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Re: A question to be remembered -- Bill's response to me.

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  • William
    Jeff, I am very aware of 2 Timothy 3:16 and what it both does and does not say. For one thing, it is a very ambiguous passage, with a word in the Greek that
    Message 1 of 17 , Jan 16, 2010
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      Jeff,

      I am very aware of 2 Timothy 3:16 and what it both does and does not say. For one thing, it is a very ambiguous passage, with a word in the Greek that no one is certain of the exact English translation for. It could be "God breathed", "God inspired" or any of some other similar meanings. Further, when it refers to scripture, what works is it referrring to? Where is the listing of what books are considered scripture and which ones are not? Paul seems to have used the Septuagint for his OT, that included Tobit and Macabees, do you consider them scripture? What about Jubilees, for which a good case could be made that Jesus might have considered it scripture. Or an even better case could be made for there being at last 155 Psalms. Do you accept that many?

      Your argument is sound only if you rely on specific English translations and ignore certain problems, not if you go back to the original language or consider that was considered scripture at the time.

      Bill

      --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "preachingjeff" <preachingjeff@...> wrote:
      >
      > Actually, the Bible does say it is all the Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16 says "ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God . . ." 2 Peter 1:21 says that the prophets spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. Technically, this refers to the Old Testament, but there are parts in the New Testament that are also referred to as Scripture (e.g. Paul quotes a statement from Luke in 1 Timothy; Peter refers to Paul's letters as Scripture in 2 Pet. 3). Add to this that there are times when the OT states something without saying "Thus says the Lord", and the NT quotes it by saying "God says", and also there are times it says "Thus says the Lord" in the OT and it the NT says "Scripture says".
      >
      > In other words, it is dangerous for man to put himself in the role to determine what God really said and what is from man. All or nothing is a better way to approach it.
      >
      > Jeff
      >
      > --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "William" <eliadefollower@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Jeff,
      > >
      > > Might I throw in another point in this matter since you have made an excellent one regarding evidence. That is, scripture as a whole does not clearly claim to be the word of God. It might do so, but that is subject to interpretation in most cases. Rarely does scripture state "Thus says the Lord", which is the only clear indication that those particular words are the direct words of God. The balance may be from God or may be from humans inspired by their understandings and experiences of God.
      > >
      > > Bill
      > >
      >
    • R.hero
      Hi Bill ... B: Who places this requirement on Christians? R: The New Testament is Christian Canon. To deny, allegorize, or change any part of it runs the risk
      Message 2 of 17 , Jan 22, 2010
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        Hi Bill


        > A Christian Must Believe:


        B: Who places this requirement on Christians?


        R: The New Testament is Christian Canon. To deny, allegorize, or change any part of it runs the risk of
        A) calling God a liar
        B) being the least in the Kingdom from Heaven (Mt. 5:19)
        Therefore, a Christian must believe:

        1. The Bible is the word of God-- not that it merely contains the word of God
        (2Tim.3:16; Heb.4:12;2Pet.1:16-21)

        B: So when in Paul's letters it states that it is Paul's opinion, not God's, it
        is God's word claiming not to be God's word? That makes God to be a liar
        R: The scriptures given clearly state the Bible is the word of God. Can you not discern context?
        2. God is a person who created— brought into existence all material and
        spiritual substance, and that, out of the created material, God personally
        formed the worlds for life and each creature therein. ( Gen.1:1; 2:7,
        19;Ps.8:1-9;102:25;Jn.1:3-4;Eph.3:9;Col.1:15-18;Heb.1:1-3;Rev.4:11)
        B: So what is a person? Dictionary definitions usually say something like it is
        a human being or God, which makes your observation meaningless.
        R: Material being. I reject the Catholic version of a metaphysical God creating from nothing for such a God can only exist in ones thoughts and not in reality. 0x0=0

        > 3. God created humans in his own image and likeness in one day, fully mature
        and highly intelligent, not that he descended from molecules through the lower
        forms of life to a monkey-like creature to man (
        Gen.1:26-28;2:7,19;9:6;Acts.17:26;1Cor.11:7-9;Jas.3:9)
        B: How long was God's day and since God used the dust of the earth how can you
        be certain what means was used?
        R: A day is a 24 hour period ( I am an old earth Creationist). I do not get what you mean. You want to test creating from dust? I don't think you are advanced enough to do that.


        > 5. God created humans and all other life to reproduce after it's own type
        (Gen.1:20-31;2:5-7,19-25)
        B: So modern medicine that recognizes some diseases as mutating is incorrect?
        Where has swine flu been all these years?
        R; mutations do not change type.


