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  • Franciscus Junius

3. THESES ELENCTICAE DE SCRIPTURA SACRA.

Theses Elencticae de Scriptura Sacra


Elenctic Theses on Holy Scripture

Quandoquidem Pontificij, videntes sua dogmata in Scripturis sacris non modò non fundamentum habere, sed etiam eis apertè falsitatis argui, in hoc maximè laborant, vt earum autoritatem & perfectionem eleuantes, commenta sua stabilire possint; aequum est etiam vt nos qui sub Christi vexillo militamus, ad Antichristi regnum euertendum, & Christi firmandum, hoc Dei verbum ab illorum erroribus asserere & vindicare studeamus.

​Since the papists, seeing that their dogmas not only lack foundation in Sacred Scriptures but are also clearly proven false by them, labor most of all in elevating the authority and perfection of their dogmas to confirm their own fictions, it is only fair that we, who fight under the banner of Christ for the overthrow of the kingdom of Antichrist and the establishment of Christ’s kingdom, strive to assert and vindicate this word of God from their errors.

1. VT igitur ad rem accedamus, in tribus praecipuè capitibus errare grauiter Pontificios asserimus, 1. cùm de S. Scripturae authoritate, 2. cùm de interpretatione, 3. cùm de eiusdem perfectione agitur.

1. Therefore, in order that we may approach the matter, we assert that the papists gravely err chiefly concerning three heads: (1) concerning the authority of Holy Scripture, (2) concerning its interpretation, (3) concerning its perfection.

2. Ad authoritatem eius quod attinet, eam palàm profitentur, quoad nos, Ecclesiae testificatione pendêre primariò, ac si ob solius Ecclesiae testimonium nobis pro diuina & canonica esset habenda. Per Ecclesiam autem intelligi volunt non eam quae proximè secuta est tempora Apostolorum, sed suam illam Rom. Hierarchiam, quam Pontifex cum suo clero constituit: imò saepius solum Pontificem, qui est Ecclesiae Rom. velut quaedam epitome.

2. As for its authority, they openly profess that, with respect to us (quoad nos), it primarily depends on the testimony of the Church, as if, for us, the divine and canonical nature of Scripture should be regarded as true solely on account of the testimony of the Church. By the Church, however, they do not wish the one that immediately followed the times of the Apostles to be understood, but their own Roman Hierarchy, which the Pope constitutes with his clergy, and often only the Pope himself, whom they consider as a kind of epitome of the Roman Church.

3. Omissa verò quaestione illa, an Ecclesia Rom. sit vera Ecclesia, statuimus S. Scripturae authoritatem non pendêre propriè, etiam quoad nos, ab Ecclesiae, licet verae, testimonio: sed Deum ipsum diuinam authoritatem omni exceptione maiorem ei indidisse, quam palàm testatus est Ecclesiae suae, sermone, signis, & miraculosis operibus, eàmque priuatim in animis nostris obsignat & confirmat interno Spiritus sui testimonio.

3. However, putting aside the question of whether the Church of Rome is the true Church, we affirm that the authority of Sacred Scripture, even with respect to us (quoad nos), does not properly depend on the testimony of the Church, though it be true, but rather that God himself granted an unexceptionable (omni exceptione maiorem) divine authority to it, as he clearly attested to his Church by speech, signs, and miraculous works, and privately seals and confirms it in our souls through internal testimony of his Spirit.

4. Nobis igitur certò constat hasce Scripturas à Deo prodiisse, & esse verè πνεύστους, tùm ex illarum materia & forma, cùm nihil nisi diuinum materià & formâ in Scriptura deprehendi possit, & libris eius singulis canonicis: tum ex testimonio Dei per spiritum, quod in nobis ipsis habemus, si in Christum credimus, 1. Ioh. 5. 10. Spiritus autem ille nos docet omnia, Ibidem 2. 27. & Ioh. 6. 45. aures nostras aperiens, quò vocem pastoris nostri dignoscere peregrinámque fugere: Iohan. 10. & gustum indens quò diuina ab humanis, vera à falsis, singuli pro modulo nostro diiudicare possimus. 1. Cor. 10. 15. Iohan. 7, 17.

4. Therefore, it is certain to us that these Scriptures have come from God and are truly inspired, both from their matter and form— since nothing but divine matter and form can be found in Scripture, and in each of its canonical books—and also from the testimony of God through the Spirit, which we ourselves have if we believe in Christ (1 John 5:10). This Spirit teaches us all things (1 John 2:27; John 6:45) opening our ears so that we may recognize the voice of our Shepherd and flee from the stranger (John 10[:3-5, 27]), and giving us taste by which we can judge, each according to our measure, the divine from the human, the true from the false (1 Corinthians 10:15, John 7:17).

