Confused, did the early christians accept the non-canonized books?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by xdisciplex, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. xdisciplex

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    I heard that the early christians all accepted the Septuagint which also contained all those books which are not accepted today anymore and which can only be found in the catholic bible. Is this true?
    If they accepted them back then why are they not accepted anymore today? If God controlled this whole canonization then why did he first of all allow mistakes which were later on corrected? Somehow it's really not easy to simply have this blind faith and to think that the bible as we have it today is 100% correct when the first christians were using a different bible. :confused:
     
  2. El_Guero

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    A good local pastor would answer this for you reallllllllll quick.

    What city?
     
  3. Taufgesinnter

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    That's true

    Until the 1500s, all Christians accepted the OT of the apostles and early church, the Greek translation called the Septuagint (LXX). If you'd like to read the books that Protestants eventually cut out of the Bible, just pick up a copy of the 1611 King James Version--they're in there. There are a couple of publishers that have the 1611 KJV in print--one that's inexpensive is printed by Thomas Nelson. There's a wonderful prophecy of Jesus' atoning death in one of the books.

    Regards,
    Tauf (not Catholic)
     
  4. Joseph M. Smith

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    Protestant churches generally (the Episcopal Church is an exception) use only the Old Testament books as listed by the rabbis gathered at Jamnia ca. 90 AD. This council was called by Jewish leaders to clarify a list of canonical writings in order to defend Judaism against the claims of Christianity.

    One can certainly affirm divine leadership for the decision to limit the Old Testament to those books, as the extracanonical books add nothing doctrinally to them, and in some cases are a bit on the fanciful side.
     
  5. Darron Steele

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    Yes, the ancient Greek translation known as the Septuagint did indeed include books that are not Scripture, but no the earliest leaders of the church did not accept them as Scripture.

    When in discussions involving Catholics or that could involve Catholics, I sometimes use the old Douay-Rheims translation of the Latin Vulgate for Scripture. It includes some of those non-Scripture books, but my use of it does not mean that I consider those additional books to be Scripture.

    First century historian Josephus was a Palestinian Jew just like Jesus and the apostles. In Against Apion 1:8 Josephus reported that no books had been adopted as divine by Palestinian Jews since Persian rule; he describes the books “which contain the records of all the past times which are justly believed to be divine,” limits them to “till the reign of Artexerxes king of Persia,” and specifies “our history hath been written since Artexerxes very particularly, but hath not been esteemed of like authority.”

    I believe that neither Jesus nor the apostles who ran the New Testament church accepted these other pre-New Testament books. Some later Christians did.
     
  6. nate

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    Yes the Christians of the first Century accepted the Apocryphal books. Remember the Jews hated Christians in the first couple of century's because we teach that Jesus was the Messiah-that means they killed the Christ. Much tension there so they hacked off books the Church used mostly the books the Septuagint contain that isn't found in most modern Protestant Bibles.
     
  7. Gold Dragon

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    Many protestants claim that the NT does not quote the Deuterocanon (or apocrypha).

    However the following page is a list of quotes of the Deuterocanon in the NT.
    Like most OT references in the NT, the quotes are not exact and the person hosting this page admits many may or may not be references depending on your interpretation.

    Deuterocanonical references in the NT

    Here is another list and also quotations from the early church fathers from the Deuterocanon.

    Scripture Catholic - Deuterocanonical books in the New Testament

    I think it is easy to say that the early church definitely used the deuterocanon. It is more difficult to say whether it was considered inspired scripture.
     
    #7 Gold Dragon, Sep 15, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2006
  8. Inquiring Mind

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    Every King James Version bible up to 1827 had the missing books.
     
  9. Inquiring Mind

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  10. DHK

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    Your premise is completely wrong.
    The Septuagint was written about 250 B.C. It is simply a Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament. Why should we not accept it, just as any other translation of the Bible? It is the oldest translation of the Bible. I have a copy of it myself.
    What is wrong with another translation of the Old Testament.

