The Canon of the Bible
A conservative, bible believing perspective!
God's providence gave us the 27 book New Testament Canon, not the church. God, not men decided the canon. This providence does not mean that church leaders were inspired in their selecting the canon, only that God had his eye on the scriptures the whole time and brought about His will to form the Bible we see today!

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A conservative, bible believing perspective!
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100AD: All 27 books of the New Testament were in circulation and all but Hebrews, 2 Peter, James, 2 Jn, 3 Jn, Revelation were universally accepted.
Click to View100-400 AD: 6 "disputed" books accepted. A number of other books were read in a few churches at various times: Shepherd of Hermas, 1 Clement, Didache, Epistle of Barnabas, Wisdom of Solomon, Apocalypse of Peter.

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Introduction and Overview:

The Word Bible is from Greek, biblia and is found twice in scripture:

  1. I, Daniel, observed in the books (or Bible) [Greek: biblia] the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. Daniel 9:2 LXX
  2. When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books (or Bible) [Greek: biblia], especially the parchments. 2 Timothy 4:13

Click to ViewEarliest evidence for the New Testament canon

Click to ViewWhy the canon of the New Testament varied by geography from 33 AD - 400 AD

Click to ViewWe have little solid historical evidence before 200 AD about the canon.

Click to ViewBeware of many modern "canon" scholars who reject the Bible.

Click to ViewAcceptance of the "disputed" NT books: Hebrews, 2 Peter, James, 2 John, 3 John, Revelation

Click to ViewRejection of "disputed" books: 1 Clement, Shepherd of Hermas, Epistle of Barnabas etc.

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Canon of the New Testament:

Click to ViewBible books quoted by the Apostolic Fathers

Click to ViewCriteria used by apostolic fathers to determine canon.

Click to ViewThe New Testament first popularized the codex in 100AD for scripture, and was the first book ever produced from the printing press in 1500AD.

Click to ViewA list of inspired and non-inspired books mentioned in the Bible that are not part of our canon.

Click to ViewWhen the Bible was first viewed as having both an "Old and New Testament"

Click to ViewThe Canon of Marcion the heretic proves early existence of New Testament.

Click to ViewThe early use of "nomina sacra" indicates a canon was recognized.

Click to ViewDiocletian's destruction and Constantine's production of scripture

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Old Testament Canon:

Click to ViewWhich Old Testament text did Jesus prefer and quote from?

Click to ViewA list of Old Testament books quoted by Jesus and other New Testament writers

Click to ViewThe Old Testament Canon: The council of Jamnia

Click to ViewList of books in the Christian Bible, Roman Catholic Bible, Greek Orthodox Bible

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Refuting the claims of Roman Catholics and Orthodox:

Click to ViewQuestions for Roman Catholics and Orthodox 

Click to ViewScripture contains a pattern that must to be followed.

Click to ViewScriptures were more important than tradition to Apostolic Fathers.

Click to ViewApostolic fathers viewed scripture as complete and final and that the age of inspiration was ended.

Click to ViewThe Church organization and counsels did not give the world the Bible

Click to ViewThe Catholic Church did NOT give us the Bible!

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Reference materials:

Click to ViewThe New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable? By F. F. BRUCE, 1943

Click to ViewStudy resources for the Old and New Testament Canon

Click to ViewAncient lists of Old Testament Book Collections

Click to ViewAncient lists of New Testament Book Collections

Click to ViewVarious councils, synods and canons related to the Canon



By Steve Rudd


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