how did we get the canon of scripture
Posted on December 10, 2020

We will look at that question and the very foundation of our faith. The word “canon” comes from the Greek word "kanon" and the Hebrew word "qaneb," meaning reed or rod. God reveals his undying love for his creation mankind, in spite of man's sin and disobedience, through the promise of a Redeemer. The 72 books of the Bible are it. Let’s look first at the Old Testament. Even Paul quoted a pagan poet in Acts 17:28, but he certainly did not regard it as Scripture but as simply true. Joseph Smith certainly did not determine the canon. What of the claim that it too is just human tradition? Although many have tried to stamp out its existence, the Bible has survived and thrived into the 21st century as still the most popular writing in the world. Adept in both Old and New Testament studies, F. F. Bruce brings the wisdom of a lifetime of reflection and biblical interpretation to bear in addressing the criteria of canonicity, the canon within the canon, and canonical criticism. W. hat was the process that occurred that allows us to read Scripture in our English language? Did they think it was a complete account? The Old Testament canon reads as a deeply foreign document for modern people. by Winn Griffin. As such it was first used in the year A.D. 367. This couldn't be further from the truth. By the time we come to the end of the second century and look at the citations of Clement of Alexandria (writings cir. The Canon of Truth--referring to the restriction of the number of books that compose the sacred volume. As far as the number of Scriptures, the Bible contains the entire written word of God, and nothing less. The period included by the 3rd and 4 th centuries—It has been said that “the question of the canon did not make much progress in the course of the 3rd century” (Reuss, History of the Canon of Holy Scripture, 125). How We Got The Bible John F. MacArthur, Jr. Before we do so, let’s look at some misconceptions about how we got the Bible. A "qaneb" was a straight rod used as a ruler. How Did We Get the Canon? Their consideration of the question of the disputed book serves just here one purpose. Old Testament Canon The idea of a finished Old Testament canon was spoken by both biblical and nonbiblical sources. The early followers of Christ already saw the Hebrew Scriptures, what was later referred to as the Old Testament, as the authoritative word of God. The period included by the 3rd and 4th centuries—It has been said that “the question of the canon did not make much progress in the course of the 3rd century” (Reuss, History of the Canon of Holy Scripture, 125). The Foundation of Our Faith. Jesus told them they did not know the scriptures nor the power of God. The canon of Scripture was written early, determined early, and has been unchanged since those times. The canon was determined by God and discovered by man. Obviously the first five books (sometimes called the Torah or the Pentateuch) were the first to be accepted as canonical. It was not the Catholic church that determined the canon. Marcion’s radical move prompted the church to take up the question of canon in a conscious way for the first time. But this is merely a hermeneutical expedient, not a ground for the canon’s authority. 205-225) we find hundreds of references from almost every NT document. The point is that the formation of the canon did not come all at once like a thunderbolt, but was the product of centuries of reflection. All that the Council of Trent did was exactly what Pope St. Innocent did; the decrees of Hippo and Carthage were reaffirmed and formally ratified. Consider the following factors: • Precedent for the formation of a list of authoritative NT books was set by the model of the “closed” OT canon. How did the books of the Bible come to be recognized as Holy Scripture? "Canon" literally suggests the idea of meeting a standard or system of rules. As theologian N.T. The church did not create the canon, it simply recognized the letters that were already accepted as Scripture by the first century church. Scripture says the seer, or prophet, Samuel, wrote down the events of King David. Basically, these questions concern what is called the "canon" of Scripture. Third, the Reformers reject doctrines taught in the Deuterocanon. From that we get the canon of Scripture: a ruler, as it were, by which the doctrine of the Church is to be measured. The Process of Scripture As a physical record, Scripture came to us in a timeframe of several hundred years. Do we have all the books that we should have? So as long as we all have the Scriptures and are led by the same Holy Spirit, we will all agree upon everything. Wright observes, “The great story of the … By Mike Gendron . How did we get the Canon of Scripture? Things are more complicated when it comes to the New Testament. Because Jesus affirmed the Old Testament canon, we affirm it with Him. THE CANON OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. The first book was written around the 1660's B.C. Over the course of Israelite history, the Holy Spirit guided Hebrew religious leaders to make consensus choices, which eventually resulted in a Hebrew canon of Scripture. Later, in the second century, a man named Marcion put forth a list of Scripture that excluded the Old Testament; he believed the God of the Old Testament was not the same God revealed in Jesus Christ. Christian biblical canon did not emerge until the middle to the late fourth century, even though the long process that led to the canonization of the Hebrew scriptures began in the sixth or fifth century BCE and