How do we know that the 66 books of the Bible are from God? A presuppositional response, Part 1: Old Testament and Apocrypha


Luke 11:49 Therefore the wisdom of God also said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute.’

Ephesians 2:20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.

2 Peter 3:2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior

If Roger were to write a letter to Bill, and Bill wanted to know whether Roger had really written it, the first thing he should do is ask Roger! If Bill asked Joe, who did not have firsthand knowledge of the letter, whether Roger had written the letter, would Joe be able to give a satisfactory answer? No. The best person to ask is the one who wrote the letter—Roger.

How does this relate to the Bible? If anyone knows what God wrote to the human race, it is God. There is no greater self-authenticating voice than that of the True One who created all things. Self-authentication is commonplace among all of us: if someone wants to know what I think about something or what I dreamt about last night, I am the only person in the world he can ask for the answer.

Some people who believe God does not exist say that God’s Word should not be consulted to see whether the Bible is from Him. But on what basis is such a claim valid? It is illogical to assume that the letter written by Roger to Bill is off limits for study. Therefore, one should also be able to use the Bible to defend the Bible. If someone claims the Bible cannot be used to defend the Bible, he is trying to make his fallible reasoning the ultimate authority on the issue rather than God’s infallible Word.

But believers should not be led astray by such a fallacy: believers should check God’s Word regardless of such a claim. Nothing can fully authenticate God’s Word other than God Himself (Hebrews 6:13); otherwise, there is an authority greater than or equal to God. If that were so, then God would not be God—the supreme authority. So it would be self-refuting to look somewhere other than Scripture when dealing with the unique issue of canon (the books that belong in the Bible). So, when examining the authority of the Bible, you should not lay it aside, but rather stand firm on the Scriptures as the foundation and ultimate authority for looking at the question: Did the sixty-six books of the Bible come from God?

Can the canon of Scripture (what God has written to man) be placed under the judgment of fallible man to determine whether it came from God? If so, then God is no longer the authority, nor is His Word; instead, fallible, autonomous human reasoning is the authority. Man, in essence, is sitting in judgment of God. This is the philosophy of humanism, where man is seen as the greatest of all things and the determiner of truth, thus replacing God.

Disregarding the Word of God forces people to accept the presupposition of humanistic thinking when looking at God and His Word (which leads to a world of problems, such as a breakdown of the foundations of logic, knowledge, morality, and so on).[1] Christians should not give the Bible away and play by man-made, humanistic rules. Sadly, however, many Christians fall for this line of reasoning, and in doing so they give up a biblical foundation for a false one based on humanism (i.e., man is the final authority).

Rather, Christians should start with the Word of God as the absolute presupposition (absolute beginning/basis and final authority on these matters) and verify that God’s Word will authenticate itself (although, being truth, naturally it will not be proven wrong—even by outside sources).[2] In other words, let God be the judge of whether or not the Bible is His Word. This stance (a presuppositional perspective) starts with the Word of God and uses it as a confirmation that the books are indeed from God.[3] With this perspective, Jesus Christ, being God, is used as the beginning of the analysis for both the Old and New Testament books of the canon.

The Two Issues

With this said, there are actually two different issues when it comes to this question of the canon. They are:

  1. What are the books of the canon?
  2. How can we recognize the books of the canon?

So often in this debate, people get confused over these two issues of “what is the case” and “how can we recognize the case.” The 66 books of the Bible are the Word of God by virtue that they came from God. This is the case. The longer issue is how can we recognize the case.

From here, the objective is to let God from His Word determine the canon from a self-establishing/self-authority perspective and merely follow His thoughts after Him. And then we will address how we can recognize these authoritative works.

But first, let’s analyze how many Christians approached this subject in the past and why the approach they often used fell tragically short.

Proposed methods of “canonization” of the books of the Bible

The method of canonization is an issue of authority. Either God is the ultimate authority or not. If God is not the ultimate authority, then the ultimate conclusion is that nothing matters. But in a sin-cursed world, where mankind seems to be in constant rebellion against God, mankind, even Christians who strive to follow God, still demote God (in their own minds) to being less than the final authority in a host of arenas—and the canon is no different.

