The Biblical Canon

by John Holbrook Jr.
A Biblical View, posted May 1, 2017

Following Ivan Panin, I consider the Biblical Canon to consists of 66 books – the 39 books of the Hebrew Masoretic text of the Tenakh or Old Testament (where Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles have each been split into Books I and II) and the 27 books of the Greek Messianic Writings or New Testament.

I – THE LAW (5 books)

01 – Genesis – It was written by Anonymous (undoubtedly Moses) who compiled the records of previous patriarchs into a single volume. I will call the original records chronicles: [1]

Chronicle 0 – The Creation Chronicle – – It starts in Genesis 1:1 and ends in Genesis 2:3 – It must have been dictated to Adam by God.

Chronicle 1 – The generations of the heavens and the earth – It starts with the toledoth in Genesis 2:4 and ends in Genesis 4:26 – It was probably written by Adam.

Chronicle 2 – The generations of Adam It starts with the toledoth in Genesis 5:1 and ends in Genesis 6:8 – It was probably written by Adam.

Chronicle 3 – The generations of Noah It starts with the toledoth in Genesis 6:9 and ends in Genesis 9:29 – It was probably written by Noah.

Chronicle 4 – The generations of the sons of Noah It starts with the toledoth in Genesis 10:1 and ends in Genesis 11:9 – It was probably written by Shem.

Chronicle 5 – The generations of Shem It starts with the toledoth in Genesis 11:10 and ends in Genesis 11:26 – It was probably written by Shem.

Chronicle 6 – The generations of Terah – It starts with the toledoth in Genesis 11:27 and ends in Genesis 25:11. It was probably written by Terah.

Chronicle 7 – The generations of Ishmael – It starts with the toledoth in Genesis 25:12 and ends in Genesis 25:18 – It was probably written by Ishmael.

Chronicle 8 – The generations of Isaac – – It starts with the toledoth in Genesis 25:19 and ends in Genesis 35:29. It was probably written by Isaac.

Chronicle 9 – The generations of Esau, who is Edom – It starts with the toledoth in Genesis 36:1 and ends in Genesis 36:8. It was probably written by Esau.

Chronicle 10 – The generations of Esau, the father of the Edomites – It starts with the toledoth in Genesis 36:9 and ends in Genesis 37:1. It was probably written by Esau.

Chronicle 11 – The generations of Jacob – It starts with the toledoth in Genesis 37:2 and ends in Genesis 50:26 – It was probably written by Jacob.

02 – Exodus – It was written by Moses.

03 – Leviticus – It was written by Moses.

04 – Numbers – It was written by Moses.

05 – Deuteronomy – It was written by Moses.

II – THE PROPHETS (21 books)

06 – Joshua – It was written by Anonymous.

07 – Judges – It was written by Anonymous.

08 – 1st Samuel – It was written by Anonymous.

09 – 2nd Samuel (E[2]) – It was written by Anonymous.

10 – 1st Kings (E) – It was written by Anonymous.

11 – 2nd Kings (E) – It was written by Anonymous.

12 – Isaiah (E) – It was written by Isaiah.

13 – Jeremiah (E) – It was written by Jeremiah.

14 – Ezekiel – It was written by Ezekiel.

15 – Hosea – It was written by Hosea.

16 – Joel – It was written by Joel.

17 – Amos – It was written by Amos.

18 – Obadiah – It was written by Obadiah.

19 – Jonah – It was written by Jonah.

20 – Micah – It was written by Micah.

21 – Nahum – It was written by Nahum.

22 – Habakkuk – It was written by Habakkuk.

23 – Zephaniah – It was written by Zephaniah.

24 – Haggai – It was written by Haggai.

25 – Zechariah – It was written by Zechariah.

26 – Malachi – It was written by Malachi.

III –  THE HAGIOGRAPHA (or WRITINGS) (13 books)

27 – Psalms – It was written by David.

28 – Proverbs – It was written by Solomon.

29 – Job – It was written by Anonymous.

30 – Song of Songs – It was written by Solomon.

31 – Ruth – It was written by Anonymous.

32 – Lamentations – It was written by Anonymous.

33 – Ecclesiastes – It was written by Son of David.

34 – Esther (E) – It was written by Anonymous.

35 – Daniel (E) – It was written by Daniel.

36 – Ezra (E) – It was written by Ezra.

37 – Nehemiah (E) – It was written by Nehemiah.

38 – 1st Chronicles – It was written by Anonymous.

39 – 2nd Chronicles (E)It was written by Anonymous.

IV – THE GOSPELS (4 books)

40 – Matthew – It was written by Anonymous.

41 – Mark – It was written by Anonymous.

42 – Luke – It was written by Anonymous.

43 – John – It was written by Anonymous.

V – THE ACTS (1 book)

44 – Acts (E) – It was written by Anonymous.

VI – THE EPISTLES (21 books)

45 – James (E) – It was written by James.

