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Author Topic: How to answer this polemic against the Septuagint text?  (Read 4462 times) Average Rating: 0
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Byzantine2008
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« on: September 01, 2009, 06:46:00 PM »


No true Bible believing church as has ever accepted the books as canonical for these reasons. In order for a book to be considered inspired of God and included in the canon it must satisfy the follow requirements.
1. It must have been written by a prophet of God. None of the Apocryphal books claim they were.
2. It must come with the authority of God. These spurious books are strikingly absence of the ring of authority. None of them come up to or compare in any way to the character and quality of the sixty six Books of the Bible.
3. It must demonstrate that the power of God rests on the book. There is nothing transforming about these books.
4. It must tell the truth about God, man, history, science, etc. The books are full of contradictions, errors and even heresies. The Apocryphal books are full of untruth.
5. It must be accepted by biblical Christians as inspired of God. The Apocryphal books completely fail this final and fatal test.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2009, 06:46:19 PM by Byzantine2008 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2009, 06:58:10 PM »

I believe there is some groundwork to be layed out here before a proper debate can be conducted.

First, we should realize that the Septuagint text is a greek translation of the old testament which includes the hebrew books along with the deuterocanonical books written in the intertestamental period.

This attack is directed towards these deutercononical books specifically, not the Septuagint.

Next, what does the originator of this argument consider a "bible believing church" and a "biblical Christian" to be?

« Last Edit: September 01, 2009, 07:01:38 PM by Ortho_cat » Logged
Byzantine2008
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2009, 07:02:21 PM »

I think you are correct with your analysis about the attack directed towards the deutercononical books.

"Next, what does the originator of this argument consider a "bible believing church" to be?"

Mmmmm I think protestant???
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2009, 08:08:06 PM »

Except for point 1, everything here is entirely subjective. I don't think the Song of Songs has any more of a "ring of authority" than any of the Deuterocanonical books. I find books like Sirach and Tobit to be equal in both character and quality to the rest of the Old Testament, and they have certainly been "transforming" to me. I do not believe that contradicting Protestant doctrine constitutes heresy. Only Orthodox Christians are truly Biblical, and I therefore think the Deuterocanonical books fulfil the 5th requirement comfortably.
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2009, 08:12:26 PM »

I think you are correct with your analysis about the attack directed towards the deutercononical books.

"Next, what does the originator of this argument consider a "bible believing church" to be?"

Mmmmm I think protestant???


Surely we all believe in the Bible. Why would you want to mock belief in the Bible? (If that is not what you meant, I apologize wholeheartedly.)
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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2009, 08:36:23 PM »


No true Bible believing church as has ever accepted the books as canonical for these reasons. In order for a book to be considered inspired of God and included in the canon it must satisfy the follow requirements.
1. It must have been written by a prophet of God. None of the Apocryphal books claim they were.
2. It must come with the authority of God. These spurious books are strikingly absence of the ring of authority. None of them come up to or compare in any way to the character and quality of the sixty six Books of the Bible.
3. It must demonstrate that the power of God rests on the book. There is nothing transforming about these books.
4. It must tell the truth about God, man, history, science, etc. The books are full of contradictions, errors and even heresies. The Apocryphal books are full of untruth.
5. It must be accepted by biblical Christians as inspired of God. The Apocryphal books completely fail this final and fatal test.

This is so corny it ain't even funny.


Quote:
Quote
No true Bible believing church as has ever accepted the books as canonical for these reasons. In order for a book to be considered inspired of God and included in the canon it must satisfy the follow requirements.

This is too subjective. Notice how he put the word "true" right before the words "Bible believing church". Thus what makes a "true bible believing church" depends on what that person says one is and isn't. A true """bible believing church""" to that person might be a puritan split off group of a split off group of a splitt off group in North America some 19 hundred years after the Apostles.


Quote
1. It must have been written by a prophet of God. None of the Apocryphal books claim they were.

How many New Testament books were written by a prophet? Was Esther a prophet? Was King Soloman a prophet? I guess some kings can be seen as a prophet....like David, but what about Soloman?


Quote
2. It must come with the authority of God. These spurious books are strikingly absence of the ring of authority. None of them come up to or compare in any way to the character and quality of the sixty six Books of the Bible.

This is also subjective, for who gets to decide what is spurious and what isn't? It was this type of nonsense of the 16nth and 17nth centuries that would soon later bring the rise of Protestant liberalism in which denies alot of the books this person believes in by using the same methods he uses to dismiss our books.
Who gets to decide what the "ring of authority is"? Who decides?


Quote
3. It must demonstrate that the power of God rests on the book. There is nothing transforming about these books.

How does he/she know? Has he/she read them? According to the Roman Catholic lay apologist Gary Michuta, in his book "Why Catholic Bibles are Bigger: The untold dtory of the lost books of the Protestant Bible"
http://www.amazon.com/Why-Catholic-Bibles-Are-Bigger/dp/1581880103

On page 315 he says:

QUOTE:
Quote
"Furthermore, what constitutes a divine witness? A case in point is the Protestant divine John Bunyan, author of the famed Protestant allegory Pilgrim's Progress. In his autobiography, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, Bunyan writes:

"One day, after I had been so many weeks oppressed and cast down, as I was now quite giving up Ghost of all my hopes of ever attaining life, that sentence fell with weight upon my spirit, 'Look at the generations of old, and see: Did ever any trust in the Lord and was confounded? At which I was greatly lightened, and encouraged in my Soul......."

Drawing spiritual strength from this passage, Bunyan searched his Protestant Bible for it, but to no avail. Eventually he did discover its location-in Sirach 2:11! Shocked that he had felt such divine consolation from a book in the Apocrypha, he dissembled, only to admit later that this passage continued to bring him spiritual comfort. Is this not an instance of Sirach's attesting its own divine character to John Bunyan?"


Quote
4. It must tell the truth about God, man, history, science, etc. The books are full of contradictions, errors and even heresies. The Apocryphal books are full of untruth.

Where does the Bible say this about itself? This sounds like a man made tradition put on scripture instead of something Scripture says about itself. Also, this is very subjective, for what maybe seen as a contradiction to him, may not be a contradiction to me. And what may be seen as an error to him/her, may not necessarily be seen as an error to me, and what may be seen as a heresy to him, may not be seen as a heresy to me.

As a former protestant myself, I know how protestant liberals, Muslims, and atheists say similar stuff about the 66 books this person holds to, and I know how he/she defends them against those attacks, so all of this is too subjective.

I would like to quote something else by Michuta:


quote:
Quote
"Appeals to supposed errors in the Deuterocanon have long peppered
Protestant/Catholic debates and rendered it far uglier than it needed to be.
Because Catholicism was its target, few had the forethought that this method
could be used against the rest of the Bible. As the Reformed scholar Edward
Ruess noted, "The scoffs thrown at the little fish of Tobit will sooner or later
destroy Jonah's wale." Ruess prophetic words have been fulfilled by the
extravagances of higher criticism. After the Apocrypha controversy had subsided,
critics turned the same weapons against, not only the Prophet Jonah, but also
the rest of the books of scripture. So-called errors and absurdities were
quickly expunged from the Protocanon of the Old and New Testaments. Whole books
were labeled (or libeled) as myths and fables. The end result is a bible where
only a few passages are worthy of belief. Anti-Catholic polemicists have
unwittingly opened a Pandora's box. They assumed no one would ever dare charge
the rest of scripture with errors and absurdities, yet the advent of liberal
Protestantism brought with it individuals who did not fear to apply these
arguments consistently throughout the entire Bible. The problem at the heart of
this line of argumentation is one of pride. It places the intellect in the role
of judge, allowing it to sit in judgement upon the word of God. Yet we must know
in advance what the word of God is before offering it this kind of allegiance.
That is why the canon of Scripture must be received as Sacred Tradition.

It takes humility to accept the canon of scripture as given to the
Church. But once we have made such an act all the glories of the Bible open up
to us. We may humbly submit our intellect to the text, sitting at the master's
feet like little children, knowing that even if the power to solve all
difficulties is beyond us, there is nevertheless a solution. To do otherwise
would be not only anti-Protestant (since it violates Sola scriptura), but
anti-Catholic and anti-Christian as well."


pages 322 & 323 from the book "Why Catholic Bibles are Bigger: The
untold story of the lost books of the Protestant Bible" by Gary G. Michuta
(copyright) 2007


Quote
5. It must be accepted by biblical Christians as inspired of God. The Apocryphal books completely fail this final and fatal test.


Who gets to decide who a "biblical christian" is and isn't? And who gets to decide what a "biblical christian" is and isn't?

And if this is a modern split off group from a split off group of a splitt off group of a splitt off group, then why should we care what they think instead of what christian from the 1st century on up thinks?