        >
        > 6. Jesus Christ is the son of God in a sense no other man is—the only begotten
        son, not that he is a son of God in the sense all humans are (
        Gen.3:15;Isa.7:14;9:6-7;Mt.1:18-25;Lk.1:34-35;Jn.1:18;3:16;Heb.1:1-3,8;Rev.1:8-1\
        1)
        >
        > 7. The Holy Spirit is a person, separate and distinct from both the Father and
        the Son. All three persons have their own personal body, soul, and spirit and
        make the Divine Trinity ( 1Jn.5:7)
        B: See my comment in response to point 2.
        >
        > 8. The birth of Christ was supernatural and not natural as in the case with
        humans. He was virgin born caused by the Holy Spirit without a human father (
        Gen.3:15;Isa.7;14;9:6-7;Mt.1:18-25;Lk.1:34-35;Jn.1:1:14;3:16-18;1Tim.3:16;heb.1:\
        1-3)
        B: Half of your scripture references are highly suspect, including all the OT
        ones. Matthew is based on the OT, so also suspect. John seem irrevelant to His
        birth, need I continue?

        R; So you are a Christian who denies the virgin birth, huh?

        > 9. The death of Christ was expiatory, not exemplary. He died for all men. His
        blood is the only atonement for sin and by his stripes we are healed(
        Isa.53;Mt.1:21;8:17;26:28;Jn.3:16;Acts.4:12;Rom.8:3;1Cor.1:18-24;5:7;Heb.1:3;2:9\
        -18;9:11-28;10:5-29;1Pet.2:24;1Jn.2:1-2;Rev.1:5;5:8-10)
        B: It was clearly not exemplary, beyond that is interpretation. Exactly what
        some of the passages mean is subject to debate. I think that you hold to a
        traditional view which may or may not be correct.

        R:

        The Philosophy of Redemption




        In the case of the human race, Satan tempted Adam and Eve to rebel against God and break his law, incurring the death penalty (Gen.2.17) .

        They being under the sentence of death, could not pay their own sentence and also live again to enjoy freedom from sin and to carry out the eternal purpose for which they were created >>Gen.2:15

        To carry out the eternal plan the human race had to be redeemed and brought back into full reconciliation with God in order to fulfill all the demands he gave to his creations. God undertook redemption work on behalf of the human race by sending Jesus Christ to die for the members of the human race and resurrect them from the dead so that the original plan could be realized. Eph.2:7

        The above is plainly expressed in the following points:

        1. All life, both vegetable and animal, is sustained and perpetuated by substitutional suffering and death of innocent victims.

        2. God's relationship to the human race made atonement necessary. He had made the race to live forever and carry out his eternal program, so when s/he broke the law it was necessary for God to uphold and vindicate the moral law and yet redeem eternal s/he from his enemy.Eph.2:2

        If God had permitted his enemy to escape with this attack on the eternal program of Gen .2.15, God would be defeated in the eyes of all other free will creations who could join the rebellion trying to put God to complete defeat and eternal ruin.

        3. Satan held a pseudo sovereignty over humanity and that for ransom on the principle of possession and consent of a responsible person, or government by consent of the governed. This was the only principle of government that a holy God could establish with the wages of sin as death and eternal reward for obedience. Satan's rights are recognized in scripture. He is the god and prince of the world who had the power of death and hell before his defeat by atonement (Gen3:15; Jn.10:10; 12:31;2Cor.4:4; Col.2:14;Heb.2;14; Rev.20:10)

        4. God decided that through the atonement and the substitution of an innocent victim to take the place of the guilty kidnapped race he would free it from Satan, thus legally and forcefully evicting him, restoring man's dominion so as to carry on the eternal purpose.

        5. The penalty had to be paid for man to go free. If sinful man had paid the penalty he would remain forever dead. If man was to become reconciled to God again and be restored to his original position, an innocent and a willing substitute had to be found to take his place who could fully meet the demands of the law and represent both God and man. He had to be more than man to be able to live again after the penalty was paid. The only solution was for God to become man and pay the penalty letting man go free. This way God could be free from all accusations of injustice in forcing another to do what he himself would not do, and his holy law, justice, and form of government would be magnified before all creation in all eternity.

        6. One of the three Divine Persons in the Trinity became a man, took the place of man in paying the penalty thus meeting all the demands of God and his holy law and defeating Satan and his hosts ( Col.2:14-17; Heb.2:14-15; 1Pet.2:24)

        7. When Satan put to death the innocent sinless Christ, the court of heaven cancelled all the claims, rights, and pseudo-sovereignty over his victims. Now he holds a false authority over them. His chief method now is intimidation. All who assert their legal, redemptive, blood bought, and divine rights and resist him can be free from sin, sickness, and satanic powers.

