Are Protestant claims regarding Scripture superior?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by jimraboin, Oct 20, 2002.

  1. jimraboin

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    Please bear with me as I ask some seemingly stupid questions. Such as, "How did God write Scripture?" And how can we know it was him writing and not some other? Protestant's need to address these if they wish to have greater claims than any other religion. Catholic institution claims it is the mother of all Scripture. Joseph Smith claims God was the author of the Book of Mormon. Mohammed claims he wrote what God gave him supernaturally. How is Protestant method of inspiration superior to their claims?

    The heart of Protestant argument relys upon a mystical experience in the man which is defined as inspiration. That God so moved upon men so as to in effect literally pen his words through them without error. The trick with this position is not making the claim of inspiration. No. The trick is determining which men are inspired from those that are not. How do Protestant's do this? Determining who exactly can qualify for such inspiration is unclear, ambiguous and subjective. And why would God inspire a certain group of men back then and not continue to do it now? What changed? If Protestant's believe God still is inspiring men today, why are modern writings not Scripture?

    Like I said, seemingly stupid questions.

    Thoughts?

    Jim
     
  2. Helen

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    Let's take a look at the books of the Bible, Jim, and this might be of help: Up to Psalms, we are dealing with history -- thus all that needed to be done was to write down what happened. This was done. Many of the accounts are eyewitness, others probably the work of scribes to the kings or leaders involved, but all were simply writing down what happened.

    Then you have Psalms -- written by several different authors, but mostly David. Songs of joy and hope, of heartbreak and repentance. Songs noting various characteristics of God and the way He has worked in the lives of the authors. Reviews of some of the history of the Israelites. The Psalms are, if you like, responses to God.

    Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon, all presumably written all or in part by Solomon -- the books of wisdom. Proverbs are observations. Ecclesiastes shows how the world looks from the point of view of man's wisdom instead of God's. The Song of Solomon is a magnificent love song which, like Noah's Ark, presents a message about Christ Himself.

    Lamentations is just that.

    Then you have the books of the prophets. These are verified by the fact that the prophecies have been mostly fulfilled now. These books are considered inspired historically by the Jewish people.

    Go to the New Testament. Four gospels, two at least by eyewitnesses (Matthew and John), one by a historian who did research and interviews (Luke), and one by Mark, who may have been related to Peter and writing down what Peter remembered.

    Acts -- history

    the letters of Paul -- declared by Peter to be Scripture at the end of 2 Peter.

    Hebrews -- a letter of explanation and doctrine to the Hebrew people themselves -- an excellent follow-up of Matthew, by the way.

    The other authors: James, Peter, John, Jude -- all eyewitnesses and all writing to help the faith and understanding of those they were talking to.

    And Revelation. From John. you can argue with it if you like, but I'm not about to!

    There you have it. History, responses to God, prophecy, letters.

    What is there to question?
     
  3. jimraboin

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    Hi Helen,

    Not questioning Scripture as much as Protestant proofs. For example, your analysis is entirely different from all Protestant denominational proofs. They use early fathers and Catholic Council's to prove what is Scripture. You use some form if eyewitesses. As do I. But the Protestant claim has not been addressed. It is established via a mystical internal witness of an individual. That is what I question.

    Jude, by the way, was not an eyewitness apostle and as such could not pen Scripture. What he wrote would be on par with commentary...a work that is to be strictly tested against authoritative Scripture.

    But keep those thoughts coming.

    Jim
     
  4. Helen

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    Thanks, Jim.

    The way I figure it, God is in charge of His own Word. He will make sure we have what He wants us to have. Men keep thinking they are in charge of stuff. We aren't... :D

    We have the Scriptures He wants us to have.

    I do reject the Apocrypha however. The Jews themselves rejected the OT stuff as uninspired and the NT stuff simply doesn't jive with the books we know are belonging in the Word. So, in that sense, call me a 'minimalist'! There is value in all kinds of writings, including the Appocrypha, I know, but for what we know is inspired, I'll stick with the 66 books.
     
  5. jimraboin

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    Hi again, Helen.

    Beleive me when I say I am not trying to upset you. I'm not. All religions can make the same claim you did for Protestant 66 books. They all can say that they have the books God has given them. Although this may help you individually reconcile things, it does little to help all the other religions see truth.

