Origins of the New Testament

The two most common questions that I am asked are some variation of “Where did we get the New Testament?” or “Why are these specific books included in the New Testament?”1 Obviously complete answers to these questions are long, nuanced, and complex (i.e., scholarly discussions of dissertation length answer). But there are also relatively straight-forwardContinue reading “Origins of the New Testament”

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NT Canon: What You Need to Know

Most Christians, and I would dare say most Americans, know some basic things about the Christian New Testament. But many people don’t know (or don’t want to know) how the New Testament came into being. Some people seem to think that Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and Revelation fell from the sky in a nicely leather boundContinue reading “NT Canon: What You Need to Know”

NT Canon: Canonical Lists

This post is part of an ongoing series outlining the formation of the New Testament canon. We now turn to an examination of canonical lists, an important step on the road to formal canonization. The importance of the core scriptures increased throughout the second and third centuries and were in due course joined in prestigeContinue reading “NT Canon: Canonical Lists”

NT Canon: Definition of “Canon”

This post is part of an ongoing series outlining the formation of the New Testament canon. Of primary importance in discussing the development of the New Testament canon is determining precisely what constitutes a “canon.” Historically, three primary schools of thought have emerged concerning the definition of the term the “canon.” Theodor Zahn argued that,Continue reading “NT Canon: Definition of “Canon””