PDA

View Full Version : The Multi-Level Canon



Pages : [1] 2

Bob Higby
09-25-05, 06:06 PM
The Multi-Level Canon

No established doctrinal statement or published writing in Protestantism contains a definite and clear teaching on the notion of a multi-level canon. Most official teaching and confessional dogma supports the 66 canonical books established at the Council of Carthage (397 A.D. ff.) and re-affirmed by Protestants in unity with Rome at the Diet of Regensburg (1540 A.D.). Since these affirmations are proposed to be as sure and certain as the Deity of Jesus Christ, the authenticity and equal authority of all books in the present Christian Bible is simply assumed to be the truth. Any deviation from this position is generally assumed to be liberal skepticism and heresy.

If the issue of the canon is to be re-opened and re-studied, we must reject at the outset any high-critical views of scripture. Our interest is in the historical evidence of the development of the canon, not in criticism of basic Bible doctrine. There are both skeptical and legitimate views of a multi-level canon; skepticism must be rejected as a denial of God’s revelation in Jesus Christ. Confession of the direct activity of God in the creation and preservation of the scriptures through human agents is most essential to affirming the gospel itself.

To introduce this subject I am recommending that the following two articles be read. Then we can begin to dialog regarding the real basis of our canon. The bottom line is this: the notion of a true closing of the canon is historical revisionism. I believe that Luther is correct in defining the gospel as the basis of the canon, not the Westminster teaching that the canon defines the gospel. The self-authenticating nature (as affirmed by the Holy Spirit) of the apostolic writings rich in the gospel of Christ provides the standard by which to evaluate the alleged inspiration of other writings.

http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=689 (http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=689)

http://www.ntrmin.org/Luther%20and%20the%20canon%202.htm (http://www.ntrmin.org/Luther%20and%20the%20canon%202.htm)

GraceAmbassador
09-25-05, 09:38 PM
The canon of the New Testament was not closed historically by the early church. Rather, its extent was debated until the Reformation. Even then, it was closed in a sectarian fashion. Therefore the question must be asked, is it then heresy for a person to question or reject a book of the present canon ? There have been repeated reevaluations of the church's canon. This happened during the initial sifting period. It happened again during the Renaissance and Reformation period, and it is beginning to happen again now. In such instances the fringe books of the canon have been repeatedly questioned. If an individual believer should come to question or reject a book or books of the accepted canon, should that person be regarded as a heretic, or accepted as a brother whose opinions are not necessarily endorsed?

This quote of the article from Bible.org is one that haunts my mind! If is very interesting that our discussions here about the canonicity of some portions of James is not new at all, however, we were (are) compelled by a group of religionists to accept it as if it was as Holy and untouchable as the Divinity of Jesus!

I am very happy that it is not just happening here: let me highlight this quote:



It happened again during the Renaissance and Reformation period, and it is beginning to happen again now


Yes, including in this Forum!

A word or caution, though: We must, have the obligation of, question the things we don't feel should be imposed upon us especially when they appear to contradict other portions of scriptures, such as James 2 contradicts Paul's writings in my view; however it must have done with the sole intention of finding the purity of God's revelation and NEVER in an attempt to endorse some of our pet beliefs. Otherwise we will be no different that those who impose their "confessions" upon us!

Milt

wildboar
09-25-05, 10:03 PM
The article by Sawyer is interesting. However, although he shows the problems with the rationalistic scientific approach of Warfield he does manage to pry himself from Warfield's grip. He continues to speak of inerrancy which is a Warfieldian idea. Warfield is the one who shifted the paradigm from infallibility to inerrancy and really kicked the quest for the historical text into high gear in Reformed and Presbyterian churches. The quest for the historical text if taken to its logical conclusion will certainly lead to the quest for the historical canon.

The historic Reformed position is different. It holds to the belief that God has preserved His Word. The text must not be subjected to so-called scientific theories but where manuscripts differ from one another they are compared and a reading should never be adopted which has the support of a single manuscript. God has also preserved the canon. There are canonical books and there is also a canonical text within those books.

I am certainly in agreement that the Scriptures are self-authenticating. But the Holy Spirit does not bring confusion. It is not up to each individual to look at each book of the Bible, decide that he doesn't like a certain one, and then get the scissors out. In God's Providence he has preserved a Canon of Scripture within the church.

While I think it is legitimate to argue for progressive revelation and teach that certain things which are not stated as clearly in earlier books of the Bible are made clearer in later books, it would seem difficult to construct a multi-level canon. It would seem to present some of the same problems of that which some Roman Catholic scholars like to call the deutero-canonical books. If Scripture is God-breathed then we run into some very strange things if we say that some of God's breathing should be thrown out when another piece of God's breathing supposedly contradicts it.

It really seems far less complicated and more consistent with the God-breathed character of Scripture to harmonize the various passages.

Matthew 10:34 " Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.

Luke 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

Colossians 1:20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

Mark 9:50 "Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another."

John 3:17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

All of the above statements are true. But if we were to take them all literalistically we would end up with contradiction.

Mickey
09-25-05, 10:46 PM
A word or caution, though: We must, have the obligation of, question the things we don't feel should be imposed upon us especially when they appear to contradict other portions of scriptures, such as James 2 contradicts Paul's writings in my view; however it must have done with the sole intention of finding the purity of God's revelation and NEVER in an attempt to endorse some of our pet beliefs. Otherwise we will be no different that those who impose their "confessions" upon us!

Amen and Amen Milt! I think it is wise to state from the get go that just because we are discussing the cannon does not mean we sympathies or agree with those whose motives are to relativise or undermine the gospel by rejecting certain books. It should also be stated that we do not identify ourselves to be united with any group that desires to reopen the discussion of the cannon that does not share our convictions on the gospel of Sovereign Grace itself. The intent here is to maintain the truth of Sovereign Grace, not to throw out books that don’t agree with our pet doctrines; as many groups have as their motive to reopen the discussion of the cannon.

I have to say for myself that if I am to reject any of the 66 books, I will have to be convinced by undisputable facts that the book in question in some way does not belong in the cannon. That being said I don’t expect to be hasty in my decision, rather it will be something I will study as long as I live. In my opinion history deserves a fair trial here and it is my duty as well as any other child of God to search the scriptures and history to determine if these books are self-attesting. The conscience of every believer should be free from the ‘brow-beating’ of dogmatic confessionalism as if these confessions hold some type of authority. Not that the confessions don’t help us understand the historical views of the cannon; it’s just that they are not an undisputable source of truth.

Finally, not only should it be noted that the confessions are not an undisputable source but the archives of history are not undisputable either. This is why I am so cautious in making any conclusions on this issue. In my opinion the best source in determining the validity of any book as inspired is in the book itself compared to the rest of the books.

May God help us and preserve us from error; and may it be for His glory alone and the preservation of the testimony of the person and work of Jesus Christ in Sovereign Grace.

Mike

samohtwerdna
09-26-05, 07:56 AM
I am glad to see the tread opened up concerning the Canon. Keep in mind that at the hear of the question of the Canon is our doctrine of God and his interaction with his creation. If we start with the presupposition that God has removed himself from his own testimony and self revelation then it will not be difficult to end up with no consistent canon at all, but merely a collection of what maybe inspired and each person is responsible to analyze and understand. (this inevitably make man the authority and not God) This presupposition also brings to the table the problem of lost books. This supposition can not help but have dramatic impact on our doctrine of God and our understanding of redemption.

On-the-other-hand, if we start with the supposition that God's Word will not return to Him void - and He is faithful in all his promises and covenant activities. Monorgistically working out His glory and His Salvation through human history by the means of grace that he has ordained primarily, and that He is such a God that interacts with His creation that He sent his own Son as a propitiation for us - that in Him we live and move and have our being - that all things are by Him and for Him. Then the mystery and difficulties of such questions will be much more easily handled in the light of God's care for His Name.

"Multi-Leveled" must be distinguished from "organic" or married to it if possible, before we can go much farther. The Reformers as well as most historic Christianity believe that the scriptures are an organic whole - meaning they fit together like a living thing. So while they may agree that the imperatives of the levitical codes (or other obvious examples) are not binding today - they would not say it is because they are less canonical or sub-authoritative.

At the onset - I would also like to say that I am opposed to the Montanist idea that the Spirit moves more freely than a text and is therefore not bound by parchment - making personal revelation higher than scripture. I assume that this discussion is with those who believe that there is such a thing as God's Word which is available for God's people. If there are those not holding to this foundation, then please reveal that upfront - for there are two discussions of Canon - one - is their a Canon at all! - the other - is the completion and perfection of the Canon. I assume we are discussing the later.

GraceAmbassador
09-26-05, 08:36 AM
At the onset - I would also like to say that I am opposed to the Montanist idea that the Spirit moves more freely than a text and is therefore not bound by parchment - making personal revelation higher than scripture. I assume that this discussion is with those who believe that there is such a thing as God's Word which is available for God's people. If there are those not holding to this foundation, then please reveal that upfront - for there are two discussions of Canon - one - is their a Canon at all! - the other - is the completion and perfection of the Canon. I assume we are discussing the later.

I agree with you here! It is important to note, however, that questions about apparent "contradictions" as wisely proposed by WildBoar, and that "the imperatives of the levitical codes (or other obvious examples) are not binding today" have to be understood by the way the whole context of the Bible harmonizes them, in the case of the apparent contradictions, and to understand where and to which point the imperatives ceased to be binding and who is the one in the Bible who clarifies such un-binding. If we find a text that in a way "contradicts" another, we have to establish a rule not to "sugar coat" such contradiction with an explanation that is not found in the text itself, such as saying "it is speaking of "justification before men" without backing up such sweetening with real hard core linguistic, contextual and topical evidence (explain the reasoning based on the main topic of the book). If we do not establish such a rule, we will be saying to each other during this discussion: "This is in the canon in my opinion because of a,b or c" and the other will be saying "this should not be in the canon for a,b or c" and we will end up with a tremendously wordy argument with no end and no profitability. We should also not refrain from looking at the possibility of interpolations when they are proved absolutely and beyond shadow of doubt and find reasons as to why they were placed in the middle of the Holy writings.

I recommend we do consider the establishing of some this parameters for this discussion. Anyone want to suggest any? Please, post here! You don't need to suggest any and just have a free-for-all discussion as well, but note that this may have no end and and may fail.

If anyone thinks that I think the 5solas Forum is daring enough to prove tha we have to change our outlook in terms of how we understand the canon, I would say, YES, I am so much of a daring person to think so. Let the other organizations and forums come here and see that we are really seeking the purity of God's word, which we already have, doubtless, and yet we see that perhaps the influence of religion in the past have added to this Precious and Perfect Word.
It is so hard to make such statement because I predict, (and this is not a prophecy, N.T. or otherwise) that others will come to our forum as coward lurkers to bash us for casting doubt in the text of the Word of God when we are absolutely NOT doing such a thing! We are attempting to repeat and to relive that which other past teachers have done. We accept and are grateful for what they have done, but we feel that they have not gone all the way as we see in the articles suggested by Bob and also we feel that we have the right and duty to "examine all and retain that which is good" 1 Thess. 5:20.

To wit, I believe that our Bible today not only contains the Word of God, but it is The Word of God.

Milt

Bob Higby
09-26-05, 08:56 AM
WB: It is not up to each individual to look at each book of the Bible, decide that he doesn't like a certain one, and then get the scissors out. In God's Providence he has preserved a Canon of Scripture within the church.

'The church' as it is called is nothing more than individuals. How we interpret Providence is the key issue here. The fact that a large majority of persons got together and legislated certain doctrine does not prove that what was legislated was correct. We cannot have both the doctrine of liberty of conscience and the doctrine that conscience must submit to the majority. These are mutually exclusive.

On another point, 'multi-level canon' and 'progressive revelation' are indeed two different entities. The latter refers to a progression of clarity in the canonical scriptures as they were given over time. The former refers to a distinction between the core-canon and disputed books that are still in our Bible. I have no problem with Luther leaving the DC books in the Bible that he translated--since he did not imply that they were of infallible authority. Innerrancy is confessed only with regard to the superior or core canon. The inferior canon would refer to those books that might certainly contain infallible scripture--but we have no clear basis to assume that all of the verses within them were originally given by inspiration or preserved without interpolation or corruption.

On the matter of innerrancy vs. infallibility, it is best to view this in pre-Warfield terms in my estimation. Both terms (infallibility and innerrancy) refer to the composite TEACHING of the Bible when compared and summed to the whole; not scientific precision or accuracy in every text. Otherwise, the Bible would be teaching error in using round numbers, allegory, idiom, etc.

Mickey
09-26-05, 11:33 AM
If we start with the presupposition that God has removed himself from his own testimony and self revelation then it will not be difficult to end up with no consistent canon at all, but merely a collection of what maybe inspired and each person is responsible to analyze and understand. (this inevitably make man the authority and not God) This presupposition also brings to the table the problem of lost books. This supposition can not help but have dramatic impact on our doctrine of God and our understanding of redemption.

Andrew, this is what we are dealing with right now. The judgment of men in the past is what is in question. There are books that are not presently in the cannon, and from those that I have read in my judgment I agree they do not belong in the cannon.

If God has preserved His word through the men at Carthage and the men at Regensburg then why would He not do the same in other examinations of the cannon? This I believe is fallacious reasoning because there are cults out there who have perverted and twisted the word of God; even made their own 'scriptures'.

In reference to the lost books if they are lost they are lost and we cannot examine them. But for those that we have found such as the Dead Sea scrolls I believe they should be examined, but I would be very weary of accepting them as inspired due to the lack of apostolic testimony. If any manuscript is accepted as inspired due to an agreement with books that we already accept as inspired; opens the flood gates to accept any manuscript, such as the articles written here at 5solas as inspired scripture.

I must further state that I share Andrew's concern for each individual having their own 'collection of what maybe inspired'.

Mike

samohtwerdna
09-26-05, 12:35 PM
Hello all,

I thought I would include this lesson that I compiled for our Sunday evening service last year. This was the first in a series of lessons that I gave, so it is not complete but may have some helpful spring boards for further discussion:;)


Providential Care - Thoughts on Canonicity and Historicity

"Christianity is primarily not merely doctrine, but life, a new moral creation, a saving fact, first personally embodied in Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word, the God-man, to spread from him and embrace gradually the whole body of the race, and bring it into saving fellowship with God. The same is true of Christianity as it exists subjectively in single individuals. It begins not with religious views and notions simply; though it includes these, at least in germ. It comes as new life; as regeneration, conversion, and sanctification; as a creative fact in experience, taking up the whole man with all his faculties and capacities, releasing him from the guilt and the power of sin, and reconciling him with God, restoring harmony and peace to the soul, and at last glorifying the body itself. Thus, the life of Christ is mirrored in his people, rising gradually, through the use of the means of grace and the continued exercise of faith and love, to its maturity in the resurrection.
But the new life necessarily contains the element of doctrine, or knowledge of the truth. Christ calls himself "the way, the truth, and the life." He is himself the personal revelation of saving truth, and of the normal relation of man to God. Yet this element of doctrine itself appears in the New Testament, not in the form of an abstract theory, the product of speculation, a scientific system of ideas subject to logical and mathematical demonstration; but as the fresh, immediate utterance of the supernatural, divine life, a life-giving power, equally practical and theoretical, coming with divine authority to the heart, the will, and the conscience, as well as to the mind, and irresistibly drawing them to itself. The knowledge of God in Christ, as it meets us here, is at the same time eternal life. We must not confound truth with dogma. Truth is the divine substance, doctrine or dogma is the human apprehension and statement of it; truth is infinite, unchanging, and eternal; dogma is finite, changeable, and perfectible.
The Bible, therefore, is not only, nor principally, a book for the learned, but a book of life for every one, an epistle written by the Holy Spirit to mankind. In the words of Christ and his apostles there breathes the highest and holiest spiritual power, the vivifying breath of God, piercing bone and marrow, thrilling through the heart and conscience, and quickening the dead. The life, the eternal life, which was from the beginning with the Father, and is manifested to us, there comes upon us, as it were, sensibly, now as the mighty tornado, now as the gentle zephyr; now overwhelming and casting us down in the dust of humility and penitence, now reviving and raising us to the joy of faith and peace; but always bringing forth a new creature, like the word of power, which said at the first creation, "Let there be light!" Here verily is holy ground. Here is the door of eternity, the true ladder to heaven, on which the angels of God are ascending and descending in unbroken line. No number of systems of Christian faith and morals, therefore, indispensable as they are to the scientific purposes of the church and of theology, can ever fill the place of the Bible, whose words are spirit and life." (Philip Scaff pg 511-513)
The questions surrounding canonicity and Historicity of Scripture may not find top billing on the priority list of most Christians today. At first glance such questions seem superficial rather than essential, secondary rather than primary. However, if we start with a more fundamental question we may gain insight into the primacy of such discussions. That question is: did the church create the canon, or did the canon create the church?
I. Disclaimer about the Argument:
In an age where books like the "Di Vinci Code" are best sellers, the obvious desire of the culture is to imagine the vain thing of psalm 2 - as "the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us." The undisputed authority of the scriptures rises more and more to the forefront of true Christianity
Definition of Terms.
The first duty before me is to define quickly some necessary terms. First there may be some confusion about the term "canon". The Greek word simply means rule or measuring rod. After the first century the word began to take on the meaning of "revealed" truth, or rule of faith, and it wasn't until the 4th century that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were referred to as "the canon". Apologetics - "the defense of the faith". Bibliocity - "the study of the Bible as a principle to itself. (This should always include a sound apologetic!) Presuppositional, the foundation of truth is established preverification, or that truth must have an assumed beginning, and evidentialism where truth must be determined by the material evidence and weighed by the reason of man.
II. Historical Considerations:
Now we have already said that it was not until the 4th century that the word canon was applied to the New Testament, However, as Steven Voorwinde points out, this does not mean that the idea of the canon did not exist earlier. Herman Ridderbos said: "the history of the Canon is the process of the growing consciousness of the Church concerning its ecumenical foundation." "From its earliest days the Christian community was aware that it had a body of writings equal in authority to the Old Testament and equally revelatory in character." It must be said that the New Testament Christians used the Old Testament as Scripture but that they new at the same time there was more to the story. By 200AD we already find the terms "Old and New Testaments", palaia diatheke and kaine diatheke.
A. The First 140 Years.
The Apostle seem to be aware that they where writing Scripture. Especially the Book of Revelation. Again Voorwinde says: "There is as awareness within the New Testament itself, but these are mere "hints" compared to the authoritative tone conveyed by certain New Testament concepts." He enumerates three terms. Apostle: "transmitter of revelation. Witness: eyewitness in a forensic way. And Tradition: 'what had been handed down with authority'. "The tradition of which the New Testament speaks is therefore not an unchanneled stream which is then perpetuated as the faith or theology of the Church. It is rather the authoritative proclamation entrusted to the apostles, as the witnesses of Christ and as the foundation of the Church."
B.The Rise of Heretics: The Church endures a rather rough beginning with missionary efforts being complicated with the Jewish conceptions, as Paul informs us, yet amazingly or rather providentially the Apostles teaching is wide spread and quickly embraced. However, the rise of heretics is always on the horizon and by the year 140 the Roman church receives her first visit from Marcion.
1. Marcionism. Marcion presented his teachings to the presbyters at Rome, "but they found it utterly unacceptable, which was not surprising considering his radical Gnostic views. Marcion rejected the Old Tesament and regarded the the God of the O.T. as evil. He also found little use for most of the New Testament with the exception of Paul and Luke. Marcion's views were wide spread. The Marcionites were the first to have a clearly defined canon.
2. Gnosticism. Gnostic errors were of course around prior to the coming of the Lord. It is not clear when they started. Basically it was the supremacy of thought, esoteric gnosis (knowledge) The Gospel of Thomas was chief among there documents along with the apocryphal Gospel of Truth. For the Gnostics true gnosis was beyond Scripture. Gnosticism is alive and well anywhere where individual experiance, feelings or knowledge is exalted as the arbiter of
3. Montanism. Started in [/COLOR]Asia Minor around 156AD its leader Montanus believed that Christ promise of the Holy Spirit had now been fulfilled. Montanus was the Spirits mouthpiece, so obviously it stressed the renewal of the prophetic gift.
C. The Churches Response:
It is important for us to understand the state of the Church at this point. During the early development of the church most movement was apolitical, and spread through simple means. The apostles established the churches and were faithful to their calling to preach the gospel to the whole earth. Faithful men were made leaders to continue that which they had received and on the smaller scale that was easier to maintain. The warnings about present antichrist and ravenous wolves however, show that even during the life of the apostles there was always a contention for the truth, but the mechanism for affirming the truth of the one catholic church could not be in place until after the formation of such a grand organism. How the church responded to heretics and established its canon basically falls into to points of view.
1.The Liberal view. Voorwinde suggest that the liberal view was epitomized by the work of Adolf von Harnack the leading liberal theologian in at the latter half of the 19th century. He was basically a Gnostic and a montanist himself. Believing that the true inspired word was by the spirit and not by the Letter. He asserted that the drive for a written canon came from the heretics. He proposes what the boys over at infedel.com and the Jesus Seminar picked up on, and that is that right makes right. The Bible that we have is mere the church that won the canon wars.
2.The Orthodox View. Defending the Orthodox view there are many. William Whitacker, Francis Turretin and Theodor Zahn however, are at the forefront of the debates. There is much to their arguments, but one of the strongest factors they bring out is in the state of the New Testament around 200. "Basic agreement coupled with random disagreement characterizes this period. Difference of opinion rages over some books. The idea of fluid boundaries is unthinkable if (according to Harnack and the Liberal school) the Church is creating a canon in response to Marcion. The Church's canon would have been defined as exactly as Marcion's. The New Testament is not then a book that falls out of the sky, nor is it an invention of the Church to combat heresy.
III. Theological Considerations:
As we consider these questions it is important that we don’t forget our theology. Remember what we have been taught on apologetics. About the problems of evidentialism, and thinking we can come to these concerning questions from a neutral stance. We need to argue for the Bible the same way that we argue for the faith; presuppositionally. This does not mean carelessly, however. Some men in an attempt to simplify the question have made grave errors.
A.Problems with Warfield’s View.
For example B.B. Warfield gives more content to apostolic authority than is warranted by the New Testament itself. "In his view the New Testament canon was imposed by the apostles on the church. Thus the canon was not only complete but also fully and finally accepted by the end of the first century. Warfield writes: "In every case the principle on which a book was accepted, or doubts about it laid aside, was the historical tradition of apostolicity". Warfield goes on to assert that the canon was whatever, the apostle had imposed on the church as law whether written by them or not. He completely leaves out the question of reception, and cast doubt on the historicity of the early church struggles. This view may be tempting to those wanting easy answers, but it is not correct.
Criterion and the Problem with it!
The real nature of the question strikes at what criterion can be used to establish canonicity. Many suggested things such as apostolicity and Christological Concentration. (This was the big one for Luther, who used the motto: 'what urges and preaches Christ' - As good as these criterion sound, they are of no use. Again Steven Voorwinde states: "all attempts to establish criteria have failed. More to the point is the observation that all attempts to establish criteria must in principle fail and in fact destroy the canonicity of the New Testament...(for) It would mean subjecting the canon to fallible human insight - and this destroys the absolute authority of the canon!"
IV. Redemptive History:
To helps us here, Herman Ridderbos has suggested that the authority of the canon is not to be sought in the history of the Church, but in the history of redemption: God provides a verbal commentary on his redemptive activity. Hence the New Testament itself is a phenomenon in the history of redemption.
Ridderbos continues by saying: "In conclusion we can only say that the deepest foundation of the canon can only lie in Christ himself, and in the nature of his coming and work. The very basis or ground for the recognition of the canon is, therefore, in principle redemptive-historical. ...For Christ is not only himself the canon in which God comes to the world, and in which he glorifies himself in contrast to the world, but Christ establishes the canon and gives it a concrete historical form. (Read Heb 1: 1-3) Christ is our all in all!

Also I would like to note the excellence of what Milt says when he states:

[COLOR="Red"]To wit, I believe that our Bible today not only contains the Word of God, but it is The Word of God.

Brandan
09-26-05, 12:36 PM
I just thought that I would add that the Trinity Foundation thinks this topic is important enough to monitor and report on regularly. They are watching intently and think that what has been posted already in this thread is heresy.

Personally, I don't care what the institutions of men think. And I certainly don't think that Sean Gerety or John Robbins are intellectually honest enough to deal with this topic without falling back on the traditions of men for support. To deviate from their precious traditions, they would indeed find themselves outside the camp; and that would be just too much for them to bear. Essentialy they value their presbyterian traditions over the truth itself and that is to their shame.

We at 5solas.org are only interested in the truth. This topic of discussion may be unsettling to many because it is opposed to hundreds of years of tradition. It goes against tradition which is founded in the papacy itself!

Will we support sola scriptura or solo institutio?

Brandan

GraceAmbassador
09-26-05, 01:10 PM
It seems as if Cardinal Sean is not satisfied yet and keeps reading our Forum just as I have predicted. People are never satisfied in being confronted and not having the power to debate convincingly and they keeping cowardly lurking to find off context phrases to make more careless and naive Christians to total submission...

Now he is paranoid! None of the comments I made in the previous posts are directed to him and I wasn't thinking of him since he is not the "remarkable" unforgettable character that he deems himself to be. Now he is obsessed with us!

He will not be honest and Christian enough to post statements such as this (in my previous posts):

Originally Posted by Milt
"To wit, I believe that our Bible today not only contains the Word of God, but it is The Word of God."


He does post this statement because is not stated in submission to his "creedal salvation" beliefs; he will not because this may be a dim light that will lead people to realize that what is doing as he continues his obsession in maligning and gossiping about us is not fair, not Christian and not good to anyone.

I just hope that he learns a few things from us!

I hope he posts this in his list:

"During my presence in the 5solas Forum, I realized that I am not that good, that intelligent, that well-learned as I thought I was, and I deserve no credibility among those who think, among those who will not budge to denominational pressure and especially among those who have indeed not only left the ways of the Roman papacy, but IT left them completely, which unfortunately does not and cannot happen to me! 5solas will always stand on the way of my impositions, my assumptions, presuppositions and desire to be respected as an erudite and a scholar. Milt showed me many instances where I did not know what the instructions of Paul were, for example, for restricting the gifts and judging prophecy. It was clearly proved to me that I do not know as I thought I knew. Sean.
*************
As for us in the 5solas, we are indeed 5solas, sola scriptura which believes that the scripture ONLY devoid of tradition is sufficient to state, depict, describe, narrate and teach Godly truth. The "institution" equates "tradition" with the Bible; thus we will always have a different view of what is sacred.

I wonder if John Robbins, a man whom I continue to admire, will be satisfied with someone who is willing to defend traditions more than the Bible itself; a man who will ascribe Holiness to tradition more than he will the revealed Word of God! I wonder if John Robbins would read what we are writing (I am not trying to attract him to the 5solas with this remark) would agree that Sean is not that bright anyway...

Sean can do whatever he wants with out posts! I am not the one who will judge him! If it would be I know what I would do with him: give him a new pacifier and a full bottle of warm milk!

Milt

samohtwerdna
09-26-05, 01:53 PM
Quick question:

Is this true?


The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.

lionovjudah
09-26-05, 01:59 PM
I just thought that I would add that the Trinity Foundation thinks this topic is important enough to monitor and report on regularly. They are watching intently and think that what has been posted already in this thread is heresy.
Brandan

Where are you hearing of this BK? Where are they writing all this stuff?

Brandan
09-26-05, 02:05 PM
Sean Gerety is harrassing me by e-mail about his stuff on their private discussion list even after I left it out of disgust.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scripturalists/

Also notice how it's private and not public? They're being secret just like the papacy.

lionovjudah
09-26-05, 02:06 PM
Sean Gerety is harrassing me by e-mail about his stuff on their private discussion list even after I left it out of disgust.


Oh, I thought it was being posted on their site.

Brandan
09-26-05, 02:10 PM
Quick question:

Is this true?Of course it is!

Mickey
09-26-05, 04:48 PM
I have a question; why wern't any of these books included in the cannon? I know there are many more but I am interested in y'alls thoughts.

The Infancy Gospel of Thomas [Greek Text A] (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/inftoma.htm)
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas [Greek Text B] (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/inftomb.htm)
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas [Latin Text] (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/inftoml.htm)
A 5th Century Compilation of the Thomas Texts (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/infgos1.htm)
An Arabic Infancy Gospel (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/infarab.htm)
The Gospel of James (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/gosjames.htm)
The Gospel of the Nativity of Mary (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/natmary.htm)
The Gospel of Mary [Magdalene] (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/gosmary.htm)
The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/psudomat.htm)
The Gospel of Nicodemus [Acts of Pilate] (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/gosnic.htm)
The Gospel of Bartholomew (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/gosbart.htm)
The Gospel of Peter (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/gospete.htm)
The Gospel of Thomas (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/gosthom.htm)
The Gospel of Philip (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/gosphil.htm)
The Gospel of the Lord [by Marcion] (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/goslord.htm)
The Secret Gospel of M (http://www.webcom.com/gnosis/library/secm.htm)

ugly_gaunt_cow
09-26-05, 05:05 PM
I have a question; why wern't any of these books included in the cannon? I know there are many more but I am interested in y'alls thoughts.

The Infancy Gospel of Thomas [Greek Text A] (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/inftoma.htm)
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas [Greek Text B] (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/inftomb.htm)
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas [Latin Text] (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/inftoml.htm)
A 5th Century Compilation of the Thomas Texts (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/infgos1.htm)
An Arabic Infancy Gospel (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/infarab.htm)
The Gospel of James (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/gosjames.htm)
The Gospel of the Nativity of Mary (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/natmary.htm)
The Gospel of Mary [Magdalene] (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/gosmary.htm)
The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/psudomat.htm)
The Gospel of Nicodemus [Acts of Pilate] (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/gosnic.htm)
The Gospel of Bartholomew (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/gosbart.htm)
The Gospel of Peter (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/gospete.htm)
The Gospel of Thomas (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/gosthom.htm)
The Gospel of Philip (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/gosphil.htm)
The Gospel of the Lord [by Marcion] (http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/gospels/goslord.htm)
The Secret Gospel of M (http://www.webcom.com/gnosis/library/secm.htm)

I've tried to read a couple, and I couldn't. I knew they were false bcause the Spirit of God wasn't present in the text.

Brandan
09-26-05, 05:28 PM
I've tried to read a couple, and I couldn't. I knew they were false bcause the Spirit of God wasn't present in the text.Right Scott! We don't need a papacy to tell us which books are inspired and which are not!

ugly_gaunt_cow
09-26-05, 05:29 PM
Oh!

Did I say that??

Hmmmmm... That opens a WHOLE NEW CAN OF WORMS now doesn't it. ;)

Bob Higby
09-26-05, 07:42 PM
Mike, these are the WORST of gnostic and heretical writings and almost all teachers of every persuasion agree on that! I'm sure that you are already persuaded of this.

To start with actual application of what we are discussing, I'm going to deal with the matter of the book of Esther in a post coming soon! We can start with issues of the Old Testament canon and end with the New Testament.

Mickey
09-26-05, 08:41 PM
Mike, these are the WORST of gnostic and heretical writings and almost all teachers of every persuasion agree on that! I'm sure that you are already persuaded of this.

Of course I am persuaded by this! I was expecting for someone to explain why these were thrown out; I didn't expect to exegete every verse and its error. I was hoping to get the discussion going by establishing the process of determining what is inspired or not. Do we just say that the book of James or Esther is in error and that’s it? I assume you are going to do what I was hoping to get started with the book of Esther and these questions will be answered then.

Also, the men that threw these books out did it for a reason. Obviously the books I posted are full of heresy. But who were they to determine this? Did they have some authority that those who live today do not? Where they just throwing out books that didn't jive with their pet doctrines? No one has come out and said it yet but it seems there is an assumed inspiration of the men that formed the cannon that would make any deviation from the cannon they established blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

Mickey
09-26-05, 08:50 PM
Oh and if it seems that I am flip flopping on this issue its because I'm playing devils advocate for both sides. I haven’t come to a conclusion on this yet and I want to make sure that I don't make any hasty decisions. I just want to clear this up before those reading get confused on what I am trying to accomplish. I would ask from those that have come to a conclusion on this issue to bear with me. I thought I knew what the Multi-Cannon view was and I've even spoken with a few who hold this position but over the past few days it seems that I have misunderstood the position.

Lets do it.:)

wildboar
09-26-05, 11:24 PM
That which is canon did not become canon by man decreeing or declaring it at a synod anymore than the Trinity became the Trinity by man delcaring it to be so at the synod. As the Holy Spirit witnessed to the truth of the authentic nature of these books in the hearts of believers throughout the years, these books were recognized by believers from all over as being God-breathed.

Bob Higby
09-27-05, 03:12 AM
That which is canon did not become canon by man decreeing or declaring it at a synod anymore than the Trinity became the Trinity by man delcaring it to be so at the synod. As the Holy Spirit witnessed to the truth of the authentic nature of these books in the hearts of believers throughout the years, these books were recognized by believers from all over as being God-breathed.

I disagree Charles. I would propose that such a notion is historical revisionism. The fact that believers defer to a legend that they are afraid to oppose because of the POWER of ecclesiastical institutions only shows superstition, not devotion to the truth. The evidence is clear; Athanasius is the author of the 27 book NT canon and all who accept it without question follow his leading. This reminds me of how so many follow Augustine as the author of a myriad of other doctrines.

The earlier testimony of Eusebius in the same century as Athanasius cannot be ignored. The conclusion is: James as canonical grew from outright rejection to legislated dogma within a few decades! There is much evidence to be considered to support this, however, I'm going to begin with the issues surrounding the OT canon.

Brandan
09-27-05, 07:00 AM
For those who are interested, there has been much already stated on this topic over at http://www.5solas.org/forums/showthread.php?t=1355

It was the very first thread which Bob fully participated on here at 5solas.

lionovjudah
09-27-05, 07:21 AM
For those who are interested, there has been much already stated on this topic over at http://www.5solas.org/forums/showthread.php?t=1355

It was the very first thread which Bob fully participated on here at 5solas.

You are correct Brandan. People should read that. It covered everything. IT was conducted very well.

Mickey
09-27-05, 07:25 AM
As the Holy Spirit witnessed to the truth of the authentic nature of these books in the hearts of believers throughout the years, these books were recognized by believers from all over as being God-breathed.

So then does any discussion on the cannon resort to person A saying, "Well the Holy Spirit has testified to me that book X is inspired." and Person B saying, "Well I disagree, the Holy Spirit has testified to me that book X in not inspired."?

The Arminian can use this same argument by tracing back the Doctrine of Free-Will to Justin Martyr. Is there not any process whatsoever that we can use to determine what is inspired?

lionovjudah
09-27-05, 08:21 AM
There will ALWYAS be a subjective nature in determinig this. I believe we have to trust God that His sheep will hear is voice and follow Him. God gave His word to the church, not vice versa. One fallout that I find that happens is to continue to strive for one thing, and continue to go beyond what is necessary. For instance, discussing the Canon, or a Canon within a Canon, will inevitably lead to debating within a specific book about certain portions of that book. Then words.

I have no issue, and the body has had no issue speaking of certain books being more authoratative on certain doctrines than others, James 2 has been used by the RCC and many false cults to speak of a works salvation. But just because it is put through the rack as such does not discredit the inspiration that is contained. Where the problem arises is when one starts to cut out verses within a book as not written or inspired. I see no fruit in doing that

Compilation does not equal inspiration!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

samohtwerdna
09-27-05, 09:28 AM
I have no issue, and the body has had no issue speaking of certain books being more authoratative on certain doctrines than others, James 2 has been used by the RCC and many false cults to speak of a works salvation. But just because it is put through the rack as such does not discredit the inspiration that is contained. Where the problem arises is when one starts to cut out verses within a book as not written or inspired. I see no fruit in doing that

Compilation does not equal inspiration!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good post Joe!


That which is canon did not become canon by man decreeing or declaring it at a synod anymore than the Trinity became the Trinity by man delcaring it to be so at the synod. As the Holy Spirit witnessed to the truth of the authentic nature of these books in the hearts of believers throughout the years, these books were recognized by believers from all over as being God-breathed.

I disagree Charles. I would propose that such a notion is historical revisionism. The fact that believers defer to a legend that they are afraid to oppose because of the POWER of ecclesiastical institutions only shows superstition, not devotion to the truth. The evidence is clear; Athanasius is the author of the 27 book NT canon and all who accept it without question follow his leading. This reminds me of how so many follow Augustine as the author of a myriad of other doctrines.

The earlier testimony of Eusebius in the same century as Athanasius cannot be ignored. The conclusion is: James as canonical grew from outright rejection to legislated dogma within a few decades! There is much evidence to be considered to support this, however, I'm going to begin with the issues surrounding the OT canon.

Bob, you may disagree - but Charles statement is exactly what is needed when discussing canonicity! - We may not like the men in Church history, in fact we may hate them - but that doesn't mean that Christ was not at work in his bride! If there is one main thing that Satan would love to corrupt it would be God's testimony of Himself. Your statement assumes no power of God to protect His Word, and only allows man's fear as an agent in compilation - which to me is true historical revision.

The Councils of the Church and the reformers did not believe that they where deciding what was or was not canonical as Doc suggests - but rather they where acknowledging what historic Christianity had always known was canonical. Truthfully it is not as simple as this especially over time - since disagreement arises and the autographs disappear, but these complications only testify further that the canon is not a product of the church - nor was it constructed to enforce RCC ideals. BTW, the RCC did not for the most part accept the Apocryphal writings as canonical in the same way as the rest of the received books. In a sense they had a developing "multi-level" canon - received text = level 1 - Apocrypha = level 2 , but even this was a late development.

Concerning the OT canon and it's difficulties it is very significant to note that Christ never mentions a difficulty with it - nor do the Apostles, but they all assume that their is a working and authoritative canon which did not need defending.

wildboar
09-27-05, 10:53 AM
I disagree Charles. I would propose that such a notion is historical revisionism. The fact that believers defer to a legend that they are afraid to oppose because of the POWER of ecclesiastical institutions only shows superstition, not devotion to the truth. The evidence is clear; Athanasius is the author of the 27 book NT canon and all who accept it without question follow his leading.

It is the modern anabaptist assumption that the church fathers operated in the same way that many modern anabaptists do-namely, that they had no concern for tradition and arbitrarily made decisions. The statement made by Athanasius was not something he just made up one day. Ah...what shall I place in the canon? I don't really get the whole Shepherd of Hermas thing....let's get rid of that. Councils did not invent things. They settled disputes, showing that there were already some who held to the particular position that the council advocated prior to the council meeting. The Bible speaks of tradition in both good and bad senses. If it is up to every individual to re-invent the wheel then there can be no development in theology.

lionovjudah
09-27-05, 11:26 AM
If it is up to every individual to re-invent the wheel then there can be no development in theology.

Oh Chuck, there will be a development. Look at the splits in the church today. I mean churches have split because one group believes the Alto melody is the true melody and not the soprano.


Plus there is a difference between tradition and traditionalism. Some immediately deny any type of paradosis as being false. Well I do nto believe the Jews, or the early body felt this way.

Brandan
09-27-05, 11:40 AM
I mean churches have split because one group believes the Alto melody is the true melody and not the soprano.Is this sarcasm or real? If real, man, that's about the stupidest thing I've ever heard!

Brandan
09-27-05, 11:41 AM
Some immediately deny any type of paradosis as being false. Well I do nto believe the Jews, or the early body felt this way.What is a paradosis?

Brandan
09-27-05, 11:43 AM
What is a paradosis?Nevermind - it's a tradition :)

lionovjudah
09-27-05, 12:14 PM
Nevermind - it's a tradition :)

The handing on of divine revelation. Orally, and by letter.

The word is common in scripture.

I am doing some reasearch on the history of the canon. What i am fininding is exactly what Charles cautioned against. Everyone who was considered a "leader" had their own canon. I will post from an article I found:

Most Christians believe that all of the books of the Bible, and only the books of the Bible, have been accepted as canonical by all Christians. And yet, how far from this is the truth! In every age of the church there have been Christians, eminent for their piety and learning, who either rejected some of these books, or who accepted as canonical books not contained in the Bible.
Not one of the five men who contributed most to form the canon, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement, Jerome, and Augustine, accepted all of these books.
Late in the second century Melito, Bishop of Sardis, a contemporary of Irenaus, was deputed to make a list of the books belonging to the Old Testament. His list omitted Esther and Lamentations. The Muratori canon, which is supposed to belong to the third century, omitted Hebrews, James, First and Second Peter, and Third John. The Apostolic canon omitted Revelation, and included First and Second Clement and the Apostolic Constitutions.
Of Origen, the great Christian Father of the third century, "Chambers' Encyclopedia" says: "Origen doubted the authority of the Epistle to the Hebrews, of the Epistle of James, of Jude, of the Second of Peter, and the Second and Third of John; while, at the same time, he was disposed to recognize as canonical certain apocryphal scriptures, such as those of Hermas and Barnabas." In addition to the apocryphal books named, Origen also accepted as authoritative the Gospel of the Hebrews, Gospel of the Egyptians, Acts of Paul, and Preaching of Peter.
The Rev. Jeremiah Jones, a leading authority on the canon, says: "Justin Martyr, Clemens Alexandrinus, Tertullian, and the rest of the primitive writers were wont to approve and cite books which now all men know to be apocryphal." (Canon, p. 4).
Theodoret says that as late as the fifth century many churches used the Gospel of Tatian instead of the canonical Gospels. Gregory the Great, at the beginning of the seventh, and Alfric, at the close of the tenth century, accepted as canonical Paul’s Epistle to the Laodiceans.
Early in the fourth century the celebrated church historian, Eusebius, gave a list of the acknowledged and disputed books of the New Testament. The disputed books-- books which some accepted and others rejected-- were Hebrews, James, Second and Third John, Jude, Revelation, Shepherd of Hermas, Epistle of Barnabas, Acts of Paul, and Revelation of Peter.
Athanasius rejected Esther, and Epiphanius accepted the Epistle of Jeremiah. Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, and Gregory, Bishop of Constantinople, both rejected Revelation. Chrysostom, one of the greatest of church divines, and who gave to the sacred book of Christians its name, omitted ten books from his canon-- First and Second Chronicles, Esther, Job, and Lamentations, five books in the Old Testament; and Second Peter, Second and Third John, Jude, and Revelation, five books in the New Testament.

lionovjudah
09-27-05, 12:17 PM
Nevermind - it's a tradition :)

Tradition in regards to divine revelation being handed on, or passed down.

1 Cor 11:23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on (paredoka) to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread ... 1 Cor 15:3-4 For I handed on (paredoka) to you as of first importance what I also received ... 2 Tim 2:2 And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust (parathou) to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well.

Brandan
09-27-05, 12:24 PM
Thanks Joe!

samohtwerdna
09-27-05, 12:32 PM
I am doing some reasearch on the history of the canon. What i am fininding is exactly what Charles cautioned against. Everyone who was considered a "leader" had their own canon. I will post from an article I found:

However, what we see through history is the "Canon" winning out and not the disputes between the leaders! If we see otherwise, then our doctrine of God must change - and man must be the all powerful.

Again, the disputes over questionable books - were do to man unstableness not to the canons. So when the compilations took place criteria was always used, but the true canon did not win because of the criteria, but it won because it was the true canon. God showing His awesome care for His Word - Protected it even through the sinfulness of man - and especially because the church was divided over its opinions. Which proves the statement from the WCF (That Darth Gill approved) that I posted earlier.

lionovjudah
09-27-05, 01:30 PM
However, what we see through history is the "Canon" winning out and not the disputes between the leaders! If we see otherwise, then our doctrine of God must change - and man must be the all powerful.