5. Accedit secundariò Prophetarum & Apostolorum (tanquam publicorum Notariorum Dei, & Ecclesiae) authoritas, qui velut sigillo suo apposito testantur, omnia quae in his scripturis “continentur ipsissimum esse Dei verbum: non qua Ministri Ecclesiae simpliciter, sed qua certissima organa S. Sancti ad hoc munus inde ab vtero sanctificata. Ierem. 1. 5. Quare illorum testimonium, non est humanae rationis, sed diuinae authoritati tribuendum est.

5. Secondary to this divine testimony, comes the authority of the Prophets and Apostles (as public notaries of God and of the Church), who testify with their own seal that everything contained in these Scriptures is the very word of God. They function not as ministers of the Church simply (simpliciter), but as the most certain instruments of the Holy Spirit, sanctified, even from the womb, for this task (Jeremiah 1:5). Therefore, their testimony should be attributed not to human reason but to divine authority.

6. Posteriorem locum obtinet authoritas Ecclesiae, quae inde à principio hunc Canonem per manus posteris tradidit, contestans certitudinem illius, sincerósque & Germanos libros discernens ab adulterinis & supposititiis, ídque pro officio suo in deposito conseruando. Non enim discreuit olim Ecclesia libros Canonicos ab Apocryphis solâ authoritate sua: sed potius diuina authoritate discretos, fide & prudentia, & eá quá pollebat sacrarum rerum intelligentiâ & diiudicatione affirmauit.

​6. The authority of the Church comes in the third place, which from the beginning handed down this Canon to posterity, affirming its certainty and distinguishing the genuine and true books from the adulterated and spurious ones, fulfilling its duty in preserving the deposit. For the Church at that time did not distinguish the Canonical books from the Apocryphal ones solely by its own authority but rather recognized them as divinely set apart and, with faith and prudence, by which she also excelled in the understanding of sacred matters, has averred her decision.

7. Certitudinem ergo aliquam nobis de S. Scriptura non negamus accedere ex Ecclesiae testantis authoritate; sed externam tantùm, non talem quae nos per se sola adducere possit ad credendum. Dei authoritas est primaria & formalis, Ecclesiae verò subordinata & ministerialis.

​7. Therefore, we do not deny that some certainty about Holy Scripture comes to us from the testimony of the Church, but it is merely an of an external sort and not one that can, by itself alone, lead us to believe. The authority of God is primary and formal, while the authority of the Church is subordinate and ministerial.

8. Vocatur quidem Ecclesia 1. Tim. 3. 15. σύλος veritatis: nempe quia Ecclesia est tanquam columna cui adpensam voluit Deus voluntatem suam (quemadmodum olim leges columnis publicis) vt scilicet coram omnium oculis proponatur & innotescat salutaris haec veritas.

​8. The Church is called the “pillar (σύλος) of truth” (1 Timothy 3:15), namely because the Church is like a column on which God desired to hang His will (as laws were at one time hung on public columns), so that this saving truth might be set forth and made known before the eyes of all.

9. Vocatur etiam έδραίωμα, id est, sedile firmum veritatis, quia in Ecclesia velut in throno vel basi sedet, in ea conseruatur & ab hominum corruptelis vindicatur. Haec Dei veritas. Sed hoc nihil facit contra sententiam nostram, cùm in eo debitum officium, & ministerium, non Ecclesiae commendetur authoritas.

​9. It is also called a “foundation,” that is, a firm seat of truth, because in the Church, like a throne or a base, it sits, is preserved, and is protected from human corruptions. This is the truth of God. But this does nothing against our opinion, as it is not the authority of the Church but its proper function and ministry that is commended here.

10. Imò Ecclesiam superstructam esse super fundamentum, id est doctrinam Prophetarum, & Apostolorum, existente imo angulari lapide Christo, asserit Apostolus, Ephes. 2. 20. & ipsam veritatem columnam esse, & firmamentum Ecclesiae, dicere Chrysost. non dubitauit Hom. 11. in 1. ad Timoth.

​10. Indeed, the Apostle asserts that the Church is built upon the foundation, that is the doctrine, of the Prophets and Apostles, with Christ Himself being the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). And Chrysostom did not hesitate to say that the truth itself is the pillar and firmament of the Church (Homily 11, Homilies on 1 Timothy [NPNF-1 13:442]).

