Tuesday, July 11, 2006


In talking with a friend who attends a non-denominational ecclesial community, the topic of Holy Scripture and discernment of Holy Writ came up. This gent claimed that the Holy Spirit aids him in discerning both the meaning/interpretation of the Scripture as well as providing him with the ability to discern whether or not Scripture is "god-breathed". The aid of the Holy Spirit enables him to discern, for example, that 1 Timothy is Scripture and The Shepherd of Hermas is not. I put him to the test and now put YOU to the test. My take, being Catholic, is that God inspired the Church to determine which writings were Scriptural and which were not and that the Church did this without error, otherwise we have a flawed collection of books that we call Scripture. How do YOU know that the Gospel of Matthew is inspired?I've selected four passages. It will be up to you to tell me which ones are Scriptural and which ones (if any) are not.

This is not a test of your ability to use internet search engines. If you cheat, you've convicted yourself of sin and are bearing false witness. We are on the honor system here, boys and girls.

1) Yet Michael the archangel, when he was disputing with the Devil in a debate about Moses' body, did not dare bring an abusive condemnation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" But these people blaspheme anything they don't understand, and what they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals--they destroy themselves with these things. Woe to them! For they have traveled in the way of Cain, have abandoned themselves to the error of Balaam for profit, and have perished in Korah's rebellion.

2) And it came to pass, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him. And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, that this may be a testimony to you.

3) And they went and found the sepulchre open : and they drew near and looked in there, and saw there a young man sitting in the midst of the sepulchre, of a fair countenance and clad in very bright raiment, which said unto them: Wherefore are ye come? whom seek ye? not him that was crucified? He is risen and is departed; but if ye believe it not, look in and see the place where he lay, that he is not here: for he is risen and is departed thither whence he was sent. Then the women were affrighted and fled.

4) Seeing that the army was strong, he prayed thus: "Blessed are you, O Savior of Israel, who broke the rush of the mighty one by the hand of your servant David and delivered the camp of the Philistines into the hand of Jonathan, the son of Saul, and his armor-bearer. Give this army into the hands of your people Israel; make them ashamed of their troops and their cavalry. Strike them with fear, weaken the boldness of their strength, and let them tremble at their own destruction. Strike them down by the sword of those who love you, that all who know your name may hymn your praise." Then they engaged in battle, and about five thousand of Lysias' men fell in hand-to-hand fighting.


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