"Peter not Pope" Post Responses
Peter not Pope (cont'd)

Gary, greetings in Christ from sunny California,

First--I am not a Protestant and I am not a Catholic. I am however a member of the orginal Catholic church. Thank you very much. That is the one where everyone in the church is a priest..

Although I do recognize the value of Names for identification that does not mean that I have to wear it..

You said First, you wrote that Catholics use Matt. 16:18 to establish "that to Peter were given the keys which admit or exclude a man from heaven." But that is not what the metaphor of the "keys" means. Neither Peter, nor his successors the popes, have the authority to grant or bar access to heaven, only God has that authority. You also wrote that Catholics use this verse to establish "that to Peter was given the power to absolve or not to absolve a man from his sins."

My response--who in this world are you kidding..I have just spent the afternoon reading about the Catholic church--{but you would not know that}and, let's face reality. The local priest--Catholic Priest--does he not have the power from the church to absolve one of their sins or not to absolve them?

Most Catholics I talk to tell me different.. than what you are telling me here.

Only God has the power and He uses that power through the gospel and to all who hear and obey it.. Yes, Gary, the Apostles have indeed done their job as God directed.

{Hint--I am to old and to fat to attempt gymnastics of any kind--I prefer the unvarnished truth.}--It comes with time and with hard work.

While I also believe that only God has the authority to forgive sins and under the terms He has set forth through his son--Catholics take their sins to the priest to be forgiven..Any idea as to why?

you said This too is incorrect. The verse has nothing to do with the absolution of sins. The authority of the apostles (all of them, not just Peter) to absolve or not to absolve is established in John 20:23 -- "If you [apostles] forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." (As an aside, I find it very amusing to watch Protestants stumble all over themselves trying to explain this verse away through every manner of contorted, "this-is-what-it-really-means" verbal gymnastics.

My response--Gary You know my immediate assumption from reading all this is that you did not read my post. I have already stated some of this.. Did you think I forgot--I may be a tad along in age compared to my grandsons..but that far gone I am not. In my post I pointed this passage along with the one in Matt 18:18..I am aware of those verses and what is more important I am aware of what they mean..

This verse has been a particular point of controversy because of its use to teach that here Jesus committed to certain officials in the church the power of absolution, or the authority to declare the sins of certain persons forgiven and the sins of certain others retained. Those who give this interpretation usually limit this power to the ten apostles. This verse is taken together with Matthew 16:18, 19 and 18:18 to locate such power supremely in the papacy and secondarily in the bishops as successors of the apostles.

Yet more than the ten apostles were present in the room as has been shown.It is difficult to see that the Lord was creating a group of clergy with the power of forgiveness and retention of sins.

Instead of heaven ratifying the action of officials of the church on earth and forgiving only those whom these officials forgive, Pentecost shows Peter answering the question of the crowd by giving the terms on which men would be forgiven by God and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38, 39).

Thus heaven is seen as giving instruction through Peter guided by the Holy Spirit on the conditions of forgiveness.

The ones who responded were saved and were "added to their number" (Acts 2:47). Instead of the Lord ratifying the church's decision, the church on earth carries out and comunicates through the gospel the will of God.

Are forgiven and are retained are actually perfect passive indicative verbs in the Greek instead of present passive indicatives as the RSV translates them. The force of the perfect tense in Greekis a past action the results of which continue to the present time.

Thus it has two points of reference, a past beginning and a present continuance. The NASV correctly translates the perfect passive here, "If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained."

Nigel Turner points out that these perfects should not be read as aoristic perfects with the meaning "If you forgive the sins of any, they will at that moment be forgiven, and if you retain the sins of any, they will then be retained" (Grammatical insights into the New Testament [Edinburgh, 1966], pp.80-82).

The church on earth is carrying out God's will revealed by the Holy Spirit. God is not ratifying the church's decisions through clergy- men. The disciples would only proclaim what God had already provided through the gospel plan of salvation.

Those who through faith, repentance, and baptism receive forgive- ness of their sins are responding to the Spirit-guided men who have spoken the gospel that saves, while those who do not respond fmd themselves continuing in the guilt of their sins.

