Skip to comments.HOW WE GOT OUR BIBLE And WHY WE BELIEVE IT IS GOD'S WORD
Posted on 07/27/2012 2:27:56 PM PDT by wmfights
STRUCTURE AND HISTORY OF THE BIBLE
OUR English version, and probably most of the translations of the Bible, consists of sixty-six Books, thirty-nine in the Old Testament and twenty-seven in the New, and is regarded with special consideration by all Christians because it is held to be the record of the divine religion of Redemption.
The Old Testament shows how this religion was prepared through many centuries; the New tells how it was at length provided and proclaimed.
The keynote of the former is, therefore, Preparation, and this is twofold:
- The preparation of the Redeemer for the people;
- The preparation of the people for the Redeemer.
The keynote of the latter is Manifestation, and this is also twofold:
- The manifestation of the Redeemer in Person,
- The consequent manifestation of his grace in the redeemed, both individually in believers and corporately in the community of Christians, which we call the church.
Thus both Testaments together form a complete record of human sin and divine salvation, the former making the latter necessary.
- Sin is seen in its nature and consequences,
- Salvation in its character and effects.
The Books of the Old Testament are the product of at least thirty authors and cover a period of at least a thousand years.
They are made up of: - History,
The Jewish Old Testament, following the classification of the Hebrew text, is in three parts;
- The law,
- The prophets,
- The psalms.
The law consists of the first five books of the Bible and on this account is called the Pentateuch (five rolls).
Note - It may be said in passing that there is no trace in the historical tradition of the Jews of a Hexateuch (six rolls, including Joshua).
The second division of the Hebrew Bible, called the prophets, includes the historical books of Judges, Samuel and Kings, and the prophetic books proper with the exception of Daniel, which because it is apocalyptic rather than, as the other prophetic books, strictly predictive, is in the third section.
The historical books are called "the former prophets" because they are written from a religious standpoint and are not mere historical annals. They were pretty certainly the work of prophets or prophetic men.
The third part of the Hebrew Bible is so called from the first book in it, and the rest of it consists of those Books which are not found in the other two parts. Our English Old Testament has a different order and comes from the Greek Version of the Old Testament (the Septuagint).
It consists of four parts: - Pentateuch,
The New Testament numbers twenty-seven Books, and is the work of eight authors, covering only about fifty years. Of the eight authors, five were apostles of CHRIST and three were associates of the apostles.
The New Testament has three main parts:
- History, contained in the Gospels and Acts;
- Doctrine, in the Epistles;
- Prophecy, in the Revelation.
These three provide respectively the commencement, the course, and the culmination of the Christian religion.
There is a striking connection between the Old Testament and the New beyond the general unity mentioned above. The Old Testament emphasizes the three aspects of the divine Saviour: the prophet, the priest, and the king. These answer to the three deepest necessities of man.
- He requires a prophet to reveal GOD;
- He requires a priest to redeem from sin;
- He requires a king to rule his life for GOD.
Each of these is emphasized in the Old Testament, and in general can be associated with sections of its Books.
The New Testament fitly shows how this threefold need is met in CHRIST as Prophet, Priest, and King; revealing, redeeming, and ruling. The full title "Jesus Christ our Lord" suggests this:
- JESUS the Prophet,
- CHRIST the Priest,
- The Lord the King.
Such is the Bible as we have it today. But how did it come to be what it now is? There has been a gradual growth, and the steps of this we must note.
At first and for a long time the revelation of GOD was oral. "The word of the Lord came to Abram" (Genesis 15:1).
This was sufficient for ages. But the time came when it was necessary to put the divine revelation in a written form. It would seem as though a book were essential for the maintenance and continuance of religion, and it is at least interesting and perhaps also significant that all the great religious systems of the world have their sacred books.
Literature is the nearest possible approach to reliability. This is a point which will need fuller consideration at a later stage.
There are traces in the Old Testament of a gradual growth by accretion. The Jewish tradition associates Moses with the commencement of the Scripture, and there is no doubt of the essential truth of this position. Certainly there is no other tradition attaching to the books; and in view of the tenacity with which the Jews kept their national traditions, this belief about Moses calls for adequate explanation.
A careful study of passages found throughout the Old Testament shows this development, indications being found at almost every period, of growth and additions to the existing writings.
Among others the following passages should be noted:
And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven (Exodus 17:14).
And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of the LORD: and these [are] their journeys according to their goings out (Numbers 33:2).
And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of [that which is] before the priests the Levites (Deuteronomy 17:18).
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success . . . And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD (Joshua 1:8; 24:26).
Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the LORD. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house (I Samuel 10:25).
Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples . . . To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them (Isaiah 8:16, 20).
Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day (Jeremiah 36:2).
In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem (Daniel 9:2).
And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel (Nehemiah 8:1).
These references, taken from each period of the history, indicate a gradual growth of the Jewish Scriptures.
The complete volume is associated by tradition with Ezra, and there are no valid reasons for doubting this, especially as it harmonizes with the testimony of the wellinformed and representative Jew, Josephus, who, writing in the first century of the Christian Era, said that no book was added to the Jewish Scripture after the time of Malachi.
As to the preservation of the gradually growing volume through the ages from Moses to Ezra, it has been pointed out by that eminent Egyptologist, Professor Naville, that it was the custom among Eastern nations to deposit their books in their sanctuaries, and there is every likelihood that the Jews did the same. The copy found by Hilkiah was probably this temple copy (II Kings 22:8).
The New Testament was also marked by. a gradual growth.
At first came the oral accounts of the life of CHRIST and the presentation of the Christian message.
Then followed the apostolic letters, confirming and elaborating their oral teaching.
These letters were read in the assemblies of the Christians (I Thessalonians 5:27; II Thessalonians 3:14).
The next stage was the interchange of these letters among the churches (Colossians 4:16).
Not long after the need of a record of the life of the founder was felt, and as a result came our Gospels (Luke 1:l-4; John 20:31). The story of the early church naturally followed (Acts), and the Apocalypse fitly crowned the whole with its outlook on the future.
