A Complete Scripture Memorization List for a Victorious Christian Life By Drake Shelton Friday, Sep 30 2011 

Preface

As some of my readers know, I was not raised in an Evangelical Christian Family (Strange that some think there is any other kind) and I did not even know an Evangelical Christian until one of my High School friends was converted at the age of 19. Until this time my mind was filled with nothing more than random pursuits with my friends. Drugs, girls, music and parties were the only things I found worthy enough to consider. I was the assistant manager at a bakery that I had worked at since early in high school. I worked hard and had aspirations but I was by no means in any hurry. I loved my many friends and I never really had much to argue with them about. The prospect of believing something that would tear me away from them was dreadful to me. Like many others, the prospect of a God who would punish billions of people in an eternal flame of hell was so offensive to my understanding of justice that I felt completely justified to live my carefree life of music and marijuana. There were also so many different religions in my city that the idea that one could know for certain that his religion was correct seemed outlandish and naïve. Though my parents had not taken this route, their philosophy was exactly the same. Their view was based on the same objection of justice and skepticism but their avenue was possessions and family instead of music and marijuana. Through a number of traumatic life experiences and a couple trips to jail God began to stir me up to reconsider my carefree life. My best friend had received an invitation to model internationally for Hugo Boss. Through his travels around the world he became roommates with a wayward Christian in Milan Italy. The wayward Christian introduced him to some fundamental tenants of Christianity but one night at a party my friend had a drug overdose that put the fear of eternity in him. He began to study different religions but was converted to Christ, simply by reading the Scriptures.  He visited me a couple times in the following year warning me of the sure damnation that I would face when I died. In October of 1999 I was converted to Christ. The adversaries that lay before me were many. I was in a relationship with a beautiful woman whom I loved dearly, a number of drug addictions, and most importantly I didn’t have a clue what to believe or where to go to Church. There were thousands of different Churches in my city and due to my conversion outside of the visible assemblies I was sure that organized religion was a sure conspiracy of the devil. Since my conversion, about 12 years ago now, my life has been outright warfare.  The prospect of a life with a family and friends is something that I had to crucify to myself long ago. Though I have been an active member of a local Church for 8 of the past 12 years, the past two years of study have left me back to where I started with: no Church.  I know exactly what I believe now, but the ignorance of the modern Churches and their complete refusal to read each other’s best works to try and come to terms has left me with the same dilemma as before. Reading other Church’s best works has cost me my scholarship from school, my health and my career. Christianity has taken everything from me with reference to this mortal life. However, I have not lost my faith, though it has been tested and I am still going strong. The lesson that God taught me early on in my Christian life is that personal devotions are the foundation of a consistent Christian life. Through devotion prayer and scripture memory I am still standing strong. I love my God and my religion and do not regret my faith at all. Though the world outside of me has crumbled I have a world within to commune with that I have spent 12 years building.  I have not taken drugs or become drunk for 9 years. I conquered my life consuming cigarette habit around the same time. I have been celibate for 10 years and my entire Christian life has been mostly alone.  In college I had to get counseling for psychological issues I had because of how secluded my life had become. I addressed the issue to my Pastor at the time but he forgot to get back to me. Some Pastor hey?  I say this only to encourage those who are not from a Christian background and face sure obscurity when they convert to Christ. Many people from Christian backgrounds do not understand the hardships that we face when we are not raised in a Christian community.

This memorization list is designed to support the spiritual life of a real Christian in the midst of a society that is so corrupted and a so called Christian Church that is completely inequipped to meet the challenges of this next millennium. If I can have victory in my Christian life, anyone can.

Introduction

 

The Scripture says, Psa 1:1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. And again Psa 5: 3 In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice;  In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.

The Scriptures exhort us to have a daily regimen of prayer and scripture meditation. This is not simply running your eyes over the words of the pages of Bible but meditation. What better way to meditate on a passage than memorizing it? It was through memorizing scripture and mediating upon its meaning that Martin Luther came to understand justification by faith alone. It has been my endeavor in this work to lay out primary topics regarding Christian Sanctification and present for memory, the passages that have been so vital in my own Sanctification. This list rebukes me, tears away sinful tendencies and lifts me back up again on a daily basis.  Again, if I can have victory, anyone can. As a point of philosophy, I would like for the reader to keep in mind how these propositions give life. There is nothing mere or terrestrial about words. As Christ said, John 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. This is why a victorious Christian could never be a Thomist or an Eastern Hesychast.

The following memorization list is organized under these heads:

The Final Purpose of Human Life

The Place of Man’s Spiritual War: His Mind

Despair vs. Contentment

The Command of Contentment and the Rewards Given to the Obedience of  Contentment

What is Forbidden in Trials:

            1. Carnal Fear

            2. Use of Unlawful Means

Contentment Requires Faith

Contentment in Possessions

Suffering

God’s Providence in Suffering

Sharing in Christ’s Sufferings

Endurance in Sufferings

Fear of Physical Suffering

            Fear of Man: Man’s Verbal Attacks

How to Get Freedom in Sufferings? Perceive the Good in Them and Bless God For Them

Examples of God Delivering People from Terrible Circumstances

Love/Forgiveness vs. Bitterness

Moral Excellence

Deeds of the Flesh Defined and Forbidden

Fornication

The Consequences of Immorality

The Command and Reward of Self Denial

The Power to Succeed

Promise of Victory/Comfort

Pride

Personal Relationships

Anger vs. Long Suffering

Speech

Joy

To read the list follow this link to The King’s Parlor

Francis Turretin, John Owen and Carl Trueman Refute Perry Robinson’s and Daniel Photios Jones’ Maximianism by Drake Thursday, Sep 29 2011 

The following is a reply to a number of things written by Perry Robinson and Daniel (a.k.a. Photios) Jones against the Reformed understanding of Original Righteousness, Nature and Person distinctions and the source of action in persons.

Primary References:

We Have Met the Enemy

Thank You Very Much

More Jedi Mind Tricks

I have divided these issues into eight heads:

Original Righteousness: in the  Genus of Being or Morality?

Is Nature Compelled or is Nature Indifferent?

Goodness and Righteousness; Is there a Difference?

Righteousness and Grace

The Atonement: Grounded Intrinsically or Extrinsically?

Original Sin

Participation in God

Grace and Nature

Original Righteousness: in the  Genus of Being or Morality?

Turretin defines original righteousness in his Institutes, Vol. 1, 5th Topic, Q.10,

“VIII. (2) To it pertains rectitude and integrity, or the gifts bestowed upon man, usually expressed by original righteousness, which was created with man and bestowed upon him at his origin, embracing wisdom in the mind, holiness in the will, and rectitude and good order in the affections. It bespeaks such a harmony among all his faculties that the members obey the affectyions, the affections the will, the will reason, reason the divine law, and thus the man exists upright and innocent and without sin, but yet in a state always mutable, endowed with a fourfold liberty: (a) from coactions; (b) from physical necessity; (c) from sin; (d) from misery. (pg. 466)…XIV. It is one thing to have original righteousness; another to have it immutably. If he had it in the latter manner, he could neither sin nor be pressed by any temptation. But because he had it mutably, he could do both (as the event teaches).Therefore, original righteousness was neither an absolute impotence of sinning, nor simply sinlessness, but the power not to sin from mutable righteousness (which indeed took away the will to sin, as long as he stood, but not the ability).” (pg. 468) …To read the rest of this rather lengthy treatise follow the link to my website, The King’s Parlor.

