The following are links to a series of studies presented by the Dawn Bible Students Association, related to church history and the formation of the Roman Catholic Church and its doctrines.
The rest of this series is evidently not in html format but rather the only links provided are to the whole issue of magazines in pdf. You will have to search for the related section that continues the series.
Interpreting the Bible (see page 34)
Was the Early Church Catholic? (see page 36)
Development of the True Church (see page 24)
2 Timothy 3:16
pasa graphee theopneustos kai wphelimos pros
ALL SCRIPTURE GOD BREATHED AND BENEFICIAL TOWARD
3956 1124 2315 2532 5624 4314
didaskalian pros elegmon pros epanorthwsin
TEACHING, TOWARD REPROVING, TOWARD STRAIGHTENING UP UPON,
1319 4314 1648_5 4314 1882
pros paideian teen en dikaiosunee
TOWARD DISCIPLINE THE IN RIGHTEOUSNESS,
4314 3809 3588 1722 1343
Westcott & Hort Interlinear
The Greek often does not have the connecting verb “is” in the text, but is understood. It should be obvious that in 2 Timothy 3:16, in the English the verb belongs there somewhere, and most translators put it after the word “scripture”, making the verse read, as in the New American Standard:
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.
Some, however, put the verb later, as in the World English:
Every writing inspired by God is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction which is in righteousness.
Some have faulted the rendering “all scripture is inspired” because it would actually state that every writing in the whole world is inspired of God. Others point out that the word “kai” (meaning “and”) would seem to call for the verb to be before “theopneustos”.
Regardless of where one puts a verb in the sentence, “all scripture” is understood to mean what was referred to as “the Scripture(s)”. (Matthew 24:42; 22:29; Luke 24:27,32,45; John 4:39; 7:42; 10:35; 17:12; 20:9; Acts 8:32; 17:2,11; 18:28; Romans 11:2; 15:4; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Galatians 3:22) In most cases in the New Testament this terminiology refers to what Christians today refer to as the Old Testament, although at times the writings of NT testament writers seemd to be included. However, the word “scriptures” simply means “writings,” and yes, there were a lot of writings — scriptures — floating around in the first century amongst the Jews, which are not included in “the Scriptures” that are referred to in the Bible. There was a general consensus amongst the Jews that “the Scriptures” are what we today have as the Old Testament.
If Paul was saying that absolutely everything that is written is inspired of God, then the Buddhist writings, the Hindu writintgs, the writings of Satanists, and absolutely everything that has been written by anyone at any time and at any place should be considered to be inspired of God; thus we should believe in the immortalithy of the soul, and that the soul is not immortal; we should believe that only Yahweh is Most High, and that Yahweh is not the only Most High; we should believe that the dead are not conscious, and the dead are conscious, we should believe that God is a trinity, and that God is unipersonal. We should believe in reincarnation, and we should believe that reincarnation is not true. We should believe in the transmigrations of the human soul, and we should believe that the transmigration of the soul is false teaching. And so forth and son on.
The expression “Law and the Prophets” was used to speak of all of the Hebrew Scriptures. Before Christ came, there is evidence of the usage of the “Law and Prophets” of all of the books of the Bible in the Old Testament as we have it except Ruth and Esther. Although the expression “canon” was not used in those days, the evidence shows that there was an accepted canon sometime in the late Perisian period. Although the expression “Law and the Prophets” technically divides the canon into two groups, the expression was often used to designate the entire canon. Some reference refer to “the Law, Prophets, and the Psalms,” as did Jesus in Luke 24:44, which would technicallly make three divisions of the Old Testament writings. Even the “historical” writings contain prophecy, as are certainly relative to the “Law Covenant.” However, at times all of the writings of the Old Testament were referred as “the Law,” or “the Law and Prophets.”
The expression “the Law” is generally used in three different ways in the New Testament. It is often used when speaking of the Book of the Law, which is now five books (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy). It is also used to refer to the entire collection of the Hebrew Scriptures. Therefore, Jesus quoted the Psalms as being part of the Law of Jews. (John 10:34; 15:25) Jesus refers to the Psalms several times; here are some: Matthew 5:5; 22:44; 23:39; Mark 12:36; Luke 19:38; 24:44; John 10:34. Thus, “all scripture” used in 2 Timothy 3:16, is not referring to absolutely all writing, but to the writing that was general referred to at that as the Scripture(s), that which we today call the “Old Testament,” which really means “the Old Covenant.” Thus, when we speak of the “Old Testament” today, although the term means “old covenant,” we are not speaking just of the Law Covenant itself, nor even just the “book of the Law,” but of all the books of the what we call the Old Testament canon.
