The Myth of Islam’s Universal Brotherhood

Modern Muslim apologists thrill their audiences with claims of Islam as a uniting force. They wax eloquent about Islam being a universal brotherhood which rejects caste, race, colour and gender discrimination.

This drivel works well on the naive and the marginalised and it lures in the foolhardy.

In this piece, however, I will be demonstrating the contrary, that Islam is a religion that profoundly divides mankind and fosters social inequality.

1. Gender discrimination

In a recent news report, the paucity of women in the political sphere of Northern Nigeria (a Muslim-dominated region) was highlighted. It stated that “no woman has been elected to any State House of Assembly in the North West, which comprises Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara [States].”

Tagwai Aji, a Muslim woman from the region who once contested said, “I faced a lot of challenges during the campaigns. They said a Muslim woman was not supposed to lead,” she recalled. “Many Islamic leaders preached against me. There were also threats of physical attack. They tore up my campaign posters, saying they did not want a woman.”

Naja’atu Muhammad, the first Muslim woman elected to the Kano State House of Assembly had her husband brutally murdered by a rival faction.

“I have been threatened. I have escaped death by a whisker on few occasions,” she said. “I have been beaten up at the conference centre [where] they tore my dress and left me with only my underwear. I have escaped assassinations on many occasions. I have undergone six surgeries because I was poisoned” (Sunday Punch August, 13, 2016).

Muslim apple polishers respond by saying “true” Islam exalts and respects women – an irony that is obviously self-refuting.

Muhammad said: “If I were to order anybody to make prostration to anybody, I would have ordered a woman to prostrate herself before her husband (Miskhat 1:210).

This is a master-slave relationship in which wives are viewed as property owned by the husbands. This is why a Nigerian senator, Shehu Sani, publicly declared his wives as part of his assets! It’s a reflection of the Islamic view of women as objects.

Muhammad said “The woman is a toy, whoever takes her let him care for her (or do not lose her)” (Dar ak-kitab al-Lubnani, 180).

Muhammad’s companion, Umar ibn Khattab, told his wife “You are a toy, if you are needed we will call you” (Al-Musanaf, 1:2:263).

Another caliph, Amru al-Aas, said “women are toys so choose” (Kanz el-Ummal 21:919).

This is why Muslim women who try to ascend the ladder of education or politics are quickly labelled as prostitutes or infidels. After all, who wants a home toy as a leader?

Most Sharia courts consider a woman’s witness to be unreliable. In some, women can’t testify at all since Muhammad has said women are “deficient in intelligence and religion.”

Ibn Kathir commenting on Sura 4:34 says: “‘Because Allah has made one of them excel the other’ this is because men are better than women, and a man is better than a woman. Therefore, prophethood and great kingship were confined to men.”

Under Sharia, men can freely travel but women must be accompanied by a male escort (mahram). Men have the rights to divorce but women don’t. Men can marry from outside Islam, but women are not permitted to cross that line.

Muhammad said that women are “wards” or “prisoners” who are unable to control their emotions, thus men are given authority over them, one of which involves beating (which was recently legalised in Pakistan).

He told the men, “none of you must flog his wife as a slave and then have sexual intercourse with her in the last part of the day” (Mishkat al-Masabih, p. 688). Of course, this is not prohibiting domestic violence, but saying it should be well calculated.

Aisha narrated about one night when Muhammad sneaked out of the house to pray at a graveyard and she quietly followed him from a distance. When he learnt of this, she said, “He struck me on the chest which caused me pain” (Muslim 2:2127).

Sexism in Islam is as clear as the sun.

2. Racial Discrimination

The low view Muhammad and his fellow Arabs had of blacks was hardly hidden.

The narrators of the hadiths went out of their way to emphasize that Muhammad was white-skinned. In fact, Ahmad ibn Sulayman said: “Anyone who says that the Prophet was black should be killed” (Qadi Iyad, Muhammad, 375).

