Canonization of Scripture

Canonization of Scripture

The Bible was not created in one time. Not from the beginning the Scriptures were formed as a unit. However, there are many writings that come from different regions, traditions, different authors. Many things are worth doubting about his authorship. However, the main standard used is that the book is seen as writing that contains inspiration from God.

From the Jewish Scriptures

It is worth mentioning two collections of Books which were originally owned by the Jews. First, the Hebrew Scriptures are in Hebrew. Second, the Greek Scriptures are used by diaspora Jews (Jews in overseas who absorb foreign cultures, e.g. Greece). This second book is known as the Septuagint. This book contains the Deuterocanonical. This book is also thought to have been used by New Testament writers in quoting. Again, the Septuagint is the Scripture used by Saint Jerome to write the Latin Bible, the Vulgate. It also includes the Deuterocanonical.

The Jewish Scriptures consist of three parts: The TaNaK: the Torah, the Prophets and the Ketubim. This underlies the Catholic version of the Old Testament. The Catholic Old Testament consists of: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles, Esra and Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, two books of Maccabees, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Wisdom, Jesus Sirach, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

Basis for Canonization of the Church's Scriptures

There is only one criterion for the canonization of the Christian Scriptures, namely, the teachings of Christ and the apostles delivered by the Church's Teaching Authority. This teaching is called the divine-apostolic tradition.

The tradition that originated from the apostles thanks to the help of the Holy Spirit develops in the Church, because understanding of the facts and the revealed words develops, both because the faithful, who keep them in their hearts (cf. Luke 2:19 and 51), meditate on and study them, as well as because they are deeply immersed in their spiritual experiences, as well as thanks to their proclamation, who as a substitute in the dignity of the Bishop receive the sure gift of truth.

The Church has traditionally recognized the Scriptures as inspired. This divine-apostolic tradition forms the basis of the Church's Teaching Power which officially acts on Christ's behalf to declare which books are truly inspired and sacred, and which are not.


In addition, there are other criteria that are not sufficient (limited to the apostolic tradition only), but can support:

• There is a custom to read certain books in the Church as Scripture.

• Apostolic origin of a particular book (written by an apostle, or based on information, catechesis or apostolic teaching).

• The pious content of certain books match the teachings of the prophets and NT writers.

In the apostolic tradition, the Church determines which books should be included in the list of holy books. This complete list is called the "canon" of Scripture. Accordingly, the Old Testament consists of 46 (45, if Jeremiah and the Lamentations are combined) and the New Testament consists of 27 books.

From the above arrangement we see that the Old Testament Scriptures were built as a single Protocanonical and Deuterocanonical unit. The reason for the separation of the Deuterocanonical group in our Indonesian-language holy book is for the sake of practical use for common use among Catholics and non-Catholics.


You must be logged in to post a comment.