A biblical canon is a list of books considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular religious community.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

31
votes
4answers
2k views

How were the books of the New Testament chosen?

I'm interested in finding out: what the process of choosing the books of the New Testament was, when did it occur, who did the choosing, and what are the supporting evidences
26
votes
3answers
5k views

How do Mormons interpret the warning in Revelation about adding to the book?

How do Mormons interpret the following passage and justify the addition of the Book of Mormon to the canon of scripture? Revelation 22:18-19 (NIV) 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the ...
22
votes
4answers
82k views

Why is the Book of Enoch not regarded as canonical?

A short section of 1 Enoch (1 En 1:9) is quoted in the New Testament (Letter of Jude 1:14-15), and is there attributed to "Enoch the Seventh from Adam" (1 En 60:8). It is argued that all the ...
17
votes
2answers
927 views

What is the origin of the Catholic apocrypha?

In the Catholic tradition, several "apocryphal" books are used in addition to the same Old Testament canon used by Protestants. What is the origin of these books and how do they differ from from the ...
17
votes
1answer
559 views

Why was Martin Luther attempting to change the canon?

While researching an answer to a different question, I found that Martin Luther attempted to remove Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation from the Bible. What was his purpose in removing these four ...
16
votes
1answer
3k views

Why doesn't the Catholic Bible include all books from Septuagint?

The Catholic Bible (as opposed to the Protestant Bible) includes the so-called deuterocanonical books. It's commonly simply stated that the books in Septuagint are included in the Catholic canon. ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the biblical arguments that the Bible canon is closed?

Some religions claim to have a newer revelation of God: the Book of Mormon and the Qur'an are presented to be the latest revelation of God. The Old Testament closes with a climax of expectation of ...
15
votes
3answers
17k views

How long did it take to form the Biblical canon?

How long did it take to collect all of the writings that eventually formed the first version of the Bible? In other words, starting with when the first writing was created (I'll say when it was ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Why were Deuterocanonical books rejected in the Reformation?

The Deuterocanonical books were included in the Septuagint, but not the Hebrew Bible. They are mostly included in the Catholic Old Testament, but not in the Protestant one. I understand the choice ...
15
votes
2answers
259 views

Why do Pentecostals believe in a closed canon?

Pentecostals believe the gift of prophecy continues to the present day. From what I understand, most Christians believe the gift of prophecy is what enabled the writers of Scripture to write ...
14
votes
2answers
599 views

When was the OT canon as used by Protestants finalized?

At what date (and/or event) was the Old Testament canon currently recognized by most Protestants finalized? What is the earliest occurrence we have of it being referenced in it's current form and who ...
14
votes
2answers
654 views

What works do the LDS Church recognize as Scripture?

I understand the LDS Church recognizes the Book of Mormon and the Old and New Testaments as well. What other works are also considered Scripture? Any Apocryphal works? Doctrines and Covenants?
13
votes
1answer
330 views

Why is the Gospel of Thomas considered heretical by Nicene Christians?

I've seen in a few places the Gospel of Thomas described as Gnostic and thus heretical. I've seen people dismiss it as heretical but never going into the details of why that is the case. Why is the ...
13
votes
1answer
262 views

To what extent should the Apostles' speech be considered infallible?

It is my understanding that all known writings of the Apostles are considered infallible and are Canonical. However, I am unclear as to what extent recorded speech of the Apostles should be ...
13
votes
2answers
426 views

How much variation is in the Hebrew language of the Old Testament?

Is there a difference in the Hebrew between the earliest Old Testament books and the relatively newer books? In other words: are there linguistic differences (syntax, grammar, word usage) in older ...
12
votes
3answers
558 views

Are there “rational” criteria for which books appear in the Bible?

When I looked into "canon criticism" or "canonology" a while back, I came across numerous (alleged) criteria for whether a book is/was included in canon, such as "Old Testament books had to be written ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Why are the books of the Protestant Bible in the order that they are in?

