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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Can We Trust the Gospels?

Christianity is based on historical events. Throughout the Bible, there were eyewitnesses to events, and those people reported what happened. The Gospels, in particular, have extra-Biblical sources which help confirm their accuracy. First century non-Christian historians who refer to events in the Gospels include Josephus, Pliny the Younger, Suetonius, Tacitus, Thallus, and Emperor Trajan.

Ancient Historians

The testimonies...

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Where did Moses get His Information? Part 2

This is part two of a series, Where did Moses get His Information?. In part one, I briefly discussed how Moses could have written Exodus 1 (ESV) since it took place before he was born. I also mentioned Deuteronomy 34 (ESV), which was written after he died. The likely answers are pretty simple, so it was a short article.

Now I want to discuss how Moses received the information he wrote in the book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible....

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Where did Moses get His Information? Part 1

The first five books of the Bible are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, and are traditionally attributed to Moses (see the articles Did Moses Write the Torah? Part 1, Part 2). Most of the events in the last four books happened during Moses' life, and he was, in fact, the key person during those events.

Exodus chapter 2 records Moses's birth, so obviously he wasn't an eyewitness to the events in...

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Did Moses Write the Torah? Part 2

Last week I posted the article Did Moses Write the Torah? Part 1, and I showed other Biblical authors clearly attributed the first five books of the Bible to Moses, in both the Old and New Testaments. In this article I want to make the case that the books we have in our Bibles may not be exactly what Moses wrote, but they are accurate representations of what Moses, and God, were communicating to the Israelites, and to us.

Editors may...

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Did Moses Write the Torah? Part 1

Modern skeptics have
doubts that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus,
Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. These books are core teachings for three of
the worlds major religions: Judaism (Hebrew Torah),
Christianity (Greek Pentateuch) and
Islam (Arabic Tawrat). These three religions all have
traditions of the same author, despite their significant theological
differences. Could Moses have written the first five...

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