Why should we trust this collection of old books? – with Fr. Ray Ryland and Dr. Kenneth Howell

Air Date: March 29, 2014


Today's Topic

“Why should we trust this collections of old books?” - 2 Timothy 3:14-17, 1 Corinthians 11:1-2, 1 Corinthians 15:1-5, 2 Timothy 2:2, 2 Thessalonians 2:25, and 1 Timothy 3:14,15.


Today is another special re-air of a program broadcast on 1/11/2006. We are sharing this program in honor of Fr. Ryland who passed from this life on Thursday, March 20th, 2014.

Fr. Ryland served as a naval officer in World War II before he attended Union Theological Seminary and was subsequently ordained to the ministry. He served for a number of years for the Episcopal Church until in 1963 he was received with his wife Ruth and their 5 children into the Catholic Church. Twenty years later, he was the second Anglican to be ordained a priest in the Catholic Church with a dispensation from the rule of celibacy. Fr. Ryland taught theology at the University of San Diego and the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He served as an assistant at St. Peter’s church in Steubenville, Ohio. Most dearly for us, however, he was the Vice President and Chaplain of the Coming Home Network International since it was formed back in 1993. Fr. Ryland’s conversion story is available in our book Journeys Home available through CHResources, but it is also told in his recently published memoir: Drawn From Shadow’s Into Truth.

Verses & Notes for rebroadcast of January 11, 2006

“Why should we trust this collections of old books?”

1. WHERE DID THE BIBLE COME FROM?

KEY: There was no Bible like we have it for nearly 350 years after death and resurrection of Christ!

1: “The Scriptures” or “writings”:

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

2 Timothy 3:14-17

  1. Oral Tradition

“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you.”

1 Corinthians 11:1,2

Now I would remind you, brethren, in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, by which you are saved, if you hold it fast — unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

1 Corinthians 15:1-5

[W]hat you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

2 Timothy 2:2

  1. Epistles:

“So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.”

2 Thessalonians 2:25

“I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that, if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.”

1 Timothy 3:14,15

  1. Gospels:
  • Earliest quotes from Gospels?
  • 1 Clement & Didache
  • But no direct quotes nor mention of sources; Therefore, could be oral tradition.
  • IRENAEUS, Adv. Haer. 3.1 (quoted by Eusebius, HE 5,8,2): “Now Matthew published among the Hebrews a written gospel also in their own tongue, while Peter and Paul were preaching in Rome and founding the church. But after their death Mark also, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, himself handed down to us in writing the things which were preached by Peter, and Luke also, who was a follower of Paul, put down in a book the gospel which was preached by him.  Then John . . .”
  1. Therefore, at end of 1st century: Letters, Gospels, Revelation, & others.
  2. For 200 years: copied, quoted, transmitted, translated, collected
  3. Lists of Scripture: Wider use of term.
  4. Marcion & Arius: “Scripture alone” heresies!
  5. So, Councils of Rome (382 AD), Hippo (393 AD), Carthage (397 & 419AD) settled Canon of inspired Scripture.