As the primitive churches had the Old Testament volume in their hands, it was a constant reminder of the need of an analogous volume of the New Testament, though everything was so very gradual and natural that it is only when the process is complete that it is realized to have been also manifestly supernatural.
At this point the important question arises how we can be sure that our Bible today really represents the books which have been thus naturally and simply collected into a volume.
The answer is that it is quite easy to prove that our Bible is the same as the church has had through the centuries.
We start with the printed Bibles of today and it is obviously easy to show that they correspond with the printed Bibles of the sixteenth century, or the time when printing was invented.
From these we can go back through the English and Latin versions until we reach to the great manuscripts of the fourth century as represented by the three outstanding codices known as:
- The Codex Sinaiticus (in Petrograd),
- The Codex Vaticanus (in Rome)
- The Codex Alexandrinus (in the British Museum).
Then we can go back still farther and compare the use of Scripture in the writings of the Fathers of the third century, and from these work back to the second century when versions in several languages are found.
From this it is but a short step to the time of the apostles and the actual composition of the New Testament writings.
There is no reasonable doubt that we possess today what has always been regarded as the Scriptures of the Christian Church.
The proof as to the Old Testament can be shown along similar lines.
Our Old Testament is identical with the Bible of the Jews at the present time. This is the translation of Hebrew manuscripts dating from several centuries past, and the fact of the Jews always having used the same Bible as they do today is a proof that all through the ages the Christian Church has not been mistaken in its inclusion of the Old Testament in its Bible.
An additional evidence of great value is the fact that the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek about two centuries before CHRIST, and this translation is essentially the same as the Hebrew text from which we get our Old Testament.
The additional books which are found in the Greek Old Testament, called the Apocrypha, were never part of the Jewish Scriptures, and were never regarded as Scripture by those who knew the Hebrew language. These books were not written in Hebrew, and were not included in Scripture by any body of Christians until the Church of Rome arbitrarily decided to include them at the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century. In addition to other points which could be mentioned, these books contain inaccuracies in history and doctrine, which make it impossible for them to be regarded as part of the Word of GOD for man.
These are some of the facts which are connected with our Bible as we now have it, and from them we can proceed to consider the various points which are involved in our belief that the Bible is for us the Word of GOD, and as such, the rule of our faith and practice
Bring It, Brother!
“and were not included in Scripture by any body of Christians until the Church of Rome arbitrarily decided to include them at the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century.”
i realize not many Baptists have a clue about Church History before the 16th century, ( when they appear on the world stage for the first time ), but the above statement is down right IGNORANT.
The Greek Orthodox split from the Latin Church in 1054, and therefore do not accept Trent as a Church Council.
what is the OT canon of the Greek Orthodox?
what books of the OT were in the Latin Vulgate in the 4th century?
what OT books were declared canonical in the 397ad council of carthage?
the oriental orthodox split from the Catholic Church in the 5th century, how many books are there in their OT canon?
this post is embarrassing in its ignorance of Church history.
Thanks for this.
If scripture is considered good for correction and reproof, then many in the Roman Catholic church held that the Apocrypha was not scripture.
Writing prior to the canon decision at the Council of Trent, Cajetan wrote:
“Here we close our commentaries on the historical books of the Old Testament. For the rest (that is, Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees) are counted by St Jerome out of the canonical books, and are placed amongst the Apocrypha, along with Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, as is plain from the Prologus Galeatus. Nor be thou disturbed, like a raw scholar, if thou shouldest find anywhere, either in the sacred councils or the sacred doctors, these books reckoned as canonical. For the words as well of councils as of doctors are to be reduced to the correction of Jerome. Now, according to his judgment, in the epistle to the bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus, these books (and any other like books in the canon of the bible) are not canonical, that is, not in the nature of a rule for confirming matters of faith. Yet, they may be called canonical, that is, in the nature of a rule for the edification of the faithful, as being received and authorised in the canon of the bible for that purpose. By the help of this distinction thou mayest see thy way clearly through that which Augustine says, and what is written in the provincial council of Carthage.”
-Cardinal Cajetan (16th century)
However, the author of the posted article would have done well to point that out, rather than just assert that the Apocrypha was “not included in Scripture by any body of Christians until the Church of Rome arbitrarily decided to include them at the Council of Trent”.
great post, thanks!
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Biblical Illiteracy and Bible Babel
The Pilgrims' Regress - The Geneva Bible And The "Apocrypha"
The "Inconvenient Tale" of the Original King James Bible
The Bible - an absolutely amazing book
Christian Scriptures, Jewish Commentary
Essays for Lent: The Canon of Scripture
Essays for Lent: The Bible
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How we should read the Bible
St. Jerome and the Vulgate (completing the FIRST Bible in the year 404) [Catholic Caucus]
In Bible Times
Deuterocanonical References in the New Testament
Translations Before the King James: - The KJV Translators Speak!
EWTN Live - March 23 - A Journey Through the Bible
"Our Father's Plan" - EWTN series with Dr. Scott Hahn and Jeff Cavins on the Bible timeline
The Daunting Journey From Faith to Faith [Anglicanism to Catholicism]
Reflections on the Soon to Be Released New American Bible (Revised Edition)[Catholic Caucus]
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Is the Bible the Only Revelation from God? (Catholic / Orthodox Caucus)
History of the Bible (caution: long)
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THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: ON READING THE BIBLE [Catholic Caucus]
Because I Love the Bible
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When Was the Bible Really Written?
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Friday Fast Fact: The Bible in English
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The Accuracy of Scripture
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The Dos and Donts of Reading the Bible [Ecumenical]
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The Complete Bible: Why Catholics Have Seven More Books [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Books of the Catholic Bible: The Complete Scriptures [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: When Was The Bible Written? [Ecumenical]
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They were considered important works on various subjects such as history, and that is why the KJB had them between the testaments as being non-Canonical.
