48 replies

  1. Kenneth Copeland indeed is one of the most greedy, materialistic, money loving, and worst and goofiest heretics of the last 50 years, within the greater Charismatic / Pentecostal movement.

    He has taught we are little “gods”, and have the power to create our own wealth and health and healing by the words of our mouth. What a nut-ball !! (and in the video where the pic was taken from, claimed to snuff out the Corona Virus by his “positive confessions” of his spoken words.) He is a goofy nut-case.

    He is condemned by 2 Peter chapter 2 and I Timothy 6 and many other passages.


    • “a goofy nut-case” – a wonderful Americanism.

      And entirely fitting.

    • @ Ken

      You’re rightfully horrified at that but not at your shirk filled text:

      “I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’ (Pslams 82:6)

      Pulpit Commentary
      Verse 6. – I have said, Ye are gods; i.e. “in my Law I have called you gods” – I have given you this lofty name (see Exodus 21:6; Exodus 22:8, 9), since ye judge on my behalf, “as my representatives” (Deuteronomy 1:17; 2 Chronicles 19:6; Romans 13:1, 2). And all of you are children of the Most High. Not therefore “gods” in the strictest sense, but possessing a derived, and so a qualified, divinity.

      • Psalm 82 is about leaders who THINK they are “gods” by their evil oppressions / injustices / wars , etc.

        Read verses 2-4
        “How long will you[a] defend the unjust
        and show partiality to the wicked?[b]
        3 Defend the weak and the fatherless;
        uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
        4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
        deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

        But also, verse 7 says they are just mortal men who will die. (which proves God in Psalm 82 does not mean that they are in reality “gods”, but that “I said” = I am calling you “gods” in a mocking way, because of your prideful attitude.

        Jesus, in John 10:22-39, was quoting Psalm 82 to expose their prideful / dictator like attitude of thinking they are like “gods” (but never admit that they are claiming to be “gods”, but having deep attitudes of that, by their attitudes and actions) rebuking the Pharisees and Jewish leaders for their oppression and injustice and hypocrisy and acting like they are “gods” by their oppressive leadership. (in the same way that dictator regimes oppress people, whether it is Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Moaw, Saddam Hussein, Hafez and Bashir Al Assad, Khomeini regime in Iran, or the Serbian leaders in Serbia in the 1990s vs. Bosnians, etc.

      • @ Ken

        If I may where are you getting that interpretation because all the commentary I’ve read is yes it admits they are “gods” because they judge according to God’s law:

        Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers
        “It is interesting to notice that Psalm 82:1; Psalm 82:6 were quoted by Constantine at the opening of the council of Nicæa, to remind the bishops that their high office should raise them above jealousy and party feeling.”

        Benson Commentary
        Psalm 82:6-7. I have said, Ye are gods — I have given you my name and power to rule your people in my stead; and all of you — Not only the rulers of Israel, but of all other nations; (for the powers that be are ordained of God, Romans 13:1;) are children of the Most High — Representing my person, and bearing both my name and lively characters of my majesty and authority, as children bear the name and image of their parents. But ye shall die like men — Like ordinary men. As if he had said, Let not either your honourable title or exalted station make you insolent or secure, for though you are gods by name and office, yet still you are mortal men; you must die, and give up your account to me your supreme Lord and Governor

        Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
        I have said, Ye are gods – See the notes at Psalm 82:1. I have given you this title; I have conferred on you an appellation which indicates a greater nearness to God than any other which is bestowed on men – an appellation which implies that you are God’s representatives on earth, and that your decision is, in an important sense, to be regarded as his.


      • @Stew, literally had a long exhausting discussion on the exact same topic with him 2 years ago…the cambridge commentary (not sure if it’s updated) gave the best commentary, just skip to it on the link you shared…Exodus 22:9 totally ends the debate

        I said: “…Judges are called gods in Exodus 22:9 as well…so i see nothing which points out to a mockery or anything…so the NWT has once again proven it’s accuracy as well by rendering Θεόν as indefinite as it (sorry for repeating it) fits both the syntax and the context….i wonder why you ignored me all this time, did i say anything rude? my apologies if that’s the case…


        Ken Temple
        March 20, 2018 • 3:04 pm
        Judges were called “God” only because they were God’s representative on earth when they made a judicial decision according to the Law. It does not mean that they are “God”; rather they represent God’s decision, since God is invisible and they are making the judicial decision. But Psalm 82 shows that even the judges can be arrogant and oppressive, so my point still stands on Psalm 82 and John 10.


