Psuedo Scripture or apocrypha?

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by wil, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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  2. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    First glance it's hardly news, is it?

    The author appears to be sensationalising, as well as talking down to his audience. Talking down always presses my buttons. A bit offensive, but I suppose he would defend it as 'humorous'. It takes all sorts ...

    He says "the Christians who decided which books were in or out of our canon – around 400AD – didn't make their decisions using textual criticism"

    To which I'd respond:
    Who, precisely were these 'Christians' ... not very helpful.
    Around 400AD? I don't think so. The Canon was listed long before then.
    And text criticism? Wrong.

    Example: Traditionally, 'St Paul's Letter to the Hebrews' was so listed as such even when I was a kid, even though the Fathers had doubted Pauline authorship long before 400AD. Now it's simply "Letter to the Hebrews".

    What the author never touches is why and by whom choices for Canonical inclusion were made. Why pseudepigrapha was included, while other texts, the authentic epistle of Clement of Rome, for example, or the Song of the Pearl, were not?

    "BOTTOM LINE: Your Bible is chock-full of pseudepigrapha"
    My bottom line: self-promoting hyperbole.
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    So if I hear you correctly.

    Doh, we will study the bible already know the people the bible indicates wrote those bookd.and letters didn't write those books snd letters?
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I for one would think footnotes should identify this.
     
  5. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    My Bible does address it though, you know:


    [​IMG]

    LETTER TO TIMOTHY

    Pastoral Letters to Timothy and Titus

    It is impossible to present Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus, the so-called Pastoral letters, without dealing first with their authenticity. For over a century, many specialists have deemed it proven that they were not Paul's but that they were written after the death of the apostles Peter and Paul, under the cover of their authority, to deal with the problems of a new generation of Christians.

    However, all the hypotheses attributing these letters to a disciple of Paul writing long after him also raise serious objections. We will more readily accept their authenticity if we notice that they contain many medical terms which lead us to discern the collaboration of Luke, the physician (Col 4:14). Luke was with Paul when he wrote the second letter to Timothy (4:11). On the other hand, these letters are not only meant for Paul's assistants; they could also be a type of circular letter that Paul wrote upon their request in order to help them to structure and to discipline the communities.

    These three letters are addressed to pastors of souls, more precisely to two close collaborators of Paul and this is why, as a whole, they are called Pastoral Epistles. Like Paul, his delegates Timothy and Titus were like itinerant ministers. Although they did not enjoy the title of apostles (they were more like evangelists: 2 Tim 4:5; Acts 21:8 and Eph 4:11), they had authority over the local churches and they were particularly interested in the guidelines concerning the choice and responsibilities of their ministers or pastors.

    So the organization of the Church is based on two types of ministries. The first, with Timothy and Titus as examples, extends the mission of the apostles and it enjoys apostolic authority. The others remain involved with the community that presented them to exercise their responsibilities (see Acts 6:1-5 and 1 Tim 5:22). Whether they are called episcopes (overseers), presbyters (elders) or deacons (in charge of serving), these ministers who perform a special role for the proclamation of the word and the Eucharist, continue to belong to their families and the community.

    We will have to strive to understand this complementarity, considering the evolution of the Latin Church. Within a few centuries, it unified these very different ministries within the framework of a hierarchized clergy. See the commentaries on Numbers 4:1 and Hebrews 9:1 on this topic.

    [​IMG]


    Just the one letter here, but the others are addressed also. It's not brushed under the carpet. Not just Paul but most other 'queried or difficult sections' too, and there are extensive footnotes throughout ...
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    As @RJM Corbet says, the commentaries are there, if people want to look.

    But as I've said elsewhere, most, people don't want to look, or rather, they aren't interested in looking. If I was 'talking them down', I'd say people are looking for certainties, not for doubts, and they tend to dismiss doubts when confronted, because they don't want to make serious effort to find certainty.

    For example, everyone understands gravity. It's what makes apples fall to earth.

    So what's the gravity on the International Space Station?

    Most people would say zero, I think. You're weightless in space.

    Actually, the answer is somewhere around 90% of the gravity of earth's surface. It's just that the ISS and everything in it is falling. It's all falling at the same rate. While travelling around the earth at some ridiculous speed.

    Hardly anyone understands how electricity works. Or the telephone, let alone a computer. I am still gobsmacked at how I can discern a whole choir and orchestra doing Beethoven's 9th, from a needle in a groove. You and I, of course, will know what vinyl is. Kids today? (Well they will if they wanna be cool ... )
     
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Ok, why should.they have to look?

    I go to a movie I know it is made up, or maybe loosely based on actual events. There is a disclaimer.

    Hence I suppose why I liked the 5 gospels... The use edification clearly thru red, pink, gray, and black print so we could know which passages the theologians collected thought accurate.

    The first chapter of.the book should identify the questionable sections..as preachers feel quite free to quote from anywhere as.if it was gospel...including revelation!! (Side note is it just me or does everyone chuckle at bible thumpers who proudly jump on their soap box and quotes "from the book of Revelations", lol)

    I mean seriously. This is the book people hold above their head and shout to the congregation as the word of G!d! Don't you think everyone within earshot should know there exists this huge asterisk?

    Sometimes it is almost like an Amway meeting.
     
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Why indeed ... I'll give you two solid reasons.

    The First is that the NT texts the author cites are not undisputed pseudepigrapha – you'll not find them listed as such. They are disputed texts. A subtle difference, but all important.

    So you're gonna have to take the reader through the disputes. All of them, those for and those against, not just one side of the argument. And there's a lot of stuff to get through. There's claim and counter-claim. It's not short, it's not simple, and it's not conclusive. Scholars disagree among themselves ... so you're gonna take your reader down the rabbit hole of text critical analysis, into sophisticated Greek linguistics and lexical analysis which, in the end, prove nothing, but suggests ... and then the history, about who was being addressed, about what, and why, and then ...

    And when you boil it all down, it's nit-picking, really.

    And all that before they actually read the Bible?

    +++

    The Second is that none of it makes a jot of difference anyway, because at the end of the day, nothing's changed. As the author himself says:
    "However, this doesn't mean that these books should be removed from the Canon.
    Nor does it suggest that they are not inspired by the Holy Spirit.
    Personally, I don't know who wrote Ephesians or Colossians, but I can affirm that whoever did so was quite inspired by the Holy Spirit and very much enlightened as to the nature and character of Christ."

    OK. So if the author who wrote this fake text was inspired by the Holy Spirit regarding the nature and character of Christ, what's the big deal? WHY WASTE MY TIME?

    We tend to place more authority on the Bible rather than on Christ, even though Christ [in the Bible] tells us that "all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me [Christ]." (See Matt. 28:18)
    But that's what the Bible says, isn't it? So the authority for that statement is Biblical?

    And as Christ never wrote a word Himself, we're dependent on the Bible to know about Christ, aren't we?

    IT"S ALL WE'VE GOT!

    Let's learn to lean on Christ and not on what others have said about Christ
    But ... gee-wiz ... all we know about Christ is what others have said about Him!

    And then ... O... M ... G ... sit yourself down, Mr Giles, because this is gonna rock your world – You say:
    The trick is to learn which writings are God-breathed and which are not.
    How do we do that? Well...

    "Their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away." [ 2 Cor. 3:14]
    "But we have the mind of Christ." (1 Cor. 2:16)
    "My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me and I know them." (John 10: 27-28)


    Then it is my solemn duty to inform you that two of your three texts are from what you've called fake letters, and the third is the Gospel of John? Seriously? No-one disputes the authorship of John?

    Our authority is Christ, and Christ alone ... Do you agree?
    Based on your argument ...

    ... No
     
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  9. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    :D
     
  10. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I'll put you in the vehemently disagree column.

    So what if any books do you feel as questionable and if the council was convened today would.be omitted from (or added to) cannon?

    And if you were to compose a forward to the bible, a Read this first! paragraph...what would it contain?
     
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  11. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    It's not so much vehement disagreement with the content, as with the tone. Don't talk down to your audience. And don't make out you're some HUGE SECRET to disclose, when there isn't one.

    That aside, he makes his case, then undoes it. Then refers to 'face Scripture' as evidence of what we should do, and his bit about Christ is self-contradictory. So he could benefit from an editor, and peer review, rather than reviews and back-slaps by friends.

    This is self-promotion. It's good PR, mind, it's about getting your name out there. He works in advertising, he knows the game, he's got books to sell, online academy courses to sell.

    Christianity-my-way, basically.

    I haven't the skills or scholarship to say. I've always thought Revelations was more trouble than it's worth, but would I dump it on those grounds?

    Ooh, hard question!

    "There is so much we don't know"

    "If the New Testament was entirely a collection of anonymous works ... would it make a difference?"

    "Ponder the Buddhist teaching of the finger and the moon"? I suppose that's a bit wild for an intro to the Bible.

    Failing that, I couldn't answer in a day.

    A good place to start would be reading Dei Verbum – Vatican II on Divine Revelation. I'd probably distill a paragraph from that.
     
  12. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    In general, with regard to a preface to the NT –

    I've over-stated the case above. Probably a line would suffice:

    In some cases authorship is uncertain.
     
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  13. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    You mean like this:

    Dedication Letter from the Translators to King James • KJV Bible (thelostbooks.org)

    This link is more accurate to the Elizabethan English and continues with the second Dedication Letter from the Translators to the Reader:

    1611 KING JAMES BIBLE INTRODUCTION (kingjamesbibleonline.org)

    So in point of fact it is not that an Intro doesn't exist, rather why was it removed?
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
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  14. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Thomas and Juan...

    Common knowledge?

    I guarantee this is earth shattering, you are trying to pull the rug out from under me.and you will get a get folks to stomp.tje dust off their shoes and point get away from me Satan to 80% of the people that purport to be Christian in the US (and that percentage will be higher among those that go to church every week)
     
  15. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Common knowledge enough, to those who seek it out. Christian history is not at all difficult to find.

    "The Men Behind the King James Version," -Gustavus Paine

    There were a number of English translations of the Bible prior to the KJV, William Tyndale's version is perhaps the best known

    Which leads me to "Foxe's Book of Martyrs," another work well worth a read by a diligent Christian, which expands in great detail on the efforts behind the Reformation. Martin Luther was only the spark that ignited a wildfire.

    "The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden" by Rutherford H Platt is another worthy sidebar study, including a number of extra-Biblical apocryphal letters that circulated in the Early Church.

    These books should be readily available in any good Bible Book Store, that is where I got my copies (apart from Tyndale's Bible, I do not have a copy though they are available, I pointed to that as a matter of history relevant to the discussion). My copy of the Original King James Version of the Bible also came from a local Bible Book Store. Other Bibles I have frequently referenced include the Companion Bible, Peshitta and the Interlinear Bible. Not to forget Strong's Concordance. Again, available in any good Bible Book Store.

    Somewhere buried deep in my library I also have a book I found in some out of the way place whose name I have forgotten that expands on the history of the Catholic Missionary spread across the world. My studies in history are known around here, with focus on Emperor Constantine, and to a lesser extent Justinian, Charlemagne and curiosity surrounding the Merovingian Dynasty.



    So, it is not my fault if a student of the Christian faith chooses deliberate ignorance. That is on their head, not mine, the information is readily available. This is that I pointed to regarding symbols, and teachers that can't be bothered to teach their students to look at the meaning behind the symbols.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
  16. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I would like to quote the word of G!d from our book of holy scripture...

    I assume you all know the methods of accumulation and veracity of this holy book, and all of you in the pews have read all these other books...
     
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I think it's a broader question. You are interested in this sort of thing, most people are not.

    Religion and politics are the same in the sense that people support a party, but don't interrogate the details. More to the point, they're not interested in interrogating the details. And they will dislike you if you point out any discrepancies.

    So the article, really, is addressing the author's constituency, his fan-base. He's talking to his audience, and they'll applaud him because it's a celebration of 'we are in the know'. It's the 'right-on' having a little celebration at the expense of the 'not-right-on'.

    The people whom he declares will be shocked and horrified by his earth-shattering news are neither shocked, nor horrified, they're simply not interested. They don't read the kind of stuff he writes and he knows it. They wouldn't read it if it was printed in red as a preface to every book of the Bible. That's not what they go to the Bible for.

    We all go there for comfort.

    If he was genuine in trying to inform them, I'd suggest not belittling them.
     
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  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    @Thomas

    Yes and yes...and more yesssss
     
  19. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    What is your evidence? What is the fruit of your vine?

    Telling me only goes so far....*show* me your faith in action and deed. Actions speak louder than words.
     
  20. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    taught Sunday school for 20 years....worked my way up thru the ages...

    It was a joy to listen to and watch their contemplations and interpretations. We had a dozen different bible versions from KJV to Manga.
     
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