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66

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Vee, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. Vee

    Vee Active Member
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    66 - That’s the number of books in the Bible. But why these particular 66? Why not a few more or less?

    When I posted “Let’s talk about the Bible” a few weeks ago, @Jumi, mentioned the Bible Canon. That’s what this thread is about.

    So, who decided which books should be included in the Bible? Faithful believers like myself believe it was God. He didn’t write the books with his own hand but He inspired the writers and those who later on put the final version of the Bible together.

    But there is a long history behind all that, and of course, a context that leads to where we are today. After all, the Bible canon developed over the course of centuries.

    The Ministry Magazine says that due to a lack of historical sources, it is not really possible to know who decided which books should be included in the Old Testament. “Historical-critical scholars believe the Bible gained its authority progressively. They suggest that the 39 books of the Hebrew Bible, arranged in three major divisions (the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings), indicate a three-step development in the canonization process. According to this view, the Law—meaning the books of Moses, also called the Pentateuch—was canonized by about 400 B.C., the Prophets during the first century B.C., and then the Writings during the first century A.D. (…)

    Apart from the testimony of historians, there is evidence in the Bible itself to indicate that by the time of Daniel and Zechariah, the Law and the earlier prophets (Joshua–Kings) were regarded as Scripture.”

    When it comes to the Old Testament, Jesus Christ affirmed the Jewish canon of His day—consisting of the very same content that is in our Old Testament today.

    “A study of the gospels shows that, throughout His ministry, Jesus affirmed the Old Testament in its entirety (Matt. 5:17–18)—including its historical reliability (cf. Matt. 10:15; 19:3–5; 12:40; 24:38–39), prophetic accuracy (Matt. 26:54), sufficiency (Luke 16:31), unity (Luke 24:27, 44), inerrancy (Matt. 22:29; John 17:17), infallibility (John 10:35), and authority (Matt. 21:13, 16, 42).

    He affirmed the Law, the Writings, and the Prophets and all that was written in them; clearly seeing the Old Testament Scriptures as the Word of God (Matt. 15:16; Mark 7:13; Luke 3:2; 5:1; etc.).

    Significantly, the first century Jews did not consider the Apocryphal books to be canonical. And neither did Jesus. He accepted the canon of the Jews as being the complete Old Testament. He never affirmed or cited the Apocryphal books – and neither do any of the other writers of the New Testament.” (https://www.tms.edu/preachersandpreaching/why-these-66-books/)

    The same principle applies to the New Testament. Jesus not only affirmed the Jewish canon of the Old Testament, He also promised that He would give additional revelations through His authorized representatives—namely, the apostles.

    The night before his death, Jesus said to His disciples:

    John 14:25–26 – “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”

    The fulfillment of that promise is found in the four gospel accounts. Two chapters later, in the same context, Jesus promised the apostles additional knowledge through the Holy Spirit:

    John 16:12–15 – “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak of His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.

    The New Testament, then, was pre-authenticated by Christ Himself, as He authorized the apostles to be His witnesses in the world." (https://www.tms.edu/preachersandpreaching/why-these-66-books/)

    Following the death and resurrection of Jesus, the apostles came to occupy a unique position in spreading and bearing witness to the words of Jesus. Indeed, Christ had said of them that because they had been with Him from the beginning they would be His witnesses (John 15:27).

    “For about two decades the message of Jesus was proclaimed orally. Then, from the mid–first century on, Paul’s letters began to appear. Somewhat later, the three synoptic Gospels and the book of Acts were written; by the end of the first century, when John wrote the book of Revelation, all the books of the New Testament were completed.

    As was the case with the books of the Old Testament prophets, the writings of Paul and the other apostles were immediately accepted as authoritative because the authors were known to be authentic spokesmen for God. The writers themselves were conscious of the fact that they were proclaiming God’s message, not merely their own opinions.”

    Many people believe that the Bible canon was decided at the Council of Nicaea and enforced by the emperor Constantine but that is not exactly true. While Constantine ended the prosecution of Christians in the Roman Empire, he didn’t have much to do with the content of the Bible. Constantine was the first Roman emperor to become christian, but no one really knows if that was an act of faith or a political move.

    The origin of the Bible Canon remains a controversial subject with different options among scholars and religious people, so much so that different religious groups include different books in their Bibles.(Books of the Bible - Wikipedia)


    For more information:


    Who decided which books made it into the Bible?

