The Canon and Its Translations
Within this chapter we will be discussing the Protestant canon; how it has been translated into other languages; and how to choose the most reliable translations for reading and for further study. Jesus relied heavily on the Scriptures. Matthew 4:1-7 records how Satan placed three temptations before him, and how he responded each time with: â€śit is written...â€ť In Matthew 21:42, he asked: â€śDid you never read in the Scriptures...?â€ť â€“ placing an emphasis on their importance for answers from God. Mark 12:24 records Jesus responding to a question about morality; expecting those asking the questions to have found the answer in the Scriptures: â€śJesus said to them, Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures, or the power of God?â€ť
We find in Luke 24:27 Jesus explaining how the Scriptures spoke about him and how he is the fulfilment of all they represent. â€śAnd beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.â€ť This concept is reaffirmed in John 5:39 when Jesus said: â€śYou search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me ....â€ť Jesusâ€™ statement reflects the fact that it is not the Scriptures that save us; but they contain the written message of Jesus the Messiah as their central theme. This is why he said in Matthew 5:17 â€śDo not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfil.â€ť On the night before he went to the cross to die, Jesus prayed to his heavenly Father: â€śSanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth.â€ť (John 17:17) This statement emphasizes that what God says is true and important, for Godâ€™s words help set the standards for knowing how to be set apart from sinâ€•which is what â€śsanctifyâ€ť meansâ€•and they uncover Satanâ€™s methods for our physical and spiritual destruction.
â€śUntil I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching,â€ť was the urging of the Apostle Paul to his young protĂ©gĂ© in First Timothy 4:13, to stress the importance of the Scriptures as Godâ€™s truth to the early church.
Yes, the Scriptures are important, as they are the only historical record of what God has said and what he wants us to know. The reality is that they are his direct revelation to humankind about knowing Godâ€™s ethical and moral standards for distinguishing right from wrong in our everyday lives. Remember, morality is Godâ€™s standard, not humankindâ€™s standard. So it is important that we understand the process that God used to bring us his wisdom, truth and historical perspective.