Canonicity: What is it?

(This article first appeared as a five-part blog by Dr. Stephen Pidgeon, May 26-31, 2015.)

What is canonizing a book all about anyway?

The council of Nicea was the first to create a canon (read: rule of the newly formed Catholic - or "universal" - Church). The canonization of the books was well down the list of canons adopted at this meeting. The books canonized are not the same books you have in your bible, unless your bible includes Judith and the Apocalypse of Peter. If your bible contains Revelation, then you are reading a non-canonical text, at least according to Nicea.

One might ask the question: What criteria was used to canonize anyway? Answer: Who knows? The most obvious answer is: We think these are the books that fit.

We received a new canon from the council of Laodicea (yes, from the mouths of the "lukewarm") which gave us a different roster, and yes, it was different from today's books. Finally, the council of Trent canonized the modern Catholic bible which (guess what?) includes the Apocrypha. The King James Bible, until 1857, also included the Apocrypha, eliminating all doubt that the Apocrypha existed in both the Catholic and Protestant bibles.

If you are not reading the Apocrypha, then you are ignoring canonized text.

However, we who accept the Sabbath as set forth in Scripture (to be on the seventh day, not the eighth or first day, but the seventh day) are not inclined to accept the opinion of those who created a religion which merged the doctrines of the faith with elements of paganism as practiced by the Romans at that time, which they conveniently called a "canon." Instead, we look to the Textus Receptus - the text we have received in the Greek, the Aramaic, and the Hebrew.

The captivity has been set free from Roman bondage and its mark - which is Sunday worship (not described anywhere in the "Canon").

Before you quickly repeat that you cannot read 4 Ezra, 1 Maccabees, the Wisdom of Sirach, the Book of Enoch, or Jubilees because they were not "canonized", consider the source. The Essenes at Qumran considered the texts of Enoch and Jubilees valuable enough to make multiple copies. Maybe we should take their opinion over the Romans.

The Septuagint

We begin our review of those books considered sacred with the first collection of books (in the Hebrew, cepheriym) to be gathered by Hebrew scholars.  This gathering of this collection occurred because the leader of Egypt, a certain Ptolemy Philadephus, commissioned seventy Rabbis (the Sanhedrin?) who were knowledgeable of both the Greek and Hebrew languages to convert the sacred Hebrew scriptures known to them at that time into the Greek language.  The selection of these texts by these scholars would then become the first determination of that which should be considered as sacred scripture.

This collection became known as the Septuagint (meaning, the work of the seventy) and is sometimes abbreviated as the LXX.  This work was done sometime between 300 and 200 B.C. in Alexandria, Egypt, which would later become one of the centers of the emerging faith in MASHIACH.   It was this collection that was relied upon and used by the disciples in the propagation of the faith in the first and second centuries, and the majority of citations from what is now considered as the Old Testament were quoted directly from the Septuagint. The Orthodox Church (bearing in mind that the Roman church is break-away from Orthodoxy) even this day continues to rely upon the Septuagint for its Old Testament teachings.  

The Septuagint contains the following books:

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

Joshua, Judges, Samuel (I & II), Kings (I & II), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel,

Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Chavaquq, Ts'phanyah, Haggai, Z'kharyah,  Malakhi

Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Ester, Daniyel, Ezra-N'chemyah, Chronicles (I & II)

Judith, Tobit, Baruch, Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus), the Wisdom of Solomon, First and Second Maccabees, the two Books of Esdras, additions to the Book of Esther, additions to the Book of Daniel, and the Prayer of Manasseh.

None of these books were identified as “apocryphal” or non-inspired at the time of this translation, nor were they delineated in any respect by the writers of the collection that would later become known as the New Testament.

The Ethiopic Bible

The oldest known collection of writings which were gathered into Old and New Testaments is a work identified as the Ethiopic Bible (second century, AD). The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has 46 books of the Old Testament and 35 books of the New Testament that will bring the total of canonized books of the Bible to 81.