Just some thoughts









ICXC NIKA
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Byzantine2008
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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2009, 09:02:04 PM »


No true Bible believing church as has ever accepted the books as canonical for these reasons. In order for a book to be considered inspired of God and included in the canon it must satisfy the follow requirements.
1. It must have been written by a prophet of God. None of the Apocryphal books claim they were.
2. It must come with the authority of God. These spurious books are strikingly absence of the ring of authority. None of them come up to or compare in any way to the character and quality of the sixty six Books of the Bible.
3. It must demonstrate that the power of God rests on the book. There is nothing transforming about these books.
4. It must tell the truth about God, man, history, science, etc. The books are full of contradictions, errors and even heresies. The Apocryphal books are full of untruth.
5. It must be accepted by biblical Christians as inspired of God. The Apocryphal books completely fail this final and fatal test.

This is so corny it ain't even funny.


Quote:
Quote
No true Bible believing church as has ever accepted the books as canonical for these reasons. In order for a book to be considered inspired of God and included in the canon it must satisfy the follow requirements.

This is too subjective. Notice how he put the word "true" right before the words "Bible believing church". Thus what makes a "true bible believing church" depends on what that person says one is and isn't. A true """bible believing church""" to that person might be a puritan split off group of a split off group of a splitt off group in North America some 19 hundred years after the Apostles.


Quote
1. It must have been written by a prophet of God. None of the Apocryphal books claim they were.

How many New Testament books were written by a prophet? Was Esther a prophet? Was King Soloman a prophet? I guess some kings can be seen as a prophet....like David, but what about Soloman?


Quote
2. It must come with the authority of God. These spurious books are strikingly absence of the ring of authority. None of them come up to or compare in any way to the character and quality of the sixty six Books of the Bible.

This is also subjective, for who gets to decide what is spurious and what isn't? It was this type of nonsense of the 16nth and 17nth centuries that would soon later bring the rise of Protestant liberalism in which denies alot of the books this person believes in by using the same methods he uses to dismiss our books.
Who gets to decide what the "ring of authority is"? Who decides?


Quote
3. It must demonstrate that the power of God rests on the book. There is nothing transforming about these books.

How does he/she know? Has he/she read them? According to the Roman Catholic lay apologist Gary Michuta, in his book "Why Catholic Bibles are Bigger: The untold dtory of the lost books of the Protestant Bible"
http://www.amazon.com/Why-Catholic-Bibles-Are-Bigger/dp/1581880103

On page 315 he says:

QUOTE:
Quote
"Furthermore, what constitutes a divine witness? A case in point is the Protestant divine John Bunyan, author of the famed Protestant allegory Pilgrim's Progress. In his autobiography, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, Bunyan writes:

"One day, after I had been so many weeks oppressed and cast down, as I was now quite giving up Ghost of all my hopes of ever attaining life, that sentence fell with weight upon my spirit, 'Look at the generations of old, and see: Did ever any trust in the Lord and was confounded? At which I was greatly lightened, and encouraged in my Soul......."

Drawing spiritual strength from this passage, Bunyan searched his Protestant Bible for it, but to no avail. Eventually he did discover its location-in Sirach 2:11! Shocked that he had felt such divine consolation from a book in the Apocrypha, he dissembled, only to admit later that this passage continued to bring him spiritual comfort. Is this not an instance of Sirach's attesting its own divine character to John Bunyan?"


Quote
4. It must tell the truth about God, man, history, science, etc. The books are full of contradictions, errors and even heresies. The Apocryphal books are full of untruth.

Where does the Bible say this about itself? This sounds like a man made tradition put on scripture instead of something Scripture says about itself. Also, this is very subjective, for what maybe seen as a contradiction to him, may not be a contradiction to me. And what may be seen as an error to him/her, may not necessarily be seen as an error to me, and what may be seen as a heresy to him, may not be seen as a heresy to me.

As a former protestant myself, I know how protestant liberals, Muslims, and atheists say similar stuff about the 66 books this person holds to, and I know how he/she defends them against those attacks, so all of this is too subjective.

I would like to quote something else by Michuta:


quote:
Quote
"Appeals to supposed errors in the Deuterocanon have long peppered
Protestant/Catholic debates and rendered it far uglier than it needed to be.
Because Catholicism was its target, few had the forethought that this method
could be used against the rest of the Bible. As the Reformed scholar Edward
Ruess noted, "The scoffs thrown at the little fish of Tobit will sooner or later
destroy Jonah's wale." Ruess prophetic words have been fulfilled by the
extravagances of higher criticism. After the Apocrypha controversy had subsided,
critics turned the same weapons against, not only the Prophet Jonah, but also
the rest of the books of scripture. So-called errors and absurdities were
quickly expunged from the Protocanon of the Old and New Testaments. Whole books
were labeled (or libeled) as myths and fables. The end result is a bible where
only a few passages are worthy of belief. Anti-Catholic polemicists have
unwittingly opened a Pandora's box. They assumed no one would ever dare charge
the rest of scripture with errors and absurdities, yet the advent of liberal
Protestantism brought with it individuals who did not fear to apply these
arguments consistently throughout the entire Bible. The problem at the heart of
this line of argumentation is one of pride. It places the intellect in the role
of judge, allowing it to sit in judgement upon the word of God. Yet we must know
in advance what the word of God is before offering it this kind of allegiance.
That is why the canon of Scripture must be received as Sacred Tradition.

It takes humility to accept the canon of scripture as given to the
Church. But once we have made such an act all the glories of the Bible open up
to us. We may humbly submit our intellect to the text, sitting at the master's
feet like little children, knowing that even if the power to solve all
difficulties is beyond us, there is nevertheless a solution. To do otherwise
would be not only anti-Protestant (since it violates Sola scriptura), but
anti-Catholic and anti-Christian as well."


pages 322 & 323 from the book "Why Catholic Bibles are Bigger: The
untold story of the lost books of the Protestant Bible" by Gary G. Michuta
(copyright) 2007


Quote
5. It must be accepted by biblical Christians as inspired of God. The Apocryphal books completely fail this final and fatal test.


Who gets to decide who a "biblical christian" is and isn't? And who gets to decide what a "biblical christian" is and isn't?

And if this is a modern split off group from a split off group of a splitt off group of a splitt off group, then why should we care what they think instead of what christian from the 1st century on up thinks?




Just some thoughts









ICXC NIKA

Love your responses.

Thanks
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2009, 09:49:36 PM »

I think you are correct with your analysis about the attack directed towards the deutercononical books.

"Next, what does the originator of this argument consider a "bible believing church" to be?"

Mmmmm I think protestant???


Surely we all believe in the Bible. Why would you want to mock belief in the Bible? (If that is not what you meant, I apologize wholeheartedly.)

No one here is mocking belief in the Bible. The terms "bible believing church" and evangelical protestantism have been synonymously linked together throughout the last several decades; it is a term used to “subtly” imply a church founded on sola scriptura.  It is obvious that  the individual is asserting that people who accept such books into their canon aren't "true bible believing Christians” nor do they belong to a "true bible believing church", thereby excluding Orthodox and Romans Catholics.
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« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2009, 11:21:12 PM »

The Septuagint is the first "Jewish Authorised Version" of the Old Testament

I find that I often have to disabuse young biblical enthusiasts in the parish of
the notion that the Septuagint is "our Greek Orthodox version of the Old
Testament" and the even more odd idea that Christians composed it in some sort
of scriptural war with the Jews.

Nothing could be further from the trurh.

The Septuagint is NOT a Christian translation. It is a Jewish translation.
It became the gift of the Jews to the Church. The Christians of the apostolic
era received it from the Jews and thereafter knew no other. It remains the
one canonical Old Testament for the Orthodox Church.

The Septuagint was a translation project approved by the Temple authorities in
the centuries before Christ. Israel provided the best and most learned of its
scholars to undertake the translation from Hebrew into Greek. Every line was
checked upon translation. Every Jewish scholar working on the translation
critically reviewed everything which some other scholar had translated into Greek.

The Septuagint is the FIRST authoritative Hebrew Scripture. Up until then the
Scritures had fluctuated as regards the books to be included. The
Septuagint represents the Jerualem Temple's choice of canonical books. It
"fixed" the canonical books for centuries to come.

It also represents the Temple's deliberate choice of correct verses wherever
there were conflicting variants. And to be specific, the choice of
"virgin-parthenos" in Isaiah was the choice of the Jewish authorities
.

When you hold the Septuagint in your hands, you are holding a 100% Jewish Old
Testament. One could see it as the Authorised Version of the OT for the Jews,
authorised and sealed with the authority of the Temple and the Sanhedrin.

Fr Ambrose
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Byzantine2008
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« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2009, 11:37:37 PM »

How many New Testament books were written by a prophet? Was Esther a prophet? Was King Soloman a prophet? I guess some kings can be seen as a prophet....like David, but what about Soloman?

