A Catholic “teacher for his parish’s RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) program” claiming to have his education from Harding University had a site opposing the churches of Christ. I was hoping the author, Patrick Vandapool, of his site titled, “Church of Christ [Mis]Information” [which no longer exists], would consider the answer for which he says he was looking.
Patrick had initiated discussion and emailed me asking for my opinion concerning books to refer to for the churches of Christ. After I answered his article “The CoC’s Non-Answer Regarding Bible Origins” that the churches of Christ do address this subject as seen in this article, Patrick did not care for my answer. Patrick claims to have been once among the churches of Christ, and yet he is not familiar with the church or what books to refer to concerning our beliefs. Instead of a loving Christian spirit that challenges others to follow Christ, he continued to respond with a smug pretentious attitude while cowardly removing comments from me that he could not respond. He can remove my comments if he wants, and I will post the comment that he wanted to hide here at the end of this article. However, in all of this, I think this interaction will certainly show the Truth of the Gospel and a dishonest attitude that Christians must avoid.
So, what bothered Patrick so much? Patrick claims that churches of Christ did not have the answer for who collected the Bible. Here is my first brief response to his article about churches of Christ not addressing Bible origins,
We do address this subject. The Bible was collected under the oversight of the Apostles in the first century as shown in the New Testament itself ([Luke 1:1–3; 1 John 1:1–4; 2 Pet 1:16–21; 3:15-16]). Second Timothy 3:16 is referring to New Testament scripture as seen by Paul’s reference to Luke 10:7 and Deuteronomy 25:4 being “Scripture” in 1 Timothy 5:18.
How is it in the first century before the completion of the New Testament collection did John, Peter, Luke, and Paul refer to their writings as scripture guided by the Spirit?
I cannot tell if Patrick was confused, but he conveniently replied with scoffing to a similar note not addressed to him. Therefore, he decided to write a post, titled “I’m Converting to Protestantism,” declaring,
I have no choice. A slam-dunk argument was put forth on my other blog by a “Church of Christ” member (which is OBVIOUSLY the Church Christ built–just look at that name!). CLEARLY, the Catholic Church had no involvement in the creation of the Bible, so I guess I’ll be leaving. I’ll be praying for all of you; bless your deceived little hearts.
Before his belittling responses came to my attention, Patrick also emailed me a general kind request for books that I would recommend people reading to understand the churches of Christ. I wrote,
First, I’d recommend the Bible especially formed by the Apostles for the Church of Christ. The authority for one’s faith is key here. For me, it must start with the words of Christ, which leads me to His Spirit speaking though His Apostles and prophets.
- Everett Ferguson’s “The Church of Christ: An Ecclesiology for Today.” I find all of Dr. Ferguson’s works scholarly and well received.
- Lipscomb’s Q & A and Guy Woods’ Q & A.
- Edward Wharton’s “The Church of Christ” too.
May God bless you in the study of His Word.
He later responded with mockery. I guess he did not like me stressing the origin of the Bible again.
I think what agitated him more was that he just started this site and was facing a retraction. Instead, he removed a simple note I sent to him when he twisted Matthew 1:25 to suggest that Joseph never knew Mary intimately in his article, “Doesn’t Matthew 1:25 Prove That Mary and Joseph had Sex?” If you are going to attack the churches of Christ, which he does in the article, then you should diligently prepare your thoughts. In his article, he suggested that the word translated “until” implied continuance as though Joseph never knew Mary intimately. Patrick referred to the Greek word eos, and he overlooked how Matthew 1:17 and 2:9 show eos means “until” to a specific point in time, so that Joseph would have known his wife, Mary, after she brought forth her firstborn son, Jesus. This would keep things in context. However, Patrick knew his whole article was debunked. He also quoted Philippians 1:10 in the article that also did not use this word as he claimed, but a different word altogether being eis. Patrick could not handle his mistake. Instead of a retraction, he greatly revised his article, and responded to me,
Post by Scott deleted.
For Scott: Cut off the sanctimonious high-horse garbage and I’ll happily let you post again. Nitpicking mistakes while ignoring the point/remainder of the post reveals your “own lack of homework” and “studies.”
I noted eos/eis–my use of it wasn’t misleading and you know it. But to keep things from derailing, I simply listed 9 or 10 more verses for you;) I can keep going if you wish… (emp. added).
