Author Topic: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books  (Read 3851 times)

jebutler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1531
    • View Profile
Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #45 on: November 22, 2020, 03:44:09 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.

George, to say that Luther's view of James changed over time does not contradict that he also considered James to be antilegomena.

I personally like James a lot. I think it really was written by the Lord's brother and is probably the first New Testament book written. I also believe it is antilegomena.

But considering a book to be disputed is simply to recognize it's position in the early church; nothing more and nothing less.
These are things that we can discuss among learned and reasonable people, or even among ourselves. (Luther, SA III, paraphrased).

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 719
    • View Profile
    • church history review
Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #46 on: November 22, 2020, 03:53:18 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.

The homolegoumena, antilegomena distinction goes back to the fourth century as I recall. I'm not aware of any Lutheran theologian interested in changing the historical distinction. My point was that Luther did not continue with what he wrote about the book in 1522. His view matures and changes over time. You can learn about this from Luther's Works, vol. 35 as I noted. You can also see Luther citing James in Large Catechism, Lord's Prayer, para. 122--24, where he attributes what James says to God. Lutherans hold that the book is God's Word and should be taught as such.
I serve as administrator for www.churchhistoryreview.org.

George Rahn

  • ALPB Forum Member
  • **
  • Posts: 62
    • View Profile
Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #47 on: November 22, 2020, 03:59:38 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 Lutherís Works,  Rev Rahnís 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 Lutherís Works ... if so, isnít any skepticism really with the contents of Lutherís 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.
Itís 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. 
 

Just an fyi...I no longer have a call or do I serve a congregation.  I do not consider myself to be a reverend (ie. Rev. Rahn).  Just call me "George" is fine.

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 719
    • View Profile
    • church history review
Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #48 on: November 22, 2020, 04:11:04 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.

Brian, LW 35 includes text from 1522 and from 1545, as I recall. Luther edited his preface to James and made some significant changes. You have to compare the texts to see that. This is what is covered in the TLSB introduction to James (which references also the WA, I think). It also provides information about Luther preaching from James between 1522 and 1545, the last edition of the Luther Bibel published with Luther's help.

It really shouldn't be surprising that Luther mollified his comments on the letter. Are you hearing this for the first time?
I serve as administrator for www.churchhistoryreview.org.

George Rahn

  • ALPB Forum Member
  • **
  • Posts: 62
    • View Profile
Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #49 on: November 22, 2020, 04:19:50 PM »
While I understand the comments above and can even agree with James' content to be like unto Proverbs in the Hebrew scriptures, nowadays when so much human-based and focus is on behavior, what has that to do with Christ and Christ's relationship with me/or the sinner in general?  I see why Luther relegated James, et. al to the appendix. 

But, I need to be saved from my sinner-self.  It really is a life-death issue.  The resurrection of Christ and Christ's encounter with us in his word indicates that it is there where the resolution in salvation takes place.   Whether my behavior could improve or not is always connected to me as sinner.  But behavior is symptomatic of the far deeper problem of death being ahead.  James and Proverbs don't resolve anything for me in terms of finding mercy.  Those writings only turn me back to what I can do or how I can behave or to my fellow human being.  I could turn to Freud as much. 

I need the church to do something different (as it already does when it preaches mercy/the forgiveness in Jesus).    It does this; and, that is a different word than I would hear from James or Proverbs, for that matter.  1 Corinthians 15 is saying something different than what James or Proverbs say.  Romans 5 does as well.  The Psalms are another example of receiving mercy at the hand of God.   Jesus says (via Hosea, of course):  "I desire mercy and not sacrifice."
« Last Edit: November 22, 2020, 04:30:50 PM by George Rahn »

Weedon

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 11125
    • View Profile
    • My Blog
Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #50 on: November 22, 2020, 04:34:21 PM »
Odd, George, for I hear that very word when James writes: James 1: 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. That is, the good and perfect came down from the Father, and of His own will He gave us new birth through The Word of Truth (His Son) making us a kind of first fruits of all creation!