Were not Esther and King Soloman prophets?

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« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2009, 12:27:05 AM »

I've never heard Esther referred to as a prophet, at least among Christians.  I don't know if she is one in Jewish tradition.  I also don't think she has ever been held to be the person who wrote it, although it is about her.

The funny thing about the arguments against the deuterocanonicals is that at least some of the arguments could also apply to Esther.  For example, the classic Protestant argument--that the deuterocanonicals were not quoted by the New Testament authors--can also be said about Esther.  In addition to that, it wasn't written by someone recognized in the Christian Church as one of the Old Testament prophets, and it is the only book of the Bible to not contain the word "Lord."  It's just not a very spiritual book.  It's more historical than anything.  Yet it is in the canon of every Christian Church. 
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« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2009, 10:19:30 AM »

I haven't ever heard about Esdras being a Prophet (or celebrated by the Church), but his visions are much revealing and directly target Jesus Christ as the Son of God.
Solomon was not a Prophet, but if this is a reason to condemn Wisdom (deuterocanonical book), then we should also condemn Proverbs...
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« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2009, 10:40:40 AM »


No true Bible believing church as has ever accepted the books as canonical for these reasons. In order for a book to be considered inspired of God and included in the canon it must satisfy the follow requirements.
1. It must have been written by a prophet of God. None of the Apocryphal books claim they were.
2. It must come with the authority of God. These spurious books are strikingly absence of the ring of authority. None of them come up to or compare in any way to the character and quality of the sixty six Books of the Bible.
3. It must demonstrate that the power of God rests on the book. There is nothing transforming about these books.
4. It must tell the truth about God, man, history, science, etc. The books are full of contradictions, errors and even heresies. The Apocryphal books are full of untruth.
5. It must be accepted by biblical Christians as inspired of God. The Apocryphal books completely fail this final and fatal test.

Since this is no doubt a sola scriptura argument, where are these criteria laid down in the scriptura?

Let's, just for fun, apply the criteria.
1. Esther, at least in the form the SS types accept, doesn't claim to be written with the authority of God, Who even isn't mentioned in the whole of the book.
2. Rather subjective, but since it doesn't mention God, at least in the form that the SS types accept, it is strikingly absence of the ring of His authority. It does not come up to or compare in any way to the character and quality of the Books of the Bible
3. Rather subjective, but since no one prays in it, at least in the form the SS types accept, I would say it doesn't demonstrate the power of God resting on it, as it is devoid of Him.
4. The book, at least in the form the SS types accept, in the criticial editions whose notes show contradictions, errors and even heresies.
5. Ah, an appeal to the authority of the Church which they don't have.  The Church didn't accept the form the SS types accept.  In fact, NO Christian manuscript copies the form that the SS accept. The closest they come is to is the Vulgate of St. Jerome. So if they want to accept St. Jerome as a biblical Christian, fine. But he had plenty to say from the bible that they won't like.

Btw, the only criteria for scritpure, which the SS constantly repeat as justification of their heresy sola scriptura is 2 Timothy 3:16: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."  All the Anagignoskomena (ἀναγιγνωσκόμενα) pass that test.
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« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2009, 10:57:06 AM »

SS? The Nazis read the Bible? Huh Cheesy Tongue

I think that 2 Timothy 3:16 should not be all scripture is given by inspiration of God, but rather all scripture that is given by inspiration of God.
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« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2009, 10:57:56 AM »

I believe there is some groundwork to be layed out here before a proper debate can be conducted.

First, we should realize that the Septuagint text is a greek translation of the old testament which includes the hebrew books along with the deuterocanonical books written in the intertestamental period.

This attack is directed towards these deutercononical books specifically, not the Septuagint.

Next, what does the originator of this argument consider a "bible believing church" and a "biblical Christian" to be?



No, because of the Books of Psalms, Daniel and Esther etc. it is not just a question of translations leaving out the Anagignoskomena, but of which redaction.

We know that the Jews still used the redaction that the LXX used for Daniel, becasuse the Jew Theodotion in the second century produced a translation for them with included the things (Susanna, Son of the Three Youths, Bel and the Dragon) that the rabbis, and their emulator St. Jerome and their Protestant followers, took out.  They still used Sirach, as the Talmud comments on it, and it passed into Jewish liturgics.  The Talmud comments on the "additions" to Esther.  They still used Maccabbees because they TILL THIS day celebrate Hanukkah, and its only scriptural warrant is I Mac. 4:56–59.

The NT also in many key places quotes the LXX, not a Masoretic Urtex.

"Biblical Christian": one who doesn't know history.

"Bible believing Church":one which has no history to the Apostles.
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« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2009, 12:41:29 PM »



"Biblical Christian": one who doesn't know history.

"Bible believing Church":one which has no history to the Apostles.


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« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2009, 12:58:29 PM »

I think you are correct with your analysis about the attack directed towards the deutercononical books.

"Next, what does the originator of this argument consider a "bible believing church" to be?"

Mmmmm I think protestant???


Surely we all believe in the Bible. Why would you want to mock belief in the Bible? (If that is not what you meant, I apologize wholeheartedly.)

No one here is mocking belief in the Bible. The terms "bible believing church" and evangelical protestantism have been synonymously linked together throughout the last several decades; it is a term used to “subtly” imply a church founded on sola scriptura.  It is obvious that  the individual is asserting that people who accept such books into their canon aren't "true bible believing Christians” nor do they belong to a "true bible believing church", thereby excluding Orthodox and Romans Catholics.

Aah, I see. Never heard that usage before. Thanks for clearing up my confusion.
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« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2009, 01:02:09 PM »

When you hold the Septuagint in your hands, you are holding a 100% Jewish Old
Testament.

Which "Septuagint" are you referring to? There were multiple versions in popular use before Origen standardized things to some degree. Very Alexandrian of him. That's where most of the ancient nerds, grammarians and scientists lived at that time. Even after Origen, Antioch compiled its own version.

This sort of thing never bothered Christians (or Jews or Muslims, for that matter) for centuries. Naturally, St. John Chrysostom quotes from different versions, coming to Constantinople by way of the scriptoria of Antioch. Concern for word-for-word accuracy and official versions and whatnot makes absolutely no sense (any way you cut it) before the printing press. In that regard, sola scriptura is a wildly modernist idea.
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« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2009, 01:17:49 PM »


Concern for word-for-word accuracy and official versions and whatnot makes absolutely no sense (any way you cut it) before the printing press. In that regard, sola scriptura is a wildly modernist idea.

When you say it 'makes no sense', do you mean it's not a sensible thing to worry about, given the difficulty of controlling handwritten texts, or do you mean people didn't worry about it? Because they did, quite a lot. Certainly in England, people were getting geared up for arguments about the exactness of the Scriptures a good century before printing came in, and there were sporadic flare-ups of concern throughout the medieval period (and pos. before, it's just that's the bit I know about!). I'd say sola scriptura is distinctly un-modernist: it was the modernists who got excited about texts shifting and changing over time (think of all the creative plagiarism in Eliot, for example).
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« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2009, 01:21:29 PM »

I found another similar list that a Roman Catholic Apologist was answering:

(his webpage)
http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/chapter2.html

Quote:
Quote
"Tests of Canonicity


Rhodes gives us a test on what is canonical. He gives his own theory on what is the test for what is Scripture. After giving his analysis that the 66 books of the Old Testament and New Testament apparently pass the test but the Deuterocanonicals do not, he gives us his tests:

Measuring the Apocrypha against these tests shows the Apocrypha falls far short of the Old and New Testaments.
1) The books were not written by prophets or apostles of God.

2) The books do not ring with the sense of "thus saith the Lord."

3) The books contradict doctrines revealed in the pages of the Old and New Testaments.

4) While some church fathers used the books for devotional purposes, the books nevertheless fail to have the transforming effects of the Old and New Testaments.

5) The books, for the most part, were not accepted on a broad scale by the people of God-at least not until 1500 years later when the Catholic Council of Trent pronounced them canonical, Rhodes, pp. 41-42.


Let us go over these items one by one:
1) Who is Rhodes to determine what a prophet is? Where does the Bible say that in order to be Scripture, it must be written by a prophet? He gives a citation of Deuteronomy 18:18, which only says that one can find out who a prophet is, if what they predict comes true. It doesn’t say Scripture is Scripture only if written by a prophet. Where is Esther mentioned as a prophet? Is there any hint that 1st and 2nd Chronicles are written by prophets? Where does Ecclesiastes come off as ‘prophetic’? Mark and Luke were neither prophets or apostles, so that would eliminate some New Testament books as well. Besides that, the Book of Wisdom, one of the books that Rhodes rejects as non-prophetic, specifically prophecies how Christ would be killed and he would be taunted by his enemies as one who claims to be the Son of God:

Wis. 2:18-20 18 for if the righteous man is God's son, he will help him, and will deliver him (See Mt. 27:43) from the hand of his adversaries. 19 Let us test him with insult and torture, that we may find out how gentle he is, and make trial of his forbearance. 20 Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for, according to what he says, he will be protected."
If this is not prophetic about God’s Son, I don’t know what is.
Besides that, as we have seen, many of the Fathers that Rhodes allege deny the Scriptural status of the Deuterocanonicals, speak of the writers of these books as 'prophets', and verify their Scriptural status.