I am curious why the books of the Protestant Bible are in the order that they are in? Someone told me they thought the books were in some sort of chronological order - is that true? (I know the ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What deuterocanonical books are quoted in the New Testament?

When talking with a Catholic friend (I'm a Protestant) about the apocrypha/deuterocanonical books, it occurred to me that a possible argument for their inclusion in the Canon would be their authority, ...
10
votes
1answer
8k views

How many 'Books' never made it to the Bible (Old and New Testament)?

Alternatively: How many books were included in early Bible compilations and then later removed? A book in the bible, to my understanding, is one of the many named divisions in the Old and New ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Did Martin Luther ever remove books from the New Testament canon? [duplicate]

Is it true that Luther removed James, Jude, and Revelation from the New Testament? If this is true then what were his reasons for doing so?
10
votes
2answers
138 views

Are any writings of the Apostles non-Canonical?

Do we have any writings that are reasonably likely to be written by Apostles, but are not included in the Bible?
10
votes
1answer
98 views

How does the LDS Church decide what is included in their scriptural canon?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has four "Standard Works" that are considered canonical: The Bible (Old and New Testaments) The Book of Mormon The Doctrine and Covenants The Pearl of ...
9
votes
3answers
13k views

Did Jesus perform miracles as a child?

I heard that there are some early books which tell of Jesus performing some miracles when he was a child. What are those books? And what are the miracles described in those books? Are descriptions ...
9
votes
6answers
7k views

Why is the Song of Solomon in bible?

Can someone explain what the song is all about? I read it and found out that the characters are not husband and wife. I want to understand the context in which the poem is written and a gist of the ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

What exactly was the purpose of the Council of Nicea?

I heard recently in a bible study class on "How we got the Bible", that the Council of Nicea is not actually responsible for the compilation of the complete, canon biblical texts. I had always thought ...
9
votes
2answers
215 views

Is there a unique characteristic for all canonical books?

Is there any one unique characteristic that would be common for all the books of the Bible besides being chosen by the Church to be a part of canon? I am interested here in the main-stream Protestant ...
9
votes
1answer
98 views

Do any denominations have a positon on the doctrinal value of Job's friends?

The book of Job is a beautiful and inspirational book of scripture with some of the clearest teachings on God's power, the nature of life, the beauty and worth of the Earth, and other important ...
8
votes
3answers
22k views

In what order were the books in the New Testament written?

I'm just curious as to the actual timeline and known dates of the New Testament books. I know the version fo the Bible I read had the letters from Paul ordered by their size, and not when they were ...
8
votes
1answer
379 views

Modern Book of Jasher - Genuine?

I've been reading the book of Jasher (supposedly the one quoted in the book of Samuel) and its quite amazing. But I ask - what is the proof or lack of proof on it's authenticity? There are however a ...
8
votes
1answer
189 views

What does John Calvin mean to imply by the “suffrage” of the church?

In his Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin discusses the idea that the Biblical canon depends on the ratifying action of the Church (Book 1, Chapter 7). He thinks it does not, preferring ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Were the Gospels considered Scripture when the rest of the New Testament was written?

When the New Testament was written1, were the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John already considered Scripture? 1 Acts - Revelation. Obviously there is overlap in when these were written (they are ...
7
votes
1answer
163 views

Harmony in the pseudepigraphal writings?

It is not uncommon when talking to someone about the authenticity or composition of the Biblical canon to for the subject of the so-called "lost" gospels to be brought up. An explanation of the ...
7
votes
2answers
138 views

When did the idea start that divine revelation is “finished”?

When did the idea start that divine revelation to the church ceased? Or in other words, the idea that no more scripture is going to be revealed than is already in the Bible (or in tradition passed on ...
7
votes
2answers
115 views

Is there a scriptural basis for treating the non-Gospel books of the New Testament as scripture?