      • Lol sorry for quoting the last part, wasn’t on purpose…Ken was tired and overwhelmed by multiple comments that day, he’s a man of patience

  2. Kenneth Copeland

    “Man was created in the god class, was not created in the animal class, it was the gods class. ..Alright, are we gods? We are a class of gods. (Kenneth CopelandPraise the Lord, TBN, 2/5/1986) There is no such thing as a class of gods in the scripture. The idea that mankind has somehow been a class of gods all along is beyond ludicrous.The scripture teaches over and over that mankind is wicked and sinful and it would be impossible for such a creature to be a god. Every god in all religions of the world is a wonderful creature that is holy and good and far surpassing man in every way.

    “Every Christian is a god. … “You don’t have a God in you; you are one,” (The Force of Love (Fort Worth: Kenneth CopelandMinistries, 1987, audiotape #02-0028), side 1.) The absurdity of this is clear from my previous note above.

    “Dogs beget dogs, and cats beget cats, and God begets gods. You are all little gods” (Kenneth Copeland, speaking on Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Praise the Lord show) Comparing God to animals is totally out of touch with reality, blasphemous and an insult to him.

    ”Adam walked into God’s class. Adam did things in the class of gods… All right, are we gods? we are a class of gods.” (Kenneth Copeland “Praise the Lord” (TBN), recorded 2/5/86) See my note above concerning this.

    “Gods reason for creating Adam was his desire to reproduce himself.” I want you to know something Adam in the Garden of Eden was God manifested in the flesh.” (Kenneth Copeland, Following the Faith of Abraham I (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1989), tape #01-3001, side 1. Here is blasphemy thatcannot be excused! To claim that Adam, a mere mortal, could be the same as Christ who is God incarnate – the profane compared to the perfectly holy and pure as similar in any manner is evil and far beyond mere foolishness!

    “You see Adam was walking as a God, Adam walked in God’s class, Adam did things in the class of god’s, … there wasn’t anything God could do about it, because a god had placed him there.” (Kenneth Copeland, Following the Faith of Abraham, Tape #01-3001) Is this man so ignorant that he would challenge the omnipotence of God? Can he believe that a mortal man somehow attained to equality with God? This is ignorance of the worst kind and immeasurable folly!

    “Gods reason for creating Adam was his desire to reproduce himself.” I mean a reproduction of Himself. And in the Garden of Eden He did just that. He was not a little like God, He was not almost like God, He was not subordinate to God even…Adam was as much like God as you can get, just the same as Jesus. Adam in the Garden of Eden was God manifested in the flesh” (Kenneth Copeland, Following the faith of Abraham #01-3001 Audio side 1).

  3. @ken
    He means nothing to you if he teaches something you dont like, but if he taught something you did like you would follow him.
    Not very consistent. Why waste your time worried about what preachers say out of there own words and focus on what jesus(peace be upon him)says?

    • He (Kenneth Copeland) leads many people astray in the USA and all over the world by exporting his stupid heresies to other countries and manipulates simple people into giving money to his heresy so he can buy more jets and houses and live luxuriously. Awful.

      • What exactly is “heretical” about Copeland? Sure, he’s definitely a fraud, but there are alot of such Christian frauds around. But they are trinitarians and they do believe in the Bible. So, how are they “heretics”?

