The Word Grows!
Dr. Franzmann in his book The Word of the Lord Grows explains that the Bible did not spontaneously appear, but that it grew over time through a gradual process. He explains this by saying, “The canon is not being made; it is growing and being recognized. This remains the case in the fourth century also, when the canon assumed the form it was destined to retain ever after in the Western church.”
This process of growth is easily seen when looking at the Old Testament. As prophets wrote and the words of the prophets were confirmed by the work God did in their lives and through the fulfillment of their prophesies, their writings were seen to be God’s word. Brad Alles notes in Life’s Big Questions, God’s Big Answers that Daniel 9:2 gives an example of the Bible’s growth. This verse shows that Daniel was reading the Word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet and that he was counting the number of years prophesied for the Babylonian captivity. God spoke to Jeremiah, Jeremiah wrote it down, it was collected, copied, and preserved, and later used by Daniel, who saw the fulfillment of that Word!
By the life of the apostles, the Old Testament canon had been set. The books had been recognized by God’s people. Jesus confirmed these scriptures, studied them, and taught from them. Because of the evidence of Christ’s resurrection, we can trust that Christ is who he said he was – the Son of God, the Savior of the World. This means that we can trust that God approves the Old Testament scriptures. Jesus also put his stamp of approval on the apostle’s teachings when he told them in John 14:26, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”