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03. The Integrity Of The Word-old
 

03. The Integrity Of The Word-old

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  • Dan Brown is hardly a noted Biblical scholar, but he did a good job of bringing to popular culture what the academic world had been doing for a long time, epitomized in the Jesus Seminar.
  • We&#x2019;ll assume for the purposes of this study that there isn&#x2019;t concern about the canonicity of the Old Testament, though it will come up later... <br /> The New Testament Canon is ratified at the Council of Carthage in AD 397.
  • See the associated handout for a nice chart on what this means.
  • We will discuss each of these in turn
  • We will discuss each of these in turn
  • We will discuss each of these in turn
  • We will discuss each of these in turn
  • We will discuss each of these in turn
  • We will discuss each of these in turn
  • The Jesus Seminar asserts that The Gospel of Thomas is much more accurate than, for example, the Gospel of John.
  • Another is whether it regards itself as Scripture. This becomes important for the apocryphal books, since they don&#x2019;t.
  • The point being, if well-established Scripture regards another writing as being Scripture, then it&#x2019;s Scripture.
  • Why the Apocrypha Isn&apos;t in the Bible. <br /> 1. Not one of the apocryphal books is written in the Hebrew language, which was alone used by the inspired historians and poets of the Old Testament. All Apocryphal books are in Greek, except one which is extant only in Latin. <br /> 2. None of the apocryphal writers laid claim to inspiration. <br /> 3. The apocryphal books were never acknowledged as sacred scriptures by the Jews, custodians of the Hebrew scriptures (the apocrypha was written prior to the New Testament). In fact, the Jewish people rejected and destroyed the apocrypha after the overthrow of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. <br /> 4. The apocryphal books were not permitted among the sacred books during the first four centuries of the real Christian church <br /> 5. The Apocrypha contains fabulous statements which not only contradict the "canonical" scriptures but themselves. For example, in the two Books of Maccabees, Antiochus Epiphanes is made to die three different deaths in three different places. <br /> 6. The Apocrypha includes doctrines in variance with the Bible, such as prayers for the dead and sinless perfection. <br /> 7. It teaches immoral practices, such as lying, suicide, assassination and magical incantation. <br /> 8. No apocryphal book is referred to in the New Testament whereas the Old Testament is referred to hundreds of times. <br /> 9. Not even Jerome, who did the Vulgate translation that Rome uses as the &#x201C;official&#x201D; version of the Bible, considered them Scripture.
  • Basis for the doctrine of purgatory: <br /> 2 Maccabees 12:43-45, 2.000 pieces of silver were sent to Jerusalem for a sin-offering...Whereupon he made reconciliation for the dead, that they might be delivered from sin. <br /> Salvation by works: <br /> Ecclesiasticus 3:30, Water will quench a flaming fire, and alms maketh atonement for sin. <br /> Tobit 12:8-9, 17, It is better to give alms than to lay up gold; for alms doth deliver from death, and shall purge away all sin. <br /> Magic: <br /> Tobit 6:5-8, If the Devil, or an evil spirit troubles anyone, they can be driven away by making a smoke of the heart, liver, and gall of a fish...and the Devil will smell it, and flee away, and never come again anymore. <br /> Mary was born sinless (immaculate conception): <br /> Wisdom 8:19-20, And I was a witty child and had received a good soul. And whereas I was more good, I came to a body undefiled.
  • These are the people that the major news magazines, television channels (eg, History, Discovery), etc all go to as experts on the Bible...