This passage confers on these men the power under the Spirit's direction to proclaim correctly the conditions of forgiveness and to assure men when they have accepted the gospel that God had already provided their forgiveness.

While the early church fathers restricted the meaning of this passage to the baptismal forgiveness of sins, it is not necessarily limited to the forgiveness of sins prior to baptism. John under the Spirit's direction describes the provisions made for the forgiveness of sins after baptism (1 John 1:6-2:2). As the incident in Mark 2:5-12 shows, Jesus claimed to have the power of God on earth to forgive sins directly and demonstrated it in healing the paralytic. He did not transfer that power into the hands of his followers.

You said

These rather desparate attempts to avoid its literal meaning are truly ironic, coming as they do from those who claim to believe "only what the Bible says.")

My response--Well, I just took the time to re look at this--and, your literally meaning is going to keep millions of folks in the wrong place. That is not a good thing Gary..Not good at all.

Could you be persuaded to reconsider you stance.. You see I did not need or use "gymnastics" to understand this passage.

But the Catholic church certainly has to do so in order to maintain such a false teaching. Why not just trust the scriptures Gary and leave it at that.. you said

you said Next, you established that the Greek word "Petros" (Peter) is different from the Greek word "petra" (rock). This is true, of course, but it proves nothing. The Greek word for "rock," petra, is feminine in gender, and one would not give a man (Peter) a feminine nickname. The word "Petros" is simply the word "petra" with a masculine ending. But, as you also noted, Jesus spoke Aramaic, not Greek. Thus, he would have addressed Simon as "Kepha," not "Petros." In the Aramaic, the two words would be exactly the same.

My response--Oh--I see...because it doesn't come out the way you think it should--therfore Jesus made a mistake or Matthew made one in recounting the incident. I am going to stick with the texts and that is what I urge others to do..

you said That's why there is a growing consensus among Protestant scholars that Jesus was refering to Peter himself as the rock.

This is the only part I am going to copy because I wish to say only one thing.

It must be dragging somewhat past the bottom of the barrel when Catholics are pushed to the point that they feel the necessity of having to use Prodestant scholars to make their point. But by cracky, I am thrilled that you did..

MOre particularly--Many modern scholars today seem to be very anti Christ and anti bible.

So when a catholic has to resort to using Prodestant folks..I just smile and pass over. If your situation is that sorry...then perhaps it is as well that we are not given the Catholic view--evidently there is something terribly wrong with it.

Now you said

For example, Protestant scholar D.A. Carson wrote, "Although it is true that petros and petra can mean "stone" and "rock" respectively in earlier Greek, the distinction is largely confined to poetry. Moreover the underlying Aramaic is in this case unquestionable; and most probably kepha was used in both clauses ("you are kepha" and "on this kepha"), since the word was used both for a name and for a "rock." The Peshitta (written in Syriac, a language cognate with Aramaic) makes no distinction between the words in the two clauses. The Greek makes the distinction between petros and petra simply because it is trying to preserve the pun, and in Greek the feminine petra could not very well serve as a masculine name. . . Had Matthew wanted to say no more than that Peter was a stone in contrast with Jesus the Rock, the more common word would have been lithos ("stone" of almost any size)." (D.A. Carson, The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Volume 8 (Matthew, Mark, Luke), ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), 368).

My response-- Gary what does this mean? It does not mean that the Catholics are right..because from the texts itself--Peter has made the statement that counts... Does it mean that Prodestant scholars cannot agree..could be.

So what are we left with? Why the texts themselves along with an interesting discussion about Jesus being the "man" but that is for another time and another place.

This is similar to the one above so I am going to delete it and simply make a point or two in passing. you stated or quoted--your scholar--remember??

"The Aramaic original of the saying enables us to assert with confidence the formal and material identity between p tra [petra] and P tros [Petros]; P tros = p tra. . . . The idea of the Reformers that He is referring to the faith of Peter is quite inconceivable

My response--In Matt we are not dealing with the Faith of Peter--Not at all we are dealing with HIs Statement that Jesus is the "man".

Now, I don't always agree with Cullman but then you know one should not quote a person and not finish the job. Here is what He says on page 108 that you conviently left out..

