Biblical Canon-Determined or Discovered?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by rufus, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. rufus

    rufus
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    What is it that makes a "book" canonical?

    Canonicity is determined by God. Those books inpsired by God have His authority. Logically, inspiration by God determines the canonicity of a "book."

    Inspiration indicates how the Bible received its authority. God breathed it out.

    Canonization tells how the Bible received its acceptance. Men recognize a "book" as canonical because they discover God's authority in it.

    The distinction between God's determination and man's discovery is essential. God regulated and determined the canon and man recognized and discovered it.

    Some place the church OVER the canon, while others place the church UNDER the canon. Some say the authority of the Scriptures is based upon the authority of the church, while others insist that the authority of the church is to be found in the authority of the Scriptures.

    The following principles guided the church in discovery of the God- determined Canon:

    1. Is the book authoritative? Did it come with the authority of God?

    2. Is is prophetic? Was it writen by a man of God?

    3. Is it authentic? Did it tell the truth about God, man, etc.?

    4. Is it dynamic? Did it come with the life-transforming power of God?

    5. Was it received by the people of God? Was it collected, used, and read by God's people?

    Thus God is solely responsible for the determination of the canon and man is responsible for the discovery of it. That a book is canonical is due to divine inspiration. How this is known to be true is the process of human recognition. Man discovered what God had determined by looking for the earmarks listed above.

    What say ye? Agree or Disagree?

    Rufus [​IMG]
     
  2. BrianT

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    What do you do when people disagree over what should be in the canon? Luther, for example.
     
  3. rufus

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    Good question.

    First, though, Luther came late, didn't he, as far as the canon is concerned?

    Second, he had trouble with James because he thought Paul was at variance with him, on justification by faith. Right.

    Third, Luther later reversed himself on James.

    Fourth, James was widely used before Luther; others understood how James and Paul complemented one another.

    God bless
    Rufus [​IMG]
     
  4. BrianT

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    Hi Rufus,

    But I don't know how we can know the answers to some of your 5 questions. Some books *in* our canon, we don't even know who wrote them. As I understand it, the canon was "canonized" by men in the 4th century, and went unchanged until the 16th century when Luther wanted to remove 7 OT books and 4 NT books. The NT books got put back in, but the 7 OT books (at least for Protestants) remained out. How, using your 5 questions, can we decide if Luther's decision was good? If it was good, why was his same decision about the 4 NT books bad?

    Brian
     
  5. Daniel Dunivan

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    Would you say that two different types of inspiration are active or is the work of God similar in the process of canonization and in the process of the writing of the books? Your view on inspiration can really play havoc on your theology in many more areas than many people perceive. How we answer the question of canonicity will determine our sources for our theological reflection. What do you think?
     
  6. rufus

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    www.probe.org

    Hey friends, visit the above site and click on the Apologetic/Theology tab. Then scroll down to the "How did we get our Bible-The Canon."

    Happy researching and God bless. [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Rufus
     
  7. Ben W

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    Interesting that the Ethiopian Church, which escaped to some part domination by Catholiscm has an extra two books in their Cannon, Enoch and one other which I cant recall.

    Interesting that Jesus, Peter and Jude make reference to the book of Enoch.

    I think there is a case to look at including the book of Enoch.

    I did not say that it should be included, I just said we should think about it. ;)
     
  8. rufus

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    Ben W said:
    Paul also quoted from Greek philosophers, and the OT referred to sources not included in the canon.

    I personally believe God has providentially guided believers in the discovery of the "manuscripts" stamped with HIS authority flowing from HIS "theopneustos" (theh-op'-nyoo-stos), meaning "divinely breathed in."

    Rufus [​IMG]
     
  9. Ben W

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    Jude talks about Michael Contending with the devil over the body of Moses. This event is recorded in the book of Enoch. Jude is referring to it, making it factual.

    If this part of the book of Enoch is Factual, it puts up a case for the rest to be looked at.

    Interesting also that fragments of the book of Enoch were found with the dead sea scrolls also.
     
  10. Daniel Dunivan

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    I read an article some time ago contending that the reason Enoch failed to make it into the Hebrew canon (the Protestant OT comes from Hebrew tradition not Christian) was because it was so used by early Christians (like Jude and II Peter).

    Canon issues always come down to the church's stamp of recognition that certain books are inspired. The canon is linked with Church tradition in a direct way. How then can baptist churches claim scripture as the only authority for faith and practice? What do you think?
     
  11. Ben W

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    One reason that the book of Enoch was not included, was that it stated that the world was Sperical (round). This was considered a ludicrous idea then.
     
  12. Bartholomew

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    This cannot be true. The earth was considered spherical throughout the Greek and Roman world. It had been known to the Greeks since before Aristotle.
     
  13. Daniel Dunivan

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    But the cosmology of scripture is a flat disk. Coupled with the barbarian influence, this view became dogma of the church and caused a good deal of debate during the late Medieval period.

    If you are referring to the apocalypic "calendar" section, it could be argued that not the earth, but the sky had spherical characteristics, and even at this, the sky as a dome might fulfil the description.

    [ January 25, 2003, 01:24 PM: Message edited by: Daniel Dunivan ]
     
  14. Bartholomew

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    That is totaly untrue. Church cosmological dogma was that of Aristote in the late Middle Ages. Both the Medievals and Aristotle taught a spherical earth.
     
  15. Ben W

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    One interesting site on the net is the "Flat Earth Society" I dont have there address as I consider them to be wrong.

    However it is interesting that there total evidence for a flat earth are all scriptures. Sure there is the whole moon landing in Hollywood, but there core ideas are based in a perception of scripture.
     
  16. Daniel Dunivan

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    That is totaly untrue. Church cosmological dogma was that of Aristote in the late Middle Ages. Both the Medievals and Aristotle taught a spherical earth.</font>[/QUOTE]Tell that story to Kepler and Galileo who were give the option of recanting or death. The church's dogma was not spherical. For the most part the works of Aristotle were not used in the church until the late middle ages, when they were employed by theologians like Thomas Aquinas (just as a side note Aquinas himself was more influenced by Islamic philosophical interaction with Aristotle than by Aristotle himself.) The only works the early Medieval period had of Aristotle were passed on to them by the latin theological, Boethius. The fact remains that the earth portrayed in scripture does not reflect our present scientific worldview.
     

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