulgate, and Calvin.

    -TurretinFan

  14. greenbaggins said,

    July 2, 2011 at 11:34 am

    BOQ But your skeptical assertions don’t actually weaken our confidence in Scripture, particularly because we know full well that you admit the canonicity of the books that you would like us to be uncertain about. EOQ

    Score big-time for TFan! This point is critical. All the books that Protestants agree are in the canon are ones that the Romanists also agree are in the canon. The difference is the DC books, which I will be going through book by book in Whitaker’s arguments. So, the best that the Romanist can say is, “You don’t have a sure foundation for your belief, whereas we do.” To us, this is not cogent, because we are operating from a different paradigm. The DC books do not give the evidence of being inspired that the canonical books do. Jerome, a doctor and saint of the Roman Catholic Church, agrees with us. On Maccabees, so did Pope Gregory the Great.

  15. greenbaggins said,

    July 2, 2011 at 11:38 am

    BOQ Your above comment tries to keep the focus on Baruch. But I’m willing to concede, in lieu of more research on my part, that Jerome didn’t think Baruch canonical. EOQ

    Devin, thanks for your honesty here. I really do appreciate it (and I’m not being sarcastic). If this is true, though, then why do Romanists castigate Protestants for agreeing with Jerome? Whitaker has already disabled faith in the Trullan council. The Trullan council and Trent are the only conceivable possibilities for firming up the Romanist canon. Trent is way too late to have historical credibility as something determinative of the canon. Are we to believe that the church didn’t have a fixed canon until the 16th century? No, but then if Trent doesn’t have the historical credibility to fix the canon, and if the Trullan council is weak, then the church still has not pronounced definitively on the canon. So the Romanist basis for the canon is weaker than the Protestant basis.

  16. July 6, 2011 at 11:33 am

    “However, the mere fact that some ECF believe a book to be canonical does not make that book canonical.”

    What is the sufficient condition to render a work formally canonical?

  17. July 6, 2011 at 11:35 am

    GB,

    What to do with the Orthodox who hold the Trullian synod as confirmed by 2nd Nicea?

  18. TurretinFan said,

    July 6, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    “What is the sufficient condition to render a work formally canonical?”

    A book is canonical if, and only if, it is inspired by the Holy Spirit. How we recognize that inspiration, through faith and by the persuasion of the Holy Spirit, is sometimes a complex process.

    In the context of Presbyterianism, a book is ecclesiastically recognized as canonical through the mechanism of the Confession, which is adopted by the presbytery. They too may use a complex process, just as councils before them have.

    “What to do with the Orthodox who hold the Trullian synod as confirmed by 2nd Nicea?”

    There is an open question about whether the relevant canon (canon 60) is authentic. Nevertheless, it is an interesting witness for a shorter canon, and the canon identifies both Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah as parts of canonical Jeremiah (together with Lamentations).

    – TurretinFan

  19. July 6, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    TF,

    That’s great but I didn’t ask about being materially canonical. If the formal canon isn’t inspired and infallible, the conditions for the material and formal canon may not be co-extensive or it may be the case that conditions for one to be fulfilled but not the other.

    I didn’t ask about the process by which the Reformed canonize a work. I asked about the sufficient condition for a work to be considered canonical within any given process the Reformed may propose or employ.

    What is the sufficient condition for a work to be formally canonical?

  20. TurretinFan said,

    July 6, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    You seem to be trying to suggest that there is some third category between canon as fact (what you seem to describe as “material canon”) and canon as recognized (what you describe as the Reformed canonizing a work).

    How is “formal canon” not subsumed under one of those two categories? What’s left over to be grabbed by your seeming third category? Please explain yourself.

    -TurretinFan

  21. July 6, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    TF,

    Suppose the WCF is fallible. Suppose further that it either includes a work in its list of inspired works that is not inspired or excludes one that is.

    If the first, then does the inclusion in that list transmute that work from a non-inspired work to an inspired one?

    If the second, with the exclusion from the list transmute the inspired work into a non-inspired one?

    I would thin you’d give a negative response to both. That being the case, it is perfeclty possible for one to think a work is inspired and it not be.

    If that is true, then even if the WCF got it right there would still be a distinction between the works being inspired and the list in the WCF that so names them.

    What then is the sufficient condition considered in whatever process one might propose for a work to be included in the formal list in the WCF?

  22. TurretinFan said,

    July 6, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    PR:

    Ok. Now you are back in the “canon as recognized” category. As I explained above, the process is complex. I realize you are trying to separate the process from the “sufficient condition.” Nevertheless, the process is organic and not necessarily compatible with a singular “sufficient condition.” I suppose that since presbyterianism (like conciliarism generally) relies on voting, ultimately the sufficient condition for ecclesiastical recognition will be accord of the presbyters. I’m not sure what value that is to you, but there you go!

