What canon of Scripture do you accept?

Not, all people of faith are in agreement of what books make up 'the Bible' nor what books are a part of the greater canon of scripture (here are but a few of the of the different canons):

(1) Samaritan canon: Pentateuch

(2) The Jewish Canon: Tanakh (Hebrew Bible 24books)
also of great importance the Mishna, Talmuds, Mishneh Torah and Shulchan Aruch

(3) Orthodox: OT (51 books) and NT (27 books usually some have more books)

(4) Roman Catholic Canon: OT (46 books) and NT (27 books)

(5) Protestant Canon: OT (39 books) and NT (27 books)
Some traditional Protestant groups have a canon that includes the deuterocanonicals.

(6) Church of Latter Day Saints Canon: Protestant 66 book canon, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

(7) The Assyrian Church of the East as well as the Chaldean Syrian Church have a canon similar to that of the Orthodox but with more books.

Today, most biblical compilations comply with either the standards set forth by the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1825 which corresponds to the so-called Protestant Bible, or with one that includes the deuterocanonical books prescribed for so-called Catholic Bibles and the anagignoskomena for so-called Eastern / Greek Orthodox Bibles. (link)

Also, check out charts or tables found at the following links:
(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_canon
(2) http://biblestudymagazine.com/interactive/canon/

Comments

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,328

    I use the protestant 66 as my safe zone. But if something outside of that augments the core of my doctrinal beliefs I use it.

  • JanJan Posts: 271

    With my kids attending a Roman-Catholic school, this is the kind of question I get confronted with... "Dad, why are there additional books in the Bible?" So I've researched this, to be able to answer, and found no single indication that these books should be seen as authoritatie Scripture in any way.

    1. Up to the council of Trent, the OT apocrypha were seen as kind of a non-canonical appendix to the Scriptures. After the reformation, they were suddenly declared canonical. To me that rather seems to be a counter-reformatiorial measurement rather than an objective and thoughtful decision.
    2. With the exception of Tobit, the DSS contain not a single fragment from the apocrypha. This is evidence that at the time of Christ they were not seen as inspired Scripture.
    3. The claim that the apocrypha are inspired Scripture is self-refuting, since 1 Maccabees 9:27 declares that prophets had ceased to appear. (The Roman-Catholic argument that not all of the canonical OT was written by prophets is entirely unconvincing, since some writers may not have been prophet by office, but they were certainly all prophets by gift.)

    Therefore, it's 66 books for me.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,218

    Mitchell,
    Was the Bible canonized at the Council of Jamnia in AD 90? If not, what happened and does it have any importance to us today? If you have answered this before disregard. CM

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 486
    edited February 2018

    Wikipedia can sometimes be a mixed bag of nuts, but I think they do a decent job at setting out some of the most important data about Jamina:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Jamnia

    @C_M_ said:
    Was the Bible canonized at the Council of Jamnia in AD 90?

    No, the canon of OT scripture already existed at the point when the theoretical council of Jamnia was supposed to have happened. It wasn't all in one Codex or Book form though. The theory of the council Jamnia was first proposed in the 18th century before anyone knew of the dead sea scrolls would give us a window into the textual world before and maybe during the 1st century. After, the finding of the dea sea scroll I do not think it would be very difficult for scholars to take the theory of Jamina seriously. Plus the very little literature we have that mentions the council Jamnia says absolutely nothing about the canonizing OT/Hebrew Bible.

    @C_M_ said:
    If not, what happened and does it have any importance to us today?

    Any answer to this question is in my opinion simply going to be speculation.

    However, I think the following links provide for one opinion:
    https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/creating-the-canon/

    http://www.historyofinformation.com/expanded.php?id=172

    I think it is important for us to know that the Bible was not all written at one time and place and that canon grew over time or that there was a progressive revelation.

    For example:
    Once an agnostic/atheist co-worker of mine approached me with a profound look on his face and asked, "how can you be sure that the Bible wasn't written by one man like the Pope to control the masses"? And, "how do you know that the Church hasn't changed Scripture to say what they want it to say?"

