The Instigator
Pro (for)
6 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

The Apocrypha (Deuterocanonical) is not inspired of God

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/7/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,201 times Debate No: 16930
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (35)
Votes (3)




I believe Catholics do not have the evidence to prove that the Apocrypha is inspired of God. The debate will start here in round one with the Catholic that accepts this debate, and they will have to give the reasons they believe the Apocrypha is inspired of God and we will go on from there.


Firstly, I would like to thank SimonMac21 for creating a debate which I find very interesting. I am well acquainted with the topic of the deuterocanonical books, but I have not had a good chance to discuss or debate it before with a knowledgeable non-Catholic.

I will quickly clarify a slight misunderstanding I saw in the comments. The Catholic Church teaches, and so a good Catholic should believe, that the books of the bible are the inspired Word of God. This means that every message and truth which the authors of the bible are trying to convey is free of error. Catholics apply this belief of inspiration to the deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament.

I assume that the structure of the debate will be as follows:

R1: Acceptance and Con's opening arguments
R2: Pro's opening arguments and rebuttals
R3: Final rebuttals and concluding arguments

Now, since my opponent has requested that I begin the round with the reasons that I accept the deuterocanonical books, I shall do just that.

Contention 1: They were there since the beginning

Point 1 – The deuterocanonical books were present in the bible when it was made. It was at the council of Rome was where the books of the bible were assembled, and the Church decided which books were inspired, and which were not. The deuterocanonical books were present at this time and were not added later. "This is a myth that always comes up but is simple to answer. At the Council of Rome in 382, the Church decided upon a canon of 46 Old Testament books and 27 in the New Testament. This decision was ratified by the councils at Hippo (393), Carthage (397, 419), II Nicea (787), Florence (1442), and Trent (1546)."

Point 2 – The Dead Sea scrolls contained books of the deuterocanonical books. This goes to show that even the Jewish people used these books around the time when the Church would have been forming.
"Fragments of three deuterocanonical books have been found among the Dead sea scrolls found at Qumran. Sirach, whose Hebrew text was already known from the Cairo Geniza, has been found in two scrolls (2QSir or 2Q18, 11QPs_a or 11Q5) in Hebrew. Another Hebrew scroll of Sirach has been found in Masada (MasSir).[7] The Book of Tobit has been found in Qumran in four scrolls written in Aramaic and in one written in Hebrew.[7] The Letter of Jeremiah (or Baruch chapter 6) has been found in cave 7 (7Q5) in Greek."

Conclusion: If the deuterocanonical canonical books were in the bible and accepted by Christians for twelve centuries or so, then there is no reason to suddenly regard them as not a true part of the bible.

Contention 2: The hierarchy of the Church is required to determine what is inspired and what is not.

Point 1: Catholics are able to believe in the inspiration of the entire bible because they have an organized Church hierarchy given authority by Christ that can make authoritative statements on what is inspired and what is not inspired. The Church has declared that the deuterocanonical books are truly inspired by God, so Catholics have a compelling reason to believe this.

Point 2: Non-Catholic Christians do not have a Church hierarchy which has authority directly from Christ to determine which books of the bible are or are not inspired. There is no mechanism for a Protestant to determine that the deuterocanonical books are not inspired.

Conclusion: Unless my opponent can produce an acceptable mechanism for determining which books of the bible are inspired, and which are not, then we must go with the method which has been used since the bible was first made (i.e. the authoritative statement of the Catholic Church).

I am interested to hear what arguments my opponent will present, and I look forward to having an intelligent and productive debate on the deuterocanonical books of the bible.
Debate Round No. 1


First of all, I'd like to thank christisking for accepting my debate. Protestants like myself call these books the Apocrypha, so when it says Apocrypha, I'm refering to the deuterocanonical books, which is what the Catholics call them. I will first answer my opponents reasons on why he believes they are inspired, then explain why I believe they are not inspired of God….

His reasons they are inspired of God….

1) The Apocrypha was present in the Bible when it was made.
2) The Dead Sea Scrolls contained books of the Apocrypha.
3) The hierarchy is required to determine what is inspired or not.