A. The Holy Books of the Old Testament

1. Genesis

2. Exodus

3. Leviticus

4. Numbers

5. Deuteronomy

6. Joshua

7. Judges

8. Ruth

9. I and II Samuel

10. I and II Kings

11. I Chronicles

12. II Chronicles

13. Jubilee

14. Enoch

15. Ezra and Nehemia

16. Ezra (2nd) and Ezra Sutuel

17. Tobit

18. Judith

19. Esther

20. I Maccabees

21. II and III Maccabees

22. Job

23. Psalms

24. Proverbs

25. Tegsats (Reproof)

26. Metsihafe Tibeb (the books of wisdom)

27. Ecclesiastes

28. The Song of Songs

29. Isaiah

30. Jeremiah

31. Ezekiel

32. Daniel

33. Hosea

34. Amos

35. Micah

36. Joel

37. Obadiah

38. Jonah

39. Nahum

40. Habakkuk

41. Zephaniah

42. Haggai

43. Zechariah

44. Malachi

45. Book of Joshua the son of Sirac

46. The Book of Josephas the Son of Bengorion

B. The holy books of the New Testament

1. Matthew

2. Mark

3. Luke

4. John

5. The Acts

6. Romans

7. I Corinthians

8. II Corinthians

9. Galatians

10. Ephesians

11. Philippians

12. Colossians

13. I Thessalonians

14. II Thessalonians

15. I Timothy

16. II Timothy

17. Titus

18. Philemon

19. Hebrews

20. I Peter

21. II Peter

22. I John

23. II John

24. III John

25. James

26. Jude

27. Revelation

28. Sirate Tsion (the book of order)

29. Tizaz (the book of Herald)

30. Gitsew

31. Abtilis

32. The I book of Dominos

33. The II book of Dominos

34. The book of Clement

35. Didascalia

The Ethiopic version of the Old and New Testament was derived from the Septuagint. It also includes the book of Enoch, Baruch, and the third and fourth Esdras. It is the church of Ethiopia that undertook to preserve these sacred documents. Among those preserved books is the book of Enoch and the book of Jubilees (Kufale, i.e. Division) otherwise known as the Little Genesis, which has also been preserved in its entirety only in the Ethiopic version. The preservation of yet one more book in its entirety, namely, the Ascension of Isaiah, is to be remembered to the credit of the Ethiopic Church.

The Synod of Jamnia

The canonized version of the Old Testament used by Catholics is based on the "Septuagint" (also called "LXX" or "The Seventy") which came into being around 280 B.C. as a translation of then existing texts from Hebrew into Greek by 70 Jewish scribes (the Torah was translated first, around 300 B.C., and the rest of the books were translated afterward).

This Septuagint was the text overwhelmingly relied upon by the writers of the New Testament when they cited scripture.  The references found in the New Testament of Old Testament teachings refer overwhelmingly to the Septuagint over 300 times. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul all make reference to the Septuagint in their New Testament writings.  It is this Septuagint which includes seven books and parts of Esther and Daniel which were removed from Protestant Bibles some 1,500 years after the birth of HAMASHIACH.

The Septuagint is the Old Testament referred to in the Didache or "Doctrine of the Apostles" (first century Christian writings) and by Origen, Irenaeus of Lyons, Hippolytus, Tertullian, Cyprian of Carthage, Justin Martyr, St. Augustine as well as the vast majority of early Christians who referenced Scripture in their writings. The Epistle of Pope Clement, written in the first century, makes reference to the Books Ecclesiasticus and Wisdom, analyzes the book of Judith, and quotes sections of the book of Esther that were removed from Protestant Bibles.

It was the Septuagint that was the version of the Old Testament accepted by the very earliest followers of the faith.  The additional seven books which later came to be called apocrypha writings were also found among the Dead Sea Scrolls.

However, a different view of which books should be considered proper sacred Jewish writings emerged following the destruction of the Second Temple and the diaspora of the Jews.  Around A.D. 90-100, a rabbinical school was formed by Yochanan ben Zakkai. The "Council of Jamnia" (also called "Jabneh" or "Javneh") is the name that was given to the decisions made by this Pharisaic school. Zakkai convened the Jamnian Council with the goals of safeguarding Hillel's Oral Law, deciding the Jewish canon (which had always been, and possibly even afterward remained, an open canon), and attempting to prevent the disappearance of Talmudic Judaism into the Diaspora of the Christian and Roman worlds.

A brief aside: The tradition of the oral law actually began before the Torah was given to Moshe.  This is described in Shemot (Exodus) 18, when Mosheh’s father in law advises him to teach and appoint judges:

Shemot (Exodus) 18:17-25

And Mosheh’s father in law said unto him, The thing that you do is not good. 18 You will surely wear away, both you, and this people that is with you: for this thing is too heavy for you; you are not able to perform it yourself alone. 19 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give you counsel, and ELOHIYM shall be with you: Be for the people to ELOHIYM-ward, that you may bring את eth-the causes unto ELOHIYM: 20 And you shall teach them את eth-ordinances and את eth-Torah, and shall show them את eth-the way wherein they must walk, and את eth-the work that they must do. 21 Moreover you shall provide out of all the people able men, such as fear ELOHIYM, men of Truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: 22 And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto you, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for yourself, and they shall bear the burden with you. 23 If you shall do את eth-this thing, and ELOHIYM command you so, then you shall be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace. 24 So Mosheh hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said. 25 And Mosheh chose able men out of all Yisra’el, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 26 And they judged את eth-the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Mosheh, but every small matter they judged themselves.

So the oral law – the smaller matters judged by the people themselves – began at Ciynay, and continued within the traditions of the house of Yisra’el, until it began to be written, during the time of Hillel the Elder.  This first construct became known as the Yerushalmi Talmud, and is also referred to as the mishneh (which means, the duplicate).  This mishneh was then asserted by the Parashiym (Pharisees) as an alternative law to the Torah, and the Pharisees began to teach that the era of the Torah was over, and that the era of the Mishneh had begun. Mattithyahu 23 is just one discourse concerning HAMASHIACH’S opinion of these oral laws and the crafted Mishneh.  It is in this passage where he pronounces seven woes over the Pharisees. 

