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Did you know Which Council Decided The Books Of The Bible? If not, Penn Book with share with you the most comprehensive knowledge about how were the books of the Bible chosen and Who chose the books of the Bible via the below article. Reading on.
Which Council Decided The Books Of The Bible?
Dan Brown, the author of The Da Vinci Code, wrote in his best selling novel that the Bible was created during the Council of Nicea, 325 C.E., Emperor Constantine, and church officials purportedly banned problematic literature not conforming to their secret agenda.
But that’s not the real story. Although The Da Vinci Code was fiction, Brown wasn’t alone in praising the Council of Nicea for deciding what books should be included in the Bible.
Voltaire wrote in the 18th Century, repeating a centuries old legend that the Bible was canonized at Nicea. He did this by placing all the books on a table and saying a prayer to see which texts were legitimate.
Jason Combs, an assistant professor at Brigham Young University specializing in ancient Christianity, says that there was not one church authority or Council that rubber stamped the Biblical Canon (official listing of books in the Bible).
Combs says Dan Brown disservice us all. We don’t know if any Christians gathered together to say, “Let’s have this resolved once and for all.” (The Council of Nicea was formed to solve a religious issue that had nothing to do with the Bible.
The evidence that scholars have, in the form of letters, theological treatises, and church histories that have survived for many millennia, points to a longer canonization process.
Different church leaders and theologians argued about which books should be included in the Canon from the first to the fourth centuries. They often referred to their opponents as heretics.
Over 1,000 years, the books that make up The Bible were written by many people between 1200 B.C.E. The first Century C.E. The Bible includes a wide range of literary genres, including poetry, history, songs, letters, and prophetic writings.
These writings were originally on scrolls of parchment and not in books as we know them today. Remember, the printing press was not invented until 1440.
The Canon was eventually enriched with the canon books trusted and considered authoritative by the communities that used them. Even though the bulk of this editing was completed in the late 300s and most of it ended, the debate about which books were theologically valid continued up to the 16th Century, when Martin Luther published his German translation.
Disputed, Spurious and Downright Heretical
Luther was unhappy with James’ book, which emphasized faith alongside works, so he added Hebrews and James to the Bible back, alongside Jude and Revelation. Combs claims that these four books are not in Luther’s original Bible’s table of contents.
Eusebius, a Christian historian who wrote in the 300s, provided one of the earliest lists of legitimate books and borderline bogus.
Eusebius divided his list into four categories: recognized (disputed), spurious, and heretical. The recognized were the four gospels (Matthew Mark, Luke, and John), Acts, and Paul’s epistles.
Eusebius also included James and Jude, which were the same books Luther disliked and a few other books are now considered Canon like 2 Peter, 2 John, and 3 John.
Eusebius’s discussion of the spurious and heretical gives us a glimpse at how many other texts were available in the second and third centuries C.E. Are you familiar with the Apocalypse of Peter or the Epistle of Barnabas? Combs claims that hundreds of texts were similar to those found in the New Testament or Old Testament but didn’t cut into the Canon.
Making the Cut
What made some books more popular than others? Combs points to three criteria that early church leaders used. The first is authorship. Whether the text was believed to be written by an apostle or Paul or someone close to them.
Mark was, however, not an apostle but an interpreter for Peter. Antiquity was the second criterion. Older texts have priority over newer ones. The third criterion was orthodoxy. This is the degree to which the text conforms with current Christian teachings.
Combs says that the last reason is interesting because current Christian teaching has changed over hundreds and years.
Although it is not true that every church council decided which books should be included in the Canon, it is fair to say that the winners of theological debates over the first few centuries had the final say on which books were to remain and which would go.
It is important to note that not all Christian denominations regard the same books as Canon. The majority of Protestant Bibles contain 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.
The Roman Catholic Bible contains 73 books, including seven known as Apocrypha. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has 81 books total in its Bible. This includes pseudepigrapha such as 1 Enoch or Jubilees.
What Are The Apocrypha And Pseudepigrapha?
The Greek word for hidden or secret is Apocrypha. It cannot be very clear because Apocrypha can be used in several different ways to refer to books other than the biblical Canon.
The first is the New Testament Apocrypha, which contains many non-canonical texts, most of them written in the Second Century C.E. These texts also include Jesus and his apostles. Combs states that there are hundreds of such texts and that we don’t have enough written examples to cover them all.
There is also a subset that includes Old Testament books in the Roman Catholic Bible. These seven books include Tobit, Judith, and 1 & 2 Maccabees. They are published in between the Old Testament and New Testaments of the Catholic Bible. Called the Apocrypha (or sometimes the Deuterocanon, which is the second canon.
The third category is called pseudepigrapha, which comes from the Greek word for false writer. This list contains more than 50 texts written between 200 B.C.E. and 200 C.E. Both Christian and Jewish writers expanded on stories and characters of the Old Testament. Some notable Old Testament pseudepigrapha is 1 Enoch and Jubilees, as well as the Treatise of Shem.
Stories You Didn’t Learn In Sunday School
Many of the New Testament texts we know today were used authoritatively in the second Century. However, different congregations preferred certain texts and included texts that aren’t found in the New Testament. Here are some:
The Gospel of Peter: A fragment of this text was found in Egypt in 1886. However, it contains the only narrative account of Jesus’ exit from his tomb. Peter claims that two giant angels descended on the tomb to escort the resurrected Jesus out. They were also suddenly enormous. The most bizarre thing about this story is that the three figures were accompanied by a floating cross, which could speak.