Answering #1 – Was the Apocrypha really in the Bible from the beginning? It depends on what my opponent means when he says beginning. If he means they were in the Bible during the time of Jesus, Paul, Peter, etc., this is incorrect. The Jews were the people who God used to decide what books were to be accepted into the canon. Romans 3:2 says, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. Whenever the Jews were checking over writings to see if they could be added to the canon, they would check to see if those writings contradicted the books that had already been accepted, (Acts 17:11). Obviously they didn't accept them because they didn't agree with the Old Testament writings, which I will get to later. They clearly never accepted them. We know this because it wasn't until A.D. 382 that they were first put into a Bible, like my opponent admited. So during the time of Jesus, they were clearly not in the canon. The Apocrypha was officially in the Catholic Bible in 1546 at an event known as the Council of Trent.
Jerome, who lived from 340-420 A.D., was the man who translated the Bible from Greek into Latin for the first time. Jerome is considered to be the greatest biblical and Hebrew scholar of the early medievel period. Jerome's translation became the Bible translation for centuries to follow. It even became the official translation of the Roman Catholic Church. The Apocrypha was not in his translation. Jerome rejected the Apocrypha.

Anwering #2 – The Dead Sea Scroll argument is not convincing. Though it is true the Apocrypha writings were discovered at Qumran, that does not make them inspired. One of many things that the Catholic church never tells their people is that there were other writings found there that they didn't put in their Bible. A few examples would be pseudepigraphal texts and sectarian writings of the Qumran community. (Reasoning from the Scriptures with Catholics, pp 41). If the discovery in Qumran makes them scripture then ALL the writings would have to be accepted, but clearly this is not the case; therefore the Dead Sea Scroll argument is not convincing.

Answering #3 – The Catholic Church has NO authority on what is or is not inspired of God. Again, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God, (Romans 3:2). Proverbs 30:6 tells us to not add to the Bible. So giving the authority to the Catholic Church is dangerous and unbiblical, this is just a teaching that the Catholic Church made up. Another reason it is dangerous to give the Catholic Church this power is because they have teachings that contradict scripture. One example I will give is about Mary beind a virgin and having no children. The Catholic church teaches that Mary remained a virgin after the birth of Jesus and had no other children. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 510). This is clearly unbiblical. Matthew 1:24-25 - "And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took as his wife, and kept her a virgin UNTIL she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus." Matthew 12:46-47 - "While He was still speaking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. And someone said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You."Matthew 13:55 - "Is not this the carpenters son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?" The Roman Catholic Church have no prove for their say in what is inspired or not. Just like they have no prove that Mary was always a virgin.

Five reasons the Apocrypha is not inspired of God….

Reason #1 – The author of Second Maccabees admitted that his writings were not inspired. (2 Maccabees 2:23 and 15:38)

Reason #2 – The Doctrine of Purgatory contradicts scripture. Roman Catholics believe that Purgatory is a place where some people will spend a little time before they enter Heaven. Purgatory is mentioned in 2 Maccabees 12:41-46 (The writer who admited his writings were not inspired of God.) Another problem with purgatory is the thief who died on the cross, (Luke 23). He would have been the perfect man for purgatory, but after he repented Jesus told him, "Truly Truly I say to you, TODAY you will BE WITH ME in paradise. (Luke 23:43). He didn't go to purgatory. Roman Catholics have no evidence for purgatory.

Reason #3 - Reason #5 – There are no prophecies, divine miracles, and the Apocrypha never claims to be inspired. The Old and New Testament writings claim to be inspired, ( 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Peter 3:16). The Apocrypha never made such a claim to be inspired. The Old Testament and New Testament writings also say things over and over like, "Thus say the Lord" or "The word of the LORD came unto him." The Apocrypha never says anything like this.

Reason #4 – The Apocrypha contradicts the Bible. The Apocrypha commands to use magic. (Tobit 6:5-7). The Bible commands not to use magic. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) The Apocrypha encourages us to pray for the dead. (2 Maccabees 12:41-46) The Bible does not encourage us to pray for the dead. (Luke 16:25, 26 and Hebrews 9:27)
The Apocrpha has God assisting Judith with a lie. (Judith 9:10-13) The Bible condemns liars. (Exodus 20:16) There are many other examples of contradictions but these must do for now. If God inspired the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Apocrypha, they would all have to agree with each other, but they don't. The Apocrypha is not inspired of God.

Reason #5 – There are historical errors in the Apocrypha. A clear historical error the Apocrypha has is in the book of Judith. Judith says that Nebuchadnezzar reigned in the city of Ninevah. History, and the book of Daniel teaches that Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon.

