The Development of the Canon of the New Testament

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Apostolic Fathers
codex Hierosolymitanus
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Closing the Canon in the West
Closing the Canon in the East
The New Testament Books
The Quo Vadis? Legend
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Revision History

Closing the Canon in the East

The eastern churches had, in general, a weaker feeling than the western for the necessity of making a sharp delineation with regard to the canon. It was more conscious of the gradation of spiritual quality among the books that it accepted (e.g. the classification of Eusebius) and was less often disposed to assert that the books which it rejected possessed no spiritual quality at all.

As an example of the uncertainty in the east, the Trullan Synod of 691-692 CE endorsed these lists of canonical writings: the Apostolic Canons (~385 CE), the Synod of Laodicea (~363 CE ?) , the Third Synod of Carthage (~397 CE), and the 39th Festal Letter of Athanasius (367 CE). And yet these lists do not agree. The Synod of Hippo Regius (393 CE) and the Synod of Carthage (419 CE) also addressed the canon and are discussed here.

Similarly, the New Testament canons of the national churches of Syria, Armenia, Georgia, Egypt (The Coptic Church), and Ethiopia all have minor differences; see [Metzger] pp. 218-228 for details. The Revelation of John is one of the most uncertain books; it was not translated into Georgian until the 10th century, and it has never been included in the official lectionary of the Greek Church, whether Byzantine or modern.

Pages created by Glenn Davis, 1997-2010.
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