The Cardinal is simply broadening the word 'Canonical' to make it mean something it doesn't mean.
The Canon refers to those books that define Christian doctrine and are directly given by God.
The Apocrypha books are not part of the Canon.
Luther was wrong about many things.
Not this one.
Sirach is preserved in a Greek translation but was originally written in Hebrew. It came to be called Ecclesiasticus because excerpts from it were so frequently used in the Mass.
A very interesting study but very time consuming and worth the effort...
**one Lord one faith one baptism**
Your name is in this next Sunday’s second reading — Ephesians!
Luther was wrong on many things, but that particular quote is not too far off - particularly in context. It came in a sermon where he said, in essence, that the Catholic Church had gone astray.
Today the pope and his crowd cry out against us that they are the church, since they have received Baptism, the Sacrament, and Holy Writ from the apostles and are their successors. They say: Where else should Gods people be than where His name is praised, and where the successors and heirs of His apostles are to be found? Surely the Turks, the Tartars, and the heathen cannot be His people. Therefore we must be His people; otherwise it will be altogether impossible to find a people of God on earth. Consequently, he who rebels against us resists the Christian Church and Christ Himself. [LW 24:303].
Yes, we ourselves find it difficult to refute it, especially since we concedeas we mustthat so much of what they say is true: that the papacy has Gods Word and the office of the apostles, and that we have received Holy Scripture, Baptism, the Sacrament, and the pulpit from them. What would we know of these if it were not for them? Therefore faith, the Christian Church, Christ, and the Holy Spirit must also be found among them. What business have I, then, to preach against them as a pupil preaching against his teachers? Then there come rushing into my heart thoughts like these: Now I see that I am in error. Oh, if only I had never started this and had never preached a word! For who dares oppose the church, of which we confess in the Creed: I believe in a holy Christian Church, etc.? Now I find this church in the papacy too. It follows, therefore, that if I condemn this church, I am excommunicated, rejected, and damned by God and all the saints. [LW 24:304].
and he goes on:
Thus we are also compelled to say: I believe and am sure that the Christian Church has remained even in the papacy. On the other hand, I know that most of the papists are not the Christian Church, even though they give everyone the impression that they are. Today our popes, cardinals, and bishops are not Gods apostles and bishops; they are the devils. And their people are not Gods people; they are the devils. And yet some of the papists are true Christians, even though they, too, have been led astray, as Christ foretold in Matt. 24:24 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] . But by the grace of God and with His help they have been preserved in a wonderful manner. [LW 24:305].
In the meantime we adhere to the distinction made here by Christ and do not regard as Christendom those who do not hold truly and absolutely to what Christ taught, gave, and ordained, no matter how great, holy, and learned they may be. We tell them that they are the devils church. On the other hand, we want to acknowledge and honor as the true bride of Christ those who remain faithful to His pure Word and have no other comfort for their hearts than this Savior, whom they have received and confessed in Baptism and in whose name they have partaken of the Sacrament. These are the true church. It is not found in only one place, as, for example, under the pope; but it exists over the entire earth wherever Christians are found. Outwardly they may be scattered here and there, but they meet in the words of the Creed: I believe in God the Father Almighty, and in Jesus Christ, our Lord, who was born, suffered, and died for us on the cross. In like manner, they pray: Our Father who art in heaven. They share the same Spirit, Word, and Sacrament. They all lead the same holy and blessed life, each one according to his calling, whether father, mother, master, servant, etc. Thus whatever we preach, believe, and live, this they all preach, believe, and live. Physically separated and scattered here and there throughout the wide world, we are nevertheless gathered and united in Christ.[LW 24:309].
The true church has never disappeared from the earth. Luther didn’t suddenly become the first Christian in a thousand years.
And the Catholic Church had access to something of great value - God’s Word.
And yes, Israel also had access to God’s word and the prophets, and yet Israel did not recognize God Incarnate. In like manner, the Catholic Church hid God’s Word and condemned to death those who sought to distribute English translations (and later other vernacular translations) because they knew that what they taught did not line up with scripture.
The Pope of Luther’s day had full access to scripture - yet he ignored it, and hid it. The Catholic Church fought to prevent commoners from reading scripture, saying it was to high for normal men to understand. But God’s Word wasn’t meant to be hidden, concealed, ignored and despised. It was meant to be read and followed - according to the Apostle Peter:
13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.
16 We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
19 And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophets own interpretation. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
And what happens if God’s Word is not paid attention to?
Peter goes on:
2 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
Thanks for the input.
I think one point of misunderstanding (misunderstood by some Catholics, too, as well as by some others) arises when people don't distinguish between "Traditional" and "Defined Dogmatic". Much of the certain Tradition of the Church is not formulated as a dogmatic definiton until some challenge or crisis requires precise argument and formal restatement.
A formal, painstaking recapitulation of what the Church holds, does not mean the Church has just invented or imposed it on the spot. It means that the ancient truths have been (again) iterated in a clear pronouncement.
Examples abound. For instance, the Church always had an Incarnational and Trinitarian understanding of Christ; but one wouldn't find those exact, precise words used much before the early Ecumenical Councils. This doesn't indicate that the Church "didn't believe" in the Incarnation or the Trinity before the 4th century; it just indiates that the explanations became sharper and clearer: often in response to the goad of controversy.
This issue arises when we speak of the canon of Scripture. Some claim that the Church did not authoritatively define the canon of Scripture until the Council of Trent and, since that Council was a reaction to the Reformation, the deuterocanon can be considered an addition to the original Christian canon. This is not correct.
Regional councils of the early Church had enumerated the books of the Bible time and again prior to the Reformation, always upholding the current Catholic canon. Examples include the Council of Rome (382), the Council of Hippo (393), and the Third and Fourth Councils of Carthage (397, 418). All of these affirmed the Catholic canon as we know it today, while none affirmed the Protestant canon.