      • Because he teaches that we Christians are “little gods” and we can declare our healing and prosperity and success by saying words and formulas, and “positive confessions” and also by giving to his ministry – We are not “little gods” at all and we do not have power to just say “be healed” or “money cometh to me” (which he says a lot and it is documented – all over You Tube). He is ascribing creative power by words “be, and it became” (from Genesis 1) that only God can do. So it is blasphemous and heretical in that he “takes the place” of creator God, using his scheme to make himself rich with jets and several large homes, etc. He thinks he is a “god” – full of arrogance and pride and it is obvious.
        He abuses Scripture and leads people astray – when they come to him and say, “I gave my money and I did my positive confessions for years (for healing, sucess, prosperity) and it did not work”; he says “go away, you did not have enough faith; it is your fault for not having enough faith” – putting a massive burden on the souls of people “to work up faith” within themselves. But faith is not psychological certainty that God will for sure heal and give me money, etc. but it is trusting God even when He allows suffering and financial hardships. Besides, the way to make money is not by “positive confession” or “fake it until you make it”; rather the way to make a living is to work hard at a proper job, budget within your means, save for the future and emergencies, etc. be wise. That whole movement has created a bunch of people who are expecting to get rich and have success and when it does not come, then many get discouraged and depressed and leave the faith altogether – but God never promised that kind of ‘success” and prosperity. Biblical faith is trusting God and surrendering to the sovereignty of God – the proper attitude in prayer is surrender to God – “if God wills”. (Matthew 6:9-10; Luke 22:44; 1 John 5:14 – if it is according to the will of God.)

        There are many of these kinds of charlatans – Benny Hinn, Jesse DuPlantis, Creflo Dollar, the late Kenneth Hagin (Copeland’s teacher, along with the late Oral Roberts), most all of TBN (the late Paul and Jan Crouch), John Avanzini, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, etc.

      • @ QB

        I think because he used the terms “gods” (despite their shirk filled text calling everyone and their grandmother “gods”)

  4. If I may where are you getting that interpretation because all the commentary I’ve read . . .

    From studying the passage myself (all of Psalm 82 – Hebrew, context, Lxx, etc.) for many years, along with Jesus quote of one of the verses and the context of John 10.

    • @ Ken

      Soooo… basically nowhere?

      • This article is close to my interpretation, which is a standard conservative interpretation, taking John 10 into account also.

        It is long – here is a relevant part of it towards the end:

        In John 8:56-58, Jesus claimed to be the “I AM” of the Old Testament, and therefore the Jews attempted to stone Him (8:59). Jesus’ claims continued. In chapter nine He taught that He was the “light of the world” (v. 5). In chapter ten He said, “I and the Father are one” (v. 30).

        One of the central issues involved in the conflict between our Lord and the religious leadership of the nation was who had the authority to lead. They quickly noted that Jesus was gathering disciples and baptizing them, even more than John the Baptist (John 4:1-2). Jesus claimed His authority to judge came from the Father (5:22,27,30). Jesus accused his opponents of judging “according to appearance” rather than “with righteous judgment” (7:24). The scribes and Pharisees sought to condemn the woman caught in adultery (8:4-5), but Jesus refused to condemn her (8:10-11). He then accused the Jewish leaders of judging “according to the flesh” (8:15), while He judged according to truth (8:16,26). When the blind man was given sight, the judgment controversy again surfaced:

        And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see; and that those who see may become blind.” Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things, and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” (9:39-40).

        In John 10 our Lord boldly spoke forth, identifying Himself as the Messiah and the Good Shepherd. He also made it clear that the religious leaders who had rejected Him were the evil shepherds, like those depicted centuries earlier by the prophet Ezekiel (Ezek. 34). God promised to come and to judge between the sheep, and to set up one shepherd over His flock:

        Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them, “Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you push with side and with shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns, until you have scattered them abroad, therefore, I will deliver My flock, and they will no longer be a prey; and I will judge between one sheep and another. Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd” (Ezek. 34:20-23).
        [Jesus is claiming He is the Messiah, son of David, the good Shepherd of Ezekiel 34; and also of Psalm 23 – “The Lord is my shepherd”, etc.]

        When our Lord announced that He was the Shepherd, the good One, He identified Himself as the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy.138 He also identified His opponents, the religious leaders of the nation Israel, as the shepherds who dominated and abused the flock, rather than caring for the weak and the sickly (Ezek. 34:1-4). No wonder they reacted to Jesus’ teaching so violently and wanted to stone Him (John 10:31,39).