        Satan is now only the accuser against Christians but has no legal claim on us.( Rev.12:10). Christ is their defense attorney ( 1Jn.2:1-2; Rom.8:33-34).
        The law must still be upheld and God cannot excuse any sin. No human court can forgive and justify any man who continues to commit crimes. So it is with the Court of Heaven. The Supreme judge is sworn to uphold the demands of the law in every case.


        have a nice day Bill

        ps no time to respond to points 10-16








        >
      • William
        R.Hero, I have simply responded to your statements without including them. This post is getting far to long. I dislike those posts that include portions
        Message 3 of 17 , Jan 23, 2010
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          R.Hero,

          I have simply responded to your statements without including them. This post is getting far to long. I dislike those posts that include portions going back several posts. I can always look back on my own.
          You defend the requirements of what a Christian must believe by citing the New Testament as the Christian canon. I agree that it is, but who set it as such? Last time I checked it was set by HUMANS, not God.

          As for the question as to whether or not I can understand context, I fully understand context. I also understand when the original language and context are ambiguous. 2Tim 3:16 is very ambiguous in the Greek. It is a HUMAN translation that removes the ambiquity that allows for your assurtions.

          You claim that a pperson is a material being? That leaves the door open for chimps and gorillas to be persons, as some advocates for animal rights have argued. This will also weaken your points.

          The word translated from the Hebrew as "day" is a vague in Hebrew as it can be in English. It can refer to the time that the sun is in the sky, a 24 hour period, or an indefinite period of time, ie in Washington's DAY. As for creating from dust, no I would not care to try that, but this does not explicitly rule out evolution either when read in the Hebrew rather then in the English.

          Mutations do not rule out type. Okay, then what is a "type" and how do we know when a "type" has changed?

          Next, I have not stated anything regarding my beliefs about the virgin birth. I merely have noted that you use some suspect passages to support your statement.

          Your philosophy of redemption is traditional, as I expected. However, have you considered that this philosophy or redemption ignores or contradicts much of what we have learned from modern science? I can produce a philosophy of redemption, incidentally also including a philosophy of Sin as you have done, that remains consistent with modern science and Scripture. It just ends up looking different. I will be willing to share it in here in a little while, however I am waiting fot an invention to verify some implications of it.

          I was told yesterday that the last parts have arrived, so now it is just a case of fitting everything together. The estimate is less then three weeks to completion. When it is completed I will get one of three readings. Reading one will confirm my theology. Reading two will give just what is commonly "known" and indicate that I am totally wrong and that I must totally rethink my theology. The third reading is the one that scares me. It will be that I am correct in part, but wrong in details. This will require me to rethink my theology in part, but also study like crazy in physics to figure out how such a thing could possibly be, as it would violate everything that seems to be known.

          Blessings,
          Bill
          >
        • preachingjeff
          First off, let s deal with the word for inspiration or theopnestos. One can debate its exact meaning, but does any meaning say anything other than all
          Message 4 of 17 , Jan 23, 2010
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            First off, let's deal with the word for inspiration or theopnestos. One can debate its exact meaning, but does any meaning say anything other than all Scripture being directly from God? As you explained, the meanings are all similar, which all point the same direction.

            Second, questioning what works are referred to does not directly affect the fact that all Scripture is inspired by God, etc. Let's start with the Protestant Old Testament. Jews consider those books to be Scripture. Protestants of course consider them Scripture. And Catholics don't question that what is in the Protestant Bible is Scripture. Thus, we need to admit that the Old Testament is covered, period. Since Peter considered Paul's writings to be Scripture, the same with those.

            Third, what is the Septugent? We commonly think of it as the Greek translation of Scripture, but we need to remember that the deutero-canonical books (as well as the other writings you mentioned) were not considered to be Scripture by the council of Jamnia in 70 AD, which did recognize what is in the Protestant OT as being Scripture. Jamnia's canon was identical to the lists of Philo and Josephus as to what is Scripture, lists written in the same decade 2 Timothy was written. There was a consensus of what Scripture was, but have you noticed that when Jesus or the apostles refer to a passage as Scripture, there is only one example that is not from the Jamnia Canon (i.e. the Protestant Old Testament)? That exception is in 1 Timothy where Paul quotes the OT and follows it with a statement that's in Luke. But really, was the Septugent a Greek Bible? Or was it in affect a collection of writings of the Jewish people, some but not all of which were considered Scripture, not unlike a pamphlet that contains Scripture and other sayings like the prayer of serenity or the footprints poem?

            In other words, we should not let the question of what Scripture includes derail us from what we know to be included as Scripture.

