Development of the Canon By: travisramcharran
The Christian Canon • In the second and third centuries there were various rival forms of Christianity, each competed for supremacy. • There were many differences among some of the Christian communities. • Some preferred to stay attached to Judaism, others, not so much. • Some inclined to syncretism - union of the interpretation of Christ and Greek philosophy.
Orthodox and Catholic • The Christians who prevailed for supremacy were the orthodox and catholic Christians. • The catholic Christians were the ones that ratified the 27 texts known as the New Testament. • The primary development of the New Testament Canon happened during the first four centuries. • The earliest surviving list of the books in the New Testament is from the year 367 CE. • Other canons or lists appeared earlier, like the Muratorian Canon, which has been dated circa 190 CE. • Omits, wavers, and includes books that were later excluded.
Oral/Written Tradition • Up until the second or third century, oral/written tradition was the common means of relaying what the New Testament canon was. • Papyrus • Clay tablets • Around the end of the second century is where we see actual references to the New Testament. First Christian prolific writers: • Tertullian (205-225) • Clement of Alexandria (195-202) • The third and fourth centuries is when the New Testament was said to be “inspired” • Origen of Alexandria • Cyprian of Carthage • Hippolytus of Rome
Common Misunderstandings • The writings in the New Testament weren’t all said by Apostles or close associates with them. • The New Testament actually took time to make • It wasn’t dropped by heaven, delivered by an angel, found in a farmers field (Mormons), or discovered in clay jars like the Nag Hammadi • Gnostics are not the reasons why other gospels are not included. • They were just to complicated to understand, simpler the better.