1. Standard memberHand of Hecate
    Merciless Vagabond
    Deep in it.
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    12 Jul '08 22:52
    aren't wholly apocryphal. What I mean to say is two thousand years, multiple christian sects, various translations and endless revisions have altered the face of the bible considerably.

    What follows is not my own work, but, it makes a good example, the Roman Catholic Church recognizes the following books:
    Tobit
    Judith
    1 Maccabees
    2 Maccabees
    Wisdom of Solomon
    Ecclesiasticus
    Baruch
    Greek Additions to Esther
    Greek Additions to Daniel

    In addition to those, the Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches recognize the following:
    3 Maccabees
    1 Esdras i.e. Greek Ezra paraphrase
    Prayer of Manasseh
    Psalm 151 as part of the Psalter

    Some other Eastern Orthodox Churches include a few others, typically:
    2 Esdras i.e. Latin Esdras in the Russian and Georgian Bibles
    Odes

    The Syriac Orthodox Church also has:
    The Apocalypse of Baruch 2 Baruch
    The Letter of Baruch

    The Ethiopian Orthodox Church also has some others such as:
    Jubilees
    Enoch



    So what's the right version, are they not all divinely inspired? Should I just stick to the King James version? As Christians, why do you even study the old testament at all? Afterall, much of it has been rendered obsolete in the face of God giving his only Son to absolve you of your sins.
  2. Subscriberduecer
    anybody seen my
    underpants??
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    12 Jul '08 23:21
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    aren't wholly apocryphal. What I mean to say is two thousand years, multiple christian sects, various translations and endless revisions have altered the face of the bible considerably.

    What follows is not my own work, but, it makes a good example, the Roman Catholic Church recognizes the following books:
    Tobit
    Judith
    1 Maccabees
    2 Maccabee ...[text shortened]... has been rendered obsolete in the face of God giving his only Son to absolve you of your sins.
    Question: "How and when was the canon of the Bible put together?"

    Answer: The term "canon" is used to describe the books that are divinely inspired and therefore belong in the Bible. The difficult aspect of determining the Biblical canon is that the Bible does not give us a list of the books that belong in the Bible. Determining the canon was a process, first by Jewish rabbis and scholars, and then later by early Christians. Ultimately, it was God who decided what books belonged in the Biblical canon. A book of Scripture belonged in the canon from the moment God inspired its writing. It was simply a matter of God convincing His human followers which books should be included in the Bible.

    Compared to the New Testament, there was very little controversy over the canon of the Old Testament. Hebrew believers recognized God’s messengers, and accepted their writings as inspired of God. There was undeniably some debate in regards to the Old Testament canon. However, by A.D. 250 there was nearly universal agreement on the canon of Hebrew Scripture. The only issue that remained was the Apocrypha…with some debate and discussion continuing today. The vast majority of Hebrew scholars considered the Apocrypha to be good historical and religious documents, but not on the same level as the Hebrew Scriptures.

    For the New Testament, the process of the recognition and collection began in the first centuries of the Christian church. Very early on, some of the New Testament books were being recognized. Paul considered Luke’s writings to be as authoritative as the Old Testament (1 Timothy 5:18; see also Deuteronomy 25:4 and Luke 10:7). Peter recognized Paul’s writings as Scripture (2 Peter 3:15-16). Some of the books of the New Testament were being circulated among the churches (Colossians 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:27). Clement of Rome mentioned at least eight New Testament books (A.D. 95). Ignatius of Antioch acknowledged about seven books (A.D. 115). Polycarp, a disciple of John the Apostle, acknowledged 15 books (A.D. 108). Later, Irenaeus mentioned 21 books (A.D. 185). Hippolytus recognized 22 books (A.D. 170-235). The New Testament books receiving the most controversy were Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 John, and 3 John. The first “canon” was the Muratorian Canon, which was compiled in A.D. 170. The Muratorian Canon included all of the New Testament books except Hebrews, James, and 3 John. In A.D. 363, the Council of Laodicea stated that only the Old Testament (along with the Apocrypha) and the 27 books of the New Testament were to be read in the churches. The Council of Hippo (A.D. 393) and the Council of Carthage (A.D. 397) also affirmed the same 27 books as authoritative.

    The councils followed something similar to the following principles to determine whether a New Testament book was truly inspired by the Holy Spirit: 1) Was the author an apostle or have a close connection with an apostle? 2) Is the book being accepted by the Body of Christ at large? 3) Did the book contain consistency of doctrine and orthodox teaching? 4) Did the book bear evidence of high moral and spiritual values that would reflect a work of the Holy Spirit? Again, it is crucial to remember that the church did not determine the canon. No early church council decided on the canon. It was God, and God alone, who determined which books belonged in the Bible. It was simply a matter of God convincing His followers of what He had already decided upon. The human process of collecting the books of the Bible was flawed, but God, in His sovereignty, despite our ignorance and stubbornness, brought the early church to the recognition of the books He had inspired.
  3. England
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    14 Jul '08 13:52
    there are the other books not included ie thomas gospels, barnabus gospels, but its for the learner to find and read these, the bible as we know it is the beging of the journey.
  4. tinyurl.com/ywohm
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    14 Jul '08 14:34
    To answer your question about the Old Testament or Hebrew Scriptures, one reason they're necessary is because much of what Jesus said and did can then be put into context. You can't understand how he got the death penalty or why he was a thorn in the sides of the Powers That Be without knowing the background. For example, "Blessed are the poor" is hardly a radical statement ... unless a handy tenet of your belief is that people are poor/sick/handicapped/etc. because God is punishing them or their parents for some misdeed. "Turn the other cheek" taken out of context can just seem like some annoying little rule -- but it flies in the face of a 5 thousand year (number approximate) tradition of human and divine retribution. You don't even have a context for sin and its punishment and absolution without the OT.

    Plus there's a lot of fascinating literature in there!
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