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The Foundation of Orthodoxy and the Canon - Research Paper Example

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The Foundation of Orthodoxy and the Canon

The best-selling book of all time is itself a compilation of books written by different authors. This paper shall outline how these books earned their place in the Bible. This paper shall discuss the key events and movements that were influential in the recognition of the canonical book. In addition, it shall look into the methodology used in determining these books as the inspired word of God. The canon of the Old Testament was apparently inherited from the Jewish faith. Jesus Christ himself recognized the authority of these books by making constant references to these books in his teachings to the apostles and to the very lucky people who had walked the earth with him and had listened to the voice of Jesus with their very own ears. The mere fact that Jesus Christ himself recognizes the authenticity and authority of the books in the Old Testament far exceeds any proof of its authority and divine inspiration. Moreover, majority of the contents of the Old Testament is also accepted as historical accounts of the ancient days. Hence, this paper shall focus on the canon of the New Testament. Although the New Testament is centered on Jesus Christ, not one book is attributed to him as the author. The books in the New Testament are accounts about the life and the teachings of Jesus Christ during his lifetime as well as the teachings of his disciples as they fulfill their duty of spreading the Word of God with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In the furtherance of this divine duty, the Apostles and other learned followers of the young Christian faith wrote their eye-witness accounts of the acts and teachings of Jesus Christ. These writings are then passed around as the disciples’ letters to different groups of people as the Christian faith slowly grew in number. “About the end of the first century we find two collections of Christian writings beginning to circulate as collections among the churches: the Fourfold Gospel and the body of Pauline Epistles. This was a step towards the acceptance of an authoritative collection, or Canon, of books of the New Covenant, as distinct from the authority which the individual Gospels and Epistles already had for those who first received them.”1 For years, the early Christianity blossomed on this collection of Gospels and Epistles. However, its authenticity and divine inspiration was challenged by the rise of the Gnostics, one of which was Marcion who declared that the entire Old Testament was nothing but a mere legend, that is, without divine authority and authenticity. As such, he published his own version of a Gospel wherein he removed all references to the Old Testament. In response, Apologists also came into existence to defend the faith and concomitantly its teachings and writings from those who want to destroy it. The Church Fathers, those who have been the students of the Apostles themselves, and who took over the reins of the young Christian faith when all of the Apostles passed away, also went into action in order to protect and preserve the faith. In response to Marcion’s heretic challenge, they declared that, “We do not believe that the New Testament books supersede the Old Testament; we place them alongside it as its proper sequel and fulfillment. We do not acknowledge one Gospel only, but four, and one of the four is the genuine edition of that Gospel which Marcion has mutilated. We do not acknowledge ten Pauline Epistles only, but thirteen: and in addition to these we also acknowledge the ...Show more

Summary

The Foundation of Orthodoxy and the Canon The Christians of the modern world have a very powerful treasure in their hands – the Bible. Everything has been laid out for them by their forefathers. All that is asked from them is to read the Bible, follow its teachings and live by the Words of God…
Author : stephon86
The Foundation of Orthodoxy and the Canon essay example
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