The descisions on which books was far from "arbitrary" - the council had a set criteria for inclusion, you may wish to research this. --Stig 10:56, 4 October 2008 (CDT)
- Actually, an article on the History of the New Testament, and the politics involved in picking which books would be included and which ones rejected, would probably be a good thing. Do you want to start it?
- --Arensb 12:12, 4 October 2008 (CDT)
- I agree that it was not "arbitrary", but neither was it based on a universally-accepted criteria. Rather, it seems to have been largely political. There was no one council wherein everyone agreed to a set of rules, and decided canonization based on them. It was a long process involving several councils, and what was included/excluded changed several times until they all finally agreed.
- Think of it more like, "will you read Revelation in your church if he stops reading the Acts of Paul in his?"
- --Jaban 19:25, 4 October 2008 (CDT)
- Regarding the "arbitrary" remark from the article ("Decisions over which to include and which to exclude were somewhat arbitrary."): the context of the remark is that different versions of the Bible included different books, and when it came to excluding certain books, that was based largely on whatever the selecting authority felt was distasteful/heretical. Even though they each had "good reasons", in their own opinions, from the perspective of someone who doesn't believe "any" of it literally, the choices look very subjective and arbitrary. - dcljr 12:51, 7 October 2008 (CDT)
- The initial argument against it being called 'arbitrary' seems to be saying that therefore it was divinely directed. The books were not chosen capriciously, but that does not mean there was any factual basis. Even if they DID have 'rules', those rules were arbitrary. But it seems they instead had political motivations (not arbitrary, but equally baseless). --Jaban 22:29, 7 October 2008 (CDT)
The funny thing, to me, is that these councils are held by many to have been divinely inspired/directed to choose what God wanted in the Bible, but their other decrees are completely ignored. From the Council of Laodicea:
- 29. Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord's Day. (Sunday)
- 30. [No one] shall wash in a bath with women; for this is the greatest reproach among the heathen.
- 36. They who are of the priesthood, or of the clergy, shall not be magicians, enchanters, mathematicians, or astrologers.
--Jaban 19:25, 4 October 2008 (CDT)
- I think its probably referring to numerology rather than mathematicians, would fit with the divination theme.--Stig 07:19, 7 October 2008 (CDT)
- It is probably actually referring to mathematicians. The major sciences, including mathematics, were largely identified with paganism at the time. New theories and discoveries of science force reinterpretation of doctrine, and spur new schools of thought in philosophy. Religion tends to dislike that.
- Anyway, I've gone off on a tangent. This has nothing to do with the original point. Delete this section when you read it.
- --Jaban 22:20, 7 October 2008 (CDT)