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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gilgal View Post
    On the one hand the 66 is the gemetria of Gilgal/wheel the chapters of Isaiah and the Protestant Canon books of Scriptures.
    Yep! That's certainly one of my favorite identities.

    Gilgal (Wheel) = 66 = Number of books in the Wheel!

    Quote Originally Posted by gilgal View Post
    On the other hand I see more emphasis on demonology than before. It seems to fill the gap between the OT and NT. In the OT we hardly find Satan mentioned nor Demon possession. In the NT we have many demon possessions and the Pharisaical method of casting out demons and Jesus' method. In the Apocrypha there's Daniel and Bel and the Dragon and Tobit.

    But are the stories real or fables? What's the purpose of these stories? Does it teach us something solid?
    I think the character of the apocrypha is obviously and vastly inferior to most of the canonical books. Though aspects of Jonah and Daniel sound almost like some of the apocrypha though still not as unbelievable.
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    To begin - are you aware of these two historical facts?

    1) Jerome, the 5th century translator of the Vulgate, distinguished between the 22 books (39 by our count) of the "Palestinian" (Jewish OT) canon, and considered only them to be canonical? He included the Apocrypha only because he was forced to do so.
    Hi Richard,
    Thanks for replying. From what I could find, while he was one of the most brilliant and prolific early Christian scholars, Jerome rejected the deuterocanon based on a faulty understanding of the transmission of the OT texts. He believed the Hebrew Masoretic Text was the only true copy of the inspired original and all other Greek translations (including the Septuagint) were loose copies and spurious. The Deuterocanon was not in the HMT, so he rejected it.

    I'm not pretending to know this off the top of my head. Most of this info came from the writings of Gary Michuta.


    2) The RCC never made any official declaration of the extent of the canon until the Council of Trent in the 16th century, and they did this in response to the Protestants.
    That's simply not true. The Council of Hippo (393AD) produced a list of Sacred writings considered to be Holy Scripture (which included the "Apocrypha") and submitted for subsequent approval by Rome. Augustine was among the bishops in attendance and in agreement with that Canon, which is the same list used by Catholics today. So, the Canon including those 7 books was established way before Trent - actually around the 4th century.

    Therefore, it is not, in my estimation, actually correct to say that the Protestants removed those books.
    As you probably know, the early Reformers did not agree on "removing" the 7 books. You say Jerome was forced to include the Apocrypha, but Luther actually didn't accept the book of James as a legitimate part of the Canon due to it's emphasis on works (which seemed to him to be contrary to his "justification by faith alone").

    Luther and early reformers after him did not unanimously reject the Apocrypha as part of the Canon. In fact, Luther appealed to the books of Sirach and Wisdom in his defense of his 95 Theses. And later to the Book of Tobit. Later he did repudiate (or "remove") the deuterocanonical books.

    An alternate way to state their actions is that they simply adhered to the ancient OT canon accepted by Jerome and which is the only canon accepted by the Jews to whom it was originally given:
    But Jerome appeared to be outside the mainstream of Christian thought at the time regarding the Canon. And the Jews were anything but monolithic in their lists of Holy Scripture at the time of Christ.


    So now the argument descends into the realm of the unknowable past, and every man is free to believe whatever he wants, which means that Protestants will be Protestants and Catholics Catholics, and the argument will go in circles forever.
    True if we are looking for all the details, but the basic premise that the vast majority of the Christian Church - including it's leadership in Rome - from the 4th century through the 16th century included the Apocrypha in it's Canon seems to be easily supported.

    Peace to you,
    Dave

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by basilfo View Post
    Hi Richard,
    Thanks for replying. From what I could find, while he was one of the most brilliant and prolific early Christian scholars, Jerome rejected the deuterocanon based on a faulty understanding of the transmission of the OT texts. He believed the Hebrew Masoretic Text was the only true copy of the inspired original and all other Greek translations (including the Septuagint) were loose copies and spurious. The Deuterocanon was not in the HMT, so he rejected it.