Again, the disputes over questionable books - were do to man unstableness not to the canons. So when the compilations took place criteria was always used, but the true canon did not win because of the criteria, but it won because it was the true canon. God showing His awesome care for His Word - Protected it even through the sinfulness of man - and especially because the church was divided over its opinions. Which proves the statement from the WCF (That Darth Gill approved) that I posted earlier.


I should have had a conclusion to my statement Andrew. I am at work, and get distracted. The premise of my article was to show what happens when MEN determine what is canon, vs God preserving His word not to return to Him void.

From where I sit, in the bleachers, the disputes revolved around mans bias or presuppositions prior to reading a text, and true apostolic authorship. The irony is that each of these men believed themselves qualified to determine what was in and what was out.

So instead of confessing Gods Canon of Scripture, we are left with "my canon" of scripture.

I believe if the Athanasious and the councils did not push the list of 27, we would still possibly be reading books that are not included, and also not reading books that are. This will never end.


Here is what I find confusing in Bobs opinion. According to your understanding of this "great aPOSTACY" from the pauline letters, I would think Pauls letters would be disputed more than anything. But why were his never in question? If justin, and everyone else had grown so far from this truth, you would think they would leave out some of his books, but they did not.

Justyn promotes free will, he should have taken Jehu's knife and cut out Eph1, Romans 9, and any other book or scripture that speaks of Gods Sovereignty.

Perhaps James was not immidiately accepted by all because so many were concerned on who actually wrote it more than what is written.

lionovjudah
09-27-05, 01:31 PM
Thanks Joe!

What did I do?

samohtwerdna
09-27-05, 02:03 PM
Perhaps James was not immidiately accepted by all because so many were concerned on who actually wrote it more than what is written.

Very good observation! - And point in fact, this actually was the case with most of the disputed books (of the 27) Most people love to jump on James because Luther didn't like it. His concern was for what it taught, but his criteria was self determined. (Which is why after further study he recanted). Luther also wasn't sure about the book of Hebrews and Revelation - but he included them anyway. Interesting to note that his criteria was what ever promotes Christ - and in my opinion Hebrews and Revelation are probably the most Christocentric in all the NT.:)

Beza, In my opinion is far more reliable concerning canonicity than Luther. More to say on this latter...

lionovjudah
09-27-05, 02:11 PM
Most people love to jump on James because Luther didn't like it. His concern was for what it taught, but his criteria was self determined. Luther also wasn't sure about the book of Hebrews and Revelation - but he included them anyway. Interesting to note that his criteria was what ever promotes Christ - and in my opinion Hebrews and Revelation are probably the most Christocentric in all the NT.:)




I have to find this article that was written years ago about this with Luther. It basically stated the Luther should not be an exact barometer for certain issues. He was quite unstable and rash and quick to speak. He was so zealous for the fight against the RCC that anything that smelled RCC, ie james 2, he immediately lashed out. The article said he had more recants than anyone in Christian history because of his quick tongue.

Luther began to suffer from rcc phobia, hence his reaction to james and anythign that also smelled "jewish".

As far as the early church, it is undeniable that so many "leaders" had their opinion on books, their ws very little if any consistancy.

cprwc
09-27-05, 07:51 PM
Andrew, you asked:

"Quick question:
The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.

Is this true?"

This is true and is true as this:

"We believe that the Holy Scriptures are contained in two books, namely, the Old and New Testament, which are canonical, against which nothing can be alleged. These are thus named in the Church of God. The books of the Old Testament are, the five books of Moses, namely: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; the books of Joshua, Ruth, Judges, the two books of Samuel, the two of the Kings, two books of the Chronicles, commonly called Paralipomenon, the first of Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, the Psalms of David, the three books of Solomon, namely, the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs; the four great prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel; and the twelve lesser prophets, namely, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
Those of the New Testament are the four evangelists, namely: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; the Acts of the Apostles; the fourteen epistles of the apostle Paul, namely: one to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, one to the Galatians, one to the Ephesians, one to the Philippians, one to the Colossians, two to the Thessalonians, two to Timothy, one to Titus, one to Philemon, and one to the Hebrews; the seven epistles of the other apostles, namely, one of James, two of Peter, three of John, one of Jude; and the Revelation of the apostle John.

We receive all these books, and these only, as holy and canonical, for the regulation, foundation, and confirmation of our faith; believing without any doubt, all things contained in them, not so much because the Church receives and approves them as such, but more especially because the Holy Ghost witnesseth in our hearts, that they are from God, whereof they carry the evidence in themselves. For the very blind are able to perceive that the things foretold in them are fulfilling."

-CPRWC

Bob Higby
09-27-05, 08:14 PM
I'm going to re-post my second of the original links because most of the accusations against Luther above are answered in it. Has everyone read this? Some of Luther's doubts came from certain teachers in the Papacy who also had the same. Different names are given.

http://www.ntrmin.org/Luther%20and%20the%20canon%202.htm (http://www.ntrmin.org/Luther%20and%20the%20canon%202.htm)

Everyone keeps asking what hermeneutic determines it. My conviction is that it is the Christo-centric hermeneutic of Luther and I FULLY support it. This does not mean I agree with all of Luther's conclusions; his observations on Hebrews I completely disagree with. He had too much non-apostle phobia on that one and I see no evidence that Hebrews ever teaches a watered-down gospel; it meets Luther's own Christo-centric test.

More very important links to consider as evidence:

http://www.bible-researcher.com/antilegomena.html (http://www.bible-researcher.com/antilegomena.html)

http://freethought.mbdojo.com/canon.html (http://freethought.mbdojo.com/canon.html)

I can't disagree strong enough with this notion that the canon is the product of what 'the church' has ALWAYS known to be the Word of God. That is completely untrue. Read the historical evidence, the NT of the second century was only 20 books with only 2 more even acknowledged to exist. How the others came to either exist or become known is somewhat of a mystery. But it is clear from Eusebius that James in its present form was doubted by many to be of first century origin.

lionovjudah
09-28-05, 06:51 AM
http://freethought.mbdojo.com/canon.html (http://freethought.mbdojo.com/canon.html)



This is where I posted my link above Bob.

cprwc
09-28-05, 03:27 PM
What an interesting discussion.

cprwc
09-28-05, 03:27 PM
Because concerning God:


"We know him by two means: first, by the creation, preservation and government of the universe; which is before our eyes as a most elegant book, wherein all creatures, great and small, are as so many characters leading us to contemplate the invisible things of God, namely, his power and divinity, as the apostle Paul saith, Romans 1:20 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=romans+1:20). All which things are sufficient to convincemen, and leave them without excuse. Secondly, he makes himself more clearly and fully known to us by his holy and divine Word, that is to say, as far as is necessary for us to know in this life, to his glory and our salvation".

Therefore:
"We confess that this Word of God was not sent, nor delivered by the will of man, but that holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, as the apostle Peter saith. And that afterwards God, from a special care, which he has for us and our salvation, commanded his servants, the prophets and apostles, to commit his revealed word to writing; and he himself wrote with his own finger, the two tables of the law. Therefore we call such writings holy and divine Scriptures."

Any other discussion seeming to discover a new doctrine of canonicity would where true merely repeat what has been held by the church kept by God's faithsulness throughout the ages and thus really not be new or would sadly introduce unwanted detractions from the faith once for all delivered to the saints.

-CPRWC

cprwc
09-28-05, 03:57 PM
In the time of the apostles the Spirit of Christ moved to speak as we find in Hebrews 1:1-4:

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past
unto the fathers by the prophets,
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath
appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his
person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he
had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the
Majesty on high:
Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by
inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

This glory of Christ comforted His church when these words first fell upon a page, this glory of Christ comforted His church during the middle ages, this glory of Christ comforted His chruch at the reformation, this glory of Chirst comforts His church today where we, sinners judged holy in the grace fo God, find ourselves, and this glory of Chirst will comfort His church until the great Day of the eternal Son's return in His flesh to complete His communion with us and His just punishment of the wicked.
Christ promised the Comforter and He indeed did come and His word has returned full and fat with mercy.

-CPRWC

Bob Higby
09-29-05, 07:38 PM
I am coming more to the conclusion that a sound ecclesiology is a prerequisite to any proper discussion of these issues (that is, any issue where the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant majority have agreed historically). This expression 'the church' keeps coming up; if we cannot agree on what this is how can we have an intelligent basis of dialog?

GraceAmbassador
09-29-05, 09:16 PM
I am coming more to the conclusion that a sound ecclesiology is a prerequisite to any proper discussion of these issues (that is, any issue where the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant majority have agreed historically). This expression 'the church' keeps coming up; if we cannot agree on what this is how can we have an intelligent basis of dialog?

The assembly Christ founded was proclaimed as the one who would excercise such a tremendous pressure in the gates of hell that it would not be able to withstand!

Gates were the last defensive resort of fortified towns in the past; this means that Christ was proclaiming an organism (not an organization) that would always and steadily be in the attack.

The more I see the so called "church" to buckle by accepting conclaves, agreements, treatises and impositions, the less I see the genuine organism started by Christ and I see, rather, more of the organization not in the attack, not exercising pressure on the gates of hell, but, rather cringing in a proverbial fetal position defending itself, its traditions and in every arena where it should win I see it losing and the gates of hell are not only "prevailing" against this "the church" but the gates of hell are wide open welcoming it to its more darkest and deepest chambers.

If anyone here expects that we should have any type of fellowship with "the church" and play dog to its own pressure, they are sorely mistaken! I seek not and we should seek not fellowship with this "the church".

This "the church" when defined by joining hands with the organization of the devil even in the slightest aspect is really not the Assembly called out by Christ. As such, why even seeking fellowship with it.

I am also appalled and amazed how some use the term "the church" loosely.

How about defining what we are talking about so we can determine the worthiness of having fellowship with such a group or even paying attention to their opinion of us and God?

Milt

lionovjudah
09-30-05, 05:02 AM
If anyone here expects that we should have any type of fellowship with "the church" and play dog to its own pressure, they are sorely mistaken! I seek not and we should seek not fellowship with this "the church".

You may not play dog, but you may play its tail. And the tail does not "wag the dog" as the movie title suggests. Milt and Bob. This is what I was weaned on for 38 years. Time to go to church. Get up Joe, get ready for church. It is ingrained in my vocabulary. IT has transformed from a building to the people of that building, and more recently evolved into the body of elect believers to me now. I do not use the term to mean anything other than that.


Bob,and milt, with all due respect, why are you allowed to set the ground rules? Go ahead, makes the rules and I will play. Now I have to get ready for to go to church for a funeral.


Joe

ray kikkert
09-30-05, 01:24 PM
We all come from different backgrounds. Joe, Bill, Milt...... et al. Suffice it to say some of you brothers have seen some most pathetic gatherings calling themselves the church. Your upbringing, how the Lord has led your paths thus far, I can sympathize with. It has not been easy, but indeed a blessing.

I have a dutch background. I was born and raised by a family that gathered with others in the CRC. Later , my parents left the CRC, joining the OCRC. Now my wife and I , with the church gathering in Wingham , Ontario are members with the PRC.

Regardless of the events till now, I am so thankful to the Lord that He still maintains a faithful church. It has weaknesses. Yet it does not tolerate and compromise a God honoring doctrine to fit the whimes of an emotionally distraught creature.

I have commented in the past , how pleasant and delightful it would be to have any number of you folks by us and to worship with us. I also know your hope is the same for me , if Lord willing by you. It is this "dwelling in blest accord" I crave with you. Yet I am aware that sin and the "old man" will fight against this.

My immediate family, as many of yours is dispersed in different visible churches. Yet I rejoice when I can gather with others in the house of the Lord for worship, for bible study, for the childrens catechism training, keeping busy with the things above with others in a like minded blest accord.

I cannot pretend to know you all well. I know enough that I would like to worship with you though and am glad to converse with you.

The Lord ought to receive the honor and glory here as well. We ought to make it a point NOT to neglect the gathering of the saints. In talking to folks like Mike and Darth this is easier said then done. A faithful church is not within distance by you folks and this makes me even more thankful for what He has provided by us.

The examples in Scripture like Acts or Revelations 2 and the strife that was found in these visible churches teaches that nothing new is under the sun here respecting the visible church.

samohtwerdna
09-30-05, 01:43 PM
The more I think about it the more I realize that the issue of canonicity is integral to the issues of "Who are God's people" - for surely the oracles of God are given to them and for them - and "What condition we may expect God's people to be in" especially now that we are in the "New Covenant". This means our view of history will shape our view of the church and our view of the church will certainly shape our thoughts on canonicity.

Any view that would have God's people (His bride) suppressed by Satan and obscured by unbelievers some 60 years after Christ ascension will, I'm sure, have great difficulty with canonicity. If the term "the Church" can not be applied to the general mass of "saints" - As Paul would term them - through history, then the last two thousand years have witness a decline in God's power or at least his presence. Yet, God has promised many things to the contrary! The Apostles themselves saw the age which they were living in as a new and better age than that of their fathers - built on better promises - with a more sure "word" of prophecy (more sure than standing with Christ on the mount of transfiguration and having God the Father speak directly to you according to Peter)
Frankly if God has failed in His promises to His people - If God was mistaken in sending His Son for the perfect revelation of Himself - If the New Covenant is just a grand illusion for most of the earth for the past 2000 years, then I am not sure why we're discussing the canon or the word of God's authority at all.

This does not mean that the RCC is "the Church" or that in order to believe the promises of God we have to buy into all the ideas that have formed traditions (confessionalism). Nor does this demand a Golden age this side of the resurrection. Milt's post about the "attacking" organism thrashing the gates of hell would at least demand a visible conquering thing where vain imaginations (like the enlightenment) are over-thrown. Bob and Milt if you simply cannot connote "the Church" with the people of God - but only see ornate cathedrals built by anti-Christ Popes - then I will simply change my nomenclature and call "the Church" , "the Bride" or "God's people". But if you can not see that God's people have had a great impact on western civilization and the whole world; that Bride of Christ has been growing both numerically and spiritually/theologically; that this body of which Christ is the head, really is joined together and as such must have some kind organization - and some kind of tradition, then I really have no basis for a conversation with you about how God has preserved His Word since you seem to be saying that God has not preserved His people (at least to any notable extent).

While stating this - I would like to address a misconception. Some people think that by saying that the canon was always received that I mean that there where never any disputes. This is not the case. In fact I glory in the disputes! imagine God giving His Word to fallen men, even redeemed men, but still fallen, and no difficulty - no dispute? As if the Bible just fell out of the sky. No, I am much more happy to see that fallen man has had a difficulty with God's Word and has tried in vain to impose his own criteria of what is or is not authoritative for him to listen to. I say in vain because the true canon has always won out. Liberals and heretics have tried to destroy it, conservatives (like Luther) have tried to clean it up (according to them), but the Spirit has preserved it - not the "people of God"/"Bride of Christ"/"Church" - although He has preserved it FOR His "Bride"/"Church"/"People".

Standing with the innumerable host,
Andrew

GraceAmbassador
09-30-05, 02:40 PM
This does not mean that the RCC is "the Church" or that in order to believe the promises of God we have to buy into all the ideas that have formed traditions (confessionalism). Nor does this demand a Golden age this side of the resurrection. Milt's post about the "attacking" organism thrashing the gates of hell would at least demand a visible conquering thing where vain imaginations (like the enlightenment) are over-thrown. Bob and Milt if you simply cannot connote "the Church" with the people of God - but only see ornate cathedrals built by anti-Christ Popes - then I will simply change my nomenclature and call "the Church" , "the Bride" or "God's people". But if you can not see that God's people have had a great impact on western civilization and the whole world; that Bride of Christ has been growing both numerically and spiritually/theologically; that this body of which Christ is the head, really is joined together and as such must have some kind organization - and some kind of tradition, then I really have no basis for a conversation with you about how God has preserved His Word since you seem to be saying that God has not preserved His people (at least to any notable extent).

I appreciate the suggestion!

My objection to the term "the church" it is simply because we will not, even if it is by force, depart from a conception that the term is referring to organizations that have done more damage to the real Bride of Christ and God's people than anything the devil himself could devise!

God has preserved not only a people; God has preserved His word as well!

God has a people; God has a Word to this people.

I believe that the canonicity of certain books and more importantly certain passages in these books is an aching issue. It causes pain and pain is not something desired so we avoid them so as not to cause us or others pain. Many things, however, throughout the history of Christianity were conquered with pain! The very foundation of Christianity was with much pain where Christ, which gives root to the word Christianity, suffered pains in order to have His Bride and keep her pure. Paul says that he suffered pain as "labor pain" for the ek-klesia.

In the other hand, I like to be specific and go back to specifics. I see that we have to face the issue that is before us, for example: Is James 2 really canonic? If it is, how can we harmonize it with the writings of Paul without resorting to hermeneutical contraptions, using methods of interpretation that are at variance with the methods we use to interpret other texts? How can we say that James 2 speaks of justification before men or how can we say that (if the writer of the posts in the related thread quoted by Brandan--I recommend its reading) translating "Can THAT faith save him" is different than what Paul taught about faith? Again, these answers have to be provided with the same method of interpretation we use in the rest of the Bible lest we appear to be defending a mere tradition and afraid of the fact that someone from "the church" wanted that portion to be there. Or is it simply because that was the understanding of the Jewish congregation before Paul expounded to them the Mystery that was hidden through the ages, that he, Paul now receives and reveals?

Not accepting the term "the church" without a definition; not accepting fellowship with "the church" if it means the very same people who, without saying, proclaim to "own" God and His revelation, is simply to be zealously in the side of what I perceive to be the inspired canon to be.

No one can accuse me of trying to fragment the Bible in its canonicity because I simply "disapprove" or not "like" the text of James 2. There are other texts plentifully debated in other threads that I believe should not be the way we respond to people TODAY as to how they should earn eternal life however I have no problem and am very glad to proclaim that these texts were indeed spoken by Jesus and inspired by the Holy Ghost and the evangelists narrated them accurately with the God breathing kind of accuracy.

I also consider to be false the statement or the notion that I "don't like" James 2 or any portion of James. I persist in saying that the issue here is how to harmonize it with the rest of the Bible; then, if we find it that it is not harmonizing at all, would we call it a contradiction or would we call it a teaching that, alike the teaching that to "earn" eternal life one must be a good Jewish person, keep the commandments and sell everything they had, give it to the poor, then live in community of possessions, is not what we should be teaching as conditions for Salvation today?

As Tracy Chapman would say: I ain't got no more to say. I have stated my devotion to the canon as it exists today; I have stated my devotion to the Word of God in the book that we call The Holy Bible. I already explained in particular my objection to explanations given by "the church", not the Bride of Christ or God's people about the harmony of certain passages. I am still seeking a better explanation. As long as I don't find one, I will keep questioning.

Milt

harald
09-30-05, 03:50 PM
As for James 2 I want to put forth some thought. As for me I find nothing in James 2 which hints at its not being God-breathed. I perceive it to be throughly God-breathed.

One reason, it may be, I cannot tell for sure, that some on here (and elsewhere as well) doubt James 2 as being God-breathed may be due to their vague understanding of "justification" in general, and of how the Scripture, in particular, teaches on it. It may be they/you look at the text of James 2 with Protestant eye-glasses, with Solafideite lenses, that is. If so be then you need to cast off these(repent/undergo a thorough change of mindedness) before you will grasp James 2 aright.

As for Paul's "Mystery" it has very little or nothing to do with the doctrine of Justification Before God. The doctrine of Justification Before God was no Mystery, it is touched on in the OT, cp. Rom. 3:21. The Solafideite/Protestant notion of justification before God through a sinner's faith in Jesus cannot be found in the OT (nor in the NT at that). But, the Scripture doctrine of JBG through Christ alone can be found in the OT, it being no "mystery". Paul's "Mystery" has to do with "the Body of the Christ" and its oikonomia (dispensation, household management).

When one sufficiently masters Paul's teaching on justification before God, and the Scripture's teaching on the many different "justifications" then one will have no problem grasping James 2, and it will be clearly seen to be God-breathed Scripture.

The Jewish assembly, prior to the Pauline revelation, did not teach a scheme of justification before God "by works" or "by faith plus works". It taught what Paul later taught when he came on the scene, echoing the OT. Paul only, it may be said, went into greater detail as touching the doctrine of justification before God. But Peter and James before him believed justification before God by Christ alone, just as Paul after these. None of them ever, as converted persons, believed justification before God through the instrumentality of their faith in Jesus Christ. Nor did they likely believe this falsehood in their pre-converted state. Paul at least had hopes of being (or becoming) justified before God on the ground/condition of Law-observance. This was before his conversion.

It is not easy to know when the falsehood of JBG through a sinner's faith in Jesus Christ came on the scene. But I believe it may have existed already when Paul wrote Romans. Romans 4 seems to be written precisely with this notion in view, to counter it.

As for the person of the James who wrote James' epistle myself believes it is the one James who Paul in Gal. refers to as an apostle. And as to this James the NT says nothing negative, but rather positive. Therefore also I have no reason to doubt the inspiration of James 2. Even though I count that James was not written to me (it was written to Jews who professed belief in the gospel of the circumcision, primarily it was addressed to true believers) I nonetheless find it a highly spiritual epistle, with valuable teachings in it.

The reason that some of you have not understood what James is saying in James 2 is no legitimate grounds for casting aside James' epistle as "uncanonical". The problem lies not with what James has written, but with your limited grasp of scriptural things. Some of you apparently grasp "high" truths such as those pertaining to Supralapsarianism ("heavenly things"), but how come you do not grasp the "earthly things" (happening-on-earth) James 2 treats of? This shows that James is setting forth some highly spiritual things, which are almost as hard to be understood as some of Paul's "hard to be understood" things.


Harald

GraceAmbassador
09-30-05, 04:17 PM
The reason that some of you have not understood what James is saying in James 2 is no legitimate grounds for casting aside James' epistle as "uncanonical". The problem lies not with what James has written, but with your limited grasp of scriptural things.

Then... with your UN-limited grasp of scriptural things, can you explain to me in plain understandable language how would you exegete James 2?

Brethren, we found someone here with "UN-limited grasp of scriptural things". Hear ye, hear ye! Hear him!:D

Milt

harald
09-30-05, 04:41 PM
Milt,

It is not the first time you, a moderator (who should know better), resort to mocking and populistic and carnal exaggeration, a cheap trick nothing more. I still remember how you mocked Steve (InChristAlways). And Anthony, another moderator, stood by you in your scoffing. Shame on you both. While I have come to respect you as much as is due I do not feel like answering you due to your witty mockery. Rather I come to think of the saying somewhere that one is not to answer a fool according to his folly.

Harald

GraceAmbassador
09-30-05, 05:17 PM
Harald:

I'd rather answer the affirmation such as:


The problem lies not with what James has written, but with your limited grasp of scriptural things.
with sarcasm and derision than to take it seriously! If I would take it seriously then I would be responding the fool according to his folly. How can you think of yourself so highly that you say of others: "The problem lies not with what James has written, but with your limited grasp of scriptural things."?

If you really want to be taken seriously, please, tell my how you harmonize James 2:21-24 with Paul's teaching on justification without misrepresenting the meaning of Sola Fide or doing some weird hermeneutical contraption?

Jas 2:21-24, (KJV)
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Also, could you name the people you referred to in your last post who you write about here:


It may be they/you look at the text of James 2 with Protestant eye-glasses, with Solafideite lenses, that is. If so be then you need to cast off these(repent/undergo a thorough change of mindedness) before you will grasp James 2 aright.
Who are these people who believe in repent/undergo through change of mindeness who need to cast off the Protestant eyeglasses before they grasp James 2 aright?

If a regular Joe who is not a scholar of your level reads James 2:24, and believes as the entire RCC organization believes that it is "works of benevolence plus faith" that saves, how would you respond to him in an understandable manner?

A little bit of self-criticism is required here: do you read what you write?

I often agree with you, but sometimes you make statements that are so off the mark that I prefer to use jocosity than simply render your statement "weird and devoid of support from the truth and not worthy of a reply".

Milt

Bob Higby
09-30-05, 08:13 PM
The problem here is that we hold differing views of declarative justification; I am of the 'carnal', 'childish', and 'deluded' spiritual dwarfs (according to the 'mainstream' of Anabaptist nonconformity and also the Catholics, Orthodox, Talmudic Jews, and liberals) who ACTUALLY BELIEVE in SOLA FIDE as referring to personal faith. We are well aware that Harald does not hold to SOLA FIDE in terms of a personal faith, only in terms of Christ's faith that he exercised on our behalf while on earth. So why not admit that our differing views on this are in logical harmony with our views on other matters? It is very simple, not complicated. We do not need sarcasm to face the facts, only honesty.

Joe, on this matter of 'rules' I haven't the slightest idea what you are talking about. If you have something to say in genuine discussion of the issue, say it. Who is telling you that you can't?

Answers to Andrew:

Any view that would have God's people (His bride) suppressed by Satan and obscured by unbelievers some 60 years after Christ ascension will, I'm sure, have great difficulty with canonicity.

Show me the Christ-honoring testimony of those who defended the true gospel revealed to Paul in 90-120 A.D. If God did not want this testimony suppressed he would have preserved it!

If the term "the Church" can not be applied to the general mass of "saints" - As Paul would term them - through history, then the last two thousand years have witness a decline in God's power or at least his presence. Yet, God has promised many things to the contrary! The Apostles themselves saw the age which they were living in as a new and better age than that of their fathers - built on better promises - with a more sure "word" of prophecy (more sure than standing with Christ on the mount of transfiguration and having God the Father speak directly to you according to Peter) Frankly if God has failed in His promises to His people - If God was mistaken in sending His Son for the perfect revelation of Himself - If the New Covenant is just a grand illusion for most of the earth for the past 2000 years, then I am not sure why we're discussing the canon or the word of God's authority at all.

No one here denies any of this--with the exception that 'church' is a valid translation of ekklesia. We are denying not that the EKKLESIA consists of the entire company of God's people since the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but that this EKKLESIA can be identified through a documented progression of historical writings and institutions.

This does not mean that the RCC is "the Church" or that in order to believe the promises of God we have to buy into all the ideas that have formed traditions (confessionalism). Nor does this demand a Golden age this side of the resurrection.

Well, the RCC did not exist until 1000 A.D.! I will turn your question of us back to you, if we don't have to buy into all the ideas of formed traditions, WHO DECIDES WHICH ONES THAT WE DO HAVE TO BUY INTO?

Milt's post about the "attacking" organism thrashing the gates of hell would at least demand a visible conquering thing where vain imaginations (like the enlightenment) are over-thrown. Bob and Milt if you simply cannot connote "the Church" with the people of God - but only see ornate cathedrals built by anti-Christ Popes - then I will simply change my nomenclature and call "the Church" , "the Bride" or "God's people".

A false accusation by implication--that we do not connote the EKKLESIA with the people of God. We do. It is how the term church is ORDINARILY used among men (an INSTITUTION OF RELIGION) thta we oppose. And all of us know full well that is its meaning. To illustrate, if I leave my wife at home today, drive to clean a church building where no one is present, and then return home--all know that 99 percent of mankind would describe this event like this: 'he went over to the church and returned home'. But I did not! My wife is a believer, so I LEFT THE EKKLESIA, went to an empty building where there was no EKKLESIA, and RETURNED TO THE EKKLESIA!

But if you can not see that God's people have had a great impact on western civilization and the whole world; that Bride of Christ has been growing both numerically and spiritually/theologically; that this body of which Christ is the head, really is joined together and as such must have some kind organization - and some kind of tradition, then I really have no basis for a conversation with you about how God has preserved His Word since you seem to be saying that God has not preserved His people (at least to any notable extent).

All false assumptions that SEEM to many to be the implication of us not confessing AT LEAST ONE religious institution to have the full truth. We believe none of these things; we believe the exact opposite. But we deny that any religious institution (or progression of such) can be traced throughout history has holding to the full truth of the gospel.

While stating this - I would like to address a misconception. Some people think that by saying that the canon was always received that I mean that there where never any disputes. This is not the case. In fact I glory in the disputes! imagine God giving His Word to fallen men, even redeemed men, but still fallen, and no difficulty - no dispute? As if the Bible just fell out of the sky.

There have always been disputes and this is not the issue. The issue: there is no early attestation that certain books even existed; men also accepted certain books in order to bolster false doctrine and tried to make this law. More to say on this as the thread progresses.

No, I am much more happy to see that fallen man has had a difficulty with God's Word and has tried in vain to impose his own criteria of what is or is not authoritative for him to listen to. I say in vain because the true canon has always won out.

Won out by those that GOT THE POWER! Battles are won not by might nor power but by the Spirit of God in the true gospel.

Liberals and heretics have tried to destroy it, conservatives (like Luther) have tried to clean it up (according to them), but the Spirit has preserved it - not the "people of God"/"Bride of Christ"/"Church" - although He has preserved it FOR His "Bride"/"Church"/"People".

We have not yet had dialog on why Luther was right or wrong in his hermeneutic.

The ekklesia or true Senate of Christ is the company of all believers that have been born from above in a living and abiding faith in the gospel. It is visibly present on earth as much when two believers meet for fellowship and breaking of bread as when a larger company come together for worship in a building. The authority of Christ's people is derived from the Spirit annexed to the Word of God; where one or many believers speak the truth they have God's authority. Where one or many speak error (no matter how much THEY GOT THE POWER of human institutions to squash their opponents), they are speaking delusion and the Lord will one day smash such idolatry.

It is 'the church' that claims to have the answers to everything; I do not. My position on this (as well as many other issues we are discussing on this forum) is in formation as we study and grow. It just happens that I believe Luther was sound on the issue of James as lesser canon (still authoritative at that lower level and sound to use in teaching). This is the result of applying the Christo-centric hermeneutic of Luther which is the soundest I have ever read on determining canon. There is no 'church' council that ever applied such a hermeneutic in determining the canon.

We stand with historic Christianity on Christ's person (Christology) and with the mainstream of Reformers on Christ's work (soteriology). We also stand on the infallible, living and abiding Word of God. Our discussion is limited to those few differences on the canon which have always existed.

Tobias Crisp
09-30-05, 11:44 PM
I still remember how you mocked Steve (InChristAlways). And Anthony, another moderator, stood by you in your scoffing. Shame on you both.Harald,

How have I supported Milt in mocking someone, specifically you or Steve? I may express frustration about statements that someone makes, including you on occasion but I do not recall mocking anyone as that is not my normal way of doing things.

~Anthony

harald
10-01-05, 12:02 AM
Milton,

with sarcasm and derision than to take it seriously! If I would take it seriously then I would be responding the fool according to his folly. How can you think of yourself so highly that you say of others: "The problem lies not with what James has written, but with your limited grasp of scriptural things."?

OK. Now I know why you replied the way you did.



How can you think of yourself so highly that you say of others: "The problem lies not with what James has written, but with your limited grasp of scriptural things."?

Now how did I anticipate that some such accusation would come. You are apparently of the mindedness of those Corinthians which were comparing themselves among themselves. Otherwise you would not answer like this. Did you in my words see any explicit comparing of myself with yourself and others? No, you read this into my statement. As for me then, in this thing under discussion I do not think more highly of myself than what is proper. Nor do I begin resorting to what Paul condemns in Col. 2 as false humility. What I did was to pit your (plural) present understanding of James 2 against the standard of scriptural understanding you ought to have by now. But what I now discern is a questioning of the canonicity of James 2, which is not proper. Even Sean Gerety pointed this out, and he did right in this (I don't say that he did right in all things) by reproving you folks.


If you really want to be taken seriously, please, tell my how you harmonize James 2:21-24 with Paul's teaching on justification without misrepresenting the meaning of Sola Fide or doing some weird hermeneutical contraption?

It is not I who am misrepresenting the meaning of SolaFide. If you say I do so then you are not defining it as its "father", Luther. When Luther propounded SolaFide he was clearly having Justification BEFORE GOD in mind. This quote from his pen, taken from the English translation of his Galatians commentary, I think from Gal. 2:16, corroborates what I say, that he was having JBG in mind:

We say, faith apprehends Jesus Christ. Christian faith is not an inactive quality in the heart. If it is true faith it will surely take Christ for its object. Christ, apprehended by faith and dwelling in the heart, constitutes Christian righteousness, for which God gives eternal life.


If you really want to be taken seriously, please, tell my how you harmonize James 2:21-24 with Paul's teaching on justification without misrepresenting the meaning of Sola Fide or doing some weird hermeneutical contraption?

I will not now do any "weird hermeneutical contraption", whatever that means. The simple short (at another forum when I gave a long answer re James 2 & Paul in Rom. 4 one began immediately complaining) answer is that James 2 is not dealing with the being justified BEFORE GOD. Paul in his epistles touches on this justification. And he also touches on other so-called justifications (e.g. justification before conscience, or, in relation to oneself, and justification before all other created beings). So, Paul was not only teaching on one justification. This must be acknowledged before one can move on. How could James be teaching JBG, inasmuch as he brings "works" into the equation?? He cannot. So he must teach on some other kind of justification. James believed what Paul believed as touching JBG. They were in complete agreement, otherwise if one says James taught JBG "by works" one will calumniate and slander James, a provedly Spirit-led penman and bondman of Jesus Christ. I have wondered within myself what evil mindset it is in some, which makes them want to impute heterodoxy to James, rather than examine their own present (faulty, yes, LIMITED as well) understanding on James 2.


Also, could you name the people you referred to in your last post who you write about here

You will get no list of names, since I had no list of names before me. I said words to the import that "on this forum" and "elsewhere". It embraces whosoever are singled out by what I stated. Those who are guilty of the thing I imputed should recognize themselves if it actually pertains to them.


If a regular Joe who is not a scholar of your level reads James 2:24, and believes as the entire RCC organization believes that it is "works of benevolence plus faith" that saves, how would you respond to him in an understandable manner?

Is this a disparaging and/or misrepresentation of Joe's (there's only one Joe on here) character and beliefs? If it isn't then you must acknowledge you expressed yourself unadvisedly. I do not believe Joe would admit to holding the RCC view of salvation and/or justification before God (or on justification before conscience at that).

A little bit of self-criticism is required here: do you read what you write?

Yes. Do you?
As for me it is so, that at times afterwards I perceive that I had written something that I shouldn't have. This time there has so far been no regret.


I often agree with you, but sometimes you make statements that are so off the mark that I prefer to use jocosity than simply render your statement "weird and devoid of support from the truth and not worthy of a reply".

I have found myself agreeing with you as well, surprisingly often. If you consider that something I say is devoid of truth or "off the mark" then by all means point it out to me if you have time. I do not mind at all.


Harald

cprwc
10-01-05, 12:25 AM
True to the word of God, Lord's Day 21 from the Heidelberg Catechism teaches concerning the Church Of Jesus Christ:


XXI. LORD'S DAY. (http://www.prca.org/hc_index.html#LDXXI)

Question 54 (http://www.prca.org/hc_index.html#Q54). What believest thou concerning the "holy catholic church" of Christ?

Answer. That the Son of God [a] (http://www.prca.org/hc_text2.html#LDXXIa#LDXXIa) from the beginning to the end of the world, gathers, [c] (http://www.prca.org/hc_text2.html#LDXXIc#LDXXIc) defends, and [d] (http://www.prca.org/hc_text2.html#LDXXId#LDXXId) preserves to himself by his [e] (http://www.prca.org/hc_text2.html#LDXXIe#LDXXIe) Spirit and word, out of the [f] (http://www.prca.org/hc_text2.html#LDXXIf#LDXXIf) whole human race, a [g] (http://www.prca.org/hc_text2.html#LDXXIg#LDXXIg) church chosen to everlasting life, agreeing in true faith; and that I am and for ever shall remain, a [h] (http://www.prca.org/hc_text2.html#LDXXIh#LDXXIh) living member thereof.
Question 55 (http://www.prca.org/hc_index.html#Q55). What do you understand by "the communion of saints"?

Answer. First, that all and every one, who believes, being members of Christ, are in common, partakers of him, and of all his riches and gifts; secondly, that every one must know it to be his duty, readily and [j] (http://www.prca.org/hc_text2.html#LDXXIj#LDXXIj) cheerfully to employ his gifts, for the advantage and salvation of other members.
[B][I]Question 56 (http://www.prca.org/hc_index.html#Q56). What believest thou concerning "the forgiveness of sins"?

Answer. That God, for the sake of [k] (http://www.prca.org/hc_text2.html#LDXXIk#LDXXIk) Christ's satisfaction will no more [l] (http://www.prca.org/hc_text2.html#LDXXIl#LDXXIl) remember my sins, neither my corrupt nature, against which I have to struggle all my life long; but will graciously impute to me the righteousness of Christ; that I may never be [m] (http://www.prca.org/hc_text2.html#LDXXIm#LDXXIm) condemned before the tribunal of God.
[a]: John 10:11 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+10:11)
[b]: Gen. 26:4 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Gen+26:4)
[c]: Rom. 9:24 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Rom+9:24); Eph. 1:10 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Eph+1:10)
[d]: John 10:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+10:16)
[e]: Isa. 59:12 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Isa+59:12)
[f]: Deut 10:14,15 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Deut+10:14,15)
[g]: Acts 13:48 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Acts+13:48)
[h]: 1Cor. 1:8,9 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=1+Cor+1:8,9); Rom. 8:35ff (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Rom+8:35-176)
[i]: John 1:3,4 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+1:3,4); Rom. 8:32 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Rom+8:32); 1Cor. 12:13 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=1+Cor+12:13)
[j]: 1Cor. 12:13 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=1+Cor+12:13)
[j]: 1Cor. 13:5 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=1+Cor+13:5); Phil. 2:4,5,6 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Phil+2:4,5,6)
[k]: 1John 2:2 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=1+John+2:2); 2Cor. 5:19,21 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=2+Cor+5:19,21)
[l]: Jer. 31:34 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Jer+31:34); Psa. 103:3,4,10,11 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Psa+103:3,4,10,11); Rom. 8:1,2,3 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Rom+8:1,2,3)
[m]: John 3:18 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+3:18)



-CPRWC

harald
10-01-05, 12:52 AM
How have I supported Milt in mocking someone, specifically you or Steve? I may express frustration about statements that someone makes, including you on occasion but I do not recall mocking anyone as that is not my normal way of doing things.


Anthony,

You have not mocked me that I recall. I specifically referred to Steve in what I said. As for me I think that, on the whole taken, you have done your moderating job quite well.

Here is the incident with Steve that I referred to:



I believe the greatest help we can give I.C.A. at this point is to give him time to finalize his very important and historically novel harmony of the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation. I believe the whole theological world cannot wait until he finishes it since there is nothing out there that even matches this type of research... So, on behalf of the theological world and all the Bible Students of the globe, let's give I.C.A. all the time he needs to finish his research. I am so looking forward to seeing it that my heart is out of rhythm!

Milt [from post #24 of "The "2 witnesses" of Rev Chapt 11" thread]

You replied just below:

>>> Milt,

I about hurt myself laughing so hard. You certainly have a way with words.
__________________
Anthony Lawson, sinner saved by imputed righteousness <<<


Then the thread was closed. I recall being most disgusted at Milt's post, and also at your apparent approval. I cannot know how Steve took it, but would not be surprised if he were unduly hurt by such rhetoric. Rather than being derided he had deserved some commendation for seriously wishing to harmonize and study such important things, whether he was/is successful in this or not.


Harald

GraceAmbassador
10-01-05, 05:32 AM
Is this a disparaging and/or misrepresentation of Joe's (there's only one Joe on here) character and beliefs? If it isn't then you must acknowledge you expressed yourself unadvisedly. I do not believe Joe would admit to holding the RCC view of salvation and/or justification before God (or on justification before conscience at that).


I'd rather stop communicating with you; this statement above is either intentionally looking to cause a rift between and Joe (LionofJudah) or you simply do not understand American idiomatic expression. Anyone here, including Joe, knows that the term "average Joe" is a term used to express anyone, such as "Tom, Dick and Harry", for women the term used is Jane Doe...

Don't attempt to bring a strife where there is none, or admit your lack of knowledge of the expression "average Joe" in American colloquialism.

You still are too prideful and proud and will not acknowledge that you should not write so generically about issues and refer to your brothers and sisters in indirect terms. If you feel that someone "lacks grasp on scriptural things" and is guilty of the other things you say, please, name them. It is not much to ask.

If you feel that you have superior knowledge of scriptural things than anyone else, please, say so as well, it is fine; just don't say it indirectly; it is not nice and polite.

Milt

GraceAmbassador
10-01-05, 05:36 AM
CPRWC


Would you please engage in the debate rather than only and exclusively quote confessions? I believe it has been proved here that we love confessions as aids but we don't hold them to be infallible. Please, engage... If you must quote, please just post the article and the chapter and the paragraph; we can find the quote in the confession itself. It saves bandwidth!

Milt

lionovjudah
10-01-05, 05:42 AM
Complaining publicly about someone or their posts, publicly arguing with forum policy, or publicly complaining about the actions of moderators, is strictly prohibited.


I see this happenning much much to often lately. Perhaps a new "blog" should be created for complaining. I find myself drawn into this ploy of Satan and have to constantly repent. I am sickened by my own actions as well as others here. While not wanting to get banned, the above policy is broken on an hourly basis. Sure a little sarcasm breaks the ice and is ok within limits, but for some reason threads immeditely fall into personal attacks of character. We can excuse it and cover it with many "biblical" reasons, but the fruit is the same; rotten. I believe we prove Christs word when He states what defiles us comes from within. I dont have the answer on how to continue in the Spirit, to edify and teach rather than to try and WIN debates.

I repent of my actions again and ask for forgiveness for consciously knowing some of my posts have no Spirit but all flesh. Some of my posts are intentionally written to be mean and haughty.


Joe

harald
10-01-05, 07:32 AM
Milton,

I am sorry. I did in fact not know that the above was an American colloquialism. If I had known I had said nothing.

You still are too prideful and proud and will not acknowledge that you should not write so generically about issues and refer to your brothers and sisters in indirect terms.

Thank you for letting me know what you think of me. Then. Give me one Pauline scripture which forbids to refer to fellow-professing-believers (whether genuinely "brother" or "sister" or not) in indirect terms. Unless I mistake Paul did this at times. Would you say this was prideful of him?

Then. Your above statement reflects something which I call "an unwritten law" among professing believers, especially seen on internet boards and forums. As though one were somehow bound (as by some law of duty) or obligated to regard each and every other professing believer as "brother" or "sister" as long as they are not of the RCC or of the Mormons or of the Russelite cult. But on forums/boards where "Sovereign Grace" sentiments is espoused the unwritten law seems to be that one is duty bound to regard as brother or sister every other individual, as long as they are favourably inclined towards "Free and Sovereign Grace". If one somehow seems to break against this unwritten law then one gets flak for it, like I now got here. But if one on such a calvinistically minded forum speaks negatively towards "free will" minded professing believers one hardly gets any flak from the calvinists. This is nothing but a pathetic display of respect of men's outward persons. I will not fall into the trap of this unwritten law. Rather than promoting action congruous to such a manmade law the NT Scriptures say such things as "... stop believing every spirit!". The NT, and the Pauline scriptures, do not promote gullibility and a general tolerantism as virtues.
Then. In another thread when I came hard on a certain notion and gave a list of names I got flak from some for it. Now I refuse to list names and also got flak, from you. Whichever I do at whatever time I will no doubt continue to get flak from some. There are always such as seek to entrap. But on the whole all this does not move me one iota. If I have done right and still am called prideful or whatever negative by people then I should rather count myself "blessed" than be discouraged.


Harald

harald
10-01-05, 07:59 AM
We are well aware that Harald does not hold to SOLA FIDE in terms of a personal faith, only in terms of Christ's faith that he exercised on our behalf while on earth. (Bob H)

Bob,

When I think of the term "Sola Fide" I do not at all associate to Christ's personal faith. When I hear or think of "Sola Fide" I always associate to Luther, whom I count to have been its "father". And in his thought Sola Fide involves Justification Before God through a sinner's personal faith in Christ. It is this Sola Fide I keep on opposing as unscriptural and false and heterodox etc. And I will continue to oppose it as such. I have stated before, perhaps not lately, though, that when it comes to HOW an elect sinner comes to know about his justification before God I believe that he/she comes to know it by it "being revealed from within faith to faith" (Rom. 1:17). But the coming to knowledge of JBG is not the same as JBG itself. Thus I believe. To say it in other words, justification in its constitutive aspect is not the same as justification revealed. When it comes to "constitutive justification", as it may perhaps be called as well, I hold to "Christ alone", in brief. This includes His personal faith and faithfulness/obedience as well. When it comes to justification revealed I hold to "revealed from within faith to faith" alone, not through an "exercise" of faith in/towards Christ as some put it.


Harald

ray kikkert
10-01-05, 01:09 PM
This thread has caused me to go looking into the different statements and articles on the subject at hand from faithful men I trust. The below was written by Prof. Russell Dykstra of the PRC seminary. It deals with the theological exegetical differences and agreements between John Calvin and Thomas Aquinas. The full article can be viewed at:

http://www.prca.org/prtj/apr2002.html#Comparison


"Because principles of exegesis arise, either consciously or unconsciously, out of the exegete’s view of Scripture, it is necessary to begin there. From a formal point of view, Calvin and Aquinas have nearly identical views of Scripture. Both men receive the Bible as God’s Word. Writes Aquinas, “The author of the Holy Writ is God.”6 (http://www.prca.org/prtj/apr2002.html#Dykstra06) Likewise Calvin asserts that the Scriptures “have come from heaven, as directly as if God had been heard giving utterance to them.”7 (http://www.prca.org/prtj/apr2002.html#Dykstra07) Calvin and Aquinas thus have the same starting point–Scripture is the Word of God.
However, Calvin, coming some 400 years after Aquinas, and being a second generation reformer, knows well the means by which this crucial truth can be corrupted and perverted, and consequently he develops it considerably more. He emphasizes particularly the authority of Scripture, insisting that receiving the Bible as the Word of God demands also submission to that Word. He writes,

Paul saith the Word of God deserveth such reverence that we ought to submit ourselves to it without gainsaying. He likewise informeth us what profit we receive from it; which is another reason why we should embrace it with reverence and obedience. There have been some fantastical men at all times who would wish to bring the Holy Scripture into doubt; although they were ashamed to deny that the Word of God ought to be received without contradiction. There have always been wicked men who have frankly confessed that the Word of God hath such a majesty in it that all the world ought to bow before it; and yet they continue to blaspheme and speak evil against God.8 (http://www.prca.org/prtj/apr2002.html#Dykstra08)

And again,

Moreover, we must not read the Holy Scripture in order to support our own notions, and favorite sentiments; but submit ourselves unto the doctrine contained therein, agreeably to the whole contents of it; for it is all profitable. 9 (http://www.prca.org/prtj/apr2002.html#Dykstra09)

That is the attitude with which Calvin approaches the Bible. In this respect he differs considerably from Aquinas on the authority possessed by Scripture relative to such things as the church, pagan philosophers, and even the church fathers, as will become evident later.
Since both Calvin and Aquinas hold the Scriptures to be the Word of God, they insist that the exegete must approach the Bible in faith. Aquinas maintains that “those who wrote the Scriptural canon, such as the Evangelists, Apostles and others like them, so firmly asserted the truth that they left nothing to be doubted. Thus it states: ‘And we know that his testimony is true,’ (Jn. 21:24 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Jn+21:24)). ”10 (http://www.prca.org/prtj/apr2002.html#Dykstra10) Calvin maintains the same.
Another striking point of agreement between these two men is that the true and accurate meaning of the Scripture is in the text, i.e., the words as received. Both theologians place great emphasis on the text itself. They speak of the need for the exegete to determine the mind or intent of the writer. Writes Calvin, “Since almost his only duty is to lay open the mind of the writer whom he has undertaken to explain, he deviates from his mark, or at least strays out of his own sphere, to the extent that he leads his readers away from it.”11 (http://www.prca.org/prtj/apr2002.html#Dykstra11)
Laying “open the mind of the writer” is not to be understood as something different from discerning the “mind of the Spirit.” Calvin ever links the human writer and the Spirit. In one striking passage in his commentary on 1 Corinthians 2:9 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=1+Corinthians+2:9) (where Isaiah is quoted), after presenting a possible interpretation, Calvin rejects it because, he writes, “it is too remote from Paul’s mind, a consideration on which we should rely more than on any other. For who is a more sure and faithful interpreter of this oracle that he himself dictated to Isaiah than the Spirit of God as he expounds it by the mouth of Paul?”12 (http://www.prca.org/prtj/apr2002.html#Dykstra12) Notice that in the same breath Calvin speaks of the mind of Paul, dictation by the Spirit, and the Spirit expounding Scripture by the mouth of Paul!
Parker insightfully draws out two exegetical principles from this conviction of Calvin. First, the text itself “is the ‘speech’ of the Holy Spirit, the text that is written in Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic by some man or other. The mind of the Spirit is understood when the text of the document is understood.”13 (http://www.prca.org/prtj/apr2002.html#Dykstra13) Secondly, the proper interpretation of the text is possible only by the illumination of the Holy Spirit. The human mind may understand the written words of Scripture intellectually, but the Spirit’s working is required before one understands spiritually, and believes the truth.14 (http://www.prca.org/prtj/apr2002.html#Dykstra14)
This means that the text is of critical importance for Calvin in exegesis, as Parker correctly concludes. For,

what is believed and accepted is the plain meaning of the story or the argument, and that means, the plain sense of the text of the document. Hence, when the commentator reveals, clearly and succinctly, the mind of the writer expressed in the text, he is fulfilling almost his only duty.15 (http://www.prca.org/prtj/apr2002.html#Dykstra15)

This has further implications for Calvin, as Parker points out.

When we understand that for Calvin the proper study of the expositor is the text, other factors in his New Testament work fall into place: his great care in establishing what he thinks is the most reliable Greek text; his literal translation of it into Latin; his championing of the litteralis sensus of Scripture; indeed, the very form of his commentaries, following the text, in distinction to Melanchthon’s method….
The text is the place where the expositor encounters his author.16 (http://www.prca.org/prtj/apr2002.html#Dykstra16) "

GraceAmbassador
10-01-05, 03:56 PM
Milton,

I am sorry. I did in fact not know that the above was an American colloquialism. If I had known I had said nothing.

You still are too prideful and proud and will not acknowledge that you should not write so generically about issues and refer to your brothers and sisters in indirect terms.

Thank you for letting me know what you think of me. Then. Give me one Pauline scripture which forbids to refer to fellow-professing-believers (whether genuinely "brother" or "sister" or not) in indirect terms. Unless I mistake Paul did this at times. Would you say this was prideful of him?

Then. Your above statement reflects something which I call "an unwritten law" among professing believers, especially seen on internet boards and forums. As though one were somehow bound (as by some law of duty) or obligated to regard each and every other professing believer as "brother" or "sister" as long as they are not of the RCC or of the Mormons or of the Russelite cult. But on forums/boards where "Sovereign Grace" sentiments is espoused the unwritten law seems to be that one is duty bound to regard as brother or sister every other individual, as long as they are favourably inclined towards "Free and Sovereign Grace". If one somehow seems to break against this unwritten law then one gets flak for it, like I now got here. But if one on such a calvinistically minded forum speaks negatively towards "free will" minded professing believers one hardly gets any flak from the calvinists. This is nothing but a pathetic display of respect of men's outward persons. I will not fall into the trap of this unwritten law. Rather than promoting action congruous to such a manmade law the NT Scriptures say such things as "... stop believing every spirit!". The NT, and the Pauline scriptures, do not promote gullibility and a general tolerantism as virtues.
Then. In another thread when I came hard on a certain notion and gave a list of names I got flak from some for it. Now I refuse to list names and also got flak, from you. Whichever I do at whatever time I will no doubt continue to get flak from some. There are always such as seek to entrap. But on the whole all this does not move me one iota. If I have done right and still am called prideful or whatever negative by people then I should rather count myself "blessed" than be discouraged.
Harald


Harald:

You are all right and as far as I am concerned I have nothing against you even if we have some disagreements at times. I was just concerned for the generic tone of your assertion that spoke of some who "have no grasp and understanding of the scripture". I felt that I would be aiding you in self-criticizing your text and see that "hidden pronouns" sometimes can be used of the devil to make people come to the direst conclusions possible as to whom those "hidden pronouns" refer.

I did not intend to cause you any sadness, (if I did) nor start an argument with you. In terms of Pauline theology I believe in major points we agree and that settles it to me.

Believe me, although I have a "funny" way of expressing it, my jocosity was merely to make you think on your words, that's why I recommended you to "read what you write". I do that all the time; if I don't read what I write, as a READER and not THE WRITER, I tend to insert things that I assume people understand when in fact they do not and what I wrote potentially can cause a lot of confusion. That was my intention.

Thanks for responding openly and honestly; I will not let the sun to set upon my wrath, if any, and I am sure as an obedient student of Paul you will not either.

Brother Milt

harald
10-02-05, 01:32 AM
Milton,

Thank you for this reply. No hard feelings on my part. And I acknowledge that I need the criticism you presented, whatever my reaction was at the time I read it.
As for jocosity I think the way you used it (at the time you delivered it I got a bit annoyed, no denying) is maybe about the only acceptable way of using it, in light of Paul's saying in Eph. 5. I mean when there is some need to use sarcasm, at such occasions a certain amount of jocosity may be proper. But on the whole Paul condemns "frivolous wit", which he refers to as "absolutely not meeting the standard (of holiness, implied)".

4 As well as obscenity, and foolish speech, or, frivolous wit, things absolutely not
meeting the standard of holiness, but on the contrary, more grateful speech !

As for me I have always been a person who has been fond of making people laugh. I still find this trait in me, but when and after the above verse hit me as it ought to hit me I saw that this is something I need to put off. And I find it a real struggle.


Harald

Bob Higby
10-02-05, 11:55 AM
To introduce this subject, I will quote from James Swan regarding the Christocentric hermeneutic of Luther. The view of the present writer is that this hermeneutic is the ONLY valid basis of discerning the canon. The tradition of the majority and the a-priori assumption of the Holy Spirit’s leading in that tradition is the wrong basis. The following is from the link posted above on the subject of Luther’s view of the canon:

Luther: "In the second place its purpose [James] is to teach Christians, but in all this long teaching it does not once mention the Passion, the resurrection, or the Spirit of Christ. He names Christ several times; however he teaches nothing about him, but only speaks of general faith in God. Now it is the office of a true apostle to preach of the Passion and resurrection and office of Christ, and to lay the foundation for faith in him, as Christ himself says in John 15[:27], "You shall bear witness to me." All the genuine sacred books agree in this, that all of them preach and inculcate [treiben] Christ. And that is the true test by which to judge all books, when we see whether or not they inculcate Christ. For all the Scriptures show us Christ, Romans 3[:21]; and St. Paul will know nothing but Christ, I Corinthians 2[:2]. Whatever does not teach Christ is not yet apostolic, even though St. Peter or St. Paul does the teaching. Again, whatever preaches Christ would be apostolic, even if Judas, Annas, Pilate, and Herod were doing it."


Swan: Here Luther expresses his Christocentric hermeneutic. Paul Althaus explained that Luther held "An apostle shows that he is an apostle by clearly and purely preaching Christ as Savior…an apostle is inspired by the Holy Spirit; and this gives him his authority and infallibility. Since apostolic authority manifests itself in the gospel of the apostles, the church recognizes the authority of the Scripture as being based not on the person of the apostles but on the word of God or the gospel which bears witness to itself. The apostolic character of a New Testament author manifests itself in the content of his writing and in the clarity of his witness to Christ." Luther did not find this in the book of James.

Althaus continues, "For Luther, ‘preaching’ Christ means proclaiming that the crucified and risen Christ is the Savior and that the salvation he brings is received through faith alone. Luther was so certain of this, as well as of the interpretation of Scripture, that he did not think of himself as approaching the canon with an arbitrary and autonomously chosen criterion but with the standard which Scripture itself offers in its on-going central proclamation…Luther obtained this standard from nowhere else than the Scripture. To this extent it is the Scripture itself that criticizes the canon."

The following passages from Luke explain how Christ viewed and taught the Old Testament. The hermeneutic of Jesus himself in discerning the canon is Christocentric:

Then He said to them,[Cleopus and another disciple]: "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?" And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Luke 24:25-27 NKJV

Then He said to them,[all the disciples]: "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning me." And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Luke 24:44,45 NKJV

There is a great abundance of material available today on the history of the OT canon. It would be difficult to reproduce all of the various combinations of books proposed as authoritative by various Christian authors in the early centuries. One thing that certainly stands is this: there was no uniformity of conviction on acceptance of the ‘lesser’ books. It is critical to recognize that the Septuagint was the primary Old Testament read by Greek-speaking Christians. Since the scriptures they used contained the extra-canonical books, discerning the books with lesser or no authority is something that all teachers and students of the Word had to grapple with. The apostles and those who followed them certainly knew of the differences among the Jews on the OT canon. Those issues continued to plague the Talmudic Jews who rejected Christ and history records their arguments. But the matter was nothing new; it is something that had been going on for centuries prior.

In studying the extra-canonical books that are almost universally rejected by Protestants, this writer has never found a reason for including any of them. Certain early ‘church fathers’ had favorites among these and proposed them as canonical. There are some portions of these books that serve to edify; arguments might be advanced to include certain apocryphal or pseudepigraphal works in a lower canon. But that is an exercise for future expositors. At present we are engaging the process of defining the proper hermeneutic for recognizing the core or superior canon. It is only for those superior books that we may confess infallibility of the total content in the original manuscripts and affirm that they contain no erroneous teaching.

The only 3 books having significant historical dispute in the commonly accepted OT canon are Esther, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs. Are these books included in Christ’s core canon of the Law, Prophets, and Psalms? Did he have them in mind when referring to the authoritative ‘scriptures’? That is ths issue. The New Testament also fails to quote Ezra and Nehemiah, however, it has been generally recognized that there is no doctrinal reason for this omission. A few other books have been disputed by liberal skeptics (notably Jonah), however, these skeptics also reject Christ himself. We have nothing to do with them! The Lord Jesus is very clear on the role of Jonah as one of the prophets pointing to the reality of the Messiah and his death and resurrection.

The next study will focus on the canonical status of Esther, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs and whether it can be defended by the Christocentric hermeneutic. Another issue to be considered is whether there are other works rejected by Talmudic Jews that should have been considered as canonical.

GraceAmbassador
10-02-05, 03:11 PM
Dear Bob:

This is excellent! I confess that I have never thought in terms of Christocentric Hermeneutic, but that is a superb measuring instrument to determine the measure in which a book can be considered "canonical".

It is interesting that I have preached about Jesus as he is described, or pre-announced in every O.T. book theme. He can be the preacher of Ecclesiastes, the bridegroom of Songs of Solomon, and so on and so forth. Then I began in the N.T. pointing the traditionally accepted fact that Matthew speaks of a "king", Mark of the "servant", and so on and so forth. I could find a Christocentric (if I can use this term) aspect in every book; until I came to James.

I was speaking with Brandan by phone circa a week ago and we began to ponder and wonder what it would have become of Christianity and the understanding of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the work of the Cross if we were to remove the book of James from the canon. We could not find anything that could change or be missing from the whole revelation of God would James not be in the N.T.

Now, for those who criticize me for "not liking James" and being a man who has less books in the N.T. than everyone else, let me tell you that the fact that we would not see a bit of difference in the revelation of God if James would not be in the canon is not and cannot be the grounds upon which we decide its canonicity. Neither it is or should be the fact that I can see Jesus in every book of the Bible, pointed, pre-announced, pronounced, or even present in a way or another, but not in James. It is, however, interesting and attention grabbing for those who do not fear falling into a "mortal sin" to question James or portions thereof. Could it be the "wisdom" that God freely gives that is the Christocentric mention of Jesus in James? I don't know!

I am really looking forward to these studies! I repeat that I am not looking for either endorsement or intellectual comfort for the ideas that I already have about at least portions of the book of James; what I am looking for is an explanation different that the one that has been imposed on us for generations.

Milt

ugly_gaunt_cow
10-02-05, 06:46 PM
Thanks, Brother Bob.

This portion of information has given my much to consider in my reading of Scripture. I normally attempt to read through the OT Christologically, but the idea of maintaining a Christocentric context while reading the Epistles was the furthest thing from my mind...

Right on! :)

Scott.

InChristAlways
10-02-05, 07:41 PM
It is interesting that I have preached about Jesus as he is described, or pre-announced in every O.T. book theme. He can be the preacher of Ecclesiastes, the bridegroom of Songs of Solomon, and so on and so forth. Then I began in the N.T. pointing the traditionally accepted fact that Matthew speaks of a "king", Mark of the "servant", and so on and so forth. I could find a Christocentric (if I can use this term) aspect in every book; until I came to James.Hi Milt. I look for Jesus every chance I get in the OT. What about Song and Luke? Coincidence? I haven't read through Song in awhile, so I better get cracking. Blessings

Luke 7:44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped [them] with the hair of her head. 45 "You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 "You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil.

Song 1:10 Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, Your neck with chains [of gold.] THE DAUGHTERS OF JERUSALEM 11 We will make you ornaments of gold With studs of silver. THE SHULAMITE 12 While the king at his table, My spikenard sends forth its fragrance. [I] 13 A bundle of myrrh my beloved to me, That lies all night between my breasts. [I] 14 My beloved [is] to me a cluster of henna [blooms] In the vineyards of En Gedi. THE BELOVED

samohtwerdna
10-03-05, 12:35 PM
The "Christo-centric" hermeneutic is a great hermeneutic and one which I employ whenever doing any exegesis, but it can not be the "rule" in determining what is canonical - which would be to make a rule over the ruler!

Indeed, Luther must have thought that his method was merely applying the rule/canon of Scripture against the rule/canon text - but who was holding the ruler? Surely the texts of Obadiah, Habakkuk, Philemon and great portions of Proverbs would not speak more of Christ than James.

Luther's approach to canonicity seems to set the logical impossibility of the lesser authority determining what is the greater authority. While I believe that the whole scripture teaches and inculcates Christ I don't understand how it does that in every case (e.g. the sun standing still for Joshua). I also know from scripture that my heart is deceitfully wicked above all things. Can I really trust myself to determine whether or not something preaches and inculcates Christ?

Bob, I know you don't like the a-priori argument, but when dealing with ultimate authority how can we not argue thus?

If time is more powerful than God at some points of scripture - how can we trust it at any point?




Andrew T. Adcock

lionovjudah
10-03-05, 06:02 PM
If Luther used a Christocentric Hermeneutic to determmine canonicity, or lack thereof, why did he question hebrews, johns epistles and revelation? These books speak volumnes of Christ.

Bob Higby
10-03-05, 07:44 PM
Andrew:

Indeed, Luther must have thought that his method was merely applying the rule/canon of Scripture against the rule/canon text - but who was holding the ruler? Surely the texts of Obadiah, Habakkuk, Philemon and great portions of Proverbs would not speak more of Christ than James.

That depends on the perceived function of the scriptures involved and also the application of the principle of progressive revelation. When Christ expounded all of the OT scriptures concerning himself, he interpreted them as prophecy. The meaning of prophecy is not always transparently obvious from the bare text when originally given (Spirit-filled interpretation is required). Since we stand on this side of the Christ-event we see Jesus in the Old Testament.

James stood on this side of the cross when the full clarity of the gospel of Christ's person and work was already revealed. I'm not concluding anything about this right now, just observing a point.

Bob, I know you don't like the a-priori argument, but when dealing with ultimate authority how can we not argue thus?

We have only two methods of authority to discern the canon: tradition and the gospel. I propose that tradition cannot be ignored because of the Spirit's leading in past ages. However, it is not absolute. If the pre-eminence of Christ's gospel is applied to these issues, certain past decisions are shown to have been made in haste without proper debate and discernment.

If Luther used a Christocentric Hermeneutic to determmine canonicity, or lack thereof, why did he question hebrews, johns epistles and revelation? These books speak volumnes of Christ.

Because Luther was imperfect in the application of his own hermeneutic! The issues of apostolic authorship (specifically, the potential lack of it in these works) won out in his mind; he did not follow his own principle here. I wasn't aware of his questioning John's epistles (except perhaps 3 John, which has no early attestation). He did question Jude. Strangely, he accepted II Peter totally which completely goes against his reasons for rejecting Hebrews or Revelation. II Peter has the most issues with lack of early attestation and questioning of apostolic authorship. Now don't try and imagine what my position would be on II Peter just yet!

samohtwerdna
10-03-05, 08:40 PM
Show me the Christ-honoring testimony of those who defended the true gospel revealed to Paul in 90-120 A.D. If God did not want this testimony suppressed he would have preserved it!
Bob,
Have you read Polycarp, Ignatius or Clement?

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/polycarp-lightfoot.html

Here is a link to Polycarps letter to the Phillipians (110 - 140 AD) I find no apostacy from Paul here. And concerning Luthers hermeneutic - It seems quite "Christo-centric" to me, yet I would shun to call it "Canon".

If we don't use the a-priori or transcendental argument - where do we draw the line?

Bob Higby
10-04-05, 03:31 PM
Well, my dates were off (too early) and I admit my goof-up on this one. On Ignatius and Clement, they were not champions of the gospel in my view (they certainly lack the apostolic clarity) but neither did they teach the outright gospel-denying heresies of Justin and later sacramentalists. Nonetheless, the twin jewels of election and SOLA FIDE are not prominent.

samohtwerdna
10-04-05, 03:58 PM
Polycarp 1:2
and that the steadfast root of your faith which was famed from
primitive times abideth until now and beareth fruit unto our Lord
Jesus Christ, who endured to face even death for our sins, whom God
raised, having loosed the pangs of Hades; on whom,

Polycarp 1:3
though ye saw Him not, ye believe with joy unutterable and full of
glory; unto which joy many desire to enter in; forasmuch as ye know
that it is by grace ye are saved, not of works, but by the will of
God through Jesus Christ.

Twin jewels seem intact. Although I agree with you that they (Polycarp, Clement and Ignatius) lack the apostolic clarity. But who can beat the Holy Spirit? ;)

Bob Higby
10-04-05, 07:37 PM
I could start a discussion on the Neo-nomian passages in Clement, Ignatius, Barnabas, and Polycarp that do not agree with Paul's gospel. However, I don't want to go there now as it is too much a diversion from our present subject. But I think 'Neo-nomianism in the post-apostolic teachers' is a subject most worthy of consideration--as it is the first great heresy after the death of the apostles.

cprwc
10-04-05, 08:44 PM
Have we really excelled the fathers, the saints, the reformers, and all that have gone before us that they can only hold their peace before our wisdom?
Rather, when we delight in God's word, when we hide His wisdom in our hearts, we do so with Christ's Body, His church that has triumphed by His blood over sin and Satan long prior to our births and long before our new births. To countless sinners, His elect, through the ages God has imputed by His covenant gift of faith the perfect righteouness of His eternal Son in our flesh, brought them to put away their pride and hypocrisy, and granted that they may have the great blessing of delighting in Him. This delight they have confessed in many ways, in many lands, and in many times, including our own. Therefore, let us sinners delivered from the wrath to come by God's mercy to the ungodly, put away our puffing pride and damnable powerlust and confess with them:
Article 2 (http://www.prca.org/bc_index.html#a2): By what means God is made known unto us.

We know him by two means: first, by the creation, preservation and government of the universe; which is before our eyes as a most elegant book, wherein all creatures, great and small, are as so many characters leading us to contemplate the invisible things of God, namely, his power and divinity, as the apostle Paul saith, Romans 1:20 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=romans+1:20). All which things are sufficient to convincemen, and leave them without excuse. Secondly, he makes himself more clearly and fully known to us by his holy and divine Word, that is to say, as far as is necessary for us to know in this life, to his glory and our salvation.
Article 3 (http://www.prca.org/bc_index.html#a3): Of the written Word of God.</H4>We confess that this Word of God was not sent, nor delivered by the will of man, but that holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, as the apostle Peter saith. And that afterwards God, from a special care, which he has for us and our salvation, commanded his servants, the prophets and apostles, to commit his revealed word to writing; and he himself wrote with his own finger, the two tables of the law. Therefore we call such writings holy and divine Scriptures.
Article 4 (http://www.prca.org/bc_index.html#a4): Canonical Books of the Holy Scripture.

We believe that the Holy Scriptures are contained in two books, namely, the Old and New Testament, which are canonical, against which nothing can be alleged. These are thus named in the Church of God. The books of the Old Testament are, the five books of Moses, namely: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; the books of Joshua, Ruth, Judges, the two books of Samuel, the two of the Kings, two books of the Chronicles, commonly called Paralipomenon, the first of Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, the Psalms of David, the three books of Solomon, namely, the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs; the four great prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel; and the twelve lesser prophets, namely, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
Those of the New Testament are the four evangelists, namely: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; the Acts of the Apostles; the fourteen epistles of the apostle Paul, namely: one to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, one to the Galatians, one to the Ephesians, one to the Philippians, one to the Colossians, two to the Thessalonians, two to Timothy, one to Titus, one to Philemon, and one to the Hebrews; the seven epistles of the other apostles, namely, one of James, two of Peter, three of John, one of Jude; and the Revelation of the apostle John.
Article 5 (http://www.prca.org/bc_index.html#a5): From whence the Holy Scriptures derive their dignity and authority.

We receive all these books, and these only, as holy and canonical, for the regulation, foundation, and confirmation of our faith; believing without any doubt, all things contained in them, not so much because the Church receives and approves them as such, but more especially because the Holy Ghost witnesseth in our hearts, that they are from God, whereof they carry the evidence in themselves. For the very blind are able to perceive that the things foretold in them are fulfilling.
Article 6 (http://www.prca.org/bc_index.html#a6): The difference between the canonical and apocryphal books.

We distinguish those sacred books from the apocryphal, namely: the third book of Esdras, the books of Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Jesus Syrach, Baruch, the appendix to the book of Esther, the Song of the three Children in the Furnace, the history of Susannah, of Bell and the Dragon, the prayer of Manasses, and the two books of the Maccabees. All of which the Church may read and take instruction from, so far as they agree with the canonical books; but they are far from having such power and efficacy, as that we may from their testimony confirm any point of faith, or of the Christian religion; much less detract from the authority of the other sacred books.
Article 7 (http://www.prca.org/bc_index.html#a7): The sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures, to be the only rule of faith.

We believe that those Holy Scriptures fully contain the will of God, and that whatsoever man ought to believe, unto salvation, is sufficiently taught therein. For, since the whole manner of worship, which God requires of us, is written in them at large, it is unlawful for any one, though an apostle, to teach otherwise than we are now taught in the Holy Scriptures: nay, though it were an angel from heaven, as the apostle Paul saith. For, since it is forbidden, to add unto or take away anything from the word of God, it doth thereby evidently appear, that the doctrine thereof is most perfect and complete in all respects. Neither do we consider of equal value any writing of men, however holy these men may have been, with those divine Scriptures, nor ought we to consider custom, or the great multitude, or antiquity, or succession of times and persons, or councils, decrees or statutes, as of equal value with the truth of God, for the truth is above all; for all men are of themselves liars, and more vain than vanity itself. Therefore, we reject with all our hearts, whatsoever doth not agree with this infallible rule, which the apostles have taught us, saying, Try the spirits whether they are of God. Likewise, if there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house.
-CPRWC

samohtwerdna
10-05-05, 03:08 PM
cprwc,

Thank-you for this post.
(http://www.prca.org/bc_index.html#a5)
Article 5 (http://www.prca.org/bc_index.html#a5): From whence the Holy Scriptures derive their dignity and authority.

We receive all these books, and these only, as holy and canonical, for the regulation, foundation, and confirmation of our faith; believing without any doubt, all things contained in them, not so much because the Church receives and approves them as such, but more especially because the Holy Ghost witnesseth in our hearts, that they are from God, whereof they carry the evidence in themselves. For the very blind are able to perceive that the things foretold in them are fulfilling.
And for the reminder of just how wonderful an inheritance we have - even if we dispise it! For even if we prodicals' do not understand what we have... the Father does! Isn't it strange how we always want what we don't have and despise that which we do.

It is a good confession!

God, from a special care, which he has for us and our salvation, commanded his servants,
Here we have the doctrine of canonicity and historicity. See what a lovely pair they make.:)

And what more? This grand confession does not teach confessionalism - nor traditionalism

nor ought we to consider custom, or the great multitude, or antiquity, or succession of times and persons, or councils, decrees or statutes, as of equal value with the truth of God, for the truth is above all; for all men are of themselves liars, and more vain than vanity itself.

Would it be so amazing to believe that we may one day read a confession that fully comports with our own veiws? What would we do? Throw it out simply because it was written down by men other than ourselves. - I hope not!

Bob Higby
10-06-05, 02:02 AM
One brief example of Polycarp's Neonomianism, in spite of his affirmations that we are not saved by works:

Polycarp 2:2
Now He that raised Him from the dead will raise us also; if we
do His will and walk in His commandments and love the things which He
loved, abstaining from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of
money, evil speaking, false witness; not rendering evil for evil or
railing for railing or blow for blow or cursing for cursing;

This is strictly non-Pauline in spite of Polycarp's claiming of Paul's authority. All believers in the true gospel know that Paul would never speak like this. Making a certain level of character development a CONDITION of our final resurrection is the whole basis of the Neo-nomian heresy. After the full growth of the original great heresy into full fruition over the 1st 3 centuries, it is also the basis of Augustine's false theology of justification by character--about which Reformed teachers have LIED, LIED, and LIED AGAIN to us at every opportunity. Augustine was not a champion of grace; even his doctrine of predestination is based on Neo-Platonic philosophy more than the scriptures. Can you trust someone who deliberately lies to you?

We believe that the Holy Scriptures are contained in two books, namely, the Old and New Testament, which are canonical, against which nothing can be alleged.


Myth and legend. I probably will not get to posting my next study on Old Testament canonicity until the weekend, but anyone who thinks that a book such as Esther contains nothing which can be challenged is certainly deceiving himself/herself! Also, as I have indicated before, the notion of a 'closing' of the canon is myth. This false assumption would propose to us that no matter what other writings are uncovered by archaeology, since the canon is closed, all of them have to be regarded as uninspired! So in spite of the fact that David wrote a myriad of Psalms that are not in our current Bible, if these Psalms are uncovered, they have to be assumed as containing no doctrinal authority! :cool:

ugly_gaunt_cow
10-06-05, 04:31 AM
Polycarp wrote;

"abstaining from all unrighteousness,... blow for blow (etc)"

God said;

Ex 21:22-25, (KJV) "...If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe."

God also said;

Isa 5:20, (KJV), "...Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"

Just an observation. :)

lionovjudah
10-06-05, 07:05 AM
One brief example of Polycarp's Neonomianism, in spite of his affirmations that we are not saved by works:

Polycarp 2:2
Now He that raised Him from the dead will raise us also; if we
do His will and walk in His commandments and love the things which He
loved, abstaining from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of
money, evil speaking, false witness; not rendering evil for evil or
railing for railing or blow for blow or cursing for cursing;

This is strictly non-Pauline in spite of Polycarp's claiming of Paul's authority. All believers in the true gospel know that Paul would never speak like this. Making a certain level of character development a CONDITION of our final resurrection is the whole basis of the Neo-nomian heresy. After the full growth of the original great heresy into full fruition over the 1st 3 centuries, it is also the basis of Augustine's false theology of justification by character--about which Reformed teachers have LIED, LIED, and LIED AGAIN to us at every opportunity. Augustine was not a champion of grace; even his doctrine of predestination is based on Neo-Platonic philosophy more than the scriptures. Can you trust someone who deliberately lies to you?


Bob:

I see nothign wrong with Polycarops statement. Does not Paul reflect this sentiment in Romans 12;20-21?

I do nto know if he diliberately lied to us. I do nto believe he premeditated his theology and said,"Hey I am going to lie to these people, and so will the reformers"

Plus this sounds like the same progress as this "Full corn Gospel" This is the "Full corn heresey"



Myth and legend. I probably will not get to posting my next study on Old Testament canonicity until the weekend, but anyone who thinks that a book such as Esther contains nothing which can be challenged is certainly deceiving himself/herself! Also, as I have indicated before, the notion of a 'closing' of the canon is myth. This false assumption would propose to us that no matter what other writings are uncovered by archaeology, since the canon is closed, all of them have to be regarded as uninspired! So in spite of the fact that David wrote a myriad of Psalms that are not in our current Bible, if these Psalms are uncovered, they have to be assumed as containing no doctrinal authority! :cool:


Not myth or legend, Revealed, confessed, believed and taught. It does nto matterwhat else is found. The apostle John has indicated this in his Gospel. Is it chapter 20? my paraphrase: "There are many other things Christ did, but these written are sufficient to believe in Him and have life"

Paul may have wrote more. All of them could have, but the fact is we have what we have.

Brandan
10-06-05, 07:18 AM
It seems men (even reformers) like tradition more than the do the truth. So sad.

lionovjudah
10-06-05, 07:37 AM
It seems men (even reformers) like tradition more than the do the truth. So sad.

And you and Bob and others always want to recreate the wheel Brandan. Please do not be sad. If I grow up learning 1+1 =2, I do not feel the need to rework the math chart.

I just cannot believe that the first 2000 years of the body could be wrong in so many areas.

This is good discussion and that is it. Plus there s a difference between tradition and traditionalism.

Jaroslav Pelikan on a vital distinction: "Tradition is the living faith of the dead, traditionalism is the dead faith of the living."

Tobias Crisp
10-06-05, 08:15 AM
I just cannot believe that the first 2000 years of the body could be wrong in so many areas.Joe, just a few quick comments. The "body" refers to God's elect people and should not be associated or identified with "church" history. Most of this church history has been steeped in Roman Catholicism. The body has not necessarily been "wrong in so many areas" but false religion has. Just think of the many things that are wrong in most of religion:

baptismal regeneratrion
transubstantiation and consubstantiation
ecclesiatical hierarchy
clergy/laity division
synergismAnd this is just to name a few.


Plus there s a difference between tradition and traditionalism.There is nothing wrong with tradition perse IF it is biblically based. For example, God's sovereignty in salvation does have a long tradition AND it is biblically based. Unfortunately, Joe, much of the theological discussions and debates that go on today in the religious scene are more based in "tradition" and "traditionalism" than Scripture.

Now, granted, we do not throw out church history completely, we can learn from it. But, church history does not determine what we believe. I have come to realize that there is in fact a number of issues that have been little known since the apostolic times except God's witness in his "people", such issues as

justification by the imputation of Christ's righteousness
the house church concept
a true priesthood of believers
ministry shared by the entire church
the Lord's supper being a full mealI hope you get my point.

lionovjudah
10-06-05, 08:44 AM
Joe, just a few quick comments. The "body" refers to God's elect people and should not be associated or identified with "church" history. Most of this church history has been steeped in Roman Catholicism. The body has not necessarily been "wrong in so many areas" but false religion has. Just think of the many things that are wrong in most of religion:

baptismal regeneratrion
transubstantiation and consubstantiation
ecclesiatical hierarchy
clergy/laity division
synergismAnd this is just to name a few.

There is nothing wrong with tradition perse IF it is biblically based. For example, God's sovereignty in salvation does have a long tradition AND it is biblically based. Unfortunately, Joe, much of the theological discussions and debates that go on today in the religious scene are more based in "tradition" and "traditionalism" than Scripture.

Now, granted, we do not throw out church history completely, we can learn from it. But, church history does not determine what we believe. I have come to realize that there is in fact a number of issues that have been little known since the apostolic times except God's witness in his "people", such issues as

justification by the imputation of Christ's righteousness
the house church concept
a true priesthood of believers
ministry shared by the entire church
the Lord's supper being a full mealI hope you get my point.

I agree fully with your post Anthony. Again my only concern is rewriting everything or questioning everything because one dismisses all tradition. Specifically in regards to a 'canon within a canon" I should have been more clear.

You know my concern with individualism and subjectivity also. What makes the trinity, incarnation, resurrection, hypostatic union etc etc untouchable? Was the Holy Spirit with those who confessed these, and not with them for the others? Did Luither have a problem with James before or after his revelation on justification? I believe it came after.

Tobias Crisp
10-06-05, 09:50 AM
Again my only concern is rewriting everything or questioning everything because one dismisses all tradition. Specifically in regards to a 'canon within a canon" I should have been more clear.Joe, I understand your concern. I think it is understandable that once a person realizes that some of their traditions have no biblical basis that they may want to step back and question everything. It does appear that there is some precedent of some "well knowns" to have questioned certain books of the accepted canon as being authoritative. This gives at least some validity to question the canon and to reaccess it. I think this is where Bob, Brandan, Mike and few others are currently.

For myself, I've always wanted to study the issue of the canon indept but have never had the time to do so. I do not believe that what these guys are doing undermines the authority of Scripture at all. It kind of reminds me of the whole issue related to textual criticism, can we even begin to study the Scriptures until we have absolutely determined the exact wording of every line or word in Scripture? Of course we can. The issue of textual criticism has not brought into question any doctrine that we hold dear to. Nor have what Bob, Brandan, or Mike.


You know my concern with individualism and subjectivity also. What makes the trinity, incarnation, resurrection, hypostatic union etc etc untouchable? Was the Holy Spirit with those who confessed these, and not with them for the others? Did Luither have a problem with James before or after his revelation on justification? I believe it came after.These are legitimate questions. There are definitely extremes with individualism and subjectivism. I get frustrated when someone dismisses everyone and proclaims that what they have to say is the truth when no one has ever said what they do. This is where we look at the insights of church history and examine what those individuals, preachers, and theologians of the past had to say. Again, all of this needs to be examined in light of the Scriptures. I think a combination of looking at the insights of the past and using Biblical tools such as works on historical background, language studies, commentaries, etc. help in determining what is truth. This is not an infallible technique but I believe it goes a long way in helping us.

samohtwerdna
10-06-05, 11:14 AM
Also, as I have indicated before, the notion of a 'closing' of the canon is myth. This false assumption would propose to us that no matter what other writings are uncovered by archaeology, since the canon is closed, all of them have to be regarded as uninspired! So in spite of the fact that David wrote a myriad of Psalms that are not in our current Bible, if these Psalms are uncovered, they have to be assumed as containing no doctrinal authority!

This is good - I was wondering if this might be the case. It is easy perhaps to assume that If the writings of one man of God for the most part made it into scripture then all his writing must be inspired - but that is a false assumption. Easily proved by David and Solomon. First, not all of David's songs made it into the Psalter. The historical books contain some songs by David that the Psalter does not contain. Solomon is credited for writing the book of wisdom which is not canonical. But the real proof against this assumption is not for historical documents - but again from our doctrine of God and inspiration. To imagine that there are documents that are canonical (authoritative) but have been unknown to God's people for years /centuries is to make God impotent. Not to mention set at odds the testimony of Paul, Peter and John that we have a sure word of testimony that is God breathed and all profitable which cannot be added to or taken from. It is amazing to me that we could even conceive a universe where man and the devil given enough time could hinder the word of God. Could we conceive of such a thing after the resurrection? Is God less involved in his creation now as he will be then?


This is strictly non-Pauline in spite of Polycarp's claiming of Paul's authority. All believers in the true gospel know that Paul would never speak like this. Making a certain level of character development a CONDITION of our final resurrection is the whole basis of the Neo-nomian heresy.


Perhaps then you would see this development in the book of Hebrews? which says:



But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end...
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;...
See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:


Seems to me that the Polycarps "if" - is quite in line with the Hebrews "if".

Now concerning the blow for blow ect - there is nothing unbiblical about this warning or phrase. The command of God "eye for and eye" ect was not to individuals for exacting justice wily-nilly, but was for the justice of the state. Polycarp is clearly not addressing a theonomic state ordinance, but a group of saints a "church" and unless you are now arguing that the church is the same as a theonomic state - I see no problem Biblically with the warning.

Still more to the point - the document that Polycarp wrote is not perfect, not inspired - but very far from being heresy. If error is heresy then we are all guilty, and no one can be heeded.

Lastly, it should be noted that the New Testament was aware of it's being canonical and that the formulation of this "New" testament was the Word of Christ confirmed by eye witnesses. The idea of a closed canon after the apostles is very much in their minds when they talk of "faith once delivered" and the "Gospel which you have received" and ect. This is also evident in the church "fathers" who often spoke of the faith they received and the Gospel which was "handed down" to them - the idea of an open canon or a never closing canon was not seen until the arrival of Montanus and his prophetesses.

Bob, it is interesting to me that you approve with vigor Luther's Christo-centric hermeneutic and at the same time oppose a closed canon. On the one hand you insist that the canon is only that which is wrapped up in the person and work of Christ - then on the other hand you open up that canon to a time after Christ's Person and work and its verification. I don't understand this?

harald
10-06-05, 11:42 AM
Based on the above "if" -clause found in Polycarp 2:2 I for one am not prepared to judge P. a heretic. Like Andrew stated similar if-clauses are found in the NT. Cp., for example, Paul in Rom. 8:13, Col. 1:23. If Polycarp must be judged a "heretic" on soteriology based on 2:2 above then also Paul goes with him, he having written quite similar if-clauses. It seems to me Bob either does not understand the purpose of such if-clauses, or he acted hastily in imputing error to Polycarp based on this one verse.

It is error to automatically conceive of if-clauses as teaching conditionalism. Mark well, Paul who is praised as a champion of grace has such if-clauses ("if ye/if we"), but not James, whom some suspect as having taught amiss as to justification. I wonder when one will see some proposing to scissor out some parts from the Pauline corpus based on Paul's if-clauses. I would not be surprised.


Harald

Bob Higby
10-06-05, 11:48 AM
Anthony, great observations!

Joe:

Again my only concern is rewriting everything or questioning everything because one dismisses all tradition.

Who dismisses all tradition?

Specifically in regards to a 'canon within a canon" I should have been more clear.

Who determines which issues are 'untouchable'?

You know my concern with individualism and subjectivity also. What makes the trinity, incarnation, resurrection, hypostatic union etc etc untouchable?

The core aspects of these doctrines were affirmed at 'ecumenical' councils and have never been doubted by any gospel believer. I have yet to see one who confesses the true gospel deny any of these things.


Was the Holy Spirit with those who confessed these, and not with them for the others?

Again, you have not given us the plumbline to determine when the Holy Spirit was and was not with a group of men. As far as the Council of Carthage is concerned, it was not an ecumenical council. Other councils from the same era limited the canon much more severely.

Did Luither have a problem with James before or after his revelation on justification? I believe it came after.

He had it his entire career both before and after; go back and read the link I posted on Luther's view of the canon for this history.

lionovjudah
10-06-05, 12:00 PM
Bob: I believe God gave us the Holy Writ through men. His hand was in the determination of what consists of the "Bible". Can He add more books? He is God of course He can, but there is no reason for this. For then one would have to believe His revelation is incomplete. Everything we need to know for salvation is contained in the books.
I alos believe this makes ones salvation dependant upon the Bible vs God alone. What about those people who could nto read? What about those who only read James and died? What about those who only read the Gospel of Matthew? The faith has been once delivered, it is contained in 66 books, all inspired, and all of equal value.

The witness of the Holy Spirit determines what is untouchable. Throughout history.

InChristAlways
10-06-05, 01:23 PM
Bob: I believe God gave us the Holy Writ through men. His hand was in the determination of what consists of the "Bible". Can He add more books? He is God of course He can, but there is no reason for this. For then one would have to believe His revelation is incomplete. Everything we need to know for salvation is contained in the books.
I alos believe this makes ones salvation dependant upon the Bible vs God alone. What about those people who could nto read? What about those who only read James and died? What about those who only read the Gospel of Matthew? The faith has been once delivered, it is contained in 66 books, all inspired, and all of equal value.

The witness of the Holy Spirit determines what is untouchable. Throughout history.Hi Joe. I agree, though one of these days in the far future I am going to study Enoch for "the heck of it". Any idea what Christ was writing down in John 8? Aren't there some that say this was a "spurious" addition? Blessings.

Exodus 31:18 And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.

John 8: 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst,...... 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have [something] of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with [His] finger, as though He did not hear.

lionovjudah
10-06-05, 02:01 PM
Hi Joe. I agree, though one of these days in the far future I am going to study Enoch for "the heck of it". Any idea what Christ was writing down in John 8? Aren't there some that say this was a "spurious" addition? Blessings.

Exodus 31:18 And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.

John 8: 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst,...... 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have [something] of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with [His] finger, as though He did not hear.

Maybe a picture of the 2 witness in revelation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just teasing you Steve!!!!!!!

InChristAlways
10-06-05, 02:59 PM
Maybe a picture of the 2 witness in revelation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just teasing you Steve!!!!!!!Hi Joe. I always put the the priests, scribes and Pharisees or "bad guys" in red for some reason in my studies LOL. I asuppease to distinquish them from the "common" jews [Daniel 11 is a classic chapter to use blue and red in for example].

The "2 witnesses" is an interesting study, but not for this thread.:p

John 19:15 But they cried out, "Away with [Him,] away with [Him!] Crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar!"

ugly_gaunt_cow
10-06-05, 04:11 PM
Any idea what Christ was writing down in John 8? Aren't there some that say this was a "spurious" addition? Blessings.

John 8: 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst,...... 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have [something] of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with [His] finger, as though He did not hear.



Jn 8:1-6, (KJV) "...Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not."

Yes. He was fufiling prophecy before them; a verse from Jeremiah I believe...


Jer 17:13, (KJV), O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.

Bob Higby
10-06-05, 05:33 PM
Lion: What about those who only read James and died?

They would not know the Christ of revelation or the truth of the gospel; these are not present in James at all. James is devoid of the gospel; it contains only scripture that teaches truth on matters of Christian wisdom. No sound Christology or soteriology.

Bob Higby
10-06-05, 05:50 PM
Latest answers to Andrew:

It is easy perhaps to assume that If the writings of one man of God for the most part made it into scripture then all his writing must be inspired - but that is a false assumption. Easily proved by David and Solomon.

Based on what evidence? This certainly does not prove it to me!

First, not all of David's songs made it into the Psalter. The historical books contain some songs by David that the Psalter does not contain.

Irrelevant in my view. Where are all of the hundreds of missing Psalms that are in neither source? No man can reproduce them nor prove that carnal men of past times did not have a serious motive in wanting to get rid of them.

Solomon is credited for writing the book of wisdom which is not canonical.

So how can you be sure that other wisdom literature that he wrote is canonical? Christ's core canon that he affirmed pointed to him is the law, the prophets, and the Psalms--not the wisdom literature.

But the real proof against this assumption is not for historical documents - but again from our doctrine of God and inspiration. To imagine that there are documents that are canonical (authoritative) but have been unknown to God's people for years /centuries is to make God impotent.

Ridiculous! If there are scriptures yet undiscovered, these would certainly be NON-SCRIPTURES if they in any way contradicted the revelation in the core canon that we already have. But there is absolutely no evidence that scriptures destroyed by opportunists with CARNAL POWER in the past will not one day be recovered.

Not to mention set at odds the testimony of Paul, Peter and John that we have a sure word of testimony that is God breathed and all profitable which cannot be added to or taken from.

You are quoting Revelation, which is a totally false hermeneutic in this context discussing the other NT writings. The sanction at the end of Revelation applies to Revelation only, obviously. I agree that the sure word of testimony that we have from Paul, Peter, and John is God-breathed, infallible, and innerrant!

It is amazing to me that we could even conceive a universe where man and the devil given enough time could hinder the word of God. Could we conceive of such a thing after the resurrection? Is God less involved in his creation now as he will be then?

All of this is a false argument and has nothing to do with the subject under discussion. No one here has proposed any of these Christ-denying propositions; we infinitely affirm the opposite of them! :cool:



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob
This is strictly non-Pauline in spite of Polycarp's claiming of Paul's authority. All believers in the true gospel know that Paul would never speak like this. Making a certain level of character development a CONDITION of our final resurrection is the whole basis of the Neo-nomian heresy.



Perhaps then you would see this development in the book of Hebrews? which says:


Quote:
But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end...
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;...
See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:



Seems to me that the Polycarps "if" - is quite in line with the Hebrews "if".

Now concerning the blow for blow ect - there is nothing unbiblical about this warning or phrase. The command of God "eye for and eye" ect was not to individuals for exacting justice wily-nilly, but was for the justice of the state. Polycarp is clearly not addressing a theonomic state ordinance, but a group of saints a "church" and unless you are now arguing that the church is the same as a theonomic state - I see no problem Biblically with the warning.

Still more to the point - the document that Polycarp wrote is not perfect, not inspired - but very far from being heresy. If error is heresy then we are all guilty, and no one can be heeded.

Lastly, it should be noted that the New Testament was aware of it's being canonical and that the formulation of this "New" testament was the Word of Christ confirmed by eye witnesses. The idea of a closed canon after the apostles is very much in their minds when they talk of "faith once delivered" and the "Gospel which you have received" and ect. This is also evident in the church "fathers" who often spoke of the faith they received and the Gospel which was "handed down" to them - the idea of an open canon or a never closing canon was not seen until the arrival of Montanus and his prophetesses.

Bob, it is interesting to me that you approve with vigor Luther's Christo-centric hermeneutic and at the same time oppose a closed canon. On the one hand you insist that the canon is only that which is wrapped up in the person and work of Christ - then on the other hand you open up that canon to a time after Christ's Person and work and its verification. I don't understand this?

lionovjudah
10-06-05, 09:06 PM
Lion: What about those who only read James and died?

They would not know the Christ of revelation or the truth of the gospel; these are not present in James at all. James is devoid of the gospel; it contains only scripture that teaches truth on matters of Christian wisdom. No sound Christology or soteriology.



And what is the result of your statement? They remain lost? I do not understand.

lionovjudah
10-06-05, 09:24 PM
Irrelevant in my view. Where are all of the hundreds of missing Psalms that are in neither source? No man can reproduce them nor prove that carnal men of past times did not have a serious motive in wanting to get rid of them.

Ridiculous! If there are scriptures yet undiscovered, these would certainly be NON-SCRIPTURES if they in any way contradicted the revelation in the core canon that we already have. But there is absolutely no evidence that scriptures destroyed by opportunists with CARNAL POWER in the past will not one day be recovered.


Bob: May I ask why it is necessary to think this way? This mirrors the second shooter on the grassy knoll conspiracy. You speak of this secret vatican vault, oportunists that destroyed scriptures. How do you know David wrote hundreds of psalms? How do you know there are secret documents in the vatican vault? What cynical people have you read? And lastly, what could possibly be the motivation of destroying scriptures?

Bob Higby
10-06-05, 09:48 PM
The rest of my responses to Andrew! Sorry brethren, I was interrupted with other matters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob
This is strictly non-Pauline in spite of Polycarp's claiming of Paul's authority. All believers in the true gospel know that Paul would never speak like this. Making a certain level of character development a CONDITION of our final resurrection is the whole basis of the Neo-nomian heresy.

Perhaps then you would see this development in the book of Hebrews? which says:

Quote:
But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end...
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;...
See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

Seems to me that the Polycarps "if" - is quite in line with the Hebrews "if".

Well, for those who see no difference between the Neonomianism of the "fathers" and the apostolic scriptures, I'm reminded of a political incident in the 80's. A group of Russian diplomats met with then-speaker of the house Tip O'Neil. When the Russians told good-ole-Tip that they could not see any difference between Democrats and Republicans--the speaker was aghast in disbelief! He had always thought the Russians would intuitively KNOW the difference and favor the party who had always been more friendly to social engineering! But he was wrong. The presuppositions and philosophy of the Communists was so different from ANYTHING in the West that there wasn't a CLUE of understanding in the East about ANY of our distinctions or in-fighting arguments here!

We are not reading Hebrews or Paul with the same glasses. For me, the critical difference between the Bible and the 'fathers' is obvious. Neonomianism proposes that FAITH IS WORKS and would turn our confidence toward spiritual navel-watching to assure us that we are 'in the faith.' Hebrews, on the other hand, exhorts us to keep confidence in the person and work of Jesus Christ to the very end. Enduring confidence is evidence of the of the faith that justifies. The fruit of such faith is walking in the good works to which the elect are ordained. But the apostolic doctrine NEVER exhorts us to meditate upon our LEVEL of faithful works as a basis of determining whether we are justified!

Now concerning the blow for blow ect - there is nothing unbiblical about this warning or phrase. The command of God "eye for and eye" ect was not to individuals for exacting justice wily-nilly, but was for the justice of the state. Polycarp is clearly not addressing a theonomic state ordinance, but a group of saints a "church" and unless you are now arguing that the church is the same as a theonomic state - I see no problem Biblically with the warning.

I do. The warning clearly exhorts us to "measure" our works in a pound-for-pound fashion to determine if we are saved, as does all Neonomianism. Such exhortation is never found in the Bible, which is instead focused on whether we really have faith or CONTINUE IN THE FAITH.

Still more to the point - the document that Polycarp wrote is not perfect, not inspired - but very far from being heresy. If error is heresy then we are all guilty, and no one can be heeded.

I have taught many heresies in my life. Heresy is any schismatic teaching which departs from the doctrine of the apostles. I personally reject the notion that we can only use the expression 'heresy' to refer to a teaching that evidences a person to be certainly and absolutely damned.

Lastly, it should be noted that the New Testament was aware of it's being canonical and that the formulation of this "New" testament was the Word of Christ confirmed by eye witnesses. The idea of a closed canon after the apostles is very much in their minds when they talk of "faith once delivered" and the "Gospel which you have received" and ect.

Paul wrote this expression long before much of the New Testament that we now have was finished, therefore, this argument is invalid. Yes, the authors of the NT knew that their writings were canonical. No, they did not know that the canon was already finished in its entirety.

This is also evident in the church "fathers" who often spoke of the faith they received and the Gospel which was "handed down" to them - the idea of an open canon or a never closing canon was not seen until the arrival of Montanus and his prophetesses.

Then we cannot add to the TWENTY books that were accepted prior to Montanus arriving on the scene! None of these men said that the canon had been finally and completely settled upon; they merely gave their opinions on what should be in it (& sometimes were very wrong).

Bob, it is interesting to me that you approve with vigor Luther's Christo-centric hermeneutic and at the same time oppose a closed canon. On the one hand you insist that the canon is only that which is wrapped up in the person and work of Christ - then on the other hand you open up that canon to a time after Christ's Person and work and its verification. I don't understand this?

Well, that is where I stand. Any discovery that the accepted canon is potentially wrong can NEVER change the once-for-all gospel contained in the core canon of the gospels, Acts, and Paul.

Joe:And what is the result of your statement? They remain lost? I do not understand.

I'm saying that if we had ONLY James we would not have the gospel; we would be lost in our sins and of all men most miserable.

InChristAlways
10-06-05, 10:34 PM
Joe:And what is the result of your statement? They remain lost? I do not understand.

I'm saying that if we had ONLY James we would not have the gospel; we would be lost in our sins and of all men most miserable.Hi Harald. The only difference I see in the 2 passages of James and Paul below concerning peace and joy in the Lord is Paul's use of the word "spirit", as James describes it as "wisdom from above" as used in the OT.
If I was stuck on a deserted Island with just James to read, I would not feel miserable and lost in sin, but be convicted of it and at peace following his "words of wisdom". Just my humble thoughts. Steve

James 3:13 Who wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct [that] his works [are done] in the meekness of wisdom. [I] 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but earthly, sensual, demonic. [I] 16 For where envy and self-seeking [exist,] confusion and every evil thing [are] there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Proverbs 16:16 How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. 17 The highway of the upright [is] to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul.

gala 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told [you] in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those [who are] Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

InChristAlways
10-06-05, 11:32 PM
ACK!! I used Harald instead of Bob in post below. :eek:

lionovjudah
10-07-05, 09:43 AM
I'm saying that if we had ONLY James we would not have the gospel; we would be lost in our sins and of all men most miserable.


Well then too bad for those who only had the God given opportunity to read or hear james' letter.

This outlook is disturbing. And not supported. God saves in spite of all of this Bob. Read the accounts in the Gospels where people were saved prior to Paul.

Brandan
10-07-05, 09:47 AM
Tell me Joe, where in James is Christ mentioned? If there is no Christ, there is no conversion. Duh - it's simple logic - to which I'm surprised even the Trinity Foundation doesn't understand.

InChristAlways
10-07-05, 10:26 AM
Tell me Joe, where in James is Christ mentioned? If there is no Christ, there is no conversion. Duh - it's simple logic - to which I'm surprised even the Trinity Foundation doesn't understand.Hi Brandon. The way I view it, Jesus was the image of the invisible God, the Wisdom and Firstborn of creation.
One would have to connect Jesus to the widsom spoken of by James, to turn from evil to righteousness and why I posted those 3 passages. For example, what if a native in the jungle read just James alone because that is all he had, could that turn his way of living around by the conviction of those Words?
Sorry if I am not good at putting into words how I view the Bible, as most of you are able to do here. And I know this was addressed to Joe, but I was a little confused on your question.Blessings

James 1:1 James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.

James 2:1 My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, [the Lord] of glory, with partiality.

James 3:13 Who wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct [that] his works [are done] in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but earthly, sensual, demonic. [I] 16 For where envy and self-seeking [exist,] confusion and every evil thing [are] there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

[I]Proverbs 16:16 How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. 17 The highway of the upright [is] to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul.

gala 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, .... 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those [who are] Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

samohtwerdna
10-08-05, 06:43 PM
Bob,

It seems that we may be talking past each other and missing the core of what we agree upon and disagree on. So rather than challenge what warrants the different lenses you put on Paul or Hebrews when they use conditional language - not to mention Christs conditional language - I will simply agree that they are not contradicting the Gospel of grace, but whatever measure I use to determine this about Paul, Christ... I should use concerning the "fathers" and in such light cannot dispense as apostate all the "fathers" . Thank-you for clarifying what your working definition of heresy is, so I can understand better what you mean.

Now, concerning the core - I maintain that we have such a God that works all things for the good of those who are called according to his purposes. I maintain that God's work in redemption is for His name sake and all of human history is centered around the person and work of Christ. I maintain that all things whatsoever are held up and maintained by the 'Word' of Christ.

With that said, for me, to understand lost "scripture" so called - even if it does not contradict what we have as canon - must imply that God and more specifically Christ hid these text from his people - and he did so for their good. This position however, makes no sense to me. What would be the good of such an act of providence? - Also if not contradictory to the received canon, then what... More revelatory? Do we have such a canon that does not teach us about the person and work of Christ - about His offices as Prophet, Priest and King? Moreover, what would such a supposition say about the efficacy of Christ as a Prophet?

I am no arbiter of truth, so what makes no sense to me may in fact be true. Nevertheless, I am not alone in my conviction. Please understand Bob - it is my view of History, drawn from the scriptures, that has lead me to my conclusions. Form where I am standing you seem to be arguing for a history without Gods/ Christs exact care for His Word and for His people.

I must go now, sorry I know there is much more to discuss...
Andrew

Bob Higby
10-08-05, 06:58 PM
The Biblical Canon Study #2: Identifying the Old Testament Canon (study #1)

The first study in this series focused on the Christo-centric method of discerning the Old Testament canon. This study will apply the Christ-centered gospel hermeneutic to the matter of identifying the actual scriptures that belong in the Old Testament canon.

A definition of Old Testament scripture is needed before proceeding further; this expression will here refer to all scripture that God breathed into men in time prior to the first Advent of Jesus Christ.

As stated in the last study, no arguments will be engaged here regarding the books that are widely accepted in Christian history as being part of the core OT canon. Only four disputed books in the 39 of Protestant tradition will be discussed: Esther, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. In addition, some discussion of the deutero-canonical books (more commonly known as the ‘apocrypha’), the ‘false writings’, and the Dead Sea scrolls is certainly necessary to adequately cover this immense topic.

To introduce the subject, please read the ‘mostly’ factual study by a Roman Catholic at the following link. We must sometimes consider evidence from all sources, including gospel-denying religions, in order to properly evaluate certain issues. If the facts contained in the article by W. Hartono are not considered first, nothing that is afterward stated in this study will make any sense.

http://mafg.home.isp-direct.com/bible01.htm (http://mafg.home.isp-direct.com/bible01.htm)

The first book that will be considered here is Esther. We have already seen the quote from Martin Luther: "I am such an enemy to the book of Esther that I wish it did not exist." He also criticized the book severely in The Bondage of the Will. Why did he make those statements which are puzzling to most Christians? There is a very good reason: Esther was highly disputed historically with regard to theology and Martin saw the same problems with it. Even Athanasius, the ‘father’ of the current 27 book New Testament canon, did not include Esther in his Old Testament. He instead included Baruch--a book in the Apocrypha with far more spiritual content. The only objection to Baruch has always been questions of authentic authorship, not the content. The same is basically true of such New Testament books as Hebrews, 3 John, 2 Peter, Jude, and Revelation. So what is the issue with Esther?

Many see a real problem with the fact that the Hebrew version of Esther never mentions God in the entire book. The same is true of the Song of Solomon. While this may indeed be a legitimate objection to Esther in the canon, it is NOT the ‘nail in the coffin’–so to speak. The real problem with Esther has to due with the institution of the feast of Purim in chapters 7-9, which is the reason Luther calls it a prime example of depraved Jewish wickedness. Since Esther never mentions God, it certainly does not invoke God as the commander and author of Purim. It simply commands this feast on the basis of arrogant human authority. The feast has been called the only one which Jews celebrate by getting seriously drunk. If that is true, it certainly is a testimony of the carnal nature of its origin.

None of us are likely to take issue with the awful justice administered against Haman for his wicked plot against righteous Mordecai. Certain liberal skeptics who object to ALL capital punishment might–but that is not our present subject of debate. The big problem with Esther is the fact that the Jews used the permission of the king to take extreme revenge against their perceived enemies. Nowhere else in the Law of Moses is such action allowed or commended. God in past times had commanded Israel to utterly destroy certain cities. But that action was justified only due to the Lord’s direct orders. Man cannot fully discern the hearts of other men. If God states that all persons in a community are reprobate and orders his elect nation to destroy them, THEN such action is justified. But no such thing happened here. The Jews in the time of Esther had absolutely NO BASIS to kill many thousands without discrimination. They had no knowledge of whether a certain number had not ‘bowed to Baal’, so to speak. The fact that they did not confiscate the goods of their perceived enemies does not cancel their extreme crime. It only serves to illustrate their utter hypocrisy.

The Dead Sea Scrolls do not include the book of Esther at all. Not a single fragment of it has been found in the caves. It is interesting that the most ancient Old Testament manuscripts discovered to date have turned up no instances of this book. Luther had no knowledge of these scrolls, yet stated that Esther was corrupt. Does this fact illustrate his faith that one day the book would be shown to non-canonical? Certainly it does. Every other Old Testament book has been discovered in the caves at Qumran.

The Nonconformist Jews, those who were not involved in either the party of Pharisees or Saducees, rejected the sacred calendar that included Purim. The record of the festivals that they observed in the scrolls clearly shows that Purim was not included. Chapters 7-9 of Esther totally contradict 1QS 10:17-18 in the scrolls, which is a pre-cursor to the teaching of Christ and the apostles: "To no man shall I return evil for evil; I shall pursue a man only for good; for with God resides the judgment of all the living, an he shall pay each man his recompense". See in comparison Rom. 12:17-21.

The doctrine of revenge present in Esther is against the whole of Old Testament revelation, let alone New Testament revelation. Therefore, Esther is to be rejected as canonical.

InChristAlways
10-08-05, 09:01 PM
The first book that will be considered here is Esther. We have already seen the quote from Martin Luther: "I am such an enemy to the book of Esther that I wish it did not exist." He also criticized the book severely in The Bondage of the Will. Why did he make those statements which are puzzling to most Christians? There is a very good reason: Esther was highly disputed historically with regard to theology and Martin saw the same problems with it. Even Athanasius, the ‘father’ of the current 27 book New Testament canon, did not include Esther in his Old Testament.

The Nonconformist Jews, those who were not involved in either the party of Pharisees or Saducees, rejected the sacred calendar that included Purim. The record of the festivals that they observed in the scrolls clearly shows that Purim was not included. Chapters 7-9 of Esther totally contradict 1QS 10:17-18 in the scrolls, which is a pre-cursor to the teaching of Christ and the apostles: "To no man shall I return evil for evil; I shall pursue a man only for good; for with God resides the judgment of all the living, an he shall pay each man his recompense". See in comparison Rom. 12:17-21.

The doctrine of revenge present in Esther is against the whole of Old Testament revelation, let alone New Testament revelation. Therefore, Esther is to be rejected as canonical.Hi BT. I have read through Esther and believe it is inspired. All of the OT books/prophecies concern the coming of Jesus Christ and the Cross/Salvation of the World.
The fact that Esther does not have God in it is irrelevant and most of the "jews" of today do not look at Jesus as being the messiah/Redeemer and thus they look at the OT in a carnal "OC jewish" light.

For example, the gallows that is built for Mordecai but eventually used for Haman and sons is about 75 feet high!!! That has to be "symbolic" as is the "10 sons". I always read the OT as future prophecies for the NT, OC Israel/Adam/Cain vs NC Israel/Jesus/Abel/Spirit.

The words fifty cubits occur in 20 verses, including 19 exact phrase matches shown first:

Esther 7:9 And Harbonah, one of the eunuchs, saith before the king, `Also lo, the tree[#6086] that Haman made for Mordecai, who spake good for the king, is standing in the house of Haman, in height fifty cubits;' and the king saith, `Hang him upon it.' 6086 `ets ates from 6095 (http://www.eliyah.com/cgi-bin/strongs.cgi?file=hebrewlexicon&isindex=6095); a tree (from its firmness); hence, wood (plural sticks):--+ carpenter, gallows, helve, + pine, plank, staff, stalk, stick, stock, timber, tree, wood.

The common computation as to the length of the cubit makes it 20.24inches for the ordinary cubit, and 21.888 inches for the sacred one.

Just as Haman was an "adversary" to the jews, so were the NT high priest/jewish rulers in the NT "adversaries" to the christian jews/gentiles and Jesus Christ [Pilate even tried to save Jesus!]. If Haman would have said nothing to the King about the jews, no order would have ever been given to harm them. I feel it is mostly "symbolic" , and always points to the future CROSS of JESUS. Humbly yours, Steve.

Easter 3:8 And Haman saith to the king Ahasuerus, `There is one people scattered and separated among the peoples, in all provinces of thy kingdom, and their laws [are] diverse from all people, and the laws of the king they are not doing, and for the king it is not profitable to suffer them; 9 if to the king good, let it be written to destroy them, and ten thousand talents of silver I weigh into the hands of those doing the work, to bring [it] in unto the treasuries of the king.' [I] 10 And the king turneth aside his signet from off his hand, and giveth it to Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, adversary of the Jews; 11 and the king saith to Haman, `The silver is given to thee, and the people, to do with it as [it is] good in thine eyes".

John 19:15 and they cried out, `Take away, take away, crucify him;' Pilate saith to them, `Your king shall I crucify?' the chief priests answered, `We have no king except Caesar.'

lionovjudah
10-08-05, 09:17 PM
Tell me Joe, where in James is Christ mentioned? If there is no Christ, there is no conversion. Duh - it's simple logic - to which I'm surprised even the Trinity Foundation doesn't understand.


Brandan. If the OT scriptures were enough, then James is deifnately enough.

“And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:15-17).


Pauls speaks of the Scriptures here right? The OT scriptures. Now I know he had his and the others in the NT in mind. But again, if the OLD were good enough, than James is surely ok.

Brandan
10-08-05, 09:33 PM
The reason the OT scriptures is enough is because Christ is the topic.

lionovjudah
10-08-05, 09:51 PM
The reason the OT scriptures is enough is because Christ is the topic.

Of course, that is exactly my point. Presented in types and shadows. Not obvious in all books.

If Natural Revelation is enough to condemn men, (Romans 1-2) Than inspired revelation, no matter how small or incomplete, is enough to enlighten men to their salvation in God.

Bob Higby
10-09-05, 09:07 AM
More responses to Andrew:

The "Christo-centric" hermeneutic is a great hermeneutic and one which I employ whenever doing any exegesis, but it can not be the "rule" in determining what is canonical - which would be to make a rule over the ruler!

The difference here is our perception of 'rule' and 'ruler'. For Luther and I, Christ is the ruler; the canon is the rule in which he comes to us. For Westminster, the 66-book canon is the ruler (hence, the confession starts with the canon before all else) and Christ is the rule. I hate to say it, but in my mind that logically makes the 66-book Bible superior to Christ. In other words, like the infamous chapter 9 on free-will--chapter 1 of the confession is one more example of the paradox theology of Westminster. The paradox is this: a canon of scripture determined by an elite group of humans cannot be the ultimate rule if Jesus Christ is Lord of all things. But Westminster wants 2 ultimate rulers. T

The order is (for me):
1. We come to know Christ by the revelation contained in scripture.
2. After knowing Christ and the gospel, we study in the Holy Spirit to ascertain the FULL SCOPE of where and when God has breathed scripture.

With that said, for me, to understand lost "scripture" so called - even if it does not contradict what we have as canon - must imply that God and more specifically Christ hid these text from his people - and he did so for their good. This position, however, makes no sense to me.

God hid the book of the Law from Israel for many generations. God continues to hide the gospel from masses of humanity and has done so ever since Christ's resurrection. It is a matter of his sovereignty.

What would be the good of such an act of providence? - Also if not contradictory to the received canon, then what... More revelatory? Do we have such a canon that does not teach us about the person and work of Christ - about His offices as Prophet, Priest and King? Moreover, what would such a supposition say about the efficacy of Christ as a Prophet?

Good questions which will be answered as the studies continue!

I am no arbiter of truth, so what makes no sense to me may in fact be true. Nevertheless, I am not alone in my conviction. Please understand Bob - it is my view of History, drawn from the scriptures, that has lead me to my conclusions. Form where I am standing you seem to be arguing for a history without Gods/ Christs exact care for His Word and for His people.

If the superior and core canon (for me) consists of 60 instead of 66 books, I believe the same as you on the 60 books. So how can that be a difference in position on Christ's exact care for His Word? It isn't. The subject here is how to recognize the canon, not to disupute the historic position on the God-breathed scriptures.

Our differences in actual fact are minimal; they seem large because of a difference in perception of historical dogma and how it developed. :cool:

lionovjudah
10-10-05, 06:54 PM
The Dead Sea Scrolls do not include the book of Esther at all. Not a single fragment of it has been found in the caves. It is interesting that the most ancient Old Testament manuscripts discovered to date have turned up no instances of this book. Luther had no knowledge of these scrolls, yet stated that Esther was corrupt. Does this fact illustrate his faith that one day the book would be shown to non-canonical? Certainly it does. Every other Old Testament book has been discovered in the caves at Qumran.

The Nonconformist Jews, those who were not involved in either the party of Pharisees or Saducees, rejected the sacred calendar that included Purim. The record of the festivals that they observed in the scrolls clearly shows that Purim was not included. Chapters 7-9 of Esther totally contradict 1QS 10:17-18 in the scrolls, which is a pre-cursor to the teaching of Christ and the apostles: "To no man shall I return evil for evil; I shall pursue a man only for good; for with God resides the judgment of all the living, an he shall pay each man his recompense". See in comparison Rom. 12:17-21.

The doctrine of revenge present in Esther is against the whole of Old Testament revelation, let alone New Testament revelation. Therefore, Esther is to be rejected as canonical.


Well according to whom Bob? The caves of Quamran are the litmus test? The Qumaran people did not celebrate the feast of Purim. Perhaps this is why it is not included there. Daniel , Ezra, and Esther are not mentioned in Ben Sirach. Are they not canonical? Esther is not mentioned in the NT eaither, but perhaps because there is no use for it to be.

Luther dislike it because of his anti jewish sentiment at the time.

lionovjudah
10-10-05, 08:06 PM
Haman= type of Satan

Mordecia= type of Christ

Esther = type of the true church.

There is a definite symbollic reference of redemption in the book from the slavery of false religions and idolatry. All leading up to the passover feast. There is a direct reference to submission (2;20, 5;4) Sacrafice (4:16) intercession (4;16).

Esther means I am hidden, and God is hidden in the book also. But by His prividence, He guides His people even though they chose to remain in Persia and not leave. How many times the Lord deals with His people even though they are outside His presence. His hand is their and deals with them by judgement, affliction, and mercy to bring them home.

I love the book. and find it very symbollic of Christ and His church

ugly_gaunt_cow
10-10-05, 08:35 PM
Haman= type of Satan

Mordecia= type of Christ

Esther = type of the true church.

There is a definite symbollic reference of redemption in the book from the slavery of false religions and idolatry. All leading up to the passover feast. There is a direct reference to submission (2;20, 5;4) Sacrafice (4:16) intercession (4;16).

Esther means I am hidden, and God is hidden in the book also. But by His prividence, He guides His people even though they chose to remain in Persia and not leave. How many times the Lord deals with His people even though they are outside His presence. His hand is their and deals with them by judgement, affliction, and mercy to bring them home.

I love the book. and find it very symbollic of Christ and His church

Joe,

I;ve just started reading Ester again and I was wondering...

Could you elabortate, indepth, concerning Ester being a type of the true church?

samohtwerdna
10-11-05, 07:05 AM
I've heard of a defense for Esther that goes like this:
God is not mentioned because the account is of those Jews in Susa - who by being there where in rebellion against God. Thus the redemption sought by Morticai is not from the Lord but from political or any other means. There is little to no expression of faith in the main characters - because of their rebellious state. The beauty of the book of Esther is that God shows his covenant care of His people even threw the rebellious Jew in Susa. Protecting the Messianic line through Zerubable - by the crooked family of Mordicai.

Many scholars believe that this is why Christ goes to an "unnamed" festival in John Chpt5 and performs the miracle at the pool as a vindication of the NAME of the Lord that was unmentioned in Esther- is now mentioned with power in the Son of God. I'm not sure I agree with this position, but it is interesting to note that many believe that Christ did celebrate Purim by this passage. Particularly because John tells us that it was on the Sabbath and the only festival to fall on the Sabbath day between the years AD 25 and AD 35 was Purim of AD 28. If Christ did celebrate Purim it would seem to vindicate Esther's place in the canon, but for me arguments of historical data and scientific reasoning will necessarily fail in the end and will go back and forth until the end - literally!

My position is best summarized by Herman Ridderbos:

In conclusion we can only say that the deepest foundation of the canon can only lie in Christ himself, and in the nature of his coming and work. The very basis or ground for the recognition of the canon is, therefore, in principle redemptive-historical. ... For Christ is not only himself the canon in which God comes to the world, and in which he glorifies himself in contrast to the world, but Christ establishes the canon and gives it a concrete historical form.47.6. Is the Canon Closed?One of the implications of the redemptive-historical perspective is the closed canon. Christ and the apostolic tradition constitute the eschatological fulness of divine revelation. The canon is therefore limited to those documents that the Church experienced as foundational to its own existence. A sensitivity to the flow of redemptive history shows the correlation between redemptive activity and revelation, and negatively between inactivity and silence. For example, the rebuilding of the temple is the last event in redemptive history prior to Christ. Following this there is a low in the history of redemption for 400 years. With respect to revelation this is a period of silence. A new redemptive event then occurs. In Christ both revelation and redemption come to their climax and conclusion. Only the return of Christ is outstanding now (1 Thess.1:10). The redemption in Christ is authoritatively recorded (Gospels) and interpreted (Epistles). Thus the history of revelation for us is closed. This is connected to the apostolic institution (cf. John 14-16). It provided infallible revelatory attestation for Christ and his work.

Ridderbos has aptly illustrated the nature of the canonical process in the history of the ancient Church:


The Church has dealt with this situation as does one who knows and points to a certain person as father or mother. Such a knowledge rests not on demonstration but upon direct experience; it is most closely connected with one's own identity. In this and no other way must we picture the knowledge and 'decision' of the Church concerning the Canon.48In this way the history of the canon a posteriori supports the redemptive-historical a priori. Yet it remains a confession of faith that the canon of the New Testament corresponds exactly to Christ's canon. Their identity cannot be absolutely established by historical study. Historical evidence and "proofs" take us only so far. As in so many other areas there comes a point where it becomes a matter of faith. Our theological presuppositions and the historical evidence dovetail, but not perfectly. While our view of the canon does greater justice to the historical process than do, for example, the views of Harnack and the Roman Catholic theologians, we do not claim any infallible criteria of canonicity. In the end, with Ridderbos, we must acknowledge in faith that the empirical canon coincides with the canon of Christ. We can be absolutely certain and not just "practically" certain about the status of the canon,49 but our certainty does not depend upon our study of historical data, but it comes from our faith in the sovereignty and providence of God.

From Vox Reformata, 1995.

Obviously such a view is rather confident in the progressive positive activity in the people of God. It coincides greatly with the hymn "The Churches One Foundation", and glories in an ontology of the bride that is both maturing in understanding and experience. Thus the bible is not set against or above the revelation of Christ - but is part and parcel to it.

Andrew T. Adcock

InChristAlways
10-11-05, 11:46 AM
Many scholars believe that this is why Christ goes to an "unnamed" festival in John Chpt5 and performs the miracle at the pool as a vindication of the NAME of the Lord that was unmentioned in Esther- is now mentioned with power in the Son of God. I'm not sure I agree with this position, but it is interesting to note that many believe that Christ did celebrate Purim by this passage. Particularly because John tells us that it was on the Sabbath and the only festival to fall on the Sabbath day between the years AD 25 and AD 35 was Purim of AD 28. If Christ did celebrate Purim it would seem to vindicate Esther's place in the canon, but for me arguments of historical data and scientific reasoning will necessarily fail in the end and will go back and forth until the end - literally!Fascinating post Andrew. Did you happen to read my views on Esther in an earlier post [#114]?
Thanks for that very insightfull view as I have never seen it put that way before and how else can we explain the gallows built for Mordecai being about 75 feet high[50 cubits] unless it is "symbolic"?.:) Blessings.

Just as Haman was an "adversary" to the jews, so were the NT high priest/jewish rulers in the NT "adversaries" to the christian jews/gentiles and Jesus Christ [Pilate even tried to save Jesus!]. If Haman would have said nothing to the King about the jews, no order would have ever been given to harm them. I feel it is mostly "symbolic" , and always points to the future CROSS of JESUS. Humbly yours, Steve.

Easter 3:8 And Haman saith to the king Ahasuerus, `There is one people scattered and separated among the peoples, in all provinces of thy kingdom, and their laws [are] diverse from all people, and the laws of the king they are not doing, and for the king it is not profitable to suffer them; 9 if to the king good, let it be written to destroy them, and ten thousand talents of silver I weigh into the hands of those doing the work, to bring [it] in unto the treasuries of the king.' [I] 10 And the king turneth aside his signet from off his hand, and giveth it to Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, adversary of the Jews; 11 and the king saith to Haman, `The silver is given to thee, and the people, to do with it as [it is] good in thine eyes".

John 19:15 and they cried out, `Take away, take away, crucify him;' Pilate saith to them, `Your king shall I crucify?' the chief priests answered, `We have no king except Caesar.'

samohtwerdna
10-11-05, 12:31 PM
Steve,
I apologize, but I seem to have missed what the symbolism of the "75 foot high gallows" was. I would personally take great care in finding symbolism in Esther. Most likely there is some in there - but the history seems to be the greater intent of the writer. Although many have also pointed out that the Name of God does in fact show up in Esther in the form of acrostics, and to be sure the Hebrew expression in literature is often far more artful then we are used to, especially for historical literature. The one thing I am pretty sure of - is that the book of Esther - provides a picture of our salvation and redemption form death through the birth of Christ. It is a wonderful argument for the exchange of gifts at Christmas - where we see our lives being saved through our beautiful spouse who turns away the wrath of God and is our propitiation; our intercessor, and who triumphs over the devil (cf Zeph 3:10-16) binds the "strongman" and ransacks his house.


The difference here is our perception of 'rule' and 'ruler'. For Luther and I, Christ is the ruler; the canon is the rule in which he comes to us. For Westminster, the 66-book canon is the ruler (hence, the confession starts with the canon before all else) and Christ is the rule. I hate to say it, but in my mind that logically makes the 66-book Bible superior to Christ. In other words, like the infamous chapter 9 on free-will--chapter 1 of the confession is one more example of the paradox theology of Westminster. The paradox is this: a canon of scripture determined by an elite group of humans cannot be the ultimate rule if Jesus Christ is Lord of all things. But Westminster wants 2 ultimate rulers.

Bob, consider this excerpt from the Chicago statement of inerrancy - which I think answers the concern you post above.




The canon was created in principle by divine inspiration. The Church's part was to discern the canon that God had created, not to devise one of its own.
The word 'canon', signifying a rule of standard, is a pointer to authority, which means the right to rule and control. Authority in Christianity belongs to God in His revelation, which means, on the one hand, Jesus Christ, the living Word, and, on the other hand, Holy Scripture, the written Word. But the authority of Christ and that of Scripture are one. As our Prophet, Christ testified that Scripture cannot be broken. As our Priest and King, He devoted His earthly life to fulfilling the law and the prophets, even dying in obedience to the words of messianic prophecy. Thus as He saw Scripture attesting Him and His authority, so by His own submission to Scripture He attested its authority. As He bowed to His Father's instruction given in His Bible (our Old Testament), so He requires His disciples to do--not, however, in isolation but in conjunction with the apostolic witness to Himself that He undertook to inspire by his gift of the Holy Spirit. So Christians show themselves faithful servants of their Lord by bowing to the divine instruction given in the prophetic and apostolic writings that together make up our Bible.

Just a few thoughts...

Andrew T. Adcock

InChristAlways
10-11-05, 12:41 PM
Many scholars believe that this is why Christ goes to an "unnamed" festival in John Chpt5 and performs the miracle at the pool as a vindication of the NAME of the Lord that was unmentioned in Esther- is now mentioned with power in the Son of God. I'm not sure I agree with this position, but it is interesting to note that many believe that Christ did celebrate Purim by this passage. Particularly because John tells us that it was on the Sabbath and the only festival to fall on the Sabbath day between the years AD 25 and AD 35 was Purim of AD 28. If Christ did celebrate Purim it would seem to vindicate Esther's place in the canon, but for me arguments of historical data and scientific reasoning will necessarily fail in the end and will go back and forth until the end - literally!
Steve,
I apologize, but I seem to have missed what the symbolism of the "75 foot high gallows" was. I would personally take great care in finding symbolism in Esther. Most likely there is some in there - but the history seems to be the greater intent of the writer. Although many have also pointed out that the Name of God does in fact show up in Esther in the form of acrostics, and to be sure the Hebrew expression in literature is often far more artful then we are used to, especially for historical literature. The one thing I am pretty sure of - is that the book of Esther - provides a picture of our salvation and redemption form death through the birth of Christ. It is a wonderful argument for the exchange of gifts at Christmas - where we see our lives being saved through our beautiful spouse who turns away the wrath of God and is our propitiation; our intercessor, and who triumphs over the devil (cf Zeph 3:10-16) binds the "strongman" and ransacks his house.Hi Andrew. I would have thought the Tree might symbolize the Cross in some way and 50 days after Jesus ascension, Pentecost came. How do you explain to atheists and new christians a "75 foot high gallows"[and Judas's/Judah "guts" spilling out in Acts?]Haman appears to be a type/symbol of "Judas" or corrupt "High Priest" in the NT to me in some ways.:eek:

I will study more on the "purim" you discussed earlier brother and thanks for the response. I am pretty much through with this thread and I apologize for "butting" in on it. Blessings.

Look at how much "symbolism" is in Ezekiel and Revelation for example.

The words fifty cubits occur in 20 verses, including 19 exact phrase matches shown first:
Quote:

Esther 7:9 And Harbonah, one of the eunuchs, saith before the king, `Also lo, the tree[#6086] that Haman made for Mordecai, who spake good for the king, is standing in the house of Haman, in height fifty cubits;' and the king saith, `Hang him upon it.'
6086 `ets ates from 6095 (http://www.eliyah.com/cgi-bin/strongs.cgi?file=hebrewlexicon&isindex=6095); a tree (from its firmness); hence, wood (plural sticks):--+ carpenter, gallows, helve, + pine, plank, staff, stalk, stick, stock, timber, tree, wood.

The common computation as to the length of the cubit makes it 20.24inches for the ordinary cubit, and 21.888 inches for the sacred one.

lionovjudah
10-11-05, 01:56 PM
Joe,

I;ve just started reading Ester again and I was wondering...

Could you elabortate, indepth, concerning Ester being a type of the true church?

Scott, I am nto an indepth kind of person most of the time.

But I definately see God in His providence carrying, providing, and preparing His people, (Bride) for the final victory in the end. To me, the book has certain end time symbolism.

The triumph over the enemy. Haman.

Mickey
10-11-05, 03:57 PM
Yah Scott, you know like the scorpions in Revelation represent helicopters.;)

GraceAmbassador
10-11-05, 04:37 PM
MMMMMMMMMMiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike!
Where have you been?

I missed you brother!

Milt

lionovjudah
10-11-05, 05:36 PM
Yah Scott, you know like the scorpions in Revelation represent helicopters.;)

Eactly Mike.

Mickey
10-11-05, 08:35 PM
I have been very very busy. I just moved and school and work have kept me away from my computer. I have been able to read bits and peaces of the discussion. I will try to set aside some time to catch up though.

Something I have observed is a lot of 'begging the question' responses to some of the propositions stated.

Obviously God decreed that the 66 books we have today in our Bible be there. He also decreed the RCC to be in existence, but we reformed from that (of course this is a poor comparison).

I personally don't see these books as posing a danger to the gospel, so at the present I don't have a problem with considering them as cannon. Truth be told I don't really spend too much time reading them anyway. I personally like discussing this here at 5solas, but due to the time it takes to discuss this issue and my lack of knowledge on this issue I don't discuss it with those I fellowship with at Sunday meeting and throughout the week. I would rather focus on the gospel itself and live peaceably with those around me; because there is no doubt that this will cause undue division.

Anyway, those were just some quick comments. There was more I had to say but I can't think of it at the moment. I am pleased with the discussion so far. Keep it up, good stuff from both sides.:)

Mike

GraceAmbassador
10-12-05, 08:41 AM
...So Christians show themselves faithful servants of their Lord by bowing to the divine instruction given in the prophetic and apostolic writings that together make up our Bible.

As a little boy in Sunday School (those old good days when they actually taught the Bible to children rather than playing games and giving them "play dough" in Sunday School classes), I learned that the books of the O.T. were categorized such as this:

Law, Historic books, Prophetic Books (Minor and Major) and so on...

I have no problem if someone tells me that Esther is in the category of "inspired" History. However the attribution of "mysticism", or "mystical symbolism" that I notice here is totally uncalled for in the book itself. I can read Snow White and the seven Dwarfs and find symbolism related to the Bible, to the struggle of good and evil and still Snow White and the seven Dwarfs will not be a canonical story. Look at what some churchian preachers do to the Star Wars series as they compare that with the struggle between the dark side and the good side of the force; does that make it "inspired"? In an extreme, I can eat a ham sandwich and claim that I am celebrating Communion calling the elements holy thus swallowing it whole rather than masticating them. That does not make a ham sandwich a symbol of Christ's body simply because Jesus laid out the way and the elements the Communion should be celebrated. The correct symbolism of O.T. elements in the Law, History and the Prophets, were also laid out beforehand by God and need not guessing and the endorsing of men's imaginations. Those are indeed "canonical" and worthy of acceptance.

