Discuss again the importance that we have the right canon.
A: The fact that the Bible is God’s words and message to us in order that we may find salvation in Him, it is vitally important that we have the right message. As we have seen, there are many opinions and different “gospels” that give the “real” message of Jesus. How do we know what the real message is when there are conflicting messages? We must go back to the original copies, using the science behind ancient manuscrips and authenticity, age and authors to varify the original message. Without the message being correct, we have no hope to find salvation, or what it requires to have a relationship with Him.
2. Are all books of the canon equally important? Do you think that you would
ever have noticed if 3 John did not make “the cut”?
A: I wouldn’t necessarily say that any books are unimportant, I feel that they all say something of importance in the bigger picture. All books are inspired and are needed in the canon. To say that we could be without 3 John and be sufficient would be erroneous. Either our Bible is correct and has all parts that God wanted us to have, or we don’t. If we don’t, this means the canon is not closed. If we do, then we have all parts God intended us to have.
3. Further discuss the importance of the early acceptance of the Gospels and the
A: The early acceptance of the Gospels and Paul’s letters indicate an authenticity that cannot be argued. There were far too many witnesses still alive after the Gospels and epistles were written that they could’ve been easily disputed had they not spoken the truth. The fact is, they are universally accepted and authenticated by the early church fathers, long before there could be any real challenge of legends entering the gospels.
4. Can you think of any essential doctrine that is not dealt with in the Gospels and
the Pauline corpus? How is this significant?
A: I cannot think of any essential doctrine that is not dealt with in the Gospels or epistles. The entire basis of authentic Christianity is in the Nicene Crede and Chalcedon Definition, which were based on the early church’s interpretation of the Gospels and Pauline epistles. Because of this, and the fact that the early church had to contend with many of the same heretical issues being dealt with today (Paul’s letters), we have everything required to understand what our relationship with the Lord should look like, our need for salvation, and how to combat heretics.
5. Are you more or less confident about the canon of Scripture after this lesson?
A: Yes, I am very confident in our canon. After listening to the lecture, reading The Journey From Texts to Translations by Wegner, I have a much better understanding of what the canon is, how it came to be, and how it is scientifically accurate with regards to the authenticity of the content and authorship. I now have ammunition in any theological argument when they (secular society) brings up the Bible in any derogatory manner.
6. How does your view of the providence and sovereignty of God affect this
A: I think that God has equipped us with everything we need to spend eternity with Him. He wanted a relationship with us, so as a wise God, He put it in a book for everyone to understand. He provides us with all things, asks us to trust in Him, and become living sacrifices for Him. All we need is in the scriptures and the Church. We can trust that His book is the standard of truth, and that we can trust Him implicitly in all things. When I read the Bible, I can know that it is God’s words, thoughts, history with us, and demonstrates His love for us. The Bible is definitely not just a book of fiction made by misogynistic men as some would have us believe.
7. How has this lesson most challenged your thinking?
A: Nothing so much challenged my thinking as opposed to answering a few questions that I have had for years. Such questions as the authenticity of the Bible and how the Bible came to being put together.