The Canon of Scripture
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The Canon of Scripture

A Presuppositional Study

About the Book

The Bible is authoritative, but which books are in the Bible? Whose word should we trust? The Bible should be the axiomatic starting point and ending point for all Christian doctrine, including the doctrine of canon. Inside, Dr. Kayser defends the Protestant doctrine that “only God can identify His word,” and He did so through the very prophets who gave us the Scriptures. In other words, if God’s Word is the highest authority in our lives, there can be no higher authority to which we can appeal in order to prove the doctrine of canon. Chapter 10 shows that the church of the first millennium took the same approach to canonization and clearly sided with the Reformation and against the reactionary Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox approaches to canon since the Reformation. The Bible’s self-referential statements are sufficient to completely settle the question of canonicity. This presuppositional approach to canonicity is the only adequate approach that will stand up against all criticism.

About the Author

Phillip Kayser
Phillip Kayser

Phillip Kayser has degrees in education, theology, and philosophy. Ordained in 1987, he currently serves as Senior Pastor of Dominion Covenant Church, a Presbyterian (CPC) church in Omaha, Nebraska. He also serves as Professor of Ethics at Whitefield Theological Seminary and President of the Providential History Festival.

Pastor Kayser has spoken at over 50 conferences in the last 10+ years, such as the National Council of Family Integrated Churches conference and the Generations Shepherds Conference. He also helps churches and church plants with problem solving.

Most of his sermons are online, along with many other booklets, blog posts, and other valuable resources at

Table of Contents

  • 1. Debates, Conundrums, and Essential Principles
    • The thesis of this book - the Bible is self-authenticating
    • The Reformation position
    • Modern Protestant approaches to canon are inadequate
    • Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox approaches are inadequate
  • 2. Who May Canonize Scripture?
  • 3. Prophetic Canonization Illustrated in the Old Testament
    • Prophetic canonization illustrated in the Pentateuch
    • Prophetic canonization illustrated in the canon’s expansion
  • 4. Prophetic Canonization Illustrated in the New Testament
    • The New Testament builds on the Old Testament; it does not replace the Old Testament
    • The oral “tradition” (deposit) given from Father to Son, from Son to apostles, and from apostles to prophets and church has exactly the same content as Scripture
    • How this deposit of Christ was written down in canonical books
  • 5. Apocrypha Written Before Christ?
    • All canonical Scripture was considered to be prophetic
    • All prophecy ceased in 400 BC
    • The previous information rules out 100% of the apocrypha of Rome, Eastern Orthodoxy, Coptic, and Ethiopic church
    • Objection - What about the claimed quote of 1 Enoch 1:9 in Jude 1:14-15?
  • 6. Closing of the Canon in AD 70
    • OT predictions of the closing of the New Testament canon
    • All “New Testament” apocrypha and later cultic writings were written after AD 70 and therefore are not canonical
    • Conclusion
  • 7. More on Closing the Canon in AD 70
    • The importance of interpreting the New Testament in light of the Old (Acts 17:11)
    • New Testament passages that say the same thing as Isaiah, Daniel, Zechariah, and Joel
  • 8. Objections Raised by Continuationists
    • The claim that New Testament prophecy is different from Old Testament prophecy refuted
    • Grudem’s exegesis of Ephesians 2-3 refuted
    • Questions raised about the nature of prophecy in Acts 21
    • Questions raised on the daughters who prophesied in verse 9.
    • Questions raised about Agabus.
    • What difference does it make?
  • 9. What About the “Lost Books of the Bible”?
    • Inspiration alone is not the criteria for canonicity
    • God promised that His Providence will preserve every word of His canon in every age
    • God holds us accountable to every word of Scripture
    • God promised to ensure faithful transmission of the text
    • Isolated texts should be seen as suspect
  • 10. The Church Fathers’ Doctrine of Canon
    • The early church’s view of tradition = Sola Scriptura
    • The early church’s view of authority = Sola Scriptura
    • The early church’s view of inerrancy and infallibility = Sola Scriptura
    • The early church held to the sufficiency of Scripture for faith and practice
    • The early church’s view of canon = self-authentication (Sola Scriptura)
    • The majority of the church took a stand against the Apocrypha
    • Church fathers on the connection between prophecy and canon and the definitive closing of the canon
    • Counter-evidence some have raised
  • Appendix A: The Westminster Divines
  • Appendix B: Prophets Quoting Prophets as Scripture
    • Joshua
    • 1 Samuel
    • 2 Samuel
    • 1 Kings
    • 2 Kings
    • Ezra
    • Psalms
    • Proverbs
    • Isaiah
    • Jeremiah
    • Daniel
    • Hosea
    • Joel
    • Amos
    • Obadiah
    • Jonah
    • Micah
    • Habakkuk
  • Appendix C: The Supposed Problem of Esther, Ezra, and Nehemiah
  • Notes

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