Dr. Gus on Charismaticism Wednesday, Sep 28 2011 

I don’t support much of what Sean Gerety posts at his website but this one was written by a personal friend of mine, Gus Gianello. He’s a brilliant man and I miss speaking with him. Pray for him as he struggles with finding a Church in Canada. He has a great handle on the issues involved with Charismaticism and he has written a piece on it here.

By Dr. Gus Gianello…

Let me tell you about myself, both now and then.  Now, I am a committed Scripturalist, having studied Gordon Clark and John Robbins extensively for decades.  John, I considered a long-distance friend, though we were not close friends.  He helped me a lot.  It is rare for me to disagree with Clark or Robbins, but I do on a few issues.  But on the issue of the centrality of Scripture I do not.

Then, I was converted (I think), when I was 17 and was part of the Dispensational, Charismatic, Arminian Jesus movement.  I rapidly became a “Charismatic of the Charismatics,” with apologies to the Apostle Paul.  I was an ardent, vociferous and belligerent follower of Hobart Freeman, the founder of the Radical Faith Movement, and believed I was a manifested son of God, who would set the groaning creation free.  No kidding.  I prophesied, cast out demons, laid hands on the sick, prayed for miracles, had words of knowledge, had revelatory dreams and visions.  I ran the whole gamut.  I prayed for $37,000.00 and got it.  I prayed for the rain to stop and got it.  Did I mention that I was called to be an apostolic assistant and a teacher by revelation?  All of this shows that I have the bona fides to comment on a topic that is not only deeply interesting to me, but very personal”….. To finish reading it refer to the  link above.

James Anderson’s Mistaken Interpretation of Eastern Triadology Friday, Sep 23 2011 

In Anderson’s article, Van Til’s Serious Trinitarian Theology he says,

“8. It is somewhat ironic then that Clark has been dubbed “America’s Augustine”, since it was Van Til, and not Clark, who in fact championed an Augustinian understanding of the Trinity. (This observation is not original to me; a similar point was made by Greg Welty back in June 2000 on the Van Til list.) Clark cannot even find companionship with the Cappadocians, who, although often wrongly claimed as social trinitarians, clearly affirmed the doctrine of divine simplicity and the numerical unity of the Godhead.”

The first statement is true that Clark’s view of the Trinity was not Augustinian; a point which my Scripturalist friends still have yet to admit. However, when he says, “Clark cannot even find companionship with the Cappadocians, who, although often wrongly claimed as social trinitarians, clearly affirmed the doctrine of divine simplicity”, he is mistaken. First, the Eastern view is Social.   In the ecumenical dialogue The Trinity: East/West Dialogue (Studies in Philosophy and Religion) http://www.amazon.com/Trinity-Dialogue-Studies-Philosophy-Religion/dp/9048164753, the Eastern view is clearly recognized as a social view. On page 23 the contrast is made in clear terms, “In recent years, may resourceful thinkers have brought a new clarity to the issues surrounding the doctrine of the Trinity. TWO INCOMPATIBLE FAMILIES OF TRINITARIAN DOCTRINE HAVE BEEN CLEARLY DISTINGUISHED: SOCIAL TRINTARIANISM AND LATIN TRINITARIANISM (Roman and Van Tillian-DS).” I have said it before and I’ll say it again, Scripturalism is Eastern Triadology. Next, Anderson implies that the Eastern Fathers had the same idea of Simplicity as Augustine and the Scholastics. This is so ignorant I’m begrudging even typing this out because the man seriously doesn’t even deserve to have access to this information being in the position he is in. Jaroslav Pelikan who wrote the preface to John Meyendorf’s biography of Gregory Palamas, says in his preface to the book,

“The striking description of Palamite thought as ‘a personal existentialism, applying the concept of divine ‘simplicity’ not to the essence but to the personal Divine Being which is revealed both in essence and in free acts-or energies-of God…and thinking of God Himself in existential terms, while holding to His absolute transcendence,’ suggests another source: the recognition among all Christian groups of the neglected ‘existential’ dimension in Christian thought. That recognition has come by various channels. For many in my generation, it was Soren Kierkegaard who first awakened this awareness; for me personally, because of my family roots Fydor Dostoevsky, whom I studied before ever hearing of  Kierkegaard , performed this service;” (Gregory Palamas, ed. John Meyendorf, Gregory Palamas The Triads, (New York*Ramsey*Toronto: Paulist Press., 1983), xii, xiii)

Farrell in Free Choice also mentions that simplicity is an energy. The essence and energies distinction is rejected in the West. David Bradshaw in his The Concept of the Divine Energies  says,

“The same would seem to be true of wisdom, being, power, life, love, holiness, beauty, virtue, immortality, eternity, infinity, and simplicity, all of which the Cappadocians (or other Fathers after them) list among the divine energies.” (pg. 14)

Moreover, the fact that simplicity was not understood the same way in the Eastern Fathers can be seen in Athanasius.

The following is from Against the Arians. (Orationes contra Arianos IV.) Discourse 3.64-66

“64. Therefore if the works subsist ‘by will and favour,’ and the whole creature is made ‘at God’s good pleasure,’ and Paul was called to be an Apostle ‘by the will of God,’ and our calling has come about ‘by His good pleasure and will,’ and all things have come into being through the Word, He is external to the things which have come to be by will, but rather is Himself the Living Counsel of the Father, by which all these things have come to be; by which David also gives thanks in the seventy-second Psalm. ‘Thou hast holden me by my right hand; Thou shalt guide me with Thy Counsel.’ How then can the Word, being the Counsel and Good Pleasure of the Father, come into being Himself ‘by good pleasure and will,’ like every one else? unless, as I said before, in their madness they repeat that He has come into being through Himself, or through some other . Who then is it through whom He has come to be? let them fashion another Word; and let them name another Christ, rivalling the doctrine of Valentinus ; for Scripture it is not. And though they fashion another, yet assuredly he too comes into being through some one; and so, while we are thus reckoning up and investigating the succession of them, the many-headed heresy of the Atheists is discovered to issue in polytheism and madness unlimited; in the which, wishing the Son to be a creature and from nothing, they imply the same thing in other words by pretending the words will and pleasure, which rightly belong to things originate and creatures. Is it not irreligious then to impute the characteristics of things originate to the Framer of all? and is it not blasphemous to say that will was in the Father before the Word? for if will precedes in the Father, the Son’s words are not true, ‘I in the Father;’ or even if He is in the Father, yet He will hold but a second place, and it became Him not to say ‘I in the Father,’ since will was before Him, in which all things were brought into being and He Himself subsisted, as you hold. For though He excel in glory, He is not the less one of the things which by will come into being. And, as we have said before, if it be so, how is He Lord and they servants ? but He is Lord of all, because He is one with the Father’s Lordship; and the creation is all in bondage, since it is external to the Oneness of the Father, and, whereas it once was not, was brought to be.

