Really, There Is A Lot To Learn About Your Faith

by AllTimeJeff 118 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • AllTimeJeff

    Thats cool BTS.... I find it ironic sometimes that both Popes who have lived in my lifetime have prayed for the reunification of "the church" through a bringing back of protestant denominatioins.

    I have to go to work now, I hope to revisit this tonight!

  • PSacramento

    The one true Church, if any church can be called that, is the one of christian fellowship and that one, regardless of politics, has been around since the time of Jesus.

    There are many religious organizations that use the term "church" and rightly so, but none truly can, nor should, claim to be the ONE TRUE church or the one true religion for that matter.

    Its almost a given fact that even the oldest of religions, arguably the RCC and the Greek orthodox Church, are NOT the same today as they were in the year 109 AD.

    But their core faith should be.

  • BurnTheShips

    Yadda Yadda's post on page 2 is excellent.


  • Chalam

    BTS, I disagree with this. I know this might be an official church teaching, but we have no organized church until the 4th century, at which time, final efforts to make an officially accepted bible was established.

    The church is the "body of Christ", Romans 12:5 1 Corinthians 12:27 all those that are "in Him" and follow Him, certainly not man made or organised but God made and Holy Spirit organised. If you want a label (even if the world gave us it) it started here Acts 11:26 For most Christians, the church started in Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit came. I could even be persuaded Christian discipleship started when Jesus started saying "follow me" to Peter and Andrew. Man has done his bit to help out and also put plenty of spanners in the works, most of them in the name of "religion".

    (actually, JW's claim Abel as the first JW) It is my opinion that this is done so that a claim to being the true church can be established.

    I agree with your opinion. Of course, it shows that JWs are in essence rooted in the old testament, the law, legalism and wish to bypass Jesus and go straight to the Father via their own sacrifices. They might pay lip service to Jesus' sacrifice but this kind of statement shows they are not Christian at all as no Christians existed before Christ began His ministry.

    This isn't done out of disrespect to anyone, but for the record, I dispute all religions and churches who claim that their church got started in the 1st century.

    Like I said in my previous post, IMHO it doesn't matter all that much. Follow Jesus not an organisation, follow God, not man, be guided by the Holy Spirit, not legalism or the "traditions of men".

    All the best,


  • PSacramento


    Well said on all points.

  • Mad Dawg
    Mad Dawg

    ATJ said:

    Variuous groups were rejected, notably the Gnostic Christians. People like Marcion, (decried by The Roman Church as a heretic) were excommunicated for his views that were not accepted by early church fathers.

    So? The Gnostics had more in common with eastern mysticism than it did Christianity. The Gnostics were way outside the mainstream. You seem to be confusing theology with politics.

    Marcion taught a Zoroastrian dualism. To wit: To the end of promoting his view, Marcion went through the Pauline epistles, choosing only some of them (Galatians, the Corinthian letters, Romans, the Thessalonian letters, Ephesians [as Laodecians], Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon - Harr.IC, 210) and "removed whatever he judged were interpolations - that is, anything that did not agree with his understanding of what Paul should have written." [Metzg.NT, 93] He also gutted the Gospel of Luke for his purposes, accepting only about 3/4 of it as authentic[Knox.MarcNT, 3] and with the edited Pauline epistles, created his own informal "canon." It is Marcion that did precisely what you have ascribed to the Fathers. Marcion was properly slapped down for it.

    In addition, the works of the early church fathers demonstrate that they had definite viewpoints, and used the scrolls and citations that were available to them to prop up their beliefs.

    Having read nearly the entire body of Ante-nicene fathers, you have it excactly backwards. Their viewpoints were developed from the scrolls available to them. The “gnostic gospels” did not appear until later and were never as wide spread as what would become the canon. Further, these later writings would have been compared to the earlier writings and oral traditions and rejected.

    The bible canon was commisioned after the Church became the official state religion. The establishment of the Church was itself a political exercise.

    Actually, the Council of Nicaea put its stamp of approval on the canon in 325. Christianity didn’t become the state religion until 380. Are you intentionally putting theology and politics into one basket?

    I think the opposite of the question is: What is the basis for the claim that the bible is a product of holy spirit?

    Good question.

    Thousand of scrolls…

    Yep, over 24,000. This seems miraculous in itself:

    The NT was completely written in the 1st century ad. We have at least 24,633 manuscripts of the NT, the earliest of which are dated within 100 years or so of its actual composition. Compare this to other great works:



    Earliest Copy

    Time Span




    900 ad

    1,000 yrs




    900 ad

    1,200 yrs




    900 ad

    1,300 yrs



    100 ad

    1100 ad

    1,000 yrs



    75-160 ad

    950 ad

    800 yrs



    900 BC

    400 BC

    500 yrs


    New Test.


    125 ad

    25-50 yrs

    over 24k!

    So, by the tightest standards scholars can muster (without eliminating all the other classical works), the NT we have is a trustworthy copy of the original.

  • Mad Dawg
    Mad Dawg

    with tons of variant readings,

    Most of which can be easily ferreted out by comparing the mss’s to each other. And none of the variants have any affect on the doctrines of Christianity.

    held among various groups and tribes is what one finds as to how the bible came around.

    Which makes it even more impressive that 24,000 + mss’s agree in substance.

    Again, in the end, those with a political agenda created the Holy Roman Empire, with the Church now the official mouthpiece of the Empire. How is that NOT political?

    The Holy Roman Empire was not founded until 962 by Otto I.


    1. Assumptions are no substitute for evidence.

    2. The Church did not have near the power that it had later.

    3. Shifting the burden of proof does not answer my question.

    Here is what this is beginning to sound like to me... which unfortunately is a bit too familiar.

    Some Christian apologists: You only need to accept Jesus as your lord as found in the traditional gospels. There is no need to investigate what other scholars and historians have to say regarding the bible, its history, or how the canon was put together. That will only destroy your faith.

    Actually, understanding the history of the Bible will increase one’s confidence in it. One should read different takes on it – not just those that wish to shred it like Bart.

    Some, like Bart Ehrman, have a totally biased agenda and only write what they do to destroy your faith.


    Remember, if its true for JW's, its true for ALL religions: If its the truth, it will stand up to critical scrutiny.

    Agree 100%. That is why the fathers rejected the gnostics as heretics

    Often, the issue of the canon IS PORTRAYED AS a group of official religious leaders, with a pile of possible 'candidate' books in front of them at some big meeting/council, trying to decide which ones they should say are 'inspired' and which ones they should 'condemn' or 'censor'. Such a portrayal is a substantial misunderstanding/misrepresentation of the historical process.

  • PSacramento


    Of those 24K+ manuscripts, how many are partials or "scraps" of manuscripts?

    I have always been meaning to ask that.

  • Mad Dawg
    Mad Dawg

    Don't have the numbers at my fingertips, but the majority of them would be partials or scraps. Those containing the entire NT are few.

  • PSacramento

    Thanks MD :)

    Great work on that info by the way

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