What do we miss by failing to read and use the ancient gem omitted by Canon Law?

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Beginning with Epiphany this year, I have included on the website of the Sixth Episcopal District Lay Organization a link to the weekly readings of the Revised Common Lectionary. These are the Biblical Texts upon which the entire Christian Church focuses each week. The majority of sermons are also taken from them.

Occasionally, I come across something that really gets my attention and jumps off the page. This week, in light of the death of Mayor Maynard Jackson, President Arthur Brown and other I knew and loved, what got my attention was a passage from the book of the "Wisdom of Solomon". The Lectionary passage of this book, which I quote below, offers a welcome alternative to what we so often hear and say at funerals, when we are brought face to face with or own mortality and death.

The "Wisdom of Solomom" was included in the Greek Translation of the Old Testament know as the Septuagint. With a good Bible reference you might also pull up these omitted books and draw inspiration from the wisdom they often teach and the inspiration they give.

Wisdom of Solomon 1:13-15, 2:23-24 (From the Sunday Lectionary this week).

1:13 God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living.

1:14 For he created all things so that they might exist; the generative forces of the world are wholesome, and there is no destructive poison in them, and the dominion of Hades is not on earth.

1:15 For righteousness is immortal.

2:23 For God created us for incorruption, and made us in the image of his own eternity,

2:24 but through the devil's envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his company experience it.

Since this book neither passed the test of either Jewish of Christian Canon Law it is not included in the 66 books which the Protestant Church calls the Bible and the word of God. So unfortunately we often fail to read or quote from it.

Since the A.M.E. Church adopted the 66-book Bible, I did not include it on my website. Despite this fact these book hold ancient gems of Knowledge and truth. So as we quote from other authors such as Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King, we would do well to look at these writings for a source of strength and inspiration in times of disappointment,bereavement and need.

Wisdom of Solomon

-- Anonymous, June 29, 2003


Robert -

The Canon is one of the great topics in ecclesiastical discussion. Unfortunately, canonization is really a form of intellectual arrogance because it portends and pretends to know the authentic and inspired Word of God. By pushing the Canon we directly impose a muzzle on the Mouth of God. I agree 100% that reading the Apocryphal Books compliments our theological perspective of God, humankind and the Church Universal. For example, familiarity with I & II Maccabees provides students of the Holy Writ with the necessary historical background for understanding the rise of Hellenistic culture in the synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark & Dr. Luke. The so-called Pseudepigrapha is ignored by Protestant Canonists yet no credible evidence exists which demonstsrates that the "Gospel of Thomas" is a lie. I look forward to re-acquianting myself with the Wisdom of Solomon. Many Thanks. QED

-- Anonymous, July 04, 2003

Greetings in the wonderful name of Jesus our Lord and Saviour

I'm glad there are other people who take some time out to read part of what I personally believe the "completeness" of Scripture. The discipline in any case recommends with Martin Luther that these books are good for our edification.

My favourite from the Book of Sirach

Make sure that the charity you give is of benefit ....


Don't blindly give to the church and wash your hands saying I've given my bit to the Lord. ENSURE that the funds is used in such a way that it is of benefit in the community. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE ... Accountability, Integrity and Transparency



-- Anonymous, July 08, 2003

I think that we miss alot. Unfortunately, some omissions, in my opinion, were not done with the best of intentions. A number of books were omitted because some passages contradicted passages in other books... or were a little to 'pagan' for the tastes of the editors. The 'Wisdom of Solomon' is a great one to start with. I haven't read them all yet, but I fully intend to because they are definitely as legitimate as the words of Mother Teresa and Dr. King, and should not be discarded as irrelevant contributions to sacred Christian scripture.

-- Anonymous, July 13, 2003

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