The Ancient Paths is the television ministry of Christ Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City, Utah (a congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.) The program airs every Wednesday night at 8:00pm MST on KTMW-TV20 (a channel that covers all of Utah and parts of the surrounding states).

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Ancient Paths - Episode 33: More on Scripture

This is the thirty-third episode of the Ancient Paths television program, hosted by Pastor Jason Wallace. In this episode Pastor Wallace continues on the topic of Holy Scripture by discussing the nature and history of the canon. The program airs on Wednesday nights at 8:00pm on KTMW-TV20, a station that is available in Utah and parts of surrounding states. The program is hosted by Christ Presbyterian Church of Salt Lake City. This episode aired on 08/20/08.


Unknown said...

I happened to see your program on Channel 20 last Wednesday, when you discussed some books not found in The Bible. You discussed a lot about the Book of Jarom. You stated that a lot of these books were “ecclesiastical” and were not scripture. If as you define scripture “as men being moved upon by the Spirit” which would include Prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, and such. Then why are not the following are not considered scripture by you

Book of Samuel the Seer

Book of Gad the Seer

Book of Nathan the Prophet ?

All mentioned in 1 Chronicles 29:29 in your eyes not considered scripture. I find the definition of Seer as being a Prophet 1 Samuel 9:9, 2 Samuel 24:11.

Also are mentioned are prophecy of Ahijah (2 Chr. 9:29), vision of Iddo the seer (same reference), sayings of the seers (2 Chr 33:19).

I know there are other writings mentioned, but I have focused on the mention of the other writings from seers or prophets.

You also mentioned the Pastorial letters of Paul. By this I assume you mean the references in Paul’s epistles of 1 Cor 5:9, Eph 3:3, and Col 4:16. And I ask you why were not these epistles included in the Bible?

Also, in Jude 1:14 is mentioned about a prophecy of Enoch which is not included in the present canon.

It shows that God has spoken additional scripture which is not included in the present canon.

You may say that they were not included because they cover the same things, but do not the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John cover the same things and they were included and why not these other books?

theancientpaths said...


Thanks for taking the time to write in to us.

Here are some questions to chew on:

1.) If a book is referenced by a biblical author (i.e. book of the kings, book of Nathan the Prophet, book of Enoch) does that necessitate that that book must also be scripture? Is it not possible for a biblical author to quote an uninspired work to buttress a historical claim?

2.) Does all revelation which comes from God necessarily have to be canonical scripture? Could something be a true revelation from God which He didn't preserve for future generations? Certainly the gospels don't contain all of Jesus' teachings (which since he was the God-man should be considered divine). I suggest that you need to distinguish between the related concepts of revelation and canonical scripture. Revelation is God's revealing truth to men, scripture is the revelation committed to writing and preserved (see Westminster Confession of Faith I.1-10)

3.) Is everything written by the hand of the apostles inspired scripture? Does the fact that Paul wrote other letters which we don't possess necessitate an incomplete canon?

Finally, we must analyze your motivations for positing an incomplete canon. I don't know your situation and I definitely don't want to put words in your mouth, but from my experience the only reason someone would want to argue for an incomplete canon would be in order to supplant the authority of the scriptures with human tradition or new scriptures and revelations (Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Christian Science, the Charismatic movement, etc.)

Before we should talk about the concept of an open or closed canon, we should discuss whether or not your faith tradition is in conflict with the canon we do have.

Thanks again.

Steve R said...

I would suggest considering an understanding of the canon at having a scope of subject matter. This is opposed to the idea that every 'revelation' be included in the Bible canon.

The scope of the Bible is limited to the themes of redemption. The Bible starts out with the Creation and Fall of Mankind. And it ends with the solution to the problem of the Fall. The theme of the Bible contains the definition of the Human Problem-- and the solution (who is Christ).

We have Eternity> Creation> Fall> Redemption> Recreation. This pattern proposes at first a problem and ends with a solution. This represents a completed theme/scenario.

This theme represents the scope of the Bible's theme and what makes the Bible 'complete' and finished.

Certain so-called 'lost books of the Bible’ when studied are outside the scope of the Bible's theme and canon. These books may have some interesting or entertaining contant, but do not provide extra insights for humans in terms of the human problem, or the ultimate human solution to the human condition.

Thus, these 'lost books' do not have a place as a supplement to the Bible's greater mission, scope of human redemption.

Because these 'lost books' are not relevant to the theme of human salvation or redemption they were not included in the canon.

Other books of course did not make it into the canon because they were not 'Apostolic"

Steve R-- Evangelical Christian/Former LDS Member