Reason #6 - Apocrypha teaches that people are saved by good works and not grace. This is a major disagreement among Catholics and Protestants today. The Catholics will use the Apocrypha to justify their believe of being saved by good works and not grace.

To correct this, we are not saved by our good works outweighing our bad. The Pope ignores several scriptures to make that doctrine true:

Rom. 11:6, "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace."
Eph. 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not by works, lest any man should boast."
Rom. 10:9, "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is God and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Titus 3:5, He saved us, not because of works done by us, but according to his mercy.

Conclusion: We are clearly Saved by Grace, not works. 1 John 5:13 tells us that the people who are saved know if they are saved. Catholics do not know, because they teach it is by good works, and since they teach it is by good works, they never know if they have done enough or not. The thief on the cross had no time to be baptized, do good works, or anything, but Jesus still accepted him.

To conclude all this, the Roman Catholic Church is not honest with their people and the Apocrypha is clearly not inspired of God. Thank you.


I would like to begin by thanking my opponent for his arguments in this most interesting debate.

Contention 1: The deuterocanonical books were there since the beginning

Point 1: the deuterocanonical books were in the original bible: My opponent seems to have had a few arguments here which I would like to address in full since this is the most important point of the debate. If the deuterocanonical books have been accepted since the Church's infancy, then who are we to change this.

Firstly, he stated that the Hebrew people did not accept the deuterocanonical books as canon around the time of Christ. He believes this because he sees issues with the books and because the Christian bible was not made until the fourth century. However, he did not give a source to show that the Jews did indeed reject these books. "We know that they were once in Hebrew scripture because the Septuagint still contained the books. The Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Hebrew bible. It was used throughout the Hellenistic world as the primary source of Hebrew scripture… This translation was done sometime between 300-180 BC, long before the Pharisees castrated the Hebrew canon." Looking at this evidence from the Septuagint, we can see that there was a collection of inspired books of the bible which the Jews possessed and which included the deuterocanonical books.

Secondly, he said that St. Jerome wrote a Bible which did not include the deuterocanonical books which supposedly means that the church at that time did not accept those books as cannon. This, however, is false logical step. If we look at other evidence, we see that while St. Jerome's translations were done well, the Church did not accept his fallible view that the deuterocanonical books were not inspired. "It's interesting that in the overwhelming majority of Church Fathers that defend the deutero books, Protestants are clear to point out that St. Jerome's mistake proves them to be non-canonical. St. Jerome was not infallible. He was also a victim to the confusion caused by Melito's discovery… However, it is clear from the letters of St Jerome a few years later in his life that he recounted his first inclination against the deutero and had completely accepted them as scripture." So we see that the Church and majority of the Church fathers believed the deuterocanonical books were inspired and that Jerome himself eventually agreed as well.

Thirdly and briefly, I would like to point out that while the Council of Trent did affirm the legitimacy of the deuterocanonical books, the council of Rome (as I showed last round) was the first official Church council to approve the deuterocanonical books when the approved the rest of the bible in the fourth century.

Point 2: Dead Sea scrolls: Though this could be an interesting point, I will drop it for the sake of time, so we agree that the dead sea scrolls ‘prove' nothing one way or the other.

Contention 2: hierarchy of the Church

Point 1: I believe I have already refuted his main argument here. The Hebrews were in agreement with the Church around the time of Christ, so we can accept the deuterocanonical books according to both of our beliefs. As for the authority of the Church, Christ said to the first pope, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:19) That is authority enough, not to ‘make' something the Word of God, but to discover what has been the Word of God since it was written (this topic deserves more time which I do not have). The Church does not add their own say to what God says (Proverbs 30:6) but merely discover what is truly God's Word. As for the contradictions of the Church: it is stretching Matthew 1:24-25 to say that it is stating that Mary lost her virginity shortly after Christ's birth. At the time of Christ, the term brother was often used generically to refer to people who are merely one's cousins, so Matthew 12:46-47 does not mean that Mary had children, but just that Christ had relatives.

Point 2: this point has been missed by my opponent. While he did give us a way to determine what should be part of the Old Testament, he did not supply a way to determine which New Testament books are the Word of God. Without having another source, we have to assume that it is up to the Church to determine which books are in the Bible and which are not. The Catholic Church is the only church which has really claimed to have done this.

Now for my opponent's points.

Reason 1: Neither of these passages say anything about inspiration, so further clarification will be needed for me to know what it is I am supposed to argue.

