Questions tagged [canon]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
44
votes
5answers
5k 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
35
votes
4answers
203k 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 ...
33
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
24
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
24
votes
1answer
7k 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. ...
24
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
892 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
23k 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 ...
17
votes
8answers
3k views

Are there theological explanations for why God allowed ambiguity to exist in Scripture?

Doctrinal differences abound in Christianity. This is attested to by the numerous times the Church has suffered splits and given birth to different denominations, branches, and sub-branches. The ...
17
votes
3answers
10k 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, ...
17
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
1k 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?
17
votes
3answers
1k 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 "inspired"...
17
votes
2answers
875 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 (...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

What writings are held as "biblical canon" by Swedenborgians?

Reading an article on Emanuel Swedenborg, I came across the following fact: It should be noted, however, that Corinthians is not included in the list of books that, according to Swedenborg, ...
14
votes
3answers
80k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
518 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
271 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
17k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
28k views

How many distinct Biblical canons are there? [closed]

I've noticed recently on this site there is a push to enforce the rule that, in one's questions, one ought to state "which Bible" one is interested in learning about—whether that is the "Catholic ...
13
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
26k views

Are there any churches that do not accept the teachings of Paul?

From different discussions (including some on this site) it seems that Paul's teachings were different from the teachings of Jesus and the other apostles in some aspects. In light of this are there ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

What explanations have scholars proposed for the rejection of the Didache from the Canon?

The Didache (full text) is an early Christian document giving advice on various "practical matters" such as how to baptize, when to fast, how to celebrate the Lord's Supper, etc. It's hard to date, ...
12
votes
3answers
652 views

How does the Westminster Confession address the paradox of the Bible canon?

Chapter I, Article IV of the Westminster Confession (1647) reads: The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or ...
12
votes
3answers
732 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
6answers
24k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
17k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

How do Calvinists explain Calvin's use of Baruch?

In his commentary of 1 Corinthians, Calvin seems to use Baruch to explain verse 20 of chapter 10, It is certain from the Prophet Baruch, (4:7,) that those things that are sacrificed to idols are ...
11
votes
2answers
211 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?
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Why did the reformers include the book of Hebrews in the canon?

Related: Why was Hebrews included in the canon? It's widely known that Hebrews has been in the canon of most of Christendom for a long time, originally on the basis of Pauline authorship (see the ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Why was the epistle of Clement to Corinth not considered canonical?

I'm wondering on this one. I'm reading Eusebius and he states that at least one letter from the Bishop Clement (c. 35 AD - 99 AD) to Corinth was considered worthy to be read and was circulated among ...
11
votes
2answers
323 views

What is the basis for saying that the Gospel of Thomas was accepted as scripture by early Christians?

In an answer here, Dick Harfield writes: we know that [the Gospel of Thomas] and (probably) Q were treated as scripture by early Christians. Reading the Wikipedia article on the Gospel of Thomas, ...
10
votes
3answers
51k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
13k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
789 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
7k 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
1answer
2k views

Did Martin Luther take exception to the gospels in any way?

I was watching a video* that was about the "heresy" of Protestantism. It briefly discussed Martin Luther and his exceptions with certain books. He removed the so called "apocrypha" and also took ...
10
votes
1answer
828 views

Why is Ephesians after Galatians?

It's pretty well-known that the Pauline epistles in modern copies of the New Testament are generally ordered according to length.1 Of the epistles written to churches, Romans is longest and first, ...
10
votes
1answer
504 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
560 views

Is there a standard version of the Bible?

Is there a standard version of the Bible, compared to which, all other versions would be considered either translations or paraphrases? If yes, when was the standardization done? And how common is it ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Why do Christians have different books in their Bible?

Some Bibles have all 4 Maccabees books, for example, while others don't. Some Bibles have Esdras and Wisdom, and yet others don't. Why is this? If there was an agreement on what books would be in the ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
213 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
434 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
194 views

Which canon did the Early Church recognize?

I’m trying to compile the History of the Bible, at least the Christian recognition of what was inspired and what wasn’t in the Old Testament. I‘ll neglect the question of who had the authority to ...
9
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
268 views

Do any non-Swedenborgian Christian denominations have a smaller biblical canon than Protestantism?

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. ...