Recently I was invited to speak to Ustad Adnan Rashid on the topic, “The New Testament Canon: Man-made or Divine?” Even though text-critical issues are not my forte, I thought a discussion on the temperament of the New Testament community would be something interesting to discuss with Adnan. The five ways in which I wanted to answer the question of this debate were in the following sequence:

  1. The nature of Christian inspiration in that which was spoken
  2. What happened to that which was spoken by God?
  3. The NT authors understanding of the NT.
  4. The First Christian Church’s understanding of the NT
  5. The Quranic perspective on the NT
  6. God’s overall perspective on His word and revelation.

The nature of Christian inspiration in that which was spoken.

My primary contention in this discussion started with the fact that Christians predominantly believe that the book(s) of the New Testament is essentially about the Author Himself, who is God.  God expresses His will and guidance predominantly via the agency of human authors.  As Christians, Jewish, and Muslim communities converse, this is the central affirmation from us all. God has spoken! What is the central message of the Bible? Paul Tripp writes:

“Think what the Bible is about: God. It’s the story of his design – a perfect world with amazing, tangible glory. It’s the story of his people – a race of creation that rebelled and destroyed everything good. It’s the story of his redemption – a plan to rescue, repair, reconcile and restore. So, if this story is about God, it only makes sense that he dominates the first four words of the Book.”

Just to give some proximity, what exactly is the Bible? On one level, it is a collection of approximately three-quarters of a million words in sixty-six books written in three distinct languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) over a period of more than a thousand years by some forty disparate authors in a variety of forms, including history, prophecy, sermons, letters, formal covenant treaties, travel narratives, poetry, parables, proverbs, architectural blueprints, apocalypses, Gospels, laws (moral, civil, and ceremonial), inventories, and much more. It is important to recognize another fact friend, Dr. James White mentions; 

“The Canon is not just a fact of history but an artifact of revelation.”

The human authorship of Scripture (what theologians have termed its organic nature) ensures that we may legitimately say, “Moses wrote” or “John wrote,” discerning stylistic features unique to individual authors, but we must maintain that the Bible is a product of God that has spoken. The Author of Hebrews mentions that God has spoken in various means and in a variety of ways (Heb.1:1).[1] It is important to note we are not saying the NT merely contains the Word of God or that it becomes the Word of God. [2]  These are liberal contentions. It would be right, though, to say the NT is the inspired word of God. Erwin Lutzer explains that;

“Inspiration does not just mean that God approved of their writings, but that men actually wrote His words. His ideas became their ideas, and they actually recorded what He wanted us to know.”[3]

The NT Scripture, therefore, has both a human and divine quality: totally human and totally divine in its expression.[4] So we note that human authorship gives rise to stylistic distinctions and, in later manuscripts, human problems. The Bible, then, comprises two elements, it is written “from men” and “from God—something that Peter makes abundantly clear when he writes,

“Men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21). [5]

But God employed the authors of Scripture, with their unique personalities and backgrounds, to advance our understanding of his purpose and grace in the gospel.[6] If you are bothered by what is meant by human and divine. J. I. Packer helps us when he writes:

The twin suppositions which liberal critics make—that, on the one hand, divine control of the writers would exclude the free exercise of their natural powers, while, on the other hand, divine accommodation to the free exercise of their natural powers would exclude complete control of what they wrote—are really two forms of the same mistake. They are two ways of denying that the Bible can be both a fully human and fully divine composition. And this denial rests (as all errors in theology ultimately do) on a false doctrine of God; here particularly, of His providence. For it assumes that God and man stand in such a relation to each other that they cannot both be free agents in the same action.[7]

It is important then to realize that God communicated perfectly as to what He wanted to say through human agents throughout history. 

What happened to that which was spoken from God?

