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Switch to Forum Live View Do we have Jesus's words?
2 years ago  ::  Apr 29, 2012 - 2:33AM #21
davelaw40
Posts: 19,669

Apr 28, 2012 -- 6:12PM, Adelphe wrote:


Apr 27, 2012 -- 12:33PM, MMarcoe wrote:


Apr 27, 2012 -- 8:43AM, Adelphe wrote:


Apr 27, 2012 -- 8:36AM, Kwinters wrote:


Apr 27, 2012 -- 8:20AM, Adelphe wrote:


Christians use an established canon.


We don't ask all of those questions re the established canon because all of that analysis has already been (and continues to be) done (which makes it...canon.)




And can you cite specifically who did this analysis?  When? And what the criteria was?


Because I don't think you will be able to produce any specific names, any specific dates, and any specific criteria.




Sure, apart from what you can find on wiki, for example, or a basic Google search, I will try to dig up a more technical article I've used in the past.


btw, I find it odd you think there aren't any specifics.  You won't find, for example, "The Gospel of the Hebrews" in the canon.  What, do you think that the "criterion" for excluding it was that Christians "just didn't like it"?





No. More like, the ecclesiastical power structure didn't like it.


 




Perhaps you could advise what "ecclesiastical power structure"...




by the time it was translated into Greek the canon had already appeared in nascent form





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2 years ago  ::  Apr 29, 2012 - 5:55AM #22
Kwinters
Posts: 22,117

Apr 28, 2012 -- 5:59PM, Adelphe wrote:


Apr 27, 2012 -- 8:46AM, Kwinters wrote:


Apr 27, 2012 -- 8:43AM, Adelphe wrote:


Apr 27, 2012 -- 8:36AM, Kwinters wrote:


Apr 27, 2012 -- 8:20AM, Adelphe wrote:


Christians use an established canon.


We don't ask all of those questions re the established canon because all of that analysis has already been (and continues to be) done (which makes it...canon.)




And can you cite specifically who did this analysis?  When? And what the criteria was?


Because I don't think you will be able to produce any specific names, any specific dates, and any specific criteria.




Sure, apart from what you can find on wiki, for example, or a basic Google search, I will try to dig up a more technical article I've used in the past.




I look forward to your sourced response.




All right, I tried (for a while, too.)  I can't find my most excellent technical article (I'm sure it's bookmarked on one of 3 laptops I've burned through stuffed in a box somewhere.)


Anyway, here's the criteria:


1. APOSTOLICITY: Since the NT church was (aorist participle). “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets” (Eph. 2:20), the indispensable test for NT canonicity was apostolicity. Thus, every NT book was written by a “foundational” apostle (or one with apostolic authority). Ignatius, bishop of Antioch (c. A.D. 107) says: “I do not give you orders like Peter and Paul. They were apostles: I am [not]” (Rom. 4:3).

2. ANTIQUITY: Simply, if a writing was the work of an apostle (or an authoritative associate), it had to belong to the apostolic age. Writings after this could not be apostolic, and hence canonical. For example, even though the highly regarded Shepherd of Hermas (c. A.D. 120) was found in the Muratorian Fragment and some early codices, its late date of composition, precluded it from canonical status. Furthermore, most of the pseudepigrapha (i.e., “false writings”) were rejected for that reason.

3. ORTHODOXY: Genuine apostolic writings would be doctrinally consistent (i.e., orthodox) with the apostolic faith (regula fidei). For example, the so-called Gospel of Peter and Thomas are filled with silly stories and Gnostic teachings, which the apostles (and the early church) sharply refuted (e.g., Col., and 1 and 2 John were written specifically against the Gnostic heresy).

4. CATHOLICITY: The universal church collectively recognized genuine apostolic writings. If a book had only local recognition, it was not likely to be accepted as canonical. Naturally, the NT books that were first collected, circulated, quoted, and read by the original churches became universally recognized.

5. TRADITIONAL USE: Similar to the principle of Catholicity, books that were collected, circulated, quoted, and read by the original churches were, of course, well known among the churches. This criterion examines the church’s habitual (i.e., traditional) use of writings. It inquires as to what NT books were accepted as apostolic. For example, prior to Nicea (A.D. 325), the NT quotations from early church Fathers were so abundant that almost the entire NT could be restructured, based on these writings. The books of the NT were traditionally treated as Scripture. If a church leader in the third or fourth century submitted a book claiming its apostolicity and it was previously unknown, he would have great difficulty in gaining acceptance for it.

6. INSPIRATION: The church believed that only books that were theopneustos, “God breathed out,” were canonical. Thus, inspiration was the means by which the revelation of God was brought to the written record. The vocabulary belonged to the NT authors, but the message was God’s. “Paul wrote,” says Clement of Rome (c. A.D. 90), “with true inspiration” (Corinthians, 47.3). Inspiration, therefore, was a criterion of verification as to what books were apostolic and hence, canonical.


www.christiandefense.org/Article_NTcanon...


And, while I do not care (at all) for the rather polemical tone in parts of this, the argument itself is sound and the conclusion is as well, emphasis mine:




This is not so much a list of critieria that was established by a small group and then texts were evaluated against it and accepted and rejected.  


Rather, it is a collection of the attributes that are shared by the books that were included, created ex post, hundreds of years later, and included a political purpose (competing theologies and the struggle for power).  That is different.


The fact is that there were many versions of the accepted list, all in competition.


Marcion listed ten of the epistles of Paul, a redacted version of Luke and a commentary of his own called Antithesis.


I have listed the Muratorian Fragment list that dates from the late 2nd or 3rd century, hundreds of years afterwards.


The Shepherd of Hermas, 1 Clement, the epistle of Barnabas, the Acts of Peter and of John, a third epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, the Gospel of the Hebrews, an Apocalypse of Peter, an epistle of Paul to the Laodiceans were all listed by one church father or another as authoritative.


For instance, can you the method by which disputes over the canonicity of Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and Revelation were settled?  By whom? And when.


As for authorship, we have in the collection many forgeries, many anonymous works (including all the gospels), and many disputed writings.  The only author with undisputed letters is Paul, although even his name was forged on writings that were included.




As for the way that this relates to the OP, merely citing the erroneous conclusions of men in the 4th century is not an argument that we have the actual words of Jesus in the texts.  


The church fathers where wrong on big facts about the authors of the gospels: Mark was not a translator to Peter, Matthew's gospel was not written originally in either Hebrew or Greek. John was not written by an apostle.  


So the question remains: how can people know that when they write, 'Jesus says....' how can anyone be sure Jesus actually said it? 

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 29, 2012 - 7:55AM #23
Adelphe
Posts: 28,727

Apr 29, 2012 -- 5:55AM, Kwinters wrote:


This is not so much a list of critieria that was established by a small group and then texts were evaluated against it and accepted and rejected. 


Rather, it is a collection of the attributes that are shared by the books that were included, created ex post, hundreds of years later, and included a political purpose (competing theologies and the struggle for power).  That is different.


The fact is that there were many versions of the accepted list, all in competition.


Marcion listed ten of the epistles of Paul, a redacted version of Luke and a commentary of his own called Antithesis.


I have listed the Muratorian Fragment list that dates from the late 2nd or 3rd century, hundreds of years afterwards.


The Shepherd of Hermas, 1 Clement, the epistle of Barnabas, the Acts of Peter and of John, a third epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, the Gospel of the Hebrews, an Apocalypse of Peter, an epistle of Paul to the Laodiceans were all listed by one church father or another as authoritative.


For instance, can you the method by which disputes over the canonicity of Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and Revelation were settled?  By whom? And when.


As for authorship, we have in the collection many forgeries, many anonymous works (including all the gospels), and many disputed writings.  The only author with undisputed letters is Paul, although even his name was forged on writings that were included.




As for the way that this relates to the OP, merely citing the erroneous conclusions of men in the 4th century is not an argument that we have the actual words of Jesus in the texts.  


The church fathers where wrong on big facts about the authors of the gospels: Mark was not a translator to Peter, Matthew's gospel was not written originally in either Hebrew or Greek. John was not written by an apostle.  


So the question remains: how can people know that when they write, 'Jesus says....' how can anyone be sure Jesus actually said it? 




You didn't read a thing--not one--in the links, obviously.


btw, "and included a political purpose (competing theologies and the struggle for power).  That is different", I don't suppose it ever occured to you that if some words were accepted and others rejected then by default we'd call that "a political purpose (competing theologies and the struggle for power)."


That "purpose" was maintaining authenticity and we see that "competing theologies and the struggle for power" was happening during the time of the Apostles who wrote and warned of it (as did Jesus), captured in the New Testament epistles and Gospels themselves.


Clearly not everything goes or we could have you making something up right now and saying "Jesus said."




Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2012 - 2:37PM #24
Kwinters
Posts: 22,117

Apr 29, 2012 -- 7:55AM, Adelphe wrote:


Apr 29, 2012 -- 5:55AM, Kwinters wrote:


This is not so much a list of critieria that was established by a small group and then texts were evaluated against it and accepted and rejected. 


Rather, it is a collection of the attributes that are shared by the books that were included, created ex post, hundreds of years later, and included a political purpose (competing theologies and the struggle for power).  That is different.


The fact is that there were many versions of the accepted list, all in competition.


Marcion listed ten of the epistles of Paul, a redacted version of Luke and a commentary of his own called Antithesis.


I have listed the Muratorian Fragment list that dates from the late 2nd or 3rd century, hundreds of years afterwards.


The Shepherd of Hermas, 1 Clement, the epistle of Barnabas, the Acts of Peter and of John, a third epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, the Gospel of the Hebrews, an Apocalypse of Peter, an epistle of Paul to the Laodiceans were all listed by one church father or another as authoritative.


For instance, can you the method by which disputes over the canonicity of Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and Revelation were settled?  By whom? And when.


As for authorship, we have in the collection many forgeries, many anonymous works (including all the gospels), and many disputed writings.  The only author with undisputed letters is Paul, although even his name was forged on writings that were included.




As for the way that this relates to the OP, merely citing the erroneous conclusions of men in the 4th century is not an argument that we have the actual words of Jesus in the texts.  


The church fathers where wrong on big facts about the authors of the gospels: Mark was not a translator to Peter, Matthew's gospel was not written originally in either Hebrew or Greek. John was not written by an apostle.  


So the question remains: how can people know that when they write, 'Jesus says....' how can anyone be sure Jesus actually said it? 




You didn't read a thing--not one--in the links, obviously.


btw, "and included a political purpose (competing theologies and the struggle for power).  That is different", I don't suppose it ever occured to you that if some words were accepted and others rejected then by default we'd call that "a political purpose (competing theologies and the struggle for power)."


That "purpose" was maintaining authenticity and we see that "competing theologies and the struggle for power" was happening during the time of the Apostles who wrote and warned of it (as did Jesus), captured in the New Testament epistles and Gospels themselves.


Clearly not everything goes or we could have you making something up right now and saying "Jesus said."





As I said, the criteria were haphazardly applied, with no formal evaluation of the texts. Rather tradition and convention were used, and gospels such as the Gospel of Peter were eliminated because one could perhaps read part of it Docetic way.  


However all of this does not provide an answer to the OP.


The church fathers misattributed the authorship of Mark, Matthew, and John.  Luke's author is unknown. Their authority as church leaders do not trump empirical facts.




The question remains: how can Christians say with confidence that they have the actual words of Jesus?


Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2012 - 4:42PM #25
Ruhi19
Posts: 535

Apr 30, 2012 -- 2:37PM, Kwinters wrote:


The question remains: how can Christians say with confidence that they have the actual words of Jesus?





People did not look at "proof" the way you are looking at it until the 1600s.  Many people still don't see it that way. 


Not being a Christian, I don't have confidence that "EVERY" word recorded in the Bible is true and authentic.  In fact, the Scriptures I follow say that the Bible is NOT totally authentic.  However, there are also verses from my Scriptures which say that the Bible is the word of God. The conflict is explained in the same Scripture but let's go to the scholars for an answer.


  The conflict can be resolved through the textual criticism you referred to:  one can't say with certinity that every word is authentic.  However, the same research shows that about 95-98% of the Bible is the same in manuscripts covering hundreds of years.  Further, manuscripts found in the Dead Sea which have been identified as coming from the earliest centuries agree in most aspects with manuscripts of later years except for a few inconsistencies. 


It must also be noted how scholars count variations:  if a variant is found in one manuscript (i.e., God says vs. says God), then it is counted for each manuscript which has a variant.  Thus, if you have 1100 manuscripts containing either of the above variants, you have 1100 variants even though there are only two ways that the text is written in 1100 manuscripts. 


I'm sure you knew that but I thought I would point it out. 


In summary, while I would not say that every word is accurate, I would say that the message of Jesus is accurate in both message and as it was practiced by early Christians.  It (the Bible) can't reach the level of proof that you are looking for because it was never intended to reach that level. 


Jesus explained things according to the capacity of His listeners.  He said specifically that He had more to tell them but they couldn't understand it (John 16:12).  He said He would return and give them more later (John 16:13). He also said that He spoke in parables and would speak plainly when He returned (John 16:25).  It is only when one recognizes His returning Spirit that one can see that the Spirit fulfills what Jesus promised:  an explanation of things plainly without parables closer to the style that you want and which humanity expects in this Day. 

