Have you ever looked at your Bible and wondered, “Why do we regard these 66 books, and no others, as comprising the inspired Word of God?”
That is a critically important question, since there are many today who would deny that these 66 books truly make up the complete canon of Scripture.
The Roman Catholic Church, for example, claims that the Apocryphal books which were written during the inter-testamental period (between the Old and New Testaments) ought to be included in the Bible. Cult groups like the Mormons want to add their own books to the Bible—things like the Book of Mormon, The Doctrines and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. And then there are popular books and movies, like The Da Vinci Code from several years back, that claim later Christians (like Constantine) determined what was in the Bible centuries after these books were written.
So, how do we know that “all Scripture” consists of these 66 books? How do we know that the Bible we hold in our hands is the complete Word of God?
There are a number of ways we could answer such questions; in fact, we could spend weeks studying the doctrine of canonicity, carefully walking through all of the relevant biblical and historical details. And there are many wonderful books available that can guide you through that wealth of information.
But in this post, I want to give you a simple answer that I think will be helpful – because it gets to the heart of the whole matter. This answer takes less than 30 seconds to articulate, yet I have found it to be the ultimate answer for just about every question related to the doctrine of canonicity. Continue Reading…