        When accused of blasphemy, Jesus based His defense on the statement quoted from Psalm 82:6: “I said, you are gods.” This was no time for clever tricks or weak arguments. When Jesus referred to this psalm, He did so, I believe, because no passage argued His case more forcefully. It is not just that one verse, but the argument of the entire psalm upon which Jesus rested His defense. Psalm 82 warned the unrighteous judges (leaders) of Israel of God’s [see earlier discussion of Shaphat / judge / judgment in Psalm 82] impending judgment upon them. When Jesus appealed to this psalm He not only identified Himself as the fulfillment of verse 8 [the true righteous Judge], He also identified them as the fulfillment of verses 1-7. [The unjust rulers and judges] The warning of the psalm was being fulfilled in their midst. God had finally come to judge the “gods.” How much better the name God suited Jesus than the title “gods” suited the scribes and the Pharisees.

        To have understood the message of Psalm 82 and our Lord’s application of it would have been to bow the knee to Him as the Son of God, the promised Messiah. To reject this message was to reject the Messiah, which, in fact, many did. No one better interpreted or applied Psalm 82 than our Lord. No one better fulfilled it than He.

        Psalm 82 is not calling the leaders / judges literal “gods”, since there is only ONE God; rather it is a mocking of their unjust leadership. Jesus, by quoting it, with the Pharisees and Jewish leaders (“to whom the word of God came” John 10:35) in John 10, is saying that God called you “gods” but you are unjust (82:1-7); rather I am the true Judge. (Psalm 82:8)

      • Basic standard good interpretation by all Evangelicals, who understood the terminology in the light of Jewish Monotheism.

        God is mocking unjust rulers / unjust judges. Unjust leaders.

      • Various interpretations of John 10:34 have been offered. But what Ken is saying is fully within one strand of interpretation in modern New Testament scholarship. Gundry, for example, states that:

        The quotation comes from Psalm 82:6. Strikingly, other parts of this psalm speak of judgment, sin, and darkness, all of which link up with those very themes earlier in John (especially chapters 8–9); and the psalm uses “hand” as a figure of speech for strength just as Jesus has recently used it in the same way (10:28–29). (But “the hand of the wicked” in the psalm contrasts with the hands of Jesus the good shepherd and his Father.) More to the point, Jesus is addressing “the Jews,” such as those who threw the ex-blind beggar out of their synagogue, just as Psalm 82:6 addresses those who afflict the poor and needy. It’s hard to know whether “I” in the first “I said” above refers to the psalmist, to personified Scripture, or to God speaking in the Scripture. But the point of the quotation doesn’t lie in the identity of the speaker—rather, in the designation of those spoken to. In the psalm they’re called “gods” because they act in God’s stead, as the representatives of God, though they’ve done a bad job of it. The New Testament often applies Old Testament texts to new situations, though, and in the process changes the original meaning to something more up-to-date (the way modern-day preachers do with the New Testament as well as the Old Testament)”.


      • @ Benedictus

        I appreciate the quote but I am referring to Psalms 82 as a standalone text not something being interpreted after being filtered through the authors of John’s and evangelicals beliefs.

      • As i said before…the hebrew of Exodus 22:9, closes the debate…no mocking, no sarcasm, it speaks for itself, otherwise we can always throw sola scripture out of the window

      • Various interpretations of psalm 82:6 have been offered and among them is what Ken and Gundry have said it refers to judges (or angels) who in the end will die.as other mere mortals:

        “If the first interpretation given above be favored, those humans responsible for the grievous injustices are being addressed sarcastically as “divine beings” and as “sons of the Most High”. These dishonorable judges give themselves haughty airs, display despotic arrogance, and generally act as though they are superior individuals, not subject to ordinary human frailties and limitations, they think they to no one are above the law and are accountable to no one. The psalmist (or God) therefore reminds them that they are but common mortals, fated to fall from power just like any of the princes or governors whose abuse of power has brought them ruin.”


    • It was the holy spirit that told Kennywise.

      Well, there you have it folks! Now let’s all become pagans like Kennywise!

      • As i said before…the hebrew of Exodus 22:9, closes the debate…no mocking, no sarcasm, it speaks for itself, otherwise we can always throw sola scripture out of the window

        Exodus 22:9 means to come to court and be tried in a court of law (you have to interpret in the whole context of Exodus 19- 40, the giving of the law, the tabernacle, etc. and this is also developed in Leviticus – Deuteronomy) – though human judges are there (priests, Levites, etc.) God is invisible – the context is being tried before God and is similar to the way someone is tried and they have to swear on a Bible (in western tradition) – “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God” – God is invisible. This was never meant to be understood that the judges and priests are Israel are “gods” ontologically, but that the human judges “stood in God’s place” or are “God’s mediators of justice”. The Pharisees and leaders of Israel in Psalm 82 were not doing right, they were unjust leaders, rulers and their arrogant attitude, God is mocking them as thinking that they are “gods”, but they will die like men.

