Mike Gantt’s question: I am a layman who has studied a good bit of your work on the canon, and the work of others as well – including Gamble, McDonald, Metzger, Bruce, and others. I have arrived at a conviction and I hope you will either confirm or correct it from your point of view.
The 27-book New Testament canon that we have had for 1,500 years is what the ancient church determined to be the extant apostolic corpus – no more, no less. That is, the ancient church put no writing in the NT that they considered to be non-apostolic; neither did they leave anything out of the NT that they did consider apostolic.
(* “apostolic” meaning written by an apostle or close associate of an apostle)
(By the way, I know that many modern scholars think that a number of the authors ascribed to various NT writings are not the actual authors, but my question has to do with the thinking of the ancient church that produced the canon – not the modern church that has inherited it.)
If you think I have this wrong, please tell me at what points. Thank you.
Professor Kruger’s answer: Thanks, Mike. Although more can be said than your one sentence, I think it captures well the historical truth about canon.