Monday, February 23, 2009


Text: Romans 2:1-11.

Delivered on: February 22, 2009. Streetsboro.


  1. In the latter half of Romans 1, Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, gives an account of the wickedness of the Gentile world in general.

  2. The chapter concludes with these words… Who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

    1. Notice that Paul mentions the righteous judgment of God.

    2. All too often, the judgment of men is not righteous.

      1. Sometimes we are judged according to appearances which are often wrong.

      2. Sometimes we are judged unfairly.

    3. Sometimes we have people who are good at seeing the faults in others, condemning them, and then practicing the same things themselves.

  3. In Romans 2, we have a discourse from Paul on the righteous judgment of God.

  4. Romans 2:1-11. Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. 3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: 7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.


  1. HYPOCRITICAL JUDGMENT. Verses 1-2. Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.

    1. Paul points out how wrong it is to condemn someone for something when we are doing the same thing.

      1. There were undoubtedly many self righteous Jews who felt that those heathen Gentiles were going to get exactly what they deserved. (And that is true.)

      2. But Paul is point out that in being guilty of the very same things, they too were guilty.

      3. In judging others, they were condemning themselves.

    2. Jesus had something to say about this. Matthew 7:1-5. “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    3. Does this mean, as some suggest, that since none of us are perfect, then none of us are permitted to point out sin in another’s life?

      1. No!

      2. Jesus taught that we will know whether a person is righteous or wicked by their fruit. Matthew 7:15-16. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?

      3. What would be wrong is to try to correct another person who is doing something while we are doing the same thing and not correcting it.

      4. That is what Jesus meant when He said, “First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

      5. Galatians 6:1. Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

  2. GOD’S RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT. Verses 3,6,11. 3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: 11 For there is no partiality with God.

    1. God’s judgment is universal. (v.3)

      1. Paul rhetorically asks, Do you think that you will escape the judgment of God?

      2. Will anyone escape the judgment of God?

      3. No!

      4. Good and Bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

      5. Living or dead. 2 Timothy 4:1. I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:

      6. All people! Hebrews 9:27. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.

    2. God’s judgment is uniform. (v.6)

      1. There is a uniform standard by which we will be judged.

      2. According to our deeds (v.6).

      3. Those deeds will be judged according to the word of God.

      4. John 12:48. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.

      5. Revelation 20:12. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

    3. God’s judgment is unimpeachable. (v.11)

      1. Unimpeachable – irreproachable, free from stain, guilt, or fault.

      2. Unlike man, God judges without partiality.

      3. Rich or poor. Slave or free. Jew or Greek. All are judged as equals.

      4. Galatians 3:28. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

  3. GOD’S JUDGMENT ON THE WICKED. Verses 5,8,9. 5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;

    1. What makes a person wicked?

      1. Unbelief. Romans 1:18-22. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools.

      2. Having a hard and impenitent heart (v.5).

      3. Being self-seeking (v.8).

      4. Not obeying the truth (v.8).

      5. Obeying unrighteousness or doing evil (vv.8,9).

    2. The wicked will suffer.

      1. They are treasuring up wrath (v.5). Storing it up. Hebrews 10:29-31. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

      2. They will suffer God’s indignation (v.8). Anger provoked by man’s disobedience.

      3. Anguish. Matthew 25:30. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

    3. How can a loving God cause anyone to suffer?

      1. Let us answer that with another question.

      2. How could a holy and righteous God not punish wickedness?

  4. GOD’S JUDGMENT ON THE RIGHTEOUS. Verses 7,10. 7 Eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

    1. What makes a person righteous?

      1. V.7. Patient continuance in doing good. Galatians 6:9. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

      2. 1 John 3:7. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.

      3. Of course, good works are just the end-product of one who is seeking to do good. Ephesians 2:8-10. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

      4. It is the grace of God that saves us through faithful obedience.

      5. It is our continual striving to do good (walk in the light) that keeps us in fellowship with God.

    2. The righteous will be rewarded.

      1. Eternal life (v.7).

      2. Glory. Romans 8:16-17. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

      3. Honor. The honor that comes from God. John 5:44. How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?

      4. Peace. Revelation 14:13. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”


  1. What do we learn from this passage?

  2. Unlike man, God is a righteous judge.

    1. His judgment will be universal, uniform, and unimpeachable.

    2. Those who are obedient to His will will be rewarded with eternal life.

    3. Those who are disobedient will suffer the vengeance of an Almighty God.

  3. Are you ready to face the Judgment?

Monday, February 9, 2009


Text: Acts 24:1-16.

