The answer is that the Bible proceeded from the Church, which, according to the Bible, is the pillar and bulwark of truth (1 Timothy 3:15). Way back in 382 AD, Pope Damasus I sent a list of the canon of the New Testament to his bishops. At the councils of
We owe the early Church Fathers a great deal of gratitude for handing on the faith orally for the first 4 centuries, before there even was an official New Testament proclaimed by The Church. Protestant Churches still adhere to this Tradition by including all of the New Testament books in their sixteenth century Bible that the Catholic Church had in their fourth century Bible, although there are numerous text changes (“fruit of the vine” instead of “wine”, for instance).
To be truly a “bible church” (notice no one ever says "food restaurant", "book library", "exercise gymnasium", or "car highway"!), the church would have to adhere to everything that is in the New Testament. Accordingly, here is a checklist of things that are in the New Testament that all bible churches should answer yes to:
1. Does the church have ministers who can forgive sins in the name of Jesus (John 20:21-23)?
2. Does the church have a healing rite for the dying that forgives the sins of the person who is dying (James 5:14-15)?
3. Does the church meet daily for the breaking of the bread ( Matthew 6:11, Acts 2:42-46)?
4. Does the church teach that you must physically eat the flesh of Jesus and drink His blood to have life in you (John 6:53)?
5. Does the church history date back to the time of the Apostles (Acts 1:20-26)?
6. Does the church teach that individuals can suffer for the sake of the church, because Christ’s sufferings were lacking (Colossians 1:24)?
7. Does the church teach that salvation isn't a sure thing (Matthew 10:22, 2 Peter 2:20)?
8. Does the church teach that prayers in heaven go through heavenly intercessors before reaching God (Revelation 5:8, Revelation 8:3)?
9. Does the church teach that saints in heaven are alive and can appear to humans? (Mark 9:4-5, Matthew 27:52-53)
10. Does the church teach that one must physically suffer to keep from losing one’s salvation (1 Corinthians 9:27, 1 Peter 2:19-21)?
11. Does the Church preach Christian unity, or division (1 Corinthians 1:10-13)?
12. Are the church's decisions ratified in heaven as well as on earth (Matthew 18:18)?
13. Is the Mother of Jesus considered to be the most blessed Woman, and do they call her blessed (Luke 1:42-48)?
14. Does the church teach that the church itself (rather than the Bible) is the pillar and bulwark of truth? (1 Timothy 3:15)
15. Does the church teach that the whore of Babylon is a "great city" where Jesus Christ was crucified? (Revelation 11:8 and Revelation 17:18).
16. Does the Church teach that celibacy is a good thing? (Matthew 9:12, Luke 18:29-30, 1 Corinthians 7: 25-27, 1 Corinthians 7:32-38, Revelation 14:3-5).
17. Does the Church teach that life begins at conception? (Deuteronomy 30:19, Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139:13, Luke 1:43-44,Luke 23: 2).
18. Does the Church teach that contraception is intrinsically evil? (Genesis 1:28, Psalm 127:3-5, Genesis 38:8-10).
19. Does the Church teach that divorce and remarriage is adulterous? (Matthew 5:3, Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18)
20. Does the Church teach that good works are a very necessary component of our faith? (Matthew 25:31-46, James 2:26, Colossians 1:10, Matthew 7:21, Revelation 20:12-13, Romans 2:6.
21. Does the Church teach that Jesus Christ established his earthly Kingdom on earth before He was crucified? (Matthew 3:2, Matthew 16:19).
22. Does the Church teach sexual sins are transgressions that will keep one from gaining entry into heaven, or do they now say that they are no longer sinful? (Romans 1:24-32, 1 Timothy 1:9-10, Ephesians 5:19-21, Colossians 3:5).
If the answer to any of these questions is no, then it must be assumed that the so-called “bible church” is really a tradition of man, and is not in accord with EVERYTHING in the New Testament. The Church can’t just preach John 3:16 (although that is a great verse) and ignore the rest of the divinely inspired Word of God. God gave us the whole bible for a reason. To ignore the hard parts because they are difficult to follow is totally wrong.
And by the way, the only Church that adheres to all of the above questions is The Church started by Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 16:18), the Holy Catholic Church, the only real "Bible Church"!