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The Origin of the Western Five
Shlama Akhi Yaaqub,

You wrote: "
Quote:we do have to take into consideration the body and culture that accepts these particular books and those that do not

I don't think God gives us that luxury. The Holy Spirit is the author of all scripture and spiritual matters are spiritually discerned 1 Cor. 2:14. My culture and church does not determine what I believe if I have communion with The Holy Spirit, nor does culture determine any other Spirit born person's faith and scripture.
Quote:"But whenever The Spirit of The Truth comes, he will lead you into the whole truth, for he will not speak of his own will, but he shall speak whatever he shall hear and he shall reveal the future to you."
John 16:13 - My translation

The truth makes us free - free from cultural and religious bonds, as well as all other bonds that oppose it.

We need guts to believe and follow the truth. We need Him.

Burkta w'Shlama
Shlama Dave,

I realize this very much and thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. I was speaking purely on the method employed by various "councils" as to how they determine what is and what is not to be included in Canon.

Your Canon, Dave, of which I respect, is entirely different from some of the canononical lists developed out of Africa or from the version of the Peshitta Tanakh in which I referenced. No doubt they too believed they were being lead by Rukha d'Kudsha in their selection of texts for a "canon". I'm not going to sit here and judge them. They made the choice to include what their tradition and what they probably believed Holy Spirit lead them to do.

So, on a spiritual side, I don't believe MarYah Alaha gives us that luxery, as you said, of picking and choosing what we like and we don't - even though we do it all the time. But speaking purely in view of "councils" and their process as well as their long revered traditions, sometimes those traditions can get in the way of hearing what the Spirit is saying, but at other times, is it out of the realm of possibility that some tradition and process is sanctioned by Rukha d'Kudsha?

At the same time, it still boils down to a personal choice - whether that choice is with Alaha or not. You make the choice to believe in the inspiration of the "Western 5" and believe that choice is based on being guided by Holy Spirit. Some other guy could say he made the choice not to choose to believe in the inspiration of the "Western 5" based on his belief in being guided by Holy Spirit. I don't want to turn this into a theological debate as to who's right and who's wrong. I just wanted to clarify what I said above.

But Akhi Dave, the point is that there has never been a single canon of scripture. While your point about the Holy Spirit being the author of all scripture is conceded by all parties, indeed, what makes the 2nd Epistle of Peter inspired but not the Epistle of Clement?

And what makes the CoE viewpoint that neither book is inspired scripture, invalid?

Which is correct....a 22, 27 or 35 book canon, and why?
Shlama Akhay Yaaqub & Paul,

Yaaqub wrote:
Quote:I'm not going to sit here and judge them. They made the choice to include what their tradition and what they probably believed Holy Spirit lead them to do.
Why not?
Quote: He that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged by no man.
1 Cor. 2:15 Surely we can judge whether someone is correct or incorrect in certain matters, or that a certain book was written by God or not, if we have The Spirit of God in us.

Would you not judge a man to be incorrect and seriously misguided who called himself a follower of Yeshua and yet believed only in a few portions of Luke's Gospel & 10 mutilated epistles of Shlikha Paul as scripture and nothing else? Marcion the Gnostic was such a man in the second century.

Judging of the correct canon cannot be subjective, but is a spiritual operation of The Spirit. We are commanded not to believe every spirit and not to be deceived by false writings (1 John 4:1-3; 2 Thess. 2:1-3). If we are to hold to the truth, we must reject the error that opposes it, no matter who or how many
hold to that error. I am not challenging the salvation of those who hold an incorrect canon. I am simply saying that they are misled in holding an incorrect canon. Inasmuch as they hold to a book which is not of God as inspired by Him, they will be deceived to some extant by that belief and by that book. If they deny the divinity of a God written book, they are deceived by that denial and will lack the benefit of belief in, and the Divine wisdom of that God written book.

Such false faith is displeasing to God and detrimental to our spiritual condition and our entire being. We cannot be truly whole without the whole truth. "But whenever The Spirit of The Truth comes, he will lead you into the whole truth, for he will not speak of his own will, but he shall speak whatever he shall hear and he shall reveal the future to you."John 16:13 - My translation

Paul wrote:
Quote: The CoE takes no official position on any of the "western five." They simply never made it into the canon of our scripture.