Nevertheless, the expression “the Law” or “law” in the Bible often refers to the Law Covenant itself; one should not confuse such scriptures with what constitutes “Law and the Prophets” as far as writings are concerned.
One more point concerning 2 Timothy 3:16. Many try to claim that not all the Bible is inspired because Paul wrote “But to the rest I — not the Lord [Yahweh] — say, if any brother has an unbelieving wife, and she is content to live with him, let him not leave her.” (1 Corinthians 7:12) Does this mean that the words that Paul wrote here are not inspired by God? Absolutely not! Indeed, Paul was certainly inspired by God to write, “I — not the Lord [Yahweh] — say,” thus designating that the following was not a command from Yahweh, but rather that it his own suggestion. And yet, we believe that the entire sentence is also inspired by God; although it is not a command from God, this does not mean that the writing of it is not inspired by God.
In the epistle of Jude we find the following statement:
Jude 1:14 To these also Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones, Jude 1:15 to execute judgment on all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their works of ungodliness which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
According to many, this is a direct quote from the “Book of Enoch”, and from this many argue that we should accept the entire “Book of Enoch” as part of the Bible “canon”. Thus, it is claimed that the “Book of Enoch” is one of the so-called “Lost Books of the Bible”. But is this really true? Is the “Book of Enoch”, overall, inspired of God, or is it a spurious book of Jewish fables that does not belong as part of God’s Word?
We do find in the “Book of Enoch” the statement: “And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones To execute judgement upon all, And to destroy all the ungodly: And to convict all flesh Of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed, And of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” (1 Enoch 1:9) This is almost the same that we read in to Jude 1:14,15. Evidently, at least this part of the Book of Enoch contains the true words of Enoch; it does not follow that the entire Book of Enoch, as we have it, is true.
The Ethiopic Book of Enoch (also referred to as Enoch I), as we have it, was probably assembled in present form *after* Jude wrote his letter. As far as we have been able to determine, no Septuagint Version of the Bible has the “Book of Enoch”. Evidently, Much of this book reflects later apostate Jewish teachings adopted and adapted from Hellenistic mythology, and not the Bible. Obviously, the Book of Enoch was not written by the real Enoch who lived and died before the flood. The book tells of Enoch’s allegedly speaking with God and angels, and of events related to the days of Noah and the flood, etc. Evidently, the writer of the book allegedly received these messages from Enoch, who, according to this tradition, instead of being actually dead, was taken by God to heaven (the scriptures never say anything about Enoch going to heaven.). In reality, — God took Enoch, translated him into the realm of death without his seeing, experiencing, the process of dying (Hebrews 11:5,13) — and, thus having died (Hebrews 11:13), he was not able to say anything to anyone.** (Ecclesiastes 9:10) Therefore, Enoch could not have possibly revealed to anyone anything from the oblivious realm of death in which condition one cannot praise or give thanks to Yahweh. (Psalm 6:5; Isaiah 38:18) Rather than seeking messages from the dead, we should go to the Law (The Old Testament) and the Testimony (of the New Testament), that which God has revealed through his holy spirit. (Isaiah 8:19,20; see also Leviticus 20:6; 1 Chronicles 10:13) While Jude was evidently quoting Enoch from some source, it does not follow that he necessarily quoted from the “Book of Enoch” as we now have it.
Is Enoch Still Alive?
Life Now and Hereafter
The “Book of Enoch” appears to have been written by different authors, possibly from the time period extending from about 168 BC to about 200 AD. It is an assembled collection of extravagant, unhistorical, Hellenistic-Jewish mythology, evidently the product of exegetical elaborations on the brief Genesis reference to Enoch. Neither Enoch nor Raphael are said to come in the name of Yahweh, or to speak for Yahweh, which leads me to think that if there was a revelation from some spirits, that these spirits were actually demons appearing as “angels of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14,15), and not the loyal angels of God. If one should do a search on the internet, one can see that this book has great appeal to occultists, angel-worshipers, witches, etc.
Nevertheless, much of the “Book of Enoch” repeats, although often with different words, much of the prophecies given by various prophets in the Bible. Of course, many non-canonical books do this same thing.
Evidently the words recorded in 1 Enoch 1:9 are Enoch’s words, and indeed could have come from some ancient writings of Enoch that we no longer have. Jude could have quoted from that same source. Or it could be that the author of the earlier part of the Book of Enoch, believed by some to have been written, or at least assembled into its present form, toward the end of or after the first century AD, in making a collection of sayings traditionally attributed to Enoch, simply quoted from Jude.