In the debate, I start with the contention that the Gospels in book form is not really the first concern that we should discuss, but the way in which the essential “euangelion” was received and maintained by the first Christian community. R.V.G Tasker, Professor of New Testament Exegesis at the University of London, remarks that;

“There were at least thirty-five years of Christian teaching and Christian missionary activity before the believers were in possession of the written records of Christ’s life and teaching, which we know as the four Gospels” … “He adds; “Our faith today is bound to be conditioned by the four Gospels. The faith of the earliest Christians was independent of them.”[8]

In other words, the early Christian community had an affirmed kerygma or clear understanding of the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. F.F. Bruce writes,

“Jesus wrote no book: he taught by word of mouth and personal example. But some of his followers taught in writings as well as orally. Often, indeed, their writing was a second-best substitute for the spoken word.”[9]

Michael J. Kruger says when we consider the literacy and orality of early Christians, we must note that:

“For the average believer in the second century, the content of the Christian writings, particular books of the Old or New Testament, was not read but was heard. The text was not engaged with the eyes but the ears.” … Congregations did not listen to the reading of scripture merely to learn new things, but rather to be reminded of what they already knew and had heard read many many times… although first-century Christians certainly wrote books, it is clear that …the Christian message [or euongelion] was by word of mouth.”[10]

Graham Stanton writes about the oral proclamation that spilled over into literary form;  

“One of the most surprising developments of the Christian use of the noun ‘Gospel’ took place towards the end of the century, or early in the second. In Paul’s days and at least for a decade later, Euangelion was used by Christians in the singular to refer solely to the oral proclamation. A century later (c. AS 160), Justin Martyr referred to written accounts of the life and teaching of Jesus as “gospels.” At some earlier point, ‘oral gospel’ became ‘written gospels.’”[11]

Stanton is right, there was a clear crossing over from word, to book, in the first Christian community. This reception was seamless and the faith about Jesus became the written artifacts of the Church. For the sequence of how Old Testament themes were solidified in the NT Scriptures. Stanley E. Porter writes beautifully about the “Sacred Tradition” that was carried over from the Old Testament and solidified in the expectation and preaching of the NT Believers. Another example is Richard B. Hayes’ book “Reading Backwards.” What was the strength of the memory of first-century believers? It was pretty strong as a collective whole. Another resource that looks at the veracity of the NT community’s memory is “Jesus and the eye-witnesses” by Richard Bauckham, “Memory, tradition, and text” by Alan Kirk and Tom Thatcher, and “From Jesus to the NT” by Jens Schroter. These Scholars all conclude from an oral-formulaic community to the solidification of what Jesus actually did and said we can be very sure that the NT authors captured the memory of Jesus with great accuracy.   

The NT authors understanding of the NT.

Dr. Kevin Smith writes; 

the apostles and fathers had a different view of the Bible. They knew it as God’s Word, a unity centred on Jesus Christ. God inspired the human writers in such a way that their words became his own words. In any Scripture, God could speak about and as Christ—sometimes in ways that went beyond what the prophet realised. When Christians read those passages after Jesus, they could see what was imperceptible before. They were not reading Jesus into the OT, but discerning God’s messages about him in it, under the guidance of the Spirit. (source)

If the person of Jesus is so key as Lee Martin McDonald observe, it needs to be mentioned as to what the recorded sentiment was like when the community remind us of the proclamations of the life and message of Christ. Well, Christ specifically confirmed the whole Old Testament as the word of God. Our Lord Jesus mentions that He was the ultimate expectation of that which was expected in the Old Testament proclamation. After His resurrection, He speaks to some of His Disciples, and He clearly states the intention of the Old Testament Prophets concerning Him (Luke 24):

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms.”

What was Christ’s perspective on the preservation of His words? Jesus clearly anticipates that His disciples would relate His words with a certain proximity, and even assures them that the Holy Spirit will do so. Jesus also clearly stated that the Olt Testament is deemed sufficient. He says; 

“One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished” (Matt. 5:18).

Discussing a single word with the Jews, He said:

The scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35).

Jesus is saying that the will of the Father is not one that will be frustrated. God is in control, and the mission of the Son will be accomplished. Christ affirms the veracity of the Old Testament. But what about His words that he gave the Apostles? In Mark’s Gospel account, Jesus affirms that the Words that He has spoken will be preserved (13:31).