        Sola Scriptura includes the principle of “Tota Scriptura” (all of Scripture) and progressive revelation that kept going through the Prophets, Psalms and the true Injeel (the NT) and also, automatically precludes the Qur’an, a human book out of the imagination of one man in Arabia, based on ignorance and half-truths, Midrash Judaism, apocryphal gospels, legends, and heretical stuff that he heard mixed with other things and ad hoc “revelations”.

      • Oh please, Christians throw out “Sola scriptura” all the time when it suits their purpose.

        Furthermore, how could have “tota scriptura” when for most of the history of the Bible, there were questions as to what even was scripture and what was not? Also, how could you have “tota scriptura” when the Tanakh existed for centuries before the NT was even written piece-meal?

        As for ignorance, half-truths, copying of apocryphal legends and heretical stuff, the Bible is full of them. Copying of Canaanite paganism (Daniel 7, the Leviathan myth etc., Psalm 24:7-9 copied from an Ugaritic poem), copying of Roman history (Matthew’s Magi event was copied from the historical meeting between Nero and Tiridates), reliance on apocryphal sources (Jude copied from 1 Enoch), copying from ANE cultures (the Sotah ritual shares similarities with the Code of Hammurabi and the Mari vision of the gods)…these are just a small sampling of the Bible’s true nature. It is not the “inspired” word of God but a man-made compendium with some truth and a lot of falsehood.

      • No, Jesus made it clear what the OT was. Luke 24:44 and 11:51-52 (from Genesis to Chronicles, the last book in TaNaKh, Torah, Nabi’im, and Ketovim) and Jesus commissioned His disciples / apostles as those that would remember and write His words and expound the true meaning of His death, & resurrection and His nature as the eternal Son of God, incarnated, sinless, crucified, atoned for sin, and resurrected from the dead with power. (John 17:8; chapters 14-16; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 3:15-16) the First Century documents were “God-breathed” as soon as the ink dried; the fact that not all churches had all 27 books at one time until later does not preclude their inspiration and internal character. The process of discernment in first 3-4 centuries is different than ontological nature at the time of writing. Canon 1 (God-breathed at the time of writing – 45 AD to 96 AD) vs. Canon 2 (process of discovery and discernment – 100s to 250 to 350 AD)
        Origen listed all 27 books of the NT around 250 AD and Athanasius did in 367 AD. Irenaeus and Tertullian listed almost all in their writings from 180-210 AD. Justin Martyr included 4 Gospels, even John, logos principle and book of Revelation. (150 AD)

      • Your ramblings change nothing. The fact remains that there were continuous and heated debates as to who wrote what and no evidence exists for the authorship of the gospels by the disciples. Your wishful-thinking simply assumes they wrote it but you cannot provide any historical evidence.

        And again, how can you have “tota scriptura” when the Tanakh existed for much longer than the NT?

        As for the church fathers, they actually hurt your case. Justin Martyr mentioned variant stories, such as that Jesus was born in a cave, and he also seemed to be reliant on the Protoevangelium of James.

        Revelation doesn’t help your case as it contains false prophecies about the Roman empire. The “Antichrist” was Nero. It was believed that he would return to the throne of Rome. The author of Revelation used that myth as the basis for his book.

      • If that’s how you interpret it so be it Ken…all good. Stew could have used either verses to make his point anyway

      • On the canon of the Tanakh:

        The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has revealed evidence of a canon that was in flux even 2,000 years ago. As the late Biblical scholar Geza Vermes observed:

        “…at Qumran the concept ‘Bible’ was still hazy, and the ‘canon’ open-ended, which would account for the remarkable freedom in the treatment of the text of Scripture by a community whose life was nevertheless wholly centered on the Bible.”[9]

        In contrast to the Qumran community, the Jewish historian Josephus accepted a static canon. Referring to the canon, he wrote:

