What are the Stages of Revelation of the Canon?

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...

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What are the Criteria for a Book to be Canonical?

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...

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Why Create a Written Canon? Part 2

The Biblical Canon contains all the scripture "...breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness...." (2 Timothy 3:16 ESV). Last week I wrote Why Create a Written Canon? Part 1, about heresies the early church was combating. However, that's not the main reason the canon was formed. If the canon had been created to fight heresies, that would make the canon reactive, an attempt to fix...

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Why Create a Written Canon? Part 1

Last week's article, What is the Biblical Canon?, was my first in a series on the Canon. This week I'm researching why a written canon exists. There are two aspects I want to discuss related to this. The first one seems to be a critical reason to have a canon, but is actually the less important of the two. The second reason to have a written canon will be my next article, and is actually foundational to Christianity.

Christians need to have...

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What is the Biblical Canon?

My last several articles have been about the Gospels, and now I want to change directions slightly and research how the Bible became comprised of the books we know: 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. At some point in the past, some group of people put these 66 pieces of writing together into one book. When did that happen? Who was involved? Why did they believe these books are the Word of God and not others? I'll be writing several...

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