That means that the COE does not say that those books are not inspired by God, n'est ce pas?
I do not condemn the COE for its position. I am glad they encourage their people to read those books and that sermons are preached from them. I simply believe they should obtain those books in Gwynn's critical edition, study them carefully & prayerfully, and then update and revise the canon, seeing that they are apostolic and Divine. There are no heresies in those books, and the book of Revelation gives a fitting and perfect conclusion to the entire Bible of 66 books. All sin, evil and death, which originated in the beginning as recorded in Genesis, are destroyed and Gods' kingdom shall rule over all forever:
Rev. 21
1.And I saw new Heavens and a new Earth, for the former Heavens and the former Earth had departed, and the Sea was no more.
2.And I saw The Holy City, New Jerusalem, descending from Heaven from beside God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
3.And I heard a great voice from Heaven that said, "Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with the children of men, and he dwells with them and they shall be his people and the same God is with them and shall be their God.
4.And he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and from now on there shall not be death, neither grieving, nor clamor, neither shall there be disease again, for His sake*.
(* Greek has ???for the first things departed.???, instead of ???for his sake.???The last two Aramaic words "el aphyah"-???for His sake??? could be misconstrued as ???its former went???. aphyah ??????before it??? & el ???from elal ??????to enter???,???go about???. It is very poor translation, nevertheless.)

5.And I walked and he who sat on the throne said to me, "Behold, I make all things new." And he said to me, "Write: ???These words are trustworthy and true."
6.And he said to me, "They are done. I am Alap and I am Tau, The Source and The Fulfillment. I shall give to the thirsty one from the fountain of the water of life without charge.???
7.???And he who is victorious shall inherit these things, and I shall be his God and he will be my son.???

And then the great Gospel invitation:
22:16. I, Yeshua, have sent my Angel to testify these things among you before the assemblies. I AM THE LIVING GOD, The Root and The Offspring of David, and his Companion, and The Bright Morning Star.???

(No Greek ms. has ???& his Companion???. This is a totally uncontrived and very poignant description of our Lord???s relationship to David. It speaks for the originality of the reading by its own merits.)

17.???And The Spirit and The Bride are saying, ???Come???, and let him who hears, say, ???Come???, and let him who thirsts* come and take the water of life without charge.???

But there is a word of warning after that:
18.???I testify to everyone who hears the word of the prophecy of this book: Whoever will add to these things, God shall place upon him the plagues that are written in this book.???
19.???And whoever subtracts from the words of the Scripture of this prophecy, God shall subtract his part from The Tree of Life and from The Holy City, those things which are written in this book.???
20.And when he testified these things, he said, ???Yes*, I am coming soon.??? ???Come, LORD JEHOVAH Yeshua.???

We must take this more seriously. God is no respecter of persons, of churches or denominations.
If we keep His commandments in Exodus yet break them in Revelation, we cannot plead : "Well my church did not believe in that book as inspired." How far will that get us?

14."Blessings to those who are doing his Commandments; their authority shall be over The Tree of Life, and they shall enter The City by the gates.???
(-All from my translation of The Crawford ms.)

"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." John 8:32

Amen & Amen

Shlama Akhi Dave,

gbausc Wrote:If they deny the divinity of a God written book, they are deceived by that denial and will lack the benefit of belief in, and the Divine wisdom of that God written book.

Just a question - what spiritual teachings or dogma are contained in 2 Peter, 2 & 3 John, Jude and Revelation that are not contained elsewhere in the OT and NT canon of the CoE ?

In other words, what specifically are we missing spiritually by not considering these works as authentically inspired and written by the Apostles?

If the CoE were to hold another council today and accept these five additional books (forget about the Epistle of Clement as that doesn't seem to be a part of what Protestants or Catholics, from whom Protestants received their NT canon, believe is inspired), what additional spiritual benefit would the CoE obtain that it had been lacking over the last 20 centuries?

Just curious.

It does bring me comfort to know that all 22 books we consider canonical are also accepted by all other branches of "Christendom", now the only question is if we are missing something strategic .... and WHY the canon as it developed in the West is correct as opposed to the canon developed in the East (or South, if you want to count the Ethiopians as Christians.)

It seems to me that you may hold a bias towards the Western Canon because that is your tradition, therefore all others are either lacking something (Eastern Canon) or adding onto (African) God's word.

It seems to be to be a very western-centric, specifically Protestant, viewpoint.

IF all other councils other than the Western, which decided your particular canon, were not led by men directed by the Holy Spirit and qualified to discern what is Apostolic, genuine and canonical, then there's no need to discuss this any further.