65. Moreover, if they say that the Son is by will, they should say also that He came to be by understanding; for I consider understanding and will to be the same. For what a man counsels, about that also he has understanding; and what he has in understanding, that also he counsels. Certainly the Saviour Himself has made them correspond, as being cognate, when He says, ‘Counsel is mine and security; mine is understanding, and mine strength .’ For as strength and security are the same (for they mean one attribute), so we may say that Understanding and Counsel are the same, which is the Lord. But these irreligious men are unwilling that the Son should be Word and Living Counsel; but they fable that there is with God , as if a habit , coming and going , after the manner of men, understanding, counsel, wisdom; and they leave nothing undone, and they put forward the ‘Thought’ and ‘Will’ of Valentinus, so that they may but separate the Son from the Father, and may call Him a creature instead of the proper Word of the Father. To them then must be said what was said to Simon Magus; ‘the irreligion of Valentinus perish with you ;’ and let every one rather trust to Solomon, who says, that the Word is Wisdom and Understanding. For he says, ‘The Lord by Wisdom founded the earth, by Understanding He established the heavens.’ And as here by Understanding, so in the Psalms, ‘By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made.’ And as by the Word the heavens, so ‘He hath done whatsoever pleased Him.’ And as the Apostle writes to Thessalonians, ‘the will of God is in Christ Jesus .’ The Son of God then, He is the ‘Word’ and the ‘Wisdom;’ He the ‘Understanding’ and the Living ‘Counsel;’ and in Him is the ‘Good Pleasure of the Father;’ He is ‘Truth’ and ‘Light’ and ‘Power’ of the Father. But if the Will of God is Wisdom and Understanding, and the Son is Wisdom, he who says that the Son is ‘by will,’ says virtually that Wisdom has come into being in wisdom, and the Son is made in a son, and the Word created through the Word which is incompatible with God and is opposed to His Scriptures. For the Apostle proclaims the Son to be the own Radiance and Expression, not of the Father’s will , but of His Essence Itself, saying, ‘Who being the Radiance of His glory and the Expression of His Subsistence .’ But if, as we have said before, the Father’s Essence and Subsistence be not from will, neither, as is very plain, is what is proper to the Father’s Subsistence from will; for such as, and so as, that Blessed Subsistence, must also be the proper Offspring from It. And accordingly the Father Himself said not, ‘This is the Son originated at My will,’ nor ‘the Son whom I have by My favour,’ but simply ‘My Son,’ and more than that, ‘in whom I am well pleased;’ meaning by this, This is the Son by nature; and ‘in Him is lodged My will about what pleases Me.

66. Since then the Son is by nature and not by will, is He without the pleasure of the Father and not with the Father’s will? No, verily; but the Son is with the pleasure of the Father, and, as He says Himself, ‘The Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things.’ For as not ‘from will’ did He begin to be good, nor yet is good without will and pleasure (for what He is, that also is His pleasure), so also that the Son should be, though it came not ‘from will,’ yet it is not without His pleasure or against His purpose. For as His own Subsistence is by His pleasure, so also the Son, being proper to His Essence, is not without His pleasure. Be then the Son the object of the Father’s pleasure and love; and thus let every one religiously account of the pleasure and the not-unwillingness of God. For by that good pleasure wherewith the Son is the object of the Father’s pleasure, is the Father the object of the Son’s love, pleasure, and honour; and one is the good pleasure which is from Father in Son, so that here too we may contemplate the Son in the Father and the Father in the Son. Let no one then, with Valentinus, introduce a precedent will; nor let any one, by this pretence of ‘counsel,’ intrude between the Only Father and the Only Word; for it were madness to place will and consideration between them. For it is one thing to say, ‘Of will He came to be,’ and another, that the Father has love and good pleasure towards His Son who is His own by nature. For to say, ‘Of will He came to be,’ in the first place implies that once He was not; and next it implies an inclination two ways, as has been said, so that one might suppose that the Father could even not will the Son. But to say of the Son, ‘He might not have been,’ is an irreligious presumption reaching even to the Essence of the Father, as if what is His own might not have been. For it is the same as saying, ‘The Father might not have been good.’ And as the Father is always good by nature, so He is always generative  by nature; and to say, ‘The Father’s good pleasure is the Son,’ and ‘The Word’s good pleasure is the Father,’ implies, not a precedent will, but genuineness of nature, and propriety and likeness of Essence. For as in the case of the radiance and light one might say, that there is no will preceding radiance in the light, but it is its natural offspring, at the pleasure of the light which begat it, not by will and consideration, but in nature and truth, so also in the instance of the Father and the Son, one might rightly say, that the Father has love and good pleasure towards the Son, and the Son has love and good pleasure towards the Father.” http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.xxi.ii.iv.viii.html

Yet can Western Scholasticism affirm Athanasius’ fundamental Orthodoxy distinguishing the nature from the will?

Thomas Aquinas said in Summa Contra Gentiles,

Moreover, since every agent acts so far as it is in act, God, Who is pure act, must act through His essence. Willing, however, is a certain operation of God. Therefore God must be endowed with will through his essence. Therefore His will is His essence…From this it appears that God’s will is not other than His essence.“ I:73:4 and I, pp. 243, 242- From Free Choice in Maximus the Confessor by Joseph P Farrell.

No. The doctrine of absolute divine simplicity eliminates the possibility of distinguishing the will from the nature. Will the Scholastics admit it?

Here is the entire Chapter in full from Aquinas’s Summa Contra Gentiles I.73.

“Chapter 73

THAT THE WILL OF GOD IS HIS ESSENCE

[1] From this it appears that God’s will is not other than His essence.

[2] It belongs to God to be endowed with will in so far as He is intelligent, as has been shown. But God has understanding by His essence, as was proved above. So, therefore, does He have will. God’s will, therefore, is His very essence.

[3] Again, as to understand is the perfection of the one understanding, so to will is the perfection of the one willing; for both are actions remaining in the agent and not going out (as does heat) to some receiving subject. But the understanding of God is His being, as was proved above. For, since the divine being is in itself most perfect, it admits of no superadded perfection, as was proved above. The divine willing also is, therefore, His being; and hence the will of God is His essence.

[4] Moreover, since every agent acts in so far as it is in act, God, Who is pure act, must act through His essence. Willing, however, is a certain operation of God. Therefore, God must be endowed with will through His essence. Therefore, His will is His essence.

[5] Furthermore, if will were something added to the divine substance, since the divine substance is something complete in being it would follow that will would be added to it as an accident to a subject, that the divine substance would be related to it as potency to act, and that there would be composition in God. All this was refuted above. Hence, it is not possible that the divine will be something added to the divine substance.”

So he’s wrong on that point as well.

 

More Problems For Western Trinitarianism: John Murray Confirms My Suspicion That Calvin Did Not Believe the Nicene Creed Tuesday, Sep 20 2011 

In an earlier post, Did John Calvin Believe the Nicene Creed? I Deny, I suspected that Calvin could not believe the Eternal Generation of the Son due to some things he said. Methinks Murray vindicates my suspicion.