Furthermore, the Book of Enoch contains much that gives evidence of Hellenistic mythological influence, such as the description of Hades. Except for Jesus’ parabolic parody of the Pharisees (these Pharisees evidently had adapted the Hellenistic philosophy concerning hades), there is nothing in the Bible that speaks of sheol/hades in the terms described in the Book of Enoch. This description directly contradicts the Bible’s description in Ecclesiastes 9:10, and elsewhere.
See the studies:
Hades/Sheol in the Bible
While radicals and atheists attacked the accuracy (purity) with which the Canon was transmitted, another group was busy in attacking the integrity of it. They claimed that not all books in the Canon are canonical, while many books that are canonical have been excluded from it. Ahmadiya Muslims are one group that would want some books of their interest (such as the Apocrypha book falsely labeled The Gospel Of Barnabas). These claims have resurfaced at the dawn of the twenty-first century, and many are innocently swept by such baseless argument. Part of the reason is the ignorance of the layman concerning the Canon and how it was formed.
THE NEED TO FIX THE CANON: There was no need to fix the Canon in the period before 400 BC because people generally knew which books came from divine source. However, after the last book of the Old Testament was written, many Jewish people felt the need to clearly spell out the books that were part of the Canon.
The first reason was distance from the original events. People who lived during the times of Prophets and great High Priests recognized the way God communicated with them. However, as new generations came up there was a great time-gap between them and the original revelation. This gap would automatically make them less familiar with the Scriptures, specially if these books were not introduced properly to the posterity.
Further, this distance would also enable forgers and cheats to advance their writings as Scriptures. Thus it was necessary for the posterity to know the boundary. Thus the Jewish fathers were alert to recognize and organize the Canonical books. Of course the correct order of their actions should be realized: these books did not become Canonical by the recognition of the fathers. Rather, when non Canonical books started to claim divine authorship, the Jewish fathers felt it necessary to recognize the books that demonstrated Canonicity. Thus it is not the recognition that brought Canonicity, but it is their Canonical nature that brought recognition to them. The fact that Lord Jesus and the Apostles honoured this Canon demonstrates that the Jewish Fathers were spiritually competent to recognize the Canonical books.
Recognizing Canonical books was necessary also for protecting them from being lost accidentally or through deliberate destruction. People attacked divine revelation both in the Old as well as in the New Testament period. The rationalist Porphyry wrote more than 12 volumes to attack the Bible. In 320 AD the Roman Emperor Diocletian ordered that all religious books be destroyed. In all such cases it became necessary for the children of God to know which books to hide and protect from destruction.
Many other practical considerations also contributed to the demand to spell out the Canon. Thus when the Jews who adopted Greek as their mother-tongue wanted the Scriptures in this language, it was necessary to know which books to translate. With the easy availability of writing materials and the wider dissemination of the Scriptures, the demand to spell out the Canon became all the more important.
As mentioned above, the recognition of the Canonical books was not done randomly or arbitrarily. Rather, the people of God used very strict criteria for recognizing which books were divine. Further, many of these books were given to the children of God under such circumstances that they were recognized as inspired Scriptures soon after these books were written. The divinity of these books helped them to be included in the Bible.
OLD TESTAMENT CANON: The earliest books of the Old Testament were written almost 1400 years before the Christ, while the last book Malachi was written about 400 years before Christ. Since these books came from authoritative sources, people were quick to recognize their divine origin. The sacred books of divine origin were given special honour and protection by the Jews. The priest as well as the people of God always stood up when a public reading of the Scriptures was done.
Many spurious books began to claim divine authorship for them about a hundred years after the completion of Malachi. The Jewish leaders were quick to realize that these writings are not from God, and thus they guarded the books of Bible against all kind of infiltration.
The Apocrypha books are not part of the Canon. Thus none of the things said in this chapter are applicable to them. These books are neither inspired by God, nor are they in any sense a part of the Bible.
There is a mistaken belief among some that the Apocrypha books were part of the Bible, and that these were rejected by the Protestant Reformers. On the contrary, the Apocrypha books were never a part of the Old Testament Canon. Thus there is no question of the Reformers dropping out some books from the Canon. Rather, it is the Roman Catholic Church which ADDED these books to the Canon by a proclamation made at the Council of Trent. The story is something like the following.
When the Hebrew Old Testament was translated into Hebrew, a number of other books were also translated. These were translated as a help to the Jews who did not know Hebrew or Aramaic. Many of the translators felt that the additional books would benefit the readers by providing them historical and background information about the Jews and their culture. Some of these books were appended to the Septuagint by them. The addition was not as part of the Canon, but as study helps. This is similar to the large number of articles often added at the end of study Bibles like the Scofield, Thompson Chain Reference, Dake’s Bible, or The Ryrie Study Bible. Though these articles are placed within the same Cover, and though the outer cover contains the word “Bible”, none of the modern readers confuses them with the Scripture.
