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What is the Canon of Scripture ?

what is the canon of scripture

The canon of Scripture refers to the collection of books that the Christian community recognizes as divinely inspired and authoritative for faith and practice. This collection varies among different Christian traditions. For example, the Roman Catholic Bible includes the Deuterocanonical books, which are not part of the Protestant Old Testament. The process of recognizing these books was not instantaneous but evolved over the early centuries of Christianity through discernment by church leaders and communities.

Several Bible verses underscore the concept of the canon and its authority:

  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 boldly declares, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” This passage affirms the divine origin and comprehensive utility of Scripture for the believer’s life.
  • 2 Peter 1:20-21 emphasizes the divine inspiration behind prophetic writings, “knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” This highlights the Holy Spirit’s role in guiding the authors of Scripture.
  • Revelation 22:18-19 warns against adding to or taking away from the words of Scripture, “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” This passage, while directly referring to the Book of Revelation, has been applied more broadly to the respect and integrity of Scripture as a whole.

Three main takeaways regarding the canon of Scripture are:

  1. Divine Inspiration: The canon consists of texts that are inspired by God, serving as the ultimate authority for Christian faith and living. This divine inspiration ensures that Scripture is trustworthy and relevant for every generation.
  2. Church Recognition: The formation of the canon was a discerning process by early church leaders who recognized certain texts as authoritative because they were consistent with the church’s faith and were used in worship and teaching. This was not about bestowing authority but recognizing the self-evident divine character and authority of these texts.
  3. Guidance for Faith and Practice: The canon of Scripture provides a foundation for understanding God’s nature, will, and redemptive work in the world. It guides believers in all aspects of life, ensuring that doctrine, worship, and morality are rooted in divine revelation.

These points highlight the significance of the biblical canon as a foundational element of Christian identity and practice, underscored by its recognition of divine inspiration, the historical process of its recognition by the church, and its role in guiding believers’ faith and life.


  • Greg Gaines

    Father / Grandfather / Minister / Missionary / Deacon / Elder / Author / Digital Missionary / Foster Parents / Welcome to our Family https://jesusleadershiptraining.com/about-us/

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