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What writings were left out of the Bible

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Terrywoodenpic, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    I thought I would start a new thread on this because the thread I posted it on is Getting in a mess. But try not to slag off other faiths please.

    "at the time of the compilation of the Bible there were other writings to chose from."
    What were they....?
    Some were rejected......Why?
    some were chosen........Why?
    Did this choosing involve a political motive....?
    Or was it purely religious.......?

    Perhaps you can hep to enlighten us ...?


    Terry______________________
    Blessed are the gentle, they shall inherit the land
     
  2. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Take a look for yourself:
    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/
    The Church decided what was part of authentic Christianity and what was not.... these Bishops were tasked with the mission of spreading the Gospel and remaining true to the teachings of the master.... books that were rejected did not teach authentic Christianity according to the Christians living at the time.
    Political? I don't believe there was quite the same disctinction between Church and state like we have today... evey decision was political and theological because most communities were formed around religious principles and the Bishops of that community.
     
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  3. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    I must admit that this is new to me; one wonders how the decisions were made on authenticity.........
     
  4. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    That's where everyone gets it wrong.... it was THE DECISION that made them authentic, not the reverse.:D
     
  5. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    A bit like a self fulfilling prophecy then ???


    Terry____________________
    Amen! Truly I say to you: Gather in my name. I am with you.
     
  6. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Say what?

    To trust the Bible as the Word of God, reason and common sense dictates you must trust as inspired those who decided upon the Canon, or else chock the whole Bible as divine to "dumb luck".

    Keep searching, you'll get it.
     
  7. Crystal Red

    Crystal Red Episkopos Crystal Red

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    I believe some of the books of Ezra/Azra (something similar to that) were left out because they couldn't discern who wrote them because of the dates they were written, or at least heavily edited because the author made some mistakes revealing who he was or something. I'll dig up the article.

    EDIT: I found it

    2 Esdras

    'While this book was cherished by the early Christians, it's authenticity is heavily questioned, and as such it was excluded from a place in the Jewish bible.'
     
  8. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Very well could have been... but also keep in mind that there were some Christians who wanted to toss out the Gospel of Luke (or at least portions of it)... and Hebrews was not accepted in the Western Church for almost 100 years.... to believe in the Bible means to believe in the men who made the decisions. Catholic men.:D
     
  9. Crystal Red

    Crystal Red Episkopos Crystal Red

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    2 Esdras

    'While this book was cherished by the early Christians, it's authenticity is heavily questioned, and as such it was excluded from a place in the Jewish bible.'

    http://www.songofazrael.org/whoisazrael.html

    this is a very detailed account of every aspect of Azrael, also known as Esra or Esdras, he has a lot of names.

     
  10. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian Well-Known Member

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    Read Richard Carrier's excellent write up on this topic:
    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/NTcanon.html

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0198269544/103-9299568-9756642?v=glance
    and this link:
    http://www.ntcanon.org/
     
  11. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    The other books were those found in the collections refered to as the Dead Sea scrolls (found in Qumran, written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) and the Nag Hammadi (found in Egypt, written in Coptic). The Dead sea scrolls largely duplicate what's found in the Old Testament and the Hebrew bible (the Tanakh), but there are also some apocryphal texts, meaning that they were omitted (or "hidden"). The real controversy is over the texts found at Nag Hammadi, which presented alternative views of Jesus to the ones presented in the canonized New Testament. There may have been additional texts in addition to those found at Nag Hammadi but they are all we have now. (In fact, there most certainly were more since many of them were used for fire kindling before their true value was recognized. Tho I suppose one could interpret that as divine editing. ;) )

    Because they presented a view of Jesus that was different from the view that the early church believed to be correct. In the very early days of Christianity, many gospels (the good news) were floating around, not just the four that are canonized in the bible. In the gospel of Mary, Mary Magdalene is presented as Jesus' favorite disciple. In the gospel of Thomas, it is suggested that our salvation comes from within us, from our own efforts, rather than externally thru belief in Christ. In some other gospel who's name I do not remember, Jesus is presented as being a rather mischevious boy with supernatural powers.

    Because they presented a view of Jesus that was the view that the early church believed to be correct.

