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By Herman N. Ridderbos / P&R / 1988
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“Any scientific investigator of Scripture repeatedly confronts the issue of the character of the Bible’s authority,” writes Herman Ridderbos in the opening lines of this book. From there he goes on to examine the basis for the Church’s acceptance of the New Testament as canonical. More than a merely academic question, the canonicity of the New Testament remains a vital concern for the church today. It is a question of whether these 27 books are in fact God’s holy Word and therefore authoritative for our faith and life.
Ridderbos stresses that the foundation for the Canon lies in the history of redemption itself, wherein Christ gave distinctive authority to his apostles. On that basis, Ridderbos examines the authority of the New Testament as it is characterized in the content of the text itself—in terms of the redemptive-historical categories of kerygma (proclamation), marturia (witness), and didache (doctrine).
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Herman Ridderbos (1909–2007) was professor emeritus of New Testament at the Theological School of the Reformed Churches of the Netherlands at Kampen, where he served for over 40 years. The author of many scholarly publications, Ridderbos was the editor of the Reformed Weekly (Kampen), one of the Netherlands’ leading ecclesiastical periodicals. He became well-known in America through his volume on Galatians in the New International Commentary on the Old and New Testament.