        “For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us, disagreeing from and contradicting one another (as the Greeks have) but only twenty-two books, which contain the records of all the past times; which are justly believed to be divine; and of them, five belong to Moses, which contain his laws, and the traditions of the origin of mankind till his death. This interval of time was little short of three thousand years; but as to the time from the death of Moses till the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, who reigned after Xerxes, the prophets, who were after Moses, wrote down what was done in their times in thirteen books. The remaining four books contain hymns to God, and precepts for the conduct of human life.”[10]

        Clearly, the canon existed in different forms even in the time of Jesus (peace be upon him). Not only was there disagreement on the exact number of books, but there was also disagreement on the content of those books (as in the case of the apocryphal psalms found among the Dead Sea Scrolls previously mentioned). It is no wonder then that there are still differences even in modern times.

        On the canon of the NT:

        According to J.K. Elliot of the University of Leeds:

        “Some early church authorities knew of and cited Gospels that were later branded as apocryphal. According to Eusebius the Gospel of Peter was read by the church at Rhossus. Jewish Christian Gospels like the Gospel according to the Hebrews were quoted by Fathers such as Clement, Origen and Jerome in the same way as they cited works that were later to be in the canon. All these Gospels, canonical and apocryphal (to use these terms anachronistically) presumably circulated originally as separate items.”[30]

        Moreover, before the ecumenical councils determined which books were to be accepted as “scripture”, the prevailing approach of early Christians towards the many books that were in circulation (even those which eventually were accepted into the canon) was that they were not “scripture”. For example, scholars point out that while the early church leader Ignatius of Antioch may have been familiar with some of the canonical Gospels, he never referred to them as scripture! According to Bruce Metzger:

        “He certainly knew a collection of Paul’s epistles, including (in the order of frequency of his use of them) 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Romans, Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, and 1 Thessalonians. It is probable that he knew the Gospels according to Matthew and John, and perhaps also Luke. There is no evidence that he regarded any of these Gospels or Epistles as ‘Scripture’.”[31]

        Another example of a famous Christian leader who had differing views of
        “scripture” is Justin Martyr. He may have been familiar with the Gospel of John (and some of its theology) and the Synoptic Gospels, but he also used non-canonical sources as well. As Metzger observed:

        “In addition to echoes and quotations from the Memoirs of the apostles, Justin also makes use of various extraneous traditions, probably oral, about the life of Jesus. It perhaps was noticed…that in quoting [Matthew] Justin says the Magi came from Arabia (Dial. lxxxviii. 1). Likewise he states that Jesus was born in a cave near Bethlehem (Dial. lxxxviii. 5); that the ass colt used in the Palm Sunday entry was found ‘bound to a vine at the entrance of the village’ (1 Apol. xxxiii. 6); and that at the crucifixion mocking bystanders not only shook their heads and shot out their lips (1 Apol. xxxviii. 8) but ‘twisted their noses to each other’ (Dial. ci. 3) and cried, ‘Let him who raised the dead deliver himself’ (1 Apol. xxxviii. 8)”[32]

        Furthermore, in summarizing Justin Martyr’s use of different sources, Metzger stated:

        “He makes use of the Synoptics much more frequently than the Fourth Gospel. Justin also alludes to various traditions bearing on the life of Jesus that came to be incorporated in apocryphal gospels. […] In any case, he does not generally attribute to them an authority comparable to that of the Memoirs of the apostles. […] Justin does not appeal to the authority of Paul, but he considers the Apocalypse of John as both a prophetic and an apostolic work.”[33]

        All of these differing opinions obviously led to different canons. Some canons included the letters of Clement while others included the Shepherd of Hermas. On the other hand, some canons rejected books like 2 Peter and Revelation. According to Elliot:

        “The canon of the Coptic church includes 1 and 2 Clement (and the Apostolic Constitutions) after Revelation. Jerome hesitated about the status of the Epistle of Barnabas (‘almost a New Testament book’ De Vir. Ill. 6). He also knew that the Shepherd of Hermas was read in some churches (De Vir. Ill. 10). The Shepherd of Hermas is included in the ninth-century manuscript Codex Fuldensis and also in the Complutensian Polyglots. […] 1 and 2 Clement are included within the Paulines in one Harclean Syriac MS. This varied testimony shows how these texts were on the fringes of the New Testament canon for many centuries. However, the canonical list in the sixth-century Codex Claromontanus marks the Epistle of Barnabas and The Shepherd of Hermas together with the Acts of Paul and the Apocalypse of Peter as works of doubtful canonicity.”[34]