2) What objective criteria does Rhodes use to say that these books do not ring with the sense of ‘thus saith the Lord’? When one reads 2nd or 3rd John, or 1st and 2nd Chronicles, or the letter of Philemon, or Ecclesiastes does one just say, "This is definitely God’s Word"? No, it is only one's tradition that one has come to believe in, that says that this is God’s Word, and this is not. Rhodes grudgingly borrows from the Catholic Church. Otherwise, the Rhodes approach is pure subjectivism based on feelings alone. This 'criteria' is similar to the Mormons 'burning in the bosom' mentality of identifying Scripture (which they use to 'validate' the Book of Mormon.) No one can honestly say, "Well, this feeling comes to me, when I read the Letter of Paul to Philemon, it rings: ‘thus saith the Lord.’" When one reads the book of Numbers, and all the dietary laws that are there, or the genealogies, where does one get a feeling this says ‘thus saith the Lord?’ This is purely a subjective bias of Rhodes with no objective criteria given.

3) The idea that the Deuterocanonicals contradict Scriptural Doctrines is another purely subjective assertion by Rhodes. Any criteria applied to the Deuterocanonicals as contradicting other Scriptures can be applied to other New and Old Testament books. In fact there are many books written by Protestant Scholars who will recognize 'apparent' contradictions within the New and Old Testament 66 books. They will rightly say that they are only ‘apparent contradictions’, not real contradictions. Books have been written by Protestants (and Catholics as well) to explain why one Scripture does not contradict another one both in fact and in doctrine. For example, James 2:24 and Romans 4:3 seem to teach different doctrines on salvation and whether one is saved by faith alone or by faith plus works. However, all Christians recognize the fact that both James and Romans are Scripture, and there must be a way to reconcile those Scriptures. One can find many things in Scriptures that can appear to be contradictory. Christians make an attempt to reconcile, or explain how the various Scriptures can be reconciled. The style of writing must be taken into account when studying the biblical texts. However, when it comes to the Deuterocanonicals, Protestants will see one passage that they can jump on and automatically say "See, that is not Scriptural and it contradicts other Scriptures. Therefore it is not Scripture." They make no effort at all to see how the Deuterocanonical passages that they claim contradict other passages can be reconciled while at the same time they will jump hoops to reconcile apparent discrepancies between non-Deuterocanonical books. Protestants will often times even misrepresent what the Deuterocanonical book teaches, misrepresent the teaching on the matter in the New or Old Testament, and then say ‘voila’, the "Apocrypha" contradicts Scripture. (In fact that is what Rhodes did in his book, p. 38) This proves nothing against the Deuterocanonicals.

4) The idea that in order to be Scripture it must transform the lives of believers is another subjective criteria. If I look at 2nd Maccabees 7, we see heroic displays of virtue, where those who knew what God’s laws were, and refused to violate the laws that God had given them, instead of violating that law subjected themselves to torture and eventually death, with their Mother also refusing to violate God’s law. They looked forward to the 'resurrection of life'. That is a very New Testament concept. I have never been called to that type of thing, and I hope to never have to, but this example is transformative to me. I go through nothing like that, but nonetheless that example encourages me to do what God wants me to do. The book of Wisdom’s prophecy of Christ in Wisdom 2:12-20 encourages me with even further evidence that Christ fulfills prophecy. The example of Judith helps to transform my life. The book of Wisdom and Sirach gives further evidence of good wisdom that transforms lives. True, not all portions of the Deuterocanonicals transform lives. That is like many portions of the rest of the Bible, such as Ecclesiastes ("all is vanity"), Philemon, the portions of Scripture that have lots of names without commentary, rules about dietary laws, in and of themselves don’t seem to transform lives. That does not mean that if books of Scripture does not transform lives, it is not inspired Scripture.

5) The idea that Rhodes gives that God’s people would automatically receive the words as God’s word is not true. The idea that he inferred by saying that the Deuterocanonicals were not accepted by the people of God is mistaken. Some protocanonical books were written a long long time before they were accepted. The Jews, who were God’s people had many factions, as mentioned before, and there was no agreement on what was the Jewish Scriptures. For example, the song of Solomon, written about 1000 years before, was still in question on its status during even after the Council of Jamnia which was 60 years after the Church was established. Esther, for the portions that Rhodes has, does not even use the term God (the Deuterocanonical portions of Esther that Catholics use, does use and refer explicitly to God). Many Jews who had the Septuagint, accepted the Deuterocanonical books as Scripture. They were much more askance on these books after the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in 70 AD. For the Church, in the New Testament, James, Hebrews, 2nd & 3rd John, Philemon, Revelation was in dispute until the late 4th century when the Church’s Councils in the late 4th century, ratified their canonicity. Now, despite the fact that this premise was incorrect, (that it must be practically unanimously considered by the people of God immediately in order for it to be Scripture), even if that premise was correct, he would be incorrect on this issue. Why do I say that? Because the people of God did accept these books from the beginning. We have seen that the Church Fathers did accept them, in fact almost unanimously!! Even the Fathers that Rhodes trotted out saw these books as inspired Scripture. J.N.D. Kelly, respected Anglican historian notes this about the first few centuries of the Christian Church:

It should be observed that the Old Testament thus admitted as authoritative in the Church was somewhat bulkier and more comprehensive than the [Protestant Old Testament] . . . It always included, though with varying degrees of recognition, the so-called Apocrypha or deutero-canonical books. The reason for this is that the Old Testament which passed in the first instance into the hands of Christians was . . . the Greek translation known as the Septuagint. .. . most of the Scriptural quotations found in the New Testament are based upon it rather than the Hebrew.. . . In the first two centuries. . . the Church seems to have accept all, or most of, these additional books as inspired and to have treated them without question as Scripture. Quotations from Wisdom, for example, occur in 1 Clement and Barnabas. . . Polycarp cites Tobit, and the Didache [cites] Ecclesiasticus. Irenaeus refers to Wisdom, the History of Susannah, Bel and the Dragon [i.e., the deuterocanonical portions of Daniel], and Baruch. The use made of the Apocrypha by Tertullian, Hippolytus, Cyprian and Clement of Alexandria is too frequent for detailed references to be necessary" Early Christian Doctrines, p. 53-54.
So the Church did receive these books as Scripture."








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« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2009, 01:27:29 PM »


Concern for word-for-word accuracy and official versions and whatnot makes absolutely no sense (any way you cut it) before the printing press. In that regard, sola scriptura is a wildly modernist idea.

When you say it 'makes no sense', do you mean it's not a sensible thing to worry about, given the difficulty of controlling handwritten texts, or do you mean people didn't worry about it? Because they did, quite a lot. Certainly in England, people were getting geared up for arguments about the exactness of the Scriptures a good century before printing came in, and there were sporadic flare-ups of concern throughout the medieval period (and pos. before, it's just that's the bit I know about!). I'd say sola scriptura is distinctly un-modernist: it was the modernists who got excited about texts shifting and changing over time (think of all the creative plagiarism in Eliot, for example).

Sola Scriptura is a new idea.

The printing press made 100% exactness possible. Thus, it took a machine to do it. Before the time of the "assembly line" 100% exactness wasn't possible until you had machines that were able to do it.

Nuts and bolts were all slightly different until machines were made to make them 100% exact.

If you look at Ethiopian Coptic crosses, you will see that each cross is "unigue". Why? Because they didn't have machines to rubber stamp each cross.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPeIJHpbplg

According to this video, they were made through the wax method, which made 100% exactness not possible.

So the idea of a robotic 100% exactness is a modern idea. For such a thing just wasn't possible before these machines were made.








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« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2009, 01:31:00 PM »

When you say it 'makes no sense', do you mean it's not a sensible thing to worry about, given the difficulty of controlling handwritten texts,

Yes.

I'd say sola scriptura is distinctly un-modernist: it was the modernists who got excited about texts shifting and changing over time (think of all the creative plagiarism in Eliot, for example).

 laugh I almost went back and used the edit function to change my use of "modernist", since I didn't mean the modernist movement within art (one of my personal favs). I meant that sola scriptura relies on several cultural realities that are distinctive to modernity. In other words, it would not make sense to the ancient mind in any culture that I am aware of. Certainly not to the early Christians.
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« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2009, 01:34:38 PM »


Sola Scriptura is a new idea.

