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View Full Version : History Channels story on how the Bible came to be. Your thoughts.



mntbikedude
12-02-2006, 11:03 AM
I recently watched a documentary on the history channel regarding how the bible came to be. I am repeating this from memory so exact dates and so forth aren't exact but this was the basics of if.

Apparently for the first couple of hundred years after Christ there was no Bible. You had the Jewish or old testiment. But the new testiment did not exist. What did exist was a series of books and letters that were circulating around and some were more popular than others.

At the time of Constantine, he decides that to unify his people that he would convert and about the same time decides they need their own Bible. First they have a council of all the Bishops and they come to a desision of what basic beliefs are going to be. Then he assigns a Priest or Bishop to decide which books they will include.

Bottom line is this. It seems that many Christians believe in the Bible as though God himself or a Prophet organized and approved everything in it. For everything to be as perfect as you want it, that would have to mean that those that organized the Bible were receiving revelation.

And since most Christians believe that revelation ended with the Apostles then how do you exsplain your complete devotion to the end product and how do you know that some of the books left out shouldn't have been included?

Fidelis
12-02-2006, 12:48 PM
I think the Council of Nicea presents a problem to Christian theology, but it seems that a lot of Biblical literalists explain it away by saying that the Council was inspired by God to choose the right texts.

mntbikedude
12-02-2006, 01:18 PM
I think the Council of Nicea presents a problem to Christian theology, but it seems that a lot of Biblical literalists explain it away by saying that the Council was inspired by God to choose the right texts.

I agree but I guess thats part of my point is that is pretty heavy duty inspiration. It just seems like a stretch to put so much faith in this group of men to do "exactly" what God wanted. That is more than being inspired. That means they had a direct link with God. And that would make them like unto the Prophets. It seems that religions at some point have to spin some of the story. It would be nice to just get the real facts sometimes.

EOY
12-02-2006, 01:27 PM
I agree but I guess thats part of my point is that is pretty heavy duty inspiration. It just seems like a stretch to put so much faith in this group of men to do "exactly" what God wanted.

Not to mention a completely baseless assumption. I mean, had these people been the apostles, it would've been understandable and probably necessary in order to preserve the authentic scripture and discard the innovative additions. But we're talking about a group of people who have never even seen Jesus (pbuh). The only way that the events at the council of Nicea can be justified is if, like you said, these men were directly receiving revelations from God, which would make them all prophets. As far as I know, there is no proof of this at all.

TinyTex
12-02-2006, 01:28 PM
And there are conspiracies that the Catholic church has altered the new testament in certain ways.

Persecuted
12-02-2006, 05:12 PM
Why oh why are there so many mis-conceptions about Christianity?? Nearly everyone I have seen on here reject Christianity knows next to nothing true about it...

The one religion I have found to be a beacon of truth is the one so much false information is spread about, particularly by the secular and Islamic community.

You all claim to be open-minded but I find that hard to believe when you don't even know what the council of Nicea was about.

First and foremost the council of Nicea did NOT convene to discuss which books would be accepted in the New Testament. In fact this was NEVER even discussed.

The council of Nicea convened as a first importance to deal with the arian controversy and then other matters. Never was the list of New Testament documents discussed as to which of them were to be accepted.

If you really want to know what happened at the council of Nicea go here,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea

Here is a site that deals with the myth that the council convened to compose the N.T,

http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/nicaea.html


Here is a list of facts that may come as surprising to some of you but if you want to investigate they are accepted by the overwhelming majority of N.T scholars and critics alike,

FACT - We have all the documentation from the council of Nicea regarding what was spoken and what was concluded, it is there for everyone to read. We even have the documentation from the subsequent councils as well.

FACT - The 26 documents of the N.T (excluding the revelation) This is the four Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and all the letters are the earliest documents that were produced about Jesus. These all date to within the first century.

Note: Seven of Pauls letters are now accepted as being genuine and about 20 years after Jesus death by even the majority of N.T critics. This includes the letter of Corinthians in which Paul confesses that he is a personal witness of the risen Christ and where he also discusses other appearances.

