Who determined which Bible books are inspired?

by VM44 26 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • VM44

    "The Bible is the inspired Word of God."

    "Holy Spirit came upon men who then wrote the various books that make up the Bible."

    What was the criteria for determining if a given piece of writing, such as the books Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts, or letters, such as the ones written by Paul, were inspired? Why were some writings considered for cannonization, and others were not?

    Didn't Paul write his own opinions, such as his viewpoint regarding women, in his letters? Stating that his letters were inspired then elevates his personal opinions to directives from God!

    Were books included in the canon simply because there wasn't much material from the first century that was still around? And why was there so little written material remaining from the first century? Didn't anyone want to keep the writings? Or did they think it wasn't necessary as they believed Christ's second coming was to happen soon?

    Was the book of Revelation added because without it there was not enough prophetic material in the Greek Scriptures?

    Does anyone know of some good references that address these questions?


  • Mysterious

    Well when Paul wrote all scripture is inspired his letters were just letters not scripture. I think maybe he was meaning the hebrew scriptures (law and prophets) that Jesus quoted from. The dubs just apply that verse to all of it. I remember reading about a counsel that decided what books would go into the bible but I dont remember all the details, I'm sure someone else will.

  • VM44

    Hi Mysterious,

    Yes, when Paul wrote "All Scripture is Inspired" the greek scriptures had not yet been gathered together, and I wonder if when he wrote that he was thinking "I am now writing inspired words!"? Today, we have all the books bound together and so it is easy to apply what Paul wrote to everything between the book covers of the Bible.

    The JWs go along and also support the decisions of whoever determined and selected which writings were to be designated inspired.


  • Narkissos

    It was a gradual process both sides of the new border between Judaism and Christianity, which eventually led to authoritative Church decisions. This process was just an aspect of the relative unification of each religion, resulting from the historical or ecclesiastical elimination of many diverging schools (e.g. the Essenes and Sadducees on the Jewish side; the Gnostic on the Christian side; Judeo-Christians rejected by the Great Church and Nazarenes rejected by Pharisaic Judaism may in fact be the same group, shunned by both camps). On the Jewish side this process is exemplified in the so-called Jamnia "coucil" after the fall of Jerusalem which corresponds to the transition between pharisaic and rabbinical Judaism. On the Christian side a similar process developed unto the fourth and fifth century, as a part of the emergence of the Catholic church.

    The following link may be of interest:


  • DazedAndConfused

    For what was actually allowed into the Bible of today it was left to the Catholic church. They decided what was to become the Bible we know today.

  • ozziepost
    it was left to the Catholic church

    Or the early church fathers??

  • Elsewhere

    Gaaawd compiled the bible we all know today by inspiring his people... the Catholic Church... err... the Watchtower Society... errr... damn.

  • got my forty homey?
    got my forty homey?

    It was the guy in the Twilight Zone who had a office full of file cabinets and had a record of everyone on earth and thier sins!

  • Amazing

    The book, "History of Christianity" by Paul Johnson details the development of the Church and the Western Bible we have come to know. The Roman Catholic Church set the standard for what is considered Canonical, Inspired, and how it is placed into the Bible. The Catholic Church holds all the major ancient manuscripts used for this standard. The King James translation committee followed the Catholic standard, except it ommitted parts of several books in the Old Testament, and removed six full books from the Old testament, such as 1st and 2nd Macabbees, etc. The King James Bible also numbers some of the chapters differently. These two, the Protestant King James and the Catholic Douay Bibles are the standard by which all Bibles developed ... with the exception of the old Mormon Bible written by Joseph Smith and used by the Reorganized LDS ... it is a comic book joke ... and the New World Translation, which hold to the King James standard, except where it takes liberties with the text to justify its own doctrines ... a half comic book joke.

  • A Paduan
    A Paduan
    Didn't Paul write his own opinions, such as his viewpoint regarding women, in his letters? Stating that his letters were inspired then elevates his personal opinions to directives from God!

    Pauls "rules" aren't what inspiration is about.

    Try this - in Paul's letters insert 'word' for 'husband' - or 'soul' for the female character (eg widow - once spouse of the Spirit)

    "You are right in saying, `I have no husband'; for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; this you said truly."

    Husband is spiritual - (the Word - bridegroom) The soul (female) may accept a husband

    Jws read "rules by Paul" and call it inspired - to my thinking, they've completely missed the whole thing and don't even realise what "inspired" is about - as when Jesus addressed the Pharisees about the "whose wife will she be question"

    But Jesus answered them, "You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God.

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