The Canon of Scripture

 

What is a Canon? Canon is a Greek word that means “reed,” and referred to a stick used for measuring. The Canon of Scripture then is the “measure” or guideline of what is included in Holy Scripture.

 

What about the differences? You’ll notice that there are two major differences evident in the lists below. One is that the ordering of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament are different (hence why it is technically inappropriate to refer to the Old Testament as a “Hebrew Bible”–the two have different orders).

 

The other difference is between the various Christian canons of the Old Testament. These differences primarily arise because of tradition and various translation and exegetical choices. It is important when considering these differences, to note that they are confined to the Old Testament and that every Christian body puts forth the same books for the New Testament.

What are the reasons behind the differences and what does it mean to say that Anglicans have a “stepped” canon? That’s what we’re about to discuss…

 

Jewish Canon

 

 

 

Torah (Law)

 

Genesis

 

Exodus

 

Leviticus

 

Numbers

 

Deuteronomy

 

Nevi’im (Prophets)

Former Prophets

Joshua

Judges

Samuel (1&2)

Kings (1&2)

Latter Prophets

Isaiah

Jeremiah

Ezekiel

The Twelve

Hosea

Joel

Amos

Obadiah

Jonah

Micah

Nahum

Habakkuk

Zephaniah

Haggai

Zechariah

Malachi

Ketubim (Writings)
Psalms
Proverbs
Job
(Five Scrolls)

Song of Solomon

Ruth

Lamentations

Ecclesiastes

Esther

 

Daniel

Ezra-Nehemiah

Chronicles (1&2)

 

There is no apocrypha in the Hebrew Bible

Protestant Canon

 

 

Pentateuch

Genesis

Exodus

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

 

Histories

Joshua

Judges

Ruth

1&2 Samuel

1&2 Kings

1&2 Chronicles

Ezra

Nehemiah

Esther

 

 

 

 

Poetical/Wisdom Books

Job

Psalms

Proverbs

Ecclesiastes

Song of Solomon

 

 

 

Prophets

Isaiah

Jeremiah

Lamentations

Ezekiel

Daniel

Hosea

Joel

Amos

Obadiah

Jonah

Micah

Nahum

Habakkuk

Zephaniah

Haggai

Zechariah

Malachi

 

The Apocrypha

(not bound with the Bible)

 

1&2 Esdras

Tobit

Judith

Esther (with additions)

Wisdom of Solomon

Ecclesiasticus (Sirach)

Baruch

Letter of Jeremiah (Baruch Ch. 6)

Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three

Daniel and Susanna

Daniel, Bel & the Dragon

Prayer of Manasseh

1&2 Maccabees

Anglican (stepped) Canon

 

 

Pentateuch

 

Genesis

 

Exodus

 

Leviticus

 

Numbers

 

Deuteronomy

 

 

 

Histories

 

Joshua

 

Judges

 

Ruth

 

1&2 Samuel

 

1&2 Kings

 

1&2 Chronicles

 

Ezra

 

Nehemiah

 

Esther

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetical/Wisdom Books

 

Job

 

Psalms

 

Proverbs

 

Ecclesiastes

 

Song of Solomon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prophets

 

Isaiah

 

Jeremiah

 

Lamentations

 

Ezekiel

 

Daniel

 

Hosea

 

Joel

 

Amos

 

Obadiah

 

Jonah

 

Micah

 

Nahum

 

Habakkuk

 

Zephaniah

 

Haggai

 

Zechariah

 

Malachi

 

 

 

The Apocrypha

(bound with the Bible)

Roman Catholic/Orthodox Canon

 

Pentateuch

 

Genesis

 

Exodus

 

Leviticus

 

Numbers

 

Deuteronomy

 

 

 

Histories

 

Joshua

 

Judges

 

Ruth

 

1&2 Samuel

 

1&2 Kings

 

1&2 Chronicles

 

Ezra

 

Nehemiah

 

Tobit

 

Judith

 

Esther

 

1&2 Maccabees

 

 

 

Poetical/Wisdom Books

 

Job

 

Psalms

 

Proverbs

 

Ecclesiastes

 

Song of Solomon

 

Wisdom of Solomon

 

Sirach

 

 

 

Prophets

 

Isaiah

 

Jeremiah

 

Lamentations

 

Baruch

 

Ezekiel

 

Daniel

 

Hosea

 

Joel

 

Amos

 

Obadiah

 

Jonah

 

Micah

 

Nahum

 

Habakkuk

 

Zephaniah

 

Haggai

 

Zechariah

 

Malachi

 

 

 

Orthodox Canons generally include:

 

1&2 Esdras

 

Prayer of Manasseh

 

Psalm 151

 

3 Maccabees

 

4 Maccabees (as an appendix)


The New Testament

 

While not as contentious (at least now) as the canon of the OT, the New Testament took what is for some people a surprisingly long time to come together.

 

The Muratorian Canon (2nd-4th century) The List of Eusibius (Early 4th century) The Canon of Athanasius (367 AD)
[Matthew]*
[Mark]*
Luke
John
Acts
1&2 Corinthians
Ephesians
Philippians
Colossians
Galatians
1&2 Thessalonians
Romans
Philemon
Titus
1&2 Timothy
Jude
1&2 John*
Wisdom of Solomon
Revelation to John
Matthew
Mark
Luke
John
Acts
Romans
1&2 Corinthians
Ephesians
Philippians
Colossians
Galatians
1&2 Thessalonians
Philemon
Titus
1&2 Timothy
[Hebrews]*
1 Peter
1 John
[Revelation to John]Disputed books:
James
Jude
2 Peter
2&3 John
Matthew
Mark
Luke
John
Acts
James
1&2 Peter
1,2,&3 John
Jude
Romans
1&2 Corinthians
Galatians
Ephesians
Philippians
Colossians
1&2 Thessalonians
Hebrews*
1&2 Timothy
Titus
Philemon
Revelation to John