Please keep in mind, no such council has ever been held by the CoE. So I'm not saying that these books aren't authentic or inspired, but this is just a theoretical question.
Shlama Akhi Paul,

Generally, 2 Peter,2&3 John, Jude and Revelation address the last times and the problem of evil. They also give an overall positive picture and hope of
victory over all evil and the curse brought upon the world by sin. The judgment and Day of the LORD are to be embraced and prayed for, in which our Lord is revealed to all nations and all is set right in righteousness. Revelation alone gives a universal consummation and resolution to sin, death, Satan and Sheol. The curse of death is annihilated and Life reigns supreme eternally. Those books give closure and completion to God's story by prophecy and warning, hope and anticipation to God's people for ultimate glory & perfection, not simply for themselves (where is there such a description of Heaven?) but for all creation, which is to be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty herein described, for which we who love Him, pray.

Revelation in particular records the fulfillment of all our prayer: "Tethey malkuthak, nehwey sevyanak, aykanna d'vashmaya, ap b'ara."
Nymle Mlel Klmaw hxysmdw Nhlad amled htwklm twh
The kingdom of the world hath become the kingdom of our God and of his Messiah; and he will reign for ever and ever.

2 Peter Jude and Revelation present The Day of The LORD as a time of joy & victory for us, instead of terror and dread. Hallelujah! is heard four times in Heaven in Revelation- nowhere else in the NT. The Amen! is heard 10 times in Heaven and once The Christ is named "The Amen". The victory of The Messiah and of His people over the world and Satan is celebrated, as nowhere else in scripture.
I believe this vision and hope of the victory of God and the church over the world, death and Hell is absolutely vital to our spirit and faith. We need it desperately in this world of darkness, despair, sin and confusion.

The 7 churches in revelation also get a personal spiritual diagnosis and prognosis from The Chief Physician- Yeshua. This gives an unprecedented pattern to look to in evaluating ourselves, as they seem to represent all major spiritual types found in the world throughout the ages.

Shlama w'Burkta,

Akhi Dave,

The unprecedented fourfold Hallelujahs in Revelation aside, I find nothing in the book that is new. The same end-of-times, Kingdom of Heaven themes exist in the prophetic books and even the Gospels. Meshikha spoke of these very things in the Gospels.

Self-examination didn't exist before the personal messages to the 7 churches in Revelation? We never knew before Revelation that death would die and Christ would reign eternal?

It's a neat book, I'll grant you that. 666 we learn of for the first time....but are we missing anything essential by not knowing that some mark may be required of people by the "beast?" Perhaps, but again I find nothing substantially missing in my faith if I had never read these 5 books....all the major themes are already there in previous books.
Shlama Paul,

What prophetic books? Revelation is the only one of its kind in The NT.

Revelation is the antithesis and answer to the curse of sin and death in Genesis. Genesis is first things and the beginning; Revelation is last things and the end. Genesis is about creation; Revelation is about the New Creation.Genesis is about the fall of man and the Promise of redemption;Revelation is about the resurrection of Man and the fulfillment of redemption.

There simply is no other book like it, though other books may have elements in common with it. The Bible has no other proper ending without it.

But to make unique doctrine the essential ingredient for inclusion in the canon is a dual edged sword. Some may object that new doctrine is exactly why a book should not be included with the rest.

Does Mark contain doctrine that the other Gospels do not? I don't think so. But validation can be a good thing.

I don't think there is one objective criterion which can qualify a book as canonical. It is a matter of spiritual discernment. We need to quiet our minds, get into our inner spirit man and hear the still small voice of The Spirit of God: "
Quote:He who has a ear, let him hear what The Spirit is saying to the churches
." These words occur 7 times in Revelation. Hearing is an art at which which we in the West are not very adept. I expect more from an Eastern Christian.

No prophetic book in the NT, but the OT. The book of Daniel, for example.

"He who has an ear, let him hear" was first spoken by Meshikha in the Gospels, not in Revelation.

I don't share your belief that the NT is incomplete without the dramatic ending aspect.

Nor am I saying that originality is a criteria for inspiration. The Synoptics are a good case of "By the mouth of two or three witnesses."

What I am asking, and what you haven't answered yet, is what is lacking from the faith without the book of, say Jude?

You said:

Quote:(those who don't believe in a book)......will lack the benefit of belief in, and the Divine wisdom of that God written book.

What's the benefit of Divine wisdom we are lacking from Jude or 2 Peter, or Revelation for that matter?

Revelation is a fascinating book that I love, BTW, but the major elements of eschatology contained within it are largely found in both the Prophets (Daniel, etc.) and the Gospels.

So I don't see anything "lacking" or feel any "Divine wisdom" being held back. It's stuff already known before these books.
Shlama Akhi Paul,

You and I accept Philemon as inspired. What divine wisdom would we lack if that book were missing from the canon?