John Murray states,

“Students of historical theology are acquainted with the furore which Calvin’s insistence upon the self-existence of the Son as to His deity aroused at the time of the Reformation.  Calvin was too much of a student of Scripture to be content to follow the lines of what had been regarded as Nicene orthodoxy on this particular issue.  He was too jealous for the implication of the homoousion clause of the Nicene creed to be willing to accede to the interpretation which the Nicene fathers, including Athanasius, placed upon another expression in the same creed, namely, “very God of very God.”  No doubt this expression is repeated by orthodox people without any thought of suggesting what the evidence derived from the writings of the Nicene fathers would indicate the content to have been.  This evidence shows that the meaning intended is that the son DERIVED His deity from the Father and that the Son was not, therefore, “autotheos.”  It was precisely this position that Calvin controverted with such vigor.  He maintained that, as respects personal distinction, the Son was of the Father but, as respects deity, He was self-existent.  This position ran counter to the Nicene tradition.  Hence, the indictments levelled against him.  It is, however, to the credit of Calvin that he did not allow his own more sober thinking to be suppressed out of deference to an established pattern of thought when the latter did not commend itself by conformity to Scripture and was inimical to Christ’s divine identity.”  “Systematic Theology,” Westminster Theological Journal 25 (May, 1963), p. 141.

Man I’m tired of being right!

A Treatise on the Right Use of the Fathers in the Decision of Controversies By Jean Daillé Monday, Sep 19 2011 

A Treatise on the Right Use of the Fathers in the Decision of Controversies By Jean Daillé

This books was written in the 17th Century by French Protestant Jean Daille’, to defend to Protestant cause against the arguments of the Papists with regard to the presumed antiquity and unity of the Roman Religion and issues of authority. Daille’ exposes the inconsistencies,  contradictions of the Fathers, ambiguities of the Fathers, forgeries of the books supposedly written by the Fathers, the mis-use of the Fathers by Patristic Apologists against the Protestants and the anachronistic attempts to point the Fathers against the Protestants, the failure of the Patristic Churches to define what agreement there is among the Fathers, the fact that the Fathers themselves denied that they were to be considered authorities, and that the Patristic Churches only use them as the Fathers fit their desires. It is altogether devastating to both the Eastern and Roman Anchorism and is to add another book onto the pile of books that the Eastern andRoman Churches must deal with before they can be credibly acknowledged to have dealt with the Reformation.

Textual Criticism: A Defense of Harry Sturz’ Critical Eclecticism; Phil Kayser’s “Has God Indeed Said” Majority Text-ism Refuted Sunday, Sep 18 2011 

The following is based primarily on God’s Word in Our Hands by the Text and Translation Committee with James B. Williams as General Editor (Greenville, SC* Belfast, Northern Ireland: Ambassador Emerald International, 2003).

In recent years the preservation of the text of the New Testament has been hotly debated, denounced, dogmatically misrepresented and in a number of ways made very confusing.  In simple form there are about four main views that people have about preservation:

  • God has not verbally preserved His Word (If there is a God at all)
  • God’s words have been preserved in a particular English translation and only that translation
  • God has preserved the words of the autographa in one particular Hebrew and one particular Greek text.
  • God has preserved his Truth in the multiplicity of manuscripts which must be compared to determine the specific wording of the originals.

I. I hold to the fourth position and in a small discourse I am arguing against the MT position that excludes the Alexandrian families as untrustworthy. I am not arguing against the Byzantine Family, but the position that some hold with the MT at the expense of the older manuscripts.  I am also not arguing in favor of only the older manuscripts. Daniel Davey says, “Can one be emphatically certain that the original text is to be essentially sought in the Alexandrian textual family? This seems to be the unquestioned position of the majority of CT supports. However, is this truly dealing with the multiplicity of manuscripts-weighing the value of each- or is it a mere rehearsal of the W-H a priori argument? For this reason, Sturz offers his research as a viable and significant option to balance the position of many CT advocates.” (God’s Word in Our Hands, pg. 207) The statement of faith by the Text and Translation Committee which I also believe is,

“We believe that the Bible teaches that God has providentially preserved his written Word. This preservation exists in the totality of the ancient language manuscripts of that revelation. We are therefore certain that we possess the very Word of God.” (God’s Word, pg. xxi)

I believe that this God has “delivered this truth to us in written form by means of that inspiration which produced inerrant original copies.” (Ibid, xxii)………………..To read the rest of this paper see Textual Criticism: A Defense of Harry Sturz’ Critical Eclecticism at The King’s Parlor.

Zeitgeist: Is Christianity a Synchronized Spoof Off Old Pagan Myths? Refuted Saturday, Sep 17 2011 

I have received these objections for 12 years now and I thought you would benefit from these many videos a Christian gentleman is making:

This gentleman has made over 20 videos on this issue and from what I have seen its pretty good stuff.

The Protestant Position on the Apocrypha Defended in Francis Turretin and William Whitaker Thursday, Sep 15 2011 

The Protestant Position on the Apocrypha Defended in Francis Turretin and William Whitaker

Turretin, Institutes, Vol. 1, 2nd Topic, Q.9

“NINTH QUESTION: THE APOCRYPHAL BOOKS: Ought Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, the first two books of the Maccabees, Baruch, the additions to Esther and Daniel to be numbered among the canonical books? We deny against the papists.

I. The Apocryphal books are so called not because the authors are unknown (for there are some canonical books Apocryphal. whose authors are unknown and some whose authors are known); not because they could be read only in private and not in public (for some of them may be read even in public), but either because they were removed from the crypt (apo tes kryptes) (that sacred place in which the holy writings were laid up) as Epiphanius and Augustine think; or because their authority was hidden and suspected, and con­sequently their use also was secret since the church did not apply to them to confirm the authority of ecclesiastical doctrines (as Jerome says, `Praefatio in libros Salomonis’ from “Hieronymi Prologus Galeatus” in Biblia Sacra VuLgata Editionis Sixti V…et Celementis VIII [1865], p. lii); or, what is more probable, because they are of an uncertain and obscure origin (as Augustine says, CG 15.23* [FC 14:474]).

II. The question is not about the books of the Old and the New Testament which we hold as canonical, for the papists agree with us as to these; nor about all the apocryphal books, for there are some rejected by the papists as well as by us (as the 3rd and 4th of Esdras, 3rd and 4th of Maccabees, the Prayer of Manasseh, etc.). The question is only about Tobit, Judith, Baruch, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, 1 and 2 Maccabees, the additions to Esther and Daniel, which the papists consider canonical and we exclude from the canon-not because they do not contain many true and good things, but because they do not bear the marks of canonical books.

