(The Biblical Canon)

The Bible is the Christian's guidebook to a victorious Christian life. It is God's revelation to mankind. To the Christian it is a book of life. To the unbeliever it is a book of damnation. The Bible was given to us over a period of 1100 years. The Old Testament was written between 1447 BC and 445 BC. The New Testament was written between 30 AD and 95 AD. These dates are approximate but if you round up the time frame it comes out to about 1100 years. You will hear that the Bible was written over a period of 1500 years, this is because they include the 400 years of silence between Malachi and the New Testament. They are just generalizing.


The Bible consists of 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament. The canon was finalized about 297 AD. The word "canon" means "something set in order.It is applied to the Bible both in the Old and New Testaments.


You may hear some say the Apocrypha books are part of the Holy Canon but they are definitely not inspired books and are inferior to the 66 which were inspired by God. Normally you will find these Apocrypha books in Roman Catholic Bibles and now they are beginning to show up in some of the modern translations which are used by Protestants and Catholics. My advice is that you do not use any Bible but a King James as you will not find any uninspired book in there.  The meaning of the word "apocrypha" is from the Greek which means "something which is hidden or has hidden meaning."  The Bible is God's revealed Word to His children so the idea of something being hidden from us does not fit with the rest of Scripture, therefore the apocryphal books are to be rejected. The titles of the apocryphal books are below.  Some of the names of the books may be different in various bibles but they are still not canonical no matter what name they are under.


1. 1 Esdras

2. 2 Esdras

3. Tobit

4. Judith

5. The Additions to the Book of Esther

6. The Wisdom of Solomon

7. Ecclesiasticus, or the Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach

8. Baruch

9. The Letter of Jeremiah - This particular book is sometimes placed as the last chapter of the book of Baruch.  In the book of Jeremiah Baruch was the scribe who wrote the book of Jeremiah.

10. The Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Young Men

11. Susanna

12. Bel and the Dragon

13. The Prayer of Manasseh

14. 1 Maccabees

15. 2 Maccabees


The Bible we have in our King James Version is the Word of God and does not contain the Word of God but it is the Word of God. This cannot be said about the modern versions.  There are none of the original manuscripts existing today. There are some fragments available going back to the first century but there is no way to tell if they are copies or fragments of the originals.  What we have today in the King James Bible is the preserved Word of God.


The earliest New Testament manuscripts available today date back to about 150 AD. It is known as the "Syrian Bible or the Peshitta" and it is a translation from the Greek Vulgate which was copied from the original manuscripts. The Peshitta is in approximately 177 manuscripts which are in a British Museum. These two translations are forerunners of the King James Version. So you are on safe ground when you choose the King James Bible. The Bible you choose with either glorify Christ or it will vilify Him as all the modern versions do. Do not fear to use the KJV but refuse to use any other, as others will pressure you and come up with all the standard arguments, but you stand firm and God will bless you.


How God Spoke to People

A. Revelation

B. Inspiration

C. Illumination


A. Revelation

1. God used angels to deliver messages - Matthew 28:5-7; Luke 1:26

2. Before the Bible was completed, God spoke audibly - Genesis 6:13-21; 1 Samuel 3:1-10; 1 Kings 19:11-12

3. God uses the designed creation to speak to us - Romans 1:20

4. God even used a donkey to bring His message to a disobedient servant - Numbers 22:27-31

5. Before the completion of the Bible God spoke in dreams - Genesis 28:10-17

6. Before the Bible was completed, God spoke in visions - Isaiah 6:1-8

7. God spoke through a Christophany - Judges 6:11 - A Christophany was a pre-Bethlehem and post ascension meeting with Christ.


In reference to dreams, voices, and visions, God used these methods up to the time the Bible was completed with the last book being Revelation. There was to be no more new revelation by means of voices, dreams, or visions because we now have the completed Word of God. God states that no more revelation will be given. (Revelation 22:18-19; Proverbs 30:6) This rule applies to tongues or any method people use who believe they are still receiving messages from God. We must be very careful if we believe that we are receiving revelation from God in any form because of the warning in 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 as Satan and his demons are allowed to break the silence barrier.


