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Why were there certain "books" left out of the Holy Bible?

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by Faith712, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. Faith712

    Faith712 Newbie

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    I'm trying to understand something.

    On the History Channel, every once in a while they explore religious topics, christian topics too.

    What was interesting, is I first heard of the books of Jesus' childhood by the History channel. There were books about when Jesus was a child left out of the Bible and there were also books about some of the apostles left out of the Holy Bible.

    So okay, I understand that the Bible was taken from the Hebrew or Jewish people and the Greek and Roman people and translated into English and to a way in which English speaking people could understand it. This was done by King James.

    This is a bit off topic, but this is why there are misunderstandings and so called "contradictions" in the Bible. It's not that the words weren't translated correctly, but some things were lost in translation. That's why preachers constantly have to convince people that the Holy Bible by King James IS the word of God.

    Any way, here's what I don't understand. In Revelations, it says that nothing should be removed or added to the scriptures. So okay, then why are the books about Jesus childhood and some of the apostle experiences left out of the Holy Bible?

    Why are those books considered non canon or not important?

    Oh yeah, off topic, but in Genesis it said that either Abel or Cain left Adam and Eve and found a wife but his kids were cursed. If Adam and Eve were the first and only other humans in the beginning, then who was his wife he found?

    Last but not least, is it true at one point Angels mated with humans? Is it true that when Jesus died on the cross, he actually went to heck and did something there that had something to do with the angels who mated with the humans? By the way, that story is considered non canon or unimportant too.

    Sorry for all the questions, just wondering.
     
  2. miamited

    miamited Ted

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    hi,

    you can easily find out how the canon of the scriptures was established and that will answer your questions about the 'books' that didn't make it in. The most important concern when deciding to set the canon was establishing what was already used by the 'church' and authorship.

    Yes, angels did have sexual relations with earthly women and the account is not non-canonical. You will find it mentioned in the Scriptures.

    My encouragement is that you read the Scriptures. A lot of your questions are answered in the the Scriptures.

    God bless you.
    In Christ, Ted

    Cain's wife was a sister or cousin.
     
  3. SilenceInMotion

    SilenceInMotion New Member

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    The Church believes that the Helper, or the Holy Spirit, worked through the Church fathers to comprise the canon of Scripture. Everything fundamental to Christianity was produced in this same way, and in fact, the RCC believes the Spirit still works through it. The papacy, for example, is ultimately determined through the Spirit which moves through the cardinals and so on.

    Within that, I see a bit of irony with Sola Scriptura adherents. The same lineage of people built the Catholic Church on the same principle of Spirit, and even though Luther tried to reconcile this by taking books out of the canon, he was a heretic to the Church spoken of in Scripture.
     
  4. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    This is what the RCC teaches, and I agree part of it. The fact is, the inspired Books and Epistles that would finally become the NT Canon were known to be such as soon as they were written (IOW, not just by the Council members of the 4th Century, but by their human authors and by the Apostles themselves, during the 1st Century .. see for instance, 2 Peter 3: 13-16).

    As far as your second paragraph goes, I will not comment on it other than (first) to make it clear that Martin Luther never removed any book from the NT or OT in his German translation (at least not from the ones I've seen). He even included the Apocryphal books, though he did place them in the back.

    Finally, as far as the RCC being the church "spoken of in Scripture", again, that's what the RCC wants you to believe, but is it true? This "claim" of exclusivity by the RCC, that it alone is God's 'one true church', is built upon the mistaken translation of a single word in the Latin Vulgata from the last portion of John 10:16 ... a fact that Rome does not dispute (well, the mistaken translation of ποίμνη anyway .. means "flock" not "fold") . For the RCC take on why that doesn't actually matter, the Jerome Biblical Commentary is as good of a place as any to read the "spin".

    --David
     
  5. SilenceInMotion

    SilenceInMotion New Member

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    You can see it after the fact, just how you can see Isaiah speaking of Jesus after the fact, but one would be hard pressed to say that other apocrypha, for example, would have been so easy to dismiss at the time of canonization.
    The way I see it, the council members themselves were predetermined by God to make the decisions they made. You could replace them with other people, and there may have been an entirely different conclusion to the matter. The Ethiopian churches, for example, include the books of Enoch.
     
  6. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis De profundis clamavi et exaudisti me.

