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Both sides have the same historical evidence in front of them.In this samevein, the Jesus Seminar and the quest for the historical Jesus have cast doubts upon thevalidity of the contents of the New Testament itself.

Either way, twenty-five millionpeople in forty-four different languages2 are now asking which is the case: is the Bible arandom gathering of dozens of books, a political gathering of propaganda documents, anirrelevant collection of books intended exclusively for first and second century believers,or is it the definitive, cohesive, and authoritative witness to the life of Jesus Christ and hischurch?Reformed Theological Seminary The Self-Attesting Nature of the New Testament Canon John Gordon Duncan A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Reformed Theological Seminary In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts May 20052 Table of Contents Introduction………………………………………………………………………………..3Qualification………………………………………………………………………………8Chapter One - Background……….……………………………………………………….9Chapter Two – Position………………………………………………………………….10Chapter Three - Early Influences ie, Gnosticism………………………………………...14Chapter Four - “Canon Forming”………………………………………………………..17Chapter Five – Criteria…………………………………………………………………...19Chapter Six – Concept of Inspiration…………………………………………………….30Chapter Seven - Canonical Consciousness………………………………………………33Chapter Eight - Self-Attesting Nature/Recognition of the Canon……………………….40Chapter Nine - Canon Lists………………………………………………………………45Conclusion………………………………………………………………...……………..51Selected Bibliography……………………………………………………………………543INTRODUCTION The Bible did not arrive by fax from heaven…The Bible is the product of man, my dear. History has never had a definitive version of the book.1This quote from The Da Vinci Code encapsulates the attitude of many towards the canonand the canonization of the New Testament. Man created it as a historical record of tumultuous times, and it has evolved through countless translations, additions, and revisions.Thefutility of such is delineated by Cornelius Van Til when he says, We do not use candles or electric lights in order to discover whether the light and the energy of the sun exist. We have light in candles and electric light bulbs because of the light and energy of the sun. Funk, “The Once and Future New Testament,” The Canon Debate (Peabody, Hendrickson, 2002), 548.6 subject the authoritative pronouncements of Scripture about reality to the scrutiny of reason because it is reason itself that learns its proper function from Scripture.7If Scripture, and therefore the canon, are not rightly defended by their own inherentauthority, then critics such as Robert Funk make valid and interesting points.Hedescribes two factors that, as a result, have contributed to the rise of new debate about thecanon.

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