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The Canon of Scripture

InterVarsity Press / 1988 / Hardcover

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Product Description

After nearly nineteen centuries, the content of the canon is still debated by Christians and scholars. Who decided what the canon should include? What criteria were used? In this significant study, F.F. Bruce brings the wisdom of a lifetime to bear in answering questions and clearing away confusion about the Christian canon. 350 pages, hardcover from InterVarsity.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 349
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 1988
Dimensions: 6 1/4 X 9 1/4 X 1 (inches)
ISBN: 083081258X
ISBN-13: 9780830812585
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Winner of two 1990 Christianity Today Awards: Readers' Choice (1st place; theology & doctrine) and Critics' Choice (1st place; theology & doctrine). A 1989 ECPA Gold Medallion Award winner! How did the books of the Bible come to be recognized as Holy Scripture? Who decided what shape the canon should take? What criteria influenced these decisions? After nearly nineteen centuries the canon of Scripture still remains an issue of debate. Protestants, Catholics and the Orthodox all have slightly differing collections of documents in their Bibles. Martin Luther, one of the early leaders of the Reformation, questioned the inclusion of the book of James in the canon. And many Christians today, while confessing the authority of all of Scripture, tend to rely on only a few books and particular themes while ignoring the rest. Scholars have raised many other questions as well. Research into second-century Gnostic texts have led some to argue that politics played a significant role in the formation of the Christian canon. Assessing the influence of ancient communities and a variety of disputes on the final shaping of the canon call for ongoing study. In this significant historical study, F. F. Bruce brings the wisdom of a lifetime of reflection and biblical interpretation to bear in answering the questions and clearing away the confusion surrounding the Christian canon of Scripture. Adept in both Old and New Testament studies, he brings a rare comprehensive perspective to his task. Though some issues have shifted since the original publication of this book, it still remains a significant landmark and touchstone for further studies.

Author Bio

F. F. Bruce (19101990) was Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester in England. During his distinguished career, he wrote more than forty bestselling commentaries and books, including and . He also served as general editor of The New International Commentary on the New Testament.

Editorial Reviews

"This book is at once learned and readable, and takes account of the most recent discoveries and literature. It is the most comprehensive account of the canon since Bishop Westcott's The Bible in the Church (1864)."

Product Reviews

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Displaying items 1-5 of 6
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  1. Michigan
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Comprehensive and Clear!
    April 24, 2016
    John M Kight
    Michigan
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The Canon of Scripture by F. F. Bruce is nothing short of a landmark publication on the subject of the biblical canon. It received two 1990 Christianity Today Awards including The Readers' Choice Award and The Critics' Choice Award, as well as a 1989 ECPA Gold Medallion Award. Nowadays, while many readers may be too easily willing to write off The Canon of Scripture as outdated and stale given the current landscape of biblical scholarship, the interaction therein by Bruce still provides much to be commended and praised.

    The book covers both the Old Testament and the New. Still, only about one-third of the book is dedicated to the Old Testament. This is largely due to the fact that the Old Testament was a settled canon by the time of the New Testament, as seen in the testimony of Jesus and the apostles. Bruce states, Our Lord and his apostles might differ from the religious leaders of Israel about the meaning of the scriptures; there is no suggestion that they differed about the limits of the scriptures (p. 28). Bruces treatment of the Old Testament is brief, detailed, and overall helpful, but some Protestant readers may be uncomfortable with his handling of the Apocrypha.

    The majority of the book is dedicated to the New Testament canon, and Bruces interaction with various Church Fathers therein is commendable. Bruce rightly recognizes that authority precedes canonicity when it comes to the New Testament documents (p. 123). In other words, the New Testament documents were already considered canonical prior to the recognition of such because of their authority, not vice versa. Still, Bruce offers six criteria in which the recognition of such books would be considered canonical by the early Church: (1) apostolic authority, (2) antiquity, (3) orthodoxy, (4) catholicity, (5) traditional use, and (6) inspiration (p. 256-269). Bruces treatment of the New Testament is much more detailed than the Old, and it is here that the primary usefulness of the book remains for the contemporary readerespecially Bruces interaction with the Church Fathers.

    The Canon of Scripture by F. F. Bruce is a classic work on the canon of the Old Testament and the New. The comprehensive scope of the book and Bruces knowledge of the landscape is certainly commendable, and the detail and clarity therein will only work to benefit the reader. Those familiar with the issues surrounding the canon of Scripture should be well-acquainted with Bruce already, but for those seeking to enter into the conversation The Canon of Scripture by F. F. Bruce is a mandatory stop. It comes highly recommended regardless of the publication date!

    I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Minister
    April 24, 2016
    jdh2010
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Great book. Details the subject matter in an understandable way.
  3. Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Good presentation of the development of the canon
    August 13, 2013
    Bill
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Bruce presents a thorough analysis of the development of the canon of the Bible. His details ensure us of the accepted inspired documents with a deep historical rendering.
  4. Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Read If You Want To Understand NT Canon Issues
    September 22, 2012
    oldmanchubb
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    FF Bruce was a tremendously influential evangelical theologian/author of the mid/late 20th century. I'd recommend picking up any commentary or book he wrote and I would wholeheartedly recommend this as a great first read.

    Prior to reading this book, I understood the Bible as simply always sorta being around and never really thought about questions of how and why. This is a fantastic primer on canon issues and a great historical background to the formation of the New Testament - answering the question of how did they go from being 27 separate books to a collective whole and why we view these as authoritative and not others. For those unfamiliar with these issues, as well as for those seeking to understand some of the important thinkers and events in the early post-NT church, this book is for you.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 5, 2012
    JZhang
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Excellent book. He goes over the history of the formation of both the OT and NT.
Displaying items 1-5 of 6
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