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”[12]

I marvel at the insistance that Christians cannot be assured of what Jesus had said, yet the disciples even record their understanding that this was a given on the lips of Jesus. He reminds the disciples that the Spirit of God will enable them to remember and preserve what he has spoken. John (14:26) writes:

“The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

Please note that Jesus claims unambiguously that He is the central message of the whole sweep of the Old Testament and that the Old Testament would be sufficient for the existing NT community to understand his mission and His person. He also states plainly his words will remain with them and be recalled for them by the Holy Spirit. 

The First Christian Church’s understanding of the NT

Lee Martin McDonald writes on the inspiration and emergence of the Christian Scriptures, and he comments that;

“The first and most important authority in the early church was Jesus. Whatever he said or did was considered authoritative and sacred in the church. When the oral traditions circulating in the churches about what Jesus said or did were written down, soon (within 20 to 30 years at the latest), they were readily incorporated into Christian preaching and teaching… Whatever Jesus said and did was, in a very real sense, the “canon” (final authority) for his followers. His life was the example par excellence for them to follow (Phil. 2.5; Eph. 5.1–2; Heb. 12.1–3). His death for the sins of the people and his resurrection were not only pivotal in early Christian beliefs, but they were also central in the Christians’ understanding of their scriptures.”[13]

The common sentiment by the early Church community on the person and teaching of Jesus Christ was that, according to Lee Martin McDonald;

“The words of Jesus undoubtedly functioned authoritatively as sacred scripture even when they were not quoted from a written text… With the recognition of the authority of the words of Jesus and the value of the teachings of Paul, the emergence of a Christian scripture had its beginning. Undoubtedly, the teachings of Jesus as well as his deeds and his fate were at the heart of the emergence of a Christian scripture.”[14]

In the previous article I showed quite clearly that there was a existing theme amongst the early Christian community that was emphatic and recognised as sure. In the first Christian community, there is a recognition of clear reception, expectation, and validation, about what Jesus said and did. But why these books in the NT, you might ask? Because these books emerged from the hand direction of God. These NT books are ‘’autopistic’’ or self-authenticating and not dependent on man’s opinion of it. Jesus said,

“My Sheep hear my voice.” (John 10:27).

This tells us that Jesus affirm the ability of the first community of disciples and their inspired ability to esteem and articulate his legacy and words with absolute certainty. How did they conclude what had to be deemed authoritative, well, they simply recognised the value of the books that emerged and was circulated throughout the early Christian communities. They recognised what the Holy Spirit inspired and settled on that which was deemed to be succinct with the known kerygma of the first community. Dr. Michael J. Kruger writes:

“A self-authenticating canon is not just a canon that claims to have authority, nor is it simply a canon that bears internal evidence of authority, but one that guides and determines how that authority is to be established.” What is needed, then, is a canonical model that does not ground the New Testament canon in an external authority, but seeks to ground the canon in the only place it could be grounded, its own authority.[15]

Herman Bavinck says this was the edifice of the way in which the Church community determined what was supposed to be in the Canon of Scripture. He writes;

“In the church fathers and the scholastics . . . [Scripture] rested in itself, was trustworthy in and of itself and the primary norm for church and theology.”[16]

Therefore, Bavinck argues, an ultimate authority like Scripture (what he calls a “first principle”) must be “believed on its own account, not on account of something else.” He says elsewhere,

“Scripture’s authority with respect to itself depends on Scripture.”[17]

It could be argued that this seems circular, but we affirm 27 books saying the same thing. We recognise the authors together see the value of Christ’s teaching and memory in these books. I am not saying the NT is the Word of God because it simply says so, rather, it is the criterion for truth because it is the ultimate authority. William Alston writes;

“If we want to know whether, as the Christian tradition would have it, God guarantees the Bible . . . as a source for fundamental religious beliefs, what recourse is there except to what we know about God, His nature, purposes, plans and actions. And where do we go for this knowledge? In the absence of any promising suggestions to the contrary, we have to go to the very sources of belief credentials which are under scrutiny.”[18]

Michael J. Kruger writes;

“even though the Scripture does not directly tell us which books belong in the New Testament canon (i.e., there is no inspired “table of contents”), we can account for that knowledge” …

How? Kruger gives three-pointers to consider;

Providential exposure. In order for the church to be able to recognize the books of the canon, it must first be providentially exposed to these books. The church cannot recognize a book that it does not have.

