Please read my previous two articles, “The Theory of Evolution” and part 1 of this continued article on “The Credibility of the Canon.” As the evidence reveals in my article,“The Theory of Evolution,” people who do not want to submit to a higher authority choose to believe in the fallacy of evolution.
Evolution is an unsubstantiated theory without any scientific methodology to give it credence.
Consequently, one decides to believe in a myriad of ideas projected and constantly changing to give support to an humanistic idea that allows one to live their life in accordance to their own set of values. Thus, their behavior is not dictated by Jesus Christ, but by their own wants and wishes.
For this reason, man digresses from a human being into an intelligent, sick animal that engages in fornication, adultery, abortion, sodomy, same sex marriage, etc. Now just as Cain chose to defy God by offering vegetables as his sacrifice instead of a blood sacrifice, this person chooses to worship a bloodless god whether in voodoo, witchcraft, sorcery or a variety of religions all because of open rebellion against a higher authority, the inspired Canon. Left now to his own set of values and beliefs, and influenced by the father of all lies through evil spirits, man commits every sort of lust, crime and sin imaginable. Poverty, violence and murder become the norm as society self destructs and decays into an abyss led by the beast spirit.
Now I will continue to prove the reliability of Scripture beyond a reasonable doubt!
The following text is taken from S.F. Fleming’s book, Gate Breakers.
XII. WHICH PEOPLE CHOSE THE NEW TESTAMENT CANON?
A. From Eerdman’s Handbook To The History of Christianity we read: “The example of the Old Testament ‘canon’ encouraged the gradual collection of a list of Christian writings which should constitute the standard or rule of the churches... These were the books read publicly in the congregations and regarded as having special authority.”
B. The gathering and clarification of authenticity took place over several centuries. First, the concept for gathering the various writings had to be developed. Second, the writings had to be scrutinized for authenticity, accuracy, and inspiration. Many things were written about Jesus in the first few centuries. Some were accurate and some not. Finally, there was a process of debating by church fathers and various groups who used certain books more than others. There were some that urged the church at large to create a canon of books in order to establish a foundation of authority and unity for the new Christian movement. By the late second century one church father, Irenaeus, had no doubt that there were only four gospels.
Around A.D. 200, a group of books, known as the Muratorian Canon, arose. These included many of our current New Testament books. By the early third century a consensus had been reached as to the authenticity of most of the canon. By A.D. 300, the only books still disputed were James, 2 Peter and 2 and 3 John, Jude, and the authorship of Revelation. By this time, the church had spread so far that there was, in sense, an eastern church and western church. By A.D. 367 the eastern church canonized the twenty-seven books of the New Testament as we know it today. In the West, the canon lists were approved by the African Council of Hippo in A.D. 393 and then at the church council of Carthage in A.D. 397, with the exception of the book of Hebrews. This was eventually included also, but its authorship is in question. The obvious inspiration of the book and its appeal eventually overcame the dispute. Christians at Alexandria claimed that it was written by Paul; so this eventually became the accepted view.
C. The distinguishing criteria for canonization:
1. Apostolic Authorship:
The only two books that fell outside this realm were Luke and Mark, but they were closely related. The gospel of Mark is an account of the Life of Jesus from Peter’s perspective but put in writing by Mark. Luke was a doctor who traveled extensively with Paul and others. He wrote Luke and Acts. The scriptural authority of these books was recognized from the beginning.
2. Recognized and used by leading churches or the majority of them:
The people of God received, collected, read, and used the various writings, confirming that these were from God. For example: The Apostle Peter firmly acknowledged that the epistles of Paul were Scripture (2 Peter 3:15-16). Consequently, his letters were brought together first, probably around the end of the first century.
3. A conformity of the standards of sound doctrine as from the Lord:
There was a witness in the writings that spoke with a “thus says the Lord” quality that recognized existing and accepted Scripture. There was a prophetic character about it that said this was written by God. The authenticity of it was beyond doubt. The church fathers had a standard. “If in doubt, throw it out.” Once again, from Eerdman’s Handbook To The History of Christianity we see that: “The eventual shape of the New Testament shows that the early church wanted to submit fully to the teachings of the apostles. It had been created by their preaching and now grounded itself upon their writings.”