The Council of Jamnia was a reaction to the rise of the Nazarene faith, who were mostly Jews using the Septuagint to establish the truth concerning HAMASHIACH to proselytize other Jews.  This faith of the Nazarenes became an identifiable threat to the doctrine of the Pharisees which would eventually land on the redacted Talmud and the expanded Mishneh of the Babylonian era, at the expense of the Septuagint upon which these same Pharisees had relied for almost 400 years. The Pharisees meeting at the Council of Jamnia were the same who had denied that the New Testament was true, had accused the Nazarenes of stealing the body of YAHUSHA from the tomb and lying about his resurrection.  It was the infamous Gamaliel whom the Pauline world lauds as the exalted Parashiym More (Pharisee Teacher) that instructed Sha’ul before he eventually stopped persecuting Nazarenes to death and himself converted, who made it the obligation of the Jews in praying the Amidah (the standing prayer) and its 18 petitions to pray the 12th petition called the birkat, which prays that “for apostates may there be no hope, and may the Nazarenes and heretics suddenly perish.”  Gamaliel is also the Pharisee who forced the Nazarenes out of the synagogues.

To make matters more interesting, the Council of Jamnia – who wrestled with whether the book of Daniy’el should be included, and eventually conceded (but only as a writing and not prophecy!), also eliminated the Cepher Makkabiym (the Maccabees).  This occurred at the request of the Falvian Roman Emperors, who were sponsoring the Council.  These emperors decided that the Cepher Makkabim might be inflammatory and incite rebellion by the Jews.

As we suspected: the Council of Jamnia was a reaction to the rise of the Nazarene faith, and the redaction of the sacred scriptures began with the intent to disguise the Torah and the Prophets, all of which give testimony to the coming Lamb of ELOHIYM. 

The Protestant Bibles whose editors have seen fit to eliminate the Cepheriym Makkabiym (books I – IV are found in the Cepher) are in accord with the Council of Jamnia – an express antichrist Synod, and have yielded (once again, I might add) to the demands of Rome and its emperors who feared the words of these scriptures. The Cepheriym Makkabiym were eliminated for the first time at the Council of Jamnia as Jews in other parts of the world, such as the Ethiopian Jews who didn't get the news of the Council of Jamnia's decisions, still use those "extra" seven books to this very day.

Jamnia did however reduce the ordinary order from those books found in the Septuagint to the books now commonly found in the Tanakh, including the following:

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

Joshua, Judges, Samuel (I & II), Kings (I & II), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel,

Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Chavaquq, Ts'phanyah, Haggai, Z'kharyah, Malakhi

Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Ester, Daniyel, Ezra-N'chemyah, Chronicles (I & II)

These books are those that now constitute the canonical writings of Judaism, as established in direct reaction to the rise of the Messianic order of the Nazarenes in the First Century.

The Council of Nicea

The Council of Nicea did not establish a canonized roster of approved books in its 20 Canons. In summary, the Council reached the following conclusions:

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of his Father, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten (γεννηθέντα), not made, being of one substance (ὁμοούσιον, consubstantialem) with the Father. By whom all things were made, both which be in heaven and in earth. Who for us men and for our salvation came down [from heaven] and was incarnate and was made man. He suffered and the third day he rose again, and ascended into heaven. And he shall come again to judge both the quick and the dead. And [we believe] in the Holy Ghost. And whosoever shall say that there was a time when the Son of God was not (ἤν ποτε ὅτε οὐκ ἦν), or that before he was begotten he was not, or that he was made of things that were not, or that he is of a different substance or essence [from the Father] or that he is a creature, or subject to change or conversion — all that so say, the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes them.

The Canons (paraphrased)

Canon 1 – Self-castration shall result in no promotion among the clergy.

Canon 2 – Time is needed after conversion and baptism before advancing among the clergy.  Sensual sin attested to by two or three witnesses will result in the cessation of the clerical office.

Canon 3 – No subintroducta can live with any bishop, presbyter, deacon, or any one of the clergy, except only a mother, or sister, or aunt, or such persons only as are beyond all suspicion.

Canon 4 - A bishop should be appointed by all the bishops in the province.

Canon 5 – Those who have been excommunicated cannot be readmitted by others.

Canon 6 – The ancient customs in Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis may continue. No man can be made a bishop without the consent of the Metropolitan, with an exception.

Canon 7 – The Bishop of Jerusalem is second to Metropolitan.

Canon 8 – The Catharis who convert may continue in their offices if they profess in writing that they will observe and follow the dogmas of the Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Canon 9 – Presbyters who have committed a crime cannot be presbyters.

Canon 10 – Even if a person has been ordained through ignorance or lapse, once discovered, they are to be deposed.

