The Formation Of The Biblical Canon Essay — страница 4

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in depth on the formation of the New Testament canon as opposed to the Old Testament. The reason that I focused on the canonization of the New Testament is because it is the primary source that we have containing the words, actions, and life of Jesus Christ. The purpose of the Hebrew Scriptures is to make God known to man, and its theme points to a coming Messiah. That is the Old Testament?s main job, to point to one who would come and deliver the nation of Israel from their oppressors and from bondage to sin. The New Testament contains the Good News of Jesus Christ who was the one sent by God to be the ultimate liberator of the human soul. This Gospel is at the heart of God?s plan for humanity?s salvation and at the heart of God. Early Christians regarded Hebrew Scriptures to be

just as authoritative as the New Testament but viewed the law as being fulfilled in Jesus so it was no longer necessary for righteousness. Besides, the law could never produce the complete righteousness in a person needed for the complete acceptance before a holy God. All this places the message contained in the New Testament above all other messages through out the history of man. The instrument which God chose to carry out His great plan of salvation is seen throughout all the New Testament. That instrument which God uses to reconcile humanities lost relationship with Him is through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. For all of these reasons I focused more specifically on the formation of the New Testament canon. The one thing that I have reflected upon and has impacted me most

through this Witucke, study of the Old and New Testament canon is the importance of faith in an individual?s life. Through the Protestant Reformation came the widespread rediscovery of the true meaning of the Gospel. Salvation was not something that needed to be earned or attained through good works but through faith in the redemptive work of the true Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Faith is of supreme importance to the authors of the Bible and especially to Paul, the New Testament?s main contributor. Paul stresses the fact that salvation is a gift, freely given by God to an individual person by ?grace through faith.? Jesus even stresses the profound importance of faith when He said, ?Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have

believed.? (John 20:29) Righteousness before God has always came through faith whether you are dealing with the Old or New Testament. It is important that one never loses sight of their faith and that faith?s importance for redemptive work through Jesus Christ. There are many pieces of evidence that point to the divine inspiration of the modern day Bible. There are a few things that have strengthened my faith in the whole process of the canonization of both Testaments. One thing regarding the Old Testament regards the apocrypha and the reasons that it was never included in the Old Testament canon. It is easy to worry that they overlooked some of the documents that were actually God inspired but Wayne Grudem provides convincing arguments to point to the accuracy of the O.T. canon.

I have also read numerous extra canonical documents and have wondered if any of these documents were mistakenly passed over in the selection process. The five main criteria for inclusion in the New Testament canon (apostolicity, orthodoxy, antiquity, inspiration, and usage) appeased these doubts. There is such a thing as a ?rational faith? that has well supported evidence to demonstrate its claims but a Christian needs to know his/her limitations. Many Christians often fall into the trap of trying to prove their faith is genuine to any skeptics or cynics that cross their path. This is not to say that a Christian should not defend his faith because that would not be Biblical. I am not implying that we should hold all religions as equally valid or place our faith in irrational

philosophies because none of them can be proven to be absolutely true. The fact is, God will never be able to be inserted into an equation to prove His existence and absolute truth. The Bible will never be able to be put into a beaker and tested so that any individual will be able to see for himself that all that Christians claim to believe is in fact one hundred percent proven fact. There are certain things in life that require faith such as belief in the Bible as divine revelation and faith in God itself. If our faith could be proven then what room would we be leaving for the faith needed for salvation that Jesus talked about. I am glad to have had a chance to rediscover the importance of my faith through this reading assignment.