Help with a question. Need W-4/1/2010

by maninthemiddle 16 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • maninthemiddle

    This question is in the now famous 4/15 watchtower in the do you rememebr section.

    I want to know what the source article said, because I can hardly agree with this statement as written. I am assuming this is in relation to the "translation" of the NWT, but it is misleading to the point of fiction.

    Can anyone look at the 4/1 watchtower and tell me what is says?

    W-4/15/2010 Question

  • sir82

    Sorry, don't have the 4/1 WT handy.

    But I find the spin fascinating.

    The canon of the NT wasn't fixed until the 3rd or 4th century or so, IIRC - that is to say, that is when one of many "official" canons were finally selected as "authentic".

    Somehow the WT manages to conflate "the early decades of the Christian congregation" with "the early centuries of the Christian congregation".

    Actually, that's not so surprising, coming from a group that considers a period of (potentially) 200+ years to be "one generation".

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    misleading to the point of fiction

    That's polite. As written it is a bald-faced lie.

  • NiceDream

    This is what the article says (ellipses are theirs in the article):

    Who Selected the Canon?

    Some authors have claimed that the canon of the Christian Greek Scriptures was chosen centuries after the fact by a church that was an established power under the direction of the Emperor Constantine. However, the facts show otherwise.

    For example, note what Professor of Church History Oskar Skarsaune states:

    "Which writings that were to be included in the New Testament, and which were not, was never decided upon by any church council or by any single person...The criteria were quite open and very sensible: Writings form the first century C.E. that were regarded as written by apostles or by their fellow workers were regarded as reliable. Other writings, letters, or 'gospels' that were written later were not included...This process was essentially completed a long time before Constantine and a long time before his church of power had been established. It was the church of martyrs, not the church of power, that gave us the New Testament."

    Ken Berding, an associate professor whose field of study is the Christian Greek Scriptures, gives this comment about how the canon emerged:

    "The chuch did not establish a canon of its choosing; it is more proper to speak of the church recognizing the books that Christians had always considered to be an authoritative Word of God."

    According to the Bible, one of the miraculous gifts of the spirit that were given in the early decades of the Christian congregation was "discernment of inspired utterances." (1 Cor 12:4, 10) The spirit gave Christians "superhuman ability to discern the difference between sayings that were truly inspired by God and those that were not." "Christians today may thus be confident that the Scriptures included in the Bible were recognized as inspired."

    "Evidently, then, the canon was established at an early stage under the guidance of holy spirit. From the latter part of the second century C.E., some writers commented on the canonicity of the Bible books. These writers, however, did not establish the canon; they merely testified to what God had already accepted through his representatives, who were guided by spirit."

  • NiceDream


    Ancient manuscripts also provide compleling evidence to support the canon that is generally accepted today. There are more than 5,000 manuscripts of the Greek Scriptures in the original language, including some from the second and third centuries. It was these writings, that were regarded as authoritative during the early centuries C.E. and therefore were copied and widely distributed.

    However, the internal evidence is the most important proof of the canonicity. The canonical writings are in harmony with "the pattern of healthful words" that we find in the rest of the Bible. (2 Tim 1:13) They urge readers to love, worship, and serve Jehovah, and they warn against superstition, demonism, and creature worship. They are historically accurate and contain true prophecy. And they encourage readers to love their fellow humans. The books of the Christian Greek Scriptures have such distinctive marks. Do the apocryphal writings measure up?

  • NiceDream

    I hope that is what you were wanting. There are no books mentioned as sources, just quotes from those 2 professors.

  • Black Sheep
  • maninthemiddle

    Nice Dream..Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

    Now to do some more reading on this.

    Black Sheep, thank you for the reference.

  • maninthemiddle

    As usual highly out of context. What I thought to be true is.

    For any lurkers research the bible, learn how it really came to be.

    Which Came First: The Church or the New Testament?

    By Fr. James Bernstein

    The second big surprise came when I realized that the first complete listing of New Testament books as we have them today did not appear until over 300 years after the death and resurrection of Christ.....During the first four centuries A.D. there was substantial disagreement over which books should be included in the canon of Scripture....Another debate arose over the issue of whether there should be separate gospels or one single composite gospel account. In the second century, Tatian, who was Justin Martyr's student, published a single composite "harmonized" gospel called theDiatessaron. The Syrian Church used this composite gospel in the second, third, and fourth centuries; they did not accept all four Gospels until the fifth century. They also ignored for a time the Epistles of John, 2 Peter, and the Book of Revelation.....My favorite New Testament book, the Epistle to the Hebrews, was clearly excluded in the Western Church in a number of listings from the second, third, and fourth centuries. Primarily due to the influence of Augustine upon certain North African councils, the Epistle to the Hebrews was finally accepted in the West by the end of the fourth century. On the other hand, the Book of Revelation, also known as the Apocalypse, written by the Apostle John, was not accepted in the Eastern Church for several centuries.


    With the passage of time the Church discerned which writings were truly apostolic and which were not. It was a prolonged struggle , taking place over several centuries. As part of the process of discernment, the Church met together several times in council. These various Church councils confronted a variety of issues, among which was the canon of Scripture. It is important to note that the purpose of these councils was to discern and confirm what was already generally accepted within the Church at large. The councils did not legislate the canon so much as set forth what had become self-evident truth and practice within the churches of God. The councils sought to proclaim the common mind of the Church and to reflect the unanimity of faith, practice, and tradition as it already existed in the local churches represented. The councils provide us with specific records in which the Church spoke clearly and in unison as to what constitutes Scripture. Among the many councils that met during the first four centuries, two are particularly important in this context:

    (1) The Council of Laodicea met in Asia Minor about A.D. 363. This is the first council which clearly listed the canonical books of the present Old and New Testaments, with the exception of the Apocalypse of Saint John. The Laodicean council stated that only the canonical books it listed should be read in church. Its decisions were widely accepted in the Eastern Church.

    (2) The third Council of Carthage met in North Africa about A.D. 397. This council, attended by Augustine, provided a full list of the canonical books of both the Old and New Testaments. The twenty-seven books of the present-day New Testament were accepted as canonical. The council also held that these books should be read in the church as Divine Scripture to the exclusion of all others. This Council was widely accepted as authoritative in the West.

  • civicsi00

    Marked for later..

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