Symbolism cannot be the MAIN judge of canonical authenticity or inspiration. The rules wherein such symbolism is to be drawn and perceived have to be respected.

If I consider the book of Esther to be a "historical" book and not necessarily anything symbolic about our faith; if I consider it to be non-canonical for that matter, that in no way makes me a "less than a faithful Christian". As such I tend, within the context of this answer, to reject the Chicago Statement of faith proposition in this case as it is extremely generic.

Andrew has made some very good points which and we should all ponder on them; however to ascribe any degree, or to judge any level of Christian faithfulness for questioning in sincerity the "canonicity" of a few passages and books cannot be grounds to reverse the Chicago Statement proposition that "Christians show themselves faithful servants of their Lord by bowing to the divine instruction given in the prophetic and apostolic writings that together make up our Bible".

Milt

InChristAlways
10-12-05, 09:08 AM
Originally Posted by Andrew quoting the Chicago Statement of Inerrancy ...So Christians show themselves faithful servants of their Lord by bowing to the divine instruction given in the prophetic and apostolic writings that together make up our Bible.


I have no problem if someone tells me that Esther is in the category of "inspired" History. However the attribution of "mysticism", or "mystical symbolism" that I notice here is totally uncalled for in the book itself. If I consider the book of Esther to be a "historical" book and not necessarily anything symbolic about our faith; if I consider it to be non-canonical for that matter, that in no way makes me a "less than a faithful Christian". As such I tend, within the context of this answer, to reject the Chicago Statement of faith proposition in this case as it is extremely generic.Hi Milt. I don't believe it is about "symbolic about our faith" but the complete story of God's redemption for mankind through His Son, the Word of God and often spoken in parables and alleghory to Israel in the OT.

Just as Jesus was unto like Moses in the OT who led the hebrews out of bondage in Egypt, and so does Esther appear to be a type of "savior" of her people, the jews.

Didn't Paul and the book of Hebrews write of things that were symbolic and "type/shadows" and even "mysteries" of the OT? Why did Jesus speak in parables so much instead of speaking clearly to the people in the NT [as God did in the OT]? To me, this is what makes the Bible so Divine and how God put His thoughts/Words into the Bible.
The Cross of Christ and His ascension and our redemtion is indeed important, but the whole OT points to that event. Just some more of my thoughts on this brother and why I do love the Bible. Blessings.

mashal (Strong's 04912) occurs 39 times in 39 verses:

Ezekiel 17:2 Son of man, put forth a riddle[#02420], and speak a parable[#04912] unto the house of Israel;

Ezekiel 20:48 "All flesh shall see that I, the LORD, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched." ' " 49 Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD! They say of me, 'Does he not speak parables[#04912]?' "

04912 mashal {maw-shawl'} apparently from 04910 in some original sense of superiority in mental action; TWOT - 1258a; n m
AV - proverb 19, parable 18, byword 1, like 1; 39
1) proverb, parable

Gala 4:23 But he [who was] of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, 24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar --

238 allegoreo {al-lay-gor-eh'-o}
from 243 and agoreo (to harangue, cf 58); TDNT - 1:260,42; v
AV - be an allegory 1; 1
1) to speak allegorically or in a figure

Luke 14:35 "It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, [but] men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"

GraceAmbassador
10-12-05, 09:16 AM
Didn't Paul and the book of Hebrews write of things that were symbolic and "type/shadows" of the OT? Why did Jesus speak in parables so much instead of speaking clearly to the people in the NT? To me, this is what makes the Bible so Divine and how God put His thoughts/Words into the Bible.

I would have expected that you read this portion of my post:


Symbolism cannot be the MAIN judge of canonical authenticity or inspiration. The rules wherein such symbolism is to be drawn and perceived have to be respected.

You are ascribing symbolism where there is actually none. It is pure imagination and to assign a relationship of texts where there is none is to do exactly as those who make Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs fable something that is relative to the biblical story of the struggle of good and evil.

Milt

InChristAlways
10-12-05, 09:28 AM
I would have expected that you read this portion of my post:
Quote:Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador Symbolism cannot be the MAIN judge of canonical authenticity or inspiration. The rules wherein such symbolism is to be drawn and perceived have to be respected.


Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador
Symbolism cannot be the MAIN judge of canonical authenticity or inspiration. The rules wherein such symbolism is to be drawn and perceived have to be respected.

You are ascribing symbolism where there is actually none. It is pure imagination and to assign a relationship of texts where there is none is to do exactly as those who make Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs fable something that is relative to the biblical story of the struggle of good and evil.Hi Milt. Thanks for clarifying that[post #132], but I was confused on why you brought Snow White and Stars wars into it, as I myself have never even thought about those having anything to do with the Inspired Divine Words of the Bible. Sorry if I misunderstood you and I respectfully bow out of this thread for this reason. Blessings.

Milt

I can read Snow White and the seven Dwarfs and find symbolism related to the Bible, to the struggle of good and evil and still Snow White and the seven Dwarfs will not be a canonical story. Look at what some churchian preachers do to the Star Wars series as they compare that with the struggle between the dark side and the good side of the force; does that make it "inspired"?

lionovjudah
10-12-05, 09:40 AM
Symbolism cannot be the MAIN judge of canonical authenticity or inspiration. The rules wherein such symbolism is to be drawn and perceived have to be respected.

If I consider the book of Esther to be a "historical" book and not necessarily anything symbolic about our faith; if I consider it to be non-canonical for that matter, that in no way makes me a "less than a faithful Christian". As such I tend, within the context of this answer, to reject the Chicago Statement of faith proposition in this case as it is extremely generic.



Milt


You are correct Milt. Symbolism is not the litmust test for canonicity. But neither are the arguments/opinions presented to declare Esther non canonical.

1) the caves of Quamran
2) The revenge displayed
3) Noncomformist Jews.
4) Luther

If revenge is the reason, well then Deut, Judges, and certain psalms speak of this

It is only because the Quamranites did not celebrate purim that perhaps it is not included

Symbilism or not, Esther definately shows Gods hand in controlling the events to resue His people in a foreign land. Disobediant as they are for not leaving

GraceAmbassador
10-12-05, 10:11 AM
Joe:

The issue in question is "what did those who determined some books to be the canon used for that determination?"

If they used the Dead Sea Scrolls, (for example), then I can say that "according to the dead sea scrolls they are not... this or that". We are discussing, espcially Bob is as I see it, within their own method of determination, how that determination was made based on anything else other than God's inspiration.

That's what we are discussing here.

Once you lined up the unaccepted methods and tests for determining canonicity, what are they and what are the ones you accept? Can you line them up here as well?

Do you happen to know what method and all its nuances, since you don't accept Luther or the Dead Sea Scrolls, was used by the theologians of the past to determine how we have the canon and why we should be submissive to it today? That's what Bob (he can speak for himself) and I am attempting to discuss. Once the method and its variations is discovered, we can question anything within that method.


Symbilism or not, Esther definately shows Gods hand in controlling the events to resue His people in a foreign land. Disobediant as they are for not leaving

There are other books not considered "canonical" by the same people using the same method and its variations, that tell stories that shows the same as you see in the Book of Esther. If you are right in your association of the book of Esther with God controlling events, etc., then this the reason for our discussion; why not "all" others as well? What if a Roman Catholic comes to youand says then "why not Judith, or Maccabees, or any other, based upon your method in the quote above?" This is the reason for this discussion and it is just about time we would have had it!

Fret not thyself, brother.

Milt

samohtwerdna
10-12-05, 10:51 AM
Milt,

I very much enjoyed this last post of yours.
You must forgive me for posting only a snippet of the "Chicago Statement". My intention was to answer Bob's concern that the scriptures where set as a standard above Christ. The Chicago snippet did a good job of placing them on par with each other. As far as the last part of the snippet that you quoted I merely think they where trying to convey that God's people submit themselves to the imperatives they find in the written word as if they received them as spoken from God.

Questioning the canonicity of Esther is not the unforgivable sin - and as you stated - far worse to misinterpret scripture and sanction a new type of canon then to question that books place in the canon. Needless to say, I was not convinced by Bob's article nor his argument that Esther is not canonical. Problematic perhaps, but the problems seem easily answered or non binding.

Also I want to suggest to those who chaff at what looks like circular reasoning or "begging the question". Whenever the finite begins to interact with the infinite - at some point our finite logic will breakdown (thankfully our faith is in God and not in Logic- though God is perfect logic!!) to give an example I had a friend who was a logician. He could not make any logical sense of creation exnihelo (sp?)(out of nothing) because logic formally does not allow for some thing out of nothing. Ultimately he had to conclude that God created out of himself or that he used pre-existent material - either way he ended up in a heretical ditch. Now with the canon we have two options. 1) Is to bow to the current 66 books with a Redemptive-historical understanding (God is organically progressively revealing His glory through His Son) that makes applying criterion to determine what is and is not authoritative a nullifying of "canon" all together. 2) Search for an infallible rule to determine what is authoritative. This option may employ horrible criteria (it's not pretty enough) or excellent criteria (Luther's What ever preaches and urges Christ) but in the end will always have the subjective ruling the objective. Both positions are not fully satisfactory to strict logic, both positions require at some level the applying of blind faith somewhere along the line. The difference becomes where we apply that faith, not if! The Redemptive-Historical position builds upon a theology of history and God's providence. Its weakness is that it values heavily the history of the church and it's developing theology. The second position will ultimately take one of two paths 1) Church perfection e.g. RCC or 2) Higher criticism. The weakness here is that either a person or an organization has sway over objective truth, and must themselves be infallible.

Which one is better?

For me, obviously the Redemptive-Historical - but I acknowledge it is not without its weaknesses - at least concerning logic. But neither is it mere fideism. It can allow all kinds of criteria for study and edification, but always gives way to the a priori canon. History is important to all positions (except the RCC church is the infallible rule!) and how we understand history will ultimately contribute greatly to which position we will take.

Hopefully the veracity of the "five solas" will stand where ever we find ourselves.


Andrew T. Adcock

ray kikkert
10-12-05, 11:42 AM
"Man craves for certainty. Speculations and hypotheses are insufficient where eternal issues are at stake. When I come to lay my head upon my dying pillow, I want something surer than a "perhaps" to rest it upon. And thank God I have it. Where? In the Holy Scriptures. I know that my Redeemer liveth. I know that I have passed from death unto life. I know that I shall be made like Christ and dwell with Him in glory throughout the endless ages of eternity. How do I know? Because God's Word says so, and I want nothing more.
"The Bible gives forth no uncertain sound. It speaks with absolute assurance, dogmatism, and finality. Its promises are certain for they are the promises of Him who cannot lie. Its testimony is reliable for it is the inerrant Word of the Living God. Its teachings are trustworthy for they are a communication from the Omniscient. The believer then has a sure foundation on which to rest, an impregnable rock on which to build his hopes. For his present peace and for his future prospects he has a, 'Thus saith the Lord,' and that is sufficient."
from The Divine Inspiration of the Bible by Arthur W. Pink

Scripture...... inerrant and infallible.

We cannot loose sight that this is the Gospel, whether Romans, or James or Esther. Remember that the line of promise(Jesus Christ) runs through the times of Esther, a time where Israel was under threat of being cut off. But according to the sovereign purpose of the Lord, a people saved..... a heavenly Father that will keep His promise long ago made to our first parents in the garden. Their is Gospel in Esther, their is Gospel in James.

All here have voiced their confession here to this truth. I would admonish that we keep this as the focal point. Jesus Christ and His Gospel truth as given us in Scripture , His Word.

"Take my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." James 5:10,11

The Lord's Word here is of benefit to the elect only as the Lord has also purposed in the epistle to the Romans. It will be for the hardening and destruction of the reprobate as the Lord has so determined. It is the sharp two edged sword.

lionovjudah
10-12-05, 11:46 AM
Milt: Gods providence in Esther is not what makes it canonical. You know there were certain criteria that had to be met.

I do not look at them as books that had to wiegh in a prescribed standard to be included, rather they were included because they already had the standard.

Both authority and canonicity has inspiration as the foundation.

authority, prophetic, authentic, dynamic, reception

These are the criteria. And just because some were questioned, that should not make us believe our bible of 66 inspired books is faulty, or uncertain.

http://www.biblebb.com/files/howbible.htm

GraceAmbassador
10-12-05, 12:12 PM
Andrew:

Thanks for your kind comments! I really enjoy your posts and love the fact that they are full of relevant, thought provoking and Godly content. My comments about the Chicago statement were merely to dispell any doubt that these issues can still be discussed without one's fear of "excommunication".

I repeat that I consider the Bible as we have today to be the full Word of God. I find no conflict, however, in stating what theologians of all sorts have stated for ages that some texts may not have been in the most perfect and acceptable manuscripts and other texts, and perhaps books were imposed in there. My certainty derives from something other than what man can or could have done to damage the purity of God's Word: God's interest in maintaining a perfect, pristine and powerful word for us to know him today!

Thank you!

Milt

lionovjudah
10-12-05, 01:23 PM
http://www.aishdas.org/toratemet/en_canon.html

cprwc
10-12-05, 07:27 PM
The Spirit moved long ago to breathe these words onto pages with ink by the hand of His prophet:
Esther 1:1-8
"Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces
That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace, In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him: When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honor of his excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days.
And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all
the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace; Where were white, green, and blue, hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black, marble.
And they gave them drink in vessels of gold, (the vessels being
diverse one from another,) and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of the king. And the drinking was according to the law; none did compel: for so the king had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do according to every man’s pleasure..."
What we see above, what we see from the rest of this book bound between leather covers, read in faith to delight in the providence and power and covenant and justice and humor of our heavenly Father who by His eternally begotten Son has come in our flesh by the power of His Spirit and works all things according to His counsel. Where is God in Esther? Where is Jesus? In every word God's perfections shine in inspired and inerrant and canonical Esther. By every jot and tittle does God's covenant to Abraham speak to give all blessing to sinners by his Seed. God makes a great feast and by each word we shall live. Dare we try to throw the butter slabs to the the flies because they are not the fatted calf?
-CPRWC

Bob Higby
10-12-05, 10:11 PM
The Biblical Canon Study #3: Identifying the Old Testament Canon (study #2)

As this study unfolds, we will continue to discover that no consistently accepted canon existed for the first 500 years of Christian history. In most cases one or more of the 66-book canon is missing, of course, some of the deutero-canonical books were generally added. Where Esther was accepted, usually this referred to the Greek version of the book which includes the inserted prayers of Mordecai and Esther. These prayers are entirely lacking in the Hebrew original.

The Third Council of Carthage, which is proposed by many to have ‘closed’ the canon, includes some of the deutero-canonical books which were expressly rejected at other councils. The issue of whether Lamentations is missing is a matter of dispute; some think it is implicitly included under Jeremiah along with Baruch:

http://www.bible-researcher.com/carthage.html (http://www.bible-researcher.com/carthage.html)

Athanasius included Lamentations and Baruch but omitted Esther. The Council of Laodecia included Esther and James but omits Revelation! Here is a table of the books defended by various individuals and councils:


http://www.oodegr.com/english/ag_grafi/kanonas6.htm (http://www.oodegr.com/english/ag_grafi/kanonas6.htm)


The following non-Christian author has a pathetic axe to grind (trying to make all apocryphal writings legitimate) but documents again that no canonical list ever included strictly the 66 books; but often included others.

http://freethought.mbdojo.com/canon.html (http://freethought.mbdojo.com/canon.html)

A study of the Old Testament books is not complete without considering the issue of whether Ecclesiastes and The Song of Solomon should be canonized above the apocryphal books. The following link provides a lengthy discussion of this and related issues, even touching upon the subject of the new writings discovered at Qumran (which include additional Psalms):

http://department.monm.edu/classics/Speel_Festschrift/sundbergJr.htm

For those wanting a shorter study consider the following:

http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=690 (http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=690)

The present writer does not believe the Christocentric hermeneutic supports Ecclesiastes or the Song of Songs as having canonical authority (that is, of the level of the core or superior canon). Ecclesiastes, unlike other prophetic books, contains absolutely no message of future hope. Some have called it ‘inspired hopelessness’ or ‘inspired desperation.’ The certainty of God’s future judgment is mentioned, however, such an assertion contains no basis that anyone will stand in the judgment. It does not even state that such a judgment is eschatological; skeptics point out that it may simply refer to the fact that evil works carry with them bad consequences in this life. The book asserts again and again death ends all. How can any of this be prophetic of the coming redemption of Jesus Christ?

The Song of Songs is merely a discourse of human love and romance. Surely the book has value in affirming that married love is a part of God’s good creation. But the notion that it is a parable of Christ and his church is allegorical interpretation and reasoned strictly from analogy. The relationship being described is not even monogamous, so how can it possibly portray what Paul refers to in Ephesians 5:22-33? It is simply the poetic view of two individuals on what constitutes great romance and sex; nothing more. It is not even a standard as to how all must view what constitutes great romance and sex.

This writer believes that the additional scrolls discovered at Qumran should be classified as to their potential authority in terms of a lower canon. In addition to the extra Psalms of David, the Christocentric content of some of the other writings is obvious. They stand in direct contrast to the non-prophetic character of Ecclesiastes, Esther, and the Song of Solomon. Along with certain passages in the deutero-canonical books, many verses from the scrolls are quoted or paraphrased (re-cast) in the New Testament. It is certainly wrong to propose that additional writings can be added to the core or superior canon of scripture; however, we also need to establish standards for what belongs in an inferior canon. The writings of the early ‘fathers’ clearly evidence an acceptance of the two-level canon doctrine by all, even though some of those writings (i.e., The Shepherd of Hermas) are false prophecy denying the gospel. The shepherd false prophet taught the damnable doctrines of Neonomianism and Sacramentalism. This shows us the amazing providence of God; his Word was preserved in the midst of the great apostasy away from Paul’s gospel.


Those who love the gospel will have differing views on how to rate the canonical status of certain books or portions of books. None should insist on making every detail of his views binding on all Christians. We have a core and undisputed canon which all gospel believers accept, consisting of most the 66 books affirmed by Protestant councils. Other writings we affirm as containing scripture and a part of the lesser canon, since there is either evidence that these may have been added to or subtracted from–or we have no clear information about origins and authorship.

Yoder
10-19-05, 08:20 AM
http://www.opc.org/new_horizons/NH05/02a.html

Another look at James

Dave

Bob Higby
10-19-05, 10:43 AM
In a nutshell, James and Paul address two different questions and are speaking of two different kinds of faith and two different kinds of justification.

This is the old Protestant argument, based on the a-priori assumption that we have to defend James because it is canonical. This line of reasoning would never be advanced if the canonicity of James was not already assumed.

I would challenge any theology that teaches faith is made perfect by works (in the case of James, works of charity toward the poor). It is not. Although Paul is very clear that one who continues to serve evil will not inherit the kingdom, he has no doctrine of a justifying faith that is incomplete and needs to be perfected by external acts of goodness.

On the Esther issue, etc. it appears that we have different standards. For me, assuming Esther as belonging to the higher canon because it tells a story of God preserving the Jews is ridiculous. If so, the Maccabees must also be accepted since an even greater miraculous story of God's deliverance of the Jews is told there--and at least we see Jesus attending the feast of lights in the NT! Plus the book of Hebrews apparently commends the Maccabeans for their endurance of torture for the sake of the kingdom.

Esther 9 adds to the law, it is as simple as that. The Law of Moses, according to Christ himself, is not to be added to. Also, the feasts of Lev. 23 are the complete and inspired prophetic picture of Christ's Messianic work. To institute new feasts AS JEWISH LAW, especially ones based on questionable historical acts, this is forbidden.

Gideon523
10-19-05, 04:24 PM
Bob you wrote,
Other writings we affirm as containing scripture and a part of the lesser canon, since there is either evidence that these may have been added to or subtracted from–or we have no clear information about origins and authorship.

So for instance the book of Hebrews is part of the lesser,
according to you Bob, you think contains some scripture?
could you tell us what parts of Hebrews is scripture?[truth]
and the parts that you think are not scripture [truth].

All the book of Hebrews to me is the Inspired Word of God.
and your use of the term Lesser canon for this book,
is a contradiction of any proper christian understanding,
the Elect know on examination that Hebrews
is part of the canon,
The Spirit gives the wittness to the books.
Gideon.

Brandan
10-19-05, 07:19 PM
Time for some ad-hominem.... This past statement is coming from someone (Gideon) who thinks sin was infused into Christ Himself. Don't let "gideon" rattle you brother Bob.

- Brandan

cprwc
10-21-05, 07:56 PM
God's canon though sixty-six books in number is one in authority and is one in message and one in perfection and one in inerrancy all revealing the one true and eternal God who exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Remember with me the faithfulness of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God come in our flesh, who is made unto us wisdom, and, righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.

Question 19 (http://www.prca.org/hc_index.html#Q19). Whence knowest thou this?

Answer. From the holy gospel, which God himself first revealed in Paradise; [g] (http://www.prca.org/hc_text1.html#LDVIg#LDVIg) and afterwards published by the patriarchs [h] (http://www.prca.org/hc_text1.html#LDVIh#LDVIh) and prophets, and represented by the sacrifices [i] (http://www.prca.org/hc_text1.html#LDVIi#LDVIi) and other ceremonies of the law; and lastly, has fulfilled it [j] (http://www.prca.org/hc_text1.html#LDVIj#LDVIj) by his only begotten Son.
[a]: Rom. 5:12,15 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Rom+5:12,15)
[b]: 1Pet 3:18 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=1+Pet+3:18); Isa. 53:11 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Isa+53:11)
[c]: 1 Pet. 3:18 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=1+Pet+3:18); Acts 2:24 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Acts+2:24); Isa. 53:8 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Isa+53:8)
[d]: 1John 1:2 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=1+John+1:2); Jer. 23:6 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Jer+23:6); 2Tim. 1:10 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=2+Tim+1:10); John 6:51 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+6:51)
[e]: Mat. 1:23 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Mat+1:23); 1Tim. 3:16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=1+Tim+3:16); Luke 2:11 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Luke+2:11)
[f]: 1Cor 1:30 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=1+Cor+1:30)
[g]: Gen. 3:15 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Gen+3:15)
[h]: Gen. 22:17,18 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Gen+22:17,18); Gen. 28:14 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Gen+28:14); Rom. 1:2 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Rom+1:2); Heb. 1:1 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Heb+1:1); John 5:46 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=John+5:46)
[i]: Heb. 10:7,8 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Heb+10:7,8)
[j]: Rom. 10:4 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Rom+10:4); Heb. 13:8 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=KJV&passage=Heb+13:8)

-CPRWC

GraceAmbassador
10-21-05, 09:34 PM
CPRWC:

If you cannot engage (that's a warning now) and can only force upon us your confessional positions, either because we think we are that "gullible" or because you have an agenda to spread the Confessions as if they are the Gospel themselves, again, without engaging with some ideas of your own, (if you have any and can really think for yourself), please, do us and yourself a favor: just tell us where to go with a link to your confessions and we will do that with no need to try to teach us as if "teaching the Lord's prayer to the town's vicar". Then, come back when you have ideas to discuss.

The point of this discussion here that you fail to see is:

We will not buckle to the confessions wherein the confessions bring the same old traditions we tend to question (not necessarily disprove) here.

Do you have any idea of your own to discuss or you can only parrot old confessions?

Don't get me wrong: I believe your contribution would be more valuable if you would simply tells us what you think without resorting the the very things we seek to question here.

It would also be much better if you would quote scriptures independently from confessions. Can you do that? Scriptures YES... Confessions ONLY, Close, but we will not blindly endorse them yet...

Milt

Bob Higby
10-22-05, 10:03 AM
Thanks, Milt and Brandan!

I have been on vacation all week (with only dial-up internet available at a slow connection--which is not always up) but will start with the New Testament postings next week. I never challenged the canonicity of Hebrews; I'm not sure where that notion came from. Hebrews will be the subject of the next 'installment'.

Later--Bro. Bob

Bob Higby
10-28-05, 08:07 PM
Before we go on with this thread, I wanted to post this short fictional story that I have been working on. It is up to the readers to judge whether the spirit of it is truth or fiction!

TIME: 67 A.D on a Sunday afternoon in October.

Background:

And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: to whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. Gal. 2:4,5,11,12,13 KJV

Place: A well-known physician’s home near Antioch in Syria.

Let’s listen in on what is happening there!

KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK on Dr. Luke’s front door.
Luke gets up from his favorite chair and slowly walks to the window beside the door. He sees a person named Matthias Ben Jonas that he recognizes from almost 20 years earlier. He makes his way to the door and opens it.

Matt: Good afternoon, most honored Dr. Luke!

Luke: Hello Matt. What can I do for you today?

Matt: Luke, I need to talk to you about a most urgent matter! Do you have a few minutes?

Luke: Ok, Matt, come on in.

The two find their way to Luke’s room for entertaining guests.

Matt: Luke, I’ll get right to the point of why I came here to see you. As you might have heard by now, James the brother of Jesus has appointed me President of an organization called Whole Earth Vision.. Our purpose is to share God’s love with the world and relieve human suffering and hunger wherever it is found. As you know, the apostles in Jerusalem many years ago cast lots that were directed by God--and I was appointed to be the twelfth apostle in the place of Judas who betrayed our Lord. So I’m coming here directly commissioned by Christ himself: asking you to contribute a generous sum of money to support our most critical and urgent ministry to the poor. I can see that you have been blessed with a very beautiful and spacious home; certainly you are required by God to give up a large portion of your means to support those who are destitute of all earthly goods and food!

Luke: Matt, I’m extremely disappointed in you. Your primary interest is not fellowship with me in the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ--but rather in soliciting offerings to give to the spiritually dead who know not the gospel. How can you be so blind? I remember well how you were sent here by James long ago and succeeded in temporarily deceiving Peter into denying the gospel by example. Your true love is not the gospel of Jesus Christ--but earthly recognition and position. The fact that you attempt to achieve this by helping the poor only increases the strong delusion that you are engrossed in!

Matt: You are deceived, Luke! You have accepted the delusion of salvation by faith alone that is preached by Rabbi Paul. He is leading many to damnation in persuading them that they have salvation without charitable works. The true message that God approves is this: you have to be like Jesus if you want to be saved! Jesus went about doing good and helping the poor. He also kept the whole law of Moses and did not despise any of the commands given in past ages to the chosen people of God! What doth it profit, my brother, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and you say to them, "Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled;" notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Luke: You know not the scriptures nor the power of God. By your own confession, you have reduced the gospel to the performance of mere philanthropy in a vain hope that the Lord will be impressed by your generosity. Get thee behind me Satan!

Matt: Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Luke: Such works mean NOTHING to God. If your works do not proceed solely from faith in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, they are vain and meritorious only of God’s wrath. You cannot demonstrate true faith by showing off your works of charity as evidence. Those who wish to be recognized as faithful by performing external works of philanthropy only demonstrate that their works are a stink in God’s nostrils worthy of great condemnation.

Matt: Luke, you are a cruel and judgmental hypocrite! The Lord Jesus will repay you for your destructive and critical spirit. You speak of faith, well, Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Luke: Matt, you have no idea of what saving faith is. If you did, you would never state that there is any possibility of a genuine faith that is not manifested in performing the works that God has foreordained we should walk in.

Matt: I’m puking on your words right now! Foreordained this, foreordained that. Paul is mad with vain philosophy and you follow him. God does not do the works for us, the performance of them is left up to US using the strength and grace that he imparts to our souls! Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Luke: Matt, we will never agree while you continue in this mode of thinking. I can’t engage you any further, for you refuse to even consider the truth as it is in Jesus. Abraham was not justified by WORKS to become God’s friend when he offered up Isaac--but by FAITH demonstrated in his act that he already was God’s friend!. You can’t see it; you are blinded to the gospel. You think that a person becomes the friend of God by works IN ADDITION to faith. May the Lord still save your soul in the day that he makes you aware of what Grace in Christ really is!

Matt:Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Luke: You’ve got the cart before the horse, Matt! It is all wrong. Faith must be compared to the spirit, not the body. Works must be compared to the body, not the spirit. The spirit alone drives the acts of the body, even so, faith comes to fruition in works. Works do not enliven a dead body which is faith! I’m finished, only the Lord can straighten out your mass confusion and deluded convictions.

Matt: Luke, I’m going to go now. You are cruel and heartless and have no regard for the poor who ARE Jesus Christ returned to his people.

Luke: I’ll pray for you Matt, even though you don’t care about that right now. May the Lord convert your soul to love the true gospel revealed to his TRUE apostle #12 called directly by Jesus Christ Himself.

lionovjudah
10-29-05, 08:26 AM
How can another determine if an act is done out of faith or for personal relief of their conscious? Helping the poor, destitute, needy, oppressed is not done as if God is a heavanly accountant with pen and paper marking down all the "good" we do vs all the "bad." Helping those in need is not done to earn salvation, but it is the responsibility of a blood bought child of God. Caring for those is a responsibility that is not to be taken lightly. "If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered" (Prov. 21:13). God speaks very clearly on this throught the writ: "I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land" (Deut. 15:10, 11). It was also a practice of the early church: (Acts 11:27-30; 24:17; Gal. 2:10). Biblical compassion is not subjective to what we determine it is, but what God says it is. It is not a socialist system, true biblical compassion goes to the root of the issue. It is not a feel good self imposed system to ease our guilt, scripture commands us to discern who is really in need vs those who are their for the free ride. But because we cannot always determine this, it is better to help both until we can know the truth. Paul commands the church to care for "those widows who are really in need" (1 Tim. 5:3), but says that even in the body of Christ not every widow qualifies for church support. God is the rescuer of the poor (Job 29:12; Psalm 35:10; Jer. 20:13).


So in regards to your story Bob, perhaps Luke has not seen the plight of the needy, perhaps like us he has isolated himself from the destitute, perhaps like some he has left part of the Gospel out, because if he had known the WHOLE council of God, he would have answered much differently.

From my experience, until I was waist deep in being with those truley in need, I never gave it a second thoguht, I would throw money at programs, but I had no love for the people or true concern for them. Just tell them the Gospel and God , or someone else will care for them. Now I realize how wrong I was. We must not only provide immediate needs, but also long term needs. IF one is able to work, our Christlike compassion is not only to feed them for one day, but help them find employment so they can begin to provide for themselves.

Milt would be a true barometer of this topic since he and his wife have a tremendous amount of experience in situations such as this.

I will state this clearly also, I have ALWAYS noticed that those who react like Luke in this story have such a phobia for the word "works" when it comes to scripture. They have wrongly responded to the doctrine of faith + works equal salvation, they never do anything for the Lord in this area. They never serve him in this area. They never truely pend or be spent for their neighbor. And in this they have no "doing" of their faith.

Helping those in need is not a questionable issue, God directly looks at this throughout the whole of Scripture. And it does directly relate to our relationship with Him. And perhaps one day Luke in this story will hear these words spoken in Jeremiah of King Josiah: "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" (Jer. 22:16).


Bob, you have clearly stated that you do not believe in a dead faith. You clearly state and rightly so that our salvation is not dependant upon faith + works of charity to perfect it. But I believe you are off in the statement. "Luke: Matt, you have no idea of what saving faith is. If you did, you would never state that there is any possibility of a genuine faith that is not manifested in performing the works that God has foreordained we should walk in." For if this was 100% true, we would not have as many arrows thrown at the "Reformed Camp" "The Sovereignists" "The work phobia" people.

16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

ugly_gaunt_cow
10-29-05, 08:34 AM
We must not only provide immediate needs, but also long term needs. IF one is able to work, our Christlike compassion is not only to feed them for one day, but help them find employment so they can begin to provide for themselves.

Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, he'll eat forever...

Joe, I whole- heartedly agree with your post.

ugly_gaunt_cow
10-29-05, 09:18 AM
I would also like to point out that I see EXACTLY where Bob is coming from in his story...

I think the confusion (correct me if I am wrong here) comes from the division between those who believe they MUST do good works as a means to provide evidence of "their" faith, whereas the biblical precept clearly lays a foundation that the LORD will manifest these works as HE sees sits, from saint to saint, according to HIS good will.

Eileen
10-29-05, 09:18 AM
I don’t post in this thread because it is above and beyond my scope of thinking….at this time! But I would comment on Bob’s story. The spirit is of truth.

We read with different mindsets………..that is brought home to me time and time again!

A woman came to Jesus while He was in Bethany and anointed His head with very costly oil. The disciples saw it and were very indignant saying…..why waste it for the price of this very fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.

Jesus said “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always…..assuredly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

The spirit of the story, to me, is exactly that. We do not know what a good work is, however the Lord does and so the statement made by Luke is 100% true.

Luke: Matt, you have no idea of what saving faith is. If you did, you would never state that there is any possibility of a genuine faith that is not manifested in performing the works that God has foreordained we should walk in."

Do we believe Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”

God has prepared them, we will walk in them or we call God a liar! If I have a poor neighbor I will care for them if that is a work I am to do, it might be that it will be someone else’s work or it may be that there is no work to be done.

We cannot judge true saving faith by works for they are HIS works. HE has prepared them for us and it is HE who works in us to will and to do all of HIS good pleasure.

Eileen~

lionovjudah
10-29-05, 10:51 AM
Do we believe Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”

God has prepared them, we will walk in them or we call God a liar! If I have a poor neighbor I will care for them if that is a work I am to do, it might be that it will be someone else’s work or it may be that there is no work to be done.

We cannot judge true saving faith by works for they are HIS works. HE has prepared them for us and it is HE who works in us to will and to do all of HIS good pleasure.

Eileen~


If it were this automatic, then we probably would not be having this conversation. That is why the scriptures constantly exhort the brethren to care for those in need. Because we need to be reminded constantly.

One thing I will mention, both elect and reprobate do not know when they have done for out Lord or not. Neither, the sheep nor the goats knew they did or failed to do for our Lord

Eileen
10-29-05, 11:38 AM
Bob,

"for before certain men came from James"

How interesting this scripture is, I don't believe that I ever truly saw it before. Is this James thought to be the same one who wrote the book of James?

Certain men came to spy out their liberty in Christ and led those astray by teaching that justification is by faith + works and Peter succumbed to their teaching out of fear.

But Paul, the apostle taught by Jesus Christ Himself, corrects their erroneous teaching by admonishing them and reminding them that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ alone!

Eileen~

GraceAmbassador
10-29-05, 05:26 PM
Since whatever pitiful charitable work my wife and I (mostly my wife) in missions was mentioned, let me make a few comments that I find proper:

Firstly of all I am totally in agreement with the thrust of Bob's story. Note that Mathias only wanted to regain fellowship with Dr. Luke because of "funds" needed for the poor. If you know Dr. Luke you would know that Dr. Luke was a charitable man who took care, most likely for free, of the aging and prisoner Paul. So Dr. Luke needed not prove anything to anyone else.

Secondly, the most difficult thing in being involved in charity, as my wife and I learned through the years is to get people to stop thinking that we do that "because we are Christians". Muslims practice charity in their own way; drug dealers all over the world are the most charitable men that you can find thus gaining the support of the populations to whom they offer such charity; there is a spiritualist very strong group in Brazil who calls for the "spirit of the dead", they have mediums, they write letters sent by the spirits, they deny the cross and the work of Christ, they deny that Salvation is Christ's work and they quote the Bible, especially Samuel and James (of all other books) to justify their own view that "charity saves". In fact this group could very well be the disciples of Mathias... and of course, some of the disciples of James.
I hope no one can say here that because they practice "charity" they are saved. As a matter of fact I call their charity a total "waste". But they own orphanages, old folk homes, asylums and other charitable places where people who have no means find shelter.

All of us here heard of the 7th day Adventist. You go all over the world and you will not find any group that is more charitable then they are and the works of benevolence that they do is hard to match. But they have dietary rules, they are sabbatharian, they believe is the craziest of all things and still try to appear as mainstream as they can possibly appear. They justify their "works of the law plus works of charity" as the "proof" of their salvation. Bob is very knowledgeable of this group.

So, charity is not the grounds for our salvation. Although all of us believe in this in principle, we still tend to associate "charity" with the "saved".

Paul tells us to be charitable, principally to the "household of faith". Paul tells us to take care of the real poor old widows who are in the fellowship of the ek-klesia and not just any widow. The good Samaritan had the means to help the poor man who was suffering by the wayside, when he was ignored by the religious people of those days who justified their ignorance of him in the ceremonies of the Jewish law.

Mathias was one who confused the "root of our nature" with the "fruit of our nature". He was properly treated by Dr. Luke and I wish he had learned some from Dr. Luke.

Do I think that Christians should not engage in charity? No! I think it is a product of our Salvation. Do I think that the charity they practice is a show of or prove of their consecration to the Lord. I seriously doubt it! There must have been a reason Jesus warned us that the right hand should not know what the left does in terms of charity and good works; it is all in the context of alms giving!

I have people who are charitable to me even from this very own fellowship in this Forum. But it is the fellowship between me and them; it is the same like faith that we share; it is the common calling we share that make them to be charitable to those who my family ministers charity. Not an "obligation" per se, wherein one blindly just gives as if God needed to be pleased, or He could be pleased by anything other than the Blood of Christ. Jesus teaches us to sow in fertile ground! Charity for charity sake may be a waste because it keeps throwing Godly resources into a dry ground.

A Salvation Army Major, a retired Godly man told me that people confuse what they do with what they are and he says that this is terrible! He was involved in charity and so were many ungodly organizations. So the unity of measure of his spirituality was NOT charity; it was rather, the work Christ exacted in his life.

Mathias was wrong; Mathias was nothing but a good person in the eyes of man. Mathias should have listened to Dr. Luke and then continued to do his charitable work founded in the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ and His work!

Milt

Bob Higby
10-30-05, 02:07 AM
Milt: If you know Dr. Luke you would know that Dr. Luke was a charitable man who took care, most likely for free, of the aging and prisoner Paul.

Yes! That will be one of the points as this story continues when Matt comes to himself and returns to visit Luke again and again!

Thanks also to Eileen and Scott for your observations and expression of truth!

lionovjudah
10-30-05, 07:23 AM
Since whatever pitiful charitable work my wife and I (mostly my wife) in missions was mentioned, let me make a few comments that I find proper:


Mathias was wrong; Mathias was nothing but a good person in the eyes of man. Mathias should have listened to Dr. Luke and then continued to do his charitable work founded in the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ and His work!

Milt

First of all Milt, do not downplay what you and your wife have done and continue to do. You serve our Mater well. I do nto see much unfaithfullness in matt's speak. Perhaps he was discusted with those who profess Love for God and neighbor, but do nothing to obey His command to charity.

This Love is not peripheral but central to the believers life in Christ.

Bob Higby
11-02-05, 09:42 PM
The Biblical Canon Study #4: Identifying the New Testament Canon #1

I. The Epistle to the Hebrews

As we move along in this most important endeavor, a picture is emerging of the difference between the traditional Reformed view, the Roman Catholic position, and the Christocentric view of discerning the canon of scripture. It has already been noted that Protestantism’s dogmatic error about the early closing of the 66-book canon, and its self-authenticating nature from the apostles’ day forward, is a major weapon in the Roman Catholic arsenal. We need to clearly understand the facts on this matter and sort out truth from fiction. Roman Catholicism in general wants to include a broad spectrum of contradictory theology in the canonical writings of ‘the church,’ which accomplishes the purpose of depreciating the authority of high-canon scripture and exalting religious tradition. But the Christocentric hermeneutic of Luther, in contrast to later Reformed views, would in some cases restrict the canon further than the Reformed position. There is a certainly recognition of a universally received core or superior canon by most believers from the first century on--but not an officially ‘closed’ New Testament canon including all of the books after Philemon in the current Bible.

As an introduction to the issue of discerning the New Testament Canon, please read the following Roman Catholic study. A few facts in the history presented need to be disputed. However, the myth of a self-authenticating and closed New Testament canon of 27 books as the faith of all believers since the first century is certainly exposed:


http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03274a.htm (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03274a.htm)

Roman Catholicism is quick to point out the Protestant errors in general but has typically been even more despising of Luther’s Christocentric position. Strangely, up until Luther’s separation the Catholics were tolerant of those within their own ranks who had doubts about the canonicity of certain books. The evidence for this fact has already been presented in other links.

No New Testament book has endured more controversy from the beginning than the letter to the Hebrews. The following study on this issue is excellent, especially on the refutation of the Hellenistic Jewish theory based on the Dead Sea Scrolls. The arguments based on a comparison of literary structure with other NT books certainly contain good points--but are very weak overall. Most of such arguments are weak in general, as authors of books typically do not use the same literary style and use of sources over the course of a long writing career. In addition, too much is assumed about the ‘implied’ theology of certain arguments made in Hebrews. Such assumptions are typical of scholars.

http://www.abu.nb.ca/courses/NTIntro/Heb.htm (http://www.abu.nb.ca/courses/NTIntro/Heb.htm)

We can see that Hebrews gained slow acceptance in some circles. The Muratorian fragment of the middle 2nd century does not mention it at all. Many ‘fathers’ were reluctant to include it in the higher canon, assuming its non-apostolic origin, and thus relegated it to the lower. Luther followed these arguments and also assumed Hebrews to be less than apostolic: though excellent in its exposition of Christ’s person and work. Of course, this conclusion obviously contradicted his otherwise Christ-centered hermeneutic of discerning scripture! It is critical to realize that from about 60 A.D. and after, false apostles and writings were legion. The task of discerning the true from the false became increasingly difficult, as so many writings came into circulation that claimed apostolic authority. Therefore, the late apostolic writings appeared in direct competition with the writings of the great apostasy. There was no sure and certain network of true believers with an easy communication to assure one another of which writings were genuine! In some cases such word was available, in many others the truth of a book had to be spiritually discerned. This is why the apostolic writings written at a later date have more of a history of controversy.

There is, of course, no way to demonstrate beyond all doubt who the author of Hebrews was. The arguments presented in the book are generally in line with Paul’s theology--but use a different approach and method of presentation. I personally accept the Lukan-Pauline authorship of the book for the following reasons:

1. The contemporary situation addressed by the book would imply a date not too long before the destruction of Jerusalem, probably very late in Paul’s ministry. This important fact, combined with the Pauline character of the teaching advanced, points to an authorship by someone intimately acquainted with Paul and his teaching in the final years before his martyrdom.

2. A comparison of Luke 1:1, 2, the terminology of Acts, and Heb. 2:3, 4 points to Luke as the author.

3. The literary style and structured argument of the book is characteristic of Luke’s other writings. As the study above points out, there is no evidence of Clement’s speculation that Paul originally wrote the book in Hebrew to Jewish Christians. Paul wrote very little from his own hand; even his epistles are mostly dictated. It is very possible that portions of Hebrews were dictated by Paul or contain his arguments as incorporated by Luke. But the writing itself was originally in Greek and addressed to Greek-speaking Jews.

4. The conclusion in chapter 13 is typically Pauline. This might even be the words of Paul appended to Luke’s work--or it might also be Luke’s own conclusion. The two men were constantly together in the late years of Paul’s earthly ministry and taught in the same circle of fellowship of believers (2 Tim. 4:11,12).

5. The conclusion to the letter was probably written from Italy (13:24) where Luke was with Paul in his final days.

6. There is no evidence that Barnabas or Apollos had an intimate acquaintance with Paul in his later years, which makes it unlikely that either of them is the author of the book.

There has been some theological controversy surrounding certain passages in Hebrews, as there certainly has been regarding some parts of the synoptic gospels, Acts, and John’s or Peter’s writings. The existence of such argument in no way constitutes a basis to reduce the canonical status of Hebrews to the lower canon. The book speaks with the same gospel authority as the rest of the apostolic writings.

The present author accepts Hebrews in the high-canon of scripture based on the arguments here presented.

