1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting after you have posted 20 posts and have received 5 likes.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

  2. Please check out our two newest forums, the "Buy, Sell or Trade" (link ) forum in the Society Category, and the "Conspiracy Theories" (link) forum in our Discussion and Debate Category.

What is the Methodists view of inerrancy?

Discussion in 'Wesley's Parish - Methodist/ Nazarene' started by Lutherrunner, Dec 23, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Lutherrunner

    Lutherrunner New Member

    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    22
    Politics:
    US-Democrat
    Faith:
    Lutheran
    Hello all....

    I am an old liberal Lutheran who is dating a woman who goes to a conservative "Bible Church"......they believe in inerrancy of the bible in the basic fundamentalist manner and you have to sign a statement to that effect to be a member of the church. I have gone to her church, she has gone to my church as well as another Lutheran church, and we have gone to a Methodist church. I did enjoy the Methodist church and would feel comfortable there.

    So where do the Methodists stand on the inerrancy issue?

    (I suppose we could talk about women pastors, evolution and homosexuality later......;)...)
     
  2. ClementofRome

    ClementofRome Spelunking the most ancient caves of Xianity

    Messages:
    4,476
    Likes Received:
    11
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Eastern-Orthodox
    Here is the official position:

    Article V—Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation

    [​IMG]
    The Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical books of the Old and New Testament of whose authority was never any doubt in the church. The names of the canonical books are:

    Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, The First Book of Samuel, The Second Book of Samuel, The First Book of Kings, The Second Book of Kings, The First Book of Chronicles, The Second Book of Chronicles, The Book of Ezra, The Book of Nehemiah, The Book of Esther, The Book of Job, The Psalms, The Proverbs, Ecclesiastes or the Preacher, Cantica or Songs of Solomon, Four Prophets the Greater, Twelve Prophets the Less.

    All the books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive and account canonical.

    Article VI—Of the Old Testament

    The Old Testament is not contrary to the New; for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man, being both God and Man. Wherefore they are not to be heard who feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the law given from God by Moses as touching ceremonies and rites doth not bind Christians, nor ought the civil precepts thereof of necessity be received in any commonwealth; yet notwithstanding, no Christian whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral.
     
  3. ClementofRome

    ClementofRome Spelunking the most ancient caves of Xianity

    Messages:
    4,476
    Likes Received:
    11
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Eastern-Orthodox
    You will not find much discussion of "inerrancy." I do prefer myself to use the old protestant term "infallibility." The Scriptures are "infallible" in that they contain all that is necessary for faith and practice.

    Actually, I even break a tad from traditional thinking, in that, to restrict Scripture to the 66 "protestant" writings is presumptuous.
     
  4. Lutherrunner

    Lutherrunner New Member

    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    22
    Politics:
    US-Democrat
    Faith:
    Lutheran
    Thanks.....I like that term "infallible"......I think I have heard that term tossed around but kind of forgot it......I'd like to read up on that a bit more.....
     
  5. Dark_Lite

    Dark_Lite Chewbacha

    Messages:
    16,988
    Likes Received:
    127
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Faith:
    Catholic
    That's traditional thinking?

    :)
     
  6. ClementofRome

    ClementofRome Spelunking the most ancient caves of Xianity

    Messages:
    4,476
    Likes Received:
    11
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Eastern-Orthodox
    Forgive me....that is traditional thinking for us Protestants. :)

    And of course, I should have said the "traditional Protestant understanding of Scripture."
     
  7. Lutherrunner

    Lutherrunner New Member

    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    22
    Politics:
    US-Democrat
    Faith:
    Lutheran
    Ok, now you both just went over my head.......can you elaborate a bit and keep it simple?.....thanks.....:scratch:
     
  8. ClementofRome

    ClementofRome Spelunking the most ancient caves of Xianity

    Messages:
    4,476
    Likes Received:
    11
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Eastern-Orthodox
    Roman Catholics, Orthodox and others have a more broad view of Scripture by including books of the Apocrypha. And, the inclusion of these writings follows a tradition that is approx 1500 years older than the Protestant tradition. So, my bad, by simply using the word "traditional." I should have said "traditional Protestant understanding of scripture" as this is what I was getting at. Protestants "traditionally" reject the Apocryphal writings. :)
     
  9. jangnim

    jangnim Order of the Candle: Grace and Peace.

    Messages:
    775
    Likes Received:
    43
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Methodist
    So why is it that we Protestants feel that the apocryphal books are not to be a part of scripture? I can't say I have ever really understood this.
     
