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What I believe about Scripture, take 2

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Johnny4ChristJesus, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    For those who helped me with your feedback before. Thank you. I have version 2. It is longer. If you are willing to discuss with Scripture, please do. As I mentioned before, I am working through a personal doctrinal statement. Your Scripture-based feedback or historical feedback if I have missed something, whether you agree or don't, enables me to go back to the Scriptures and/or history again.

    Again, this is my personal statement of belief concerning Scripture. I am not trying to offend anyone. I am just stating what I believe. You can disagree with me. I can accept that. Here it is:

    1. I believe that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” by which I understand the whole Bible is inspired in the sense that holy men of God “were moved by the Holy Spirit” to write the very words of Scripture.

    A. I believe that includes the 66 Books currently in the Protestant Bible: 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. I understand that while all 27 books were widely circulated, other books were circulated too which aren’t part of that list of 27. I also understand that, of the 27 books that were confirmed, 5 were not unanimously in the canon in the 3rd century (per Origen), but all were in the approved canon in the 4th century (per Athanasius) confirmed by the Council of Carthage (397 AD) to counter the many false writings, apocrypha, and false doctrines resulting from them, at the time.


    B. I also understand there are extra books. These books are referred to as Deuterocanonical by the roman catholic church and Apocryphal by the protestants. I believe both are in error. I choose to agree with Athanasius who conceded that those books are useful, but not on the level of Scripture. Therefore I do not believe they are worthy of “2nd canon” status and I also do not believe they are worthy to be called “apocryphal” or “spurious” (which means of doubtful authenticity). Spurious/Apocryphal books, like the supposed “Gospel of Thomas” and any others that aren’t even listed by Athanasius would be worthy of the apocryphal/spurious label.


    NOTE: Athanasius in 39th Festal Letter of A.D. 367: “[from paragraph 2] some few of the simple should be beguiled from their simplicity and purity, by the subtilty of certain men, and should henceforth read other books—those called apocryphal—led astray by the similarity of their names with the true books; [from paragraph 6, after listing the Scriptures of Old Testament in paragraph 4 and New Testament in paragraph 5] These are the fountains of salvation, that he who thirsts may be satisfied with the living words they contain. In these alone the teaching of godliness is proclaimed. Let no one add to these; let nothing be taken away from them. [from paragraph 7] But for the sake of greater exactness I add this also, writing under obligation, as it were. There are other books besides these, indeed not received as canonical but having been appointed by our fathers to be read to those just approaching and wishing to be instructed in the word of godliness: Wisdom of Solomon, Wisdom of Sirach, Esther, Judith, Tobit, and that which is called the Teaching of the Apostles, and the Shepherd. But the former [listed in earlier paragraphs], my brethren, are included in the Canon, the latter [what is mentioned above here] being merely read; nor is there any place a mention of secret writings. But such are the invention of heretics, who indeed write them whenever they wish, bestowing upon them their approval, and assigning to them a date, that so, using them as if they were ancient writings, they find a means by which to lead astray the simple-minded.”

    C. I believe the Scriptures included in what we call the Bible are the sufficient, reliable, true, honest, and perfectly consistent Testimony of God regarding the human matters He chose to speak to us about.

    2. I believe that this divine inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of the writings—historical, poetical, doctrinal, and prophetical—as appeared in the original manuscripts.

    3. I also believe that, as the omnipotent Absolute Sovereign over all, God does not lie and has no reason to lie. God has the ability to keep His Word. I believe God watches over His Word to perform it (Jer 1:12), I believe that God’s Word never returns void, but accomplishes that which God pleases and that His Word will succeed in the thing for which He sent His Word. (Isa 55:11) I believe the Word of God is living and active (Heb 4:12) and I believe faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Rom 10:17).

    4. I believe that the whole Bible in the originals is without error and perfectly consistent. I believe all translations have translational errors; but that doesn’t make void the Life of God’s Word contained within the Holy Scriptures, as noted in the next paragraph.

    5. I believe in transcendant Inspiration whereby God carries the Life of His Word forward through translations, in spite of translational wording errors:

    A. For instance, Tyndale and Wycliffe produced the first two English translations at a time when England’s king was in support of the controlling Roman Catholic church. It cost them their lives. But, later, when England’s king stopped supporting the Roman Catholic church, he commissioned an English translation that we know as the KJV. This version, like its predecessors, is not free of translational errors. As but one example, three different Greek words are all translated “hell” in the KJV New Testament.

    6. I believe God will bring an indwelt believer into all Truth regardless of translational error, if the believer will listen to Him over men, their traditions, and his own self-interest.

    A. Jesus said: “My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself.” (John 7:16-7) To do that, one must be able to know the doctrine through the Words spoken by Jesus Christ and one must be, without limitation, willing to do God’s will.

