Is the New Testament canon authoritative or authoritarian?
by Hank Hanegraaff
Recently the Bible has come under attack by liberal scholars who claim that the New Testament canon was determined by the winners of a supposed struggle for dominance in the early centuries of Christianity. As the following evidence reveals, however, the canon is not arbitrary or authoritarian, but divinely authoritative.
First, the entire New Testament canon was recorded early and thus was not subject to legendary contamination. Had any part of the canon been composed after AD 70 it would most certainly have mentioned the destruction of the very temple that had given the ancient Jews their theological and sociological identity.
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Additionally, because Matthew and Luke likely used Mark as a source and Luke composed his gospel prior to the writing of Acts, which was completed prior to Paul’s martyrdom in the mid–60s, Mark may have been composed as early as the AD 40s, just a few years after the events recorded. Moreover, in 1 Corinthians 15 Paul reiterates a Christian creed that can be traced to within three to eight years of Christ’s crucifixion. By contrast, the Gnostic gospels, including the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Judas, are dated long after the close of the first century. The entire New Testament canon was recorded early and thus was not subject to contamination. The authority of the New Testament is confirmed through the eyewitness credentials of its authors. And extra–biblical evidence confirms the New Testament canon.
Furthermore, the authority of the New Testament is confirmed through the eyewitness credentials of its authors…
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