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31 October 2017 = 500th anniversary of Luther’s theses

5.15.4.
This is why the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were included, as well as

Istanbul, Hagia Sophia, Christ
Istanbul, Hagia Sophia, Christ

the Acts of the Apostles by Luke, John’s Revelation and the letter collections of individual churches.

5.15.5.
The authentic letter of Paul to Philemon and the inauthentic 3rd letter of John were included and are included in the canon because they emphasise the unity of the whole church from the social point of view (Philemon) and in questions of faith (3 John).

5.15.6.
The four Apostolic church’s contributions to the canon:

Individual

church            Gosp. Acts       Letters                     Revelation      

James             Matthew          James, Judas           –

John                John                 1-3 John                   John

Peter                Mark               1-2 Peter                   –

Paul                 Luke, Acts      Paul’s  letters,          –
                                                  Hebrews                                          

 

The Bible can be so exciting, if we approach it with an enquiring mind instead of accepting the papal interpretation. As Martin Luther wrote in 1520 (in his open letter To the Christian Nobility…): Bible interpretation should not be the sole privilege of the (Pope’s) church with its priests and professors; on the contrary, all Christians, even lay people, should interpret the Bible.

I withdraw nothing, as Martin Luther stated on 18 April 1520 at the Diet at Worms, unless the Holy Scripture or rational argument prove me wrong.

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V  15   The canon of the New Testament

5.15.1.
The dominant master narrative about the origins of the New Testament canon states that in the first half of the 2nd century AD,

Istanbul, Hagia Sophia, Christ
Istanbul, Hagia Sophia, Christ

there were so many Gospels and Apostolic letters circulating among the communities that the churches had to separate the wheat from the chaff.

The only texts they adopted into the canon of significant texts for the Christian religion were those that they considered were written by one of the twelve Apostles or the Apostle Paul, or that were authorised by one of the Apostles; e.g. Luke’s Gospel, written by Paul’s companion Luke (Col. 4:14; 2 Tim 4:11; Philemon 24), was authorised by Paul.

5.15.2.
The new theses about the origin of the New Testament canon:

The New Testament canon was formed from writings from the three Palestinian Apostolic churches of James, John and Peter and the Gentile Christian church of Paul.

5.15.3.
The criterion for the acceptance into the canon was the balance between the origins in the individual churches and the extent to which the writings supported the church’s unity.

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5.5.23.
Unification of the Palestinian Jesus Groups: in the years after 70 AD the Jesus Groups separated from their original movements

Troy
Troy

and the confessional churches merged with the Gentile Christian church. The rebels were branded traitors (Judas’ betrayal in the Gospels, not yet mentioned by Paul) and were excluded from the united church. Judaism, the Baptist movement and the Gnostics went their separate ways.

The traditions of the Jesus Groups are reflected in the Gospels that were written at this time and later gathered in the New Testament. The religious authority shifted from the spiritually gifted Apostles to the local churches and the Christian tradition as it was handed down.

5.5.24.
The end of the traditions handed down by individual churches: after 135 AD the writings of the individual churches were gathered together in the New Testament canon, each church being represented in proportion. The texts handed down by the Jesus Groups finally merged in the tradition of the whole church.

In place of the friction between the old Jesus Groups, new conflicts arose.

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IV  8   The completion of the Old Testament after 70 AD

4.8.1.
The destruction of Jerusalem and of the Yahweh temple in Jerusalem

Capernaum, Church of the Multiplication, mosaic
Capernaum, Church of the Multiplication, mosaic

seemed to many Jews to be the end of an era.

4.8.2.
The individual Old Testament writings were revised, expanded and completed after 70 AD.

4.8.3.
The cut-off point of the Old Testament canon came after the end of the Bar Kochba rebellion (after 135 AD) and under the influence of the formation of the Christian canon.