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Ian Brown

BIB4360 Christian Theology


15 Mar 11

HOW DO WE KNOW HOW MANY BOOKS SHOULD BE IN THE

BIBLE

How do we explain how many books that are in The Bible, and how many books should be in

The Bible? How do we know that these books of The Bible are correct, and that they are God-breathed?

These are just a few questions that many skeptics use constantly to attack The Bible, let’s examine the

authenticity of The Bible without bias.

The Bible we currently read has 66 books of God-Inspired literature. We know that The Bible in

First Corinthians 12 and 14 states that everything originated from God is in order, and the church itself

should have order in the way it conducts its services. This of course must apply to scripture since we

structure our churches and lives around The Bible, and what it teaches. The way that these 66 books were

chosen out of all the biblical literature was through the lens of Canonicity. The definition of Canon is “a

stick or a rod” and it refers to a set standard. This term Canon originated from Iraneaus in A.D. 150, and

was first used to describe scripture in A.D. 350 by Athanasius. Canonicity involves determining

authenticity, illumination, and Godly inspiration of a book in The Bible. There were all different types of

literature written during this period and some argue that The Bible has been tainted with human error but

we know that is not true. “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private

interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were

moved by the Holy Spirit”. The main thing to note about canonicity is that God is its originator. God

Himself chose what was truly inspired by Him and what was written by man through Him. The fact that

The Bible was spoken by God Himself is what stamps it with absolute authority. This rule applies to the

Old and New Testament of The Bible. Many people argue that the Old Testament is inspired by God, that

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Christians created their own bible, and that Christians were biased on what scriptures they included in the

Canonicity of scripture involving The New Testament. We will cover this further in my discussion.

Old Testament Canonicity: The Old Testament received a lot of its canonicity, authority, and

divine inspiration directly from Jesus Christ Himself. One good example of Jesus stating the authority of

the Old Testament is in when he states that we are gods. “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your

law, I said, You are gods? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the scripture

cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, you are

blaspheming, because I said, I am the Son of God”. The cross reference for this in the Old Testament

states “I said you are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High”. Jesus also stated numerous

times that men who wrote the Old Testament were indeed filled with the Holy Spirit though He had not

been fully manifested to the whole world yet. During this period of history God gave His Holy Spirit to

select devout men of God, who followed Him wholeheartedly. The best example is of God’s own Man

after His own heart, King David! “For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: The Lord said to my Lord,

Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”. This was a direct prophecy referring to

none other than the Christ Himself and about his reign as Messiah. We all know that our God is a God of

order so it would only make sense for God to give everyone the option to receive the Holy Spirit and to

live their life in spiritual victory. The Old Testament is the foreground of God’s plan of redemption to

draw all men to Himself that He might receive the praise, honor, and glory.

New Testament Canonicity: The New Testament is the part of the Bible that is most effectively

applied to us modern day Christians. The Old Testament was God wanting to redeem His own people in

the Nation of Israel, while the New Testament is God revealing Himself to all of mankind, Jews, and

Gentiles alike. The New Testament first covers the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, while the Old

Testament prepared the way of Jesus Christ. This is how we know that the Bible is inspired of God

because we see Him throughout the whole Bible from beginning to end. He indeed is the Alpha and

Omega, the First, and the Last. When looking to please God we should look no further than God Himself,
Ian Brown
BIB4360 Christian Theology
15 Mar 11
and that is what Jesus’s role was. His role was to set the foundation for the Gospel, and disciple others in

the faith so that when he departed His ministry would continue. The disciples were used to having Jesus

and were feeling dismayed when He stated that He was departing, but He told them not to fear since He

would send them a helper. “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the

Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness,

because you have been with Me from the beginning”. Once Jesus left the scene physically he sent us the

Holy Spirit who’s job is to open our eyes to the truth, guide us in true worship of the Father through the

Son, draw men to Jesus, and convict us of sin and cleanse us through righteousness.

One of the most consistent arguments against the New Testament of the Bible is this: Why should

we accept the New Testament, and how do we know it is truly of God? Isn’t it true that the counsel of

Constantine manipulated society to create the Bible that they wanted? Why would God need a New

Testament if the Old Testament is the perfect, divine, inspired Word of God? I’ve had the privilege to

encounter this attack on the Bible daily while serving in the United States Coast Guard. The vast majority

of my co-workers are all Catholic in the sense they say their Hail Mary’s, don’t go to church, and feel that

because they were baptized that they are automatically going to heaven. The first stumbling block when

trying to this issue is to tear down the stronghold they believe, which is that the New Testament can’t be

trusted. First I let them know that the bible they are referring to is predominantly found in the Catholic

church, which was not influenced by Constantine but he just printed out the scriptures which was known

back then as the Codex Sinaiticus. They believe this is the true Bible, and stumble that the books of the

Apocrypha weren’t accepted. Ex: The Book of Maccabees. What they don’t realize is that most of those

books are not God-Inspired but solely outline church history. I explain the process of canonization.

Before a book can become part of the Bible it must fit certain categories: 1. It must contain authority,

prophecy, authenticity, dynamics, and history. I tell them that in order to be an official book of the Bible

it must be the authoritative Word of God, must include prophecy fulfilled (foretelling), its truth’s must be

consistent with the rest of the Bible, it must be full of power from God, and that we can historically prove

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the people it was written to existed. Once I was adequately able to prove my case only then was I able to

witness to him, and point them to the real point of the New Testament which is to point to Christ, and it

explains how we can obtain new life through Jesus Christ. I’ve recently been trying to witness to a close

friend and though a lot of the Bible verses I show him are clear as day, he still chooses to deny the truth.

This is where man’s free will comes in, and this is another thing shown throughout scripture. Please pray

for my friend and his salvation.

The New King James Study Bible: Second Edition. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Inc, 2007

II Peter 1:20-21; John 10:34-36; Psalms 82:6; Mark 12:36; Psalms 110:1; John 15:26-27

Davis, Glenn. “The Bibles of Constantine.” Web. 1997-2010.

http://www.ntcanon.org/Bibles_of_Constantine.shtml