THE CANON OF SCRIPTURE

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by mojoala, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. mojoala

    mojoala
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    There is a significant difference between Catholic and Protestant Bibles. Catholic Bibles contain seven more books than Protestant Bibles do. The seven books, all in the Old Testament, are Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch and 1 and 2 Maccabees. Catholics call the disputed books Deuterocanonical and consider them to be inspired. Bible Christians call them Apocryphal and consider them to be spurious.

    The list of books that comprise the Bible is referred to as the canon. During Jesus' time there were two Old Testament canons in use. There was the Palestinian canon, which is identical to the Protestant Old Testament, and there was the Alexandrian canon – also known as the Septuagint – which is identical to the Catholic Old Testament. The reason why the Catholic Bible has the longer canon is simple. The Apostles and the early Church used the Septuagint.

    Bible Christians use the shorter canon because it matches the present day Jewish canon. They will often quote Romans 3:2, which says, "The Jews are entrusted with the oracles of God." They reason that since God entrusted the Old Testament to the Jews, they should be the ones who determine which books belong in it.

    This reasoning presents a couple of problems. Firstly, both Old Testament canons were received from the Jews. Thus neither canon is eliminated by this verse. Secondly, the Jews didn't settle on the Palestinian canon until at least 90 AD at the Council of Jamnia. This was well after authority had passed from the Jews to the Church (Acts 4:19). Ironically it was at the Council of Jamnia that the Jews also rejected the New Testament. Logically speaking, anyone who would consider Jamnia as being authoritative would also have to reject the New Testament.

    Most Church Fathers regarded the Septuagint as the standard form of the Old Testament. When the Councils of Hippo (393 AD) and Carthage (397 AD) set the canon of the New Testament they also confirmed the Septuagint as the Old Testament. Further evidence of the Septuagint's acceptance by the early Church can be found in the New Testament itself. It quotes the Old Testament approximately 350 times. Three hundred of those quotes are from the Septuagint. Surely this amounts to an overwhelming endorsement by the early Church.

    Some raise objections over supposed errors. One example is in Judith 1:1-7. Here Nebuchadnezzar is called the king of Assyria when in fact it is well known that he was the king of Babylon. But Judith is not a historical book; it's a religious novel. The combining of the Babylonians and the Assyrians is a representation of the enemies of Israel. Both had conquered Israel at one time or another. Judith means Jewess and she represents the whole of Judaism. The lesson of the book is to rely on God's way of deliverance no matter what the method. Similar objections are raised over verses in Tobit, which are likewise symbolic and not historical.

    Critics will often dismiss the role of the Church in determining the New Testament. They contend that the Holy Spirit caused the books of the New Testament to fall into place on their own. They would have us believe that the Church councils that dealt with the canon were nothing more than bishops getting together to say "Wow, look at that." Once again, history tells us another story.

    The book of 1 Clement was considered inspired by most in the early Church (Eusebius, The History of the Church 3:16, 325 AD). We also know that the book of Revelation was disputed by many at the time. And yet Revelation made it into the canon and 1 Clement didn't. That's because the Church set the canon of Scripture, and she did so under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Just as God worked infallibly through men in writing the Bible, He worked infallibly through men in communicating exactly which books comprised it.

    And so the canon stood. Unchanged until the Protestant Reformation when Martin Luther threw out the seven Deuterocanonicals because they contradicted his new doctrines. He also wanted to throw out Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, and Revelation. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed.

    In Revelation 22:19 the apostle John proclaims, "If any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book." It's true that this verse refers to the book of Revelation. However, common sense tells us that the same principal should apply to all of Scripture. Certainly God would never be pleased with us tampering with any part of His word.
     
  2. gekko

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    doesn't maccabees say something about Daniel being in the lion's den for ten days?

    or is that in the book of "Daniel, Bel, and the Snake" ?

    there are 15 books of the apocrypha isn't there?