FACT - All of the so called excluded documents that you see in these documentaries or popularised in the media and by "Islamic scholars" were all (each and everyone) written much later than the N.T documents. All of them occur in the 2nd century and later.

FACT - The overwhelming majority of N.T critics and historians agree that,

* There was a charismatic leader named Jesus in first century palestine who gathered a large following.

* Jesus was executed by way of Roman Crucifixion at the instigation of the Jewish high priests.

* Jesus was buried in a tomb by Joseph of Arimathea

* His tomb was found empty by a group of his female followers

* The disciples were sincere about their belief that they had encounters with the risen Christ and they really did have experiences where Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.

Note: Critics and skeptics of course do not believe that Jesus appeared to them after raising from the dead. They do however believe that the disciples did have such encounters but can be explained away by various hypotheses such as the hallucination hypothesis, or the apparent death hypothesis etc...

Not one thinks of the Gospel writers or Paul as bold-faced liars. The overwhelming majority of scholars and critics agree that these first followers of Jesus were sincere and devout about their beliefs in him although apparently they were sadly mistaken.

ironman1964bc
12-02-2006, 09:17 PM
Constantine was a thug who had a dozen of his family members murdered, including his wife. To say that he was inspired by God is laughable at best. The same goes for King James who was a sick degenerate who killed animals and loved to roll around in their dead carcasses.

What Constantine accomplished at the Council of Nicea was to invent the Jesus myth copying the life of one Apollonius of Tyana, who also lived in the 1st century. He also had most of the ancient libraries burned to hide any mention of Apollonius of Tyana from seeing the light of day, but a few books survived. Don't forget that Constantine was the Emperor of Rome, so his agenda was not quite what Christians today believe, unless they think murderous thugs are inspired by God. If that is true, then why not go to prison for your religious teachings.

Other problems with early Christianity is that reincarnation was actually taught for the first few centuries AD and that 16 saviours had previously been crucified before the Jesus myth was created.

frankenstein
12-02-2006, 09:42 PM
Constantine was a thug who had a dozen of his family members murdered, including his wife. To say that he was inspired by God is laughable at best. The same goes for King James who was a sick degenerate who killed animals and loved to roll around in their dead carcasses.

What Constantine accomplished at the Council of Nicea was to invent the Jesus myth copying the life of one Apollonius of Tyana, who also lived in the 1st century. He also had most of the ancient libraries burned to hide any mention of Apollonius of Tyana from seeing the light of day, but a few books survived. Don't forget that Constantine was the Emperor of Rome, so his agenda was not quite what Christians today believe, unless they think murderous thugs are inspired by God. If that is true, then why not go to prison for your religious teachings.

Other problems with early Christianity is that reincarnation was actually taught for the first few centuries AD and that 16 saviours had previously been crucified before the Jesus myth was created.

Yes, there was at least 1 other 'messiah' at the exact same time period as Jesus, who also happened to be born from a virgin, performed miracles, etc. I forget his name. I'd have to look it up. Yes, there were other messiahs before Jesus of Nazareth.

Point is, don't take the bible literally. Take it as a book trying to teach. It's full of symbolism- every preacher or priest will tell you that.

Lloyd Braun
12-02-2006, 10:16 PM
You all claim to be open-minded but I find that hard to believe when you don't even know what the council of Nicea was about.

First and foremost the council of Nicea did NOT convene to discuss which books would be accepted in the New Testament. In fact this was NEVER even discussed.

The council of Nicea convened as a first importance to deal with the arian controversy and then other matters. Never was the list of New Testament documents discussed as to which of them were to be accepted.

QFT.

Excellent post.

Persecuted
12-02-2006, 11:40 PM
Constantine was a thug who had a dozen of his family members murdered, including his wife. To say that he was inspired by God is laughable at best. The same goes for King James who was a sick degenerate who killed animals and loved to roll around in their dead carcasses.

What Constantine accomplished at the Council of Nicea was to invent the Jesus myth copying the life of one Apollonius of Tyana, who also lived in the 1st century. He also had most of the ancient libraries burned to hide any mention of Apollonius of Tyana from seeing the light of day, but a few books survived. Don't forget that Constantine was the Emperor of Rome, so his agenda was not quite what Christians today believe, unless they think murderous thugs are inspired by God. If that is true, then why not go to prison for your religious teachings.

