3. The Bible is not just 1 book but is a library of books, 66 books in total.
B. These 66 books are sometime referred to as the Canon.
1. The term Canon = Means cane, or measuring rod
2. The term canon refers to the books that meet a certain standard and are therefore recognized as the authoritative Word of God therefore they become the measure or standard (Canon) for all matters of faith and conduct.
3. How seriously should we take the scripture to be the authoritative word of God? Galatians 1:8
II. The Word before the Bible.
A. In the beginning there was no real need for a written record of the life of Christ because the Apostle were alive to tell the story and to answer questions.
B. In the beginning the good news was spread through the use of:
1. Oral tradition/word of mouth.
2. Cited the Old Testament to show that Jesus was the messiah.
3. On occasion would benefit from the manifestation of the Holy Spirit through prophetic utterances.
C. After 15- 20 years, the apostles were passing away and It was realized that a written record was needed so the Gospel stories were recorded.
D. False teachings arose, the apostles began to write letters to the various churches to encourage them and teach them the teachings of Christ.
III. Collecting the Letters
Not every gospel or letter was well known in every region.
1. The gospels were written for different audiences.
2. The apostles did not travel in the same locations.
B. Some people began writing letters who had no business in writing letters to the churches.
1. The authors pretended to be someone else.
2. They taught inaccurate things about Christ.
C. With all these letters it was necessary to determine what letter’s were authoritative.
D. From the early 2nd century there were individual who began to attempt to compile lists of letters that were already deemed as authoritative by the churches.
1. 2 Peter 3:15-16
2. Marcion developed his list of authoritative works in 140 A.D..