Author Topic: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books  (Read 3847 times)

Weedon

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Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2020, 11:26:54 AM »
The concerns raised about the “apocryphal” books in Chemnitz’ list were not about their content (I am familiar with Luther raising that), but rather with uncertainty about their authorship in the ancient Church, among the first witnesses, fwiw.
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jebutler

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Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #31 on: November 21, 2020, 11:58:25 AM »
Hence Chemnitz’ distinction between the “canonical” books of the OT/NT and the “apocryphal” books of either, with the same caveat: doctrine is drawn from the certain books; the uncertain ones are used to confirm, but not establish, any doctrine. There it is, in a nutshell. Wisdom or James can confirm a doctrine founded in the “for sure” books, but they cannot establish a doctrine not clearly witnessed in them.

We have a canon within the canon. Not all biblical books are treated equally.

Well, yes to a point. Even among those books not disputed, I'd much rather read John's Gospel than Philemon and the Psalms over Song of Songs.

Chemnitz's approach also means that one has a doctrine before going to the texts so as to determine which are "certain" and which are "uncertain." I believe that one of the differences between denominations is the different priority of the biblical books and texts. Lutherans centered on texts that proclaim justification by faith (alone). This means that James's "justification not by faith alone," must be an uncertain text.

James is an uncertain text because it was disputed in the early church. Part of the acknowledging that reality is that we do not base a text solely, or even primarily, on disputed books. We go to undisputed books first and then to disputed ones.

As a side note to this: I note that the KJV. NKJV, NASB, and probably others, treat each verse equally as each verse begins a new line. Most other translations print the text in paragraph form. Most verses are part of a larger context of a paragraph. Their meaning is controlled by the paragraph. I see this as different philosophies about scriptures.

As for the NASB, KJV, and NKJV, it depends on which edition you have. My edition of NASB has paragraphs. One edition of NKJV has paragraphs; the other has each verse at a new line. While both editions of the KJV on my shelf have each verse starting a new line, one has paragraph marks to show where new paragraphs begin.

I'm not sure what point you are trying to make here, but I'm not sure this works.
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Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #32 on: November 21, 2020, 12:29:55 PM »
I tend to read James as making basically the same point that Paul does in Romans 6. My summation is "God loves you just the way you are, but He loves you too much to leave you just the way you are." James deals with the question, "You have been saved, now what?" To put it in theological jargon, James is much more about sanctification than he is about justification. Justification is assumed. Not the balance that I was taught in homiletics class for my preaching, but that does not make him heretical.


1. I think that necessity or works is just like Jesus’ necessity of fruit in Matthew. Faith without works is dead. A tree that bears no fruit is dead.


2. Walter Brueggemann argues that Jewish obedience to the commands of the Torah was not about righteousness or salvation, but it was their witness to the world that they are God’s Chosen people. Jesus says the same things about our works being a light to the world. I don’t think Lutheran theology and its uses of the law has a good fit for the call to obedience as our witness to the world about the grace of God in Jesus. As I’ve often said before true and living faith is is not really about what one believes, but the differences the belief makes in one’s life.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

George Rahn

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Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #33 on: November 21, 2020, 01:49:03 PM »
I tend to read James as making basically the same point that Paul does in Romans 6. My summation is "God loves you just the way you are, but He loves you too much to leave you just the way you are." James deals with the question, "You have been saved, now what?" To put it in theological jargon, James is much more about sanctification than he is about justification. Justification is assumed. Not the balance that I was taught in homiletics class for my preaching, but that does not make him heretical.

Of course, James is not heretical but like apocraphyl literature such as Esdras, Odes of Solomon, etc. how does James make Jesus necessary in the economy of salvation.  After justification by faith what could there possibly be as a final statement?  We walk by faith and not by sight.  And technically God could never leave us the way we are esp if we believe in God's preservative activity.  We always go on beyond the moment of justification differently. 

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Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #34 on: November 21, 2020, 02:05:19 PM »
I tend to read James as making basically the same point that Paul does in Romans 6. My summation is "God loves you just the way you are, but He loves you too much to leave you just the way you are." James deals with the question, "You have been saved, now what?" To put it in theological jargon, James is much more about sanctification than he is about justification. Justification is assumed. Not the balance that I was taught in homiletics class for my preaching, but that does not make him heretical.