But when people reject God as the ultimate authority on a subject, even in subtle ways, they elevate man (by default) into a position of greater authority on the subject than God. This should be a red flag to any Christian who trusts in God, and they should constantly humble themselves, submitting to the Word of God above the words of others—even their own.

The Bible repeatedly warns against elevating the ideas and traditions of men over the Word of God (emphasis added):

that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:5)

For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. (1 Thessalonians 2:13)

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:6-9)

With this in mind, a number of “methods” for canonization have been proposed over the years (mostly in regard to the New Testament, which is the more controversial of the testaments, but that will be discussed later).[4] It needs to be specifically pointed out where the ideas of men have been elevated to the position of authority over God’s Word in these faulty views. Let’s look at some errant methods:

  1. If a book proclaims the gospel, then it is Scripture.

Naturally, there are a host of problems with this viewpoint. First, this idea does not originate in Scripture, but in the minds of man, so man is the ultimate authority over God. Furthermore, not all of the books of the Bible proclaim the gospel, and yet books that are not in the Bible often proclaim the gospel. This is clearly not a sufficient basis for canonicity.

  1. Christians have always agreed on the twenty-seven books of the New Testament.

Who is in the position of authority here? Not God, but fallible, imperfect Christians who made up this rule. And further, Christians have not always agreed! This is obvious when the history is studied and Christians debated over these books—in fact, Christians still do today!

  1. If a book claims to be from God, it is Scripture.

Who is the authority behind this method? Again, it does not come from Scripture, but from man. But some books of Scripture do not claim to come from God (e.g., Jude) and other books outside of Scripture do claim to come from God (e.g., Book of Mormon, Koran, etc.) but are not Scripture. So this is not an acceptable method either.

  1. The witness of the Holy Spirit allows each of us to determine the canon.

This one sounds like it gives the Holy Spirit, who is God, the authority, but does it? People can come up with thousands of variations of this and all claim it was the Holy Spirit that led them to a particular canon list. How can we know that one person was led by the Spirit and the other thousand were not? Ultimately, this leads to man’s authority and even though all Scripture came about by the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit did not say in His Word that He would guide each of us to know the canon. This too, falls tragically short. The Holy Spirit is indeed important to this issue, but not by the methodology proposed here.

  1. Identifying internal tensions after beginning with the 27 books of the canon (Luther’s original view, though he recognized this was not sufficient), e.g., James seems to be in conflict with Paul, so James should not be “full” canon.[5]

This is like a canon within the canon—start with the 27 books of the New Testament, then reduce as need be. Luther, coming out of the Roman church, was questioning a great many things about what he had been taught. But essentially, this is based on our own perceptions of the content of the books. With this false position, if I am having an issue reconciling Mark 16:16a with Mark 16:16b, then I would have the right to remove the book of Mark from the canon. In other words, I would be the authority over God, so this is clearly not the correct position.

There is no internal conflict with Mark 16:16, but the ideas are complimentary. The point is that is a conflict of human perception, not an actual conflict within the Scriptures. So clearly this method does not work correctly either.

  1. Magisterium determines the canon.

This view, commonly held by the Roman church, essentially allows them to claim the authority over canon. But they have elevated themselves to being greater than God in this instance. This is similar to Mormons and others, who have their leadership sitting in the position of authority to determine what God actually said.

Commonly, it is claimed that the Scriptures became authoritative about 300 years after their writing with a church council. Does this mean that for 300 years, the church was not subject to 1 Corinthians? Not at all. When the books were written by men, who were led by the Holy Spirit, the books were immediately Scripture.[6] If anything, this reveals how long it took for fallible, sinful people to recognize the books of the New Testament. The church is an outcome or result of the Scriptures, not the other way around. So this view is found wanting as well.

  1. The Holy Spirit led the church to the canon.

This sounds good at first, but the Bible does not make this claim. In an inadvertent way, it places the church—which is made up of people—as the actual authority. Furthermore, the church disagreed over the canon for quite some time. So this view falls short as well. The Holy Spirit is important in this discussion, but not via the means listed.

  1. The canon was determined by consensus.

It should be obvious that having people “cast their vote” on the issue is not an attainable means to determine the canon. Clearly, man would be the ultimate authority on the issue in this view.

  1. Apostolicity Plus: the canon includes things written or affirmed by the apostles, or their associates, or the brothers of the Lord, or others, and tests must be applied to find out if they are Scripture.