If you can find one Christian Council that lists only a short, 39-book O.T. Canon in the 4th or 5th centuries, I would be interested in hearing of it. It would be news to me.
Yes, it could be argued that the "short list" comes to us from a council --- but not a Christian one! It comes from the ca. 100 AD Jewish scholars of Jamnia (Yavne), who were reacting against the successful Christian use of the Septuagint in gaining Jewish converts to the Gospel of Christ.
So either way (39-book or 46-book) you have to depend on a council: but why a Christian would want to revert to the authority of an anti-Christian rabbinical council, puzzles me.
To be sure, there was plenty of discussion and some dissent on such things, even among churchmen. But the Christian Councils were unanimous. Even a thousand years later, while seeking reunion with the Copts, the Church affirmed the same canon at the ecumenical Council of Florence in 1442.
True, it was when the canon became a serious issue following the Protestant schism in the early 1500s, that the Council of Trent "dogmatically defined" the full, 46 book O.T. Canon. But it was same Canon that the Church had traditionally and consistently taught for more than 1,000 years.
Thanks for the ping!
The same Christians that the Catholic church persecuted.
Those who defend the Apocryphal books, do so out of misplaced loyalty to their religious leaders of the past than they do what God has delivered for us all. As the article points out, these disputed books contain numerous errors and that alone SHOULD disqualify them from being thought of as God-breathed Scripture. If you have ever read them, they do not even SOUND like the rest of Scripture does. They lack that spiritual grip - that sense that this is from God. This remains a big deal to some and they will fight tooth and nail over the issue, accusing others of ignorance and all sorts of silly things, and forget that the rest of the Bible - the 66 books - are NOT in dispute with any Christian. No, we have the Bible God meant for us to have and it STILL works in the heart of all those who answer the call of Almighty God.
“We are compelled to concede to the Papists
that they have the Word of God,
that we received it from them,
and that without them
we should have no knowledge of it at all.”
~ Martin Luther
Sounds like an open and shut case.
That's a serious charge, and of course if it is true it must be backed up by serious evidence.
I had laid out briefly, above, the historic councils that codified the Canon of Scripture. We know the times and places of these Councils ---the Council of Rome (382), the Council of Hippo (393), Third and Fourth Councils of Carthage (397, 418)---and the names, too, of those who affirmed the Catholic canon as we know it today.
So, are you saying that it was some other group of Christians who were preserving the Bible? I would like to know more. Who were they? Are you thinking of the Montanists? Or the Assyrian Church of the East -- the Nestorians? Or the Persian Church, a dhimmi community under the Rashidun Caliphate? Or ... When did this ancient "Bible preserving" happen, apart from the Catholic Church? and where? Did they produce an official Canon, other than the one affirmed by the Councils above? And where are the ancient Bibles they preserved?
You can see I am eager to know more about your historic Bible sources.
In your unlearned opinion. The Deuterocanonicals are not part of the abridged, edited versions of Scripture that showed up centuries after the original. The corrupted KJV, not KJB, was produced over 12 centuries later. However, they were there when the 73 book canon was closed in 405 AD by Pope St. Innocent I.
If a Christian relies on edicts of theologians to validate their belief in something it is easy to be misled. In this case by looking for councils to determine what is, or is not Scripture it is easy to miss the beautiful working of the Holy Spirit. Christians recognized the Scriptures very early on. For example, the Muratonian Fragment which includes all but a few of the books found at the end of the NT dates back to 150AD. No hierarchy with the power of the State behind it established this, it was Christians led by the Holy Spirit.
The other issue in looking to councils of one church ignores that at the same time that the allegorical view of Scripture was emerging a literal school of interpretation already existed. In other words by relying solely on those that came later, acting as if those that were present at the beginning had not already established something, a Christian can fall into the trap of only seeing part of the truth.
St. Jerome, pray for us!
The authority of the Church is very much dependent on the Holy Spirit and not at all dependent on "edicts of theologians". If it were, the Catholic Church through the centuries would have been captured by Montanism, Arianism, Pelagianism, Donatism and every other enthusiasm and split-off movement that came along, since as you know Montanus, Arius, Pelagius and Donatus were members of the long (and still continuing) line of error-prone theologians including Martin Luther, Fr. Hans Kung and Fr. Robert Drinan!
Being dependent on the self-described "leading of the Spirit" of any "individual" theologian is always going to be prone to error, since it is so easy to be misled when one is acting as a "lone ranger" cut off fromn thr Apostles and their successors.
That's why the Councils are so important. Whenever there is a major controversy or crisis, starting with the Council of Jerusalem in Apostolic times, the leaders of the Church must gather to weigh evidence, hear testimony, search Scripture, pray ardently, discuss and debate (sometime heatedly) and finally grasp a Truth they can announce with confidence, "It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us..." (Acts 15:29).
If you disregard Councils, you are disregarding how the Holy Spirit guided the Church in every single century --- through 20 centuries --- until now: as Jesus promised, the Church has never been left an orphan or abandoned. And we have the evidence.
The Muratorian Fragment is part of that evidence. It illustrates how the Church over the centuries had to deal with controversies about the question of the canon. The MF includes at least one book accepted by Catholics and Orthodox, but which today's Protestants would list with the Apocrypha (Wisdom), at least one properly called patristic (The Shepherd, by Hermas), and some which are seriously dubious "...the new book of psalms for Marcion, together with Basilides, the founder of the Asian Cataphrygians."
And although the Muratorian Fragment lists most of the New Testament books, it's missing a few (e.g. Matthew, James, 3 John), and it adds several works which are not inspired.
You clearly state your view (not mine) that the Muratorian Fragment was Holy Spirit-inspired. Really? Is it accepted as such by, for instance, the Baptists? If so, I take it you accept the book of Wisdom? And omit John 3, Matthew and James?
Not me. I think the Councils' canons, being unanimous over a period of almost 1700 years, are more reliable than that.
"Those that were present at the beginning" on whom everything subsequent depends, were the Apostles. The Catholic Church is built on the Apostles, on the foundation laid by Christ, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I personally find any other foundation dubious.
