Latter Day Saint Canons
The Pearl of Great Price contains five sections: Selections from the Book of Moses, The Book of Abraham, Joseph SmithMatthew, Joseph SmithHistory, and The Articles of Faith. The Book of Moses and Joseph SmithMatthew are portions of the Book of Genesis and the Gospel of Matthew from the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, also known as the Inspired Version of the Bible.
The manuscripts of the unfinished Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible state that the Song of Solomon is not inspired scripture, but it is still printed in every version of the King James Bible published by the church.
The standard works are printed and distributed by the LDS Church in a single binding called a quadruple combination or as a set of two books, with the Bible in one binding, and the other three books in a second binding called a triple combination. Current editions of the standard works include a bible dictionary, photographs, maps and gazetteer, topical guide, index, footnotes, cross references, excerpts from the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, and other study aids.
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How We Got Our Bible: Christian History Timeline
c. 1400400 B.C. Books of the Hebrew Old Testament written
c. 250200 B.C. The Septuagint, a popular Greek translation of the Old Testament, produced
A.D. 4585? Books of the Greek New Testament written
90 and 118 Councils of Jamnia give final affirmation to the Old Testament canon
140-150 Marcions heretical New Testament incites orthodox Christians to establish a NT canon
303-306 Diocletians persecution includes confiscating and destroying New Testament Scriptures
c. 305-310 Lucian of Antiochs Greek New Testament text becomes a foundation for later Bibles
367 Athanasiuss Festal Letter lists complete New Testament canon for the first time
397 Council of Carthage establishes orthodox New Testament canon
c. 400 Jerome translates the Bible into Latin this Vulgate becomes standard of medieval church
English Versions From Latin
c. 650 Caedmon, a monk, puts Bible books into verse
c. 735> Historian Bede translates the Gospels
871-899 King Alfred the Great translates the Psalms and 10 Commandments
950 The 7th-century Lindisfarne Gospels receive English translation
955-1020 Aelfric translates various Bible books
c. 1300 Invention of eyeglasses aids copying
c. 1325 Both Richard Rolle and William Shoreham translate psalms into metrical verse
1380-1382 John Wycliffe and associates make first translation of the whole Bible into English
1388 John Purvey revises Wycliffe Bible
1455 Gutenbergs Latin Biblefirst from press
English Versions From Greek
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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The Task Of Interpretation
The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 85
Gary G. Michuta is an author, speaker and teacher on Catholic apologetics and evangelism.
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The Order Of The Bible
The Hebrew or Old Testament scriptures were written over a period of 1000 years, from about 3,500 years ago. The Christian or New Testament scriptures were written about 2,000 years ago.
The Bible today has the writings grouped in eight logical categories, while also keeping them generally in chronological order. Being aware of this order and arrangement, you find the Bible much easier to study and understand.
Is The Original Bible Still In Existence
Background of the Original BibleDan BrownâsThe Da Vinci CodeCompilation of the Original Old TestamentDead Sea Scrollsfrom the blood of Abel to the blood of ZechariahCompilation of the Original New TestamentSecrets of the CodeMuratorian CanonThe laborer is worthy of his wagesthe other ScripturesOriginal Bible Conclusiontextual criticism
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How The Bible Is Put Togetherchart And Explanations
The writings included in the Bible come from many different situations over several thousand years, and there are many different kinds of writing, including stories, poems, laws, prophecies, proverbs, and letters.
The theme of the Bible is Jesus Christ. So the best place to begin reading the Bible is where the deeds and teachings of Jesus are recorded Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts.
There are 66 separate writings in the Bible, and even some of these are themselves collected writings for example the book of Psalms is actually five books of collected songs.
All this variety of writings can be confusing unless we know how the Bible is put together.
BOOKS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
Five books of Moses:Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.
History of Israel: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1Samuel, 2Samuel, 1Kings, 2Kings, 1Chronicles, 2Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther.
Poetry and Proverbs: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon.
The Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habbakuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.
BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Four accounts of Jesus: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John.
Beginning of the Church: Acts of the Apostles.
Letters to Christians: Romans, 1Corinthians, 2Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1Thessalonians, 2Thessalonians, 1Timothy, 2Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James 1Peter, 2Peter, 1John, 2John, 3John, Jude.
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The Bible Is The Work Of God
If you decide to study this topic further there is one lens you must look at it through. It was not the church or councils or members of the church who determined which books belonged or how the Bible was put together. The Bible is not the work of men, it is the work of God. The role men played was writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and then being led by the same Holy Spirit to know which books were the ones he inspired and which ones werent. The tests that were used were simply guidelines to help come to the conclusion of what God had already established. Ultimately the Bible was put together and the books were chosen because those are the ones God wanted to include in his revealed word to mankind. While he used men to accomplish it, he watched over the process which is why we can know the Bible we have today is the Word of God.
The Bible is one book, originating from the mind of one author, who is God. By the power of the Holy Spirit, he enabled different men to take what was in his mind and put it into written form, so we would know exactly what he wanted to say to us. While there may be more than forty different writers, there truly is only one original author, who has made his word available to us today. Since God is the author of his word, you can be confident in how the Bible was put together, because he was behind it all.
How Did We Get Our Bible Who Wrote It And Who Decided What Order To Put It In
I found these articles on the Website, which may be of help:
In addition, Ive copied part of an article from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, which is attached.
I also looked at the Christian book website, and found several books on the subject. The Website can be found at:
The best looking book was How We Got Our Bible by Bill Donahue . Its on sale for $3.95. There is another book with the same title by Ralph Earle for $7.95 at CBD as well.