This has become the most popular view among evangelicals as of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It sounds easy enough and even has some merit, but falls short on the grounds of human authority as well. It is good in that it begins with Christ conferring authority to the apostles (which is biblical, as we will see later).

Regarding apostolic authorship, books like Matthew, Peter, Paul’s letters, and so on were written by apostles, so they are authoritative according to 2 Peter 3:2. This works for some New Testament books, but in regard to Luke or Acts, written by Luke, who was not an apostle, the apostolic authorship falls short. But all is not lost. Paul, an apostle, actually quotes Luke as Scripture in 1 Timothy, giving Luke’s writings direct apostolic affirmation.

Jude and Hebrews, though, are not quoted as Scripture by an apostle nor written by an apostle according to any part of Scripture, so the argument of apostolic authority seems to fail. So this method deviates here. The easy answer for those adhering to this position is to add in “close associates” of the apostles and “brothers” of the Lord or whoever else to include them with some form of apostolic authority as well. In other words, other people also had the same power to speak for Christ as the apostles.

But here is the problem: there is no biblical basis for this line of thinking, as Scripture does not confer any authority to brothers of the Lord nor to “close associates” of the apostles or anyone else. And what does “close associate” mean anyway? Yes, Luke was a close associate, but so were Timothy and Clement and others, yet there is nothing that is part of the canon that was entirely written by them.

Ultimately, this decision about who to include as a legitimate author of Scripture comes from the mind of man trying to reconcile the problem. So man becomes the authority over God’s Word regarding some of God’s Word.

This view has enjoyed great popularity since, unlike the previous erroneous views, it is not entirely based on human authority, but has only a few books based on human authority. But in an absolute sense, and although this viewpoint did get some things right, it is still not good enough.

  1. The canon is the canon because here it is in my Bible.

Of course, if someone decided to print a Bible with more books, then are those books part of the canon? In fact, a Bible that is produced by the Roman church it has a different set of books. This position is arbitrary and would allow man entirely to determine what should be Scripture, removing God as the authority.

With each of these ten views above (and there may be more obscure faulty views floating around out there), man is somehow elevated to the position of authority and God is somehow demoted, which defeats the purpose. If I were to claim that I am the ultimate authority on the subject of God being the ultimate authority, I have just refuted myself! In essence, this is what each of these positions has done: yielding to man as the ultimate authority on the subject of God’s Word, which is actually the ultimate authority since God’s Word comes with the authority of God!

To be clear, apostolicity and the Holy Spirit are indeed very relevant to this discussion, but not in the ways they were used in these previous arguments. The Scriptures need to act as the authority for determining the canon. With this in mind, let’s start with Christ’s view of the Old Testament in the Scriptures and then use this to springboard to the New Testament—all the while using the presupposition that the sixty-six books of the Bible are the Word of God.

What about the 39 books of the Old Testament?

Regarding the 39 books of the Old Testament, God in the flesh—Jesus Christ—confirmed these books. Hebrews 1:1–2 states:

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds

Jesus, being God the Son but also being a prophet (e.g., Deuteronomy 18:15–18; John 6:14; Matthew 13:57; Luke 24:19), or more specifically the prophet who lived under the Old Testament, made this easy for us. He affirmed the Jewish canon list, being in the position of authority both as Creator and prophet; we have a listing of the Old Testament books.

Prior to Christ giving the final seal of approval to the Old Testament books, it was the prophets who had the authority to speak for God and impose various written documents on the Israelites as authoritative (e.g., 2 Kings 17:13). Basically, they gave the stamp of approval to things that were Scripture, being entrusted with the oracles of God (e.g., Romans 3:2; Luke 11:49; 2 Peter 3:2; Ephesians 2:20).

The overall Hebrew breakdown of the Old Testament books puts them in three major categories: [7]

  1. The Law (Torah): Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy
  2. The Prophets (Nebhim):
    1. Early prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings
    2. Later prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve (minor prophets)
  3. The Psalms/Writings (Kethubhim):
    1. Poetic books: Psalms, Proverbs, and Job
    2. Five Rolls: Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Esther, and Ecclesiastes
    3. Historical books: Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Chronicles

The Jewish canon included exactly what is in the Protestant Old Testament and was used in the early churches as the New Testament was being written. The number of books in the Jewish canon is different (commonly 24), but it is the same text. Where Protestants divided Kings, Samuel, and Chronicles into two books apiece, the Jews had them as one. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah were also one book in the Jewish list. The twelve Minor Prophets were also compiled into one book.[8]

Jesus confirms all three divisions of the Old Testament in Luke 24:44, showing that they are authoritative.