The printing press made 100% exactness possible. Thus, it took a machine to do it. Before the time of the "assembly line" 100% exactness wasn't possible until you had machines that were able to do it.

Nuts and bolts were all slightly different until machines were made to make them 100% exact.


This is not quite true. If you look at the first printings of the Gutenberg Bible, for example, you'll see that they are not all exactly the same (though that was the intention, of course). Basically, it's because printing technology can't completely correct human error. In the early days of printing, you'd set your letters, ink them, and press each individual sheet onto the form before pressing it down. Because you have to do it sheet by sheet, sometimes letters did get knocked, and often second editions were a bit different from first and thirds ... things like that.

If you look at enough modern printed books, btw, you'll see the same thing, although with less frequency - there'll be tiny errors where someone wasn't quite careful enough. Actually, given that you compose type backwards (ie., sdrawkcab = backwards), it's really hard to avoid mistakes - perhaps harder than it would be for a careful scribe copying his text.








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« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2009, 01:35:37 PM »

When you say it 'makes no sense', do you mean it's not a sensible thing to worry about, given the difficulty of controlling handwritten texts,

Yes.

I'd say sola scriptura is distinctly un-modernist: it was the modernists who got excited about texts shifting and changing over time (think of all the creative plagiarism in Eliot, for example).

 laugh I almost went back and used the edit function to change my use of "modernist", since I didn't mean the modernist movement within art (one of my personal favs). I meant that sola scriptura relies on several cultural realities that are distinctive to modernity. In other words, it would not make sense to the ancient mind in any culture that I am aware of. Certainly not to the early Christians.

Yep, gotcha. Sorry - I realized as soon as you replied that's what you meant. Blame it on my undergraduate time spent on Eliot et al.
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« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2009, 01:39:31 PM »


Sola Scriptura is a new idea.

The printing press made 100% exactness possible. Thus, it took a machine to do it. Before the time of the "assembly line" 100% exactness wasn't possible until you had machines that were able to do it.

Nuts and bolts were all slightly different until machines were made to make them 100% exact.


This is not quite true. If you look at the first printings of the Gutenberg Bible, for example, you'll see that they are not all exactly the same (though that was the intention, of course). Basically, it's because printing technology can't completely correct human error. In the early days of printing, you'd set your letters, ink them, and press each individual sheet onto the form before pressing it down. Because you have to do it sheet by sheet, sometimes letters did get knocked, and often second editions were a bit different from first and thirds ... things like that.

If you look at enough modern printed books, btw, you'll see the same thing, although with less frequency - there'll be tiny errors where someone wasn't quite careful enough. Actually, given that you compose type backwards (ie., sdrawkcab = backwards), it's really hard to avoid mistakes - perhaps harder than it would be for a careful scribe copying his text.








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[/quote]


Yeah, but the errors wouldn't be the same. With the printing press, you will have hundreds to thousands of copies with the same error, where as with a scribe, it is more likely that each error would be unique.








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« Reply #25 on: September 02, 2009, 01:45:53 PM »

How many New Testament books were written by a prophet? Was Esther a prophet? Was King Soloman a prophet? I guess some kings can be seen as a prophet....like David, but what about Soloman?

Were not Esther and King Soloman prophets?

Forgive me.

I really don't know, all I know is that according to the subjective tests that some puritanical protestants like to give, they(Queen Esther and King Soloman) wouldn't really match up either.

Another issue that alot of puritanical protestants forget is that according to Jesus, the last prophet of the Old Testament or something like that.....was John the Baptist, so they can't really exclude the D.C.'s because of the idea that prophets didn't exist for 400 years. They can't say that if John the Baptist was seen as a prophet.








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« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2009, 01:52:44 PM »

SS? The Nazis read the Bible? Huh Cheesy Tongue

I think that 2 Timothy 3:16 should not be all scripture is given by inspiration of God, but rather all scripture that is given by inspiration of God.

Our Esther is different for God is mentioned in the LXX version.








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« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2009, 01:58:56 PM »


Sola Scriptura is a new idea.

The printing press made 100% exactness possible. Thus, it took a machine to do it. Before the time of the "assembly line" 100% exactness wasn't possible until you had machines that were able to do it.

Nuts and bolts were all slightly different until machines were made to make them 100% exact.


This is not quite true. If you look at the first printings of the Gutenberg Bible, for example, you'll see that they are not all exactly the same (though that was the intention, of course). Basically, it's because printing technology can't completely correct human error. In the early days of printing, you'd set your letters, ink them, and press each individual sheet onto the form before pressing it down. Because you have to do it sheet by sheet, sometimes letters did get knocked, and often second editions were a bit different from first and thirds ... things like that.

If you look at enough modern printed books, btw, you'll see the same thing, although with less frequency - there'll be tiny errors where someone wasn't quite careful enough. Actually, given that you compose type backwards (ie., sdrawkcab = backwards), it's really hard to avoid mistakes - perhaps harder than it would be for a careful scribe copying his text.








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Yeah, but the errors wouldn't be the same. With the printing press, you will have hundreds to thousands of copies with the same error, where as with a scribe, it is more likely that each error would be unique.








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[/quote]

True that scribal errors are more likely to be unique (although this isn't always the case: errors do follow patterns, because there are tricks of syntax and wording that tend to cause the same error over and again). But with the early presses, you would not get hundreds and thousands of texts with the same error. Each sheet is pressed separately. I'm stressing this because, though the printing press was a great propaganda piece for sola scriptura supporters, it wasn't nearly as good at making exact copies as they'd have liked to think!
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« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2009, 02:00:30 PM »

I think you are correct with your analysis about the attack directed towards the deutercononical books.

"Next, what does the originator of this argument consider a "bible believing church" to be?"

Mmmmm I think protestant???


Surely we all believe in the Bible. Why would you want to mock belief in the Bible? (If that is not what you meant, I apologize wholeheartedly.)

No one here is mocking belief in the Bible. The terms "bible believing church" and evangelical protestantism have been synonymously linked together throughout the last several decades; it is a term used to “subtly” imply a church founded on sola scriptura.  It is obvious that  the individual is asserting that people who accept such books into their canon aren't "true bible believing Christians” nor do they belong to a "true bible believing church", thereby excluding Orthodox and Romans Catholics.

Aah, I see. Never heard that usage before. Thanks for clearing up my confusion.

You must live in England or something. In alot of areas in America, this is a common usage. I've noticed that British protestantism is different from it's American counterpart.







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« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2009, 02:06:15 PM »


Sola Scriptura is a new idea.

The printing press made 100% exactness possible. Thus, it took a machine to do it. Before the time of the "assembly line" 100% exactness wasn't possible until you had machines that were able to do it.

Nuts and bolts were all slightly different until machines were made to make them 100% exact.


This is not quite true. If you look at the first printings of the Gutenberg Bible, for example, you'll see that they are not all exactly the same (though that was the intention, of course). Basically, it's because printing technology can't completely correct human error. In the early days of printing, you'd set your letters, ink them, and press each individual sheet onto the form before pressing it down. Because you have to do it sheet by sheet, sometimes letters did get knocked, and often second editions were a bit different from first and thirds ... things like that.

If you look at enough modern printed books, btw, you'll see the same thing, although with less frequency - there'll be tiny errors where someone wasn't quite careful enough. Actually, given that you compose type backwards (ie., sdrawkcab = backwards), it's really hard to avoid mistakes - perhaps harder than it would be for a careful scribe copying his text.








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Quote
Yeah, but the errors wouldn't be the same. With the printing press, you will have hundreds to thousands of copies with the same error, where as with a scribe, it is more likely that each error would be unique.



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True that scribal errors are more likely to be unique (although this isn't always the case: errors do follow patterns, because there are tricks of syntax and wording that tend to cause the same error over and again). But with the early presses, you would not get hundreds and thousands of texts with the same error. Each sheet is pressed separately. I'm stressing this because, though the printing press was a great propaganda piece for sola scriptura supporters, it wasn't nearly as good at making exact copies as they'd have liked to think!

If you know all this then why are you still protestant? Have you ever heard of the Metropolitan Kallistos Ware? What are your thoughts of him?

Are you Anglican because of your cultural and National heritage? Are you afraid that if you leave the Church of England that you will no longer be English? Are you scared that you will be betraying your country, friends, and family?

I am only asking because when I was high church Episcopal, this was a common reason for some.

I'm African American so I don't have those concerns, but what about you?






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« Reply #30 on: September 02, 2009, 02:06:41 PM »



You must live in England or something. In alot of areas in America, this is a common usage. I've noticed that British protestantism is different from it's American counterpart.