Reason 2: Catholics do not believe that everyone goes to purgatory, and we also don't know how long someone stays in purgatory. It is quite possible that the good thief either had a short stay in purgatory, or what is more likely is that Christ forgave him for all his sins and punishments at once so he didn't have to go to purgatory. Thus, Purgatory does not contradict scripture but is actually supported by it in several places which I cannot get to in this debate.

Reason 3: Job for example, and I'm sure many other books of the Bible are similar, does not claim to be inspired. We would have a small Bible if every book had to claim its inspiration. ‘Thus say the Lord' does not make the book containing this phrase inspired or even suggest it unless the phrase is specifically referring to the very book being written. As I said, this is the case only in a few of the books of the Bible.

Reason 4: The acts of healing attributed to animal parts in Tobit 6:5-7 by the angel would have been understood to come from God by the readers and not from demons as is the case with normal magic. Luke 16:25 is merely a verse about Lazarus which was never meant to communicate anything about purgatory which is what praying for the dead would refer to. The judgment in Hebrews 9:27 does not disprove purgatory, since a judgment for a man to go to heaven does not mean that he does not need to stop at purgatory first. In reference to Judith 9:10-13, God also condemns killing. Nevertheless, we see God commanding the seemingly pointless slaughter of thousands of people when Joshua invaded the Promised Land and in numerous other places.

Reason 5: Judith was not intended to be a historical book, but rather a book to show how the Jews were victorious over their oppressors. Ninevah and Babylon have symbolical meaning, and were used by the author of Judith for this meaning, and not for their historical accuracy. The Jewish readers of the time would have understood this completely as do most informed readers today.

Reason 6: My opponent has misunderstood the Catholic position. Catholics agree with Protestants that we are saved by God's Grace through Christ's death. Through serious sin, however, we can refuse God's Grace. This is in agreement with the verses brought up by my opponent. The author of 1 John 5:13 is merely saying that he wants Christians to know that they are indeed promised eternal life through Christ's death and that we are not all condemned to hell or something of that nature. It would be understood by the readers due to other teachings of the apostles that sin could sever them from this eternal life. Catholics do not agree with the system of ‘good works' which my opponent presented.

In summary, I apologize if some of my arguments seem brief, but the quantity of my opponent's arguments has forced me to shorten my explanations to less than I would desire. I look forward to my opponent's final round.
Debate Round No. 2


I'd like to thank my opponent for getting back to me. I will start by answering the reasons he believes they are inspired, then add to my case why they are not.

The Apocrypha has no proof it was there in the beginning. The prove we have that the Apocrypha was not accepted by the Jews is that it wasn't in the Bible until A.D 382. Therefore, it was not in the Bible during the time of Christ.

The Septuagint argument is flawed. Though it is true that the Septuagint includes the Apocrypha, many scholars have noted that while the Septuagint was first translated centuries before the time of Christ, it was not until about the fourth century AFTER Christ that the Apocrypha was in the Septuagint. All the manuscripts of the Septuagint that date back to before Christ do not have the apocrypha writings in it. Therefore, we can conclude that the Jews who were entrusted with the oracles of God, Romans 3:2; did not accept the Apocrypha as scripture. The Catholic Church have no manuscripts of the Septuagint with the apocrypha in it BEFORE CHRIST, only after; because it was added.

Just because some of the early church fathers used the apocrypha in their writings that doesn't mean they believed they were inspired. You can have respect for a book, without believing it's inspired. The Bible is also guilty of alluding to false writings. One example would be the "Bodily Assumption of Moses" (see Jude 9). Even if my opponent could find some Early Church Fathers that did believe they were inspired, it proves nothing. Many early church fathers rejected these books – Origin, Jerome, Athanasius, and Cyril of Jerusalem. (Reasoning from the Scriptures pp. 35)

My opponent is referring to Peter as the first Pope. The "Keys of the kingdom" do not relate to Peter's supremacy, but to his privlege of preaching the gospel. In the New Testament a key always implies authority to open a door and give entrance to a place, or realm. Jesus for example possesses the keys of death and Hades, implying him authority to grant or deny access to these realms. (Revelation 1:18). This verse is teaching that the apostles were given the power to grant or deny access into the kingdom of God based on how people responded to the gospel message.

Just prior to Jesus' arrest and crucifixion, some of the disciples argued over who would be the greatest in the kingdom (Luke 22:24-30) This wouldn't have happened if Peter was going to be Pope. This shows there was to supreme apostle.

