If the Bible really is what it claims to be — the final and authoritative revelation from God — it is essential that we should be certain that in the sixty-six books that make up its pages we have exactly what God intended to be there, no more and no less. It is commonplace today, among atheists, Muslims and an unthinking and gullible public, to suggest that we have all the wrong books in the Bible or that it was a mere lottery which ones eventually entered the ‘canon’, or collection of books. In this third book in the series we examine the question of how the collection of books came into existence; a collection that would be divine in its authorship, fixed in its number, and final in its authority. Where did the idea of collecting the books together come from? In order to answer this, we begin with the Jews and their Bible. This is the easy part, because there was never any serious disagreement among the Jews about which books belonged in their Hebrew Scriptures and which should be rejected. The Jewish ‘Bible’ is exactly the same as our Old Testament. They numbered and arranged the books differently, but the same books are there, and no others. But what about the Apocrypha? Chapter 2 of this third book in the series examines carefully the growth of the collected books of our Bible, and why the Apocrypha was never part of this.
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