The Canon
October 6, 2021

The Canon

(2) The Canon of Scripture


  1. What Does the Bible Teach?


  1. The Canon: “The list of all the books that belong in the Bible- Greek, measuring rod; standard of measure.”
  2. Canonical: “A term describing preserved writings that are deemed to have divine authorship and there which are to be included in the canon of Scripture as God’s authoritative words in written form.”
  3. Determining What Belongs in the Bible is of the Utmost Importance:
  4. Deut 4:2 – We Cannot Add or Take away From It
  5. Deut 32:47 – It is Our Very Life
  6. The OT Canon:
  7. The 10 Commandments Literally Written by God: Ex 31:18
  8. They were kept in the ark of the Covenant and constituted the terms of the covenant between God and his Bible. They were considered to be absolutely authoritative because they came from God himself: Deut 10:5
  9. The full Torah was added to the ark of covenant: Deut 31:24-26
  10. The book of Joshua added: Josh 24:26
  11. “This is especially surprising in light of the command no to add to or take away from the words which God gave the people through Moses… In order to have disobeyed such a specific command, Joshua must have been convinced that he was not taking upon himself to add to the written words of God, but that God himself had authorized such additional writing.”
  12. Prophets Added to the Word:
  13. I Sam 10:25
  14. 1 Chron 29:29

iii. Jer 30:2

  1. “The content of the OT canon continued to grow until the time of the end of the writing process (after the latter prophets – Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi)… Thus, after approximately 435BC there were no further additions to the OT canon.”
  2. But What About the Apocrypha? Apocrypha: “The collection of books included in the canon of Scripture by the Roman Catholic Church but not included in the canon by Protestants.”
  3. These books include: 1 & 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Additions to Esther, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Letter of Jeremiah, Prayer of Azariah, Susanna, Bel & the Dragon, Prayer of Manasseh, 1 & 2 Maccabees
  4. Rejected as Canon for 4 Reasons:
  5. They do not claim for themselves the same kind of authority as the OT writing.
  6. They were not regarded as God’s words by the Jewish people from whom they originated.
  7. Josephus: “From Artaxerxes to our own times a complete history has been written, but has not been deemed worthy of equal credit with the earlier records, because of the failure of the exact succession of the prophets.”
  8. “In the New Testament, we have no record of any dispute between Jesus and the Jews over the extent of the canon. Apparently, there was full agreement between Jesus his disciples on the one hand, and the Jewish leaders or Jewish people, on the other hand that additions to the OT canon had ceased after the time of (435).”
  9. They were not considered to be Scripture by Jesus or the NT authors.
  10. “…Jesus and the NT authors quote various parts of the OT Scriptures as divinely authoritative over 295 times, but not once do they cite any statement from the books of the Apocrypha or any other writings as having divine authority.”
  11. They contain teachings inconsistent with the Bible.
  12. These books have been debated throughout the centuries, but ultimately each time we come back to these four points. They are great for context and history, but they do not ultimately come from God and therefore do not have ‘binding authority’ on Christians today.
  13. The New Testament Canon:
  14. Comprised of Apostolic Writings (or Authority):
  15. John 16:13-14
  16. 1 Cor 14:37
  17. Gal 1:8-12
  18. 1 Thess 2:13

5.1 John 1:3

  1. “The apostles then have authority to write words that are God’s own words, equal in truth status and authority to the words of the OT Scriptures. They do this to record, interpret, and apply to the lives of believers the great truths about the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.”
  2. Self-Attesting: “The self-authenticating nature of the Bible by which it convinces us that its words are God’s words.”
  3. 2 Pet 3:15-16
  4. 1 Tim 5:17-18 (cf. Luke 10:17)
  5. Should We Expect More to be Added to the Canon?
  6. Heb 1:1-3
  7. Rev 22:18-19: Being placed at the end of the Canon, “It is not inappropriate for us to understand this exceptionally strong warning at the end of Revelation as applying in a secondary way to the whole of Scripture.”


  1. What Does our Confession Teach?


  1. 1.2: Names to 66 books of the Bible… “All of which are given by the inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life…
  2. 2 Tim 3:16-17


  1. 1.3: “The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon or rule of the Scripture, and, therefore, are of no authority to the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved or made use of than other human writings.”


  1. 1.4: “The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, depends not upon the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God (who is truth itself), the author thereof; therefore it is to be received because it is the Word of God.”
  2. 1 Thess 2:13
  3. 1 John 5:9


  1. 1.5: “We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church of God to a high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scriptures; and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, and the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation, and many other incomparable excellencies, and entire perfections thereof, are arguments whereby it does abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God; yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.”
  2. 1 Cor 2:10-12
  3. “A Peculiar Glory”- John Piper


  1. How Can We Apply This to Worship?
  2. Expository Preaching à Preach All of It
  3. Acts 20:27


  1. How Can We Apply This to Our Life?
  2. 2 Tim 3:16-17
  3. How & What Does This Passage Teach?
  4. How Does This Passage Convict Me?
  5. What Does This Passage Say I Ought to Be Doing?
  6. How Can I Meditate on This Passage to Make it a Lifestyle?


  1. Assurance in that We Have the Word of God

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