by Terry 24 Replies latest jw friends

  • Mysterious

    Given all that you wonder how anyone can argue for such a literal interpretation of a directly inspired bible preserved by god's hand through time.

  • cabasilas


    I've always thought the historic Orthodox view of the Apocyrpha or the Deuterocanonical books is that they are considered part of the Old Testament. Fr. Hopko speaks positively about them in his book The Orthodox Faith which is on the website of the Orthodox Church of America:

    The Orthodox Church also numbers among the genuine books of the Old Testament the so-called apocryphal books, meaning literally the secret or hidden writings. Other Christians put these books in a secondary place or reject completely their being of divine inspiration.

    I know I've heard some say that those Orthodox who reject the inspiration of these books are demonstrating influences from Protestantism.

  • Forscher


    It was mentioned earlier, but it sounds like that "expert got his "facts" from the Da Vinci code. I recently borrowed a copy from the library and have to wonder about that. I remember that some of its critics were worried that folks out there who were too lazy to do the research would take it as it potrays itself, factually based. I recon we have our answer here.


  • choosing life
    choosing life

    I too feel no need to argue with people anymore. It is such a relief. Live and let live. Everyone can have their own opinions and that doesn't threaten me at all. I think the witnesses are threatened by anything that can prove them wrong on a doctrine. a very stressfull life indeed.

  • Wasanelder Once
    Wasanelder Once


    I read this book years ago and it throroughly blew away all doubts that the Bible is a political document. It was a product of infighting and doctrine based agendas. I lost faith quite a bit after reading this. I don't believe that was its goal, but it certainly was the result.

    Good control there Terry ol'boy.


  • Junction-Guy

    What religion do you think this guy was? Very few rank and file members of any religion would know anything about the bible canon, even JW's. Do you think this guy was a JW? or a Catholic? Dave

  • TopHat

    Very Interesting Terry..Thanks for the story

  • Leolaia

    slimboyfat makes a good point about the Council of Nicaea, in light of erroneous claims that the canon was debated at the council:

    The modern legend of "Constantine deciding what books go into the Bible" seems to have arisen from a misunderstanding of Jerome's preface to Judith, an apocryphal book rejected by Jerome as canonical but accepted by the Nicene council. For a detailed discussion of the real agenda of the council, see the following overview:

    Tony Bushby has inflated the legend by not only claiming that the agenda was to decide what books go into the Bible, but also by concocting a fanciful tale that the main agenda of the council was to decide on who would be accepted as God, Jesus or a so-called "Judas Khrestus" -- with Constantine inventing "Jesus Christ" as a compromise between the two after a vote of 161 votes for over 157 votes against, and then destroying Bible books that stated otherwise. This is a complete and utter fabrication by Bushby.

    The apocryphal and pseudepigraphal books of the Second Temple period were widely read by Christians and influenced many parts of the NT. This is particularly the case with respect to 1 Enoch, Wisdom, and Sirach, but allusions to many other works are noticeable as well. It is noteworthy that Tertullian held 1 Enoch in such high esteem that he even quoted 2 Timothy 3:16 on its behalf.

  • Amazing


    I took my cue from an indepth study of Orthodocy, which includes the Greek Orthodox of Archdiocese America, and the Ecumenical Patriarchiate of Constantinople. Soem sites I have read suggest that Orthodoxy does not view the Apocryphal boks inspired as the rest of the Bible, but still important. Others assign a different level of importance. Here are two examples of what I mean:

    First is:

    All Scripture is Not Equal

    Such a statement may come as a shock. If anything sounds like an attack on Scripture, this does.

    Some background is necessary. In pre-Christian synagogue worship, when Scripture was read, the congregation responded differently to various sections of the Old Testament. The historical books "ranked" lowest, and above that came the Psalter and the Prophets. But when the Law was read, everyone in the synagogue stood. Here, for them, was the core of God's revelation and, above all other books, the Law of Moses merited full attention.

    The same happened in early Christianity after the Apostles died. But instead of the Law, it was the Gospels which compelled the faithful to stand in respect. The teaching and words of Jesus, the New and Spiritual Law, were seen as the pinnacle of the revelation of Scripture. The early Christians' hermeneutic of the rest of the Bible began and ended with the words of Christ. The Gospels were the core of their canon. St. Paul was understood in the light of Jesus, not vice versa.

    Is this ordering of Scripture so strange? We do it ourselves, although we do not readily admit it. If we consider all the sermons we have heard, cataloguing the references used, we will find that some books typically merit more thought and discourse than others. In many Protestant churches Romans and Galatians are focused upon while II Peter, James & Jude are not. In the Old Testament, the Psalms are read more frequently than Numbers. If any church or tradition really sought to cover Scripture equally they would have to slate four times more sermons on the Old Testament than on the New!