    -TurretinFan

  23. July 6, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    TF,

    Uhm, no, I think I’ve been asking the same thing. Whatever the process it will including a criteria or set of criteria will be taken as sufficient for a work to be listed as canonical, complex or not. What is the criteria or set of criteria which pick out the sufficient condition for a work to be so listed.

    If voting takes place, the vote must bebased on some reason for thinking X is to be so listed. What reason is sufficient?

  24. TurretinFan said,

    July 6, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    “Whatever the process it will including a criteria or set of criteria will be taken as sufficient for a work to be listed as canonical, complex or not. What is the criteria or set of criteria which pick out the sufficient condition for a work to be so listed.”

    You assume that there will be a sufficient condition or a set of sufficient conditions. And further you assume that the sufficient condition will go beyond accord of the body (at least I have to think that you are assuming that, since I’ve already identified that sufficient condition). That assumption isn’t warranted.

    “If voting takes place, the vote must be based on some reason for thinking X is to be so listed. What reason is sufficient?”

    In an ideal world, presbyters vote based on the fact that they are persuaded that it is true that the book is canonical (in the former sense – the sense of the fact of the canon) and therefore ought to be canonized (in the latter sense, recognized as canonical). Of course, some presbyters may vote for other reasons in the real world.

    And there may be no universally sufficient condition whereby a presbyter is necessarily persuaded of the truth of canonicity of a book or group of books. I realize you haven’t asked for that yet, but just projecting based on your previous extension of your initial request.

    -TurretinFan

  25. paigebritton said,

    July 6, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Perry,
    Would it be a “sufficient condition” that a book has been acknowledged from the start of the church to have been inspired, that is, written by or in association with the apostles (or having already been recognized as part of the Tanak used by Jesus & co.)?
    pax,
    Paige B.

  26. July 7, 2011 at 11:09 am

    TF,

    Yes I sure do assume there will be conditions for which their fulfillment will be enough to list the works as canonical in say the WCF. That is is becuse I assume they took themselves to have good reasons for their actions. Should I rather assume that they are not rational and had no seemingly good reasons for their actions? Do you mean to imply that there are no conditions the fullfiment of which would be enough to list said works as canonical? Wouldn’t that mean that no works should be so listed as far as reason is concerned?

    I do not assume that such conditions will go beyond the agreement of the body. I assume that the body had some reason they thought was sufficient to include said works in a list of approved writings. What reason(s) would that be? Unless there is no reason that is enough for them to include said works in said list or their judgment included an epistemic leap from necessary conditions to inclusion?

    With respect to real/ideal world remarks, do you mean to suggest that the sufficient condition is the presbyters having an experience within their subject that said works are canonical, which may or may not be attended by reasons, and that said subjective disposition is the sufficient condition for a work to be listed as canonical or is the inner disposition also insufficient?

  27. July 7, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Paige,

    I believe I asked a question of Protestants relative to what was written in this post. Since I am not a Protestant I am not looking for what I would say.

    That said, do you mean to suggest as a condition that an ancient agreement and then a subsequent handing on of said agreement by all relevant parties would be a sufficient condition to list a work as canonical?

    Do you know of any work commended by Jesus, the apostles or an apostle or an associate of an apostle apart from an an ancient agreement and subsequent handing on of that agreement by all relevant parties?

  28. TurretinFan said,

    July 7, 2011 at 11:52 am

    “Yes I sure do assume there will be conditions for which their fulfillment will be enough to list the works as canonical in say the WCF. That is is becuse I assume they took themselves to have good reasons for their actions.”

    Having good reasons for one’s actions does not necessarily imply the existence of a “sufficient condition.”

    “Should I rather assume that they are not rational and had no seemingly good reasons for their actions?”

    No. You shouldn’t leap from good reasons to “sufficient condition.”

    “Do you mean to imply that there are no conditions the fullfiment of which would be enough to list said works as canonical? Wouldn’t that mean that no works should be so listed as far as reason is concerned?”

    It would mean that, iff the only way to proceed to judgment was through the use of sufficient conditions. But there are other ways to reach a judgment than through the use of sufficient conditions. Therefore, it does not mean that.

    “I do not assume that such conditions will go beyond the agreement of the body. I assume that the body had some reason they thought was sufficient to include said works in a list of approved writings.”

    We sometimes anthropomorphize the body, but in fact the body only express itself through the joint action of the individual members. That joint action is normally either acclamation or vote.

    “What reason(s) would that be? Unless there is no reason that is enough for them to include said works in said list or their judgment included an epistemic leap from necessary conditions to inclusion?”