    B. I agree that we cannot self-interpret Scripture; but the Holy Spirit will lead fully surrendered individuals into all Truth.

    1) An uninspired man will never know the Truth by reading the Bible as we read a history or science book. But that is not what the verse (2 Pet 1:20) often used to support that idea means.

    2) BUT, when an individual is fully surrendered to the Holy Spirit, then: “When He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come” (John 16:13) and “if you continue in My Word, then you are My disciples indeed; and you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-2), according to the very Words of Jesus and Jesus said “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35).

    3) So, if we would all fully surrender (and divorce ourselves of self-interest, tradition, and politics), we would be led to the same exact interpretations. There is One Spirit and One Truth.

    4) To ensure that we are fully surrendered, I have found that finding genuine believers who are outside one’s circle is imperative. They will be used to shake the hidden deceptions that we have inadvertently believed (because of our own traditions that even those who don’t believe in tradition have accepted) out of us, if we let God use them. They will also be used to sharpen the Truths we have believed.

    5) As two examples of how tradition, self-interest, and politics impede the Truth:

    a) Consider Luther and the Roman Catholic Church: The catholic church had become corrupt and was using the “extra books” to justify selling indulgences, for example. Luther responded with his 95 Theses. Luther referred to the early fathers and confirmed that the extra books were not Scripture and therefore are not the basis for doctrine. The Roman Catholic magisterium then responded by officially elevating those books to Scripture status (2nd canon) and pronouncing anathema on any who didn’t accept those books as being Scripture. Surely, The Holy Spirit was not leading that behavior!

    b) Consider when the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church both ex-communicated each other (and their respective followers) from the faith over matters of politics and tradition prior to the above division. Again, surely the Holy Spirit was not leading that behavior.

    c) I don’t believe the church was following the Holy Spirit when they joined forces with the Roman emperor Constantine, either.

    7. As a result, I reject the idea that a visible church body is the infallible or even the proper interpreter of Scripture; because they have sold themselves to the gods of tradition and self-interested controlling politics which necessarily impede the Truth from being known to them.

    8. God is neither constrained by missing words nor extra words nor wrong words. God only chooses to be constrained by an individual’s genuine (heart) response to Him.

    A. If this were not true, I would not have been able to be woken up by God through an NIV audio Bible while in a hotel room by myself, in spite of my “church’s” lack of belief in being born again.

    B. Because this is true, there are probably genuine believers (and thus members of the True Ekklesia/Ecclesia) that are currently found in almost all, if not all “church traditions/denominations (or whatever else you would call the whole visible mess).

    C. We will all eventually rise above the mess, if we allow God to lead us into all Truth instead of preferring our own traditions, politics, and control over Him.


    9. The Bible is not what is referred to in 1 Cor 13:10 as “that which is perfect”; therefore, there is no reason to conclude, as some errantly do, that the gifts of the Holy Spirit have been retracted.

    10. I do not believe it is appropriate to call the Testimony of God (that we have in The Scriptures we call The Bible) “The Word of God”, because it confuses people into thinking that they can quote things that were said by people--other than God or those God spoke through--as if they are Truth about God and man.

    A. While it is true that these things were said, according to the inerrant Testimony of God, what people said is not necessarily true and therefore shouldn’t be quoted as if it was. (For example: Job’s three friends said a lot about God who said they didn’t speak correctly about Him; so, to quote those three friends as if what they said was true would be using the inerrant Scriptures errantly. In Jesus’ run-ins with the pharisees, they often said things that weren’t true. To quote them, as if what they said was true, would be an errant use of the Scriptures.

    B. God makes errant words obvious.

    11. The True “Word of God” is the Person of Jesus Christ who is much bigger than what we have in the Scriptures; but, there is nothing false in Him.

    12. I believe in the Theocentricity, as opposed to the Christocentricity, of the Scriptures. Within that bigger Theocentric context, I do not dispute that the Scriptures in what we call the Old and New Testaments of the Bible speak extensively of the Person and Work of our One and only True Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Scriptures also speak extensively about the Father. The Scriptures also speak of the Holy Spirit. So, I prefer to call the Scriptures Theocentric as opposed to Christocentric.

    13. I also believe that all the Scriptures were given for much more than simple practical instruction. Jesus said “My Words are Spirit and they are Life”. (Mark 12:26, 36; 13:11; Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Acts 1:16; 17:2–3; 18:28; 26:22–23; 28:23; Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 2:13; 10:11; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21).
     
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  2. Lost4words

    Lost4words Like a puppy, i need guidance. Supporter

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    'Your' beliefs. Ok. Add it to the list of the millions of others in the world with their very own individual beliefs too.
     
