Ancient Lists of New Testament Books

Lists earlier than the fourth century (These are all disputed in one way or another)

303-325  –  Eusebius [Ecclesiastical History 3.25.1– 7]

303-367  –  Catalogue in Codex Claromontanus

331-350  –  Codex Vaticanus

331-350  – Codex Sinaiticus

c. 350  –  Cyril of Jerusalem [Catechetical Lectures 4.33]

c. 367  –  Athanasius [Festal Epistle (Ep. Fest.) 39]

c. 365-390  –  Mommsen Catalogue (Cheltenham list)

c. 374-377  –  Epiphanius [Panarion (Haer.) 76.5]

c. 380  –  Apostolic Canons [Apostolic Canon 85]

c. 383-390  –  Gregory of Nazianzus [Carmen de veris scripturae libris 12.31]

c. 393-419  –  African Canons

c. 394  –  Jerome [Epistle 53]

c. 396-397  –  Augustine [On Christian Doctrine (De Doct. Christ.) 2.8.12-13]

c. 396  –  Amphilochius [Iambics to Seleucus (Iambi ad Seleucum) 289– 319]

c. 400  –  Peshitta

c. 400  –  Rufinus [Commentary on the Apostle’s Creed (Comm. in Symb. Apost.) 36]

c. 405 Pope Innocent [Letter to Exsuperius (Ad Exsuper. Tol. – Ad Exup. Tol.)]

c. 400 Syrian Catalogue of St. Catherine’s

c. 425  –  Codex Alexandrinus


1546  –  Canon of Trent


Alexander, Archibald.  The Canon of the Old and New Testaments Ascertained; or, The Bible, Complete, without the Apocrypha and Unwritten Traditions.  Presbyterian Board of Education, 1851.  See “Part II, