Christianity and how the bible was put together

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Thinkingstuff, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. Thinkingstuff

    Thinkingstuff
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    As I've been studing Church and World history I've come across some issues I would like to discuss.

    Many of you are familiar with this verse in 2nd Timothy.

    From it we learn two things: 1) that it is God breathed and 2) it is useful for the stated things. There is no disagreement on this board about this.

    It mentions all scripture. I ask myself what does Paul mean when he says all? Also in the verse before he says it will make Timothy wise for salvation. Not that it dispences salvation but give an understanding of it. So this being the case what scripture is Paul speaking of? Surely not the NT since it was not written at this point. It doesn't seem that Paul is placing his writing on equal footing with what he considers scriptures.

    Well Daniel says
    So he viewed Jeremiah as scriptures and the writing before his. Jesus says this in Matt:
    at this point Jesus is referring to the OT Daniel includes the prophet Jesus includes both
    So as far as I can tell Paul is speaking of the OT. Then I asked myself well which version of the OT? The LXX or just the selection that was settled by Jews probably at Jamina long after Christ death and resurection. Well NT writers wrote in Greek and their quotes of the OT shows the use of the Greek translation of the OT
    So it seems that Greek translation was more comon and in Pauls case it would make sense being from Tarsis and a Roman and having referred to Greek philosphers. I'm not saying he did not know Hebrew being a pharasee of pharasees I'm certain he did but what was convention at the time. The earliest referrence to greek translation was by Aristobulus living around the 2nd century BC
    I have to continue later but the point is certain that it is reasonable to assume that the LXX version was considered to be authoritative by the apostles and the early christions.
     
  2. Thinkingstuff

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    So when Paul
    it is likely it was from the Greek text translation from Alexandria also when He praised the Bareans
    We may infer that it is very likely that it was this same translation. The next question I ask are which books 39 or 51? Well, Hebrews 11:35 seems to be directly referrencing 2 Macabees 7.
    Well the NT writers do provide one perplexing problem and that is Jude
    Which seem to be taken from 1 Enoch for the first verse and possible the Apocalypse of Moses for the 2nd verse. Then I ask myself again what does Paul mean by All?
     
  3. Thinkingstuff

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    So this then is perplexing to me what Paul meant. The next thing that is perplexing even though all the books of the NT were completed by the end of the 1st century and the begining of the second there isn't an accepted NT accepted in all the churches. It is easy to see that some churches favored different NT writings than others and letters were considered authoritative that are not in our 27 NT books such as Clement, Barnabas, Sheperd of Hermas, etc...It's not till the close of the 3rd century were we get a diffinitive 27 books of the NT as universally accepted by Orthodox churches ( I'm not meaning the Orthodox as in Greek Orthodox I mean right believing churches not heretical.) So this same gospel that we all claim to have believed was spread by primarily preaching. Use of the OT probably the LXX with books not included in the 39 and many letters that were not all offically canon until much later. So, when I see Acts say:
    it seems that the early christian and the apostles were using their interpretation of the OT to relay gospel meaning much like the Jews incorporate oral tradition. So Christian Oral Tradition. Or as other churches (than baptist) a Deposit of Faith translated orally throught the preaching of the Gospel and consideration of "all" the scriptures. But primarily the teachings specified by Jesus to his disciples (BTW Salvete Discipuli!) which in turn passed them on to the leaders (Bishops or episcopates) of the established churches. And we see early on there are three primary centers (metropolis) of Christianity (four if you consider Jersusalem which lost significance) Alexandria, Antioch, and Rome.
     
    #3 Thinkingstuff, Sep 16, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2008
  4. Joseph M. Smith

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    You have a lot going on in these posts, and appear not to be finished as yet. I cannot take the time to respond to every point, but would simply have to say that what I learned in basic church history still holds true: that the Christian movement was stabilized in its early centuries by "church, creed, and canon" -- that is, the formation of a structure (the monarchical episcopate), the formulation of creeds (Nicene, Chalcedonian, etc), and the determination of a list of sacred texts, examined in terms of their inclusion in Jamnia for the OT and the universality of their use and their apparent source in the eyewitnesses to the Incarnation in the case of the NT.

    So we do have to say that while the Bible shaped the church, so also the church shaped the Bible. Not by picking and choosing for convenience' sake, but testing for consistency, provenance, and acceptability.
     
  5. Thinkingstuff

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    Well see that's what's preplexing. Taking what you said into consideration how then would you view beliefs of the reformation with regard to Sole Fide and Scriptura? What authority came first? The Church or the NT? Then which OT the LXX with all its books or just the 39? If I take a stroll down history where do I find the most consistency?
     
  6. Matt Black

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    I think it's fair to say that the Church gave us the NT - by the process of canonisation, but the OT is more problematic. I think however that a stronger case can be made for the inclusion of the DCs (simply by virtue of the LXX being the 'default version' in NT times prior to Jamnia-Javneh) than for their exclusion.
     
  7. Joseph M. Smith

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    I don't know that I see a Sola Fides issue here, in that Luther understood faith to mean fiducia rather than assensus -- that is to say that faith is not placed in Scripture per se, but in Christ Himself. But as for the Sola Scriptura question, the Reformers cannot be said to have been consistent with that principle; otherwise they would have reformed the sacramental and structural elements of the church far more deeply.

