Faith Check 11 – Canon of Scripture

Canon of Scripture

On this Faith Check, let’s talk a little about how we got God’s Holy Word.

The early Christians relied on the Greek translation of the Old Testament, which is the version most often quoted in the New Testament and the one Jesus probably heard growing up.  This version also includes the books that Protestants call the “Apocrypha” and typically don’t include in their Bibles.

It took a while for the Catholic Church to compile the New Testament.  Some books such as the 4 gospels were accepted by all, and others, such as the spurious gospels one hears about in The DaVinci Code were rejected by all. However, other books were completely orthodox but disputed, including some that weren’t ultimately included such as The Didache and others that were like Hebrews and Revelation.

The “canon”, which is the list of books that belong in the Bible, was determined primarily to say which books could and could not be read at the liturgy, and was largely settled by a series of Church councils approved by the Pope and bishops in the late 300s.1

Hence, when you trust in the inspiration of the Bible, you are trusting a Spirit-led decision of the Roman Catholic Church.

1 –  Council of Rome under Pope St. Damasus I [A.D. 382], Council of Hippo [A.D. 393], Council of Carthage [A.D. 397],
Epistle of Pope St. Innocent I to Bishop Exuperius [A.D. 405]

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