All the contemporary readers know that the study-helps and articles are not part of the Canon. In the same way the readers of Septuagint also knew that these books in the appendix are not part of the Canon. These books found a place in the translation known as Vulgate, which was commonly used by Roman Catholics. In spite of its presence in the Vulgate, the Catholics did not accept the Apocrypha as part of the Canon.
With the Protestant Reformation, many of the Reformers challenged the Catholic church to prove their doctrine by supporting these from the Canon. To their dismay the Roman Catholics discovered that many of their doctrines are not derived from the Canon. At the same time they realized that at least some of these erroneous doctrines are supported by the Apocrypha. Thus for their survival it became necessary to add the Apocrypha to the Canon.
In 1545 the Roman Catholic Church convened what is called the Council Of Trent. Here they passed numerous resolutions, including many curses against the Protestant Believers. In April 1545 the Council declared that the Apocrypha are also part of the Bible. Thus for the first time in history the Apocrypha books were ADDED by the Roman Catholic church to the Bible. This was done in order to justify their doctrinal errors (for which support was available only in the Apocrypha), and also to oppose the Protestant believers. The first Vatican Council held 1869-70 reaffirmed the decision of the Roman Catholic Church to add the Apocrypha to the Canon.
Historically and theologically the Apocrypha was never part of the Canon. Protestant Reformers were very zealous about the doctrine of Sola Scriptura (Everything is to be tested in the light of Bible, and Bible alone). Thus they did not allow any kind of leaven to be mixed with the Bible.
The Apocrypha books contain numerous historical, chronological, and doctrinal errors. Some of these are:
1-Prayers And Offerings For The Dead: The Apocrypha encourages prayer for the dead and also the offering of money for the souls of the dead people. It should not be forgotten that the Roman Catholic Church collects millions in money every year on the pretext of praying for the dead that they might be transferred to heaven.
The Catholic Church needed the non-canonical Apocrypha in their Bibles to support such practices that are actually not found in the Canon. 2 Maccabees 12:41-46 is the passage that supports this. Verse 46 says, “It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sin”. This is a blasphemous idea.
2-Atonement And Salvation By Almsgiving: Salvation is by grace alone and through faith alone (Eph. 2:8,9; Titus 3:5; 1 John 1:9). However, the Roman Catholic Church adds “good works” as a condition, and collects billions in money worldwide from gullible people seeking salvation. Apocrypha books support this (Ecclesiasticus 3:33. Ecclesiasticus of the Apocrypha is different from Ecclesiastes in the Bible). According Tobit 4:11 of the Apocrypha, “For alms deliver from all sin, and from death and will not suffer the soul to go into darkness”.
3-Preexistence Of Souls: The doctrines that souls have always existed and that the human body receives a preexisting soul is taught in Apocrypha (Wisdom of Solomon 8:19, 20). This is contrary to what is taught by the Canonical books.
4-The Doctrine Of Emanations: Emanation is the theory that just as the web used by the spider comes out of the spider’s own being, the Universe and everything in it is an emanation from God. This idea is contrary to what the Bible teaches, but the Apocrypha teaches it (Wisdom Of Solomon 7:25).
5-Suicide Justified: Bible is totally opposed to suicide, and warns believers against contemplating such activities. The Apocrypha justifies it (2 Maccabees 14:41-46).
6-Cruelty To Slaves Justified: While the Canon asks believers to be merciful to slaves (Deu. 23:15,16), the Apocrypha says that the best way to treat a slave is to pile work upon him. It also justifies cruelty to them when needed (Ecclesiasticus 33:25-29).
7-Other Fallacies And Blasphemies: There are numerous historical errors, doctrinal errors, and even blasphemies. Hatred for Samaritan people, sanction for lying, encouragement for magical incantations, assassination, the power of angels to intercede for man, and many other s are found there.
Worse of all, the doctrine of Purgatory has also come from Apocryphal sources. This is a doctrine totally opposed to all what the Bible says.
Though many people claim that books of the Bible have been altered and manipulated, the historical data opposes this idea. Right from the beginning the Canonical books received special preservation and protection from the Jews as well as the Christians.
They Apocrypha are not part of the Canon. These books were never considered by the Jews or by Christians as part of the Canon. It is the Roman Catholic Church which ADDED these non-canonical books to the Canon in 1545 as a reaction against the Protestant Movement. They needed to do this to justify their doctrinal errors.
The Canon of God is pure, free from error, and preserved for our instruction and edification.
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