Luke 24:44
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.”

Even other New Testament authors openly confirm the Old Testament books. For example, Paul affirms them as oracles of God (Romans 3:1–2). But Christ or the New Testament apostles never indicated or suggested that any of the Jewish Scriptures be removed or others added. This should be reason enough to reject the Apocrypha (which is discussed a bit more in the next section) as Scripture.

And further, Christ used the Old Testament as authoritative on many occasions—too many to list. But for one example, when Satan tried tempting Jesus in Matthew 4, Jesus quoted three times from Moses’s books.

Was the Apocrypha canon Scripture too?

The Apocrypha (meaning “hidden” or “unknown”) are books written prior to the time of Christ, many during the 400 years of silence between Malachi and Christ’s entrance into the world. These books provide some history and insight into the times. These books were seen as historically valuable but not as Scripture.

However, some of these books have been “canonized” by the Roman and Orthodox churches. The Orthodox churches have some that are distinct from the Roman church, so the number of apocryphal books varies to some degree. In particular, the more popular ones are:

  1. Tobit
  2. Judith
  3. 1 Maccabees
  4. 2 Maccabees
  5. Wisdom of Solomon
  6. Ecclesiasticus (Book of Sirach)
  7. 1 Esdras
  8. 2 Esdras
  9. Baruch
  10. Letter of Jeremiah
  11. Additions to Esther
  12. Prayer of Azariah
  13. Suzanna (often inserted as Daniel 13)
  14. Bel and the Dragon
  15. Prayer of Manasseh

The books of the Apocrypha were never classed as Scripture by Christ or the Jews, nor did the writers of the New Testament quote from them—this should settle the issue. But let’s review the history of these books regarding canon status.

The Apocrypha appeared in the Latin Vulgate in the 5th century AD and copies of the Septuagint (a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures from about 250 BC, denoted as the LXX). However, the earliest extant copies of the LXX are from the 5th century AD, and that does not tell us whether or not the original LXX contained the Apocrypha.

The Apocrypha also appeared at the end of a biblical manuscript called Codex Sinaiticus about the 4th century AD, but the presence of the Apocrypha in any of these documents does not necessarily mean that they were regarded as Scripture, any more than commentary notes in Bibles are to be seen as Scripture. Regardless, modern Roman Catholic Bibles now contain the Apocrypha—as did the KJV in 1611 (the first edition of the King James Version) and early editions of the Geneva Bible.

Jerome, the translator of the Latin Vulgate in the 5th century for the Roman church, made it abundantly clear that the Apocrypha was not Scripture, even though it was included with the Vulgate. But Jerome felt that it, like many other ancient pieces of literature, was worthy to be translated into Latin, the common tongue of the day. Even many early church fathers, such as Melito, Origen, Athanasius, Cyril, and others, rejected the Apocrypha as Scripture.

Jews, before and during the time of Christ, often used the Septuagint (whether it contained the Apocrypha or not) but never classed the Apocrypha as Scripture for various reasons.[9] One such reason is that it never claimed to be Scripture, unlike many other books of the Bible. Even one of the apocryphal books affirms there was no one speaking on God’s behalf at that time (1 Maccabees 9:27) when it says, “There had not been such great distress in Israel since the time prophets ceased to appear among the people.”

Today, the Roman church views twelve of the Apocryphal books as Scripture and has included them in its modern Bible translations (e.g., New American Bible and New Jerusalem Bible). The books that are excluded are 1 and 2 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh. This decision to elevate some of the Apocrypha to full canon status was made in 1546 at the Council of Trent.

Some have claimed that apocryphal books were recognized as full scriptural canon by the church as far back as the First Synod of Hippo in AD 393 with Augustine. There are no extant records of this synod, so no one can say exactly what was decided, though the summary offered by the Council of Carthage in AD 397 is assumed to be generally accurate. However, the Synod of Hippo was regional, as was the following Council at Carthage where this new canon was approved; hence, it did not hold authority over the whole of the Roman church and it did not include all of the Apocrypha.

