In our How to Respond series, Pastor Nathanael Mayhew addresses the question of the canonicity of the 66 Books of the Old and New Testaments. The word canon comes from a Hebrew word which means root or cane. This cane was used as a measuring rod which came to mean "standard." Thus canon is a term that is used to describe those books that were recognized as meeting the standard of being inspired by God. We need to be clear that human beings have not decided the canon. They have only recognized what God has revealed as inspired by Him from the very beginning. Our Old Testament is made up of 39 books, which are the same books that Jesus and the disciples had in the Scriptures that they used. They were found in a different order, and there was a different number because some of our books were combined into one, but all the same books they had then are included now. The New Testament is made up of 27 books which were written over a period of about 50 years. Already in the second century A.D. these New Testament books were being read along side Old Testament books in Christian worship services. The early New Testament church again recognized those books that God inspired and preserved for the benefit of all people.
September 6, 2016