Canon 11 – Those who fell without compulsion, though they deserve no clemency, shall be dealt with mercifully.  

Canon 12 - Those were called by grace, and cast aside their military girdles, but afterwards regained their military stations); let these, after they have passed the space of three years as hearers, be for ten years prostrators.  

Canon 13 - If any man be at the point of death, he must not be deprived of the last and most indispensable Viaticum, and in the case of any dying person who asks to receive the Eucharist, let the Bishop, after examination, give it to him.

Canon 14 - Concerning catechumens who have lapsed, after they have passed three years only as hearers, they shall pray with the catechumens.

Canon 15 - Neither bishop, presbyter, nor deacon shall pass from city to city

Canon 16 - Neither presbyters, nor deacons, nor any others enrolled among the clergy, shall recklessly remove from their own church. And if anyone shall dare to carry off and in his own Church ordain a man belonging to another, without the consent of his own proper bishop, let his ordination be void.

Canon 17 - Anyone be found to receive usury, shall be deposed from the clergy and his name stricken from the list.

Canon 18 - Let the deacons remain within their own bounds, knowing that they are the ministers of the bishop and the inferiors of the presbyters. Let them receive the Eucharist according to their order, after the presbyters, and let either the bishop or the presbyter administer to them.

Canon 19 - Concerning the Paulianists who have flown for refuge to the Catholic Church, it has been decreed that they must by all means be rebaptized; and if any of them who in past time have been numbered among their clergy should be found blameless and without reproach, let them be rebaptized and ordained by the Bishop of the Catholic Church; but if the examination should discover them to be unfit, they ought to be deposed. Likewise in the case of their deaconesses, and generally in the case of those who have been enrolled among their clergy, let the same form be observed. And we mean by deaconesses such as have assumed the habit, but who, since they have no imposition of hands, are to be numbered only among the laity.

Canon 20 – No kneeling in prayer on the Lord's Day and in the days of Pentecost.

These are the Canons of the Council of Nicea, and further they writeth nought.

The Synodal Letter

To the Church of Alexandria, by the grace of God, holy and great; and to our well-beloved brethren, the orthodox clergy and laity throughout Egypt, and Pentapolis, and Lybia, and every nation under heaven, the holy and great synod, the bishops assembled at Nicea, wish health in the Lord.

Forasmuch as the great and holy Synod, which was assembled at Nicea through the grace of Christ and our most religious Sovereign Constantine, who brought us together from our several provinces and cities, has considered matters which concern the faith of the Church, it seemed to us to be necessary that certain things should be communicated from us to you in writing, so that you might have the means of knowing what has been mooted and investigated, and also what has been decreed and confirmed.

[The denunciation of Arius]

First of all, then, in the presence of our most religious Sovereign Constantine, investigation was made of matters concerning the impiety and transgression of Arius and his adherents; and it was unanimously decreed that he and his impious opinion should be anathematized, together with the blasphemous words and speculations in which he indulged, blaspheming the Son of God, and saying that he is from things that are not, and that before he was begotten he was not, and that there was a time when he was not, and that the Son of God is by his free will capable of vice and virtue; saying also that he is a creature. All these things the holy Synod has anathematized, not even enduring to hear his impious doctrine and madness and blasphemous words. And of the charges against him and of the results they had, you have either already heard or will hear the particulars, lest we should seem to be oppressing a man who has in fact received a fitting recompense for his own sin. So far indeed has his impiety prevailed, that he has even destroyed Theonas of Marmorica and Secundes of Ptolemais; for they also have received the same sentence as the rest.

[Removing authority from Meletius]

But when the grace of God had delivered Egypt from that heresy and blasphemy, and from the persons who have dared to make disturbance and division among a people heretofore at peace, there remained the matter of the insolence of Meletius and those who have been ordained by him; and concerning this part of our work we now, beloved brethren, proceed to inform you of the decrees of the Synod. The Synod, then, being disposed to deal gently with Meletius (for in strict justice he deserved no leniency), decreed that he should remain in his own city, but have no authority either to ordain, or to administer affairs, or to make appointments; and that he should not appear in the country or in any other city for this purpose, but should enjoy the bare title of his rank; but that those who have been placed by him, after they have been confirmed by a more sacred laying on of hands, shall on these conditions be admitted to communion: that they shall both have their rank and the right to officiate, but that they shall be altogether the inferiors of all those who are enrolled in any church or parish, and have been appointed by our most honourable colleague Alexander. So that these men are to have no authority to make appointments of persons who may be pleasing to them, nor to suggest names, nor to do anything whatever, without the consent of the bishops of the Catholic and Apostolic Church, who are serving under our most holy colleague Alexander; while those who, by the grace of God and through your prayers, have been found in no schism, but on the contrary are without spot in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, are to have authority to make appointments and nominations of worthy persons among the clergy, and in short to do all things according to the law and ordinance of the Church. But, if it happen that any of the clergy who are now in the Church should die, then those who have been lately received are to succeed to the office of the deceased; always provided that they shall appear to be worthy, and that the people elect them, and that the bishop of Alexandria shall concur in the election and ratify it. This concession has been made to all the rest; but, on account of his disorderly conduct from the first, and the rashness and precipitation of his character, the same decree was not made concerning Meletius himself, but that, inasmuch as he is a man capable of committing again the same disorders, no authority nor privilege should be conceded to him.