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    The Canon came about on purpose. However not by a singular authoritative group. While there were a number of local councils which met to discuss the subject, this was never a universally binding thing.

    In Roman Catholicism the formal declaration of the biblical Canon transpired at Trent in the 16th century. However Trent is only authoritative for Rome. This long after the schism that split Catholicism in the West and Orthodoxy in the East, and was after the Reformation as well.

    That said, the Canon was/is not a conglomeration put together from a pool of hundreds of books--that's a misconception that often is perpetrated by those who don't know the history.

    In the early centuries of the Church we can speak of something like a "core" Canon. A list of books that were universally accepted everywhere, this includes the four Gospels, the Epistles of Paul, and possibly 1 John and 1 Peter. Also, generally, the Septuagint was embraced without too much controversy, though some books were disputed from what became called the "Old Testament".

    Most of the disputed books involved what should be New Testament. That small list of disputed books were known as Antilegomena ("disputed") and these include books present in our current New Testament (2 and 3 John, 2 Peter, Jame, Jude, Hebrews, the Revelation of John) as well as books that aren't (the Didache, the Shepherd, the Revelation of Peter, the Epistle of Barnabas). This list was small.

    Various Gnostic texts such as so called "lost gospels" were never disputed, they simply were never considered for canonicity.

    The Canon, as mentioned, was intentional. The Canon evolved out of the question, "What books are to be read in worship?" That is, for the liturgy (just like in Judaism). When the Fathers and early leaders of the Church discussed this question there were certain criteria that tended to be rather important:

    1) Universal or near-universal acceptance. That is, it should be something that has been read throughout the churches across the known world, and been read for a long time.

    2) Antiquity. That is, it should be apostolic in origin. This is why many books were disputed: Hebrews had an unknown author, 2 Peter and Jude were regarded as being late pious forgeries, the Shepherd was known to have been written after the apostolic era.

    3) They should teach orthodox doctrine. The books should confirm with what the Church had received from the beginning. The Shepherd of Hermas, for example, was increasingly thought heretical, and became increasingly disfavored because of this.

    These rather basic guidelines helped the Church reach a gradual consensus. Never by authoritarian fiat, but rather a much more "democratic" sort of consensus--what the Faithful had consistently received, read, and confessed.

    The issue of the exact boundaries of the Canon ultimately, in the West, came to a head during the Reformation period. Which led to the moving of the Deuterocanonicals to an appendix titled "Apocrypha" in Protestant Bibles, and also the Roman Catholic Church defining the Canon at Trent. Protestant Bibles have, since, more-or-less completely removed the Deuterocanonicals, and one has to go out of their way to find a Protestant Bible with Deuterocanonicals published.

    This sort of exactitude has never, to my knowledge, been a "thing" in the Christian East, and as such there is a general consensus--but no definitive clear boundary--in the East. Generally the Septuagint is embraced in toto along with the agreed upon 27 books of the New Testament. But it's a bit more fluid in the East than in the West where the Reformation period brought the topic to a more concrete closing for both Protestants and Catholics.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  7. SilenceInMotion

    SilenceInMotion New Member

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    Yes, it's not authoritative to those who don't want to face the less desirable facts of Christianity. But then again, that includes Jews or Muslims.

    There are a thousand and one excuses to reject the primacy of Rome, and each and every one of them are as bogus as the next.
     
  8. dysert

    dysert Member

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    Re canonization, there have been some good replies, so the only thing I would say is that the canon was essentially established through the process of "survival of the fittest". By that I mean, many of the original NT books were written to folks who had first-hand experience with the teachings of Jesus or the apostles. As the churches would read these books, they knew through their own personal experience whether what they were reading was consistent with what they had been taught. The books that passed the "veracity" test were copied and they proliferated. The books that failed the test were dismissed. Over time, a corpus became established that the people *knew* was true. The result is the 27 books that most Christian Protestants recognize as the New Testament.

    I'm not sure where you're going with this. The misunderstandings and so-called contradictions are the result of improper study methods, not because of some lack in the Bible itself. And although there are some KJV-onlies, I think it's safe to say that most of us who hold to biblical inerrancy are talking about the original manuscripts and not a particular English translation.

    You must be referring to Rev. 22:18 --> "For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book." This is usually thought to be talking about the book of Revelation itself and not the whole Bible.

    The inclusion/exclusion of books in the canon has been addressed.