Other problems with early Christianity is that reincarnation was actually taught for the first few centuries AD and that 16 saviours had previously been crucified before the Jesus myth was created.

You don't have a clue what you're talking about, give me one peice of evidence that reincarnation was taught for the first few centuries... Keep in mind reincarnation and resurrection are two different things.

This is exaclty the kind of trash I was talking about in my previous post you should read it.

TinyTex
12-03-2006, 12:06 AM
If you really want to know what happened at the council of Nicea go here,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea


And your credibility went out the window when you cited wikapedia. If your not aware, wikipedia is made from people's opinions, anyone can change wikipedia.

SYRIANKID
12-03-2006, 12:12 AM
Yes, for the most part it seems that many Christians do not know these details about how the NT was created and under what political circumstances.

More on this can be found here:

This has a good NT* section:

The History of the Qur’anic Text from Revelation to Compilation (http://individual.utoronto.ca/fantastic/The_History_of_the_Quranic_Text_from_Revelation_to _Compilation.pdf)

This is all about how Trinitarianism crept into Christianity after the NT was compiled:

http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=363530&highlight=miracles

Vaper
12-03-2006, 12:32 AM
Apparently for the first couple of hundred years after Christ there was no Bible. You had the Jewish or old testiment. But the new testiment did not exist. What did exist was a series of books and letters that were circulating around and some were more popular than others.

At the time of Constantine, he decides that to unify his people that he would convert and about the same time decides they need their own Bible. First they have a council of all the Bishops and they come to a desision of what basic beliefs are going to be. Then he assigns a Priest or Bishop to decide which books they will include.

Bottom line is this. It seems that many Christians believe in the Bible as though God himself or a Prophet organized and approved everything in it. For everything to be as perfect as you want it, that would have to mean that those that organized the Bible were receiving revelation.

And since most Christians believe that revelation ended with the Apostles then how do you exsplain your complete devotion to the end product and how do you know that some of the books left out shouldn't have been included?


The entire New Testament, as we have it today, was quoted by early church Fathers such as Barnabas (71 A.D.), Clemens Romanus (96 A.D.), Ignatius (108 A.D.), and Polycarp (108 A.D.) We also have early versions (such as the Syriac) which prove that the New Testament as we have it today was accepted as genuine and authentic in every century since the apostles,

Constantine was emperor of Rome in the 306 AD becasue the world was not in favour of paganism he decided to make up a story about that he saw a cross in the sky and he was now converted, he then made christianity as appealing as he possibly could to the pagans once in power, he legalized Christianity and those who followed it were not longer persecuted and the religion, lets not forget he ordered the death of many thousads of christians.

There is much talk these days about lost books of the Bible. From cults to the New Age, people make all sorts of claims about how the Bible is missing books, books that help justify what they hope to believe. Sometimes people claim that the Bible was edited to take out reincarnation, or the teaching of higher planes of existence, or different gods, or ancestor worship, or "at-one-ment" with nature.

The "lost books" were never lost. They were known by the Jews in Old Testament times and the Christians of the New Testament times and were never considered scripture. They weren't lost nor were they removed. They were never in the Bible in the first place.

When mentioning the “lost books” of the Bible, many people wonder, “Why do we no longer have these books?,” and “Do we really need them?” First, some of the so-called “lost books” probably are references to inspired books that still exist, but by another name. Others were historical references used as sources for inspired books, such as Kings and Chronicles, and so the Jews saw no need to treat them with special reverence, nor to strive to preserve them. Some were books of poetry or song that were uninspired, but served as a record of Hebrew culture. Others were non-Hebrew sources, making them non-biblical compositions and therefore not canonical writings. Many of these “lost books” probably are references to sections of the same work,

While under subjugation to the Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman empires, the Jews ultimately were able to preserve only those books that were holy and inspired—everything else was destroyed or lost. While this is unfortunate, it should not affect our faith adversely. The books we have are inspired, and came from inspired men who sometimes mentioned non-inspired sources for recording historical fact, giving places to find additional information, or simply to make a point. These men, like modern researchers, felt compelled to cite their sources, but did not intend these sources to become writings on a par with Scripture.