    I'm not pretending to know this off the top of my head. Most of this info came from the writings of Gary Michuta.




    That's simply not true. The Council of Hippo (393AD) produced a list of Sacred writings considered to be Holy Scripture (which included the "Apocrypha") and submitted for subsequent approval by Rome. Augustine was among the bishops in attendance and in agreement with that Canon, which is the same list used by Catholics today. So, the Canon including those 7 books was established way before Trent - actually around the 4th century.



    As you probably know, the early Reformers did not agree on "removing" the 7 books. You say Jerome was forced to include the Apocrypha, but Luther actually didn't accept the book of James as a legitimate part of the Canon due to it's emphasis on works (which seemed to him to be contrary to his "justification by faith alone").

    Luther and early reformers after him did not unanimously reject the Apocrypha as part of the Canon. In fact, Luther appealed to the books of Sirach and Wisdom in his defense of his 95 Theses. And later to the Book of Tobit. Later he did repudiate (or "remove") the deuterocanonical books.



    But Jerome appeared to be outside the mainstream of Christian thought at the time regarding the Canon. And the Jews were anything but monolithic in their lists of Holy Scripture at the time of Christ.




    True if we are looking for all the details, but the basic premise that the vast majority of the Christian Church - including it's leadership in Rome - from the 4th century through the 16th century included the Apocrypha in it's Canon seems to be easily supported.

    Peace to you,
    Dave
    Correct me if I'm wrong, the Catholic Church included the Apocrypha since it's the only place where purgatory is found.

  4. #14
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    Hi Gilgal,
    I'm not an expert on Catholicism by any stretch, but I believe the teaching of purgatory came well after the Church settled on the Canon (which included the Deuterocanonical books) around the 4th century (Council of Hippo).

    Remember, unlike the Protestant churches after the Reformation, the Church through the centuries always considered revelation from God to come from both Scripture AND Sacred Tradition. They actually have Scriptural support from Paul for this in 2 Thess 2:15-

    2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast , and hold the traditions (Str#3862) which ye have been taught , whether by word, or our epistle.;

    2 Thess 3:6 - Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition (Str #3862) which he received of us.


    Don't get hung up on the word "tradition" as in "the traditions of men". That's not what it means. Paul is speaking of the teaching he gave them ...... by word of mouth AND by his letters (Scripture).

    The position "well, it's not in Scripture so it's not inspired teaching" seems to clash with Paul's words. As I said before, we accept the very table of contents of the Bible as inspired, but it is not found in Scripture.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by basilfo View Post
    Hi Richard,
    Thanks for replying. From what I could find, while he was one of the most brilliant and prolific early Christian scholars, Jerome rejected the deuterocanon based on a faulty understanding of the transmission of the OT texts. He believed the Hebrew Masoretic Text was the only true copy of the inspired original and all other Greek translations (including the Septuagint) were loose copies and spurious. The Deuterocanon was not in the HMT, so he rejected it.

    I'm not pretending to know this off the top of my head. Most of this info came from the writings of Gary Michuta.
    Hi Dave,

    I'm glad you are pursuing this. It is a very interesting discussion. But you will have to read more than Catholic apologists like Michuta to get a correct view on this issue. They are arguing against the Protestants and will say whatever is necessary to make their case because their entire Religion would be utterly obliterated if they were wrong on this point. Michuta's assertion that Jerome had a "faulty understanding of transmission of the OT texts" is just special pleading designed to prove his case. He doesn't know anything about Jerome's understanding, and even if he did, he is merely asserting that it was "wrong" because it excluded the Apocrypha. That's begging the question.

    Here is Jerome's view as expressed in his Preface to Samuel and Kings:
    This preface to the Scriptures may serve as a " helmeted " introduction to all the books which we turn from Hebrew into Latin, so that we may be assured that what is not found in our list must be placed amongst the Apocryphal writings. Wisdom, therefore, which generally bears the name of Solomon, and the book of Jesus, the Son of Sirach, and Judith, and Tobias, and the Shepherd are not in the canon. The first book of Maccabees I have found to be Hebrew, the second is Greek, as can be proved from the very style.
    Now I haven't read Michuta's argument, but if your explanation is correct, then he is the one with the misunderstanding. Jerome was not talking about TRANSMISSION - he was talking about the fact that the books themselves were never written in Hebrew at all, but were authored in Greek and not accepted by the Jews in general (and specifically, in Jerusalem).

    These kinds of arguments are very weak. They are obviously insufficient to convince anyone. Folks just believe what they want and then make up arguments to support their positions.

    Quote Originally Posted by basilfo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    2) The RCC never made any official declaration of the extent of the canon until the Council of Trent in the 16th century, and they did this in response to the Protestants.
    That's simply not true. The Council of Hippo (393AD) produced a list of Sacred writings considered to be Holy Scripture (which included the "Apocrypha") and submitted for subsequent approval by Rome. Augustine was among the bishops in attendance and in agreement with that Canon, which is the same list used by Catholics today. So, the Canon including those 7 books was established way before Trent - actually around the 4th century.
    Note I said "official" declaration. I was talking about the Magisterium making a binding statement about what Catholics must believe. That's why the Council of Trent had to make the official statement in the 16th century. Until that time Catholics in GOOD STANDING with the Church could argue why they believed the Apocrypha was not Scripture. This was not possible after the Council made its official declaration and anathematized anyone who disagreed with them. There was a prominent Catholic priest at the time of Trent who argued against the Apocrypha, but I don't recall his name right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by basilfo View Post
    As you probably know, the early Reformers did not agree on "removing" the 7 books. You say Jerome was forced to include the Apocrypha, but Luther actually didn't accept the book of James as a legitimate part of the Canon due to it's emphasis on works (which seemed to him to be contrary to his "justification by faith alone").

    Luther and early reformers after him did not unanimously reject the Apocrypha as part of the Canon. In fact, Luther appealed to the books of Sirach and Wisdom in his defense of his 95 Theses. And later to the Book of Tobit. Later he did repudiate (or "remove") the deuterocanonical books.
    You are correct about Luther. He rearranged the books putting James near the end because he did not like that book. But he's not the authority on anything and what he did does not prove anything.

    And the fact that there was not "uniform" agreement amongst the Reformers who had been raised on the Catholic Bible should come as no surprise. They were confused about many doctrines that were later rejected, such as transubstantiation, child baptism, and the perpetual virginity of Mary to name a few.

    Quote Originally Posted by basilfo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    An alternate way to state their actions is that they simply adhered to the ancient OT canon accepted by Jerome and which is the only canon accepted by the Jews to whom it was originally given:
    But Jerome appeared to be outside the mainstream of Christian thought at the time regarding the Canon. And the Jews were anything but monolithic in their lists of Holy Scripture at the time of Christ.
    And like the Jews, the early church was "anything but monolithic in their lists of Holy Scripture." Indeed, nearly every ancient list has variations in order and content from the modern canon.

    As for the "mainstream thought" - who determines that? And who is "correct?" Remember, Athanasius felt that he was standing against the "entire world" when he opposed Arianism. This gave rise to the saying Athanasius contra mundum.

    Bottom line: Truth is not established by majority vote.

    Quote Originally Posted by basilfo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    So now the argument descends into the realm of the unknowable past, and every man is free to believe whatever he wants, which means that Protestants will be Protestants and Catholics Catholics, and the argument will go in circles forever.
    True if we are looking for all the details, but the basic premise that the vast majority of the Christian Church - including it's leadership in Rome - from the 4th century through the 16th century included the Apocrypha in it's Canon seems to be easily supported.

    Peace to you,
    Dave
    Granted. I never argued against that point!

    And as an interesting aside, this destroys, of course, Rodrick's anti-Preterist argument that God would never allow a fundamental confusion like "which Bible is correct" to exist for a thousand years in His church.

