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ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S
FOUNDATION OF CANADA (ALF)

Publisher of the
"Watchman, What of the Night?" (WWN)... More Info
William H. Grotheer, Editor of Research & Publication for the ALF

- 1970s
- 1980s
- 1990s
- 2000s

SHORT STUDIES - William H. Grotheer -
"Another Comforter", study on the Holy Spirit
1976 a Letter and a Reply: - SDA General Conference warning against WWN.
Further Background Information on Zaire -General Conference pays Government to keep church there.
From a WWN letter to a reader: RE: Lakes of Fire - 2 lakes of fire.
Trademark of the name Seventh-day Adventist [Perez Court Case] - US District Court Case - GC of SDA vs.R. Perez, and others [Franchize of name "SDA" not to be used outside of denominational bounds.]

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Manuscripts

Interpretative History of the Doctrine of the Incarnation as Taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, An
- William H. Grotheer

Bible Study Guides
- William H. Grotheer

End Time Line Re-Surveyed Parts 1 & 2 - Adventist Layman's Foundation

Excerpts - Legal Documents
- EEOC vs PPPA - Adventist Laymen's Foundation

Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901, The - William H. Grotheer

Hour and the End is Striking at You, The - William H. Grotheer

In the Form of a Slave
- William H. Grotheer

Jerusalem In Bible Prophecy
- William H. Grotheer

Key Doctrinal Comparisons - Statements of Belief 1872-1980
- William H. Grotheer

Pope Paul VI Given Gold Medallion by Adventist Church Leader
- William H. Grotheer

Sacred Trust BETRAYED!, The - William H. Grotheer

Seal of God
 - William H. Grotheer

Seventh-day Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956
 - William H. Grotheer

SIGN of the END of TIME, The - William H. Grotheer

STEPS to ROME
- William H. Grotheer

Times of the Gentiles Fulfilled, The - A Study in Depth of Luke 21:24
- William H. Grotheer

Remembering
Elder William H. Grotheer

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BOOKS OF THE BIBLE

Song of Solomon - Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary

OTHER BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS & ARTICLES:

Ten Commandments - as Compared in the New International Version & the King James Version & the Hebrew Interlinear

Additional Various Studies --
"Saving Faith" - Dr. E. J. Waggoner
"What is Man" The Gospel in Creation - "The Gospel in Creation"
"A Convicting Jewish Witness", study on the Godhead - David L. Cooper D.D.

Bible As History - Werner Keller

Canons of the Bible, The - Raymond A. Cutts

Daniel and the Revelation - Uriah Smith

Doctrine of God, The - a study on the term Trinity.

Facts of Faith - Christian Edwardson

Individuality in Religion - Alonzo T. Jones

"Is the Bible Inspired or Expired?" - J. J. Williamson

Letters to the Churches - M. L. Andreasen

Place of the Bible In Education, The - Alonzo T. Jones

Sabbath, The - M. L. Andreasen

Sanctuary Service, The
- M. L. Andreasen

So Much In Common - WCC/SDA

Spiritual Gifts. The Great Controversy, between Christ and His Angels, and Satan and his Angels - Ellen G. White

Under Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy

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THE CANONS OF THE BIBLE

Study by --    Raymond A. Cutts

2 Timothy 3:16 -- " All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

2 Peter 1:2 -- "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the holy ghost."

Definition: CANON -- Webster's Dictionary (1974 Edition) - An authoritative of books accepted as Holy Scripture. Encyclopaedia Britannica (1771 Edition) Canon of Scripture: A catalogue or list of inspired by God writings, of such books of the Bible called canonical; because they are in the number of those books which are looked upon as sacred, opposition to those which are either not acknowledged as divine books, or are rejected as heretical and spurious and are called apocryphal (not inspired by God; ma 's personal view).

OLD TESTAMENT -- The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew. Traditionally it is divided by the Jews into three parts:

1.    PENTATEUCH, together with the book of Joshua (Hexateuch)
2.    PROPHETS, a history of Israel in the promised land and the stories of the prophets to the people.
3.    HAGIOGRAPHA, "writings", Job, Ecclesiastes and the poetic works and history.

p 2 -- The time span of the writing of the Old Testament is approximately 1,000 years - Exodus written about 1300 BC to Ezra written shortly before 400 BC: for accounts preceding the Exodus very few chronological data are available.

