Highly disturbing statements

I'm very sorry, but I find highly disturbing what appears to be a series of claims in apologetics blogs that are, QUITE SIMPLY, false.

Here's the closing statement from a debate on Sola Scriptura:

///I will leave you with a quote from Athanasius:

"The holy and inspired Scriptures are fully sufficient for the proclamation of the truth." (St. Athanasius, Against the Heathen, I:3)///

What I find here most disturbing is that this is a very clear twisting of a fact: Athanasius REJECTED Sola Scriptura.

I mean one can't simply seize one statement that, on the face of it, shows Athanasius endorsing Sola Scriptura, and run around shouting "Hey, see? What did I tell you? Athanasius endorsed Sola Scriptura," when a closer examination of Athanasius' life and writings plainly shows him to have rejected Sola Scriptura.

That's not being honest, my goodness.

Here's the Catholic answer from Patrick Madrid:


Protestant apologists are also fond of quoting two particular passages from Athanasius: "The holy and inspired Scriptures are sufficient of themselves for the preaching of the truth" (Contra Gentiles 1:1).

And: "These books [of canonical Scripture] are the fountains of salvation, so that he who thirsts may be satisfied with the oracles contained in them. In these alone the school of piety preaches the Gospel. Let no man add to these or take away
from them" (39th Festal Letter). But in neither place is
Athanasius teaching sola scriptura.

First, in the case of the Festal Letter, he was instructing his churches as to what could and could not be read at Church as "Scripture." The context of the epistle makes it clear that he was laying down a liturgical directive for his flock.

Second, as in the case of Basil and the other Fathers Protestants attempt to press into service, Athanasius' writings show no signs of sola scriptura, but rather of his staunchly orthodox Catholicism.

Athanasius, for example, wrote: "The confession arrived at Nicea was, we say more, sufficient and enough by itself for the subversion of all irreligious heresy and for the security and furtherance of the doctrine of the Church" (Ad Afros 1).

And: "[T]he very tradition, teaching, and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning was preached by the apostles and preserved by the Fathers. On this the Church was founded; and if anyone departs from this, he neither is nor any longer ought to be called a Christian" (Ad Serapion 1:28).

Here's another:

///And speaking of canonizing the Bible, many of the Roman Catholics in the Philippines do not know about the Esdras1 problem. Esdras1 is an apocryphal book in the Septuagint that was included in the 4th century canon of Hippo and Carthage. Esdras2 of the Septuagint contains both the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. However, in the Council of Trent 1546, Esdras 1 of the Septuagint was not canonized. Trent followed the Vulgate where Esdras1 is Ezra and Esdras2 is Nehemiah. Esdras1 of the Septuagint is Esdras3 in the Vulgate which wasn't canonized. So between the 4th and 16th century, they differ by one book which is the Septuagint Esdras1. Therefore, they didn't have a final list until 1546 in Trent.///

Here's the truth from Catholic Answers:

The confusion is caused by the fact that some of the books of the Bible and the apocrypha (those which do not belong in the Catholic Bible) have changed names over the last few centuries. You have put your finger on the most confusing name change there has been. Read carefully, because this is tricky.

There have been four books associated with the prophet Ezra (also spelled Esdras). In some circles these became known as 1, 2, 3, and 4 Esdras. In other circles, the first two of these (1 and 2 Esdras) became known as Ezra and Nehemiah, while the second two (3 and 4 Esdras) became known as 1 and 2 Esdras.

The first two of the four books belong in the Bible and are accepted by both Catholics and Protestants as canonical. In older Catholic Bibles they were called 1 and 2 Esdras, but now they are more commonly called Ezra and Nehemiah. The second two of the four books (sometimes known as 3 and 4 Esdras, sometimes known as 1 and 2 Esdras) do not belong in the Bible at all and are not accepted by either Catholics or Protestants.

When we said that the Church councils did not accept 1 and 2 Esdras, we were using the modern system of book names and were referring to the two formerly known as 3 and 4 Esdras.

One final note to the confusion: While 3 and 4 Esdras are not accepted by Catholics or Protestants, some Eastern Orthodox accept one or the other of them.

And here's a thrid one:

I couldn't find the exact statement, but it's similar to this one:

///Now he mentions that the councils of Hippo, Carthage, and Trent pronounced the inclusion of the book of Maccabees. I don't think he is aware that Hippo and Carthage are not initiatives of Rome. Hippo and Carthage do not have ecumenical authority. In fact, they are in conflict with Trent on the book of 1st Esdras in the Septuagint. Hippo and Carthage included the Septuagint's 1st Esdras. But Trent followed the Jewish canon which rejects the 1st Esdras of the Septuagint (the 2nd Esdras of the Septuagint contains the books of Ezra and Nehemiah which is similar to the Jewish canon). Therefore, how can you say that there is an infallible declaration?///

From Catholic Answers:

Trent simply reaffirmed the historic canon of the Bible after it had been challenged by Protestants. The same books Trent affirmed had been affirmed by councils and popes prior to Trent. The first council recorded as dealing with the canon was the Council of Rome, which convened in A.D. 382 under Pope Damascus. Later councils, such as Hippo (393) and Carthage (397), and the ecumenical council of Florence (1438) reaffirmed the canon issued by the Council of Rome.

At all these councils the canon that was proclaimed included the seven deuterocanonical books—1 and 2 Maccabees, Tobit, Judith, Baruch, Wisdom, and Sirach—and rejected 1 and 2 Esdras. Far from being inconsistent; Trent reaffirmed what the Church had taught since the earliest centuries.

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