Which Came First: The Church or the New Testament?by Fr. James Bernstein

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posted on Apr, 10 2005 @ 07:46 AM
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QUOTE//As a Jewish convert to Christ via evangelical Protestantism, I naturally wanted to know God better through the reading of the Scriptures.

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).

That's the good news!

The bad news is that often I would decide for myself what the Scriptures meant.
For example, I became so enthusiastic about knowing Jesus as my close and personal friend that I thought my own awareness of Him was all I needed.
So I would mark verses about Jesus with my yellow highlighter, but pass over passages concerning God the Father, or the Church, or baptism.
I saw the Bible as a heavenly instruction manual.
I didn't think I needed the Church, except as a good place to make friends or to leans more about the Bible so I could be a better do-it-yourself Christian.///continued////

A STRUGGLE FOR UNDERSTANDING
It was not long after my conversion to Christianity that I found myself getting swept up in the tide of religious sectarianism, in which Christians would part ways over one issue after another.
It seemed, for instance, that there were as many opinions on the Second Coming as there were people in the discussion.
So we'd all appeal to the Scriptures. "I believe in the Bible. If it's not in the Bible I don't believe it," became my war cry. What I did not realize was that everyone else was saying the same thing!

My spiritual life wasn't working. Clearly, my privately held beliefs in the Bible and what it taught were leading me away from love and community with my fellow Christians, and therefore away from Christ.
As Saint John the Evangelist wrote, "He who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?" (1 John 4:20).
This division and hostility were not what had drawn me to Christ. And I knew the answer was not to deny the Faith or reject the Scriptures. Something had to change. Maybe it was me.
I turned to a study of the history of the Church and the New Testament, hoping to shed some light on what my attitude toward the Church and the Bible should be.
The results were not at all what I expected. ///continued///

THE BIBLE OF THE APOSTLES
My initial attitude was that whatever was good enough for the Apostles would be good enough for me.
This is where I got my first surprise. As I mentioned previously, I knew that the Apostle Paul regarded Scripture as being inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16). But I had always assumed that the "Scripture" spoken of in this passage was the whole Bible-both the Old and New Testaments.
In reality, there was no "New Testament" when this statement was made. Even the Old Testament was still in the process of formulation, for the Jews did not decide upon a definitive list or canon of Old Testament books until after the rise of Christianity.///continued////

This is one man's discovery to the One Holy Catholic(universal) Apostolic Church.....
more from this web site....
www.orthodoxinfo.com...




posted on Apr, 10 2005 @ 09:39 AM
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Originally posted by helen670
THE BIBLE OF THE APOSTLES
My initial attitude was that whatever was good enough for the Apostles would be good enough for me.

This is where I got my first surprise. As I mentioned previously, I knew that the Apostle Paul regarded Scripture as being inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16). But I had always assumed that the "Scripture" spoken of in this passage was the whole Bible-both the Old and New Testaments.

In reality, there was no "New Testament" when this statement was made. Even the Old Testament was still in the process of formulation, for the Jews did not decide upon a definitive list or canon of Old Testament books until after the rise of Christianity.



Could even be a Conspiracy!!!

www.orthodoxinfo.com...



posted on Apr, 10 2005 @ 11:29 AM
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As the Gospels were written by written by the disciples, after the death of Christ, and as with all the books, they were led by the Holy Spirit in the endeavor, where's the confusion?



posted on Apr, 10 2005 @ 12:06 PM
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If the Old and New Testament have been written under the guidance of
"The Holy Spirit",than he has given proof of total ignorance about facts;
if not,why has everything been re-written for centuries and stll nowadays?
All fairy tales that are "stolen" from other,much older religions and there
is enough proof available on that;just take the necessary time to clear up
your minds.
Flanders



posted on Apr, 10 2005 @ 12:27 PM
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Speaking of ignorance, take the time and clear up that post. Through your poor langauge skills, you've managed to make your position as clear as mud.



posted on Apr, 10 2005 @ 12:52 PM
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As the Gospels were written by written by the disciples, after the death of Christ, and as with all the books, they were led by the Holy Spirit in the endeavor, where's the confusion?


Exactly there. They were written decades AFTER the death of Jesus and those who wrote it, say they have been led by Holy Spirit. Were they really?

One more important thing: who decides which Gospel writers were led by Holy Spirit? Until around 300AD there were a lot of official gospels of the Bible, and all were, acording to those who followed them, of divine inspiration, the writers of those Gospels were led by Holy Spirit.