            Jeff

            --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "William" <eliadefollower@...> wrote:
            >
            > Jeff,
            >
            > I am very aware of 2 Timothy 3:16 and what it both does and does not say. For one thing, it is a very ambiguous passage, with a word in the Greek that no one is certain of the exact English translation for. It could be "God breathed", "God inspired" or any of some other similar meanings. Further, when it refers to scripture, what works is it referrring to? Where is the listing of what books are considered scripture and which ones are not? Paul seems to have used the Septuagint for his OT, that included Tobit and Macabees, do you consider them scripture? What about Jubilees, for which a good case could be made that Jesus might have considered it scripture. Or an even better case could be made for there being at last 155 Psalms. Do you accept that many?
            >
            > Your argument is sound only if you rely on specific English translations and ignore certain problems, not if you go back to the original language or consider that was considered scripture at the time.
            >
            > Bill
            >
          • William
            Jeff, As for the existence of meanings of theopnestos that do not imply that all scripture is directly from God, there are multiple possiblities. God is
            Message 5 of 17 , Jan 24, 2010
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              Jeff,

              As for the existence of meanings of theopnestos that do not imply that all scripture is directly from God, there are multiple possiblities. God is involved in all, but not necessarily directly. Further, the word for scripture is very ambiguous in the context. At the time there were three different versions of the Old Testament, which clearly included some differing works. It is possible that Jubilees was considered scripture by some Jewish groups at that time. Do you wish to include it? It is also very clear that there were multiple Psalms included by some groups which are not in ANY currently official canon of the Old Testament, are these Psalms scripture?

              As for the Council of Jamnia, that was a council of a specific group from the Jewish faith, namely the Pharisees. It seems to me that this group was often opposed to Jesus in the Gospels. Further, the version of the Old Testament that they approved as scripture does not agree with what was clearly used by at least portions of the early church, including the author of Matthew. Likewise, Jesus seems to have used a different verision of the Old Testament.

              As for the Septuagint, it was the Old Testament that was used in the Diaspora. Further, it matches for most if not all Paul's quotations.

              As for Josephus, Philo and 2 Timothy all being written in the same decade, or even including the Council of Jamni in that decade, I have severe doubts. Paul, according to tradition, died in 66, Philo was dead well before this, the Council was in 70 or later and Josephus was writing in the 80's or 90's. The best that they can do is all be in the same century, and that is a century where it is clear that there was not agreemet on just what constituted scripture.

              Finally, if you count Peter as approving of Paul to be scripture, where do you find support for Peter being able to make such an assertion? To appeal to the Gospels is to raise the question of who approved of them you realize, and even when they were written. Were they written after Peter approved of Paul's writings and written to allow Peter to grant this approval?

              We know only what was declared to be scripture by HUMANS, and so decreed well after the fact. Further, if you carefully study the history, there is a lot of political manipulation going on, and that is without considering the outright fabrications present in Acts.

              I am sorry, but your arguments are full of holes.

              Bill



              --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "preachingjeff" <preachingjeff@...> wrote:
              >
              > First off, let's deal with the word for inspiration or theopnestos. One can debate its exact meaning, but does any meaning say anything other than all Scripture being directly from God? As you explained, the meanings are all similar, which all point the same direction.
              >
              > Second, questioning what works are referred to does not directly affect the fact that all Scripture is inspired by God, etc. Let's start with the Protestant Old Testament. Jews consider those books to be Scripture. Protestants of course consider them Scripture. And Catholics don't question that what is in the Protestant Bible is Scripture. Thus, we need to admit that the Old Testament is covered, period. Since Peter considered Paul's writings to be Scripture, the same with those.
              >
              > Third, what is the Septugent? We commonly think of it as the Greek translation of Scripture, but we need to remember that the deutero-canonical books (as well as the other writings you mentioned) were not considered to be Scripture by the council of Jamnia in 70 AD, which did recognize what is in the Protestant OT as being Scripture. Jamnia's canon was identical to the lists of Philo and Josephus as to what is Scripture, lists written in the same decade 2 Timothy was written. There was a consensus of what Scripture was, but have you noticed that when Jesus or the apostles refer to a passage as Scripture, there is only one example that is not from the Jamnia Canon (i.e. the Protestant Old Testament)? That exception is in 1 Timothy where Paul quotes the OT and follows it with a statement that's in Luke. But really, was the Septugent a Greek Bible? Or was it in affect a collection of writings of the Jewish people, some but not all of which were considered Scripture, not unlike a pamphlet that contains Scripture and other sayings like the prayer of serenity or the footprints poem?
              >
              > In other words, we should not let the question of what Scripture includes derail us from what we know to be included as Scripture.
              >
              > Jeff
            • preachingjeff
              Bill, Again, you are trying to move from what is accepted by Catholics, Jews, and Protestants as Scripture, and that creates a lot of the holes you claim
              Message 6 of 17 , Jan 25, 2010
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                Bill,

                Again, you are trying to move from what is accepted by Catholics, Jews, and Protestants as Scripture, and that creates a lot of the holes you claim exist.

