Generally, the Bible is referred as Scripture. However, who defined Scripture? Under what authority they defined it? How is it used today? Is the definition even correct? These are the questions we will be answering here.
John 10:35 .. and the Scripture cannot be broken ..
Scripture cannot be broken. This is an important attribute of Scripture. Hence, Scripture has a high authority in deciding and showing the correct way.
Luke 24:44-45 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
Christ is our only Teacher (Matt 23:8), and the definition of what Scripture constitutes, comes directly from Him. Christ divides the Scripture into three parts Law of Moses, Prophets and Psalms. To fully understand Christ’s canon, let’s take the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible from Jewish canon) to see what is included and excluded.
As you can see, Christ rejected 8 books from His canon.
Mark 13:14 “So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not” (let the reader understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
Daniel must never be placed in historical books for Christ declared him to be a prophet. Hence, moved Daniel to prophets in the canon under the authority of the spoken words of Jesus Christ.
Thus, the definition of Scripture as defined by Christ Himself includes the following 28 books from the Christian Old Testament Bible.
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, I & II Samuel, I & II Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Psalms
Christ did not give anyone authority to change His canon of Scripture.
New Testament Canon
It is incomplete without mentioning the New Testament. However, New Testament is not the Scripture. Nor we should use the attributes of Scripture to it. The only book in the New Testament, where Jesus Christ was directly involved in giving His people is the book of Revelation. He even took care of what must be written (Rev 10:4). The four Gospels contain full of Christ’s Words or His teachings.
Mark 13:31 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
Deut 18:18-19 ‘I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.
Hence, Gospels and Revelation must be held with high regard.
Matt 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.
Just like there are weightier matters of the law, Gospels and Revelation are the weightier books in the New Testament.
Next are the epistles and letters written by Christ’s disciples like Peter, James and Jude. It is important to note Paul’s letters contain several teachings contrary to what Jesus taught which can even cost salvation. The interpretations or the conclusions must always match what Christ taught. If it doesn’t agree, the teaching or doctrine must be thrown out.
It is well explained in the above Circle of Discernment (also available from about page).
Christ did not give anyone authority to change His canon of Scripture. He included only 29 books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, I & II Samuel, I & II Kings, Job, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi and Psalms. Just like there are weightier matters of the law (Matt 23:23), Gospels and Revelation are the weightier books in the New Testament. It is blasphemy to exalt and glorify a man’s letter and make it equal to Christ’s words. Turn back to God and His word for everything, even the very definition of what Scripture is.