Inspired, Sacred, and Canon

And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

Jude 1:14 (KJV)

Enoch – Where exactly did Jude find this prophecy from Enoch? It’s not in the Bible, yet we claim that all the words in the book of Jude are included as scripture. What about Paul’s quotations of Greek philosophers? (Aratus (Acts 17:28), Menander (1 Cor. 15:33), and Epimenides (Tit. 1:12)) Are their words the words of God? Or how about when Paul specifically writes that these are his words and NOT the Lord’s in 1 Corinthians 7:12, 1 Corinthians 7:25, and 2 Corinthians 11:17. Are those still the words of God?

Perhaps we should investigate the meanings of inspired, sacred, canon, scripture, and the word of God. They aren’t the same.

Inspired material is anything that moves a person to a higher objective. In religion it is often text, music and songs, or anything that might bring us closer to God. It is an individual evaluation.

With this understanding, anyone can claim that anything is inspired of/by God. Muslims might claim that jihad is inspired of God. Protestants claimed that the Salem witch trials were inspired of God. Cults claim their knowledge and religion is purely inspired by God.

Sacred material is evaluated by a community and deemed effective for religious belief and practice.

When a community adopts what they believe is inspired by God as part of their faith, this becomes sacred. Catholics have many sacred artifacts. The Quran is sacred, as is the Bible, or the Book of Mormon. This is because a group of people believe it’s inspired by God and treat these as sacred.

Canon material are those writings officially accepted by religious authorities and validated as sacred writings, although not all sacred writings are canonized.

Canon is defined by the ruling authority of a religious establishment, not by God. Men determined which writings that were already considered inspired and sacred, and agreed upon a select set for the purpose of canonization.

Scripture is loosely defined among most Christianity as the entire Bible (both old and new testaments). Some religions have an open canon and accept further writings as their scripture. The Apostles, Yeshua, and everyone else in the Bible only considered the Torah, and parts of the Tanakh as Scripture. They didn’t have the writings of the New Testament. So when we read about “scripture” in the New Testament, it only refers to the Old Testament, especially Torah.

The word of God is also loosely defined. Most would equate this to Scripture, but that definition is solely provided by our own desires. The word of God, defined often by the authors of the Bible pertained primarily to the words given to the prophets by God Himself. This includes the Torah, and the major and minor prophets.

These distinctions were understood by the authors of the Bible. For instance, the canonization of the Bible wasn’t solidified during the 1st century, so they quoted from anything they wanted to prove their points. They studied a variety of written sources and commentary, many of which aren’t found in the Bible today, and they were considered Godly, and scholarly men. Today, would you think similarly about men and women who study extra-Biblical resources, or would you say those are “outside” teachings? It’s funny how much we’ve moved away from the true nature of the Apostles and Yeshua.

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