Where did we get it? How did we get it? Is it trustworthy?
Our post-modern culture attacks the authenticity of Scripture on at least 3 fronts Inspiration & thus, the inerrancy of the Bible Preservation of ancient texts Determination, which books belong and which don’t
What is the “canon”? • An English word, from a Greek word, from a Hebrew word… • “cane,” from a reed, measuring stick, to a rule or standard Acceptance was tied to authorship. The letters to be recognized were recognized immediately.
5 Issues fundamental to understanding the canon 1. The issue of the canon is a matter of faith
2 Corinthians 5:7 • for we walk by faith, not by sight.
Belief in God is a matter of faith • Belief in the resurrection is a matter of faith • Belief in the Bible is a matter of faith Faith is a rational conclusion based on evidence.
5 Issues fundamental to understanding the canon 2. Human involvement in the canon is to be expected. God has always used human processes.
5 Issues fundamental to understanding the canon 3. There is no Bible claim to be an exhaustive collection of inspiration.
Acts 2:40 • And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”
1 Corinthians 5:9 • I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people…
Colossians 4:16 • And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea
5 Issues fundamental to understanding the canon 4. The basis for testing the truth of God’s word unchanged, thru the centuries.
Deuteronomy 13:1-3 • “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams….
Prophet’s words are true, but he leads the people astray? REJECT him. • His word is inconsistent with revealed truth. • Scripture is self-authenticating • We measure truth BY truth • Truth won’t contradict truth
5 Issues fundamental to understanding the canon 5. Christ is the key to the canon, Jesus validated it.
John 5:39 • "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me”
Luke 24:27, 44-45 • Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. • Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.“ 45. Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,
The people knew what “the scriptures” were, the O.T. canon was valid • Jesus gave His authority to His apostles, His word • The apostles authority was recognized in the early church, because it was Jesus’ authority
Three Erroneous Assumptions The N.T. writers had no awareness they wrote for God.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 • For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.
Ephesians 3:4 • By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
1 Corinthians 14:37 • If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord's commandment.
Three Erroneous Assumptions The N.T. writers had no awareness they wrote for God. Recipients were unaware they were reading God’s word
2 Peter 3:1-2 • This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2. that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.
1 Timothy 5:18 • For the Scripture says, "YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING," and "The laborer is worthy of his wages."
Three Erroneous Assumptions The N.T. writers had no awareness they wrote for God. Recipients were unaware they were reading God’s word Took a loooong time to identify and gather the canon
Romans 1:1-5 • Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2. which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3. concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4. who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5. through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name's sake…
There IS a rational basis to believe the canon is complete and it has been complete since the 1st century. The foundation is solid.