Published on June 12, 2008
The canon of Scripture
“ More than eighty gospels were considered for the New Testament, and yet only a relative few were chosen for inclusion – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John among them…The Bible, as we know it today, was collated by the pagan Roman emperor Constantine the Great.”
"During this fusion of religions, Constantine needed to strengthen the new Christian tradition, and held a famous ecumenical gathering known as the Council of Nicaea.At this gathering," Teabing said, "many aspects of Christianity were debated and voted upon-the date of Easter, the role of bishops, the administration of sacraments, and, of course, the divinity of Jesus." "I don't follow. His divinity?" "My dear," Teabing declared, "until that moment in history, Jesus was viewed by His followers as a mortal prophet.a great and powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal."
"Not the Son of God?" "Right," Teabing said. "Jesus' establishment as 'the Son of God' was officially proposed and voted on by the Council of Nicaea." "Hold on. You're saying Jesus' divinity was the result of a vote?" "A relatively close vote at that," Teabing added..
A pagan emperor Illiterate bishops Fortunately we have eyewitnesses Historians Sabinus and Pappus also wrote about it (we know from Socrates) Nobody worshipped Jesus before this
Constantine wasn’t a pagan (though unbaptised) The bishops weren’t illiterate... just the opposite The “eyewitnesses” lived a century later Arians as well as others worshipped Jesus Pappus lived in the sixteenth century! The canon of Scripture was never discussed Constantine was eventually baptised as an Arian! Socrates was quoting Sabinus to discredit him!
`We have not 10,000 books among us, disagreeing with and contradicting one another, but only 22 books, which contain the records of all time, and are justly believed to be divine. `Five of these are by Moses… From the death of Moses till the reign of Artaxerxes, the prophets wrote 13 books… … and the remaining four books contain hymns to God and precepts for the conduct of human life.’ Josephus
The Old Testament apocrypha Historical material Religious fiction Wisdom writing Apocalyptic 1 Esdras 1-2 Maccabees Tobit Judith Esther additions Daniel additions Ecclesiasticus Wisdom of Solomon Baruch Prayer of Manasseh 2 Esdras
Maccabeus fights the enemy Tobit’s parents
Why would people accept it? It’s quoted in the New Testament It was included along with the Septuagint Some church fathers accepted it It’s found at Qumran with the Dead Sea Scrolls It’s found alongside Sinaiticus and Vaticanus The Council of Trent accepted 12 books in 1546
It’s quoted in the New Testament
It was included along with the Septuagint
Some church fathers accepted it
It’s found at Qumran with the Dead Sea Scrolls
It’s found alongside Sinaiticus and Vaticanus
The Council of Trent accepted 12 books in 1546
Women received back their dead, raised to life again Hebrews 11:35 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men Jude 14 The archangel Michael disputed with the devil about the body of Moses Jude 9 None of this implies canonicity
Other books were often bundled together with biblical texts… vellum and parchment were expensive!
Not all church fathers accepted it, and no church council even bothered to discuss it
At Qumran you find commentaries on almost every book of the Old Testament… … but not one on the Apocryphal books
It’s found alongside Sinaiticus (and Vaticanus) – but that doesn’t imply canonicity either
The Council of Trent’s decision had more to do with politics than scholarship!
The New Testament Apocrypha
The New Testament Apocrypha Fictional romances about Jesus and Paul Spurious letters, `Acts’ and `Gospels’ Biased heretical material attempting to alter the teaching of Jesus
Fictional romances about Jesus and Paul
Spurious letters, `Acts’ and `Gospels’
Biased heretical material attempting to alter the teaching of Jesus
By the end of C1 By the end of C4 By the end of C2 By early C2 Fourfold Gospel Corpus Paulinum 7029 verses out of 7959 Revelation and Hebrews (7737) Lists… culminating in Athanasius, 367 AD
`There are also other books outside this list which are not canonical, but have been handed down from our fathers as suitable to be read to new converts… the Wisdom of Solomon, the Wisdom of Sirach, Esther, Judith and Tobias.’ Athanasius
Why were books accepted? authority authorship accuracy after-effects acceptance
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