Also, according to Irenaeus, an overseer in the early church at Lyons (in modern day France) from 178-200 A.D., recorded for us a list of the first 12 leaders of the church of Rome. He has recorded that Linus was the first leader. Irenaeus is a very trusted source for early church history, because he was a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of the apostle John. Eusebius (c. 260 – c. 340), who is called the "Father of Church History," never mentions Peter as the Bishop of Rome. He only tells us that Peter came to Rome "at the END of his days" and was crucified there. So according to two very reliable sources, Peter was not the first Pope.

Again, the Catholic Church has got no say in what is inspired of God. My opponent says we should "assume" the Catholic church should be trusted to decide which books should be in the Bible or not. There are two problems with this. One, just because the Catholic church says they should decide what books should be in the Bible, doesn't mean they should. Just like when the Jehovahs Witnesses claim they are the true religion. Just because they claim to be the true relgion doesn't mean they are. Same with the Catholic religion, just because they say they should decide what should be in the Bible doesn't mean anything. We need proof, not opionins. Second, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God (Romans 3:2). God used them to decide what books are in the Old and New Testaments, and it is up to us to accept God's decision; not change it.

About Mary, my opponent said I was "stretching it" when I used Matthew 1:24-25, to show Mary lost her virginity. All I did was point to what the verse "clearly" said. Joseph kept Mary a virgin UNTIL Jesus was born. Again, that word is UNTIL; therefore she clearly lost her virginity after Jesus was born. Again…..UNTIL.

My case:

I never said Catholics believe ALL people go to purgatory. My case was that it contradicts scripture. Again, the thief did not have time to do good works or get bapitized to go to Heaven, and after he died he went to Heaven. We know this because Jesus said "TODAY, you will BE WITH ME in paradise." (Luke 23:43). The Bible also says in Corinthians 5:1,2,8, that we go into Christs presence when we die, and Christ is in Heaven at the right hand of the father, (Ephesians 1:20). Therfore, he clearly was in Heaven with Christ when he died. Not purgatory.

My opponent is trying to say the healing by the angel would have been understood to come from God. If this is so, that would be a contradiction because 1 Corithians 6:9-10 condemns ALL of Magic, not some of it. So if the Apocrypha is inspired of God, God is contradicting himself.

My opponent is saying that Judith was not intended to be a historical book, but rather a book to show how the Jews were victorious over their oppressors. Again, if it's inspired of God, it needs to be completely accurate. Not partially.

I have not misunderstood the Catholic position on salvation as my opponent claims. Some Catholics, like my opponent, are actually unfamiliar with some of the Roman Catholic literature: "If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema" (Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 9).

"If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema." (Canon 14).

Also, they teach we must be bapitized to be saved: ". . Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of forgiveness of sins because it unites us with Christ, who died for our sins and rose for our justification, so that 'we too might walk in newness of life,'" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 977). Again, the thief on the cross did not get bapitized.

CCC 2068, "The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians and that the justified man is still bound to keep them;28 the Second Vatican Council confirms: "The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord . . . the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments."

Since my opponent agreed that we are saved by grace, let my show another clear contradiction:

Salvation by works:
Tobit 4:11, "For alms deliver from all sin, and from death, and will not suffer the soul to go into darkness."
Tobit 12:9, "For alms delivereth from death, and the same is that which purgeth away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting." We know from Scripture that alms (money or food, given to the poor or needy as charity) does not purge our sins. The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7). This clear contradiction alone proves that the Apocrypha and the New Testament cannot be both inspired of God, unless he contradicts himself.

I'll have to stop here since I'm out of room. I had fun and enjoyed this debate, and I hope my opponent did as well.


I would like to thank my opponent for a most interesting debate which I will now proceed to finish.

Contention 1

Point 1: Firstly, we seem to have agreed that the Church included the deuterocanonical books since the beginning of the Christian bible, since my opponent never disputed the fact that the council of Rome declared it so in the fourth century. This means that at least eleven centuries of Christians accepted these books as God’s Word.

Secondly, concerning the Septuagint, my opponent has once again failed to supply a source for his argument. We don’t know which ‘scholars’ to reference. Consequently, since this is unfortunately the last round of debate, that his sources agree with this Protestant source which seems to suggest that the deuterocanonical books were not all inserted in the fourth century but were slowly added to the Septuagint as they were written. “The period between Testaments, between B.C. 425 and the time of Christ, gave rise to additional writings, which included the history of the Maccabees among others. These writing became part of the LXX library; some in the early church viewed these additional works as scripture rather then “additional” works.”

