Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Factors determining the canonicity of the Bible

FABLES concerning the Canon
1. Age determines canonicity
2. Language determines canonicity
3. Agreement with other scriptures determines canonicity
4. Religious values determines canonicity (i.e. Catholic)
5. An inspired religious authority determines canonicity
6. If a prophet or apostle wrote it, it is canonical
7. If it is quoted by Scripture, its canonical (Jude 9—Assumption of Moses, 14—15—Book of Enoch; Acts 17:28—Aratus [ca. 310-245 B.C.], Phaenonmena 5).
8. Inspiration determines canonicity.

FACTS determining canonicity
1. Prophetic nature and Apostolicity compromises canonicity
2. The body of Christ recognizes the canon
3. God alone determines canonicity

 1. Does the New Testament attest to its authority?
Lk.. 24:44
“Now He said to them, ‘These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’”
Matt.. 7:12
“Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

2. Do extrabiblical Jewish writers affirm them?
“How firmly we have given credit to these books of our own nation is evident by what we do; for during so many ages as have already passed, no one has been so bold as either to add any thing to them, to take any thing from them, or to make any change in them; but it has become natural to all Jews immediately, and from their very birth, to esteem these books to contain Divine doctrines, and to persist in them, and, if occasion should arise, be willing to die for them. For it is no new thing for our captives, many of them in number, and frequently in time, to be seen to endure racks and deaths of all kinds upon the theatres that they may not be obliged to say one word against our laws and the records that contain them.”

Babylonian Talmud
“After the latter Prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, the Holy Spirit departed from Israel.”

Philo also attests to a closed threefold division of the OT.

Council of Jamnia (A.D. 90)
After the Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70, the Sanhedrin was allowed by Rome to reconvene for purely spiritual reasons. At this council, the present OT books were reconfirmed officially.

3. Is the book consistent with other revelation?
• Does it contain any inconsistencies?
• Does it contain any contradictions?

4. Was it written by a prophet or someone of divine authority?

5. Did Christ attest to its authority?

Bibliology and Hermeneutics Workbook (Reclaiming the Mind TTP course C. Michael Patton)

Daniel B. Wallace states that the three point criterion determining canonicity are as follows:

1. Apostolicity (age of the document is somewhat relevant)
2. Orthodoxy
3. Catholicity (Universally accepted by churches throughout)