The Canon of the Bible by Samuel Davidson

Book Review : The Canon of the Bible

By Samuel Davidson

  • Publication Date: 1877-01-01
  • Genre: Christianity

Book Review

It is a religion book. The English Bible is composed of 66 books. How do we know that these books and no others are the infallible and inerrant Word of God? The basic answer to this question is that when men wrote these books, they came to be aware that they had written the Word of God. Right away, the community of the faithful recognized that these books were the Word of God because the Spirit of God caused them to recognize the Master’s voice. Thus, right away, each new book was added to the collection that Moses had begun. This process went on during the Old Testament times and continued in the New Testament. We see this process in action in 2 Peter 3:16, where Peter refers to Paul’s letters as already part of the canon (list) of Scripture. For the most part, the church simply listed the books that had always been recognized as the Word of God. Questions were raised about a few short New Testament books, like Jude and the letters of John, but the church determined that these were truly Scripture because they had always been recognized as apostolic, and because there was nothing suspicious about their content. A couple of other books, such as the First Letter of Clement and the Shepherd of Hermas, were proposed for inclusion, but the church did not include them because the authors of these books themselves indicate a clear difference between their authority and the authority of the apostles. None of the other books in circulation were seriously considered because they were obvious frauds.

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