It is disputed that this Jamnia council ever took place.
Those scholars who delve into such things, cannot precisely and irrefutably agree exactly when and where the Hebrew "canon" was closed, even as the idea of "canon", though not a word of their making, can be shown to be a principle of their own making.
What can otherwise be found, is of course the historian/explainer Josephus, pointing to those number which later are known to us as what is contained in the present Hebrew canon, with quite early on Melito agreeing, followed by Jerome, whom confirmed Melito.
What comes earliest, should be given great consideration.
We see too, that the apocrypha doesn't quite fit. It is neither "Law", the history related to the giving of the Law, including the consequences for both obeying or disobeying, nor is it Psalms, nor books of the minor prophets.
What is of no slight consideration, is just what the Sanhedrin held as being canonical, at the very moment when Jesus stood in the flesh before them.
Nothing else counts. Who else but the Pharisees in Jerusalem were the "foremost"? Would Christ have come and showed himself to any lessor? That was the Jewish religious "Supreme Court". There was no higher authoritative body on earth at the time, in matters regarding the religion of the Jews.
Pointing to the Septuagint as "end of story" is quite problematic, for a host of reasons. First, could be "which version"? Then one would need to irrefutably show that the foremost Jewish authorities, those in Jerusalem, accepted that translation and collection as being canonical. Such has not been accomplished.
Since it is in dispute that this precise Jamnia council even took place (though something of the sort quite possibly did) by what authority can it be claimed that they
hence by implication, that was the motive behind their removal of what should have been known to them as "Scripture" from that work?
If not arguing "perfidious Jews" perfidious even to their own collection of Covenant with G-d, guided by G-d;
Here one must argue "stupid Jews" coming from what is now Israel, stupid since they didn't know what their own Holy Writ contained, and what it did not.
But on the other hand, "smart, well informed Jews" living for enough generations back in Egypt to have all but entirely lost their ability to understand Hebrew, as the ones who were "smart".
Just the symbolism alone of such an idea is problematic, and that before delving into whether or not those Jews whom were actually adequately informed among the Egyptian Jewry, themselves accepted the work without reservation. I do seem to recall there being found in the historic record, some quibbling regarding this very thing, there in Egypt at that time, but have lost the thread, mentioning it here as something for other readers and searchers to be on the lookout for.
Is there something "the Jews" would see magical in the apocrypha, that does the trick, turning people into Christians? Were those books in and of themselves the key to it all? Would "the Jews" be motivated to meddle with their own Holy Writ, just to meddle with and/or "get back at" early Christians in some way?
What a preposterous proposition, but one found hidden in the mention of "Jamnia" and vague allusion to nefarious motives attributed to those dad-gum, perfidious Jews of Israel who "edited out" what is still here now in dispute... and what was long termed 'apocrypha', even by early Catholic scholars.
By What logic would Jewish scholars of that time, those whom actually knew the Hebrew, and were well apprised of tradition, knowing what was considered to be properly seen as Scripture, and what was not --- throw out portions of what was Holy to themselves?
Along those lines, why would later Hebrew language scholars do the same?. Answer that please, but show it from tracing through the most ancient Hebrew sources available, while also explaining why Josephus got it wrong (but certain details of Christ correct!) along with why Melito and later Jerome, should not be seen as authoritative and best informed, coming as they did before the later councils (which you seem to favor).
Why would they do such a precise thing, rejecting certain late-in-the-making written works, (and other works considered by them to be spurious?). Would they do so just to frustrate those irritating Christians? To confuse Jewish converts to Christianity, even at the cost of confusing wider Jewry, by removing the "rabbinical period" and other writings, which otherwise should well enough have been considered by themselves to be sacred, set apart from all else?.
If we are to make assumption concerning the issue, it is much more logical to assume (if Jamnia occurred) they were making clear statement to the Jews in Egypt and elsewhere, to not use the Septuagint unreservedly, for it was contaminated to a degree, in and of itself. The spread of Christianity undoubtedly highlighted the use of that work, possibly contributing to a sense of urgency in their own work aimed at correcting the Septuagint. (not only are they converting to that cult of Christ, but they are perverting our own Scriptures while they are at it!).
It is no wonder then, that there would have been those Jewish scholars, from those whom were left alive after the destruction of the Temple and their Institutes of Learning, whom would desire strongly to set the record straight. Their point of view at that juncture of history, as to what Holy Writ was, and was not, is not to be taken lightly.
Jews truly "in the know" one can surmise, would desire very much to reestablish proper canon, for reasons contained within Judaism, itself.
To argue that the Hebrew canon (what can be properly considered to be what we know of today as the Old Testament) should unreservedly be some version of the Septuagint, is an argument one should take up with Jewish scholars.
Good luck with that.
See on this FR thread Mr. Rogers' post # 6
I think the point is that the Apocrypha was long considered unacceptable for matters of doctrine. And even the Council of Trent didn’t care to open that can of worms. While it affirmed some of the Apocrypha as being ‘canon’, it didn’t tackle if the Apocrypha had authority “for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness”.
The Council of Trent also screwed up its list of books, dropping 3 small parts that had long been considered canon - since they were part of the Apocrypha. That is why the term “deuterocanonical” was coined - to describe what was left of the Apocrypha after the Council of Trent dropped part of it out.
Meanwhile, about Jamnia, note that I wrote ""IF" it could be said..." I regret not having made the "iffiness" of this reputed council even more explicit. I cannot vouch for the historicity of what is called the "Council of Jamnia" --- and so it's even more nebulous as to why the Masoretic canon should be preferred to the Septugint canon.
I do think the authenticity of the LXX rests, not on our objections against this "iffy," historically dubious "Council of Jamnia," but on the fact that 80% of the OT quotes found in the NT itself, are taken from the LXX.