Delivered on: January 11, 2008. Streetsboro.


  1. In Acts 24, Paul is being accused by the Jews before Felix.

  2. After Tertullus finishes his little speech, Paul gives his defense.

  3. He starts out by pointing out that their accusations are false and improvable. (vv.12-13).

  4. Then, in verses 14-16, he makes his confession to Felix. But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets. 15 I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. 16 This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.

  5. Paul confesses to:

    1. Worshiping the God of his fathers according to the Way which they call a sect.

    2. He does this believing all the things written in the Law and the Prophets.

    3. He believes and hopes in the resurrection of the just and unjust.

    4. He always strives to have a conscience without offense toward God.



    1. The “Way” to which Paul is referring is the “Faith.”

      1. Jude 3. Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

      2. Acts 6:7. Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

      3. Acts 14:21-22. And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”

      4. Acts 16:5. So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.

      5. Romans 1:5. Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name.

      6. 2 Corinthians 13:5. Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.

    2. There is only one way.

      1. John 14:6. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

      2. Acts 4:12. Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

      3. It is a straight way. Matthew 7:13-14. “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

    3. Paul worshiped according to this Way.

      1. Worship is a necessity to the true follower of God.

      2. John 4:23-24. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

      3. It is not to be directed by the dictates of our own conscience. Colossians 2:20-23. Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— 21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.


    1. As Christians, we live under the New Covenant or Testament. Colossians 2:14. Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

    2. However, that does not mean that we don’t believe the things written in the Old Testament.

      1. Paul was accused of not believing the Law and the Prophets.

      2. Jesus was accused of this. Matthew 5:17-18. “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

      3. The Old Testament is valuable in so many ways. Romans 15:4. For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

        1. It led the world to Christ. Galatians 3:24. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

        2. It teaches moral and ethical lessons.

        3. It teaches us about the character of God.

      4. Jesus and Paul understood the real purpose of the Law and Prophets. 1 Peter 1:10-12. Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.

    3. Notice that he believed ALL things.

      1. He believed in the 6 days of creation.

      2. He believed in the global flood.

      3. He believed in the crossing of the Red Sea.

      4. He believed that Jonah was swallowed by a great fish.

      5. Etc.

      6. Either all of the Bible is true or none of it is.


    1. Paul saw the resurrected Christ.

    2. The Pharisees believed in a resurrection but not that Christ had risen.

    3. Paul hoped to attain to the resurrection himself. Philippians 3:7-11. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

    4. Both the Just and Unjust will be resurrected.

      1. John 5:28-29. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

      2. The Just will be resurrected to Life.

      3. The Unjust will be resurrected to condemnation.

      4. To answer for what we have done in this life. 2 Corinthians 5:10. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

    5. 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “ O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.


    1. This was true even before he became a Christian. Acts 23:1. Then Paul, looking earnestly at the council, said, “Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.”

    2. Because he wanted to attain to the resurrection, he strived to live without offense toward God.

    3. 2 Peter 3:14. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;

    4. What about you?


This is an interesting chart I got from Geisler & Nix' book, A General Introduction to the Bible

It helps to show that the Canon was recognized very early.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Text: Various.

Delivered on: January 18 & 25, 2009. Streetsboro.


  1. It is almost a true conspiracy theory.

  2. Many people have this image in their mind. A group of men in a dark room gathering together to decide which books they want to put into the Bible.

  3. Books such as The DaVinci Code portray it in just that way.

    “The Bible is a product of
    man, my dear. Not of God. The bible did not fall magically from the clouds. Man created it as a historical record of tumultuous times, and it has evolved through countless translations, additions, and revisions. History has never had a definitive version of the book.”

    “His life was recorded by thousands of followers across the land… More than eighty gospels were considered for the New Testament, and yet only a relative few were chosen for inclusion – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John among them.”

    “Who chose which gospels to include?” Sophie asked.

