The Clarity And The Canon Of Scripture - Big Picture Christian Life (Part 9)
The Clarity and Canon of Scripture William Tyndale (1494 – 1536) “If God spare my life, before many years I will cause a boy that drives a plough to know more of the Scripture than you do.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 30:11-14 11 For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. New Testament letters Most are written to the congregations, not to the church leaders. Baptist Confession of 1689 “All things in Scripture are not equally plain in themselves, nor equally clear to everyone, yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded and revealed in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the educated but also the uneducated may attain a sufficient understanding of them by the due use of ordinary means.” Definition of the Clarity of Scripture Scripture is written in such a way that it may be understood by those who, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, read or hear the biblical text. (Akin) The clarity of Scripture means that the Holy Spirit makes the Bible understandable to all who read it seeking to be submissive to what it says. (Lambert) Scripture is always clear enough for us to carry out our present responsibilities before God. (Frame) Application – Why is this so important? 1. 2. 3. 4. What God is like is at stake. Whom God is for is at stake. Language is at stake. Your spiritual growth is at stake. Definition of the Canon of Scripture Comes from an ancient word meaning “measuring rod.” Which books “measure up” and qualify as Scripture. Canon refers to the body of writing that God has given to rule the church. (Frame) Evidence of a Developing Canon in Scripture 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Two tablets of Stone Deuteronomic law of Moses (Deuteronomy 31:24) Words of Joshua (Joshua 24:25-28) Many places in OT where one writer indicates knowledge of the work of another (Jeremiah 26:18 quotes Micah 3:12) NT indicates Law, Prophets, Writings NT writers speak of a “tradition” to be passed down NT already recognizing contemporary writings as Scripture (2 Peter 3:15-16; 1 Timothy 5:17-18) Application – What does this mean? 1. The canon of Scripture is complete and closed 2. The canon contains God’s words that will help you “take steps to the right” 3. Think carefully and treat differently other ancient writings • Apocrypha • Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Judas, Book of Enoch John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.