F.F. Bruce on The Formation of the Canon of Scripture
The patristic idea that his Gospel owes something to the apostolic authority of Paul is quite unfounded. As for Mark, the tradition that his record is based (in part at least) on the preaching of Peter may have a foundation in fact, but no appeal is made to Peter’s authority in the course of the record. Neither is any appeal made to divine inspiration. ‘If the writings of Mark and Luke are to be judged canonical’, said N. B. Stonehouse, ‘it must be because these evangelists were controlled by the Spirit of the Lord in such a manner that their writings, and not merely the apostolic message which they set forth, are divine. In other words, it is Mark’s inspiration (which, to be sure, is not to be isolated from his historical qualifications), and not Peter’s inspiration, which provides the finally indispensable ground for the acceptance of that work as canonical.’ On this be it said, again, that the divine inspiration of the Gospels of Mark and Luke is not to be denied,
To those who argued that the apostles and evangelists spoke before they possessed ‘perfect knowledge’ (so that their works required gnostic amplification and interpretation) Irenaeus replied that they wrote after Pentecost: the power of the Holy Spirit with which they were invested then imparted the ‘perfect knowledge’ necessary for the execution of their commission. The evangelists were the antitype of Ezekiel’s four living creatures, animated by the same Spirit. Irenaeus in some degree, and Origen to a much greater extent, show their belief in the divine inspiration of the New Testament (as well as of the Old Testament) by their allegorical treatment of it. According to R. P. C. Hanson, ‘Irenaeus is the first writer to allegorize the New Testament’, and he feels free to do so ‘because he is among the first writers to treat the New Testament unreservedly as inspired Scripture’. Origen allegorizes both Testaments alike as liberally as his fellow-Alexandrian Philo allegorized the Old Testament two centuries earlier. This means that, instead of reading out of the
Posted by lifecoach4God on July 20, 2012 in Apologetics, Bibliology and Bible Interpretation (Hermeneutics), Book Excerpts, F.F. Bruce
Tags: Apostolic Authority, How was the biblical Canon formed?, Tests in The Apostolic Age, The Criteria of Canonicity of the Bible, The Formation of the Canon of Scripture, What are the tests of canonicty?