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The Two Bible Canons

REVELATION versus INSPIRATION: These two are not the same and cannot be used interchangeably. Revelation refers to material which is revealed or shown by an external source. By contrast, inspiration comes from a variety of sources, external and internal, and the "inspired" material is internally generated. Jesus claimed to be the direct, public, and sufficient revelation of god, and this revelation COMES TO US primarily from the two eyewitness accounts−the Gospels of John and Thomas−while all other articles, letters, commentaries, and accounts are due to some level of inspiration. Inspired feelings, insights and thought are NOT INFALLIBLE, and completely subject to the person's existing package of understandings, values and beliefs.

WORD OF GOD: The Bible is not the word of God, never has been, never will nor can be, because the "Word of God" was the messenger of reason manifested or revealed in the human being called by John the Logos. Logos means the basis for logic, the voice of reason, and the source of wisdom. The Old Testament (OT) is valuable only in pointing to Christ and substantiating him as the Messiah, an aspect of very LIMITED value. The New Testament (NT), except for the gospels, has merit or worth ONLY as it substantiates the historicity of the life of J and especially his resurrection. It is also useful as a record for wrong ideas that do not work, as a track record for failure of theology differing from that of Jesus. Neither Jesus nor the Father ever authorized the writing of the NT nor had anything to do with it, nor has God, time or history validated it.
     How many times do we have to read Paul's outrageous statements before we see that these are his ancient cultural—personal—convictions and not the word of God.

Examples:

RSV 1 Corinthians 14:34  As in all the churches of the Saints, the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says.
and
RSV 1 Corinthians 11:13-16  Judge for yourselves; is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her hair uncovered? Does not nature itself teach you that for a man to wear long hair is degrading to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her pride? For her hair is given to her as a covering. If any one is disposed to be contentious, we recognize no other practice, nor do the churches of God.

The other examples and arguments are legion.

GOSPELS: The synoptic Gospels, especially Matthew, are written within the anticipation of Jesus setting up a theocracy on the earth, something totally out of harmony with his character and purpose. The Gospels of the NT are revelation only in so far as they faithfully report the spirit of what Jesus said and did, that is, Him giving us His theology. Even the author's commentary within the gospels is not ultimately trustworthy, especially in the synoptic gospels. The rest of the NT, in contrast to the gospels, is other men who died giving us their theology. It is purely about what these men thought at the time they wrote and is surely untrustworthy, even though they were "inspired".

CANONS: The word "canon" means measurer or ruler. Both the OT canon and the NT canon came to be regarded as special through a historical process, involving only the collective wisdom of the Hebrews over some 1200 years for the OT, involving only the collective "wisdom" of the errant Christian community over some 335 years for the NT. Evidently, since Jesus disagreed with part of the OT scriptures and quoted authoritatively from literature outside the canon, the process to canon was an earthly one only approximate in validity at best, and apparently God was not directly involved. Again, canonization is a historical process, and is not the result of some committee directed by the Holy Spirit.

OT CANON: The OT canon was solidified by approximately 400 BC and consisted of three categories of books. The Pentateuch, represented by Moses on the mount of transfiguration, were the foundation of Torah and were considered to be authoritative and infallible. The Prophets, represented by Elijah on the mount, were considered to be "inspirational" but not infallible. The Writings were included as significant romantic and cultural literature. Strangely enough, Christ fulfilled more carefully and specifically some "prophetic" sections (note Psalm 22) of the Writings than of the other two categories.

We do not know who wrote the Bible. The Old Testament authors did not labor for personal recognition but to convey their sense of Israel's god and his purpose for the world. Old Testament authorship was typically anonymous, although later traditions assigned important books to eminent figures of the past. In the last several centuries B.C.E. (before the common era), Moses was regarded as the author of the Bible's first five books, the Pentateuch, although most modern scholars believe that these books assumed their present form long after Moses' day. Most of the narrative books−Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles−are the work of nameless priests, scribes, and archivists. None make direct statements about their origin or compilers. Scholars believe that the great prophets−Amos, Isaiah, Micah, and others−delivered their message orally and that their words were collected and written down by later disciples whose names are unknown. Understanding the Bible, Stephen L Harris, p. 2.

NT CANON: The NT canon was SOMEWHAT solidified by 370 CE primarily by Roman "Christians" who were firmly entrenched in the major concepts of Zoroastrianism, who were firmly allied with the civil, political and military authorities, and who were beginning at that time to literally slaughter the other more spiritual followers of Jesus, the Gnostics. The NT writers are not presenting the same message as Jesus did and we should have no concern for the NT canon being sacred or infallible because Jesus presents himself as the voice of reason and last revelation of the Supreme Being, and HE told and showed us everything we need to know.

The same anonymity prevails in the New Testament. While late second-century Church traditions attributed various Gospels and letters to prominent early disciples and apostles, most of the texts make no claims of authorship. The conspicuous exceptions are Paul's letters, written between about 50 and 62 C.E. (of the common era) to newly founded Christian churches in such cities a s Corinth, Thessalonica, Philippi, and Rome. Although the author of Luke-Acts may have been a Gentile (non-Jew), all other Bible writers were Jewish, members of the Israelite nation. Understanding the Bible, Stephen L Harris, p. 2

EVOLUTION OF THE MODERN ENGLISH BIBLE: Out of reaction to the religious authority of Rome and its commensurate political influence and meddling, King James I of England in 1604 commissioned 54 men to produce the Authorized King James Version of the Bible. This version was not really a new translation but was purposely designed to pander to the Church of England and to especially not offend prevailing medieval religious sentiments. Indeed the commission reported that,

"Neither did wee thinke much to consult the translators or Commentators, Chaldee, Hebrew, Syrian, Greeks, or Latine, nor no the Spanish, French, Italian, or Dutch."

Outside of its highly touted literary quality the singular most important thing for the people of that time was that it was authorized by the King, but its extremely poor quality of translation and many errors make it a document that effectively obscures much of the meaning intended by the original authors of the various books included in this particular canon.

ULTIMATE HERMENEUTIC: Always choose to believe the best from your heart (core), or idealistic internal reference point. Four valid criteria may be:

Is it good for me personally?
Is it logical and reasonable to me personally?
Can I live with it happily for all eternity?
Is it within the context and limits of what Jesus said and did?

"A door that seems to stand open must be of a man's size, or it is not
the door that providence means for him." − Henry Ward Be
echerI

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