  10. ClementofRome

    ClementofRome Spelunking the most ancient caves of Xianity

    Messages:
    4,476
    Likes Received:
    11
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Eastern-Orthodox
    This is a very heavy question that could take a book to fill...here is the short of it from my take:

    Early Church (late 1st-early2nd century) used the Septuagint (Greek OT) as its Scripture. There can be no question to this in that Clement, 3 or 4th bishop of Rome quotes from a VERY open canon, based upon the Septuagint.
    Jewish reaction was Council of Jamnia in the mid-90's CE. Outcome was that a closed Jewish canon was now in place....only those writings that were originally written in the Hebrew language....this meant that Apocrypha was out for Jews (originals written in Greek).
    Christian Church continued to use the Septuagint as its basis for an OT until the time of the Reformers (including Apocrypha). The Reformers, in an effort to further seperate themselves from the RCC, went with the Jewish understanding of OT canon. Since then Protestant churches have "generally" rejected Apocrypha.
    Having studied 1 Clement thoroughly, I am of the opinion that the Reformers were in error...I would say that there is even the possibility that the RCC was in error in closing the canon. Clement cites many, many writings that are not found in either the RCC/Orthodox canon, nor the Protestant canon....as SCRIPTURE.

    This is all very compicated with a vast history and I am sure that this cursory treatment is not sufficient. Please if anyone wants to input/correct/criticize please feel free to jump in.
     
  11. jangnim

    jangnim Order of the Candle: Grace and Peace.

    Messages:
    775
    Likes Received:
    43
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Methodist
    Thank you ClementofRome.

    So by the phrase "Very open canon", what exactly do you mean? Does this mean references to books beyond the "blessed KJV"? I also note the the books of OT as the Jews hve it, is but one of several books for their study, if I am not mistaken.

    I'm wondering now what the criteria for scripture was in Clement's eyes. Don't get me wrong, I'm not attempting to challenge anyones beliefs here, just trying to understand. If it was in the Greek was it accepted, or did it have a tighter constraint?
     
  12. ClementofRome

    ClementofRome Spelunking the most ancient caves of Xianity

    Messages:
    4,476
    Likes Received:
    11
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Eastern-Orthodox
    jangnim,

    The following are the concluding paragraphs from chapter 3 (Clement's Canon) of my book, The Jewish Scriptures as Rationale for 1 Clement, forthcoming publication in mid-2005:

    "The above shows Clement to have been well versed in the “scripture” of the Jewish faith. This “scripture” for Clement was a vast resource from which to draw. It appears that Clement’s concept of “scripture” as authoritative writings, written from the Jewish tradition, but made applicable through the Jesus event was finely tuned. However, his concept of a “canon”, that is, a “closed number of writings” seems to be nonexistent. He draws from the MT canon, but also draws from what we now call “Apocrypha” and “Pseudepigrapha.” If the Jewish canon was closed in 90 CE, then this has had no bearing on the churches in Rome and Corinth, and it might be suggested that this was the state of the matter in Christendom in 95 CE. The “OT canon” for the late first century Christian church was not only open, but did not seem to be an issue.

    Through Clement’s use of introductory phrases, he makes it clear that he does not distinguish one authoritative text from another. He cites his source of authority with confidence and the knowledge that his readership is familiar with this material as well. If a source from the traditional Jewish canon suits his purpose, he alludes to it or quotes from it. If a source from what we now refer to as an apocryphal or pseudepigraphal work suits his need, then so be it. He views each of these sources as having come from the same originator: God.
    [font=&quot] Lastly, the sheer number of quotations and allusions, as shown above, found within this letter is evidence to Clement’s knowledge and ability to handle the Jewish scriptures and is a testimony to the importance and authority he ascribes to the texts. The Jewish scriptures were the word of God, and Clement calls this fact to the attention of the Corinthian church."

    *****
    Now, having said all of that, I also append a list of possible texts from my chapter 15, from which Clement draws his "scriptural" material:
    Gen
    Ex
    Lev
    Num
    Deut
    Josh
    1/2 Sam
    1/2 Kings
    2 Chron
    Esther
    Job
    Psalms
    Prov
    Isa
    Jer
    Ezek
    Dan
    Hos
    Joel
    Amos
    Jonah
    Habakkuk
    Zech
    Malachi
    Additions to Esther
    Additions to Daniel
    Judith
    2/3/4 Maccabees
    Sirach
    Tobit
    Wisdom of Solomon
    Odes of Solomon (?)
    Psalms of Solomon
    Sibylline Oracles
    Testament of Simeon (?)
    Testament of Judah (?)
    Apocryphon of Ezekiel
    Assumption of Moses
    Eldad and Modad (?)

    (?) means that there is strong evidence that he draws from these, but an exact quotation or definite allusion still escapes me.

    *****

    Much to digest here, but I hope that this gives some indication that the authorities of the Christian Church in 95AD had little concept of "canon."
    [/font]
     
  13. jangnim

    jangnim Order of the Candle: Grace and Peace.