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Yep, it's the English thing.  Smiley

But ... what a horrible, presumptuous thing it is, to associate only yourself with belief in the Bible! I have noticed the same sort of arrogance in some evangelical sects we have over here. It must seem ironic coming from an Anglican like me (and you're free to snigger!), but I just think, 'er ... have they NO knowledge of history? Do they not realize other people have been reading and believing in the Bible teachings for two millenia?
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« Reply #31 on: September 02, 2009, 02:10:02 PM »



You must live in England or something. In alot of areas in America, this is a common usage. I've noticed that British protestantism is different from it's American counterpart.



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Yep, it's the English thing.  Smiley

But ... what a horrible, presumptuous thing it is, to associate only yourself with belief in the Bible! I have noticed the same sort of arrogance in some evangelical sects we have over here. It must seem ironic coming from an Anglican like me (and you're free to snigger!), but I just think, 'er ... have they NO knowledge of history? Do they not realize other people have been reading and believing in the Bible teachings for two millenia?


Blame the Puritans








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« Reply #32 on: September 02, 2009, 02:12:03 PM »


If you know all this then why are you still protestant? Have you ever heard of the Metropolitan Kallistos Ware? What are your thoughts of him?

Are you Anglican because of your cultural and National heritage? Are you afraid that if you leave the Church of England that you will no longer be English? Are you scared that you will be betraying your country, friends, and family?

I am only asking because when I was high church Episcopal, this was a common reason for some.


In a word, no, that's not why I'm Anglican. I'm surprised it was a concern for Episcopalians - Anglicanism isn't really just an 'English' Church. I don't have a huge amount of patriotic feeling, really - or not in that way, anyhow. My friends and family are of many different beliefs, too.

I don't hold a strong sola scriptura position, if that's what you were thinking. I don't know of any Anglicans who do, in fact. Sola scriptura is a Protestant tenet more evident in theory/history than actuality. So my understanding of how early Modern Protestants used the printing press as propaganda for sola scriptura doesn't problematize my Anglicanism.







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« Reply #33 on: September 02, 2009, 02:12:48 PM »



Blame the Puritans


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« Reply #34 on: September 02, 2009, 02:14:27 PM »

I'm a terrible person, I'm triple posting.

But it just occurred to me my post sounded as if I was lecturing you on Anglicanism, when obv. you know about it, having converted. I didn't intend to sound like that!
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« Reply #35 on: September 02, 2009, 02:24:52 PM »

I'm a terrible person, I'm triple posting.

But it just occurred to me my post sounded as if I was lecturing you on Anglicanism, when obv. you know about it, having converted. I didn't intend to sound like that!

I was told that most of the people on this board are converts. Converts of some stripe, so most likely you will be speaking with mostly converts.








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« Reply #36 on: November 10, 2009, 01:44:18 AM »

The first thing I like to do is pull out my KJV 1611 and show then the "apocrypha" to show that the Church has always held them in the text of the bible but a group of men hijacking Church authority decided they didn't like and and to finalize it they added a word "solo" before fedelis to push their believes.  If they read the last chapter of the book of Revelation they might hesitate unless they think its' okay for someone else to be held guilty of that sin.  Now I konw that that chapter does not necessarily apply to the entire text of the bible, but it should cause someone to pause before standing on sinking sand.  The irony is the term "all others stand on sinking sand" is part of a protestant song we used to sing before our conversion. 

Coming out of a solo scriptura fundamentalist church the first thing I started doing was ask "how do we know that other texts out there don't belong to the bible?"  I assumed initially that they didn't stand the test of time and that relieved us from having to make the decision.  God destroyed them.  Well, after watching the Da Vinci Code I also went through a protestant Da Vinci Code Hoax series.  What blew me away is that these other ancient documents were produced and in Greek.  That caused me to start asking even more questions.  A

About a year earlier, one of our solo scriptura preachers went through the Apostles Creed and Nicene Creed including the filioque clause and then asked us to stand and recite it.  I knew them by heart and it blew my wife away as she asked me how I knew those while staring at her while reciting it.  I told her on the way out that we had just professed to be Catholic.  She gave me the evil eye...really.  That was heresy for that faith to do such a thing because orthodox Christians don't do that sort of thing.  I'm doing a tongue in cheek because they believe they're the one true church and all others are on sinking sand.  All of this over a period of several years along with much bible study brought me to question everything I thought I knew.  That's partly how I found my way back home to apostolic teaching and thus discovered the Orthodox Church during my studies.  I seriously doubted my cradle faith could be right and ended up settling anyway because I do have reservations about some things I've partially worked through.  But my greatest obstacle was with my wife who wasn't so historically savvy.  She wouldn't even try to attend an Orthodox Divine Liturgy because it seemed so much like her previous faith, a group full of harsh men pushing around women.  So I stayed put for her sake and our marriage.  We have a son thinking about the priesthood.  So the feeling of being called to the priesthood seems to have to die.  So now I'm discerning a vocation to become a permanent deacon.  I'd rather be part of the eastern Church, Catholic, sort of a compromise.  But picking and chosing churches seems so bazaar to me.  That's why I truly want to see unity one day.  I have great hopes of it.  I see the problems though so I'm not a fool.  However I can hope.

In fact, I'd say I came to Catholicism by way of the Eastern Church, not Western.  I used to love talking to Fr Abrose before they cut off the CAF Eastern Christian thread.  I had mixed feelings about it and thought it was a very hateful move on CAF's part.  I'm not a Karl Keating fan anyway.  I hope the moderators on here are not so quick to shut down someone seeking truth even when they voice misunderstandings.  I never found an introductory thread so I just thought this is a perfect place to start.  On the Easter Vigil Mass of 2007 my wife and oldest son were received into the Church.  Our youngest children were baptized in February 2007.  Now our family believes we're headed to hell on a silver platter.  We left our faith, family and friends seeking the ancient church, not the one hiding on the banks of rivers under trees as my mother-in-law explained it before she discovered we were catholic.
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« Reply #37 on: November 26, 2009, 06:27:22 PM »

Shalom all,

Let me first say that you should not view an ancient collection of books, especially those that date before the proposed “Council of Jamnia”, which was the first attempt by any “Bible believing” community to form an authoritive canon, as anything more than a collection books. The books in the collection were collected for different reasons, served different purposes and regarded as authoritive to varying degrees not equally authoritive. Some of the books in the collection were considered inspired by God, others not. Some were for liturgical use, others for historical preservation, and others contained fanastical bed time fairy tales for little kids. Obviously I’d like to preserve my family’s heirloom Torah scroll, but I wouldn’t mind preserving the story book my grandmother gave me for my 6th birthday either, as I’m sure my future kids would enjoy it too. Hey it's the first book I learnt to read, so it's got sentimental value.

Second there were different collections of books among Jews both in Israel and outside of Israel. The LXX (a collection from outside of Israel) is no more helpful in determining the original “Apostolic collection” anymore than Ethiopian or Syriac cannons (also from outside of Israel). “But there are quotes from Wisdom & Sirach in the NT”, but there are also quotes from Enoch and the Apocalypse of Baruch, plus plenty of allusions to other books which have never been part of any Church canon yet are represented in the Qumran texts, see this page: http://www.bombaxo.com/allusions.html.

So are we to confine our research of ancient witnesses solely to the LXX? Why not consider the Peshitta OT canon too, after all most of the 1st century Palestinian Jewish community were immigrants from Babylon and Persia, weren’t they? Has the Syrian church perhaps preserved the legacy of Babylonian Jewry which was “left behind”? Did the early immigrants from Babylon bring their “traditions” formed there to Israel?

And what do we make of Ethiopian Jewry and their fondness for Enoch and Jubilees? Where’d that come from? Sure the Ethiopian Orthodox OT was translated from the LXX (at least most of it) but where’s LXX Enoch and Jubilees? Ethiopian Jewry (the Falashas), from which Ethiopian Orthodoxy derives, is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, continuous Jewish communities on earth, Jews began emigrating to Ethiopia from Israel perhaps as early as the time of king Manasse’s reign. Have they preserved some ancient Israelite traditions?

The point is while the LXX is very valuable it is IMO no more valuable than other ancient witnesses such as the Peshitta OT or Qumran texts. Taking all the ancient witnesses into account may not produce a clear picture, but it will produce an unbiased one…

How many New Testament books were written by a prophet? Was Esther a prophet? Was King Soloman a prophet? I guess some kings can be seen as a prophet....like David, but what about Soloman?

Were not Esther and King Soloman prophets?

Forgive me.

I've never heard Esther referred to as a prophet, at least among Christians.  I don't know if she is one in Jewish tradition.  I also don't think she has ever been held to be the person who wrote it, although it is about her.

Solomon was not a Prophet, but if this is a reason to condemn Wisdom (deuterocanonical book), then we should also condemn Proverbs...