    The Apocrypha was written between 130 B.C. and 50 A.D. How could books written between 130 and 50 A.D. be contained in a book written in 250 B.C. That is ludicrous! The apocrypha are spurious books that were never accepted by early Christians, never accepted by the Jews, never accepted by the Protestants, and only officially sanctioned by the Catholic Church at the Council of Trent in 1532. They do not belong in the Bible at all, and in fact, teach doctrine contrary to actual Biblical doctrine. Some of them are written as fanciful fairy tales, and do not even read as Scripture. The "13th and 14th" chapters of Daniel are two such stories that are mythical stories that read like fairy-tales, hard to believe even for a child. You might as well believe in the Easter bunny and Santa Clause then to believe in the contents of those books.
    DHK
     
  11. Gold Dragon

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    The earliest dates noted for the Septuagint like your 250 BC date are for the initial translation which was just of the Torah. As time went by, the rest of the Hebrew scriptures were translated into the Greek. Whether this included or didn't include the deuterocanonicals before the influence of the Christian (Catholic) church, we will not know since our oldest relatively complete manuscripts of the Septuagint are 4th century manuscripts preserved by the Christian church which do include the deuterocanonicals.
     
    #11 Gold Dragon, Sep 15, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2006
  12. Inquiring Mind

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    The Apocrypha...

    This is what the fundamentalists call the 7 books in Catholic Bibles that protestant Bibles do not have. Catholics call them 'Deuterocanonicals'. They are, Baruch, Judith, Sirach, Tobit, Wisdom, and 1 and 2 Maccabees. They also include parts of Daniel and Esther. There are many other books, called Apocrypha, by Catholics that are not considered inspired. I believe Protestants merely put those 7 books in the same pot and called them all Apocrypha.

    The Problem...

    Non Catholics insist that the 'Council of Trent' added those seven books to bring the total number of books to 73. They point to the fact that the 'Council of Jamnia' removed those books from the Bible in 90-95 A.D., so they were never in the 'Bible' from that date on.

    The Solution...

    Absolutely right, for the second part of the problem. The 'Council of Jamnia' did indeed remove those 7 books. The fact of the matter is that Jamnia was not a Christian council, but a Jewish one, called specifically to counter Christianity. In keeping with their practice of presenting only half truths, the non-Catholic detractors fail to mention that fact. The Apostles and Christians in general, used the Greek'Septuagint', also called LXX, as their Bible in the first century. This upset the Jews, so they decided to call a council to deal with the matter. Keep in mind that the Jewish temple was completely destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., and all of the Jewish priests were killed. Now they were fearful that Christianity would overtake them. The Septuagint is the Old Testament translation into Greek from Hebrew, which the Jews completed at Alexandria in the second century B.C., and it had all 46 books including the Deuterocanonicals. The Jews decided to revise the canon of the Old Testament and they wanted to remove references that would be useful to Christians.

    They set up 4 criteria that all books had to meet in order to be included.

    1. The books had to conform to the Pentateuch (the first 5 books).
    2. The books had to be written in Hebrew.
    3. The books had to be written in Palestine.
    4. The books had to be written before 400 B.C..
     
  13. Inquiring Mind

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    The seven books did not meet all 4 criteria set up by the Jews...

    Baruch was not written in Palestine. Disqualified by reason 3.

    Sirach and 1Maccabees were written after 400 B.C.. Disqualified by reason 4.

    Tobit and parts of Daniel and Esther were written in Aramaic and outside of Palestine.

    Disqualified by reasons 2 and 3.

    Judith was written in Aramaic. Disqualified by reason 2.

    Wisdom was written in Greek. Disqualified by reason 2.

    2Maccabees was written after 400 B.C. and in Greek. Disqualified by reasons 2 and 4.

    Christians continued to use the Septuagint. In 397 the Old Testament canon containing all 46 books was formalized along with the 27 inspired books of the New Testament at the Council of Carthage. St. Jerome completed a Latin translation of the entire Bible in 405, called the 'Vulgate' which can still be found today. It always had all 73 books. All Christian Bibles for the next 1100 years had all 73 books. Martin Luther, at about 1521 decided to remove the 7 Deuterocanonicals from the Old Testament and put them in an appendix, because they had teachings of the Catholic Church which he rejected, such as Purgatory. He used as an excuse, that they were already removed at Jamnia, and never should have been considered as inspired. Yes, but don't forget that the Jews did it at Jamnia, not the Christians. On Luther's own initiative, he removed 7 books that had been in use from before the first day of Christianity. Let me ask you, if they were "added" at the Council of Trent in 1545, how could Luther have removed them some 20 years earlier if they weren't there?

    The Council of Trent was called in 1545 in response to the protestant reformation. One of the things they accomplished at Trent was a "reaffirmation that the 7 disputed books were indeed inspired and would continue to be included in the canon of the Old Testament". They did not add them. They merely reconfirmed that they should be there. All Christian Bibles for the first 1500 years of Christianity had 46 books in the Old Testament, and all Catholic Bibles today continue to have them. I have noticed that even some King James Bibles now have them. Why is this?