I don't think ou can throw out the LXX without throwing out the NT. It's very obviously the version of Scripture that the Evangelists and the Epistle-writers used. St. Paul tells Timothy, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness...", and the Scripture he quotes in his own Epistles is the LXX. "ALL Scripture therefore is not limited to just the 39-book "short version" OT. The LXX also includes the 7 books you call Apocrypha.
Both the Catholics and the Orthodox have faithfully preserved, and taught from, the LXX, just as the Apostles did. So, are you saying that it was some other group of Christians (other than the Cath/Orthodox) who were preserving the Bible? I would like to know more. Who were they?...When did this ancient "Bible preserving" happen, apart from the Catholic Church? and where? Did they produce an official 66 Book OT/NT Canon? When was the earliest 66-Book Canon list written and where is it to be found?
You can see I am eager to know more about your historic Bible sources.
Eak perked (\..\)
Always left out of the discussion is mention that the hypothetical Council of Jamnia determining canon is NOT some hoary tradition. It was made up about 140 years ago.
Just offhand, I know the Western Church uses Wisdom, Sirach, and Maccabees Liturgically in the Lectionary, as well as Daniel 3:24-90, the Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Hebrew Children. Don't know about the Eastern Church. Maybe The_Reader_David will tell us about that.
Just recently I saw a long list of such "quotes", and could readily see that most all in which I had strong familiarity with, could be derived from the Hebrew canon, in fact most needed to be for sake of contextual deeper meanings, tying together broader themes, even if some form of "repeat" of those words and phrases could be in the works referred to as apocryphal.
Those wishing to make the "80%" claim, might do well to dig deep and see how much of that can be easily enough falsifiable (otherwise found in Hebrew canon).
I lay that duty not to your own charge, but more as a precautionary note.
Why should things be seen as nebulous? Are we to believe the Jews lost their own Holy Writ? Even as we have clear enough indications there was resistance and complaint on their account that works such as the Septuagint went beyond what they considered to be Hebrew canon, in that first century or so after Christ?
What of Jerome? And Before him Melito (which we have no real real extant texts for, but mention and quotes from him, significant to this discussion by Jerome).
I do not believe there is any listing of what is to be considered Old Testament outside of Judaism, earlier than Melito. he died in 180 A.D.
What of Josephus? I sure do enjoy using him as a secular proof for the life and death of Christ, with Josephus also including brief comment as to the dispute over what happened to "the body" which parallels strongly what we see in the New Testament.
I'll go and check the link... yet I can hardly imagine the questions I raise again [repeat, sorry] here will be sufficiently addressed.
Thank you for your kind and polite reply. I'm not certain I deserve such, but I have noticed that you are quite polite as habit, and I do respect and appreciate that, even as we can have some small matters of disagreement.
“The Deuterocannicals are unacceptable? To whom? “
What I wrote was:
“I think the point is that the Apocrypha was long considered unacceptable for matters of doctrine.”
Most Catholic theologians prior to Trent, and quite a few afterward. Remember, the Council of Trent left THAT discussion open:
“This question was not only a matter of controversy between Catholics and Protestants: it was also the subject of a lively discussion even between Catholic theologians. St Jerome, that great authority in all scriptural questions, had accepted the Jewish canon of the Old Testament. Thc books of Judith, Esther, Tobias, Machabees, Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, which the majority of the Fathers, on the authority of the Septuagint, treated as canonical, Jerome described as apocryphal, that is, as not included in the canon though suitable for the edification of the faithful The general of the Franciscans Observant, Calvus, dealt thoroughly with the problems raised by Cajetan in a tract drawn up for the purposes of the Counci1. He defended the wider canon, and in particular the canonicity of the book of Baruch, the story of Susanna, that of Bel and the dragon, and the canticle of the three children (Benedicite). On the other hand, he refused to accept the oft-quoted Apostolic Canons as authoritative for the canonicity of the third book of Machabees. The general of the Augustinians, Seripando, on the contrary, was in sympathy with Erasmus and Cajetan and sought to harmonise their views with the Florentine decree on the ground that the protocanonical books of the Old Testament, as “canonical and authentic”, belong the the canon fidei, while the deuterocanonical ones, as “canonical and ecclesiastical books”, belong to the canon morum. Seripando, accordingly, follows the tendency which had made itself felt elsewhere also in pre-Tridentine Catholic theology, which was not to withhold the epithet “canonical” from the deuterocanonical books, yet to use it with certain restrictions.
The tracts of the two generals of Orders show that opinions diverged widely even within the Council. The prestige of the Augustinian general and that of the Bishop of Fano who sided with him, may have prompted Cervini to discuss the whole complex question in his class. It became evident that no one supported the subtle distinction between a canon fidei and a canon morum, though it met with a somewhat more favourable reception in the general congregation of 12 February when several of the Fathers deemed it useful, though not necessary. The majority agreed with the opinion of the general of the Servites, that controverted theological questions, which had already been the subject of discussion between Augustine and Jerome, should not be decided by the Council but should be allowed to remain open questions. The result of the above-mentioned vote of the general congregation of 15 February committed the Council to the wider canon, but inasmuch as it abstained from a theological discussion, the question of differences between books within the canon was left as it had been.
Hubert Jedin, History of the Council of Trent, pgs 56-57
I myself, brought up the doubt, here on this thread. Why post to me "it is always left out"?
Made up some 140 years ago? Well, ok, maybe, but then again there have been enough scraps of "activity" (just that I know of!) traced to the first/second century, related to objection from some Jewish quarters concerning their disagreement.
Some of that I think it safe to assume, was the stuff the "Jamnia" council hypothesis was founded upon. There is evidence there...enough to give us a sense something, some activity akin to it, transpired.
There was a network of schools or colleges that the Romans destroyed along with Temple in Jerusalem. Would we expect that they were able to pry out of the mind and conscience of the Hebrews which studied there, knowledge of such primary importance to them, as to what their Scripture was, and was not?
Like I said --- go to the Jewish scholars, and ask THEM why they hold the "canon" which they do presently.