Esther and Solomon are considered Prophets in Rabbinical Jewish tradition, see this page: http://www.mechon-mamre.org/jewfaq/prophet.htm


The funny thing about the arguments against the deuterocanonicals is that at least some of the arguments could also apply to Esther.  For example, the classic Protestant argument--that the deuterocanonicals were not quoted by the New Testament authors--can also be said about Esther.  In addition to that, it wasn't written by someone recognized in the Christian Church as one of the Old Testament prophets, and it is the only book of the Bible to not contain the word "Lord."  It's just not a very spiritual book.  It's more historical than anything.  Yet it is in the canon of every Christian Church.  

Not only that, Esther is absent among the Dead Sea Scrolls, but it’s difficult to determine what this means. Either the Essenes didn’t want to preserve it for some reason (perhaps they didn’t like it), or Esther was unknown in 1st century Israel (at least liturgically) and is the heritage of Babylonian Jewry, the story is set in Persia after all. And anothe monkey wrench: St. Athanasius puts Esther among the Anagignoskomena not in the LXX proto-canon (which is mirrors the Protestant and Jewish canons) and doesn’t list it in the Jewish canon but lists Baruch and the Epistle of Baruch, and the Jewish community he dealt with were from Alexandria not Mesopotamia, hmm. Perhaps Esther should take it’s rightful place in the Babylonian Talmud?

The Septuagint is the first "Jewish Authorised Version" of the Old Testament

I find that I often have to disabuse young biblical enthusiasts in the parish of
the notion that the Septuagint is "our Greek Orthodox version of the Old
Testament" and the even more odd idea that Christians composed it in some sort
of scriptural war with the Jews.

Nothing could be further from the trurh.

The Septuagint is NOT a Christian translation. It is a Jewish translation.
It became the gift of the Jews to the Church. The Christians of the apostolic
era received it from the Jews and thereafter knew no other. It remains the
one canonical Old Testament for the Orthodox Church.

The Septuagint was a translation project approved by the Temple authorities in
the centuries before Christ. Israel provided the best and most learned of its
scholars to undertake the translation from Hebrew into Greek. Every line was
checked upon translation. Every Jewish scholar working on the translation
critically reviewed everything which some other scholar had translated into Greek.

The Septuagint is the FIRST authoritative Hebrew Scripture. Up until then the
Scritures had fluctuated as regards the books to be included. The
Septuagint represents the Jerualem Temple's choice of canonical books. It
"fixed" the canonical books for centuries to come.

It also represents the Temple's deliberate choice of correct verses wherever
there were conflicting variants. And to be specific, the choice of
"virgin-parthenos" in Isaiah was the choice of the Jewish authorities
.

When you hold the Septuagint in your hands, you are holding a 100% Jewish Old
Testament. One could see it as the Authorised Version of the OT for the Jews,
authorised and sealed with the authority of the Temple and the Sanhedrin.

Fr Ambrose

Unless you’re referring to the Pentateuch exclusively, as the Letter of Aristeas clearly states that the 72 Jerusalem scholars translated the Torah only, then there’s no sure fire way to determine that the LXX canon represents the Temple’s canon.

I’ll close with this:

If it has strong historical attestation is the majority of churches, if not in all churches, and early Judaism then you’re on the right track. And finally let’s look at what Paul says regarding Scripture:

{2 Timothy 3:16-17} Every writing that was written by the Spirit is beneficial for teaching and for reproof and for correction and for instruction that is about uprightness, so that the man of God may be mature and complete for every good work.

Paul says that every inspired writing is beneficial, and while Christians and Jews continue to wage war over which writings are inspired, let me draw your attention to what Paul doesn’t say:

Paul says these writings are beneficial but he does not say that they are compulsory. What is specifically commanded in Scripture is compulsory, what is not specifically commanded is not compulsory but can be beneficial. And let’s be honest, even pious works written by believers that we know are not inspired can be beneficial too. The books of Scripture can be arranged into levels of authority, which is how the Jews arranged the Tanakh, and lesser authority doesn’t mean no authority.
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« Reply #38 on: December 05, 2009, 10:19:43 AM »



Sola Scriptura is a new idea.

The printing press made 100% exactness possible. Thus, it took a machine to do it. Before the time of the "assembly line" 100% exactness wasn't possible until you had machines that were able to do it.

Nuts and bolts were all slightly different until machines were made to make them 100% exact.

If you look at Ethiopian Coptic crosses, you will see that each cross is "unigue". Why? Because they didn't have machines to rubber stamp each cross.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPeIJHpbplg

According to this video, they were made through the wax method, which made 100% exactness not possible.

So the idea of a robotic 100% exactness is a modern idea. For such a thing just wasn't possible before these machines were made.


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[/quote]

So do you believe that those who copied by hand were negligent and careless when doing their transcriptions? That opens up a can of worms against both the hand written Bible and the printed ones to come later
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« Reply #39 on: December 05, 2009, 02:02:20 PM »

They were capable of error, even though they tried their darndest to be accurate.  Ditto modern printed translations (consider the infamous typo).

Fact is, we live in a world where miscommunication, if at all possible, will happen, probably at random.
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« Reply #40 on: December 05, 2009, 02:59:13 PM »

Shalom all,

Let me first say that you should not view an ancient collection of books, especially those that date before the proposed “Council of Jamnia”, which was the first attempt by any “Bible believing” community to form an authoritive canon, as anything more than a collection books. The books in the collection were collected for different reasons, served different purposes and regarded as authoritive to varying degrees not equally authoritive. Some of the books in the collection were considered inspired by God, others not. Some were for liturgical use, others for historical preservation, and others contained fanastical bed time fairy tales for little kids. Obviously I’d like to preserve my family’s heirloom Torah scroll, but I wouldn’t mind preserving the story book my grandmother gave me for my 6th birthday either, as I’m sure my future kids would enjoy it too. Hey it's the first book I learnt to read, so it's got sentimental value.

Second there were different collections of books among Jews both in Israel and outside of Israel. The LXX (a collection from outside of Israel) is no more helpful in determining the original “Apostolic collection” anymore than Ethiopian or Syriac cannons (also from outside of Israel). “But there are quotes from Wisdom & Sirach in the NT”, but there are also quotes from Enoch and the Apocalypse of Baruch, plus plenty of allusions to other books which have never been part of any Church canon yet are represented in the Qumran texts, see this page: http://www.bombaxo.com/allusions.html.

So are we to confine our research of ancient witnesses solely to the LXX? Why not consider the Peshitta OT canon too, after all most of the 1st century Palestinian Jewish community were immigrants from Babylon and Persia, weren’t they?

Even if true, what does that have to do with anything?


Quote
Has the Syrian church perhaps preserved the legacy of Babylonian Jewry which was “left behind”? Did the early immigrants from Babylon bring their “traditions” formed there to Israel?
\

Just a side note: the Talmud Judaism uses is the Babylonian, not the Palestinian, Talmud.



Quote

And what do we make of Ethiopian Jewry and their fondness for Enoch and Jubilees? Where’d that come from? Sure the Ethiopian Orthodox OT was translated from the LXX (at least most of it) but where’s LXX Enoch and Jubilees? Ethiopian Jewry (the Falashas), from which Ethiopian Orthodoxy derives, is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, continuous Jewish communities on earth, Jews began emigrating to Ethiopia from Israel perhaps as early as the time of king Manasse’s reign. Have they preserved some ancient Israelite traditions?

The point is while the LXX is very valuable it is IMO no more valuable than other ancient witnesses such as the Peshitta OT or Qumran texts. Taking all the ancient witnesses into account may not produce a clear picture, but it will produce an unbiased one…

We should stick with the bias of the Apostles and the Fathers.


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« Reply #41 on: December 07, 2009, 03:36:53 AM »

Just tell that them Christ and the apostles quoted mostly from the Septuagint. If it was good enough for them, it's good enough for me.  Wink
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« Reply #42 on: December 21, 2009, 09:22:06 AM »

Shalom all,

Let me first say that you should not view an ancient collection of books, especially those that date before the proposed “Council of Jamnia”, which was the first attempt by any “Bible believing” community to form an authoritive canon, as anything more than a collection books. The books in the collection were collected for different reasons, served different purposes and regarded as authoritive to varying degrees not equally authoritive. Some of the books in the collection were considered inspired by God, others not. Some were for liturgical use, others for historical preservation, and others contained fanastical bed time fairy tales for little kids. Obviously I’d like to preserve my family’s heirloom Torah scroll, but I wouldn’t mind preserving the story book my grandmother gave me for my 6th birthday either, as I’m sure my future kids would enjoy it too. Hey it's the first book I learnt to read, so it's got sentimental value.