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2012 - 4:46PM #26
Kwinters
Posts: 22,117

Apr 30, 2012 -- 4:42PM, Ruhi19 wrote:


Apr 30, 2012 -- 2:37PM, Kwinters wrote:


The question remains: how can Christians say with confidence that they have the actual words of Jesus?





People did not look at "proof" the way you are looking at it until the 1600s.  Many people still don't see it that way. 




Do you have any evidence for that?


In fact, there was a lot of desire on the part of the early church proto-orthodox leaders to link the texts they had back to someone who knew Jesus for the precise reason that they wanted to claim they had his words from a reliable source (which they didn't).


Irenaeus wrote: "After their departure [of Peter and Paul from earth], Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter.



Now, that isn't true, but it was put about as being true.  We can see similar attempts to attach apostolic authority to the other gospels as well.

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2012 - 4:49PM #27
Kwinters
Posts: 22,117

Apr 30, 2012 -- 4:42PM, Ruhi19 wrote:


In summary, while I would not say that every word is accurate, I would say that the message of Jesus is accurate in both message and as it was practiced by early Christians.  It (the Bible) can't reach the level of proof that you are looking for because it was never intended to reach that level. 


Jesus explained things according to the capacity of His listeners.  He said specifically that He had more to tell them but they couldn't understand it (John 16:12).  He said He would return and give them more later (John 16:13). He also said that He spoke in parables and would speak plainly when He returned (John 16:25).  It is only when one recognizes His returning Spirit that one can see that the Spirit fulfills what Jesus promised:  an explanation of things plainly without parables closer to the style that you want and which humanity expects in this Day. 





If you don't know if the words of the texts are accurate then on what basis or what evidence can you claim that 'Jesus explained things according to the capacity of His listeners.'


If you don't have the words then you don't know.


If you are citing the words of someone other than Jesus (e.g. the story of the women taken in adultery was added to the GoJ much later), then what authority do they really have?

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2012 - 5:07PM #28
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617

The answer is trust and faith. One has to trust that the church(es) valued the teaching sufficiently to pass it on as reliably as was possible for them, and one also needs to have faith that God would not permit His message to be irretrievably corrupted.


That's what most of these questions boil down to, eventually.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2012 - 6:02PM #29
Ruhi19
Posts: 535

Apr 30, 2012 -- 4:49PM, Kwinters wrote:


If you don't know if the words of the texts are accurate then on what basis or what evidence can you claim that 'Jesus explained things according to the capacity of His listeners.'


If you don't have the words then you don't know.


If you are citing the words of someone other than Jesus (e.g. the story of the women taken in adultery was added to the GoJ much later), then what authority do they really have?





You are implying that the words of Jesus are all false because some have proved to be suspect.  They are not all false nor is there any evidence that they are all false.  The only evidence that there is a possibility that they are not totally accurate is that some words are in a slightly different order, or occasionally spelled differently in certain manuscripts.  That does not invalidate the words which are in the same order, have the same spelling and have no difference in the majority of the manuscripts.  This is not an all or nothing situation.


The story about the woman at the well is in a different class: it may or may not be true.  However, its questionable validity does not invalidate other information which is verified in repeated stories. 


Further, if you are willing to go outside the Bible (most Christians are not), the words of Jesus are verified in the Qur'an and the Baha'i Scriptures in which the words of Jesus are also reported in much the same form and certainly with the same message as that found in the Bible.  Further, His station as a Messenger from God is also asserted in both although the interpretation on the part of some Christians that He is literally the essence of God is denied in both sets of text. 


 

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2012 - 6:11PM #30
Ruhi19
Posts: 535

Apr 30, 2012 -- 5:07PM, nieciedo wrote:


The answer is trust and faith. One has to trust that the church(es) valued the teaching sufficiently to pass it on as reliably as was possible for them, and one also needs to have faith that God would not permit His message to be irretrievably corrupted.


That's what most of these questions boil down to, eventually.





I think this is an important point.  A few variants may have been created through various errors (mistakes of one form or another) but one can (in most cases) determine which ones have errors of mistakes and what the error is.  The message is still intact and the text is, for the most part, intact.  Even though not all questions have been resolved, the variants which remain do not affect the validity of the message.  People are still able to understand the text as well as when it was created. 


There is more corruption, much more, in the various interpretations of the text than there is in the text itself.   

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