*or 43 or 44, I haven't decided yet...
The Word of God
I believe in the Word of God. Many of you think that is what is also referred to as the Bible. But I believe the Word of God it contains and the rest is the words of men. The words of God traditionally WERE ONLY GIVEN THROUGH PROPHETS. Those books in the Bible that are not written by prophets are absolutely NOT THE WORD OF GOD. Several books apply here:
Song of Solomon: A book of porn and smut, written by a worshipper of false gods such as Molech and clearly has a sexual disorder, what we would call in women nymphomania. He has the gall to lecture us on self-control yet indulged his passions with sex with hundreds, perhaps thousands of sexual partners and likely children, and possibly drunkeness. His crap ought to be published by Harlequin Romance publishers, not Bible publishers.
Ecclesiastes: Ecclesiastes stands out to me as a book that is easily debunked as being the authentic word of God. Following the train of thought of the author is as easy as interpreting the average scribblings in the journal of a disorganized schizophrenic. He makes the mistake, one to be expected from a novice, in saying that there could be no fulfillment in work or friendships or anything one sets one's hands to, that it all has been done before and is meaningless. While that may be true for someone like Solomon who indulged his appetite in drunkeness and extreme sexual perversion, Solomon's mistake is extending his experience and making it normative for all persons. It's the normal attitude of someone conceited with the view of their own intellectual superiority. It indulges the passions of a petty nihilist with its devaluation of life, its proper application and the pleasure that can be derived from it. It was always held that God was between the lines, that Solomon intends to say life without God is not worth living. It's magical thinking on the Christians' part; however, since no such thing is clearly taught, only the complete desecration of the sanctity of life.
Esther: It's a good book, but it fails the test of propheticity. It's has a worthwhile point and is something that is worth quiet reflection and study. But I cannot consider this as high as the Word of God.
Ezra/Nehemiah: The Apostles and Yeshua never quotes from these books and otherwise I am not able to comment from lack of reading them but to offer the same pattern of thought as the previous one: Without presence of the prophetic word then I'd say it's worth study, but is not equal to God's Word.
Psalms: Much of Psalms being inspired, I also keep in mind that some aspects of it may merely be edifying, consoling, and for these and other reasons, useful.
Proverbs: Typical Confucian* and helpful insights but it starts off in an incredibly boastful manner and I can't say is inspired, but words to live by.
*I don't know anything about Confucius except he said, "Foolish man give wife grand piano. Wise man give wife upright organ!" Okay, not really. But it's clear in the world of proverbs we have the lower tier, thoughtless lazy proverbs found in a fortune cookie, and then we have proverbs that are quotable, wise, and that you'd expect to hear from a wise man fortunate to have seen a long life and learned much wisdom in his years. When I identify Solomon's proverbs as Confucian,. all I mean is they are of the more profound variety rather than the fortune cookie type.
All of Paul's Epistles: Paul was not a prophet and has no authority to offer Scripture. I exclude Peter, James, and Jude as they are directly intellectually connected to the greatest prophet Yeshua as His students and are connected to the Prophet John, also called John the Revelator or the Apostle John and of equal stature to John, except for John being trusted with the highest of all revelations, The Revelation, and also that John was the Beloved. Otherwise, they are John's equal.
I am now identifying 19 books (not counting Psalms as this was heavily quoted by Christ and the apostles and has established propheticity) as being on a second tier of authority and not binding in the degree in which the prophetic word is.
Where we find the prophetic word:
Six books of Kings, Chronicles, Samuel
The Three Major Prophets
and Lamentations and Daniel
The Twelve Minor Prophets
The Four Gospels
The Epistle of James
The Two Epistles of Peter
The Three Epistles of John
The Epistle of Jude
The Revelation of Yeshua ha'Mashiac
Joshua and Ruth I have not read and have not established propheticity yet. It's clear to me propheticity is established in Judges but I have never read the book.
Job: There is a dilemma in Job is that it purports to record the words of God to Job but does not have a demonstrated pattern of propheticity. That is to say, in regarding it as 'God-breathed' we unintentionally cede inspired status to Eliphaz and his two friends, which we clearly cannot do. God towards the end of the book makes very clear His disaproval of the words of Job's friends. It is a dialogue between several men and for that reason I dispute its propheticity.
Hebrews: Demonstrates an unreliability by including facts as to the genealogy of Christ that is inaccurate, uses this false information as a central component in its analysis of the Law as obsolete, and through this demonstrates that it is a report not from a first-hand witness or anyone involved but a work of second-hand or third-hand sources or even worse and is clearly not of apostolic origin and on account of its inaccuracies, clearly lacks propheticity.
Acts: The presupposition is that the Epistles of Paul cannot be rejected and simultaneously accept the authenticity of Acts. I disagree. Luke was clearly an accomplished historian, who is said to have been the greatest scholar of his time. The work of archaelogy and all science has proved many of Luke's claims and by no means disproved even one. It has been standard practice that the extensive geographical, cultural, and historical observations within Acts have been used as parameters, a guiding source in modern day excavations because of its established track record of accuracy. Luke was absolutely a witness of many events of apostolic times, widely traveled, highly educated, fluent in a variety of languages it can be suspected, a scholar of the highest caliber. It was because of his great learning that his criticism against Paul was covert, veiled in language on an esoteric level that would not be apparent to the casual observer, and certainly not apparent to anyone today except the very few who complete the most thorough and unbiased investigation. Yet at the same time, his conclusions would be much more apparent to the readers in his day. He records in one instance a quote that the blinding light was seen yet not heard, and at another point that it was heard but not seen. So his dedication to accurate reporting takes him in some cases to present holes and at times, seems to shrewdly expose his skepticism of the stories of Paul and his company. I can guarantee that absolutely wanted us to have this book today, in that it is a report not of what truly happened, but of what was reported to have happened and Luke's skepticism of it. I give this a semi-inspired status in that it was divinely guided, God inspired it to perfect accuracy yet it was penned by Luke and not what I would call God-breathed.
42 authentic, 21 books disputed, 2 unclassified, 1 semi-inspired or of top-tier authority but not 'God-breathed'.
God speaks only through prophets. No self-appointed smart-ass like Solomon or some self-promoted self-promoter like Paul gets to pen words and pretend they are from God. Only prophets are given authority to speak on God's behalf. Other writings may get a few things right but are susceptible to error, whereas God's word is not. It is why you will find contradictions in Paul's epistles or in other books, because they are not from the Final Source.
And if a prophet speaks today, I'll say, to you. You must listen and obey his words and you will answer for that, but not if he's speaking of himself, but only if he gives you a word from God. God still speaks today so we must be careful not to accept anyone who claims to speak for Him but do not, and also be careful NOT TO REJECT THOSE WHO DO SPEAK FOR HIM because of a general fear of false teachers. We should test carefully. If it is not of prophetic origin, it is not the Word of God.