Why is it some books ended up in the Bible (Old or New Testament) and some did not? The key, says the late British scholar F. F. Bruce, is that the church DISCOVERED not declared which books they believe God had inspired (that were God-breathed). In his classic book, THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS: ARE THEY RELIABLE, F. F. Bruce wrote: : “One thing must be emphatically stated. The New Testament books did not become authoritative for the Church because they were formally included in a canonical list; on the contrary, the Church included them in her canon because she already regarded them as divinely inspired, recognizing their innate worth and generally apostolic authority, direct or indirectly.” In the year 200 A. D. or thereabouts, the North African Christian Tertullian wrote, “We Christians are forbidden to introduce anything on our own authority, or to choose what someone else introduces on his own authority. Our authorities are the Lord’s apostles, and they in their turn choose to introduce nothing on their own authority. They faithfully passed on to the nations the teaching which they had received from Christ.”

Here is the Sunday school talk by Jerry Newcombe, D.Min. at newpres.org, video courtesy of Tim Savage, on the subject of the canon of the Bible, including the Apocrypha and the Gnostic “Gospels” (popularized by THE DAVINCI CODE): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvrljsyA8yM

 

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