Re: Wheel of God

From: george murphy (
Date: Thu Aug 02 2001 - 22:39:54 EDT

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    "Vandergraaf, Chuck" wrote:

    > Vernon,
    > Your e-mail comes at an opportune time. I was just reading an article in
    > the "Canada Lutheran" (July/Aug 2001 issue) entitled "No Lutheran Bible"
    > where the author claims that the "Lutherans possess no binding list or guide
    > as to what books are among 'the scriptures of the Old and New Testament.'"
    > The article also contains the claim that "Saint Augustine ... recognized
    > that there was a divergence among Christians as to what books are
    > canonical."
    > Now we can't have it both ways. If, as you suggest, the supernatural
    > structure of the 66 books is a clear indication that there's "something to
    > it," where does this leave those branches of Christianity that don't accept
    > the 66 books?
    > Maybe George Murphy could comment on the validity of the contents of the
    > article in the Canada Lutheran?

        It's basically correct. The great majority of Lutherans regard the books of
    the standard protestant Bible as scripture but the Lutheran confessions have no
    official list of canonical books. In responding to a Roman argument based on a
    passage in Tobit, no indication is given that the book isn't authoritative.
    Luther translated the books (Wisdom, Tobit &c) of the western Apocrypha but put
    them in a separate section headed (my translation) "Apocrypha - that is, books
    which are not held equal to Holy Scripture yet are useful and good for
    reading." (This is similar to the way the original KJV deal with the
    Apocrypha.) This represents the historic Lutheran view, though a lot of
    American Lutherans have become protestantized. The position of Lutheran
    Orthodoxy was that texts from the Apocrypha could be used in support of
    doctrinal positions based on unquestioned books but that something couldn't be
    held as doctrine which could be supported only from the Apocrypha.
           Luther thought that some of the books of the New Testament - James, Jude,
    Hebrew, Revelation - were of lesser value than the others and placed them last
    in his translation of the New Testament. By that he was not removing them from
    the canon & Lutherans generally have not paid a lot of attention to this



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Dialogue"

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