Did The People Of God Embrace The Book As The Word Of God And Subject Themselves To Its Authority
If the church at large received a book and embraced it by submitting to its teachings as an authority in their lives, they recognized the book as inspired.
None of the men involved in the process of recognizing the canon of Scripture were infallible. But God is.
None of the men involved in the process of recognizing the canon of Scripture were infallible. But God is. By His power through the Holy Spirit at work in these men, God gave us the BibleHis everlasting Word .
If you ever begin a conversation about the Bible, youre now better prepared than I was to answer the claim that men wrote the Bible simply to preserve their name. I wish that, at the time, Id had the presence of mind to mention that if this was the case, they did a terrible job of promoting themselves. Who would want to be preserved in history as the Bible portrays themunvarnished and unimpressive except in their ability to sin? Except Jesus, perfect in all ways. Only in the Lord did our biblical heroes shine.
How Were The Books Of The Bible Selected And Compiled And How Were The Decisions Made As To What Would Be Distributed As The Word Of God
Even though we think of the Bible as being one book, it’s actually a collection of sixty-six books, and we realize that there was a historical process by which those particular books were gathered together and placed in one volume that we now know as the Bible. In fact, we call the Bible the canon of sacred Scripture. Canon is taken from the Greek word canon, which means “measuring rod.” That means it is the standard of truth by which all other truth is to be judged in the Christian life.
There have been many different theories set forth over the history of the church as to exactly how God’s hand was involved in this selection process. Skeptics have pointed out that over three thousand books were candidates for inclusion in the New Testament canon alone, and only a handful were selected. Doesn’t that raise some serious questions? Isn’t it possible that certain books that are in the Bible should not be there and others that were excluded by human evaluation and human judgment should have been included? We need to keep in mind, however, that of those not included in the last analysis, there were at the most three or four that were given serious consideration. So to speak in terms of two or three thousand being boiled down to twenty-seven or something like that is a distortion of historical reality.
Tough Questions with RC Sproul is excerpted from Now, Thats a Good Question! Copyright © 1996 by R. C. Sproul. All rights reserved.
What About The Gnostic Gospels
What should we think about the gnostic gospels, such as the Gospel of Phillip, the Gospel of Mary, or the Gospel of Thomas? Again, Dan Brown claims they were written earlier than the four canonical gospels in the New Testament. So why werent they included in the canon?
First, they were actually written much later, in the late second and third centuriesfar too late to have any association with the real apostles of Christ. In contrast, the academic consensus is that the four canonical gospelsMatthew, Mark, Luke, and Johnwere all written within the first century, which is well within the lifetimes of the apostles.
Second, the Gnostic gospels did not adhere to the rule of faith. For instance, the Gospel of Thomas includes bizarre ideas such as men becoming lions if they eat them and other teachings that contradict what Christians had been teaching for a century. Third, though they were later favored by a few outliers, they never entered into widespread use in the early churches. The gnostic gospels failed all three criterions for inclusion, and were, therefore, never recognized as being canonical.
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What Is The 13th Book Of The Bible
The book of Jeremiah, also called The Prophecy of Jeremias, is one of the most important prophetic writings of the Old Testament. Read also : How many goosebumps books are there.
What is the main message of the book of James? James writes to encourage his readers to live consistently with what they have learned in Christ. He condemns various sins, including pride, hypocrisy, favoritism, and slander.
What is the story of James in the Bible? James son of Zebedee and after Peter fled Jerusalem . He was the main spokesman for the Jerusalem church at the Council of Jerusalem on Pauls mission to the Gentiles and the final visit to Jerusalem .
Which book is best for Bible study? Best sellers in Christian Bible study guides
- #1. The Nag Hammadi Writings: The Revised
- # 2. Elijah Bible Study Book: Faith and Fire.
- # 3. The Bible in 52 Weeks: A Year-Round Bible
- # 4. Get Out Of Your Head Study Guide: A Study in
- # 5. What does it mean to be chosen ?: To
- # 6. Dont give the enemy a place at your table:
Were There Any Books Left Out
The Apocrypha: These books do contain some valuable historical information useful in understanding the intertestimental period , but have never been considered inspired writings. They were included in the Latin Vulgate in part to defend some of the teachings of the Catholic Church . The Catholic Bible today contains eleven of them in their deuterocanonical section.