    History of the canons of the Old Testament can be confirmed by checking the records of the Councils of Hippo, Carthage, and Trent. They are readily available, as is St. Jerome's Latin Vulgate and the Septuagint.

    Christianity was in effect for between 35-65 years before the Jewish Council of Jamnia was called. As such, the Jewish Council had absolutely no authority whatsoever over Christianity. Suppose that next month of this year, the Jews decided to call a council in order to remove Isaiah and Jeremiah from the Old Testament and then voted to do it. Would Protestants also remove these books from the King James bible? It would seem they have already set a precedent. Why do Protestants accept the ruling of the Jewish Council of Jamnia, and at the same time reject the ruling of the Christian Council of Carthage regarding the Old Testament canon? Further still, why do they accept the canon of the New Testament which was decided at the same Christian Council?

    Protestants have repeatedly said there is no evidence that Deuterocanonical books are inspired as none of them are referenced in the New Testament. This is absolutely not true as there are several references to the "Deuters", and at least two from apocrypha which I have found...
     
  14. Inquiring Mind

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    Protestants have repeatedly said there is no evidence that Deuterocanonical books are inspired as none of them are referenced in the New Testament. This is absolutely not true as there are several references to the "Deuters", and at least two from apocrypha which I have found...

    1. Jude 1:9, Yet when Michael the archangel was fiercely disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, he did not venture to bring against him an accusation of blasphemy, but said, "May the Lord rebuke thee."
    This is only in the Apocryphal book, 'The Assumption of Moses'.

    2. Jude 1:14, Now of these also Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold the Lord has come with thousands of His holy ones..." This prophecy is from the Apocryphal Book of 'Enoch', 1:9.

    3. 2Tim 3:8, "Just as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so these men also resist the truth, for they are corrupt in mind, reprobate as regards the faith." Although this is a reference to Ex 7:11, the 'magicians' of Pharaoh, they are not named in Exodus. They are found in the Apocryphal book 'Gospel of Nicodemus' 5:1. They are also found in the 'Narrative of Aeneas' Account of the Suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ', 5:4.

    Bible references (NT) to Deuterocanonical books of the O.T.: These references show legitimacy to these books that Protestants rejected.

    1. Heb 11:35, "...Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might find a better resurrection." The only place in the O.T. that you will find reference to that is 2Macc 7:1-29. How do you, who do not have 2Maccabees, explain that? Note! The first half of Heb 11:35 is found in 1King 17:23 and 2King 4:36.

    2. Heb 11:38, "...wandering in the deserts, mountains..." This is found in 1Macc 2:28-30 and 2Macc 5:27.

    3. Jn 10:22, "Now there took place at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication..." This found in 1Macc 4:52-59.

    4. Jn 14:23, "...If anyone love Me, he will keep My word..." This is in Sir 2:18.

    5. Rom 9:21, " is not the potter master of his clay..." Found in Wis 15:7

    6. 1Pet 1:6-7, "...gold which is tried by fire..." See Wis 3:5-6

    7. Heb 1:3, "...brightness of His glory..." Similar to Wis 7:26-27

    8. 1Cor 10:9-10, "...perished by serpents and destroyed by the destroyer." Almost perfectly matched in Judith 8:24-25.

    9. 1Cor 6:13, "...food for the belly and belly for food..." Similar to Sir 36:20

    10. Rom 1:18-32, GOD is known by the things He has created...Similar to Wis 13:1-9

    11. Mt 7:12, Lk 6:31, "...all that you wish men to do to you, even so do you also to them..." Similar to Tob 4:16

    12. Lk 14:13, "...when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame..." Similar to Tob 4:17.

    13. Rev 21:18, "And the material of its wall was jasper; but the city itself was pure gold, like pure glass." Similar to Tob 13:21.

    14. Mt 13:43, "Then the just will shine forth..." Found in Wis 3:7.

    15. Mt 18:15, "But if thy brother sin against thee..." Similar to Sir 19:13

    16. Mt 25:36, "...sick and you visited me..." Similar to Sir 7:39.

    17. Mt 27:42, "...if He is the King of Israel, let Him come down now from the cross..." Similar to Wis 2:18-20.

    18. Mk 14:61-62, "...are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One: And Jesus said to him, I AM." Found in Wis 2:13.

