The New Testament canon...

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by robycop3, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. robycop3

    robycop3
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2000
    Messages:
    7,573
    Likes Received:
    10
    On a closed thread, the question was raised about the 66-book canon of our Bibles. This question was raised because I was asking for evidence supporting One-Versionism, and was receiving only opinion & guesswork for answers. A member said there's no Scriptural proof for the 66-book canon, & wanted to know why we accepted it, but not some other ascriptural doctrines.

    Although the two subjects in comparison are same as comparing apples & oranges, I believe the canon & how it was arrived at need discussion.

    As the Apostles died, there arose a need to keep their messages in fronta the people, so more & more writings were employed. This led to a mass of articles being used in various churches.

    The first writings recognized as NT Scripture were the Gospels & the Pauline epistles. Thus, the recorded words of Christ, His Gospel message, and the general tenets of Christian living were kept in the churches as the oral transmissions by associates of the Apostles began to die out.

    It appears that the first individual to attempt to form a canon was Marcion. He pointed out that oral transmission was easily changed or forgotten in part & was therefore unreliable. However, Marcion was a heretic, believing the God of the OT was a different God than He who is Father of Jesus. And he accepted only the Gospel of Luke and ten Pauline letters as Scripture. Marcion was against all things Jewish because he believed that the Jews had "judaized" mosta the other religious writings then in use. maing them non-valid. (Evidently he forgot that Paul was a Jew!)

    Justin Martyr used all four Gospels, calling them "the four canonical gospels". Iraneaus included not only the Gospels, but also included Acts, as he reasoned it was nonsensical to include Luke's Gospel in the canon, but not his letter of Acts.

    By about 200 AD, the canon included all the present books with the exceptions of hebrews, Philemon, 1 & 2 Peter, the 3 books of John, Jude, & Revelation.

    The Montanist movement led to the rejection of some books which had been accepted by some churches.

    Like him or not, Origen was largely responsible (humanly speaking) for getting the Book of hebrews accepted in the East. Eastern acceptance led to Western acceptance.

    The first mention of the present Protestant canon was seen in Athanasius' Easter Letter, written C. 367(?)

    The first Council of Hippo(390s AD), a meeting of Catholic African bishops, was the first time a group of prominent chruch officials agreed upon the present canon. As the RCC leadership became corrupt, some individuals and "councils" tried to change the canon unsuccessfully. And there have been splinter groups as well as the main body of the RCC who have adopted their own canons to this day.

    Some of the criteria used (humanly speaking) to determine the canon were:

    1.) Written by an Apostle. (Of course, some of the writings by the Apostles have never been considered Scripture, such as Paul's 3rd letter to the Corinthians.)

    2.) Used constantly in church meetings as an authority.(Some of the Apocrypha were thus oft-used, but not proclaimed as an authoritative writing)

    3.) Not contradictory with any established Scriptures

    4.) Antiquity...written during the Apostle's lifetime. Thus, it could be judged genuine.

    Each book had to have ALL these criteria to be judged Scripture.

    Thus, we see God has revealed His New Testament Scriptures over a span of about 300 years, as He revealed the OT over a period of some 1300 years. He began the NT with the Gospel, followed with tenets of everyday Christian living as Jesus gave them to Paul.

    Please do not hesitate me if I've made any error in history, as I merely typed from the toppa my head w/o any references. And please add anything you see I've left out. I'm having a server bogdown, I guess due to Christmas shopping, and cannot readily access any reference sites right now.

    But we see God's hand in the process, as He used even Marcion and Origen to help shape His canon. This is far different than the One-Versionism issue, as, while there's no Scripture specifically defining the canon, we DO see that all the Scriptural "books" fit together, supporting each other. The Apocrypha do NOT fit within the overall theme and story in Scripture, and almost all the other mss & writings used in early Christian churches are not extant now.

    YOUR thoughts on the canon?
     
