Martin Luther Questioned the Canonicity of the New Testament

In 1542 only 4 years before his death Luther wrote, “We should throw the epistle of James out of this school, for it doesn’t amount to much. It contains not a syllable about Christ, except at the beginning. I maintain that some Jew wrote it who probably heard about Christian people but never encountered any. Since he heard that Christians place great weight on faith in Christ, he thought, “Wait a moment! I’ll oppose them and urge works alone.'”

LW54,424-425

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20 thoughts on “Martin Luther Questioned the Canonicity of the New Testament

  1. Your posts are one sided and don't give the real or full story. I KNOW there is a true Christian God and I don't have to try to prove it to you, as I couldn't anyway because you only believe what you want. I think God shows (or can show) himself to each of us and He has shown himself to me beyond a doubt. You seem to be so hung up on hell and fire that there is nothing beyond that for you. We humans don't know and cant figure it all out. God someday will reveal to us what our minds cant understand now and Gary, then it will be clear to us. I KNOW there is a Christian God and when I was given a glimpse of Him I understood it was unexplainable but only something God could show me. All the posts and 'figuring out' you try to do is really useless. You are wasting your life.

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  2. I would say that someone who believes that virgins give birth to babies, that humans can walk on water, and that bloated, rotting corpses walk out of their graves to eat a broiled fish sandwich with their fishing buddies is the one “wasting his life”.

    Your beliefs are the equivalent of a life lived psychologically dependent on the whims of goblins, fairies, and leprechauns. Silly. Just plain silly.

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  3. There is stuff we as humans don't understand because we are not capable. You say my beliefs are just plain silly but you are trying to use human reason, something that can only go so far. How can I describe this to you when it came from God–the God who created all, that is out there, and gave life to us? Your description of virgins giving birth, corpses walking out of graves etc. is describing something from a human understanding. There is more than that. Much more. You say my beliefs are based on silly whims but your beliefs based basically on your own reason is not sound. Reality is more than our reasoning power.

    Chris

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  4. Chris,

    Your supernatural experiences, intense feelings, and intuition could be true, and I could be wrong. However, we must also say the same for the supernatural experiences, intense feelings, and intuition of people of every other supernatural-based religion on the planet.

    Why should we believe that you are right and all these other billions of very sincere religious people are wrong?

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  5. I am not referring to supernatural experiences, intense feelings, or intuition. It is just something, that as a skeptic, I have had happen . The knowledge of God surprised even me. I certainly was not hunting for it but I do know who my God is now. It has nothing to do with being 'sincere'. Gary, God is so real that I can not deny Him. You can call me an ignorant person from the goat herder era, silly, or whatever name you would like but the reality of God I can not deny.
    Chris

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  6. You haven't shared how you know who your God is.

    Maybe you had a personal experience which you cannot explain by natural means, so you chalk up to your God. How do you know that Allah didn't cause it to happen? Or Krishna, or any of the other thousands of gods in the world?

    What if I said this: I know that my God is the Great Unicorn. I can't tell you how I know, but I know she is God without any doubt in my mind because one time when I was really sick, I prayed to her and I got better the very next day! The Great Unicorn healed me and that is my proof of her existence.

    You would rightfully think that I'm nuts. So why should anyone think any differently about your God, Yahweh/Jesus?

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  7. How can I share such an experience? You would find fault with it no matter what I said. However I do know that God is real. When one has such an event (or whatever you want to call it) it is undeniable. It took me from doubting to belief. I was a church going doubter and went to realization of my God. No it wasn't Krishna, Allah, a Unicorn, etc but the real Christian God. I didn't ask for this to happen to me and it wasn't dramatic or even emotional and I don't know how I know. You and I are humans and we don't know and cant explain everything. All the articles you post are proof of nothing, just as what I write to you is proof of nothing (to you). But these articles you post can not convince me my God is not real. Many of your articles are making fun of Christianity and many are just articles trying to convince you or/and others there is no truth to God. We humans know so little and it takes God to convince me (not miracles or “supernatural” acts.

