“The Canonization of the Bible”
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” (2Ti 3:16)
Our November Tyrannus Academy was an extension of the previous topic: “What are the critiques of the Bible via the postmodern world view?” This academy was in response to the postulations of “Who gave the Bible its authority?”, or “Why does the Bible have to set absolutes?” This led to our November Academy topic entitled: “The Canonization of the Bible” presented by Melissa Christopher. This lecture outlined how the Bible came to be. Melissa outlined the historical establishment of the OT canon and the NT canon. We learned that acceptance of the Scripture is determined by inspiration meaning that canonicity is determined by God and is discovered by men.
Among the points discussed:
- The formation of the OT
- The meticulous care of the source documents by Hebrew scribes
- The Septuagint (The account of the 72 scribes that transcribed from Hebrew to Greek.)
- The comparison of source documents such as those between the Masoretic era (dated 500-1000AD) and the Dead Sea scrolls (dated 1000-500BC) which were recently discovered in 1946
- The formation of the NT
- The New Testament manuscript is the best attested book from the ancient world (The number of original NT manuscripts is 5,366.)
- The books were established from the apostolic era (50-95AD); the necessity of establishing the canon was to defend against other philosophies, the existence of heretical threats, and persecutions
Melissa also presented key historical dates about the translations of the Bible. All in all, Christians have 27 NT books. Catholic Christians accept the 46 OT books from the Greek Septuagint. Protestant Christians accept the older 39 OT books from the Hebrew Palestinian cannon. (Jews have the same OT canon as the Protestant Christians.) Afterwards, we had an open forum on the points of contention on the authenticity of the Bible and the reliability of translations.
“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (Acts 17:11)
After the presentation, David Jumeau gave a Bible message based on Acts 17:11. The Bereans were of nobler character not because they were more cultured or more dignified compared to the Thessalonians (not to say that they were); they were noble because of their scholarly attitude in their Bible study. They did not take Paul’s preaching at face value. They eagerly studied the Scriptures and verified what Paul said was true. Because of their attitude towards the Scriptures, they came to believe in the gospel and had personal faith– not because someone told them, but because it was confirmed with the word of God. In order to discover Biblical truth, we must put in the effort to study the Bible diligently and practice its teachings in order to really understand its meaning.
Our Tyrannus Academies are inspired from the Apostle Paul’s discourse in the hall of Tyrannus in Ephesus during his missionary journey to reveal the gospel of Jesus Christ. (Acts 19) Our lectures are designed to tackle current issues of society so that we may answer the question of the reason of our hope in God. (1Pe 3:15)