Muhammad said: “I saw (in a dream) a black woman with unkempt hair going out of Medina and settling at Mahai’a. I interpret that as (a symbol of) the epidemic of Medina being transferred to Mahai’a, namely, Al-Juhfa” (Bukhari 9:162).

So in case you dreamt of a black woman approaching your city, pack your bags folks, an epidemic is close!

Muhammad said: “Whoever wants to see Satan let him take a look at Nabtal b. al Harith! He was a sturdy black man with long flowing hair, inflamed eyes and dark ruddy cheek” (Sirat Rasulallah, translated by Alfred Guillaume, 1955, p. 243).

Nabtal had mocked Muhammad’s gullibility to which he responded with Sura 9:61: “those who annoy the apostle of God for them is a painful punishment.” But that’s not all, Nabtal’s dark skin had something to do with Satan. In fact, Allah doesn’t want blacks in his paradise:

“The holy prophet said: Allah created Adam. Then He stroke his right shoulder and took out a white race as if they were seeds, and He stroke his left shoulder and took out a black race as if they were coals. Then He said to those on his right said: Towards paradise and I don’t care. He said to those who were on his left shoulder: Towards hell and I don’t care” (Mishkat 3:117).

This is quite striking considering how black Muslims today are willing to kill and die for this racist.

He says: “You should listen to and obey your ruler even if he was an Ethiopian (black) slave whose head looks like a raisin.” (Bukhari 1:662)

To Muhammad, blacks were not only devils reserved for hell, they are also very low in the pecking order because of their heads. Do you know what raisins look like? They are wrinkled, dark and squishy. This is what Muhammad likened the brain of Africans to.

What else do you think empowered Arab Muslims to enslave blacks for centuries? Muhammad himself had black slaves:

Muhammad “bought him [an Arab slave] for two black slaves” (Muslim 10:3901).

“Rifaa ibn Zayd presented a black slave boy to the Messenger of Allah.” (Muwatta 21:13.25)

Umar narrated: “I came and behold, Allah’s Apostle was staying on a Mashroba (attic room) and a black slave of Allah’s Apostle was at the top of its stairs” (Bukhari 9:91:368).

Aisha said: “Once the Prophet was screening me and I was watching the display of black slaves in the Mosque and (Umar) scolded them” (Bukhari 2:15:103).

Even today, many Arabs still call blacks “Abd” meaning “slave.” In Saudi Arabia, black men are not allowed to hold many government positions.

A Muslim may attempt to dismiss this by quoting: “He is not one of us who calls to tribalism. He is not one of us who fights for the sake of tribalism.” (Abu Dawud, 5102).

This doesn’t even leave the floor. Muhammad espoused both racial bigotry and tribalism. He said elsewhere:

“Among all the people of the world, God chose the Arabs; from among the Arabs, he chose Kinana; from Kinana, he chose Quraish; from the Quraish, he chose Bani Hashim and from Bani Hashim, he chose me” (Ibn Sa’ad, Tabaqat al-Kabir, 1:2).

In other words, a Bangladeshi, Egyptian or Iranian Muslim is still inferior to an Arab Muslim.

Even if you are an Arab, and you are not from the Quraish tribe, you are not there yet. In the farm of Islam, some animals are more equal than others.

3. Antisemitism

Hate against Jews permeates Islamic teachings to such an extent that loving Jews in a rare trait among Muslims. While some early Quranic verses reflect well on Jews, the later ones hold them in utter contempt.

In Sura 4:47 Allah threatens Jews (and Christians) to believe the Quran “before We change the face and fame of some (of you) beyond all recognition, and turn them hindwards, or curse them as We cursed the sabbath breakers…”

The Quran says sabbath-breaking Jews were turned into apes and swines by Allah (2:65; 7:166).

The Saudi Ministry of Education Textbooks for Islamic Studies says Jews “are people of the Sabbath, whose young people God turned into apes, and whose old people God turned to swine to punish them. As cited in Ibn Abbas: The apes are Jews… while the swine are Christian infidels of the communion of Jesus.”

