Unique Criteria

We have to travel tomorrow and will be gone for a few days. However, we will leave you with this article.

We have spent years studying archaeology, history, different religions. There is one thing that has caught our attention recently. It started when we wrote the piece Is Peter behind Mark’s Gospel.

We quoted an important criteria, that will be re-quoted here shortly to prove a point about the fact that Mark’s gospel met that criteria. Today, we are quoting more important information to help you have more confidence in God’s word.

All quotes come from Lee Strobel’s book The Case for Christ and while we do not like how he responded during the Ravi Zacharias’ issue, he still wrote good information that is vital to shore up the faith of many Christians.

The quotes come from Chapter 3 and Mr. Strobel’s interview with the late Dr. Bruce Metzger:

You have to understand that the canon was not the result of a series of contests involving church politics.The canon is rather the separation that came about because of the intuitive insight of Christian believers. They could hear the voice of the good shepherd in the gfospel of John… (pg. 72-73)

You see, the canon is a list of authoritative books more than it is an authoritative list of books. The documents didn’t derive their authority from being selected; each one was authoritative before anyon gathered them together (pg. 73)

To my mind, that just shows how careful the early church was…They weren’t ‘gung ho’, sweeping in every last document that happened to have anything about Jesus in it. This shows deliberation and careful analysis (pg. 73)

In other words, the church knew what it was doing, knew how to recognize God’s word, and gathered those books that met the criteria that were set forth in order to be included in the canon.

We will talk about the importance of the criteria in a minute. First, if you do not already know them, here they are:

First, the books must have apostolic authority. This means they must have been written by an apostle or by someone hwo knew an apostle.

Second, there was the criterion of conformity to what was the basic rule of faith. This was where the content had to fit the basic beliefs the early church recoognized and held as normal.

Third, the document had to have continued usage and acceptance by the church at large. In other words, all the churches must accept them as authoritative writings form God and used them in their worship and daily lives. (Pg. 70)

What makes this standard and the bible so unique is that it is the only religious or holy writing of all the different religions to have to meet rules before it was included in the Bible.

In all of our studies, we have not found one false religion’s holy books having to meet any criteria, or have councils deciding if the books should be included in the canon or not.

None of the mystery religions works had to and inf fact no one knows who wrote those books, what they originally contained, or if they have been edited or not.

If you look at cultic religions like LDS, JWs, Islam, and a myriad of others, you will find that they all borrow from the Bible and only one man or maybe 2 men wrote the initial holy books. for the 7th Day Adventist it was Mrs. White, for the Christian Scientists it was MAry baker eddy, for Scientology it was Ron Hubbard and the list goes on.

Not one member of the different congregations held councils to determine if the contents of their holy books were correct or being infiltrated by false teaching. The Muslims believe that Allah wrote their Koran.

They do not say that Mohammad did but that he simply preached what was revealed to him. The Koran was written long after Mohammad’s death. Even then, there was no council deciding what were the correct words.

Just one man was given the task to decide which were the correct words and which were not. No one knows if he even got it right (source). But for the Bible not only have there been several councils and a host of men deciding what was authoritative and what was not but there was also the early church showing the way.

The early church knew which were the correct books because they had been using them for the past few hundred years. When you delve into the histories of different religions you will find that no one really knows how they got their holy books.

Not Islam, LDS, and more modern cult or false religions but most of the early false religions that existed in the first couple of centuries after Christ’s death and resurrection.

Joseph Smith was the sole translater of the Book of Mormon and other Mormon holy books. There are no councils or congregations stepping forward to make sure they have the truth. There are also no criteria used to determine the contents of these alternative religious works.

Their content is whatever someone decides it to be. This is what helps make the Bible stand out and prove that it is true as well as the word of God. It alone had to pass tests to ensure that the people got the truth.

This leads us to what Dr. Metzger said in his interview with Mr. Strobel:

We can be confident that no other ancient books can compare with the New Testament in terms of importance for Christian history and doctrine (pg.71)

We can add to that statement that no other ancient book compares to the Bibler for truth, integrity, validity, and so on. There is a difference between the Bible and all other religious works. No other religious holy book has the authority that the Bible has.

When you read the Bible, you know you are getting the exact same words that Jesus spoke, and that the people have read and heard for the past 2000 and over 3000 for the OT.

You are not getting made-up stories and the over 5000 NT mss. that have been found over the years continue to prove that point true. That s=is another piece of evidence that other ancient holy books do not enjoy.

The long manuscript evidence continues to show that the Bible is true and has more evidence supporting it than all the other religious works combined.

 

2 thoughts on “Unique Criteria

    1. We approved this pingback only to provide you alink to people who are decieved and think they canstand in judgment of God, the Bible and Christians. They have no comprehension of the truth and are in no position to say anything about those people and items.

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