of the New Testament scriptures in the second century CE. Ever since Eve encountered Satan’s barrage of doubt and denial (Gen. 3:1-7), mankind has continued to question God’s Word. Why should I think that the Jews got the right books in the Old Testament and what about the Apocrypha? The center of our faith is Jesus Christ; but some would like to think we do not reliably know what He taught. Pope Damasus I convened the Council of Rome in 382AD which compiled an authoritative list of books for the Canon of Scripture. Many Christians are told the New Testament canon is the result of political negotiations. Canon of the Holy Scriptures.. —The word canon as applied to the Scriptures has long had a special and consecrated meaning. Two Important Questions Regarding Scripture How did we get our 66 books of the Bible? There are not and can not be any other Scriptures that were inspired but not selected by the Church, because the Church acted with Christ’s own wisdom and authority in determining the canon. Now we’ll turn to the important question, “How did we get the Bible?” In doing so we’ll look at four key areas regarding the Bible: inspiration, canonization, transmission and translation. How Did We Get the Canon? Later, the Council of Carthage (and also Hippo) in August 397AD would re-enforce the Council of Rome's list. Constantine did not determine the canon. While we can clearly see that the canon of Scripture was well defined before the sixteenth century, the canon was not solemnly and infallibly defined until the Council of Trent. How did we get the New Testament? When, therefore, we use the term we may mean one of two things, or, indeed, both: 1. To quote what is true in Scripture is different than saying that what is quoted is Scripture. No, the Jewish people of that time did not view the redemptive account of the Old Testament as being complete, but as awaiting completion. Yet, church history shows that there was an early consensus about the New Testament canon. This is the Canon of Scripture – a series or list of what books were considered Scripture and which books were not considered Scripture. We can illustrate this as follows. 195-202) and Tertullian (writings cir. 2. Hebrew Scripture, the Old Testament of our Bible, relates God's Creation of the world and his Word to Israel. on October 25, 2016. If Jesus is Lord, then we want to have the canon that He followed, and we know that His Old Testament canon was the thirty-nine-book Protestant Old Testament canon. Unfortunately, Eve had little or no help in sorting through her intellectual obstacles to full faith in God’s self-disclosure (Gen. 2:16,17). As we look at the Scripture, we find that from the time of Samuel, until the time of the Babylonian captivity there was a continuous chain of prophets that appeared to the people. Who decided that these should be included and others should be excluded? Their consideration of the question of the disputed book serves just here one purpose. We could cite Childs’ argument that to accept the whole canon as normative guards against the arbitrariness and subjectivity of those who pick and choose the parts of the canon that are normative for Christians (Biblical Theology in Crisis, p. 102). How did the Old Testament canon come into existence? Thus, the canon of Scripture refers to the books that are considered the authoritative Word of God. Canon of Scripture and Its Preservation. Ever thought about that? We have the testimony of a few notable teachers mostly from one center, Alexandria. If the Jewish scriptures had to do only with the history of the Jewish nation and temple, and if those institutions had come to an end, the church need no longer be concerned with the Jewish scriptures. The word canon, in classical Greek, is properly a straight rod, "a rule" in the widest sense, and especially in the phrases "the rule of the Church," "the rule of faith," "the rule of truth," The first direct application of the term canon to the Scriptures seems to be in the verses of Amphilochius (cir. Still later the sacred writings received the name of the "Canon of the Scriptures." It is important for Protestants that the canon doesn’t include the full 73 books of the Catholic Bible. How Did We Get Scripture? by Job and the last one was completed at the close of the first century A.D. Because He authorized His apostles to write the New Testament, we also embrace it. If we believe that God exists as an almighty God, then revelation and inspiration are clearly possible. So, we ask: How did the books that are in the New Testament get there? After nearly nineteen centuries the canon of Scripture remains an issue of debate. That God would provide and preserve a Canon of Scripture without addition or deletion is not only necessary, but it is logically credible. The disregard of the Hebrew scriptures had been confirmed by events. We can confidently accept the Bible today as God's Word, reading and living by its teachings that have been revealed and preserved for us today (2 Timothy 3:16-17). How we got the Bible is an amazing story that spans centuries of human history. We may not think about this very much, but how would first-century Jewish people have viewed the ending of the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures)? Here’s the short answer. We don’t know the details of how ancient Hebrews sorted through documents, but we can discern the basic criteria they applied to these documents for the purpose of “sorting” and delineating canon. We have the testimony of a few notable teachers mostly from one center, Alexandria. 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