[CF Devotionals] 2009-08-09 - Conclusion of Old Testament

Study on the Bible, Part 4

  1. The History of the Bible (cont'd)
    1. The Old Testament (cont'd)

      We will speak to the internal evidence and Christ’s witness to the canon later. There is support, of course, from outside sources. I will only quote Josephus here.

      “From Artaxerxes until our time, everything has been recorded but has not been deemed worthy of like credit with what preceded, because the exact succession of the prophets ceased. But what faith we have placed in our own writings is evident by our conduct; for though so long a time has now passed, no one has dared to add anything to them, or to take anything from them, or to alter anything in them. “From Artaxerxes” refers to the time of the last book being written time-wise - Malachi. Chronicles is the book placed last in the Hebrew canon but Malachi was the last one written.” 1

      Before concluding the Old Testament Section, I should probably touch on the Apocryphia. These books, accepted by Roman Orthodoxy, are rejected by both Judaism and Protestant Christianity. The term itself means hidden or concealed, which in and of itself should tell us something. The books don’t meet the standards for canonicity we’ve already reviewed. Additionally, Unger’s Bible Dictionary notes the following reasons for their exclusion:

      1. “They abound in historical and geographical inaccuracies and anachronisms.
      2. “They teach doctrines which are false and foster practices which are at variance with inspired Scripture.
      3. “They resort to literary types and display an artificiality of subject matter and styling out of keeping with inspired Scripture.
      4. “They lack the distinctive elements which give genuine Scripture their divine character, such as prophetic power and poetic and religious feeling.” 2

  1. McDowell, p. 35.
  2. Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Moody Press, Chicago, IL, 1966, p. 70.

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Geoff

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