    According to the following source, the Orthodox Church claims to be the guardian and keeper of the original Bible, which includes a total of 76 books, aomng which are the Apocryphal. Yes, they consider the Apocryphal as part of the Bible Canon ... of 76 books:

    The Old Testament The official version of the Old Testament authorized by the Orthodox Church for use in worship and reading is that of the Septuagint. The number of books in the Septuagint Old Testament edition of the Bible are forty-nine books, twenty-seven in the New Testament. There are seventy-six books in both collections of the Bible. In the King James English Version of the Bible, or as it is commonly called --the Authorized Version, ten books are omitted from the Old Testament. These ten books were rejected by Luther, Calvin, and the Swiss and German reformers. In the English Bible they were placed in a inferior position, until they were finally omitted altogether about a century ago. The Roman Catholic edition omits two books from the Old Testament. The Council of Trent, in the third session (1546), excludes Ist Esdras and the 3rd Maccabees that was confirmed by the Vatican Council of 1870. The preservation of all the Holy Books of the Holy Bible expresses the vigilance of the Orthodox Church in guarding and preserving the Bible and its truth throughout the ages unadulterated.
    The books omitted by the Protestant King James Bible are I Esra, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiastical by Sirach, Baruch, the Epistle of Jeremy, the First, Second and Third Books of Maccabees, and parts of Esther and Daniel. These books were included in all the collections of the Bible since Saint Athanasios during the Fourth Century. Also, they were included in the list of the local Synods of Hippo, 393 AD: of Carthage, 397 AD; in the Quintisext at Trullo, 692; and by the local Synods of Jerusalem, 1672; and Constantinople, 1675 A.D. They are also in constant use in our public worship, especially the books, Wisdom of Solomon.
    The Church from the beginning, used the Septuagint and not the Palestinian version of the Bible Note: During the time of our Lord, there were two versions of the of the Old Testament in circulation among the Jews. One was called the "Narrow Circle" of Jerusalem or Palestine and the other was called "Wilder Circle" of Alexandria. Our Lord and the Apostles, in the New Testament, used the "Wilder Circle" or the Septuagint. It was called Septuagint, or Seventy, because there were seventy, (according to tradition 72) scholars who first made the translation into Greek during the reign of Ptolmey II in the third century, B.C. in Alexandria. Our Church recognizes and accepts the Septuagint as the sacred and inspired Word of God. This version of the Bible circulated in the synagogues around the Mediterranean world where Christianity flourished.
    The New Testament
    The New Testament canon was accepted as such by the conscience of the Church and guarded by the Holy Church as the most precious treasure. By the Fourth Century, the local synods of Hippo, 393, and Carthage, 397, included all twenty-seven books: whereas, the local synod of Laodicia in 350 excluded the Apocalypse (Revelation). It was finally included in the canon of the New Testament, authorized by the Sixth Ecumenical Council. Being the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the Bible is kept in the Church with great respect and veneration, and guarded by the Holy Spirit, Who inspired the Holy Prophets. (Source: What Is The Holy Bible? by Rev. George C. Papademetriou, Ph.D., Director of the Library and Instructor of Systematic Theology, Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology., Brookline, Massachusetts., 1986., pp.3-4). Source:

    Likewise, Orthodoxy does not see the Bible as perfect, as do Protestant groups:

    In this sense, we can understand possible imperfections in the books of the Bible, since they are the result of the cooperation between the all-perfect and perfecting Divine Author, the Spirit, and the imperfect human author. Biblical textual criticism is completely normal and acceptable by the Orthodox, since they see the Bible in this light. Nothing human is perfect, including the Bible, which is the end product of human cooperation with the divine Spirit. Source:

    The Apocryphal Books are very important in the Orthodox Church because they teach the Divinity of Jesus, and make prophectic statements regarding the Theotokos. Protestants do not mind the Divinity of Jesus teachings, but they do not like anything regarding the Theotokos, as this clerly puts a Catholic/Orthodox spin on the Christian faith. I have not found the discussion I was thinking of when I made my statement about the Apocryphal Books not necessarily being inspired ... so, I don't know for sure where I read it ... and if I stand corrected, then so be it.

    Jim Whitney

  • lovelylil

    Jim and Leolaia - thank you both for wieghing in on this topic and removing myth and opinion from the real facts of the matter. I found the information you both provided to be very helpful Lilly

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