origin of the scriptures

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by grahame, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. grahame

    grahame
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    Not sure if this is the right forum for such a question? A Muslim made this statement
    Can anyone give me any light on what he says?
     
  2. Analgesic

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    The first sentence is entirely true. The "hundreds of years after" is extreme, since the canon was generally widely agreed upon before officially codified except in a few instances. The last point is a actually a much more interesting...
     
  3. grahame

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    I think you should understand where he was posting. It was in an Islamic forum and he was comparing the Bible to the Quran, which he considers to be more reliable historically than the Bible. His words, if you read his entire post are constructed in such a way so as to be taken in two ways. The main thrust of his post was to throw doubt, not only upon the feracity of the scriptures, but also upon the characters of the men who compiled those scriptures.
    Correct me if I'm wrong. But weren't these scriptures constantly used by the early church before they were compiled into the book be know today? And weren't there certain criterior for those books that were eventually accepted into the canon of holy writ?
     
  4. Jim1999

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    In my opinion, this is too large a topic to adequately discuss in a forum, but I strongly recommend a book on the scruptures, written in 1973, by David Alexander of Berkhamstead, Herts, England.

    Eerdman's Handbook to the Bible, later published by Eerdman's in the USA. This book will answer most of your questions in a sound fashion.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  5. DHK

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    The statement is wrong. The Bible is one book but composed of 66 different books much like other tomes have volumes. See "the Works of Josephus." But the Bible is vastly different. These 66 books were written by about 40 different authors over a period of approximately 1500 years. There are 30 books in the OT and 27 in the NT, and what put together we have one book from the beginning of creation to the end of time with one continuous theme--redemption through the work of God (specifically Christ), a book in which there is no contradiction. Every seemingly contradiction can be accounted for in one way or another. There are very few books in which there is any dispute about the authorship. For example, the book of Hebrews is one such book. But even then most people give Paul the benefit of the doubt. We have a good idea who wrote each of the books of the Bible.
     
  6. grahame

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    Yes, That is why I just had to take him to task about it. What he had to say was wrong from beginning to end. He is an ex Catholic and had departed from the Roman Catholic church to become a Muslim. I felt that he had to be corrected and did so, because it was as if he did everything in his power to exhibit his eroneous "knowledge" in order to make people think he knew more than he actually did. and to my mind handled the subject in such an off handed way. He was not only making it seem that God was unable to preserve His word intact. But he also cast doubt upon the characters and honesty of the Christians in the early church, making them out to be some kind of devious organisation who accepted or rejected scriptures to suit their own ends.
     
  7. Jim1999

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    There were many manuscripts floating around in the first and second century, all claiming some sort of "inspiration". Hence the need to develop the canon of scripture. It is not as clear cut as some would have us believe. Joaephus is not the most reliable source of truth. He did error on some facts. He was Jewish and not Christian!

    In the New Testament, we read of some other manuscripts which contained the truth and some errors, and this led to some of the offshoots of the original churches of Christ. Paul corrected some, and Peter others.

    A forum such as this is hardly the place to get into all the details of the unity of scripture and the 66 books we now claim as the Bible. Even the original King James translation included the Apocrypha books, later removed by the Church of England because of the confusion they caused.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  8. grahame

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    So are you saying then in the light of this that the scriptures are untrustworthy? If it is so unclear as you suggest, then surely we cannot know what is truth and what is error. For who is to say whether Peter or Paul really wrote those things? Perhaps this Muslim has a point?
     
  9. Eric B

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    The exact same things the Muslims say about the Gospels is true about the Koran. It was actually written decades later by people who knew Muhammad, and people who knew them. So I don't see how they can always try to throw that claim at us.
     
  10. Jim1999

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    I believe if one reads the whole story on how the scriptures we have came about, one will believe we have the Word of God at hand.

    What I said, was that it is not as cut and dried as some whould have us believe. Examine how the men determined which books were to be accepted and the criteria they used.

    Manuscripts and copies of manuscripts were passed along from church to church and not always the correct copies. This is historical fact, and the fact that brought about having a council to determine which manuscripts were valid.

    If one person, or a group, take one aspect of historical fact, yes, even the Muslims could be correct. This is why we must study the history to get the whole story.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  11. LeBuick

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    What happened to Joseph? He would call you a heritec for making this assertion but I agree with you 100%.
     
  12. grahame

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    So, bearing this in mind, what were the criterior for accepting or rejecting certain gospels and epistles? Because I think we have established that not all were written by apostles and therefore cannot carried the same authority?
     
  13. DHK

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    Muslims believe that the Bible has been so corrupted that not one verse remains true to the original except that which remains in the Koran. The defence for this assertion is:
    The Koran commands them that they must accept:
    1. The Torah (the five books of Moses.
    2. The Prophets
    3. The Gospels.

    However, if the Bible is so corrupted the question must be asked (as a challenge): who corrupted it? There are three major groups of people today (in the Muslim's mind) outside of Islam, and having to do with Christianity or the Bible.
    1. Judaism.
    2. Catholicism.
    3. Protestantism.

    Now, when would one of those groups ever let the other two groups conspire together to deliberately change the Bible? How could that be? When and where would it have been done? Please point to any day in history where our Bible was changed. And point to the place in the Scriptures where the changes were made.
    Would the Jews allow the Catholics and Protestants to change the Bible?
    Would the Catholics allow the Jews and Protestants to change the Bible?
    Would the Protestants allow the Jews and Catholics to chante the Bible?

    ON all three counts--Absolutely not--an impossibility. There are not changes in the Bible. Furthermore there are actual references in the Koran which state that the Bible cannot be changed.
     
