Ten Basic Facts about the NT Canon that Every Christian Should Memorize: #3: “The New Testament Books Are Unique Because They Are Apostolic Books”

twelve

Note: This is the third installment of a new blog series announced here.

One of the most basic facts about the New Testament canon that all Christians should understand is that the canon is intimately connected to the activities of the apostles.

Jesus had commissioned his apostles “so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority” (Mark 3:14–15).  When Jesus sent out the twelve, he reminds them that “For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Matt 10:20).  Thus, he is able to give a warning to those …

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Did the Early Church Fathers Think That They Were Inspired Like the Apostles?

church fathers

A number of years ago, Albert Sundberg wrote a well-known article arguing that the early church fathers did not see inspiration as something that was uniquely true of canonical books.[1]  Why?  Because, according to Sundberg, the early Church Fathers saw their own writings as inspired.   Ever since Sundberg, a number of scholars have repeated this claim, insisting that the early fathers saw nothing distinctive about the NT writings as compared to writings being produced in their own time period.

However, upon closer examination, this claim proves to be highly problematic.  Let us consider several factors.

First, the early church fathers repeatedly express that the apostles had a distinctive …

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10 Misconceptions about the NT Canon: #2: “Nothing in Early Christianity Dictated That There Would be a Canon”

Note: This is the second installment of a new blog series announced here.

Contemporary challenges to the New Testament canon have taken a number of different forms over the years.  For generations, scholars have mainly focused upon the problem of the boundaries of the New Testament. The perennial question has usually been “How do we know we have the right books?”  But, in recent years, a new challenge has begun to take center stage (though it is really not new at all).  While the validity of the canon’s boundaries is still an area of concern, the attention has shifted to the validity of the canon’s very existence.  The …

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