John 17 - Canons, Apocrypha, and Septuagint
The canons of Bible books considered reliable
    This is a whole area of study and is discussed in Bible dictionaries. The words of Jesus confirm that essential truth has not been lost since the books were written and that they would remain reliable because others (you and me) would believe because of the witness of the disciples who would hear them. See jn1720, jn0539.

For the OT
    We have taken the books considered sacred by Jewish scholars the Hebrew Scriptures. Nehemiah and Ezra are thought to have compiled the list. Malachi, author of the last OT (Old Testament) book, was apparently a contemporary of Nehemiah. In any case, time has tested the inspiration of the books. Even the Song of Solomon is a sacred book. In it, Solomon is a type of Christ and his lover, the church. It's my opinion that the story begins with the cross and continues to the sealing in preparation for the return of Christ.
    Not all sacred writings are in the Bible as we know it. For example the books of Gad and Nathan are not included and likely no copies exist. 1 Chron. 29:29.

For the NT
    The New Testament books are all by eyewitness who were apostles. Although not all the books were immediately accepted, all are considered authentic and authoritative by God fearing people. It's true that church counsels accepted the canon but the divine hand was in control.

 Preservation of the Bible Text
   Some argue that the Bible is not reliable because it has been changed by copyists and others over the centuries. In 1947 ancient manuscripts were found. They are known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Scholars were amazed that for over a thousand years the Hebrew text had remained essentially unchanged.
 The Apocrypha
    The term, apocrypha, is used by Protestants to designate books which have been added to the Septuagint (Greek translation of the OT) and the Vulgate (Latin translation of the OT) which are not in the Hebrew Scriptures (our OT) themselves.
    Catholics use the term pseudepigraphia books which were written after the time of the apostles but which are claimed to have been written by them or others. The books added to the ones in the Hebrew Scriptures they call deuterocanonical, or as a "second canon."
 Some of the apocrypha sounds reasonable enough and may describe history but other parts are obviously not the type of thing one would believe God had inspired. Perhaps the church which began to compromise (2 Thess. 2:3) wanted their traditions to be acceptable and the inclusion of the added books would broaden the definition of what could be called sacred.
 The Septuagint
    "The seventy [or LXX], is the name of the most ancient Greek version of the Old Testament, and is so called because there were said to have been seventy translators.  The accounts of its origin disagree, but it should probably be assigned to the third century before Christ.  This ancient version contains many errors, and yet as a whole is a faithful one, particularly in the books of Moses; it is of great value in the interpretation of the Old Testament, and is very often quoted by the New Testament writers, who wrote in the same dialect.  It was the parent of the first Latin, the Coptic, and many other versions, and was so much quoted and followed by the Greek and Roman fathers as practically to supersede the original Hebrew, until the last few centuries.  The chronology of the Septuagint differs materially from that of the Hebrew text, adding, for example, 606 years between the creation and the deluge." (American Tract Society Dictionary).
 How the reader can Interpret the Bible
    
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
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