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inclusion / exclusion text

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Good morning brothers and sisters -
This is my first post (will try not to hose it up :embarasse ), I have been reading many of your posts from the "sideline" and want to extend to all of you blessings for your insight, prayers, and testimony.
So here is my deal - comparitvly speaking I am fairly "green" in my faith / true devotion to Christ and would appreciate your insight / guidance on a handful of issues. Without giving you my full testimonial (pretty good one btw) I have been consumed with defining my faith and softening my heart for the last 2 years but still get hung up on a couple things. If my tone comes off argumentative or combative it should not be taken as such - probably just frustration coming through.
My first question boils down to "why is the Bible exclusivly reserved as the only written word of God / account of Jesus Christ?" Take it in 2 parts - Ancient / Modern
Ancient - obviously the question here would relate to the Gnostic gospels, now in fairness I have not read them myself so I can't point for point speak to their content or authenticity but if their subject matter is more accounts of our Savior and their message is consistant within the variance of canonized material why would we not want, rather crave, to know what they have to say about our Lord and his bride? However the sense that I have received is that I should not only NOT entertain the thought but distance myself as much as possible under the umbrella of Jesus's fore warning of false prophets. I have also often heard scripture referenced (can't find it in concordance sorry) that nothing shall be added or taken away from scripture but wouldn't this have been written pre-Constatine? Thus begging the question of what is "scripture" defined as at that point, and why would a book carry more weight than an existing gnostic scripture at that point? I do understand that the core of the issue is belief that scripture of the Holy Bible is God spoken, and the Council of Nicaea was acting in the Holy Spirit when their decisions were made on inclusion, but weren't these just men like you or I capable of flaw and error? Again my intent is not to push for gnostics or take on fundamental doctrine just to understand the reasoning behind why it is so opposed now when its exclusion was determined by falable men.
Modern - this is a bit of a different question but same kind of topic. I think we can all agree that we live according to an active living God, no more or less active than in the time of Moses, Abraham or Christ. I guess my question here is basically "Is Revelations "it" in a scriptural sense until the return of the Lord?", put another way many many people are moved by the Spirit in revelations given to them, should their accounts be given any more or less credit than that of the Biblical revelations? And what, or who, would determine that? Let me give an example - Howard Storm wrote a book "My Descent Into Death" - in short he was an atheist, had a "near death experience" in which he was rescued from some sort of hadeas, was risen up by angels and brought before Jesus where he conversed with the Lord and returned to his earthly body, he has since become a Minister and active missionary around the world sharing the Good News of Jesus and his 'revelations' of the world given to him from the savior. Now I am in no way suggesting his account should be 'canonized' or anything like that - but how is one to take an account like that in relation to written scripture? If the message can with stand tests of purity and goodness (1 Thes 5:21), and we believe in an active God where do we draw the line between "false-prophet" and "equal to the written word of God".
In advance I appreciate your insights. Believe me I praise the Lord that he knows my heart and knows that I am an analytical, hard headed person to a fault. For people like me that think in terms of proof and conjecture the Lord has to provide quite a bit of Grace at times , but praise him who is faithful.
May grace surround all of you, and thanks again.
 
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cuprunsovr, you asked some very good questions.

However the sense that I have received is that I should not only NOT entertain the thought but distance myself as much as possible under the umbrella of Jesus's fore warning of false prophets. I have also often heard scripture referenced (can't find it in concordance sorry) that nothing shall be added or taken away from scripture but wouldn't this have been written pre-Constatine?
This scripture is in Revelation 22:18 and is referring to the book of Revelation not the bible as a whole.

In reference to your question on having new scripture canonized. What could it beneficially relate without being repetitious?

There is enough in the scriptures that we know as the bible to help and encourage us to grow in our relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Mind you, knowing the bible is not the goal. The goal is to know Christ.

Ephesians 4:11-16
11*And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12*for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13*till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14*that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15*but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16*from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Hope this helps you out a little. Keep seeking the Christ.
 
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Thank you Jiggyfly for your reponse and clarification on Rev 22:18. However in a sentence you have captured my unanswered issue - " Mind you, knowing the bible is not the goal. The goal is to know Christ."

If additional text "gnostics" or modern revelations can help others to better know Christ why are they so adimantly denied or lableled false doctrine, new age, etc.

