Friday, May 28, 2010

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CANON: Part 6

Conclusion
            The progression of the apostolic writings to actual recognition as Scripture is a process that spanned hundreds of years.  There are a great many contributors whose efforts both in support of the current New Testament and those who preferred a different path are worthy of mention.  Given the amount of research material abundantly available on the subject, the resulting high level view likely comes as no surprise.

            For the believer, the matter of determining what is and what is not Scripture is not choosing between candidates.  Christians believe that Scripture is inspired by God and there was never a need for a council to affirm them or not.  In short, they are self-authenticating.[1]  People and ecumenical councils only acknowledged what was already true because of the inspiration of the books as they were given to their authors.

            In the historical context, however, there are a myriad of circumstances and people that played a role in the determination of what we know of as the New Testament.  Had Gnosticism or Marcion found success in the second century, Christian theology would look nothing like we see today nor would the church.  The believer would argue that God used all of these circumstances to achieve His desired outcome.  While we at LBTS may feel this way, many in the world do not.  However, they cannot argue with the facts from history.  The books of the New Testament were written and passed down through the centuries.  Events in history are documented and more is being learned about them with each new discovery.  Are the contents of these books truth?  That is for the reader to decide.


                [1] Ryrie, 119.

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