Speaking of the Jews, Muhammad/Allah said: “And humiliation and wretchedness were stamped upon them and they were visited with wrath from Allah” (Sura 2:61).

Sura 98:6 says Jews and Christians are “the worst of creatures.” It is said in the hadith that the phrase “path of those who earn your anger” in the Sura fatiha Muslims recite daily, refers to Jews while “the path of those who go astray” statement refers to Christians (Bukhari 1:12:749).

Sura 5:64 says: “The Jews say: Allah’s hand is tied up. ‘Be their hands be tied up and be accursed for the (blasphemy) they utter … Amongst them we have placed enmity and hatred till the Day of Judgment.”

Muhammad said: “The last hour will not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or tree and a stone or tree would say: Muslim…there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him…” (Muslim 41:6985)

Sayyid Qutb says the Jews “were the main culprits in the conflict that took place between ‘Ali and Mu’awiyah. They led the way in the fabrication of false statements attributed to the Prophet, historical reports and baseless interpretations of Qur’anic statements … [They] have been behind every calamity that has befallen the Muslim communities everywhere.” (In the Shade of the Quran 8; Sura 9)

Yusuf Qaradawi concludes:

“Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler … This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be in the hands of the believers [i.e Muslims]” (MEMRI, Feb. 3, 2009)

This rhetoric, with slight variations, is mouthed by Muslims all around the world.

It has been documented that Hitler’s Mein Kampf and the anti-semitic work, Protocols of the Elders of Zion are best sellers among Muslims – the same folks who rush to the streets to slash throats over a movie that attacks Muhammad.

4. Religious bigotry

Admittedly, Muslims and non-Muslims are not regarded as equal.

Sura 3:110 says Muslims are “the best of peoples, evolved from mankind” while most non-Muslims “are perverted transgressors.” “The vilest of animals in Allah’s sight are those who disbelieve.” (Sura 8:55)

“Verily the unbelievers are najis [filthy]. So let them not come near al-masjid al-Haram [at Mecca] after this year…” (Sura 9:28)

Muhammad Majilesi in his Lightning Bolts against Jews says Jews “should not enter the pool while a Muslim is bathing at the public bath … It would be better if the ruler of the Muslims would establish that all infidels could not move out of their homes on days when it rains or snows because they would make Muslims impure.”

Muhammad also said: “A Muslim is not entitled to inherit from a non-Muslim and a non-Muslim is not entitled to inherit from a Muslim” (Sahih Muslim, 1614).

In Islam, when there is a murder, blood money (Diyyah) is often paid to the victim’s family. The list below shows that of Saudi Arabia:

Muslim man (intentional murder) – SR 400,000

Muslim man (unintentional) – SR 300,000

Muslim woman – SR 150,000

Christian/Jewish man – SR 150,000

Christian woman – SR 75,000

Hindu man – SR 20,000

Hindu woman – SR 10,000

(Source: Steve Jobs, Life in Saudi Arabia, Nov. 16, 2014)

You can see that in Saudi Arabia – the cradle of Islam – your religion and gender determine your worth. The life of a Muslim man is valued 40 times that of a Hindu woman.

A Fatwa (No. 92261), says “a Muslim should not be killed for killing a belligerent non-Muslim according to the consensus of the scholars.”

The witness of a non-Muslim is also regarded as unreliable in the Sharia court since infidels are “inherently dishonest.” Thus, when a Muslim drags a Christian to a Sharia court, he will certainly win that case.

Muslims build mosques all over Western nations but they can’t accept church buildings in their own land.

Under sharia, it’s legal for a Muslim to convert a non-Muslim to Islam, but a serious crime for a Muslim to be converted from Islam. These spring from the Islamic frame of mind that non-Muslims are just animals to be used or killed at will.

5. Dhimmitude

In an Islamic state, Christians and Jews who refuse to convert to Islam have to pay the jizya tax and accept the status of a Dhimmi (humiliation or subjugation).

