Have you ever wondered if the Bible really contains all the books, and only the books, inspired by the Holy Spirit of God? Could it be that maybe Genesis wasn’t truly inspired, or maybe that the Gospel of Thomas and the
book of Bel the Dragon should be included in our Bibles. How can we claim an inerrant Word of God, if we are not even sure if we have the right books?
The answer to that question is simple: God decides, and God made it very, very clear to us. We merely need to recognise which books are part of the Canon of Scripture and which are not. It is really not as difficult as unbelieving Bible scholars make it out to be.
Some of the books claiming to be on the same level as Scripture, simply aren’t—they are fakes, and exposed as such without too much effort. The Da Vinci Code makes some claims to authenticity, but is fake, and The Gnostic Bible with books like the Gospel of Peter, The Gospel of Mary, and The Gospel of Thomas, makes no real claims to historical authenticity. The Biblical Gospel accounts are filled with geographical and historical data, something which is strikingly absent in these apocryphal writings.
The Bible is not like any other book. Other books stand or fall under the criticism of archaeology, history, and science; the Scriptures, however, stand above all that. It has been proven over and over again, that if Scripture and some science, for example archaeology, disagree, then just keep digging. When unbelieving Bible scholars need to cancel their unbelieving theories regarding the Bible as new archaeological discoveries are made, then Scripture is vindicated as standing in judgment on all human research.
Another reason why we can be assured of the right books being in the Bible, is because of the obvious errors in books not clearly inspired by God. For example, the Gospel of the Egyptians promotes asceticism and celibacy which are clearly condemned in the Scriptures. The Gospel of Peter teaches the doctrine of Docetism which teaches that Jesus didn’t have a real physical earthly body.
Bruce Metzger concludes his discussion on the NT Canon with these words:
… instead of suggesting that certain books were accidentally included and others were accidentally excluded from the New Testament Canon it is more accurate to say that certain books excluded themselves from the canon.Bruce M. Metzger, The Canon of the New Testament, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1987, 1997. 286.
The Biblical books stand head and shoulders above the rest in historical accuracy, manuscript evidence, and theological consistency. William Barclay said it well when he wrote,
It is the simple truth to say that the New Testament books became canonical because no one could stop them doing so.William Barclay, The Making of the Bible, London and New York, 1961. 78
No human being decided which books are included or excluded in the Holy Scripture. God decided; We merely recognise His decision. God places His own, easily recognisable, stamp of authenticity on His Word; there
is no greater. As historical, evangelical, orthodox believers, we therefore confess the inerrancy of Scripture knowing that we have ‘the
Every word of God proves trueProverbs 30:5