Daniel, Apocryphal Additions to the Greek translation of Daniel, like that of Esther, contain several pieces which are not found in the original text. The most important of these additions are contained in the Apocrypha of the English Bible under the titles of The Song of the Tree Holy Children, The History of Susanna, and The History of...Bel and the Dragon -1. a. The first of these pieces is incorporate into the narrative of Daniel After who three confessors were thrown into the furnace (Dan. iii. 23), Azarias is represented praying to God for deliverance (Song of Three Children, 3-22); and in answer the angel of the Lord shields them from the fire which consumes their enemies (23-27), whereupon "the three, as out of one mouth," raise a triumphant song (29-68), of which a chief part (35-66) has been used as a hymn in the Christian Church since the 4th century. b. The two other pieces appear more distinctly as appendices, and offer no semblance of forming part of the original text. The History of Susanna (or The Judgement of Daniel) is generally found at the beginning of the book (Gk. MSS. Vet. Lal); though it also occurs after the 12th chapter ( Vulg. ed. Compl.). The History of Bel and the Dragon is placed at the end of the book; and in the LXX. version it bears a special heading as "part of the prophecy of Habakkuk." 2. The additions are found in both the Greek texts, the LXX. and Theodotion, in the Old Latin and Vulgate, and in the existing Syriac and Arabic versions. On the other hand there is no evidence that they ever formed part of the Hebrew text, and they were originally wanting in the Syriac.3. Various conjectures have been made as to the origin of the additions. It has been supposed that they were derived from Aramaic originals, but the character of the additions themselves indicates rather the hand of an Alexandrine writer; and it is not unlikely that the translator of Daniel wrought up traditions which were already current, and appended them to his work.
Monday, January 25, 2021
Friday, January 22, 2021
"If anyone says that man can be justified before God by his own works, whether done by his own natural powers or through the teaching of the law, without divine grace through Jesus Christ, let him be anathema." (Council of Trent, canon 1)
The grace of God does not come about as a result of the doings of man (Romans 11:6). Simply put, to speak of grace being infused at the moment of water baptism (which is a work) and being maintained through good works is a contradiction of terms. Paul would have understood grace to be an unmerited favor of God.
In Roman Catholic theology, a person has to do good works in order to get justified in the sight of God. One keeps their right standing before Him by that same means. Rome teaches that one must attain an inherent righteousness in order to be accepted by God. However, that line of thinking runs contrary to Scripture.
We have failed to meet the standard of moral perfection that God requires and so incurred condemnation (Psalm 14:2-3; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:9-23; Galatians 3:10). If He kept a record of the sins of mankind and chose not to be merciful toward us, none of us could stand (Psalm 130:3). We do not look to ourselves for righteousness but to Christ alone (Luke 18:9-14; Philippians 3:3-9).
The point of contention is not whether our walk with God is to be characterized with a desire to serve Him. Our good works are a display of His grace in our lives. However, they are not to be viewed as meritorious in His sight. Our grounds for justification before God is the shed blood of Jesus Christ alone (Romans 5:19).
If justification is "not of ourselves" and "not as a result of works" (Ephesians 2:8-9), then that means faith alone is the instrumental cause of justification before God. Justification is not obtained by both grace and works because it cannot be done that way. There are no good deeds that can save us from eternal condemnation, including those done in a state of grace.
Elsewhere, the Apostle Paul says, "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we did in righteousness..." (Titus 3:5). The New Revised Standard Version renders that phrase as, "not by any works of righteousness that we have done." He continues on that thought with a stark contrast, "but according to his mercy he saved us." Thus, Paul would most definitely have condemned the sacramental system of justification taught by the Church of Rome.