    So I am not fighting with you as much as I am trying to get you to see Protestant's have much better proofs than the first four Council's of Catholic institution.

    Sadly, most Protestant's are so wrapped up in their own feelings and internal witness that they are unable to clearly answer this one very reasonable question. Why are their Scriptures superior? We should expect everyone with half a brain would ask this question before entertaining whether he/she should take it to heart.

    Don't get frustrated with me. Just keep pushing until we see eye to eye.

    Blessings,

    Jim
     
  6. weeping prophet

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    To understand why Protestants hold the Holy Bible (Old and New Testaments) ,to be God's revelation of Himself, is the belief in the character of God as revealed in the Bible. If you read the Koran, you will find, that the God revealed in these pages cannot be the same God as revealed in the Bible because He reveals himself in two distinctly different ways. The question then becomes, " Which revelation is true?". Now with the case of the "Book of Morman" it is also a question of God's revelation, of Himself, is He this kind of God, or that one. I will try to illustrate this a little better. I'f I were to ask you,"Describe the Statue of Liberty" and then I asked a Blind man to describe it also, the two different descriptions would probably differ greatly, though only one of you actually saw it. In the same likeness, which description of God is the correct one based on the truth? I believe, it is the God of the Bible, because of His revelation of Himself through His son Christ Jesus. Here we see God as the redeemer of mankind. It is because of the Love of God as revealed to us, by His Son, suffering the death on the cross, justified by His blood, because of the ressurection of Jesus from the dead, by whom we receive the Holy Spirit of God and eternal life, and we receive these things freely ,by believing in the heart, so that His grace may abound. This is the Protestants only hope of seeing God, not through any work on our part, as the God of Islam requires from them that seek forgiveness and eternal life from him. So I hope that this answers at least part of your question.Good question! Blessing, WP
     
  7. jimraboin

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    My point,

    How do you know Protestantism is the man who sees and all others are blind?

    Jim
     
  8. weeping prophet

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    The thing that changed, in my belief, is that the revelation of God was completed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God does still insipire men today, but if the men write something contrary to the completed revelation of God, as it stands in Christ Jesus, then it is proof to me that they had no inspiration. Blessing, WP
     
  9. jimraboin

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    Yes WP,

    But what if men inspired today do write down what God says? Are those inspired words Scripture?

    Jim
     
  10. weeping prophet

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    The man who believes in His heart in the ressurection of the Lord Jesus Christ is the man who sees, by faith, the Love of God in the death of His son. Greater love has no man than this, that to lay down His life for His friends. If the love of God is shown, that He gave His only son for me, I will see it by a heart of faith and even if I am wrong I would want to be His disciple. Bleesings and peace, WP
     
  11. jimraboin

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    Yes...WP,

    But even Catholicism believes in the ressurection of Jesus. For that matter, even devil's believe and tremble. So how does that prove Protestant claims for Scripture are superior?

    Jim
     
  12. weeping prophet

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    The message I have recieved, I recieved it not on my own, but through the written revelation of the Bible,with the guidence of the Spirit. I could really add nothing other than what I have recieved. The difference between my inspiration and the authors of the New Testament is that they were eyewitnesses of things they wrote. I am an eyewitness, of the things they wrote, and have never actually seen the Lord Jesus ,in the flesh, but only with eyes of faith and my faith in the Word of revelation. blessing, WP
     
  13. weeping prophet

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    If Catholicism believes ,in their heart, the ressurection of Jesus, they will be saved. Devils believe, because they have seen. Remember, according to Protestant theology, the promise of eternal life through faith in Christ is not given to the angels. The differences in Catholicism and Protestant theology (or the way in which we interpret the revelation) does not exclude the fact that we both agree on the Truth of the Bible as being the true revelation of God. Blessing, WP
     
  14. jimraboin

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    Hi WP,

    Notice we are not talking about salvation. We are talking about why Protestant claims for Scripture are superior? Please address this.

    And if God is inspiring men today...like Billy Graham, are his books Scripture? Why or why not?