Of course, James is not heretical but like apocraphyl literature such as Esdras, Odes of Solomon, etc. how does James make Jesus necessary in the economy of salvation.  After justification by faith what could there possibly be as a final statement?  We walk by faith and not by sight.  And technically God could never leave us the way we are esp if we believe in God's preservative activity.  We always go on beyond the moment of justification differently.


I tend to view James like Proverbs; books of common sense for God's people.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #35 on: November 21, 2020, 03:51:04 PM »
I view the Book of James as the inspired and inerrant Word of God, thanking Him for it.
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Julio

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Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #36 on: November 22, 2020, 12:15:12 AM »
I tend to view James like Proverbs; books of common sense for God's people.
Yup ... kind of like the other 64 canonical Books of The Bible ... and as Luther says ..
Quote from: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther
Martin Luther’s German translation did include these books in between the Old Testament and the New Testament, with this important note: “Apocrypha: These books are not held equal to the Sacred Scriptures, and yet are useful and good for reading.”

A big difference between the ‘66’ and all the other non canonical ones .. as Rev. Engelbrech so truthfully posted ..,
I view the Book of James as the inspired and inerrant Word of God, thanking Him for it.
Simply wishing Rev Stoffregen’s confession were so clear, concise, and Biblical.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #37 on: November 22, 2020, 01:09:21 AM »
I tend to view James like Proverbs; books of common sense for God's people.
Yup ... kind of like the other 64 canonical Books of The Bible ... and as Luther says ..

Luther's canon had 73 books.

Quote
Quote from: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther
Martin Luther’s German translation did include these books in between the Old Testament and the New Testament, with this important note: “Apocrypha: These books are not held equal to the Sacred Scriptures, and yet are useful and good for reading.”

A big difference between the ‘66’ and all the other non canonical ones .. as Rev. Engelbrech so truthfully posted ..,

Luther wasn't so sure about James, Hebrews, Jude, and Revelation being sacred scriptures either. He called them "disputed" books and placed them at the end of his New Testament. Similarly, he moved the some Old Testament books out of the Old Testament and called them Apocrypha. He also wanted to remove canonical Esther, because with the the additions of the Apocrypha, it never mentions God.

In Luther's introduction to the New Testament, Luther wrote: "St. John's Gospel and his first Epistle, St. Paul's Epistles, especially those to the Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, and St. Peter's Epistle—these are the books which show to thee Christ, and teach everything that is necessary and blessed for thee to know, even if you were never to see or hear any other book of doctrine. Therefore, St. James' Epistle is a perfect straw-epistle compared with them, for it has in it nothing of an evangelic kind."

I didn't quite understand "straw-epistle" until I lived in a rural area and learned how straw was used in the barns.

Quote
I view the Book of James as the inspired and inerrant Word of God, thanking Him for it.
Simply wishing Rev Stoffregen’s confession were so clear, concise, and Biblical.

I cannot consider the Bible inerrant. The first problem is that there are at least three different understandings of inerrant.

1. The Bible is without errors or faults in all of its teachings. When Leviticus 11:6 says that the hare chews the cud, hares must have chewed cud.

2. The Bible is without errors or faults in the original manuscripts ("autographs"). Copyist made mistakes when copying. Since we don't have any autographs, the manuscripts and the Bibles that we do have are not inerrant. They have mistakes.

3. The Bible may have errors about history and science, but it is without errors in terms of salvation.

When someone claims the Bible is inerrant, they need to define what they mean by the term. All of the Bibles I have contain errors; even the Greek and Hebrew ones. There are variant readings from the different manuscripts used.

There are thousands of errors in the different Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. Scholars are guessing at what might be the original wording when they find differences in the manuscripts. There are likely errors in translating. Numerous times translators admit that they don't know what the Hebrew means. Sometimes they simply guess. Sometimes they rely on early Greek, Syriac, and Latin translations.

I heartedly agree and have often stated in this forum that I believe that the Bible is inspired. God speaks to us through these words (even with the errors).