    “Aha!” Teabing burst in with enthusiasm. “The fundamental irony of Christianity! The Bible as we know it today, was collated by the pagan Roman emperor Constantine the Great.” (p.231)

    “To rewrite the history books, Constantine knew he would need a bold stroke. From this sprang the most profound moment in Christian history… Constantine commissioned and financed a new Bible, which omitted those gospels that spoke of Christ’s human traits and embellished those gospels that made Him godlike. The earlier gospels were outlawed, gathered up, and burned.” (p. 234)

  4. We also hear people tell us that the Catholic church gave us the Bible.

    1. "Because it never was a Bible, till the infallible Church pronounced it to be so. The separate treatises, each of them inspired, were lying, as it were dispersedly; easy to confound with others, that were uninspired. The Church gathered them up, selected them, pronounced judgment on them; rejecting some, which she defined and declared not to be canonical, because not inspired; adopting others as being inspired, and therefore canonical." (What Is the Bible? p. 6).

    2. "And since the books of the Bible constituting both the Old and the New Testament were determined solely by the authority of the Catholic Church, without the Church there would have been no Bible, and hence no Protestantism." (The Faith of Millions, p. 10).

    3. "It was not until the Council of Hippo in 390 that the Church gathered these gospels and epistles, scattered about in different churches, and placed them within the covers of a single book, giving the Bible to the world." (The Faith of Millions, p. 152).

  5. Just who gave us the Bible?

  6. Is it a product of a corrupt Catholic Church?



    1. God is the Author of all scripture.

      1. 2 Timothy 3:16. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

      2. 2 Peter 1:20-21. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

      3. This lesson is not meant to PROVE that the scriptures are inspired.

        1. We have studied that extensively lately.

        2. If you have questions or concerns about the inspiration of the Scriptures, we have plenty of material that you can look at.

    2. The fact that Scripture is inspired by God makes it part of the Canon.

      1. Kanon – literally a rod, ruler, staff, or measuring rod.

        1. It came to mean a standard or norm.

        2. It came to mean rule of faith, or authoritative Scripture.

        3. So when we talk about the “Canon” we are talking about inspired, authoritative writings.

      2. An important distinction. It was inspiration that made a writing canonical not canonicity which made a writing inspired.

      3. In other words, God has already decided the “Canon.” Man simply has the task of recognizing what it is that God has inspired.


    1. There were basically 4 criteria for ascertaining whether or not a book was to be considered authoritative.

      1. Was the book written by a prophet of God?

      2. Was the writer confirmed by acts of God?

      3. Did the message tell the truth about God? (As revealed in other inspired books.)

      4. Was it accepted by the people of God?

    2. Was the book written by a prophet of God?

      1. Prophets were God’s spokesmen.

        1. Amos 3:8. A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! Who can but prophesy?

        2. Numbers 22:18. Then Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more.

        3. Deuteronomy 18:18. I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.

      2. In New Testament times, apostles were prophets but not the only prophets.

        1. 2 Corinthians 5:20. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

        2. Ephesians 4:11. And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.

    3. Was the writer confirmed by acts of God?

      1. This was how one determined if a person was an apostle or prophet.

      2. Exodus 4:1-5. Then Moses answered and said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.’”2 So the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A rod.” 3 And He said, “Cast it on the ground.” So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. 4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail” (and he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand), 5 “that they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”

      3. Deuteronomy 18:22. 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 has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

      4. Mark 16:17-20. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

    4. Did the message tell the truth about God? (As revealed in other inspired books.)

      1. If there was doubt concerning the authorship of a book, then the content was considered.

      2. If it was written by a prophet, it would not contradict the writings of other prophets.

    5. Was it accepted by the people of God?

      1. During Old Testament times, the people of God were the Jewish people.

      2. During New Testament times, the people of God are Christians.

      3. Those who lived during those early times would know which books were written by prophets and were thus authoritative.


    1. Old Testament.

      1. There is ample evidence that the Old Testament Canon was in place by the time of the writing of the New Testament.

        1. Jesus mentions the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms. Luke 24:44. Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”

          1. The statement in Luke 11:51 is also significant. Therefore the wisdom of God also said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,’ 50 that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.

            1. Abel was the first martyr mention in the Old Testament.

            2. Zachariah was the last. 2 Chronicles 24:20-21. Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, who stood above the people, and said to them, “Thus says God: ‘Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, He also has forsaken you.’” 21 So they conspired against him, and at the command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD.