    1. The First Book of Esdras
    2. The Second Book of Esdras
    3. Tobit
    4. Judith
    5. The Rest of the Chapters of the Book of Esther
    6. The Wisdom of Solomon
    7. Ecclesiasticus or the Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach
    8. Baruch
    9. A Letter of Jeremiah
    10. The Song of the Three
    11. Daniel and Susanna
    12. Daniel, Bel, and the Snake
    13. The Prayer of Manasseh
    14. The First Book of the Maccabees
    15. The Second Book of the Maccabees
     
  3. gekko

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    and when were these books written?

    and where is your proof that the jews accepted what you say are "both of the old testament canons" ?

    besides... if the catholics accepted it, why would i want to? jeepers... some people's kids.
     
  4. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    Catholics accept the sanctity of life from conception...
     
  5. gekko

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    i dont know what that means hopeofglory... could you please explain a little?

    i dont read much on other religions...
     
  6. tragic_pizza

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    It's of interest to note that the deuterocanonical, or "apocryphal," books of the Old Testament were included in the Septuagint, or LXX, which was a translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek. This was the Bible most often referred to by the writers of the New Testament when quoting the Old.
     
  7. BobRyan

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    Would that they actually "voted" that way. The "Catholic vote" is typically for pro-abortion platforms. (At least if you go by national election statistics over the past 30 years)

    It is those dirty rotten stinking "sola scriptura" pro-Bible, Genesis-accepting groups that tend to vote pro-life (anti-abortion) --- "by contrast"
     
  8. gekko

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    what's that gotta do with the apocrypha?
     
  9. Living_stone

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    The Apocrypha were removed without authorization by Luther and his follwers.

     
  10. nate

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    I believe the Apocrypha should be in the Bible. The early Church's OT was the LXX. If it was good enough for them it is for me. My own struggle is should they be used to establish doctrine?
    In Christ,
    Nate
     
  11. tragic_pizza

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    A good question.

    The deuterocanonicals are where the Catholic traditions of purtgatory and pryaing to departed saints are based, so I guess it can be used if one is so inclined.

    *waits for the Fundamentalist howling to commence*
     
  12. Matt Black

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    If it is in the Bible then the answer to your question is IMO yes, following II Tim 3:16

    The Jewish reform movement at Jamnia/ Yavneh after 80AD rejected the LXX partly for the explicit reason that the early church used it and the Jews wanted to avoid using Scriptures used by the Christians to distance themselves from this 'heresy' as they saw it. So that's another argument for accept the Biblical credentials of the LXX, including the DCs/Apocrypha
     
  13. nate

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    Good point Matt.
     
  14. Living_stone

    Living_stone
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    I believe there is plenty enough evidence for these beliefs in the NT - and they were certainly present in the first centuries of the church - that to claim that the Church (Catholic and Orthodox) added these books to support some random doctrine is pretty...unsubstantiated.

    ever see this site? Explains a lot from an Catholic/Orthodox perspective (most of which an Orthodox Church Member would agree with 100%)
     
  15. Jarthur001

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    Was posted...
    I believe the Apocrypha should be in the Bible.
    ************************

    The Apocrypha was NEVER in the Bible, until the 16th century. The RCC found they had held to doctrines not supported in the inspired text and overrode 1500 years of Church history and called the Apocrypha books as much inspired as the 66 of the Bible. Notice, if these books were part of the Bible, they would not be set apart under another name.

    The OT is the same as the Jewish Bible. Link below

    http://www.new-life.net/tanakh.htm


    Below you will find the list of books in the NT in the years 90 - 160 A.D.