How do we know which ones, if any, really have the divine spark?
They can't all be, because they contradict eachother.
So, we just follow what some 3rd century people decided to be "true" Gospels? How do we know they picked the right ones?

As said in the first post, the Scripture then and the Scripture now are two different things...



posted on Apr, 10 2005 @ 01:16 PM
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16All Scripture is Godbreathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,


It was God's purpose thus to perpetuate his revealed will. From time to time he raised up men to commit to writing in an infallible record the revelation he gave. The "Scripture," or collection of sacred writings, was thus enlarged from time to time as God saw necessary. We have now a completed "Scripture," consisting of the Old and New. There is no "scripture then" and 'scripture now" unless you are lookign at a purely historical perspective and not as a matter of Christian Scripture. The word "Scripture" covers ANYTHING that a religion holds as divinly inspired, or holy. For Cathlics it is a lot more then justthe bible. For Lutherans it is just the bible and the Luthers small and large Catechism (tho they do not hold the Catechism to the same level as the bible) for Jews it is just the Old testement, and only if it is in Hebrew

It jsut amazes me how the author uses scripture, limits it to a mortals veiwpoint to disproves both the scripture of the New testement, and what he uses as evidance as not Godbreathed or divinly inspired

If 2 Tim 3:16 was truly Godbreathed then it would apply to itself, and anything that is later Godbreathed. Paul did not say "All scriptures that we know at this time"

[edit on 4/10/2005 by Jehosephat]



posted on Apr, 10 2005 @ 11:52 PM
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No, sorry Paperclip, they weren't written DECADES after the death of Christ.

As far as your next question, I really don't remember the answer.Blame it on the numerous head injuries, if you'd like. I think that is a very good question, too.

BTW, I really like your nic. I wish I'd thought of it!



posted on Apr, 11 2005 @ 01:20 AM
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The New Testament, or New Covenent, is also a matter of God giving the ultimate sacrifice that cleanses sin away, rather than we humans sacrificing animals whose blood merely covered the sin until THE sacrifice was given.

No conspiracy here, just more theology in the wrong forum.



posted on Apr, 11 2005 @ 01:35 AM
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Originally posted by Thomas Crowne
No, sorry Paperclip, they weren't written DECADES after the death of Christ.


hmmm I thought they were written around 70-80AD...

Anyways, the actual date when they were written is relevant when we look at the historical perspective, or in this case, when we try to determine what scriptures existed at the time when Scriptures were said to be inspired by God/Holy Spirit.
If you are a believer then it is irelevant, God could inspire people to write something centuries after the death of Jesus, divine inspiration is divine inspiration, it has no time limit.

Jehosephat, you say that all scripture is divinely inspired. My question is, as I asked in the previous post, who decided and why to take out parts of the scripture and regard them as "not divinely inspired"? I am talking about Gospels that didn't make the selection into the Bible we have today.


BTW, I really like your nic. I wish I'd thought of it!


Hehehe, yeah, I rock!!!



posted on Apr, 11 2005 @ 03:52 AM
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As the Gospels were written by written by the disciples, after the death of Christ, and as with all the books, they were led by the Holy Spirit in the endeavor, where's the confusion?


First there is no evidence that they were written by disciples The authorship
of most of the NT is questionable.

Second unless you are purporting that Jesus was alive and well as late as
120 CE. they were written decades after his life. The first was written as i recall between 45 and 65 CE. and It was NOT one of the 4"Gospels". It was one of Pauls writings. He did not comealong until after the alleged crucifiction. The 4 gospels were written between 80 and 120 CE.

The Pauline church was in place long before these writings.


Fear prophets and those prepared to die for the truth, for as a rule they make many others die with them, often before them, at times instead of them.
Author: Umberto Eco

"It has served us well, this myth of Christ Pope Leo X


Science tells Me God must exist,
My mind tells meI will never understand God,
And My heart tells Me I am not meant to.
Vittoria Vetra Angles and Demons

The Bible did not arrive by fax from heaven.
It was written by men for men.

The Law is the Living Word of the Living God. God did not write the Law in Books but in your HEART".
- Gospel of the Essenes
- Attributed to Jesus Christ


[edit on 11-4-2005 by stalkingwolf]

[edit on 11-4-2005 by stalkingwolf]



posted on Apr, 11 2005 @ 04:53 AM
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Yo! Folks! Ahem... hey....anybody....sigh....no one pays any attention to pack animals anymore.....

Well, the Lady’s question is,

Which Came First: The Church or the New Testament?

Lets see, hmmmm...the Apostles are walking all over the world, raising the dead, curing the blind and such, preachin' the Word of God, without a Bible, cause there wern't no Bible for many a year. They is a praying, a baptizing, a laying on of hands, and making Bishops, and Priests, and Deacons, and all sorts of Church like things, but they do not have a Bible.

So seems to me that the answer is: Church came first, just a guess.

Wolf,

Could you back up some of the things you say, cause if you think I’m going just stop going to Church because you “say” the Bible ain’t real, you must be out of your cotton pickin’ mind. That is a big claim, you got any back up on that? It had better be good too, I mean real good.



posted on Apr, 11 2005 @ 06:06 AM
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Originally posted by Balaams donkey
Yo! Folks! Ahem... hey....anybody....sigh....no one pays any attention to pack animals anymore.....

Well, the Lady’s question is,

Which Came First: The Church or the New Testament?

Lets see, hmmmm...the Apostles are walking all over the world, raising the dead, curing the blind and such, preachin' the Word of God, without a Bible, cause there wern't no Bible for many a year. They is a praying, a baptizing, a laying on of hands, and making Bishops, and Priests, and Deacons, and all sorts of Church like things, but they do not have a Bible.

So seems to me that the answer is: Church came first, just a guess.

Wolf,

Could you back up some of the things you say, cause if you think I’m going just stop going to Church because you “say” the Bible ain’t real, you must be out of your cotton pickin’ mind. That is a big claim, you got any back up on that? It had better be good too, I mean real good.

Yo....lol
Hey!
That was pretty cool Ballam........Have some carrots!
The Church being Ekklisia (the people) has to come first.
Without the people there is no Testimony to the truth of What Jesus Christ taught the Apostels.......The Church is the .....
Pillar and Ground of Truth(1Tim.3,15)
Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone(Eph.2,20)
St Paul says:Christ is the head of the Church:and He is the Saviour of the body.>(Eph.5,23)
St Paul''Brethren,ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular''(1Corin.12,27)
''we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another''(Rom.12,5)



posted on Apr, 11 2005 @ 12:01 PM
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Could you back up some of the things you say


what in particular? Also I am not interested in changing your beliefs.
what I do take issue with is people trying to pawn off there beliefs as
fact and "the only true way and/or religion."



posted on Apr, 11 2005 @ 12:10 PM
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Yes, the church came before the new testament, actually the bible as we know it today was compiled many years after the death of the Christ.

The old testament came from manuscripts by the Jews historical accounts of their origins.

Is a fact so not bashing required.

Excellent topic.



posted on Apr, 11 2005 @ 04:54 PM
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Wolf


First there is no evidence that they were written by disciples The authorship of most of the NT is questionable.


We have a historical account the Church saying that the Gospels are true, to say they are not true, meaning written by the disciples, say St. John. It's like saying George Washington was never the first President of the U.S., the founding fathers made it all up, just to control the people.
So how in the heck can you say St. John did not write the Gospel of John? You must know something a whole lot of other folks do not, cause if what your saying is true, it is a real big deal



Also I am not interested in changing your beliefs.
what I do take issue with is people trying to pawn off there beliefs as
fact and "the only true way and/or religion."

Tellin' folk the Bible ain't true, is sure going to change some beliefs, do you think? Then you say, you take issue, with folks trying to pawn of thier belief as fact, while you are saying the Bible ain't true, now seems to me that is you pawning your belief, right?
So, if you expect me to belive you. You had better belly up the bar, and throw down so mighty big facts. 'Cause if you ain't got'em, you are buyin' beers for everybody here, see? I feel a mighty thristy.



posted on Apr, 12 2005 @ 02:17 AM
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Scholars using the Historical-Critical approach have known for over a century that the Gospels are a blend of historical remembrence and christian interpretation. Which means that not every word and deed attributed to Jesus in the gospels can actually be traced to him,

RW Funk The Jesus Seminar

"historical church account" is an even bigger oxymoron than military inteligence,
or honest politician.



posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 04:08 AM
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Wolf,

That is a good start, but how do I know, that just because Mr. Funk said it, that it is true? Someone could quote The Vatican, sayin' every thing in the Bible is True, does that make it so? I don't think you'd be so inclined to think so. Kind of like two ranchers, stand'n out in a field say'n "my bull, is bigger than your bull." Your quote of some fella, don't make it so. Just like if you found some lunatick, who would write a book saying Geroge Washington did not exist.

Your quote does not say, why them collage boys think it is all made up. Now does it? Were, just suppose to take their word for it? That ain't proof nor reason.





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