The Canonization of the New Testament

I few weeks ago I discussed my views on the Gospel of Judas and how the final cannon was decided. I found an excellent audio clip from a lecture on the Canonization of the New Testament by Bart Ehrman (a New Testament scholar) that may help clear up exactly how this happened.

From the Straight Dope, “The first officially sanctioned canon of the New Testament was attempted by Irenaeus of Lyon. Irenaeus saw the effect Gnosticism was having on Christianity and feared that the church was splintering into factions. Formalizing doctrinal authority seemed to be the answer. He felt there were two sources of authority: Scripture and the apostles. A work could be accepted as canonical if the early church fathers used it. He never really compiled a list of books, but he did establish the basis for subsequent determinations of orthodoxy.” You can also read a great article on this here.

Comments (3):

  1. Tommy Isaac

    May 28, 2006 at 4:54 am

    Excellent lecture. You have provided me with valuable information for a presentation I have to make

    Reply
  2. Matthew

    April 15, 2007 at 11:27 am

    There are so many misunderstandings and assumptions about this period of Christianity. It’s interesting that so few members of the Christian faith are knowledgeable about the origins of their belief.

    Reply
  3. Robert C.

    March 4, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    It’s astonishing that the one thing I have struggled over most in my faith has been caused by a Book, (Hebrews), that quite possibly shouldn’t be in the New Testement. To think that God would not take back His “lost sheep” is absurd but Hebrews says that once a believer falls from grace, they are lost eternally from “re-salvation”. This does not agree with the other teachings of Jesus from the limited information I have collected over the years in my studies.

    Reply

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