    Gen. 5:4 tells us that Adam had other sons & daughters. Add to this the fact that people were living hundreds of years and it becomes clear that Cain's wife was a relative of some sort (sister, cousin, niece, etc.).

    I think you're talking about Gen. 6:4 --> "There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown." The traditional understanding of this verse is that it's talking about the godly line of Seth as the "sons of God" instead of angels. After all, angels aren't "equipped" to procreate (see Matt. 22:30).

    When Jesus died, it's often thought that He went to Hades (Acts 2:31) and proclaimed the gospel to those who were there. This comes from Eph. 4:8-10 --> "Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men." (Now this, "He ascended"--what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)"

    Combine this with 1 Pet. 3:18-20 --> "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water."

    There is some disagreement about that these verses actually mean, but I don't think many serious students of the Bible think the verses are dealing with angels.

    Good questions!
     
  9. Harry3142

    Harry3142 Regular Member

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    Faith712-

    The books now contained in our NT canon were all brought together before 170 AD, with the exceptions of James and Hebrews. The Muratorian Fragment listed them, as well as dating when they were written so as to verify that they were indeed written during the period immediately following the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. You can read The Muratorian Fragment on this site:

    www.bible-researcher.com/muratorian.html

    Other books were written by authors who attempted to promote their own agendas via giving them an authority which they did not deserve. This is why books such as St. Paul and Thecla, as well as books describing Jesus' childhood, were written as if they were being recorded by eyewitnesses, when in fact their authors were at least an entire century removed from any occurrences which had taken place during Christ's life among us, or even during the lifetimes of the apostles.
     
  10. pshun2404

    pshun2404 Newbie

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    Anyway, here's what I don't understand. In Revelations, it says that nothing should be removed or added to the scriptures. So okay, then why are the books about Jesus childhood and some of the apostle experiences left out of the Holy Bible?

    They were not left out, they simply were not included on purpose because they were mostly second century gnostic distortions not even written by the authors named (who were mostly long since physically dead…for example the so-called gospel of Thomas is not a gospel at all, neither is it written by Thomas but is a heretical 2nd century gnostic distortion which immediately the Church fathers noted as a fake and disregarded (though it does include some of Jesus actual sayings which we already have in the genuine gospels of which there are only four).

    in Genesis it said that either Abel or Cain left Adam and Eve and found a wife but his kids were cursed. If Adam and Eve were the first and only other humans in the beginning, then who was his wife he found?

    Secondly, it is not said in the Bible that Cain left Adam and Eve and found a wife and His kids were cursed. However, since Adam and Eve were encouraged by God to be fruitful and multiply and by the time we hear the story of grown up Abel and Cain (one a shepherd and the other a farmer) Adam and Eve had already been being fruitful and multiplying for a number of years. They were not corrupted genetically at this point (at least not very much) and so mating with their siblings and the their own children mating with their cousins is a given. Abel and Cain were their first two children but nothing implies they were their only children.

    is it true at one point Angels mated with humans? Is it true that when Jesus died on the cross, he actually went to heck and did something there that had something to do with the angels who mated with the humans? By the way, that story is considered non canon or unimportant too.

    Genesis 6 tells the story where the “sons of God looked upon the daughters of men…and lay with them and bore mighty ones (nephilim or giants which may mean huge people like Shaquil O’Neil or beings later called Titans) upon the earth”. Some say these were fallen angels other say the godly line of Seth intermarried with the daughters of Cain but this is a debate that still flourishes.

    Now Jesus did descend into Hell but this word means the abode of the dead (sheol) which in Greek is called Hades. This is however a Jewish idea (called by them Abrahams bosom) which allegedly has two compartments one for the unrighteous dead and another for the righteous dead and there they remain until judgment day. On judgment day, those declared righteous by God go to be with Messiah in the Kingdom and those judged in their sin go to that place metaphorically referred to as “the lake of fire” which sadly in English translations is also called Hell. These two places are not the same. For an example of the first see Luke 16 (Lazarus and the Rich man).

    Now it is said by tradition and based on a few scriptures that Christ went here after His death to lead the captive righteous home…thus in Revelations 7 when we hear of the great uncountable multitude, some of them are these persons/souls (lie Abraham. Sarah, Noah, etc., who Had His righteousness before Christ came and actually shed His blood for the remission of their sins)

    First off Hell is not a sware it is a name given to a place, so you do not need to say heck, but it is good not to tell people to go there because if you understand it you would not want anyone to have to go there but that is largely up to them here.