III. The reasons are various. ( 1 ) The Jewish church, to which the oracles of God were committed (Rom. 3:2), never considered them as canonical, but held the same canon with us (as is admitted by Josephus, Against Apion 1.39-41 [Loeb, 1:178-79], Becanus, Manuale controver­siarum 1.1 [1750], pp. 11-12) and Stapelton, “De Principiis

fidei doctrinalibus controversia,” Cont. 5.7* in Opera [1620], 1:322-23). This they could not have done without the most grievous sin (and it was never charged upon them either by Christ or his apostles) if these books no less than the others had been committed to them. Nor should the canon of the Jews be distinguished here from that of Christians because Christians neither can nor ought to receive other books of the Old Testament as canonical than those which they received from the Jews, their book-servants “who carry the books of us students” (as Augustine calls them, “On Psalm 40 [41]” [NPNFI, 8:132; PL 36.463]). (2) They are never quoted as canonical by Christ and the apostles like the others. And Christ, by dividing all the books of the Old Testa­ment into three classes (the law, the Psalms and the prophets, Lk. 24:44), clearly approves of the canon of the Jews and excludes from it those books which are not embraced in these classes. (3) The Christian church for four hundred years rec­ognized with us the same and no other canonical books. This appears from the Canons of the Synod of Laodicea 59 (NPNF2, 14:158); Melito, bishop of Sardis, who lived 116 years A.D. (according to Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 4.26* [FC 19:262-63]); from Epiphanius (“De Epicureis,” Panarion [PG 41.206-23]); Jerome (“Hieronymi Prologus Galeatus,” in Biblia Sacra Vulgatae Editionis Sixti V . . . et Clementis VIII [1865], pp. xliii-lv); Athanasius (Synopsis Scripturae Sacrae [PG 28.283-94]). (4) The authors were neither prophets and inspired men, since they wrote after Malachi (the last of the prophets); nor were their books written in the Hebrew language (as those of the Old Testament), but in Greek. Hence Josephus (in the passage referred to above) acknowledges that those things which were written by his people after the time of Artaxerxes were not equally credible and authoritative with those which preceded “on account of there not being an indisputable succession of prophets” (dia to me genesthai ten ton propheton akribe diadochen, Against Apion 1.41 (Loeb, 1:178-79]).

IV. The style and matter of the books proclaim them to be human, not divine. It requires little acuteness to discover that they are the product of human labor, although some are more excellent than others. For besides the fact that the style does not savor of the majesty and simplicity of the divine style and is redolent with the faults and weaknesses of human genius (in the vanity, flattery, curiosity, mistaken zeal and ill-timed affectation of learning and eloquence, which are often met with), there are so many things in them not only foolish and absurd, but even false, superstitious and contradictory, as to show clearly that they are not divine but human writings. We will give a few specimens of the many errors. Tobias makes the angel tell a falsehood. He says that he is Azariah, the son of Ananias (Tob. 5:12*) and that he is Raphael, the angel of the Lord (12:15). The angel gives a magical direction for driving away the devil by the smoke of a fish’s liver (Tob. 6:6), against that of Christ (Mt. 17:21). He arrogates to himself the oblation of prayers (Tob. 12:12), which belongs to the work of Christ alone. The book of Judith celebrates the deed of Simeon (Jud. 9:2), which Jacob cursed (Gen. 49:5-7); praises the deceits and lies of Judith (Jud. 11), which are not very consistent with piety. Worse still, she even seeks the blessing of God upon them (Jud. 9:13). No mention is made of the city Bethulia in the Scriptures; nor does any trace of the deliverance mentioned there occur in Josephus or Philo, who wrote on Jewish subjects. The author of Wisdom falsely asserts that he was king in Israel (Wis. Sol. 9:7, 8) that he might be taken for Solomon. Yet he alludes to the athletic contests which in the time of Solomon had not been established among the Greeks (Wis. Sol. 4:2). Further, he introduces the Pythagorean metempsychosis (metempsychosin, Wis. Sol. 8:19, 20) and gives a false account of the origin of idolatry (14:15, 16). The Son of Sirach (Sir 46:20) attributes to Samuel what was done by the evil spirit raised by wicked devices (1 S. 28:11), falsely speaks of Elijah’s bodily return (Sir. 48:10), and excuses his oversights in the prologue.

V. There are so many contradictions and absurdities in the additions to Esther and Daniel that Sixtus Senensis unhesitatingly rejects them. Baruch says that in the fifth year after the destruction of Jerusalem, he read his book to Jeconiah and to all the people of Babylon; but Jeconiah was in prison and Baruch had been taken away to Egypt after the death of Gedaliah (Jer. 43:7*). He mentions an altar of the Lord (Bar. 1:10) when there was none, the temple being destroyed. The books of the Maccabees often contradict each other (compare 1 Mac. 1:16 with 9:5, 28 and chapter 10). The suicide (autocheiria) of Razis is praised (2 Mac. 14:42). Will-worship (ethelothreskeia) is commended (2 Mac. 12:42) in Judas’s offering a sacrifice for the dead contrary to the law. The author apologizes for his youth and infirmity and complains of the painful labor of abridging the five books of Jason, the Cyrenian (2 Mac. 2:23*, 24; 15:39). If you wish any more specimens from these books, consult Rainold, Chamier, Molinaeus, Spanheim and others who have pursued this line of argument with fullness and strength.

VI. The canon of faith differs from the canon of ecclesi­astical reading. We do not speak here of the canon in the latter sense, for it is true that these apocryphal books were sometimes read even publicly in the church. But they were read “for the edification of the people” only, not “for establishing the authority of the doctrines” as Jerome says, Praefatio . . . in Libros Salomonis (NPNF2, 6:492; PL 28.1308). Likewise the legends containing the sufferings of the martyrs (which were so called from being read) were publicly read in the church, although they were not considered canonical. But we speak here of the canon of faith.

VII. The word “canon” is used by the fathers in two senses; either widely or strictly. In the first sense, it embraces not only the canon of faith, but also the canon of ecclesiastical reading. In this way, we must understand the Third Council of Carthage, Canon 47 (Lauchert, p. 173) when it calls these canonical books (if indeed this canon has not been foisted in [pareisaktos] because it men­tions Pope Boniface who was not at that time pope; hence Surius, the Ivlonk [Concilia omnia (1567), 1:508*] attributes this canon to the Seventh Council of Carthage, not the Third) not strictly and properly of the canon of faith, but widely, of the canon of reading. The synod expressly says that the sufferings of the martyrs should also be read and so we must understand Augustine when he terms them “canonical:’ For he makes two orders of canonicals: the first of those which are received by all the churches and were never called in ques­tion; the second of those which are admitted only by some and were usually read from the pulpit. He holds that the latter are not to be valued as rightly as the former and have far less authority (Augustine, Reply to Faustus the Manichaean 11.5* [NPNFI, 4:180]). But the Apocrypha are spurious, false and worthless writings-the fables of the Scriptures (Augustine, CG 15.23 [FC 14:474]). However the word “canon” is taken strictly for that which has a divine and infallible authority in proving the doctrines of faith. Jerome takes the word in this sense when he excludes those books from the canon. Thus Augustine attached a wider signification to the word “canon” than Jerome, who again takes the word “apocryphal” in a wider sense than Augustine, not only for books evi­dently false and fabulous, but also for those which (although they might be read in the church) should not be used to prove the doctrines of faith. Thus the seem­ingly contradictory expressions of these fathers may easily be reconciled. Thus Cajetan near the end explains them: “The words of councils as well as of teach­ers being brought to the test of Jerome, it will appear that these books are not canonical (i.e., regulars to establish matters of faith), although they may be called canonical (i.e., regulars for the edification of believers), since they were received into the Biblical canon for this purpose” (“In librum Hester commentarii, in quotquot in Sacra Scripturae (1639], 2:400). Dionysius Carthusianus agrees with him (Prooemium in “Tobiam,” in Opera Omnia [1898], 5:83-84).