  14. Zenas

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    Major changes, no. But minor changes abound through the various English translations. Compare for example 1 John 5:7-8 in the KJV:

    7For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
    8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

    with the same passage in the NASB:

    7 For there are three that testify:
    8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

    The ancient translators either made up a critical phrase and inserted it or the modern translators didn't like and took it out. It is unkikely that John wrote it both ways.
     
  15. grahame

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    Thank you DHK for that.
    This is precisely the sort of thing they bring up. They say things like, "If the Bible errs on these small matters (which actually teach doctrine) then who's to say it doesn't err on every other verse?" As someone has already pointed out, Muslims believe that every word of the Quran is the word of God.
    There is another bone of contention also. In the original canon of chosen books the Apocrypha is included. In fact the Catholic Bible still has it within its pages.
     
  16. grahame

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    I've been thinking. Are we thinking about the New Testament in the right way?
    I remember reading a book about Spurgeon. I think it was "The Forgotten Spurgeon" but cannot be sure. But something stuck in my mind from way back then. Although this is not word for word. But I think I've got the sense of what he meant. He said that he will find Christ in every scripture he preaches upon. Even if the scripture said nothing directly concerning Christ. If he didn't find him on the main road, he would jump over the hedge and find him there. In other words his preaching was a living example of Paul's words,
    That set me also thinking that perhaps we are not reading the New Testament how we should read it. Even when we talk about doctrine, or argue about the meanings of portions of scripture we tend to forget that the whole of the NT is about Christ and nothing else. It is a living word a living witness of Jesus Christ and him crucified, dead, buried and risen again and reigning in the heavens at the right hand of God the Father from which he will appear a second time without sin.

    The apostles are not prophets strictly speaking. But first and foremost witnesses of those things that are most surely believed among us. The apostles often refer to themselves as witnesses. (Luke 24:46)
    and (Acts 1:8)
    and (Acts 2:32)
    And (Acts 3:15)
    Also (Acts 5:32)
    And there are many other places.

    Also when they quote scripture they do so giving the sense rather than the exact rendering of the original text. Muslims on the other hand think on the Quran differently. And someone has said already, they believe that the Quran came down from God and that every word is without error.

    I know we argue about the meanings of different words and such and indeed at times it is necessary in order to get the sense of what the apostles are saying. But if the word was our only witness of Jesus Christ, then as it is (and I know I will be misunderstood here) it is just a dead word. But the scripture says that it is a living word and the one who makes it a living word is God the Holy Spirit. We have Him as our witness
    . So our message is not first and foremost the inerrancy of the word of God. But Jesus Christ and him crucified. I have noticed that the times I preached that, that God has always blessed my message in a visible way. I found also that I had remarkable freedom when preaching that message.

    So I'm not sure that we ought to be proving that the scriptures are inerrant and without mistakes. Because the Holy Spirit will always accompany us if we are witnessing for Christ. I remember also when reading Mr. Spurgeon that he said, "You don't defend a lion. You just let him out of the cage and he will defend himself.
    ps: note the verse in my signature also:
     
    #16 grahame, Jul 31, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2007
  17. DHK

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    Learn some history about the Koran.
    Mohammed was illiterate. He could not read or write. All of his revelations were written down by his disciples. They were written down on stones, palm leaves, animal bones, and such things. Many of his disciples memorized large portions of Mohammed's revelations. This continued over a period of 23 periods until Mohammed's death. After about a year of Mohammed's death (633 A.D.) the battle of Yamamah took place in which many of Mohammed's followers were lost. Many of those were the ones who had the Koran memorized. The second Caliph, Umar, realized that if all the fragments of the Koran were not collected and then collated into one book the Koran would be lost forever, and he needed the help of those remaining followers still alive who had great portions of it memorized. He enlisted the help of one, Zayed, a trusted friend of Mohammed, who was able to accomplish such a work and come up with one official "Koran."
    A number of years later, after Umar died, and the third Caliph Othman had taken place, the Muslim community faced another crisis. They found other Muslim communities using different versions of the Koran. This would cause chaos and confusion among the Muslims as a whole. Thus Othman ordered all copies of the Korans to come to him. He had Zayed to take them, edit the first edition of the Koran, come up with another edition, and this edition is the one that we presently have (the Othman edition). Othman, at that time, took all other copies "and versions" or translations of the Koran and burned them. Thus there is only one Koran.

    Nowadays you never see a Koran of any language without the Arabic side by side, and it is claimd to be the original That is a lie, of course. They have burned all their manuscript evidence.
    Christians on the other hand have never had anything to hide. We have over 5,000 manuscripts all attesting to the same thing. The variations in these manuscripts do not affect any major doctrine in the Bible. Compared to the differences between what was claimed to be the Koran before Othman had everything revised, the differences in our Bible pale. Why did Othman have to burn all the evidence if he had nothing to hide?
     
  18. grahame

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    Thanks for that DHK. Some very useful information there. I've read the Quran. I don't know if it's me, or what. But I can't see anything in it very inspiring. There is so much depth in the Bible.
     
  19. BobRyan

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    There are many many excuses for practicing the ripture of scripture - discounting some Bible texts such a the following

    1. All of the OT and Gospels pre-cross (Church of Christ)
    2. All of the OT but accepting the Gospels
    3. All of the OT, the pre-cross Gospel teachings and the book of Acts...
    4. Parts of the OT and NT that debunk atheist Darwinist evolutionism.

    However in this thread's affirmation of "all 66" (a healthy trend for this board) -- what about the Appocrypha? That is a case of going into the "other ditch" claiming that the RCC has the right to toy with what is called scripture since "it gave us the Bible to start with".

    in Christ,

    Bob
     

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