James was the book we studied in depth when I went to the Lutheran Bible Institute in Seattle. It was model we used for learning the method of Bible study they taught there (Oletta Wald's Joy of Discovery in Bible Study). If James was the Lord's brother, as it is assumed, no one would know more about living the faithful life as he witnessed Jesus' life throughout his growing up years. As the Book of Acts indicates (9:2; 18:25, 26; 19:9,23; 22:4, 14, 22) Christianity began as a Way of life, more so than doctrines to believe.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2020, 01:35:17 AM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #38 on: November 22, 2020, 06:13:34 AM »
Good morning, Brian. Praying all is well for you today. I mentioned the matter of inerrancy because it is part of my confession of the faith and not because I wanted to see the thread discussion go there. It is perhaps best to keep the thread focused on the Apocrypha and other books since the inerrancy discussion has been had here many times.

Luther's understanding of the Book of James changed over time. What you are citing comes from the early 1520s. It does not represent Luther's mature use of the book. Luther's Works, vol. 35 provides both the earlier and later statements from Luther. The introduction to the Book of James in The Lutheran Study Bible tracks the change over Luther's life.
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George Rahn

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Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #39 on: November 22, 2020, 01:49:42 PM »
Good morning, Brian. Praying all is well for you today. I mentioned the matter of inerrancy because it is part of my confession of the faith and not because I wanted to see the thread discussion go there. It is perhaps best to keep the thread focused on the Apocrypha and other books since the inerrancy discussion has been had here many times.

Luther's understanding of the Book of James changed over time. What you are citing comes from the early 1520s. It does not represent Luther's mature use of the book. Luther's Works, vol. 35 provides both the earlier and later statements from Luther. The introduction to the Book of James in The Lutheran Study Bible tracks the change over Luther's life.

I'd like some proof outside the Lutheran Study Bible which indicates Luther changing his idea about the Epistle of James being anything but antilegomena.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #40 on: November 22, 2020, 03:21:38 PM »
I tend to view James like Proverbs; books of common sense for God's people.
Yup ... kind of like the other 64 canonical Books of The Bible ... and as Luther says ..

Luther's canon had 73 books.

Perhaps expand on this ... did Luthers ‘canon’ (your terminology) include the apocryphal books he speaks of below ...

Yes. He included the Apocrypha in his German translation. Wiki begins it's article on Luther Bible with (boldface added):

The Luther Bible (German: Lutherbibel) is a German language Bible translation from Hebrew and ancient Greek by Martin Luther. The New Testament was first published in 1522 and the complete Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments with Apocrypha, in 1534. It was the first full translation of the Bible into German based mainly on the original Hebrew and Greek texts and not the Latin Vulgate translation.


Quote from: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther
Martin Luther’s German translation did include these books in between the Old Testament and the New Testament, with this important note: “Apocrypha: These books are not held equal to the Sacred Scriptures, and yet are useful and good for reading.”


Quote
Luther wasn't so sure about James, Hebrews, Jude, and Revelation being sacred scriptures either. He called them "disputed" books and placed them at the end of his New Testament. Similarly, he moved the some Old Testament books out of the Old Testament and called them Apocrypha. He also wanted to remove canonical Esther, because with the the additions of the Apocrypha, it never mentions God.In Luther's introduction to the New Testament, Luther wrote: "St. John's Gospel and his first Epistle, St. Paul's Epistles, especially those to the Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, and St. Peter's Epistle—these are the books which show to thee Christ, and teach everything that is necessary and blessed for thee to know, even if you were never to see or hear any other book of doctrine. Therefore, St. James' Epistle is a perfect straw-epistle compared with them, for it has in it nothing of an evangelic kind."

While Luther may have had us reservations ... he still translated the canonical books you enumerate ... so your point is unclear.

My point is that even with his reservations about the Apocrypha, he still translated them and included them in his Bible.


Quote
Luther's understanding of the Book of James changed over time. What you are citing comes from the early 1520s. It does not represent Luther's mature use of the book. Luther's Works, vol. 35 provides both the earlier and later statements from Luther. The introduction to the Book of James in The Lutheran Study Bible tracks the change over Luther's life.

If you look at LW vol. 35, you'll also find prefaces to the Apocrypha.

Some quotes from the Preface to the Epistle of St. James in that volume (and I find only one preface):

Though this epistle of St. James was rejected by the ancients, I praise it and consider it a good book, because it sets up no doctrines of men but vigorously promulgates the law of God. However, to state my own opinion about it, though without prejudice to anyone, I do not regard it as the writing of an apostle, and my reasons follow.