P.S. There is a very interesting book by David Scaer that CPH published on James. I strongly disagree with him that James was the uterine brother of Jesus, but aside from that, the book is actually a very fascinating treatment of the book and he argues written with a distinctly Christological focus!
« Last Edit: November 22, 2020, 04:40:12 PM by Weedon »
William Weedon, Assistant Pastor
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Hamel IL
Catechist on LPR Podcast: The Word of the Lord Endures Forever
A Daily, Verse-by-Verse Bible Study with the Church, Past and Present
www.thewordendures.org

+Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 719
    • View Profile
    • church history review
Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #51 on: November 22, 2020, 04:52:36 PM »
While I understand the comments above and can even agree with James' content to be like unto Proverbs in the Hebrew scriptures, nowadays when so much human-based and focus is on behavior, what has that to do with Christ and Christ's relationship with me/or the sinner in general?  I see why Luther relegated James, et. al to the appendix. 

But, I need to be saved from my sinner-self.  It really is a life-death issue.  The resurrection of Christ and Christ's encounter with us in his word indicates that it is there where the resolution in salvation takes place.   Whether my behavior could improve or not is always connected to me as sinner.  But behavior is symptomatic of the far deeper problem of death being ahead.  James and Proverbs don't resolve anything for me in terms of finding mercy.  Those writings only turn me back to what I can do or how I can behave or to my fellow human being.  I could turn to Freud as much. 

I need the church to do something different (as it already does when it preaches mercy/the forgiveness in Jesus).    It does this; and, that is a different word than I would hear from James or Proverbs, for that matter.  1 Corinthians 15 is saying something different than what James or Proverbs say.  Romans 5 does as well.  The Psalms are another example of receiving mercy at the hand of God.   Jesus says (via Hosea, of course):  "I desire mercy and not sacrifice."

George, did you ever preach on James when you were active as a pastor?
I serve as administrator for www.churchhistoryreview.org.

mj4

  • Guest
Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #52 on: November 22, 2020, 05:12:24 PM »
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.

I did some poking around and found a nice two-volume 1534 facsimile edition. Hmm...maybe a nice Christmas gift? Also a nicely bound 1545 facsimile edition. I won't post the links as I don't want to be banned for promoting a product, but I thought some might like to know that facsimile editions are available.

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 719
    • View Profile
    • church history review
Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #53 on: November 22, 2020, 08:16:56 PM »
Brian, I noticed you posted earlier, "Luther's canon had 73 books."

I think this unlikely since Luther said the Apocrypha are not the same as Holy Scripture. He certainly translated and included the Apocrypha in the Luther Bibel but did not treat them the same as the 66 books of the two testaments.

Gerhard expressly states the Apocrypha are "outside the canon." Deuterocanonical, as in the thread heading, is a Roman Catholic view, I think. Not sure if the Eastern Orthodox use that distinction.
I serve as administrator for www.churchhistoryreview.org.

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 41901
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #54 on: November 23, 2020, 01:07:15 AM »
Brian, I noticed you posted earlier, "Luther's canon had 73 books."

I think this unlikely since Luther said the Apocrypha are not the same as Holy Scripture. He certainly translated and included the Apocrypha in the Luther Bibel but did not treat them the same as the 66 books of the two testaments.

Gerhard expressly states the Apocrypha are "outside the canon." Deuterocanonical, as in the thread heading, is a Roman Catholic view, I think. Not sure if the Eastern Orthodox use that distinction.


I believe that the fact that Luther translated the Apocrypha and included them at the end of the Old Testament, like including James, Hebrews, Jude, and Revelation at the end of of the New Testament, indicates that he included them in his "canon" - his listed of sacred books.
"The church Ö 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

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 41901
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #55 on: November 23, 2020, 01:15:29 AM »
Brian, I noticed you posted earlier, "Luther's canon had 73 books."

I think this unlikely since Luther said the Apocrypha are not the same as Holy Scripture. He certainly translated and included the Apocrypha in the Luther Bibel but did not treat them the same as the 66 books of the two testaments.

Gerhard expressly states the Apocrypha are "outside the canon." Deuterocanonical, as in the thread heading, is a Roman Catholic view, I think. Not sure if the Eastern Orthodox use that distinction.


Can Lutherans even speak of a "canon"? We do, but what does it mean. Twice in the ELCA's Constitution the phrases: "canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments." We are silent about the Apocrypha, Luther's third group of writings. Is it canonical or not? Luther followed the desire of Jerome who wanted them in a separate section in his Latin translation, but was overruled. The Roman Catholic term, "Deuterocanonical books," still seems to keep them in a canon.
"The church Ö 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

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 41901
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #56 on: November 23, 2020, 01:22:38 AM »
Perhaps a related question is: Should the Western Church follow the Eastern Church and make the LXX the canonical Old Testament as it was for most Christians for about the first 400 years? The main exception were a small group of Christians who used the Syriac Peshitta which was based on the Hebrew Bible. Essentially, the LXX was seen as the Christian Scripture (before a NT was added) and the Hebrew was and continues to be the Jewish Scripture.
"The church Ö 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]

mj4

  • Guest
Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #57 on: November 23, 2020, 03:45:04 AM »
Brian, I noticed you posted earlier, "Luther's canon had 73 books."

