Friday, January 8, 2010
reading the scriptures
“…we confess that we are greatly confirmed by the testimonies of the ancient church the true and sound understanding of the Scripture. Nor do we approve of it if someone invents for himself a meaning which conflicts with all antiquity, and for which there are clearly no testimonies of the church” (Ibid., p. 208-9); and, “There is therefore a great difference between (1) the witness of the primitive church which was at the time of the apostles and (2) the witness of the church which followed immediately after the time of the apostles and which had received the witness of the first church and (3) the witness of the present [Roman Catholic] church concerning Scripture. For if the church both that which is now and that which was before, can show the witness of those who received and knew the witness of the first church concerning the genuine writings, we believe her as we do one who proves his statements. But she has no power to establish or to decide anything concerning the sacred writings for which she cannot produce reliable documents from the testimony of the primitive church (Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent Ibid., p. 177).