Does Eusebius' " Church History" prove that the New Testament was not established even in 325?


Antilegomena, a direct transliteration of the Greek ἀντιλεγόμενα, refers to written texts whose authenticity or value is disputed.Eusebius in his Church History, written around 325 used the term for those Christian scriptures that were “disputed,” literally “spoken against,” in Early Christianity before the closure of the New Testament canon. It is a matter of categorical discussion whether Eusebius divides his books into three groups of homologoumena (“accepted”), antilegomena, and ‘heretical’; or four, by adding a notha (“spurious”) group. The antilegomena or “disputed writings” were widely read in the Early Church and included the Epistle of James, the Epistle of Jude, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, the Book of Revelation, the Gospel of the Hebrews, the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Apocalypse of Peter, the Acts of Paul, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Epistle of Barnabas and the Didache. The term “disputed” should therefore not be misunderstood to mean “false” or “heretical.” There was disagreement in the Early Church on whether or not the respective texts deserved canonical status.

With that said, is it wrong to question the decision of what is in our New Testament? Sometimes I wonder why say, the Shepherd of Hermas is not included yet 2 Peter is. I feel guilty of feeling this way but at the same time it seems like interests wanting to maintain a certain type of Christianity came into which books made it and which didn’t. For example, the Shepherd of Hermas could be interpreted to mean further revelation is possible. Acts of Paul and Thecla could promote female priests. Apocalypse of Peter could promote a viewpoint in universal salvation. Am I the only one who is confused about this at times?


The Councils of Hippo and Carthage defined the scriptures. Ecumenical Councils trump Eusebius. Just because one person says something doesn’t mean it is so.

Were there competing factions within the Church back then? Of course! Just like there are today. That should never cause us to doubt Our Lord’s promise to guide His Church in truth. We know, as Catholics, that Ecumenical Councils are infallible. That being said, we can trust that the Holy Spirit guarded the fathers of the Council of Carthage when they decreed in Canon 24:

Item, that besides the Canonical Scriptures nothing be read in church under the name of divine Scripture.
But the Canonical Scriptures are as follows:

*]Joshua the Son of Nun.
*]The Judges.
*]The Kings, iv. books.
*]The Chronicles, ij. books.
*]The Psalter.
*]The Five books of Solomon.
*]The Twelve Books of the Prophets.
*]Ezra, ij. books.
*]Macchabees, ij. books.
*]The New Testament.
*]The Gospels, iv. books.
*]The Acts of the Apostles, j. book.
*]The Epistles of Paul, xiv.
*]The Epistles of Peter, the Apostle, ij.
*]The Epistles of John the Apostle, iij.
*]The Epistles of James the Apostle, j.
*]The Epistle of Jude the Apostle, j.
*]The Revelation of John, j. book.


The New Testament was indeed not fixed until after Eusebius’ work. It’s an important point against Sola Sciptura and the Protestant insistence that the Bible is self-attesting and self-explanatory. If they were right, then the Bible canon would have been fixed far earlier than it was.


There’s another thread about this, but Carthage and Hippo were local councils/Synods, not an ecumenical one. And it doesn’t take into account how Pope Gregory seemingly said that Macabees wasn’t canon.

This is the other thread in question.


The synod of hippo and carthage are regional synods not ecumenical councils, they we later affirmed by both east and west which should make their canons binding…but it never really did become binding in the east.


It should be noted that gregory began his work 578 while in constantinople long before he became pope abt 590, he may very well be relating the tradition in the east where macabees wasn’t read in church and thus considered not canonical. He continues his book where he clearly quoted other dueterocanonical works and calls them scripture.
Not canonical does not mean not scripture.


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