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Can We Count on the Bible? (5)

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Can We Count on the Bible? (5) The Canon of the New Testament How the Word of God Spread Within a few decades gospel was preached to every creature under heaven ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Can We Count on the Bible? (5)


1
Can We Count on the Bible? (5)
  • The Canon of the New Testament

2
How the Word of God Spread
  • Within a few decades gospel was preached to
    every creature under heaven Col. 123
  • How did that happen?

3
How the Word of God Spread
  • Jesus revealed the word of God Jn 1410, 24
    519, 716
  • He promised the Holy Spirit John 1425-26,
    167-11
  • The Apostles spoke with authority 1 Cor. 26-14,

4
How the Word of God Spread
  • The written letters were circulated almost
    immediately Col. 416, 1 Thess. 527 Read to
    all Galatians 12 churches of Galatia Rev. 111
    7 churches of Asia 1 Pet. 11 To pilgrims

5
How the Word of God Spread
  • Consider IF the New Testament is the word of
    God, is it unreasonable to think that He had a
    hand (providentially) in its preservation?

6
Compiling the Books of the NT
  • The first recorded record of all 27 books was 367
    AD in a letter written by Athanasius. NOT first
    recognition of Books were mentioned and (partial)
    lists compiled very early!

7
Compiling the Books of the NT
  • Why the need for a NT Canon?
  • As Gospel spread need to verify which ones were
    true.
  • With end of age of miracles and prophets, true
    writings needed to be verified
  • The growth of heretical movements
  • As gospel spread to foreign lands, need for
    translations
  • Persecutions Who wanted to die for just a
    religious book?

8
Compiling the Books of the NT
  • Criteria for determining canonicity
  • Did it possess the quality of inspiration?
  • Did it have apostolic authority Either an
    apostle or one with the apostles.
  • Did it agree with canon of truth?
  • Was work accepted and circulated by early
    churches?

9
Compiling the Books of the NT
  • MOST books are mentioned very early, in the 2nd
    century
  • The church fathers a group of influential
    church leaders theologians from 2nd 6th
    centuries who works lend evidence to NT integrity.

10
Compiling the Books of the NT
  • The contribution of the church fathers
  • NOT inspired! Dont forget this!
  • They helped identify books that were accepted as
    inspired.
  • They quoted from NT books helping to compile its
    context
  • They helped construct a history of church
    development and heresies.

11
Compiling the Books of the NT
  • The church fathers
  • Clement of Rome (in 95 AD) wrote a letter to
    the Corinthians referencing Matthew Luke. Also
    familiar with Hebrews, Romans, Corinthians, 1
    Timothy, Titus, 1 Peter and Ephesians

12
Compiling the Books of the NT
  • The church fathers
  • Ignatius (martyred 110 AD) Quoted from a total
    of 8 letters Matt. Luke, Acts, Rom., etc.
  • Polycarp (70-155 AD), elder in Smyrna
    identified 17 books of New Testament.

13
Compiling the Books of the NT
  • The church fathers
  • The first three outstanding church fathers
    used bulk of the New Testamentonly Mark, 2 3
    John, Jude 2 Peter are not clearly attested.
    Milton Fisher, The origin of the Bible

14
Compiling the Books of the NT
  • The church fathers
  • Irenaeues of Lyons (120-200) In Against
    Heresies quotes or alludes to all books of New
    Testament except, Philemon, 2 Peter, 3 John
    Jude. Attests to the FOUR gospels.

15
Compiling the Books of the NT
  • The church fathers
  • Marcion (144 AD) A heretic who rejected the Old
    Testament, identified Luke and listed all of
    Pauls epistles, except 1 2 Timothy and Titus
    (though he changed many of them)

16
Compiling the Books of the NT
  • The church fathers
  • Valentinus (100-160 AD) A Gnostic, but he
    referenced all four gospels, Romans Colossians,
    1 Peter, 1 John Revelation. Wrote, Gospel of
    Truth, a Gnostic gospel which was patently
    rejected

17
Compiling the Books of the NT
  • The church fathers
  • The Muratorian Canon (dated ca. 200 AD) a
    manuscript written in 8th century was a copy of
    this document. Consisted of a list of books
    beginning with Luke Philemon, 1 2 John, Jude
    Revelation. Beginning of document is missing
    (implies Matt Mark.)

18
Compiling the Books of the NT
  • In all, 20 of the 27 books were accepted WITHOUT
    question very early.

19
Compiling the Books of the NT
  • What about the other 7 books?
  • NOTE These books were not generally rejected,
    but there were questions by some. The were
    slow to be accepted!

20
Compiling the Books of the NT
  • Books questioned and why
  • Hebrews because author was unknown, referenced
    earlier.
  • James teachings on faith and works compared to
    writings of Paul. Same message to two different
    groups and reasons.

21
Compiling the Books of the NT
  • Books questioned and why
  • 2 Peter Most disputed 1) Different style than
    1st Peter 2) 32-4 makes reference to earlier
    generation 3) Mention of letters of Paul (2
    Pet. 315-16) 4) Materials similar to Jude

22
Compiling the Books of the NT
  • Books questioned and why
  • 2 3 John limited circulation and private
    nature.
  • Jude mentioned a prophecy of Enoch not
    recorded in OT.
  • Revelation Apocalyptic nature. Question more
    about interpretation than inspiration!

23
Compiling the Books of the NT
  • Books questioned and why
  • NOTE Such scrutiny demonstrates the high
    standard set for recognition as inspired and
    canon. In short time, all of these were accepted
    universally by professing Christians (except
    liberal theologians).

24
Books Not Accepted
  • Books rejected as canon fit into two categories
  • Pseudepigrapha (rejected by virtually all)
  • Apocryphal (rejected by most, but accepted by
    some)

25
Books Not Accepted
  • Books rejected by all
  • Gnostic gospels Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of
    Peter, Gospel of Truth, etc. content and date
  • Gospel of Ebionites stressed keeping Old Law
    and heresies about Jesus content and date

26
Books Not Accepted
  • Apocryphal books
  • Shepherd of Hermas allegory about Jesus and
    Hermas - too alegorical, dated 2nd century
  • 1 Clement ca 95-96 AD to Corinth, questionable
    content and unavailable (complete) until 1873
  • Epistle of Barnabas early enough, and similar
    to Hebrews in content - filled with allegory and
    anti-Jewish. Questionable content and doubtful
    authorship

27
Books Not Accepted
  • Apocryphal books
  • Didache, Teaching of the Twelve (100-120 AD)
    A manual of church order and practices- too late,
    unknown author, lost and rediscovered in 1873.
  • Epistle of the Laodiceans possible letter
    referenced in Col. 416, Included in early
    Bibles. Not discovered until late 3rd or early
    4th century. Too suspicious.
  • Many others like these were rejected for
    numerous reasons. MOST apocryphal writings only
    accepted locally or by a few church leaders.

28
WE CAN trust the Bible we have before us
  • Let us seek not only to defend it, but also to
    apply it in our lives
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