...This is the person of Peter, BUT IT IS LIMITED TO A SPECIFIC LIFETIME. In other words, the task which Peter is given to fulfil is unique, and this makes possible the building of the church. The work of building belongs to a future which is not limited in time By Mt 16:17F.

The laying of the foundation, however, is connected with the person of Peter, whose ability to act is necessarily liimited to the period of his own life.--Jn 21:18. If the power to bind and to loose is given to Peter, t he power does not relate to an unlimited future but to the life of Peter after the death of Jesus.

In Peter, in the saying about the founding and the ensuing building of the Chruch, the NT view of the root age of what continues in what is once for all finds almost classical expression. Hence the task of Peter can be understood only in terms of the high-priestly prayer, which says that the new generation will believe through the WORD OF THE APOSTLES--Jn 17:20. For the foundation of the Church is simply the attestation of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and of the identify of the Chris who promises and the Christ who is exhalted.

The apostles are the one foundation on which the community is built, Eph 2:20, Rev 21:14. Among them Peter is the first and chief eye-witness of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Now--what can I say--Here is a Catholic--Using a Prodestest scholar --using only one ity bitty part of what he said and then uses it like he fully supports the Catholic church..

One of us is a fraud..And, since I did not use him..that only leaves one of us who did.

Now, that is on Page 108--Starting in line 27 and running through the end of the page.

Well, Gary, that is enough for me--YOu have proved that Peter is not the founder of the Catholic church and what amazes me is that you would ever choose a Prodestant scholar to do so..Tut tut old man.

You are to be commended really..That is one of the more "uncatholic" reasons given by a Catholic for proving the falsehood of Catholicism and Peter.

Oh--I know..not just everyone has that reference laying around..so as long as no one knew--you were safe..But I do have the reference work and I did take the time to read it..

Oh--I did read the rest of this..I guess you are trying for funny man of the week..Well, so far you get my vote.

Oh,--yesterday in the mail I received a CD with over 400 resources on it and it includes all those neat councils and most of the church fathers.

And, to date I have yet to find one Church Father that was inspired and an author in the scriptures..

Richard, seeking finding victory in Christ and in HIs Eternal Word


Let's let Peter tell who the rock is, 1 PET 2:4 NASB And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God, 1PE 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1PE 2:6 For this is contained in Scripture: "Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, And he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed." 1PE 2:7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe. But for those who disbelieve, "The stone which the builders rejected, This became the very corner stone," 1PE 2:8 and, "A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.


Let's see who else Peter says is the rock:

"You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." (1 Pet. 2:5, NAS).

So who is the rock? Is it Peter, Jesus, or all believers? The answer is: all of the above, but in different ways. Jesus is the ultimate foundation of the Church -- no one denies it. But Peter is the visible foundation of the Church on earth, in a secondary, subordinate sense.

Commenting on the passage from Matthew, Protestant Greek scholar Marvin Vincent wrote,

"The word refers neither to Christ as a rock, distinguished from Simon, a stone, nor to Peter's confession, but to Peter himself, . . . Again, Christ is the great foundation, the chief cornerstone, but the New Testament writers recognize no impropriety in applying to the members of Christ's church certain terms which are applied to him. For instance, Peter himself (1 Peter 2:4), calls Christ a living stone, and in ver. 5, addresses the church as living stones." (Marvin R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1946 (orig. 1887)), 4 vols., vol. 1, 91-92).

Yours in Christ,

Gary

A Protestant's Guide to the Catholic Church


Gary, I went to the Catholic site you recommended. I read all the questions they gave concernign the authority of the Scriptures. I have read list where athiest have given about the same or similar questions. They do not build up faith, they tear down faith. If I took serious those questions, I would throw my Bible into the trash can but I would not become a Catholic. Because those questions would have not only destroyed my faith in the Scriptures, which they are designed to do, but in Christianity itself. Ted


Dear Richard,

From your ill-tempered response to my post, I assume I must have struck a nerve with you. Frankly, I was tempted not to respond, because, although I love a good debate, I don't wish to stoop to the level of name-calling (e.g., "fraud"). But I think I can respond without resorting to ad hominem, and I wonder if you would do me the courtesy of doing the same in the future.

