Bill Mounce

For an Informed Love of God

You are here

5. Canon

In this chapter, we will look at the historical process of canonization, the three criteria a writing had to meet to be included in the canon, and why the Gospel of Thomas is not, and should not be, in the canon.

Download the video

Discussion questions

  1. If you heard an authority figure tell you that the wrong books are in the Bible, and good ones were left out, how would that impact your faith? What would you do?
  2. What is the first question you ask someone who says we have the wrong books in the Bible, and good ones were left out?
  3. What was Emperor Constantine’s role in determining the canon? How does the Nicene Creed affect your understanding of the canon?
  4. What does it mean that a biblical book is authoritative?
  5. What were the three forces that brought about the need for a recognized canon?
  6. What are the three criteria that were used to determine if a book is authoritative and belongs in the canon?
  7. Why did the following books struggle to get into the canon? Hebrews, 2 Peter, James, 2 and 3 John, Jude.
  8. Why is it important to understand that the church does not determine whether an apostolic book is authoritative?
  9. What does it mean that a book in the Bible is inspired?
  10. If someone said the Gospel of Thomas belonged in the Bible, what would you say? Hint: there are four answers.