              1. Lightfoot says that the way that the Jews order the Old Testament books is different from ours.

              2. Chronicles is last.

          2. Thus, from Abel (Genesis) to Zechariah (Chronicles), the Jews had rejected God’s prophets.

        2. Josephus (A.D. 37-100)

          1. “We have not 10,000 books among us, disagreeing with and contradicting one another, but only twenty-two books which contain the records of all time, and are justly believed to be divine. Five of these are by Moses, and contain his laws and traditions of the origin of mankind until his death… From the death of Moses till the reign of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, who reigned after Xerxes, the prophets who succeeded Moses wrote down what happened in their times in thirteen books; and the remaining four books contain hymns to God and precepts for the conduct of human life.”

          2. Josephus’ 22 books correspond to our 39.

            1. 5 books of Moses – Genesis to Deuteronomy.

            2. 13 books of the prophets: Joshua, Judges-Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah, Isaiah, Jeremiah-Lamentations, Daniel, Ezekiel, Job, Esther, the Book of the Twelve (minor prophets).

            3. 4 books of hymns: Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon.

      2. What about the Old Testament Apocrypha. From two Greek words which means “authorship and origin is obscure.”

        1. These are 15 additional books that you will find in the Catholic Bible.

        2. These books are not canonical because they break the rules listed above.

          1. They do not agree with known and accepted canonical books.

            1. 2 Maccabees 12:45-46 teaches the doctrine of praying for the dead.

            2. Tobit 12:9 teaches salvation by works.

            3. “Bel” is referred to as a “living god” in Bel and the Dragon (v.6)

            4. God assisted Judith in a deed of falsehood in Judith 9:10,13.

          2. There is no claim in the Apocryphal books that they are the word of God.

          3. They were not accepted by the people of that time.

            1. Joseph. “It is true our history hath been written since Artaxerxes very particularly but hath not been esteemed of the like authority with the former by our forefathers, because there hath not been an exact succession of the prophets since that time.” Against Apion 1.8.

            2. The Talmud says: “After the latter prophets Haggai, Zechariah…and Malachi, the Holy Spirit departed from Israel.”

          4. Philo (20 B.C. – A.D. 40) quoted from every book of the OT but never quoted from the Apocrypha.

          5. Neither Jesus nor the New Testament writers ever quoted from the Apocrypha.

          6. They were not even officially recognized by the Catholic church until the Council of Trent in 1546.

    2. New Testament.

      1. The primary test for New Testament canonicity was inspiration. Was the book written by an apostle or prophet?

      2. There is evidence that a Canon was being developed VERY early in the New Testament church.

        1. Inspired writings were circulated and collected by the early church.

          1. 1 Thessalonians 5:27. I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren.

          2. Revelation 1:11. Saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

          3. Colossians 4:16. Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.

        2. They were so well circulated, so early on that Peter refers to the writings of Paul and expects his audience to be familiar with them. 2 Peter 3:15-16. And consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

      3. There was not one specific point where the canon of the New Testament was decided.

      4. It happened over a period of time but was completed very early. (Before the Catholic church came into existence and before those councils which are usually given credit for establishing the canon.)

      5. Notice some of these proofs:

        1. Irenaeus (A.D. 170). Quoted or considered authentic 23 of the 27 New Testament books. Omitted Philemon, James, 2 Peter, and 3 John.

        2. Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 200). Has almost identical list with Irenaeus. He also leaves out 2 Timothy and 2 John.

        3. Old Syriac translation. Made in about A.D. 400 but was copied from a text dating to the second century. Included all of NT except 2 Peter, 2&3 John, Jude, Revelation.

        4. Old Latin translation. Translated prior to A.D. 200. Contained everything except Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter.

        5. The Muratorian Canon. A.D. 170. Lists all NT books except Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter. Many believe the other books were present but lost due to a break in the MS.

      6. The main thing to remember is this: The New Testament Canon was not decided by some council or the Catholic church.

      7. Why were some books disputed? Which books were they?

        1. Hebrews.

          1. The main reason for this was that the author does not identify himself.

          2. Those who believed that Paul wrote the book accepted it immediately.

        2. James.

          1. Many believed that James’ teaching on faith and works contradicted the teachings of Paul.

          2. Eventually, people came to realize that there was no contradiction.

        3. 2 Peter.

          1. The main concern here was that the style of writing was so different from 1 Peter.

          2. However, there were also similarities.

          3. Realizing that a person’s vocabulary and style can change over time convinced people to accept it as Petrine.

        4. 2 & 3 John.