        In addition, the Peshitta omitted many of the standard canonical texts:

        “Of more significance is the Syriac. For a time the Syriac included 3 Corinthians. Of particular importance is the canon of the fifth-century Peshitta which omits four short epistles (2 and 3 John, Philemon, 2 Peter) and Revelation. All 27 New Testament books ultimately appeared in the Philoxenian version, yet the official lectionary of both East and West Syrian churches uses only the 22 books found in the Peshitta.”[35]


      • Here are some examples of the NT authors quoting books as “scripture” that are either non-canonical or are unidentified:

        1. The Book of Jude (a canonical book) makes reference to the book of Enoch (an apocryphal book). Jude 1:14-15 states:

        “Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.””

        Scholars have recognized that this passage is taken from 1 Enoch 1:9.

        2. John 7:38 quotes an unknown source and refers to it as “scripture”:

        “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

        3. Luke 11:49 quotes God from an unknown source:

        “Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’”

        4. James 4:5 quotes an unknown source and refers to it as “scripture”:

        “Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?”

      • @ QB

        Out of curiosity: if we accept, for the moment, that Matthew used “the historical meeting between Nero and Tiridates” to create his own narrative, what reason(s) do you think he had for doing so and what impact to you think it might have on his intended audience?

      • Marc, we’ve been through this already. Who cares? The motivation of the author is a moot point, and frankly, I think it’s absurd that you are trying to speculate on his motivation almost 2,000 years after. Anything you say will be pure speculation. In contrast, what we do we know for sure is that “Matthew” had a source for his strange story, and it was from the Roman political sphere.

      • @QB

        I agree, we can never know the intention of an author for certain.

        Nevertheless, should we not strive to understand in a coherent manner as possible what a certain author was trying to achieve? Saying an author “copied” from a certain work says very little about the incorporation in a new context. What are the similarities and what are the differences and what might we learn from these?

        Since you hold that Matthew made use of this story, I think you should explain, at least in broad terms what, in your understanding, his reasons for doing so were and what his intended audience might have understood. For example, did he use the story approvingly, disapprovingly, or in some other fashion?

        You never explained this in your original posts or in the subsequent discussion.

      • Marc, I see no need to speculate on why the author needed to copy the story and put it into the birth narrative. It makes no difference to me. Given the absolute lack of corroboration for this event, whatever motivation he had is moot. It was a made-up event. That’s all I need to know. Whether he approved or disapproved makes little difference when the event in question simply did not happen like he claims.

      • So consider now the possibility that Matthew used the story, not to give us a historical lecture of “wie es eigentlich gewesen” but rather made use the story to convey a different message.

        For example, if I am telling someone, say a parable or a homily, but that someone takes it as a historical truth, and then tells me I fabricated the story, would that not be to miss the point I was trying to convey?

        Since you wrote an article about it, might it not have been helpful had you included at least a brief discussion of what scholars have suggested about Matthew’s use of this story? About similarities and differences? About what the intended audience might have understood?

        I even pointed to a few references, where such questions are discussed, perhaps you have had a chance to have a look at those.

      • Marc, you mean to tell me that “Matthew” wrote his entire Gospel as a “parable” and never intended it to be take literally? Is that your contention? If that was his motivation, don’t you think it would have been worthwhile to at least leave a disclaimer or something?

        And again, unless you are a psychic, how can you be certain what the motivation was or how the audience understood it? What historical evidence is there? I recall you mentioning some scholarly sources before, but I saw nothing but speculation and different interpretations, nothing more. None of these explain why we have a similar story, well attested (unlike Matthew’s story) in Roman sources.

      • No, that’s not what I am saying. We are discussing Matthew’s use of this particular story. I am trying to understand what Matthew is trying to convey.with his use of this story (I am not now referring to our discussion of the magoi themselves but rather the use of this particular story, similarities, differences etc).

        I am not claiming to be psychic. But when we read, do we not try to think about what the author is trying to tell us? Even if we can never know his intention for certain.