And they heard a voice in the heavens saying, “Thou hast preached unto them that sleep.” “And they heard a voice from the heavens, saying, ‘Thou hast preached to them that sleep.'”
The Gospel of Mary: Combs claims that some Apocryphal texts reflect theological and doctrinal discussions in the early church. The Gospel of Mary, which was discovered in the late 19th Century, refers to Mary Magdalene as one of Jesus’s followers and his favorite disciple.
After Jesus’s resurrection, he gives esoteric teachings and then shares them with Mary. Mary then tells his other disciples. Peter questions why they should listen. Levi [Matthew] replies:
“If she was worthy of the Savior, then who would you be to make her go? The Savior surely knows her well. He loves her more than we do.”
1 Enoch: This text is believed to have been written by Enoch, an ancient prophet who lived before Noah’s time. Early Christians such as Tertullian (third-century theologian) were known by early Christians and cited as authoritative. This text is well known for its description of the Watchers, fallen angels briefly mentioned in the Old Testament book, Genesis.
These angels loved human women and came to Earth to have giant offspring. These angels bring evil to the world through weapons, magic, and sexy makeup, according to 1 Enoch.
How Were The Books Of The Bible Chosen?
The Bible of Judaism includes the 39 books of the Old Testament, while the Christian Bible contains the 27 books from the New Testament. The Bible’s Canon is the list of books that are included in it.
The Canon is a list of books that God is believed to be inspired by God and therefore authoritative for faith or life. Any church did not create the Canon, but churches and councils slowly accepted the list of books that believers worldwide considered to be inspired.
The complete list of the 66 books that make up the Canon was first published by Athanasius, the church father, in 367 AD.
He distinguished them from other widely circulated books and noted that the 66 books were the only ones universally accepted.
It is important to remember that the creation of the Canon did not happen overnight. Instead, it was the result of years of reflection.
Let’s start with the Old Testament. The first five books, sometimes called the Torah or Pentateuch, were accepted as canonical. It is unknown when, but we believe it occurred in the Fifth Century before Christ’s birth.
Although the Hebrews were aware of the Law for centuries, they didn’t pay much attention. It was likely that the prophets Ezra & Nehemiah restored it to common use and made it authoritative once and for all.
What about the Old Testament’s rest? The writings of the prophets were not compiled in one form until around 200 BC. Even later, the remaining Old Testament books were made canonical. Likely, the Old Testament list wasn’t finalized before Christ’s birth.
Because the Jewish people were scattered at this time, they needed to identify which books were the Word of God. There were so many writings that claimed divine authority. They became one people through the fixation of the Canon, which kept them all together.
There is no single date at which the New Testament canon was established. Many epistles and writings circulated among Christians in the first and second centuries following Christ’s death.
Some churches used books and letters to hold their services, which was fraudulent. Gradually, it became obvious that there was a need for a definitive list of inspired Scriptures. There were many heretical movements, each choosing its Scriptures.
Gradually, it became apparent which works were genuine and which ones mixed truth with fantasy. The Canon was settled and accepted by the end of the fourth century. This was when Christians began to recognize God’s providence in giving us his written revelation about himself and his purpose for the universe.
There are still questions about the Canon. Many wonders why only these 66 booklets were selected. Why 65 and 67, not 65? Why was Jude’s sometimes puzzling booklet included, even though it is not a part of the other informative scriptures, being excluded?
These questions are answered by us saying that these books are those that God has chosen to keep for us. He hasn’t explained why.
They are an incomparable treasure and God’s unmatched gift to his people. We are moved to trust in God’s providence as he guided his people through the years, giving us the most revered and powerful, and comforting book in human history, the Bible.
He has also provided this treasure through his providence. Follow his old commands and words, and you will find peace. Your heart will find peace when you immerse yourself in these pages.
FAQs About Bible
When was the Bible compiled?
The first collection of canonical passages similar to the New Testament is the Muratorian Canon, which was thought to have been created about 200 A.D. All of the various Christian churches did not come to a fundamental understanding of the canon of Scripture until the fifth century.
What council canonized the Bible?
The Council of Rome
The Council of Rome established the Catholic Canon (382). That same Council also commissioned Jerome with compiling and translating those canonical texts into Latin Vulgate Bible.
Who decided to remove books from the Bible?
Soon after Christianity was declared the sole religion of the Roman Empire in the Fourth Century, the Romans cut out all books the Sanhedrin had removed and moved some to the Apocrypha.
Who compiled all the books of the Bible?
St. Jerome certainly assembled the first widely distributed edition of the Bible around A.D.400. The manuscript contained all 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament. It was written in Latin.
Why the Book of Enoch is not in the Bible?
I Enoch was initially accepted by the Christian Church but later removed from the biblical Canon. Its survival is due to the fascination of marginal and fringe Christian groups such as the Manichaeans with its syncretic blending of Iranian, Greek, and Chaldean elements.
What are the two main divisions in the Bible?
The Christian Bible can be divided into two parts: the Old Testament and New Testament.