And then this source assures us that the deuterocanonical books were a part of Hebrew Scripture. “It is true that these seven books and portions of Daniel and Esther were not written in the Hebrew language. However, they were part of the Septuagint translation of the Jewish Scriptures.”

Additionally, even if some of the Jewish people who my opponent’s scholars might have studied did not insert the deuterocanonical books into their copies of the Septuigent, others definitely did since there was no overarching Bible or agreement for the Hebrew people at the time of Christ. “During the first century, the Jews disagreed as to what constituted the canon of Scripture. In fact, there were a large number of different canons in use, including the growing canon used by Christians.”

As for those Church fathers who my opponent claims rejected the deuterocanonical books; “those Fathers who left the Deuterocanonicals off the list of a canon, did not in any way shape or form ever deny those books inspiration, and did not merely use them for devotional purposes, but used these books as Scripture and called them Scripture.” The Church Fathers were in agreement with the Church at the Council of Rome.

Contention 2

Point 1: Actually, keys in the Bible always symbolize authority. In Isaiah 22:22 we see a prophet of God bestowing keys on the new Jewish prime minister. While these keys come with the power to open and close, they do so because they are actually a symbol of authority. The prime minister of Jerusalem does not merely monitor those entering and leaving his realm, but rules it. Christ has the keys of hades because he rules the after life and has authority over it. Peter has keys, not to allow him to preach the gospel since we can all do that, but the allow him to rule the Church as Christ’s vicar on Earth.

Just because Peter is the first pope on earth doesn’t mean he will be the greatest in heaven. This is why the apostles were arguing about being the greatest in the next life and not in this one.

Unfortunately, since my opponent’s argument concerning Irenaeus is new, his link doesn’t bring me to his source and I have been unable to find it on my own, I am unable to argue the point for lack of information on the topic. As for Eusebius, not every Father of the Church would expect himself to need to state Peter’s authority, so this argument that Eusebius did not state Peter’s authority is not in itself convincing.

Matthew 16:19 and the fact that there has been a pope since the first centuries of the Church is the proof, not an opinion, that my opponent has asked for to show the Church’s authority.

As for Mary’s virginity, the Greek in Matthew 1:24-25 shows that this verse is not really convincing that she had intercourse with Joseph. “The reason is because in the Greek, the term being translated "until" has different connotations than in English. Depending on where it's found, this same generic conjunction is translated "to," "unto," "as far as," "even," "till," and "until."”

Point 2: My opponent has said that the Jews should determine the New Testament as well as the Old. If this is the case, then there should be no New Testament since, as is commonly known among historians and even stated in the Bible, the Jewish people rejected Christ’s resurrection and even persecuted the Christians (Saul!). The Jewish people, to this day even, do not accept the New Testament. This means that my opponent’s mechanism for determining Scripture is faulty, and we are only left with the Catholic Church as the only remaining way for us to have a legitimate New Testament. This means that when the Council of Rome declared the deuterocanonical books inspired they spoke the truth.

My opponent’s case:

Reason 1: dropped by my opponent

Reason 2: My opponent has misunderstood the Catholic position on Purgatory and salvation. One does not ‘need’ to do good works to go to heaven, merely receive God’s forgiveness for his sins. The Catholic Church teaches that one merely need receive baptism of desire which is what the good thief would have received. “The baptism of desire (baptismus flaminis) is a perfect contrition of heart, and every act of perfect charity or pure love of God which contains, at least implicitly, a desire (votum) of baptism.” In other words, if one with a loving heart wants what is necessary for salvation, then this is considered a baptism of desire.

The rest of my former argument still stands. The doctrine of purgatory agrees with the other verses my opponent mentioned, since Purgatory is merely a quick stop on the way to Christ’s presence.

Reason 3: dropped

Reason 4: Part was dropped, I will address the rest. Concerning magic, my opponent apparently missed my point, since I stated that magic is the use of demons for witchcraft, while the supposed ‘magic’ in by the angel was not magic according to the Jews since it was a miracle of God.

Reason 5: Judith is completely accurate in every factual claim it makes. Just like Job, however, the book’s main purpose is to teach a lesson, not recount history. Thus, it is like saying that Jack and the Bean Stalk is not historically accurate when it never intended to be in the first place.