  3. David Cabrera

    David Cabrera Well-Known Member

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    Yet Athanasius submitted to the authority of the Church.
    I also read he accepted Baruch as canonical but not Esther. What do you make of that?
     
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  4. Monk Brendan

    Monk Brendan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There are several historical errors in what you have said above, but I will comment on only 3.

    1. Christianity became A LEGAL religion under Constantine, not the state religion.

    2. There were several English versions of the Bible authorized by either the church authority or Crown before the KJV. Most notable among these is the so Bishops' Bible at the time of Henry 8.

    3. The pre-reformation Eastern churches always accepted what you call "extra books" (which actually were part of every English version until the NASB of the 60's), but never sold indulgences. And the Armenians did not accept Revelation until the 18th century.
     
  5. Monk Brendan

    Monk Brendan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Luther did not want to accept either Esther (presumably the Hebrew version, which is quite different from the LXX text) or James, which he called "the Epistle of straw."
     
  6. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, he did and thanks for pointing that out. I know we don't agree, David. That's okay. There was a lot of discussion on that in the research I read, as a result of some challenges on my number of books in my last post. The idea of "Canon of Scripture" took on a whole different meaning that what I had grown up understanding from within the Protestant church. I am thankful for that.

    I guess for me, the reason I believe the Old Testament is because I believe the New Testament and Jesus and the Apostles quoted from it as if it was true and had to be fulfilled. What exactly constitutes the Old Testament has just been a matter of acceptance of what I was given. I have not been sufficiently compelled to reject that or sufficiently compelled to add in other books. I understand that Esther is a Book that wasn't quoted from. It just comes with the package that I was given. Why was Esther chosen and not Baruch? I don't know. Do you?
     
  7. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    #2--Do you have any references for someone producing a full Bible before Wycliffe?

    English Bible History: Timeline of how we got the English Bible

    https://catholicexchange.com/the-un...olics-first-translated-scripture-into-english

    Bishop's Bible - 1568

    #3. I understood the "extra books" were always with the Scriptures. I just understood that they weren't considered part of the inspired Scriptures. Why would recognized bishops of the church (like Athanasius) lessen the value of Books unnecessarily, if they were considered part of the officials Scriptures? He didn't have to say what He said in His 39th Letter and Augustine and Jerome also said something similar, maybe following suit. Why, if they were accepted as equally inspired with the other Scriptures?
     
  8. David Cabrera

    David Cabrera Well-Known Member

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    Once again, bishops can give their opinion about anything until it becomes dogma.
     
  9. Jason0047

    Jason0047 Give in secret & you will be rewarded openly. Supporter

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    First, for me it was a faith thing (involving God opening my eyes). Second, later in time, it was confirmed to me that God's Word did have tons of evidences backing it up (unlike any other holy book out there). The Bible is the Word of God is undeniable based on it's many evidences that back it up.

    If you have not seen it already, here is my blogger article on the many evidences that supports God's Word.

    Love Branch: Evidences for the Word of God
     
  10. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for sharing, Jason. I know there are a lot of evidences. I've listened to a lot of apologists share; but I listened to them share after I already believed, because of God waking me up. And, I listened, not for the purpose of shoring up my weak faith, but for the purpose of being able to help others. My faith is inseparably tied to the fact that the God of the New Testament woke me up; so, no amount of "new facts" would unravel my trust in Him or the Scriptures He used to do it. And, no amount of "new facts" about Scripture would make my faith any stronger in the Scriptures that God used to produce life in me.

    In summary, I don't believe in the Bible because of the legitimacy evidences (even though there are plenty), but because of the life He gave me through the Bible. All I was saying is why I believe The Bible.
     
  11. Jason0047

    Jason0047 Give in secret & you will be rewarded openly. Supporter

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    Your welcome.

    For me: The evidences are there because it shows that God and His Word are true without a doubt. While I did not need evidences in the beginning, for me, I found it comforting to know that there are an overwhelming amount of evidences that proves God's Word is divine in origin. Some folks say you cannot prove the Bible is the Word of God. I say, "Yes you can prove the Bible is true and it is divine in origin." This is why so many will be without excuse. The evidences for God's Word being unique and divine in origin unlike any other book in human history is overwhelmingly obvious. The evidences are important because they point to the truth. No other religion has a holy book like the Bible. In fact, many religions seek to add their own holy book to the Bible (Which is an attack upon God's Word). One does not attack something unless that thing has value. Banks are broken into because they have value inside them. It's no different with the Word of God. So I think the evidences for me is important. I think they are a way of helping me to defend the faith. These evidences are a witness or testimony against men's sinful beliefs and actions. For a person of another religion can say they had a religious experience, too. But ultimately in the end, the facts do not support them. There are no evidences truly backing them up.

    "We have also a more sure word of prophecy;" (2 Peter 1:19).
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
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