    It is good to listen to the many views and contributions to your query but also follow Miamiteds advice it was very sound...the first thing you need to do is prayerfully read the Bible for yourself. These kinds of questions are usually planted like seeds by skeptics who know they will grow...careful...bad seed produces bad fruit...know the truth and the truth will set you free

    Jesus said I am the truth
    He who is the truth said, Father sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth
    And the Spirit you will or hope to receive is the Spirit of truth, who will lead you and guide you into all truth (see above)

    And all three are in agreement...

    In His name

    Paul
     
  11. theophilus40

    theophilus40 Newbie

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    Cain killed Abel and was cursed. (There is no mention of any curse on his children.) He and his wife left and settled in a land called Nod and built a city there. You can read all about this in Genesis 4:8-16.

    Genesis 5:4 says that Adam had many sons and daughters. Obviously Cain's wife was one of his sisters. If you want to find out more about this you can go to answersingenesis.org and search for Cain's wife.

    Here is what the Bible says.

    Some people think these sons of God are fallen angels but there are other views on the subject. For more information on this I suggest you go to answersingenesis.org and search for Nephilim.

    If I could I would have provided links to the Answers in Genesis articles but I haven't made enough posts to post links. However that site is a good place to find answers to your questions. Another good site is carm.org.
     
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  12. bricklayer

    bricklayer New Member

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    Providence is why.

    A why question is actually part of a series of questions because one can always ask again :why" to any answer.
    Why-questions are actually why-series questions.

    Why series questions begs a common context. We may not recognize a common context.

    My context and answer are above.
     
  13. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran CF Ambassador

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    Via Crucis described the process. If you're interested in specific documents, you need to look both at when they were written and what their viewpoint is. There are a few books, e.g. Didache, that are fairly early. But the other Gospels are at least 2nd Cent and probably later, and all you need to do is glance at them to see that they are not likely to be historical. The infancy gospels in particular. If you think Matthew's birth story pushes credibility, you haven't seen anything yet.

    The one exception (aside from a few fragments from otherwise lost works) is Thomas. Personally I think Thomas is also late, and strongly influenced by Gnosticism, but some scholars disagree.
     
  14. Radagast

    Radagast has left CF

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    These books were written long after the New Testament. Sometimes hundreds of years afterwards. Also, some of them were not written by Christians.

    The Old Testament was. The New Testament was written in Greek by people who had met Jesus. It was decided by the early church to include only books by people who had met Jesus (including Paul) -- which is why the letters of other early Christians weren't included (ViaCrucis has given more details about this).

    Well, no. We are almost 100% certain of what the original Greek New Testament said (there are so many ancient manuscripts), and modern translations translate directly from the Greek.

    It sounds like the History Channel deceived you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  15. Knee V

    Knee V It's phonetic.

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    The book of Revelation does not say that nothing is to be added to or taken away from Scripture; it says that nothing is to be added to or taken away from the book of Revelation.

    Something to keep in mind is that when the issue of the canon of the New Testament was being debated, it was not an issue of "we have to determine what's going to be in the Bible." It was not a matter of deciding what is and is not "scripture". Rather, it was an issue of what is and is not "Apostolic". The whole reason that we have a New Testament is because it is the written legacy of the Apostles. That is why the Church received those letters, and that is why they kept them, and that is why they read them in their worship (as ViaCrucis pointed out). What the Church debated is which writings are part of that group; which books are part of that written legacy of the Apostles. If a writing was not universally received by the whole Church from the beginning, and if it did not jive with the Apostolic faith that the Church professed, then it was not an Apostolic writing.
     
  16. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis De profundis clamavi et exaudisti me.

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    Well it is the channel that lets this guy have a voice:

    [​IMG]

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  17. 7he4uthor

    7he4uthor 7he 7rue he4RT of 7he CRE4TOR

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    ---
     
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  18. Radagast

    Radagast has left CF

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    Assuming you mean "omitted," that's false. The Book of Enoch is not in the Codex Sinaiticus, for example. Indeed, it's been lost long ago, and apart from fragments, only the Ethiopian translation survives.
     
  19. 7he4uthor

    7he4uthor 7he 7rue he4RT of 7he CRE4TOR

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    ---
     
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  20. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis De profundis clamavi et exaudisti me.

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