And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. {15} Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:14-15, KJV)


B. Inspiration

The doctrine of inspiration is the correct understanding that all the Word of God was inspired by God. Some unbelievers (even in the church) claim the Bible contains the Word of God and that the inspired words are scattered throughout the Bible. If this is the case, how do you recognize the inspired ones? This would cause tremendous confusion in Christianity but thanks be to God that he will not allow this to happen to His word. God gives us His assurance that His word is above all the satanically engineered religious books of the phony world religions. When you use your King James Bible you are using a book that transcends all of man's written words down through the ages.


Scripture Verses on Inspiration

1. Not by human will - 2 Peter 1:20-21

2. Fragmented Writings - Hebrews 1:1

3. It is Final - John 10:35

4. Spoken beforehand - 2 Peter 3:2

5. It is the Word of God - 1 Thessalonians 2:13

6. Given directly to men - Jeremiah 36:1-2; Ezekiel 1:3; Acts 1:16

7. Inspiration is given by God - Job 32:8


C. Illumination

Since there will be no more inspiration, the way which God communicates His spiritual truth to the heart of His children is by the third method of divine communication which is called Illumination. Illumination is the method whereby the Holy Spirit uses to bring divine light to the Scriptures when someone is studying. Illumination allows us to understand the message of Scripture which unsaved man sees as confusing. I have heard illumination described many times in the following manner. "I have read that passage for years but last night it jumped out at me like a lion out of a jungle." When we are praying for guidance, sometimes God will give us the answer by illuminating a Scripture verse and we will see something in there we never saw before.  This is why when we are witnessing to an unbeliever we cannot expect them to see the same truth which we see. They are viewing it from a fleshly point of view while we see it from God's point of view. The Holy Spirit also uses Christians in His task of illuminating other believers.


1. He used Philip - Acts 8:31

2. He used Paul - Acts 17:2

3. He used Priscilla and Aquila - Acts 18:26

4. He used Apollos - Acts 18:28


The Old Testament refers to itself as the Word of God about 3800 times. Here are three examples:


1. Amos 3:1

2. Joel 3:1

3. Psalm 119:89


Jesus Endorsed the Old Testament

He referred to:

1. Creation - Mark 10:6

2. Lot's Wife - Luke 17:32

3. Jonah - Matthew 12:40


As you read and study the Scriptures, you will begin to see many quotes from the Old Testament in the New Testament. This is because the Word of God is one cohesive whole and is not to be thought of as two separate halves. The Old and New Testament are deeply enmeshed in each other, which means you can't have one without the other, because they help interpret one another. There are many churches which teach only the New Testament while rejecting the Old Testament. This is a very erroneous practice because God has put His approval on the Old Testament by quoting it many times in the New. Both testaments are equally valid and authoritative because they are both God's Word. To neglect one part is to take away from God's Word which carries dire circumstances. We must never reject any part of Scripture because it is sin to do so. This is why I strongly discourage the handing out of New Testaments only because it is giving only half a Bible and subtly states that the Old Testament is not as important.  When I state that the Old Testament is as authoritative as the New Testament, I am in no way suggesting that we are to keep the feasts which was part of the commandments of God to ancient Israel.  All the feasts were symbolic and in many ways they looked forward to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We are totally under grace and in no way are we to believe that any keeping of the law in the Old Testament would increase our salvation.


2 Timothy 3:16-17 states:


All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  {17} That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.


All scripture is given by inspiration of God,

The word "inspiration" means God breathed or inspired by God


and is profitable

Useful for assisting us in having and maintaining a profitable spiritual life while laying down many principles for living in a secular world.


for doctrine,

The systematic teachings of the principles and doctrines laid out in Scripture. To instruct us in God's ways.


for reproof,

For the conviction of our sins, carrying with it the meaning of exposing our sins so we can deal with them.


for correction,

To rectify the sin and restore the person.


for instruction in righteousness:

Our manual of Spiritual training.


17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

The Bible will mature us in the faith if we choose to walk according to its statutes.


Before we leave this subject, I would recommend that you purchase a black letter edition of the King James Bible. Many publishers place the words of Jesus in red. The words of Jesus are no more or no less important than any other portion of Scripture. The red letters give the notion that the words of Jesus hold more weight than the rest of Scripture and this is simply not true. All Scripture is the same in authority.