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Featured How Many Books Are in Your Bible? 66? 73? 81?

Discussion in 'Denomination Specific Theology' started by Garlic Magnet, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. Garlic Magnet

    Garlic Magnet Augsburg Catholic

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    240650.b.jpg

    I'm genuinely interested in hearing about how many books are in a canon. The number varies greatly.

    The Lutheran Position on this subject is unique. While today, especially in the West, Lutherans keep and utilize Bibles with the 66 standard Protestant books, Lutherans have never been confessionally bound to any particular canon. We don't necessarily have an "Open Canon" in the sense that there is still room for further revelation and creation of new Scripture, but we also are yet to have a formal closed canon. The Book of Concord never gives a definitive list which Lutherans must follow. (In fact, I have heard IIRC that Eastern Rite Lutherans read from books rejected by Protestants at their liturgies). It is infamously known that Martin Luther held a personal negative disposition with regards to the Apocrypha/Esther and the New Testament books of Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation, even to the extent of separating them from other books at the end of each of their respective Testaments.

    In defense of Luther's actions, Lutherans point out that he was simply making a distinction which was present in various forms and at different times in the early church: the separation of Homologoumena and Antilogomena. Homologoumena are simply those books upon which there was perfect consensus and always had been (with the exception of heretics such as Marcion). Antilogomena are those books which have been debated at one point or another as to their authorship and/or divine inspiration.

    The only other Christian tradition which I can find to be remotely similar to Lutheranism is that of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church. Within their Biblical canon, they have a similar dichotomy, albeit with a closed canon: the "Narrow" Canon and "Broad" Canon.

    Are there any Oriental Orthodox more familiar with the Tewahedo canon who can weigh in on this for me? Thoughts? This has always been a personal issue for me as I don't know how we could ever have true ecumenism when we don't even have the same text to debate.
     
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  2. myst33

    myst33 Well-Known Member

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    I have various Bibles with different canons.

    Somehow, it does not matter to me. I do not build any important doctrine on small portions of text. I believe in nicence/apostolic creeds, Trinity, being born again, fruit of the Spirit and some protestant principles. The rest is not so important.

    Personally, I think that some books are more inspired and some books less or even not at all, even though they are in canon. But it is useful to read them all, to better understand the biblical and cultural context, at least.
     
  3. geiroffenberg

    geiroffenberg Well-Known Member

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    Luther did not in fact change the nt canon, tough
     
  4. -57

    -57 Well-Known Member

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    I almost choked when I read that.

    Scripture after scripture has been presented to you that shows the creation and fall as seen in Gen 1-3 is literal. You base your Genesis didn't happen theology on a small portion of scripture.

    I now return you back to the thread.
     
  5. Knee V

    Knee V It's phonetic.

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    It depends on how certain books are grouped or divided. Sometimes Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremiah are included as part of Jeremiah, and sometimes they're separated into different books. Sometimes the "extra" parts of Daniel and Esther are places within Daniel and Esther, and sometimes they are made into their own books.

    Generally speaking, it's around 73.
     
  6. Garlic Magnet

    Garlic Magnet Augsburg Catholic

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    I believe one is absolutely required to hold the homologoumena at the very least. I personally hold the 73 Roman Catholic books, 3 & 4 Maccabees, Prayer of Manasseh, Psalms 151 - 155, and Ethiopic Clement.
     
  7. ChristianForCats

    ChristianForCats Saved by Christ

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    I did not know until this year Catholic Bibles have more than 66 books. IMO it is wrong for Catholics to be using different Bibles because Scripture clearly states no part of it shall be added or removed. Either all of us should have the Apocrypha or none of us should have it, depending on its validity as God's Word.
     
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  8. bbbbbbb

    bbbbbbb Well-Known Member

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    When I have mastered the standard 66 books I will turn my attention to others. I have a feeling, though, that a very warm place will freeze over completely before I have begun to master even the two greatest commandments, much less all that is in the 66 books.
     
  9. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    Why do you think Catholics are the ones using "a different Bible". What makes your Bible the right one? Why does your Bible have books removed from it if no part is supposed to be added or removed?