    Matthew
    Mark
    Luke
    John

    *******
    Years 160-250

    Matthew
    Mark
    Luke
    John
    Acts
    Romans
    1 Corinthians
    2 Corinthians
    Galatians
    Ephesians
    Philippians
    Colossians
    1 Thessalonians
    2 Thessalonians
    1 Timothy
    Titus
    1 Peter
    1 John
    Jude


    *************
    years 250-325ad

    Matthew
    Mark
    Luke
    John
    Acts
    Romans
    1 Corinthians
    2 Corinthians
    Galatians
    Ephesians
    Philippians
    Colossians
    1 Thessalonians
    2 Thessalonians
    1 Timothy
    2 Timothy
    Titus
    Philemon
    1 Peter
    1 John
    Jude


    *******************
    Year 325 The Council of Nicea.

    Matthew
    Mark
    Luke
    John
    Acts
    Romans
    1 Corinthians
    2 Corinthians
    Galatians
    Ephesians
    Philippians
    Colossians
    1 Thessalonians
    2 Thessalonians
    1 Timothy
    2 Timothy
    Titus
    Philemon
    Hebrews
    1 Peter
    1 John
    Jude
    Revelation

    ****************
    In 367 A.D., Athanasius first lists the current number and order of the New Testament books. In 397 A.D., at the Council of Carthage, the collection of the New Testament is finally closed.

    Matthew
    Mark
    Luke
    John
    Acts
    Romans
    1 Corinthians
    2 Corinthians
    Galatians
    Ephesians
    Philippians
    Colossians
    1 Thessalonians
    2 Thessalonians
    1 Timothy
    2 Timothy
    Titus
    Philemon
    Hebrews
    James
    1 Peter
    2 Peter
    1 John
    2 John
    3 John
    Jude
    Revelation
     
  16. Doubting Thomas

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    Not true. They were considered part of the OT Scriptures by the earliest apostolic fathers who quote them as Scripture. As pointed out by others, they were in the LXX--the early Greek translation (B.C) of the OT from which Christ and the apostles quoted and which were used by the Jews of the Dispersion.

    But which Jewish Bible? That of certain ancient Palestinian Jews? Or that of ancient Alexandrian Jews (which included these books) and other Jews of the Dispersion?
     
  17. Matt Black

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    I guess you should have been around to tell Jerome that then when he compiled the Vulgate - which predates the 16th century by, oh, a good 1100 years nearly
     
  18. Jarthur001

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    Not true. They were considered part of the OT Scriptures by the earliest apostolic fathers who quote them as Scripture. As pointed out by others, they were in the LXX--the early Greek translation (B.C) of the OT from which Christ and the apostles quoted and which were used by the Jews of the Dispersion.

    But which Jewish Bible? That of certain ancient Palestinian Jews? Or that of ancient Alexandrian Jews (which included these books) and other Jews of the Dispersion?
    </font>[/QUOTE]Simply quoting from outside the Bible does not make that quote the Bible. We can find this in Jude, John and in Pauls writings. Yet the source of the quote is not canon. It is used by the Bible and only within the passage is it Bible. Jerome came up with the word Apocrypha (????????,) "closed" for he (the writer of the RCC latin vulgate) agreed that it was not part of the OT as many others held. YES.. It was placed in the latin vulgate. Yes..it was part of the greek MSS, but still it was set apart from the Bible. Understand?

    As to the Jewish Bible, all of the Jewish Bibles had them or were part of the libary. Yet they did not hold that they were part of biblical canon. They thought of them as mere books that one can learn from.
     
  19. Jarthur001

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    I guess you should have been around to tell Jerome that then when he compiled the Vulgate - which predates the 16th century by, oh, a good 1100 years nearly </font>[/QUOTE]I do not have to be around. Jerome said so ...and there is good record showing this. Maybe you need to study Church history.

    BTW..i have about 20 some great books on Church history. Tonight if you still can not find this on the web...I'll be happy to give you the run down on the full story.

    Some are trying their best to rewrite history. Anyone can find the truth...if they want.
     
  20. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    By the way, if anyone wants a copy of the KJ version complete with Apocrypha it is available on the net....

    KJV Version Reference Bible with Apocrypha, Cameo Edition [BOX SET] (Leather Bound)

    ===============================================

    It was the Anglican Church that had it removed from the KJV because it did not deem it "inspired" text, but valuable part of tradition.

    It Was the RC church that named the 14 books "apocryphal" which means "hidden" and they did not deem them "inspired" as were the other scriptures. This too is historical.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     

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