Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The History of the New Testament Canon Chart

The History of the New Testament Canon
by Dave Armstrong
Sources for the New Testament Canon Chart (all Protestant): J. D. Douglas, ed., New Bible Dictionary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 196), 194-198;F.L. Cross and E.A. Liivingstone, ed., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), 232, 300, 309-310, 626, 641, 724, 1049, 1069; Norman L. Geisler and William E. Nix, From God To Us: How We Got Our Bible (Chicago Moody Press, 1974), 109-112, 117-125.

Explanation of Symbols:
* Book accepted (or quoted)
? Book personally disputed or mentioned as disputed
x Book rejected, unknown or not cited

New Testament Period and Apostolic Fathers (30-160)

Summary: The New Testament is not clearly distinguished from other Christian writings.

Gospels: Generally accepted by 130
Justin Martyr's "Gospels" contain apocryphal material
Polycarp first uses all four Gospels now in Scripture
Acts: Scarcely known or quoted
Pauline Corpus: Generally accepted by 130, yet quotations are rarely introduced
as scriptural
Philippians, 1 Timothy: x Justin Martyr
Hebrews: Not considered canonical; not even quoted
x Polycarp, Justin Martyr
James: Not considered canonical; not even quoted
x Polycarp, Justin Martyr
1 Peter: Not considered canonical
2 Peter: Not Considered conaoninical, nor cited
1,2,3 John: Not considered canonical
x Justin Martyr
Revelation: Not canonical
x polycarp

Iranaeus to Origen (160-250ad)

Summary: Awareness of Canon begins toward the end of the second century
Tertullian and Clement of Alexandria first use the phrase
"New testament"

Gospels: Accepted
Acts: Gradually Accepted
Pauline Corpus: Accepted with some exceptions
2 Timothy: x Clement of Alexandria
Philemon: x Irenaeus, Origen, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria
Hebrews: Not canonical before the fourth century in the West
? Origen
* First accepted by Clement of Alexandria
James: Not canonical
? First mentioned by Origen
x Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria
1 Peter: Gradual acceptance
* First accepted by Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria
2 peter: Not Canonical
?First mentioned by Origen
x Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria
1 John: Gradual acceptance
* First accepted by Irenaeus
x Origen
2 John: Not Canonical
? Origen
x Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria
3 John: Not cononical
? Origen
x Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria
Jude: Gradual Acceptance
*Clement of Alexandria
x Origen
Revelation: Gradual acceptance
* First accepted by Clement of Alexandria
x Barococcio Canon, c.206
Epistle of Barnabas: * Clement of Alexandria
Shepherd of Hermas: *Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen, Clement of Alexandria
The Didache: * Clement of Alexandria, Origen
The Apocalypse of Peter: *Clement of Alexandria
The Acts of Paul: *Origen
* Appears in Greek, Latin Syriac, Armenian, and Arabic translations
Gospel of Hebrews: * Clement of Alexandria
Muratorian Canon (c.190)
Excludes Hebrews, James, 1 peter, 2 Peter
Includes the Apocalypse of Peter, Wisdom of Solomon

Origen to Nicaea (250-325)

Summary: The "Catholic epistles" and Revelation are still being disputed

Gospels, Acts, Pauline Corpus: Accepted
Hebrews: * Accepted in the East
x,? Still disputed in the West
James: x, ? Still disputed in the East
x Not accepted in the West
1 Peter: Fairly well accepted
2 Peter Still disputed
1 John: Fairly well accepted
2,3 John, Jude: Still disputed
Revelation: Disputed, especially in the East
x Dionysis

Council of Nicaea (325)
Questions canonicity of James, 2 peter, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude

From 325 to the Council of Carthage (397)

Summary: St Athanasius first lists our present twenty-seven new testament books as such in 367. Disputes still persits concerning several books, almost right up until 397, when the Canon is authoritatively closed.

Gospels, Acts, Pauline Corpus, 1 Peter, 1 John: Accepted
Hebrews: Eventually accepted in the West
James: Slow acceptance
Not even quoted in the West until around 350!
2 Peter: Eventually accepted
Revelation: Eventually Aaccepted
x Cyril of Jerusalem, john Chrysostom, Gregory Nazianzen
Epistle of Barnabas: * Codex Sinaiticus- late fourth century
Shepherd of Hermes: *Codex Sinaiticus- late fourth century
1 Clement, 2 Clement: *Codex Alexandria-- early fifth century

1 comment:

Robin said...

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