This is hinted at in Sura 9:29 “Fight [them]… until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

Ibn Kathir explains that “Muslims are not allowed to honor the people of Dhimmah or elevate them above Muslims, for they are miserable, disgraced and humiliated.”

Muhammad said: “Do not greet the Jews and Christians before they greet you and when you meet any of them on the roads, force him to go to the narrowest part of it.” (Muslim 41:6985).

The Pact of Umar with the Christians in Arabia decreed:

“We will wear our customary clothes wherever we are…refrain from erecting crosses on the outside of our churches and demonstrating our books in public, in Muslim fairways and markets.” This is dhimmitude.

As a Dhimmi, you become a second class citizen while Muslims become the master race. They regulate your clothing, employment, trade, housing and conduct.

This is what many Christians and Jews in Sharia-controlled regions are enduring. Failure to pay the Jizya is a crime that can also be punished with death because jizya is the source of livelihood for Muslims.

Thus, non-Muslims literally work themselves to death for Muslims. Isn’t this reminiscent of the apartheid in South Africa?

Islam is a cauldron of hate, bigotry and inequality, whereas the New Testament puts male, female, slave, free, Greek or Jew on equal footing as “one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28)

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Our Final Authority – the Bible or the Church?

The question of final authority is a major difference between Bible Christianity and Catholicism. The former adheres to sola scriptura while the latter to what we call “sola ecclesia” (Church alone).

Sola scriptura teaches that the Bible alone is the final and infallible rule of faith for the church and all other authorities – traditions, church, creeds – are neither equal nor superior to it. This is because the Bible is “God-breathed” and thus carries the highest authority (2 Tim. 2:16). Consequently, teachings, practices or revelations contradicting the Bible are rejected.

“Sola ecclesia” on the other hand, is the belief that the Church, specifically the Magisterium (headed by the Pope), is the final and infallible authority, thus the Catholic Church is the supreme authority on what Scripture and Tradition is and what they say. The Catholic catechism (1:2:85) says:

The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone.”

1. Logically, there can only be one final authority just as there can only be one captain in a ship. We can’t serve two masters (Matt. 6:24). But Catholicism has a “3-legged stool” of authority – Bible, Traditions and the Church. So what happens when these 3 final authorities contradict themselves? Many Catholics often resort to their Church and discard the other two.

2. By choosing their Church as their final authority, Catholics have embraced a fallacious assumption that Rome alone can define the extent and meaning of both the Bible and traditions. But it’s impossible for the Catholic church to be subservient to two authorities that she alone defines and interprets. This results in a cultic loyalty to a religious system for truth and morals.

3. This blind loyalty makes Catholics attack the infallible authority of the Bible. They try to prove sola ecclesia by attacking sola scriptura. This is often done by twisting Bible texts to “prove” that we are to follow the Church (their leaders) and not the Bible alone.

This is a fallacy of circular reasoning because they are appealing to the authority of the Bible as a basis of rejecting its authority. Every Catholic is caught in this trap. He blindly assumes that Rome is right so he either twists the Bible to conform to it or attacks its inerrancy.

4. The prophets of old, the Lord Jesus and His disciples appealed to the Scriptures as their final authority (Jos. 1:8; Ps. 119:15; Mt. 4:10; 15:2-9; Acts 15:15-18; 17:11-12, 1 Cor. 4:6). They didn’t appeal to an institution. Apostle John said “But these things were written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (Jn. 20:31).

All that is needed for Christians to know God’s truth and receive eternal life is written in the Bible. Not partly preserved in Scripture, partly in traditions and majorly in the Magisterium. We are glad God didn’t preserve even elephants that way, leaving us to find their tusks with John, dig up their tails with Tertullian or bring in their bodies from a little town in Italy.

5. Some Catholics claim that the church is the final authority because it is “the pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). One must have a preconceived notion of sola ecclesia to cite this verse.

