The Inerrancy of Scripture

“All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]; 17 so that the [a]man of God may be complete and proficient, outfitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 Amplified Bible AMP).

Today there is a movement to that states “all gods are equivalent”, and “holy books are similar”. There is but one God, and his name is Jehovah, and His Holy Word was breathed by Him to his people and through His servants of old. The canon of scriptures has been debated by numerous scholars. If one is not grounded in the truth of God’s word, they will begin to think that the Bible is a myth. Let’s look at some of the current trends in theology and address the discussion at hand. Citations by Andreas Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum, and Charles Quarles with appear as (KKQ, etc.).

What is the Canon?

The word “kanon”, is derived from its Hebrew equivalent “kaneh” and means a “rule or “standard” (KKQ, 3). Today the word canon describes the Christian Scripture as a whole. The text pointed out the relevance and importance of the timeline and closure of the canon as being, “moot” (KKQ, 3). The fact that the New Testament (NT) canon was closed the date the last book of the was written solidifies this point; however, the NT canon began with the writing of the first books in the late forties and concluded sometime in the latter part of the first century (KKQ, 3). The Christian church did not recognize most of the NT as “Scripture” until the late second century (KKQ, 7).  The canon was finalized utilizing four listed criteria.  The four listed of criteria of canonicity were;

  1. “was apostolicity, that is, direct or indirect association with a given work with an apostle”;
  2. “The second criterion was orthodoxy; that is, whether a given writing conformed to the church’s ‘rule of faith”;
  3.  “The third criterion was the book’s antiquity”, and
  4. “ecclesiastical usage” (KKQ, 8. 9, 10).

Why did the early church see a need for the canonization of the writings of the apostles?

The supplication for books that “conformed to” the teachings of the apostles were required for study and congregational worship; to diffuse the heresy being taught by many self-proclaimed apostles and prophets even while the apostles were alive; this spurred the establishment of an “authoritative list of Scripture” (KKQ, 8).
The element of the canon that is most important to this writer is element one. The early church needed unification of thought and doctrine as members were fulfilling the high commission. They needed to be clear and unified gospel message. Element one established eyewitness confirmation, or personal teachings from The Lord.
The least important factor, not that this writer believes that any of the elements are unimportant, would be the last part. This element lends itself to “widespread acceptance of a book’ becoming part of a popularity contest rather than being a book inspired by God for spiritual edification. This concern is one that the church is currently experiencing. The culture of the times indicates that the same need for “mental titillation” existed then. Paul stated, “For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal (1 Cor 3:4-6 NIV)?”

What is the current evangelical position on the canon of Scripture?
The traditional evangelical position affirms God’s inerrant authorship of the canon through the Holy Spirit was settled by the early church fathers and that its closure occurred when the last book of the NT was written (KKQ, 3, 4). The Christian position also believes in the inerrancy of Scripture.  Contrary to the traditional evangelical thought, recent scholastic developments indicated that scriptural documents existed during the canonicity of the  Scripture (KKQ, 2). The scholars also purported that even if they were not included in the original canon because the canon was not closed until the third or fourth century when the church councils made the formal announcement of its closure (KKW, 14). This thought negates inerrancy of Scripture and the authority of Almighty God in the canonicity of Scripture (KKQ, 2, 14).

James, 2 Peter, 2-3 John, Jude, and Revelation were slower to receive universal acceptance (KKQ, 3). The delayed acceptance of the book of James was a surprise. His discourse on Christian living somewhat mirrored the beatitudes. Relationally it addressed OT teachings on our responsibilities to each other.
The late acceptance of the book of Revelation was not surprising. The reader must be proficient in their understanding of OT prophecies to grasp this book.

The purpose of this writing is to act as a warning to the person who purports that the Bible is a myth and is not to a directive from God Almighty.  Beware of false teachers who present their gospel.

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