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HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH ESSAY 1 SAMUEL AMIRTHARAJ

How do we know that the canon is authentic and How do we know that
uninspired books have been kept out of the canon?

The word canon in both greek and latin means a straight rod or bar; a measuring rule as a ruler used by
masons and carpenters; then a rule or standard for testing straightness. Over time, this word was applied to the
books of the Bible to show that they were inspired by God. But how do we know that the canon is authentic?
The old testament was undoubtedly accepted by the jews by 150 B.C. But the apocrypha was not accepted by
the jews as the canon. But, the problem appears when we seek to answer these questions in the context of the
New testament. How do we know that the New testament is authentic? The apostles claimed authority for their
writings. They often equated their writings with the old testament scriptures. After Jesus ascended to heaven,
there were no books written for almost 15 years, but from 48 A.D. to 65 A.D., close to 20 books/epistles were
done, and by the end of the century, all the other books were completed. These writings were also read in the
meetings because we find Peter talking about Pauls writing. So, the canon was authentic because all the
believers believed it to be the word of God.
But how do we know that uninspired books have been kept out? How do we know that uninspired books
were did not creep into the canon? God used persecution to cleanse the church, but he also used it to lead
people to investigate what they believed, which in turn helped them to differentiate between the inspired and
uninspired writing. Opposition to these writings strengthen the people to be loyal and stay motivated to
safeguard these sacred oracles. These writings from the apostles were quickly transmitted to different places by
the apostles faithful helpers and they were also translated into many other languages other than Greek. They
were also copied in numbers so that the every church could have a copy of apostolic writings, which also points
to the fact that these number of copies helped keep out the false ones. Also, these writings were quotes
frequently because their lives depended on them. So, they memorized it, used the teaching in their day to day
life, which reduces the likelihood of it being corrupted. Also, the apostles, even though they were in prison,
constantly heard the affairs of the churches through various messengers and they oversaw its development which
helped to protect the canon. Along with these, the many number of people protecting the canon means that any
uninspired, fake writings were kept out and the bishops who were taking care of these writings were faithful
men, because they knew that their lives were short. But above all, the most powerful argument that the
uninspired books have been kept out of the canon is the sheer number of people who were witness of it. Most
of them lived to witness these developments and if any false writings would have popped out, they would have
surely stood against it. Thus, all these reasons and arguments points to the fact that the canon of the new
testament is authentic and that uninspired books have been kept out.

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