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Featured Christians: How do you know which books of the bible are "inspired?"

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by Hubert Farnsworth, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    Protestants use a 66 book bible. Catholics use a 73 book bible. Other churches accept even more books as being inspired by God. For instance, the Ethiopian Christian Church uses a bible comprised of 84 books. Yet, the differences do not end here. Martin Luther succeeded in removing seven books from the original 73-book Catholic bible, and also wanted to remove the book of James and the book of Revelation, among others. So, how do you decide which Christians are correct, and which are not correct? And what makes you so certain that *you* are correct in identifying the word of God, if all of these church "fathers" disagreed with each other?
     
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  2. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    I think this is a fair question.
    The strongest evidence for me is what I experience and observe for myself.
    The books considered canonical seem to harmonize perfectly, and present a clear picture that comes together with the books from Genesis to Revelation.

    Even if one or two books were missing, or were included, I don't see how they would affect the overall message.
    However, my evidence lies in seeing the fulfillment of scriptures from past to present, and I feel confident that the future ones will be fulfilled as they appear to line up well - harmonize - with the texts throughout.

    Further, I see how God's people today benefit from applying the scriptures, and how the things written are being fulfilled through them, just as they were, through Christ.

    Hope this doesn't sound confusing.
     
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  3. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    I see what you're saying, but I'm interested in specifics. So, was Luther correct in removing the seven books from the original bible? Was he correct in wanting to remove James and Revelation? If you think he was wrong in wanting to remove James and Revelation, why would you trust him to be correct in removing the seven books that he succeeded in convincing the Protestant church to remove?
     
  4. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    I thought you asked "...how do you decide which Christians are correct, and which are not correct? And what makes you so certain that *you* are correct in identifying the word of God, if all of these church "fathers" disagreed with each other?"

    To add, I believe God is almighty, and in control of preserving his word. He chooses people to use, and he rejects those he don't want to use. So it is possible he could have used Luther. Whatever the case, he controls things according to his will, and since his will is that all people be saved by coming to an accurate knowledge of truth, he guides people accordingly.

    The end result is a collection of books that convey truth. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17
     
    #4 nPeace, Aug 17, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
  5. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    You didn't identify which books you believe are inspired by God and which you believe are not. And 2 Timothy 3:16-17 was written long before any form of the "Bible" as we know it was canonized. So my questions are 1) Which books should be in the bible and which should not be? and 2) How do you know that you are correct and the Christian church fathers that disagree with you are not correct?
     
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  6. KenS

    KenS Well-Known Member

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    1. One for sure is those that Jesus mentioned
    2. Written by those who are recognized as prophets or apostles.
    3. Luke because he was associated with the Apostles.
    4. Truthfulness... if any book contains information that contradicts what Jesus or the prophets/apostles says.
    5. Prophetic books that say "Thus says God" and it actually comes to pass
    6. Church Usage and Recognition
     
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  7. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    So, which books specifically do you believe should be included and excluded?
     
  8. KenS

    KenS Well-Known Member

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    66 books. The others are historical but not cannon IMO
     
  9. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    I answered.
    Post #2, and Post #4.
    Perhaps you can be so kind as to tell me what you understand, and what you don't understand.
     
  10. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    OK, so you're in Luther's camp then. Why do you believe he was correct in removing the seven books that he removed from the original canon, but incorrect in wanting to remove James and Revelation also? Further, if the original church could be wrong, and Luther could also be wrong, then couldn't you be mistaken too?
     
  11. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    You answered generally but not specifically, meaning that you didn't specifically state the books that you think should and shouldn't be in the bible.
     
  12. KenS

    KenS Well-Known Member

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    Not really,

    If you go through the list, it is pretty easy to determine.

    Besides, the Jews didn't accept them either as cannon.
     
  13. KenS

    KenS Well-Known Member

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    "From Artexerxes to our own time the complete history has been written but has not been deemed worthy of equal credit with the earlier records because of the failure of the exact succession of the prophets. ... We have not an innumerable multitude of books among us, disagreeing from and contradicting one another, but only twenty-two books, which contain the records of all the past times; which are justly believed to be divine ..." [Flavius Josephus, Against Apion, I.8]
     
  14. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    So, you're saying that you believe the original Christian church was wrong, and that Luther was wrong about some of the books he wanted to remove, but right about the ones that he was able to get removed?
     