Reason 6: Actually, it is my opponent who has misunderstood the issue here. He has confused the concepts of saved by grace and saved by faith alone. So, I agree with and am familiar with the teachings my opponent quoted. Verses such as James 2:24 “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone,” show that some sort of works play a part in obtaining God’s Grace.

Concerning the Tobit verses, you will note that neither verse says that almsgiving ‘forgives’ sins. If you look at the verses in context, you will see that both are presenting almsgiving as a way of life. In this context, we can understand that almsgiving will purge sin in the sense that it purifies one’s life and thus causes us to commit fewer sins. Basically, ‘sin’ is used in the sense of being a habit or habitual practice which needs purified by a new way of life.

I thank my opponent for this very broad and interesting debate. I would be open to having a more in-depth discussion or an additional debate on any of the topics which we lightly touched on here with anyone who is interested.

Debate Round No. 3
35 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 7 years ago
You are aware that the Hebrew/Aramaic semantic field for the word Brother includes cousins and generally just includes anyone who is a blood relative. So it is entirely possible that their explanation is correct.

Also, saying "he knew her not until" does not necessitate that he knew her after. That's an implication... but it's hardly rock solid enough evidence to call thousands of men who love Jesus liars.
Posted by SimonMac21 7 years ago
I believe that when the Catholic Church gets called out countless times my many people on a topic, like Marys virginity for example, and they continue to teach their people that there is no evidence Mary lost her virginity, which they know there is because people point out Matthew 1:24-25 to them all the time, I just can't view that as an honest mistake when they know they are off, but they continue to teach that lie to their people.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 7 years ago
Sorry, you're right. I flipped my argument sides.

As I have said, you imply (and now explicitly state) nefarious intent when there (at least in this case) isn't much to support it.
Posted by SimonMac21 7 years ago
I think the pro, (me) is guilty of that. I used things like Mary to prove they cant be trusted since he said the church is aloud to make such big decisions. It was just to answer some of his points. Also, I believe the Catholic Church has made honsest mistakes like you said, and some other mistakes where they must lie to cover up what they have done.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 7 years ago
Your debate seems to focus more on the fact that the Roman Catholic Church is wrong, than engaging the specific arguments surrounding the Apocrypha (which I again would say, the Catholic Church does not view the Apocrypha as inspired. They view them as authoritative, but not inspired).

"To conclude all this, the Roman Catholic Church is not honest with their people and the Apocrypha is clearly not inspired of God." - A Perfect example. Why do you assume dishonesty instead of an honest mistake? You imply nefarious motives when there are none. It is clear that this debate in your mind is more about proving Rome wrong than it is about the specific resolution you proposed.
Posted by christisking 7 years ago
Sorry my response took so long. I've been buisier lately than I expected.

also, ReformedArsenal, what did I do which you didn't like?
Posted by ReformedArsenal 7 years ago
This seems to have been turned into a polemic against Rome by Con. Disappointing.
Posted by izbo10 7 years ago

reductio ad absurdum is only a fallacy when based on a false dichotomy.
Posted by SimonMac21 7 years ago
ReformedAsrenal...True, there are Catholics that only consider them authoritative, but there are also Catholics who say they are Gods word and use the book of Timothy to say that they are inspired of God...but either way, they obviously don't belong in the Bible which I will show.
Posted by christisking 7 years ago
I accepted the debate because I'm a Catholic who loves apologetics, but I need to run off right now, so I'll post my case either tonight or tomorrow.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: "Purgatory does not contradict scripture but is actually supported by it in several places which I cannot get to in this debate" - statements like this really have not part in a debate, it is just a framed concession and there are multiple points where con takes this approach. however the debate was not lopsided 3:2 pro
Vote Placed by ThunderNick 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I really don't think it was inspired of God, but con had some good points. The conduct one was tricky, but i have to give it to Con, because of the overall polite feeling I got from reading his side.
Vote Placed by ReformedArsenal 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments were unconvincing. His sources were blatantly Pro-Catholic and showed no real development of thought. Also, as a Patristic's scholar myself, I can affirm that some of his sources are just wrong about what the Father's considered Scripture. I knocked Pro for his off-topic Rome polemics. They have no bearing on this debate and therefore are inappropriate. Neither side's sources were even attempting to be unbiased... tie there.