The practical answer to this question is easy: No, new books can't be added to the canon. The technical answer is a bit more involved. I wrote the article What are the Criteria for a Book to be Canonical? on how the church fathers recognized the books in the New Testament canon. It's possible a book "slipped through the cracks" when the church fathers were studying them, although it's not probable.
I'll limit this article to...
This article in my series about the Biblical Canon will be short, although the footnotes are extensive. In the first few hundred years after Jesus's resurrection, the church was trying to understand which books were in the canon. God made the canon, but it was still up to the church to recognize which books were appropriate for use.
Have you ever walked into a crowded room and seen some faces which are vaguely familiar, but you can't remember the...
What do the words Scripture and Canon mean? In modern times, some people have defined the word Scripture to mean books inspired by God, while defining Canon as a list of scripture which can not change. With these definitions, the scriptures existed early in the church, but the canon took a long time to form. Did the early church have a canon? Was the canon formed in the fourth or fifth century, as some people claim? The Catholic Church...
In my first article on the Biblical Canon, What is the Biblical Canon?, I listed three criteria the early church used to recognize if a book should be considered part of the New Testament canon. The books had to be:
- Authentic - Based on the experiences of those who knew Jesus
- Authoritative - Accurately teaching God’s will
- Inspired - Written by people with guidance of the Holy Sprit
Since then, I've...
I wrote several articles about the Torah, which is comprised of the first five books of the Old Testament. Now I want to move several hundred years later and research the Gospels, the first four books of the New Testament.
The word Gospel comes from an Old English translation of the Greek word euaggelion (εὐαγγέλιον; Strong's G2098), from which we get the English words evangelize, evangelist and Evangelical. Gospel means "good...
I had planned on
seeing the new documentary Patterns of Evidence: The Moses Controversy
on opening night and writing a review for today's article, but the projector in
the theater wasn't working, so my plans have changed. The Moses Controversy is scheduled to be shown again on
Saturday, March 16th, and Tuesday, March 19th, so hopefully I'll be able to
write a review for next weekend, but by then it will be to late to see it in
Bart Ehrman, an atheist scholar, argues: "Jesus’s disciples were lower-class, illiterate peasants from remote rural areas of Galilee, where very few people could read, let alone write, and let alone create full-scale compositions." Some skeptics expand on the argument: Because Jesus' followers were lower-class, illiterate peasants, no educated person would believe the claims of Jesus, and therefore Christianity isn't true.