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Jewish doctrinal defense against heresy.
This section of LearnEmunah.com is intended only for Jewish education and defense.
The Catholic and the Christian Cannon
This Is Part Seven
Since the new Universal Church had established itself on the heavily edited story of Yeshua the Jewish Reformer, it chose, after much debate, to include the Jewish Tanach (usually referred to by the insulting term "Old Testament") into its official writings or cannon.
For its Pentateuch (or Written Torah: the Five Books of Moshe/Moses) the Papacy relied largely on the Greek Septuagint translation rather than on the Hebrew Masoretic text. This helped to distance the Church's Bible from the Hebrew Scriptures. The Torah had previously been translated by Hellenistic Jewish scholars. The Nevi'im (Prophets) and Khethuvim (Writings) had been previously translated into Greek by Gentile scholars and included a few significant discrepancies from the Hebrew originals.
The Tanach (aka The Miqra: "That which is read"):
- T: The Torah or "Teaching." Torah in this context refers to the Five Books of Moshe/Moses (Genesis - Deuteronomy).
- N: The Nevi'im or "Prophets."
- Kh: Khetuvim, The "Writings."
The Tanach was well established by Jewish scholars so the Roman Universalist theologians couldn't do much to alter its teachings. Perhaps this is partly why they downgraded its importance as "the Old [or outdated] Testament"). The new Catholic Bible was advanced by scholars such as Jerome. Jerome was the son of Eusebius of Caesarea (circa 263–339 C.E.) who, as discussed previously, was an important Arian. Eusebius of Caesarea was a strict (and mostly biblical) monotheist and hence rejected the trinity doctrine. His son Jerome embraced this anti-biblical belief and lived circa 347 – September 30, 420. Jerome is also known as Saint Hierom (which name, if studied out, opens some very interesting doorways we wont be looking into here). The aforementioned Textus Receptus (source of the KJV and other significant translations) comes through this lineage of interpretive Christian translation.
The Tanach could not be changed by the Church, but it could be reinterpreted according to their doctrinal needs. Passages the Church did not like were dismissed passe or "fulfilled in Iēsoús." By determining the content of the New Testament and then establishing their authority as its sole interpreters, the Vatican Bishops established themselves as the sole arbitrators of the "one true faith," thereby replacing the historic Yeshua with the Church's man-god.
The Church confiscated all the known epistles and other texts written by members of the initial Way sect and from them created their New Testament. Many of these writings were permanently discarded or lost but many have been rediscovered over the years (such as the Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Barnabas, the Books of Enoch, etc.). Since the Church was able to heavily edit and canonize its version of the New Testament, it did not present the same textual limitations as the Tanach. Although a few people had read the Hebrew language Way Scriptures by the third and fourth centuries, none of these works had yet attained the established status of Holy Writ. Prior to this there was no Christian cannon. Most of the "believers" who could read had read these separate documents in one of the conflicting Greek and/or Aramaic translations rather than in the Hebrew originals. Mainly it was only the Jewish Way holdouts who understood Hebrew and most of them had either fled or surrendered their cultural and linguistic identity by this point. Most people who sought to follow Iēsoús by this point were Gentile Arians or Nazarenes who, for the most part, could not read Hebrew. Everyone agreed that the conflicting Church Scriptures needed to be clarified and standardized and the bishops set about doing this, to their own advantage of course.
Claiming "poor translations," "older or more reliable manuscript sources" and so on, it was easy for the Universalist theologians to reject and/or edit the books in ways that supported the developing dogmas of the New Religion. We have witnessed a similar process of doctrinal alteration in our own time as the Humanistic NIV (New International Version) paraphrase (which is based on previously discarded texts) has replaced the far superior King James Authorized Version (a translation from the Textus Receptus) throughout the English-speaking world. Most Christians have no idea how fundamentally contrary to the King James Version and the historically honored Textus Receptus the NIV and its sister paraphrases are.
A few of the once commonly accepted books of the Way sect, like the Gospel of Enoch, the Protevangelion of James, and many others were rejected outright by the "Church fathers" and came to be regarded as Pseudepigraphal. Some were reworked and incorporated into the official Papal cannon in order to establish the appearance of orthodoxy for the New Religion. Not all of the first and second century writings they considered were authentically Way Sect documents of course. Discretion was needed. There were a great many works to choose from for the cannon. Many of these contained Gnostic, Coptic (as in Egyptian Mystery cults), Nicolaitan, and other anti-biblical influences that would have fatally flawed the Scriptures, even if the intent had been a pure one. Some of texts that were actually written by the disciples have been lost to history while teachings they would never have entertained are now attributed to them.
Once the Catholic Magisterium determined the canon all the other books and earlier versions became "heretical" to possess. To ensure the authority of the official cannon innumerable volumes were destroyed or perhaps locked away within the vaults of the Vatican. Thanks to modern archeology and greater religious freedom many of these works are being rediscovered and made public. Reading many of these works one can completely understand and affirm their rejection by the councils were correct. Others however would have given a needed breadth and depth to the New Religion it lacked.
The Universal Nicene Church Advances
Having established the foundations of the Christian Church stone upon stone with proof texts (i.e. reinterpretations of the Hebrew prophets), in time the Papal theologians canonized the body of orthodox Christian dogma and source texts. The essential dogmas of the Church are enshrined in the Nicene and Apostolic Creeds as discussed above. For this reason we often refer to "Nicene Christianity." Nicene Christianity (as opposed to the original Way Jewish sect) includes all the denominations and sects that accept the Creed (and its dogmas) as binding. This category includes the vast majority of Christian denominations historically and today. Through the Creeds the Vatican identified itself as the only acceptable source of spiritual knowledge and authority. The main difference between the Catholic (East and West) and Protestant (Anglican etc) versions of the Nicene Creed is that Protestants do not interpret the word "catholic" to be referring to Catholic Church, but collectively to all those who are "saved."