    I think the Laity armed with a decent study Bible, or simply with basic Biblical literacy can easily answer the questions the agnostic/atheist individual asked me. However, knowing something about transmission and manuscripts of the Bible definitely make it very difficult if not impossible for one to even consider the concept of the Church creating scripture or altering it.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,218

    @Mitchell said:
    Not, all people of faith are in agreement of what books make up 'the Bible' nor what books are a part of the greater canon of scripture (here are but a few of the of the different canons):

    (1) Samaritan canon: Pentateuch

    (2) The Jewish Canon: Tanakh (Hebrew Bible 24books)
    also of great importance the Mishna, Talmuds, Mishneh Torah and Shulchan Aruch

    (3) Orthodox: OT (51 books) and NT (27 books usually some have more books)

    (4) Roman Catholic Canon: OT (46 books) and NT (27 books)

    (5) Protestant Canon: OT (39 books) and NT (27 books)
    Some traditional Protestant groups have a canon that includes the deuterocanonicals.

    (6) Church of Latter Day Saints Canon: Protestant 66 book canon, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

    (7) The Assyrian Church of the East as well as the Chaldean Syrian Church have a canon similar to that of the Orthodox but with more books.

    Today, most biblical compilations comply with either the standards set forth by the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1825 which corresponds to the so-called Protestant Bible, or with one that includes the deuterocanonical books prescribed for so-called Catholic Bibles and the anagignoskomena for so-called Eastern / Greek Orthodox Bibles. (link)

    Also, check out charts or tables found at the following links:
    (1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_canon
    (2) http://biblestudymagazine.com/interactive/canon/

    Thanks, Mitch, upon a re-read, this a great source of information compiled. As usual, you're disciplined and insightful in your sharing.

    Tell me, you or anyone, what would make the "Protestant Canon: OT (39 books) and NT (27 books), "without the "the deuterocanonical", unique, in view of the others? In essence, who or what authenticates the Protestant canon? Even more so, what does the Protestant Canon has to say for itself, perhaps, others may or may not be able to say? I hope you get the essence of the question? CM

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 486

    Hi CM
    Here is a quick and hasty reply to your questions(it would be fun to explore this more):

    The Protestant Canon's OT (39 books) are translated from the 24 books of Masoretic Text (other ancient versions of the OT are consulted during the translation process of the Protestant OTs). Typically Protestant Bibles arrange and divide up the 24 books of the Masoretic Text into 39 books. The order of the books in the Protestant Canon differs from the order found in both printed editions of the Masoretic text and with the Codices. The content of the Protestant Canon's OT (39 books) is 'basically' the same as that of the Masoretic, but not completely identical in a number of different aspects. Because the deuterocanonicals are not found in the Masoretic text, they are usually not found in Protestant translations and the Reformers for that reason probably did not consider the deuterocanonicals to have divine authority.

    The OT found in Catholic and Orthodox canons is usually not based on the Masoretic text, but may be based primarily on the LXX (Septuagint), the Valguta, the OT Peshitta, and other OT canons which contain the deuterocanonicals.

    The NT typically found in Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestants Bibles is that described in Athanasius of Alexandria's thirty-Ninth Festal Letter of 367.

    **What makes the Protestant Canon unique? **Basically, virtually all traditional Christians accept the books found in the Protestant Canon, even if their canon happens to have more books than the Protestant Canon or they have a different version of the Books found in the Masoretic text.

    Who or what authenticates the Protestant canon?
    Faith and the historical tradition practice of people of faith but this always equally true of the other Canons of Scripture.

