Authority, Sufficiency and Canonicity

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The authority of Scripture means that all the words in Scripture are God’s words. Not obeying any word in Scripture would be the same as not obeying God. We can only appeal to the Scripture when we trust its authority. There are many places in Scripture that the Bible claims for itself absolute authority. It only appeals to its own authority because there is no higher authority to appeal to. If something is the ultimate authority, what else can it appeal to? If the Bible appealed to human reason to confirm its authority, it would show that human reason is a higher authority.
Scripture is sufficient. It contains the whole will of God. It sufficiently teaches everything necessary for a person to be saved and have eternal life. Scripture is sufficient. It gives full life in all aspects to the soul and is sufficient for all of life and conduct. Psalm 19:7-9 says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. The judgments of the Lord are true, and righteous all together.”
When it comes to the matters of spiritual life, all we need to know is revealed in the Word of the living God and ministered to us by the Spirit through that Word. 2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.”
Canonicity is the collection of the 66 books of the Bible accepted as being inspired and authoritative. It is a standard or rule. The connection between Inspiration and Canonicity is that the Word of God was protected from human error in its original record by the ministry of the Holy Spirit; and that ministry extended to both the words and the Bible as a whole in the original writings. “Without the act of inspiration, there can be no canon.”[1] Though Kreider states, “How the manuscripts were recognized as inspired and accepted as canon is not the issue”, I feel that how we know what writings were supposed to be included in the canon of Scripture is significant. Three principles were used to validate both the Old and New Testament. First, the writing had to have a recognized prophet or apostle as its author, or someone associated to them as in Mark, Luke, Hebrews, James and Jude. Second, the writing could not contradict previous Scripture. Third, the writing had to have a consensus by the church as an inspired book.
One important example might be the Apocrypha, the group of writings written after Malachi during the silent period. These writings made it in to some Bibles, more specifically, the Catholic Bible. Not one passage from the Apocrypha was ever cited by any New Testament writer, nor did Jesus recognize any of it as He recognized the Old Testament canon of His era. Luke 24:27 states, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” Also, Luke 24:44 says, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
Another element of canonicity is preservation. God knew that Satan and man would try to pervert or discredit His Word, so God promised to preserve it. “The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the Word of God stands forever.” Is 40:8.

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