You aim for nothing, you hit it every time.

We need something to guide our life. Without a guide for our lives we are living by the old adage, “You aim for nothing, you hit it every time.” If we walk through life aimlessly there will be no direction and without direction, you will be lost. If the basis for your direction is always wavering, then what direction will you be headed?
David said in Psalm 119:105 “Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” God’s Word, the Bible, can be a lamp and a light to the path of our lives. How do we know that God’s Word is an unwavering source of truth that will lead us in a clear direction and not like a leaf blowing in the wind?
Here are a few facts about the Bible. There have been over 6 billion copies of the Bible published. The Bible was written over a period of 1500 years by 40 different authors and yet it all fits together. Many events that happened in the New Testament were foretold at least 500 years before the event actually took place. The theme throughout the Bible is evident even though it was written by 40 different men. This theme is clearly seen as man’s problem (sin) and the cure for man’s problem (Jesus Christ).
So how do we know that “God’s Word is truth?” (John 17:17). There are 5 tests that have been used through the ages of time to determine the canonicity (a standard by which writings are recognized as Biblical) of Scripture. These tests are questions that each book in the Bible must be able to answer. Through the ages many councils have come together to determine whether the books included in our Bibles are actually the Words of God given divinely through humans as the expressed Words of God.
1. Is it Authoritative? The Prophets in the Old Testament were recognized as having authority by their characteristic words, “And the Word of the Lord came unto the Prophet” or “The Lord said unto…” or “God spoke.” Books that were rejected are fanciful and magical and do not have enough evidence to support their claim. “When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:22)
2. Is it Prophetic? In the Old Testament we see time and again things that were foretold come true in the New Testament. Isaiah writes about the coming Messiah as a baby in Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
3. Is it Authentic? Many books were rejected by the Jewish Fathers and early Christian Fathers based on there being historical inaccuracies and moral incongruities. There must be coherence with books that were already established as books that were a part of the canon.
4. Is it Dynamic? Does the book come with the power of God? Hebrews 4:12 “The Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword…”
5. Is it received? Has this book been accepted by the people of God. As the people of God met together to discern the truth did they see inconsistencies with the whole of Scripture that caused doubts in their minds?
These five questions are primarily used for the canon of the Old Testament. There are also five statements used to determine the canonicity of the New Testament. Those will be the topic of my next blog.
Overarching above all of these questions is “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (II Timothy 3:16, 17). If the passages were not inspired by God than they did not come from God and they are not to be included in the canon. These questions have helped man to determine whether the words they were reading were indeed inspired or breathed out by God and written for man for “our learning” (Romans 15:4).