They claim to be carrying it forward unchanged for many more centuries than the Catholic Church does, for what they carry.
At issue is not what writings which can be found and translated (and have been, but not uniformly) but which particular ones were considered canonical at the time of Christ.
What did the Sanhedrin hold to be canon? That is the question.
I can't lay my hands on it now, but I got a lot of my notions from Timothy McLay (google him), an Evanglical scholar ---his publisher is Eerdmans anyhow, he teaches at St. Stephens University in New Brunswick. His statistical analysis of the lexicon is dauntingly technical, but he goes beyond just word-mincing: he argues that the whole theology of the NT exhibits the strong influence of the Greek scriptural tradition not only in its vocabulary, but also in its citations of Scripture, and its concepts.
-- and also from the great, great, great Jarislav Peliken, once-Evangelical Lutheran, studied with the rabbis, joined the Orthodox---Russian Orthodox, I think, St. Vladimir's--- and has now passed on to his reward where --- ahem --- everyone is Catholic. (I mean, 'catholic,' as in kata-holos!) ;o)
I want to thank you, too, for a pleasant and reasonable discussion. I regret that sometimes in these disputes, one scarcely gets in impression that the belligerents are actually people who share a love of the Lord Jesus. In any case, I do ask your prayers, and think, on the whole, we will draw the closer, the closer we draw to Our Lord.
One can wager that the Bais Haknessess Hagdolah (Sanhedrin) did not hold Greek texts to be canon.
The was a religious school at Yavneh (Jamnia). Their teachings form the basis of the Mishna. They wouldn’t have dared tampered with ‘canon’, which has been mentioned does not even mean the same thing to Jews as it does to Christians.
Previous to the 1870s, I believe Christians insisted the Jews changed ‘canon’ at the time of the Masoretes.
There's my bottom line.
Good evening, and God bless you, my dear!
Thank you for the info!
The Nevi'im (Prophets) and Ketuvim (the "Writings" or Hagiographa) were canonized by 'Anshei HaKenesset HaGedolah (the "Men of the Great Assembly"). To accept them is to accept the authority of the canonizing body.
The "new testament" was canonized by the Catholic/Orthodox churches in the "fourth century." To accept them is also to accept the authority of the canonizing bodies. Needless to day, the Jewish People do not accept their authority any more than they accept the authority of Mohammed or Joseph Smith to make up new religions.
Perfect timing perfect sort of information thank you very much sir. I do mean that.
You have made some brilliant points! Thank you. It is especially noteworthy that the Catholic Church chose to append those books to the Old Testament even though they had NOT been considered part of that canon EVER by the Jews - of whom are committed the Oracles of God per the Apostle Paul Romans 3:2. These books contain NOTHING whatsoever to do with the era of Christianity and I suspect the only reason they are defended today by Catholics is due to having to stand behind whatever their "magesterium" deems is true. Even the few obscure references that were used to develop a few doctrines are shaky at best and downright laughable at worst. I don't understand why this issue has to be such a big deal worth arguing about seeing as we ALL agree with the 66 books that ARE within the common canon.
I've watched the whole show. I ~know~ how it goes.
I do thank you for coming to my rescue a time or two. Sometimes, I just can't help myself. Like today.
Peace be to you (and don't worry too much about the forum, eventually all the data-retaining electrons will stop holding hands, and the whole thing will go "poof" --gone )
i have read the whole thread and rather than posting 10 different replies, will post this one. for id purposes only, i will use the term “sca” for so called apocrypha to identify the “disputed” OT books.
1. mr thomas, the author of the aricle stated no Christian considered the SCA Scripture before Rome did in the 16th century. i pointed out what an absurd statement this was and have to wonder whether mr thomas is merely ignorant of history ( in which case he shouldn’t be writing about matters he doesn’t understand ) or more likely he is trying to deceive his readers. after all, if he told the truth, somebody might wonder WHY no one had a 66 book Bible BEFORE the 16th century.
2. forthedeclaration states the Bible was preserved by non-Catholic Christians. REALLY????? Do the “Christians” have any names?
3 mrs don-o congatulations on the truth you are bringing forth. as is often the case, some can’t handle it.
4. salvation, i did smile at the Epistle today from Ephesians. there is “one” canon included in the “one” Faith.
5. BB, where to start? these books were NOT seperated from the other OT books in the Septuagint. LOL, i think you are confusing what some Protestants did with them in the 16th century, such as the authors of the KJV. Jerome, was a great Catholic leader, but he by himself couldn’t decide doctrine. He submitted to the Church and included the SCA in the Vulgate.
When the devil wants to attack the Scriptures, he always accuses them of teaching error, nothing new under the sun.
LOL, you don’t think they sound like Scripture! is that the standard? obviously the great majority of Christians for 2,000 years disagree with you.
Back to St Jerome, i always laugh when those who reject the Catholic Faith, reject baptismal regeneration, the Eucharist, the Papacy, apostolic succession, etc, all doctrines held by St Jerome, use him to attack that very same Faith when it comes to the canon of Scripture. Unbelievable!
the bottom line is, How can we know what is the true canon?
we can KNOW the canon of the Catholic Church is correct for two reasons:
1. Authority - Jesus gave His AUTHORITY to the Church in Matthew 28 to TEACH. we are not left to wonder or have to decide the correct canon for ourself, we merely must follow the Faith that has been AUTHORIZED to be taught and has been for 2,000 years.