11. Primo errore diluto, sequitur secundus qui in interpretatione S. Scripturae consistit. Cùm autem interpretationis duo sint genera, vnum linguae verborúmque, alterum rerum, quae verbis tanquam symbolis exponuntur: in vtroque errare Pontificios demonstraturi sumus.

​11. The first error being weakened, the second follows, which consists in the interpretation of Holy Scripture. However, since there are two kinds of interpretation, one of words and language and another of matters that are expressed through words as symbols, we will demonstrate that the Papists err in both.

12. Ipsi enim (vt de primo agamus) fontes primarios S. Scripturae, Hebraeos quidem V. T. Graecos verò N. respuentes, Latinam suam vulgatam (vt vocant) versionem in publicis lectionibus, disputationibus, praedicationibus, pro authentica haberi volunt; ita vt nemo eam quouis praetextu reijcere audeat aut praesumat. Cùm tamen apud omnes bonos & pios constet, illud magis esse authenticum quod à Deo prodiit & re & modo, quam quod ab humano ingenio, puriorémque esse fontem quam riuulos qui ex eo deriuantur.

​12. For they themselves (regarding the first kind of interpretation) reject the primary sources of Sacred Scripture, namely the Hebrew for the Old Testament and the Greek for the New Testament, awish their own Latin Vulgate version, which they call the “Vulgate,” to be held as authentic in public readings, debates, and preaching, so that no one would dare or presume to reject it under any pretext. what comes more from God in terms of thing and mode is more authentic than what comes from human ingenuity, and that the source is purer than the rivulets flowing from it.

13. Licet igitur versio illa vulgata esset emendatissima & purissima; non debet tamen aequari, nedum anteponi primario illi Canoni, cuius & res & verba à Sp. S. dictata sunt, quíque ideo est ἀναμάρτητος: Cùm è diuerso tralationes reliquae quae ex illo Canone deformantur in alias linguas, iudicio humano probari, emendari, & mutari possint ex fide Canonis primarij, cui omnia tribuimus, quia est prototypus Diuinae veritatis à Deo per Amanuenses suos traditus. Reliquas translationes humani operis, i. imperfecti agnoscimus.

​13. Therefore, even if it were allowed that the Vulgate version were most accurate and purest, it should not be equated with, let alone preferred over, the primary canon, whose content (res) and words are dictated by the Holy Spirit and is therefore “unerring” (ἀναμάρτητος). Since other diverse translations that are formed from that canon into other languages can be evaluated, corrected, and changed by human judgment based on the trustworthiness of the primary canon, to which we ascribe everything because it is the prototype of divine truth delivered by God through His amanuenses, we recognize other translations as human works, that is, imperfect.

14. Etsi nihilominus ex interpretatione humana posse homines assequi quod ad salutem eis sufficiat affirmamus, modò respondeat dignitati authentici fontis secundùm partes essentiales, licet in minutioribus quibusdam non respondeat.

​14. Nonetheless, we affirm that from this human interpretation (translation) men can attain what is sufficient for their salvation, as long as it corresponds to the dignity of the authentic source in its essential parts, even if it may not do so in some minor points.

15. Nec valet quod de antiquitate illius tralationis suae causantur, cùm in hoc ab ipsis fontibus superetur; nec quod de eiusdem puritate, cùm in multis locis sit corruptissima: nec denique quod asserunt necesse esse vt ad dirimendas in Religione controuersias sit quaedam absolutè sine exceptione vllâ authentica editio, cui tutò stare Ecclesia possit; cùm ipsum Canonem primarium habeamus, ad quem in locis controuersis securè possumus confugere.

​15. Nor do their claims about the antiquity of their translation hold, since it is surpassed by the very sources themselves; nor does their assertion of its purity hold, since it is very corrupt in many places; nor, finally, does their assertion that there must be an absolutely unexceptionable authentic edition to resolve religious controversies, so that the Church can stand firm, hold, as we have the primary canon to which we can safely resort in controversial matters (locis).

16. Nam quod ad Concilij Tridentini decretum attinet, illius authoritatem parui facimus, vt & conciliorum omnium, quae sine Dei verbo quicquam audent de fide in Ecclesia Dei decernere.

​16. As for the decree of the Council of Trent, we ascribe very little authority to it, just as we do in the case of all councils that dare to decree anything concerning faith in the Church of God without the word of God.

