Sunday, June 02, 2013

We Shot Him Out Of A Canon

I know of two main arguments against the seven books of the Old Testament called "deutero-canonicals": 1) They were not accepted as part of the canon by the Jews; and 2) there are no Hebrew originals of them. For the first to be a good objection, we must know why they rejected them. Frankly, I thought that the chief reason the Jewish leaders of the time rejected them because they were accepted by the Christian community, a movement they regarded as heretical. If we are Christians, then, we ought to have serious suspicion about that rejection, because Christ is the fulfillment of God's work among the people He had chosen. The same evangelistic heart that caused Christ to weep over Jerusalem is the heart we should have. The forthright defense of those Scriptures should be in the same spirit that moved St. Paul to say: "I wish that I myself were cut off from Christ for the sake of my brethren."

The second objection deserves no weighty reflection, because the events of Ezra-Nehemiah amply show that God does not forsake His people, though they did not even know the Law, or speak in the tongue in which it was given. God will go to any length to show mercy, to communicate (see Joel 2/Acts 2) or to join strangers and aliens in one Body (see Ephesians 2:11-22).

Any other objections would arise from an a priori decision that particular doctrines could not be true if found therein, and must therefore be rejected as anachronistic and unprincipled.

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