It was not until AD 405 that Pope Innocent I endorsed the Apocrypha—after the Council of Carthage—even though Jerome (who translated the Bible and Apocrypha into Latin) strictly opposed it as Scripture. Catholic Cardinal Cajetan, around the time of the Reformation in the 16th century AD, reveals that there were two different levels of canon in the Roman church (a strict canon and a non-official (i.e., second) canon that was still useful for teaching in the church). In regard to this council, he says in his commentary:

“Here we close our commentaries on the historical books of the Old Testament. For the rest (that is, Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees) are counted by St Jerome out of the canonical books, and are placed amongst the Apocrypha, along with Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, as is plain from the Prologus Galeatus. Nor be thou disturbed, like a raw scholar, if thou shouldest find anywhere, either in the sacred councils or the sacred doctors, these books reckoned as canonical. For the words as well of councils as of doctors are to be reduced to the correction of Jerome. Now, according to his judgment, in the epistle to the bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus, these books (and any other like books in the canon of the bible) are not canonical, that is, not in the nature of a rule for confirming matters of faith. Yet, they may be called canonical, that is, in the nature of a rule for the edification of the faithful, as being received and authorised in the canon of the bible for that purpose. By the help of this distinction thou mayest see thy way clearly through that which Augustine says, and what is written in the provincial council of Carthage.” [10]

This was presumably the real difference between the deuterocanonical (“second canon,” or books that were useful but not fully canonical) and protocanonical (fully inspired). Up to the Council of Trent in 1546, the view of Jerome dominated that Apocryphal books were not fully inspired canon, but were “second canon”; and the Catholic Polyglot Bible even left the Apocrypha out after the Council of Florence in 1451.

The official fully inspired Old Testament canon accepted by the Roman church was essentially the same as the canon being used by the Protestants and Jews until the Council of Trent; at this point however, the second canon books were promoted to the position of fully inspired canon by the Roman church.

This is why 1546 is the official date of the additions, because it was then that the Apocrypha was officially classed as full canon by the Roman church, even though the listing at Carthage (397) and Florence (1445) included some apocryphal writings. Of course, there were Catholic leaders on both sides of the issue between Pope Innocent I and the Council of Trent. But at the Council of Trent, there was no longer a real distinction between apocryphal books and the rest of Scripture in Roman Catholicism.

Brief Overview in History of the View of the Apocrypha

Date Event Apocrypha considered fully inspired?
c. 400 BC Malachi ends the OT Scripture. N/A
c. 100 BC–c. AD 100 The community who copies the Dead Sea Scrolls never refers to the Apocrypha as “it is written” or “God says” as they do with other canon books. No
c. AD 30 Jesus never rejects the Jewish canon (which is the same as the Protestant OT); Jesus never quotes from the Apocrypha as Scripture. No
AD 40 Philo, Jewish philosopher, refers to all but 5 OT books and never quotes from the Apocrypha. No
c. AD 40–90 The New Testament writers do not quote from the Apocrypha as Scripture. No
AD 90 The Council of Jamnia draws up a list of canonical books for Judaism at the time—the Apocrypha are excluded. No
AD 80–100 Josephus, Jewish historian, never lists the Apocrypha as Scripture. No
AD 170 The first verifiable canon listing from the church fathers is found in the writings of Melito of Sardis, and the Apocrypha are missing. No
AD 320s Another listing by Athanasius lists canon books, but the Apocrypha are missing. No
AD 382–405 Jerome, who translated the Bible into Latin, opposes the Apocrypha as Scripture, though he translates it. No
c. AD 350–370 Rufinius lists the canon books, and the Apocryphal books are not among them. No
c. AD 350–370 Cyril of Jerusalem rejects the Apocrypha. No
c. AD 343-381 Council of Laodicea rejects all of the Apocrypha except Baruch. No (except 1)
AD 393 Regional Synod of Hippo, influenced by Augustine, is the first listing of the Apocrypha as Scripture and is approved at the regional Council of Carthage (397). See the discussion above on Hippo. Yes
AD 590–604 Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome, in his writings denies Maccabees as canonical but still says it is useful (according to Roman Catholic patristics scholar, William Jurgens). Openly denies 1
AD 1445 Council of Florence declares that the Apocryphal books are canonical. Yes
c. early AD 1500 Catholic Cardinal Cajetan (who opposed Luther) points out that there are two levels of inspiration, and the Apocrypha, Judith, Tobit, books of Maccabees, Wisdom, and Ecclesiasticus are lesser and seen as non-canon books. No (secondary canon)
AD 1520 Polyglot Bible of Cardinal Ximenes (approved by Pope Leo X) is published. No
AD 1517–1520s Protestant Reformation retains the Jewish canon and that of Jerome (and many others) with no Apocrypha. No
AD 1546 The Council of Trent finalizes the Roman Church additions of the Apocrypha as full canon. Yes