    19. Lk 2:37, "...as a widow...She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer." Found in Judith 8:4-6.

    20. Lk 24:4, "...two men stood by them in dazzling raiment." Found in 2Macc 3:26.

    21. Jn 16:15, "All things that the Father has are mine." Found in Wis 2:13.

    22. Rom 10:6, "...Who will go up into heaven..." Found in Bar 3:29.

    23. Rom 11:33, "...How inscrutable are His judgments and how unsearchable are His ways." Found in Judith 8:14.

    24. 1Cor 10:20, "...they sacrifice to demons, not to God..." Found in Bar 4:7.

    25. 1Jn 3:17, "If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of GOD remain in him?" Found in Tob 4:7.

    Coincidence?
     
  15. BrianT

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    So why should we accept the OT canon as defined by a group fighting against Christianity, and not the OT canon as used by the early church?
     
  16. orthodox

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    Most of the early church accepted all the books as contained in the LXX, because almost all the church spoke Greek and this was their bible. There were a few of the church fathers who seemed to put SOME of the so-called apocryphal books on a lower level. For example, Athanasius seems to put Wisdom of Solomon at a lower level, but he lists Baruch as sacred scripture. We shouldn't forget also that some early sources reject Esther, even though it is in the protestant canon. (e.g. the Synopsis Scripturae Sacrae, 350-360AD, and Gregory of Nazianzus 370AD, Jerome).

    It also should be remembered that those early church fathers who seemed to be influenced by the later Jewish canon did not follow it exactly either. The Jews had a habit of referring to their canon as 22 books because they combined various books together as one. So it's not always easy to say that a father who says there are 22 books agrees with the Jews. For example, Cyril of Alexandria says there are 22 books like the Jews do, but he combines Baruch with Jeremiah and the Epistle of Jeremiah in doing that calculation.

    Origen, who was the bishop of Alexandria in the 2nd century actually said that Christians should start with the apocrypha and then move onto the Psalms and then the gospels.

    Essentially, you will not find clear cut answers by reading the church fathers. You could reject more books than the protestant canon, you could accept a few more or a lot more. It's no different than the NT canon really, because a few books in the NT on the periphery took a lot longer to become fully accepted (eg Revelation, 2 Peter, Jude).

    The question is, do you believe, as the Orthodox Church does, that the Church is led into all truth? At times in history things havn't been 100% clear to everyone, but is the Church as a whole in time led into all truth? (Jn 16:13).

    If not, you have no certain canon, you only have whatever canon you personally want to follow.
     
  17. orthodox

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    The LXX was translated ad-hoc over time. Initially only the 1st five books. The other books were translated at various times by various people.

    It would be ludicrous to claim that the apocrypha was only sanctioned by Trent seeing as they were contained in ALL manuscripts of the church whether the Latin west or the Greek east right from the beginning to the present time.

    Nonsense.

    A lot of people think that Job reads as a fairy tale too. Whether you think it is literal event, or a parable doesn't stop it being sacred scripture.
     
  18. Inquiring Mind

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    Exactly! Understand now! The only reason protestants reject the missing books is because the RCC and the EOC accept them. If it is RCC or EOC, it must be rejected! That is the mentality.

    Protestants always use this excuse: "The Jews don't recgonized them as Inspired" That is the one truth Satan wants you to know concerning the council of Jamnia.

    What are the other truths?

    Truth #2 They officially kicked all Christians out of the synagogues.

    Truth #3 They declared a distinction between Jews and Christians.

    Truth #4 This is by far the worst as described below:

    Also at the same council they modified or added to their daily prayers which are required for all Jews to say everyday:

    Officially called the "Birkat ha-minim"


    "For the Apostates let there be no hope and the arrogant government be speedily uprooted in our days, Let the Nazarenes(Christians)and the minim(Heretics) be destroyed in a moment. Let them be blotted out of the Book of Life and not inscribled together with the Righteous. Blessed art thou oh Lord, who humblest the Proud."

    These Jews condemn Christians, but you want to rely on their judgement of Canon, when they can not even rightly discern whom the Messiah is. Does that make sense to you?
     
    #18 Inquiring Mind, Sep 15, 2006
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  19. Inquiring Mind

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    Let me reiterate the 4 rules they established.

    1. The books had to conform to the Pentateuch (the first 5 books).
    2. The books had to be written in Hebrew.
    3. The books had to be written in Palestine.
    4. The books had to be written before 400 B.C..

    New Testament Books: disqualified by at least rules 2, 3, and 4.
     
  20. DHK

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    The fact is that the original translation did not contain the Apocrypha, and indeed could not contain the Apocrypha. They were never accepted by the Jews, and thus were never included in the Jewish canon of the Old Testament Scriptures, that very canon which we use today. We do not use a canon or body of Scripture that has been corrupted by others.
    DHK
     

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