Obviously, the “lost books” did not present a problem to Jesus and the apostles, who accepted the Hebrew Bible (our Old Testament) as all they needed. They quoted from none of these books, and the only things they quoted as Scripture were the books of the Old Testament. To accept that God allowed the inspired writers to employ sources in composing historical books of the Bible does not negate inspiration by the Holy Spirit. If these men used sources, God still guided them by the Holy Spirit to correct, compile, and add to the uninspired source material.

God obviously did not intend certain works to be preserved, because His hand would have guided their perpetuation, just as He guided the continuation of the canonical books. Like the lost Corinthian letter, it is likely that other inspired books were written that God intended for a particular historical setting, but did not intend to be preserved in the canon of the Bible. God has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him” (2 Peter 1:3), and our knowledge of Him is complete through the revealed Word. None of the books God intended to be in the Bible is lost, and the phrase “lost books” refers only to those books of which no record exists. Whatever these “lost books” contained is irrelevant, because we have the Word of God exactly as He wanted us to have it—nothing more, and certainly nothing less.

SYRIANKID
12-03-2006, 12:34 AM
The entire New Testament, as we have it today, was quoted by early church Fathers such as Barnabas (71 A.D.), Clemens Romanus (96 A.D.), Ignatius (108 A.D.), and Polycarp (108 A.D.) We also have early versions (such as the Syriac) which prove that the New Testament as we have it today was accepted as genuine and authentic in every century since the apostles,

What do you mean "the entire NT as we have it today was quoted" by those people? Are you saying that those people quoted the entire manuscript which didn't even exist until 325? Or do you mean they quoted parts of the NT, which had some of its constituent books floating around in those earlier periods?

Weightaholic
12-03-2006, 12:37 AM
Nicaean Council, ~375AD.

- Decided Christ was divine (was regraded as a prophet before this)
- Decided what books were going to make up the NT.

These 2 items are fact. Denial of history is both unproductive and irrelevant.

Vaper
12-03-2006, 12:48 AM
Nicaean Council, ~375AD.

- Decided Christ was divine (was regraded as a prophet before this)
- Decided what books were going to make up the NT.

These 2 items are fact. Denial of history is both unproductive and irrelevant.

not true

Persecuted
12-03-2006, 04:05 AM
What do you mean "the entire NT as we have it today was quoted" by those people? Are you saying that those people quoted the entire manuscript which didn't even exist until 325? Or do you mean they quoted parts of the NT, which had some of its constituent books floating around in those earlier periods?

You're funny...

What you say doesn't even make sense... they quoted the entire manuscript which didn't even exist?? You do know there is more than one manuscript available of the N.T right??

The oldest we have date back to the first century which is a fragmentary peice of Matthew and after that a peice of John. However we have an almost complete copy of the N.T that dates back to around 190-225 AD on about 5 or possibly 6 different manuscripts all dated within that range...

Constituent books? name one for me please...

Frederick G Kenyon the director and principal librarian of the British Museum in his book 'The Bible and archaeology' writes this about the New Testament,

"The interval, then, between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established."

But I suppose you have privilege to some secret knowledge that he does not...?

Textual Criticism of the New Testament also finds it to be 99.5% textually pure out of the 20'000 lines of the new testament only 40 are found to be questionable. Also none of these 40 lines affects any Christian doctrine.

So all of the scholars (the overwhelming majority) who at least agree that the four Gospels and letters of Paul as we have them now are indeed genuine and the earliest written literature about Jesus they are all wrong I suppose?

After years of textual, historical and archaeological study and academic pursuit which has found the N.T to be proven right time and time again we are now suddenly wrong? Why is that?

If you think there was any earlier material than the N.T documents please name it and provide one scrap of evidence, just a scrap or even a hint of a scrap...

Persecuted
12-03-2006, 04:14 AM
Nicaean Council, ~375AD.

- Decided Christ was divine (was regraded as a prophet before this)
- Decided what books were going to make up the NT.