Looking at the three divisions briefly:

1.   PENTATEUCH, or torah (Law) - book of Israel's beginning (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy). Among the Jews, the Law has held a unique place within Biblical literature, a place that was not changed with the adoption of other sacred books.
2.   PROPHETS, under this title there are 21 books in all; 6 historical, 3 major prophets and 12 minor prophets.

 i. 6 historical books - Joshua, Judges, I and II Samuel, and I and II Kings.
ii: 3 Major Prophets - Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
iii: 12 Minor Prophets - Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. 

NOTE: Daniel is not included as a prophet to the Jews.

3.    HAGIOGRAPHA, is considered a miscellaneous collection of sacred writings that cannot be classified in either the Pentateuch (Law) or the Prophets. The Hagiographer is in three sections:

i:   Poetic literature - Psalms, Proverbs and Job.
ii:   Megilloth or Rolls - Songs of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and Esther. The Jewish Classification of these five books by their secular tone has made a problem to their status in scripture.

p 3 --

iii:   These last five books are gathered together more as chronicles of history according to the Jews. - Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah and I and II Chronicles.

In the formation of the Old Testament Canon we will now look at the Jewish and Christian Canons of the Old Testament.

Jewish Canon:    It is not known when and how the earliest collection of sacred writings in Hebrew arose. The incident reported in II Kings 22 -- 640 BC boy King Josiah clearly presupposes the existence of some such collection; but both the incident and the collection are impossible to date exactly (approximately 630 BC). The Pentateuch (or at least its first four books) was in process of assembly in Jerusalem before that time.

Division of the Old Testament into the Law, the Prophets and the Hagiographa may reflect stages in the history of the canonization of the Old Testament. Thus the Law may have been the first to be canonized, then the written form of the message of the prophets, then some other writings.

Various collections of sacred writings were put together quite early in the history of Israel, but they did not become a canon until much later. How much later, depends upon the list of books assembled in the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint. Most scholars have drawn the inference that the Jewish collection of sacred books was still in a fluid state in the 2nd Century BC, that the status

p 4 -- of the Apocrypha, as well as that of some books in the Hagiographa, was unclear.

The Name canon may properly be applied to the books that seem to have been adopted by the assembly of rabbis at Jamnia about AD 90 or 100 under the leadership of Rabbi Akiba. Until then, apparently, the status of the Song of Solomon and of Ecclesiastes remained doubtful, but at Jamnia they were definitely included in the canon. That canon did not include the additions of Esther, Jeremiah and Daniel that are found in the Septuagint. Formally, then, the Jewish canon of scriptures came to include the Pentateuch, the Prophets and the Hagiographa, as it has ever since.

Additional light on the process by which the Jewish canon of the Old Testament was formed has come from the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls. The books of the Old Testament included in them suggest that the Pentateuch and the Prophets had been standardized by about the 4th Century BC, together with most of the Hagiographa; but some of the Hagiographa (including Daniel) were still in dispute until the assembly at Jamnia. After the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 and the rise of the Christian movement, the Jewish community felt obliged to fix the limits of its Bible more precisely.

p 5 -- Christian Canon of Old Testament:    The Bible of Jesus and of the early Christians was the Old Testament, but no list of the books it might have included exists.

For most of the early Christian Fathers the Old Testament meant the Septuagint, since few of them other than Origen knew Hebrew. Although they were aware of the divergence between the canon as accepted by the Jews and the list of books contained in the Septuagint, the examples of Melito, Origen and Athanasius suggest that the status of the disputed books remained in doubt during the first four centuries of the Christian era.

Jerome was one of the few Christians in those centuries to learn Hebrew. What he learned from the Jewish rabbis caused him to distinguish sharply between the canon as approved by the Jews and the catalogue represented in the Septuagint. As he came to prefer the Hebrew text to the Septuagint, so he also assigned primary authority to the Jewish canon and put the Apocrypha into, at best, a secondary position. Jerome's contemporary, Augustine, on the other hand, provides a catalogue of Old Testament writings that includes these books. Throughout the Middle Ages the status of the Apocrypha remained doubtful. Some theologians followed Jerome and excluded them altogether from the Bible in the strict sense; others followed Augustine and accepted them with very little hesitation; still others had reservations about them but used them as Holy Scripture. Contact between Jewish and Christian scholars,

p 6 -- which was commoner during the Middle Ages than is often supposed, served to point out to many Christian theologians the discrepancies between their Old Testament and the Bible of the Jews. But it was not until the period of the Reformation that the issue once more became a matter of concern and of controversy to Christian thinkers.

As part of their insistence that the church return to the Bible, the Protestant Reformers called for the elimination of the deuterocanonical books from the Scriptures. Luther's translation of the bible included them but put them into a separate section as "Apocrypha", which deserved to be read but not to be put on the same level as canonical scripture. The other Reformers were even more vigorous in their opposition. Believing that the Old Testament canon in use among the Jews of their time was also the Bible of Jesus and of the early Christians, they refused to accept quotations from the Apocrypha as support for Christian teaching.