Even the text differentiates between the church and truth. Just as pillars and foundations support and uphold a thing, the church preaches and upholds the truth, but it doesn’t learn the truth from herself, but from the voice of God speaking in Scripture.

6. Since God has the ultimate authority over all things and has revealed His mind and will in Scripture, only the Bible has the highest authority. This chops off the “3-headed” Cerebus of Rome. Only the Bible is God-breathed, not traditions or the Magisterium.

7. Catholics insist they need their “Spirit-led” church to explain the Bible to them. But Catholic scholar, Raymond Brown, contends:

“Roman Catholics who appeal explicitly to Spirit-guided church are often unaware that their church has seldom, if ever, definitely pronounced on the literal meaning of a passage of Scripture i.e. what an author meant when he wrote it” (Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday Dell Pub., 1997, 31).

For all the maximal authority and “institutional certainty” that Rome brandish, she rarely interprets the Bible. This is like a psychic claiming to have superior foresight while being strangely vague about names, dates and places.

The Holy Spirit who inspired the Bible has been given to every believer to understand it. One doesn’t need to blindly submit to any religious system in order to understand the Bible (1 Cor. 2:12).

8. Catholic apologists argue: “If the ‘Bible alone view’ is the final authority, why is there doctrinal disunity and different Bible interpretations among Protestants?”

To be sure, the Bible is not the cause of this disunity. There will always be differences in people’s understanding and interpretations of an infallible source. Even Catholic apologist, Robert Sungenis agrees:

First, Jesus himself, the infallible, incarnate word of God, did not create unanimous theological ‘unity’ among his hearer. In fact, Jesus was disheartened that so many people argued with him and rejected his message of truth. At many points, his message divided more than it unified. Paul encountered the same opposition, among both Jews and Gentile converts. Hence, it is very short-sighted to suggest that infallibility is the criterion of unity” (Not by Scripture Alone, Queenship Pub., 1997, 285-286)

There are schisms and conflicting views among Catholics – both clergy and laity – on several issues. Furthermore, universalism and inclusivism have also caused many of them to smoothly embrace Eastern/New Age spirituality.

So, if Rome’s Magisterium has failed to unite Catholics, it’s hypocritical for her apologists to fault sola scriptura because of “disunity” among Protestants.

9. History shows that Catholicism is a highly dubious religious system. Many popes (and councils) have erred and contradicted one another. The Magisterium has reversed its stance on critical issues and made up doctrines out of the whole cloth (e.g Mary’s assumption).

Catholicism fits Jesus’ description of the sinking sand which truth-seeking Christians must not put their trust in (Mt. 7:24-27). There is absolutely no meeting point between Bible Christianity and Roman Catholicism on this issue. Every Catholic will have to make a choice: either to follow the inspired Word of God or the words of men.

 

Did Catholicism give us the Bible?

In almost every discussion of sola scriptura, there is a favourite jingle Catholics rehash:

“Since you Protestants hold to sola scriptura, how did you know which books of the Bible were inspired or belonged in it? Did your Bible-only theory provide you with an inspired table of contents? You only knew this by the authority of the Catholic Church. Without the Catholic Church you wouldn’t have the Bible!”

While this argument gives the Catholic a warm, fuzzy feeling, it is faulty on several levels.

1. Catholics misrepresent sola scriptura in order to tear it down. What sola scriptura really says is that inspired Scripture alone is the infallible authority of the church. It doesn’t mean that one cannot appeal to traditions, councils, confessions of faith or church authority.

What Catholics ignorantly attack is solo scriptura which means holding to the Bible alone as authority. This is not the historic, Christian position.

John Maxfield, a church historian, stated that: “Among the sixteenth-century reformers the principle of sola scriptura … meant that scripture was the supreme authority over all other authorities” (Luther’s Lectures on Genesis and the Formation of Evangelical Identity, 2008, 43).

The Westminster Confession of Faith stated: “The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture” (1:10).