                Let's look at the different versions of the OT you are referring to. One can choose to look at what's in one and not in the others. But let's look at what they have in common. There are textual variations, just as there are in the NT, but that doesn't change the message.

                Again, you overlook my argument of the Septugent. There are two possibilities for the apostles' using the Septugent. One is that they believed all the books in it were Scripture, even though there is no reference to "The Scripture says" or "It is written" to the deutero-canonical books, and the other is they used the Greek translation because they were writing in Greek to Greek speaking people and they chose to use the Greek translation as opposed to translating the Hebrew into Greek. In the second view, there is no evidence that they considered the deutero-canonical books as Christian.

                The interesting thing about the council of Jamnia -- regardless of its make-up, every writing they considered Scripture was also considered Scripture by Christians. True, there may have been some who felt other books may have been Scripture. There may have been discussion whether books like Jubilees or 1 Maccabees belonged in the canon. But in the end we have a list that echoed that of Philo's and Josephus' list. Also, there was no book called Scripture in the New Testament that was not approved by the Council of Jamnia.

                By the way, one note. While the Pharisees (and the Herodians and the Saduccees for that matter) were opposed to Jesus while He was on earth, but when you read Acts you'll notice that the Pharisees were not the chief opponent of the church. In fact, the Pharisees accepted more Scripture than the Saduccees, who only recognized the books of Moses.

                You do have a valid point on Peter's authority. You also have a valid point that it is men who determine what books are Scripture. However, does that mean that some books cannot actually be the Word of God and given for teaching, rebuke, correction and instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work? No.

                So how does one determine which books belong? At the council of Jamnia and the one that selected the books of the New Testament, they had certain requirements. This includes various tests such as who the author was, etc. Several of the books in the Bible were debated whether they belonged before they were included (e.g. Esther, Proverbs, Hebrews, 2 Peter, and Jude).

                One thing that is unique in the Protestant Old Testament and the New Testament among all sets of Scripture is that they include specific predictive prophecy. Many of those Scriptures have been fulfilled. In fact, critics of the Bible often try to make the date of writing later so what appears to be prophecy is really history, but that just reveals their agenda of denying Scripture.

                There are several other unique things about the Bible that point to its reliability. One book I recommend on the subject, especially chapter 5, is "An Urgent Call To A Serious Faith" by Dave Hunt.

                One other point, though, is that the Bible transforms lives. I read a book on "Sola Scriptura", and it pointed out that the reason we believe in that teaching is because of the transforming nature of the Bible.

                That's what I have for now.

                Jeff


                --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "William" <eliadefollower@...> wrote:
                >
                > Jeff,
                >
                > As for the existence of meanings of theopnestos that do not imply that all scripture is directly from God, there are multiple possiblities. God is involved in all, but not necessarily directly. Further, the word for scripture is very ambiguous in the context. At the time there were three different versions of the Old Testament, which clearly included some differing works. It is possible that Jubilees was considered scripture by some Jewish groups at that time. Do you wish to include it? It is also very clear that there were multiple Psalms included by some groups which are not in ANY currently official canon of the Old Testament, are these Psalms scripture?
                >
                > As for the Council of Jamnia, that was a council of a specific group from the Jewish faith, namely the Pharisees. It seems to me that this group was often opposed to Jesus in the Gospels. Further, the version of the Old Testament that they approved as scripture does not agree with what was clearly used by at least portions of the early church, including the author of Matthew. Likewise, Jesus seems to have used a different verision of the Old Testament.
                >
                > As for the Septuagint, it was the Old Testament that was used in the Diaspora. Further, it matches for most if not all Paul's quotations.
                >
                > As for Josephus, Philo and 2 Timothy all being written in the same decade, or even including the Council of Jamni in that decade, I have severe doubts. Paul, according to tradition, died in 66, Philo was dead well before this, the Council was in 70 or later and Josephus was writing in the 80's or 90's. The best that they can do is all be in the same century, and that is a century where it is clear that there was not agreemet on just what constituted scripture.
                >
                > Finally, if you count Peter as approving of Paul to be scripture, where do you find support for Peter being able to make such an assertion? To appeal to the Gospels is to raise the question of who approved of them you realize, and even when they were written. Were they written after Peter approved of Paul's writings and written to allow Peter to grant this approval?
                >
                > We know only what was declared to be scripture by HUMANS, and so decreed well after the fact. Further, if you carefully study the history, there is a lot of political manipulation going on, and that is without considering the outright fabrications present in Acts.
                >
                > I am sorry, but your arguments are full of holes.
                >
                > Bill
                >
                >
                >
              • William
                Jeff, I fully agree that ultimately a church council agreed with the Council of Jamnia regarding the canon of the Old Testament. However, I trust that you
                Message 7 of 17 , Jan 26, 2010
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                  Jeff,

