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CANON: Self-Authenticating Model

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Lesson

The self-authenticating model of the canon claims that the Bible is itself its own ultimate authority. All beliefs of ultimate authority are circular, otherwise the criteria for deciding would be greater than the ultimate authority itself. The real question is whether or not God has provided a means by which Christians can know what books are truly canonical. The self-authenticating model encompasses the other two, incorporating the best of each model.

Outline

I. “CANONICAL MODEL” DEFINED

II. COMMUNITY MODEL

III. HISTORICAL MODEL

IV. SELF-AUTHENTICATING MODEL

A. What is the self-authenticating model?

1. Authenticate the canon by using the canon

2. All ultimate authority is circular

3. Relationship between the self-authenticating model and Sola Scriptura

B. Proper epistemic environment — has God provided a means by which Christians can know?

1. Providential exposure

2. Attributes of canonicity

3. Operations of the Holy Spirit

C. The effects of sin can affect our ability to see the divine qualities of a book

D. Is it possible to use this argument for other books, like the Book of Mormon?

1. Mormonism: Spirit and experience are the grounds of your belief

2. Christianity: Spirit is the means by which you apprehend the grounds

E. What is the date of the canon for the self-authenticating model?

1. Ontological: First century

2. Community: Second century

3. Fourth century

F. The models for canonicity reinforce and support each other