Bob Higby
11-05-05, 09:24 PM
Who are the ‘we’ in Hebrews?

For we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. Heb. 10:39 NKJV

The epistle named ‘to the Hebrews’ constantly refers to a ‘we’ community that the author is part of. For this reason, some have proposed that Luke could not possibly be the author--since he was a gentile and the book is addressed to a Jewish community. Why do so many assume that the book is addressed primarily to Jews? I would propose that this is a wrong assumption and contrary to the whole emphasis of the book. In fact, the book has been tragically mis-named.

This letter is addressed to the Christian community everywhere, which certainly included a large number of Greek-speaking Jews at that time. So in reality it is a General Epistle, not an epistle written to Hebrews. The primary focus of the book is to exalt Christ in opposition to heresies of Talmudic and Hellenistic Judaism that constantly tortured the Christian community. It is because of the prominence of those heresies at the time that this book on the theme of Christ is superior was written.

There were at least four major Judaistic heresies spreading like wildfire in the early 60's A.D., which together constituted the major part of the mystery of iniquity at that time:

1. Talmudic Judaism. This is the Judaism that rejected the Lord Jesus Christ to teach and believe more and more fables about the Law, which we still have with us today in the three major sects of 21st century Judaism. It was not the Judaism of the Old Testament prophets in any sense, but a revisionist and sectarian religion of will-worship teaching justification by character and works. The religion claimed the great heritage of God’s past election and taught that the Way was a Johnny-come-lately sect on the lunatic fringe-- practicing a distorted worship of a man who was not due such honor. Some of the Talmudic Jews might have hailed Jesus as a great prophet (as some do today) and a few might even have believed that he rose from the dead. None believed that he was God the Son, the son of man (Dan. 7:13,14), or the Messiah.

2. Judaistic Christianity. This is what Paul opposed in Galatians, the notion that Christians must become Jews as a part of their obedience to God and obey the laws given to Israel in the Old Testament. Paul is very clear in his teaching that acceptance of such religion is apostasy from the grace of Christ and a denial of the Christian gospel (Gal. 1:8,9; 2:17,18; 4:8-10; 5:1-4).

3. Synchronism. The heresy opposed by Paul in Colossians was basically a Gnostic synthesis of Christian, Jewish, and Greek philosophy. It was an attempt to re-stage Judaistic Christianity with a different and more appealing face. The same Jewish laws were taught as the essential means to self-improvement along with other ascetic practices. In addition, a respect and worship of certain angels (principalities) was urged as the means to personal peace and fulfillment. These angels were believed to have certain powers and control over destiny that Christ was not sovereign over; hence the need to grant them worship in addition to Jesus.

4. Hellenistic Judaism. The religious differences between Greek-speaking Jews and those in Judea have been extremely over-emphasized by scholars. In reality, there is a huge overlap in the Judaism of the Talmud and that of Philo. The dogmatic free-will philosophy of the Pharisees and Sadducees comes straight from Platonic Greek philosophy. Closely related, though not accepted by all legalistic Jews, is the philosophy of Gnosticism. Although the Pharisees believed the doctrine of a resurrection, it is doubtful that many of them believed it according to the prophets. For many it was a doctrine of ‘afterlife’ that consisted of an eschatology of pure spirit. The resurrection became increasingly associated with the entry of the soul into the world of ideas at death, nothing more.

‘Christianized’ Gnosticism had its roots in Hellenistic Judaism. The doctrine in its very essence is a denial of the Christ of gospel revelation, since it denies that God can become incarnate in human flesh or that anyone can be resurrected in an immortal material body. But as to the external glories and correctness of Judaism in this life, Hellenistic Judaism was in agreement with Talmudic Judaism.

To believe and cherish any of these four prominent heresies was apostasy from Christ. For this reason, the epistle proclaiming Christ is superior was written to combat all Judaic heresy threatening the gospel of Jesus Christ. The mis-naming of the book as Hebrews was a historical blunder and led to doubt as to its author and canonical status. We do not know how this mistake originally happened. However, from the internal evidence of the epistle itself, we can see that it was a most unfortunate and tragic event.

Bob Higby
11-07-05, 06:32 PM
To those who have no works-phobia, I will state that you are not trembling before the gospel!

LOJ: Biblical compassion is not subjective to what we determine it is, but what God says it is. It is not a socialist system, true biblical compassion goes to the root of the issue.

If it is not socialist then it is discriminatory. You cannot have it both ways. Either the community of believers is responsible toward the gospel-believing poor or they are responsible to help ALL poor, it has to be one or the other.

It is not a feel good self imposed system to ease our guilt, scripture commands us to discern who is really in need vs those who are their for the free ride. But because we cannot always determine this, it is better to help both until we can know the truth.

Those in need who are BELIEVERS. The 'discernment' issue is often cited; the notion that we cannot USUALLY discern a liar who claims need is ridiculous.

Paul commands the church to care for "those widows who are really in need" (1 Tim. 5:3), but says that even in the body of Christ not every widow qualifies for church support.

Of course! He even says to give nothing to those under 60 years old, who are responsible to support themselves and their children by diligent labor!

God is the rescuer of the poor (Job 29:12; Psalm 35:10; Jer. 20:13).

Luke also quotes Christ in his gospel as teaching "blessed are ye poor"! But this is not ALL poor! It points out that the poor are often saved in greater numbers than the rich. And no one was more diligent in helping the POOR WHO BELIEVED THE GOSPEL than Dr. Luke!

So in regards to your story Bob, perhaps Luke has not seen the plight of the needy, perhaps like us he has isolated himself from the destitute, perhaps like some he has left part of the Gospel out, because if he had known the WHOLE council of God, he would have answered much differently.

Are we talking about the same person? Obviously not!

lionovjudah
11-08-05, 10:25 AM
To those who have no works-phobia, I will state that you are not trembling before the gospel!

I do not know what this means



If it is not socialist then it is discriminatory. You cannot have it both ways. Either the community of believers is responsible toward the gospel-believing poor or they are responsible to help ALL poor, it has to be one or the other.

I disagree. We help one at a time. To excuse ourselves because the mountain appears insurmountable is weak. And to limit this to some arbitrary gospel believing poor is exactly the opposite of what Christ exemplified.

Did he not die for us while we were enemies? He loved people who hated Him.



Those in need who are BELIEVERS. The 'discernment' issue is often cited; the notion that we cannot USUALLY discern a liar who claims need is ridiculous.

Bob, you can discern a free loader.




Of course! He even says to give nothing to those under 60 years old, who are responsible to support themselves and their children by diligent labor!

See above. But not all poor are able to help themselves. Again the cliche' "GOd helps those who help themselves" which is 100% anti Christ/ Anti Gospel, is used as a cloak for our apathy. Am I to ask, "Excuse me sir, I will help you if you believe the Gospel" This again is not expressed in the writ. Go to a family who does nto ave any idea where their next meal is coming from and they do not want to hear about limited atonement without feeding them. We are commanded to do both. Talk to them about Christ and help them.

The fallacy of liberation theology is to say praxis is the way. To speak of corporate sin instead of salvation of individuals. I am not condoning anything of the sort. Salvation is NOT the liberation from the oppressors, or forms of exploitation. We must proclaim the Gospel to them and not only feedthem, but wqe cannot forget the latter.







Are we talking about the same person? Obviously not!

I thought your story was fictional.. Did something like this actually happen?

Bob Higby
11-08-05, 08:09 PM
The 'remembering the poor' that Paul was exhorted to by the Jerusalem elders was in reference to the believing community at Jerusalem--they were in poverty due to persecution from the Jews. The Bible records Paul's gathering of offerings from the gentiles on their behalf. I know of nowhere where Christ ever stated that we are responsible for the masses of poor of the world. We are commanded to do good to all men--but that is not the same thing as a command to indiscriminately feed the poor everywhere. Certainly we are not obligated to give to ministries that feed the poor while teaching them a false gospel--and that is the point of the story.

The characters in the fictional story are real biblical characters.

Nowhere does the Bible say feed first, then teach the gospel. We are commanded to proclaim the truth first and foremost. We can certainly feed while teaching! But if an unbeliever indicates that their primary interest is economic aid we are not obligated to provide it.

Bob Higby
11-08-05, 09:31 PM
TIME: 67 A.D on a Saturday afternoon in November.

KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK on Dr. Luke’s front door.

Luke gets up from his favorite chair and slowly walks to the window beside the door. He sees Matthias Ben Jonas with whom he had exchanged a heated argument four weeks earlier. He makes his way to the door and opens it.

Matt: Good afternoon, Dr. Luke. Even though you will find it hard to believe after our last meeting together, I’m very glad to see you!

Luke: I’m glad that you came back Matt. What is on your mind today?

Matt: Luke, something terrible has happened. My soul is enduring a measure of sorrow that I cannot express adequately in words. After visiting you a month ago and returning to Jerusalem, I received word from James that Rabbi Paulus, the enemy of all Christians who maintain the Law of Moses is still in force, was killed in Rome by direct order from wicked Caesar Nero. Many of my colleagues were celebrating his death as the downfall of an enemy. They drank wine to excess at their parties and proudly shouted : "I’m exuberant that the bastard son of heathen Rome is gone!" I have resigned my position as head of Whole Earth Vision. After witnessing their reaction to Paul’s death, in conscience I can have no part in continuing any kind of work with these men--no matter how much I have disagreed with Paul’s teaching in the past and still do in the present. I’m coming to you not because we agree--but simply because I have no friends left on earth! My wife and children have also left me--insisting that if I would not repent of my errors and plead for my job to be re-instated, they would have to cast me out as an enemy of God and his Law.

Luke: Matt, God certainly works in mysterious ways! I’m persuaded that He has taken you through these experiences to prepare your soul for the GREATNESS of the gospel. I certainly did not expect to see you this soon after the nature of our last visit. Are you willing to listen to a story, my story, which is something amazing and mighty in testimony of God’s grace the such of which you have never heard before?

Matt: Well, Luke, I would not have listened to you at all a month ago but now I’m all ears!

Luke: Well, as a humble start, James found out about Paul’s death from me. I’m sure that he was the one who sent you to me a month ago. Apparently, after you talked to him about your experience here, he decided to come and visit me personally. What you probably did not know is that I have only been back in Syria four months now. I was gone for five years traveling with Paul before that! Paul had sent for me when he was informed of his pending release in six months from his house-arrest in Rome. At that time I was here finishing up my second book to Theophilus, governor of this region, on the history of events since the resurrection of Jesus. Theo became a Christian while I was gone and now fellowships with the believers here in Antioch. Oh what a joy it was to share with him when I returned! Although I had known him for 30 years prior, it was the first time that we interacted as fellow-believers!

After I traveled to Rome almost 6 years ago, I had several months of sweet fellowship with Paul before he was released from house arrest. He was staying at the home of his brother Rufus the senator and preaching to the masses in Rome from there!. After Paul gained his freedom, we prepared and embarked on his fourth and final missionary journey to the countries west of Italy. Paul preached the gospel as faithfully in Spain, England, Germany, and France as he had everywhere else in the former years here in Asia. And the message of Christ was more readily received in the West than anywhere else! I cannot begin to explain in words the joy in Christ that we experienced together. Those were the very best years of my life!

It took Nero’s army two years to find Paul after the order was given to arrest him. They finally apprehended us at Lyon in southern France. I was with Paul at every moment from then on up until witnessing his death. Matt, a large number who saw him executed committed to lifelong faith in Jesus Christ on the spot! Although we cannot expect that such miracles will always happen, it is fitting that such great wonders did occur at the death of Christ’s greatest human teacher other than himself!

Matt: I’m stunned and amazed, Luke. What a story! I am conscious of my great sin this day; always pursuing great programs to help the poor and not thinking through WHY I’m doing it and whether it is for the right reasons.

Luke: Well, Matt, I have good news for you! I’m inviting you to stay with me here for as long as you like. I have just resumed my medical practice a few months back and I need another assistant. Business is going better than I had planned. When I returned here I was broke except for still owning this property; I had expended all of my means on the needy believers in Rome and Europe and in supporting Paul’s ministry!

Matt: Oh, Luke, that would be great! I accept! I so apologize for the great sin of naming you a cruel and heartless man at our last meeting. At least the Lord has shown me the awful thing I did then, even though I still don’t agree with what I have been told about the teaching of you and Rabbi Paul.

Luke: Matt, I will continue to pray for you earnestly. My prayers since your last visit have certainly been remarkably answered by the Lord!

lionovjudah
11-10-05, 12:31 PM
Nowhere does the Bible say feed first, then teach the gospel. We are commanded to proclaim the truth first and foremost. We can certainly feed while teaching! But if an unbeliever indicates that their primary interest is economic aid we are not obligated to provide it.

I agree with this Bob. This is what I meant by discerning the persons motives.

Feeding them will not cure the disease of sin, only Christ can. Procalim first and foremost is correct.

Eileen
11-10-05, 07:18 PM
This story is right now the only thing I am reading here so I do hope you continue Bob......it is fascinating!

There are little golden nuggets buried in it and maybe the ones I see are only nuggets for me (the Lord truly does work in mysterious ways) but I look forward to the continuing saga...

Thanks
Eileen~

Bob Higby
11-12-05, 08:34 PM
Thanks Eileen, I'm thrilled in the Lord that you have been edified!

I will continue to post additional episodes of Luke vs. Matt. and additional studies on the canon. I'm working on James right now. However, today my priorities have shifted and I'm starting to work on a new lengthy article entitled "The Trinity Foundation: My Joyful Tribute and Bitter Dissension". The article will celebrate all of the past triumphs of the TF and also clearly state all points of my current dissension. This effort is absolutely necessary as a response to recent lies about this forum and must take priority above all other things until I'm finished with it! --Bob

Bob Higby
11-27-05, 08:06 PM
Luke vs. Matt, part III
TIME: 67 A.D on a late Sunday night in December
Background: Matt has now worked a month assisting Luke in his medical practice. Luke and Matt have just arrived at Luke’s home to retire for the night--after attending the weekly Christian worship service at Antioch which was a 30-year custom celebrated by believers there.

Matt: Luke, I’m amazed! I cannot explain what I have witnessed these last few weeks in worshiping with the Antioch believers. The teaching goes against almost everything that I have promoted for over 30 years as a member of the party of James (Gal. 2:12a)! Nonetheless, I have a clear and indestructible persuasion that the Holy Spirit of God is present here in a powerful manifestation that he never exhibited among my former Jerusalem sect. Yet I still cannot accept all of your doctrines that promote a total abolition of the law of God given to the ancient Fathers of Israel.

Luke: I completely understand what you are thinking on this matter. Some of your presuppositions are distorted, such as the notion that the former commandments of God are rendered completely useless by the superior command to believe in Jesus Christ. God gave the former law as a necessary schoolmaster to restrain sin--until the time that our God and Savior Jesus Christ came into the world to provide salvation for us in his infinite grace! But I trust and know that he will lead you into this glorious truth in his own time.

Matt: Luke, the crux of the matter is this: I have been torn between two different persuasions ever since Paul came to Jerusalem 18 years ago. Since the Gentile churches claim that Paul is the twelfth apostle, I naturally fought against that notion--since the Jerusalem apostles cast the lot that fell and appointed me as the twelfth. No doubt this attitude may have been selfish. Nonetheless, does God lie and frustrate us in his workings? Up until now, the doctrines of Paul have been perceived as heresy by the party of James and continue to be. Even though I am no longer accepted by them, I certainly do not reject all of their beliefs. Some of them I still consider to be sound.

Luke: Matt, have you ever investigated what really happened in the meetings between Paul and the Jerusalem elders? I know that you felt slighted for not being invited. However, the party you have been associated with has continued to promote falsehoods about the agreement reached there--ever since the day that Peter, John, James, Barnabas, and Paul joined hands in fellowship and commitment to the gospel that Paul was commissioned to (Gal.2:9).

Matt: I don’t know about that. Why hasn’t James ever explained this to me? If he signed on to what Paul was preaching, why has he not explicitly denied the beliefs of his fellow Jewish Christians who teach the necessity of obeying the Torah? It has always seemed to me that James wavers back-and-forth in his convictions. He is a man in torment in his soul. But I have noticed during all the years since that meeting that Peter and John do not agree with him on many things. Peter finally left Jerusalem to promote the same teaching as Paul. John withdrew from us to write his own account of the life and teachings of Jesus. Rumor has it that since Paul was killed, John is ready and willing to teach Paul’s gospel and be another apostle to the Gentiles. I’m really, really confused and disturbed about all of this!

Luke: You are correct in most of your conclusions. James has never consistently defended Paul’s gospel to the nations that he claims to believe, yet unlike the totally unbelieving among your former Jewish associates–due to conscience and conviction he will not deny it. Peter and John have unwaveringly believed the true gospel all these years--but have had a hard time understanding their mission with respect to it. They ultimately left Jerusalem and the fellowship of the party of James because they could no longer continue there in denial of their gospel convictions. In addition, they heeded the warning of our Lord to leave (Mark 13:14), knowing that the destruction of Jerusalem is immanent.

Matt: Well Luke, you seem to present an impregnable argument. But let us get back to the basic question: does God accept and acquit those who despise and trample upon the Law that he gave to his ancient people? That is the real question.

Luke: Your question is asked based on false premises. The law given to Israel was a schoolmaster leading to faith in Jesus Christ–which faith is the only evidence of justification before God. No true believer despises and tramples upon the law given through Moses. However, we need to recognize that God has established a superior means of salvation above law in the atonement of his Son. The law of Moses could protect from destruction IN THIS LIFE those who obeyed it externally, however, that type of obedience can never merit ETERNAL LIFE! To demonstrate that we are heirs of the everlasting kingdom of God initiated in his Son Jesus Christ, we must abandon the merit of our own character and rest solely in the merits of what Jesus has accomplished in his obedience and death!

Matt: You have presented some good notions, Luke. ALMOST I’m persuaded to become a believer in Paul’s gospel, but not yet!

Luke: I’ll continue to pray for you Matt!

M.K. Nawojski
11-28-05, 03:05 PM
Greetings all,

Having spent some weeks, as a “guest,” perusing the information presented/discussed on this site -- and by that means, having made what I thought was a judicious assessment of the standards imposed by the moderators, to ensure acceptable levels of soundness in the material and circumspection in the dialogue -- I recently joined the ranks of the 5solas membership.

Then I stumbled onto this “Multi-Level Canon” discussion.

To launch the thread, R. R. Higby wrote: “If the issue of the canon is to be re-opened and re-studied . . . . The bottom line is this: the notion of a true closing of the canon is historical revisionism. I believe that Luther is correct in defining THE GOSPEL AS THE BASIS OF THE CANON, NOT . . . THAT THE CANON DEFINES THE GOSPEL. The self-authenticating nature (as affirmed by the Holy Spirit) of the apostolic writings rich in THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST provides the standard by which to evaluate the ALLEGED INSPIRATION of other writings [emphasis mine].”

I’ve got to say I was stunned by the subtle circular reasoning thus couched, in words that seem to augur for a desirable Christian pursuit. But surely regenerate individuals should preface the decision to undertake such an exercise with some clear, uncompromising questions. For example, if believers currently have no defined canon, can we be sure of anything? If we currently have no defined canon, how is this “gospel of Christ” (so glibly referenced by Mr. Higby) to be discovered and clarified? If we currently have no defined canon, do we have an unshakeable foundation for ANY of the doctrines we hold and promote? To what specific method does Mr. Higby refer, when he mentions “the self-authenticating nature of the apostolic writings,” as “affirmed by the Holy Spirit”? And who -- among the irreverent theologians who might associate themselves with such a venture! -- would be selected as the “final authority” on the "new" canon? (Even the Roman Pope has not had clear sailing with this type of “speaking ex cathedra” business.)

In Col. 1:25, Paul says it was given to him to fulfill (i.e., to make full, to render full, to make complete) the Word of God. This completion of the Word of God has consequences. It means the sign gifts have now ceased, so believers are no longer given necessary knowledge (or “sermons”) supernaturally, as in Mark 13:11 (“But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.”) It means Truth must be sought via the completed Word, which we have in the historical Protestant canon (Eph. 4:1-6; II Tim. 2:15). And this Truth must be sought by diligent, laborious study – not crafty imaginations, vain fancies, sly inventiveness.

I freely admit to not having read the entire twelve pages of the Multi-Level Canon thread -- I have more worthwhile tasks than that to occupy my mind! – but, after glancing over the first pages, I did scan the final offerings, as well. And I can’t really say I was surprised! On the contrary, it seemed quite fitting that a thread which was launched on the premise that the canon does not define the gospel (but the gospel defines the canon) has now slid to promoting stark, unabashed fables -- and this in the face of Paul’s clear admonition to the Body of Christ in I Tim. 1:1-4; I Tim. 4:1-11; II Tim. 4:1-8; and Tit. 1:1-14.

I close with a reminder that the commission of such profane activities does not fall under the comfortable umbrella of mere “academic exercise” but, on the contrary, it is reminiscent of Lucifer’s dialogue with Eve in the Garden of Eden (“Yea, hath God said . . .”), and it will reap commensurate eternal consequences.

Mary Kae

Brandan
11-28-05, 03:28 PM
Thanks Mary,

I have a few questions.

Who defined the current canon? (*hint* it wasn't the apostles)

What authority did they have for defining the canon?

Why do you or don't you include the apocrypha in your "canon?"

I find it remarkable that you do not see the circular reasoning of your arguments, yet you unconscionably slam us for "subtly" introducing circular reasoning into our arguments. Apparently it is ok for you to have YOUR canon defined for you by the protestant reformers or the roman catholics, but it's not ok for us to have OUR canon defined by our own understanding of the Gospel.

This is what I hear you saying: We shouldn't be having a discussion over the canon because the canon is quite clear that it is the canon and besides that was taken care for us because I trust that the council knew what it was doing, and apparently I along with you do not have the knowledge or authority to determine for ourselves what is to be included in the canon, and HOW DARE YOU FOR NOT AGREEEING WITH ME!

Now that's circular reasoning!

But that's beside the point. Personally I don't have a problem with circular reasoning; and I also believe that it is necessary to come to an understanding of the truth. Men are dependent upon God for the knowledge of the truth, but how do they come to this understanding? They presuppose that they will depend on God for knowledge of the truth. See, it's circular!

The difference between me and you is I believe present day saints have the authority to determine what is truly God-breathed scripture, and you do not. You believe that ancient councils long after the death of the Apostles had the authority to determine the canon for me, and I don't. You believe that the protestant reformers had the authority to negotiate with the catholics to keep the book of James in the canon, and I don't have the authority to reject it as non-canonical. To me, your position is one of popery and authoritarianism.

But anyway, welcome to 5solas.

Brandan

GraceAmbassador
11-28-05, 08:43 PM
In Col. 1:25, Paul says it was given to him to fulfill (i.e., to make full, to render full, to make complete) the Word of God. This completion of the Word of God has consequences. It means the sign gifts have now ceased, so believers are no longer given necessary knowledge (or “sermons”) supernaturally, as in Mark 13:11 (“But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.”) It means Truth must be sought via the completed Word, which we have in the historical Protestant canon (Eph. 4:1-6; II Tim. 2:15). And this Truth must be sought by diligent, laborious study – not crafty imaginations, vain fancies, sly inventiveness.
I really appreciate your zeal for the canon and the Word of God, but allow me to propose to you a few comments and questions based upon your statement quoted above:

On this first quote you must show undeniable and indisputable proof that Paul had in mind the "canon" as we had today and since you are so zealous for the canon, please also show us in the canon where it says above and beyond shadow of doubt that the gifts have ceased. Show me a scripture that says "Yea, behold, lo, I now cease my gifts...". It is easy to defend the canon and it is also commendable and we all appreciate one who defends it, but it is very hard to stick to it as strongly as one defends it. If you can't show a scripture that says something above and beyond any shadow of doubt in your canon and maintain that that canon is "sacred" (although you did not use the word "sacred"), to me is a contradiction and the allegiance to such a canon is not as strong as it may be purported.



I freely admit to not having read the entire twelve pages of the Multi-Level Canon thread -- I have more worthwhile tasks than that to occupy my mind! – but, after glancing over the first pages, I did scan the final offerings, as well. And I can’t really say I was surprised! On the contrary, it seemed quite fitting that a thread which was launched on the premise that the canon does not define the gospel (but the gospel defines the canon) has now slid to promoting stark, unabashed fables -- and this in the face of Paul’s clear admonition to the Body of Christ in I Tim. 1:1-4; I Tim. 4:1-11; II Tim. 4:1-8; and Tit. 1:1-14.
I close with a reminder that the commission of such profane activities does not fall under the comfortable umbrella of mere “academic exercise” but, on the contrary, it is reminiscent of Lucifer’s dialogue with Eve in the Garden of Eden (“Yea, hath God said . . .”), and it will reap commensurate eternal consequences.


Condescending remarks aside, how can you equate a fair assessment of what has been presented to us as The Canon to the dialogue Lucifer had with Eve?
How are we disputing the Word of God and how are we saying "Has not God said, as we discuss the canon that was dished out to us by an agreement of those interested in maintaining certain books in it for reasons that we cannot even fathon other than "religious convenience"? Do you really think we are questioning the Word of God if we feel that there are interpolations and portions of the books contained in the scriptures that could possibly not be "inspired" by God but placed in there by translators and so called "church fathers"? Let me know if I am as Lucifer for quesitioning James 2, a few of its verses. It would be interesting to know if I am reminiscent of Lucifer's dialogue with Eve for presenting my questions and points of view.

Again, I appreciate your zeal, but your zeal cannot respond to you who decided on the canon and why we have unquestionably to accept what they have decided as canon. Were the men who decided on the canon as we have it today "holy" and infallible man? If yes, then you are a reminiscent of the papacy infalibility dogma. You probably would better say: Rome sweet Rome! If not, then, why not debate what "not so holy man" have decided if the core message of the Gospel will remain intact?

Milt

M.K. Nawojski
11-28-05, 09:43 PM
Hello Brandan,

I was a bit disappointed that your response to my post assigned errors to me which I do not hold. I was more disappointed, however, that you completely side-stepped my central question, i.e., “If we currently have no defined canon, how is this “gospel of Christ” (so glibly referenced by Mr. Higby) to be discovered and clarified?”

Ah well, I’m an old lady and well used to disappointments. So be it. Nonetheless, I will sweep aside the “apocrypha” diversion of your post, and reply to what I perceive to be the central questions.

You wrote: “Who defined the current canon? (*hint* it wasn’t the
apostles)”

And you asked: “What authority did they have for defining the
canon?”

The canon of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) was defined and validated by Christ in Luke 24:44-48: “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that ALL THINGS MUST BE FULFILLED, WHICH WERE WRITTEN IN THE LAW OF MOSES AND IN THE PROPHETS, AND IN THE PSALMS CONCERNING ME. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things [emphasis mine].” In the Hebrew Scriptures, the portion of text which Christ here calls the “Law of Moses,” i.e., Torah, includes Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The portion of text which He here calls the “Prophets,” i.e., Nebi’im, includes Joshua, Judges, Samuel [I & II], Kings [I & II]”, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The portion of text which He here calls the “Psalms,” i.e., Kethubim/Writings, includes the Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Canticles [Song of Solomon], Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Chronicles [I & II]. Thus, in one brief statement, the Lord Jesus confirms the OT canon which we recognize and use today (although the various books are not necessarily arranged in that order).

The canon of the Greek Scriptures (New Testament) is comprised of “gospels” (i.e., inspired historical accounts, including the book of Acts) and epistles. These were written by apostles of Israel’s dispensation (i.e., Matthew, Mark, Luke [a proselyte of the gate], John, James, Peter, Jude [Judas], and the author of Hebrews [possibly Appolos]) -- and by Paul, whose epistles, in many cases, were co-authored by secondary Body apostles. In other words, the entire corpus of the Greek New Testament was written by either apostles of Israel’s dispensation or apostles of the Body dispensation. Moreover, in Galatians 2:1-10*, we have the inspired record of these two groups’ official recognition of each other’s apostleship, ministry, and message. And we have representative apostles from each group giving the “right hand of fellowship” to the other, in confirmation of this solemn acknowledgement. Since recognition of an apostle’s divine calling and commissioning necessarily entails recognition of the inspiration of his preserved writings – the Gal. 2:1-10 record serves as a definition and validation of the New Testament canon. (Also, please note that James, whose epistle is currently being called into question on the 5solas “Multi-Level Canon” thread, was present at this meeting and participated in the mutual giving and receiving of the right hand of fellowship.)

*Gal. 2:1-10: “Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas [Peter], and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.”

And finally, there’s the inspired statement by Paul, the primary apostle of the Body of Christ, regarding the fact that he himself had been personally commissioned by the risen Lord to complete the Word of God. In Col. 1:25-27, he writes: “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil (i.e., to make full, to complete) the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” If this inspired statement regarding Paul’s God-given commission is compared with his virtual “death-bed” testimony, recorded in II Tim. 3:16-4:18 (noticing particularly what he says about the “books” [i.e., the scrolls, the books of the OT] and “especially” the “parchments” [i.e., the gospels and epistles that comprise the NT] -- can any believer doubt that his purpose in having Timothy gather all these manuscripts together and bring them along for their final meeting was for the purpose of officially validating and arranging the books of both the Old AND New Testaments for the Body of Christ -- and to hand this completed and authenticated canon over to Body apostles and assemblies, for safekeeping, BEFORE his (i.e., Paul’s) fast-approaching final “hearing” at Caesar’s judgment seat and his subsequent execution. In the mouth of “two or three witnesses,” i.e., Paul and Timothy, every word would be (and was) established (cf. II Cor. 13:1b). Thus, members of the Body of Christ can rest in the knowledge that the God of Scripture is not malicious, nor is He the author of confusion -- but He is the all powerful and faithful Father Who has most assuredly given us His infallible, authoritative, and exhaustive Word, to guide our steps in this evil age.

I close with the referenced death-bed testimony of Paul, in context: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus. The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments. . . . At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Mary Kae

M.K. Nawojski
11-28-05, 09:50 PM
Greetings All,

I'm sorry to see that the program which uploads posts to the 5solas forum has created happy faces out of two of the parentheses in my second post.

In future, I hope I may come to understand enough about this system to avoid such glitches.

Especially in a post where I'm not attempting to make jokes or to generate levity of any kind.

MK

Bob Higby
11-28-05, 10:20 PM
Answers to MK:

I’ve got to say I was stunned by the subtle circular reasoning thus couched, in words that seem to augur for a desirable Christian pursuit.

It is the opposite view that is based on circular reasoning: the notion that we FIRST have to define and accept a CLOSED and SELF AUTHENTICATING canon as a basis of faith and only THEN believe the gospel that is within that canon. This would mean that belief in the scriptures is a CONDITION or PRECEDENT to genuine faith. Our view:

1. The Holy Spirit seals the gospel of Christ within the canon into our hearts.
2. Based on the preciousness of the gospel, the canon mediating Christ to our souls becomes clear.
3. We accept the true canon of scripture.

But surely regenerate individuals should preface the decision to undertake such an exercise with some clear, uncompromising questions. For example, if believers currently have no defined canon, can we be sure of anything? If we currently have no defined canon, how is this “gospel of Christ” (so glibly referenced by Mr. Higby) to be discovered and clarified? If we currently have no defined canon, do we have an unshakeable foundation for ANY of the doctrines we hold and promote?

We have a clearly defined core canon; I have established this again and again. To state that I have proposed otherwise only shows ignorance of the position that I have set forth on the doctrine of the core canon. I have challenged but a few books in the commonly accepted Protestant canon (for legitimate reasons) and also pointed out the illogical method used to exalt certain books while trampling down others that testify to Christ.

GraceAmbassador
11-28-05, 10:35 PM
Mk:

Your response is the same we have had for ages and clings to traditional thinking. I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard this explanation.

I still do not know how can people possibly infer or accept that when Paul spoke of "all scriptures are inspired by God" he was thinking about the writings of James and every single book and knew how to exclude the apocrypha.

Your answer was very good but a repetition of the same arguments we attempt to politely and fairly question here. The fact that is a repetition does not make something necessarily wrong, but it certainly does not make it right either.

How can Paul stating that "all scriptures are inspired by God" be equal to the "deciding" of the canon by the so called "church fathers"? I don't see the connection here.

Paul could be speaking of "all the scriptures of the Old Testament, his writings, and the early apostles writings if one is to believe that Paul considered the early apostles writings as "scriptures". One thing is certain though: Paul would not call scriptures which contradict his teachings lest he would make his own teaching not inspired. That's why we question a few scriptures, including but not limited to James.

There is no reason for scandal and offense in discussing the authenticity of certain texts and even books and to imply that such a discussion is reminiscent of Lucifer; In fact, to keep people in darkness and pose sensationalist arguments as if wanting to scare people away from questioning certain writings thus maintaining one blinded by shady concepts is not only reminiscent of Lucifer but it is his work and it has been his poorly creative tactic since the world began.

For a long time theologians have disputed the authenticity and inspiration of portions of Mark 16. It has been OK for many because Mark 16 speaks of things that for many denominations notions spoken in Mark 16 are nothing but anathema. I, and other moderators here believe that questioning portions of what has been given to us as "canon" is nothing new, nothing wrong and to our advantage we don't have an agenda to prove that the "other guys" are anathema.

Milt

M.K. Nawojski
11-29-05, 06:30 AM
Hello Milt,

In response to my original post, you wrote:

“ . . . since you are so zealous for the canon, please also show us in the canon where it says above and beyond shadow of doubt that the gifts have ceased. Show me a scripture that says ‘Yea, behold, lo, I now cease my gifts...’.”

As I do not have unlimited time and energy, I will leave your challenge regarding the “sign gifts” for another day.

You also wrote:

“If you can't show a scripture that says something above and beyond any shadow of doubt in your canon and maintain that that canon is ‘sacred’ (although you did not use the word ‘sacred’), to me is a contradiction and the allegiance to such a canon is not as strong as it may be purported. . . . Condescending remarks aside, how can you equate a fair assessment of what has been presented to us as The Canon to the dialogue Lucifer had with Eve? How are we disputing the Word of God and how are we saying ‘Has not God said, as we discuss the canon that was dished out to us by an agreement of those interested in maintaining certain books in it for reasons that we cannot even fathon other than ‘religious convenience’? Do you really think we are questioning the Word of God if we feel that there are interpolations and portions of the books contained in the scriptures that could possibly not be ‘inspired’ by God but placed in there by translators and so called ‘church fathers’? Let me know if I am as Lucifer for quesitioning James 2, a few of its verses. It would be interesting to know if I am reminiscent of Lucifer's dialogue with Eve for presenting my questions and points of view. . . . Were the men who decided on the canon as we have it today ‘holy’ and infallible man? If yes, then you are a reminiscent of the papacy infalibility dogma. You probably would better say: Rome sweet Rome! If not, then, why not debate what ‘not so holy man’ have decided if the core message of the Gospel will remain intact?”

I believe the original autographs were perfect, and -- having come from the pen of the original (fallible) human authors under inspiration and oversight of the Holy Spirit (II Pet. 1:19-21) -- that they contained the perfect Word (and words) of God. Moreover, I believe that perfect Word was and is robust enough to be recoverable today, if the available manuscripts are diligently compared, and their words translated into the various languages of the world by the normal rules of grammar (i.e. by the grammatical-historical or “normative” hermeneutic). But on the subject of the second chapter of James, are you telling me that there is text inserted into that portion of Holy Writ without support from the available Greek manuscripts?

In response to my second post, you wrote:

“One thing is certain though: Paul would not call scriptures which contradict his teachings lest he would make his own teaching not inspired. That's why we question a few scriptures, including but not limited to James.”

Individuals whose theological stance causes them to imagine contradictions between the epistle of James and Paul’s epistles need to correct their theology -- not to go looking for ways to eliminate the book of James from the New Testament canon.

You also wrote:

”There is no reason for scandal and offense in discussing the authenticity of certain texts and even books and to imply that such a discussion is reminiscent of Lucifer; In fact, to keep people in darkness and pose sensationalist arguments as if wanting to scare people away from questioning certain writings thus maintaining one blinded by shady concepts is not only reminiscent of Lucifer but it is his work and it has been his poorly creative tactic since the world began. . . . For a long time theologians have disputed the authenticity and inspiration of portions of Mark 16. It has been OK for many because Mark 16 speaks of things that for many denominations notions spoken in Mark 16 are nothing but anathema. I, and other moderators here believe that questioning portions of what has been given to us as ‘canon’ is nothing new, nothing wrong and to our advantage we don't have an agenda to prove that the ‘other guys’ are anathema.”

I do not deny that there are mistranslations and mistakes in every English translation of the Holy Scriptures (e.g., insertions of words and/or phrases that are absent from all Greek manuscripts). I cannot comment on translations in any other languages. But the “Multi-Level Canon” thread is discussing -- not the duty of believers to use all available tools to identify and correct these mistakes and/or mistranslations! – but rather is promoting the elimination of whole books, based on the arbitrary assumption that they contradict other books.

And now I have a question for you: if I continue to post in this forum, can I expect my words to be always read and restated in a manner which guarantees that any minor imperfection in my communication will lend itself to the most radical and ridiculous interpretation possible?

MK

Mickey
11-29-05, 11:23 AM
Individuals whose theological stance causes them to imagine contradictions between the epistle of James and Paul’s epistles need to correct their theology -- not to go looking for ways to eliminate the book of James from the New Testament canon.

I guess I have to correct my theology now because I believe that we are justified by the blood of Christ alone, but James teaches that we are justified by works. So tell me how I am to understand James' teaching on 'Justification' and how my understanding of Justification is wrong.

Also if you say that James is not speaking of Justification before God then you have to prove that he is not. If you can do this then I will change my view on the book of James.

GraceAmbassador
11-29-05, 04:53 PM
Individuals whose theological stance causes them to imagine contradictions between the epistle of James and Paul’s epistles need to correct their theology -- not to go looking for ways to eliminate the book of James from the New Testament canon.


Dear M.K.:

I believe that the burden of proof is on those who defend James does not contradict with Paul to show us how his defense of Salvation by works, so clearly stated there, or at least a combination of works/faith, is not what he, James, is saying. I heard all kinds of theological gymnastics explaining that text, but, nay, as of yet none of them match:

The context
the target audience to whom James wroteIt is possible that Erasmus interpolated (either him or someone else) portions of chapter 2 in James, but it is no surprise to me that the most Jewish of all the apostles wrote himself his problem with salvation by justification by faith alone.

I don't want to get a side issue, but do you "anoint the sick with oil believing that the prayer of faith shall save the sick and if he (either the sick person or the praying person) has committed any sin, such ritual will save him from his sins"? James teaches that. If you partially believe in what James said, either because of its timing (...it must have been for "those days"...) or because of any other reason, how does that differ from us disputing the authenticity of and inspiration of James? Believing partially one text because of its timing and progressive revelation (for example: the progression from killing lambs to believing the Lamb of God) may be fair and correct as much as disputing the authenticity and canonicity of certain texts, either the same texts or other ones.

As to the gifts, I suggest you to search the forum (provided you find time and energy to reply and research as well as propose) and find my position in the issue.



And now I have a question for you: if I continue to post in this forum, can I expect my words to be always read and restated in a manner which guarantees that any minor imperfection in my communication will lend itself to the most radical and ridiculous interpretation possible?



Sister. we quote exactly to avoid ridiculous interpretations. Please, do continue to post in this Forum, but understand that we quote by clicking in the icon "quote". Please, show me where I lend a most radical and ridiculous interpretation on what you said and then used such a ridiculous interpretation here in public and I will be glad to give my hand to the spankers...

Milt

samohtwerdna
11-29-05, 07:38 PM
Dear M.K.,

Thanks for your posts on this thread and your interest in spite of the fact that you've better things to do (no jest intended)

For the record (once again) Men do not and have not DECIDED the canon. Historically they receive the canon, but the Holy Spirit alone decides what is and what is not canon. Also for the record - this has always been the historic Christian position way before the reformation. Sure there have been corrupt men in all places that have attempted to say "I / we have decided!!" (Marcion comes to mind) - So the question is not who Decided - for we know it was God himself, but rather how do we know what God gave as canon for His people. I have already posted a bit on the possible ways, but I maintain that the Redemptive Historical is the only consistent and proper method that does not place the authority of the canon in the hands of man (any man even the best intentioned man)

I like your beginning question and hope that someone will attempt to answer it faithfully

In Christ,

samohtwerdna
11-29-05, 08:56 PM
Concerning the burden of proof,

In response to M.K.'s statement that 'those who imagine contradictions between James and Paul need to correct their theology , not try to find ways to dismiss James' - (not an exact quote I know) Milt and Mike purposed the Idea that to support James as canon we need to provide proof of its canonicity. It is interesting that the proof is put to the majority position - but besides this the idea of proof itself is fascinating. It seems what we really want is to be convinced. We assume that some logical, rational argument is what it takes to convince - so we are practically to the point of saying my will decides based on my grid what is to be canon to me so in order for James to be part of the canon you have to make it / fashion it according to what I have already determined to be the core canon - if you can accomplish that I will gladly accept it! (forgive me Milt and Mike I know I am taking some liberties here)

The sheer majesty and gravity of the scripture would seem to be so belittled by this kind of approach. Please understand, I am not anti-logic, but would you use this same idea of burden of proof to the text that says that Joshua made the sun stand still? I hope not. Or would you say that the scriptures cannot contain any mystery or difficulty to the human mind - Hard to be understood? - Understand that I am a firm believer in the perpescuity of the scripture! Is it not possible that You have misunderstood James? - I have read James several times in my Christian life, and never questioned its perfection. Not because I understand more than you, but because I don't see the contradiction in Saving Faith always being fruitful faith - the fruit of faith is an integral element of it just as love for God is. None of us would say we are saved by our love for God, but I think none of us would say that we are saved without it? Imagine faith without love! Why one could almost say that faith without love is dead! ( Oh, yeah Paul did ) Thus without any contradiction Paul has put faith and love together. And what has John done, well the poor fellow said that this is love - that you keep the commandments. So why should I marvel at James? Has he contradicted Paul - who clearly taught that faith needs love? No, I can't say that he has.

My real question is - can any of us ever be convinced against his own position? Will some of those that have questioned James ever be able to say - I have changed my position?

Well, I think that is up to the Lord, and what ever the case - I pray that he will open my eye's!

Thanks for the dialog Brothers

Mickey
11-29-05, 09:51 PM
It is interesting that the proof is put to the majority position - but besides this the idea of proof itself is fascinating. It seems what we really want is to be convinced.

Luther argued against the majority on many things.


Please understand, I am not anti-logic, but would you use this same idea of burden of proof to the text that says that Joshua made the sun stand still? I hope not

No, because there is nowhere in scripture that says "God did not stop the sun in Joshua". If this were the case would you simply say that it is above us and we will never fully understand God's ways on this side of the curtain?

What we are dealing with is a contradiction. The majority says it's not a contradiction but a mystery. There is a huge difference in a contradiction and a mystery.

Examples of a mystery:

1.) Who all of the elect are at present.
2.) Christ's 2nd advent

Examples of a contradiction:

1.) We are justified by faith alone...no wait...we are justified by faith and works.
2.) Jesus is God...Jesus was sinful for a few hours

The problem is that when we try to discuss this, those who hold to James as cannon flee to the assumption that because James has been accepted as cannon for 1500 years that it must be God's word. Well who can argue with that? "Because it's there it must be God's word." Well can I use that logic with my sin? "I slept with that whore and killed her so I didn't have to pay her. It happened so it must be from God. It's been happening for longer than 1500 years so it must definitely be from God." That’s absurd but it's the same thing that the defenders of James do.

I can allude the facts too by just saying, "God just hasn't opened your eyes yet to see the error in James, maybe He will someday."


Is it not possible that You have misunderstood James?

Yes it is possible. Is it also possible that you have misunderstood James?



