B. Biblical Canon Theology 121 Fr. Randy Flores, SVD
Read: Eugene Maly, section on “The Canon of the Bible” in his article “Purpose of the Bible”.
The State of the Question • How do we come to know which books are inspired? • What are the criteria on which these particular books are acknowledged as inspired? • Was there anybody who decided that these books are inspired and others are not? • How come the number of the Protestant list of inspired books is less than the Catholic list?
1. The terms • -“Canon” - list of inspired books. • -“Canonical” –the adjective that refers to a book that the church acknowledges as belonging its list of sacred books. • -“canonicity” – acceptance as part of the bible. • -Canonization” – the process whereby the books are recognized as inspired.
2. Definition • --a list of inspired writings. • --“A canonical book is one that the church acknowledges as belonging to its list of sacred books, as inspired by God, and as having a regulating (rule) value for faith and morals.”
3. Books and Writings of the Bible • Two Major Divisions • Old Testament • New Testament
The Old Testament A. Torah (or Pentateuch) B. Prophets C. Writings The New Testament The Gospels B. The Letters C. Other Writings
Homework 3: Submit Next Meeting What are the books that compose: • A. Torah (or Pentateuch) • B. Prophets • C. Writings
3. The Two Canons of the Old Testament • a. The Jewish and Protestant Canon (39 books) • b. The Roman Catholic (46 books)
The Seven Deuterocanonical Books • Tobit • Judith • 1 Maccabees • 2 Maccabees • Wisdom of Solomon • Sirach • Baruch
4. The Canonization of the Old Testament • READ filename: Canonization OTNT in the Website
Around 95 AD, Rabbis gathered at Jamnia (or Jabneh) to discuss the books of the Hebrew Bible
5. Criteria for Preservation and Acceptance of the New Testament Writings • 1) Apostolic Origin • The material had to be written by the apostles or by the authority of the apostles.
2) Extent of Use in the Christian communities • The particular material must have extensive use and acceptance in many of the early Christian communities. • 3) Conformity to the rule of faith • The writing must not go against what is commonly held in Tradition.