[quote=forthright]Bishopite - If I understand your question correctly, you are wanting to know the method of selection, since some books were hotly contested. Many, for example, thought Revelations was not inspired, but it got included. Many thought 1 Clement was inspired, but it got left out. Is your question, “How were these decisions made?”
If so, this is what I heard. . . It is from a very spurious source (The Skeptics Guide to the Bible), so please take it with a grain of salt. . . This book claims the decisions were made by the bishops by popular vote. According to this book, the Gospel of Luke made it by one vote. Again, this is a very questionable source - I’d like to hear from others who know more.
“The Skeptics Guide to the Bible” made this one up out of whole cloth! This has been one of my particular areas of interest for the past 7+ years, and I can state categorically that no, NO credible evidence exists for this!
As a matter of fact, both Luke and Acts were among the very first books accepted – without question – throughout the Christian world, going back to the early 2nd century. They both are found in the old Roman Proto-Canon and in usage by Polycarp (c. AD 150) and by Justin Martyr (c. AD 165).
St. Irenaeus of Lyon (d. AD 202) argued – passionately – in his work “Against the Heresies” the following:
“It is not possible that the Gospels can either be more or fewer in number than they are. For, since there are four zones of the world in which we live, and four principle winds, and since the church is scattered throughout the whole world, and since the pillar and support of the church is the Gospel and the Spirit of Life, it is fitting that she should have four pillars breathing out immortality all over and reviving men.” “Against the Heresies”, Book 3.xi.8,9.
I don’t know where the “Skeptics” got their “information”, but even a secular scholar can easily debunk it.