These 2 items are fact. Denial of history is both unproductive and irrelevant.

This is a gross mis-representation of the events at the council of Nicea,

First of all they were brought together to discuss Christ's relation to the father was he of the same essence or was he a lesser God? The reason for this was that Arius an early church theologian declared that though Christ was a God he was a lesser God to the father and not eternal nor of the same substance.

The council overwhelmingly voted against Arius and dismissed his doctrine's as heretical, there were about 250-318 attendants and all but two voted against Arius.

The second "fact" you listed is nothing more than a lie.

You yourself just said that denial of history is counter productive and irrelevant yet you are the one who denies it...

Vaper
12-03-2006, 04:37 AM
What do you mean "the entire NT as we have it today was quoted" by those people? Are you saying that those people quoted the entire manuscript which didn't even exist until 325? Or do you mean they quoted parts of the NT, which had some of its constituent books floating around in those earlier periods?

Scholars differ on the composition date for the New testament, but most agree on roughly 65 - 70 AD with a few placing at as late as 100 - 134 AD, the books were only compiled later on.

These are the quotations im reffering to, they didnt quote the entire NT word for word on paper but the teachings of the NT they do. It was more verbal, Pastor polycarp for example is known for preaching the NT teachings without a shred of documentation around the 100AD mark. He met with the apostle John.

http://www.bsmvt.org/documents.html

the only reason the NT wasnt written earlier becasue they believed Jesus was returning around 100AD when he didnt they got there act together.

mntbikedude
12-03-2006, 06:38 AM
Why oh why are there so many mis-conceptions about Christianity?? Nearly everyone I have seen on here reject Christianity knows next to nothing true about it...

The one religion I have found to be a beacon of truth is the one so much false information is spread about, particularly by the secular and Islamic community.

You all claim to be open-minded but I find that hard to believe when you don't even know what the council of Nicea was about.

First and foremost the council of Nicea did NOT convene to discuss which books would be accepted in the New Testament. In fact this was NEVER even discussed.

The council of Nicea convened as a first importance to deal with the arian controversy and then other matters. Never was the list of New Testament documents discussed as to which of them were to be accepted.

If you really want to know what happened at the council of Nicea go here,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea

Here is a site that deals with the myth that the council convened to compose the N.T,

http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/nicaea.html


Here is a list of facts that may come as surprising to some of you but if you want to investigate they are accepted by the overwhelming majority of N.T scholars and critics alike,

FACT - We have all the documentation from the council of Nicea regarding what was spoken and what was concluded, it is there for everyone to read. We even have the documentation from the subsequent councils as well.

FACT - The 26 documents of the N.T (excluding the revelation) This is the four Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and all the letters are the earliest documents that were produced about Jesus. These all date to within the first century.

Note: Seven of Pauls letters are now accepted as being genuine and about 20 years after Jesus death by even the majority of N.T critics. This includes the letter of Corinthians in which Paul confesses that he is a personal witness of the risen Christ and where he also discusses other appearances.

FACT - All of the so called excluded documents that you see in these documentaries or popularised in the media and by "Islamic scholars" were all (each and everyone) written much later than the N.T documents. All of them occur in the 2nd century and later.

FACT - The overwhelming majority of N.T critics and historians agree that,

* There was a charismatic leader named Jesus in first century palestine who gathered a large following.

* Jesus was executed by way of Roman Crucifixion at the instigation of the Jewish high priests.

* Jesus was buried in a tomb by Joseph of Arimathea

* His tomb was found empty by a group of his female followers

* The disciples were sincere about their belief that they had encounters with the risen Christ and they really did have experiences where Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.

Note: Critics and skeptics of course do not believe that Jesus appeared to them after raising from the dead. They do however believe that the disciples did have such encounters but can be explained away by various hypotheses such as the hallucination hypothesis, or the apparent death hypothesis etc...

Not one thinks of the Gospel writers or Paul as bold-faced liars. The overwhelming majority of scholars and critics agree that these first followers of Jesus were sincere and devout about their beliefs in him although apparently they were sadly mistaken.

