Early Christian Writings Claiming Apostolicity, but Rejected as Such

What distinguishes the writings of the New Testament from all other early Christian writings was their apostolic origins.  That is, all writings that were ultimately determined by the ancient church to be apostolic were included in the New Testament.  This required the ancient church to make decisions because there were many writings in the first three hundred years making a claim to to have been from the apostles, including those listed below.

Probably because of their claim to apostolicty, the following books achieved what Bruce Metzger has called “temporary and local canonicity.”  That is, they never received widespread acknowledgement as apostolic and were ultimately rejected from the New Testament canon.

The Gospel of Peter

The Acts of Paul

The Acts of John

The Acts of Peter

The Epistle of the Apostles

The Third Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians

The Epistle to the Laodiceans

The Correspondence Between Paul and Seneca

The Apocalypse of Peter

The Apocalypse of Paul

Source:  Metzger, Bruce M.  The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance, Oxford University Press, 1987.

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