Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) listed the books that he considers to be the Word of God. He calls them “divinely inspired Biblical canon”. We call them today Books of the Bible rather than biblical canon.
Some books of the Bible contain an inner spiritual meaning (is the Lord Himself) and some contain a natural spiritual meaning (wisdom, instruction, and doctrine for the church).
As we have written here before, the Word (Bible) contains a spiritual meaning and a natural literal meaning. See previous blog post, “The egg and the shell” August 18, 2017. Swedenborg was instructed from contact with heavenly angels regarding the difference between the two. The first example is the Word (Bible) and how it is read by the church in heaven (angels) and two, how is perceived by the church on earth (humans).
From John 1:14 we can see that the Word (Bible) contains the fullness of all Love and Truth sent forth from heaven to speak to us. This is the man Jesus Christ.
“The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father’s only Son” (John 1:14 GNB)
These are the parts of “biblical canon” of the Word (Bible) contains a spiritual meaning in which an inner meaning is found of Jesus Christ. The Word is nothing else than but about Him. Angels are very well aware of this fact!.
Some Books of the Bible contain only wisdom, instruction and doctrine for the church on earth
“and you remember that ever since you were a child, you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed” (2 Timothy 3:18-17 GNB)
“Swedenborg did not reject the rest of the books of the Protestant Bible. He considered them “good books of the church”. However, he saw them as historical, instructional, and doctrinal writings rather than as divinely inspired books of the Word of God. For his view of the Acts and Epistles specifically, see “Third Letter of Emanuel Swedenborg to Dr. Beyer,” reproduced in Documents Concerning Swedenborg, R.L. Tafel, Ed. London: Swedenborg Society, 1877, Volume II, Part I page 240″ (Lee Woofenden, Biblical scholar).
So we can see everything in our Holy Bible edifies and builds up the Christian in the principles of faith. But in a deeper spiritual sense we need to understand that “The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us…”. Jesus Christ is our everything!.
The New Emerging Church will not stop looking to Jesus
“We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and he is the one who makes our faith complete. He suffered death on a cross. But he accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy he could see waiting for him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne” (Hebrews 12:2 ERV)
The Biblical canon according to Emanuel Swedenborg
Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Revelation.
So we can see that the Epistles and the others are not included in the “biblical canon”. They are for wisdom, instruction, and doctrine for the church on earth.
“All Scripture is given by God. And all Scripture is useful for teaching and for showing people what is wrong in their lives. It is useful for correcting faults and teaching the right way to live” (2 Timothy 3:16 ERV)
The New Emerging Church on earth will only look to their Lord and Master Jesus Christ as they move forward
By looking at personalities of the Bible such as Moses, David, Peter, and Paul, the institutional Christian church on earth has deified and exalted them to a position of gods. The new Emerging church will refuse to take such a position. Not only that, they will find it very distasteful and an affront to their beloved Lord!
Jesus is the one who makes our faith complete
“But you do not believe, because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:26-27 ERV)
The topic of this blog is how Emanuel Swedenborg categorized the true canon of the Bible, but it agrees with the ultimate authority of Jesus Christ
“Jesus then explained everything written about himself in the Scriptures, beginning with the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets. And He said to them, These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms about Me” (Luke 24:27,44)