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Friday, November 2, 2007

Sola Scriptura & the Canons of scripture

Which Canon is sola? And why?

There are different Canons of scripture. So I'm wondering if the protestant doctrine of Sola scriptura is affected by the reality of multiple canons?

It is said that the Samaritan Canon only has 5 books. The first five books of Moses.

The Torah
1.)Genesis
2.)Exodus
3.)Leviticus
4.)Numbers
5.)Deuteronomy


The Jewish Canon. The Tanakh, has 35 books. They don't divide Kings, Chronicles, Samuel, and Ezra-Nehemiah. To them Kings is one book. Chronicles is one book, samuel is one book......ect.

Some Jews may see the first five books as the primary books and the other books as secondary commentaries to the first five.


The Torah
1.)Genesis
2.)Exodus
3.)Leviticus
4.)Numbers
5.)Deuteronomy


The Prophets
6.)Joshua
7.)Judges
8.)Samuel
9.)Kings

10.)Isaiah
11.)Jeremiah
12.)Ezekial

13.)Hosea
14.)Joel
15.)Amos
16.)Obadiah
17.)Jonah
18.)Micah
19.)Nahum
20.)Habakkuk
21.)Zephaniah
22.)Haggai
23.)Zecariah
24.)Malachi

The Writings
25.)Psalms
26.)Proverbs
27.)Job
28.)Song of Solomon
29.)Ruth
30.)Lamentations
31.)Ecclesiastes
32.)Esther
33.)Daniel
34.)Ezra-Nehemiah
35.)Chronicles



The Christian Old Testament Canons

The Roman Catholic Canon has 46 books

The Pentateuch
1.)Genesis
2.)Exodus
3.)Leviticus
4.)Numbers
5.)Deuteronomy

The Prophets
6.)Joshua
7.)Judges
8.)Ruth
9.)1 Samuel
10.)2 Samuel
11.)1 Kings
12.)2 Kings
13.)1st Chronicles
14.)2nd Chronicles
15.)Ezra
16.)Nehemiah
17.)Tobit
18.)Judith
19.)Esther(extra chapters)
20.)1 Maccabees
21.)2 Maccabees
22.)Job
23.)Psalms
24.)Proverbs
25.)Ecclesiastes
26.)Song of Solomon
27.)Wisdom of Solomon
28.)Sirach
29.)Isaiah
30.)Jeremiah
31.)Lamentations
32.)Baruch
33.)Ezekiel
34.)Daniel(extra chapters)
35.)Hosea
36.)Joel
37.)Amos
38.)Obadiah
39.)Jonah
40.)Micah
41.)Nahum
42.)Habakkuk
43.)Zephaniah
44.)Haggai
45.)Zecariah
46.)Malachi




The Eastern Orthodox Canon has 49 books

The Pentateuch
1.)Genesis
2.)Exodus
3.)Leviticus
4.)Numbers
5.)Deuteronomy

The Historical books
6.)Joshua
7.)Judges
8.)Ruth
9.)1 Samuel
10.)2 Samuel
11.)1 Kings
12.)2 Kings
13.)1 Paralipomenon(1st Chronicles)
14.)2 Paralipomenon(2nd Chronicles)
15.)1 Esdras
16.)2 Esdras
17.)Nehemiah
18.)Tobit
19.)Judith
20.)Esther
21.)1 Maccabees
22.)2 Maccabees
23.)3 Maccabees

The Wisdom books
24.)Psalms(with an extra chapter. 151 chapters.)
25.)Job
26.)Proverbs of Solomon
27.)Ecclesiastes
28.)Asma (Canticle of Canticles)
29.)Wisdom of Solomon
30.)Wisdom of Sirach(also called Sirach & Ecclesiasticus)

The Prophets
31.)Hosea
32.)Amos
33.)Micah
34.)Joel
35.)Obadiah
36.)Jonah
37.)Nahum
38.)Habakkuk
39.)Zephaniah
40.)Haggai
41.)Zechariah
42.)Malachi
43.)Isaiah
42.)Jeremiah
43.)Baruch
44.)Epistle of Jeremiah
45.)Lamentations
46.)Ezekiel
47.)Daniel
48.)4 Maccabees
49.)Prayer of Manessah

Prayer of Manessah is sometimes in the appendix of some Bibles.