Second there were different collections of books among Jews both in Israel and outside of Israel. The LXX (a collection from outside of Israel) is no more helpful in determining the original “Apostolic collection” anymore than Ethiopian or Syriac cannons (also from outside of Israel). “But there are quotes from Wisdom & Sirach in the NT”, but there are also quotes from Enoch and the Apocalypse of Baruch, plus plenty of allusions to other books which have never been part of any Church canon yet are represented in the Qumran texts, see this page: http://www.bombaxo.com/allusions.html.

So are we to confine our research of ancient witnesses solely to the LXX? Why not consider the Peshitta OT canon too, after all most of the 1st century Palestinian Jewish community were immigrants from Babylon and Persia, weren’t they?

Even if true, what does that have to do with anything?

It is true, did you not see think? All the witnesses should have their voices heard, you'll never get the full story otherwise.

Quote
Has the Syrian church perhaps preserved the legacy of Babylonian Jewry which was “left behind”? Did the early immigrants from Babylon bring their “traditions” formed there to Israel?
\

Just a side note: the Talmud Judaism uses is the Babylonian, not the Palestinian, Talmud.

I'm aware of that but I'm referring to the Babylonian Jewish immigrants to Israel, as well as the 1st century Babylonian Jewish communities which predate the Talmudic period.


Quote

And what do we make of Ethiopian Jewry and their fondness for Enoch and Jubilees? Where’d that come from? Sure the Ethiopian Orthodox OT was translated from the LXX (at least most of it) but where’s LXX Enoch and Jubilees? Ethiopian Jewry (the Falashas), from which Ethiopian Orthodoxy derives, is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, continuous Jewish communities on earth, Jews began emigrating to Ethiopia from Israel perhaps as early as the time of king Manasse’s reign. Have they preserved some ancient Israelite traditions?

The point is while the LXX is very valuable it is IMO no more valuable than other ancient witnesses such as the Peshitta OT or Qumran texts. Taking all the ancient witnesses into account may not produce a clear picture, but it will produce an unbiased one…

We should stick with the bias of the Apostles and the Fathers.



[/quote]

You assuming that the Apostles and Fathers had the same bias - this is assumption not fact. Futhermore you're assuming that the Apostles had any bias at all, again assumption not fact. The fact is every ancient OT text (except the Vulgate & Masoretic text but they stem from proto Masoretic texts anyway) is represented in the NT, and a host of extra-Biblical books are alluded to as well.

Just tell that them Christ and the apostles quoted mostly from the Septuagint. If it was good enough for them, it's good enough for me.  Wink

Not gonna work for someone who's actually gonna investigate your claim and not just "take your word for it". The majority of LXX "quotes" are not exclusive to the LXX, they are found in Hebrew texts from Israel like the DSS & Samaritan Pentateuch.

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« Reply #43 on: December 21, 2009, 11:56:03 AM »

Shalom all,

Let me first say that you should not view an ancient collection of books, especially those that date before the proposed “Council of Jamnia”, which was the first attempt by any “Bible believing” community to form an authoritive canon, as anything more than a collection books. The books in the collection were collected for different reasons, served different purposes and regarded as authoritive to varying degrees not equally authoritive. Some of the books in the collection were considered inspired by God, others not. Some were for liturgical use, others for historical preservation, and others contained fanastical bed time fairy tales for little kids. Obviously I’d like to preserve my family’s heirloom Torah scroll, but I wouldn’t mind preserving the story book my grandmother gave me for my 6th birthday either, as I’m sure my future kids would enjoy it too. Hey it's the first book I learnt to read, so it's got sentimental value.

Second there were different collections of books among Jews both in Israel and outside of Israel. The LXX (a collection from outside of Israel) is no more helpful in determining the original “Apostolic collection” anymore than Ethiopian or Syriac cannons (also from outside of Israel). “But there are quotes from Wisdom & Sirach in the NT”, but there are also quotes from Enoch and the Apocalypse of Baruch, plus plenty of allusions to other books which have never been part of any Church canon yet are represented in the Qumran texts, see this page: http://www.bombaxo.com/allusions.html.

So are we to confine our research of ancient witnesses solely to the LXX? Why not consider the Peshitta OT canon too, after all most of the 1st century Palestinian Jewish community were immigrants from Babylon and Persia, weren’t they?

Even if true, what does that have to do with anything?

It is true, did you not see think?

No, the majority of Hebrews in Palestine in the 1st century were NOT immigrants from Babylon and Persia, the ancestors of the immigrants having come back with Ezra etc... centuries before.  In fact, by the time of the LXX, the vast majority had been back for a couple centuries.

Quote
All the witnesses should have their voices heard, you'll never get the full story otherwise.

Yeah, the Jesus Seminar ilk say the same thing with their "Five Gospels."  John 20:31.

Has the Syrian church perhaps preserved the legacy of Babylonian Jewry which was “left behind”? Did the early immigrants from Babylon bring their “traditions” formed there to Israel?
\

Just a side note: the Talmud Judaism uses is the Babylonian, not the Palestinian, Talmud.

I'm aware of that but I'm referring to the Babylonian Jewish immigrants to Israel, as well as the 1st century Babylonian Jewish communities which predate the Talmudic period.

referring to them for what purpose?

And what do we make of Ethiopian Jewry and their fondness for Enoch and Jubilees? Where’d that come from? Sure the Ethiopian Orthodox OT was translated from the LXX (at least most of it) but where’s LXX Enoch and Jubilees? Ethiopian Jewry (the Falashas), from which Ethiopian Orthodoxy derives, is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, continuous Jewish communities on earth, Jews began emigrating to Ethiopia from Israel perhaps as early as the time of king Manasse’s reign. Have they preserved some ancient Israelite traditions?

The point is while the LXX is very valuable it is IMO no more valuable than other ancient witnesses such as the Peshitta OT or Qumran texts. Taking all the ancient witnesses into account may not produce a clear picture, but it will produce an unbiased one…

We should stick with the bias of the Apostles and the Fathers.

You assuming that the Apostles and Fathers had the same bias - this is assumption not fact. Futhermore you're assuming that the Apostles had any bias at all, again assumption not fact. The fact is every ancient OT text (except the Vulgate & Masoretic text but they stem from proto Masoretic texts anyway) is represented in the NT, and a host of extra-Biblical books are alluded to as well.

It is not quite clear what you are claiming here, that the Apostles had a larger canon?  Or that they used other texts besides the LXX?  We know that Matthew used a Hebrew text (which wouldn't be the Masoretic, which didn't appear until centuries later).  They probably used Aramaic targums in Palestine.  We know that they used the LXX.

Of course the Apostles had a bias: they prefered the Lord's teaching over that of of the rabbis.

Just tell that them Christ and the apostles quoted mostly from the Septuagint. If it was good enough for them, it's good enough for me.  Wink

Not gonna work for someone who's actually gonna investigate your claim and not just "take your word for it". The majority of LXX "quotes" are not exclusive to the LXX, they are found in Hebrew texts from Israel like the DSS & Samaritan Pentateuch.
but not the Masoretic text.
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« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2013, 01:59:31 AM »

1. It must have been written by a prophet of God. None of the Apocryphal books claim they were.

Several thoughts come into my mind. Firstly, by whose authority are they using to back this assertion? They reject Apostolic succession and the authority of the Church and Councils, so how can they make this claim? Secondly, they have to definitively prove that each of the books in the Masoretic Bible were written by "Prophets"--when in reality, many scholars believe that they were written by secondary sources--IE, people who knew the original claimed author. Thirdly, what is their definition of a "Prophet"? None of the Apostles were prophets in a strict sense--except maybe St. John, but were Apostles. Should we reject every book in the New Testament except for those written by St. John?

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2. It must come with the authority of God. These spurious books are strikingly absence of the ring of authority. None of them come up to or compare in any way to the character and quality of the sixty six Books of the Bible.

Matter of perspective, not a good argument. We can claim the authority of the Church for the validity of these books--which in turn, reflects the authority of God.

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3. It must demonstrate that the power of God rests on the book. There is nothing transforming about these books.

Same answer as my last

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4. It must tell the truth about God, man, history, science, etc. The books are full of contradictions, errors and even heresies. The Apocryphal books are full of untruth.

Tell them to prove it. Prove the "errors" and "heresies". Likewise, I would also ask, by who or what's authority are they labeling anything "heresy"? Once again, they have no central  authority or apostolic succession, so how can they claim the definitive ability to declare what is and is not heresy? Secondly, "contradictions" aren't an issue for the Orthodox because we rather emphasize the spiritual message and use the Bible more so in worship than for historical knowledge.

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5. It must be accepted by biblical Christians as inspired of God. The Apocryphal books completely fail this final and fatal test.

It is accepted by "biblical Christians" (the Orthodox)
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Wherever goes JamesR goes, he is there.
-Orthonorm
Tags: Septuagint Canon of scriptures 
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