None of us would say we are saved by our love for God, but I think none of us would say that we are saved without it? Imagine faith without love! Why one could almost say that faith without love is dead! ( Oh, yeah Paul did ) Thus without any contradiction Paul has put faith and love together.


Context Andrew...context!



And what has John done, well the poor fellow said that this is love - that you keep the commandments. So why should I marvel at James?


Give me a "C"...Give me an "O"...give me an "N"...give me a "T"...give me an "E"...give me an "X"...give me a "T"…what’s that spell? CONTEXT!

Did John say we are justified by Love? Because we are talking about Justification before God (just like James was). John and Paul in the occasions you bring up were not speaking of Justification before God.


My real question is - can any of us ever be convinced against his own position? Will some of those that have questioned James ever be able to say - I have changed my position?

I too never questioned James for many years because I held to your position. But I also held to free-will at one time as well.



Well, I think that is up to the Lord, and what ever the case - I pray that he will open my eye's!


Amen. Same goes for me.



Thanks for the dialog Brothers


Thank you Brother.

Mike

GraceAmbassador
11-29-05, 09:54 PM
The sheer majesty and gravity of the scripture would seem to be so belittled by this kind of approach. Please understand, I am not anti-logic, but would you use this same idea of burden of proof to the text that says that Joshua made the sun stand still? I hope not. Or would you say that the scriptures cannot contain any mystery or difficulty to the human mind - Hard to be understood? - Understand that I am a firm believer in the perpescuity of the scripture! Is it not possible that You have misunderstood James? - I have read James several times in my Christian life, and never questioned its perfection. Not because I understand more than you, but because I don't see the contradiction in Saving Faith always being fruitful faith - the fruit of faith is an integral element of it just as love for God is. None of us would say we are saved by our love for God, but I think none of us would say that we are saved without it? Imagine faith without love! Why one could almost say that faith without love is dead! ( Oh, yeah Paul did ) Thus without any contradiction Paul has put faith and love together. And what has John done, well the poor fellow said that this is love - that you keep the commandments. So why should I marvel at James? Has he contradicted Paul - who clearly taught that faith needs love? No, I can't say that he has.

My real question is - can any of us ever be convinced against his own position? Will some of those that have questioned James ever be able to say - I have changed my position?

Well, I think that is up to the Lord, and what ever the case - I pray that he will open my eye's!

Thanks for the dialog Brothers

Andrew:

As far as I am concerned, and I am sure as far as Mike is concerned as well, it is OK for you to participate of this dialog.

As you your proposition here, let me comfort you by saying that I have no problem with miracles, with the sun stopping, I read a book that proves that the earth's ages misses one day and the author says that it can only be that the sun stopped for a day and he finds the answer in Joshua (don't ask me the source since I read this book when I was interested in bible trivia), and as a matter of fact, I go even more on the conservative side by defending miracles literally.

My question with the book of James and the arguments made in favor of it are the same in principle that I make about the "ceasing of the gift". I want a better explanation for chapter 2 of James. To try and prove that James is speaking about "justification before men" is not according to James Jewishness, James target audience and theme of his letter, Context and the examples he cites in the text such as Abraham.

Now, if James is not speaking about "justification before man" as we propose here (Me, Mike, Bob and others), then he is speaking of "justification before God; I don't see any other option. If he is speaking about justification before God by works along with faith, then he is contradicting Paul.

We can conclude two things (and please, do not label me a dispensationalist):

Paul's epistle is older and is superior in Revelation and crowns all revelations and when James wrote his text the ek-klesia was still under Jewish rule, meeting in the Synagogue (see Acts 15), thus God allowed this "half-way" understanding of the Gospel as He was Sovereignly preparing for the ultimate Revelation of Salvation by Grace alone, no works involved at all that He would give Paul, or
James, as it was clear in the Jewish mind from the O.T. and N.T., as described in the Gospel, very concerned about what to do with the poor and how to "show" one's Salvation by deeds of charity, which then progressed into a condition for salvation. In other words, in James frame of mind it was impossible for one to be saved by Grace alone apart from works of charity, or
James wrote that because he disputed Paul's theology, which is unlikely because I don't think Paul had written anything or very little, perhaps not even taught what he taught when James wrote his epistles, or
James taught something similar to what Paul taught, which we have no knowledge of but some of his disciples, contemporary or later, even a translator decided to "twist" his writings so as to justify a hybrid doctrine of "salvation by Grace plus works", which is what MOST CULTS, such as the spiritualists of Brazil and all over the world, new agers, and the mother of all cults, the Roman Catholic Church teach as well.Whatever the case, chapter two is in contradiction with Paul's teachings and attempting to reconcile Paul and James 2 is to abandon all the other criteria used to interpret other texts of the Bible. It would be the mother of all inconsistencies in hermeneutics. It has been tried in this Forum and all over the Internet and in some Reformed circles. It is flimsy and it does not make sense.

I repeated numerous times that I believe that James is a book of good social behavior. I can be used to teach Christians how to behave in a world where the "poor we shall always have with us"; it teaches us how to act when illnesses afflict our fellow Christians... But it is not an universal ecclesiological epistle and it is not soteriological in the least. I don't want to use the term "lesser canon" because that implies "some canonicity". I seek a better explanation and there is nothing in the Word of God that forbids me from searching the answer.

In the meantime I will preach about James when I need a book to show Christians that social position is and means nothing; that we have to treat everybody equally however their social class is... But I have other 65 books in the Bible to teach the same thing! The advantage of the other 65 books is that they speak of or point to Jesus as the promise, the fulfillment of the promise, the sacrifice, The Man, The Servant, The Son of God, The King, and the example of everything we could possibly want in a man's character.

Well, that's all I have to say in response to your nice interaction.

(Sorry if I keep spelling "cannon" with one "n"... I believe it may be because my son is in a war in Iraq...)

Milt

samohtwerdna
11-30-05, 08:04 AM
Thanks Milt and Mike,

FYI, canon is the correct spelling for rule or measuring rod - as in the canon of scripture.

Mike,
Is there a context where Faith can be without love? Is there a context where love will not act in accord with the commandments? - If the the question of context is all we need to change meaning - why do you not like the commentary of some one like say John Gill on James who claims the very same thing. James is a different "context" - would that not solve all our woes over His bold statement that by works a man is justified and not by faith alone?

It seems obvious to me that James is refuting those that say they can be saved "elect" and not manifest any good work. Justified means declared righteous - James says how can one be declared righteous without righteousness to show for it? - It also seem to me that their might be some confusion about Paul's Gospel. Paul would not deny that Christ was a righteous propitiation for us. Nor would he say that our salvation is not by the perfect fulfillment of righteousness. He would just maintain that the legal act is one of substitution - that Christ is our righteousness and he has given us that as a gift so that no man can boast. Therefore salvation is by the Grace of God alone - and it is understood by faith alone, which is also a gift, but that salvation was accomplished by the works of Christ. Whether you want to say Justified before God or Justified before men - Justification can never be devoid of good works (righteousness) the difference is that man is easily convinced where as God demands perfection. So we, none of us can be justified by OUR WORKS and as Gill points out we cannot be justified by our faith either - but through our gift given faith!

Milt,
I hope I have not abandoned all other criteria in my understanding of James. And I confess that I am a little shaky on the precise definition of "Justification" - am I wrong to assume that it means to be declared righteous - and not to be made righteous?

If I am not incorrect, please consider this humble question? When God declares "righteous"!! is he doing so where no righteousness can be found?

If I am incorrect - Please help me understand why substitutionary righteousness is not what Paul is talking about, because I believe that it (substitutionary righteousness) is the CONTEXT of the whole scripture and the Good News in the Gospel.

Andrew T. Adcock

lionovjudah
11-30-05, 09:45 AM
James does speak of justification by works before men. And Paul says the same thing in Romans 4.

Rom 4:2, : "If Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God."

SO Paul obviously knew of some other justification, by works before men. Or else why put "But not before God"

James 2:23 speaks of Abrahams justification before God, James 2:24 speaks about justification before men.

Brandan
11-30-05, 10:22 AM
A true christian does not boast of his works before men or before God. All the works of men are as filthy rags before the Lord and are nothing to boast about - even before other men.

The key word for Rom. 4:2 - IF. IF Abraham was justified by works, well then he would have something to boast about. I repeat only if JUSTIFICATION WORKED THAT WAY. I am thankful that justification does not work that way.


James 2:23 speaks of Abrahams justification before God, James 2:24 speaks about justification before men.PROVE IT! How and why do you draw that conclusion. Wow! IN ONE VERSE the entire context changes? I don't see that at all.

Jas 2:23-24, (KJV), And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. (24) Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Seems to me that author is talking of the same type of justification.

harald
11-30-05, 10:52 AM
One of the thoughts in my mind as I read the latest replies to this thread was, "What spirit is it that drives men to question James' Christian integrity?" This is what some here seem to do, by seemingly imputing soteriological heterodoxy to James. I mean, they seem to assert that James was heterodox on Justification Before God. Based on what he wrote in chapter 2 of his epistle. Why is it that some of you folks are not rather bent on vindicating James. Now you are seeking to destroy his reputation. Not good. The NT scriptures are against you. They nowhere seek to do to James what you are doing. James (in his post-conversion state) has a good report of the inspired NT penmen. But you would give him a bad report. What spirit is driving you to do thusly? It cannot be the Holy Spirit of God.

Harald

Brandan
11-30-05, 11:29 AM
Harald, I have nothing against James. I didn't know the guy, and I hope I'm not tarnishing his reputation. However, what is written in this book hasn't been determined to be authentic. There is some doubt as to whether even James wrote this book. If he didn't, then one could say according to your logic that we are defending him, and you are tarnishing him. Have a nice day.

InChristAlways
11-30-05, 11:54 AM
In 1 corin 3 Paul states that the work of believer can be "burned up" and though he be saved, it will be as through fire.

Reading through revelation for some meaning of this I saw in revelation 9 the phrase "works of their hands" and in reve 22 Christ's reward to each according to their work, whether at the End of the Age or our death and appears to vindicate James [revelation itself was almost not canonized].
The only type of works that appears not to be burned up, are those of the hearts, mind and spirit as shown in Gala 5.
Does anyone have any idea what the "reward" is for our "works"? Thanks.

1 Corinthians 3:15 if of any the work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; and himself shall be saved, but so as through fire.

Gala 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those [who are] Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Revelation 9:20 and the rest of men, who were not killed in these plagues, neither did reform from the works of their hands, that they may not bow before the demons, and idols, those of gold, and those of silver, and those of brass, and those of stone, and those of wood, that are neither able to see, nor to hear, nor to walk,

Revelation 2:19 I have known thy works, and love, and ministration, and faith, and thy endurance, and thy works--and the last [are] more than the first.

Reve 11:18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,

Revelation 22:12 And lo, I come quickly, and my reward [is] with me, to render to each as his work shall be;

lionovjudah
11-30-05, 01:29 PM
A true christian does not boast of his works before men or before God. All the works of men are as filthy rags before the Lord and are nothing to boast about - even before other men.

The key word for Rom. 4:2 - IF. IF Abraham was justified by works, well then he would have something to boast about. I repeat only if JUSTIFICATION WORKED THAT WAY. I am thankful that justification does not work that way.

PROVE IT! How and why do you draw that conclusion. Wow! IN ONE VERSE the entire context changes? I don't see that at all.

Jas 2:23-24, (KJV), And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. (24) Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Seems to me that author is talking of the same type of justification.

Actually, I did prove it. IT is plain to the eyes Brandan. WHy would Paul write "But not before God" In verse 24 James is not speaking of a forensic legal declaration. Why kick against the pricks here? Paul is speaking of a legal forensic justification which is not and cannot ever be accomplished by works. Any works, charity, Love, Law, whatever you would call it.

Actually the word only, (monon) I believe is an adverb connected to justification, not faith. So what James is actually saying is there is not ONLY one form of justification. There is 2. 1 before God and one before men.

THe point Paul is making in Romans 4 is that man cannot bost to God about their works to become justified. but before men, one MUST show fruit.

I dont know, but I garee with HArald here, (Mark this day Harald:D ) IT is obvious to me was James is saying here. verse 18 has the context of man to man, momo a mono, you say you have faith? Well why do you do nothing, why do you sit there, why do you continue as a dead fish, I cant see your faith. Paul warns against this repeatedly in Romans. :Shall we siin because grace abounds? heaven forbid" Why would Paul say this unless some dummies were doing exactly that. He would not warn about something that may happen, but something that was happening.

So I stand by what I said. James is canonical, James is vindicated, James is a vessel of honor. And I also believe James is the "restrainer" Paul speaks about in Thess.


Christ warns about this repeatedly also. Fruitless professoers they are called, antinomians, all leaves, not fruit. Whatever you want to calll them and James was addressing this situation.

GraceAmbassador
11-30-05, 01:40 PM
Milt,
I hope I have not abandoned all other criteria in my understanding of James. And I confess that I am a little shaky on the precise definition of "Justification" - am I wrong to assume that it means to be declared righteous - and not to be made righteous?

If I am not incorrect, please consider this humble question? When God declares "righteous"!! is he doing so where no righteousness can be found?

If I am incorrect - Please help me understand why substitutionary righteousness is not what Paul is talking about, because I believe that it (substitutionary righteousness) is the CONTEXT of the whole scripture and the Good News in the Gospel.

Dear Andrew:

Your questions are crucial for the understanding of what is "justification". Righteousness WILL be found on those who are declared righteous. But charitable works, if that is what James calls righteousness here (according to context it is), WILL NOT justify anyone. I don't believe, and I don't read in James 2 that he is stating that "righteousness, meaning charity or benevolence (according to the text) is a product of justification; rather, he says that it actually justifies along with Grace.

Read again!

Thanks.

samohtwerdna
11-30-05, 02:40 PM
I don't believe, and I don't read in James 2 that he is stating that "righteousness, meaning charity or benevolence (according to the text) is a product of justification; rather, he says that it actually justifies along with Grace.

Milt, I read it again as instructed,


On the second read I agree exactly with you. James is without a doubt saying that a man is not justified by faith alone, but also by the works showing that justification. Stated this way or exactly as James states it, it sounds like a contradiction to Paul. Where I am fuzzy is whether or not Paul was stating that when God justifies a sinner - there is no accompanying righteousness. Or worse, when God justifies a sinner He does not do it on the basis of Christ atoning WORK but only upon the faith of the believer. If Paul said such things, then perhaps he should be the one in question.

Is substitutionary righteousness the core of the Gospel - as I have always understood?

If so, then we are all saved by Christ person and work. The Bible says that we believe this through faith, so then we would be justified by faith and works. Christ work; Christ faith given to us as a gift (part of His work, the Spirits actually - but whose counting)

If not, then perhaps you are correct. James is a contradiction and Paul means that salvation comes only through our faith. Which would seem to make Christ incarnation and perfect life and perfect atonement unnecessary.

Also, is there a difference between saved by Faith and saved by Grace?

InChristAlways
11-30-05, 02:51 PM
If not, then perhaps you are correct. James is a contradiction and Paul means that salvation comes only through our faith. Which would seem to make Christ incarnation and perfect life and perfect atonement unnecessary.

Also, is there a difference between saved by Faith and saved by Grace?Is there a seperate topic we can put this as I also am interested in this. Were christians persecuted by the early century jews because of just their faith and belief in Christ only, or, like Christ did, their works and words of righteousness were "cutting them to the heart" and they themselves felt "convicted"? I had no idea there was such confusion on James and Paul.


John 10:32 Jesus answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?"...37 "If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me;

GraceAmbassador
11-30-05, 03:49 PM
Milt, I read it again as instructed,


On the second read I agree exactly with you. James is without a doubt saying that a man is not justified by faith alone, but also by the works showing that justification. Stated this way or exactly as James states it, it sounds like a contradiction to Paul. Where I am fuzzy is whether or not Paul was stating that when God justifies a sinner - there is no accompanying righteousness. Or worse, when God justifies a sinner He does not do it on the basis of Christ atoning WORK but only upon the faith of the believer. If Paul said such things, then perhaps he should be the one in question.

Is substitutionary righteousness the core of the Gospel - as I have always understood?

If so, then we are all saved by Christ person and work. The Bible says that we believe this through faith, so then we would be justified by faith and works. Christ work; Christ faith given to us as a gift (part of His work, the Spirits actually - but whose counting)

If not, then perhaps you are correct. James is a contradiction and Paul means that salvation comes only through our faith. Which would seem to make Christ incarnation and perfect life and perfect atonement unnecessary.

Also, is there a difference between saved by Faith and saved by Grace?

What one confesses is important, but also, what one rejects is of utmost importance!

We were saved by Christ's work ONLY. "ONLY" is the qualifying word, or that which qualifies our Salvation. I confess that I am saved by Christ's works, but I reject any notion that we are saved by Christ's work and our work in synergy.

It is clear that James is not mentioning Christ's works when he mentions "that a man is not justified by faith alone, but the context states that he is speaking of "works", not works of the law, but works of benevolence and charity.

Justification is done by God. He is the one who justifies us. Christ's work was not separated from His death which was the penalty we all should have paid for our sins but He paid it for us. I see no confusion here and I am sure neither does you. The works of Christ were accomplish by Him, according to His words so people would know He had been sent by God.


If not, then perhaps you are correct. James is a contradiction and Paul means that salvation comes only through our faith. Which would seem to make Christ incarnation and perfect life and perfect atonement unnecessary.

I apologize but I did not understand your statement or your point in the quote above in the part I underlined.

The bottom line is: there is nothing in the context of James that states that the "works" he is mentioning are the works of the Person of Christ. Works of benevolence and charity, which may fall into the semantical range of the word "righteousness" for some (correct or not), will accompany our justification; Paul says that we are His workmanship (master piece) saved unto good works. Also Paul states that it is up to God to effect our "doing and our will to do". If we live it all up to God we will:

believe that our righteousness is declared
we will by design of the new creation execute good works
not boast about these good works, even not letting our right hand to know what our left hand does
Never be confused about terms such as "righteousness", or "justice" or "acts of benevolence, or charity".
We will forever know and praise God for saving us without any merit on our part
We will forever know and praise God that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, thus causing us to be righteous before GodChapter 2 is not the only time James refers to some type of Salvation by works... In chapter 5, I believe, he also talks about one being forgiven of his sins for having prayed (either the prayer or the prayee) for a sick person. If he is attemtping to establish a link between sickness and sins it is not clear either. He simply says that the "if he person healed has committed any sins, it will be forgiven him". Then he proceeds to tell us to confess our faults one to another that we may be healed. If healing is the same as Salvation as many purport, then he is saying that "salvation" comes through mutual confession. Have you seen what the Roman Catholic Church has made of this confession verse lately? What they made of it is not what it makes wrong, but can we reconcile this with the rest of the scriptures?

It is just my very humble thought!

Milt

Bob Higby
11-30-05, 08:04 PM
There is no clear evidence that James the brother of Jesus wrote the book now named after him. The book was not even acknowledged to exist until AT LEAST least well into the 3rd century. Ultra-fundamentalist 27-book canonists will argue that the same can be said of books such as 2 Peter and 3 John--therefore if we accept those books as scripture equal to Paul's revelation--we have to accept James. Well and good, let their logic be scrutinized for its stupidity. The point is that none of these books without early attestation can be accepted without passing the test of faithfulness to the gospel. It is entirely possible that any of them could have remained in obscurity for centuries, however, acknowledging that this is true means that we have to apply more gospel scrutiny. Luther believed that 2 Peter passed the test of the gospel but that James did not and I agree with him.

More to come soon in my study on the proposed high-canonicity of James.

In no way does what I am saying deny a LOW canonicity of James or other books. The earlier Christians acknowledged a 2-level canon as the only rational conclusion of how God led in times past. The Reformed tradition affirms a single-level canon which is completely illogical.

harald
12-01-05, 07:24 AM
James does speak of justification by works before men. [Joe Kinney]

I am inclined to agree with you this time. The context strongly suggests this is the case.


And Paul says the same thing in Romans 4.

Rom 4:2, : "If Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God."

SO Paul obviously knew of some other justification, by works before men. Or else why put "But not before God"

I think Rom. 4:2 has to be studied with utmost care. The Greek construct (EI + indicative, i.e. "if ...was justified") is a so-called "first class condition". Wiser men inform that this construct implies that the assertion is true. I.e. that Abraham was indeed justified "from within works" (EX ERGOON). Wiser men also say that the "EI" of such a first class condition may be rendered "since (in fact) Abraham was justified from within works". Then here must also be considered that Paul simply says "works", NOT "works of law". Then must also be noted that he uses ALLA, the strongest adversative. Its meaning is basically that of "but on the contrary". But here this sense makes no sense, thus I propose another of its senses, "but mark well" or some closely synonymous sense.

2 ... since Abraham was justified from within works he is having occasion of proud rejoicing, but mark well, absolutely not in relation to *God

the other possible rendering is to render EI as the usual "if" ("in case", "if in fact").

Now, the use of ALLA here clearly shows Paul was aware of different kinds of justifications. He says there is a justification from within works, from which a man may have occasion of proud rejoicing (with reference to himself), cp. Gal. 6:4). But Paul here gives the disclaimer that such rejoicing is not in relation to "the God". At least the KJV seems to say Paul wrote a 2nd class or 3rd class condition, cp. its "were justified" as distinct from the proper "was justified". If Paul had used a different condition than the 1st class one would have been forced to conclude Paul was bringing an improbable hypothesis, as saying "suppose Abraham were justified out of works". In which case the use of ALLA and the rest of the disclaimer would not have made sense. He could simply have written, "but he was absolutely not". But note well, now he says "but mark well, absolutely not in relation to the God". The articular THEOS ("the God") here suggests God the Father as the Judge. Abraham was indeed justified from within works, but this was not a being justified before God as the Judge of all men. Therefore it must have been another kind of justification. Possibilities coming to mind are

1) in relation to the own conscience and self-awareness
2) in relation to other mortals
3) in relation to angels
4) all of the above


Having studied James' epistle, which I believe was written after Romans, chonologically, it seems to me that Paul pre-anticipated James 2 by "since Abraham was justified out of works". But he left it to James to strictly expound upon justification "in relation to" other men "from within works" ("faith-works" to be specific). Here in Rom. 4:3 it seems to me Paul concentrates not on "justification before/in-relation-to men" but on Abraham's "justification" in relation to the own conscience and self-consciousness. Because Rom. 4:3 speaks of no visible work, but rather about Abraham's invisible faith, "believed/confidently trusted GOD" concerning a Divine promise pertaining to the future (Messias' coming and dying for many). Abraham's believing GOD was imputed to him as righteousness. Many religionists say it was imputed as justifying righteousness. These would be the such as heretically believe a man is justified before God through believing God or believing in Christ. But this is not what Paul says. The "righteousness" here was absolutely not a justifying righteousness (cp. "absolutely not in relation to the God"). The only possibility left is that God imputed character righteousness to Abraham at the point of this instance of his believing YHWH. Then, at circa 30 AD God the Father justified Abraham before His own eyes in an alien justifying righteousness, that of Christ.

When studying Romans 4:2 and 3 it is also interesting to note verse 1. Paul did not say "forefather according to flesh" (cp. DRB, ESV, HCSB, ISV, Weymouth, NASB). This is an embarrassing error on the part of these versions. Paul wrote mainly to "gentiles", not to Jews. Abraham was therefore not their fleshly forefather. Paul rather talks about what Abraham "has found as pertaining to flesh". As I currently believe that Abraham in Romans 4 pre-figured Christ I perceive a double meaning in "has found as pertaining to flesh". When pertaining to the man Abraham "flesh" refers to Abraham's human nature or character. When pertaining to spiritual Abraham, Christ, "flesh" refers to the human nature of Jesus Christ. This to me confirms that the justifying righteousness of Christ only has to do with His "flesh", i.e. His humanity. Not His eternal Deity. Therefore I repudiate as satanic heresy the notion which says that "Christ's Righteousness" is some more-than-a-mere-human-righteousness.

When it comes to Justification Before God Paul and James were in agreement. They had shook hands (Gal. 2) about 50 AD or so. James' epistle is written many years after. Therefore it is absolutely impossible that James contradicts Paul by teaching JBG "from within works" as some impugningly imply. The only logical and logically valid conclusion in light of this fact is that James, under the Spirit's inspiration and supervision, was treating of justification in relation to men in James chapter 2. Only a stubborn person with a dull mind will keep on imputing error to James as respects justification before God.


James 2:23 speaks of Abrahams justification before God,

Absolutely not ! This proves that you still do not believe what Paul teaches on JBG. Contrary to what you seem to aver.



Harald

Brandan
12-01-05, 07:50 AM
Ya know Bob, Milt, & Mike, you would think people would be happy with justification before God, and that would be the focus of all of Scripture. Why then are men obsessed with justification before each other and place James' teaching (supposedly on justification before men) equal with the Gospel itself?

James' teaching on justification before men according to these people is just as important as Paul's teaching on justification before God. Some make it equal with Paul's teaching on the Gospel itself, (ie. Harald, Trinity Foundation, MK, Luba). They do so by declaring those anathema who either reject James as canonical all together or those who don't think James should be considered as authoritative as Paul.

What do we lose if we don't consider James as canonical? What teaching of Scripture would be lost if the book of James was lost for all eternity?

There are other topics in James that I also find questionable such as chapter 5. What is James' primary beef with rich people? It's almost like it has gnostic roots.

Brandan
12-01-05, 08:13 AM
Look at James 2:8 - IF ye fulfil the law....

Keep going through the things you should do (I agree they are good things to do)

Feed destitute brethren, don't committ adultery, etc... GOOD THINGs. Now don't all sorts of non-gospel believers do these things? Do the Catholics, the Mormons, etc. all do these things? Are they now justified before other men? I hope not!

Now finish the chapter... Does fulfilling the law justify you before other men? I hope it doesn't. When I meet a person, I don't consider him a Christian because he does good things like feeding destitute believers or refraining from adultery. I consider him a Christian based on his love of the Gospel and testimony of the truth. I look at his doctrine and his love of it. These other things are just natural consequences of his love for the Gospel and do not prove to me whether he is a believer or not. SO if James is talking about justification before other men like you say, it is still wrong to conclude that this is a Gospel teaching.

And here's another thing. Let's say I see someone I think to be a Christian committ adultery. Does that mean I don't think he's a Christian? Does that mean he is not justified before me? NO! If he would suggest that adultery is ok, then I would then question it, but the act of transgression is not something that justifies or dejustifies a person before my eyes.

P.S. - I posted earlier on James 2:8 and erased my analysis. Those of you subscribed to this thread should see it in your e-mail if you have instant notification. I criticized it for the wrong reason after some thinking and further study. However, that does not change my conclusion concerning the whole book of James.

GraceAmbassador
12-01-05, 08:32 AM
Thanks Brandan!

Brandan, look at the qualifying words spoken by Harald:


Only a stubborn person with a dull mind will keep on imputing error to James as respects justification before God.

This thread is going very well without this type of acrimonious words... Would these type of words about those whom he disagrees with that causes Harald be a lonlely person rather than his strong positions?

Now, to deal with the issue we need to find out (consistently) what Paul says about "boasting" before men and decide if Paul contradicted himself in the text proposed by Harald and Joe.

I think it is a waste of time to place the scriptures here, but I can quote and don't need any "holy" language translated as if the terms today meant the same as 2000 years ago to conclude the obvious:

Paul says that we are saved by Grace not of works lest anyone should boast (boasting before men)...

Paul says that he would not glory save on the cross of Christ (context indicates glorying before men)

Paul asks some Christians: Why do boast is if what you had you did not receive? (boasting before men)

Now, why Paul, by using the method of "reducing an argument to absurdity" such as "...not before God..." is all of a sudden endorsing "boasting before men"? Of course, it is ONLY to make him agree with James according to a couple of our distinguished contributors here... Again, this is the mother of all hermeneutic inconsistencies.

Milt

Eileen
12-01-05, 08:34 AM
Thanks Brandan, I have kept wondering what exactly 'justification before men' even means and what it means to believers.....Just because someone does 'a seemingly good work', does that make it good and justifiable before men? I guess just in men's eyes....what does that profit us? Do we walk daily by faith so that we might have the praise of men? Oh, God forbid!

God alone knows what our good works are, for they are His, He has ordained them and we will walk in them, the rest is our reasonable service. So I rejoice with you in that we are justified before God by the death and ressurection of Jesus Christ ONLY, this most glorious truth for us! My joy, my hope, my focus, my robe of righteousnesss..............Christ Jesus!

Eileen~

Brandan
12-01-05, 09:13 AM
Thanks Eileen. It makes you wonder how any man can boast of their works before other men when they are God's works!

Those of you (Joe, Harald, etc...) who teach that men should boast of their works before men as you believe is taught by Paul, I wonder if you think you have something to boast about. If so, please let me know!

I can attest that I have nothing to boast about before God or men. I look upon my works as filthy rags, and what good works the Lord may fulfill in me (what they are, I have no idea), I would gladly acknowledge that they are HIS good works. They are not mine, and I would not dare to boast in them.

Harald, and Joe, you can take your boasting elsewhere, because your "good works" will not justify you before me, or any of the other 5solas moderators for that matter. I'm sure however that it will impress the Southern Baptists, Jewish Groups, Arminians, Neo-Calvinists, and all other churchianity organizations!

harald
12-01-05, 09:30 AM
James' teaching on justification before men according to these people is just as important as Paul's teaching on justification before God. Some make it equal with Paul's teaching on the Gospel itself, (ie. Harald, Trinity Foundation, MK, Luba). (BK)

I will now only speak for myself. I do not think I have said such as you imply above. But when people start throwing mud at the character of James (implying he was in error on JBG) I will speak out. James' teaching in James 2 in no wise contradicts the good message of God. What James there teaches is not to be pitted against Paul's good message.


They do so by declaring those anathema who either reject James as canonical all together or those who don't think James should be considered as authoritative as Paul.

As for me the concept of "anathema" (a thing devoted to destruction) has so far not been on my mind as to this matter. But I do have a problem with people questioning the canonicalness of James. Because I see no good reason for such questioning. As for authoritativeness I hold both James and the Paulince corpus canonical, and thus authoritative. But as for myself I hold Paul's epistles more authoritative for me. Because James was written for Jews, not gentiles.

There are other topics in James that I also find questionable such as chapter 5. What is James' primary beef with rich people?

Try reading again with thought. I saw immediately what his "beef" was.

Now don't all sorts of non-gospel believers do these things? Do the Catholics, the Mormons, etc. all do these things? Are they now justified before other men? I hope not!

James was not writing to a community comprised of above sorts of people. He was writing to Jews who professed to be believers in the Messias of the Jews, namely believers of "the good message of the kingdom".


I consider him a Christian based on his love of the Gospel and testimony of the truth. I look at his doctrine and his love of it. These other things are just natural consequences of his love for the Gospel and do not prove to me whether he is a believer or not.

If it only were this easy. It was apparently not this easy in James' day. Therefore he had to write this epistle. People professed faith but these "natural consequences" were apparently non-existent in the case of some.


SO if James is talking about justification before other men like you say, it is still wrong to conclude that this is a Gospel teaching.

What James teaches does not militate against the "euaggelion" as set forth by Paul for example. It is no anti- good message teaching. And based on what criterion do you draw the line between "Gospel teaching" and "not gospel teaching" ? Was, for example, John the baptizer not proclaiming the good message when he authoritatively demanded "fruits meet for repentance" (Matt. 3:8) ? Cp. Paul in Acts 26:20.

Harald

InChristAlways
12-01-05, 09:42 AM
Thanks Brandan, I have kept wondering what exactly 'justification before men' even means and what it means to believers.....Just because someone does 'a seemingly good work', does that make it good and justifiable before men? I guess just in men's eyes....what does that profit us? Do we walk daily by faith so that we might have the praise of men? Oh, God forbid!

God alone knows what our good works are, for they are His, He has ordained them and we will walk in them, the rest is our reasonable service. So I rejoice with you in that we are justified before God by the death and ressurection of Jesus Christ ONLY, this most glorious truth for us! My joy, my hope, my focus, my robe of righteousnesss..............Christ Jesus!

Eileen~Hi Eileen. Beautifull post. Jesus gives us so many examples to follow in the gospels and what I see a lot of today is that some christians say the gospel was just to the jews and Paul was just to the gentiles, but why seperate them?
Our Heart is where our treasure is and if we do things other than from the Heart just to "look good" to others instead of doing it to glorify God, then how can any treasure be stored there? Praise be to God the Father and His Son for giving us access to the true Reward of the Cross of Christ, eternal life.
Just my 2 cents worth.

Luke 12:34 for where your treasure is, there also your heart will be.

Matthew 6:5-6: "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men....when thou prayest, enter into thy closet and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret...."

Luke 18:10-14: "Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified[#1344] rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." (KJV)

samohtwerdna
12-01-05, 10:34 AM
Dear Milt,

I very much appreciate your comments. I agree that James can not be construed or understood to be talking about Christ's work. My opinion is that James is speaking of Justification in more general terms, not so precise or specific as we would like. In other words James was not thinking "now I will speak concerning JBG and then transition to JBM. My presupposition is that the use of the word Justification has matured in Christian circles since the first century, and that the biblical use of the word is more broad than our initial impression of it. Blame western rationalism if you must, but there are several places in scripture where the Holy Spirit uses the word "justification" but is not indicating our legal stand before God.

This kind of thing happens often with words that we grow attached to a specific, precise meaning to. Just look at how immersionist view the word "Baptidzo"! They insist that the word can only signify immersion / submersion - but unfortunately for them the scripture uses the term more broadly and can encompass sprinkling and ritual cleansing. I bring this up not because I want to start a baptism discussion - but simply to show the Bible will use word's to fit it's own contexts and meanings. That said, do you think that James is talking to men who seem to abuse Christian liberty? Does it not seem that he is directing his comments to correct lifestyle not theology?


Andrew T. Adcock

Brandan
12-01-05, 10:41 AM
Does it not seem that he is directing his comments to correct lifestyle not theology?How can we separate theology from lifestyle? James presupposes that it is possible, and so do you. Impossible I say!

harald
12-01-05, 10:48 AM
Brandan, look at the qualifying words spoken by Harald:

Quote:
Originally Posted by harald
Only a stubborn person with a dull mind will keep on imputing error to James as respects justification before God.

This thread is going very well without this type of acrimonious words (Milton)

You apparently know yourself so much so that you include yourself in that group which "will keep on imputing error" etc. If you are such an one then my words can only stand. If you will keep on imputing error to James as to JBG then you are doing so with no Scripture backing whatsoever.


Now, to deal with the issue we need to find out (consistently) what Paul says about "boasting" before men and decide if Paul contradicted himself in the text proposed by Harald and Joe.

Why are you digressing into discussing "boasting before men"? When we were discussing "justification before men". These are not synonymous concepts.


Paul says that we are saved by Grace not of works lest anyone should boast (boasting before men)...

Says who ? I mean who says the above verse refers to "boasting before men" ? You are reading into the verse. The Greek does not specify, it only says "Absolutely not conditioned on works, to the end that not any would proudly rejoice (even once) with reference to himself". The Greek verb is in the middle voice, aorist tense. This teaches that the Divine design of the redemption of Christ aimed at shutting out all and any proud rejoicing with reference to self. The verb "boast" today primarily refers to oral bragging. The Greek verb here used primarily means to proudly rejoice. It is a verb used by Paul in both negative and positive senses. There is another verb which Paul also uses and which more likely refers to oral bragging or external showing off. But it is not used here in this verse (Eph. 2:9).


Now, why Paul, by using the method of "reducing an argument to absurdity" such as "...not before God..." is all of a sudden endorsing "boasting before men"? Of course, it is ONLY to make him agree with James according to a couple of our distinguished contributors here... Again, this is the mother of all hermeneutic inconsistencies.

Milt. Your previous boasting to Mary Kae is vain:

Sister. we quote exactly to avoid ridiculous interpretations. (emph. H)

Please show who on here has advocated "boasting before men" ! And who on here has stated Paul advocated such ?


Harald

harald
12-01-05, 10:52 AM
Those of you (Joe, Harald, etc...) who teach that men should boast of their works before men as you believe is taught by Paul, I wonder if you think you have something to boast about. (BK)

Brandan. Can you show just one quote from me where I have advocated boasting of one's works before men? Thanks in advance.


Harald, and Joe, you can take your boasting elsewhere, because your "good works" will not justify you before me, or any of the other 5solas moderators for that matter. I'm sure however that it will impress the Southern Baptists, Jewish Groups, Arminians, Neo-Calvinists, and all other churchianity organizations!


Are you willfully misrepresenting me ? Why ?


Harald

lionovjudah
12-01-05, 10:54 AM
James 2:23 speaks of Abrahams justification before God,

Absolutely not ! This proves that you still do not believe what Paul teaches on JBG. Contrary to what you seem to aver.



Harald

Well I do not end up with this result you have Harald. I believe vs 23, 24 are speaking about something different. So please do not jump to conclusions on my understanding here. I think verse 23 speaks of Gen 15, much before offering Isaac.

Brandan
12-01-05, 11:01 AM
Brandan. Can you show just one quote from me where I have advocated boasting of one's works before men? Thanks in advance.

Joe wrote:
James does speak of justification by works before men. And Paul says the same thing in Romans 4.

Rom 4:2, : "If Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God."

SO Paul obviously knew of some other justification, by works before men. Or else why put "But not before God"

I responded:
A true christian does not boast of his works before men or before God. All the works of men are as filthy rags before the Lord and are nothing to boast about - even before other men.

The key word for Rom. 4:2 - IF. IF Abraham was justified by works, well then he would have something to boast about. I repeat only if JUSTIFICATION WORKED THAT WAY. I am thankful that justification does not work that way.

You wrote:
since Abraham was justified from within works he is having occasion of proud rejoicing, but mark well, absolutely not in relation to *God

You then referenced Gal. 6:4 as to back up your assertions that Paul taught that proud rejoicing / boasting before men is acceptable. But this boasting / proud rejoicing contradicts what Paul has elsewhere stated regarding boasting.

samohtwerdna
12-01-05, 11:12 AM
Brandan,

I think you maybe missing the point of JBM. James does not intend to argue for something we can boast in. Paul clearly teaches that we were saved unto good works. If we have no good works then it is, according to Paul, reasonable to question that salvation being professed. Why? because we are saved by works? - No, but because Paul (Not James) Says that we where saved for the purpose of doing good works (among other things), therefore if a man is destitute of any good work - should we expect he is "Saved"? If so what was he saved unto? Notice - Paul gives no room for boasting , but not only gives room for good works, but states it as a clear consequence of salvation. Thus the reformers said "we are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone!"

Also, what are we to understand by Christ words "they shall know you by your fruit"? Is this not JBM? Again Paul writes to Timothy that the Elders should be of good report, and later 'that your good can not be evil spoken of'. He also writes in Romans for prayer that his ministry be exceptable to the saints - If Paul does not speak unto doing good works and living in a manner that adorns the gospel by the things we do before men, then I am quite miss lead! No way is it central to his Gospel (the Gospel) but it is certainly there.

harald
12-01-05, 11:19 AM
You then referenced Gal. 6:4 as to back up your assertions that Paul taught that proud rejoicing / boasting before men is acceptable.

Here is what I wrote in this respect:


He says there is a justification from within works, from which a man may have occasion of proud rejoicing ([B]with reference to himself), cp. Gal. 6:4). (emph. H)

See the bold. It did not say "before men". But "with reference to himself". Then I referenced with Gal. 6:4:

4 And let each keep on proving his own *work, and then with respect to himself only
will he have the occasion of proudly rejoicing, and absolutely not in relation to the
other ! (emph. added)


From all this I cannot believe how you can say I have come advocating Paul as maintaining that boasting before men is acceptable. Here he condemns such. And I dare not abrogate such a thing. Nor do I want to.


Harald

Brandan
12-01-05, 11:31 AM
Brandan,
I think you maybe missing the point of JBM. James does not intend to argue for something we can boast in. Joe says there is.
Paul clearly teaches that we were saved unto good works. If we have no good works then it is, according to Paul, reasonable to question that salvation being professed. WRONG. BIG WRONG! Paul never uses works as a guage to determine if we are Christians or not. He does advise us not to sin so that grace may abound. It is true that when Christians do sin, Grace WILL abound, but Paul is saying we should not sin with that motive. Paul teaches that good works will flow from a Christian, but I don't see him using it as a guage. Good works are necessary, but ONLY CONSEQUENTIALLY, not QUALIFYINGLY in any way whatsoever! This type of thinking is precipitously close to the primitive baptist error of conditional time salvation. They teach that in order to "feel saved" or to have "assurance" one must do good works. They teach that in order to justify themselves to each other they have to do good works. GAG! This is anti-gospel, and therefore anti-christ.

This discussion is very important. There are some that teach that Justification before God is all of Grace, and that is good. But then they destroy the Gospel when they teach that justification before the conscience (and I could say justification before men) is by WORKS. WORKS!

If you want justification before men by works, why stop there? Why not justification before yourself? Are you justified from within by your works? Do you feel like you're saved because you do good works? If so, you don't know the Gospel.

Brandan
12-01-05, 11:32 AM
You then referenced Gal. 6:4 as to back up your assertions that Paul taught that proud rejoicing / boasting before men is acceptable.

Here is what I wrote in this respect:


He says there is a justification from within works, from which a man may have occasion of proud rejoicing ([B]with reference to himself), cp. Gal. 6:4). (emph. H)

See the bold. It did not say "before men". But "with reference to himself". Then I referenced with Gal. 6:4:

4 And let each keep on proving his own *work, and then with respect to himself only
will he have the occasion of proudly rejoicing, and absolutely not in relation to the
other ! (emph. added)


From all this I cannot believe how you can say I have come advocating Paul as maintaining that boasting before men is acceptable. Here he condemns such. And I dare not abrogate such a thing. Nor do I want to.


HaraldI'm sorry I misunderstood you Harald. In order to prevent further misunderstanding, I must ask you if you think it's ok to boast to yourself about your works?

harald
12-01-05, 12:04 PM
I'm sorry I misunderstood you Harald. In order to prevent further misunderstanding, I must ask you if you think it's ok to boast to yourself about your works? (BK)

Apology accepted.

As to your question I personally feel I cannot presently boast to or within myself as respects my works or deeds. However, this fact as to me does not negate Paul's command in Gal. 6:4. A man is to keep on proving (dokimazoo) his own work. The proving is to be continual, and not in comparison to works of others. And "then" if the proving shows that "the work" holds up to the scrutiny of the Scripture's standard of what constitutes a KALOS (intrinsically good) or AGATHOS (beneficial) work, then will the man have occasion of proudly rejoicing with respect to himself, but not in relation to (or before) others. If the man's "own work" (singular) passes the private proving then he will have the approbation of a good conscience (not to forget that of God), and has occasion of proudly rejoicing with respect to himself.

Harald

samohtwerdna
12-01-05, 12:10 PM
If you want justification before men by works, why stop there? Why not justification before yourself? Are you justified from within by your works? Do you feel like you're saved because you do good works? If so, you don't know the Gospel.

I never said I want justification before men, but that the bible uses the term with broader meanings than just salvation before God. If Paul would refuse to gauge a man by his works - would he then contradict Christ? (they will know you by your fruits) Are you saying that Paul would never question a man's salvation based upon his works but only based on his profession? If so when he confronted Peter, was he judging something Peter was doing or failing to do - or was it what Peter was saying? - But you will say that Paul was not questioning Peter's Salvation just his conduct. Well that maybe, but certainly Paul puts a great deal of weight on Peter's conduct implying that it would frustrate the grace of God and that it would make him a transgressor. Paul is telling Peter you don't get to have the Grace of God and the works of the Law, for the one nullfies the other. James is saying almost the same thing when he says you don't get to have faith with out the works of faith. No works nullifies faith or Faith nullifies no works - just as Grace nullifies the works of the Law or the works of the Law nullifies Grace.