Attributes of canonicity. These attributes are basically characteristics that distinguish canonical books from all other books. There are three attributes of canonicity: (1) divine qualities (canonical books bear the “marks” of divinity), (2) corporate reception (canonical books are recognized by the church as a whole), and (3) apostolic origins (canonical books are the result of the redemptive-historical activity of the apostles).

Internal testimony of the Holy Spirit. In order for believers to rightly recognize these attributes of canonicity, the Holy Spirit works to overcome the noetic effects of sin and produces the belief that these books are from God.[19]

The books received by the church inform our understanding of which books are canonical, not because the church is infallible or because it created or constituted the canon, but because the church’s reception of these books is a natural and inevitable outworking of the self-authenticating nature of Scripture. In other words, God spoke, and we should listen.

The Quranic perspective on the NT.

In this discussion I wanted to show the importance of granting the early Christian-Jewish community the same gravitas as Muslims do to their own Ummah at te reception of the Qur’an before it was collated. I still believe, for the sake of this debate that the Qur’an speaks very positively about the NT and its adherents and especially Jesus. Sura 3, al-Imran, 48, says,

“And Allah will teach him [Jesus] the Book and Wisdom, the Torah, and the Gospel.”

This is similar to what we read in John (7:16) when he writes;

“So, Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me.”

The Qur’an 5, al-Mai’da, verse 46, says

“And in their [the prophets’] footsteps we sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Torah that had come before him: we sent him the gospel; therein was guidance and light. And confirmation of the Torah that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah”

The Qur’anic verse in question is impressive. If Allah sent Jesus to verify the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament of the Bible), then at the very least, throughout Jesus’ lifetime, the Torah that people could read and Jesus could verify was the same Torah Allah sent. Now in ayat 47 of chapter 5, the author of the Qur’an goes on to say,

“Let the People of the Gospel Judge by what Allah hath revealed Therein….”

If the People of the Gospel are to judge by what God has revealed in the Gospel, then how can the Gospel they are to judge by not be the Gospel God told them to judge by? And by the way, we know what the Gospel was like at the time of this verse being revealed. In ayat 48, it reads;

“To thee (People of the Book) We sent the scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the truth that hath come to thee….”

Jesus is recorded as saying in John 8:32 and 17:17, “The truth shall set you free,” and in the same vein, “the words that I have spoken is spirit and truth.” Interestingly the Qur’anic sentiment and the NT imperatives are the same! Jesus spoke the truth, the truth from Allah, and that contains guidance and light.

The implication is noticeable since God had the power to give His word in the NT, and God had the power to guard His word in safety. The Qur’an never says anywhere that the Bible was corrupted in the way my debate opponent insisted.

Even the Qur’anic commentator Fazlur Rahman says that the Qur’an says some people of the Book were hypocrites (Sura al-Mai’da, 5, 61-63) and perverted what they heard. However, it never said that God’s word, given to the people of the Book, was changed. God has the power to give His word, and God has the power to guard His word in safety from corruption. Another Sura, in chapter  2, al-Baqarah, ayat 75 it says of some people (Jews of Medina?),

“Hear the Word of Allah and perverted it knowingly after they understood it.”

It does not say they corrupted the Bible, only that they perverted what they understood. Further, Surah 2, al-Baqarah, verse 79

We sent Jesus, son of Mary, confirming the Torah revealed before him. And We gave him the Gospel containing guidance and light and confirming what was revealed in the Torah—a guide and a lesson to the God-fearing.

