Protestants might have the impression that the bible just came to be as if it fell from the sky, in the KJV no less. At the time the New Testament canon was being decided there were approximately 45 gospels and over 400 writings contending in some manner for inclusion as canonical scripture. It was not until 362 AD that St. Athanasius, a leading Church Father, provided a list of books which matches our list of canonical books of the NT. The Church beginning in 382 AD under the instruction of the pope held a series of councils culminating with the Council of Carthage in 397 AD which finalized the canon of the NT. In the end the only books which made it into the canon of scripture where those considered canonical by the Western Church in the city of Rome. Once the pope ratified the council findings the NT canon was accepted by the Church as a whole.
The only reason we have a bible today is because the Catholic Church said so. There were no protestants at these councils none at all. If there were, I invite you to list the names of these Protestants. The Catholic Church did not need the assistance of any Protestants in figuring out the bible; there were no protestants around and history would have to wait for over a millennia for the first protestants to show their face upon this earth. If no bible was available and given the 45 gospels and over 400 epistles and the like to the protestant reformers of the 16th century would be anyone’s guess what they would have come up with. We certainly know that Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelations would not have made it into the NT scripture.
The Fathers of the Church are important because they, in their writings, are a witness to us as to what the apostles taught to them when they preached the faith throughout the known world. It is this faith which the Farther of the Church record in their writings and admonish those considered heterodox. The Fathers of the Church provide a record of the Church of their time of its beliefs, practices and traditions and how the apostles and the Early Church interpreted scripture. It is their writings and theological insights which have guided and shaped the Church’s doctrines and dogmas. The Fathers of the church illustrate to us the organic nature of the development and clarification of doctrine and dogma within the History of the Church which they have shaped.
Christ never asked the apostles to write a book and distribute it but rather preach the Faith as taught to them. Books require an external source of interpretation, no book interprets itself. If Christ gave us a bible, he should have given us an authority to interpret the Bible. He certainly did so with the Jews of the Old Testament, why would he have not done so for Christians of the New Testament? Did he say read it and go and created 40,000 denominations/sects/cults for yourselves? No, he prayed that they all be one. Christ established one Church, and only one Church.
Look at the legal history of the United States and the interpretation of the United States Constitution. Originalism in interpretation of the Constitution means that we look at the original intent and meaning of the text of the constitution, as understood by the Founding Fathers as provided in their writings. This is exactly what the Catholic Church seeks to do in the same manner. The courts (certainly the highest of these –SCOTUS) provides a living voice and a framework which arbitrates and adjudicates contentions in accordance to the constitution and the laws. This is again no different from why the Catholic Church exists as an institution. Without the Judiciary there would be anarchy, and likewise so, without a Church which speaks with authority. This anarchy is evident in Protestantism which has given us 40,000 denominations/sects/cults. The gate is certainly wide which leads to destruction; 40,000 denominations/cults and sects wide.
Where does the idea of the Trinity come from? Certainly it is biblical. But the word nor the conceptual form exists in the scripture. How about Original Sin? These are traditions – the teachings of the Church Fathers which lent assistance to the development of these doctrines. Without the Church Fathers, we would not have the concept of the Trinity nor of Original Sin.