Many Modern Christians make this general type of assumption that the Bible was handed over from Christ or the Apostles themselves as some sort of gift to all mankind. But research shows us this is not the case!
The Bible is a product of the bishopric! The Bible is a result of the Church. If you do not believe in the authority of the ancient Church then you cannot believe that the Bible is the actual rule of faith. The authority of the Church is its bishopric, which no modern Christian has a part of. The ancient fathers made it very clear that if one is not under the authority of the Bishop then one is not a part of the Church. Granted, the many modern churches of today that do not have apostolic succession certainly do have the grace of God but this grace is not embraced on an “affluent” level. They have a serious defect that needs healing and remedy.
The Bible is what the Church calls, “the Canon.” When someone quotes the Bible they are quoting the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church has what is called “apostolic succession.” This means that the ordination of the ministers is in succession with the Apostles, Early Fathers and the councils that they met in to form the Canon (Bible). So to refer to the authority of “the Bible” is to refer to this apostolic Church, the Church that and hundreds of legitimate books within the market of Christianity at the time the Canon was formed (4th century); many that would be absolutely unidentifiable as “inspired” to be a part of the Canon to the average or even scholarly Christian.
Apostolic succession is extremely important when referring to the very representation of God: His Word. But let us be sure to tackle the fact that there were hundreds and hundreds of legitimate books within the market of Christianity at the time the Canon was formed (4th century); many that would be absolutely unidentifiable as “inspired” to be a part of the Canon to the average or even scholarly Christian.
The big question is, why can’t I quote a passage from Enoch, for instance, which is quoted in the Canonical book of Jude, and is extremely well written with very exciting and thorough theological points, but I can quote Revelation, which is rather confusing and never quoted in the rest of the Bible? The answer is this:
Because the Church says so! Christ gave His authority to the Church and this is the way His Spirit works.
When we quote the Bible we are quoting the Church, because it is the Church and her bishops that determined what is quotable as Scripture and what is not.
The next question is, how could a person that is not received by a bishop with apostolic succession and who does not believe that God has given these bishops authority over us even believe in the Bible and quote it as if they do believe in it? It can not be done!
The Modern Christian that does not believe in the authority of the bishopric can only quote a text that is sacred by receiving an epiphany from the Lord, such as Moses and the burning bush or even a prophetic revelation, which that person would then need to be tested as a prophet.
Modern Christian, who is your prophet? Who told you that each of the books in the Bible is “inspired?”
The Modernist cannot say that the Holy Spirit confirmed to them that the Bible is inspired because all that that would be is the Holy Spirit confirming what the Bishopric has already done!
In order to receive a truly prophetic notion from the Holy Spirit (even if one were a prophet) would be to examine every one of the early documents written in the early church and say “yay or nay.” Aside from the presupposition that the Bishopric already chose the inspired documents, how would this person tell which was which?
Would there be an audible voice? Some sort of apparition? Is it even possible for modern man to discern this selection without the Church? The answer is NO? Without a prophetic voice no deciphering can be made.
One could appoint a prophet to chose the books, but from what succession? Where does this prophet get his authority to be a prophet? Has he made miraculous discoveries? Probably not! Is he ordained from the Bishopric (apostolic succession)? Probably not, otherwise this person would not be a Modernist. They would not be in this predicament to begin with.
The logos (revelation) was given to the Church and not to the printing press. The authority of the logos was given to the Church as an oral tradition. The Church has decided that there are many portions of this tradition that deserve special attention in what we call the Canon. The Church still gives revelation but not as to contradict the Canon. This does not mean that the Church cannot grow and must, for instance, continue to worship in homes like “the Bible says.” The Canon is not a set of rules, it is a revelation that is to be taught and evangelized. The Church will continue to do this like it has from the beginning. And anyone that takes possession of the Bible without the Church is in danger of worshiping the Bible itself.