How did the Church arrive at present books of the Bible?

Could you please give me the background on when and how the Church arrived at present books of the Bible?

A member of our youth group has asked questions about Pistis Sophia literature and the gospel of Mary Magdalene, which I have found belong to the Nag Hammadi Library.

Thanks so much for your help.

The* Catechism of the Catholic Church * #120: "It was by the apostolic Tradition that the Church discerned which writings are to be included in the list of the sacred books.90 This complete list is called the canon of Scripture. It includes 46 books for the Old Testament (45 if we count Jeremiah and Lamentations as one) and 27 for the New.

The Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, the Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zachariah and Malachi.

The New Testament: the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the Acts of the Apostles, the Letters of St. Paul to the Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, the Letter to the Hebrews, the Letters of James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2 and 3 John, and Jude, and Revelation (the Apocalypse). "

When the early Church was confronted with numerous documents claiming to be Scripture, it selected out those writings that were genuinely apostolic. It was the Catholic Church who sorted out which claimants were legitimate and which were not.

Canonization of Old and New Testament:

• Council of Rome 382 A.D. Canonized under the authority of Pope Damasus
• Council of Hippo 383 A.D – Affirmation of catalogue
• Council of Carthage (A.D. 393, 397, 419) -Affirmation
• Seventh Ecumenical Council, II Nicaea (A.D. 787)-Affirmation
• Council of Florence (1442)-Affirmation
• Council of Trent (1546)- First infallible conciliar listing of each individual book
• Vatican I (1870)-Affirmation
• Vatican II (1965)-Affirmation

Further reading:

]Where We Got the Bible by Henry Graham[/LIST]Articles:[LIST]
]Canon of the New Testament
]Canon of the Old Testament[/LIST]
Pistis Sophia:
** New Testament Apocrypha
* by Father William Most

Excerpt: 57. Pistis Sophia, a late title given to a group of works whose primitive title was "Books (Rolls) of the Savior. They are found in a Coptic parchment MS of the second half of the 4th century. In the first 3 of the 4 sections, probably composed 250-300 A.D., Jesus, 12 years after his Resurrection, replies to questions of Mary Magdalene, gives to her and the disciples information on the fate, fall, and redemption of Pistis Sophia (faith-wisdom), a being of the world Gnostic aeons. The Epistle of Eugnostos calls Pistis Sophia the name of the consort of the Savior, who seems to be bisexual. The fourth section (probably first half of 3d cent.) tells things recounted by Jesus right after his Resurrection and does not mention Pistis Sophia
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