Does the book of Ruth belong in the Christian canon?

by Matt Slick

Yes, the book of Ruth belongs in the canon of the Old Testament. Nevertheless, some people say the book of Ruth should not be in the Old Testament and that the only reason it was included is because it contains part of the genealogy of Jesus. This assertion is problematic for several reasons.

First of all, it means that the Old Testament Jews did not properly recognize the word of God - even though they were called by God to be the means by which his word would be proclaimed and recorded.  What is the basis for this assertion?

Second, it means that people today know better than the Jews did back then about what the word of God really was. Upon what is this founded, and how is it not arrogant?

Third, the book of Ruth was considered Scripture by Jesus. If you go to Luke 11:51 it says, "from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation." During the time of Christ, the Old Testament canon was not arranged the same as it is now. Then, Genesis was the first book and Chronicles was the last . The book of Ruth was, of course, included in that list. When Jesus said what he did in Luke, he was speaking of the first book Genesis, "blood of Abel," and the last book Chronicles, "blood of Zechariah."  He was giving a stamp of approval on the entire Old Testament by citing the first and last books. He never negated the book of Ruth.

Therefore, the book of Ruth belongs in the Old Testament canon.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.