> First--I am not a Protestant and I am
> not a Catholic. I am however a member
> of the orginal Catholic church. Thank
> you very much. That is the one where
> everyone in the church is a priest..

What are you, then? Let me guess: Landmark Baptist? Church of Christ, perhaps?

> Although I do recognize the value of
> Names for identification that does not
> mean that I have to wear it..

On the other hand, it would save us both a lot of time if I know where you were coming from doctrinally. I don't want to waste my time trying to convince you of something you already believe, or to assume you believe something you don't. Of course, if you're going to insult me, rather than interact with the substance of my arguments, we won't be debating long anyway.

> My response--who in this world are you
> kidding..I have just spent the
> afternoon reading about the Catholic
> church--{but you would not know
> that}and, let's face reality. The local
> priest--Catholic Priest--does he not
> have the power from the church to
> absolve one of their sins or not to
> absolve them?

I wasn't saying that we don't believe in absolution through a priest, I was merely pointing out that the passage in question, Matt. 16:18-19, has nothing to do with that subject.

> Most Catholics I talk to tell me
> different.. than what you are telling
> me here.

With all due respect, I think you've misunderstood what I was telling you here.

> Only God has the power and He uses that
> power through the gospel and to all who
> hear and obey it.. Yes, Gary, the
> Apostles have indeed done their job as
> God directed.

Of course, only God can forgive sins, but He is free to do so however He sees fit. He can choose to do so directly, or through an agent. The Scriptures, and the testimony of the early Christians, tell us that He has chosen to do so through the agency of the apostles and their successors. This is the normative rule, but of course, God is still God, and He can forgive someone directly, too, if He so chooses.

> {Hint--I am to old and to fat to
> attempt gymnastics of any kind--I
> prefer the unvarnished truth.}--It
> comes with time and with hard work.

I'm young, and thin, but I can't do gymnastics either. I guess we have that in common, anyway.

How do you know when you've arrived at the unvarnished truth? If your interpretation conflicts with that of other Christians, how do you know for sure that you're right?

> While I also believe that only God has
> the authority to forgive sins and under
> the terms He has set forth through his
> son--Catholics take their sins to the
> priest to be forgiven..Any idea as to
> why?

Yes, because those are "the terms He has set forth through his Son." That is what the Scripture teaches, and that is what Chrisians believed for fifteen centuries prior to the Reformation.

> My response--Gary You know my immediate
> assumption from reading all this is
> that you did not read my post.

You would be mistaken. I read it three times. Every word.

>I have
> already stated some of this.. Did you
> think I forgot--I may be a tad along in
> age compared to my grandsons..but that
> far gone I am not. In my post I pointed
> this passage along with the one in Matt
> 18:18..I am aware of those verses and
> what is more important I am aware of
> what they mean..

I know that you mentioned this verse later. That's why I was surprised that you attributed the Catholic doctrine of absolution to the passage from Matthew, since it has nothing to do with absolution, and since you were obviously aware of the passage from John that does.

> This verse has been a particular point
> of controversy because of its use to
> teach that here Jesus committed to
> certain officials in the church the
> power of absolution, or the authority
> to declare the sins of certain persons
> forgiven and the sins of certain others
> retained. Those who give this
> interpretation usually limit this power
> to the ten apostles. This verse is
> taken together with Matthew 16:18, 19
> and 18:18 to locate such power
> supremely in the papacy and secondarily
> in the bishops as successors of the
> apostles.

> Yet more than the ten apostles were
> present in the room as has been
> shown.It is difficult to see that the
> Lord was creating a group of clergy
> with the power of forgiveness and
> retention of sins.

If that were not His intention, then it is difficult to see how Christians could have universally misunderstood Him for so many centuries.

> Instead of heaven ratifying the action
> of officials of the church on earth and
> forgiving only those whom these
> officials forgive, Pentecost shows
> Peter answering the question of the
> crowd by giving the terms on which men
> would be forgiven by God and receive
> the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38,
> 39).

Yes, I believe He said, "Repent and be baptized . . ." Tell me, is that how you would answer if someone asked you, "What must I do to be saved"? Do you believe that baptism is necessary in order to "receive the Holy Spirit"?

