"The New New Testament is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The council that put these books forth is a farce"

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TylerR's picture

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Understanding the standards for canonicity is so important. I have read F.F. Bruce's The Canon of Scripture, appreciated it's historical bent and Bruce's encyclopedic recitation of names, dates and facts. I also loved a newer text, Canon Revisited, by Michael Kruger. He takes more of a presuppositional approach, in that he believes authentic Scripture is self-attesting to genuine believers. Basically, we know it when we see it.

1. Is the Scripture apostolic? Was it written by a man taught by Christ?

2. Was it corporately received by the early church? Was it widely accepted as the corresponding to the body of faith?

3. Does it have divine qualities? I would challenge Christians who are uncomfortable with the unearthing of these inauthentic documents to compare something like the Gospel of Thomas with a canonical Gospel. For an example, this gem from the Gospel of Thomas says women cannot inherit eternal life:

(114) Simon Peter said to him, "Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life." Jesus said, "I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven." 

Does this sound apostolic or divine to you? This is but one example.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?