These are the particulars, which are of special interest to Egypt and to the most holy Church of Alexandria; but if in the presence of our most honoured lord, our colleague and brother Alexander, anything else has been enacted by canon or other decree, he will himself convey it to you in greater detail, he having been both a guide and fellow-worker in what has been done.

[Concerning Easter]

We further proclaim to you the good news of the agreement concerning the holy Easter, that this particular also has through your prayers been rightly settled; so that all our brethren in the East who formerly followed the custom of the Jews are henceforth to celebrate the said most sacred feast of Easter at the same time with the Romans and yourselves and all those who have observed Easter from the beginning.

Wherefore, rejoicing in these wholesome results, and in our common peace and harmony, and in the cutting off of every heresy, receive with the greater honour and with increased love, our colleague your Bishop Alexander, who has gladdened us by his presence, and who at so great an age has undergone so great fatigue that peace might be established among you and all of us. Pray also for us all, that the things which have been deemed advisable may stand fast; for they have been done, as we believe, to the well-pleasing of Almighty God and of his only Begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Ghost, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

Source. Translated by Henry Percival. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 14. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1900.)

We now see the origin of the doctrine of Easter, being obtained by a consensus and agreement between the Bishops so that those of the East who were practicing the so-called feasts of the Jews, such as Pecach (Passover), Matsah (Unleavened Bread), Bikoor (First Fruits), Sheva’oth (Pentecost), Teruah (Trumpets), Kippuriym (Atonement), and Sukkoth (Booths), would abandon those practices to join with the Romans who had been practicing the feast of Ishtar (Easter) prior to their conversion to Christianity. 

Paragraph two tells us why.  First, we have the claim for common peace and harmony.  This age-old saw concerning peace and harmony always begs the question: who yields and who doesn’t?  How many of us would be willing to embrace Islam, for instance, for the sake of peace and harmony, and after doing so, would you have peace and harmony?  (Frankly, the consensus could be 99.99%, and I still would refuse to join).  Unity at what price?  And to which doctrine shall we be unified?

Here, because of a robust anti-Jewishness present at the Council, the self-appointed clergy determined to abandon the express teachings of Vayiqra (Leviticus) 23, and instead embrace the Babylonian pagan practice of the feast of the fertility goddess Ishtar.

The second identified reason to abandon the biblical Sabbaths and to embrace the Babylonian fertility goddess ritual was to cut off every heresy.  One wonders how embracing a Roman pagan feast at the expense of scriptural mandates can be called the cutting off of heresy; however, by the time we reach this Council, the works of Marcion were already present.  These works include 11 books which included his personal rewrite of the gospel of Luke, and 10 (not 14) epistles of Paul, at least two of which were notorious forgeries (the Epistle to the Alexandrians and the Epistle to the Laodiceans).  Marcion, by 180 AD, had moved even beyond his creation of a new god, and had begun to embrace Gnosticism (which at its root, rejected that MASHIACH came in the flesh), which resulted in his expulsion from the community of believers.

I submit to you that this cutting off of heresy had to do with a continual pursuit to twist the words of the letters of the New Testament to reach the desired anti-Jewish path, ignoring the plain genealogy of MASHIACH set forth in Mattithyahu 1 and Lucas 3, both of which demonstrate his heritage as a direct descendent of both Yahudah and Pheres. 

The Council of Laodicea

The council of Laodicea (~ A.D. 363) states in cannon 29:

Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord's Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ.

Well, let’s take this on, shall we?

There is a claim that the New Testament distinguishes the Lord's Day from the Sabbath, and that the Lord’s Day commemorates the day of the Resurrection. First of all, the use of the word “Lord” has its own issue. 

Strong’s 1166 and 1167, defines the term ba’al as a master; hence, a husband, or lord.  The word that is translated as Lord in most English editions is the Tetragrammaton itself, which does not include any reference to being lord or master.

Husha (Hosea) 2:16

And it shall be at that day, says YAHUAH, that you shall call me Yish’iy (my man); and shall call me no more Ba’aliy (my Lord).

Now, of course, there is a second use of the word Lord (as compared to the word Lord) which has been put in place of the word Adonai. Strong’s describes its usage to mean sovereign, i.e. controller (human or divine): lord, master, owner. 

So, when we speak of the Lord’s Day, are we discussing Ba’al, or Adonai?

