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 Post subject: Why isn't the Protoevangelium of James in the bible?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 9:01 am 
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I saw on the History channel where the writing of the Protoevangelium of James was written by James the brother of Jesus. If so, isn't this writing as inspired as the other books of the New Testament? It is invaluable, for it tells of Mary's birth, parents and her ascension to heaven. Why hasn't the Catholic church included this in it's bible today?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 9:10 am 
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Because the Protoevangelium probably wasn't written by James at all, but in the 2nd century, and the work has some heterodox ideas in it, such as the idea that the brethren of the Lord refers to Joseph's child from a previous relationship (the Eastern Orthodox idea), and not Jesus' cousins which is the Catholic doctrine.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 10:53 am 
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But the Eastern Orthodox IS Catholic, just as much as the Roman church. And the author is reputed to be the BROTHER of Jesus and not his distant cousin. There is a Greek word for cousin and a Greek word for brother. James didn't use the Greek word for cousin, but for being his brother. The evidence supports more of the idea that James was the half brother of Jesus by Joseph being in a previous marriage.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:06 am 
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whether it was actually written by James or not has no bearing on its inclusion in the canon of the bible... there were many other texts at the time, not gnostic in origin, that were considered for inclusion and decided against .... we just have to believe that the Holy Spirit was indeed responsible for determining the validity a text needed to be included in His Word, as decided by the Council of Nicea (IIRC) in 395 AD

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:08 am 
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There is no Aramaic word for cousin. The word used was the same as the word for brother unless you wanted to say the son of my uncle. That word translates into Greek as brother.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:47 am 
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Alexander wrote:
Because the Protoevangelium probably wasn't written by James at all, but in the 2nd century, and the work has some heterodox ideas in it, such as the idea that the brethren of the Lord refers to Joseph's child from a previous relationship (the Eastern Orthodox idea), and not Jesus' cousins which is the Catholic doctrine.


There isn't any "Catholic doctrine" on the question of exactly who Jesus's brethren were. You're free to believe whatever seems to be the right story here, provided, of course, that you retain Mary's perpetual virginity.

As to the original question, the answer is easy: the Protoevangelium is not the inspired Word of God, so it's not in the Bible.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:54 am 
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I am not aware of any patristic commentary on the proto of james. perhaps some exist which gives reasons for it's exclusion. I tend to doubt whether there is, but i suppose it's entirely possible. the book does have some historical value, but we must assume that it was not actually written by the person known as James brother of Jesus as is claimed, and this fact alone would most likely be sufficient for disqualifying it for entrance into the canon.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:01 pm 
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thebyronicman wrote:
I am not aware of any patristic commentary on the proto of james. perhaps some exist which gives reasons for it's exclusion. I tend to doubt whether there is, but i suppose it's entirely possible. the book does have some historical value, but we must assume that it was not actually written by the person known as James brother of Jesus as is claimed, and this fact alone would most likely be sufficient for disqualifying it for entrance into the canon.


I don't see the question of its human author as particularly relevant. For example, consider the question of who wrote some of the letters traditionally attributed to St. Paul. Now, I myself believe that St. Paul wrote all of them (excluding Hebrews, which I choose to believe, admittedly without any good reason, was written by St. Barnabas). But if it turns out that some of the pastoral epistles were written late in the 1st century by some disciple of St. Paul's then I don't see that as having any bearing whatsoever on the question of their inspiration. We know they're inspired, because the Church has canonized them. The flip side of that is that we know the Protoevangelium is not inspired, because the Church didn't canonize it. And even if the book really was written by James, that doesn't mean it was inspired. Not in the least.

For comparison, consider that we know there's at least a third letter of Paul's to the Corinthians which is not in the canon. If that third letter had been inspired, it wouldn't have been los--it would have been canonized. So even though it's a letter of Paul's it's not inspired. Similarly, there could be a book of James's that was not inspired.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:05 pm 
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kyleforu... moral of the story... don't believe what you see a/o hear on the history channel or discovery channel when it comes to anything having to do with the faith

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:06 pm 
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faithfulservant wrote:
kyleforu... moral of the story... don't believe what you see a/o hear on the history channel or discovery channel when it comes to anything having to do with the faith


Amen to that!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:10 pm 
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yeah...some of it is as bad, if not worse, than what the major network channels try to pass off as valid... that pope joan thing abc did still blows my mind :shock:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:14 pm 
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One must bear in mind the writing of the Protoevangelium of James was a copy of the original writing by James and was accepted by many in the early church as authentic. Just as the book of Enoch was also accepted as inspired by many in the church. Not all in the early church held to the same views of what was canonical to what the church council did late in the 3rd century. The New Testament was formulated and decided upon by men who ruled in the church, but their decision was not totally agreed upon by others in the church.

