Questions regarding the Biblical Canon (Specifically regarding the LXX)

Panoramicromantic's picture

This subject has come up before and I (as Erick M) contributed to it a couple of years ago. This ties in with the authority of the apocrypha thread. I was hoping to add further examples of problems with the Masoretic text. There's a little history just for those who need it; otherwise scroll to my questions at the bottom.

Not many Christians realize that the canon as we know it has gone through a number of changes since the early Christian centuries.

This is by no means an exhaustive history. I'm trying to keep it somewhat short. I think it's a worthwhile study and I am open to any improvements/criticisms as to the information I am presenting. Questions will follow.
In the centuries prior to the first Nicene councils, most of the books that now make up the Bible were considered authoritative but there were divisions on a number of books.
Regarding the NT:
The Revelation of John was controversial. Some churches used it some didn't. Some theologians, such as Dionysius Of Alexandria, did not believe it was written by the Beloved Disciple. It seems that there were a number of Apostolic figures named John in the first century.
2 & 3 John and 2 Peter were largely rejected before the first Nicene councils. They did not have the support of the earliest apostolic witnesses.
Hebrews was not used universally. There was a lot of mystery in regards to authorship as there still is. The Muratonian canon, which predates the first councils, is missing 3 John, Hebrews and James.
A book called the Apocalypse of Peter was used by some churches. So was the Shepherd of Hermas.

The council of Laodicea, Hippo and Carthage accepted all the 27 books that now make up the New Testament.
The Old Testament is the really tricky aspect of the canon.
The earliest councils accepted all the books that now make up the OT but...
It is the Septuagint (abbreviated LXX), the Greek version of the Old Testament. It included books that are now called "the apocrypha" by Protestants and "deutero-canonical" by Catholics. Most of the quotations of the OT in the NT are from the LXX. The LXX was translated from Hebrew and Aramaic sources in the first couple of centuries before Christ; some books in the apocrypha were composed originally in Greek. The LXX was used by most of the Diaspora or Hellenistic Jews. It later came into disuse among Hellenized Jews and Targumic/Aramaic translations and a Greek translation by a Jewish Proselyte named Aquila were commonly used instead.
Supposedly, a council of Pharisees met around 100 AD and decidedly rejected the books that make up the Apocrypha.
Around the time Jerome translated the Vulgate there was a renewed Christian interest in using the Hebrew version of the OT. Origen had translated a Hebrew text previously.
The version that eventually came to be the standard canonical text used by Jews was the Masoretic text. It was compiled by Rabbis between the 7th and 10th centuries. These Rabbis compiled versions of scripture that were largely chosen from a bias that was spurred on by their theological run-ins with Christians.
Since Luther's decision to use the Masoretic text in his canon, almost all Christian Bibles in the West use it. The only church that uses the LXX is the Eastern Orthodox church. They still consider the apocrypha authoritative/inspired as well.
Other than a few messianic readings from the LXX, our OT is largely the work of Rabbis that had it out for Christian interpretations.

How is it that this is the OT that has become standard for Christians?

What do we ultimately respond to as authoritative canon in theological discussions?

beemanlee's picture

The Older Roots And Meanings Of The Hebrew From The Bible

Brother Erick,

Again I'm going to say to you again, Erick, I'm Sorry for any perceived attack or accusation I may have made in my posting to you. It was not intended. I'm sorry you saw my words as you have.

The Issues we are talking about right now and here on this Forum are very important to understand as Christians. This is The Mystery which G-d is pointing out in His Word and to His Church. As We read The Word The Holy Spirit opens up our inner-man/woman to the Power of The Holy Spirit Working within each of us as Christians. He is the part of Torah That moves on the face of The Deep and it is also G-d's Breath which fills us with Him so we are able to recognize and understand clearly.

When we look back at The Bible which is The Inspired Word of G-d and wonder/marvel how It has stayed together with the same meaning that was from The Original Scripture Scrolls.

The Book we call The Bible is G-d's Inspired Word. It is to be used by us for our Guidance and Light as we Follow G-d's Way of Spiritual Life.

When we take issue with The Word of G-d, we are really taking issue with The Creator, Who's Word The Scripture and Writings represent.

The most important part of The Scripture is also the oldest as well.
The Oldest Books in The Bible are called The Torah. That is The first Five Books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. They are called by the name of the person who G-d Called to Author them by His Inspiration.

The Torah is where G-d's Guidance and Light was first emitted from and where Jesus points out to His Disciples about the future things that were to come of The Temple they saw from The Mount of Olives. It was teaching a parable of the fig tree to them. from The King James Bible, Matthew 24:35,

V35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

And from Matthew 5:18, from The King James Bible,

V18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

So, we know, not one Word shall pass away from The Scriptures. When all of God's Creation has ceased to exist in the physical, The Word of G-d will still be there and alive as well. With a wealth of G-d's Information(Spiritual Food) for us to consume in the spirit and to digest with in our soul.

G-d, who Is Omnipotent in His ability to create all things, and Who Is Omnipresent as well in His Provision To Maintain all things. G-d made Creation out of Nothing, and completed The Work in six days. He Is now maintaining His Creation from atrophy. from Exodus 20:11. G-d has been preserving His Word even down to our present day in time.

The Word of G-d is spoken about in Psalm 119:160, from The King James Bible,

V160 Thy Word [is] true [from] the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments [endureth] for ever.

The Scripture says, Thy Word is true from The Beginning. Every one of the righteous judgments will endure for ever. That is a very long time.

So, are we helping G-d out by finding errors with The Bible, His Word. from II Corinthians 2:17, The King James Bible,

V17 For we are not as many, which corrupt The Word of G-d: but as of sincerity, but as of G-d, in the sight of G-d speak we in Christ.

The Word of G-d backs up itself with other Scripture found in between it's covers. G-d makes sure that His Word is not misrepresented by man's Translation even though we are sincere in our doing for G-d. It is G-d Himself that maintains the integrity of The Word which is hidden within. This is not some external code to live by that we have to read or hear, but it is The Holy Spirit that resides within us as Christians.