2 Comments

  1. J.K.

    A rather enjoyable post here Ben. Keep up the good work! The latter half leads me to further ponder why so many divinely inspired books were left out of the new testament? Perhaps historical context can also be used to determine the veracity of the King James Bible? Fact is that as long as the revealed religions have existed, men have adopted the a la carte approach you speak of, especially at the very highest levels of the organized churches. I hope my brief reply isn’t offensive, or taken as heresy, but if so, long live the 1st Amendment!

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    1. goingtodamascus

      Jeremy,

      Thanks for the kind comments. I’ll try to address a few things you brought up to the best of my ability, but some clarification might be in order.

      “The latter half leads me to further ponder why so many divinely inspired books were left out of the new testament?”

      To which books are you referring? Are you referring to other gospels, such as the gospel of Thomas, Judas, Mary, etc.? If so, the short answer to that is that the four gospel we have are 1) The closest to the actual timeline of Christ, and therefore the most credible 2) the most Coherent (the other gospels, which aren’t found until centuries after the four we use, end up changing a wide variety of details) and 3) are affirmed by the oldest recorded church fathers, such as Irenaeus and Clement. By early 100’s AD Clement is already quoting from the four gospels, and Irenaeus (as well as others) affirmed that there were only four Gospels (Matt, Mark, Luke, John) long before Constantine and the council of Nicea.

      If you’re referring to other books throughout history, I do not think it is wrong to say there have certainly been other divinely inspired writers, who at times have written and done some pretty incredible things. I would certainly say many of the Reformers would fall under this category, as I don’t think many of them could’ve done what they did without something Higher at work. That being said, we would say that although there MAY BE other inspired texts, the texts we do have in the Biblical canon are sufficient and not lacking in anything, and any other inspired writings would have to agree with the texts we attribute to Biblical canon.

      Does that help?

      “Perhaps historical context can also be used to determine the veracity of the King James Bible?”

      Not sure exactly what you are referring to here…are you referring to the debate over whether or not the KJV should be the only legitimate English translation because of the manuscripts used?

      “Fact is that as long as the revealed religions have existed, men have adopted the a la carte approach you speak of, especially at the very highest levels of the organized churches.”

      You’re right. No generation has ever gotten it right. But, just because people have always cherry-picked doesn’t legitimize the practice. That is why authortarian “church” structures are dangerous and unhealthy. The Bible routinely calls believers to be in a community, rebuking and teaching one another, not under the words of a few leaders who are supposed to be able to decide everything.

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