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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: Are the Right Books in the New Testament?

Don Stewart :: Are the Right Books in the New Testament?

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Should Any Books Be Added or Subtracted?

Are the Right Books in the New Testament? – Introduction

The Christian Church began with the acceptance of a group of sacred writings that were already in existence; the Old Testament. There is strong evidence that the books contained in the Hebrew Old Testament were accepted as authoritative by the Jews, Jesus, His apostles and those in the early church. The extent of the Old Testament was seemingly clear to everyone. Therefore, the church already had its own canon from the first day of its existence.

However, with the coming of Jesus Christ into the world, the One to whom the Law and the Prophets spoke about, the need arose for a “New” Testament. Certain writings about Jesus were read to the believers in the churches; they were copied, circulated, exchanged with other churches and eventually collected.

Today, we have a New Testament that records the life and ministry of Jesus, as well as the continuation of His ministry through His followers.

The question arises, “What evidence do we have that the writings currently found in the New Testament are the exact books, no more and no less, that God intended?” Why should these twenty-seven books be separated from all other literature that was written about Jesus and His apostles? Can we be certain that the New Testament, like the Old Testament, has the exact books which God divinely inspired and gave to the human race?

This book will examine in detail the question of the New Testament canon of Scripture. Among other things, we will look at the different sources of authority for the first Christians. We will find out where they believed ultimate authority resided.

We will also consider the various books that are presently part of the New Testament and look at the reasons for their inclusion in the canon.

It is also necessary to have an overview of the historical process that led to their recognition by God’s people. We will discover why these books were received as authoritative by the church, and why other books were not.

Through all of this, we will find that there is sufficient evidence to believe that our present canon of Scripture is made up of exactly the right number of books that God gave to humanity with nothing added and nothing deleted.

What Conclusions Can We Make about the Old Testament Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha? ← Prior Section
What Were the Various Sources of Authority for the First Christians? Next Section →
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