    I tend to believe that the early church fathers sincerely chose what they believed to be the truest representations of Jesus as the Son of God, AND what was best for the church. I believe in their minds those two went together. Whether choosing what was best for the church is a "political" move is up to you. I personally see more truth in the gospel of Thomas than in the gospel of John, but I also believe that choosing Thomas over John would have seriously hurt the fledgling church.

    Doubtful. ;)
     
  12. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian Well-Known Member

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    These decisions were human decisions, or are you of the view that these decisions are 'inspired' by the holy spirit?

    It looks to me that whoever that were more vociferous and more threatening, more dominating, more cruel, more determined to make their view the 'correct' view, and command more political authority have the last say during those turmoil periods of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th century, until a more centralized and more powerful Rome Catholic 'Pope' was entrusted with the final say with his team of Bishops.
     
  13. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Christ promised that the "gates of hell" would not prevail over the Church.
    Right... cruel, evil, blah blah..... ask an Orthodox member about the Pope and his "final say".:rolleyes:
     
  14. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    Yes, I believe that the Catholic view is that the Holy Spirit not only inspired but directed the decisions. God worked thru humans in the form of the Holy Spirit. For Catholics, revelation has not ended. It is on-going, but only thru the church.

    That said, Scott, what is to stop the church from deciding now that some of the banned books are ok afterall? Perhaps the Spirit revealed one version of the truth when that truth was necessary, or it was the only truth that could be understood at the time, and now there is room for another view.
     
  15. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian Well-Known Member

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  16. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Well, we could start by looking at the historical development of the canon. According to Stephen E. Robinson (PhD. in Biblical Studies at Duke University):

    "Historically, there has not been one Christian canon or one Christian Bible, but many. For example, just before A.D. 200 someone in the Christian church at Rome wrote a list of the books that were accepted as canonical by the Roman church at that time. A copy of this canon list was discovered in 1740 by Lodovico Muratori in the Ambrosian Library in Milan, and for this reason it is called the Muratorian Canon. According to it, the Roman church at the end of the second century did not consider Hebrews, James, 1 Peter or 2 Peter to be scripture, and they accepted only two of the letters of John, although we cannot be sure which two. They did accept as canonical, however, two works now considered to be outside the New Testament, the Apocalypse of Peter and the Wisdom of Solomon. Clearly their canon of scripture was different from that of modern Christians...

    The famous church historian Eusebius of Caesarea, writing about A.D. 300 proposed another canon. He listed only twenty-one books as 'recognized,' and listed Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, and Revelation as questionable or spurious...

    Saint Gregory of Nazianzus rejected the book of Revelation in his fourth-century canon list, which was ratified three centuries later in 692 by the Trullan Synod...

    The first indication of a canon like that of modern Christians does not come until well into the fourth century, when Saint Athanasius, the bishop of Alexandria, recommended a list of acceptable books to his churches in his Thirty-ninth Festal Letter (A.D. 367). But Athanaisus' canon did not become official until over a thousand years afterward..."

    This raises a question in my mind: Which canon was actually inspired? EIther a book is "God-breathed" or it isn't. It isn't "scripture" at one period of time and then not "scripture" at another period of time.

    Kathryn
     
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  17. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian Well-Known Member

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    In that case, I can only conclude that the Holy Spirit has not make up her mind even after nearly two thousand years for the NT, and over four thousand years for the OT:D
     
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  18. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Public revelation ended with the death of the last apostle.... but the Holy Spirit still guides the Church.

    There really would be no reason for addition to the Canon... I can't imagine that there is some unknown book out there or a piece of evidence that surfaces about an existing book that would be so compelling to necesitate an addition to our Bible..... and that is the only way it could happen... the Canon has been dogmaticly defined, and only a near impossible set of circumstances could modify it in any way.
     
  19. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    That he did. Unfortunately, we don't all understand that phrase the same way. And the way I understand it, it doesn't even pertain to the subject of this thread. ;)
     
  20. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian Well-Known Member

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    You have just reached the same conclusion: that the Holy Spirit cannot make up her mind at all, if you want to considered anything or everything to be 'inspired':bonk:
     
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