SOLUTIONS FINDER THAT CANNOT FIND SOLUTIONS:
A Response to Gerry Soliman
Oops, Gerry Soliman did it again! With the habit that he is very much accustomed to, he pitted one Catholic apologist against another. This time he pits me against Mr. Carlos Antonio Palad on when the Canon of Scriptures was “finally” settled. While waiting for his “counterargument” that he said he’d work over the weekend and while he is enjoying the “funny stuffs” with regards to the Scriptures, let me just show how Gerry Soliman again falters in his “divide and rule” tactic. [http://solutions-finder.blogspot.com/2011/01/when-was-canon-of-scriptures-finally.html].
He quoted my obiter dictum in my article published in Mr. Isahel Don Alfonso’s blog http://catholiceternaltruth.blogspot.com/:
In his obscene haste to discredit the Roman Catholic Church, Mr. Gerry Soliman conveniently forgot that the canon of Scripture, both the Old and New Testament, was finally settled at the Council of Rome in 382 A.D., under the authority of Pope Damasus I and was reaffirmed on numerous occasions such as the Council of Hippo in 393 A.D. and at the Council of Carthage in 397 A.D. Pope Innocent I reaffirmed the canon in 405 A.D. in a letter to Bishop Exuperius of Toulouse.
He also quoted the response of Mr. Carlos Antonio Palad posted in http://thesplendorofthechurch.blogspot.com/2010/03/first-response-to-gerry-soliman-on.html:
Like I said, it was the Council of Trent that gave dogmatic force to the Catholic Canon of Scripture. As any informed Catholic knows, this is the equivalent of stating – as the good ol’ New Catholic Encyclopedia, which I devoured during my college days, does – that it was Trent that gave final form, or “definitively settled,” the Catholic Canon of Scripture. Prior to Trent, Local Councils and Popes had identified and taught the Canon of Scripture, but not with dogmatic force, and not with anathemas or excommunications. Therefore, the Canon technically remained open, but historically and in fact – and this should give Mr. Soliman pause -- between Carthage III and Trent, between which there is a distance of more than 1,100 years, there is no difference regarding the Canon.
And thereupon, Mr. Gerry Soliman danced in glee for what he termed as “an obvious contradiction.” He pointed out that I stated that the canon was "finally settled" in 382 AD but Mr. Soliman paraphrased Mr. Palad that the final form was made at Trent of the 16th century.
Here it must be pointed out that Mr. Soliman’s reading comprehension again failed him. I was saying that the canon was “finally settled” in 382 A.D. at the Council of Rome. Mr. Palad was saying that the Council of Trent gave the canon its final form or “definitively settled.” Again, where is the contradiction?
When I said “finally settled,” I meant that all the 27 books of the New Testament Canon were already in, as in it was a final list because no books have been added thereto or subtracted therefrom. And this list or canon, as I stated was subsequently “reaffirmed” on numerous occasions; hence, implying that it was not yet “definitive” or, as has dogmatic force for Catholics. But the list was already there as early as 382 A.D.! Mr. Palad said basically the same thing: “Prior to Trent , Local Councils and Popes had identified and taught the Canon of Scripture, but not with dogmatic force, and not with anathemas or excommunications.”
Mr. Soliman said that he did “think the phrase, the Canon technically remained open, from Mr. Palad is far different than the phrase, finally settled, from Atty. Llasos.” He went on to argue: “If it was technically remained open, then common sense will tell you that it is not finally settled.” Sorry, Mr. Soliman but your common sense failed you. My use of “finally settled” simply meant that the list of the 27 books of the New Testament were in by 382 A.D. in the Council of Rome. Finally settled because no other books would be added to it or deducted from it. The 27 NT books are the same books we have now.
Mr. Palad explained his statement that “the Canon technically remained open” in the sense that it had no “dogmatic force, and not with anathemas or excommunications.” I was aware that despite the final list (no more dagdag-bawas), questions continued to crop regarding the canon of Scripture until its definitive or authoritative settlement for Catholics once and for all in the Council of Trent. That is why I mentioned that the decision in the Council of Rome in 382 A.D. “was reaffirmed on numerous occasions such as the Council of Hippo in 393 A.D. and at the Council of Carthage in 397 A.D. Pope Innocent I reaffirmed the canon in 405 A.D. in a letter to Bishop Exuperius of Toulouse. The second Council of Carthage in 419 A.D. reaffirmed the canon of its predecessors and asked Pope Boniface to “confirm this canon, for these are the things which we have received from our fathers to be read in church.” This went on until Trent definitively, authoritatively, dogmatically and infallibly put an end to it.
.My article was concerned with the New Testament canon of which the Book of Revelation is a part. I made the point that it is absurd to demand for an official or infallible interpretation of the “woman” in Revelation 12 when the very canonicity of the Book of Revelation itself was being disputed at that time (at least during the first 300 years of Christianity, based on Gerry Soliman’s timeline).
After the New Testament canon (which included the Book of Revelation) was fixed, Marian interpretation of Revelation 12 began to emerge. That was precisely the same point of Dr. Tim Perry, author of Mary for Evangelicals: “It is not surprising, therefore, to find that Marian interpretation of Revelation 12 begins in the fifth century, after the New Testament canon is fixed. As part of the New Testament Canon, Revelation’s depiction of the heavenly woman completes the biblical Marian material” [Tim Perry, Mary for Evangelicals (Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 2006) p. 113. Gerry Soliman admittedly has not read this book].