If you have been reading my posts and have read my signature, you know that I do not believe that any work can save or even be a part of salvation except the perfect work of Christ, and Christ alone. You know it is SUBSTITUTION that I boast in and not native righteousness.

Brandan
12-01-05, 12:22 PM
Paul judged Peter's doctrine.

lionovjudah
12-01-05, 12:43 PM
Harald, and Joe, you can take your boasting elsewhere, because your "good works" will not justify you before me, or any of the other 5solas moderators for that matter. I'm sure however that it will impress the Southern Baptists, Jewish Groups, Arminians, Neo-Calvinists, and all other churchianity organizations!


Brandan, before you and Eileen get carried away as if I am some flag waving pom pom twirling braggart, that is the farthest from the truth. The "boasting" paul speaks about is not some arrogant bragging, it is a glorifying rejoicing.

2Cr 7:14 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/2Cr/2Cr007.html#14) For if I have boasted any thing to him of you, I am not ashamed; but as we spake all things to you in truth, even so our boasting, which [I made] before Titus, is found a truth.

2Cr 8:24 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/2Cr/2Cr008.html#24) Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.

So this justification before men that both Paul and james mention is a truth in the writ. And what else can one do to show others Christ? Can I show you my faith? Can I take picture of my faith? No I cannot. This jusytoification has nothing to do with anything other than wlaking the walk pe se'

lionovjudah
12-01-05, 12:50 PM
How can we separate theology from lifestyle? James presupposes that it is possible, and so do you. Impossible I say!

Well if James says it under divine inspiration, then I accept it. IT is possible brandan.

harald
12-01-05, 12:50 PM
Justification before men is "from within works". But not any kinds of "works", but from within works belonging to faith, i.e. faith-works. This is what James teaches. And more specifically faith-works belonging to the household code and specific good message the person stands in. Meaning, in this dispensation, from within faith-works belonging to the Pauline good message and the household code of the Body of the Christ as set forth by Paul in his corpus.

If James, a Jew of Israel's elect remnant, is taken as example. James would not take a profession at face value. Like say a fellow-Jew comes up to James and says "I have faith in Messias, and believe Elohim is one". If this specific profession of faith did not have "the works" corresponding to true faith in God as an attendant factor then James was warranted to count the professed faith spurious, dead. But if the profession of faith had "the works", i.e. the corresponding works (faith-works) as attending it, in this case the professor was "justified/vindicated from within works (ex ergoon)" to (or before, in the eyes of) James.

Paul knew about this thing also. Seen e.g. from Titus 1:16. There were (just as today) people who "confessed" (not merely "professed") to know God perceptively (eidoo). The verb is, mark well, homologeoo, which is elsewhere used of "to confess" (i.e. to say the same as the Scripture). Here this verb must mean that these folks plausibly expressed a knowledge (of a perceptive kind, eidoo being the verb, not ginooskoo) of God (no article in Gr. text, meaning not God the Father, but God generally, or, God the Son). Meaning they appeared sound in their THEO-logy when it came to verbally expressing their "faith". But what says Paul furthermore? That these contradictingly deny God when it comes to practice, lit "the works". Here is seen Paul distinguishing between oral or verbal profession, on one hand, and "the works", on the other.

But the doctrine of justification/vindication from within works of faith before men, and non-justification/-vindication before men from within lack of faith-works is seen all over the NT. It is not only peculiar to James. I maintain it is a doctrine which may, with good warrant, be proclaimed in conjunction with scriptural evangelizing, in its proper place. John the baptizer did so, so also Paul.


Harald

Eileen
12-01-05, 01:06 PM
We always, always come down to the same dialog on works.....not directed at anyone specific, just my own thoughts......

What is a good work? Can you define it, can you tell me what it is exactly? Can you tell me when the last time you did a good work was? Was it before men only, before God only? Was it when you prayed, or read your bible, or when you contributed to your poor neighbor? Was it when you repented of a sin by the power of the Holy Spirit who changed your mind? Was it when you were patient when you didn't want to be? And on and on the list goes. Did you tell yourself it was a good work and therefore you 'felt' justified in your own mind? We can only look on the outward works of anyone because we cannot see into the heart, is that how you determine if someone is doing a good work?

If I begin to look within to discover some sort of work, I am undone for I find none. However, I find the Lord Jesus Christ and faith in Him and I rejoice in Him alone who reigns and He will see to it that I do the works that have already been prepared for me and I give Praise to Him alone!

To make a judgment about those works you would have to know exactly what they are and I don't even know what those works in my life are and neither does anyone else! Whatever they are, thank you Lord for them and thank you that You have promised that we will walk in them. He alone always keeps His promises.

Eileen~

BTW Joe, don't rebuke me for getting carried away, I wasn't addressing you at all, I was posting my own thoughts and my own convictions. If they differ from yours so be it. I didn't have you in mind at all Joe!!

And........ my conscience has been purged fromd dead works and I serve the living God, not by anything that I have done, but by the precious blood of Jesus Christ......Now....that is a work, all His!

Brandan
12-01-05, 01:15 PM
Thank you Eileen. I agree, I have no good works to speak of, or "proudly rejoice in" as some have suggested Christians should do. I think this is true of all believers.

harald
12-01-05, 02:05 PM
Thank you Eileen. I agree, I have no good works to speak of, or "proudly rejoice in" as some have suggested Christians should do. I think this is true of all believers.

Brandan. I do not think I have seen any here suggest what you say above, as though someone saying "you should proudly rejoice in your good works!". Nor does Paul say so if I have read him aright.

But let me ask you, in light of the above statement of yours. Do you have a problem with what Paul says in Galatians 6:4 ? Paul there did not command the occasion of proud rejoicing (kauch&#234;ma), but the continuous "proving". He stated it (having the occasion of proud rejoicing) in the future indicative, as something which will eventually come to pass in the case of such as after having proved their own "work" (lit. "the work of himself") shall have found it to have been of Divine making and origin. And the noun really has to do with "proud rejoicing", not simply "rejoicing".


Harald

samohtwerdna
12-01-05, 03:17 PM
BK, While your thinking about Haralds question - I also want to ask - Is flaunting an arrogant spirit about our theological positions the same thing as Proud boasting?

Why do you want everyone to know that you are mean, harsh and Arrogant - I seem to remember you saying that you are proud of it? Please explain how your position on Paul and James and on your lack or ignorance of good works comports with your posting/blogging behavior.

I am not picking on you - but I am concerned that your name (Darth Gill) your subtitle (Mean, Harsh, and Arrogant) and your approach to Christian debate portraits someone quite different than the one you describe in this thread.

Also, you stated that Paul rebuked Peter for his doctrine. Why , may I ask do you believe this? The text seems clear that Peter was eating with Gentiles before the big wigs came from Jerusalem and then he with drew from table fellowship with the Gentiles, and that is why Paul rebukes him. Is there somewhere else that Paul speaks of what doctrine Peter had as needing to be corrected?

lionovjudah
12-01-05, 03:59 PM
Thank you Eileen. I agree, I have no good works to speak of, or "proudly rejoice in" as some have suggested Christians should do. I think this is true of all believers.

I do not agree. Arnt we created anew? This new life from above, we are commanded by Paul to WALK in it. Brandan, EIleen, I honestly do not knwo what is so wrong woith speaking of good works. When scripture speaks of the regenerated man hating what he once loved and loving what he once hated, thta is rejoicing in the Lord. I know they are not MY works per se. But the believer is the one doing them physically. Does our Lord repent for us? Does He believe for us? Does He do the works for us? Absolutley not, His Spirit empowers us to walk in this new life and praiase Him for His grace.

Eileen everythign you mentioned is a good work. I am not putting the cart before the horse here. I do not look at ones life and see their just living and say, "Well they must be a believer" because I know Atheists that do much more than some believers I know. WIthout faith it is impossible to please God. And we also defy our Lords power to transform ones life. WIll there not be a change in the person once His grace and Spirit confronts them? Of course their will be. ANd THe scriptures speak of rejoicing/boasting in this transformation and wanting to share it with others. "I was blind, but now I see" This is the boasting scripture speaks of.

Brandan
12-01-05, 04:48 PM
Why do you want everyone to know that you are mean, harsh and Arrogant - I seem to remember you saying that you are proud of it? Please explain how your position on Paul and James and on your lack or ignorance of good works comports with your posting/blogging behavior. And here we are once again. When a person cannot win an argument logically, they attack the character of those they disagree with. No I'm not proud that I'm mean harsh and arrogant, and if you actually took the time to read what I have said about this, you would know that. ENOUGH SAID ON THIS TOPIC.


Also, you stated that Paul rebuked Peter for his doctrine. Why , may I ask do you believe this? The text seems clear that Peter was eating with Gentiles before the big wigs came from Jerusalem and then he with drew from table fellowship with the Gentiles, and that is why Paul rebukes him. Is there somewhere else that Paul speaks of what doctrine Peter had as needing to be corrected?Peter believed and taught that it was right and proper to appease Jewish people by withdrawing from the Gentile believers. Peter held to anti-gospel doctrine and Paul confronted him on it.

Eileen
12-01-05, 04:57 PM
Joe,

I don’t believe you actually go my point……….Here is the difference!

I don’t look at anything I do from a heart of flesh as a ‘good work’; I look at it as a work done in me!!

I love the Lord because He first loved me
I repent of sin because the Holy Spirit grants me repentance
I can do all things, only because Christ strengthens me
I pray naturally to the Lord God from a heart of flesh, given me in regeneration
I abide in the Lord Jesus by His power
I bury myself in the Word of God because I find Jesus Christ, my Savior there
I love the brethren because Christ has empowered me to love them
I forgive because I am forgiven

I could go on for hours of the work Christ has done in me! But it is His work, not mine and if I ever begin to call them mine, I stumble and I become like the Pharisee. When I keep my eyes and mind focused on Christ alone and His work alone, I don’t. We live and move and have our being in Him and it is God who works in us to will and to do!

Do you understand that a ‘work’ prepared by God for me to walk in could be something that I don’t even know that I am doing and more than likely is. I don’t consciously think of ‘good works’ ever. I examine myself in light of the Word of God and trust the Lord to accomplish His will. Anything we point to as a conscience work soon becomes a matter of pride and of comparison with others and we run the risk of substituting our works for Grace…………..Oh Lord may it never be!

Eileen~

GraceAmbassador
12-01-05, 06:35 PM
Are you saying that Paul would never question a man's salvation based upon his works but only based on his profession?

Brother, please notice that there was a Christian in the Corinthian congregation whom Paul asks the Corinthiians not to pray for and he wishes his body would be delivered to Satan so his soul would BE SAVED. This means obviously, remain saved since Paul would not teach Salvation by "satan's beating" nor "sudden death Salvation". Paul could have questioned this man's Salvation by his "works" but not even a grave sin was judged by Paul as "bad work" or lack thereof.

Just for your checking.

Milt

GraceAmbassador
12-01-05, 07:10 PM
Dear Milt,

I very much appreciate your comments. I agree that James can not be construed or understood to be talking about Christ's work. My opinion is that James is speaking of Justification in more general terms, not so precise or specific as we would like. In other words James was not thinking "now I will speak concerning JBG and then transition to JBM. My presupposition is that the use of the word Justification has matured in Christian circles since the first century, and that the biblical use of the word is more broad than our initial impression of it. Blame western rationalism if you must, but there are several places in scripture where the Holy Spirit uses the word "justification" but is not indicating our legal stand before God.

This kind of thing happens often with words that we grow attached to a specific, precise meaning to. Just look at how immersionist view the word "Baptidzo"! They insist that the word can only signify immersion / submersion - but unfortunately for them the scripture uses the term more broadly and can encompass sprinkling and ritual cleansing. I bring this up not because I want to start a baptism discussion - but simply to show the Bible will use word's to fit it's own contexts and meanings. That said, do you think that James is talking to men who seem to abuse Christian liberty? Does it not seem that he is directing his comments to correct lifestyle not theology?


Andrew T. Adcock

Dear Andrew and all:

I agree with you in principle that some words have a wider semantic range. Just as much as the verb "to save" in the Bible does not always means Eternal Salvation in Christ but in many examples confused by various denominations, the words "saved, salvation, save" mean only "salvation from something eminent or an impending tragedy.

However I do believe James was speaking of justification by works as one speaks of justification before God. James initiates this hybrid notion of works plus faith for salvation. James is speaking of works of charity and he presents such as a credential of the Christian when you all know that non christians also do practice, even more than true Christians, charity.

I will no longer elaborate in this point. If anyone here believes that works of charity is the credential of the Christian (I speak as in the context of James), then great; I hope they practice charitable works and please place my name on your list; I certainly can use some charity! Better yet, from those who claim that this text speaks of justification before men and the context is "charitable works", I EXPECT some charity to me and to others lest they appear not to practice what they preach and be mere hypocrites.

Don't send me a copy of your IRS return just yet, but the line where it asks how much charity have you contributed in the exercise of the year, I hope there is a good chunk there or else you will not bear the I.D. or the credential of a Christian according to your own theology of James! As a matter of fact, true charity is NOT THE ONE that we claim in our 1040 IRS return but it is the one that is done in secret and with no expectation of return or reward. If one wants to be "justified before men", in other words, and accept the text of James, one MUST BE CHARITABLE lest one is disobedient of the Apostolic command of James.

Of course I speak in terms of absurdity (as it is Paul's style). But reflect on the argument of "justification before men" and measure the consequences and what kind of "hierarchy" of "great feats" and "greater feats" it would bring to the body of Christ. I see a contest; I see people being elected to be ministers based upon their charitable works... I see "spirituality" (if that really exists) being measured upon how much charity one exercises. This is what God intended avoid when he inspired Paul to write about GRACE ALONE.

One final appeal to common sense about "boasting"; any type of purposeful and premeditated show of "spirituality" using works, the one in the context of James IS BOASTING period. If anyone believes that Paul said it would be OK for anyone to boast before men, which I cannot believe some people deny that they said such a thing, note that Paul claims that God sent him a messenger of satan to buffet him so he would not boast. That shows what Paul believes about boasting (I know this text is misinterpreted and mistranslated). So in order to interpret what one author says, we have to check what he thinks about the whole issue. Analyzing what Paul says about boasting, when he said "...not before God..." he was stating how "boasting" is low in his view and NEVER saying: "not before God, but before men is all right..."

Please, let's reflect a little!

I will rest for a while...

Milt

Mickey
12-02-05, 01:33 AM
I have been following this discussion very closely and something came to mind...

What if us here at 5solas were not denying Justification by works but instead we were promoting that scripture teaches it?

Let’s say we were using James to support Justification by works. I would be curious to see how much those of you who disagree with the moderators (on the Multi-Level Canon) would contradict yourself or just plain confuse the readers while you tried to refute this heretical teaching of Justification by works. I would like to compare your arguments against Justification by works with your comments in this thread to see if you can keep the lines from crossing. Or would this simply become another mystery that we just cannot know?

harald
12-02-05, 03:31 AM
Well I do not end up with this result you have Harald. I believe vs 23, 24 are speaking about something different. So please do not jump to conclusions on my understanding here. I think verse 23 speaks of Gen 15, much before offering Isaac. (Joe K)

Verse 21 is not the Gen. 15 happening. At the Gen. 15 happening Abraham's believing YHWH was attributed to him as character righteousness. By God. But not as justifying righteousness. This latter (Abraham's JBG) took place, in Abraham's case, when Christ died away for him on Calvary. At the occasion of Abraham's offering up Isaac character righteousness was also attributed to him. The Gen. 15 case was a case where no manifest work was involved, only inward confident trust towards YHWH at His solemn promise. The Isaac case was a case when both inward confident trust and externally visible work was involved. The work(s) flowed from the trust. V. 22 literally says "the faith was intimately working together with the works of his". So, James sets forth two separate instances in Abraham's life when God attributed character righteousness to him. These were so-called "real imputation" cases.

As character righteousness was attributed to Abraham many times Paul in Rom. 4 also says that this same thing was to take place with respect to genuine believers of the Body age. Romans 4:24 proves this, specifically the words "hoi mellei logizesthai", lit. "to whom it is being about to be being attributed". The rendering of the two verbs as "shall be reckoned" (ASV, cp. Douay-Rheims, Geneva, KJV, ESV, HCSB, NASB, NKJV, WEB, Weymouth etc.) is wrong. Paul did not write one verb in the future indicative passive. But one in the present indicative active (mellei) immediately followed by another in the infinitive present passive (logizesthai). The fact that the infinitive is in the present tense means that a once-for-all attributing is not in view. If Paul had willed to speak of a one-time attributing (of character righteousness) the tense of the infinitive would have been aorist. And inasmuch as the tense is present it follows that it may be properly rendered "to whom it is being about to be attributed time and time again".


Harald

Ivor Thomas
12-02-05, 04:20 AM
Acts 9;38Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha,
which by interpretation is called Dorcas:
this woman was full of [good works] and almsdeeds which she did.
Ephesians 2;10,For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus
unto [good works,]
which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
1TIM;5;10,[Well reported of for good works;]
if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers,
if she have washed the saints' feet,
if she have relieved the afflicted,
if she have diligently followed every [good work.]
Titus, 3;8,This is a faithful saying, and these things
I will that thou affirm constantly,
that they which have believed in God
might be careful to maintain [good works.]
These things are good and profitable unto men.
Hebrews,10;24,
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to [good works:]
These are just some scriptures that to me show,
by there rendering of good works, how faithfull James is,
And how the Holy Spirit has preserved for us the 66 books,
each one part of the cannon. Ivor Thomas.

harald
12-02-05, 06:27 AM
Ivor,

Good observation.

In conjunction with this. I did a KJV search on the Pauline epistles. Paul uses "good works" (plural) 11 times. And the singular "good work" 7 times. More than all other writers together.
Then it might be mentioned that KJV did not distinguish between "kalos" and "agathos", but rendered both alike as "good". Kalos as distinct from agathos means intrinsically good in and of itself considered, i.e. considered apart from how it may affect. With agathos the emphasis is on goodness which affects for good, is conducive to well-being. Paul increasingly towards the end of his ministerial career used kalos. Meaning he was exhorting his converts and imitators and brethren to intrinsically good works. A good example of this is seen in Titus, where "good works" (plural) occurs 4 times. Each time "good" in the Greek is kalos. Meaning that in Titus' epistle, and via Titus, Paul exhorted those that had believed God to do or perform works which in and of themselves were excellent and good and virtuous. They were not first and foremost to be concerned whether the works benefited others for good, but whether they were intrinsically virtuous and good in the sight of God, and after His standards.

In light of this, and in light of what Brandan and some others have said, it seems they have a problem with what Paul was teaching, and not only with what James was teaching. It seems as though "good works", in the discussing about them, is somehow "taboo" with the same. Surely it cannot be wrong or taboo to discuss such a scriptural concept as "good works" (both kalos as well as agathos such).

Harald

lionovjudah
12-02-05, 07:50 AM
.

One final appeal to common sense about "boasting"; any type of purposeful and premeditated show of "spirituality" using works, the one in the context of James IS BOASTING period. If anyone believes that Paul said it would be OK for anyone to boast before men, which I cannot believe some people deny that they said such a thing, note that Paul claims that God sent him a messenger of satan to buffet him so he would not boast. That shows what Paul believes about boasting (I know this text is misinterpreted and mistranslated). So in order to interpret what one author says, we have to check what he thinks about the whole issue. Analyzing what Paul says about boasting, when he said "...not before God..." he was stating how "boasting" is low in his view and NEVER saying: "not before God, but before men is all right..."

Please, let's reflect a little!

I will rest for a while...

Milt

Hello Milt: I only ask what Paul means then when he speaks of boasting in different circumstances in the scriptures I provided earlier. He obviously has 2 distinct types in mind. One that is fine, one that is wrong. In regards to Romans 4, I still believe Paul was only stating that one cannot boast to God the same way one can boast to men.

lionovjudah
12-02-05, 08:00 AM
Verse 21 is not the Gen. 15 happening. At the Gen. 15 happening Abraham's believing YHWH was attributed to him as character righteousness. By God. But not as justifying righteousness. This latter (Abraham's JBG) took place, in Abraham's case, when Christ died away for him on Calvary. At the occasion of Abraham's offering up Isaac character righteousness was also attributed to him. The Gen. 15 case was a case where no manifest work was involved, only inward confident trust towards YHWH at His solemn promise. The Isaac case was a case when both inward confident trust and externally visible work was involved. The work(s) flowed from the trust. V. 22 literally says "the faith was intimately working together with the works of his". So, James sets forth two separate instances in Abraham's life when God attributed character righteousness to him. These were so-called "real imputation" cases.


Harald

Thanks Harald for the observation. I never thought of character righteoussness before God as anything different than justifying righteousness. And also, If we can look back retroactively to the benefits of the cross, why could not God cause the same with those who died prior to the cross? Does real imputaTION differ from justifying imputation?

harald
12-02-05, 08:53 AM
Thanks Harald for the observation. I never thought of character righteoussness before God as anything different than justifying righteousness. And also, If we can look back retroactively to the benefits of the cross, why could not God cause the same with those who died prior to the cross? Does real imputaTION differ from justifying imputation? (JK)

You welcome.

Your question "does real imputation" etc. is a very good one. The answer is yes. If I take Abraham as example.

In Gen. 15 we see a "real imputation" (so also the Isaac case, as stated previously). At the point of Abraham's believing YHWH for His promise God (YHWH) attributed/ascribed ("imputed") Abraham's faith as righteousness, i.e. character righteousness. A "real imputation" on the part of YHWH, because Abraham already was in possession of righteousness (character r., not justifying r.) when God did the imputing. God simply attributed to Abraham what he (Abr.) had. He had character righteousness, and his "believed GOD/YHWH" was an avenue of its manifestation. YHWH attributed this faith as righteousness.

At Calvary, in the case of Abraham, we see justifying "imputation". There Abraham came into possession of a justifying righteousness in the sight of God the Judge. Christ's R. When God the Father attributed righteousness to Christ on the tree it also benefited Abraham automatically, on account of him being "in Christ" as well as in mystical union with Christ his Surety there and then (Paul's saying in 2Cor. 5:21 was fulfilled in Abraham's case, he became "righteousness well pleasing to God" (dikaiosunee Theou), in the Person of his suffering Surety). When I say "the Father attributed righteousness to Christ" I mean a "real imputation". God attributed to Him what He already possessed, Perfect Spotless Righteousness. And whereas this was (primarily) a "real imputation", on one hand, as respected Christ, it was, on the other hand, a "justifying imputation" as respected Abraham. Abraham was at this point constituted perfectly righteous before God as Judge, in Christ, by virtue of Divinely established union with Him. This was a thing which Abraham in his own lifetime yearningly looked forward to, Christ's day. He saw it, and back then was glad and rejoiced.

In the case of Abraham's "justifying imputation" he was ("legally", "forensically") "impious" and "sinful" just prior to the attribution of righteousness to His Surety (with whom he was in union). But at the point when God as sovereign Judge attributed righteousness to his Surety he (Abraham) ceased to be "impious" and "sinful" in God's sight. God was now his Justifier. Whereas in the case of Abraham's "real imputation" in Gen. 15 (and the Isaac case) he already possessed character-righteousness prior to God attending to the real imputation. And the reason for why he was possessed of character righteousness was of course because God had quickened him some years before, imparting "a new nature". And this past quickening was effected on the footing and by virtue of the efficacy of the future resurrection-to-be of Christ his Surety.


Harald

lionovjudah
12-02-05, 09:17 AM
After some study, I am now certain that there is a form of boasting that is spoken about in scripture that is acceptable. kauchesis {kow'-khay-sis}


AN act of rejoicing or glorying.

GraceAmbassador
12-02-05, 09:25 AM
I have been following this discussion very closely and something came to mind...

What if us here at 5solas were not denying Justification by works but instead we were promoting that scripture teaches it?

Let’s say we were using James to support Justification by works. I would be curious to see how much those of you who disagree with the moderators (on the Multi-Level Canon) would contradict yourself or just plain confuse the readers while you tried to refute this heretical teaching of Justification by works. I would like to compare your arguments against Justification by works with your comments in this thread to see if you can keep the lines from crossing. Or would this simply become another mystery that we just cannot know?

Mike:

It does appear that some here are attempting to divert the issue to "good works", in whatever form it appears in the Bible and in the process implying that we at 5solas do not regard "good works" as something Biblical. Well, we do and we don't have to prove anything to anyone.

The only thing, Mike, you, me and the other moderators are stating here is, that even knowing that Paul mentions "good works" and that we are God's master piece created to "good works" and that the N.T. is full of people with Good works, again, what we are affirming here is:

Paul or anyone else NEVER said these words: (perhaps NOT EVEN JAMES):

24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.


You don't find these words anywhere else in the Bible in the context they were spoken by James (or whoever said it on his behalf).

Milt

Mickey
12-02-05, 09:43 AM
Agreed Milt, all I can do is sit back and shake my head in amazement at the fact that this discussion has digressed to proving that Christians are called to good works. It's amazing that in order to preserve James people are willing to argue as if we are denying good works in the life of the believer and in so doing they forget what the real issue is here:

No one denies that the believer’s life is void of good works. What we do deny is that James is speaking of good works in the same way Paul has. Paul is clear that good works are an inevitable part of a believers life wrought out of faith. James teaches that these works justify us plain and simple.

Also I did not see anyone attempt to answer for Chapter 5.

Anyway, let’s get back on track. The issue is the Multi-Canon, not if good works should accompany faith (this is a given and it's not what James is speaking of).

harald
12-02-05, 10:01 AM
kauchesis {kow'-khay-sis}


AN act of rejoicing or glorying. (JK)

Correct. The -sis suffix informs that an act (viewed as being in progress) is in view. Strictly speaking its meaning is "glorying", which means "proud rejoicing". And this noun is used both in negative and positive senses. Context determines which. When used in positive sense the "proud" of the "proud rejoicing" takes on a positive sense. It is not then a sinful "proudness" or "pride". Kauchesis cannot be said to primarily mean oral bragging (boasting's prime meaning today if I understand aright). There is another word which more has reference to "bragging" or "vaunting". It is the alazo- root family of words found in the GNT. It is, I believe, always a negative sort of thing. Never used in a positive sense by Paul.
I believe kauchesis is depicted primarily as an internal thing, which may take on an outward manifestation as well, but not necessarily. The alazo- family words as good as always take on some outward manifestation. Paul uses the noun from this family in e.g. 2Tim. 3, when he prophesied to Timothy that in the last time there will be lit. "presumptuous vaunters" (or "empty vaunters, or boasters"). These are such as make much of their profession of Christianity. They vaunt themselves, boastfully and by way of ostentation, in something ("a relationship with Christ") they presume to be in possession of, but which they do not actually possess. Some other character descriptions of these are according to Paul - "fond of money", "arrogant", "false accusers" (diabolos, the noun rendered "devil" by some versions), "without mastery over self", etc. etc. Not a pretty description of today's Christianity.



Harald

samohtwerdna
12-02-05, 10:44 AM
Dear Milt,

I think the discussion has gone somewhat off point and I am glad that you have stuck to it. I don't think anyone denies "Good works" as a part of Salvation - but how they recognize those may differ. I also thought it was plain from scripture that we are to some extent permitted to judge a man's profession by his conduct. I was astounded to here Brandan's insistence that Paul judged Peter's Doctrine not his conduct - but If Peter won't suffice I wonder about the man in the incestuous relationship in the Corinthian Church - was Paul judging him by his profession or conduct? Your appeal to reflect a little is a good one! Whatever side of an argument we end up on - we should never try to make scripture say something that it doesn't or not say something that it does.

With that in mind, how do I find vs.. 24 of James 2 to be consistent with the Gospel. My answer is the same as Mikes to me... context! The context seems to me to address false professors in their conduct. What makes you and others so sure that the context is other than this?
Also, James is the one who tells us that to break the law at one point is to break the whole law. Thus if James believed that salvation was through the works of the law - he only believed so based on total perfect keeping of the law - and the whole book of James indicates that he firmly understood total depravity. Thus by James construct only Christ can be saved - and if you are correct about vs24's context he was justified by the works he did as well as the faith that he professed. - Whether Christ gives that perfect righteousness to his bride and assumes her complete punishment is not overwhelmingly clear in James - but He does use the terms Grace in the context of Jesus Christ - So maybe this was in his mind?

Mike,
I hope that you don't feel that I or several others, are being contrary for the sake of being contrary here? I have no beef with the moderators, but simply believe that James is an inspired book - and wish to defend it nobly. If I am not doing that please let me know. And along those lines, I must confess that I have been impressed with the conduct of most of the people that are participating in this discussion. And to that point...

Brandan,
I was not bringing up adhom to discredit your remarks. Merely reminding you that your public profile is volitionally promoting of your attitude and approach to Christian instruction. You have not asked forgiveness to my knowledge and if displaying these attributes is your way of showing humility I very much question if that is working. I am not attacking your character - I am questioning your presentation and it's consistency with what you have said here. (if your respond... I don't care what you think of my presentation, please note: that is heart of proud rejoicing) I thank you for this brief opportunity, but will not address pride and good works any longer. The occasion to offend is to great!


Andrew T. Adcock

GraceAmbassador
12-02-05, 10:59 AM
After some study, I am now certain that there is a form of boasting that is spoken about in scripture that is acceptable. kauchesis {kow'-khay-sis}


AN act of rejoicing or glorying.

Joe:

This is another side issue; we are discussing "good works unto salvation in addition to faith". The issue of "boasting" was brought up as a diversion. Can you show me an example where Paul or other tells us to "kauchesis" about our good works? In other words, do you see any example, contextual, in line with what the author said about the issue in other texts, in line with the theme of the book and the target audience that anyone said in the N.T.:

"Boast about your good works; they are an additon to faith in your Salvation". Can you?

If not, allow me to say with kindness that there is no reason to bring up this word in this thread. It is off topic and a distraction to the core issue here.

Let's stop the diversion; all of us! The issue of this thread is MULTI LEVEL CANON. Not boasting, not the validity of the Greek Koinê words, and nothing else.

Milt

GraceAmbassador
12-02-05, 11:02 AM
I am not responding to any question that is not related to this thread. I will begin to delete or place in another thread posts that are not related to the issue proposed in this thread. I will decide, in full communication with the other moderators what course of action is more appropriate for posts that have nothing to do with this thread.

Thanks for everyone's cooperation.

Milt

Brandan
12-02-05, 11:32 AM
Brandan,
I was not bringing up adhom to discredit your remarks. Merely reminding you that your public profile is volitionally promoting of your attitude and approach to Christian instruction. You have not asked forgiveness to my knowledge and if displaying these attributes is your way of showing humility I very much question if that is working. I do not ask your forgiveness because I have not intentionally displayed these attributes toward you. If you have been offended by me, I suggest that you point out to me exactly where and what I said that you thought was arrogant.


I am not attacking your character - I am questioning your presentation and it's consistency with what you have said here. Well it sure seems to me that you are attacking me. However, I'm used to it, and I will also consider your background. I have no hard feelings toward you, and if you wish to continue to passively attack me like I feel you are in this forum, that's fine. I only ask that you stay on topic and if you wish to talk of my character or insult me, please consult me privately.


(if your respond... I don't care what you think of my presentation, please note: that is heart of proud rejoicing) I thank you for this brief opportunity, but will not address pride and good works any longer. The occasion to offend is to great!Whatever. Let's get back on topic.

Brandan

InChristAlways
12-02-05, 11:49 AM
Dear Milt,


I think the discussion has gone somewhat off point and I am glad that you have stuck to it. I don't think anyone denies "Good works" as a part of Salvation - but how they recognize those may differ. I also thought it was plain from scripture that we are to some extent permitted to judge a man's profession by his conduct. I was astounded to here Brandan's insistence that Paul judged Peter's Doctrine not his conduct - but If Peter won't suffice I wonder about the man in the incestuous relationship in the Corinthian Church - was Paul judging him by his profession or conduct? Your appeal to reflect a little is a good one! Whatever side of an argument we end up on - we should never try to make scripture say something that it doesn't or not say something that it does.

With that in mind, how do I find vs.. 24 of James 2 to be consistent with the Gospel. My answer is the same as Mikes to me... context! The context seems to me to address false professors in their conduct. What makes you and others so sure that the context is other than this? The golden rule of interpretation?

I am not responding to any question that is not related to this thread. I will begin to delete or place in another thread posts that are not related to the issue proposed in this thread. I will decide, in full communication with the other moderators what course of action is more appropriate for posts that have nothing to do with this thread.

Thanks for everyone's cooperation.

MiltHi Milt. I did a word search just on works and I didn't have time to really seperate the different ways this word is used in the NT.
Has anyone ever put up all the verses that refer to this word "works" and tried to come up with a conlusion on harmonizing James with Jesus and Paul? I would enjoy doing this but I am kind of busy translating and working on some OT scriptures, but if I get time, I may work on this.
Steve

I wish I would have known about this site a year ago.

http://www.scripture4all.org/index.htm

ergon (Strong's 2041) occurs 176 times in 161 verses: Page 1, verses 1 - 25 WORKS. 2041 ergon er'-gon from a primary (but obsolete) ergo (to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication, an act:--deed, doing, labour, work.

Titus 2:7 concerning all things thyself showing a pattern of good works; in the teaching uncorruptedness, gravity, incorruptibility,

Ephesians 2:10 for of Him we are workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God did before prepare, that in them we may walk.

praxis (Strong's 4234) occurs 6 times in 6 verses: 4234 praxis prax'-is from 4238; practice, i.e. (concretely) an act; by extension, a function:--deed, office, work. 4238 prasso pras'-so a primary verb; to "practise", i.e. perform repeatedly or habitually (thus differing from 4160, which properly refers to a single act); by implication, to execute, accomplish, etc.; specially, to collect (dues), fare (personally):--commit, deeds, do, exact, keep, require, use arts.

Matthew 16:27 "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

lionovjudah
12-02-05, 12:48 PM
Joe:

This is another side issue; we are discussing "good works unto salvation in addition to faith". The issue of "boasting" was brought up as a diversion. Can you show me an example where Paul or other tells us to "kauchesis" about our good works? In other words, do you see any example, contextual, in line with what the author said about the issue in other texts, in line with the theme of the book and the target audience that anyone said in the N.T.:

"Boast about your good works; they are an additon to faith in your Salvation". Can you?

If not, allow me to say with kindness that there is no reason to bring up this word in this thread. It is off topic and a distraction to the core issue here.

Let's stop the diversion; all of us! The issue of this thread is MULTI LEVEL CANON. Not boasting, not the validity of the Greek Koinê words, and nothing else.

Milt

Milt This is the nature of on line forums. And the job of the moderators is to do exactly what you are doing. I will now call you the "digression/diversion" police.

Now these are all connected Milt regardless if you see it or not. James is being targeted and any fruit that falls from shaking this solid tree will have to be discussed.

I never stated I believe that our works are added to our faith or to complete our salvation. I never stated our boasting is as a braggart pious, pompous ass.


The missunderstanding of James has led to distortions of salvation and just throwing the book out. Both results are rotten. Paul and James are writing about different ideas and to different audiences.

Those to whom James is writing to were not pagans. They knew God, They grew up with the scriptures. They were not pagan gentiles that Paul spoke to . They grew up with John the Baptist and over a decade of apostolic teaching. Paul approaches from a different angle, but is constantly rebuking for sinful behavior. The fact remains, by the power of God, there is a change in the life of the redeemed believer. IT is not just lip service. Paul deals with an eternal spiritual righteoussness for justification before God, james deals with a temperal rightoeussness, a characgter righteoussess.


IT would be much easier for James to not exist. No matter how many letters of Paul were written or included, there would always be someone who insisted that man must do something to merit salvation. But by inspiring James to write a book that has been twisted forever, we can now teach why works do not add, complete or maintain ones standing. But we can also tell those who produce more fruit to examine their profession

Leonard A.
12-02-05, 09:05 PM
Greetings all,

I have been following this thread and would like to address one aspect of the dialogue -- that of “justification before men.” Let me start by stating a foundational principle: part of God’s decree, in any dispensation, is the Holy Spirit’s regenerating and sanctifying work in the elect.

In Matthew 22:37-40, the Lord condenses all the Mosaic Law into two representative commandments: “ . . . Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” The first of these “two great commandments” sets forth man’s responsibility toward God under the Mosaic Code; the second sets forth man’s responsibility toward man.

With that as a background, we look at Jas 2:8, which says: “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well:” Notice that, in this text, James quotes the second part of the Lord’s encapsulation of Moses’ Law, as recorded by Matthew. To be specific, He quotes the part that sets forth the commandment related to the individual’s responsibility to regulate his daily life in a manner that reflects as great a love for those around him as he has for himself.

And it is in this context that we are to understand the thrust of Jas 2:24: “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” By this statement, James sets forth a clear warning, i.e., at this time in history, if this expression of faithfulness to Israel’s Household Law is completely absent from the life of a particular Jewish individual, that person has not been regenerated. In other words, James is addressing how an individual Jew should regulate his behavior so as to identify himself with the believing Jewish community of that day.

It should be noted that more than six hundred specific precepts which make up the full Mosaic Code are epitomized by the Lord’s two overarching commandments recorded in Mat. 22:37-40. That James clearly understood this principle of “representative” or “case” law is clear, for he writes in one-and-the-same context that “ . . . whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

Moreover, in all dispensations, the elect are driven to seek to understand their Household Law and to honor the God of Scripture by obeying it faithfully from the heart. Not for salvation -- salvation rests entirely on the finished work of Christ -- but as a foundation for the necessary operational judgments they must make regarding other professing believers they come in contact with.

Through the centuries the epistle of James has been mocked and vilified, but by the referenced text, true Jewish saints of his day were undoubtedly encouraged and strengthened.

By His Grace,
LAN

GraceAmbassador
12-02-05, 10:05 PM
Dear LAN:

Your understanding of the Jewishness of the book of James is excellent and commendable. However both by looking at your profile and by the words expressed in your post above I see your dispensational vein ruling your view. Nothing wrong with that, I might add, if we consider that James is indeed a Jewish book, addressed to Jewish people.

This statement is also very insightful:



And it is in this context that we are to understand the thrust of Jas 2:24: “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” By this statement, James sets forth a clear warning, i.e., at this time in history, if this expression of faithfulness to Israel’s Household Law is completely absent from the life of a particular Jewish individual, that person has not been regenerated. In other words, James is addressing how an individual Jew should regulate his behavior so as to identify himself with the believing Jewish community of that day.


If one should say that for a Jewish person the "royal household law" was the credential of regeneration in the eyes of James, then it is fair to say that James is truly dealing with justification before God and not men. How could a man prove his regeneration by fulfilling the royal law if not by "using the exhibition of the fulfillment of the royal law as HIS regeneration (and not merely a proof thereof). I REALLY think that James, by any interpretation presented here, traditional, hybrid, or novel it leads me to believe that he is saying: By works (whether it be charity-in context-or fulfilling the "royal household law") and faith a man would be saved.

Anytime external proof of Salvation is required in a "religious" system, that very same external proof becomes the "way" whereby one was saved. It never failed in the past and it will never fail in the future. The question is then "has it become the "way" of Salvation in the book of James or for his "hearers"... Well, study his disciples in later years. Was it James intention to bring about such a dire concept? Read his own words or words attributed to him. Whether James would establish such a notion or that notion was later attributed to him is what is in question in this thread. Why then did it not happen when Jesus established the "royal law"? Jesus never taught that it would be an addition to his future work in the cross, at resurrection and when He presented His perfect sacrifice before the Father. Jesus clarifies his teaching later and also later he establishes a new commandment: "Love one another as I have loved you". He was speaking to those whom He had already from eternities past decided to regenerate (except the traitor). Jesus used the royal household Law appropriately. I don't see the same in the teaching attributed to James.

I rest my case!

Milt

Thanks for your post!

Milt

harald
12-03-05, 09:05 AM
How could a man prove his regeneration by fulfilling the royal law if not by "using the exhibition of the fulfillment of the royal law as HIS regeneration (and not merely a proof thereof). (Milt)

From the above statement it seems you are confused in your conception of "regeneration". "regeneration" as such is found only once in the NT in the sense of speaking about "an inward change" in a man. And this is in Titus 3:5, in versions. The Greek noun is paliggenesia, and strictly speaking means "restoration" rather than "re-generation". The noun which would literally translate into "re-generation" is not used in the Greek Scriptures, it being "anagenn&#234;sis". Paliggenesia is something which is closely connected to "quickening". Quickening is not a process, but an instantaneous thing. Neither is paliggenesia a process or ongoing thing, your "regeneration", but an instantaneous once-for-all thing effected by God. As quickening is never repeated once God has performed it, neither is paliggenesia. So, to say "using the exhibition etc. ... as HIS regeneration" is to speak but confusingly.


I REALLY think that James, by any interpretation presented here, traditional, hybrid, or novel it leads me to believe that he is saying: By works (whether it be charity-in context-or fulfilling the "royal household law") and faith a man would be saved.

By your "be saved" at the end I understand you mean justified before God. So, you say James teaches JBG "by works and faith". But where is the proof, Milt? Give just one contextual proof that James treats of JBG here in James 2. And if you are inclined, would you be so kind and give proof from some other NT penman (or penmen) where it is hinted at James being thus heterodox (soteriologically) as you infer. I am waiting with interest at what you find.

Anytime external proof of Salvation is required in a "religious" system, that very same external proof becomes the "way" whereby one was saved.

In light of this statement of yours ... what would you like to assert about John the baptizer and Paul, seeing that both demanded "fruits meet for repentance" ?

Well, study his disciples in later years.

Could you spell out in clear text what you are implying.


Harald

GraceAmbassador
12-03-05, 11:01 AM
From the above statement it seems you are confused in your conception of "regeneration". "regeneration" as such is found only once in the NT in the sense of speaking about "an inward change" in a man. And this is in Titus 3:5, in versions. The Greek noun is paliggenesia, and strictly speaking means "restoration" rather than "re-generation". The noun which would literally translate into "re-generation" is not used in the Greek Scriptures, it being "anagenn&#234;sis". Paliggenesia is something which is closely connected to "quickening". Quickening is not a process, but an instantaneous thing. Neither is paliggenesia a process or ongoing thing, your "regeneration", but an instantaneous once-for-all thing effected by God. As quickening is never repeated once God has performed it, neither is paliggenesia. So, to say "using the exhibition etc. ... as HIS regeneration" is to speak but confusingly.


I will only respond to the quote above:

Harald, I have four years of Greek Koin&#234; and I prefer not to engage in discussions about "words and their meanings" because if that would solve any problem we would not have so many different opinions about issues. I discuss concepts in the light of the whole body of scriptures. Of couse I agree with the meaning of paliggenesia in principle. I used the word "regeneration" only to respond to this proposition from LN (read his post):



And it is in this context that we are to understand the thrust of Jas 2:24: “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” By this statement, James sets forth a clear warning, i.e., at this time in history, if this expression of faithfulness to Israel’s Household Law is completely absent from the life of a particular Jewish individual, that person has not been regenerated. In other words, James is addressing how an individual Jew should regulate his behavior so as to identify himself with the believing Jewish community of that day.


That is the only reason I used the words. It is called discussing in a level playing field and using the same thought process of your discussion partner (I don't believe in "opponents" in this case). So I used the concept of regeneration merely for understanding purposes.

I will give you one hint, and only one hint, about who are the disciple of James and you can interject all you want and perhaps prove that your question is derived of some misunderstanding of "church" (not the ek-klesia) history:

Roman Catholicism, Thomism, Justinisn and others... James, or whoever wrote his book is not to blame, doubtless, but again, I do believe that James did say:

24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

I want to stick to studying this statement alone, for now, then later chapter 5 in determining whether James wrote his book and if he did it or not, if we should consider it among the highest canonic books.

Milt