    There may be a lot of different reasons that are considered. Paige identified one, but there are numerous other reasons.

    I think the characterization “epistemic leap” is unnecessarily derogatory. The process of ecclesiastical recognition of facts isn’t necessarily a syllogism or proof.

    “With respect to real/ideal world remarks, do you mean to suggest that the sufficient condition is the presbyters having an experience within their subject that said works are canonical, which may or may not be attended by reasons, and that said subjective disposition is the sufficient condition for a work to be listed as canonical or is the inner disposition also insufficient?”

    I’m simply pointing out that, in fact, they will vote in accordance with the conclusions that they reach. Their process of reaching conclusions will (it seems, necessarily) be affected by their experiences including their experience of the Holy Spirit.

    -TurretinFan

  29. July 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    When you state that having good reasons for one’s actions does not necessarily imply the existence of a sufficient cndition, do you mean a sufficient condition for their actions or for something else? Please clarify.

    Second, do you mean to suggest that say the Westminster divines did in fact have good reasons but that this too fails as a sufficient condition in point of fact? If so, what is the sufficient condition?

    If I shouldn’t leap from the possession of good reasons for their actions, do you propose I move from having sufficiently strong desires to their action whether or not they had good reasons for their action, to explain their action?

    Do you mean to suggest here that there are no sufficient conditions on hand to reach said judgment?
    While not the only way to reach said judgment, which way do you propose is the way that is most likely to be truth preserving if not that of sufficient conditions? What other ways than suffcient conditions to reach the judgment that such and so works should be listed as canonical do you propose? That is, how do we get from such and so conditions are met, to therefore X work should be considered canonical?

    I agree that bodies moves through some form of registration of the views of individuals. That said, I assume that behind the carrying vote of the voting members there was some reason seeingly sufficient for their actions. What reason or set of reasons did they take to be sufficient to render their vote?

    By referencing Paige’s reason(s) do you mean to suggest that that is the reason that in fact warrants the vote to include such and so works as canonical or no?

    I do not see why “epistemic leap” is derogatory since it only picks out that one moves from said belief to a knowledge claim without any sufficient justificatory connection between the two. What else do you propose we use to designate the space between the two?

    While I agree that the process may not be syllogistic, do you mean to suggest that it is beyond the scope of truth preserving inferences entirely or no? If not, what truth preserving inferences are at work?

    I think it is uncontroversial that they vote according to the conclusions they reached. But you seemed to have mentioned a kind of inner conviction that was at least in part the causal or inferential ground for reaching those conclusions. Is the experience within the relevant subjects of the Spirit working sufficient to warrant (either causall or inferentially) their judgment that said works should be isted as canonical or is it insufficient?

  30. paigebritton said,

    July 7, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Perry —
    I wasn’t asking whether that was YOUR “sufficient condition,” I was wondering if historical reasons (like authorship) would be the sort of thing you were trying to get us Prots to list as “sufficient conditions.”

    If the “ancient agreement” re. authorship could be just an organic (rather than a formally documented) thing, then, yes, I think I am suggesting “ancient agreement plus subsequent handing on” as one of the “sufficient conditions” of identifying canonical, inspired texts.

    I am not sure what you are asking here:
    Do you know of any work commended by Jesus, the apostles or an apostle or an associate of an apostle apart from an an ancient agreement and subsequent handing on of that agreement by all relevant parties?

    Are you asking, “Are there other ways of knowing which are the inspired texts?”

    Or are you asking, “Do you know of other inspired texts besides those that were recognized in the past and then handed down?”

  31. July 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Paige,

    Whatever Protestants wish to offer as a sufficient condition, whether reasons, causes or whatever for including works on a list of ispired texts is what I am asking for.

    That said, what difference if any would you say there is between appealing to an ancient agreement plus handing on of said agreement and an appeal to man made tradition?

    As to your later comments, I am asking if there any way of knowing that any work is commende dby Jesus, the Apostles or an apostle or an associate of an apostle apart from ancient agreement and subsequent handing on of that agreement?

  32. Dozie said,

    July 7, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    “In the context of Presbyterianism, a book is ecclesiastically recognized as canonical through the mechanism of the Confession, which is adopted by the presbytery. They too may use a complex process, just as councils before them have.”

    You seem to be implying that prior to Presbyterians giving ecclesiastic recognition to the books they recognize as canonical, Presbyterians looked at those books as secular materials? If this is not what you intended to say, what then is the value of Presbyterian ecclesiastic judgment that the books they include in their bible should in fact be included?

    By suggesting that Presbyterians went through some process, complex or otherwise, prior to giving ecclesiastic recognition to the books in their bible, are you suggestion that Presbyterianism was in fact formed not based on canonically recognized scriptures (formed based on may-be-scriptures)since such recognition came after Presbyterianism had come into existence?