    **
    what does the Protestant Canon has to say for itself:**
    Naturally, the Protestant Canon (which is an anthological or collection of individually written books) never produces a list of Books to be considered canon. Some Books in the Canon refer to other books or writers/characters, Jesus sometimes refers to divisions of pre-Masoretic canon, Jesus sometimes refers to some of the Prophets. NT quotes from a number of Books from the OT, but not from all the books found in the canon. In 2 Timothy 3:15 ~ 17 Paul refers to the Scriptures that Timothy knew from his childhood which would probably be more or less equivalent to the Protestant OT and say that all of those scriptures are God-breathed. This would, in my opinion, is most likely why traditional Christians believe the OT to be inspired. Even, if that verse was absent from the NT, however, Protestant would probably still accept the Hebrew Bible/Masoretic text as Scripture because that is the text tradition text accepted by the Jews and the text similar to that was translated into the Greek text of some of the LXX that the early Christians used. 2 Peter 3:16 I think for many would imply that Paul's letters are to be considered Scripture. The why, how, and when the canonical Gospels were accepted or rather in my opinion simply acknowledge as Holy scripture is a topic so interesting that it deserves a thread of its own. I would say that although the Gospels were not first books of the NT to be written they are without a doubt the first to be uniformly accepted as Scripture and to be treasured.

    I would say that the two best easy reads on the subject of your Question are:
    (1) The New Testament Documents, Are They Reliable?
    (2) The Canon of Scripture

    Here are few more links of interest:
    The Canon of Scripture
    http://www.bible-researcher.com/canon.html

    CANON: 66 BOOKS IN THE BIBLE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE:
    How were the books of the Bible chosen? What standards were used?
    https://wayback.archive-it.org/all/20080102012808/http://www.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?1518&cuTopic_topicID=939&cuItem_itemID=13407

    Why 66?
    https://answersingenesis.org/the-word-of-god/why-66-books/

    How and when was the canon of the Bible put together?
    https://www.gotquestions.org/canon-Bible.html

    HOW WERE THE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE CHOSEN?
    https://www.biblica.com/resources/bible-faqs/how-were-the-books-of-the-bible-chosen/

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,218

    @Mitchell said:
    Hi CM
    Here is a quick and hasty reply to your questions(it would be fun to explore this more):

    The Protestant Canon's OT (39 books) are translated from the 24 books of Masoretic Text (other ancient versions of the OT are consulted during the translation process of the Protestant OTs). Typically Protestant Bibles arrange and divide up the 24 books of the Masoretic Text into 39 books. The order of the books in the Protestant Canon differs from the order found in both printed editions of the Masoretic text and with the Codices. The content of the Protestant Canon's OT (39 books) is 'basically' the same as that of the Masoretic, but not completely identical in a number of different aspects. Because the deuterocanonicals are not found in the Masoretic text, they are usually not found in Protestant translations and the Reformers for that reason probably did not consider the deuterocanonicals to have divine authority.

    Thank you very much, Mitch!

    "Protestant Canon: OT (39 books) and NT (27 books), "without the "the deuterocanonical", uniqueness:

    1. I am sure you would agree that the Bible is the only source to draw from for understanding God’s character, how we are to do ministry, and the type of leaders we ought to be.
    2. Why only these 66 Books? The answer is simple. The books agree with the rest of the holy books within the canon.

    I found seven (7) reasons one should believe the Bible (canon). Unknown Url:

    1.Moral Weakness
    It identifies my moral weakness and inconsistency. The sense of guilt that I feel from doing wrong. This guilt cannot be explained away by social theory or psychology. The sense of relief from confession and the desire to atone for wrongs done. [Rom 3:10-23; Jer 17:9; Isa 1:5,6; Rom 7:14-18; John 16:8; Psalms 51:1-6; Ephesians 2:1-3].

    2. Fulfilled Prophecies.
    1) The probability of all Messianic prophecies being fulfilled in one man is mathematically impossible. [Luke 24:27,44; Micah 5:2; Isa 9:6; 7:14; Ps 22:1-10; Isa 46:9,10; Eze 26:7-14; Isa 19:7; Jer 49:17,18; Isa 13:20, 21].
    2) The prediction of history in Daniel 2 etc.
    3) The prediction on cities as Tyre, Babylon, Petra. These cities are now exactly as the Bible describes them [Luke 24:27,44; Micah 5:2; Isa 9:6; 7:14; Ps 22:1-10; Isa 46:9,10; Eze 26:7-14; Isa 19:7; Jer 49:17,18; Isa 13:20,21].

    3. Explanation of Origins
    It takes more faith to believe in evolution than in intelligent design. Neither the evolutionist nor creationist has first-hand accounts. It boils down to faith based on the environment now impacting upon our senses. Also the explanation of the universal seven day week [Gen 1:1-31; 2:1-3 Exodus 20:8-11; Ps 33:6,9; Rom 1:20; Heb 11:3;2 Pet 3:5].

    4. Archaeological Record
    The more archaeologists dig, the more the Bible is confirmed to be true. Such finds as the Rosetta stone, the Cyrus cylinder, and numerous other artifacts have silenced the cries of the critics. History confirms the Biblical record (Deut 29:29).

    5. Change in My Life
    While it is sometimes possible to change life habits by willpower, nothing can explain the joy and peace and power that come from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. [John 10:10; Isa 26:3,4; 1 John 1:4,9; Rom 15:13].

    6. The Gospel Story
    From a comparison of salvation stories, Christianity alone offers salvation as a free gift. It alone portrays God giving His Son to die for his enemy children. This defies human reason and could not be invented. The closest story is a Greek tragedy where a female lover dies for her male hero lover. [Rom 5:7,8; 1 Tim 3:16; Rom 1:16; John 3:16].

    7. The Realms of Time & Space
    Trying to conceive an endless time and space hurts your brain. We can’t get our minds around it. This points to the evidence of our finite nature and the awesome majesty of God who created all things. [Psalms 19:1; Isaiah 46:9,10; Romans 11:33-36].

    What a treasurer! Read: Peace, Joy, Salvation, Truth, Understand, Freedom, etc. "Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Ps 119:105). You can trust the Bible. CM

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 486

    @C_M_ said:
    I found seven (7) reasons one should believe the Bible (canon). Unknown Url:

    That address a different question than the one you asked me. For, one can agree with all 7 those reasons and yet accept a Christian Canon of Scripture that contains the deuterocanonicals.

    @C_M_ said:
    1. I am sure you would agree that the Bible is the only source to draw from for understanding God’s character...

    I would agree, however, to clarify my stance personally rather than using only the term 'Bible' I would qualify the term or be more specific about which canon called 'Bible' I use. Why? Because most(if not all) of the Christians around me both Protestants and Catholics use the same Interconfessional Translation of the Bible that contains the deuterocanonicals.

    I use the canon of Scripture that contains 51 books (All 24 books of the Tanakh/Masoretic Text + the 27 book New Testament canon).

    @C_M_ said:
    Why only these 66 Books? The answer is simple. The books agree with the rest of the holy books within the canon.

    Thank you for sharing your answer to the question. I always find it fascinating to see the various points of bothers/sisters in Christ take.

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 486

    @GaoLu said:
    The Canon of Scripture is available in Logos: https://www.logos.com/product/2979/the-canon-of-scripture

    Thank you Gao for mentioning that and posting the link!

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,218

    @Mitchell said:

    @C_M_ said:
    I found seven (7) reasons one should believe the Bible (canon). Unknown Url:

    That address a different question than the one you asked me. For, one can agree with all 7 those reasons and yet accept a Christian Canon of Scripture that contains the deuterocanonicals.

    Mitchell,

    Yes, I know. I was just sharing while adding to the conversation. I hope you don't mine?

    Thanks for your points of affirmation on the content presented.

    @C_M_ said:
    I found seven (7) reasons one should believe the Bible (canon). Unknown Url:

    That address a different question than the one you asked me. For, one can agree with all 7 those reasons and yet accept a Christian Canon of Scripture that contains the deuterocanonicals.

    I use the canon of Scripture that contains 51 books (All 24 books of the Tanakh/Masoretic Text + the 27 book New Testament canon).

    @C_M_ said:
    Why only these 66 Books? The answer is simple. The books agree with the rest of the holy books within the canon.

    Thank you for sharing your answer to the question. I always find it fascinating to see the various points of bothers/sisters in Christ take.

    Why do I feel a hollowness in your fascination with my selection? Am I being narrowed or short-sighted in my "point" or preference of the 66 books- canon?

    Is not the "the canon of Scripture that contains 51 books (All 24 books of the Tanakh/Masoretic Text + the 27 book New Testament canon)", agree with the rest of the books within the canon? Until next time, happy reading of ... CM

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 486

    @C_M_ said:
    Yes, I know. I was just sharing while adding to the conversation. I hope you don't mine?

    I do not mind at all. Why would I?

    @C_M_ said:
    Why do I feel a hollowness in your fascination with my selection? Am I being narrowed or short-sighted in my "point" or preference of the 66 books- canon?

    The 66 books of your canon and the 51 books of my canon are basically the same books but divided differently. Therefore, my fascination has nothing to do with your selection (for we have the same selection!). My fascination is with the way that we Christians express ourselves differently and with the argument used.

    @C_M_ said:
    Is not the "the canon of Scripture that contains 51 books (All 24 books of the Tanakh/Masoretic Text + the 27 book New Testament canon)", agree with the rest of the books within the canon?

    I am not sure what "agree with the rest of the books with the canon" means? And, that is the main reason why I found your post fascinating. The argument/reasoning you use not only is different from what I might use but is something I would not have thought of and am not sure what means, therefore, it is fascinating to me.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,218

    @Mitchell said:

    The 66 books of your canon and the 51 books of my canon are basically the same books but divided differently. Therefore, my fascination has nothing to do with your selection (for we have the same selection!). My fascination is with the way that we Christians express ourselves differently and with the argument used.

    @C_M_ said:
    Is not the "the canon of Scripture that contains 51 books (All 24 books of the Tanakh/Masoretic Text + the 27 book New Testament canon)", agree with the rest of the books within the canon?

    I am not sure what "agree with the rest of the books with the canon" means? And, that is the main reason why I found your post fascinating. The argument/reasoning you use not only is different from what I might use but is something I would not have thought of and am not sure what means, therefore, it is fascinating to me.

    Mitch,
    Would I be far off, that is, in the back of your mind, the "elephant in the room" question may be, what does CM think about the "Deuterocanonical Books? CM

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 486

    @C_M_ said:
    Would I be far off, that is, in the back of your mind, the "elephant in the room" question may be, what does CM think about the "Deuterocanonical Books?

    Thank you, my brother, in Christ you for asking me to clarify:

    One: If I meant that I would have directly stated that or asked that.

    Two: You have already made it clear that you accept the 66 books of the Protestant Canon.

    Three: I have already stated directly that although we describe and define the canon a little bit differently we accept the same canon.

    **Four: **I hope is clear from the above that is clear that in general, we do not disagree as to the answer of the question, but we get to the very same answer through different paths, methods, or ways of thinking.

    Thus my fascination (curiosity) is with the argument or line of reasoning you used not your answer and not our shared canon. Behind my question, is an interested in semantics, intercultural communication, encoding/decoding of communication.

    @Mitchell said:
    I am not sure what "agree with the rest of the books with the canon" means? And, that is the main reason why I found your post fascinating. The argument/reasoning you use not only is different from what I might use but is something I would not have thought of and am not sure what means, therefore, it is fascinating to me.

    In the question the above** I neither meant** to ask nor hint about your views of the "Deuterocanonical books". In the "the rest of the books of the canon" the word canon refers to the entire Protestant canon of scripture both when used the phrase and when I re-stated the phrase in my question.

    My curiosity was thus not and is not the number of books or their contents, but rather: the concept about books in the Bible "agreeing with each other". What does it entail for a book in the Bible to agree with another book in the Bible? I do not know and that is why I found it intriguing.

    Grace and Peace

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,218

    @Mitchell said:

    My curiosity was thus not and is not the number of books or their contents, but rather: the concept about books in the Bible "agreeing with each other". What does it entail for a book in the Bible to agree with another book in the Bible? I do not know and that is why I found it intriguing.