> Thus heaven is seen as giving
> instruction through Peter guided by the
> Holy Spirit on the conditions of
> forgiveness.

Which were (1) repentence and (2) baptism.

> Are forgiven and are retained are
> actually perfect passive indicative
> verbs in the Greek instead of present
> passive indicatives as the RSV
> translates them. The force of the
> perfect tense in Greekis a past action
> the results of which continue to the
> present time.

> Thus it has two points of reference, a
> past beginning and a present
> continuance. The NASV correctly
> translates the perfect passive here,
> "If you forgive the sins of any,
> their sins have been forgiven them; if
> you retain the sins of any, they have
> been retained."

> Nigel Turner points out that these
> perfects should not be read as aoristic
> perfects with the meaning "If you
> forgive the sins of any, they will at
> that moment be forgiven, and if you
> retain the sins of any, they will then
> be retained" (Grammatical insights
> into the New Testament [Edinburgh,
> 1966], pp.80-82).

> The church on earth is carrying out
> God's will revealed by the Holy Spirit.
> God is not ratifying the church's
> decisions through clergy- men. The
> disciples would only proclaim what God
> had already provided through the gospel
> plan of salvation.

> Those who through faith, repentance,
> and baptism receive forgive- ness of
> their sins are responding to the
> Spirit-guided men who have spoken the
> gospel that saves, while those who do
> not respond fmd themselves continuing
> in the guilt of their sins.

> This passage confers on these men the
> power under the Spirit's direction to
> proclaim correctly the conditions of
> forgiveness and to assure men when they
> have accepted the gospel that God had
> already provided their forgiveness.

I've certainly heard this interpretation before, though never from someone who lived prior to the sixteenth century. Do you know of anyone in the Church prior to the Reformation who understood the passage in the way you do?

> While the early church fathers
> restricted the meaning of this passage
> to the baptismal forgiveness of sins,
> it is not necessarily limited to the
> forgiveness of sins prior to baptism.
> John under the Spirit's direction
> describes the provisions made for the
> forgiveness of sins after baptism (1
> John 1:6-2:2). As the incident in Mark
> 2:5-12 shows, Jesus claimed to have the
> power of God on earth to forgive sins
> directly and demonstrated it in healing
> the paralytic. He did not transfer that
> power into the hands of his followers.

Then why does the text (written decades after the resurrection) say, "When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to MEN [plural]." (Matt. 9:8)?

> My response--Well, I just took the time
> to re look at this--and, your literally
> meaning is going to keep millions of
> folks in the wrong place. That is not a
> good thing Gary..Not good at all.

> Could you be persuaded to reconsider
> you stance.. You see I did not need or
> use "gymnastics" to
> understand this passage.

Sure you did. You took a passage relating to the absolution of sins and morphed it into an authorization to preach the gospel and to announce God's forgiveness. But Jesus didn't say, "Whose sins I forgive . . ." or "Whose sins God forgives . . . " He said, "Whose sins YOU [second person, plural] forgive . . ." Your interpretation makes the text say, "Whose sins you declare that God has forgiven . . ." But the text doesn't say that, does it?

> But the Catholic church certainly has
> to do so in order to maintain such a
> false teaching. Why not just trust the
> scriptures Gary and leave it at that..

I do trust the Scriptures. That's why I take them at face value, and don't try to make them say what they do not say.

> My response--Oh--I see...because it
> doesn't come out the way you think it
> should--therfore Jesus made a mistake
> or Matthew made one in recounting the
> incident. I am going to stick with the
> texts and that is what I urge others to
> do..

The only mistake here is your assumption that the difference in wording has any significance. By the way, how do you know that Matthew wrote this book? I don't believe it identifies its author.

> It must be dragging somewhat past the
> bottom of the barrel when Catholics are
> pushed to the point that they feel the
> necessity of having to use Prodestant
> scholars to make their point. But by
> cracky, I am thrilled that you did..

You must not be a lawyer. In law, and in logical debate in general, an admission by an adversary carries a great deal of weight. Obviously, an admission by a respected Protestant scholar that the Catholic exegesis of this verse is correct will have a lot more weight with Protestants than, say, a papal encyclical would.