Fleming, S. F. (1998). Gate Breakers: Answering cults and world religions with prayer, love and witnessing. Washington: Selah
The following text is taken from Gordon Lindsay’s booklet, Why the Bible is the Word of God.
Proof 6 - HISTORICAL RESEARCH SUBSTANTIATES THE BIBLE TO BE TRUE.
There was a time when critics of the Bible thought they saw many historical inaccuracies in it. But in recent years, the Bible is becoming regarded, even by those who are skeptical, as an exceedingly trustworthy book in the matter of its history.
At one time there was serious doubt that there was a flood, such as described in the early chapters of Genesis. But research in the lands of Egypt and Babylon has lead to discoveries of numerous accounts of this event, as well as reference also to creation, and how man first sinned by disobeying God’s command. Many of these accounts are garbled and mixed with mythological nonsense. The Bible record is incomparably superior, which can be attributed only to its divine inspiration. The eleventh chapter of Genesis speaks of the building of the great Tower of Babel. “And they said, Go to, let us build a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:4
Critics of the Bible said the story was a myth, but ancient records which have come to light confirm there was such a tower. The Geek historian, Herodotus, who lived about five centuries before Christ, describes the structure which consisted of a series of eight ascending stories, each recessed with a spiral roadway running round it as a means of reaching the top. The Babylonian records declare the Tower of Babel to have been built by Nimrod, which agrees with the Biblical account (Genesis 10:9). The great structure originally had a height of about 700 feet. Today the ruins are a mound several hundred feet high.
The Bible speaks of Ur of the Chaldees as being the boyhood home of Abraham, who was the father of the Jews and Arabs (Genesis 11:31). At one time no such place was known. Today excavators have uncovered a large part of the old city.
Critics of the Bible have attacked the authenticity of the books of Moses, because they said alphabetical writing was not known in his day. Discoveries in the Ur of the Chaldees show that writing was known even before the days of Abraham.
Evolutionists have declared that culture, science, and religion have gradually evolved. Recent explorations of the ancient cities show over and over again that those civilizations before Abraham were then at the very highest peak, and since then there has been a steady decline and degeneration of the arts and sciences in these countries. For example, the Great Pyramid, built over 4,000 years ago in Egypt, incorporates scientific knowledge in its construction which has been rediscovered only in modern times.
Skeptics considered the stories of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by fire (Genesis 18:16-33 and Genesis 19: 1-29) as mere myths. Recent excavations of the sites formerly occupied by these cities reveal large quantities of sulphur and bitumen. These point back to some terrible catastrophe of the past.
The Bible speaks of the water of the Jordan River being suddenly cut off so that the children of Israel in the days of Joshua could pass over on dry land (Joshua 3:16). Skeptics declared that such an event was impossible. Yet in the year 1927, an upstream landslide left the river bed below dry for several hours!
The Scriptures refer to a strong race of people called the Hittites. Until the end of the nineteenth century, no record of such a people existed in history. Skeptics claimed it was another Bible mistake. The archaeologist, nevertheless, has since uncovered indisputable evidence that this people was one of the most powerful nations of antiquity.
Likewise, it was with Edom, mentioned so often in the Old Testament. Secular history seemed to have forgotten that such a people ever existed. But late in the nineteenth century, references to Edom were found on Egyptian and Assyrian monuments. Further exploration resulted in Edom’s capital city, Petra, being discovered – a city hewn out of solid rock. Today Petra is one of the most outstanding attractions of Bible lands.
Skeptics have claimed that Daniel could not possibly have written the book that bears his name because of its amazing prophecies that have been so marvelously fulfilled. They claimed that it was a forgery written long after his death. But they overlooked that Daniel’s prophecies continued to be fulfilled centuries after the latest date set by the skeptics for it to be written. Indeed, the book of Daniel even gave the date that the Messiah was to be crucified—nearly 500 years before it happened (Daniel 9:24).
The fifth chapter of Daniel declared that Belshazzar was king when Darius took Babylon. But history records that Naboneders . .was king of Babylon. Critics pointed this out as an example of Bible inaccuracy. But recent archaeological discoveries show that Belshazzar reigned jointly with his father, Naboneders. So again, the Bible was proved right and the critics wrong.