Why Protestants Say No
- Does not claim to be inspired by God
- Was not written by prophets of God
- Was not confirmed by supernatural acts of God
- Was not accepted by the people of God and they were never included in the Hebrew Old Testament
- Does not always tell the truth of God: On praying for the dead On working for salvation
- Was not accepted by Jesus the Son of God
- Was not accepted by the Apostles
- Was not accepted by the early Church and was never included in the Protestant New Testament
- Was rejected by the great Catholic translator Jerome
- Was not written during period of the prophets of God
- They contain some absurdities and inconsistencies with the rest of the Biblical Canon
Gnostic gospels: Gnosticism came out of Greek philosophy and had a belief that one could gain secret knowledge of God through certain practices. There was an attempt to assimilate it with early Christianity. It fostered the conviction that matter is evil and that emancipation comes through special knowledge.
Reasons for rejecting Non-Canonical New Testament Books:
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Does God Ever Rest
Genesis 2:3 God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. After God created the world, we might imagine he was tired. But the amount of Gods power that he used to make the world was mathematically zero. Gods power is infinite, so no matter how much power he uses, it is never at all diminished. God did not rest because he was tired, but because resting is good. It is also good for us. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and
True Scripture Is Tested
Some religious groups recognize the Bible as one of several holy books or scriptures. They claim God has spoken through the Vedic Scriptures or Book of Mormon just as He has spoken through the Bible. Evangelical Christians reject that claim because they believe the sixty-six books of the Bible form the completed canon of Scripture. We use the word canonicity to describe those books which are included in the Bible because they measure up to the standard of Scripture.
The word canon originally meant a measuring rod or standard of measure. It was applied to the Old Testament as Jewish leaders determined which books should or should not be viewed as Scripture. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament were brought together during the life of Ezra . The Old Testament canon was well established by the time of Jesus. Evangelical Christians have followed the example of Jesus and recognize the canonicity of the Old Testament.
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Acceptance By Spiritual People
A message from God is recognized by people who have his Spirit. One of the criteria to determine the canon is its recognition and acceptance by the church. We believe that the message of God is spiritually discerned, and that only those who possess the Holy Spirit can recognize Gods Spirit . Jesus said, My sheep hear my voice and follow me .
In essence, Gods people will recognize his voice in the written page and obey his commandments. But at the same time, they will recognize that certain claims to inspiration are false claims. While this is a subjective argument and will not stand alone, it will support the other arguments for a closed canon. There has been no large movement by evangelical Christians to recognize a new, inspired book.
The acceptance of the Old and New Testament and the apparent indestructibility of the canon are additional arguments for a closed canon. When the Bible is read alongside its contemporary literature, the mark of God becomes even more obvious in its pages.
The New Testament Canon
The early Christian church followed the practice of Jesus and regarded the Old Testament as authoritative . Along with the Old Testament, the church revered the words of Jesus with equal authority . It could not have been otherwise since Jesus was perceived not only as a prophet but also as the Messiah, the Son of God. Following the death and resurrection of Jesus, the apostles came to occupy a unique position in spreading and bearing witness to the words of Jesus. Indeed, Christ had said of them that because they had been with Him from the beginning they would be His witnesses . As the church grew, and the apostles became conscious of the prospect of their own deaths, the need arose for the words of Jesus to be recorded . None were keener to preserve and communicate authoritatively what had happened than the apostles who were witnesses of the salvation of God in Jesus Christ. Thus, the stage was set for the development of books that, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, would in time become the New Testament canon.
For about two decades after the Cross, the message of Jesus was proclaimed orally. Then, from the midfirst century on, Pauls letters began to appear. Somewhat later, the three synoptic Gospels and the book of Acts were written by the end of the first century, when John wrote the book of Revelation, all the books of the New Testament were completed. Throughout the New Testament, the focus is on what God had done in Christ .
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How And Why Can We Trust The Books Of The Christian Bible
If you search around the internet, you may find people who will try to cast doubt about the authenticity of the Bible. You however can be confident in how many books are in the Bible and why just those books are included. Ultimately the decision to include or not include books was not a random decision, made by the whim of man, but was truly led and inspired by the hand of God. It is his desire to protect and provide the truth of who he is to all of mankind. For this reason, he has preserved the authenticity of the scriptures. His word, his promises, his decrees, can all be trusted. Consider these scriptures:
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished .
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the word that was preached to you .
