What is the Scriptures?

How does one come to know what books are to be contained in the Bible?

Find out what scriptures the early Church used…and I’ll give you a hint: Its not what you’ll find in a protestant Bible :slight_smile: .

There was no official Canon until the 4th century, but before that there were many Christians that had already come to decide on a canon, which actually ended up the same as todays. 46 OT books and 27 NT books.

catholic.com/library/Old_Testament_Canon.asp

Canon of the NT:

newadvent.org/cathen/03274a.htm

Hope that helps. Its not something you can answer in 10lines.

I think that the first time the canon of scripture was discussed in a council was at the Council of Laodicea sometime around 360 AD. I think that the exact date for this is rather uncertain. I think that the canon that was decided upon was the same as the protestant canon minus the Apocolypse. I am rather uncertain about these statements because I don’t have my sources readily available at the moment.

Anyhow, the next council to discuss the canon was the Council of Rome in 382, which, consequently is where we get our current Roman Catholic canon of Scripture. It was reaffirmed several times after that in various councils, letters, and documents (Council of Hippo 393, Carthage 397, etc.)

I do know that there was no council, ecumenical or not, that verified the protestant canon, although there were a very few early Church Fathers who, at one time or other, were in favor for a canon that matched the current protestant canon. But, the VAST majority of early Church Fathers and Councils affirm the current Roman Catholic canon.

What is in the scriptures is based upon the faith. There have always been writings automatically taken as inspired, others that were immediately rejected and others that were immediately rejected. There are even those that fall into a grey area. What should be in the scriptures wasn’t listed until the fourth century in local councils which by no means closed the canon. The canon of the Catholic Church was closed by the Council of Trent in 1453. Neither Protestant churches nor the Eastern Orthodox Church have a closed canon. Interestingly, Protestants accept usually 7 less books than the Catholic Church (all in the OT) and the Eastern church accepts more books than the Catholic Church (some in the OT and some in the NT).

The bottom line is that the Church defines what scripture is. Scripture depends upon the faith being proclaimed. This is why it is so important that Catholics believe in an infallible church otherwise we wouldn’t know what belongs in scripture and what doesn’t.

Look at the table of Content :rotfl:. Really this was an actual responce given to me by a youth Group when I possed this same question to them…

But the reason we know is becseu the church says so…:slight_smile:

The Church founded by Christ tells us what Scripture is – the “inspired Word of God” – and what is Scripture – that is, the Church gave us the list of the writings that are* truly* inspired by God.

Without Christ’s Church, we’d have no way of knowing which writings are ‘inspired’ and which are not. The 27 writings that came to be called the NT were selected from about 200 writings that circulated among the local Churches during the first four centuries of Christianity. Some writings generally considered “disputed” were adopted into the canon; some generally considered “approved” didn’t make the cut.

The Church wrote the NT. She preserved it, collected it, canonized it, and taught it to her children. It’s our family album. The New Testament is the record of the spiritual life of the People of God called the New Israel, under the New Covenant – the newborn Catholic Church – during the first 100 years or so after her birth at Pentecost.

The Canon of Scripture which is known as the New Testament was first discussed that the Ecumenical Council in 381AD and later finalized in 451AD.

Up until 1629, the Bible had ALL the books, even the earilest editions of the King James Bible (1609 & 1611).

When the New Testament mentions the word ‘Scriptures’ it is referring to the OLD TESTIMENT and most like the SEPTUGIANT. (sp).

go with God!
Edwin

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