          1. Some questioned if John was really the author.

          2. Also, they are private letters and were not circulated as widely as other writings at first.

          3. However, they were circulated widely enough that they were recognized in the Muratorian Canon.

        5. Jude.

          1. Questioned because many believed that it referenced the pseudepigraphal writings; The Book of Enoch and The Assumption of Moses.

          2. However, the fact that these writings may have been quoted does not mean that the whole book was approved but only the part that was quoted.

          3. Much like Paul quoted pagan poets. Acts 17:28. For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’

        6. Revelation.

          1. Questioned because many believed that it taught the doctrine of millennialism.

          2. This however, was a misuse of the text.

      8. What about the pseudepigrapha? Over 280 of these. None of them were ever considered to be canonic.

        1. The Infancy Gospel of Thomas. An account of the infancy of Christ. Full of fanciful stories.

          1. Has one account of Jesus making sparrows out of clay and bringing them to life (2:1-4).

          2. One boy takes a willow branch and disperses the water which angers Jesus and he curses the boy and he withers up wholly (3:2-3).

          3. In another instance, a child dashed against Jesus’ shoulder and Jesus curses him to die.

        2. The Gospel of the Ebionites. An account of Jesus’ life which denies His deity.

          1. They stressed the Law of Moses.

          2. Believe that Jesus was a mere man whom God adopted at His baptism.

        3. The Gospel of Peter.

          1. Taught that Pilate was guiltless for the death of Christ and that only the Jews were responsible.

          2. That Jesus felt no pain when crucified.

          3. That Jesus’ brothers and sisters were from Joseph’s first marriage.

        4. Protevangelium of James. Characterized by its devotion to Mary.

          1. A very early form of devotion to Mary, which included belief in her miraculous birth and her perpetual virginity.

          2. That Mary was born after only 6 months in the womb and walked seven steps only six months after birth.

        5. The Gospel of the Hebrews.

          1. Places James at the last supper. When he wasn’t.

          2. Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as His mother.

        6. The Gospel of the Egyptians.

          1. Only a few fragments exist today.

          2. Has Jesus teaching that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the same person.

          3. Teaches that the body (all flesh) is evil.

        7. The Gospel of the Nazaraeans.

          1. Teaches that Jesus did not spend three days and nights in the grave.

          2. Instead of saying that the veil of the temple rent, it says “the lintel of the temple of wondrous size collapsed.”

          3. It typically is very close to the synoptic gospels but just adds embellishments to the story.

        8. The Gospel of Philip.

          1. It narrates the manner of the ascent of a soul through seven successive spheres of hostile “powers.”

          2. It was known by only one citation until a 4th-5th century MS was found in Egypt in 1945.


    1. Why does it condemn clerical dress? (Matt. 23:5-6). But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. 6 They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7 greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.

    2. Why does it teach against the adoration of Mary? (Luke 11:27-28). And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!” 28 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

    3. Why does it show that all Christians are priests? (1 Pet. 2:5,9). You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

    4. Why does it teach that all Christians are saints? (1 Cor. 1:2). To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

    5. Why does it condemn the making and adoration of images? (Ex. 20:4-5). “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me

    6. Why does it teach that baptism is immersion instead of pouring? (Col. 2:12). Buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

    7. Why does it forbid us to address religious leaders as "father"? (Matt. 23:9). Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.

    8. Why does it teach that Christ is the only foundation and not the apostle Peter? (1 Cor. 3:11). For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

    9. Why does it teach that there is one mediator instead of many? (1 Tim. 2:5). For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.

    10. Why does it teach that a bishop must be a married man? (1 Tim. 3:2, 4-5). A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);

    11. Why is it opposed to the primacy of Peter? (Luke 22:24-27). Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. 25 And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ 26 But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. 27 For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.

    12. Why does it oppose the idea of purgatory? (Luke 16:26). And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

    13. Why is it completely silent about infant baptism, instrumental music in worship, indulgences, confession to priests, the rosary, the mass, and many other things in the Catholic Church?


  1. God is the author of all Scripture.

  2. All man has had to do is recognize what God inspired.

  3. That was not done by the Catholic church.

  4. It was not done by any one specific group of men or women.

  5. It was done by the followers of Christ in ancient times.