Question: 27 books...

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by PeterMeansRock, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. PeterMeansRock

    PeterMeansRock
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    I have my answer and I'll share it if you like...but...

    Why are there 27 books in the new testament. I know ultimately because God want's them there...but how did he let us know this? How do YOU know that Philemon is inspired? How do you know that Luke is inspired?
     
  2. DHK

    DHK
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    I'll tell you one thing. It had nothing to do with the Catholic Church.

    2 Peter 3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

    The 27 books were written by the Apostles and their close associates, and were recognized by the early church as inspired of God. The Catholic Church wasn't even around until the early part of the fourth century when Constantine began to paganize Christianity. That is when Catholicism started--Constantine's introduction of pagan idols into the Church, also making so-called Christianity a state religion, as it still is in many countries today.
    The 27 books of the New Testament were inspired of God, recognized by the early believers as such, and accepted by the same. Peter testifies to the writings of Paul as Scripture:

    2 Peter 3:15-16 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
    As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

    "as they do also the other Scriptures."
    Peter accounted the writings of Paul as inspired Scripture, and he apparently knew which of those writings were inspired and which were not.
    DHK
     
  3. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    We don't. We have a collection of 27 "books" accepted by a group of early believers using a preset criteria. There may be other "books" but lost to history.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  4. riverm

    riverm
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    Hi DHK

    Here’s my question that I have yet to get a straight answer on. Paul, Peter, John and others all had to have written more letters than just the ones that make up the N.T., as we know it today. My question is who or what group of people had the tedious task of sifting through all these letters and deciding which letters were authoritative and the real deal and which letters we not?

    Nobody carried a complete N.T. in their back pocket in the early centuries like the one “soul winners” will carry when they door knock. To say that the early church recognized these 27 books only is pretty hard for me to believe. How were the different churches in different areas of the Europe all on the same page as to which letters were legit? How did the Galatians know that Paul also wrote to the Corinthians or Ephesus? When did they compare notes and swap letters?

    Blessings
     
  5. NateT

    NateT
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    Riverm,

    It wasn't that anyone had the tedious task of sifting through the letter to decide which were genuine and which weren't. It was that the churches that received the letters recognized them as from Paul or not. One of the criteria that F.F. Bruce lists in his wonderful book, is that it had widespread acceptance by the churches. So it wasn't as if they called a council and said "Here's our stack of letters, this one's real, this one's fake etc."

    Imagine if you were to get a letter from a friend tomorrow, you'd be able to recognize it as genuine or not pretty easy. However, for me to recognize if that letter was genuine would take a lot more work.

    Does that make sense?
     
  6. riverm

    riverm
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    NateT, thanks for the reply. But this is the problem I still have. Paul, Peter and John all wrote more letters than what makes up the N.T. Who decided which letter of let’s say Paul’s was accepted and which wasn’t?

    Someone or people had to have gotten together with Corinth, Ephesus, Antioch and let’s say Philippi and compared or traded letters and since all had to have more letters from Paul, who decided which one stayed and which ones was booted?

    See what I’m saying? Paul didn’t write the same letter to both Corinth and Ephesus. Maybe Ephesus accepted all of Paul’s letters, but not all made the final cut.

    Also, Jesus sent out, well then 11 disciples. More than what is listed in the NT had to have written letters as well.

    I’m just singling out Paul just to make a point, so you may substitute Paul for any of the others.

    Blessings
     
  7. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    If you follow church history, you wills ee that as early as the 2nd century, the churches were reading a set of books. These were mostly Pauline and the gospels, except the gospel by John, which was unknown to some. They also read other manuscripts

    The beginnings of the canon started in the 2nd century as the early church fathers sorted out which manuscripts concurred with each other in thought and traditional historical facts...same as the OT...passed on orally from one assembly to another, and eventually copied on manuscripts.

    The first list of the nT books as we know them to-day was in AD397 in a pastoral letter from Athanasius....Other books were permitted to be read,,ie: Hermas, the Didache.....but were not accepted as authoritative in the formulation of theology....The Syriac and Greek church were much slower in their development of the canon of scripture.

    So, in a very real sense, the canon of scripture is based on traditional knowledge passed down through the ages, and originally verified by eye-witnesses of their veracity...obviously this was for the original manuscripts.

    So, yes, there could very well be more books, and there was a set body who decided on the NT canon of scriptures...the early church fathers.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  8. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    I think you'll find the Athanasian list dates from 367 not 397.
     
  9. riverm

    riverm
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    Thanks Jim1999, finally a straight answer.

    Blessings
     
  10. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    Matt..Athanasius died in 373. You must be correct on that date..I was guessing.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  11. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    397 was the Council of Hippo...or Carthage ( I always get those two mixed up :( ) which also dealt with the NT canon
     
  12. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    I agree, Matt..It was the Council of Hippo that actually formulized the 27 books as we know them....bang on, mate...At least I was on the ball field in the other date...I should have looked it up before I spoke...lol

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  13. riverm

    riverm
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    Thanks guys for the straight scoop, I’ve done a little research and the Council of Hippo was in 393, which you are right, this council approved the NT which was later confirmed at the Council of Trent.

    My next question is why is it so hard to get a strait answer from some Baptist in regard to the formulation of the NT? Were these Councils, ummm…Catholic?

    Blessings
     
  14. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    riverm, Some greatly fear any connection with Romanism and fail to appreciate that the church fathers were all "catholic" (using that term loosely).

    The other reason could be that they just don't know. They know wot they were taught about the canon, but not all the details.

    Cheers, and God bless, for your interest in knowing from whence comes our help,

    Jim
     
  15. gb93433

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    Possibly the letter to the church at Laodicea
     
  16. hillclimber

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    There are exactly 27 books because when you divide that by 3 you get 9 from which you subtract 2, which is the precise number of brain cells I have left, and you get 7, which is God's number of completion, and I rest.
     
  17. BobRyan

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    Here is a "hint".

    The NT saints did not wait 400 years for the Pope to come along and "tell them" which letters to read.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  18. BobRyan

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    Imagine Paul's readers in the Nt "WAITING 300 years" to start reading them!!

    What a miracle!!
     
  19. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    Here is a "hint".

    The NT saints did not wait 400 years for the Pope to come along and "tell them" which letters to read.

    In Christ,

    Bob
    </font>[/QUOTE]Neither were the saints of c.400AD told by a Pope...
     
  20. Matt Black

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    Imagine Paul's readers in the Nt "WAITING 300 years" to start reading them!!

    What a miracle!!
    </font>[/QUOTE]Well, the people of that time read those, but they also read the Gospels of Peter and Thomas - how do you know they're not part of the NT?
     

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