46 – 1st Peter (E) – It was written by Peter.

47 – 2nd Peter (E) – It was written by Peter.

48 – 1st John (E) – It was written by Anonymous.

49 – 2nd John (E)It was written by Anonymous.

50 – 3rd John (E) – It was written by Anonymous.

51 – Jude (E) –  It was written by Jude.

52 – Romans (E) – It was written by Paul.

53 – 1st Corinthians (E) – It was written by Paul.

54 – 2nd Corinthians (E) – It was written by Paul.

55 – Galatians (E) – It was written by Paul.

56 – Ephesians (E) – It was written by Paul.

57 – Philippians (E) – It was written by Paul.

58 – Colossians (E) – It was written by Paul.

59 – 1st Thessalonians (E) – It was written by Paul.

60 – 2nd Thessalonians (E) – It was written by Paul.

61 – Hebrews (E) – It was written by Anonymous.

62 – 1st Timothy (E) – It was written by Paul.

63 – 2nd Timothy (E) – It was written by Paul.

64 – Titus (E) – It was written by Paul.

65 – Philemon (E) – It was written by Paul.

VII – REVELATION (1 book)

66 – Revelation (E) – It was written by John.

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Some Numeric Statistics

The number of categories of books is 7, whose factors are 1 x 7.

The number of books in Category I is 5, whose factors are 1 x 5.

The number of books in Category II is 21, whose factors are 1 x 3 x 7.

The number of books in Category III is 13, whose factors are 1 x 13.

The number of books in Category IV is 4, whose factors are 1 x 2 x 2.

The number of books in Category V is 1.

The number of books in Category VI is 21, whose factors are 1 x 3 x 7.

The number of books in Category VII is 1.

The total number of books is 66, whose factors are 1 x 2 x 3 x 11.

The number of books by known authors is 44, whose factors are 1 x 2 x 2 x 11.

The number of known authors is 25, whose factors are 1 x 5 x 5.

The numeric value of the known authors’ names is 7,931, whose factors are 1 x 7 x 11 x 103.

The number of books by unknown authors is 22, whose factors are 1 x 2 x 11.

The number of epistolary books is 33, whose factors are 1 x 3 x 11.

The Numeric Meaning of Some of the Above Numbers

1 is the number of unity, primacy, God, beginning.

2 is the number of separation, division, difference; also something versus its opposite (2 = 1 + 1).

3 is the number of divine perfection, tri-unity or Trinity, the Godhead (3 = 1 + 1 + 1).

4 is the number of creation, material completeness, mankind as creature; also God plus something outside of God (4 = 3 + 1).

5 is the number of grace, redeemed mankind; also mankind as creature plus something added from God (5 = 4 + 1).

6 is the number of fallen mankind, imperfection; also mankind as creature plus enmity against God (6 = 4 + 2); also grace plus something added by man that renders grace to no effect; also something less that spiritual perfection (6 = 7 – 1).

7 is the number of spiritual perfection, completeness, fullness, rest.

11 is the number of both (a) disorder, division, disintegration, disorganization, imperfection; also divine order plus something (11 = 10 + 1); also divine government minus something (11 = 12 – 1) and (b) judgment.

12 is the number of divine government, governmental perfection, the chosen; also the heavenly number times the earthly number (3 x 4).

13 is the number of rebellion, apostasy, defection, corruption, depravity, superstition

103 is probably the number of divine wisdom, abundance.

© 2016 John Holbrook Jr.
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[1] For many years, I believed and taught that toledoths mark the ends of the Genesis chronicles, that they are like closing signatures. In this I was following the arguments of Henry Morris in his commentary on Genesis, The Genesis Record. I was never, however, entirely comfortable with the idea. First, in a number of cases, the so-called signature falls in the next chapter and the final signature even falls in the next book (Exodus), even though the word “generations” is not used in the latter case. Second, regarding toledoths as ending signatures results in attributing a lengthy and important passage like Genesis 11:27-25:11 to Ishmael rather than Terah, which makes little sense to me. Third, regarding the “generations of the heavens and the earth” as a signature to the Creation Chronicle makes no sense to me whatsoever. The Creation Chronicle should be signed by God. Fourth, the words “generations of” implies “children, descendants, or progeny of,” “successors to,” or “results from.” Thus, for example, “the generations of Adam” implies “what followed from Adam.”  Recently I read Jonathan D. Sarfati’s The Genesis Account. Sarfati argues that the toledoths mark the beginnings of the chronicles, not their ends. They are titles, not signatures. His arguments make sense to me. They are convincing. Moreover I am persuaded by them to give the number zero to the Creation Chronicle, because it lacks a toledoth. In its place is Genesis 1:1, which let us know that God created everything – seen and unseen.

[2] E = an epistolary book – that is, either an epistle (letter) or a book that contains an epistle – per Ivan Panin.

 

 

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