Now there are several references to the Lord’s Day and the day of resurrection upon which our theologians rest to proclaim that Christian worship is properly set forth on Sunday (the day of the Sun) rather than on Sabbath, the seventh day of the week.  Let’s take a look.  We begin with

Mattithyahu (Matthew) 28:1

After the end of the Shabbat, as it began to draw near toward the Shabbat of the next day, came Miryam of Migdal and the other Miryam to see the sepulchre.

Now, what you read in most English versions of the bible instead says something like this:

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

Well, we be havin’ a bit of discrepancy, don’t ya’ know?

The passage as set forth in the Cepher is the most consistent with the Stephanus Textus Receptus, which does not use the phrase “the first day of the week” but uses the word sabbaton for the second time. This is not cognizable to those who have shut their ears to the hearing of the Torah.  How is it possible to have two Sabbath days in a row?  Before we answer this question, let’s continue with the scriptures offered as proof texts that the Lord’s Day is the first day of the week, which is admittedly Sun-day.

Marcus (Mark) 16:1

AND when the Shabbat was past, Miryam of Migdal, and Miryam the mother of Ya`aqov, and Shalom, bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning on the Shabbat of the next day, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

Yet in most English translations we find the following:

Mark 16:1

And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

We have the very same issue again, where the phrase the first day of the week does not appear, but is interpreted from an inference.  Let’s continue:

Marcus (Mark) 16:9

Now YAHUSHA haven risen on the first Shabbat, he appeared first to Miryam of Migdal, out of whom he had cast seven devils.


Lucas (Luke) 24:1

It no longer being the Shabbat, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

Now again, this is not what you read in your English bible.  Instead you read as follows:

Luke 24:1

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

Yet, the phrase, the first day of the week does not appear; instead you find the word sabbaton. Let’s continue:

Yahuchanon (John) 20:1

It no longer being the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene came early when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and saw the stone taken away from the sepulcher.

Compare with what is usually set forth:

John 20:1

The first day of the week comes Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and sees the stone taken away from the sepulchre.


Yahuchanon (John) 20:19

Then the same day at evening, being one of the Shabbathot, when the doors were shut where the Talmidiym were assembled for fear of the Yahudiym, came YAHUSHA and stood in the midst, and said unto them, Peace be unto you.


John 20:19

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

Again, you have this phrase the first day of the week, which simply does not appear in the text at all. Given the content as actually set forth – being one of the Shabbathot, again is going to reveal to us the actual timing of all of these events.

Again, another proof text is offered; this time from the writings of Sha’ul:

Qorintiym Rishon (1 Corinthians) 16:2

Upon the Shabbat let every one of you lay by him in store, as YAHUAH has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Here is the Greek of this text:

κατα μιαν σαββατων εκαστος υμων παρ εαυτω τιθετω θησαυριζων ο τι αν ευοδωται ινα μη οταν ελθω τοτε λογιαι γινωνται

The first three words here κατα kata (pertaining to) μιαν mial (the first) σαββατων sabbaton (Sabbath) . . . Comments?

Ma’aseh (Acts) 20:7-11

And upon one of the Shabbathot, when the Talmidiym came together to break bread, Sha’ul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until mid-night. 8 And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. 9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Sha’ul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. 10 And Sha’ul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. 11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. 12 And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.

Yet most English translations say as to verse 7 “And upon the first day of the week,” intentionally misleading the reader from the actual text, which clearly states that it was on Sabbaton, i.e., the Sabbath.  If you do not accept that this word Sabbaton means the seventh day Sabbath as practiced by the Jews, consider the next two passages:

Ma’aseh (Acts) 17:2

And Sha’ul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Shabbathot reasoned with them out of the Scriptures, 

Even other English editions agree:

Acts 17:2

And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures.


Ma’aseh (Acts) 18:4

And he reasoned in the synagogue every Shabbat, and persuaded the Yahudiym and the Yavaniym.

Again, other English editions agree:

Acts 18:4

And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

So, if we examine the entirety of this discourse, we find a timeline that reveals the actual timing of the crucifixion.  Mattithyahu 28:1 sets the groundwork, because it discloses two Sabbaths (Sabbaton).  The use of the term Sabbaton, as we have discussed above, means Sabbath, and nothing else.  Two Sabbaths are therefore disclosed in this verse, as found in the underlying Greek, but not properly interpreted in any English edition other than the Cepher.

This passage is only understood with a knowledge of the feasts – the seven moediym of YAHUAH.   Of the seven feasts of YAHUAH, Pecach (Passover), Matstsah (Unleavened Bread), Bikoor (First Fruits), Sheva’oth (Pentecost), Yom Teruah (Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Atonement), Sukka’oth (Tabernacles), only two are scheduled on the 15th day of the month: Matstsah is set on the 15th day of the first month, the month of Aviv (Nisan); and Sukka’oth, which is set on the 15th day of the seventh month, the month of Ethaniym (Tishrei). Given the terms of Chanok, the first day of Matstsah and the first day of Sukka’oth will always be on a full moon.  From time to time, when a total eclipse occurs over the moon, these full moons will be blood moons. 