We could continue to give examples of the remarkable historical accuracy of the statements made in the Bible. But enough has been said to show that in each case in which doubt has been expressed by a critic, the work of the archaeologist in time proved that the Bible was right after all.
Lindsay, Gordon (1983). Why the Bible is the Word of God. Texas: Christ for the Nations.
Again, the following text is taken from S.F. Fleming’s book, Gate Breakers.
XIV. WHAT SHOULD WE MEAN WHEN WE SAY THE BIBLE IS “INERRANT”?
The word inerrant means infallible, but Christians need to be careful how they represent the Bible. When we say the Bible is “God breathed” and thus infallible, we mean at its origin. People made mistakes in copying, grammar, spelling, translation, and handing it down over the thousands of years. The mistakes are minimal, but it would be unwise not to admit them. A well trained cultist can embarrass and possibly confuse a Christian who dogmatically says “no errors.” They may simply turn to an isolated verse in which an imperfection does exist and demand an explanation.
B. Any errors?
A couple of examples will help to demonstrate the point. If you have a King James Version of the Bible, look up 2 Chronicles 22:2 and compare it to 2Kings 8:26. You’ll find a direct contradiction regarding the age of Ahaziah when he became king. A scribe must have made an error in 2 Chronicles 22:2 when he wrote that Ahaziah was “forty-two”. This is impossible since his father was only forty when he died and Ahaziah became king (2 Chronicles 2:20). Another instance, probably of a scribe’s error, is in 2 Samuel 15:7 regarding Absalom. It reads forty years but should read “four years.”
For a New Testament example, a cultist could point out the difference between the color of Jesus’ robe in Matthew 27:28 and John 19:2. Matthew records a “scarlet” robe while John says it was “purple”. The Greek words for both are different. Perhaps this is a contradiction or maybe the robe had both colors. Maybe one of the Apostles was color blind. For a Christian who sees Scripture through the eyes of faith, it might even be proposed that the Lord caused this so that the representation of blood (scarlet) and royalty (purple) are connected with the same event. However, the difference must be recognized and not denied. Denial will simply make a cultist think that Christians are not rational.
Considering the age of the Scriptures, there is overwhelming support for their reliability even with the element of human error. For instance, the Isaiah scroll found among the Dead Sea documents is almost verbatim to what was handed down from generation to generation. It is important for Christians to understand that none of the errors compromise doctrinal truth or even deal with significant issues. Almost all the imperfections have to do with spelling or grammar. Even of these, it is estimated that only one half of one percent of the New Testament is held in question. That means that over 99% of the New Testament is not considered to have any errors at all. That is an excellent track record considering the distance it has come. While we need to be sensitive in how we couch the term “inerrant” with non believers, we don’t need to apologize for our allegiance to the Scriptures because they are extremely reliable.
Fleming, S. F. (1998). Gate Breakers
Dear Saint, the consistent mountain of compiling evidence proves the reliability of the Canon beyond mathematical comparison. The authenticity continues to amaze and convict the most ardent scoffer, agnostic, atheist and critic.
Romans 1:18-25, “For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative. For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them. For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handyworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification]. Because when they knew and recognized Him as God they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]. And by them the glory and majesty and excellence of the immoral God were exchanged for and represented by images, resembling mortal man and birds and beast and reptiles.Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their [own] hearts to sexual impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin], Because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen (so be it).” (AMP)
The evidence is beyond doubt unless you refuse to evaluate the facts objectively! Jesus is God and the Canon is the inspired word of God; the Holy Scriptures. We must live our lives according to the values and behaviors portrayed therein. Anything else turns man into a beast.
I hope that you are enjoying receiving these “Warning” articles! We are truly living in an age described in the Bible as “a great falling away from truth.” According to the George Barna Research Group, only 28% of mainline church leaders have a Biblical world view and amongst their congregations only 2% of their members live with a biblical world view. No wonder we are living in an age where the church does not seem to know right from wrong, righteousness versus sin. No wonder we are living in an age in America where we are debating same-sex marriage. Never before in The United States would we have had to even argue over such an insane subject. Please support this ministry with your love offering so we can continue to get these “Warning” articles out to you. Also, pass them on to your friends and help me build an army of believers that will help me “Sound the Alarm.”
Blessings, Dr. Jonathan Hansen
© 2004 World Ministries International