Tuesday, 11 October 2016
How Was Canonicity Determined?
Firstly, the manuscripts must be either by somebody who was with Christ during his earthly sojourn or a close associate of that person. John and Matthew were Christ's disciples, as was Peter. Others, such as Mark, Luke, and James were friends of Jesus' apostles.
Secondly, the writings had to agree with what Christ and his apostles preached. During the second and third centuries A.D., people began writing down their own ideas and passing them off as the manuscripts of Barnabas, Judas, Thomas, and other disciples. Not only were these writings too recent for Canonicity but they disagreed with what Christ said.
Since "canon" means measuring stick, the composition of these books were recognized by their style. The best example of a different writing style from the original author is in Mark chapter sixteen, from verse nine to twenty. Mark apparently received his account from Peter and wrote it in a brief and breathless style. Notice how the eleven final verses are so different in character from the rest of the gospel. What they teach is true but somebody obviously tacked them onto the gospel of Mark.
I could write more on this topic but it would become rather boring for most readers. Suffice it to say that the Bible books weren't altered at any time by a central ecclesiastical authority but have been recovered from many copies which circulated at the time.
I'll be dealing in depth on this subject in my next book which I call You Think You're Going to Heaven? People need to know that God's Word hasn't been tampered with but is an exact autograph of what was written during its history.