Hey Akhi,

Nothing. I've never believed there's anything magical or critical to our faith contained within the ink of a written word. That Christ dwells within me, is enough. I don't need to read on a piece of paper, "Thou shall not kill". I feel that law in my heart already.

Again, it's you that said:

Quote:....will lack the benefit of belief in, and the Divine wisdom of that God written book.

Our experience with the faith is different from other religions that are dependent on a written book for their every the extent that they direct their prayer in a certain direction, and he who strays is smitten in the neck.

The funny thing is that Muslims always called us "The people of the Book", which couldn't be further from the truth. We aren't the people of any book, or books....we are people of the Holy Spirit.

Yes, having a written record is important in some ways. If I didn't feel that way, this website wouldn't exist. However, during the early centuries of the faith, when most people didn't even have the Gospels and struggled to define what is and what isn't scripture, disagreeing even among themselves, they were just as saved as you and I are.

Faith and Salvation are gifts from God, not the result of reading a book.

Certainly, the robber on the cross saw paradise that very day without the need of the Epistle to Philemon....or Revelation.
Paul Younan Wrote:Faith and Salvation are gifts from God, not the result of reading a book.

Certainly, the robber on the cross saw paradise that very day without the need of the Epistle to Philemon....or Revelation.

Yes, Paul, we agree on the point of salvation being based on our knowledge of Yeshua personally by The Holy Spirit. I never said otherwise.

You must also believe that "All scripture that was written by the Spirit, is profitable for instruction, and for confutation, and for correction, and for erudition in righteousness; Murdock -2 Timothy 3:16
atwnakbd atwdrmlw aurwtlw anwwklw anplwyl wh anrtwm btkta axwrbd btk lk 16 (Peshitta)

We would know nothing about salvation or The Holy Spirit without the Scriptures. We are saved by believing the Gospel message as written in the New Testament. We would know nothing about Yeshua without the scriptures.

Surely you do not believe any book of The Spirit is worthless, if you believe 2 Timothy 3:16.


Well, couple of things Akhi Dave.

Firstly, I would appreciate if you do not simplify my arguments or put words in my mouth. I never said any scripture is "worthless", this is the first time I'm hearing that phrase in this or any other thread. I would certainly never say anything remotely like that. In fact, I said the opposite - I said having a written record is important in some ways, otherwise if I didn't feel that way this website wouldn't exist. Those were my words verbatim.

Secondly, my response was to your words, verbatim, that we "lack the benefit of belief in, and the Divine wisdom of that God written book." My question was, and still is, what benefit or Divine wisdom are we lacking by not holding to the canonicity of Jude or Revelation?

Your response seems to be a quote from the Epistle of Paul to Timothy.

I'm sure you are aware that this epistle to Timothy was written before the book of Revelation was penned. Certainly, the Apostle wasn't thinking about Jude or Revelation at a time when these books were not yet penned. More likely than not, Paul was referring to the Old Testament.

Nevertheless, the Apostle is correct: All scripture is profitable for a variety of reasons. That's why I said that having a record is important in some ways....those ways.

What I said, and what I still hold to, is that there's nothing outside of the 22-book Eastern Canon that is missing from within those 22 books, and within the OT. These truths are contained within the OT, Gospels and the (universally agreed upon) epistles.

Once again, before Revelation was penned, we already knew about the end of the world, the final battle, the Kingdom of Heaven, even the Antichrist. We didn't get those ideas from Revelation - they were already there.

So let me ask, once again: In your words, we are somehow missing some divine wisdom and the benefits thereof. How so?
gbausc Wrote:We would know nothing about salvation or The Holy Spirit without the Scriptures. We are saved by believing the Gospel message as written in the New Testament. We would know nothing about Yeshua without the scriptures.

Akhi Dave, none of the above is all. None of it.

It's not like Keepa showed up one day in Babylon with 22 scrolls in his hands...saying "Hi! Here are your scriptures!". The Apostles founded the churches first, by their oral preaching. Keepa wrote his epistle from there (5:13), while ministering to an already existing Christian he called them the "chosen church." How could they have been missing any "Divine Wisdom" from his epistle before he wrote it from there?

Are you saying we knew nothing about Christ before the Gospels reached us in written form? Even the pagan Magi knew about him.

Again, this begs the question of which came first, the chicken or the egg?

The Churches existed a long time before anything written was in their hands, and even longer before any sort of unified canon took form as we know it today.

This line of thinking is clearly reversed from the historic reality that the CHURCH, not the SCRIPTURES, came first. It is the CHURCH that decided upon the scriptures.

They knew **all about** salvation, the Holy Spirit, Yeshua and the Gospel message long before any NT scripture was delivered to them.

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