Why the New Testament is Scripture

bible3.jpgNote: This is written more for Christians who deny the validity of New Testament books than it is for skeptics (though all are welcome).   

It is popular to dismiss the following passage as not applying to the New Testament since it had not been officially canonized at that time.  However, many letters were already in circulation in the early church and were accepted as authoritative.  Remember that this was Paul’s last letter, written from prison in Rome before he was beheaded.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

If God “breathes” Scripture then this passage could easily apply to letters not yet canonized or even written.  He’s omniscient, remember? 

Jesus promised that the disciples would testify about him (that could have just been orally, but it seems pretty obvious that it would eventually be written down).

John 15:26-27 “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.”

In 1 Timothy 5:18 Paul appears to quote Luke 10:7 (“for the worker deserves his wages”) as Scripture, though it is possible that it came from a summary of verses in Deuteronomy.

1 Timothy 5:18 For the Scripture says, “Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”

Peter referred to Paul as writing with “the wisdom that God gave him” and considered Paul’s writings to be scripture.

2 Peter 3:15-17 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.

Check out Paul’s letters and note how he claimed to be an Apostle of Jesus.  He obviously thought he was speaking for God.  So either he was speaking for God or he was a big liar or some sort of crazy person.

Some Christians claim that since the Bible didn’t include a specific notation of which 66 books belonged then we can’t be sure of what belongs.  But even if it did make that claim these same folks would probably say it is circular reasoning.  And I’ve noticed that these people are quick to say, “It is God’s word” then launch into 17 bad reasons they think it isn’t.  Credibility factor = zero.

Some people have read too much of the DaVinci Code and think the canonization process was politicized.  But most of the books in the Bible were selected without dispute.  The early church had viewed them as authoritative for some time. 

The same God who inspired the Scripture was quite capable of inspiring which books to include.  If Christians hold a different view then I kindly ask them to let me know what to take out and which books to add – provided they can convince me why their own personal canonization process trumps that of the God of the universe.

Lots more here about how the NT canon was compiled.  Christians who say things like, “But the Bible doesn’t say these 66 books were to be part of the Bible” should read it.  Even if the Bible did mention which books to include then the same critics would cry “circular reasoning.”  And these same critics have no problem quoting the parts they like as being fully authoritative and “God’s word.”


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