Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Carthage 397 versus Later Day Revelation

In 1 Corinthians 13: 8-10 "Love never fails. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know [only] in part, and we prophesy [only] in part; but when what is complete comes, then what is incomplete will be done away with." which I quote from the EOB on page 384, it is generally agreed that certain miracles will cease "when what is complete comes". Other translations read "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." [21st Century King James Version] and "But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void, and superseded)." [Amplified Bible] . The "That which is perfect" clause is what is of interest here. What the Perfect thing is has been debated but I, as are many others, am of the opinion that it is the Bible itself.

Some scholars date the close of the Apostolic Age at 90 AD, with the death of St. John in order to acknowlege that his book completed the Cannon. Others date the end of the Apostlic Age at the birth of Origen in 185 AD to acknowledge the Hexapala. The latest possible date is 397 AD, the date of the Council of Carthage which selected the Cannon. For the sake of arguement, the other two dates are perfectly acceptable to me for the sake of the Closing of the Cannon. Though I actually prefer 90 AD, the most liberal 397 AD gets the job done for purposes of this post.

The point is that the Bible was definitively completed by 397 AD, and the Council of Carthage of 397 AD made it official. Any candidate scripture after this date is automatically disqualified, due to lack of timeliness. The Qur'an is dated at 633 AD, and is the first to fail this test. The Book of Mormon, published in 1830, also fails this test. In fact, if I equate the date of the Council of Carthage as the cutoff date for the date of writing all legitimate scripture, I abrogate Latter Day Revelation. As far as the period of time between 90-397 AD, I am willing to deem anything written during this period a candidate scripture, but I note that anything that did not pass inspection by the Council is not scripture.

No comments: