Canon: It’s the Real Thing

7961_10151714459862110_419869868_nDuring Men Engaged yesterday evening, it was mentioned the growing dispute over whether we have the right accounts of the gospel in our Bible… or possibly, do we have enough accounts?

The question of course referred to recent findings of texts supposedly written by other disciples of Christ.

With relatively little effort on our part, we might put our minds at ease on such matters by taking into account a couple of things.

1. Contrary to what the History Channel would have us believe, there is sufficient evidence to conclude that the Church has always agreed upon these four accounts of the gospel as legitimate to the canon; and yes, even Ante-Nicene.

2. As Christians, who teach that our God spoke everything into existence, and single-handedly redeemed His creation from His own wrath against sin and death, we can believe He has the ability to give and preserve what He chooses for us to hear.

Should we be blunt on this, it was not the Church who gave us the canon at all. J. I. Packer once noted, “The Church no more gave us Scripture than Newton gave us gravity.” God reveals Himself as He chooses and we reap the benefits.

About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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12 Responses to Canon: It’s the Real Thing

  1. I am content with what God has given and have always found it to be sufficient for my needs, answering all my questions. I believe the Word as we have it is God’s Word to us and is enough.
    (I do sometimes wonder what was in the first 1 Corinthians – 1 Cor 5:9 – but have decided I don’t need to know)

  2. alwayzhis says:

    Always appreciate your posts and the candor with which you present them. You “stand for the truth” of the Word of God. Thank you for being a willing tool in the hands of our Lord God Almighty.
    May you be blessed!

    • mtsweat says:

      Thank you for the gracious words good friend. The adversary comes with many ploys and a favorite will always be to question, “Did God say?” Many blessings to you today.

  3. i have learned quite a bit about this in my college classes and while it is very interesting, i do agree that God gave us exactly what we need to study… i do like to have an open mind because i would not want to miss anything that God is revealing to me 🙂 thank you for your posts!! love reading them!

    • mtsweat says:

      Yes, it can be a touchy-tip-toe topic Nikki. Remove caution, and one opens the door for all sorts of shenanigans. By the way, these writings that are being discovered consistently are of great value. We can learn much from them. It will be problematic though when we begin to place them side by side with the “inspired” gospel accounts. While there are those who claim the Synoptic s and John contain contradictions compared to one another, it is easily shown they do not. It is a different story though when we open these erroneous accounts, as they give us pictures of the Christ that does not align with the four. I’m quite certain that would be the intent of some liberal scholars, to bring question to the validity of the sufficient and inspired Scriptures. Enjoy the literature, stand firm on the canon. Thanks and many blessings to both of you today… hope the time away was enjoyable and prosperous!

  4. Wait, what? Who is “us”? Who received the canon? And how did they receive it?

    • mtsweat says:

      Ah, the old “wait, what, who, and us” quandary! Not being really sure what’s stabbed at here, ramblings as I do best…

      “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” would be my shot at the “who received.” I would say the “us” includes all who have been granted eyes to see and ears to hear what was given to the holy men of God.

      Streamlining to only a discussion of the “four:”A couple of interesting reads on the topic of the gospels and their entry into the canon might be “Who Chose the Gospels” by CE Hill, and “Canon Revisited” by Michael Kruger. There is a lot of Ante-Nicene evidence to support that these accounts of the gospel were being used by the Church exclusively from the Apostolic age and onward. The evidence also suggests that no one officially sat at a table and determined which ones, but more likely they were validated by their use from the beginning.

      It’s taught to many today that the “four” simply out muscled their way into our Bibles (made popular by the Da Vinci Code)during the fourth century, but we have preserved words from those such as Irenaeus and Tatian that would dispute such thoughts.

      In any event, I look forward to a little more explanation to your “wait, what, who, us” interrogation. Not sure if I’m even answering what it is your questioning… many blessings to you today.

      • Oh, I have no doubts about the formation of the canon, or of the canonicity of the four canonical Gospels. But I’m really puzzled by this whole paragraph:

        Should we be blunt on this, it was not the Church who gave us the canon at all. J. I. Packer once noted, “The Church no more gave us Scripture than Newton gave us gravity.” God reveals Himself as He chooses and we reap the benefits.

        Of course God gave us Scripture and gave us the canon. Nobody claims otherwise. But to whom did He give it? “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” — yes, and who was that? Were “holy men of God” not the Church? And how did “all who have been granted eyes to see and ears to hear” receive the canon, if not by the canon having been handed down to them by these “holy men of God,” that is, the Church?

        Protestants who write about the canon often assert that “the Church didn’t give us the canon, the Holy Spirit did,” and speak as if God descended on a cloud and handed the canon as a final, printed document to “Christians” — but who were “Christians” if not the Church? Absolutely Scripture and the canon came from God, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to holy men of God — but those holy men, those Christians, were the Church. No, the Church didn’t “give us the canon” in the sense of coming up with it from scratch, but she did us what she received from God. Newton didn’t “give us gravity,” but he did give us our understanding of gravity. Likewise the Church “gave us the canon” in the sense of our knowledge of it, as something revealed by God through the Holy Spirit — and, you know, it didn’t happen all at once. Holy men of God spent a few generations praying over it and mulling over it and fleshing it out before they came to God’s final answer, which is what we have today.

  5. Lyn Leahz says:

    Thanks for another thought-provoking post. God bless you!

  6. RJ Dawson says:

    And besides, it begins with Living Word through the spoken Word, then the written Word.

    The Word of God IS God.

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