                  I fully agree that ultimately a church council agreed with the Council of Jamnia regarding the canon of the Old Testament. However, I trust that you realize that not all Christians agree on this canon for the Old Testament, some churches include works that are not included, and this even goes beyond the Catholic tradition of including the Apocrypha to include works the Catholics exclude. However, again to cite Josephus and Philo as agreeing with it is like saying that Republicans agree with Republicans regarding something. It says nothing about what the Democrats, or in this case, non-Pharisaic Jews accepted as scripture. Although, let me even amend that statement as there were Pharisees among the Essene community, and they were not invited to the Council of Jamnia, and were in fact actively excluded. Further, I trust that you are aware that the "minor" differences between the versions of the Old Testament are large enough that they noticably and radically differ in details at places.

                  Further, with all these great church councils that determined the content of scripture, you are aware that they actively excluded known Christians don't you. The great ecumenical councils were only for Christians living within the Roman Empire, not for any living outside.

                  And as for meeting certain requirements, some of the works that were included met the requirements only because the changed the requirements for those specific works. Other works were specifically excluded because of political reasons. The authorship of some of the excluded works was just as valid under the requirements as some included works.

                  But now let us consider one specific work and its accuracy. Acts claims that the first mission to the Gentiles was to Antioch. This might be correct, as long as "Antioch" does not refer to Syrian Antioch but rather to a place better known under another name. This can be well supported by numerous means.

                  Likewise it claims that Stephan was a Christian stoned to death by Jews, and the Christians fled because of fear of further persecution. Again this is possible, but not plausible. Secular history records two incidents of stoning around Jerusalem. One involved a Stephan. In both cases the Romans went after the people involved in the stoning, seeking to make certain no further incidents happened. This, even when Roman authority seemed lacking in the area. However, the secularly recorded Stephan stoning was done by Christians or Christian sympathizers and Stephan was a Roman messenger.

                  Also, there is recorded general low level persecution of the Christians by the Jewish authorities. However, the secular records, in cluding from the Jewish authorities themselves, do not record such activity. Rather they record general tolerance, at least in the Jerusalem area. The problems that Paul records in his letters are far easier explained as politically based rather then religiously.

                  Now for the major problem, and one that cannot be gotten around is the issue of Paul's arrest and appeal to Caesar. It is true that as a Roman citizen Paul had the right to appeal to Caesar if he was charged with a crime. However, this appeal was not automatic. Felix did not have to honor it. He could have simply let Paul go, as Agrippa suggested could have been done had Paul not appealed. For scripture to imply, as it does, that this appeal required Felix to send Paul to Rome is clearly false. Paul might have been charged with something far more serious then is recorded and that explains it, or Felix had some reason to cooperate with Paul against the expressed wishes of Nero, as Nero had encouraged that appeals NOT be sent to him. And since Felix owed his appointment to Agrippina II, and since she had presumably been murdered by Nero, what basis would he have to cooperating against Nero's expressed wishes?