Now, let us consider the timing of the crucifixion.  There is only one possible scenario for the timing of the crucifixion.  Let’s look:

The time of Passover / the Feast of Matstsah:






Mtsa 1

Thurs. Mtsa 2


Mtsa 3

Sat. Mtsa 4

Sun. Mtsa 5

Mon. Mtsa 6

Tues. Mtsa 7


Last Supper

In the Tomb



































These are the only days of the week that the timing set forth in the gospels can take place.  As you see here, Mashiach spends three nights and three days in the tomb.  He is taken from the cross and placed in the tomb just before the high Sabbath of Matstsah.  Miryam and Miryam (M&M in the graph) visit at the close of Sabbath, just before the next Sabbath, which is first fruits or Bikoor, and find that Mashiach has risen. 

Mattithyahu (Matthew) 28:1


After the end of the Shabbat, as it began to draw near toward the Shabbat of the next day, came Miryam of Migdal and the other Miryam to see the sepulchre.

Marcus (Mark) 16:1



And when the Shabbat was past, Miryam of Migdal, and Miryam the mother of Ya`aqov, and Shalom, bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning on the Shabbat of the next day, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

Marcus (Mark) 16:9


Now YAHUSHA haven risen on the first Shabbat, he appeared first to Miryam of Migdal, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

Lucas (Luke) 24:1



It no longer being the Shabbat, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

Yahuchanon (John) 20:1


It no longer being the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene came early when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and saw the stone taken away from the sepulcher.

Yahuchanon (John) 20:19



Then the same day at evening, being one of the Shabbathot, when the doors were shut where the Talmidiym were assembled for fear of the Yahudiym, came YAHUSHA and stood in the midst, and said unto them, Peace be unto you.

We have a bit of an interesting discussion here, because it appears that Miryam of Migdal was the first to discover the stone taken away, and returned with Miryam and Salome to confirm. All of these events, however, occurred after the close of Sabbath on Saturday.

When the timing of the crucifixion is understood, we can see that MASHIACH was placed in the tomb just shortly before the high Shabbat of Matsah began (Wednesday in the late afternoon), which placed Him in the tomb for exactly three nights and three days, his ascension taking place exactly 72 hours later, on the close of the Shabbat on Saturday, just before the Shabbat of Bikoor, or First Fruits, which always occurs on a Sunday.

Thereafter, Miryam and Miryam make their discovery.  This means the ascension took place on a Saturday, or the traditional seventh day Shabbat.  This is the only understanding that can be reached from the Greek text found in the gospels. 

The claim that the Shabbat must be abandoned in favor of Sunday does have a source, however, yet the book upon which it relies was never canonized by any of the councils.  Here is the relevant portion:


Chapter 15. The false and the true Sabbath

Further, also, it is written concerning the Sabbath in the Decalogue which [the Lord] spoke, face to face, to Moses on Mount Sinai, And sanctify the Sabbath of the Lord with clean hands and a pure heart. Exodus 20:8; Deuteronomy 5:12 And He says in another place, If my sons keep the Sabbath, then will I cause my mercy to rest upon them. Jeremiah 17:24-25 The Sabbath is mentioned at the beginning of the creation [thus]: And God made in six days the works of His hands, and made an end on the seventh day, and rested on it, and sanctified it. Attend, my children, to the meaning of this expression, He finished in six days. This implies that the Lord will finish all things in six thousand years, for a day is with Him a thousand years. And He Himself testifies, saying, Behold, today will be as a thousand years. Therefore, my children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, all things will be finished. And He rested on the seventh day. This means: when His Son, coming [again], shall destroy the time of the wicked man, and judge the ungodly, and change the sun, and the moon, and the stars, then shall He truly rest on the seventh day. Moreover, He says, You shall sanctify it with pure hands and a pure heart. If, therefore, anyone can now sanctify the day which God has sanctified, except he is pure in heart in all things, we are deceived. Behold, therefore: certainly then one properly resting sanctifies it, when we ourselves, having received the promise, wickedness no longer existing, and all things having been made new by the Lord, shall be able to work righteousness. Then we shall be able to sanctify it, having been first sanctified ourselves.

Further, He says to them, Your new moons and your Sabbath I cannot endure. Isaiah 1:13 You perceive how He speaks: Your present Sabbaths are not acceptable to Me, but that is which I have made, [namely this,] when, giving rest to all things, I shall make a beginning of the eighth day, that is, a beginning of another world. Wherefore, also, we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead. And when He had manifested Himself, He ascended into the heavens.

Council of Laodicea (about A.D. 363)

There is a claim that the books of Bible were determined, proclaimed and canonized at the Council of Laodicea in the year 363 AD, before Eusibeus created the order found in the Codex Vaticanus, and some sixty years before Demasus determined that the Septuagint constituted the Old Testament, and that the New Testament consisted of 27 books. 