17. Huius prioris membri appendix est interdictum illud, quo negant populo lectionem Scripturae S. linguâ vernaculâ, ne scilicet possit animaduertere quàm miserè in errore ab illis detineatur: cùm tamen sub V. T. Deus voluerit leges & statuta sua quotannis legi publicè coram viris, mulieribus, paruulis, seruis, & peregrinis ipsis: Deut. 31. 12 & Nehem. 8. 3. & Christus iubeat vt Scripturas scrutemur in quibus vita nostra consistit: Ioh. 5. 39. Deut. 32. 47. Apostolúsque velit, vt verbum Dei habitet copiosè in cordibus nostris, Col. 3. 16. quo velut gladio quisque fidelis debeat Satanae obsistere. Eph. 6. 17.

​17. A supplement to this prior section concerns their prohibition by which they deny the reading of Holy Scripture to the people in the vernacular language, so that they may not perceive how miserably they are detained in error by them. However, under the Old Testament, God willed His laws and statutes to be read annually in public before men, women, children, slaves, and even foreigners (Deuteronomy 31:12; Nehemiah 8:3), and Christ commands us to search the Scriptures in which our life consists (John 5:39; Deuteronomy 32:47). The Apostle also desires the word of God to dwell richly in our hearts (Col. 3:16), by which each of the faithful may resist Satan, as with a sword (Ephesians 6:17).

18. Nec aliquid faciunt quum dicunt, 1. Non committendam Scripturam indoctis, cùm doctrina sit quae doctos faciat, imò sub N. T. ipso Bellarmino teste, etiam rustici & mulieres intelligant mysteria Redemptionis. De verbo Dei, l. 3. c. 2. in argum. 9.

​18. Nor do they do anything when they say, “Scripture should not be entrusted to the unlearned,” when it is the very teaching that makes one learned. Indeed, according to Bellarmine himself, under the New Testament, even the unlearned and women understand the mysteries of redemption. (Bellarmine, “De Verbo Dei,” III.ii, Argumentum nona, in De controversiis christianae fidei adversus hujus temporis haereticos; Opera omnia, (Neapoli : J. Giuliano), 1:100)

19. Secundò, Scripturae lectionem gignere haereses, cùm id fiat per accidens. Caussa enim proxima quae haereses peperit, hominum vitiositas & caecitas in rebus diuinis. Non esse autem impediendum commodum bonorum si qui abutantur bono, & Scriptura docet, & apud omnes pro confesso est. Apoc. 22. 10.

​19. Secondly, they claim that the reading of Scripture generates heresies, when this happens only incidentally (per accidens). For the proximate cause that begets heresies is the vice and blindness of men in divine things. However, the advantage of a good should not be impeded if some abuse the good, and Scripture teaches this, and it is confessed by all. (Revelation 22:10).

20. Tertiò Scripturam esse obscuram, cùm contra & sit in sese clarissima, & illustret oculos. Si quae obscura videantur, id fit vitio aut caecitatis nostrae aut infirmitatis, quia in tantum capimus in quantum illuminati sumus, hoc est inchoatione & ex parte. 1. Cor. 13. 12.

​20. Thirdly, they say that Scripture is obscure, when, to the contrary, it is very clear in itself and enlightens the eyes. If some parts seem obscure, it is due to fault or blindness on our part, because we comprehend only to the extent that we are enlightened, that is, inchoately and in part (1 Corinthians 13:12).

21. Nec solùm in verborum sed in rerum etiam interpretatione errant Pontificij, qui statuentes non posse ex Scripturis dirimi controuersias, nisi de authentico illarum sensu constet nobis: hunc solum verum esse Scripturae sensum asserunt quem Pontifex Romanus cum Concilio tradiderit & calculo suo probauerit.

​21. The papists err only in the interpretation of words but also in the interpretation of matters, who assert that controversies cannot be resolved from the Scriptures unless the authentic sense of those Scriptures is decided for us. And only this sense of Scripture is affirmed to be true: that which the Roman Pontiff hands down with a council and approves by his own judgment.

​22. Nos verò asserimus omnia fidei dogmata, quae ad salutem necessaria sunt, clarè & perspicuè in Scripturis proponi & ex locis posse erui quorum sensus per se sit facilis, & cuilibet obuius, nisi fortè iis quibus princeps huius seculi excaecauit oculos ut non obtemperent veritati. 2. Cor. 4. 4.

