After reading the articles in this supplement, you may have become confused—even troubled—about the basis of your faith. Does the welter of dates and councils and contradictory arguments presented by even the greatest saints allow us any right to be certain that Esther, a book that doesn’t mention the name of God; Song of Solomon, a love poem; and Philemon, an intensely private letter; must all be included in the Canon whereas Ecclesiasticus, a book of splendid moral instruction, is excluded?

Without reviewing a major apologetic, let it be noted that the rock-bottom basis of Christian faith is our confidence that, in spite of our sin, God has forgiven us and accepted us into his family through faith in Jesus Christ as our divine Lord and Savior. While evangelicals may disagree as to the nature and role of evidences, they are in broad agreement that this faith in Christ is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. And it is on this Christological base that they rest their confidence in the canon of Scripture.

Savior Of The Canon

Without question, Jesus Christ taught the divine authority of the Old Testament. Indirectly he also set the limits of the Old Testament canon by acknowledging the common canon of the Jews of his day. In the Sermon on the Mount he defends his complete acceptance of it, and this commitment runs throughout the entire gospel record, recurring again among his closest followers in the remainder of the New Testament. Disputes between Jesus and Jewish leaders always terminated on the interpretation of a Scripture to which they gave common allegiance, and never over what constituted Scripture.

A Christian today may not be able to judge the evidence as to whether the Jewish canon was solidified ...

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