Heres the article I copied from ISBE.
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Canons Of Various Christian Traditions
Final dogmatic articulations of the canons were made at the Council of Trent of 1546 for Roman Catholicism, the Thirty-Nine Articles of 1563 for the Church of England, the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1647 for Calvinism, and the Synod of Jerusalem of 1672 for the Eastern Orthodox. Other traditions, while also having closed canons, may not be able to point to an exact year in which their canons were complete. The following tables reflect the current state of various Christian canons.
The Early Church primarily used the Greek as its source for the Old Testament. Among Aramaic speakers, the Targum was also widely used. All of the major Christian traditions accept the books of the Hebrew protocanon in its entirety as divinely inspired and authoritative, in various ways and degrees.
Another set of books, largely written during the intertestamental period, are called the biblical apocrypha by Protestants, the deuterocanon by Catholics, and the deuterocanon or anagignoskomena by Orthodox. These are works recognized by the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox Churches as being part of scripture , but Protestants do not recognize them as divinely inspired. Some Protestant Biblesespecially the English King James Bible and the Lutheran Bibleinclude an “Apocrypha” section.
Additional books accepted by the Syriac Orthodox Church :
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Is The Biblical Canon Open Or Closed
The Biblical canon is closed. In AD 170, the Muratorian Canon accepted most of the New Testament books as canonical. Next, Athanasius published his Festal Letter in AD 367, acknowledging all of the twenty-seven New Testament books without hesitation. Finally, the Council of Carthage met in AD 397 and endorsed Athanasius. This is the same canon that we recognize today.
The Old Testament Was Already Put Together By The Time Of Jesus
- M.A., Christian Studies, Union University
- B.A., English Literature, Wheaton College
Determining when the Bible was written poses challenges because it isn’t a single book. It’s a collection of 66 books written by more than 40 authors over more than 2,000 years.
So there are two ways to answer the question, “When was the Bible written?” The first is to identify the original dates for each of the Bible’s 66 books. The second, the focus here is to describe how and when all 66 books were collected in a single volume.
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Archaeological And Historical Research
Biblical archaeology is the archaeology that relates to and sheds light upon the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Greek Scriptures . It is used to help determine the lifestyle and practices of people living in biblical times. There are a wide range of interpretations in the field of biblical archaeology. One broad division includes biblical maximalism which generally takes the view that most of the Old Testament or the Hebrew Bible is based on history although it is presented through the religious viewpoint of its time. It is considered to be the opposite of biblical minimalism which considers the Bible to be a purely post-exilic composition. Even among those scholars who adhere to biblical minimalism, the Bible is a historical document containing first-hand information on the Hellenistic and Roman eras, and there is universal scholarly consensus that the events of the 6th century BCE Babylonian captivity have a basis in history.
What Are The Apocrypha And Pseudepigrapha
The word “apocrypha” comes from the Greek for “hidden” or “secret.” It’s a little confusing, because the word apocrypha is used in a couple of different ways when talking about books outside of the standard biblical canon.
First, there’s the category of “New Testament Apocrypha” which includes a long list of non-canonical texts written mostly in the second century C.E. and beyond that pertain to Jesus and his apostles. As Combs says, there are hundreds of these texts and we don’t have written specimens for all of them.
Then there’s a subset of Old Testament books that are included in the Roman Catholic Bible. These seven books, including Tobit, Judith and 1 & 2 Maccabees, are published between the Old and New Testaments in the Catholic Bible and called “the Apocrypha” or sometimes the “Deuterocanon” which means “second canon.”
And then there’s a third category called “pseudepigrapha” from the Greek for “false author.” This list includes more than 50 texts written between 200 B.C.E. and 200 C.E. by both Jewish and Christian writers expanding on stories and characters from the Old Testament. Notable Old Testament pseudepigrapha include 1 Enoch, Jubilees and the Treatise of Shem.
Why Is The Canon Closed
Remember that for a work to be considered canonical, it needs to be accepted and widely used among the church. There are no other writings besides the ones we currently consider to be authoritative that are widely used in the church. Next, these writings need to be connected to an apostle in some way. As far as we know, there have been no other writings discovered that closely connect to any apostle. Finally, we dont know of any other writings considered to be divinely inspired.
There may be other writings that pass the orthodoxy standard but in order for something to be considered canonical, it needs to pass all four standards.
If we go through the criteria for the Hebrew Scriptures, well find that no other writings can pass those standards either.
This is important because there are two Christian cults that claim to have new scripture from God. These are the Jehovahs Witnesses and the Mormons.
However, as enticing as they may seem, these so-called inspired books are not authoritative or inspired by God in any way.
The Early Churchs Recognition Of Gods Word
So, as early as the second century AD, the church began developing the concept of the canon of Scripture to distinguish those books that were regarded as inspired by God and thus carried divine authority. The term comes from Greek where it commonly meant a rule or a standard and came to be applied to the standard books that made up the Bible. The eminent Princeton scholar Bruce Metzger noted that Marcions challenge was accelerating the process of fixing the Churchs canon, a process that had already begun in the first half of the second century.
As for the twenty-seven books that we know as the New Testament, these were formally recognized as the canon of Scripture in the second through the fourth centuries. The apostle Peter himself referred to the letters of Paul as Scripture . In one of the earliest church documents written after the final New Testament book was completed, the Gospel of Mark is cited as Scripture . The earliest church leaders regularly quote passages from the various New Testament documents giving them authority as divine revelation in a way that distinguishes them from any other writings.
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