Of the Holy Scripture – Westminster 1:3

The third entry in the Westminster Confession of Faith series.

From the Confession

The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the Scripture; and therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings.

Scriptural References

From the New King James Version

  • And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24:27
  • Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while i was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” Luke 24:44
  • Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. Romans 3:2
  • For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:21

Commentary

In this brief confessional statement, I believe that it ought to be recognized that there is a very real threat, that of Scripture falsely so called.

There are groups in this world who desire to bring us under the yoke of the writings of man. They call their writings Scripture, and in so doing are guilty of augmenting the Word of God.

A wide array of arguments against the Apocrypha exists, but I’ll not delve into such matters. Suffice it to say, Paul affirms that the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God, with the Old Testament Scriptures. The Apocrypha is not a part of the Jews’ Bible, nor was officially part of the Roman Catholic’s version of the canon until well after 1,000 years of church history had passed.

The canon of God’s Word is a sure thing because God wrote it. A canon by definition includes all works by an author, whether they have been announced or not. The moment God inspired a book of Scripture, it was part of the canon.

It is trusted that He was faithful in revealing the canon to not only the Jews in sundry times of the past, but also to the churches of God in these last day.

Brethren, always be on guard against additions to His precious Word. When in doubt, go to the Law and to the Testimony; dive deeply into the sixty-six books that most everyone can agree on. Based upon their witness, test any other book held up to be Scripture. If it cannot pass the testimony of the sixty-six, reject any claim to its authority. Return to the Scriptures, and get to know Jesus, for the Scriptures endlessly testify of Him!

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