Saturday, December 5, 2009

The canon of Scripture

"The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God."

(WCF, 1.4)

While I appreciate extra-biblical adducements, I have found that I prefer to approach the issue of the canon from an epistemological and exegetical (Scripturalistic) approach. My response to the question of the canon would probably look something akin to the following:

One might say that the issue of the canon is resolved by including or implying the canon in one's epistemological axiom - viz. "the Protestant canon is God's word &c." How does one know one’s canon is true? Analogous is the question: how did Abraham know God was speaking to Him? Both are question begging, as the questions imply that axioms require justification by premises (an infinite regression fallacy); rather, the Protestant canon should be taken as self-evident, and this is internally consistent due to the statements within the canon regarding the clear nature of divine revelation (cf. Psalm 119, John 10, etc.).

While I have several more interesting - at least, in my opinion - responses to the issue of the canon, they're rather derivative from the non-empiricistic nature of my epistemology, so I'll leave that be for now. I would like to hear whether the answer I give above is epistemologically sound (relevant, understandable, and internally consistent), exegetically sound, and see if anyone else has further passages in support of its contention.


Rhology said...

That needs to be fleshed out, for sure, but it does zero in on one of the key cogs to a mature argument for the Prot canon in a Sola Scriptura framework.
If you haven't read White's "Scripture Alone", you should.
You might be interested in the tack I take in a debate I'm doing right now on Sola Scriptura, and my opening statement in particular has touched on that question.

Rhology said...

Ooops, here's the link.

Ryan said...

I wasn't aware that the debate had been updated. I recall reading the opening remarks some time ago, but will reread them to refresh my memory. I own White's book, but have only skimmed it. I'll certainly take your suggestions into consideration, thanks.