​22. But we, however, affirm that all the dogmas of faith which are necessary for salvation are clearly and perspicuously set forth in the Scriptures, and can be drawn from passages, the sense of which is easy by itself and obvious to anyone, except perhaps to those whose eyes the ruler of this age has blinded, so that they do not obey the truth. 2 Cor. 4:4.

23. Etsi autem fatemur necessariam esse Scripturae interpretationem in Ecclesia Dei, vt mysteriorum quae nobis (f. 1600.) in illa exhibentur accuratiorem intelligentiam assequi possimus: tamen negamus hoc ius pertinere ad solam Rom. Ecclesiam, sed ad quemlibet verum Ecclesiae Pastorem vocatione publicâ instructum publicè, interpretari inquam Scripturas non ex sensu suo, & pro arbitrio, Nehem. 8. 9. sed ex ipsa scriptura iuxta fidei analogiam, siue loci faciles & clari ad obscuriorum dilucidationem adferantur, siue ipse locus ex suis circumstantiis & authoris scopo exponatur.

​23. And although we admit that the interpretation of Scripture is necessary in the Church of God, so that we may attain a more accurate understanding of the mysteries which are exhibited to us therein, we deny that this right belongs to the Roman Church alone, but rather to any true Pastor of the Church, publicly called and instructed, to interpret the Scriptures, not according to his own sense and discretion (Nehemiah 8:9), but by Scripture itself, according to the analogy of faith, whether easy and clear passages are brought forward for the elucidation of more obscure ones, or whether the passage itself is expounded according to its circumstances and the intention of the author.

24. Nec solùm hoc, sed etiam statuimus singulos pios modulo suo & dimenso gratiae Christi, posse priuatim Scripturam interpretari, & locos comparare ad veritatem inuestigandam; imò pastoris sui interpretationem examinare ad lydium lapidem S. Scripturae. Act. 17. 11. tanquam oues Christi discernentes pabulum ipsius ex communi sensu & gustu fidei in ipsis, sic vt fide veritatis diuinae non specie authoritatis humanae singuli acquiescant.

​24. Not only this, but we also affirm that individual believers, according to their capacity and the measure of the grace of Christ, can privately interpret Scripture and compare passages for the sake of investigating the truth, even to examine their pastor's interpretation by the touchstone of Holy Scripture (Acts 17:11) as Christ’s sheep, discerning His nourishment from the common sense and taste of faith in themselves, so that, in the same way, they yield to the faith in the divine truth, not one by one to the appearance of human authority.

25. Ambiguam esse Scripturam S. clamitant, ita vt varios sensus sibi inuicem in specie repugnantes possit admittere idéoque ab haereticis ipsis adduci ad errorum suorum confirmationem. Nos verò respondemus Scripturam nullo modo esse ambiguam, sed indoctos parúmque stabiles sibi nouos sensus affingere, scripturásque detorquere, suo ipsorum iudicio. 2. Pet. 3. 13. Nec mirum si haeretici scripturis abutantur, cùm Satan ipse illis voluerit oppugnare: sed gladio ipsius verbi Dei nos posse & debere illum expugnare Christus author est: qui iisdem armis ipsum profligauerit. Matth. 4.

​25. They loudly proclaim that Holy Scripture is ambiguous, such that it can admit various senses that are repugnant to one another in specific instances, and therefore it can be adduced by the heretics themselves for the confirmation of their errors. However, we answer that the Scripture is in no way ambiguous, but the unlearned and unstable invent new meanings for themselves and distort the Scriptures to their own judgment (2 Peter 3:13). It is not surprising that heretics abuse the Scriptures, since Satan himself wishes to assail them, but we can and should defeat Satan with the very sword of God’s word of which Christ is the author, and by the same weapons, with which He defeated him (Matthew 4).

26. Non ergo ambiguitas Scripturae, sed ipsorum caecitas malitiosa aut caeca est cur Euangelium sit illis odor mortis ad mortem, 2. Cor. 2. 16. quod tamen potentia Dei est ad salutem omni credenti. Rom. 1. 16.

​26. Therefore, it is not the ambiguity of Scripture but their malicious blindness or darkness which is the reason why the Gospel is to them the odor of death unto death (2 Cor. 2:16) which, nevertheless, is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe (Romans 1:16).