    Great chatting!

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  6. #16
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    I found the name of the priest contemporary with Luther who argued against the apocrypha. It was not just a priest, but rather a Cardinal and Papal Legate. Here is the record of what Cardinal Cajetan wrote prior to the decision at Trent (link):
    "Here we close our commentaries on the historical books of the Old Testament. For the rest (that is, Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees) are counted by St Jerome out of the canonical books, and are placed amongst the Apocrypha, along with Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, as is plain from the Prologus Galeatus. Nor be thou disturbed, like a raw scholar, if thou shouldest find anywhere, either in the sacred councils or the sacred doctors, these books reckoned as canonical. For the words as well of councils as of doctors are to be reduced to the correction of Jerome. Now, according to his judgment, in the epistle to the bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus, these books (and any other like books in the canon of the bible) are not canonical, that is, not in the nature of a rule for confirming matters of faith. Yet, they may be called canonical, that is, in the nature of a rule for the edification of the faithful, as being received and authorised in the canon of the bible for that purpose. By the help of this distinction thou mayest see thy way clearly through that which Augustine says, and what is written in the provincial council of Carthage."
    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by basilfo View Post
    Hi Gilgal,
    I'm not an expert on Catholicism by any stretch, but I believe the teaching of purgatory came well after the Church settled on the Canon (which included the Deuterocanonical books) around the 4th century (Council of Hippo).

    Remember, unlike the Protestant churches after the Reformation, the Church through the centuries always considered revelation from God to come from both Scripture AND Sacred Tradition. They actually have Scriptural support from Paul for this in 2 Thess 2:15-

    2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast , and hold the traditions (Str#3862) which ye have been taught , whether by word, or our epistle.;

    2 Thess 3:6 - Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition (Str #3862) which he received of us.


    Don't get hung up on the word "tradition" as in "the traditions of men". That's not what it means. Paul is speaking of the teaching he gave them ...... by word of mouth AND by his letters (Scripture).

    The position "well, it's not in Scripture so it's not inspired teaching" seems to clash with Paul's words. As I said before, we accept the very table of contents of the Bible as inspired, but it is not found in Scripture.
    Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
    I believe the traditions talked about in 2 Thessalonians are: love, hope, joy, patience...the fruits of the Spirit.

  8. #18
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    Gilgal,
    No matter what 'traditions' Paul was referring to, the point here is that he told the Thessalonians to stand fast, and hold to those traditions whether they received that teaching by what he had written them (Scripture or "our epistle") AND by what he had told them orally ("by word").

    I am not rejecting Scripture! Just pointing out that it is not heretical to understand that God provided much revelation to man without the written word. Think of the covenants with Adam, Noah, and Abraham. None of the patriarchs prior to Moses wrote Scripture.
    Last edited by basilfo; 10-07-2010 at 03:18 AM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by basilfo View Post
    Gilgal,
    No matter what 'traditions' Paul was referring to, the point here is that he told the Thessalonians to stand fast, and hold to those traditions whether they received that teaching by what he had written them (Scripture or "our epistle") AND by what he had told them orally ("by word").

    I am not rejecting Scripture! Just pointing out that it is not heretical to understand that God provided much revelation to man without the written word. Think of the covenants with Adam, Noah, and Abraham. None of the patriarchs prior to Moses wrote Scripture.
    Yes, but the Protestant response is that Paul was talking about oral tradition received directly from an Apostle - not traditions made up by wacky guys in pointy hats and funny dresses a thousand years later! Big difference in my estimation ...
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Yes, but the Protestant response is that Paul was talking about oral tradition received directly from an Apostle - not traditions made up by wacky guys in pointy hats and funny dresses a thousand years later! Big difference in my estimation ...
    I know a lot of Orthodox Priests because I have a priest in my family. One was saying to another that either we lose our culture or our faith. One has to go. If we interpret things in the modern Armenian (instead of the classical Armenian) we lose our culture otherwise the people won't understand and lose their faith.

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