The Canon

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4. Define the "canon" and describe the basic criteria and chronology behind the formation of the New Testament canon. What evidence exists in this area? Why did early Christians feel a need to establish an authoritative list? Which elements in the criteria are the most and least important? State your reasons for choosing these elements. How would you respond if someone claimed that the canon of the Bible should still be open? a. Define the "canon" and describe the basic criteria and chronology behind the formation of the New Testament canon. What evidence exists in this area? The word “canon” is a Semitic loanword that initially meant “reed” but came to mean “measuring reed and hence rule or standard or norm” (Carson, 726). In the history of Christianity the word canon was first used to designate doctrines which established the basic beliefs and practices of the church (Lea, 70).In our reading in Carson/Moo and Lea/Black, three elements of criteria’s are used to show that certain books belonged in the canon known as “orthodoxy, apostolicity, and universality” (Lea, 72). Lea/Black states, that the gages for defining canonicity are difficult to determine, but the most vital criterion for determining canonicity is inspiration (Lea, 71). The first basic criteria involved “the rule of faith” (Carson, 736, Lea 71), which meant that the teaching of the book followed the beliefs the church honors as acceptable and correct, (Lea 71). The second basic criteria entail of the demonstration of apostolicity, which “required authorship by an apostle or by the companion of an apostle” ( Lea, 71), the final basic criteria is universal acceptance meaning used and accepted by churches everywhere (Carson, 737). b. What evidence exists in this area?

The foundations that the Church uses to base canonicity upon are the use of the works by early Christian writers (Lea and Black, 73). The regularity of references from various books informs modern students of how the...
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