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18 votes

Why is Mark not the first gospel?

It's because the early church fathers thought that Matthew was written first. This is known as the Augustinian Hypothesis, and its namesake, Augustine, writes: Now, those four evangelists whose ...
17 votes
Accepted

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

In Matthew 13, Jesus reveals that it is God's will that some people understand and others be confused: 11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to ...
15 votes
Accepted

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

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) listed the books that he considers to be the Word of God ("divinely inspired Biblical canon," in the words of the question) in three places: Arcana Coelestia ("Secrets ...
14 votes
Accepted

Why do Christians have different books in their Bible?

Most of the books of the Bible were written by different people. An estimated 40 authors wrote the 70 or so books that various Christians accept as "the Bible". Most of these authors wrote ...
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10 votes

What is the origin of the Catholic apocrypha?

Some historical background regarding the Canon of Scripture The books that non-Catholics (generally Protestants) call the Apocrypha are called by Catholics the Deuterocanonical books (from the Greek ...
10 votes
Accepted

Was defining the New Testament originally condemned as heresy?

It is impossible to know for sure without asking the person that said it, but I believe it is most likely, given her description of the individual in question, the historical time frame and the ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Was the 66 book Bible being used by early Christians?

The answer is most certainly no. The oldest complete Bible that we have is the Codex Vaticanus, dating to between 300 and 325. It contains 68 books: 45 Old Testament books plus 23 New Testament ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Does the Catholic church consider Mark 16:9-20 to be biblical canon?

At the Council of Trent, the Church officially declared as dogma the canon of Holy Scripture. This included "the four Gospels, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John." The council did ...
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10 votes

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

Why God allows ambiguities and what He does to help us Most denominations hold that the Holy Spirit inspires not only the Biblical book authors but also the Individual Bible reader, and/or the ...
10 votes
Accepted

How do Sola Scriptura defenders have a list of "scripture" since the list isn't mentioned in scripture?

The doctrine of Sola Scriptura is about how to rank various sources of spiritual authority, but it does not concern how we arrived at the Biblical canon. Instead, Protestants teach that God's ...
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9 votes

Why did the mid-early church consider the Gospel of Matthew to be reliable?

Below is my answer to the original question: "What are the arguments for Matthew's canonicity that don't appeal to Matthean authorship or the authority of the church?" I have leaving it as ...
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9 votes
Accepted

How do Calvinists explain Calvin's use of Baruch?

Actually, in his magnum opus "Institutes of the Christian Religion" (ICR), he cited Tobit, Baruch, 1 and 2 Maccabees, and Siriach. The Geneva Bible, which Calvin accepted and fostered, also ...
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8 votes

What is the origin of the Catholic apocrypha?

In the Catholic tradition, there 3 types of historical writings dealt with here: biblical writings and/or non-biblical writings known as Apocrypha. Canononical works Deuterocanonical works Apocrypha (...
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8 votes
Accepted

When the early church was formalising the canon, what did they understand by the word 'Inspired'?

Further Clarification The original person who asked the question asked for additional clarification on these two questions: 1) Are inspired works closed as canon is? 2) Are there potentially other ...
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7 votes
Accepted

When did the idea of a scriptural "canon" originate?

The best reference for answering this question, is not surprisingly, from Bruce Metzger. He is probably the foremost textual critic of the 20th Century - a fact that both Dan Wallace and Bart Ehrmann ...
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7 votes

When was the Biblical canon formalised?

This question has an accepted answer, but, with all due respect, I do not think that the answer is accurate. There are three distinct sources of information related to the formation of the Christian ...
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7 votes

Why do Pentecostals believe in a closed canon?

Yes, Pentecostals believe that the gift of prophecy continues to the present day. However, there is a difference between someone exercising the gift of prophecy and the apostles that were divinely ...
7 votes

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

Overview of Hebrew history Although not specifically asked for, it is profitable to start with a brief overview of the history of the Hebrew language. For more details on the subject, see A History ...
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7 votes

What deuterocanonical books are quoted in the New Testament?

The Deuterocanon quoted (or referred to) in the New Testament Other answers give lists, but here's a quick one with the cross-references in the Protestant King James Bible (1611). Matthew 6:14-15 ...
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7 votes

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

Lee McDonald says in The Biblical Canon that the most common criteria in identifying what was and wasn't canonical for the early church was apostolicity, orthodoxy, antiquity, and use, and ...
7 votes

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

As far as Calvin was concerned, his views on the canonicity of Hebrews can be found in his introductory comments to his commentary on Hebrews (here at pp. 16–17). He includes it "without hesitation" ...
7 votes
Accepted

Do the "Anathemas" Pronounced in the Council of Trent still stand today?

To say of a person, "Anathema sit"—"Let him be anathema"—means simply that the person is excommunicated: regarded as having separated themselves from the body of the True Church. ...
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7 votes

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

Yes, the Westminster Confession of Faith answers this apparent, but not real, circularity as follows. In Chapter 1 Paragraph 5, we read: We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church ...
7 votes

According to Reformed Theology, why did the 70 Jewish translators include the Apocrypha?

It is true that the Jews ultimately did not accept the apocryphal books you listed in their canon, in a gradual process over several centuries at least spanning 1st century BC and 1st century AD. ...
7 votes

On what basis do Catholics continue doctrinal development after the Bible canon was closed?

The Catholic Church teaches dogmatically that general revelation ended with the Apostles (cf. condemned proposition no. 21 in Pope St. Pius X's Lamentabili Sane). This general revelation forms the ...
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6 votes

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

Is there a scriptural basis for treating the non-Gospel books of the New Testament as scripture? Short answer: yes. Jesus commissioned 12 of his disciples as 'apostles' and gave them authority to ...
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6 votes

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

It seems useful to consider the example of D&C Section 138. Section 138 was a revelation from 1918 but not added until 1981. A section from Sperry Symposium Classics: The Doctrine and Covenants ...
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6 votes
Accepted

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

Since the Didache was discovered in the late 19th century, scholars have provided a number of rationales, ranging from the typical standards of canonicity (late age, mysterious authorship, poor ...
6 votes
Accepted

What books did Calvin consider canonical?

We have several pieces of evidence to say that Calvin affirmed the 66-book canon that has become known as the Protestant canon and rejected all other books as canonical. The first piece of evidence ...
6 votes

Kokabiel's History Forgotten?

The reason why Kokabiel's story is not part of the bible is that it is taken from the Book of Enoch, which is not considered as being part of Sacred Scripture by most Christian Churches. The Book of ...
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