Campion does not seem to recognize that the NT was affirmed as inspired and inerrent by the early church by their handling and recognition alone as revealed by their writing and referencing.
Where in this did I say "cannon"?
You may apply whatever test you like but I did not mean to imply they recognised our current cannon. Rather I said that by their handling and recognition alone the NT (I really meant "most of the current NT") is affirmed by the early church.
Clement of Rome (AD 90's) clearly was aware of the four Gospels as well as most of the Epistles of Paul as far as his writings are concerned. He also shows an awareness of Hebrews as well as 1 Peter, Acts, and James.
Ignatius of Antioch (Martyred about AD 110 under Trajan) was quite familliar with Matthew, John, & Luke. He also seemed very familliar with most of the Pauline Epistles.
Polycarp of Smyrna (early 2nd century) also was quite aware of much of what is currently known as the NT and in one instance asserts the term "Scripiture" (graphe) to a portion from the Epistle to the Ephesians (specifically Ephesians 4:26 - see Bruce Metzger, The Cannon of the New Testament, pg.62).
I will assert that I mistakenly said in my quote above "was affirmed as inspired and inerrent"
when I should've said, "was affirmed as authoritative"
. As noted by Metzger in the work cited above,
...the Scriptures, according to the early Fathers, are indeed inspired, but that is not the reason they are authoritative. They are authoritative, and hence cannonical, because they are the extant literary deposit of the direct and indirect apostolic witness on which the later witness of the Church depends (page 256).
Milton Fisher wrote a chapter titled: The Cannon of the New Testament
in a book titled: The Origin of the Bible
edited by Phillip W. Comfort which states,
Tertullian, an outstanding Christian writer in the first two decades of the third century, was one of the first to call the Christian Scriptures the "New Testament." That title had appeared earlier (c.190) in a composition against Montanism, the author of which is unknown. This is signifigant. Its use placed the New Testament Scripture on a level of inspiration and authority with the Old Testament.
From available information, the gradual process which led to full and formal public recognition of a fixed canon of the twenty-seven books comprising the New Testament takes us down into the fourth century of our era. This does not necessarily mean that these Scriptures were lacking recognition in their entirety before that time, but that a need for officially defining the canon was not pressing until then.....The fact that Tertullian is credited by some to be the first to define the Trinity clearly is not taken to mean that the doctrine of the triune God came into existence at that point in history or that the Bible did not contain that truth. Just so, the New Testament was actually completed with the writing of its final portion... (pages 66-67)
Are you implying you have a canonical list of books the New Testament should contain written by an Apostle?
No. I am implying that your theological arguments place a higher value upon traditions of men handed down within the Catholic Church than they do the actual writings
of the Apostles that the Catholic Church recognizes. As a matter of fact, one of your arguments in another thread say that those very writings gain validity from the church rather than from the God who inspired them.
As you stated HERE
It was the Church who decided which books were the inspired ones and which were not. It is the Church which authenticates for us the Word of God.
As I pointed out in that thread, This is faulty thinking IMO. God is the agent of the message and not the "body" which determines that message to be acceptable. The only absolute confirming element of scripture is the Holy Spirit Himself. To quote the Westminster confession:
We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture. And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts (Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 1, Paragraph 5.)
Many of the Catholic traditions handed down I firmly agree with like the Deity of Christ, the Triune God, the virgin birth of Christ and other theological truths. I agree NOT
because they were recognised by the Catholic Church but rather because the Holy Scriptures attest to them. Many Catholic traditions I reject because they are themselves opposed to the Scriptures like the perpetual (remained a virgin after the birth of Jesus) virginity of Mary, that James the Just & Jude were not actual brothers of Jesus, and other distortions of revealed Biblical truth.
I'm quite sure that in the area of inspiration, authority, and infallibility of the canon as well as the make-up of the canon itself we will continue to disagree.