Ever since the 16th and 17th centuries, therefore, the churches of Christendom have had a clearly defined canon of the Old Testament. The canon of Protestantism and that of Judaism are identical, but the order of books is different.

NEW TESTAMENT -- The New Testament is the shorter portion of our Christian Bible, however, despite the size, more is written and talked about in the New Testament than the Old. Christians in general are more familiar with the New Testament. Again, as in the Old, the New Testament is a collection of books which ids divided in four sections:

p 7 -- 1.   THE GOSPELS which are the teachings and the life of Jesus.
2.   THE BOOK OF ACTS which is the story of Christianity from the resurrection of Jesus, to the end of the career of Paul, the
3.   THE EPISTLES which are letters by early church leaders applying to sundry needs and problems in the church, the
4.   THE BOOK OF  REVELATION or "Apocalypse or Prophetic" is the only book in the canons that is primarily all prophetic in nature. The history of the New Testament is a short time span.

Looking at each section:

1.    THE GOSPELS are comprised of books; Matthew, Mark Luke and John. What the Pentateuch is to the Old Testament the Gospels are to the New Testament. The Gospels are the events surrounding Jesus Christ. Though they seen to be dependent upon one another for much of their material, the first three are distinct books each with its own purpose and structure, the book of John is more individual than the others. These four portraits form the basis for the rest of the New Testament.

2.    THE BOOK OF ACTS is written as a continuation of Luke. This book links the Gospels and the Epistles; it is historical in nature. Neglected as it has been sometimes by students, Acts in the New Testament performs the same function as the books of history do in the Old Testament. Without Acts the reader of the Epistles looses his orientation.

3.   THE EPISTLES comprises twenty-one books in all, most of which were composed for a specific need in the early church; more than half are ascribed to Paul. The books contained are: Romans, I and II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I and II Thessalonians, the (Pastoral Epistles) are I and II Timothy, Titus and Philemon; the

p 8 -- book Hebrews was considered an elaborate argument for Christianity as the successor of Judaism, James, I and II Peter, I, II and III John and Jude.

4.   THE BOOK OF REVELATION, the last book in the Bible consists of a series of visions which caused alarm and bewilderment to students of the Bible.

Now let us look at how the New Testament canon was formed:

Several factors seem to have been responsible for the rise of the New Testament canon, but church historians vary in the amount of weight they assign to each. One factor certainly was the sheer passage of time, as the church needed to discover whatever resources it could to bind it to its past and to guarantee its continuance in the tradition of the faith; the "Memoirs of the Apostles" were one such resource. Also responsible for the establishment of the canon was the circulation of writings that bore the names of Apostles but did not contain apostolic teaching.

The only way to eliminate these forgeries was to define the limits of the apostolic writings. Such a definition became a crucial necessity when the heretic Marcion compiled a canon of the New Testament containing his edition of the Epistle of Paul and of the Gospel of Luke, which he regarded as the only genuine Gospel. Although it now appears that Marcion did not cause the church to establish its canon, he did accelerate the process. Another heretical movement that helped to accelerate it was Montanism. The task of sifting through the writings of the early church occupied the Christians well into the 4th Century.

p 9 -- Eusebius suggested the following division of these writings:

1.    Some were acknowledged almost universally as part of the New Testament;
2.    Others were disputed but finally accepted;
3.    Still others were considered more or less serious but eventually rejected.

1.   ACKNOWLEDGED BOOKS -- The earliest pieces of Christian literature to be collected seem to have been the letters of Paul, but it could appear that initially, at least, they should qualify as "Scriptures". From the liturgical usage of the church at Rome it would appear that the Gospels were the first Christian books to be added to the Old Testament as supplementary Scriptures, and that this had happened by the middle of the second Century. Also from Rome and also apparently from the second Century comes the oldest existing list of New Testament writings, the so-called Muratorian fragment, so named because it was published by Ludovico Muratori. It was written in Latin and contains the names of the books being read in the church at Rome about AD 200. By about that time, as the writings of Irenaeus and Tertullian suggest, both Lyons and Carthage were using the Gospels, the Epistles of Paul and some other Epistles as Scripture. A few years later the works of Origen in Alexandria make it clear that he also was working with a similar, though not identical, collection.

From these four places -- Rome, Lyons, Carthage and Alexandria -- may be compiled a list of books on which they all seem to have been agreed. They are: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, I and II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians,

p 10 -- I and II Thessalonians, I and II Timothy, Titus, Philemon and I John.

