Los Angeles Christian Center

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3


June 1, 2014

What is the Canon?

Holy Bible

by Matt Slick

The word “canon” means “standard” or “rule.”  It is the list of authoritative and inspired Scriptures.  Different religions have different canons.

In Judaism, the canon consists of the books of the Old Testament only.

In Protestant Christianity, the canon is the body of scripture comprised in the Bible consisting of the 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.

In Roman Catholicism, additional books were added in 1546.  These books are known as the apocryphal books: Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, The Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), and Baruch.  I need to add here that Roman Catholicism maintains that the apocrypha was always inspired along with the Eastern Orthodox, Coptic and Armenian churches.  The Protestant movement has not accepted the apocrypha.

In Mormonism, four additional books have been added to the Canon: The book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

In Christian Science an additional book has been added to the Canon.  This additional book is called “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” written by Mary Baker Eddy.

In Islam, their inspired book is called the Quran (Koran).

The Protestant Christian Canon

Old Testament New Testament
Pentateuch – 5 books Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
Historical Books– 12 books Joshua, Judges, Ruth, First Samuel, Second Samuel, First Kings, Second Kings, First Chronicles, Second Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther.Poetical – 5 books Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon
Prophetical – 17 books Major Prophets – Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel Minor Prophets – Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
Historical Books–  5 books Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, ActsPauline Epistles – 13 books Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians. 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon

Non-Pauline Epistles – 9 books Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation


Note:  Some authors attribute Hebrews to Paul.



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