I think this unlikely since Luther said the Apocrypha are not the same as Holy Scripture. He certainly translated and included the Apocrypha in the Luther Bibel but did not treat them the same as the 66 books of the two testaments.

Gerhard expressly states the Apocrypha are "outside the canon." Deuterocanonical, as in the thread heading, is a Roman Catholic view, I think. Not sure if the Eastern Orthodox use that distinction.


I believe that the fact that Luther translated the Apocrypha and included them at the end of the Old Testament, like including James, Hebrews, Jude, and Revelation at the end of of the New Testament, indicates that he included them in his "canon" - his listed of sacred books.

His published edition from 1545 does leave room for debate. From a facsimile:

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.32044049943897&view=1up&seq=19



Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 719
    • View Profile
    • church history review
Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #58 on: November 23, 2020, 06:32:18 AM »
Brian, I noticed you posted earlier, "Luther's canon had 73 books."

I think this unlikely since Luther said the Apocrypha are not the same as Holy Scripture. He certainly translated and included the Apocrypha in the Luther Bibel but did not treat them the same as the 66 books of the two testaments.

Gerhard expressly states the Apocrypha are "outside the canon." Deuterocanonical, as in the thread heading, is a Roman Catholic view, I think. Not sure if the Eastern Orthodox use that distinction.


I believe that the fact that Luther translated the Apocrypha and included them at the end of the Old Testament, like including James, Hebrews, Jude, and Revelation at the end of of the New Testament, indicates that he included them in his "canon" - his listed of sacred books.

His published edition from 1545 does leave room for debate. From a facsimile:

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.32044049943897&view=1up&seq=19

If you go to the title page for the Apocrypha, you will find Luther says there, "books not held equal to the Scriptures but are useful and good to read."

The way Luther handles the Book of Daniel and the apocryphal additions to Daniel also shows him making a distinction. For the Old Testament he translates the Hebrew and Aramaic Daniel. The other accounts, such as Bel and the Dragon, are placed in the Apocrypha.

Athanasius and Jerome, among the earliest to make lists of canonical books, excluded the Apocrypha from canonical use. I think Luther is simply following their example.
I serve as administrator for www.churchhistoryreview.org.

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 41901
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books
« Reply #59 on: November 23, 2020, 11:27:49 AM »
Brian, I noticed you posted earlier, "Luther's canon had 73 books."

I think this unlikely since Luther said the Apocrypha are not the same as Holy Scripture. He certainly translated and included the Apocrypha in the Luther Bibel but did not treat them the same as the 66 books of the two testaments.

Gerhard expressly states the Apocrypha are "outside the canon." Deuterocanonical, as in the thread heading, is a Roman Catholic view, I think. Not sure if the Eastern Orthodox use that distinction.


I believe that the fact that Luther translated the Apocrypha and included them at the end of the Old Testament, like including James, Hebrews, Jude, and Revelation at the end of of the New Testament, indicates that he included them in his "canon" - his listed of sacred books.

His published edition from 1545 does leave room for debate. From a facsimile:

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.32044049943897&view=1up&seq=19

If you go to the title page for the Apocrypha, you will find Luther says there, "books not held equal to the Scriptures but are useful and good to read."

The way Luther handles the Book of Daniel and the apocryphal additions to Daniel also shows him making a distinction. For the Old Testament he translates the Hebrew and Aramaic Daniel. The other accounts, such as Bel and the Dragon, are placed in the Apocrypha.

Athanasius and Jerome, among the earliest to make lists of canonical books, excluded the Apocrypha from canonical use. I think Luther is simply following their example.


Yes, Athanasius, Jerome, and Luther made a distinction; but they continued to bind the Apocrypha together with the Old and New Testaments. They were part of the one Bible.

"Useful and good to read" would seem to rank higher than being called "an epistle of straw" as Luther did with James.

You also overlook the regional councils that included the Septuagint canon: Mommsen in 360; Council of Laodicea c. 364-365; adoption by the Orthodox church in c. 380; Synod of Hippo in 393; several Councils of Carthage in 397 and 419.
"The church Ö 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]