As covered in the Wikipedia article on Biblical canon, among the major branches of Christianity Protestantism has the smallest biblical canon, due almost entirely to a smaller Old Testament canon.

The various New Church or "Swedenborgian" denominations, however, have a considerably smaller canon for both the Old and New Testaments, as covered in this question: What writings are held as "biblical canon" by Swedenborgians?

Are there any other Christian churches or denominations whose biblical canon is smaller than the Protestant canon? If so, what books do they include in their canon, and what reasons do they give for their particular canon?

  • closely related/near duplicate: Are there any Christians who only accept the gospels? Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 17:29
  • @bruisedreed Thanks for the link. That question is much more narrowly focused than this one, so this question is closely related rather than a duplicate of that one. However the single answer to that question (yours) is relevant and interesting. Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


I strongly doubt there's been any of them around for >1500 years, but the 2nd century Marcionites fit the bill (source for quotation):

[Marcion's] canon consisted of two divisions: the Gospel, containing an abbreviated copy of Luke, and the Apostolicon, containing ten Epistles of Paul

As to the justification:

The main points of Marcion's teaching were the rejection of the Old Testament and a distinction between the Supreme God of goodness and an inferior God of justice, who was the Creator and God of the Jews. He regarded Christ as the messenger of the Supreme God.

  • Are there adherents to Marcionites today? I think the question implies denominations that are still living today. Commented Jan 9, 2021 at 1:49
  • Yes, I was thinking of present-day denominations when I asked the question. But this is still interesting in response to it. +1 Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 8:23
  • @GratefulDisciple Almost certainly not. The question did not itself specify that the denomination still had to be around ;)
    – Alex
    Commented Feb 15, 2021 at 17:23

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