    You raise good points, to which there is no easy answer, as again Luther ruminated on the usefulness of some Biblical material (remember his assessment of James as an "epistle of straw"?). Some form of rationalism is beginning to show up, as we might expect at that period of history -- a rationalism that brings personal judgment to bear on even the text of Scripture. Something we still do when, for example, we value a gospel passage as of more value to us that, say, a ritual prescription in Leviticus. A flat Bible, where every passage is given equal value to every other passage, does not pass muster with common sense, does it?
     
  8. Matt Black

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    I think that sola Scriptura may be a bit of a straw man as far as Luther is concerned, since he didn't really believe it himself but in reality subscribed to what we could call suprema Scriptura: he certainly didn't reject Tradition, but where Tradition and Scripture apparently conflicted, Scripture for him won through. Thus he rejected Purgatory and indulgences, for example, not because they weren't explicitly in Scripture but because they were the product of Tradition which was in conflict with Scripture (or at least how he read Scripture); specifically that they were in conflict with the doctrine of sola fide which he believed to be in Romans. (So, incidentally, was James, hence his 'epistle of straw' comment.)
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    I don't think that's fair to say at all. Quite inaccurate in fact. The NT already existed by the time of canonization. The NT was given to us by God. The church merely recognized what God had already inspired.

    The OT is not difficult at all. Even before the time of Christ the OT canon was well known. And the DC was not among them. In fact, the DC was never recognized by the NT church as being part of the canon of Scripture.
     
  10. Matt Black

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    Evidence for your assertions, please.
     
  11. Thinkingstuff

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    I just gave evidence asserting otherwise regarding the OT and the DC. There was a debate in the 3rd century over which books should be canonized from the many authoriative letters being passed from one church to the next some which I have listed previously on this thread. So the NT was not so cut and dry as that.

    JS and Matt I take your points with regard to sola fide and the discussion this far.
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    Church history.
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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    I must have missed this somewhere because all I saw was your assertion that the NT quoted from the LXX (probably true and of no real consequence) and that they cited a DC book (also true). That hardly testifies to the acceptance of the DC unless you are also willing to acknowledge that Epicurius, ancient poets, the books of the Wars of the Lord, the book of Jasher, etc, were also canonical. I don't know of anyone willling to make that argument (though I have learned to not be surprised by anything). The fact is that quotation of a something doesn't make an argument that the source was canonical.

    I didn't say it was cut and dried. There was debate, but the debate was settled by the providence of God so that the canon was settled.
     
  14. Matt Black

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    Specifically? How come for example the Muratorian Canon was not the correct one (and thus apparently not inspired by the HS) but the Canon of the Councils of Carthage and Hippo were? And do you have any evidence pre-Jamnia that the LXX was not used by the Jews?
     
  15. Thinkingstuff

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    I said they were authoritative and what do you think Paul meant by "ALL"? Just the 39? I doubt it based on the evidence I see in the NT itself. I suspect LXX was accepted which includes the DC which would also be accepted especially when you see the ECF quoting from them as well as the evidence straight from the NT.
     
  16. Thinkingstuff

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    Ah here is the point. The Church Settled it. Authority? The Church at that point referred to itself as Catholic or Universal.
     
  17. Matt Black

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    Exactly - who did the 'debating' and 'settling'?
     
  18. Thinkingstuff

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    That is actually a good point. What seems to happen is that there is generally accepted beliefs by all the churches with minor differences (deposit of faith? oral tradition) then the church sees reason to codify and explain the specifics. Which again brings up authority.
     
  19. Pastor Larry

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    The testimony of church history is clear on this. There are specifics all over which have been argued in many sources. I don't have them in front of me, but any basic book on the topic from a solid perspective will provide the information on this.

    The Muratorian Canon was widely recognized to be deficient. The others were not. Again, the testimony of the church settled this matter in the providence of God. But you seem still under the impression that the church somehow determined this as opposed to God determining it. I would urge to consider the relationship between inspiration and canonicity because I think it is a key issue.

    Not sure why I need some. If your argument is that the DC was in the LXX used by the Jews, that really isn't an argument, at least if you know Jewish and Hebrew tradition. The Kethubim was well-defined prior to the time of Christ, and the DC was not in there. The fact that our Bibles might have study notes, or even a table of contents, does not testify that we believe those are the Word of God. Simililyay, the fact that the LXX may have had the DC doesn't testify that they considered it the word of God.
     
  20. Pastor Larry

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    Not sure what exactly you mean by "they" but I presume the DC. But you must realize (or should realize) that the church as a whole has never had that position.

    I am not aware of any NT evidence that he meant anything other than the 39 and the books that were currently in circulation.

    Again, some major failures in argumentation. First, the early church probably did use the LXX though they may have used another translation or version as well. Second, the existence of the DC in a translation does not mean that the people using the translation considered it Scripture. Third, the ECF (and other authors) quote from a number of things that no one considers Scripture. So these types are arguments are unconvincing, to put it mildly.
     

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