    Your assumption is that the 66 book Protestant Canon is the default "correct" Canon, but that's all it is, an assumption; and it's a baseless one at that.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
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  10. ChristianForCats

    ChristianForCats Saved by Christ

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    I said Catholics and (not or) Protestants use different Bibles. Neither Bible is the "correct" one if all of the Apocrypha (of which parts were removed by the Vatican) was in the original Bible and proven to be God's Word. The only assumption I am making here is the original Bible text has been changed too many times.
     
  11. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    Here's the thing though, there's never been one universal Canon of Scripture accepted by all Christians. That's never existed.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  12. ChristianForCats

    ChristianForCats Saved by Christ

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    What about the first Bible written after the Ascension?
     
  13. Philip_B

    Philip_B all shall be well and all shall be well and ... Supporter

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    Speaking as an Anglican, and referring to the Articles of Religion:

    We receive the 39 Books of the Old Testament that most are familiar with, and the 27 Books of the New Testament that are all but universally received, being the 66 books of the Primary Canon.

    Also listed are:
    The Third Book of Esdras
    The Fourth Book of Esdras
    The Book of Tobias
    The Book of Judith
    The rest of the Book of Esther
    The Book of Wisdom
    Jesus the Son of Sirach
    Baruch the Prophet
    The Song of the Three Children
    The Story of Susanna
    Of Bel and the Dragon
    The Prayer of Manasses
    The First Book of Maccabees
    The Second Book of Maccabees​

    Often referred to as the deuterocanonicals as whilst we receive them, they are of a different order to the primary canon, and may not be used to establish that which must be believed unto salvation. Sections of these books are appointed to be read in many Anglican lectionaries at various times during the year, though not so much in the cycle of readings for the Eucharist on Sundays and Holy Days.

    These books were included in the earlier editions of the KJV, though dropped from printing (I think in the 1800's) in order to reduce printing costs.
     
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  14. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    There was no Bible written after the Ascension.

    The earliest Christians had access to the Jewish Scriptures, primarily in the form of the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Jewish Scriptures made several hundred years before Jesus.

    But there was no defined Jewish Canon at the time either. There was, at best, something of a loose Canon, we could call it a proto-Canon for Pharasaic Judaism, this would eventually become the Tanakh in the centuries after Jesus. This Jewish proto-Canon consisted of three divisions of books: Torah (the five books of the Pentateuch), the Prophets, and a kind of catch-all for other books known as the Writings. The Torah was, of course, very much set, and the Prophets were basically pretty well established as well, but as for the Writings there would be debate over some of these books among the Jewish rabbinical authorities for a few more centuries. The most hotly debated of these books were Daniel and the Song of Songs, especially the Song of Songs.

    However, as noted, there was a Greek translation of Jewish Scriptures made centuries before Jesus which was and is known as the Septuagint. For Jews in the Diaspora and Hellenistic Jews in general this would have been their go-to for Scripture, and it made perfect sense for the early Christians to make use of it since Greek was the common tongue across the Roman Empire. The Septuagint doesn't have the three-fold division found in the Pharisaic tradition, and so the order of books are different in the Septuagint than what would eventually become the Jewish Tanakh. Likewise the Septuagint contained books, and forms of some books, which would eventually not be accepted by the Jewish rabbinical authorities later on. These books found in the Septuagint but not in the Tanakh are what are called the "Deuterocanonicals". Martin Luther gave them the name "Apocrypha" in his German translation, and so in Protestant Bibles they have often been known as "The Apocrypha" (these books continued to be found in English Protestant Bibles until the late 1800s in their own section between the Old and New Testaments).

    As such, while there was readily known and accepted Sacred Scripture received and accepted since the beginning of the Church, there was no "Bible" to speak of, no clearly defined Canon at the time.

    From the beginning some books were universally accepted, and some books were disputed. And often which of the disputed books one accepted or didn't accept had a lot to do with what part of the Christian world you lived. This is also true of what would eventually become the New Testament.

    So, again, there's never been one universally accepted Canon of Scripture. There's never been some universal, pristine Bible. There's never been one perfect undisputed "Bible". The Bible has always been in a state of at least some flux, the Canon has always been at least somewhat fluid. It's always been that way.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
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  15. Major1

    Major1 Well-Known Member

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    The Apocrypha is un-scriptural and in some case Occultic.

    Allow me to give you just one example.

