The Church Didn’t Come from the Bible…The Bible Came from the Church

Here is a concise time line of the history of the Bible, which may prove to be informative and helpful! 🙂

AD 33: Christ establishes His Church in the days before ascending back into Heaven, (Matthew 16:18,19), therefore not leaving His flock untended and fulfilling the prophecy in Isaiah 22:21-23.

AD 33: God sends His Holy Spirit over the Church on the day of Pentecost, so that it may be divinely guided, and the Teachings will not waver.

AD 51-121: The New Testament books are in the process of being written over the course of these years, as well as other early Christian writings that did not make it into the New Testament canon: the Didache (AD 70), 1 Clement (96), the Epistle of Barnabas (100), and the 7 letters of St. Ignatius to Antioch (107). Although the works are not the inspired Word of God, they can be used as historical documents through which we can see what Christianity was like during this time.

AD 67: Peter, the first bishop of Rome (which later became known as “pope”), was martyred in Rome, as the government did not allow Christianity in the city at that time. Peter is buried there, and his grave can still be viewed by travelers and residents of the city.  Paul was also martyred in Rome this same year.

AD 67:  Linus became the first successor of Peter, the second pope, after Peter’s death. Before Paul’s death, he references Linus in his 2nd letter to Timothy.

AD 140: Marcion, a businessman in Rome, taught that there were two Gods:
Yahweh, the cruel God of the Old Testament, and Abba, the kind father of the New Testament. Marcion eliminated the Old Testament as scriptures and, since he was anti-Semitic, kept from the New Testament only 10 letters of Paul and 2/3 of Luke’s gospel (he deleted references to Jesus’s Jewishness). Marcion’s “New Testament”, the first to be compiled, forced the mainstream Church to decide on a core canon: the four Gospels and Letters of Paul.

AD 367: This is the first time the list of books in the New Testament, as it is today, is decided upon and physically written down, by Athanasius, the Bishop of Alexandria, in one of his letters.

AD 382: Pope Damasus I, reaffirmed the Athanasius’ list, making a list of them himself, in their present number and order.

AD 393: Since nothing bishops decide on is without accountability, the council of Hippo met in this year. The council of Hippo officially reaffirmed the list and order of the New Testament as it is today, first written down nearly thirty years before by the Bishop of Alexandria. It is at this council in this year that the New Testament as we know it today became declared the infallible Word of God, by Christ’s Church, nearly 400 years after Christianity began.

AD 397: At the Council of Carthage, the early Church leaders reaffirmed both the New Testament canon and the Old Testament canon as the infallible Word of God. This includes the 7 books of the Old Testament that modern day Protestants reject. It’s safe to say that this year is the official birth year of the Bible as we know it today.

AD 1536: Over a thousand years later, in his translation from Greek to German, Luther removed seven books from the Old Testament canon. I Maccabees, II Maccabees, Tobit, Wisdom, Sirach, Judith, and Baruch. His followers supported this, and today Protestants do not recognize these books as the infallible Word of God. Luther then proceeded to place 4 New Testament books, Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation in an appendix, claiming they were less than canonical. However, this was quickly shot down, as his followers were not in support of this.

AD 1546: Due to the hoop-lah Luther was causing, the Church met again in the Council of Trent to reaffirm, once and for all, that the 27 books of the New Testament canon, that was spoken by the Church so long ago, was indeed the infallible Word of God.


Most Protestant Christians, when asked, will say that they believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God because they have faith. After all, you can’t say that you Believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God simply because Scripture says so…that’s circular reasoning (if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t matter that it said it was, right?). I think we can all agree on that. Therefore, by accepting the Bible as the infallible Word of God, you are accepting the infallibility of at least one of the Oral Teachings in the Catholic Church…you believe something that was spoken by the early church Fathers, and has been passed down to you today.

I believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God, because I believe in the infallibility of the Teachings of the Church in which Christ formed. The Holy Spirit guides the Church so that even though the men who lead the Church are sinful by nature, the Church itself remains infallible, and they are therefore able to produce the divinely inspired work of the Holy Bible.

Sources/Places to Look for Affirmation:

Over the past few years, I have done much research on the history of the Church, which ultimately lead me to it. I adopted some wording in some of the explanations of dates from this site: http://www.davidmacd.com/catholic/timeline_of_how_the_bible_where.ht  In addition, any secular Church history book (I say secular because they are unbiased sources) will confirm the discussions that took place in the 300’s and 400’s at the Councils of Hippo and Carthage.

Here are some additional links:

http://www.ntcanon.org/index.shtml

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12272b.htm (chronological list of popes)

http://www.ntcanon.org/Athanasius.shtml#Festal_Letter (references the writings of the Bishop of Alexandria, who first comprised the list of the New Testament)

Other writings from Church leaders and people of these times serve as historical documents through which we can see what was happening in the Church, particularly by those who attended these historical councils. (Some of those can be found here: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/churchfathers.html). Early writings from those who participated in the Council of Trent show the need to reaffirm the 27 books of the New Testament, as Martin Luther desired to remove 4 of them.

Bibles from pre-Martin Luther days have been preserved in museums across the world, confirming what the Old and New Testament canon comprised of before the 1500’s, in which include the 7 books Protestants reject, proving that Martin Luther later removed them.


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