    Chris

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  8. ” God someday will reveal to us what our minds cant understand now …”

    Ok … let's take this at face value … fair enough – there is much humans do not understand and currently CANNOT understand – I concede this … you know what humans CAN understand? “Someday” is a reference to time/date … but yet god just can't seem to be pinned down to a time/date of this “revelation”/”unveiling” … for god, it really should be fairly simple to clue us in on where he has it penciled in. But for generations it's always “someday … someday SOON” … yeah, not holding my breathe …

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  9. Chris,

    When we decide to believe that an event has happened, that it is a historical fact, we do so based on probabilities. This applies not just to the resurrection claim of Christians but to every other historical assertion of Antiquity, as we do not have audio and video of the event.

    So when someone tells us that such and such an event has occurred, we believe this person based on probabilities. And very importantly, the less probable the claim made by that person, the more evidence we demand to believe his claim.

    Example:

    1. If someone told you that he saw a red car on the highway yesterday, you would probably take his word for it, unless you knew that he is a pathological liar or mentally ill.

    2. If the same man told you that he saw a herd of buffalo on the highway yesterday, unless you live in South Dakota or Wyoming, you probably will not believe him unless you see it in the newspaper or on the internet.

    3. If the same man tells you that he saw a group of ten foot tall, one-eyed, green Martians on the highway yesterday, I'm sure you would not believe him unless you had seen them yourself or if there is verified audio and video of the event.

    So even if you were to tell me that Jesus himself, in bodily form, appeared to you one night on the highway, and spoke to you in a ten minute conversation, I am not going to believe you because the probability of your story being true are very, very low.

    Probability would favor that you had a hallucination, a dream, a delusion, were in a psychotic trance, drunk, drugged, or even that you are lying. The very least likely probability is that you really did see a resurrected, 2,000 year dead man.

    And this is why I do not believe Paul of Tarsus' story of seeing a resurrected Jesus on the highway to Damascus. He claimed a highly improbably event occurred and the only evidence that we have for this claim is his word. Just as I would not believe that Martians were on the highway yesterday just based on one man's word, neither will I believe that a dead man appeared on the Damascus Road based on the word of one man.

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  10. You and Mr. Hall seem to think you should be able to figure it all out, that you are smart enough and have the ability to discern it all. If you can't, then what? You sound very self centered, conceited, prideful. You say Mr. Hall: ” for god, it really should be fairly simple to clue us in on where he has it penciled in'. Yes it might be easy for God but you are another matter. You think you are equal to God and can know and understand it all?

    And your examples Gary are nothing but lowly human reason. There is more than that to life. Look at yourself. You can think, move, see, hear. They list goes on.Where did that come from? How did you get these capabilities?
    Your examples Gary have no depth. They are just a bunch of jabber…meaningless examples explaining nothing.

    If this example is the kind of thing you think I refer to you don't have a clue (I refer to this example: “So even if you were to tell me that Jesus himself, in bodily form, appeared to you one night on the highway, and spoke to you in a ten minute conversation, I am not going to believe you because the probability of your story being true are very, very low”.

    You say: “So when someone tells us that such and such an event has occurred, we believe this person based on probabilities. And very importantly, the less probable the claim made by that person, the more evidence we demand to believe his claim.”
    Probabilities are a pretty cheap way to base ones life.

    Chris

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  11. So let's throw statistical analysis (the study of probabilities, the foundation of the insurance industry and many other industries) out the window and base our life on the superstitious, scientifically ignorant ramblings of ancient, Bronze-Age middle-eastern, goat-herding nomads.

    Sounds like a smart thing to do to me…

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  12. So it's either probabilities or superstition? You really make no sense. According to you it's your way or the superstitious, scientifically ignorant ramblings of ancient, Bronze-Age middle-eastern, goat-herding nomads. I have wondered what your parents were like (I know your dad was a hellfire preacher) and how you were raised, to be so narrow minded and unoriginal.

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  13. re: “I KNOW there is a true Christian God …”
    re: “You seem to be so hung up on hell and fire that there is nothing beyond that for you.”

    so, do you believe the entire bible is inspired? do you believe that god sends people to hell for disbelief? if he does, why shouldn't gary focus on that?

    the fact is, many people have mystical experiences and near-death experiences. (by some estimates, up to 1/3 of the population has a mystical experience at sometime in their life.) however, these experiences seem to be rather similar, and they occur in every faith tradition, and also with people of no faith tradition at all.

    to me, it seems that people project onto their experience a whole lot of whatever cultural and religious tradition that they come from. so christians have an experience and it's jesus, but a hindu has an experience and it's vishnu, or krishna. or maybe it's just a feeling of calm and peacefulness, which then then ascribe to zeus, or mithris, or the great spirit, or whatever faith tradition they're part of.

    furthermore, since they are usually an entirely personal and interior experience, and there are numerous fake people in the world, what's to prevent them from making up stories about an experience that never actually occurred? and are you sure the people that put together both the new and old testament canon's of the bible properly got only the inspired books of true god experiences in their, and didn't let any fake experiences in their?

    some people that have these mystical experiences actually give up lots of the dogma of their faith tradition, realizing from their experiences that god loves everyone, and anything to the contrary wasn't from god.

    overall, your comments leave far more questions than they answer. while it may have been very convincing to you, for an outsider, and looking at the experiences from multiple people, it raises a lot of questions. and the fact that you comments are very defensive, seems to indicate that you still have some cognitive dissonance, ie, you don't appear to be “filled with the peace that surpasses all understanding.”

    so far, you haven't threatened gary with hell — given that god's revealed himself to you, is that where gary is headed? so why do you care what gary thinks? if god is just, shouldn't he make a level playing field, and expose himself to gary to dispel his doubts too, so he doesn't burn in hell? or did the bible writers and many contemporary christians get it wrong, and doubt doesn't send you to hell? in which case, why are you arguing with gary instead of the many fundamentalists who preach about hell frequently?

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  14. So we are already into the personal insults, are we? This is how it seems to always be with conservative Christians. They can't defend their superstitions so they resort to attempts at destroying the credibility of their critics.

    Typical cult behavior.

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  15. Is this the best you can do for an answer? Don't be a baby. Good Grief. You, yourself, wrote about your preacher dad. Also I do remember several months ago in post after post, you working on 'destroying the credibility' of a pastor you did not agree with…. something you did that you call typical cult behavior.

    You work so hard to try to “prove” your position of belief. Yes, copy and paste copy and paste. Not much original in your posts

    Some of what I know I can not describe and if I would try you would just insult it anyway. But go ahead and insult. Your 'copy and paste' stuff (which seems to be your main source) is not your original so don't blame others—me in this case–for not fully describing something. You aren't doing a good job describing your position as you copy and paste what you read around the internet.

    I know you will find something to criticize and compare in a negative manner in what I say but here it is anyway. I KNOW who God is and if you were shown or God 'touched' (so to speak) you, you would also be sure. I didn't ask for God to do this, was surprised when God did this (it was an unemotional thing) but I did want Him and so grateful He showed or touched me.

    Criticize all you want.

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  16. I will not throw my pearls before swine.

    Furthermore you wouldn't believe it anyway and I am not going to fall for your trap and give you more to make fun of. You can say I have a vivid imagination or say whatever you want but I will not share anything personal with you.. I know what will happen and how you will make fun of me and call me more names. You already said to me:
    “Your beliefs are the equivalent of a life lived psychologically dependent on the whims of goblins, fairies, and leprechauns. Silly. Just plain silly.” And now you want me to share personal events with you? Sorry “Mr. Rational”. Won't happen.

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  17. That's certainly your choice, but I must ask then, why are you still reading this blog? I ask Christians for evidence, but you are unwilling to give it. Give me evidence and we will discuss it. Tell me you have evidence, but you won't share it, because I will make fun of it, is irrational.

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  18. You don't really want to discuss any kind of evidence. I again quote you May 15, 12:59PM: “Your beliefs are the equivalent of a life lived psychologically dependent on the whims of goblins, fairies, and leprechauns. Silly. Just plain silly”. That is not even close to discussing.

    Besides that I read very little, if any, of your copy and paste blog. I just skim for comments which I see as the only interesting part. If there are no comments I will on occasion make one as I have done here.

    Furthermore I have told you some of my evidence in a past post (maybe a year ago? not sure but awhile back) and you did NOT discuss it. You just told me I was superstitious and silly. You said enough that I realized you were closed to any kind of real discussion.

    Also the evidence you want is on your terms. If I would tell you how I feel about God and why I believe there is a God you would not want to hear it but only tell me I was superstitious, silly and in a cult (or whatever words you used then). In the past you had a very long list of some kind of evidence that would be the only thing you would accept. I only skimmed your list but I could tell you were extremely one sided and not open at all to anything anyone would want to actually discuss . Unless of course it was under YOUR terms only. Then it wouldn't be a discussion tho would it? It would be a list of whatever it was you asked for.

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