Banned From the Bible

by Sweetp0985 45 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • M.J.

    One thing I've marvelled at was when I came accross this subheading under the article "Biblical Literature" from the Encyclopedia Britannica:


    The process of canonization

    Determination of the canon in the 4th century

    Athanasius , a 4th-century bishop of Alexandria and a significant theologian, delimited the canon and settled the strife between East and West. On a principle of inclusiveness, both Revelation and Hebrews (as part of the Pauline corpus) were accepted. The 27 books of the New Testament?and they only?were declared canonical. In the Greek churches there was still controversy about Revelation, but in the Latin Church, under the influence of Jerome, Athanasius' decision was accepted.

    So from this article it would appear that the guy who had the final say on the matter was none other than the guy the WTS would consider as one of the biggest apostates in history (the chief defender of Christian orthodoxy in the 4th-century battle against Arianism). How do they deal with this point?

    Anyway, although I don't remember the specifics of the show (I was still new to all this so it was in one ear-out the other) I thought that this PBS series was pretty interesting:

    It had a portion dedicated to the determination of the canon.

  • Grog

    I had a friend who wanted me to read "who wrote the bible" when I was a witness still...

    I bet I would have come out of the borg sooner if I had read it.

    Tomorrows God by Neil Donald Walsch is a great book.

    His conversations with God series was the catalysist in me waking up.

  • enquirer

    My approach to this may be a little different.

    We have a loving Creator in Heaven who wishes us to come to Him and to be saved from our sins. "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son...." Our heavenly father has made every provision for us to take this offer of salvation. The Holy Scriptures are the means by which we can know of His mercy. Yes there are many writings but I believe that the Bible as we know it contains all that is necessary to aquaint us with the information needed. It's not a question of what is right or wrong but what is needed for us to know. We do read that "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit".

    I trust absolutely Holy Scripture as we know it and believe that God guided the compilers to prepare our Bible as it is.


  • Robdar


    We have a loving Creator in Heaven who wishes us to come to Him and to be saved from our sins.

    What makes you think that we are sinners? Why is being human being sinful?

  • William Penwell
    William Penwell

    Personally I am tired of hearing just one side of the Christian issue. The bottom line is that most Orthodox Christians will not deviate from what is said in the "bible". There were hundreds of books written about the life and sayings of Jesus, so who were the Gods that determined that these are the books we will say are inspired and these are the ones that are not inspired? I have now read books that give the other side of the story and it portrays the early Christian movement in a different light. Believe it or not but I would prefer to hear both sides of an issue and make my own mind up about it and not be clouded by preconceived ideas. Another good book to read is Elaine Pagels, "The Gnostic Gospels".


  • Double Edge
    Double Edge

    I saw that show on the history channel....very interesting. Here's a link that will show you some of the "lost" books:

  • William Penwell
    William Penwell


    Don't you know we are all Godless, piece of garabage, sinners not worthy of living??


  • William Penwell
    William Penwell

    Double Edge,

    Thanks, Just took a look at the link you posted. Did you read what it said at the top of the page?

    "Actually, these are not the lost books of the Bible. We have all that God has ordained for us. A lot of people think the Bible isn't trustworthy and that many books were removed from it. That isn't the case. But, there are many ancient books around when the Bible was written. Here are many of them. "

    What a load of crap. "Why we have all we need, no sense in reading any more." No wonder we had 1500 years of a Christian dark age with thinking like this. Yet millions buy into this shallow thinking.


  • eljefe

    Another good show was Frontline's From Jesus to Christ (article):

    Here is a quote from it:

    About the dating of the manuscripts themselves there is little debate. Examination of the datable papyrus used to thicken the leather bindings, and of the Coptic script, place them c. A.D. 350-400. But scholars sharply disagree about the dating of the original texts. Some of them can hardly be later than c. A.D. 120-150, since Irenaeus, the orthodox Bishop of Lyons, writing C. 180, declares that heretics "boast that they possess more gospels than there really are,'' and complains that in his time such writings already have won wide circulation--from Gaul through Rome, Greece, and Asia Minor.

    Here is a quote from another site (link):

    As for the New Testament, there is one second-century fragment of John's gospel known as the Rylands fragment, but it is very small and contains only a few verses. The earliest substantial manuscript support for the New Testament comes from the Chester Beatty papyri, which date to the third century. These papyri contain most, but not all, of the books of the New Testament. The first complete New Testament manuscript is the Codex Sinaiticus, which dates to the fourth century. Therefore, the oldest papyri containing most of the books of the New Testament were written at least 120 years after the originals were composed, and the oldest complete New Testament manuscript postdates the original autographs by at least 220 years.

    Basically we have a complete Gnostic gospel from the third century but more probable is the early second century. We a have semi-complete third century New Testament. I have more confidence in the "apocrypha" not having been changed than our current cannon.

    Anyway, if you ever get the chance to watch it, I highly recommend it.

  • Justin

    As pointed out, the issue of redemption is crucial. The idea of God sending his Son to save us from sin and death is orthodox Christianity. Most of the alternative writings now becoming popular are gnostic. Gnosticism involves the idea that the Savior came to impart the knowledge that certain ones (not all) are like sparks which have been emitted from God and lost in matter, but once they gain the knowledge of their true selves they may return to the Godhead. In orthodoxy, Christ saves us by his death and resurrection.

    Now suppose that all the Watchtower writings were lost and then gradually rediscovered. Do you think that those of us who were once JWs could distinguish those writings from the writings of other religions? Yes, because we had belonged to a tradition in which we were cultivated. Similarly, the early Christian bishops, because they belonged to the orthodox tradition, were able to distinguish the orthodox writings from others.

    And by the way, when it comes to the idea of redemption, Jehovah's Witnesses are orthodox. They may not accept the Trinity or the deity of Christ, but both they and "Christendom" use the same scriptures and wrangle over the fine points - because basically the orthodoxy is there. If Arius had won the dispute in the fourth century (which he almost did), there is little doubt that the same scriptures would have been selected for the canon and the gnostic writings would have been rejected. But, if you want to be a modern-day gnostic, that's up to you.

    Selection of writings for the canon occurred over a period of time beginning in the second century, but revisionists like to point to later personages (such as Athansius) who simply put the finishing touches on it by selecting a few remaining disputed books.

    For those who would like to read the orthodox alternative to the new revisionist tendencies, try The Gospel Code by Ben Witherington III, published this year by InterVarsity Press.

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