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The Biblical Canon What is it? Where did it come from? Who decided?
Definition of “Canon” <ul><li>From the Greek  kan δ n:  measuring rod </li></ul><ul><li>A standard or criterion </li></ul>...
The Old Testament <ul><li>The Christian Old Testament is largely consistent with the Hebrew Bible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>So...
The Old Testament <ul><li>The Septuagint </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Written about 200 years BC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inten...
The Old Testament <ul><li>The Septuagint (cont.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accepted as authoritative for Christian church beca...
The Apocrypha <ul><li>From the Greek for “hidden things” </li></ul><ul><li>Translated into Greek along with the Septuagint...
The Apocrypha <ul><li>No accepted by Protestants or Jews </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No clear connection to the Hebrew patriarch...
The New Testament <ul><li>Primary area of separation between Jew and Christian </li></ul><ul><li>First attempt to establis...
The New Testament <ul><li>Basic requirements for canonization: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Written by Apostles  </li></ul></ul><...
The New Testament <ul><li>Challenged books: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Author of Hebrews never identifies self </li></ul></ul><...
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The Biblical Canon

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From my Bible as Literature course at Bellevue College.

Published in: Spiritual, Technology
  • Some tradition says that the author of the Letter of James (St James the Just) is the same person as James the Great, one of the Apostles of Jesus.

    Also, the author of the Letter of Jude could be the same person as Judah also known as Thaddeus, who was an Apostle of Jesus.

    Just my thoughts.
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The Biblical Canon

  1. 1. The Biblical Canon What is it? Where did it come from? Who decided?
  2. 2. Definition of “Canon” <ul><li>From the Greek kan δ n: measuring rod </li></ul><ul><li>A standard or criterion </li></ul><ul><li>Any comprehensive list of books in a field </li></ul><ul><li>The books of the Bible accepting by any Christian church as authentic and inspired </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Old Testament <ul><li>The Christian Old Testament is largely consistent with the Hebrew Bible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some differences in book arrangement (Kings, Ezra and Nehemiah) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Hebrew Bible only exists in the original Hebrew </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Read by religious leaders in the synagogue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Hebrew was then translated into Aramaic or Greek </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Translations were never written down </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Translations memorized or done “on the spot” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The Old Testament <ul><li>The Septuagint </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Written about 200 years BC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intended for Jew in Alexandria who only spoke Greek </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Name refers to supposed 70 men ( septuaginta) that worked on the translation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pentateuch translated faithfully—other books more loosely </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The Old Testament <ul><li>The Septuagint (cont.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accepted as authoritative for Christian church because apostle’s clearly used it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mat. 12:21 . The Hebrew of Isaiah 42:4 reads, &quot;and the isles shall have hope in his law.&quot; Matthew follows the Septuagint interpretation of this, &quot;and the Gentiles shall have hope in his name.&quot; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rom. 3:12 . The Hebrew of Psalms 14:3 reads, &quot;they are together become filthy.&quot; Paul follows the Septuagint with &quot;they are together become unprofitable.&quot; </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. The Apocrypha <ul><li>From the Greek for “hidden things” </li></ul><ul><li>Translated into Greek along with the Septuagint </li></ul><ul><li>Highly regarded by Greek-speaking Jews </li></ul><ul><li>Apostles never quote from them and gave no indication of considering them authoritative </li></ul><ul><li>Not included in the Hebrew Bible </li></ul><ul><li>Accepted as authoritative by Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Apocrypha <ul><li>No accepted by Protestants or Jews </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No clear connection to the Hebrew patriarchs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider useful reading by many but not authoritative or “scripture” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quote from Martin Luther’s Bible, &quot;APOCRYPHA, that is, Books which are not to be esteemed like the Holy Scriptures, and yet which are useful and good to read.&quot; </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. The New Testament <ul><li>Primary area of separation between Jew and Christian </li></ul><ul><li>First attempt to establish a canon around 170 AD </li></ul><ul><li>Finally established by Athanasius (Bishop of Alexandria) in 367 </li></ul><ul><li>The “elders” of each congregation had a list of acceptable books </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Even though there were some discrepancies, most lists were essentially identical </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. The New Testament <ul><li>Basic requirements for canonization: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Written by Apostles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One of the 12 Disciples of Jesus </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Peter, Andrew, James (son of Zebedee), John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Thadeus, Simon, and Judas </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Paul the “Apostle to the Gentiles” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A close companion or disciple of one of these men </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. The New Testament <ul><li>Challenged books: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Author of Hebrews never identifies self </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>James was not an apostle, and his message seemed to contradict Paul's message </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jude was not an apostle, and he quotes books which the churches did not receive as Scripture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The author of the Revelation identifies himself as John, but does not say that he is the apostle John, and the style of the book is different from the Gospel of John </li></ul></ul>

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