Friday, December 19, 2008

Doctrinal Lineages

Desiridus Erasmus, in his landmark treatise "The Freedom of the Will", mentions Mani as one of the few "Christain" adherants to Predestination. Indeed St. Augustine, a minor saint, uses the Free Will Argument against his former co-religionists, the Manichaeans. The fact of the matter is that Predestination was a favorite doctrine of the competitors to Orthodox Christianity, such as the Gnostics. Gnosticism has ties to the Manichaens, Buddhism, and to the Occult. Indeed, it is the theme of the Gnostic Gospel of Judas, and the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas. A much better exposition of this, in much greater detail can be found in Maged Mikhail's Survey of Gnostic beliefs. Historically, the Bogomils evolved from the Manicheans and were active from the 900s to the 1800s, when they converted to Catholicism. Bogomil missionaries to France started the Cathars, also known as the Albigeneses in the Eleventh Century. The Albigenese Crusade of 1208 effectively destroyed them, even though they linger today. The Albigeneses were considered precursors to Reformed Thought. It is my personal opinion that Calvin followed them TOO closely.

The point is that Predestination is an old belief with origins outside of Christianity. Gnostics have made their attempts to intrude their scripture into Christain Scripture. In my younger days, this gave me intuitive support when I was surrounded by Calvinists. The knowlege to refute Calvinism, and especially Predestination was scant except for Eastern Orthodox Theology, which was exceptionally difficult to find during that era. My spiritual gut feeling sustained me until recent times, when the proofs of my beliefs became readily available. Calvinism, in its various forms, were simply not enough to sustain me spiritually. The closest I came within the realm of Protestantism was with the Hussites, who turned out to be a Church that started out as an Orthodox Church.

The Didache gives a reason why the Kosher Dietary Laws forbid the eating of Deep Sea Fish. Aside from the health reasons such as the worms that devoured Herod from eating raw fish, this dietary law derrived as a lessonthat it was best to select friends from reputable places. As the Deep Sea represents an unknown place, friends from unknown places often turn out to be unsavory. I extend the arguments to Doctrines. My antennae went up decades ago when I became aware of Predestination's lineage. There was nothing to allay my suspicions. The proof of my suspicions was extremely slow in coming, and only now with the internet have I had access to the evidence.

I had many a hint from the Bible about problems with Predestination, especially from Deuteronomy 30:19 and Revelation 22:19, but some of the Bibles I read backpeddled those verses. While these were only hints, I discovered the complex reason behind the backpeddling. When I finally set about the task of comparing Scripture with Scripture, I discovered that Desiridus Erasmus wrote his early translation of the Bible, the Textus Receptus, from a Byzantine manuscript. This Bible went through four editions. Unfortunately, the First Edition was rushed, causing irreparable harm to Erasmus'es reputation as a translator, even though he corrected his errors in later editions. The Textus Receptus eventually evolved into the Tyndale Version. I learned later that some the Bibles from whence I studied were influenced by Calvin's Geneva Bible, famous for its footnotes which were the cause of the previously mentioned backpeddling. As I looked into the matter, I came to the conclusion that the footnotes were often attempts modify the meaning of Scripture rather than interpret it. This led ultimately to my previous post "Edited, Not Translated".

It came as no surprise to learn that when the King James Version came out to compete against the Geneva Bible, that the footnotes annoyed the Court of King James, and that this had something to do with the King James Bible's ascendency over the Geneva Bible in the English Speaking World. We are now entering a new era with the scheduled publication of the first Eastern Orthodox Bible ever in the English Language, the EOB Version.

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