The author of the Qur’an is so confident in the NT that he even references it as a noteworthy guide to Christians. In Surah 10, Jonah, verse 94

And if thou (Muhammad) art in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto thee, then question those who read the Scripture (that) was before thee…

Please note that the Quran can only call Christians to consider that which was written down, assuming that what was written down was sufficient for the right belief and practice. Jesus says exactly the same when he declares;

“For I have given them the words You gave Me, and they have received them. They knew with certainty that I came from You, and they believed that You sent Me.” (John 17:8).

Speaking to God, Jesus adds (John 17:17);

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63).

His closest Disciples affirm the very fact that they cannot forsake Him because the Words that he has spoken are sufficient for their salvation. John records; 

“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John 6:68-69).

It is clear and unambiguous that the Quran, as Jesus, confirms the veracity of the Old Testament and its sufficiency to guide the New Testament believers in belief and practice. 

God’s Perspective on His word

We have already seen that Jesus clearly gives absolute credence to the Scriptures in the previous section. But God affirms in the Scriptures and says that His word is authoritative and sure. David writes:

“The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.  The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey from the honeycomb. By them, your servant is warned; in keeping them there is a great reward. (Psalm. 19:7-11).

The Prophet Isaiah (40:8) shows again that every decree from God is preserved when he says;

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”

King David announced in his Psalms (119:89):

“Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.”    

There are two Surahs that testify to the reality that Allah’s words are sure.[20]

“Say: “Shall I seek for judge other than God? – when He it is Who hath sent unto you the Book, explained in detail.” They know full well, to whom We have given the Book, that it hath been sent down from thy Lord in truth. Never be then of those who doubt. The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfillment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all.” (S. Al-An ‘am 6 (114-115).

“And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord: none can change His Words, and none wilt thou find as a refuge other than Him.” (S.Al-Khaf 18 (27).

Some Muslims lament that these Surahs merely speak of the preservation of Allah’s decrees, judgments, and decisions and not the Scriptures as Christians have it.  In 6:115/18.27, the Study Quran says, “Allah completes [tamāman] His revelation,” and the same is said of the Book given to Moses in 6.154 as well as 9.32 & 61.8, where “God completes His light.” The ‘speech or word’ [kalam] of Allah is given to Moses, and the same promise of preservation, therefore, applies in these passages (7.144-145). This argument always amazes me because Christians have a higher regard for the potency of God preserving His revelation than some of our Muslim brothers in humanity.

The Claims of the New Testament.

What is some of the clear claims found in the NT Canon?  Well, first all through the NT, we find actual words attributed personally to Christ speaking authentically from himself like; “you heard it said, but I say unto you” or “Jesus said” (Matt5:21; 27; 38, John 9:39). Even Paul records that “Our Lord Himself said” (Acts 20:35).

Secondly, we recognize that Biblically, what Christ said assures me that what He said is sure. He said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Mark 13:31). Third, I propose a very clear argument I mentioned in my closing statement.  If God stipulates the demands of what people need to do and adhere to for salvation, it is up to Him to make sure what He asks is preserved by Him. What I see Salvifically is that God requires me to trust in that! He has spoken, and I can obey. Jesus claims in (John 6:63) “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” Further, he affirms in John 14:10

“Do you not believe that I am in my Father and my Father in me? The words which I am speaking, I am not speaking from myself, but my Father who dwells within me, he does these works.”

Fourthly, I cannot overstate the importance of the Holy Spirit, and His place within the first Christian community. Pneumatologically, Jesus assures us that all He has said would be brought back to their memory by the Holy Spirit to the immediate disciples;

“He who does not love Me does not keep My words, and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me. “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the You sent Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:24; 26).

Lastly, and most importantly, Jesus affirms that the words He had spoken in totality are the words of the Father God (Joh.14:26), and therefore it is true. When Christ uttered these words, He, therefore, assures us of 4 things God’s words

→ Is true

→ Is essential

→ Is preserved

→ Is the Words of God.

It needs to be stated emphatically that as communities that believe that God spoke even in the NT, we must believe what He said was assuredly preserved and inspired by Him. The very accusation that God’s words are corrupted or changed is not a believing notion. It is a secular notion. And a false notion that assumes that God cannot speak clearly or authoritatively.




[2] Christian Theology, Pg. 24. E.. H Bancroft says, “Revelation concerns the discovery of truth. Illumination concerns the understanding of truth. Inspiration concerns the communication of truth.”

[3] You can trust the bible, Pg. 38.

[4] Consider the following verses:

  • “Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me, ‘Behold, I have put my words in your mouth” (Jer. 1:9).
  • “[God,] through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain?’” (Acts 4:25).
  • “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today, if you hear his voice . . .’” (Heb. 3:7, citing Ps.95:7–11).
  • “And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us” (Heb. 10:15).
  • “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth’” (Rom. 9:17;

Note that it is God who spoke these words to Pharaoh [Ex. 9:16]; thus, Scripture says = God says).

[5] 1.         First, he is making a declaration regarding the adequacy of human language to convey divine truth. 

  1. Second, Peter is making a statement that Scripture can be trusted on all matters to which it speaks, however incidental they may seem.
  2. Third, the Scriptures are more certain and, therefore, more trustworthy than our experience. The English Standard Version renders 2 Peter 1:19 this way:

“Peter, then, seems to be saying, “The prophetic Scriptures are surer than any experience I have to share, so I appeal to those Scriptures to confirm what I’ve told you.”

[6] Furthermore, this advancement can be seen in the experience and understanding of the individual authors.

But this method is rare. For instance, as we have seen, Luke tells us his method was different: recording interviews with eyewitnesses, checking his facts, and engaging in meticulous historiographical research (Luke 1:1–4).

There appear to have been occasions when Bible writers wrote beyond their own comprehension. Peter cites an example:

“Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories” (1 Pet. 1:10–11).

Clearly, the prophets wrote about things they didn’t fully understand. The relationship between the human and divine authors—“God’s words in men’s mouths”—is not easy to grasp.

[7] “Fundamentalism” and the Word of God (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1972), Pg.80.”

[8] The Nature and purpose of the Gospels. Pg.9.

[9] The Canon of Scripture, Pg.117

[10] Christianity at the Crossroads, Pg.169, 171, 172.

[11] Jesus and Gospel Pg.12

[12] The apostles also gave witness to the perfection of the Scriptures.

  • For the author of the epistle to the Hebrews.

The Word of God, living, effectual and penetrating, goes so far as to judge even our feelings and our innermost thoughts (Heb. 4:12).

  • James the brother of Jesus.

Describing the Word, speaks of it as “the perfect law, the law of liberty” (1:22-25). Convinced of its supreme authority, he addresses to us this solemn warning: “Think ye that the scripture speaketh in vain?” (4:5).

  • John the Beloved Disciple of Jesus.

John brings the written revelation to a close with these words: “If any man shall add unto them [the things which are written], God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life” (Rev. 22:18-19).

If it is the Lord who has given a message from Himself, who could have the audacity to attempt to “complete” it or to despise any of it, even those parts which he might think of slight importance? A testimony as clear and as unanimous as this is truly impressive. Nowhere does Scripture in one place declare erroneous what it gives in another place, and this holds true for even the smallest details.

[13]The Origin of the Bible:  A Guide for the perplexed. Pg. 123, Pg.125

[14] The Origin of the Bible:  A Guide for the perplexed. Pg. 131.

[15] Canon revisited, Pg.89, 91.

[16] Reformed Dogmatics, Vol.1, Pg.452

[17] Ibid. Pg.458.

[18] Faith, reason, and skepticism, Pg.42.

[19] Canon Revisited, Pg.94.

[20] S.18.27 is another great example of what I am trying to say, First, Muslims are instructed to ”recite that which has been revealed” [actual words] and then the assurance is given that: ‘‘none can alter His [Allah’s] words”.