  33. TurretinFan said,

    July 7, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    “You seem to be implying that prior to Presbyterians giving ecclesiastic recognition to the books they recognize as canonical, Presbyterians looked at those books as secular materials?”

    Your implication machine is broken. Before speech comes silence, not antithesis. Get your implication machine fixed.

    “If this is not what you intended to say, what then is the value of Presbyterian ecclesiastic judgment that the books they include in their bible should in fact be included?”

    It’s roughly the same value as the canons of the councils of Carthage and Hippo. It establishes a common ground of operation.

    “By suggesting that Presbyterians went through some process, complex or otherwise, prior to giving ecclesiastic recognition to the books in their bible, are you suggestion that Presbyterianism was in fact formed not based on canonically recognized scriptures (formed based on may-be-scriptures)since such recognition came after Presbyterianism had come into existence?”

    No, I’m not suggesting that. Thanks for asking.

    -TurretinFan

  34. TurretinFan said,

    July 7, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    “When you state that having good reasons for one’s actions does not necessarily imply the existence of a sufficient cndition, do you mean a sufficient condition for their actions or for something else? Please clarify.”

    Yes. Good reasons for thinking X are not necessarily reducible to a single sufficient condition or set of sufficient conditions for thinking X.

    “Second, do you mean to suggest that say the Westminster divines did in fact have good reasons but that this too fails as a sufficient condition in point of fact? If so, what is the sufficient condition?”

    I denied the premise behind your question. The premise behind your question is that there must be some sufficient condition.

    “If I shouldn’t leap from the possession of good reasons for their actions, do you propose I move from having sufficiently strong desires to their action whether or not they had good reasons for their action, to explain their action?”

    I’m not sure what the purpose of your analysis is, so it is difficult to suggest plans of analysis for you.

    “Do you mean to suggest here that there are no sufficient conditions on hand to reach said judgment?”

    No, I don’t mean to suggest that. Nor do I mean to suggest that there are sufficient conditions on hand to reach said judgment. What I mean to suggest is that the “sufficient condition” analysis doesn’t necessarily apply to conciliar decision-making.

    “While not the only way to reach said judgment, which way do you propose is the way that is most likely to be truth preserving if not that of sufficient conditions?”

    I was not proposing an alternative way. I’m not sure that it would be easy to capture the organic process.

    “What other ways than suffcient conditions to reach the judgment that such and so works should be listed as canonical do you propose? That is, how do we get from such and so conditions are met, to therefore X work should be considered canonical?”

    I’m suggesting that it doesn’t work that way, at all. While various factors may be considered, they can be considered in combination with many other factors in an organic manner.

    “I agree that bodies moves through some form of registration of the views of individuals. That said, I assume that behind the carrying vote of the voting members there was some reason seeingly sufficient for their actions. What reason or set of reasons did they take to be sufficient to render their vote?”

    I identified that already as persuasion of the voters of the truth of the proposition for which they are voting. And I suggested that persuasion is not necessarily reached by the use of a “sufficient condition” framework, but organically.

    “By referencing Paige’s reason(s) do you mean to suggest that that is the reason that in fact warrants the vote to include such and so works as canonical or no?”

    Not “the reason,” but one of the factors that is considered – one of the evidences that persuades the presbyters that it is true that such-and-such book is canonical.

    “I do not see why “epistemic leap” is derogatory since it only picks out that one moves from said belief to a knowledge claim without any sufficient justificatory connection between the two. What else do you propose we use to designate the space between the two?”

    Why would you treat ecclesiastical recognition of the canon as a move from belief to knowledge in the first place?

    “While I agree that the process may not be syllogistic, do you mean to suggest that it is beyond the scope of truth preserving inferences entirely or no? If not, what truth preserving inferences are at work?”

    I’m not sure what you intend by “truth preserving” inferences as opposed to inferences more generally. And I don’t think I could necessarily exhaust all the inferences that are at work. I can give examples, but examples of inferences that are drawn are not “sufficient conditions.” And, as noted above, Paige has already provided an example.

    “I think it is uncontroversial that they vote according to the conclusions they reached.”

    ok

    “But you seemed to have mentioned a kind of inner conviction that was at least in part the causal or inferential ground for reaching those conclusions.”

    yes

    “Is the experience within the relevant subjects of the Spirit working sufficient to warrant (either causall or inferentially) their judgment that said works should be isted as canonical or is it insufficient?”

    Is it sufficient to warrant their judgment? That’s an interesting question. Perhaps yes. I suppose I could give it some more thought, if you think that line of inquiry is important.

    -TurretinFan


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