In the first place it is flatly against St. Paul and all the rest of the Scripture in ascribing justification to works. …

In the second place its purpose is to teach Christians, but in all this long teaching it does not once mention the Passion, the resurrection, or the Spirit of Christ. He names Christ several times, however he teaches nothing about him, but only speaks of general faith in God. …

In a word, he wanted to guard against those who relied on faith without works, but was unequal to the task. He tries to accomplish by harping on the law what the apostles accomplish by stimulating people to love. Therefore I cannot include him among the chief books, though I would not thereby prevent anyone from including or extolling him as he pleases, for there are otherwise many good sayings in him. [pp. 395-397]

His opinion doesn't seem to have improved much.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2020, 03:23:49 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Julio

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Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #41 on: November 22, 2020, 03:23:28 PM »
Luther's understanding of the Book of James changed over time. What you are citing comes from the early 1520s. It does not represent Luther's mature use of the book. Luther's Works, vol. 35 provides both the earlier and later statements from Luther. The introduction to the Book of James in The Lutheran Study Bible tracks the change over Luther's life.

Not having Luther’s Works,  Rev Rahn’s question seems a bit contradictory ...
I'd like some proof outside the Lutheran Study Bible which indicates Luther changing his idea about the Epistle of James being anything but antilegomena.
It seems that The Lutheran Study Bible (CPH edition) is simply reflecting material from Luther’s Works ... if so, isn’t any skepticism really with the contents of Luther’s Works ... and not with TLSB?

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #42 on: November 22, 2020, 03:24:51 PM »
Good morning, Brian. Praying all is well for you today. I mentioned the matter of inerrancy because it is part of my confession of the faith and not because I wanted to see the thread discussion go there. It is perhaps best to keep the thread focused on the Apocrypha and other books since the inerrancy discussion has been had here many times.

Luther's understanding of the Book of James changed over time. What you are citing comes from the early 1520s. It does not represent Luther's mature use of the book. Luther's Works, vol. 35 provides both the earlier and later statements from Luther. The introduction to the Book of James in The Lutheran Study Bible tracks the change over Luther's life.


I have LW vol. 35. I quoted from it in an earlier post. I don't see that his opinion changed.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #43 on: November 22, 2020, 03:26:33 PM »
Luther's understanding of the Book of James changed over time. What you are citing comes from the early 1520s. It does not represent Luther's mature use of the book. Luther's Works, vol. 35 provides both the earlier and later statements from Luther. The introduction to the Book of James in The Lutheran Study Bible tracks the change over Luther's life.

Not having Luther’s Works,  Rev Rahn’s question seems a bit contradictory ...
I'd like some proof outside the Lutheran Study Bible which indicates Luther changing his idea about the Epistle of James being anything but antilegomena.
It seems that The Lutheran Study Bible (CPH edition) is simply reflecting material from Luther’s Works ... if so, isn’t any skepticism really with the contents of Luther’s Works ... and not with TLSB?


Because, as I quoted from Luther's Works in an earlier post, his opinion doesn't seemed to have changed. Straw in the barn serves a good purpose; but it doesn't bring salvation. Thus was his opinion about James.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Julio

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Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #44 on: November 22, 2020, 03:43:28 PM »
Luther's understanding of the Book of James changed over time. What you are citing comes from the early 1520s. It does not represent Luther's mature use of the book. Luther's Works, vol. 35 provides both the earlier and later statements from Luther. The introduction to the Book of James in The Lutheran Study Bible tracks the change over Luther's life.

Not having Luther’s Works,  Rev Rahn’s question seems a bit contradictory ...
I'd like some proof outside the Lutheran Study Bible which indicates Luther changing his idea about the Epistle of James being anything but antilegomena.
It seems that The Lutheran Study Bible (CPH edition) is simply reflecting material from Luther’s Works ... if so, isn’t any skepticism really with the contents of Luther’s Works ... and not with TLSB?

Because, as I quoted from Luther's Works in an earlier post, his opinion doesn't seemed to have changed. Straw in the barn serves a good purpose; but it doesn't bring salvation. Thus was his opinion about James.
It’s apparent as to your beliefs and agenda differ from most ... confessing that a scriptural marriage does not include a requirement for monogamy raises great doubt with any of your subsequent pronouncements ... please allow Rev Rahn elaborate as it is quite apparent that his confession has little resemblance to yours.