VIII. The papists make a useless distinction between the canon of the Jews and that of Christians. For although our canon taken generally for all the books of the Old and New Testament (in which it adequately consists) is not equally admitted by the Jews, who reject the New Testament; yet if it is taken partially with reference to the Old Testament (in which sense we speak of it here), it is true that our canon does not differ from that of the Jews because they receive into the canon no other books than we do.

IX. When the fathers sometimes mention Deuterocanonical books, they do not mean such as are truly and in the same sense canonical as to faith, but only those which may be placed in the canon of reading on account of their useful­ness for piety and edification.

X. The citation of any passage does not of itself prove a book to be canonical, for then Aratus, Menander and Epimenides (quoted by Paul in Acts 17:28; 1 Cor. 15:33; Tit. 1:12) would be canonical. (2) The same passages which our adversaries bring forward as quotations from the Apocrypha are found in the canonical books, and the apostles would rather quote from these than from the former.

XI. If they are connected with canonical books, it does not follow that they are of equal authority, but only that they are useful in the formation of manners and a knowledge of history, not for establishing faith.

XII. Although some of the Apocryphal books are better and more correct than the others and contain various useful moral directions (as the book of Wisdom and the Son of Sirach), yet because they contain many other false and absurd things, they are deservedly excluded from the canon of faith.

XIII. Although some have questioned the authenticity of a few books of the New Testament (i.e., the epistle of James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John and Revelation, which afterwards were received by the church as canonical), it does not follow that the same can be done with the Apocryphal books because the relation of the books of the Old and New Testaments to this subject are not the same. For the books of the Old Testament were given to the Christian church, not at inter­vals of time and by parts, but she received at one and the same time from the Jews all the books belonging to her written in one codex after they had been stamped with an indubitable authority, confirmed by Christ and his apostles. But the books of the New Testament were published separately, in different times and places and gradually collected into one corpus. Hence it happened that some of the later books (which came to some of the churches more slowly, especially in remote places) were held in doubt by some until gradually their authenticity was made known to them. (2) Although in certain churches some of the epistles and Revelation were rejected, yet those who received them were always far more numerous than those who rejected them. Yet there was no dispute about the Apocryphal books because they were always rejected by the Jewish church.”

[Sola Scriptura Ministries Site, http://www.thescripturealone.com/Terrtn-1.html]

Whitaker states,

“Epiphanius (Haer. Viii.. contra Epicuraeos [Opp. .i.p.19. ed. Petavii]) counts twenty-seven books of the old Testament, which he says were delivered by God to the Jews; or rather, as he subjoins, twenty-two:  For so he determines that the genuine books of the old Testament are equal in number to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. But some books (as Epiphanius says) are doubled. Hence arises that variety in the sum; being counted when doubled, twenty two, and, taking each book severally twenty seven. Then he adds, “There are also two other books which are doubtful, – the Wisdom of Sirach and that of Solomon besides some others which are apocryphal.” He calls some dubious some merely apocryphal The same author writes in his book of Weights and Measures that the Jews sent to king Ptolemy twenty two books transcribed in golden letters which he enumerates in a previous passage although Josephus in the beginning of his Antiquities relates that only the five books of Moses were sent. In this place he writes thus of those two books the Wisdom of Solomon and of Sirach which lie had in the former citation called dubious: “ They are indeed useful books but are not included in the canon and were not deposited in the ark of the covenant. Which is as much as to say plainly that they are not to be counted canonical.” (Disputation, pg. 58-59)

Epiphansius says in Weights and Measures, The Treatise Of St. Epiphanius, Bishop Of The City Of Constantia In Cyprus, On Measures And Weights And Numbers And Other Things That Are In The Divine Scriptures,

“10. 91The letter of the king to the teachers of the Jews:91 “King Ptolemy to the teachers of the Jews in Jerusalem: Much joy. After I had established a library and collected many books from every people and placed them in it, I heard that there are also found among you the books of the prophets which tell about God and the creation of the world. And, desiring that I might give them also a place of honor 92 with the other books, I have written that you may send them to us. For I am honorably desirous of such a thing and devoid of guile or evil intention, but in good faith and kindness toward you I make request for them, since 93 from of old 93 there has been good will from us toward you, as you know when you remember. For perhaps you recall how, when many captives had been taken from your place and brought to our place in Egypt, I let them go. With abundance of provisions and exercising unusual consideration toward them, I sent them away free. 94 Moreover, those who were sick among them, {53a} after I had healed them, I likewise dismissed, and the naked I clothed. And now a table of gold, embellished with precious stones of great value, a hundred talents in weight, instead of the table that was taken from the holy place (of) Jerusalem, I have sent along, with gifts and valuable things for the priestly place. I have thus given a recital of these things that you may know that I have requested the books because of a vow of piety.” 95 And the letter was dispatched and the presents sent likewise.96 And when they had received and read 96 the letter and 97 saw the things that had been sent,97 they had great joy and without delay transcribed the books in Hebrew letters of gold. They sent those recounted 98 by me above, the twenty-two of the (Old) Testament and the seventy-two that are apocryphal. But when the king picked them up and looked at them and was unable to read them, because they were written in Hebrew letters and in the Hebrew |27 language, it was necessary for them to write a second letter {53b} and request translators who would be able to explain to him in the Greek language the things in the Hebrew.99 The letter was as follows:100
[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/epiphanius_weights_03_text.htm]

Rufinus; some attribute this to Cyprian, Commentary on the Apostles’ Creed

“38. But it should be known that there are also other books which our fathers call not Canonical but Ecclesiastical: that is to say, Wisdom, called the Wisdom of Solomon, and another Wisdom, called the Wisdom of the Son of Syrach, which last-mentioned the Latins called by the general title Ecclesiasticus, designating not the author of the book, but the character of the writing. To the same class belong the Book of Tobit, and the Book of Judith, and the Books of the Maccabees. In the New Testament the little book which is called the Book of the Pastor of Hermas, [and that] which is called The Two Ways, or the Judgment of Peter; all of which they would have read in the Churches, but not appealed to for the confirmation of doctrine. The other writings they have named Apocrypha. These they would not have read in the Churches.” [New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2711.htm%5D

New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, “Canon of the Old Testament” says,

“admitting them in practice. The latter styles them “ecclesiastical” books, but in authority unequal to the other Scriptures. St. Jerome cast his weighty suffrage on the side unfavourable to the disputed books. In appreciating his attitude we must remember that Jerome lived long in Palestine, in an environment where everything outside the Jewish Canon was suspect, and that, moreover, he had an excessive veneration for the Hebrew text, the Hebraica veritas as he called it. In his famous “Prologus Galeatus”, or Preface to his translation of Samuel and Kings, he declares that everything not Hebrew should be classed with the apocrypha, and explicitly says that Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Tobias, and Judith are not on the Canon.” [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03267a.htm “jerome, canon, wisdom of solomon”]

The Books Of The Morals Of St. Gregory The Pope, Or An Exposition On The Book Of Blessed Job, Volume Ii – The Third Part. Book xix.