    Grace and Peace

    Bro. Mitch,
    "Grace and Peace" it is. It's a joy to interact with you on the various topics. I look forward to the continuation. CM

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 486

    @C_M_ said:
    It's a joy to interact with you on the various topics. I look forward to the continuation.

    Me too! I find our interactions to be very helpful.

    You provide excellent and astute insight as well inadvertently helping me see how much the collectivist "High Context" cultural Iive in has affected my way of thinking and expression in English.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,218

    Mitch,
    You're so kind and insightful. I read the entire article. Some interesting perspectives.
    Man makes the culture or the culture makes the man? In short, change with the culture or give people of different culture what they want, while preserving what we really are?

    Do you find anthropologist Edward T. Hall in his 1976 book Beyond Culture's concepts of High-context culture and low-context culture are just fancy ways of labeling and pigeon-holding people and countries to get around relating to the person as an individual? Can one go between the two at concepts at will or is he bounded by culture? Is not each person and each encounter should be a fresh encounter and a learning experience? I am aware of surface and deep culture (I don't know how to hyperlink deep and surface cultures for further reading). I guess we live in a packaging people world. My thoughts. CM

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 486

    Great Questions
    sorry for the short replies, but know that I will be back

    @C_M_ said:
    Man makes the culture or the culture makes the man?

    Yes, and Yes both are true there is no dichotomy.
    Cultures are made over time by societies, and culture/background can affect the way an individual looks at the world and comprehends communication.

    @C_M_ said: High-context culture and low-context culture are just fancy ways of labeling and pigeon-holding people and countries to get around relating to the person as an individual?

    No, absolutely not or at least not in the situations I find myself in.
    I believe that rather than pigeon-holding people this theory and other social-anthropological tools 'can' help one to understand another cultures way of thinking and better communicate or at least to avoid miscommunication.

    I know from numerous personal experiences (working in a country, in a culture, and in a language not my own) just how important being aware of Intercultural Communication and Cross-Cultural Communication can be. On, another thread or a little later when I have time I can share some experiences and observations to illustrate my point.

    @C_M_ said: Can one go between the two at concepts at will or is he bounded by culture?

    Sure especially if one is actually aware of his/her cultural assumptions as well as that of the individual or group he/she wants to communicate with is it possible. But, often I find that expats from my home country are often not aware and end up miss hearing or miscommunicating before they realize it.

    Is not each person and each encounter should be a fresh encounter and a learning experience?

    Yes, of course, but that does not mean one should ignore the fact that other cultures and ways of thinking exist.

    Grace and Peace

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,563

    @Mitchell said:
    Not, all people of faith are in agreement of what books make up 'the Bible' nor what books are a part of the greater canon of scripture (here are but a few of the of the different canons):

    (1) Samaritan canon: Pentateuch

    (2) The Jewish Canon: Tanakh (Hebrew Bible 24books)
    also of great importance the Mishna, Talmuds, Mishneh Torah and Shulchan Aruch

    (3) Orthodox: OT (51 books) and NT (27 books usually some have more books)

    (4) Roman Catholic Canon: OT (46 books) and NT (27 books)

    (5) Protestant Canon: OT (39 books) and NT (27 books)
    Some traditional Protestant groups have a canon that includes the deuterocanonicals.

    (6) Church of Latter Day Saints Canon: Protestant 66 book canon, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

    (7) The Assyrian Church of the East as well as the Chaldean Syrian Church have a canon similar to that of the Orthodox but with more books.

    Today, most biblical compilations comply with either the standards set forth by the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1825 which corresponds to the so-called Protestant Bible, or with one that includes the deuterocanonical books prescribed for so-called Catholic Bibles and the anagignoskomena for so-called Eastern / Greek Orthodox Bibles. (link)

    Also, check out charts or tables found at the following links:
    (1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_canon
    (2) http://biblestudymagazine.com/interactive/canon/

    Protestant Canon

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