  2. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    4
    I do not think the NT was so haphazardly pieced together as most people do today. For example, most people say Hebrews was one of the latest books to be "accepted." I find this amusing, seeing how Clement of Rome around A.D. 100 quoted or alluded to this book in his letter to the Corinthians almost more than any other book, calling it Scripture and of Paul many times. It was used by him not only because he knew it was Scripture, but also because he knew those to whom he was writing would regard it as Scripture. This is but one example that causes me to question the current status quo in canonical studies, and posit that the canon probably had a much earlier origen, the individual books of which were later called into question due to the rampant heretical and pseudepigraphal books that arose and led many astray, only to be confirmed again in due time through the canonical tests that are mentioned in the OP.
     
  3. LeBuick

    LeBuick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    11,537
    Likes Received:
    0
    Do you believe Paul wrote Hebrews? If so then that should not be amusing. Paul was beheaded at Rome, by Nero in the great persecutions which places his death some where around a.d. 67 or 68. I'm going by memory but I'm sure the fact cops will come correct me. He died long before AD 100...
     
  4. Keith M

    Keith M
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    Messages:
    2,024
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is the link to a site that has lots of infomation on the canon of the Bible. The information can be found at http://www.bible-researcher.com/canon.html and it is quite detailed. One of the links on the page links to information on over 20 various canons through the years.

    Another web page also offers information on various canons down through the years. This information can be found at http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Bible/Text/Canon/ and it is also worth a look.

    There are numerous sites where information on the canon of the Bible is offered. Just google the phrase biblical canon and you will be given a host if informational sites.
     
  5. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    4
    I personally think Paul was substantially behind Hebrews. My point was that people (e.g., Clement of Rome) quoted and referred to Hebrews as Scripture not long after it was written. And Hebrews is smack dab in the middle of the earliest collection of Paul's writings we have (i.e., p46), which suggests that from the earliest of times the collection of Paul's writings, if Paul did not write Hebrews, was mistakenly arranged. Also in Vaticanus and Sinaiticus it is right in the middle of the Pauline corpus. It was not until later that Hebrews made its way to the end of the Pauline corpus due to the doubts of those as to its Pauline origin.
     
  6. MNJacob

    MNJacob
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    2
    We just do not know who wrote Hebrews. The only real early objection to it was the lack of an author in the salutation, or more properly the absence of a salutation. The use of the original language is a bit different than Pauls typical vocabulary and sentence structure. The theology is also a bit different from Paul's.

    But on the other hand, the writer was very familiar with Paul's theology and even some of his personal illustrations. I personally believe that the writer of Hebrews may have been in the room while Paul dictated Ephesians because of the applicability of Hebrews 4:12 to Ephesians Chapter 6.
     
  7. robycop3

    robycop3
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2000
    Messages:
    7,573
    Likes Received:
    10
    I'm gladta see others believe in an early formation of the NT canon, that I wasn't just mis-interpreting what I'd read long ago.

    I fail to understand the reluctance of the "fathers" to accept Revelation for awhile. It was written by an Apostle, it fits right in with earlier accepted Scripture, and was written under the direct command of Christ. I reckon the reason was that it wasn't used daily in the early churches.

    I recall reading many years ago that there was evidence from several of the seven churches that they'd received the letters from Jesus that he'd told John to write....But as the song goes, "Can't remember where or when". Any comments?
     
  8. LeBuick

    LeBuick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    11,537
    Likes Received:
    0
    Whoops! I apologize, I mis read your original post. I won't put what I thought you said but I see it was my mistake.
     
  9. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    4
    As to Paul being substantially behind Hebrews, the beginning lacks his normal prelude, but this was not without reason, for the Jewish Christians did not all appreciate Paul. But Chapter 13 betrays Paul as the author, and the last verse of the book is Pauline more than any other.
     
  10. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    There were various "canons" accepted (or loosely quoted) by this or that antenicene father. Each one felt theirs was the correct compilation of books.