        What I am asking is that since scholars have touched upon question in the literature, might it not have been helpful to include a brief discussion, in the article, about what scholars have said about Matthew’s use of this story? What might be the similarities and differences?

        That question was never dealt with as the discussion never got very much past “wie es eigentlich gewesen”.

        So what I am asking is, that it might be helpful if you offer us a brief discussion of what scholars have said about Matthew’s use of this story combined with your own understanding and evaluation. Then readers have a chance to evaluate the various points for themselves.

        If, as is commonly thought, Matthew is not here simply trying to tell us “wie es eigentlich gewesen” are we not missing the point by saying he simply fabricated it?

      • Marc, interest in human motivations or what drives people to write such stories is not my concern. My concern is separating religious truth from fiction. And no, I don’t think it was necessary to discuss the scholarly views on the author’s motivation because that was not the topic. The topic was the absurdity of the story and how it likely originated from the historical meeting between Nero and Tiridates. My goal was to show that the story has no historical basis.

        I don’t think we’re “missing the point” at all. If he fabricated it, that’s all there is to know. The author seemed to have such a tendency. There are many examples of strange stories found no where else (e.g., the massacre of the Innocents, the dead rising from their graves after the crucifixion, etc.). These examples show that the gospel cannot be blindly accepted as historical truth, as most Christians do.

      • @ Marc C.

        “Out of curiosity: if we accept, for the moment, that Matthew used “the historical meeting between Nero and Tiridates” to create his own narrative, what reason(s) do you think he had for doing so and what impact to you think it might have on his intended audience?”

        Religious extremism and unhealthy love. And with that,👏 another mystery solved on Blogging Theology.

      • I see.

        So while I agree there are certainly similarities between the two stories there are also, as has been noted, pointed differences.

        So if scholarship has suggested that the journey of the magi to Bethlehem to pay homage — not to a sitting ruler but to a child, a different “real king” —might be a subversive counterstory to Tiridates’ journey to pay homage to the sitting ruler Nero, would you think this a relevant point to consider?

        Further, if it has been noted further, that Tiridates (himself a magi), was called to Rome, by the ruler Nero a journey paid for by Nero, in contrast to the magi in Matthew who sought out the “real king” out of their “own” and presumably paid for the journey out of their own means, might that also be relevant to the issue?

        Moreover, might it also be worth noting, as scholars have, that while Tiridates receives gifts by the sitting ruler, Nero, the magi give gifts not to the sitting ruler, but to the “real” king?

        In other words, might it be possible and perhaps even profitable to consider the possibility that Matthew not so much “copied” the story as he drew upon it to create a subversive counterstory, not in order to give us a history lesson of “wie es eigentlich gewesen”, but to convey a different kind of message?

      • Of course there are differences. I never said there weren’t. It’s the similarities and the fact that the Roman story is well-attested whereas Matthew’s is not that prove to me that that the latter copied from the former. As I said, the author had a tendency for making up stories. You seem to be overly preoccupied with why he would do that. Since he was a fabricator of stories, I couldn’t care less why.

        If you want to get into semantics, that the author “drew upon” the story rather than “copied” it, that doesn’t make much difference to me. It still means he made it up.

      • @Marc.C, your curiosity is admired, r/AcademicBiblical is a nice place to discuss that with people who share the same curiosity

        You can join our discord too


        Most folks are only concerned with whether Matthew was on drugs or not which is enough reason to prove that christianity is a waste of time

  5. Well, there you have it folks, Ken just opened up a book. All Faiz can come up with is nonsensical phrases like “holy spirit told him” and “let’s all become pagans.”

    • Hahaha, Kennywise only repeated standard Evangelical nonsense, as he always does, while rejecting any scholarly view that contradicts that.

      And yes, the belief in the trinity is paganism. Who else would worship a mangod? Hindus also have a trinity of sorts. The concept is more at home with paganism than with the pure monotheism of the Abrahamic tradition.

    • @ Wholey Spirit (Gotta love that you insult your own deity)

      That was one, not Ken and two Benedictus added that comment later to the conversation. Man, I’m on a roll today.

  6. “1. The Book of Jude (a canonical book) makes reference to the book of Enoch (an apocryphal book). Jude 1:14-15 states:”

    Book of Enoch was written after the NT to discredit the NT.

    The other examples you give scripture means OT.

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