If you read my post again you will see that I didn't say that the Council of Nicaea was convened to decide the books of the NT but to decide the basic beliefs of the church. The key issue being whether Christ was divine or not.

After this council Constantine ordered a person to put together a list of books to be considered as the Christian Bible.

mntbikedude
12-03-2006, 06:50 AM
The entire New Testament, as we have it today, was quoted by early church Fathers such as Barnabas (71 A.D.), Clemens Romanus (96 A.D.), Ignatius (108 A.D.), and Polycarp (108 A.D.) We also have early versions (such as the Syriac) which prove that the New Testament as we have it today was accepted as genuine and authentic in every century since the apostles,

.

Of course they quoted from all of the texts of the NT. They also quoted from books that were not included in the NT. It was all available. But it was not organized into the NT untill after Constantine.

Remember it was a group of books and some weren't books they were letters written to specific congregations. The programn brought up that Paul probably had no idea that his letters would ever even be included in a book. They were simply letters to a straighten out certain beliefs in those specific congregations.

I love how many think the Bible has always just existed as this nicely organized book. As though Moses went to the mountain and came back with the exact books and letters that would now be the complete word of God.

I know this all sounds like I'm ripping on the Bible. I'm not I cherish it, I'm thankfull for all those that worked hard to put it all together. I think for the most part it is true.

What I am saying is stop spinning the history of how it came to be.

It's interesting that one of the books that almost didn't make it in the final cut was the book of Revelation.

Martha Stewart
12-03-2006, 07:15 AM
"I know this all sounds like I'm ripping on the Bible. I'm not I cherish it, I'm thankfull for all those that worked hard to put it all together. I think for the most part it is true."
You cherish it? For the most part? It seem's to me that your aim here is to cast doubt that the bible is God's word. As Christian's the belief that the Bible in it's entirety is God's word is the foundation of our faith. Great rebuttal's Persecuted, keep it up.

Vaper
12-03-2006, 07:29 AM
What I am saying is stop spinning the history of how it came to be.



:confused:

mntbikedude
12-03-2006, 07:34 AM
"I know this all sounds like I'm ripping on the Bible. I'm not I cherish it, I'm thankfull for all those that worked hard to put it all together. I think for the most part it is true."
You cherish it? For the most part? It seem's to me that your aim here is to cast doubt that the bible is God's word. As Christian's the belief that the Bible in it's entirety is God's word is the foundation of our faith. Great rebuttal's Persecuted, keep it up.

If the truth about how the Bible came to be affects the foundation of your beliefs then maybe you need to re-evaluate your beliefs.

iBswole
12-03-2006, 09:21 AM
then why are so many details left out from the old testament? And all this dead sea scrolls drama that is deliberatly left out? Why does a religious text have to be altered by people for it to be the word of God?

SYRIANKID
12-03-2006, 06:38 PM
Scholars differ on the composition date for the New testament, but most agree on roughly 65 - 70 AD with a few placing at as late as 100 - 134 AD, the books were only compiled later on.

These are the quotations im reffering to, they didnt quote the entire NT word for word on paper but the teachings of the NT they do. It was more verbal, Pastor polycarp for example is known for preaching the NT teachings without a shred of documentation around the 100AD mark. He met with the apostle John.

http://www.bsmvt.org/documents.html

the only reason the NT wasnt written earlier becasue they believed Jesus was returning around 100AD when he didnt they got there act together.

Yes, scholars differ on when the BOOKS of the NT were first written (not the NT itself since the word didn't even exist at the time). But during the time that those books were written, many other conflicting biographies of Jesus (pbuh) were also written, and the authorship of all of these is questionable. So the main point of all of this is to understand that while the CONSTITUENT texts of the NT existed before they were compiled into a single book, WHY were those particular books chosen and not others, what was the methodology used for "screening".

SYRIANKID
12-03-2006, 06:39 PM
You're funny...

What you say doesn't even make sense... they quoted the entire manuscript which didn't even exist??

So you're claiming that the entire NT was quoted before it was compiled? Link us to some proof please because you've just discovered something right here on bodybuilding.com that no Christian scholar has ever even claimed.