    Jim
     
  15. weeping prophet

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    Jim, I would say they are only superior, if they are true, which I'm sure you would agree. Now to decide what is true, and what is false, can only be done by the person deciding, and even he might decide wrong. I decide that the truth about God is found in the Love of the Lord Jesus Christ. I'f someone were to decide that the truth of God can be found somewhere else, then I would try and convince them of what I have found to be true but I would also tolerate peacefully, their belief. blessing,WP P.S. Billy Graham if you will notice His teaching and preaching, is only a messenger of the message already given to him.
     
  16. Carson Weber

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    Hi Helen,

    You wrote, The way I figure it, God is in charge of His own Word. He will make sure we have what He wants us to have. Men keep thinking they are in charge of stuff. We aren't... We have the Scriptures He wants us to have.

    Well, it was "men" that chunked the Deuterocanonicals out of the Old Testament canon in the Middle Ages; and they weren't Catholics.

    You finish your post with, "I know, but for what we know is inspired, I'll stick with the 66 books."

    Let's be honest before the Lord. You stick to the shorter canon formulated by the authority of Jews after God had come in the flesh and established his Church.

    All sorts of explanations will be given, but we know - both you and I - why you and other Protestants reject the Deuterocanonical texts: you inherited this shorter canon from your Protestant forefathers.

    If you're a Protestant because you were raised as a Protestant or converted in the context of a Protestant community, then you naturally purchase and read a Protestant Bible (e.g. KJV, NIV). You don't go about a historical debate, figuring what books to include in your canon. You simply accept the canon handed to you in faith - faith that this, what you're reading, is God's word. For the most part, the defense and historical analysis comes after the fact of acceptance by faith.

    On February 4, 1442 (75 years before the onset of the Protestant Revolt and 41 years before Luther's birth), the 17th Ecumenical Council of the Church listed the canon of Scripture as including the Deuterocanonicals. 75 years later, they were taken out of the canon by men without authority.

    The seven deuterocanonical books were among those that were sometimes disputed in the history of the Church, but by and large they were accepted by most Christians, as Protestant scholar J.N.D. Kelley of Oxford confirms that the Old Testament "always included, though with varying degrees of recognition, the so-called Apocrypha or deutero-canonical books ... In the first two centuries ... the Church seems to have accepted all, or most of, these additional books as inspired and to have treated them without question as Scripture. Quotations from Wisdom, for example, occur in 1 Clement and Barnabas ... Polycarp cites Tobit, and the Didache cites Ecclesiasticus. Irenaeus refers to Wisdom, the History of Susannah, Bel and the Dragon, and Baruch. The use made of the Apocrypha by Tertullian, Hippolytus, Cyprian and Clement of Alexandria is too frequent for detailed references to be necessary." (J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrine, {New York: Harper & Row, 1960}, 53-4.)

    Marvin Tate, Old Testament professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, writes, "It seems clear that the Protestant position must be judged a failure on historical grounds, insofar as it sought to return to the canon of Jesus and the Apostles. The Apocrypha belongs to this historical heritage of the Church." (Marvin Tate, "Old Testament Apocalyptica and the Old Testament Canon," in Review and Expositor 65, 1968, 353.)

    You're correct Helen. God is in charge of His own Word. And He, through His Church, has preserved His Word and will continue to preserve His Word, which is His and His alone. We have the Scriputures that He wants us to have, and we will not dismantle His Scriptures by taking out what He has written, even if men suggest that we must or should. Christians do not stand over God's word. Christians stand under God's word, receptive and pliable to what He says.

    You may be astounded by discovering and reading about the early Christians' use of Septuagint text in converting Jews, employing passages especially from those texts which you call "Apocryphal" and reject as a child of the Reformation. Here is a passage that was used quite often, which is fulfilled by Christ in Chapter 2 of the Wisdom of Solomon:

    [12] "Let us lie in wait for the righteous man,
    because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions;
    he reproaches us for sins against the law,
    and accuses us of sins against our training.
    [13] He professes to have knowledge of God,
    and calls himself a child of the Lord.
    [14] He became to us a reproof of our thoughts;
    [15] the very sight of him is a burden to us,
    because his manner of life is unlike that of others,
    and his ways are strange.
    [16] We are considered by him as something base,
    and he avoids our ways as unclean;
    he calls the last end of the righteous happy,
    and boasts that God is his father.
    [17] Let us see if his words are true,
    and let us test what will happen at the end of his life;
    [18] for if the righteous man is God's son, he will help him,
    and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries.
    [19] Let us test him with insult and torture,
    that we may find out how gentle he is,
    and make trial of his forbearance.
    [20] Let us condemn him to a shameful death,
    for, according to what he says, he will be protected."

