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Sunday, October 30, 2005

A Little Clarification

I posted a parable yesterday, and since now that I know I have some "real" readers...I need to expand on what I wrote a little. I also want to let you know that any of the words that are underlined can be clicked on to take you to a definition of that word, or a page where I found my information. Now that you know that, you may want to go back and read some of my previous posts and click on the underlined words. Now about that parable.

In 210 A.C., there was a writer named Origen, a Presybter of Alexandria, who employed incredible pains in knowing the Scriptures, is what is said about him in the book I'm reading called The Lost Books of the Bible. In the first four centuries, there were Christian writers who catalogued the books of the New Testament and the chapters in this book include a resource above them that give each writers opinion of that book. Origen was the oldest of the writers and he also catalogued the books of the Old Testament.

I wanted to see what other information I could find about him and I came across this website. It says that his family was devoutly Christian and that when he was seventeen years of age, he became a headmaster of a school. He was very devoted to God and because of that his teaching was not like the "philosophical and mystery schools of his day". So I have two different references that each lead me to believe that he was probably very close to God, because he also lived during the times when Christians were heavily persecuted. He also lived only about 150 years after Jesus died. My great grandparents lived in 1855. The Civil War still had ten more years to go. The stories that we hear and read are still too fresh to have been drastically altered. The historical accounts are accepted as very accurate. That was only 150 years ago. Do you see my point?

The variation between our Bible and the Origen's opinion of what should be "the Bible" is that he omitted James and Jude, but he "owns them both" in other parts of his writings. Origen said in his catalogue of Hermas, which is the book where I found the parable of the tower, he thought it a most useful writing and that it was divinely inspired. Other authors said it was foolish, but most agreed it was divinely inspired. The Archbishop Wake had the old Latin version of the manuscript compared with the ancient manuscript and "still further improved the whole from a multitude of fragments of the original Greek never before used for that purpose". It is believed to be as close as it could possibly be in English translation to the exact meaning in it's original Greek.

It says that the Angel that appeared to Hermas was "represented in the form and habit of a shepherd". I know that angels come in different clothing. I've seen them in Tshirts and jeans. From what I've read, Hermas had to have lived after Jesus died. He was married to one woman and had children. In his writings, you can assume that he was having trouble with his wife to the point that he was thinking about other women, and he questioned if there was anyway to get out of his marriage. His answer, short and simple, if either a man or a woman should commit adultery, do not live with them and do not remarry anyone else, because they might repent. God has the power to heal, and he will provide a remedy. He knew that the connection between God and man had been restored because when he had his visions, he was on his knees praying to God to forgive him for his sins.

I'm not saying that this should be added to the Bible by any means, but I think that this man's writings are important. God didn't say that when the last chapter's of the Bible were written that there would be no more prophecies and that he wasn't going to speak to anyone else until he returned. The only place I saw anything about "if anything shall be added to this book" was Revelations and I think it was talking about Revelations not about the Bible as a whole, but I could be wrong, so ask God for yourself.


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