The Berean Expositor
Volume 46 - Page 119 of 249
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The Inspiration and Canon of the Scriptures.
pp. 10 - 12
"Canon."  Both `canon' and `cannon' come from the same Greek word which
primarily meant something "straight", thus a `cane' or `reed' and so a `rule' (Gal. 6: 16;
Phil. 3: 16).  Three terms used in this connection must be understood. They are
genuine, authentic, and authoritative.
Genuine. A book is genuine if it was actually written by the person whose name it bears;
or, if it be anonymous, it is genuine if it contains evidence that it was written
at the time when it purports to have been written.
A book is authentic if the matters of fact with which it deals actually
Authoritative.  If any book of Scripture is either genuine or authentic or both, then it
must necessarily be authoritative by its very nature.
Before the Christian era, the canon of the O.T. was fixed, "The Law, the Prophets and
the Psalms" (Luke 24: 44). To this we have many witnesses. One is Josephus, who
lived during the time of Paul, and of whom Scalinger says he "deserves more credit than
all the Greek and Roman writers put together". Josephus says:
"Nothing can be better attested than the writings authorized among us. In fact,
they were never subject to any difference of opinion. It is therefore impossible to
see among us, as among the Greeks, a vast multitude of books disagreeing with
and combating one another. We have only twenty-two, which comprehend all
that has taken place among us and which we have just ground for believing.
Although so many centuries have already passed away, no person has ever dared
to add, or to take away, or transpose anything" (Critia Apion, Bk. 1 par. 8).
Origen, Athanasius and Cyril give the same testimony.
Twenty-two books. In the English Bible there are 39 books. The difference is due to
the fact that whereas we reckon the twelve Minor Prophets "twelve"; in the Hebrew they
count as one. So also Ruth is reckoned with Judges, I and II Samuel reckon as one. We
will set the O.T. books according to the Hebrew canon.