Canon and Textual Criticism (Part 1)

We recognize sixty-six books as Holy Scripture: thirty-nine in the Old Testament and twenty-seven in the New Testament. How were these books recognized? How do we know we have the correct books? Why don’t we include all the books the Roman Catholic Church includes (Apocrypha)?

“Canon” comes from Green and Hebrew words that refer to a measuring rod. Canonicity can refer to the criteria by which we recognize which books are included. At least with respect to the Bible, it also could have reference in a greater sense to these books being the rule for our lives.

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