27. Nec facit quod afferunt, nisi quis sit iudex supremus cuius interpretationi standum sit, & qui possit cogere pro imperio, numquam finem habituras haereses, cùm hoc non sit vnquam futurum in hoc mundo, vt omnes haereses tollantur. 1. Cor. 11. 15. Adde quod Sp. S. in scriptura (quem supremum iudicem asserimus,) cogit quidem sancta violentiâ, sed interno motu conscientias, vt agnitae veritati obsequantur ex fide, idque in iis solùm in quibus cùm efficacia operatur. Externa autem coactione posse adduci conscientias ut credant, negamus, cùm fides pendeat non ab humana authoritate, sed à Deo, Eph. 2. 8. in cuius manu sunt hominum corda; quíque potest ea quò vult inclinare. Prou. 21. 1.

27. Nor does what they claim hold true, for unless there is a supreme judge whose interpretation must be adhered to, and who can compel by authority, heresies will never have an end, since this will never happen in this world, namely, that all heresies are eradicated (1 Corinthians 11:15). Furthermore, the Holy Spirit acts with holy violence in the Scripture (which we assert to be the supreme judge), but he works within consciences, so that they obey the acknowledged truth by faith, and this is only the case where it operates efficaciously. However, we deny that consciences can be compelled by external force to believe, since faith depends not on human authority but on God (Ephesians 2:8), in whose hands the hearts of men lie, and He can incline them whithersoever He wills (Proverbs 21:1).


28. Volunt aduersarij nostri Pontificem suum non tantùm Petro, sed etiam Mosi successisse saltem in officij gradu, vt sit ipse summus in Ecclesia Dei iudex, qualis erat Moses in populo Israëlitico. Verùm, Mosis vocationem fuisse extraordinariam & immediatè à Deo respondemus, Pontificis verò Rom. (vt hoc ci demus) mediatam, & ordinariam. Aaronis quidem vocatio erat ordinaria, sed legalis, & typica, nec ad Euangelij tempora pertinéns. Deut. 17. 11. Num. 15. Adde quod & Moses & summi Sacerdotes non pro arbitrio absolutè iudicabant, sed ex lege Dei. Vbi autem non erat lex, aut non animaduertebatur, Deum ipsum consulebant, qui responsa dabat.

28. Our adversaries wish to assert that their Pontiff not only succeeded Peter but also from Moses, at least in the degree of office, so that he himself may be the highest judge in the Church of God, just as Moses was among the people of Israel. However, we respond that the vocation of Moses was extraordinary and immediately from God, but the vocation of the Roman Pontiff (if we grant this) is mediate and ordinary. Indeed, the vocation of Aaron was ordinary but legal and typical, not extending to the times of the Gospel (Deuteronomy 17:11, Numbers 15). Furthermore, both Moses and the high priests did not judge by absolute choice but according to the law of God. When there was no law or notice thereof, they consulted God Himself, who provided answers to them.

29. Petrum verò fuisse summum Iudicem controuersiarum in Ecclesia Dei, & Petro hac in re successisse Rom. Pontificem, vtrumque negamus, cùm nihil eiusmodi doceat Scriptura, nec aliunde probari possit.

29. But we deny both that Peter was the highest judge of controversies in the Church of God and that the Roman Pontiff succeeded Peter in this matter, since the Scripture teaches nothing of the sort, nor can it be proven from any other source.

30. Sed iam tempus est vt ad Tertium caput accedamus, quo ímperfectionis & (vt ita dicamus) insufficientiae Scripturam arguentes, ei volunt tùm traditiones quas uerbi non scripti nomine donarunt, assuere, de quibus posteà; tùm libros quos semper Ecclesia vocauit Apocryphos (ὅτι ἀπῆσαν ἀπὸ τῆς ἁγίας κρύπτης, à sancto illo thesauro Dei) pro Canonicis obtrudere, vt scilicet possint ex illis aliquid decerpere ad suos errores fulciendos.

30. But now it is time we proceed to the third point, in which they, asserting the imperfection and (so to speak) the insufficiency of Scripture, adding not only the traditions which they have given the name of unwritten word, about which we will speak later, but also forcing upon us the books which the Church has always called Apocryphal (since they were separated from the holy crypt, from that sacred treasury of God) as canonical, so that they might gather something from them to support their own errors.

31. Sed illi ipsi libri sese satis arguunt, & non esse θεοπνεύσους testantur, cùm longè absint à diuina illa perfectione veritatis, & maiestate, quae in verè diuinis scriptis elucet; multáque in illis nec Scripturae sacrae respondentia, nec bene inter se consonantia reperiantur.

31. But those very books themselves argue sufficiently, and they testify that they are not inspired (θεοπνεύσους), since they are far from that divine perfection of truth and majesty which shines in truly divine writings; and many things in them are found neither corresponding to the Holy Scriptures nor harmonious among themselves.