The Ethiopian (Narrower) Canon has 52 books

The Pentateuch
1.)Genesis
2.)Exodus
3.)Leviticus
4.)Numbers
5.)Deuteronomy


The Prophets
6.)Enoch
7.)Jubilees
8.)Joshua
9.)Judges
10.)Ruth
11.)1 Samuel
12.)2 Samuel
13.)1 Kings
14.)2 Kings
15.)1 Chronicles
16.)2 Chronicles
17.)Ezra
18.)Nehemiah
19.)3rd Ezra
20.)4rth Ezra
21.)Tobit
22.)Judith
23.)Esther(extra verses)
24.)1 Macabees
25.)2 Macabees
26.)3 Macabees
27.)Job
28.)Psalms(extra chapter)
29.)Proverbs(Proverbs chapters 1-24)
30.)Täagsas(Proverbs chapters 25-31)
31.)Wisdom of Solomon
32.)Ecclesiastes
33.)Song of Solomon
34.)Sirach(Ecclesiasticus. Also called Wisdom of Sirach)
35.)Isaiah
36.)Jeremiah
37.)Baruch
38.)Lamentations
39.)Ezekiel
40.)Daniel
41.)Hosea
42.)Amos
43.)Micah
44.)Joel
45.)Obadiah
46.)Jonah
47.)Nahum
48.)Habakkuk
49.)Zephaniah
50.)Haggai
51.)Zecariah
52.)Malachi



The Protestant Canon has 39 books

The Pentateuch
1.)Genesis
2.)Exodus
3.)Leviticus
4.)Numbers
5.)Deuteronomy

The Prophets
6.)Joshua
7.)Judges
8.)Ruth
9.)1 Samuel
10.)2 Samuel
11.)1 Kings
12.)2 Kings
13.)1 Chronicles
14.)2 Chronicles
15.)Ezra
16.)Nehemiah
17.)Esther
18.)Job
19.)Psalms
20.)Proverbs
21.)Ecclesiastes
22.)Song of Solomon
23.)Isaiah
24.)Jeremiah
25.)Lamentations
26.)Ezekiel
27.)Daniel
28.)Hosea
29.)Joel
30.)Amos
31.)Obadiah
32.)Jonah
33.)Micah
34.)Nahum
35.)Habakkuk
36.)Zephaniah
37.)Haggai
38.)Zecariah
39.)Malachi



New Testament Canon

Rome, Orthodoxy, Ethiopian Narrow(not larger), and Prots all share the same 27 books of the new Testament.

The Gospels
1.)Mathew
2.)Mark
3.)Luke
4.)John

5.)Acts

The Epistles
6.)Romans
7.)1st Corinthians
8.)2nd Corinthians
9.)Galations
10.)Ephesians
11.)Philippians
12.)Colossians
13.)1st Thessalonians
14.)2nd Thessalonians
15.)1st Timothy
16.)2nd Timothy
17.)Titus
18.)Philemon
19.)Hebrews
20.)James
21.)1st Peter
22.)2nd Peter
23.)1st John
24.)2nd John
25.)3rd John
26.)Jude
27.)Revelation


The Nestorian/Church of the East's New Testament Canon differs. They only have 22 New Testament books.


The Gospels
1.)Mathew
2.)Mark
3.)Luke(does not include Luke verses 22:17-18)
4.)John(does not include John verses 7:53 to 8:11)

5.)Acts

The Epistles
6.)Romans
7.)1st Corinthians
8.)2nd Corinthians
9.)Galations
10.)Ephesians
11.)Philippians
12.)Colossians
13.)1st Thessalonians
14.)2nd Thessalonians
15.)1st Timothy
16.)2nd Timothy
17.)Titus
18.)Philemon
19.)Hebrews
20.)James
21.)1st Peter
22.)1st John





So which canon is sola and why?

The Eastern Orthodox Canon was cemented in the 6th eucemenical council around 680 A.D.

I might be wrong but Rome's Canon could of been cemented with the councils of Florence(14 hundreds) and Trent(15 hundreds).I might be wrong again, but it seems as if the Protestant canons were cemented when their confessions(15 and 16 hundreds) were written.

So what does all of this have to do with the Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura?



Simple,


If one believes in scripture alone then one must ask: "What is scripture"?


I was wondering if the reality of multiple Bible canons would cause a problem for those who held to Sola scriptura.

What would a Protestant say to a Nestorian who doesn't have the books of Revelations, 2nd, 3rd John, 2nd Peter, and Jude in their New Testament canon?


They can't use those books to convince them.

So the issue of Sola scriptura would ultimately come down to the issue of the canon.


I see a link between the doctrine of Sola scriptura with the canon of scripture.

And from this I see another link between the canon of scripture with the Authority to compile a canon.

1.) Who has the authority to compile a canon?

2.) And by what Authority can one do it?


So in short, what I am saying is this. If one says they believe in scripture alone then I would ask.

"Which canon is sola"?


and if one says the 66 book canon. Then I would ask another question:

"Why is that canon sola and not the other ones?"


My prediction is that eventually it will lead to the issue of "authority". Who has the authority to compile a canon. If the Marcionites didn't have the authority. If the Mormons don't have the authority then who has the authority? And why?




Related link:

When did the Jews(nonbelieving) "officially" reject the Deuterocanon?

The myth of the closed canon of 70 - 90 A.D.

Questions of Canon viewed through Dead Sea Scrolls

Greek in Jerusalem/Palestine

A reflected Egyptian Bible

Observations on Early Papyri and MSS for LXX/OG Study

Dead Sea Scrolls Bible







Jnorm888
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