Theology Essay on Canonisation for Biblical Studies

Added on -2020-06-06

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Theology- critical essay
"Is the study of canon and canonisation important for Biblical studies?Bible is considered to be the collection of sacred scriptures and texts that Christians and Jewsconsider to be a product of divine inspiration and records that enables to develop strongrelationship with God and humans (Spellman, 2014). There are many authors who havecontributed in order to form the Bible. On the other hand, there is some of the book that was notincluded. In order to the concept of formation of bible, one need to understand that not all thebooks found as scripture are not included in Bible. Among the process through bible was formedwas with the process of canonization of Scripture. Different people have diverse set ofperception for the aspects on which discussion take place. There are conditions in whichdiscussion can cause serious conflicts and can made the discussion with no outcome. Similarly,in Christianity where it was just formed, people did not had any type of understand towards howa holy life can be spent (Najman, 2012). When talking about New Testament, there are mainlyfour gospels which are from the disciples of Jesus (Mathew, Mark, Luke and John). There areother disciples of Jesus who wrote scriptures, like in the writings of Thomas, there are storieswhich cover information about childhood of Jesus. Main reason due to which these books wereincluded in Bible was because of something called Canonization of Scripture (Peckham, 2011). At the time when Christianity was forming, there were many books which were floatingaround the churches. These developed teaching and ideas that caused problems among peopleand thus had negative impact on churches (Nkomazana and Kealotswe, 2010). Many number ofcontroversies that raised on what Christians should believe and ways that they should behave. Soas an attempt to develop unity among Christians, some of the people can together and decided onthe books that should be included in the Bible and once that should not. This way, they were ableto develop what is called “canon of Scripture”. Canon is considered to be the measuring rod thatis used by builders and carpenters (Driver, 2013). In context with Scriptures, this is determinedto be the standards and rules through which various documents and letters were measured inorder to analyse whether people should accept and recognized by church. During the year 200 AD, there were about 20 New Testament books that were consideredby leaders of church who had the authority and accuracy of Scripture (Maddix and Thompson,2012). The books that were used currently in New Testament were debated by the early churchwere 2 Peter, 3 John, Revelation, Jude, Hebrews, James, etc. In the year 397 AD final list ofbooks that was of 27 books were decided and was included in Bible at the Council of Carthage.1
However, the changes made was done so that Christian were able to live a spiritual life but therewere many groups formed which got divided and started their own rules that were followed bythem. In order to select the books for Bible, there were many rules and considerations made butit is difficult to identify methods and standards that Council member used to decide 27 books ofNew Testament (Anderson and Giles, 2012). There were mentioned criteria for selection of thesebooks done. However, some of the writers and most of the scholars in the modern world believethat there are six of the criteria that were used and they are as follows:Apostolic: The book needs to be written by a ministry partner or by an apostle.Orthodox: Need to be approved by the approval and acceptance of the church.Christocentric: The book to be focused on the person or work of Jesus.Inspiration: It needs to have the characteristics and qualities of divinely inspired Word ofGod (Katajala-Peltomaa, 2014).Testimony of the Holy Spirit: Authorities of church should have inner witness of theHoly Spirit in order to help them to select certain books.Acceptance by Church: The book should be already being widely used and accepted bymajority of churches. With the above given process is the result of New Testament and is being read new andstudies (van Aarde, 2012). On the other hand, when talking about Old Testament the processused for selecting the 46 books were completely different. In this modern world, there are stillmany issues face by the Canon of New Testament. For example, Martin Luther was willing toremove Book of James from the Bible but this never happened. Further, there are some peoplewho are wanting to include other books as they seem that they were political and arbitrarymotivations for selection of the books (Patzia and Petrotta, 2010). The canon are considered to be the selection of books done with the help of which bibleis formed. People do not have the capability to make own decision and to understand the set ofinformation that are provided in scriptures. In this context, there are leaders or individuals whoare professionals will knowledge and understanding who devote their life for understanding thescriptures that are given by others through the spirit of God (von Weissenberg, 2012). In contextwith the Bible, there are 73 books that are included in Bible and these books were selectedundergoing long process that included debates and long discussions which helped in selectingmost reliable book that could provide and guide individuals to know and develop their2

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