The 1561 Belgic Confession, Article 7, The Sufficiency of Scripture says: “Therefore we must not consider human writings – no matter how holy their authors may have been – equal to the divine writings; nor may we put custom nor the majority, nor age, nor the passage of time or persons, nor councils, decrees, or official decisions above the truth of God, for truth is above everything else.”

That Evangelicals appeal to the authority of a tradition or history in the recognition of the canon does not follow that they take it as their ultimate authority.

2. Internal evidence reveal that the New Testament was recognised as inspired right from the time they were written. Apostle Paul, for example, placed Luke’s writings on par with the Old Testament writings when he quoted Luke 10:7 and Deuteronomy 25:4 as “the Scripture says” in 1 Timothy 5:18) Apostle Peter also recognised Paul’s writings as “Scriptures” (2 Pet. 3:15-16).

These inspired writings were directed “to the church of God in Corinth” (1 Cor. 1:2), to be “read in the church of the Laodiceans [Colosse]” (Col. 4:16) and “read unto all the holy brethren” (1 Thess. 5:27). Jesus told John “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches” and this is “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants” (Rev. 1:1, 11).

A scholar reminds us that: “Letters were expensive to produce (on parchment or papyrus), and letters from apostles were rare blessings in a time when local charismatic leadership (1 Corinthians 14). The Colossian church was instructed to read the letter Paul wrote to Laodicea and vice versa (Colossians 4:16). Clearly such letters were deemed valuable and authority” (The Portable Seminary, ed. David Horton, Bethany House, 2006, 46).

The teaching of an apostle of Christ – whether written or oral – was regarded as authoritative and a fundamental criterion of genuineness. The fact that the Scriptures were written to the churches shows they weren’t “made” by the church and the idea that generations of Christians lived and died without knowing what was Scripture until the Roman church came on the scene is a hallowed myth.

3. Early church writings indicate that the NT books had been widely known and accepted among Christians from the first century.

Clement (c. 95 AD) makes references to at least 8 NT books. He wrote to the Corinthian church: “Take up the epistle of the blessed Paul the Apostle. What did he first write to you at the beginning of his preaching? With true inspiration he charged you.” He then refers to the matters in 1 Corinthians 1 (1 Clement 47:1-3).

Justin Martyr (100-180 AD) in his Dialogue with Trypho used the expression “it is written” when quoting from the book of Matthew (XLIX). He quoted from the 4 Gospels, epistles and Revelations.

Polycarp (105 A.D.) mentions 15 NT books, Tatian (110-180) wrote his Diatessaron based on the 4 books of the Gospel; Ignatius of Antioch (115) mentions at least 7 books; Ireneaus (185) mentions 21; Hippolytus mentions 22; Tertullian mentions all NT books except 3 while Origen mentioned all of them.

These men were neither “Roman Catholics” nor “Protestants.”

4. The canon of the NT was recognized from early times. It wasn’t “determined” by a church or council. The Muratorian Canon (170 AD), which was a compilation of books recognized as canonical at that early date by the church included all the NT books except Hebrews, James and one epistle of John.

Many in the early church recognized the canonical books by considering its:

a) Apostolicity – if the author was an apostle or had a connection with an apostle.

b) Acceptance – if accepted by the body of Christians at large.

c) Content – if the book reflects consistency with sound doctrine.

d) Inspiration – if the book reflects the quality of inspiration and bear the evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit (Everett Harrison, Introduction to the New Testament, Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 1964, 103-6).

“In the absence of any official list of the canonical writings of the New Testament, Eusebius finds it simplest to count the roles of his witnesses” (Bruce Metzger, The Canon of the New Testament, Oxford Univ. Press, 1997, 203).

Harry Gamble admits that “in the fifth century a more or less final consensus was reached and shared by the East and West. It is worth noting that no ecumenical council in the ancient church ever ruled for the church as a whole on the question of the contents of the canon” (Lee Donalds and James Sanders, The Canon Debate, 2002, 291).

5. On its website, Catholic Answers said “the canon of the entire Bible was essentially settled around the turn of the fourth century. Up until this time, there was disagreement over the canon … in practice Christians accepted the Catholic Church’s decision in this matter.”