Without citing any books of the New Testament besides the Gospels as evidence (since that would be self-referential), is there a scriptural basis (either in the Gospels or in the Old Testament) for ...
6
votes
2answers
233 views

Are there books that are included in the Protestant Bible that were disputed as canonical?

The topic of how the Bible was compiled, including the determining factors for which books are included is well-documented. There were some basic criteria as listed at ...
6
votes
1answer
587 views

Why was Hebrews included in the canon?

Was Hebrews included in the canon solely because it was assumed to be authored by Paul, or was there any other basis for its canonization?
6
votes
1answer
166 views

Why were none of the Apostolic fathers' writings included in the last canon accepted in the Ecumenical Councils?

Why is it so that none of the Apostolic fathers' writings was included in the last canon accepted during the time of the Seven Ecumenical Councils? By the "last canon" I mean the one that we have ...
6
votes
1answer
226 views

What are the biblical arguments that the Bible canon is NOT closed?

Related: What are the biblical arguments that the Bible canon is closed? Most people are familiar with the warning in the Book of Revelation: "And if any man shall take away from the words of the ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is Mark not the first gospel?

We all know that Mark was the first gospel ever written. Why then is it that when the New Testament was compiled, Mark was not listed as the first book in the New Testament? What are the reasons that ...
5
votes
3answers
220 views

Why was Ezra included in the canon?

As a Christian, I know we shouldn't have a "canon within the canon", but I'll admit, I just can't get worked up over Ezra. I love Malachi. I could for a long time on 2 Peter. I can even find stuff ...
5
votes
1answer
206 views

Were the councils of the 4th and 5th centuries primarily to deal with Apocryphal writings?

Were the Apocryphal writings the primary motivation behind the cannons and councils of the 4th and 5th centuries or were there other motivations? Did the ancient church leaders cite their reasons for ...
4
votes
1answer
205 views

Could there be a “Newer” Testament? If so, how would it become canonical?

Could there possibly ever be a new set of books added to the Bible which have modern stories and rules for future generations? Such as a book describing internet etiquette - which isn't so far out of ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

When did the idea of a scriptural “canon” originate?

This question What are the biblical arguments that the Bible canon is NOT closed? made me wonder: 1) When did the idea of a canon originate? I would suppose this should be quite early, and Jews ...
4
votes
3answers
313 views

When scripture quotes a non-biblical source, without any opposition of the source, does it imply any endorsement?

In addition to alluding to various Jewish proverbs, sayings, and parables, sometimes the Bible seems to directly quote Greek philosophers (Acts 17:28), Jewish oral traditions (Jude 9, 12) or possibly ...
4
votes
1answer
171 views

Does specific authorship of a given book of the Bible “matter”? [closed]

Based on a variety of previous questions, it seems that specific authorship of many parts of the Bible are not known for sure. For example (though I realize there are traditions of who wrote what): ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

Why do Protestants accept the inerrancy of the canon, while rejecting other decisions of the Roman Church?

Why do Protestants accept the inerrancy of the current canon of scripture but reject many of the other decisions made by the Roman Church at the time the Bible was being canonized? Take the Council ...
3
votes
2answers
276 views

Sources on Historical Reliability of the New Testament

Unlike many of the other great religions of the world - Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, even Judaism to some extent - Christianity is founded not on a philosophy or a metaphysical idea, but on an ...
3
votes
0answers
34 views

What are the Gnostic Gospels and why are they not part of the Bible? [duplicate]

Lately, I have been hearing a lot about the Gnostic Gospels and their more (relatively) unorthodox references to Jesus and a believers relationship to God. What are the Gnostic Gospels and why are ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

When was the Biblical canon formalised?

When was the Biblical canon formalised and finalised? 397, 419 or a different date? Do different branches of Christianity state that the canon was formalised at different times? Are there branches ...
2
votes
1answer
257 views

When did the insertion of title-page for Old Testament and New Testament started?

All the Bible I have seen have title-pages for both New Testament and Old Testament. There is always a dedicated page just before the Book of Genesis with the title "The Old Testament" which indicates ...