2.   DISPUTED BOOKS -- From these same sources and from several church fathers quoted by Eusebius may be assembled also a list of the books that were disputed on one or another ground, but that were eventually included in the canon of the New Testament. The Epistle of Hebrews belongs to this category. It seems to have been accepted in the Eastern section of the church, but disputed in the West, for it does not appear in the Muratorian canon and is also questioned by other writers. The Epistle of James was in doubt by even more writers. Although I Peter is almost universally acknowledged, it is not listed in that category. Because of its absence from the Muratorian catalogue. II Peter, on the other hand, was questioned by many fathers who accepted I Peter. The Epistle of Jude appears in the Muratorian canon but was rejected elsewhere. II and III John sometimes were included with I John as one book, but they did not receive the universal support that it did. The book of Revelation probably was the object of more antagonism than any of the other books eventually canonized. The Montanist movement made apocalyptic literature suspect in the orthodox church, and some writers did not believe that the same man who had written the Gospel of John had written Revelation.

3.   REJECTED BOOKS -- There is an exhaustive list of books that appear under the article Apocrypha Canon.

p 11 --
4.   FORMATION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CANON -- The writings of Eusebius and of his contemporary Athanasius make it evident that agreement on the disputed books was approaching by the middle of the fourth Century, and that the canon of the New Testament that now appears in our Bibles was gaining general, if not quite universal, acceptance. That canon appears for the first time in the 39th Festal Letter of Athanasius, in AD 367.

After the Festal Letter other traditions held their own for a time. Thus the school of Antioch in general accepted only three catholic Epistles -- James, I Peter, I John -- while one of its most illustrious representatives, Theadore of Mopsuestia, rejected the whole of this section of the canon. The West followed the lead of Athanasius. In 382 AD a synod was held at Rome under Pope Damasus at which the influence of Jerome secured the adoption of a list of books answering that of Athanasius. This was ratified by Pope Gelasius at the end of the fifth Century. The same list was confirmed independently for the Province of Africa in a series of synods at Hippo Regius in 393 AD, and at Carthage in 397 AD, and 419 AD under the leadership of Augustine. The Second Canon of the Second Trullan Counsel of 692 AD, the Quinisextum, may be taken to have formally closed the process of the formation of the Canon for the East and the West. This Canon as accepted then, stands now as found in our Bible.

A Pertinent Message for Christians Today -- Pertaining now in theology to three specific books which were under strain as to whether they would be accepted or not in the Canon play a great roll in the message

p 12 -- for Christians to give to the world today. They are Daniel in the Old Testament, Hebrews and Revelation in the New Testament.

THE BOOK OF DANIEL -- Daniel with all its emphasis in prophetic understanding is lightly regarded by the Jews; it is not considered worthy to be among the books of prophecy because it is believed that Daniel had the gift of prophecy but not the office of a prophet. It was also under question because of its apocalyptic nature and, therefore, Daniel in the Jewish Canon is not found in the Hagiographa and not in the Prophets.

THE BOOK OF HEBREWS -- Due to the dispute as to the authorship of Hebrews it was under question as to being accepted in the New Testament. The requirement for acceptance in the Canon was that it had to be written by an Apostle or a companion of an Apostle; the authorship, most have ascribed to Paul, others to Barnabas and others say Apollos.

THE BOOK OF REVELATION -- Revelation is one of a group of books called Apocalyptic or Visions in Symbols. Other Apocalyptic books are -- in the Old Testament Daniel, in the Catholic Apocrypha -- second Esdras, and in the Non-Canonical books such as Enoch and Baruch, also many parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is interesting to note that out of all these Apocalyptic books, God made sure that Daniel and Revelation were included into the canon of Scripture as we use it today.

p 13 -- VERSIONS OR TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE -- There are many versions or translations of the Bible such as: King James Version, New International Version, Moffatts, Douay, and many others. Of all the translations of the Bible the King James Version stands far above all others in that it was a direct translation from the original Greek and Hebrew where others are individual translations from the King James Version.

The Douay Version came into being directly by the Roman Catholic Church by the Jesuits to combat the King James Version. The Douay was translated from the Latin vulgate which many Roman Catholic teachers admit to have thousands of errors.

The King James Version, even though it is written in old English style, is still the preference of many because all the cross reference materials such as Concordances, interlinears and word studies all refer to the King James Version in the English language. This is why I personally prefer to use the King James Version. Even though others may be easier to read, the King James Version is closest to the true text of the original. --- END --- TOP

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