New Testament Cannon Date?

Was the New Testament Cannonized by Athanasius in 367, or by another council at a later date? 393,394,397,431???
When was it finally stamped and approved? :smiley:

Many of my protestant brethern say the new testament was pretty much finished and accessable by the year 150. I think this is not correct because didn’t it take quite a while to get the Gospels and Epistles collected together in one place? In other words, weren’t these books spread out all over?(Corinth, Rome, Galatia…etc) :confused:

Your thoughts por favor!

all posts welcome!!!

:banghead:
se~orcampana

The Council of Hippo in 393 AD was the first council to list all the books of the canon. This, however was a local council and was not binding on the whole Church. The Council of Carthage, also a local council, approved the list in 397 AD. The rulings of this council, however, were sent to Rome for approval.

The first ecumenical council to formally define the canon was the Council of Trent in 1556. This infallible declaration was necessary because for the first time, the canon was seriously challenged, in this case by Martin Luther and other “Reformers.” It was not, as anti-Catholics like to charge, a case of the Church inventing the canon then and there; it was simply that there had so long been a defacto recognition of the canon by all Christians that no definition was needed before then.

Catholic Answers has several good articles about this:
catholic.com/thisrock/2000/0011fea4.asp
catholic.com/library/Old_Testament_Canon.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/2000/0009sbs.asp

The 150 AD date for the establishment of the canon is so far-out there, I’d be curious as to where your friend pulled it out from. :rolleyes:

The Faith of the Early Fathers, Volume 1, pp. 107-108, selected and translated by William A. Jurgens, contains the text of The Muratorian Fragment, author unknown, dated to between A.D. 155 and 200, which appears to be a list of books received by the Catholic Church and approved for reading in church. It contains a fairly orderly treatment of the titles contained in the New Testament beginning with the third Gospel, presumably the Gospels of Matthew and Mark were mentioned on the missing part of the fragment:

…The third book of the Gospel, according to Luke.
The fourth Gospel, by John.
The Acts of the Apostles, by Luke.
The Epistles of Paul:

  • To the Corinthians, 2 epistles.
  • To the Ephesians.
  • To the Philippians.
  • To the Colossians.
  • To the Galatians.
  • To the Thessalonians, 2 epistles.
  • To the Romans.
  • To the Galatians.
  • To the Romans.
  • To Philemon.
  • To Titus.
  • To Timothy, 2 epistles.
    The Epistle of Jude.
    The Epistles of John, 2 epistles.
    Wisdom of Solomon. [the deuterocanonical book]
    The Apocalypse of John.

If I have noted them correctly, the New Testament books not included are the following epistles: Hebrews, James, two by Peter, and one by John.

[quote=Todd Easton]The Faith of the Early Fathers, Volume 1, pp. 107-108, selected and translated by William A. Jurgens, contains the text of The Muratorian Fragment, author unknown, dated to between A.D. 155 and 200, which appears to be a list of books received by the Catholic Church and approved for reading in church. It contains a fairly orderly treatment of the titles contained in the New Testament beginning with the third Gospel, presumably the Gospels of Matthew and Mark were mentioned on the missing part of the fragment:

If I have noted them correctly, the New Testament books not included are the following epistles: Hebrews, James, two by Peter, and one by John.
[/quote]

Jurgens is a great resource; thanks for citing it. As you have correctly noted, it is an incomplete list (not to mention an incomplete document). Since we don’t know who wrote the Fragment, we can’t say whether it is authoritative or not; we must assume then that it is not. The Muratorian Fragment is helpful in showing the development of the list of books, but there is no indication that this was an otherwise agreed upon list. The canon wasn’t the canon until it was approved by the Church in the Council activity noted above.

Just a couple of notes on the development of the Canon of Scripture, without going into details or dates. Three things to remember, first “Sensus Fidelium” second is Heresey, third is the struggle the Church had with its Identity especially in regards to our Jewish Roots. First, it seems that the Sense of the Faithful had lead to a general acceptance by the 2nd Century of which text were inspired even though these were not codified until later. A couple of ways we know this is their use by the Church Fathers and also what we know of the liturgical life of the Church. The cause of any type of Canon being developed, as a written list we think of, came from the challenges of the various heresies the Church faced in the first 600 years. Challanges such as the gnostics and the followers of Marcion heresies to name two. These two and others started to provided list of inspired books that forced the Church to react and formulate a Canon of Inspired Books as such. The third influence came from the challenges of Judaism which would rise both inside the Church and in the struggle the Church had with the Dispora through out the Roman Empire. This conflict in part gave rise to the Jewish leaders developing their own canon which dismissed several Greek Text used by the Church as non inspired. This would have implications centuries later, because it would form the basis for Luther and other protestant leaders to reject the books of the OT they did be that we Catholics accept

[quote=TOME]First, it seems that the Sense of the Faithful had lead to a general acceptance by the 2nd Century of which text were inspired even though these were not codified until later. A couple of ways we know this is their use by the Church Fathers and also what we know of the liturgical life of the Church.
[/quote]

No. There were lists of books in the 2nd century, but every list contained different books. That was the problem. there were some books in common. The four gospels and some letters of Paul, but some of the present New Testament Books were not included, and some included books like Clement, Hermas the Didache and other Acts.

Only after the Councils of Carthage and Hippo in the 4th Century was there a unified and unchanging canon of scripture, which was ratified by Pope Damasus and subsequent Popes.

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