    NONE were identical to the 66 book canon until 250 years AFTER the death of Paul.

    Paul who did not, of course, write Hebrews. :tongue3:
     
  11. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    4
    So do you disagree with Charles P. Anderson's assessment in regard to the A.D. 200 p46 which includes Hebrews within the Pauline corpus: "The inclusion of Hebrews among the Pauline letters is clear testimony not only to Egyptian acceptance of Hebrews as Pauline, but also to the fact that Hebrews was at that time in the Pauline corpus. This is strong evidence that the Pauline corpus known to Origen and Clement did contain Hebrews, and that they were not arguing for its inclusion but for its right to the place which it already held" (“The Epistle to the Hebrews and the Pauline Letter Collection,” Harvard Theological Review 59 [1966]: 432)?
     
  12. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    4
    "Grace be with you" is Paul's sign in every epistle (2Th 3:17-18), and it ends every epistle written by him, including Hebrews (cf. He 13:25). No other epistle ends with this sign, for it was Paul's very own signature.

    Romans – “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (16:24).
    1 Corinthians – “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love is with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen” (16:23-24).
    2 Corinthians – “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen” (13:13b).
    Galatians – “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you spirit, brothers. Amen” (6:18).
    Ephesians – “The grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruptibility. Amen” (6:24).
    Philippians – “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (4:23).
    Colossians – “The grace be with you. Amen” (4:18c).
    1 Thessalonians – “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen” (5:28).
    2 Thessalonians – “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (3:18).
    Hebrews – “The grace be with you all. Amen” (13:25).
    1 Timothy – “The grace be with thee. Amen” (6:21b).
    2 Timothy – “The grace be with you. Amen” (4:22b).
    Titus – “The grace be with you all. Amen” (3:15b).
    Philemon – “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen” (25).
     
  13. LeBuick

    LeBuick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    11,537
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow, good trivia. I never realized or heard this...
     
  14. robycop3

    robycop3
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2000
    Messages:
    7,573
    Likes Received:
    10
    Thank you all, for your input so far. I see God's hand in the formation of the present canon from the myriad of writings being circulated in the 1st & 2nd centuries.
     
  15. Eliyahu

    Eliyahu
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,762
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good points.
    I heard about this.
    Also This:
    "Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty"
     
  16. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,051
    Likes Received:
    0
    After many years of believeing that Paul did write Hebrews, I came to realize that the linguistic style of Hebrews is completely different from Paul's other writings in the epistles.

    Maybe we need another thread to discuss this, or perhaps it has been hashed and re-hashed previously.
     
  17. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/Ed.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2002
    Messages:
    15,715
    Likes Received:
    0
    I started such a thread in
    this Versions/translations Forum:

    Versions evidence that Paul wrote Hebrews

    http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=35763
     
  18. R. J.

    R. J.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
  19. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    4
    There are so many textual affinities between Hebrews and Paul's other known works that it is impossible to say that Paul could not have written Hebrews.

    See David Alan Black (“On the Pauline Authorship of Hebrews [Part 1]: Overlooked Affinities between Hebrews and Paul,” Faith and Mission, 16:2 [Spr. 1999]:
    32-51). The hundreds of Greek textual affinities have been known for a long time. I read them for myself in Moses Stuart's 180 year old commentary on Hebrews, and am totally convinced that Paul not only could have written but also did in fact write Hebrews. Also, the Greek MS evidence is virtually 100 percent in favor of including Hebrews in the Pauline Corpus of writings.
     
  20. robycop3

    robycop3
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2000
    Messages:
    7,573
    Likes Received:
    10
    I freely admit there's no Scriptural support for our 66-book canon, but I believe God caused people in authority to read just about everything that was used in the first churches, and influenced their choices accordingly. However, IMO, comparing that to His possible choices of translations is comparing apples/oranges.

    Any thoughts?
     

Share This Page

Loading...