                  --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "preachingjeff" <preachingjeff@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Bill,
                  >
                  > Again, you are trying to move from what is accepted by Catholics, Jews, and Protestants as Scripture, and that creates a lot of the holes you claim exist.
                  >
                  > Let's look at the different versions of the OT you are referring to. One can choose to look at what's in one and not in the others. But let's look at what they have in common. There are textual variations, just as there are in the NT, but that doesn't change the message.
                  >
                  > Again, you overlook my argument of the Septugent. There are two possibilities for the apostles' using the Septugent. One is that they believed all the books in it were Scripture, even though there is no reference to "The Scripture says" or "It is written" to the deutero-canonical books, and the other is they used the Greek translation because they were writing in Greek to Greek speaking people and they chose to use the Greek translation as opposed to translating the Hebrew into Greek. In the second view, there is no evidence that they considered the deutero-canonical books as Christian.
                  >
                  > The interesting thing about the council of Jamnia -- regardless of its make-up, every writing they considered Scripture was also considered Scripture by Christians. True, there may have been some who felt other books may have been Scripture. There may have been discussion whether books like Jubilees or 1 Maccabees belonged in the canon. But in the end we have a list that echoed that of Philo's and Josephus' list. Also, there was no book called Scripture in the New Testament that was not approved by the Council of Jamnia.
                  >
                  > By the way, one note. While the Pharisees (and the Herodians and the Saduccees for that matter) were opposed to Jesus while He was on earth, but when you read Acts you'll notice that the Pharisees were not the chief opponent of the church. In fact, the Pharisees accepted more Scripture than the Saduccees, who only recognized the books of Moses.
                  >
                  > You do have a valid point on Peter's authority. You also have a valid point that it is men who determine what books are Scripture. However, does that mean that some books cannot actually be the Word of God and given for teaching, rebuke, correction and instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work? No.
                  >
                  > So how does one determine which books belong? At the council of Jamnia and the one that selected the books of the New Testament, they had certain requirements. This includes various tests such as who the author was, etc. Several of the books in the Bible were debated whether they belonged before they were included (e.g. Esther, Proverbs, Hebrews, 2 Peter, and Jude).
                  >
                  > One thing that is unique in the Protestant Old Testament and the New Testament among all sets of Scripture is that they include specific predictive prophecy. Many of those Scriptures have been fulfilled. In fact, critics of the Bible often try to make the date of writing later so what appears to be prophecy is really history, but that just reveals their agenda of denying Scripture.
                  >
                  > There are several other unique things about the Bible that point to its reliability. One book I recommend on the subject, especially chapter 5, is "An Urgent Call To A Serious Faith" by Dave Hunt.
                  >
                  > One other point, though, is that the Bible transforms lives. I read a book on "Sola Scriptura", and it pointed out that the reason we believe in that teaching is because of the transforming nature of the Bible.
                  >
                  > That's what I have for now.
                  >
                  > Jeff
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "William" <eliadefollower@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Jeff,
                  > >
                  > > As for the existence of meanings of theopnestos that do not imply that all scripture is directly from God, there are multiple possiblities. God is involved in all, but not necessarily directly. Further, the word for scripture is very ambiguous in the context. At the time there were three different versions of the Old Testament, which clearly included some differing works. It is possible that Jubilees was considered scripture by some Jewish groups at that time. Do you wish to include it? It is also very clear that there were multiple Psalms included by some groups which are not in ANY currently official canon of the Old Testament, are these Psalms scripture?
                  > >
                  > > As for the Council of Jamnia, that was a council of a specific group from the Jewish faith, namely the Pharisees. It seems to me that this group was often opposed to Jesus in the Gospels. Further, the version of the Old Testament that they approved as scripture does not agree with what was clearly used by at least portions of the early church, including the author of Matthew. Likewise, Jesus seems to have used a different verision of the Old Testament.
                  > >
                  > > As for the Septuagint, it was the Old Testament that was used in the Diaspora. Further, it matches for most if not all Paul's quotations.
                  > >
                  > > As for Josephus, Philo and 2 Timothy all being written in the same decade, or even including the Council of Jamni in that decade, I have severe doubts. Paul, according to tradition, died in 66, Philo was dead well before this, the Council was in 70 or later and Josephus was writing in the 80's or 90's. The best that they can do is all be in the same century, and that is a century where it is clear that there was not agreemet on just what constituted scripture.
                  > >
                  > > Finally, if you count Peter as approving of Paul to be scripture, where do you find support for Peter being able to make such an assertion? To appeal to the Gospels is to raise the question of who approved of them you realize, and even when they were written. Were they written after Peter approved of Paul's writings and written to allow Peter to grant this approval?
                  > >
                  > > We know only what was declared to be scripture by HUMANS, and so decreed well after the fact. Further, if you carefully study the history, there is a lot of political manipulation going on, and that is without considering the outright fabrications present in Acts.
                  > >
                  > > I am sorry, but your arguments are full of holes.
                  > >
                  > > Bill
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                • preachingjeff
                  William, First, my apologies for the delay in replying. Second, you notice what s going on? I keep pointing to the area where large numbers are in agreement
                  Message 8 of 17 , Feb 4, 2010
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                    William,

                    First, my apologies for the delay in replying.

                    Second, you notice what's going on? I keep pointing to the area where large numbers are in agreement on what Scripture is, while you keep trying to focus on the questionable books. In other words, I am stating that there are authoritative Scriptures, and you seem to be trying to say that there really isn't any authoritative Scriptures.

                    By the way, I don't believe that in and of itself the discussion of books in Scripture is a salvation issue. I am not either saved or lost because I reject certain books of the Bible. Of course, some of the rejected books are in contradiction with the accepted ones.

                    Now to your thoughts on Acts. I'll state that after reading your rationale on why it was unlikely for Felix to send Paul to Rome when he appealed, I think you have some great points. I would think, after reading them, that Felix was more likely to leave Paul in Caessarean prison than to send him to Rome. Of course, Luke (or whoever wrote Acts) also agrees. At the end of Acts 24, Felix leaves his position with Paul still bound for his successor Festus. In Acts 25, under Festus, is when Paul appeals to Rome. Your saying that Felix was the one who grant Paul's appeal to Caesar is inaccurate with Scripture, and I believe that inaccuracy is just as accurate as your other critiques.