32. Adde quod nec linguâ Propheticâ, stilóque diuino scripti, nec authoritate diuina Ecclesiae dati, & sanctificati, nec à Iudaeorum Ecclesia agniti in Hebraeo canone, nec à Christo & Apostolis, qui nulla inde testimonia vt ex verè θεοπνεύσοις libris hauserunt, ad veritatem doctrinae suae demonstrandam.

32. In addition to this, they were neither of the prophetic language, nor written in the divine style, nor given by divine authority and sanctified by the divine Church, nor acknowledged in the Hebrew canon of the Jewish Church, nor cited by Christ and the Apostles, who drew no testimonies from them as from truly inspired (θεοπνεύσοις) books, to demonstrate the truth of their own doctrine.

33. Obijciunt Pontificij decreta quaedam Conciliorum, sed vt in quibus praefuerit non Spiritus Christi, sed hominum, non ex verbo Dei, sed contra verbum Dei sancita sunt dogmata. Probandum igitur illis foret, haec sua vera esse concilia; deinde omnia quae legitima Concilia decernunt, sine controuersia & diiudicatione esse recipienda: Quod negamus.

33. The papists present certain decrees of Councils, but not councils in which the Spirit of Christ presided, but rather councils of men; their dogmas were sanctioned, not by the word of God, but against the word of God. Therefore, it would need to be proven that these councils of theirs are true; then also, that all things which legitimate councils decree should be received without controversy and judgment—which we deny.

34. Patres quidem fatemur hausisse quaedam ex illis libris, sed ad mores informandos, non ad fidem confirmandam; ídque; non vt ex Canonicis, sed vt ex Ecclesiasticis scriptis. Hoc igitur ad rem nihil facit, cùm Apostolus ipse citet versus ex prophanis authoribus. Act. 17. 28. Tit. 1. 18. quorum tamen libri ideò Canonici non habentur.

34. Indeed, we acknowledge that the Fathers drew certain things from those books, but for the purpose of shaping morals, not for confirming faith; and that too, not as from canonical writings, but as from ecclesiastical writings. Therefore, this argument contributes nothing to the thing under dispute, since even the Apostle himself cites verses from secular authors (Acts 17:28; Titus 1:18) and yet those books are not considered canonical.

35. Vocant etiam Patres aliquando libros illos sacros, imo Canonicos, sed aequiuocè & comparatè ad reliqua humana scripta, non autem propriè & vniuocè, vt libri Prophetici & Apostolici: quos ipsi πρωτοκανονικούς, alios δευτεροκανονικούς nuncupare solent, vt quibus proximus post Canonicos inter humana scripta debeatur locus: quem etiam illis libenter concedimus, sed pari gradu cum Canonicis recipiendos negamus.

35. The Fathers sometimes call those books sacred, even canonical, but in an equivocal and comparative sense compared to other human writings, and not in a proper and univocal sense as in the case of the prophetic and apostolic books. They themselves are accustomed to call the apocyphal books “proto-canonical” and the others as “deutero-canonical,” placing them in a position just after the canonical books among human writings. We willingly grant them this position, but we deny that they should be received on an equal level with the canonical books.


36. Ad Traditiones verò quod attinet, notandum est hîc agi de traditionibus quae ad fidem & mores pertinent, nec fundamentum habent in Scriptura seu directè, siue ex iusta consequentia: Quas tamen volunt Pontificij pari pietatis gradu & religione à nobis recipi & coli ac ea quae expressè docentur in verbo Dei.

36. As for traditions, however, it should be noted that here we are dealing with traditions related to faith and morals that have no foundation in Scripture, either directly or by just consequence. Nevertheless, the Papists wish these traditions to be received and honored by us with an equal degree of piety and reverence as that given to those things that are expressly taught in the Word of God.


37. Nos autem asserimus ea omnia quae nobis credenda & facienda sunt ad salutem, perfectè in sacris Scripturis contineri, vt in quibus planè voluntatem suam nobis reuelauerit Deus, quae nos possint sapientes reddere ad salutem, 2. Tim. 3. 15. & extra quas non sit fideli sapiendum. 1. Cor. 4. 6. Stat enim sententia, si quis ex Apostolis vel Angelis aliquid euangelizauerit praeter id quod accepimus, hunc esse Anathema, Gal. 1. 18.