    Enoch 40:9...…...
    "seen and whose words I have heard and written down?’ And he said to me: ‘This first is Michael, the merciful and long-suffering: and the second, who is set over all the diseases and all the wounds of the children of men, is Raphael: and the third, who is set over all the powers, is Gabriel: and the fourth, who is set over the repentance unto hope of those who inherit eternal life, is named Phanuel.’
    And these are the four angels of the Lord of Spirits and the four voices I heard in those days.

    The Bible never mentions an angel named Phanuel, or Raphael let alone an angel who is set over the repentance of those who inherit eternal life. That my dear friends is what the Bible calls blasphemy!

    That statement in itself contradicts everything the Word of God teaches. We read in 1st Timothy 2:5 that Jesus Christ is the ONLY Mediator between God and men, not some angel named Phanuel... "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."

    Repentance is strictly between a man and Jesus Christ alone. Only Jesus died for our sins, and shed His blood to pay for them according to 1st Peter 1:18-19; therefore, we must be diligent to guard and defend against imposters who would lead people to believe otherwise.

    1st John 2:22 clearly indicts all Christ-deniers as LIARS, guilty before God.

    There are examples just like this one in ALL of the Apochraphael books so IMO they ALL should be rejected.
     
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  16. Philip_B

    Philip_B all shall be well and all shall be well and ... Supporter

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    I recommend not throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

    Wisdom 16:5-7
    For when the terrible rage of wild animals came upon your people
    and they were being destroyed by the bites of writhing serpents,
    your wrath did not continue to the end;
    they were troubled for a little while as a warning,
    and received a symbol of deliverance to remind them of your law’s command.
    For the one who turned towards it was saved,
    not by the thing that was beheld, but by you, the Saviour of all. ​

    Whilst in the Anglican tradition we do not use the Deuterocanonicals to establish doctrine, we do accord them some worth, as the passage above discusses the bronze serpent from the Exodus, and yet seems referenced in John 3.

    John 3:14-15
    And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.​
     
  17. Major1

    Major1 Well-Known Member

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    I respectfully disagree.

    There is a valid reason why all of those books were excluded from the canon centuries ago and nothing has changed.

    None of those productions are inspired. If, for example, John had written something that did not agree with works of Moses, we would be obliged to reject Gospel and epistles of John, and the Revelation.

    The first five books of the Bible are criterion for all other works claiming inspiration. If doctrines of Apocrypha do not in every instance agree with what Moses wrote, they should find no place in the canon of the Inspired Word.

    Apocryphal books teach doctrines contrary to what Moses and other prophets have written. For this reason they were not placed among other books of Old Testament when canonicity took place in days of Ezra.

    The real question must be----- Why does the Catholic Church continue to hold on to these uninspired writings ?

    There is actually a really simple answer.......
    Because their fictitious teachings endorse false doctrines of church, such as prayers for dead, Purgatory, false cures, virtue in a burning heart of a fish to drive devils away, alms deeds delivering from death and sin, salvation by works.
     
  18. Philip_B

    Philip_B all shall be well and all shall be well and ... Supporter

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    Thank you for the respect. If you had noticed my earlier post you may have noticed the specific distinction between the primary and secondary canon by which I inferred (if not expressed) that you can not establish doctrine from the secondary canon.

    As to what you describe as the real question I am not sure why you frame it in such a way. There are a number of Churches that include more than the 39 books of the OT Canon you prefer. The Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and as you point out the Western Catholic Church, all have a wider canon. The Anglican position may seem like a foot in both camps.

    Sadly the answer provided to your question seems a little partisan. I am long way from convinced that the modern western catholic church makes much of the items on your list, save that they would affirm that the resurrection of Jesus assures us of God's continued care and concern beyond the grave.

    There are several quite good articles on the Canon in Wikipedia, reflecting a wide range of opinions, and well grounded in history. I commend them to all who would like to know more about this topic.
     
  19. bbbbbbb

    bbbbbbb Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for mentioning the Wikipedia articles. Despite the popular disrespect for Wikipedia, I have found it to be a very helpful source of information, even to the point where I am willing to part with my hard-earned money to assist it.
     
  20. prodromos

    prodromos Senior Veteran Supporter

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    LOL, no one teaches this, but tell me, what is the difference between Tobias' obedience to the angels instructions and Na'amans' obedience to Elishas' instructions?
    Does anyone teach that if you wash seven times in the Jordan you will be healed of your infirmity? Na'aman was healed through his obedience and the demon was driven away by Tobias obedience. Why do you have a problem with that?
     
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