Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
The word "canon" comes from the rule of law that was used to determine if a book measured up to a standard. It is important to note that the writings of Scripture were canonical at the moment they ...
A canon of scripture, is a list of books considered to be authoritative scripture by the Church. The Council of Carthage, on 28 August 397 issued a canon of the Bible quoted as, "Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, 4 books of Kingdoms, 2 books of Chronicles, Job, the Davidic Psalter, 5 books of Solomon, 12 books of Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobias, Judith, Esther, 2 books of Ezra, 2 books of Maccabees, and in the New Testament: 4 books of Gospels, 1 book of Acts of the Apostles, 13 letters of the Apostle Paul, 1 letter of his to the Hebrews, 2 of Peter, 3 of John, 1 of James, 1 of Jude, and one book of the Apocalypse of John."
The assertion is made that “the Bible tells us that the canon of Scripture is closed,” meaning that God is not giving any new revelation. And Rev 22:18-19 is cited as proof, which warns against adding to or taking away from “the book of this prophecy.” However, this warning is similar to ones given by some other biblical writers: “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it…” (Deut 4:2). “Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you…” (Pr 30:6). Surely Moses and Solomon didn’t mean that God would no longer speak from then on. If so, the rest of the Bible would be spurious – including all of the New Testament. The 66-book canon didn’t suddenly pop up 2,000 years ago; it went through many changes. I have a photocopy of the 1611 KJV, and it has 80 books. It was sometime AFTER 1611 that 14 books were removed. The reason Revelation is found at the end of the Bible is because it was one of the last books to be accepted. “It was not found in the Peshitta (the commonly accepted Bible) during the first five centuries” (Dictionary of the Bible, by John Davis). Today’s canon does NOT include some books endorsed and recommended by authors of the Bible. Here’s a partial list: Books by prophets such as Nathan, Gad, Ahijah, Iddo, Jasher, Shemaiah and Enoch (11 Chr. 29:29; Chr. 2:29; 9:29; 12:15; 20:34; Jude 14). Paul also speaks of a letter he wrote (The Epistle to the Laodiceans - Col 4:16). These are historical facts, not opinions. Even though some of these books have survived to this day, one reason given for not including them is because their authorship is in question. Why then did they include the Book of Hebrews, whose authorship is also uncertain? A major concern for the doctrine of a closed canon is that it effectively “shuts the mouth of God” by not allowing Him to speak beyond what He had said in biblical times, thus denying the unchanging nature of God, as well as His omnipotence and omnipresence. It also vacates functions of the Holy Spirit, i.e. to reveal divine truth to us, teach us heavenly things, remind us, guide us, and show us things to come (1 John 2:27, 20 John 14:17, 26; 16:12-15). Can you imagine a loving father refusing to speak to his children simply because he had written them a letter twenty or thirty years ago which contained all the instructions they would ever need to know? Besides the references already listed, there are other passages telling us that God still wants to speak to us; and whatever God says is pure and perfect truth (Prov 30:5; Joel 2:28; Job 33:14-16). One of the passages used to "prove" a closed canon is 2 Tim 3:16: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine..." However a literal translation of this verse says: "All writing [graphe - documents] inspired of God is profitable for doctrine..." Either way, this doesn't make the canon a closed volume. One objection to an "open" canon is: "It would cause confusion and divisiveness." How much more than we already have? The truth of the matter is: Jesus wants an intimate encounter with each of His children, and He assures us: "I am the good shepherd, and I know My sheep, and am known by My own... And they will hear My voice, and there will be one flock and one shepherd" (John 10:11-16 Sel.). TRUE unity comes only through complete dependence on Jesus our Shepherd. His prayer for us is "that they all may be one, as You, Father are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us" (John 17:21). Let's not deprive Him of speaking to us if and when He chooses by imposing on Him "closed" canon constraints. Thank God for the Bible! It tells us that our heavenly Father is unchanging, "With whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (Mal 3:6; Jas 1:17). And in no uncertain terms it declares that it has always been, and always will be His perfect will to communicate personally with those who seek Him with all their hearts. Let's allow Him that right, shall we?
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.