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Canonization

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by

Ed Hardin

on 23 July 2016

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Transcript of Canonization

Canonization
Canon
From a Hebrew & Greek word meaning "rule", "standard", or "measure"
Collection of books that Christians view as uniquely authoritative inspired by the Holy Spirit
Athanasius first used the word "canon" referring to this collection of books in 367 A.D. in his 39th festal letter.
Old Testament
Written from 1400 B.C. through 430 B.C.
Original OT texts not written with chapter & verse listed (added later as reading aid)

Intertestamental Period
While no direct revelation takes place in the 400+ years between the time of the writing of Malachi and the birth of Jesus, many Jewish historians continued chronicling events.
Roman Catholics consider these books authoritative and add them to the Hebrew Old Testament referring to them as Deuterocanonical (secondary canon).
Evangelicals refer to these writings as the Apocrypha (writings not considered canonical)
Apocrypha
So Why Don't Evangelicals Accept These Writings?
New Testament
Written between 45 A.D. and 90 A.D.
Original NT texts not written with chapter & verse listed (added later as reading aid)
Mostly written in Greek with very few passages written in Aramaic
How did the Church Decide What Should be Canonized in the New Testament?
How Do We Know the New Testament is Accurate?
Hebrew Divisions
ORGANIZED CATEGORICALLY
Law
Pentateuch - 5 Books of Moses
Prophets
Former & Latter
Writings
Psalms, Daniel, 1& 2 Chronicles
Greek Divisions
ORGANIZED TOPICALLY
Law
History
Poetry & Wisdom
Prophecy
Minor - shorter prophetic books
Major - longer prophetic books
Rearranged from Hebrew Manuscripts
Modern English
Content for most modern English translations derived directly from Hebrew text BUT takes the order of books from the Latin Vulgate
Greek (Septuagint) translated into Latin (Latin Vulgate) Major prophets placed BEFORE Minor prophets
430 B.C. - 50 A.D.
total of 39 books - whereas prior to second century A.D. same content ordered as 22 (or 24) books. 12 Minor Prophets ONE book.
What Evangelicals DO Accept
It is important to note that many of the Apocryphal writings provide invaluable historical information regarding Jewish culture, traditions, as well as Roman government.
Like other authors of extra-biblical texts written during this time (like Josephus & Philo) much cultural and contextual information can be gleaned.
Why Evangelicals Reject the Apocrypha as Canonical
These texts make no assertions that they are inspired, therefore they are not considered such.
The Apocrypha was never considered part of the Hebrew Old Testament Canon.
There are no references to or quotes from the Apocrypha by New Testament authors.
Dead Sea scrolls include 38 of 39 books of Hebrew canon (excluding Esther) with commentary, while only 2 Apocryphal books were found neither having commentaries.
Apostolic in Nature
The writing must have been written by or tied closely to an apostle. (Ex Luke was a companion of Paul)
Why just the apostles? According to John 14:26 the Holy Spirit was promised to the apostles to bring remembrance on all they had seen.
Orthodoxy
These documents had to have an understanding of what the gospel was. In other words if the writing did not corroborate with what the apostles taught then it should be discounted. Galatians 1:8-9.
Catholicity
Universal in nature; meaning the texts must be common among the different early churches.
Eye-Witness Accounts
No Contemporary Rebuttals
There would have been large numbers of people outside of the apostles who were alive when the NT scriptures were written. If none of these events happened or were plausible then the documents would have been heavily scrutinized by opponents.
The apostles had all witnessed the events that had happened during this time frame. They were witnesses to what happened.
Corroborating Texts
Extra biblical documents such as the Talmud, the Pseudepigrapha and the writings of Josephus corroborate the gospel accounts. These other writings mention events that are described in scriptural NT accounts.
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