                    You mentioned that secular history is not in agreement with Acts. Actually, secular history also is not in agreement with a lot of Scripture. For example, some pointed out that secular history knew nothing about the Hittites . . . oops, bad example, since after critics made that claim, archeology uncovered a great Hittite empire. Okay, let's go to Belshazzer, the king in Daniel 5, which secular history has no proof of . . . another bad example, because archeology also unearthed records of Belshazzer, including that he was the co-regent under his father, which made sense why he offered Daniel the 3rd place role (Belshazzer was #2) and also found plaster which critics said was not around in those days. Okay, let me make secular history look good. It says that Judith, which claims to be about the post-exilic deliverance from Nebuchadnezzar king of the Assyrians is not accurate. Secular history is right, and other historical Scriptures also agree -- Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon, and both he and the Assyrians weren't around when Judah returned from exile. That's possibly one reason why Jamnia and Protestants don't believe Judith is Scripture.

                    There are three answers secular history can give to Scripture (in this case, Acts). 1) It can agree with Scripture. 2) It can contradict Scripture. 3) It can say it has no proof that Scripture's account happened. 2 and 3 are different. One says it is false, the other is basically an argument of silence. Your arguments do not disprove Scripture. Also, remember history is more subjective than other forms of learning like math. Let's look at the persecution of Christians. Would the Jews tell it like it is, or would they be prone to minimize or whitewash anything they did? I have never heard of that stoning by Christians of Stephan, and usually stoning was practiced by Jews instead of Christians. Maybe that's a made up story called history? You want to believe the Bible (or at least Acts) is, so it's fair to say that your anti-Biblical proofs are the same.

                    What I've noticed is that people who come up with problems with the Bible don't want those problems solved. They want there to be problems with the Bible so they have an excuse not to believe. If those problems are solved, they will not do the logical and honorable thing of admitting they are wrong and believing, but choose to look for another problem with the Bible because they need a new excuse not to believe God.

                    Jeff

                    --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "William" <eliadefollower@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Jeff,
                    >
                    > I fully agree that ultimately a church council agreed with the Council of Jamnia regarding the canon of the Old Testament. However, I trust that you realize that not all Christians agree on this canon for the Old Testament, some churches include works that are not included, and this even goes beyond the Catholic tradition of including the Apocrypha to include works the Catholics exclude. However, again to cite Josephus and Philo as agreeing with it is like saying that Republicans agree with Republicans regarding something. It says nothing about what the Democrats, or in this case, non-Pharisaic Jews accepted as scripture. Although, let me even amend that statement as there were Pharisees among the Essene community, and they were not invited to the Council of Jamnia, and were in fact actively excluded. Further, I trust that you are aware that the "minor" differences between the versions of the Old Testament are large enough that they noticably and radically differ in details at places.
                    >
                    > Further, with all these great church councils that determined the content of scripture, you are aware that they actively excluded known Christians don't you. The great ecumenical councils were only for Christians living within the Roman Empire, not for any living outside.
                    >
                    > And as for meeting certain requirements, some of the works that were included met the requirements only because the changed the requirements for those specific works. Other works were specifically excluded because of political reasons. The authorship of some of the excluded works was just as valid under the requirements as some included works.
                    >
                    > But now let us consider one specific work and its accuracy. Acts claims that the first mission to the Gentiles was to Antioch. This might be correct, as long as "Antioch" does not refer to Syrian Antioch but rather to a place better known under another name. This can be well supported by numerous means.
                    >
                    > Likewise it claims that Stephan was a Christian stoned to death by Jews, and the Christians fled because of fear of further persecution. Again this is possible, but not plausible. Secular history records two incidents of stoning around Jerusalem. One involved a Stephan. In both cases the Romans went after the people involved in the stoning, seeking to make certain no further incidents happened. This, even when Roman authority seemed lacking in the area. However, the secularly recorded Stephan stoning was done by Christians or Christian sympathizers and Stephan was a Roman messenger.
                    >
                    > Also, there is recorded general low level persecution of the Christians by the Jewish authorities. However, the secular records, in cluding from the Jewish authorities themselves, do not record such activity. Rather they record general tolerance, at least in the Jerusalem area. The problems that Paul records in his letters are far easier explained as politically based rather then religiously.
                    >
                    > Now for the major problem, and one that cannot be gotten around is the issue of Paul's arrest and appeal to Caesar. It is true that as a Roman citizen Paul had the right to appeal to Caesar if he was charged with a crime. However, this appeal was not automatic. Felix did not have to honor it. He could have simply let Paul go, as Agrippa suggested could have been done had Paul not appealed. For scripture to imply, as it does, that this appeal required Felix to send Paul to Rome is clearly false. Paul might have been charged with something far more serious then is recorded and that explains it, or Felix had some reason to cooperate with Paul against the expressed wishes of Nero, as Nero had encouraged that appeals NOT be sent to him. And since Felix owed his appointment to Agrippina II, and since she had presumably been murdered by Nero, what basis would he have to cooperating against Nero's expressed wishes?
                    >
                    >
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