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The Substance of Faith An Evidence and Foundational Christian Curriculum Part 4b.

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Presentation on theme: "The Substance of Faith An Evidence and Foundational Christian Curriculum Part 4b."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Substance of Faith An Evidence and Foundational Christian Curriculum Part 4b

2 Part 4b: Which Books should be in the Bible?

3 Introduction The “canon” is the term used to express the books accepted into the Bible. This word means rule, and the Greek word from which it originates occurs in Galatians 6:16. Since additional Old and New Testament books were written besides those in the canon of the Bible, which books should be included?

4 How did we come to have the canon of today? Although several counsels were held to place a final stamp on the canon of the Bible, these counsels confirmed the books that had already been widely respected rather than constructed the canon in themselves. The canon should be said to be discovered, not invented.

5 What criteria were used to determine canonicity? Is it authoritative? Did it come with the authority of God? Is it prophetic? Was it written by a man of God? Is it authentic? Did it tell the truth about God, man, etc.? Is it dynamic? Did it come with the life- transforming power of God? Was it received? Was it collected, read and used? Was it accepted by the people of God?

6 How are books classified? Homologoumena (acknowledged) – books accepted by virtually everyone as canonical. Antilegomena (disputed) – books disputed by some. Pseudepigrapha (spurious) – books rejected by everyone as unauthentic. Apocrypha (heretical) – books accepted by some as canonical or semi-canonical.

7 O.T. Acknowledged All the Old Testament books were undisputed except those listed as disputed below. These undisputed books were in the Old Testament that Jesus and the apostles used, which further confirms their authority.

8 O.T. Disputed Disputed: Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Ezekiel, and Proverbs were disputed at times based on textual criticism rather than an absence from the Hebrew or Septuagint canon. The sensual nature of Song of Solomon raised criticism, Ecclesiastes was criticized for its tentative, skeptical statements, Esther raised concerns because it did not mention God, Ezekiel was criticized on claims of anti- Mosaical teachings, and some considered the couplet of Proverbs 26:4-5 as contradictory.

9 O.T. Pseudepigrapha Rejected by all (Pseudepigrapha): These books describe a period between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D. There are 18 books of relative importance, although the exact number of books is unknown.

10 O.T. Pseudepigrapha Source: Geisler, Norman L. and William E. Nix. A General Introduction to the Bible. p. 166.

11 O.T. Pseudepigrapha These books fail all the tests. They make no serious claim of verifiable authority, the writers do not fall in the line of prophets, the books are fanciful and contain numerous contradictions with canonical books as well as history, they were not seriously considered by the early church, and they have no power of God.

12 O.T. Apocrypha Accepted by some (Apocrypha): Most of the apocryphal books are included in the Douay (Catholic) Bible.

13 O.T. Apocrypha Source: Geisler, Norman L. and William E. Nix. A General Introduction to the Bible. p. 169.

14 O.T. Apocrypha Much question about the Old Testament apocrypha originates from the differences between the Alexandrian canon of the Septuagint and the Hebrew canon. The earliest extant copies of the Greek Septuagint from the fourth century A.D. include the apocryphal books, while the Hebrew Bible does not. Additionally, there are New Testament allusions to the apocrypha, although none express an authoritative view of these writings.

15 Key reasons the apocrypha is not included Some books have unbiblical, heretical, or inaccurate teachings. – Prayers for the dead in II Maccabees 12:45-46 – Salvation by works in Tobit 12:9 – Fanciful stories such as that of Bel and the Dragon in the addition to Daniel. – Ecclesiasticus and Wisdom teach morality based on expedience. – Judith speaks of Nebuchadnezzar as reigning in Nineveh rather than Babylon (Judith 1:1). Tobit and Judith have many geographical, chronological, and historical errors according to William H. Green.

16 Key reasons the apocrypha is not included The Council of Trent in 1546 was the first official ratification of the apocryphal books by the Roman Catholic Church. This is highly suspect, since this occurred 29 years after Martin Luther posted his Ninety-five Theses, and the apocrypha includes the two teachings above. Jesus and the New Testament writers make no affirming quotes of the apocrypha.

17 What criteria were used to determine canonicity? Is it authoritative? Did it come with the authority of God? Is it prophetic? Was it written by a man of God? Is it authentic? Did it tell the truth about God, man, etc.? Is it dynamic? Did it come with the life- transforming power of God? Was it received? Was it collected, read and used? Was it accepted by the people of God?

18 N.T. Acknowledged Acknowledged: All the New Testament books, except the latter books mentioned below, were undisputed. These books were written directly by apostles or confirmed by apostles. Quotes from the early church also show that they were widely circulated.

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20 Geisler, Norman and Frank Turek. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, p N.T. Acknowledged

21 Geisler, Norman and Frank Turek. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, p N.T. Acknowledged

22 N.T. Disputed – Disputed: Hebrews, James, II Peter, II and III John, Jude, and Revelation. – Hebrews was questioned on the basis of anonymity, James based on a supposed conflict with Paul on justification by faith, the authorship of II Peter was questioned based on stylistic differences, II & III John were questioned due to their private nature and limited circulation, and Revelation was questioned based on concerns about millennialism.

23 N.T. Disputed – Disputed: Hebrews, James, II Peter, II and III John, Jude, and Revelation. – These books were questioned based on human issues with their teachings rather than anything substantive in their text.

24 N.T. Pseudepigrapha There are more than 280 books that are rejected by all except Gnostic and other heretical sects. Most of these books were written late—between the second and fifth centuries.

25 N.T. Pseudepigrapha Source: Geisler, Norman L. and William E. Nix. A General Introduction to the Bible. p

26 N.T. Pseudepigrapha Source: Geisler, Norman L. and William E. Nix. A General Introduction to the Bible. p

27 N.T. Pseudepigrapha Source: Geisler, Norman L. and William E. Nix. A General Introduction to the Bible. p

28 N.T. Pseudepigrapha Source: Geisler, Norman L. and William E. Nix. A General Introduction to the Bible. p

29 N.T. Pseudepigrapha One of the only early books is the Gospel of Thomas (first century) which contains a fanciful account of the childhood of Jesus, in which He inflicts blindness on other children who upset him. These books are full of contradictions with the canonized Bible, and they have no substantive claim to authority.

30 N.T. Apocrypha While modern versions of the Bible do not contain the New Testament apocrypha, there are a number of books that were in circulation with the early church. However, many of these books would be comparable to Christian literature today, and they were not considered at a level on par with the canonized New Testament.

31 N.T. Apocrypha New Testament Apocryphal Books 1. Epistle of Pseudo-Barnabasc Epistle to the Corinthiansc Ancient Homilyc Shepherd of Hermasc Didache, Teaching of the Twelvec Apocalypse of Peterc The Acts of Paul and Thecla Epistle to the Laodiceansfourth century? 9. The Gospel According to the Hebrews Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippiansc The Seven Epistles of Ignatiusc. 110 Geisler, Norman L. and William E. Nix. A General Introducti on to the Bible. p

32 N.T. Apocrypha These books were never considered canonical in a major canon or church council.

33 What criteria were used to determine canonicity? Is it authoritative? Did it come with the authority of God? Is it prophetic? Was it written by a man of God? Is it authentic? Did it tell the truth about God, man, etc.? Is it dynamic? Did it come with the life- transforming power of God? Was it received? Was it collected, read and used? Was it accepted by the people of God?


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