    Messages:
    775
    Likes Received:
    43
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Methodist
    Again, many thanks for your patience here ClementofRome. So Clement thought of the Pseudepigrapha as factually of God? This is really news to me. Judging from this I would expect that anything might be considered scripture. Boy this goes against everything I was ever taught on the subject. Doesn't Pseudepigrapha literally mean "false writings?" what makes them false if Clement accepted them? Now I'm really confused.:help:
     
  14. herev

    herev CL--you are missed! Supporter

    Messages:
    10,675
    Likes Received:
    322
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Methodist
    Wow, good post. In my NT class, Dr. Hutson points out that Paul only uses the word canon once--it means literally "rule." And for Paul, the rule was the cross. Did it point to Jesus. THIS is Paul's canon.
    I'll have to look up where he was talking about, but I think it was Galatians.
     
  15. herev

    herev CL--you are missed! Supporter

    Messages:
    10,675
    Likes Received:
    322
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Methodist
    While CoR has much more insight into this than I, Pseudepigrapha can take on many forms. It can be a complete forgery--forged author, fake message, personal gain. It can be someone who is trying to command an appropriate authoritative position to get something done with no ill will, or it can simply be someone who writes a paper under the name of someone they've studied. This was often done in Greek culture, when someone would study, say Aristotle, the culmination of their studies might be to produce a theses as Aristotole would have written it. So Pseudepigrapha is not necessiry false in that it should be tossed out the door.
    There are many books in the NT canon that modern scholars doubt their authoriship (on some of these, I am sure CoR and I would disagree;)), but this does not mean we should toss them out of our Bibles--they are a part of the canon and they are our scripture, therefore they contain the truths we need for salvation, for an understanding of the early church (ecclesiology and doctrine), etc.
    I am, personally fascinated by pseudepygrpha, and hope after I get my msters in May to have more time to study them directly.
    I Clement offers us much insight into what was accepted early on in the church--and there are others. Not all of them are ones that we should look to for insight into what we would accept or reject today. Near the time of Clement, Marcion had his own canon--it only had his severely edited copy of Luke and some of Paul's writings.
    I look forward to seeing more of what the good Dr. ClementofRome has to teach us
     
  16. ClementofRome

    ClementofRome Spelunking the most ancient caves of Xianity

    Messages:
    4,476
    Likes Received:
    11
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Eastern-Orthodox
    herev's discussion of pseudepigrapha is correct. "False" meant any number of things. The point I am making with this study in 1 Clement is that he did NOT have a closed "canon" (and yes, "canon" is a Hebrew word meaning "measuring reed"...that which one measures faith and practice). Yes, he was pre-critical and that may have played a role in his understanding of "false," but the same group that would reject writings as "false" using a critical understanding of authorship, are the same ones who reject a critical approach when applied to the traditional Protestant canon. Clement used the sacred writings that were at his disposal and did not have any worries about "canonicity." I think that there might be a lesson to be learned here.

    Now, it has been said that one should look to Paul to see what he did with OT scripture, and for the most part he remains true to the traditional Jewish "canon." However, in 1 Cor 2:9 he does one of several things, as it is NOT a direct quote from the OT: 1) he takes several scriptures and blends them together; 2) he quotes from a source as yet known (and as this passage is found in other authors, this is a very real possibility); 3) he follows rabbinic exegetical tradition and basically creates a new "scripture" following talmudic references.

    Jude goes even further in quoting 1 Enoch and the Assumption of Moses.

    Now all of the above is in reference to OT canon. What of NT canon? There is a thread over in theology forum (I think) called OT and NT Canon where assumptions are flying like the 8th plague. One would be shocked to see the battle that raged over what should be in the NT and what should not (interestingly enough, Clement was very aware of The Letter to the Hebrews and many other early Christian writings). The Criteria of Canonicity that was assumed by the 3-4th century Church could have been flawed (please note that I said "could have" before throwing stones). The Book of Revelation was in question til the last minute. Even 1300 years later, Martin Luther did not like Revelation and said that "it did not preach Christ."

    My question would be: Is there nothing to be learned from the Gospel of Thomas or Peter or the Acti Pauli? Just asking! And yes dear herev, I believe that Paul wrote the Pastorals! :)

    BTW, I am not teaching anyone anything...just having a chat. :)
     
  17. jangnim

    jangnim Order of the Candle: Grace and Peace.

    Messages:
    775
    Likes Received:
    43
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Methodist
    I would humbly submit my dear brother that you are both chatting and teaching, as this is the Spirit at work. As iron sharpens iron....

    I thought I understood the canon and how it evolved, yet I never thought to consider a pre-canon understanding of scripture. I've always been a bit hung up on the rituals of the early church myself, but that is another thread.:)

    Being a Lay Speaker in training all of this is really great stuff guys. Thanks.
     
    herev likes this.
  18. herev

    herev CL--you are missed! Supporter

    Messages:
    10,675
    Likes Received:
    322
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Methodist
    He has been very useful to me as well!:thumbsup:
     
  19. herev

    herev CL--you are missed! Supporter

    Messages:
    10,675
    Likes Received:
    322
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Methodist
    Good stuff Mark--you are a natural teacher!
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...