Free Online Bible Classes | Canonization

Canonization

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Lesson

Canonization is the process by which the church determined what books belonged in the Bible (and here we are focusing on the New Testament). Despite the frequent assertion to the opposite, the canon was not determined by a few individuals in a haphazard way. It appears that the three tests were authorship, harmony of doctrine and tone, and usage in the church as a whole. Is the canon still open; if we found more books, would we include them? And did the church get it right?

Outline

A. Introduction

B. Why the canon developed

1. Eyewitnesses and the apostles were starting to die

2. Rise of persecution

3. Rise of heresy and false writings

C. Terms

1. Canonicity

2. Canon

D. Three criteria for authenticity

1. Authorship

2. Harmony of doctrine and tone

3. Continual usage in the church as a whole

4. New Testament Apocrypha

E. Is the canon closed?

F. Why I think the Church got it right

1. No legitimate questions

2. Faith