You may have heard the Bible being called ‘The Canon of Scripture?’ What does this mean? A definition of the word ‘Canon’ is “the collection or list of books accepted as an authoritative rule and practice.” The Hebrew of the word means a reed or a stalk; these could be used as a measure or rule. It came to mean the rule of truth, especially for sacred books.
There were three things involved in the Bible as the Canon of Scripture,
· God inspired and controlled the writing of each part of the canon.
· God sovereignly oversaw the preservation and collection of the canon.
· God divinely guided the Jews, and then the Church, in recognising the canon.
The Church discerned the canon of Scripture but did not make it. It recognised its authenticity but did not give it authenticity.
“It is important to remember that the Christian church did not canonize any book. Canonization was determined by God. But the early church needed to know how to recognize canonicity.”
The authority of the Scriptures is not established on the authority of the Church. In fact, it is the Church that is established on the authority of the inspired Scripture. So, then
16 “All Scripture is breathed out (inspired) by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the person of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17 ESV).
There were five measures for a book or letter being included in the Canon.
- Is the book authoritative: Does it claim to be from God? That is, did it come with the authority of God?
- Is it prophetic: Was it written by a servant of God? Namely, was it written by a person chosen by God?
- Is it self-authentic: Does it tell the truth of God about God, and humanity etc.? Specifically, did it tell the truth with no discrepancy regarding what was written?
- Is it dynamic: Does it possess the life-transforming power of God? That is, did it come with the holy power of God?
- Is it received or accepted by the people of God: Is it recognised as being from God? Namely, was it accepted by the community of God?
Pause in His presence for a moment and think this over…
 Wegner, Paul D. The Journey from Text to Translation: The Origin and Development of the Bible. (Grand Rapids: MI Baker, 2000), 101.
 Wegner, The Journey from Text to Translation, 147.
 Warfield, Benjamin B. “The Authority and Inspiration of the Scriptures.” http://www.westminsterconfession.org/the-doctrines-of-grace/the-authority-and-inspiration-of-the-scriptures.php (16th May 2018).