03. The Integrity Of The Word-old 03. The Integrity Of The Word-old Presentation Transcript

  • The Integrity of The Word God’s Word Stands Against All Attacks 1
  • Questions 2
  • Questions  Where does the Bible come from? 2
  • Questions  Where does the Bible come from?  How did we get the books that make up the Bible? 2
  • Questions  Where does the Bible come from?  How did we get the books that make up the Bible?  Have there been challenges to the make-up of the Bible? 2
  • The Origin of The Bible? “The Bible did not arrive by fax from heaven… The Bible is the product of man, my dear. Not of God. The Bible did not fall magically from the clouds. Man created it as a historical record of tumultuous times, and it has evolved through countless translations, additions, and revisions. History has never had a definitive version of the book…” --Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code 3
  • The Origin of The Bible? 3
  • The New Testament Canon  The New Testament is mostly a bunch of letters written to churches around the world  While there was general consensus on what was Scripture, a recognized canon (measuring rod, standard, rule) of Scripture was required to correct heresy  Canon refers to the collection of books that passed a test of authenticity and authority; it also means that those books are our rule of life – both in this world and the next 4
  • The Canon and The Church  When the decision was made as to what books were canonical, the Church used the Latin term “recipemus”, which means “we receive”  What the Church said is that we receive these particular books as being canonical, as being the Word of God, and therefore we submit to their authority  It’s one thing to make something authoritative, and it’s another thing to recognize something that already is authoritative 5
  • Under Consideration  The books that were tested for canonicity fall into four categories:  accepted by all (homologoumena)  rejected by all (pseudepigrapha)  disputed by some (antilegomena)  and those accepted by some (apocrypha) 6
  • Under Consideration  The books that were tested for canonicity fall into four categories:  accepted by all (homologoumena)  rejected by all (pseudepigrapha)  disputed by some (antilegomena)  and those accepted by some (apocrypha)  20 of the 27 we have today in the New Testament were undisputed 6
  • Many Gospels? “More than eighty gospels were considered for the New Testament, and yet only a relatively few were chosen for inclusion – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John among them… The early church needed to convince the world that the mortal prophet Jesus was a divine being. Therefore, any gospels that described earthly aspects of Jesus’ life had to be omitted from the Bible.” --Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code 7
  • Many Gospels? 7
  • Clearly Rejected 8
  • Clearly Rejected  Examples:  the Gospel of Thomas (a Gnostic writing with Jesus’ doing childhood miracles)  Arabic Gospel of Childhood (more childhood miracles of Jesus while in Egypt)  the Gospel of Joseph the Carpenter (written by a cult that glorified Joseph)  the Passing of Mary (relates the bodily assumption of Mary and other things involving Mary worship)  the Gospel of Mary (promotes Mary worship and served as the basis for popular medieval stories)  the Acts of Peter (contains the legend that Peter was crucified upside down)  the Acts of Andrew (a Gnostic story of the imprisonment and death of Andrew)  the Acts of Thomas (presents the mission work and martyrdom of Thomas in India)  Since some of them may contain some truth (and certainly present a clear view of various teachings of the time), they are of value for historians, but are fanciful and contain many errors & heresies 8
  • Modern Interest In Gnostic  The Gospel of Thomas has gained a tremendous amount of attention lately. From the Amazon.com synopsis on one of the major translations: 9
  • Modern Interest In Gnostic  The Gospel of Thomas has gained a tremendous amount of attention lately. From the Amazon.com synopsis on one of the major translations: The gospel according to Thomas is an ancient collection of sayings attributed to Jesus and thought to be recorded by his brother Judas, the Twin (Thomas means ‘twin’ in Aramaic). Some scholars suggest that this gospel was collected from New Testament sayings, while others believe it springs from a completely independent author because many of the quotations are not in the New Testament at all… It is considered by many to be perhaps the closest we’ll ever get to reading what was actually said by the historical Jesus. In The Gospel of Thomas, you’ll discover a different kind of Christ – a wandering spiritual teacher 9
  • The Tests for Canonicity  Written by an Apostle (defined as person seeing Jesus Christ after His resurrection) or companion of Apostle  Testified to by other Scripture (self recognition)  No contradiction in core teachings of the faith (analogy of faith)  Accepted early and by majority of churches (catholicity) 10
  • Self Recognition  “and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:15-16)  “For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”” (1 Timothy 5:18; cf. Luke 10:7) 11
