Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


WHAT BOOKS BELONG IN BIBLE?
 
The Bible is a book written by men but the Church holds that it is necessary to believe that it was written somehow by God as well so that it is the word of God to be a Christian.  Though equally by man and God, it is the God side that counts.  What matters is not that a man writes a gospel but that God is involved.
 
Books belong in the Bible if they are true to their original versions and if they contain the marks of divine inspiration. For all we know the writers of Bible books could have been altering their scriptures themselves after they wrote them to corrupt the word of God. They could have received a revelation and then written it down to suit their own thinking. We have loads of evidence that the Bible is not divinely inspired which means that Bibles are just tricks by men to get censoring the word of God and to keep him quiet if he does want to speak. Men put together Bibles and these men were all into power and followed a dishonest faith.
 
THE CANON OF SCRIPTURE
 
The word canon means rule or yardstick. The canon of scripture means the writings which have divine authority and which all claims must be measured against.

Judaism and Christianity both were not afraid to add books to the canon which contained books that said that they must not be added to.

Scripture by definition means writings from God which supersede any other books in value and importance.  Jesus himself canonised the Torah, the law of Moses, as infallible scripture and more emphatically than he canonised anything else. He did not canonise himself as explicitly!

God said in the Law that nobody was to add to or to subtract from his Law, the first five books of the Bible. It is significant that this gets more emphasis on the last book of the Law, Deuteronomy (4:2 and 12:32 for instance). That should silence anybody who says that later attempts to add to the Law in the Bible agree with the Law for they are exceptions and exceptions prove the rule. Furthermore, how can they be exceptions when they largely contain material that is less important than the Law? All books from Joshua on are additions to the Law and so are heretical. The Sadducees of Jesus’ time believed that only the Law was inspired scripture.

Isaiah 8:20 said that no trust should be placed in anybody who taught anything that was not in the Law and the Prophets. Yet the Christians came along adding new scriptures to the Law and the Prophets namely the New Testament. Books written after Isaiah were added to the canon by the Jews. We have to take Isaiah literally for anybody with a bit of effort could have added new books to the Bible and founded a sect so Isaiah would certainly not have recognised the New Testament as the word of God for though it said it supported the Law and the Prophets it lied.
 
The popular consensus that the Sadducees recognised the five books of the Law as inspired by God is said to be unwarranted (page 40, The Canon of Scripture). Josephus was allegedly misunderstood when he said that they only listened to the written laws but that could mean all the laws in the Old Testament and ignored the oral laws which were merely tradition. No doubt they would have disparaged and rejected books that contradicted their theology like Daniel which prophesies a resurrection. Sadducees scoffed at the concept of an afterlife and of angels so they probably did stick only by the Law. Most of them would have. The Prophets looked back on the Law so much that it was really the only scripture that was needed and it itself said it could not be added to. Somebody had to pay attention to this teaching.

The first canon of the Christian Church was worked out by a man who butchered what may have been Luke or similar to it and many of the epistles of Paul to create a heretical canon that was anti-Jewish and anti-flesh. This man was called Marcion and this happened in 140AD. He gave the Church the idea of gathering together a New Testament canon.

All the orthodox canons recognised the four gospels and Acts and all the letters attributed to Paul. Irenaeus in 170 AD said that the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were so stable that that even the heretical Gnostics accepted them and twisted them to back up their peculiar doctrines (page 49, Why Does God?). Irenaeus was exaggerating here for it is known that the Gnostics used any holy book that was going to get converts among those who presupposed the gospels were inspired and they interpreted it in a mystical spiritual or symbolical sense to get hidden meanings from it and they wrote scores of gospels of their own. Besides, it was only a few Gnostic sects, notably the Valentinians, who accepted the same scriptures as the Orthodox Christians. What was unique about Irenaeus was that he was the first to realise that reasons had to be given for why this book and not that was canonical (page 81, The Early Church). The reasons were that the apostles sanctioned the writings and above all that the writings conformed to the doctrine of the Church not to mention that there had to be four gospels for there were four winds! None of the reasons bears plausibility because he was writing too late and there is evidence that the Church was already well into apostasy by then. Altered gospels, for example, Tatian’s Diatessaron were officially accepted in many important regions of the Church before then.