The claim is that Canon 60 of the Canons adopted at the Council of Laodicea set forth a roster of books constituting the official bible. However, this list is missing from most of the various manuscripts containing the original decrees of the regional Council of Laodicea.  Most commentators believe the list was added later. 

Let us consider the corruption and its roster.

Canon 60

1. The Genesis of the world; 2. The the Exodus from Egypt; 3. Leviticus; 4. Numbers; 5. Deuteronomy; 6. Joshua the son of Nun; 7. Judges and Ruth; 8. Esther; 9. First and Second Kings [i.e. First and Second Samuel]; 10. Third and Fourth Kings [i.e. First and Second Kings]; 11. First and Second Chronicles; 12. First and Second Ezra [i.e. Ezra and Nehemiah]; 13. The book of one hundred and fifty Psalms; 14. The Proverbs of Solomon; 15. Ecclesiastes; 16. Song of Songs; 17. Job; 18. The Twelve [minor] Prophets; 19. Isaiah; 20. Jeremiah and Baruch, Lamentations and the Epistle [of Jeremiah]; 21. Ezekiel; 22. Daniel. And the books of the New Testament: 4 Gospels, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; the Acts of the Apostles; seven catholic epistles, namely, 1 of James, 2 of Peter, 3 of John, 1 of Jude; fourteen epistles of Paul, 1 to the Romans, 2 to the Corinthians, 1 to the Galatians, 1 to the Ephesians, 1 to the Philippians, 1 to the Colossians, 2 to the Thessalonians, 1 to the Hebrews, 2 to Timothy, 1 to Titus, and 1 to Philemon.

B.F. Westcott, A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament (5th ed. Edinburgh, 1881). 

Westcott in my opinion is a totally unreliable source. Let’s see if we can find any authentic canonization of scripture.

Council of Trent (1546 A.D.)

At the fourth session of the Council of Trent, on the eighth day of April in the year 1546, the following was determined:


The sacred and holy, ecumenical, and general Synod of Trent,--lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost, the Same three legates of the Apostolic Sec presiding therein,--keeping this always in view, that, errors being removed, the purity itself of the Gospel be preserved in the Church; which (Gospel), before promised through the prophets in the holy Scriptures, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, first promulgated with His own mouth, and then commanded to be preached by His Apostles to every creature, as the fountain of all, both saving truth, and moral discipline; and seeing clearly that this truth and discipline are contained in the written books, and the unwritten traditions which, received by the Apostles from the mouth of Christ himself, or from the Apostles themselves, the Holy Ghost dictating, have come down even unto us, transmitted as it were from hand to hand; (the Synod) following the examples of the orthodox Fathers, receives and venerates with an equal affection of piety, and reverence, all the books both of the Old and of the New Testament--seeing that one God is the author of both --as also the said traditions, as well those appertaining to faith as to morals, as having been dictated, either by Christ's own word of mouth, or by the Holy Ghost, and preserved in the Catholic Church by a continuous succession. And it has thought it meet that a list of the sacred books be inserted in this decree, lest a doubt may arise in any one's mind, which are the books that are received by this Synod. They are as set down here below:

Of the Old Testament:

The five books of Moses, to wit, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; Josue, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings, two of Paralipomenon, the first book of Esdras, and the second which is entitled Nehemias; Tobias, Judith, Esther, Job, the Davidical Psalter, consisting of a hundred and fifty psalms; the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Canticle of Canticles, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Isaias, Jeremias, with Baruch; Ezechiel, Daniel; the twelve minor prophets, to wit, Osee, Joel, Amos, Abdias, Jonas, Micheas, Nahum, Habacuc, Sophonias, Aggaeus, Zacharias, Malachias; two books of the Machabees, the first and the second.

Of the New Testament:

The four Gospels, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; the Acts of the Apostles written by Luke the Evangelist; fourteen epistles of Paul the apostle, (one) to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, (one) to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to the Philippians, to the Colossians, two to the Thessalonians, two to Timothy, (one) to Titus, to Philemon, to the Hebrews; two of Peter the apostle, three of John the apostle, one of the apostle James, one of Jude the apostle, and the Apocalypse of John the apostle.

But if any one receive not, as sacred and canonical, the said books entire with all their parts, as they have been used to be read in the Catholic Church, and as they are contained in the old Latin vulgate edition; and knowingly and deliberately contemn the traditions aforesaid; let him be anathema. Let all, therefore, understand, in what order, and in what manner, the said Synod, after having laid the foundation of the Confession of faith, will proceed, and what testimonies and authorities it will mainly use in confirming dogmas, and in restoring morals in the Church.

This is something to think about for those of the Protestant reform, who find themselves being trapped in Roman captivity to the Roman Sabbath constructed on the intentional misinterpretation of the sacred texts and wholly reliant upon the never-canonized Epistle of Barnabus, and openly denouncing the only accurate Canonization of scripture which included seventy-two books, not sixty-six.  I will leave you with this question … is it possible that the claim of sixty-six books was a claim constructed by Westcott and Horton?