“34. With reference to which particular we are not acting irregularly, if from the books, though not Canonical [b], yet brought out for the edifying of the Church, we bring forward testimony. Thus Eleazar in the battle smote and brought down an elephant, but fell under the very beast that he killed. (Passage is out of 1 Maccabees)” [http://www.lectionarycentral.com/GregoryMoralia/Book19.html]

Flavius Josephus Against Apion , Book 1

“8. For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us, disagreeing from and contradicting one another, [as the Greeks have,] but only twenty-two books, which contain the records of all the past times; which are justly believed to be divine; and of them five belong to Moses, which contain his laws and the traditions of the origin of mankind till his death. This interval of time was little short of three thousand years; but as to the time from the death of Moses till the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, who reigned after Xerxes, the prophets, who were after Moses, wrote down what was done in their times in thirteen books. The remaining four books contain hymns to God, and precepts for the conduct of human life. It is true, our history hath been written since Artaxerxes very particularly, but hath not been esteemed of the like authority with the former by our forefathers, because there hath not been an exact succession of prophets since that time; and how firmly we have given credit to these books of our own nation is evident by what we do; for during so many ages as have already passed, no one has been so bold as either to add any thing to them, to take any thing from them, or to make any change in them; but it is become natural to all Jews immediately, and from their very birth, to esteem these books to contain Divine doctrines, and to persist in them, and, if occasion be willingly to die for them. For it is no new thing for our captives, many of them in number, and frequently in time, to be seen to endure racks and deaths of all kinds upon the theatres, that they may not be obliged to say one word against our laws and the records that contain them; whereas there are none at all among the Greeks who would undergo the least harm on that account, no, nor in case all the writings that are among them were to be destroyed; for they take them to be such discourses as are framed agreeably to the inclinations of those that write them; and they have justly the same opinion of the ancient writers, since they see some of the present generation bold enough to write about such affairs, wherein they were not present, nor had concern enough to inform themselves about them from those that knew them; examples of which may be had in this late war of ours, where some persons have written histories, and published them, without having been in the places concerned, or having been near them when the actions were done; but these men put a few things together by hearsay, and insolently abuse the world, and call these writings by the name of Histories.” [http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/text/josephus/apion1.html#EndNote_Apion_1.8b]

Objections Considered

Whitaker says
“the first that these fathers spoke of the Jewish not of the Christian canon the second that the canon was not yet fixed wherefore  those fathers are not to be blamed for determining otherwise concerning the canon than the church afterwards defined, while we, nevertheless, are precluded from a similar liberty” (pg. 62)… Isidore who lived almost in those very times says (in Lib de Offic.) that the old Testament was settled by Ezra in two and twenty books,  “that the books in the law might correspond in number with the letters.” John Damascene (Lib iv. c. 18.) says : “It must be known that there are two and twenty books of the old Testament, according to the alphabet of the Hebrew Language.”…The Wisdom of Solomon and Sirach he praises indeed, but puts them out of the canon: the rest he does not even mention”. (Disputation, pg. 64)

The New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 8 on John Damascene (pg. 461) objects,

“In assigning twenty-two books to the Old Testament canon he is treating of the Hebrew, and not the Christian, Canon, as he finds it in a work of Epiphanius, “De ponderibus et mensuris”.

Then the Romanist must agree it was understood that the OT canon was 22 books and they did know what the canon was.

Whitaker continues,

“So Nicephorus: ‘There are two and twenty books of the old Testament.” Likewise Leontius determines in his book of Sects (Act 2) that there are no more canonical books of the old Testament than the twenty two which our churches receive. Thus he speaks: ‘ Of the old Testament there are twenty-two books.”  Then he goes through all the books of the old and new Testaments in order, and finally subjoins, ‘These are the books, old and new, which are esteemed canonical in the church.” (pg. 64)

Rabanus Maurus  (Schaff says, “one of the greatest scholars and teachers of the Carolingian age”) says,

“(3) The Universe.12401240 De universo, CXI. col. 9-614. Isidore of Seville had already set the example of preparing an encyclopedia of universal knowledge, and Raban in his Universe merely reproduces Isidore’s Etymologies, with some difference in the arrangement of the material, and with the addition of allegorical and spiritual matter, interpretations of the names and words, together with many quotations of Scripture. The work was one of the early fruits of his learned leisure, being written about 844. It is in twenty-two books, the number in the Hieronymian canon of the Old Testament“. [Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Volume IV: Mediaeval Christianity. A.D. 590-1073; http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/hcc4.i.xiv.xxvi.html]

Whitaker continues,

“Radulphus (Lib. xiv. in Lev c. 1.) : ‘Tobit Judith and the Maccabees although they be read for instruction in the church yet have they not authority.’ Therefore they are not canonical. Hugo S. Victoris (Prolog. Lib. I. de Sacram. c. 7) says, that ‘these books are read indeed, but not written in the body of the text or in the authoritative canon;  that is, such as the book of Tobit, Judith, Maccabees, the Wisdom of Solomon, and Ecclesiasticus.’…Cardinal Hugo, in his Prologue to Joshua, calls Tobit, Judith, Maccabees, the Wisdom of Solomon, and Ecclesiasticus, apocryphal; and says that the Church does not receive them for proof of the faith, but for instruction in life.” (pg. 64-65)

Concerning Baruch, there are arguments for its canonicity:

Whitakers says,

“The first is that there is a quotation made from the last chapter of Baruch in 2 Macc. ch. ii. The second, The second that the councils of Florence and Trent place this book by name amongst the canonical scriptures. The third, that the Church takes some lessons from this book in her anniversary offices. The fourth, that many fathers produce testimonies from this book as canonical….To the first: the second book of Maccabees is apocryphal; as I shall hereafter prove by demonstrative arguments. Now one apocryphal book cannot confirm by its testimony the authority of another apocryphal book. Therefore it is no argument. To the second: We care nothing for those councils. They were popish and altogether antichristian assemblies. The papists may attribute as much weight to those councils as they please: we refuse to be pressed or bound by any such authority…in the third place…we are so far from recognizing in the custom of the Roman Church the force of so great an argument, that we count it a matter of very slight importance.” (pg. 67)  [It begs the question-DS]

The fourth, that many fathers produce testimonies from this book as canonical, is mistaken for many don’t. Some thought it was part of Jeremiah, and the Romanists have admitted they were mistaken. Whitaker states,

“Irenaeus cites the book of the Shepherd as Eusebius relates, “Lib. v. c. 8) but I suppose he did not deem that book part of the canonical scriptures. Yet alleging a passage from it he hath used the expression, ‘Well spoke the scripture which says, &c.’ And Eusebius writes of him, ‘He receives the scripture of the Shepherd.’  And Nicephorus also attests the same, Lib. iv. c. 14. In like manner Athanasius, in his third oration against the Arians, produces something from the book of Baruch: but the same writer does also, in the same oration, bring forward a testimony, to prove that the word is God, from the third’ of Esdras, which book our adversaries confess to be apocryphal. Testimonies out of this third book of Esdras are used also by Cyprian (Epist. Lxxiv. [In the New Advent site it is 73-DS]); by Augustine (Vet. ac Nov. Test. Quaest. 109, and Civit. Dei, Lib. xvIII. c. 36 [In the New Advent site see Augustine Against Two Letters of the Pelagians (Book IV) Chapter 14DS] ) 4; and Ambrose (De bono Mortis, c. 10), in order to prove that souls are not extinguished with the body. Now this book of Esdras is not canonical, as the papists themselves allow; so that it is manifest that the cause is not concluded by this argument.” (pg. 68)

To provide supplementation, The New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia’s article “Apocrypha” says of the Third Book of Esdras, “This is also styled by non-Catholics the First Book of Esdras, since they give to the first canonical Esdrine writing the Hebrew form Ezra. Third Esdras is one of the three uncanonical books appended to the official edition of the Vulgate.” [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01601a.htm]

Concerning the Fourth Book of Esdras The New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia says,

“Nevertheless, all through the Middle Ages it maintained an intermediate position between canonical and merely human compositions, and even after the Council of Trent, together with Third Esdras, was placed in the appendix to the official edition of the Vulgate.” [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01601a.htm]

Clearly, Whitaker’s statements were accurate.