> So when a catholic has to resort to
> using Prodestant folks..I just smile
> and pass over. If your situation is
> that sorry...then perhaps it is as well
> that we are not given the Catholic
> view--evidently there is something
> terribly wrong with it.

Forgive me, but what is wrong here is that you don't seem to understand even the rudiments of logical debate, or the probative value of adversarial admissions. If you did, you would understand that the concurring opinions of respected Protestant scholars is the strongest evidence I could possibly present to Protestants. Far from showing the weakness of my position, it shows that it is so strong that honest Protestant scholars are forced to admit that it is correct.

By the way, why do you consistently misspell the word "Protestant"? Just curious.

> Now--what can I say--Here is a
> Catholic--Using a Prodestest scholar
> --using only one ity bitty part of what
> he said and then uses it like he fully
> supports the Catholic church..

What exactly did you think I was trying to prove by quoting Cullman? That he was secretly Catholic? It should be obvious that he doesn't agree with our understanding of the implications of this verse; if he did he would not be a Protestant. I quoted from him only to establish his agreement with us that the "rock" refers to Peter in person, not to his faith, and not to his Messianic confession. Cullman, being a Protestant, disagrees with us regarding the implications of this fact, but that is to be expected, and it is irrelevant to the point I was trying to establish.

>One of us is a fraud..And, since I did not >use him..that only leaves one of us who >did.

I'm hurt by that. Really.

> Well, Gary, that is enough for me--YOu
> have proved that Peter is not the
> founder of the Catholic church and what
> amazes me is that you would ever choose
> a Prodestant scholar to do so..Tut tut
> old man.

It's amusing that you would proclaim victory without even addressing my substantive arguments against your interpretation. You claimed that Jesus designated Simon as the "rock" in response to his being the first to recognize that Jesus was the Messiah. So how do you account for the fact that it was Andrew, not Peter, who first recognized Jesus as the Messiah? And how do you account for the fact that Jesus called Simon "Rock" long before the incident in Matthew 16? Both of these facts are fatal to your interpretation, yet you've ignored them.

> Oh--I know..not just everyone has that
> reference laying around..so as long as
> no one knew--you were safe..But I do
> have the reference work and I did take
> the time to read it..

As long as no one knew what? That Cullman was a Protestant? I said he was. That although he agreed with our exegesis, he did not agree with our application of it? That should be obvious, given that he is not Catholic. I guess I give our readers more credit than you do. I figured that they would know this without me having to tell them.

MESSAGE TO READERS: WHENEVER I QUOTE A PROTESTANT SOURCE, YOU MAY ASSUME THAT SAID SOURCE DISAGREES WITH US ON ANY OR ALL POINTS OTHER THAN THE SPECIFIC ONE FOR WHICH I AM QUOTING THAT SOURCE.

> Oh--I did read the rest of this..I
> guess you are trying for funny man of
> the week..Well, so far you get my vote.

I have no idea what you mean by that. If you found my arguments against your interpretation, or in support of mine, laughable, why don't you refute them? I believe I established my position quite well, and shot yours full of holes in the process. I established that Peter in person was the "rock" and all you did was criticize my use of Protestant sources. I established that the "keys of the kingdom" referred to the pre-eminent authority of Peter in the early Church, and you completely ignored it. I also established, from the Bible and from history, the fact of apostolic succession, and you completely ignored that, too.

I'd suggest you take your victory lap *after* you win the race. As it stands, you haven't even addressed my arguments, much less refuted them.

> Oh,--yesterday in the mail I received a
> CD with over 400 resources on it and it
> includes all those neat councils and
> most of the church fathers.

Good, perhaps you'll learn something.

> And, to date I have yet to find one
> Church Father that was inspired and an
> author in the scriptures..

What Scriptures? You still haven't told me where God revealed to you which books are Scripture. Surely you wouldn't take the Catholic Church's word for something that important, and yet, by some strange coincidence, your New Testament looks exactly like the one the Catholic Church canonized at the end of the fourth century. Why is that?

Yours in Christ,

Gary


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