As for God, his way is perfect: The Lords word is flawless he shields all who take refuge in him .
Who Decided Which Books Should Be Included In The Bible
How we address this question determines whether we believe that the Bible, as we have it, came into being as a result of the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the early church.
Kwabena Donkor, PhD, is an associate director, Biblical Research Institute, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.
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- Who decided which books should be included in the Bible?
Many Christians find great value in reading the Bible because they believe that this Book was given by the inspiration of God. But have you ever wondered who decided which books should be included in the collection that we refer to as the Bible? Canonization, the term given to the process by which books were included or excluded from the Bible, is a word derived from the Greek kanon whose basic meaning is that of a rule. Sometimes the books included in our Bible are, therefore, called canonical books, although canonization deals with more than a mere list of books.
Consider canonization as a question about why certain books came to be regarded as sacred and authoritative in the early Christian communities. How we address this question determines whether we believe that the Bible, as we have it, came into being as a result of the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the early church or whether political forces in the time of Constantine were responsible, as some people claim. Since the Bible consists of the Old and New Testaments, the question will be answered in two parts.
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Why Was The Canon Formed
The leaders of the early church recognized the importance of determining the biblical canon. The first reason they made the canon a priority was because they needed a standarda measuring rodby which they could recognize and reject heretical teaching by fringe leaders in the church. The most prominent early challenger to established doctrine was named Marcion. He viewed the God of the Old Testament as inferior to the Father revealed by Jesus. So he discounted the entire Old Testament, as well as books he viewed as tainted with Jewish teaching. Marcion declared his own piecemeal version of the canon in 135 A.D., prompting the church to respond. His beliefs were condemned and he was excommunicated in 144 A.D. His was the first of many other heretical movements to which the church responded.
A second reason the church was motivated to fix the canon of Scripture was due to the intense persecution being faced by Christians. The persecution by the Emperor Diocletian at the beginning of the fourth century was especially motivating, as he ordered the destruction of Christian writings. So it was vital that the church form a canon in order to stabilize the church and prevent the loss of Scripture. Believers needed to know which books they could hand over to the Roman authorities without committing the sin of sacrilege, and which were part of the canonand, therefore, worth dying for.
Is The Bible A Reliable Record Of Jesus Original Words
Besides historical events, the gospels describe Jesus teaching. It is important to know whether these are reliable as well, because much of Christian theology is based on Jesus words and ministry. This article describes in detail why we can trust what the Bible says about Jesus. The gospels were written a few decades after the events took place, informed by eyewitness accounts or even written by eyewitnesses themselves. They are true records of Jesus earthly life.
Moreover, we have thousands of manuscripts from both the Old Testament Scriptures and the New Testament Scriptures that show how accurately these books have been transmitted and translated throughout the centuries. The skeptical claims that they have been changed and manipulated by generations of believers, is easily countered by this historical evidence.
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Is The Bible Internally Consistent
The Bible books have been written by numerous authors over several centuries. Nevertheless, they are a unified whole. There is a development of theological concepts based on Gods ongoing revelation. For example, the New Testament provides much more detail about Jesus atoning death than the Old Testament does. But the later Scriptures do not contradict the earlier ones, they merely give us further details and record the historical development of Gods salvation plan. New Testament books often quote and explain Old Testament verses, and the Old Testament foretells later events. The whole Bible presents a consistent and coherent message.
The Bible does encourage us to check for ourselves whether the message of the Gospels is coherent with the earlier Scriptures from the Old Testament. The book of Acts tells us how Jews in Berea heard Pauls preaching and received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. This inquiring attitude is praised as noble!
Is Speaking In Tongues A Real Language
Speaking in tongues, also called glossolalia, is a practice in which people utter words or speech-like sounds that are often viewed by believers as languages unknown to the speaker. On the same subject : How books are arranged in the library. Glossolalia is practiced in Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity as well as in other religions.
What happens when you speak in tongues? Speaking in tongues stimulates faith and helps us learn to trust God better. For example, faith must be exercised in order to speak in tongues because the Holy Spirit specifically guides the words we speak. We dont know what the next word will be.
What does the Bible say about speaking in tongues? Bible Gateway 1 Corinthians 14 :: NIV. Follow the path of love and eagerly seek spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. For whoever speaks in tongues does not speak to people, but to God. Greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets that the church may be established.
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