    and from Chapter 5:

    [1] Then the righteous man will stand with great confidence
    in the presence of those who have afflicted him,
    and those who make light of his labors.
    [2] When they see him, they will be shaken with dreadful fear,
    and they will be amazed at his unexpected salvation.
    [3] They will speak to one another in repentance,
    and in anguish of spirit they will groan, and say,
    [4] "This is the man whom we once held in derision
    and made a byword of reproach -- we fools!
    We thought that his life was madness
    and that his end was without honor.
    [5] Why has he been numbered among the sons of God?
    And why is his lot among the saints?

    In fact, the Rabbis of the Pastristic Period referred to the LXX as the "Golden Calf" because it was used so widely by Christians in winning Jewish Converts to a religion that they could only see as idolatry, as man-worship.

    Yours in Christ,

    Carson

    [ October 20, 2002, 02:28 PM: Message edited by: Carson Weber ]
     
  17. Frank

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    Jim:
    I believe the Bible because of evidence. Hebrews 11:1, John 20:30, 31. I believe the writings of those men who had the credentials of inspiration... MIRACULOUS POWER! Mark 16:20, II Cor. 12:12. In Rev. 2:2 some men claimed, as do your Catholic bishops to speak with authority from God. However, those who claim such were tried and found to be LIARS. How were they tried? One thing these false apostles could not do as your Roman Catholic bishops cannot do is to provide EVIDENCE of inspiration. The claim the office does not contain the same credentials as it did in the first century fails to meet the standard of God. If the credentials to hold the office were changed, and it was not, WHO CHANGED IT? AND HOW DO WE KNOW?
    It is the Roman Catholic who needs to answer WHY BELIEVE THOSE WHO HAVE NO CREDENTIALS OF INSPIRATION. I have the inspired word of God proven and confirmed with the miraculous power from Heaven.
    What can the so called successors to the apostles offer as their credentials of inspiration. Is it miraculous power? No. If you claim otherwise, get the Pope or any bishop to meet me at the grave yard and we will see who has the power. He can summon them from the grave; I will tell them to stay in the grave. Then, we will examine the evidence of inspiration and see who are those of Rev 2:2, the LIARS.
    Finally, I believe the Bible because it is harmonious. The events therein contained are verifiable by many witnesses both friendly and hostile, The documents themselves are in complete harmony with one another. There are at least 5,000 copies of the ancient writings of the New Testament alone. This is more thanthe writings of Wiliam Shakespeare and his book Romeo and Juliet. Funny, you will believe Sir William, but not Peter, Paul Luke, etc. These writings are historically and geographically correct. In fact, Luke is said to be, by many sectarians in academia, as the most reliable geographer of his time. Why? He is corrrect in every pronouncement of geography in the entire book of Acts.
    Perhaps, the real question is "Why believe a man who has no inspired credentials?" "Why accept the contradictory teachings of the Roman Catholic Church over the inspired writings of The New Testament?" Mat. 23:8,9, I Tim 3:2, I Tim 4:2, ITim. 3: 1-11, Titus 1:4-9.
     
  18. Carson Weber

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    Hi Frank,

    I don't mean to burst your bubble, but jim isn't Catholic.

    Blessings,

    Carson (your Catholic brother in Christ)
     
  19. Frank

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    Carson:
    I am not Catholic either. [​IMG] However, I can ask questions just as Catholics do of others and of their Catholic brethren. It is immaterial to me as to whether he is Catholic or not. My questions will still remain unanswered by him or those of the Catholic Church.
    Thanks, for the info anyway. He certainly asks the same questions most Catholics make about scripture. I believe you must be teaching him Carson. [​IMG]
     
  20. weeping prophet

    weeping prophet
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    Is there a more complete revelation of God than His son Jesus? If all we had was the writings of the Gospels, would there be a more complete revelation of God? just wondering, WP
     

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