37. We assert that everything we must believe and do for our salvation is perfectly contained in the Holy Scriptures, in which God has clearly revealed His will to us, which can make us wise unto salvation (2 Timothy 3:15), and beyond which faithful believers should not speculate (1 Corinthians 4:6). For this judgement stands: if anyone, even an Apostle or an Angel, preaches anything contrary to what we have received, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:18).

38. Fatemur quidem Apostolos non omnia numero scripsisse, tùm quae Christus fecit & dixit, Ioh. 20. 30. tùm quae ipsi praedicauerunt: (omnia enim singula mundus ipse ferre non potuisset, nedum capere,) sed eadem ratione, omnia tum vniuersalia & communia quae Deus reuelauit, tùm ex particularibus quaecunque ad salutem scire expedit, perfectè in Scripturis nobis exhibuisse asserimus, sigillatim quidem quae ad fidem & mores spectant. Ritualium verò legem generalem dedisse, vt omnia fiant εὐσχημόνως καὶ κατὰ τάξιν. I. Cor. 14. 40.

38. We indeed acknowledge that the Apostles did not write down each and everything, either of what Christ did and said (John 20:30) or what they themselves preached (for the whole world itself could not bear all the books, much less contain them). However, for the same reason, we affirm that God has perfectly presented to us in the Scriptures all things, both universal and common, which He has revealed, as well as whatever is necessary to know for salvation, particularly those things that pertain to faith and morals. As for the general law of rituals, the Apostles gave it: so that all things should be done decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40).


39. Traditiones ergo omnes, siue quae Apostolicae, siue quae Ecclesiasticae nuncupantur, si conueniant cum scriptura admittimus, si dissentiant reiicimus, si neutrum liberas relinquimus: vt verbi gratia B. Mariam semper mansisse virginem, ante partum quidem, credimus ex Scriptura. Matth. 1. 25. post partum verò tenemus non vt dogma fidei, sed vt assensione dignum.

​39. Therefore, we admit all traditions, whether called Apostolic or Ecclesiastical, if they agree with Scripture; if they disagree, we reject them; and if they neither agree nor disagree, we leave them as optional (liberas). For example, that Blessed Mary always remained a virgin before giving birth, we believe from Scripture (Matthew 1:25), but as to remaining a virgin after giving birth, we hold this not as a dogma of faith but as something worthy of assent.

40. Itaque frustra laborant Pontificij vt probent, verbum non scriptum eiusdem esse authoritatis cum verbo scripto, quandoquidem vnus est vtriusque author: cùm priùs fuisset probandum esse aliquod eiusmodi verbum non scriptum, & quaedam credenda praeter ea quae continentur in Scripturis: quod negamus.

​40. Therefore, the papists labor in vain to prove that the unwritten word has the same authority as the written word, since the author of both is one. For they must first prove that such an unwritten word exists and that some things must be believed apart from what is contained in Scripture, which we deny.

41. Ecclesiam dicunt errare non posse, ideóque statuta Ecclesiastica esse admittenda: sed negamus Ecclesiam non posse errare, cùm constet ex hominibus ex parte tantum regeneratis. Imò licet daremus Ecclesiam veram non posse errare, negamus tamen sequi eam aliquid posse statuere praeter ea quae in Scriptura continentur: cum Apostolis ipsis (quos falli in doctrina non potuisse apud omnes pro confesso est,) Galat. 1. Paulus fortiter neget licuisse quicquam docere in Ecclesia praeter ea quae à Christo acceperant.

​41. They say that the Church cannot err and, therefore, ecclesiastical statutes must be accepted, but we deny that the Church cannot err, as it consists of humans who are only partially regenerated. Moreover, even if we were to grant that the true Church cannot err, we still deny that it can determine anything beyond what is contained in Scripture, for, with the Apostles themselves (of whom it is universally confessed that they could not err in doctrine) Paul emphatically denies that anything could be taught in the Church beyond what they received from Christ (Galatians 1[:8-9]).

42. Scripturam igitur esse adaequatam regulam fidei nostrae, esse lydium lapidem ad quem omnia probanda, vt quod bonum est retincamus: non licere vlli creaturae quicquam de ea detrahere, aut ei adiicere, concludimus & constanter asserimus. Deut. 4. 2. Apoc. 22. 18.

​42. Therefore, Scripture is an adequate rule of our faith, and is the touchstone (lydium lapidem) against which all things must be tested so that we may retain what is good. we conclude and resolutely assert that it is not allowed for any creature to detract from it or add to it (Deuteronomy 4:2; Revelation 22:18).


(Junius) 3. THESES ELENCTICAE DE SCRIPTVRA SACRA
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