Tuesday, May 14, 2013

E. J. Young on the Canon of Scripture

Here’s another gem from E. J. Young’s An Introduction to the Old Testament, reflecting on the question of who was responsible for choosing the canon of the Bible:

            By the term ‘canonical writings’ is meant those writings which constitute the inspired rule of faith and life.  Canonical books, in other words, are those books which are regarded as divinely inspired.  The criterion of a book’s canonicity, therefore, is its inspiration. If a book has been inspired of God, it is canonical, whether accepted by men as such or not.  It is God and not man who determines whether a book is to belong to the Canon.  Therefore, if a certain writing has indeed been the product of divine inspiration, it belongs to the Canon from the moment of its composition.

            That this is so appears from the very nature of the case.  If man alone were capable in his own strength of identifying accurately the Word of God, then man would be equal in knowledge with God.  If God is truly God, the Creator of all things and utterly independent of all that He has created, it follows that He alone can indentify what He has spoken.  He alone can say, ‘This is my Word, and that has not proceeded from My mouth’ (pp. 31-32).

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