By the lack of response, maybe others feel I am suggesting all this should be - I am NOT. The best I can explain it it is if you remeber back to Algebra and lets say you passed but never really understood a particular theorom, then when you went on to Geometry it came back to bite you because you never got it the first time. I have never had the "got it" feeling on this, which is now a flaw in my shield of faith open for attack, and inhibiting to my defense to non-believers. Maybe this doesn't make sense, but I figured if this isn't where you can get "Help / Counsel" then maybe I don't understand the forum. Again thanks Jiggy for your response, scripture ref.
 
Member
If additional text "gnostics" or modern revelations can help others to better know Christ why are they so adimantly denied or lableled false doctrine, new age, etc.
cuprunsovr, can you be more specific, what modern revelations of Christ are labeled false and new age? If any revelation does not stand under the scrutiny of the canonized scriptures we have already then it is determined false.

Let me put it this way, The bible is a compulation of scriptures that are inspired by the Holy Spirit and His testimony of Jesus the Christ. God authorized this testimony as a help to know Christ. It expresses the character of the Godhead. But the scriptures do not replace the need for an actual encounter with Christ and the reality of an ongoing relationship with Him. So in other words, the scriptures are a safe guard to keep us from having mistaken identity concerning the Christ. But knowing about Jesus the Christ is not the same as knowing Jesus the Christ. There must be interaction with the person of Christ in order to know Him.

With this in mind, the Bible is quite sufficient in itself to accomplish this. Not to say that these other authentic writings are not inspirational, because they can be, but they are not necessary to accomplish the same goal as the canonized scriptures.

I myself like to read the nicene, post nicene and ante-nicene writings. I like church history, the christian mystics and testimonies of the saints, past and present. I hope this helps you some , God bless.
 
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Again thank you Jiggy, this does help - we're getting there lol.

Let me change my question then:
Why do gnostic text "not stand under the scrutiny of the canonized scriptures"? I understand this may require detail disection but can you tell me any general reasoning?

Thansk again

p.s. why is nobody else responding lol, I really am looking with good intentions?
 
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Hi Cupronsovr, sorry I can't help you, I am not knowledgable in this area. I would like to assure you, you aren't being ignored , Sometimes we have to wait a bit for a response, but you will get help.

God bless you
Heather
 
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lol ty calluna

by the way this is my disclaimer if anyone is thinking it - I had these questions before all the DaVinci Code talk :wink:
 
Member
cuprunsovr said:
Again thank you Jiggy, this does help - we're getting there lol.
Let me change my question then:
Why do gnostic text "not stand under the scrutiny of the canonized scriptures"? I understand this may require detail disection but can you tell me any general reasoning?
Thansk again
p.s. why is nobody else responding lol, I really am looking with good intentions?
It may take a day or two to give you an answer on this. I have some other work that I have to finish up on.

Hi Cupronsovr, sorry I can't help you, I am not knowledgable in this area. I would like to assure you, you aren't being ignored , Sometimes we have to wait a bit for a response, but you will get help.
Like calluna said, don't get discouraged, I promise you are not being ignored.
 
Member
cuprunsovr, the gnostic gospels among other gnostic writings are part of a belief system called gnosticism.

Gnostic writings are based on our own ( human) reason and intellect. Early Gnostics believed that all knowledge is subject to or based on reason. The Gnostic name comes from the Greek word gnosis meaning knowledge.

Most Gnostics also believe that salvation is available to only a select group. A group of a certain intellect.

I have read some of the gnostic writings, because I study church history. But there is nothing of a spiritual value in the gnostic writings that is not in the canonized scripture. Bottom line is Gnosticism is based on man's ability to understand, rather than the Holy Spirit's power to reveal and salvation is based on intellectual ability and not intimacy with Jesus the Christ.


There are some very good studies available concerning early gnosticism. To comment on modern writings I will need you to be specific as to which ones.
 
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JIggy this (and rest of discussion) helps a good deal thank you. It was kind of funny after my last post i turned on tube and there was a show on HIstory channel that said many of the same things you have stated here. I once told a friend that I could go broke if you left me in the Christian Book section of Barnes & Noble to which she replied "there is only one book you need", which is both appropriate here, and also sheds light on the way my mind works thus my "issue".

On the modern stuff - I guess the question is more of "What do you make of these accounts?" A couple examples I have come across are:
"Descent Into Death" - described above

"Conversation With God" by N.D. Walsch - in short this whole book is just what it sounds, a gentleman (don't recall his spiritual position at the time) found himself in meditation / prayer having an extended dialogue with God and the whole book is the conversation captured on notebooks.

thanks again Jiggy
 
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