Christian teaching is that it is the original scripts strictly speaking that are infallible and divinely inspired.  Transcriptions or translations are not covered with the same protection.  They are only God's truth in so far as they faithfully give what the original author meant and wrote. 

If Matthew’s gospel was originally written in Hebrew why do we only have a Greek translation now?  It follows that the Church invalidly made Matthew part of the Bible because divine inspiration refers to Matthew’s finished product not a translation.  Matthew is uncanonical.

The Muratorian Canon used at Rome about 200 AD had no Third Letter of John, no Hebrews and added the Wisdom of Solomon and the Revelation of Peter to the New Testament canon. These are its differences from the current canon. By fifty years later, Origen following the Church dropped James and Jude and the Wisdom and the Revelation of Peter and the last two letters of John. There was a dispute at the time about whether the Didache and the Letter of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas and the Gospel of the Hebrews and the New Testament books which were left out should be canonised.

Perhaps the Muratorian Canon has the most authority for it was the oldest and therefore the most traditional? But we are told that it never claimed to be final or closed. It was a canon but not a closed canon for there were books whose status had to be defined. This is hard to believe for the word canon means rule. Why didn’t they just refer to a list? Why didn’t they say all the books in the list are okay but it will take time to decide if they should be canonised? Why did they leave out the harmless books that others adopted? It was a canon full stop. A canon isn’t very much good if it is an open list. The canon had to have been a closed one and we should assume that.

Christians say, “The books that were disputed were not of great doctrinal importance so their taking time to be accepted does not prove that the Christian Church is false and that it can’t be under the direction of God. The books that were held by many parts of the Church to be scripture and by much of the others as possibly scripture which were later rejected were not important either. The canon of scripture is not made by the Church but only discovered by the Church after much diligent research and only books which were authorised by the apostles and fit the doctrine of the apostles and claim to be the word of God were accepted. The objection of many that the Church arbitrarily chose the books it wanted is unjust.”

In fact, it was arbitrary for the Church could not prove at the time it was making the canon who really wrote the books or even if the books were complete for whole paragraphs could have been dropped out of the books as originally written. And if the disputed New Testament books were not important then it was arbitrary for they could have been done without.
 
And the Church had other books burned so that there would not be too many serious disagreements. And the Church incinerated them without giving any evidence that it knew what it was doing. And it would have been branches of the Church that were responsible which makes it less likely that they had considered things carefully.
 
What happened to the books that the Gospel of Luke said existed? The Church soon ended up with few books to make a New Testament canon of. And the epistles of Ignatius though considered to have apostolic teaching and to be correct were not even considered for the canon. Another indication of arbitrariness is that we have no evidence that the Church could prove that the books had an apostolic origin. They even canonised books that had not claimed to be the word of God. Claiming to be the word would come first and being apostolic would come second for even the apostles could not be infallible unless they intended to write what God wanted them to write. This point is conveniently ignored by Christian apologists.

What business has the Church claiming to be the follower of the apostles when by right the apostles should have each put their signature and decree of approval on every book that is in the New Testament? It is reasonable for this to be have been done when they were the heads. If they expressed the word of God and God comes first then they would have had to put their seal on every book and prove that they approved of it. But this proof does not exist so why should we listen to the New Testament?

When the Bible has the spiritually useless book of Ruth and endless repetitive stories and genealogies how can one believe that it is the word of God and that the canon is reliable?

The present canon was made in 367 AD by the Eastern Church when it finally got all the disputes about what books belonged in the New Testament solved and St Athanasius wrote a letter to tell inform the world (page 106, The History of Christianity).  This solution was not given by a decree that claimed to be infallible but was based on scholarly research.  The Council of Hippo in 393 and Carthage 397 did not meet to impose a list of New Testament books on the Church. They were only synods. They only codified and declared what the Churches had already codified.

A LOT BUT NOT ALL of the Western Church embraced this list at the Council of Hippo and Carthage.

After that then it became official. The infallible Council of Trent of the Roman Church ratified this list and made some changes.