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Richard Amiel McGough
04-14-2008, 03:24 PM
In my debate (http://www.christian-forum.net/index.php?showtopic=18022)over on the www.christian-forum.net (http://www.christian-forum.net) I encountered a man who feels he must invalidate the Bible Wheel to save the Catholic Magesterium from being exposed as having made an error in the Council of Trent. His primary line of attack was to deny that the Gospels and Acts are accurately categorized together as the 5 Historical Books of the NT. This post is to archive the evidence in support of the Bible Wheel.




In Post #44 excubitor stated that "the grouping of 5 books Matthew-Acts is ABSOLUTELY UNHEARD of until the biblewheel contrived it." After a thorough refutation of his false assertion, he modified it slightly and said that "For all intents and purposes it is absolutely unheard of. I would say that there would not be more than 1 Christian in 1000 who has ever heard of Acts being grouped together with the gospels."

Given that excubitor still refuses to admit the plain truth and that others may be misled by his falsehoods, I have decided to post an overwhelming, conclusive, and incontrovertible body of evidence that will settle the issue once and for all.

First, there is the evidence that I already posted from the Christian Apologetics Research Ministry (www.carm.org (http://www.carm.org/)) which has this on its NT Books page (http://www.carm.org/bible/bib_nt_books.htm):

Historical Books

Matthew - Presents Jesus as the Messiah. Genealogy of Jesus through Joseph. Fulfillment of O.T. prophecy.
Mark - Presents Jesus as the Servant. 1/3 of the gospel deals with the last week of His life.
Luke - Presents Jesus as the Son of Man to seek and save the lost. Genealogy of Jesus through Mary. Largest of the gospels.
John - Presents Jesus as God in flesh, the Christ, so that you might believe.
Acts - Historical account from Jesus’ ascension to travels of Paul in his missionary journeys.Then there is this digital photo from the extremely popular Eedman's Handbook to the Bible which color codes its divisions in accordance with the divisions of the Canon Wheel:

http://www.biblewheel.com/canon/Eerdmans_NT.gif




And here is the first sentence from the Introduction to Acts from the New American Standard Bible (http://www.biblewheel.com/forum/www.nccbuscc.org/nab/bible/acts/intro.htm):
The Acts of the Apostles, the second volume of Luke's two-volume work, continues Luke's presentation of biblical history, describing how the salvation promised to Israel in the Old Testament and accomplished by Jesus has now under the guidance of the holy Spirit been extended to the Gentiles.And here is the description of the first five books of the NT in an article by Jim George in his article called The Literary Structure of the Bible (http://www.christianity.com/christian%20foundations/the%20bible/11528149/) published on Christianity.com in their "Christian Foundations" section. It is adapted from his book called The Bare Bones Bible Handbook: 10 Minutes to Understanding Each Book of the Bible (http://www.harvesthousepublishers.com/books_nonfictionbook.cfm?productID=6916547), Harvest House Publishers © 2006:
The Historical Books: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts
Like the Old Testament, the New Testament is not one book, but a collection of 27 individual books that reflect a wide range of themes, literary forms, and purposes. The first five books in the New Testament—Matthew, Mark, Luke, John (called the Gospels), and Acts—are entirely narrative and the only historical books in the New Testament. The first four books, or the Gospels, are a historical account of the life and times of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, whose birth, life, death, and resurrection were prophesied throughout the Old Testament. The book of Acts provides a factual report of the period from Christ’s final words to His followers and His ascension into heaven to the travels and trials of the apostle Paul. Acts describes some of the key events in the spread of the “good news” from Judea to the far reaches of the Roman Empire. And here is how NewAdvent.org - the premier Catholic internet encyclopedia - categorizes the links to their online Catholic Bible (http://www.newadvent.org/bible/):
GOSPELS AND ACTS
Matthew: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28
Mark: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
Luke: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
John: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
Acts of the Apostles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28

PAULINE EPISTLES
Romans: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
1 Corinthians: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
2 Corinthians: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Galatians: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Ephesians: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Philippians: 1, 2, 3, 4
Colossians: 1, 2, 3, 4
1 Thessalonians: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
2 Thessalonians: 1, 2, 3
1 Timothy: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
2 Timothy: 1, 2, 3, 4
Titus: 1, 2, 3
Philemon: All
Hebrews: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

CATHOLIC EPISTLES
James: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
1 Peter: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
2 Peter: 1, 2, 3
1 John: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
2 John: All
3 John: All
Jude: All

REVELATION
Revelation: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22



And here is how Bible.org describes the first five books of the NT:
The Historical Books of the New Testament
By: J. Hampton Keathley, III , Th.M. (Bio)
Also available in: Spanish
Introduction

As previously mentioned, the New Testament falls into three categories based on their literary makeup—the historical, the epistolary, and the prophetical. The four Gospels make up about 46 percent and the book of Acts raises this to 60 percent. This means 60 percent of the New Testament is directly historical tracing the roots and historical development of Christianity. Christianity is based on historical facts. This is inherent in the very nature of the gospel. Christianity is the message of the gospel and what is a gospel? It is good news, information derived from the witness of others. It is history, the testimony of historical facts. “The gospel is news that something has happened—something that puts a different face upon life. What that something is is told us in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It is the life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”10 Following this four-fold account, Acts gives the historical account of the extension of the gospel message from Jerusalem, into Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth, into the Gentile world. ...



Likewise, the famed Biblical Commentator Matthew Henry grouped the Gospels and Acts as historical in the preface to the third volume (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Matthew_Henry's_Commentary_on_the_Whole_Bible/Volume_3/Preface) of his great work, where he wrote the following sentence: "The same method is observable in the New Testament, where we find the plain history of Christ and his gospel placed first in the Evangelists and the Acts of the Apostles;"



And we have this explaination of the Bible from Christianity for Kids (http://www.suite101.com/lesson.cfm/19359/2931/5) -
New Testament
Historical

Matthew
Mark
Luke
John
Acts

The "Historical" part of the New Testament was written to tell about the life of Jesus, his many teachings, and the miracles he performed. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are also called "The Gospels." Together with the book of "Acts," they all make up the historical section of the New Testament.



I could go on until the end of time. The truth is now obvious beyond all dispute. We find the same truth in elementary articles written for kids, in the great Bible translations like New American Standard, in extremely popular commentaries like Mathew Henry, in Bible handbooks like Eerdmans, on the premier apologetic sites like CARM, and even in the premier Catholic online encyclopedia. All these widely varied and independent witness confirm the same truth. The Gospels and Acts are naturally grouped together as the Historical Books of the New Testament.

Richard