Does the Entire Biblical Canon Have Seven Sections?

biblical canon

There are so many historical details to manage in the study of the NT and OT canon, that it is often difficult to step back and get the big picture. Scholarly energies are typically preoccupied with whether a certain church father cited a certain biblical book, and thus the entire biblical collection is rarely viewed as a completed whole.

In short, we tend to study the canon one book at a time.  But, as Walter Brueggemann observed regarding this approach, “That is problematic because one never gets a sense of the whole of the Bible” (Creative Word, 5).

When we take that step back, and examine the overall …

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The Book of Revelation: How Difficult Was Its Journey into the Canon?

Revelation

The story of the New Testament canon is a fascinating one, with many twists and turns.  There are books that were accepted very quickly, almost from the start (e.g., the four gospels), and there are other books that struggled to find a home (e.g., 2 Peter).

And then there is the book of Revelation. 

Roman Catholicism and the NT Canon: Today on the Dividing Line with James White

Pope

My new book, The Question of Canon, is designed to challenge a particular approach to the New Testament canon that is prevalent in the modern academy.  It is the approach that suggests that in the earliest stages of Christianity the canon was in disarray; the canonical process was a wide-open affair where no one agreed on much of anything and no one was able to distinguish canonical books from apocryphal ones.

What is ironic about this critical approach is that it has an unexpected ally: Roman Catholicism.  The Catholic claim is remarkably similar to the one of critical scholars (at least in its premise).  Both claim that the canonical …

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Bible Secrets Revealed?: A Response to the New History Channel Series (Part 3)

Gnostic Gospels

This is the third installment of a new series reviewing the History Channel series entitled Bible Secrets Revealed (for others, see here and here).  The newest episode is entitled, “The Forbidden Scriptures,” as is definitely one of the most provocative so far. It is designed to argue that certain books were “banned” or “forbidden” from the New Testament.

This episode makes numerous claims about the development of the New Testament that, once again, prove not to be the whole story.  Many such claims were made, but I will only mention a few of the key ones here.

1. Was the canon just a power-play?   This episode repeats the …

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