Presentation on theme: "The New Testament and Canonical Models Session 2."— Presentation transcript:
The New Testament and Canonical Models Session 2
Writing of Scripture occurs along God’s great acts in redemptive history. The OT records and interprets these events. Each of these events is interpreted for us in Scripture. The next stage is the coming of the Messiah, hence no further Scripture would be written till then.
Apostles and Associates The NT consists of writings of the apostles. They were given the ability from the Holy Spirit to do so. The few NT books not written by the apostles were written by associates who were authorized by the apostles.
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 16:13-14 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Authority of the Apostles The office of the apostle in the early church has authority equal to that of OT prophets, the authority to write God’s words. Peter Paul The apostles’ has equal authority as OT prophets.
NT Scriptures Accepted as Canon 1 Peter 3:15-16 – Peter showed clear willingness to classify all Paul’s “epistles” with “other scriptures.” – Graphé occurs 51 times in NT and that refers to the OT Scriptures in every one of those occurrences. – “Scripture” was a technical term to refer to God’s words. – Paul’s writings are considered worthy of inclusion into the canon.
NT Scriptures Accepted as Canon 1 Tim 5:17-18 – 1 st quotation from Deut 25:4 – 2 nd quotation from Luke 10:7 – Paul calls Luke’s gospel “scripture.” The NT was accepted very early in church history.
NT Books Written By Non-Apostles Mark, Luke and Acts were accepted because of close association of Mark with Peter and Luke with Paul. Jude was accepted because of his connection with James and he is the half-brother of Jesus. Acceptance of Hebrews was based on an assumed Pauline authorship. But its acceptance was due more to the intrinsic qualities of the book itself.
I. Canon Determined by the Community The canon is constituted by the people. Canonicity is imposed upon certain literature as a response from the community.
A. Historical-Critical Model These are all human decisions accounted for in natural terms rather than divine. The church played the decisive role, stripping the canon of any revelational authority.
B. Roman Catholic Model It denies the ultimate authority of Scripture. Rather authority lies in the Magisterium. It has the sole authority to define what should be in the canon. Without the church there would be no NT. It is God, not the church who determines the canon, hence, they confuse the instruments with the cause. It makes the Scripture subordinate to the church.
C. Canonical-Criticism Model Meaning of the text is bound up with how it functions at its latest stage of development. The Scripture then is always in flux, continually shaped by successive Christian communities.
D. Existential/Neo-orthodox Model This tends toward a more individualistic and experiential approach. The canon are those books through which the church encounters the living voice of God. The Scripture then does not bear authority in itself. The community takes on authority equal to Scripture.
Evaluation of the Community Model These models overlooked 1.The intrinsic authority and internal attributes of these books 2.The historical origins of these books
II. Canon Determined by History
A. Canon-within-the-Canon Model Reduce the NT to its core truths to bring unity to the faith. Subjects the Scripture to a standard outside itself.
B. Criteria-of-Canonicity Authority of Canon established by doing a rigorous historical investigation.
Evaluation of Historical Model Rightly recognizes the importance of the historical dimension. It downplays the intrinsic characteristics of the books.
III. Canon as Self-Authenticating Previous models ground authority in something outside the canon itself. What is needed is a model that grounds the canon in its own authority.
A. Self-Authenticating Canon The Word of God is the ultimate authority. 1.Providential Exposure 2.Attributes of Canonicity a.Divine Qualities b.Corporate Reception c.Apostolic Origins 3.Internal Testimony of the Holy Spirit
B. Implications 1.These Attributes Mutually Reinforce Each Other 2.It Provides a Basis for Affirming Multiple and Complementary Definitions of Canon
B. Implications a.Exclusive: The books received and recognized by the consensus of the church. As such, we do not have a canon until the third or fourth century. b.Functional: The books that are used as authoritative revelation by a community. As such, we certainly have a canon by the mid-second century (if not before). c.Ontological: The books given by God as the redemptive-historical deposit. As such, an NT book would be canonical as soon as it was written, giving a first-century date for the canon.
The Self-Authenticating Model sdvasvvas Attributes of Canonicity Corporate Reception Apostolic Origins Divine Qualities Holy Spirit
The corporate church achieves a consensus around these books Flow of Canonical History The books are recognized and used as Scripture by early Christians God gives His books through His Apostles