The Vatican "Church fathers" proclaimed the Catholic Popes to be the successors to Saint Peter by misinterpreting a saying of Yeshua at Matthew 16:18. I discuss this in my piece Was Peter the First Pope?. The Roman Nicolaitan Papacy proclaimed itself to be the sole and divinely appointed emissary of God with authority over the whole world. This erroneous belief is Christian Replacement Theology and violates the promises of HaShem found from Genesis to Malachi and even from Matthew to the Revelation of John.
The Church as the Kingdom
Since the historic Yeshua clearly did not establish the Kingdom of G-d (which is the primary function of the biblical Mashiach) -- and since the last thing the Nicolaitans want is the biblically prophesied global Jewish Theocracy anyway -- the Papacy declared that their Iēsoús and his mother (the goddess Theotokos) had in fact ushered in the Kingdom in the form of the One True Catholic Church!
The Jews, they claimed, had not understood their own prophecies because of the alleged "hardness of their hearts." Because of this failure the Jews had been disowned and replaced by the Church: by "Spiritual Israel." It would simply take time to perfect the world through the ministries of the Church, but it would happen in time -- so pay your tithes, purchase your indulgences, and obey Mother Church! Men like Protestant Reformer Martin Luther added that this purification would necessitate "dealing firmly with the Jews problem" (See his: On the Jews and their Lies)
This of course completely violates the teachings of the Bible from Genesis to Malachi and even from Matthew to Revelation, but now "the Church" stood supreme upon the three pillars of Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium (i.e. the Church's teaching authority). Whatever the Vatican proclaimed had to be accepted as fact or one would suffer the consequences!
With the advent of the Christian Bible another irreparable division between the Church and its Jewish roots was set in stone. Now the two religions had virtually no doctrinal connection. The Church was now claiming it had completely replaced the Jews and that God henceforth condemns them (unless they convert to Catholicism of course).
Now only Catholics in good standing with Mother Church were to be accepted as citizens of "the Kingdom of God:" the Church. As 'salvation' could only be found within the Church, the Papacy's authority on all points of doctrine and politics became unassailable. Eventually the Church went so far as to proclaim the Pope's pronouncements to be equal to (or greater than) Scripture! When speaking ex cathedra the Pope's pronouncements are considered the ultimate authority, the very Word of God superseding even the Torah and Jesus.
In accordance with their new authority, Catholic missionaries traveled far and wide, planting missions wherever they went and spreading the influence of the all powerful Mother Church, the Kingdom of God on earth. Soon the doctrine was developed that as the Catholic Church itself was the kingdom of God, it was obviously destined to rule all things, including sovereign countries and the hearts and minds of everyone on the planet. The Universal Church claimed and wielded the power to give life and to take it away, both physically and spiritually. She could forgive sins or retain them. She was all-powerful and all knowing. And don't forget that Holy Saint Nicholas was keeping his list and checking it twice! The Church was often ill-tempered, sadistic, employed pedophilia and rape, and anything else its bishops and priests desired. They were beyond accusations because they were the holy fathers and mothers who served Our Lady, the Theotokos. There was no aspect of human activity the Mother Church did not wield absolute authority over. As divinely appointed leader (by divine smoke) the Pope held the "Keys to the Kingdom." When he speaks ex cathedra his pronouncements are regarded as the very Words of God superseding even those of Moshe and Yeshua.
The Fall of the Universal Church
Had it not been for the rise and early conquests of Islam the Papal intent to conquer and rule the planet might well have succeeded! That much we can thank Islam for.
As the Nicolaitan Church continues to lose its authority and membership today, Islam is once again growing rapidly and replacing the Church in all areas. While Muslims are becoming ever more devout in their faith and expanding it through voluntary and involuntary "reversions," social manipulation, murder, fear, deception (taqiyya) and childbirth rates, Catholics, like most Christians, are becoming ever more "lukewarm" and apathetic in their faith and practices. Their child birth rates are plummeting due to legal abortion and infertility. They are bringing in comparatively few converts and are retreating on all fronts of the social battle. Christians are producing far less children than Islam and are generally apathetic in terms of their social rights and freedoms while Islam is becoming increasingly aggressive. The result is that Islam is like a tidal wave roiling across the earth all but unhindered. Christianity is like a coastal resort watching the incoming tide and yet reclining on the beach unconcerned.
As the Nicene Christian Church continues its collapse the Nicolaitan Elite are now pushing for a new ecumenical agenda for their Globalist paradigm. Christendom's Nicolaitan hierarchy is now pushing forward a new inclusive unity between the world's religions in ways that would have been unthinkable a hundred years ago. Many Nicene Christians are now being taught to believe that the deen of Islam and other religions are equivalent belief systems to their own. They are joining Interfaith networks and fellowships hoping to establish the Nicolaitan dream of a Global religion consisting of all faiths. We are even seeing this among many American Jewish congregations where "Interfaith services" are now being conducted.
Make no mistake however, Islam has but one intention: Global Sharia-based dominion. Will the Churches and liberal synagogues wake up in time? We'll see. This story is far from over. As Jews we await the coming of HaMashiach ben David and pray that all Jews will avoid the traps laid by these Replacement Theologies.
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Echoes From Shoah
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