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Martin Luther

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  • setfreein1973@aol.com
    Can anyone please tell me why Martin Luther did not want the Book of James in the Bible, did he mention this in the works of Martin Luther? Stan
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 5 4:39 AM
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      Can anyone please tell me why Martin Luther did not want the Book of James in the Bible, did he mention this in the works of Martin Luther?
      Stan
    • thebishopsdoom
      ... of James in ... In part, some had to do with Erasmus. When Erasmus printed up his Greek New Testament, his preface to the pope had included comments
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 6 12:20 AM
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        --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, setfreein1973@a...
        wrote:
        > Can anyone please tell me why Martin Luther did not want the Book
        of James in
        > the Bible, did he mention this in the works of Martin Luther?
        > Stan

        In part, some had to do with Erasmus. When Erasmus printed up his
        Greek New Testament, his preface to the pope had included comments
        questioning the canonicity of Hebrews, James, Jude, 2 & 3 John, and
        Revelation. Erasmus claimed to be supported in this by Jerome. The
        view was promulgated by Luther with respect at least to James and to
        Jude. Luther ended up agreeing with Erasmus's views on this with
        respect to hebrews, James, Jude, and I think Revelation. He believed
        all contained good doctrine and was utilizable, though with James, he
        felt his question on its authority anyway gave him no cause to try to
        reconcile James and Paul. He argued that one could do so, but that he
        was not convinced it was the easiest view of the passages in
        question, and it was best to view them as contradicting and James as
        being noncanonical. Ohers who agreed with there being questions to
        some of the books pointeed out by Erasmus appear at least in general
        to disagree with Luther's assessment here, and don't speak as
        negatively about the epistle as Luther did.
        Erasmus' views on Hebrews, James, 2 & 3 John, Jude, and Revelation
        apear to have been given some weight by Chemnitz as well as several
        lesser known Lutheran theologians. Chemnitz doesn't deal with
        arguments taken from them by answering that he doesn't accept the
        books, though. He rather attempts to deal with them as they are and
        give an interpretation he believes fitting to the text. So while he
        reagrded a lesser authority to them, he appears to have given some
        authority to them. Conrad Dietrich like many others calls
        them "apocryphal" but sets them apart from the OT apocrypha in
        stating that their apocryphal character is the question of who
        actually wrote them and whether accepted, though agreeing completely
        with the canonical Scriptures, while the OT apocrypha was on a lesser
        level because not at all points conforming to the canonical
        Scriptures. It is generally believed that John Gerhard helped to
        change this attitude by stating that these books were canonical,
        though they were of a second order only insofar as there was a time
        in the early church where their authorship was disputed and therefore
        were not so easily accepted by the church at that time, but that
        these works are in fact canonical. This turn about occured during the
        1600s.
        Roman Catholics stopped questioning these books after Trent, because
        of Trent, though some as I mentioned, had likewise questioned them
        prior to this time, most notably being Erasmus of course, and
        Cardinal Cajetan (at least with respect to the book of Hebrews,
        though maybe the others too, I'm not entirely clear).
        As to the reformed, Zwingli may have questioned them. I'm not sure on
        the details. Both the Belgic and Westminster standards accepted the
        full NT canon without hesitation.
        Erasmus' views on these books eventually died out over the 1600s
        among I think about everyone (save maybe socinians or the like).
        -thebishopsdoom
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