    How did we get our Bible, who wrote it and who decided what order to put it in?

    Who Decided What Went into the Bible? - Topical Studies

    https://www.ministrymagazine.org/ar...d-which-books-should-be-included-in-the-bible

    Bible Timeline
     
    #1 Vee, Nov 25, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
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  2. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Couple of things about the 'Affirmed' referred to in the OP: Jesus refers to "Moses and the Prophets," and he quotes from some of these and from the Psalms. In the gospels he never quotes from or refers to (if I am accounting this right): Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Judges, I & II Kings, I & II Chronicles, Esther, or Ruth, yet these are in the Christian Bible. He also says his followers must eat his flesh and drink his blood, so it remains to be seen whether his quotes affirm the canon or are only alluding to it, because the canon plainly states not to drink blood. He says his followers will never die, yet they are buried in graves. This is intimately related to the conjecture that he affirms the Jewish canon, because taken literally he appears to be announcing a difference with it.
     
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  3. Misunderstood

    Misunderstood Active Member

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    Hello Vee,

    Very good subject I have always wondered about these things myself, but have never really found a safe place to question them. On these forums it seems as though most everyone wants to argue, or get taken over by non believers and the discussion goes off different directions. Anyway, I have seen your postings and feel God is very strong with you and you seem very open minded and listen, thank you for that. I would be happy to discuss this with you.

    I have had the same thoughts myself; why 66. I have not ever said anything about this as I did not want to cause any doubt in some. But since the question has been asked and you wounder the same thing I will discuss it. My questioning has been the 66 books, as you know the number 6 is not considered good in the Bible. Now not all bibles contain 66 books, so I have thought maybe this bible is not the bible that should be used.

    I will end here and post more on the subject a bit later so I do not go on to long in one post, I also am not sure if this is even the direction you want this thread to go.
     
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  4. Grandliseur

    Grandliseur Well-Known Member

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    I think the Jewish division of the old testament instead of our 39 books used, or use?, 22 books, so 66 -17 = 49.
    I don't think it ever was a question of number of books; rather, it was a question of what to include. Someone on another site has somewhat demonstrated that the Bible's OT refer to several sources for some material that perhaps should have been included but wasn't, may even be lost today. Clearly we were given what we need for our faith. There are Christian sources that also seem to contain material suited for being included, but wasn't - again, we were given what we needed.

    Let me see what others say. Interesting subject.
     
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  5. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    The Nag Hammadi library gives interesting perspective on how books were suppressed to create and maintain the authority of what came to be the Bible of today. It was a battle between those who sought to personally know and experience God and those of power. We know which ones persecuted and suppressed which and why those who won didn't want people to access the Bible.
     
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  6. Grandliseur

    Grandliseur Well-Known Member

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    In the NT and through Jewish history it is possible to see what happened at least up until the 1st century's end.

    If you should want this internal evidence, it is compiled here to a large extent, but perhaps even more could be included:
    Truth Seeker - The New Testament
     
  7. Vee

    Vee Active Member
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    First, thank you for your kind comment.

    There are many non-believers in this forum, go figure, but don't let that discourage you from asking questions or express your views. That's what everyone is here for and if I can help you in any way, don't hesitate to ask.

    My idea wasn't so much about the number of books (I'm not sure if that has any special meaning), it was mostly about which books were chose to be included in the Bible. As you probably know over the years some have argued that there are missing gospels that were left out and that some of the books chosen didn't belong there.
     
  8. DennisTate

    DennisTate Active Member

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    Well said.....
    here is a good theory on why the version of Christianity sanctioned by Rome would tend to suppress the gospels that teach about reincarnation.


    Untitled Document
     
  9. Misunderstood

    Misunderstood Active Member

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    Hello again Vee,

    I see that it is more along the canonization of the Bible on how and why the books that were selected were included in the Bible. I thought when I saw the number 66 and the opening statement
    I was thinking it might also include some on the fact why the bible contains exactly 66 books and was quite interested. Not that the number concerns me, it just some things came up many years ago and has made me wounder if in some cases the Bible could be considered an idol. I do believe it to be the Word of God, but feel some people may use and believe in the Bible more than the message God is giving us. I feel my discussion would pull your thread to far away from your intention as I would need to give a far amount of background to show what I am talking about. So I will decided I will not discuss it here.

    Thank you, and God bless you.
     
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