This is not the only removed comment. Patrick also removed another comment I made addressing his misleading article, “The CoC’s Non-Answer Regarding Bible Origins.” However, Patrick misquotes Matthew 11:23 that should be 11:22, which is an insignificant typo, and yet his quote from 11:22 was erring in that it did not have the word eos either (cf. Matt 22:32). He does not appear to do his own work.
Back to Bible origins, I find Patrick’s claims are soundly refuted by the Catholic imprimatur source, the Catholic Encyclopedia, as presented in my article, “Catholic Confession of the 1st Century Canon of the New Testament!!!” Patrick finally responded admitting to adding some speculation on his other site,
Another elephant in the room = the successors of the apostles were Catholic and canonized the few books that the apostles circulated as scripture (used in Liturgy), added other writings by the apostles that the apostles did not call scripture (like Hebrews), deleted several letters that were being circulated, and ultimately presented the canon. So don’t think that by saying the Catholic Church means that the Apostles didn’t write the books of the NT–what it means is that the Catholic Church discerned it, compiled it, added it to the full OT, and then called it the Bible. The apostles did not do that–no matter how hard you try to create a table of Contents for the Bible by using only the Bible. (“I’m converting to Protestantism.” 24 June 2012. <patrickvandapool.com/2012/06/23/im-converting-to-protestantism>)
Later, Patrick admitted that the Apostles collected the New Testament scriptures rather than a Roman Catholic council or any ancient catholic Orthodox council. Also, note that the apostate ancient “catholic” church did not have a Pope of Rome or Patriarch of Constantinople at this time.
I’ll leave you with this last thought. This is what I was trying to get him to consider (and everyone to consider about the formation of the New Testament), which is a comment that Patrick also removed from his site:
I’m asking you to consider these scriptures. The truth is there. I just gave you an answer, and you are overlooking them. I pray the best for you as I do my Catholic friends who I’ve stood with against abortion.
Bearing imprimatur, the Roman Catholic Church affirms, “At times, the contents of Scripture are indicated more accurately as comprising the Law and the Prophets (Romans 3:21; Acts 28:23), or the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms (Luke 24:44). The Apostle St. Peter extends the designation Scripture also to tas loipas graphas (2 Peter 3:16), denoting the Pauline Epistles; St. Paul (1 Timothy 5:18) seems to refer by the same expression to both Deuteronomy 25:4 and Luke 10:7. […] Again, II Pet., iii, 15-16, ranks all the Epistles of St. Paul with the ‘other scriptures’, and 1 Timothy 5:18, seems to quote Luke 10:7, and to place it on a level with Deuteronomy 25:4. But these arguments for the canonicity of the deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament, of the Pauline Epistles, and of the Gospel of St. Luke do not exclude all reasonable doubt. Only the Church, the infallible bearer of tradition, can furnish us invincible certainty as to the number of the Divinely inspired books of both the Old and the New Testament’ (Maas, Anthony. “Scripture.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 15 Feb. 2012. [newadvent.org/cathen/13635b.htm]).
You haven’t responded to how Peter recognized all of Paul’s scriptures […] to Pontus, Cappadocia, and Bithynia even though Paul did not specifically write scripture to these places. He did write to Ephesus and Colossae [that are] in Asia and to Galatia. There’s a collection. Add the gospels referred to by Luke and John. All the apostolic writings mentioned by John, ‘these things we write to you’ (1 John 1:4). Also, note Peter’s reference to John and his writings being scripture guided by the Spirit (2 Pet. 1:16-21). Now, you have Paul’s writings, John’s, Peter’s, and the Gospel[s]. Note James as an Apostle and Jude’s echo of 2 Peter 2 and there is your canon. Besides Clement’s letter that refers to Christian scriptures before the destruction of Jerusalem, there are no other Christian writings coming out of the 1st century. These are all of the Apostolic writings. No need for [a] council to make a canon, and yet it is nice that Athanasius confirmed the canon delivered to him from the Apostles.
Furthermore, in AD 180, Irenaeus refuted all of the existing Gnostic writings by name, and he extensively quoted all the twenty-seven books and only these twenty-seven writings of the Apostles and prophets as Scripture. There is no reason to doubt that the twenty-seven-book collection of the New Testament is an apostolic canon of itself. The New Testament is itself own standard for Spirit-guided God-breathed Scripture.
Here is an image remade to counter Patrick’s slanderous picture against the churches of Christ: