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Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by guitarpreacher, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. LeBuick

    LeBuick New Member

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    Good question, I thought the Bible was fairly clear...

    Jn 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    2 The same was in the beginning with God.
    3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
    4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
     
  2. LeBuick

    LeBuick New Member

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    Thank you for the correction, and I think you have a fairly good summation :thumbs:

    I don't know why I was thinking it was the Gospel of Thomas... :BangHead:
     
  3. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    An interesting interpretation that I have not heard before. It has some merit and is grammatically much more sound that those who claim that Christ is referring to himself as the rock.

    So the question is: Which is the rock: Peter or Peter's confession of Christ's identity?

    How do you understand Christ's promise to give Peter keys to the kingdom of heaven if it is his confession he is building the church on and not his person?

    I also see the part about God revealing that truth to him as a statement about his apostleship.

    We should probably continue this on another thread if it keeps going but thanks for the discussion.
     
  4. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    In writings made by Origen and Eusebius about disputed books of the canon, the Gospel of Thomas was among the books mentioned. Both of them criticized the Gospel of Thomas, suggesting that some in the Christian community were making use of it. Origen simply says it is not approved or recognized while Eusebius is much harsher and calls it heretical. While the Gospel of Thomas may never have received serious consideration for canonization, it was brought up in discussions about canonization under the heading of books that did not qualify.

     
  5. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

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    Gold Dragon, thanks for posting those quotes.

    I've read the Gospel of Thomas - like most counterfeits it gives no history or facts. It's just a set of sayings. Some of them are found in the true Gospels but they are interspersed with a lot of ridiculous ones.

    I've seen the Gospel of Thomas referred to and used in movies and books as though it's authoritative. New Agers and others like that like it, partly because of one of the verses that says something like, "Look under a rock and you will find me..." can't recall the rest. It sounds pantheistic.

    Really, some of the fake statements in there are laughable.
     
  6. Doubting Thomas

    Doubting Thomas Active Member

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    Regarding NT books that were disputed but which ultimately made the canon:
    Hebrews, James, Jude, 2 Peter, 2 John , 3 John, and Revelation (to John)

    (at least James through Revelation were still disputed in the East by the time Eusebius wrote his CHURCH HISTORY in the early 4th century, and Hebrews was still disputed in the West, including Rome, through the 4th century)

    Books that had a measure of local canonicity but ultimately did not make the canon:
    Didache, First Clement (Epistle to the Corinthians), Epistle of Barnabas, Shepherd of Hermas, and a couple of others like Apocalypse of Peter and Gospel of Hebrews.
    (In fact First and Second Clement are included in Codex Alexandrinus after Revelation, while Barnabas and (parts of )Shepherd are listed in Codex Sinaiticus after Revelation)

    Books that were outside of orthodoxy and never considered for the canon:
    Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Peter, Gospel of Matthias, Acts of Andrew, Acts of John (all mentioned by Eusebius as heretical and rejected by the Church), and many others like them--ie Gospels of Philip, of Judas, of Mary, etc.

    (see Eusebius' THE CHURCH HISTORY, primarily section 3:25 among others)

    The earliest list of NT books which exactly matches our 27 book canon is from Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, in his Festal Letter in AD 367. The Councils of Hippo and Carthage at the end of the 4th and beginning of the 5th century confirmed this 27 book list.

    ...And I'm in general agreement with Agnus' sig line (I'm Anglican, not Eastern Orthodox). Chronologically the Church indeed preceded the NT; the founding members of the Church, the Apostles, wrote the NT (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit); and the Church recognized and determined the limits of canonical scriptures; and the Church defended the correct interpretation of the same in response to the misinterpretations of the heretics (ie Arians, Sabellians, Marcionites, and the like). Even the OT Scriptures were correctly interpreted by Christ to the Apostles (Luke 24) and then proclaimed as being fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth to the Jews and then the Gentiles (as recorded in Acts). The early Church even used OT books that the non-Christian Palestinian Jews ultimately omitted like Wisdom of Sirach, Wisdom of Solomon and other 'Deuterocanonicals'.
     
    #46 Doubting Thomas, Nov 22, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2008
  7. LeBuick

    LeBuick New Member

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    I believe that is the Church. What the Church binds on earth will be bound in heaven.
     
  8. Gerhard Ebersoehn

    Gerhard Ebersoehn Active Member
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    Doubting Thomas:
    "Chronologically the Church indeed preceded the NT "


    GE:
    Undoubtely that is so. But it is no more than an obvious conclusion. The Protstants went so far, as the following:

    "
    The Netherlands (‘Belgic’) Confession of Faith:
    In view thereof the whole manner in which God ought to be served and worshipped by us is circumstantially explained therein, indeed nobody, not even the Apostles, may teach us different than what we have already been taught in the Holy Scriptures…”, Article 7
    ", with 'Holy Scriptures' meaning, the OT.

    Getting more complex the nearer to the truth it gets.
     
  9. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

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    The church recognized and discovered the canon; they did not determine it. God determined it. Almost the whole NT was quoted by early church Fathers as scripture. Just because some non-canonical writings were used by the early church does not mean they were used as authoritative scripture with apostolic origin/authority.

    The Bible has authority over the church; not vice-versa.
     
  10. Thinkingstuff

    Thinkingstuff Active Member

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    Logos? You're not saying Jesus was a dimurge are you? :laugh:
    That verse is about Jesus. Context.
     
  11. Thinkingstuff

    Thinkingstuff Active Member

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    Yours is a reasonable argument. However, it seems chicken before the egg. Scriptures were writen and the Church said Ah... this is scripture. For scripture to be recognized there must be some authority. Where did that authority come from? The Church said this is scripture. So you must believe that in order for scripture to have been accepted that the ECF who said "ah this is scripture" must have been likewise inspired by the Holy Spirit as is the case of the writers of the scritpures. So, you say scritpures is authoritative over the church but then the church was the authority to say it is scripture.
     
  12. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

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    I think the authority was the Holy Spirit working through the church. I don't say the church has authority - they just disovered it. There's a difference.

    I can read non-canonical books now and I can tell they are not God's word.
     
  13. Thinkingstuff

    Thinkingstuff Active Member

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    So authority for you is that when you read books the way you feel about how it reads or how it compares to what you believe the Holy Spirit is saying about it? Doesn't that make you're feelings or perceptions the final authority to whether a book is canonical or not?

    The first Part of your statement the Holy Spirit Working through the Church but the church doesn't have authority? Yet the Holy Spirit working through Isaiah gives Isaiah authority? Yeah... I'm not sure thats a good argument.
     
  14. Rooselk

    Rooselk Member

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    I had much the same experience, except I was raised a Roman Catholic and as a young adult became a Baptist. I, too, "discovered" the Church Fathers and Church history while still a Baptist. But my path certainly didn't lead me back to Rome or the Orthodox Church. Rather, it lead me to Martin Luther - whom also was well-versed in the writings of the Church Fathers. In the Lutheran Chuch I see Biblical doctrine along with the reflection of the early Church found in many of those ancient writings of the Church Fathers.
     
  15. Agnus_Dei

    Agnus_Dei New Member

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    I wouldn't give up yet on Orthodoxy. I discovered, quite to my surprise actually, that Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy have two very different theologies.
    Trust me, I looked at the Lutheran Church; still my investigation of the Lutheran Church didn't last very long, hard for me to believe that Christ who promised to be with His Church and to remind His Church of all things would have failed and it took Martin Luther to finally some 1500 plus years to really figure it all out.

    Luther's reforming of the Catholic Church was trying to conserve the structure, sacraments, traditions and core theology of Christianity. To that end, he read up on the early Church Fathers (particularly Augustine), studied what canons of the Church he could get his hands on, and tried to re-establish the episcopacy. His second-generation descendants furthered that side of the cause by writing to the Patriarch of Constantinople, hoping to forge a union between German Christianity and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

    Unfortunately, 14th century Germans weren't as informed as we are today. Much of Luther's theology was based on a profound misunderstanding of early Christian theology, and the elements that he adopted from Augustine were not typical of the early Church. Many of Luther's canons were incomplete, and he had only a vague idea of what the first several Ecumenical Councils had actually decreed. His attempts to establish a German episcopacy with apostolic succession failed, and the Lutheran Church soon assimilated to other, more radical Protestant movements. Attempts at a union with the Patriarch of Constantinople failed when the Patriarch returned a list of irreconcilable differences between Lutheran theology and Orthodox Christianity.

    Then again, if God led you to the Lutheran Church and there is where your relationship with Christ is growing, then I say Praise God. As an Orthodox Christian, even though I believe that I've found the true Church of the NT, we don't believe for a second that the Orthodox Church has God in it's pocket.

    In XC
    -
     
  16. Agnus_Dei

    Agnus_Dei New Member

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    Double Post...
     
  17. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

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    No, this is not at all what I was saying. I probably did not express it well. But if we say the church has authority over scripture, then what does that mean? Scripture is the authority of God's word; how can the church have authority over that? The idea that the church has authority over the word puts you into the thinking like the RC Church who decides the interpretation for Catholics.

    God reveals Himself through his word; Christians recognized the word because it was authenticated by apostolic authority and because it was what the church had believed since its inception. It was not a guessing game. It was not as if 300 years later the church had no idea what the scriptures were.

    This is how New Agers present it: the church hierarchy got together and decided what should be in the Bible and what shouldn't. This is not what happened.


    Well, how do we decide if the church has authority and over what? We use the Bible, right? So where does that leave your idea? How can we say the church has authority over the Bible without using the Bible to say the church has authority?
     
  18. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

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    Double post -- trouble with the BB tonight.
     
  19. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    The only authority for any born again believer ought to be the Word of God. It is our final authority in all matters pertaining to faith and doctrine. It was that way long before the NT was completed. When Paul went to the Bereans, the Bereans did not take what Paul had to say at face value. They evaluated his NT message with the OT Scriptures which they had:

    Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

    And Paul commends them for this. They searched the Scriptures (the Scriptures that were available to them), to see whether or not Paul was speaking according to "this word."

    Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
    --It has always been this ways. Sola scriptura has always been the norm. Whether NT or OT, the Scriptures have always been the authority by which we must go by. We have no other authority in matters pertaining to faith and doctrine.

    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:

    Peter is telling his readers to take heed to the words of the prophets--the writers of the OT, and to the words (commandments) of the apostles (the writers of the NT). This has nothing to do with the church being an authority. It isn't. The Bible is our authority. It has authority over the church. If the church does not submit to the aurhority of Christ and the Biblle what good is the church--a political institution maybe?

    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;
    16 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.

    Peter knew which of Paul's epistles were Scripture, and refers to them as such. The apostles recognized which books were Scripture and taught the early believers which were and which weren't. They ddin't have to wait for spurious so-called Catholic Councils to make such councils. They knew by he end of the first century which books made up our canon of Scripture. The apostles were there to teach them--not the RCC.
     
  20. Matt Black

    Matt Black Well-Known Member
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    Chapter and verse for that assertion, please.
    Which ones? How?

    Er...not quite; from the earliest times the Church has also been guided by the Apostles and Prophets.



    Who physically wrote them, then? Who determined which writings would go in the canon and which wouldn't?



    How, exactly?

    Not so: your computer analogy works for eg: a scribe writing down the words Paul dictated to him, but not for Paul's dictation itself.
     
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