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October 4, 2007 / Daniel

Canon

Here’s some more of my creed for Christian Theology.  

I believe that the canon of Scripture includes all 37 39 books of the OT and all 27 books of the NT. The canonicity of these books rests primarily upon their authorship. We should only consider those books written or complied by God-appointed messengers such as prophets and apostles to be Scripture (Eph. 3:5; 2 Tim. 1:13-14; 2 Pet. 3:16).

 Although the Apocrypha contains helpful historical background for the Bible, the Apocrypha should not considered as a part of the OT canon due to “doctrinal and historical inconsistencies” (Grudem). Likewise, the Gnostic gospels should be excluded from the NT canon because they do not meet the required criteria.

By canonizing Scripture, the early church did not give Bible its authority; the early church merely recognized the authority that the Bible already had (John 10:27). The early church did not make the Bible God’s word; rather the Bible gave birth to the early church (1 Pet. 1:23; James 1:18).

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  1. Dennis / Oct 4 2007 9:46 pm

    Daniel,

    I find this post fascinating as it really highlights the difference in thought between you and me.

    “By canonizing Scripture, the early church did not give Bible its authority; the early church merely recognized the authority that the Bible already had (John 10:27). The early church did not make the Bible God’s word; rather the Bible gave birth to the early church (1 Pet. 1:23; James 1:18).”

    Is this common Protestant thinking? Do you really believe this?

    Jesus Christ did not come here to give us a Bible. He came here to establish a Church. (Matthew 16:18). A Church that gives us the means to Salvation. For the Church is the Body of Christ and one can only be saved if they are members of His Body.

    When we have arguments with our brother, He does not tell us to go to Scripture. He tells us to go to the Church. (Matthew 18:17)

    And in the Church–not Scripture–can be found the Pillar and Foundation of all Truth. (1 Tim. 3:15)

    Scripture comes from the Church. Christ founded the Church. Scripture–albeit divinely inspired–is used as a tool to better understand Jesus Christ and His Church and should be interpreted by the Church–not by individuals.

    Scripture tells me this. (1 Peter 18-21)

  2. Dennis / Oct 4 2007 9:48 pm

    Sorry…not 1 Peter but 2 Peter 1: 18-21

  3. Modern Day Magi / Oct 5 2007 1:08 am

    The scriptures are infallible, divinely inspired, the Word of God. The canon of scripture (excluding the Apocrypha and Gnostic gospels which have been excluded for the reasons stated in the post) does not get its authority because man or the Church has given it such.

    Scripture is not Truth because the Church believed it to be so, The Church believes Scripture because it IS Truth.

    You are correct Dennis that “Jesus Christ did not come here to give us a Bible”, Jesus came to fulfill scripture and give life.

  4. Dennis / Oct 5 2007 1:27 am

    Hey MDM,

    Long time no talk!

    Regarding the Deuterocanon (i.e. Apocrypha), What “doctrinal and historical inaccuracies” are there?

    Who made the decision to remove them?

    The early Christians all recognized the Deuterocanon as Scripture. Some may have wondered about it but deferred to the Church (like Jerome) and accepted it.

  5. Bryan L / Oct 5 2007 10:44 pm

    Picking up on your comment Dennis “Regarding the Deuterocanon (i.e. Apocrypha), What “doctrinal and historical inaccuracies” are there?”

    I imagine if protestants (specifically conservative evangelicals) approached the Deuterocanon with the same infallible, inerrant presuppositions that they approach the canonical scriptures then those doctrinal and historical inaccuracies would easily be harmonized like the rest that we find in the canon.

    It seems like the authority is shared between the church and scripture; that the church and scripture submit to each other. I think something like the constitution and the authority that it carries is similar. It carries authority for our lives and laws and we submit to it, but it was written by us, we decided that it would be binding on us and it is dependent on our interpretation for it’s effectiveness.

    Just a thought.

    Blessing,
    Bryan L

  6. fiester25 / Oct 5 2007 10:55 pm

    Dennis,

    You’re completely right in saying that Jesus came here to create the church. How did He do that? Revelation! By revealing God, He gave birth to the church. This revelation of Christ is found in the apostolic witness (i.e. the NT).

    Without NT, we wouldn’t know Christ. Without the NT, there wouldn’t be a church. The NT reveals Christ and thus it gives birth to the Christian community.

  7. Dennis / Oct 6 2007 1:58 am

    Daniel,

    Before the NT, Jesus Christ was revealed by His Apostles. His Apostles spread the Good News throughout the Roman Empire before Scripture was written down. This Oral Tradition is held in the same regard as Scripture in the Catholic Church and Orthodox Church.

    His Church preceded the Scriptures as it was proclaimed by the Apostles.

    Bryan L.,

    I am in agreement with you. I think it all falls on Authority. I believe that the Deuterocanon is Scriptural as that is how I was taught and Protestants don’t believe that they are Scriptural as that’s how they are taught.

    Does the Church submit to Scripture?

    Well, the Church does submit to Christ as told in Ephesians 5. The Church teaching should never conflict with Scripture. Additionally, Scripture is revered and loved as it’s from God and should not be taken lightly. So, yes, it does also submit to it as it’s from God.

    But how should it be interpreted? In Scripture, there really is only one correct interpretation. Right? How do we know whose interpretation is correct?

  8. fiester25 / Oct 6 2007 2:37 pm

    Bryan,

    I’m curious. Do you believe in inerrancy? How about the deuterocanon?

  9. Bryan L / Oct 6 2007 6:58 pm

    I am not a subscriber to the doctrine of inerrancy. Sorry. I actually had a post on my blog a while back talking about a book that finally caused me to stop subscribing to it. It’s by Paul Achtemeier and it’s called Inspiration and Authority. Even though I don’t subscribe to inerrancy I still believe in the inspiration and the authority of the Bible and I still believe in reading it sympathetically and not assuming contradiction or error anytime something doesn’t sit rights with me.

    As far as the deuterocannon I don’t particularly read it or appeal to it authoritatively. At this point it is more historical in nature for me. But that could change and I am open to changing my view on it. I realize the early church held differing views on it just as they did the canonical books so it’s an area that I’d like to study a bit more.

    What about you? And if yes to the first question, why (maybe you could blog about it)?

    Blessings,
    Bryan L

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