The Bible Canon
21st August 2009, mgh,hej
This Article: (8 Pages)
- 1. The Extent of Inspired Books
- 2. How do we know the text was... preserved?
- 3. Torah the Inspired Word of God
- 4. Testimony regarding the Law and... the Prophets
- 5. Why Were Many Works not Included?
- 6. The Relationship of the New... Testament to the Old Testament
- 7. This Remarkable Collection... of Books
- 8. The full measure versus the focus
8) The full measure versus the focus
People in arguing about the 'full measure', or the canon, miss a point. The Bible contains at least two books, of which it is written that there is to be nothing added: the Torah and the Revelation. Both of these books by this ruling stand alone.
In addition there are other separate books identified as inspired, which are consistent and as witnessess cross reference each other. All contemporary evidence available shows books did not come to be known as inspired over time, they were identified as inspired at the time of writing, and have been always known as inspired since. For humans later to decide a definitive canon including any works they think are inspired is presumptuous. This is not to say we cannot know which books are inspired, as from the time they were written they were circulated with the authority of the Holy Spirit, by prophets and evidence given within the inspired books themselves.
Therefore the Bible itself establishes that the full measure is not as important as the fact that some books are more important than others. Jesus gives an order of importance. Sometimes Jesus speaks of 'the Scriptures' as a whole but this is a minority. He mostly speaks of 'the Law'. He often speaks of 'the law and the prophets', or less often, 'the prophets' and one occasion he speaks of 'the sciptures of the prophets'. But when he told his disciples where to find out things concerning him and his work, he says,
These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me (Luke 24:44)
This establishes both an order of importance and the books that should be the focus of the disciple. There are other scriptures in the writings and all the New Testament.
Peter told us that Paul's epistles are also scripture (2 Peter 3:16), and Paul writes,
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2Timothy 3:16)
But these, the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms, are the important foundation of all else. These books are the ones the apostles quoted, and on which they rest their reasoning and witness.
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