Protestants today would say that the books of the Apocrypha are useful for many reasons (historical and so on), but they would not label them as Scripture. This was the view of the Reformers and Puritans. The early editions of the Geneva Bible and KJV (1611) contained the Apocrypha. It was dropped, presumably, when it was realized that some readers might not understand the distinction. This view is very similar to the dominant Catholic view up until the Council of Trent.

Concluding remarks about Old Testament canon and the presuppositional method

The presuppositional method essentially starts with God’s Word as an absolute beginning and ends with God’s Word as the final authority on matters. There is no greater authority on anything than God.

Christ, as the prophet, gives the final affirmation of the Old Testament as Scripture. Other prophets had written or affirmed books of the Old Testament canon upon Israel. Though we may not know who all of them were, the fact is that Israel knew they had been given authoritative status. In some cases, we may know which prophet it was, such as Moses for the Law. But Christ is the authority on this and affirmed the 39 books of the Old Testament.

This method of presuppositional apologetics has proved vital in defending many attacks on the Word of God. And the issue of canon is no different. This method hinges on Christ for both the Old and New Testaments (as we will see in the next section). The protestant and Jewish Old Testament were confirmed by Christ, while the books of the Apocrypha were not.


Cite this article: Hodge, B., How do we know that the 66 books of the Bible are from God? A presuppositional response, Part 1: Old Testament and Apocrypha, Biblical Authority Ministries, August, 18, 2015,

[1] For more on these issues see Greg Bahnsen, Always Ready (Nacogdoches, Texas: Covenant Media Press, 1996).

[2] Any other starting point will self-destruct, as the Bible must be true in order for knowledge, logic, morality, science, and so on to exist. By starting with God and His Word, the all-knowing God of the Bible informs that all other worldviews are wrong. Therefore, other worldviews must borrow from the Bible to argue against the Bible. For more on this, see Jason Lisle, The Ultimate Proof of Creation (Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books, 2009).

[3] Greg Bahnsen, “The Concept and Importance of Canonicity,” Antithesis 1, no. 5 (September-October, 1990): 42-45,

[4] Many of these past proposals for methods of canonization are based on the lecture given by Dr. Greg Bahnsen where he summarizes them entitled “The Question of Canonicity,”

[5] To Luther’s credit, he did recognize this was a problematic way to look at the canon and really did not favor it greatly.

[6] Though it was not until an apostle pointed this out to the church that realized they were Scripture.

[7] Josh McDowell, A Ready Defense (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1993), p. 35.

[8] Some Jewish counts have 22 books instead of 24, because Ruth was combined with Judges, and Lamentations was combined with with Jeremiah, but the text is the same. Interestingly, if there are 22 books of the Old Testament by this count and 27 in the New, this makes 49 books. But if we add in the Book of Life (which is in Heaven) mentioned in Revelation, that makes an even round number of 50.

[9] For more on this subject, see Brian Edwards,Nothing But the Truth (Webster, New York: Evangelical Press, 2006) and Why 27? (Webster, New York: Evangelical Press, 2007).

[10] From Cardinal Caietan (Jacob Thomas de Vio), Commentary on All the Authentic Historical Books of the Old Testament, In ult. Cap., Esther; taken from William Whitaker, A Disputation on Holy Scripture (Cambridge University, 1849), p. 48. See also B.F. Westcott, A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament (Cambridge: MacMillan, 1889), p. 475.

How do we know that the 66 books of the Bible are from God? A presuppositional response, Part 1: Old Testament and Apocrypha

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