For a Christian, the words of Christ are principles in the first degree. They are not merely contextual or pragmatic. For this reason, they are rightly viewed as an extension of historical Truth and the basis for continuing Truth, which presents with six thousand years of daily inspiration and motivation to believers. The words of Christ form the arche of our humanity.

As an aside, the reasons for Luther’s decision to remove historical context from the Words of Christ and his followers are curious to say the least. It raises a number of questions.

1. Should 1500 years of canonical doctrine be ‘adjusted’ for the needs of one man in rebellion to that history of Faith and Truth?

2. Is apodeictic or Godly Truth subject to revision? Could the inspiration of the original authors have simply waned or been mistaken?

3. Who shall decide these matters of doctrine and Truth?

4. Should the source of alteration be those who stand in rebellion, or those who stood in the good counsel of those who formed the Church immediately following the death of Christ, or who were present and accounted for what they saw and heard?

5. Were those before Luther condemned to hell because they had not lived a life based on the a belief of “faith alone” as the key to their salvation?

6. Had Luther himself led people to hell and heresy because of his prior teachings whilst he was still aligned with the Catholic Church?

For example the Book of James remains in the New Testament, yet Luther maintained that it was an “epistle of straw” and did not want to accept the truth that works and faith are inextricably tied to each other.

By way of analogy, it seems to me that if someone gave you a fine gift of art, with powerful meaning, that you cherish and protect it.

Indeed, let us also presuppose that the artful masterpiece had been formed by many dedicated and honorable men, over a period of many millennia, through the counsel of each other and much prayer to God Almighty. You would not dishonor this masterpiece and its artisans. Neither would you be inclined to dispose of it simply because it had dust on it for lack of movement. Nor would you dispose of it simply because some persons of ill repute had simply touched it or been around it.

Rather, you would keep the masterpiece in its original form, protect it from thieves and vandals, and keep it clean so that it might be visible and meaningful as it was intended to be. You certainly would not allow it to be torn to pieces so that those who might be inspired by it could only imagine what the original masterpiece looked like. You would preserve its unique identify, original form, and the sacred legacy of its Creator.

So too should be our view of the historical canon that led not only to the beliefs of Christians for 1500 years before Luther, but which remains as the source of Christian belief for all.

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