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Friday, January 23, 2009

My last comment to Catz206

[sidenote: This is my personal opinion and not necessarily the view of the Church.]

This was taken from his blog. I still don't know what form of Protestantism(in regards to this issue) he is trying to defend. He never answered my question in regards to "Anglican, Lutherian, Dutch Reformed, or English Puritan". From the conversation I assumed it was English Puritan.

You said:
"I have already openly acknowledged that they use the LXX and do not deny the DC in the LXX. I am still waiting for you to give me indication that Wisdom and other texts were quoted as Scripture in the NT."

This is too subjective. Just for the fact, if I show you that they were refering to a D.C. book, you can always explain the reference away. Or find a P.C. verse that would look similar. Your Bias would never allow you to see a quote or refernce as scripture. Also those books (in the LXX family of texts) were not isolated from all the other books. They were intermixed with the P.C.'s. This fact alone should hint at the idea that the compilers(of the LXX) saw these works as Scripture. If they didn't then they would of done what Martin Luther did (separate them) or they would of done what Saint Jerome did(write a negative preface about them).

You said:
"In response to your use of my quote: If you are going to argue from my quote please be true to its context and what I have said in past discussions. Also, for inspirational status I am looking for indication primarily in writings around the time of Acts and (at this present time) in official lists afterwards."

You are limiting yourself By refusing to look at what the Jews wrote at Qumran. There is always the Talmud, but other than that.....there really isn't much to look at in the mid first century. The contexts of some of those official lists(especially when it comes to looking at the nonbelieving Jews to see what they had) was mostly for evangelistic reasons. Origen clearly says this when it came to him looking at what they had.

You said:
"Why am I looking at canonical lists? Because the Church was indeed confused over their OT canon and those making the lists generally went the extra mile to know what was or ought to be used. This is precisely why Melito sought the east for the contents. He did this because of the confusion."

I disagree:
(go see)
More wise words from Michuta (this time about Melito's list)

And Origen did it for evangelistic reasons as well. The Churches didn't drop what they had only to grab the books of the nonbelieving Jews.

You Said:
"What you have provided me for the most part are not lists and definitely indicate the canonical confusion within the Church at the time- I am not denying this. After all, we wouldn’t have Melito’s list if everything had been clear."

How do you know Melito didn't do it for evangelistic reasons? All we have is a fragment by Eusebius.
(go see) More wise words from Michuta (this time about Melito's list)

You said:
"There is a reason why the Muratorian fragment is not used as a list for the OT canon by Scholars. This is because it is actually a list of New Testament books! Here is what is said about the copy: “This copy was made by an illiterate and careless scribe, and is full of blunders; but is of the greatest value as the earliest-known list of N.T. books recognized by the church.” “The mention of Wisdom in a list of N.T. books is perplexing. Perhaps we should read "ut" for "et"; and the Proverbs of Solomon and not the apocryphal book of Wisdom may be intended. There may be an inaccurate reference to Prov. xxv. 1 (LXX).” The poor Latin and state of the manuscript make it hard to translate. Not only this but the dating is heavily debated some placing it as far as the 4th century. The fragment is traditionally dated at 170 because of the ref to Pius I, bishop of Rome."

(Some Puritan) Protestant (apologists) are always hostile to something that disagrees with their presup. So what they said doesn't mean a thing. To turn "Wisdom" into "Proverbs", you would have to ignore what they said about the book being written by "friends of Solomon in his honor".

Was the book of Proverbs written by "the friends of Solomon"? No, I think not. They are clearly talking about the book of Wisdom. And that was the only reason why I quoted the fragment. To show that Melito was talking about "the book of Wisdom". (some puritan) Protestant Apologists will always try to explain this away. Any other time, the book of Wisdom means, the book of Wisdom. They knew how to say the words "Psalms, and proverbs".

You said:
"“The presence of books within the LXX (as diverse as that term is) does not necessarily indicate the books were considered inspired. That I believe will be your task.”"

If they were not seen as inspired, then why have them intermingled with all the other books? Why not isolate them? Isn't that what Martin Luther did? If they were not seen as inspired then why not write a negative commentary about them as Saint Jerome did?

If they were not inspired then why were they used to settle doctrinal well as to talk about doctrinal issues throughout the history of the Church? The letter of Barnabas was written around 70 A.D. and it quotes them as if they were authoritative. He quoted them when talking about doctrine. The same is True for Saint Clement of Rome (90A.D.).

These are first century works, and they quoted them without distinction.

The book of Hebrews in chapter 11 references the Maccabees, but you will simply explain that away as not meaning anything.

You said:
"Here is what I specifically wanted you to answer:

1) What in the NT indicates that the apocryphal books are inspired (these are the documents that date around the time of Acts)?"

This is too subjective.

You said:
"Given that we both acknowledge canonical confusion later on in the Church and even later on there are attempts at stability, why accept the Apocryphal books as Scripture or authoritative? On what grounds? Specifically: Why revel (as you have) in having a confused canon?"

Because they were always embraced as Authoritative. When you look at the regional councils, they always embraced at least one D.C. The D.C.'s were always embraced when the Church gathered as a council.

A few individuals may have rejected some of them or all of them, but when the Church gathered as a collective, they were always confirmed.

If I were to talk to you about my Jurisdiction's O.T., then I would argue for a stable O.T. canon, but I am not. I am argueing for Pan-Orthodoxy. And in Pan-Orthodoxy there is a slight difference in O.T. canons. But it's always been that way when talking about Pan-Orthodoxy. Even when Rome was in communion with us she had 3 less books than us. So when it comes to multi-jurisdictions......the Church never had a 100% stable canon. And it's always been that way. Always! The Ancient Worldwide(multi-Jurisdiction) Church never had a 100% stable canon. And that's a fact.

You said:
"I think I may see where we are speaking past each other. In this stream I have said the Church may have had a more limited canon resembling the Prot."

And this is what I disagree with. Also you will have to make a distinction between a local region, and the Church as a whole(all regions).

Now when I say that the church never had a 100% stable O.T. ....I am only talking in the sense of "All regions". Now if I was talking about distinct local regions then I would talk about distinct 100% stable local O.T. canons.
So that is where I am coming from. And this is my context.

You said:
"I am using "canon" loosely and do not mean to indicate that the contents were decided in a Christian council."

I see, it would be helpful to use a different word. This is why I refuse to use the word "canon" for both the ancient Palestinian & Alexandrian traditions. It's a myth in both cases.

You said:
"I also do not mean to deny that no part of the Church thought one or more apocryphal books were canonical. Still, I hold that the Christian East generally had a more limited canon. This is not to say it was identical to the Protestant in every way."


However, I would argue with you about the Christian East thing....especially if it's post 130 A.D.

You said:
"Since I believe the canon of the Palestinian Jews at the time of Jesus and the Apostles to be what we have inherited, the contents of Melito would tell us two things: 1) that the Jews may have had a wider canon and 2)what the canon was like for these Christians (here is where I am going: unstable but Smaller and overall CLOSER to the Prot)."

Well, I'm glad you are finally saying the word "unstable". We will naturally disagree about your # 2. But I am starting to see where you are coming from.



John said...

There is an interesting article on the use of Synoptic Material by Clement of Rome at:

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