The Berean Expositor
Volume 21 - Page 174 of 202
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While the testimony of these three men is sufficient to prove that at a very early date
the canon of the N.T. was recognized and accepted, it is but a tithe of the witness
available. Others of the many more who attest the canonicity of the books of the N.T.
THEOPHILUS, Bishop of Antioch, converted A.D. 150.
ATHENAGORAS, a philosopher of Athens, flourishing A.D.177.
DIONYSIUS, Bishop of Corinth about A.D.170.
ASTERIUS URBANUS, Bishop of Galatia about A.D.188.
IGNATIUS, Bishop of Antioch, died a martyr, A.D.107, and
CLEMENT of Rome, died A.D.99.
It is only right to say that every book of the N.T. is not quoted by every writer, nor
perhaps by all together. It is easily understandable, for instance, that such an epistle as
Philemon or III John should escape, and that not because it was doubtful, but because it
may not have served the purpose of the writer, for the strength and beauty of these
testimonies is in the unconscious confirmation they give of the canon, the writers having
a variety of objects in view, but never the mere presentation of catalogues of books set
out for the purpose of proving canonicity. There are such catalogues, and we must
include their testimony, but for the present we have seen sufficient.
The importance of the fact that the Hebrew canon numbers twenty-two may now be
seen. The number of books in the N.T. is twenty-seven, and thus 22+27 gives us 49, the
perfect number, for the complete canon Old and New. Moreover, of this forty-nine there
are seven catholic epistles, seven Pauline epistles written before Acts 28:, seven
Pauline epistles written after Acts 28:, and the book of the Revelation is composed of
epistles sent to the seven churches in Asia. We have therefore the great basis of Law,
Prophets, Psalms, Gospels and Acts, supporting the seven columns of Epistles, crowned
with the sevenfold cornice of the Apocalypse. A temple of truth, complete, perfect, and
all of God.
The Apocrypha.
pp. 75 - 78
The word apocrypha is probably derived from apokrupto, "to hide", and is applied to
those books which, though closely associated with the inspired Scriptures, are
nevertheless not inspired or canonical writings. There is another possible derivation of
the word apocrypha, and that is apo tes kruptes, "away from the crypt, chest or ark" in
which were deposited the sacred books of Israel. Whatever the origin of the term, all
writers, both ancient and modern, "agree in using it to denote some kind of inferiority to
the canonical Scriptures" (Churton).
It may be as well, while we are dealing with the subject of the canon of Scripture, to
give the Apocrypha at least a passing glance. At some future time we hope to show the