For example in the book of Jude, which is in our New Testament, Jude himself quotes Enoch from his writing. Apparently Jude felt Enoch WAS INSPIRED or else he would not have even quoted him as an authority for God. See Jude 14 &15. Certainly if Jude felt Enoch was inspired and a prophet of God, then his writing, the book of Enoch should have been included in the New Testament.

Also since the Protoevangelium of James is a very early copied writing in the church and was authored by James the brother of Jesus, all the more this writing should also have been included in the New Testament as well. But sadly, it wasn't.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:18 pm 
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and your opinion about whether a writing is inspired is somehow better or carries more weight than the Holy Spirit inspired decision by the council... :shock: :roll:

and once again...James was not a brother to Jesus

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 3:33 pm 
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Actually James WAS a brother to Jesus, because he was one of the siblings of Joseph as the writing of James attests to. Joseph was formerly married before he was married to Mary.James was our Lord's half brother.

The books that are found in your New Testament was decided by the consenting vote of religious men in the 3rd century, but as I stated before not all those in the church at that time and earlier, felt that the books we now have included in the New Testament were the only ones that should have been included. Especially the book of Enoch and the letters of Clement.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:03 pm 
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and you are still acting as if the protoevangelium of james is divinely inspired and without error... since it was not included in the canon, we can't say that ... do you also think the gospel of thomas and the gospel of mary should have been included in the canon?

my new testament... :shock: is it not your new testament also?

and obviously since those books were not included in the canon, those that felt they should have been were wrong... you really think our Lord would let His Church be guided by something that was not complete?


[bible]1 corinthians 14:36-38[/bible]

and just so ya know, the canon was approved and ratified by 3 separate councils in the late 4th century rome in 382, hippo in 393 and carthage in 397

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:22 pm 
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One hand slaps the other.Which proves nothing. Whether you ignore church history or not Faithful, MANY in the early church felt the book of Enoch, the letters of Clement and the Pro of James should have been included. Let me ask you one final question. If the book of Enoch was not inspired, then why did Jude quote it in his writing? And from what book did he quote Enoch from Faithful? See Jude 14 & 15.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:28 pm 
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kyleforu wrote:
For example in the book of Jude, which is in our New Testament, Jude himself quotes Enoch from his writing. Apparently Jude felt Enoch WAS INSPIRED or else he would not have even quoted him as an authority for God. See Jude 14 &15. Certainly if Jude felt Enoch was inspired and a prophet of God, then his writing, the book of Enoch should have been included in the New Testament.


Was Jude an authority on what was inspired and what was not? Did Jude claim inspiration for his own writings?

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Also since the Protoevangelium of James is a very early copied writing in the church and was authored by James the brother of Jesus, all the more this writing should also have been included in the New Testament as well. But sadly, it wasn't.


Why would being a step-brother to Jesus give James any claim to inspiration? He and Jesus would not have been blood brothers. We are the adopted children of God, and therefore Jesus's brothers and sisters. Are our writings inspired as well?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:33 pm 
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kyleforu wrote:
One hand slaps the other.Which proves nothing. Whether you ignore church history or not Faithful, MANY in the early church felt the book of Enoch, the letters of Clement and the Pro of James should have been included. Let me ask you one final question.


Obviously the Holy Spirit didn't agree that those books should have been included in the canon.

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If the book of Enoch was not inspired, then why did Jude quote it in his writing? And from what book did he quote Enoch from Faithful? See Jude 14 & 15.


Jude could have quoted from any source that he felt was useful to Christians. That only means that the parts he quoted would be inspired since those parts were embedded within his inspired writings.

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Last edited by Signum Crucis on Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:43 pm 
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thank you sig for stepping in while i was away ...

and once again kyle...it really doesn't matter that many felt those books were inspired.... the Holy Spirit took care of all that we need ...and that's why the 73 books were approved as the Canon ... remember that it is says in the new testament "he who hears you, hears Me?" ... the Church agreed on the canon, and the faithful in the church listened

how many out there now think we should have female priests, or married priests, or that ABC is ok for Catholics... the Church was never intended to be a democracy... and never will be

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't the Protoevangelium of James in the bible?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 5:04 pm 
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kyleforu wrote:
I saw on the History channel where the writing of the Protoevangelium of James was written by James the brother of Jesus. If so, isn't this writing as inspired as the other books of the New Testament? It is invaluable, for it tells of Mary's birth, parents and her ascension to heaven. Why hasn't the Catholic church included this in it's bible today?


First explain what is meant by "inspiration".

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