While Catholics assert that the Councils of Hippo (373 AD) and Carthage (397 AD) “essentially settled” the canon of the Bible, this is refuted by Athanasius’ 39th Festal letter of 367 (and the Council of Laodicea in 363) which listed the 27 books of the NT as the only true books. This precedes Hippo and Carthage.

As explained here, the canon defined at these local councils were not the same as the one defined at Trent. Aside that, the councils of Hippo and Carthage never stated that their canon came from the traditions of the apostles or that it was definitive. In fact, Catholic scholars admit that there was no “infallible” listing of the canon before the Council of Trent:

“For the first fifteen centuries of Christianity, no Church Council put forth a definitive list of biblical books” (Joseph Lienhard, The Bible, The Canon and Authority, The Liturgical Press, 1995, 59).

“The Tridentine list or decree was the first infallible and effectually promulgated declaration on the canon of the Holy Scriptures” (H. J. Schroeder, Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, 178).

Going by the Catholic standard, the councils of Hippo and Carthage were local or regional ones, therefore, their canon list weren’t binding on the entire church.

Furthermore, the church of the 4th century was not the Roman Catholic Church. They didn’t believe in papal authority, sacrifice of the Mass, Marian dogmas, auricular confession and other novelties Catholics today believe. Since Roman Catholicism didn’t exist in the first 4 centuries, its boast of giving us the Bible is at best, an empty drum noise.

6. History testifies to the antagonism Catholicism has towards the Bible. For several centuries, Rome kept the Bible from the hands of the people by putting it in Latin only, forbidding translations, literally chaining it to the walls, restricting the people’s literacy and burning those who owned it at the stakes.

The Council of Toulouse (1229) forbade owning or reading a Bible. The Council of Tarragona (1234) forbade reading it in a native language and the 3rd Synod of Oxford made it a heresy crime to have an English Bible.

Why these efforts? Because Catholic leaders knew too well that many of the teachings of Rome oppose the plain teachings of the Bible and the only way they could keep Catholics in lockstep obedience was to take it from their hands.

Today, Catholics are now allowed to have the Bible in their hands and are even told to read it, but Rome still keeps it from their hearts by insisting that only the Church Magisterium can interpret it. At the same time, they undermine confidence in the Bible by touting some parts of it as “fictions” or unreliable “human traditions.”

For example, Catholicism denies that a literal prophet named Jonah was swallowed by a literal fish. Even Karl Keating wrote that “the story of the prophet being swallowed and then disgorged by a ‘great fish’ is merely didactic fiction, a grand tale told to establish a religious point” (Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Ignatius Press, 1988, 129).

Joseph Ratzinger (former pope Benedict XVI) also watered down the inspiration of the book of Genesis by dismissing its creation account for a variant of Graf-Wellhausen hypothesis:

“The moment when creation became a dominant theme occurred during the Babylonian Exile. It was then the account that we have just heard-based, to be sure, on very ancient traditions-assumed its present form” (In the Beginning, Eerdmans, 1995, 10-11).

This rejection of the Bible’s creation account has opened the door wide to evolution within the ranks of Catholicism. For all its brag, Rome can’t still prove who wrote the books of Hebrews, Job, or Esther, instead they pick and choose which they want to accept as inspired as if they are in an ice cream parlour.

In 1955, the Pontifical Biblical Commission granted Catholics the complete freedom to believe Matthew did or did not write Matthew (Raymond Brown, The Birth of the Messiah, 1993, 45-46).

The canon of the Bible is based on its divine inspiration. This inspiration bears witness within the readers who are themselves indwelt by the same Holy Spirit who inspired the writing of Scripture. God gave us the Bible – not a religious system. He used used the Jewish prophets to give us the OT and the apostles of Christ and their associates to give us the NT.

If the Catholic church wasn’t needed to give us the Old Testament, then it was not needed to give us the New either.