  • Written By An Apostle  What about Paul/Saul?  He was not “one of the Twelve” that studied at Jesus’ feet  Jesus did come to and teach Paul after Accession (Acts 9) 12
  • Written By An Apostle  What about Paul/Saul?  He was not “one of the Twelve” that studied at Jesus’ feet  Jesus did come to and teach Paul after Accession (Acts 9)  What about the book of Hebrews?  Though the ideas and form are similar to Paul, the Greek is much more “educated” than Paul. It also specifically denies that it was written by one who “heard” the Lord (i.e., an Apostle) in 2:3.  Virtually everyone agrees from many clues in the book that it was written by someone commissioned/trained by Paul 12
  • 7 of the 27  The books that were included in the Canon but were questioned were:  Hebrews  James (because of apparent conflicts with the Gospel as presented in the clearly accepted books)  2 Peter (because of significant style differences between this and 1 Peter)  2 & 3 John (because of the anonymity of the author [“the elder”] and they had a very limited distribution)  Jude (because it referenced clearly non-Biblical books)  Revelation (because of the “millennium” of Revelation 20)  Despite the questions, once all of the facts were known, no one questioned their place in the Canon  The only serious questioning since the Forth Century was in regards to James... 13
  • James: No Contradictions In The Core Faith “You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.” –James 2:4 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” –Ephesians 2:8,9 14
  • James: No Contradictions In The Core Faith “You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.” –James 2:4 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” –Ephesians 2:8,9  It was because of things like this that James was one of the “debated” books, and Martin Luther famously called it “an epistle of straw”  Luther didn’t have the all the writings of the Fathers that we have now, so he didn’t know that battle had already been fought  Once it was understood that James confirms and reinforces the “by faith alone, but not a faith that is alone” position of the rest of the Bible, James’ position as part of the Canon became stronger than ever 14
  • “Changes” to the Canon  The Canon is something we recognize/receive from God, but there are religious groups that have taken it upon themselves to sit in judgement upon what makes up Scripture  Reasons vary, but the examples we’ll look at all have the defining feature of people wanting Scripture to support their views/beliefs  It’s very inconvenient when you want God to agree with you, but the Bible expressly contradicts your teachings... 15
  • Apocryphal Books  In Roman Catholic and Eastern/Oriental Orthodox Bibles, there are several books (and amendments to Esther and Daniel) that are not in “catholic” Bibles  They were part of the Septuagint, but not the Hebrew Bible  Three are not considered canonical, but the others are termed “Deuterocanonical” (“second canon”; delayed acceptance)  While they fail the tests that the the other books had to go through and therefore clearly not the same status as Scripture, they are generally good for study and reflection  They were included in many Bibles over the centuries as “supplemental” reading 16
  • Rome Elevates Some  Before the Council of Trent, Rome had held them as holy, but not Scripture (per prior Popes and Councils that had made express declarations to that point)  Rome considers itself to be the Mother of Scripture, and therefore having the authority to elevate books  Why declare them to be Scripture? (And why then?)  Trent is where Rome condemns the Protestants as heretics, and the “deuterocanonical” books are the only scriptural support Rome has for some of the major points of contention with the Protestants 17
  • Mormon View of  Joseph Smith was “divinely inspired” to declare the King James Bible to be the closest to actual Scripture, then make thousands of changes to it, including adding a passage to Genesis 50 saying “That seer will I bless... And his name shall be called Joseph.”  The Book of Mormon (which would be “deuterocanonical”) is an exact recitation into English of the Reformed Egyptian tablets Smith found  Apparently Smith was not a very good conveyor of what the angel told him, because it has been edit/revised over four thousand times  Includes a number of “lifts” from the the original KJV along with the KJV translators’ comments and errors... 18
  •  Founded in 1985, this is a group of about 150 scholars with advanced degrees in biblical studies, religious studies or related fields  One of the most active groups in biblical criticism, the seminar uses votes with colored beads to decide their collective view of the historicity of Jesus, specifically what he may or may not have said and done as a historical figure  In addition, the seminar popularizes the quest for the historical Jesus  They produced new translations of the New Testament and apocrypha to use as textual sources 19
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  • The Final Words 21
  • The Final Words But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.–John 14:26 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.–Eph 2:19-20 "Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book." ... I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.–Rev 22:7,18-19 21