  15. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    Right, the Jews have a different opinion yet. They don't accept all of the OT books as being inspired.
     
  16. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    Could you tell me what you understand from this.
    The books considered canonical seem to harmonize perfectly, and present a clear picture that comes together with the books from Genesis to Revelation.
    Even if one or two books were missing, or were included, I don't see how they would affect the overall message.
    I believe God is almighty, and in control of preserving his word. He chooses people to use, and he rejects those he don't want to use. So it is possible he could have used Luther. Whatever the case, he controls things according to his will, and since his will is that all people be saved by coming to an accurate knowledge of truth, he guides people accordingly.
     
  17. Musing Bassist

    Musing Bassist Aesthetic Traditionalist

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    Luther isn't a father.

    Regardless, the disagreement is overstated. Some traditions have bigger canons than others, but the bulk of it is universal. I don't know any Christian tradition that rejects the Gospels or the Pentateuch for instance. Nonetheless since my tradition doesn't assume the Bible as the sole rule of faith but rather as a part of an overall tradition nothing you point out is at all either threatening or news.

    The canon is the canon by the authority of the Church that selected it. For Catholics, this canon was finalized at the Council of Trent. (Although it had been long settled in practice centuries earlier).
     
    #17 Musing Bassist, Aug 17, 2018
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  18. Ingledsva

    Ingledsva HEATHEN ALASKAN

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    We don't know what Jesus actually said - if anything. All we have are books written later by people CLAIMING Jesus said them.

    And how are they recognized prophets and apostles? We know most of the books were not written by the people named.

    *
     
  19. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    No one knows that.

    There is solid evidence that the books were written by those claiming to have written them, and that what they wrote of Jesus of Nazareth is true.

    Rylands Library Papyrus P52 disproves the theory of some critics that the Gospels are actually forgeries from the second century, and not written by Jesus’ disciples at all.
    It is universally agreed that Matthew, Mark, and Luke were written before John. This is clear evidence that they were all written in the first century.
    No group of frauds could possibly have produced them in the first century, when eyewitnesses of the events they related, could have refuted any false stories.

    Syriac versions of the Bible
    Syria played an important or even predominant role in the beginning of Christianity. Here is where the Gospel of Matthew, the Gospel of Luke, the Didache, Ignatiana, and the Gospel of Thomas were written. Syria was the country in which the Greek language intersected with the Syriac, which was closely related to the Aramaic dialect used by Jesus and the Apostles. That is why Syriac versions are highly esteemed by textual critics. Scholars have distinguished five or six different Syriac versions of all or part of the New Testament. It is possible that some translations have been lost. The Manuscripts originate in countries like Lebanon, Egypt (Sinai), Mesopotamia, Assyria, Armenia, Georgia, India, and even from China. This is good evidence for the great historical activity of the Syriac church.

    Diatessaron
    The Diatessaron, (c. 160–175) is the most prominent early gospel harmony, and was created by Tatian, an early Christian Assyrian apologist and ascetic. Tatian sought to combine all the textual material he found in the four gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—into a single coherent narrative of Jesus's life and death.

    Critics claiming that the four Gospels were not written till the middle of the second century were apparently wrong.
     
  20. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    How does this support your claim? It is only a small fragment of the gospel of John and most dates for it are between 117 and 138 CE according to the source that you linked. That mans that fragment was clearly not written by John, though it may have been copied by a work of his. It still appears that the Gospel of John was not written by John.

    What's next?
    Right, evidence for a church, no evidence at all for who wrote the books of the Bible. Again according to your source the oldest was dated to about 170 CE more than hundred years after the crucifixion.

    You do not seem to know what the critics claim. They claim that the gospels were written in mid to late first century, not the second. And that is too late to be an eyewitness account or to be by the people that they were named after.
     
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