Monday, January 12, 2015

Development of the New Testament Cannon

Development of the New Testament Cannon
FromGod to Us by Norman Giesler and William Nix published by Moody Press

1. The Prompts
 A. Ecclesiastical stimulus: Which books should be read in church (and translated)?   (1 Thessalonians 5.27)
B. Theological stimulus: The need to know which books were to be used to reach doctrine with divine authority was made even more pressing as a result of the multitude of apocryphal and heretical books claiming divine authority.  When the heretic Marcion published a sharply abridged list of canonical books (c. 140), … the need for a complete canonical list became acute.
C. Political stimulus: (c. 303) Diocletian ordered “the destruction by fire of the Scriptures.”  Emperor Constantine ordered Eusebius to prepare and distribute fifty copies of the Bible
II. The Problem
 “With the geographical diversity and problems with communication and transportation … it is easy to see that it would take some time before there was anything like a general recognition of all twenty-seven books.”
III.  The Principles for Determining Inspiration
A. Authority  from God   2 Peter 1:20-21;
B. Prophetic Authorship    2 Thessalonians 2:2; Galatians 6:11
C. Authenticity (no factual or doctrinal errors)  Acts 1711;   Galatians 1:8
D. Dynamic nature Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17
E. Acceptance   Revelation 2:2;
IV. The Process
A.  Inaccurate or False Accounts  Luke 1.1-4; 2Thess. 2:1-2 (esp. 2) ; 3:17; Jon 21:23-24
B.   Apostolic Authority was the Cannon (Standard)  1 John 1:1-4 (esp. 3) ; 2 Peter 1:16-18 (esp. 16); Acts 2:41-43 (esp. 42); Hebrews 2:1-4 (esp. 3)
C. The Practice of Reading the Apostolic Books  (1 Thess. 5:23-28 (esp. 27); 1 Timothy 4:11-13
D. The Intention of the Books to have a Broader Circulation  Col. 4;15-17 (esp.17); Revelation 1:9-11 (esp. 11); 1 Peter 1:1
E. Individual Collections grew as Copies Could Be Made and Authenticated  
                              1. Peter Refers to Some of Paul’s writings  (2 Peter  3:14-17 (esp.15-16)
                              2.  Writers of Scripture Seemed to Quote from Each Other  Jude 1:17 from2 Peter 3:2
                              and 1 Timothy 6:18 from Luke 10:7
 V.   Applications:
 1. Have you received the whole Bible?  Do you  read, study, and practice the whole Bible or just you favorite passages, books, or truths?   
(“Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.”  —AW. Tozer )
 2. God used  men and historical process to bring His message to us.  How is he using you to communicate his truth to those around you?  
(“There are five Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the Christian, but most people
never read the first four.” — Gypsy Smith )
Carpenter Flock 15.01.11

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