Correct books in the Bible?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by saturneptune, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. saturneptune

    saturneptune
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    Not knowing lots about the details of the canonized Bible in its present form, a question comes to mind. How do we know that the group of men that met to decide which books we included and excluded from the Bible were 100% correct? Is it a matter of faith that God was leading these men at the time? Does anyone think a mistake could have been made? This seems to be a seperate question from the Inspired Word which we all agree on.
     
  2. Steven2006

    Steven2006
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    Here is something you might find interesting. It is from the book "From The Mind Of God To The Mind Of Man". this section I am quoting is written by Paul W. Downey. While it goes into a lot more detail, I thought this part gives a good summation to help answer your question.



    The apostle Paul asserted that "all scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2Tim 3:16), and Peter said, "The prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2Peter 1:21). However, as much as we might wish they had done so, neither of these apostles told us which books and letters were inspired texts written under the superintending influence of the Holy Ghost. While the statements of the apostles establish the source and the authority of the entire body of scripture, criteria for canonicity must be applied to individual books.

    Canonization has to do with determining which books deserve the designation of "Scripture" and ought to be included in the Bible. It is not so much a process of deciding which books we want to include in the canon, but rather a process of discovering which books belong there. This is an important aspect to consider because neither all of the books written during "Bible times" nor even all of the books written by "Bible authors" are included in the Bible. The conscientious believer will want to know why certain books were included and others were rejected.

    The primary meaning of the word canon is "a measuring rod, or rule; a standard by which something may be evaluated.: As applied to the Bible, it means those books which have been measured, found satisfactory, and approved as inspired of God." The sixty-six books of our Bible are those books that have been "measured, found satisfactory, and approved." By the same token, books not included among the sixty-six have been measured, found unsatisfactory, and rejected.

    In general, the process collecting the books of the Old Testament involved four steps over a period of about twelve hundred years.

    1. God directed men to write, spanning about a millennium.
    2. Throughout that time, Israel recognized the divine origin of writings inspired by God.
    3. Those scrolls so recognized were left with the priests for safekeeping.
    4. Ultimately, the present thirty-nine books of the Old Testament were accepted as Scripture.

    The collection of the books of the New Testament involved three basic steps over a period of about three centuries.

    1. The books of the New Testament were all written by God's directions during a period lasting thirty to fifty years.
    2. The early churches circulated, copied, translated, and taught those books they recognized as divinely inspired and, therefore, authoritative.
    3. Eventually, church councils officially recognized the list of the present twenty-seven books that had long been regarded as Scripture.
    - Paul W. Downey
     
  3. EdSutton

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    Overall, Paul Downey sums this up very well, IMO. Although the "Jewish Canon" was divided somewhat differently, than we do today, into 24 'books'.

    The key word, here, is "recognized" the Scripture as Scripture. Peter recognized at least some of Paul's writings as Scripture, even shortly after they were written. And it didn't take a church council for him to see this. The church fathers universally recognized the NT as Scripture. However, they did not all agree on exactly what WAS Scripture, only that it was, as well as the Hebrew Canon. However, it is noteworthy that they (collectively) recognized all the books that are included, en toto, far more than any book that is not found there, such as the gospels of Thomas, and Peter, Hermas, and the epistles of Clement.

    Books not found in either canon, OT or NT can be summed up by the Hebrew word "tekel". They have been "weighed in the balances, and found lacking."

    Incidentally, for an example, Irenaeus knew of the so-called gospel of Judas, and rejected it, openly, as Gnostic Heresy, in Against Heresies, if I'm not mistaken as to the citing, without looking it up. Luke testifies to the existence of several gospels, and Paul penned an epistle to the Laodecians, which he even advised to be read, that the Holy Spirit did not see fit for inclusion into Scripture. It is noteworthy, that Marcion, the Heretic, included an Epistle to the Laodecians in his mutilated canon.

    Ed
     
    #3 EdSutton, Jul 20, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2007
  4. saturneptune

    saturneptune
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    Thanks for the responses. I assume from reading your posts that faith would lead you to conclude that no mistakes were made in cannonization, as lead by the Holy Spirit.
     
  5. DQuixote

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    Absolutely! Some folks make the mistake of thinking that a bunch of guys gathered around a conference table and decided which books to include. Not so. Those scriptures that were recognized as holy rose to the level of acceptance under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Just as God breathed every word, he caused our Bible to put itself together. Let no man say that he (man) made it happen!

    :godisgood: :jesus:
     

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