Whitaker concludes,

“This John Driedo, one of the chief Popish writers, expressly testifies in the case of this very book of Baruch.  For thus he writes (de Cat. Script. Lib. I. c. 4. ad Difficult. 11): ‘So Cyprian, Ambrose, and the other fathers cite sentences from the book of Baruch, and from the third and fourth of Esdras, not as if they were canonical books, but as containing salutary and pious doctrines, not contrary rather consonant, to our faith.’ A papist answers the objection the papists for in these words he denies that the book of is either canonical or cited as such by those fathers. Melchior Canus too (Lib. xii. C. 6) writes thus of this same book: ‘For, as we have shewn in the second book, the church hath not placed book of Baruch in the number of the sacred writings so certainly and clearly, as to make it a plain catholic verity that it is a sacred piece, or a plain heresy that it is not” (pg. 69)…Aquinas, however, in his Commentary upon Jude, says, that it is ‘lawful to derive a testimony to the truth from an apocryphal book,’ since Jude the apostle hath cited a passage from the apocryphal book of Enoch, v. 14. But, although I by no means deny that it is just as much lawful to quote a passage from an apocryphal book, as from a profane author,- as Paul cites an Iambic line from Menander, 1 Cor. Xv. 33 a hemistich from Aratus, Acts xvii. 28, and an heroic verse from Epimenides the Cretan, Tit. i. 12; yet I do not think that this passage, which Jude recites, is taken from an apocryphal book, because Jude uses the term… ‘he prophesied.’ Consequently he hath adduced this as a prophetical testimony unless perhaps he used the word prophet here in the same sense as Paul when he called Epimenides a prophet; though, indeed, he does not style him a prophet simply, but a prophet of the Cretans.” (pg. 70)
Therefore, it proves too much to quote Jude as vindication for traditions or apocryphal books. The New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia adds to the problem of using the book of Enoch as an example,

“Passing to the patristic writers, the Book of Henoch enjoyed a high esteem among them, mainly owing to the quotation in Jude. The so-called Epistle of Barnabas twice cites Henoch as Scripture. Clement of AlexandriaTertullianOrigen, and even St. Augustine suppose the work to be a genuine one of the patriarch. But in the fourth century the Henoch writings lost credit and ceased to be quoted. After an allusion by an author of the beginning of the ninth century, they disappear from view. ” [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01602a.htm, “The Book of Henoch (Ethiopic)”]

The Roman Church does not even acknowledge the book as fully canonical so what’s the point?

 

Does Reformed Theology Teach the Annihilation of Works of Nature for Men Post-Fall? Is Grace Alien To Nature? Tuesday, Sep 13 2011 

Perry Robinson says in his article We Have Met the Enemy, “there are no works of nature post-Fall for the Reformed, even works done of common grace that are not sin.”

Louis Berkhof, on Common Grace makes very clear,

1. Do special and common grace differ essentially or only in degree? Arminians recognize alongside of sufficient (common) grace the grace of evangelical obedience, but aver that these two differ only in degree and not in essence. They are both soteriological in the sense that they form part of the saving work of God. The former makes it possible for man to repent and believe, while the latter, in cooperation with the will, causes man to repent and believe. Both can be resisted, so that even the latter is not necessarily effectual unto salvation. Reformed theology, however, insists on the essential difference between common and special grace. Special grace is supernatural and spiritual: it removes the guilt and pollution of sin and lifts the sentence of condemnation. Common grace, on the other hand, is natural; and while some of its forms may be closely connected with saving grace, it does not remove sin nor set man free, but merely restrains the outward manifestations of sin and promotes outward morality and decency, good order in society and civic righteousness, the development of science and art, and so on. It works only in the natural, and not in the spiritual sphere. It should be maintained therefore that, while the two are closely connected in the present life, they are yet essentially different, and do not differ merely in degree. No, amount of common grace can ever introduce the sinner into the new life that is in Christ Jesus. However, common grace does sometimes reveal itself in forms that can hardly be distinguished by man from the manifestations of special grace as, for instance, in the case of temporal faith. Dr. Shedd does not seem to bear the essential difference between the two in mind especially when he says: “The non-elect receives common grace, and common grace would incline the human will if it were not defeated by the human will. If the sinner should make no hostile opposition, common grace would be equivalent to saving grace.” In a note he adds: “To say that common grace, if not resisted by the sinner, would be equivalent to regenerating grace, is not the same as to say that common grace, if assisted by the sinner, would be equivalent to regenerating grace. In the first instance, God would be the sole author of regeneration; in the second He would not be.”[11] This reminds one of Lutheran theology, but the author´s meaning is not entirely clear, for elsewhere he also ascribes the nonresistance of the sinner to the operation of the Holy Spirit.[12]…

“4. The performance of outward good and civil righteousness. Common grace enables man to perform what is generally called justitia civilis, that is, that which is right in civil or natural affairs, in distinction from that which is right in religious matters, natural good works especially in social relations, works that are outwardly and objectively in harmony with the law of God, though entirely destitute of any spiritual quality. This is in harmony with our Reformed Confession. Art. XIV of the Belgic Confession speaks in its title of man´s incapacity to perform what is truly good, says that man retained only small remains of his excellent gifts, so as to render him without excuse, and rejects only the Pelagian error that man can of himself perform spiritual or saving good. The Canons of Dort III-IV, Art. 3, speak in a similar vein: “Therefore all men are conceived in sin, and are by nature children of wrath, incapable of saving good” etc. It may be objected that the Heidelberg Catechism speaks in absolute terms when it says in Question 8 that we are incapable of doing any good unless we are regenerated. But it is quite evident from the Commentary of Ursinus himself that he would not deny that man can do civil good, but only that he can perform good works such as are defined in Question 91 of the Catechism.

Reformed theologians generally maintain that the unregenerate can perform natural good, civil good, and outwardly religious good.[18] They call attention to the fact, however, that, while such works of the unregenerate are good from a material point of view, as works which God commanded, they cannot be called good from a formal point of view, since they do not spring from the right motive and do not aim at the right purpose. The Bible repeatedly speaks of works of the unregenerate as good and right, II Kings 10:29, 30; 12:2 (comp. II Chron. 24:17-25); 14:3,14-16,20,27 (comp. II Chron. 25:2); Luke 6:33; ROM 2:14,15.”

The clear answer to both questions is, no.

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