To the Editor:
In response to the letter, “Religion response” (June 4).
It does not help in the search for truth to ignore facts within the Bible itself or from recorded history.
1. When Timothy 3:16 was written, concerning scriptural authority, the portions of the Old Testament considered fully inspired were the Law and the Prophets. Jesus spoke of the “Law and the Prophets” in Matthew: 5:17. The other Old Testament writings were canonized at the Council of Jamnia (Yavneh) in 90 A.D.
2. The process of canonizing the New Testament itself was completed in 367 A.D.
3. The writer of Hebrews 8:6 & 7 clearly indicates that the New Covenant (Testament) was better than the Old.
4. Jesus in John 1:1-14 is spoken of as the Word of God Made Flesh. As such, Jesus would be the one by whom Biblical writings find their authority.
5. These points do not shut out “true Jews”; in Romans, chapters 9 through 11, Paul distinguishes between Jews of the flesh (9:8) and true Jews. Hebrews in chapter 11 indicates that the heroes and heroines of the Israeli’s faith will have through Christ and the community of faith an opportunity for completion (11:39-40). Neither do they shut the door on “Gentiles” when they “do instinctively what the law requires” (Rom. 2:14).
Jesus emphasized the fairness of God in his teaching (Matthew 10:15-24) that Sodom and Gomorrah would fare better on the Day of Judgment than people who rebuff the Good News.
James P. McClarey