By A Catholic EvangelistThis booklet recalls how Christ's Church existed 350 years before the New Testament was under one cover and over 1400 years before it could be printed; which completely refutes the "Bible Only" theory of today's sects. Meanwhile the Protestant Bible itself proves the marks, attributes and basic doctrines of the ancient one-faith-fold- shepherd Church of Christ-as shown herein. (Published with Ecclesiastical Authority)
QUESTION 1Did Our Lord write any part of the New Testament or command His Apostles to do so?
Our Lord Himself never wrote a line, nor is there any record that He ordered his Apostles to write; He did command them to teach and to preach. Also He to Whom all power was given in Heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18) promised to give them the Holy Spirit (John 14:26) and to be with them Himself till the end of the world (Mat. 28:20).
COMMENT: If reading the Bible were a necessary means of salvation, Our Lord would have made that statement and also provided the necessary means for his followers.
QUESTION TWOHow many of the Apostles or others actually wrote what is now in the New Testament?
A few of the Apostles wrote part of Our Lord's teachings, as they themselves expressly stated; i.e., Peter, Paul, James, John, Jude, Matthew, also Sts. Mark and Luke. None of the others wrote anything, so far as is recorded.
COMMENT: If the Bible privately interpreted was to be a Divine rule of Faith, the apostles would have been derelict in their duty when instead, some of them adopted preaching only.
QUESTION THREEWas it a teaching or a Bible-reading Church that Christ founded?
The Protestant Bible expressly states that Christ founded a teaching Church, which existed before any of the New Testament books were written.
Rom. 10:17:- So then faith cometh by HEARING, and hearing by the word of God.
Matt. 28:19:- Go ye therefore and TEACH all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Mark. 16:20:- And they went forth, and PREACHED everywhere the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
Mark 16:15:- And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and PREACH the gospel to every creature.
COMMENT: Thus falls the entire basis of the "Bible-only" theory
QUESTION FOURWas there any drastic difference between what Our Lord commanded the Apostles to teach and what the New Testament contains?
Our Lord commanded his Apostles to teach all things whatsoever He had commanded; (Matt. 28:20); his Church must necessarily teach everything; (John 14:26); however, the Protestant Bible itself teaches that the Bible does not contain all of Our Lord's doctrines:
John 20:30:- And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book, etc.
John 21:25:- And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
COMMENT: How would it have been possible for second century Christians to practice Our Lord's religion, if private interpretation of an unavailable and only partial account of Christ's teaching were indispensable?
QUESTION FIVEDoes the New Testament expressly refer to Christ's "unwritten word"?
The New Testament itself teaches that it does not contain all that Our Lord did or, consequently, all that He taught.
John 20:30: And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book, etc.
John 21:25:- And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written everyone, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written Amen.
COMMENT: Since the Bible is incomplete, it needs something else to supplement it; i.e., the spoken or historically recorded word which we call Tradition.
QUESTION SIXWhat became of the unwritten truths which Our Lord and the Apostles taught?
The Church has carefully conserved this "word of mouth" teaching by historical records called Tradition. Even the Protestant Bible teaches that many Christian truths were to be handed down by word of mouth.
2 Thes. 2:15:- Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
2 Tim. 2:2:- And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
COMMENT: Hence not only Scripture but other sources of information must be consulted to get the whole of Christ's teaching. Religions founded on "the Bible only" are therefore necessarily incomplete.
QUESTION SEVENBetween what years were the first and last books of the New Testament written?
This first book, St. Matthew's Gospel, was not written until about ten years after Our Lord's Ascension. (Saint Paul’s letters to the Galatians, about 49 A. D., and to the Thessalonians, about 50 A.D., were his first writings, and Saint James’ letter is from about 50 A.D. St. John's fourth gospel and Apocalypse or Book of Revelations were not written until about 100 A. D.(actually we know that St Johns Gospel was written before 70ad as the destruction of the Temple isnt mentioned.Et Verbum)
COMMENT: Imagine how the present-day privately interpreted "Bible-only" theory would have appeared at a time when the books of the New Testament were not only unavailable, but most of them had not yet been written.
QUESTION EIGHTWhen was the New Testament placed under one cover?
In 397 A. D. by the Council of Carthage, from which it follows that non-Catholics have derived their New Testament from the Catholic Church; no other source was available.
COMMENT: Up to 397 A. D., some of the Christians had access to part of the New Testament; into this situation, how would the "Bible-only privately interpreted" theory have fitted?
QUESTION NINEWhy so much delay in compiling the New Testament?
Prior to 397 A. D., the various books of the New Testament were not under one cover, but were in the custody of different groups or congregations. The persecutions against the Church, which had gained new intensity, prevented these New Testament books from being properly authenticated and placed under one cover. However, this important work was begun after Constantine gave peace to Christianity in 313 A.D., allowing it to be practiced in the Roman Empire.
COMMENT: This again shows how utterly impossible was the "Bible-only" theory, at least up to 400 A. D.
QUESTION TENWhat other problem confronted those who wished to determine the contents of the New Testament?
Before the inspired books were recognized as such, many other books had been written and by many were thought to be inspired; hence the Catholic Church made a thorough examination of the whole question; biblical scholars spent years in the Holy Land studying the original languages of New Testament writings.
COMMENT: According to the present-day "Bible-only" theory, in the above circumstances, it would also have been necessary for early Christians to read all the doubtful books and, by interior illumination, judge which were and which were not divinely inspired.
QUESTION ELEVENWho finally did decide which books were inspired and therefore belonged to the New Testament?
Shortly before 400 A. D. a Council of the Catholic Church, (whose decisions were ratified by the Bishop of Rome, the successor of Saint Peter, the Pope,) using the infallible authority which Christ had given to his own divine institution, finally decided which books really belonged to the New Testament and which did not. Either the Church at this Council was infallible, or it was not. If the Church was infallible then, why is it not infallible now? If the Church was not infallible then, in that case the New Testament is not worth the paper it is written on, because internal evidences of authenticity and inspiration are inconclusive and because the work of this Council cannot now be rechecked; this is obvious from the reply to next question.
COMMENT: In view of these historical facts, it is difficult to see how non-Catholics can deny that it was from the (Roman) Catholic Church that they received the New Testament.
QUESTION TWELVEWhy is it impossible for modern non-Catholics to check over the work done by the Church previous to 400 A. D.?
The original writings were on frail material called papyrus, which had but temporary enduring qualities. While the books judged to be inspired by the Catholic Church were carefully copied by her monks, those rejected at that time were allowed to disintegrate, for lack of further interest in them.
COMMENT: What then is left for non-Catholics, except to trust the Catholic Church to have acted under divine inspiration; if at that time, why not now?