2. The Holy Spirit - this dovetails with the authority given the Church, in that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to the Church to give it the power to teach and the wisdom to TEACH TRUTH and understand spiritual ideas. The Holy Spirit works thru the Church, and yes, Church Councils, to bring forth true doctrine. so when St Paul opened up the Scriptures, he saw the SCA in his Bible. was this a suprise to the Holy Spirit? Did He inspire St Paul to warn Christians these SCA were not Scripture?
did the 1st century Jews, who utterly rejected Jesus, did they possess the Holy Spirit? the answer is no they did not, why would ANYONE look to the 1st century lost Jews to decide their canon??? The Church had the Holy Spirit leading it to ALL TRUTH.
would the Holy Spirit ALLOW the wrong books to be in the Bible for 1,500 years? again, this can not be stated enough, the first 66 book Bible did not appear on the world stage until the 16th century.
if the Church could be wrong about the canon of the OT, they could also be wrong about the 27 book NT. we know they were led by the Holy Spirit in both instances, but for those on the other side, who follow the Catholic TRADITION of 27 books in the NT, why do you follow this TRADITION?
finally, to all the non-Catholics who reject the SCA, DOES ANY HUMAN, LIVING AT ANY POINT SINCE THE APOSTLES ALL DIES, HAVE THE INFALLIBLE AUTHORITY TO DECLARE THIS IS THE CORRECT CANON OF SCRIPTURE? If yes, please name him or her and where their AUTHORITY COMES FROM?
Again - the Council of Trent left open the question if the Apocrypha (which turned into the DC when they screwed up their list) is authoritative for doctrine and instruction rather than good for inspiration. (”canon fidei” vs “canon morum”)
Under CATHOLIC theology, as taught from the time the Vulgate was translated, using the Apocrypha for doctrine is debatable.
Protestants use the definition of scripture provided by Paul:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
By that definition, many Catholic theologians from 350 AD on have questioned if the Apocrypha is scripture, and the Council of Trent deliberately chose (according to a Catholic historian who specialized in it) to leave the question unanswered.
Perhaps a Catholic will tell me what doctrines of the Catholic Church rest solely on the writings known as the Apocrypha (or DC)? I honestly do not know of ANY. So - what is the point?
From Jedin again:
[Seripando was] Impressed by the doubts of St. Jerome, Rufinus, and St. John Damascene about the deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament, Seripando favored a distinction in the degrees of authority of the books of the Florentine canon. The highest authority among all the books of the Old Testament must be accorded those which Christ Himself and the apostles quoted in the New Testament, especially the Psalms. But the rule of citation in the New Testament does not indicate the difference of degree in the strict sense of the word, because certain Old Testament books not quoted in the New Testament are equal in authority to those quoted. St. Jerome gives an actual difference in degree of authority when he gives a higher place to those books which are adequate to prove a dogma than to those which are read merely for edification. The former, the protocanonical books, are “libri canonici et authentici”; Tobias, Judith, the Book of Wisdom, the books of Esdras, Ecclesiasticus, the books of the Maccabees, and Baruch are only “canonici et ecclesiastici” and make up the canon morum in contrast to the canon fidei. These, Seripando says in the words of St. Jerome, are suited for the edification of the people, but they are not authentic, that is, not sufficient to prove a dogma. Seripando emphasized that in spite of the Florentine canon the question of a twofold canon was still open and was treated as such by learned men in the Church. Without doubt he was thinking of Cardinal Cajetan, who in his commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews accepted St. Jerome’s view which had had supporters throughout the Middle Ages.
Source: Hubert Jedin, Papal Legate At The Council Of Trent (St Louis: B. Herder Book Co., 1947), pp. 270-271.
Two things come to mind.
First, I believe that Alexander the Great's conquest of the civilized world was God's will (Daniel 11) and among the results was that it paved the way for the rapid spread of Christianity.
Moreover, normalizing the Greek language entailed normalizing word concepts such as "Logos" which is the root of God's Name Word - Jesus Christ - and also the root of the word 'logic.'
Indeed, it facilitated His Name being published to man:
Their discovery occurred about the same time as the Jews were restored to their homeland after a 2,000 year diaspora. That event along with the fact that the Hebrew language was preserved all that time was obviously the hand of God.
But there's more. As if to say the Hebrew Scriptures are more important than the Greek for eternity, the Name of God, The Rock, was lost in translation of the Song of Moses to the Greek and thereafter to the Latin.
Translations of Deuteronomy 32:4
tsuwr po`al tamiym derek mishpat 'el 'emuwnah `evel tsaddiyq yashar
Dei perfecta sunt opera et omnes viae eius iudicia Deus fidelis et absque ulla iniquitate iustus et rectus
In my view, no Name of God is minor. But this Name, The Rock, was specifically published in the Song of Moses and is specifically a Name of Christ. And the Song of Moses will be sung in heaven along with the Song of the Lamb:
Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. [He is] the Rock, his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he. Deu 32:1-4
Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. - I Cor 10:1-4
And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, [and] over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous [are] thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [are] thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for [thou] only [art] holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. Rev 15:2-4
By what logic? The "logic" by which they rejected Jesus aa the Messiah, and thus had to reject the entire N.T. and everything it was based on, i.e. the Septuagint.
I am not at all puzzled that a believing Jew in 100 A.D., reeling from the destruction of the Temple, and eager to combat the disruptive evangelizing efforts of the Christians, would want to reject the LXX has his Scriptural basis.
Nor am I puzzled that an A.D. 700 Jew, defensive aainst Christians on the one side and Muslims on the other, would adopt a new Hebrew edition (the Masoretic) as his favored translation. It bolsters his conviction that the Christians have long been very much mistaken.
What I remain sincerely perplexed about, is why a Christian would prefer an A.D. 100 canon, and an A.D. 700 translation, instead of the far older B.C. Scriptural resouces attested to by the earliest Christians.
Why in the world?
The Septuagint predates the first appearance of the Masoretic text by almost ten centuries. The Septuagint itself is based upon Hebrew texts at least twelve centuries older than the texts upon which the Masoretic version is based.
Most of the quotations from the Old Testament in the New Testament used either the Septuagint, or the even older Hebrew texts upon which it was based, as their primary source. Discredit the Septuagint and there is no New Testament.
Which --- from an A.D. Jewish point of view --- is quite agreeable, isn't it?
I'm out the rest of the day Shape-Note Singin' --- so I bid you farewell for now. But let's pray for each other. God bless you.
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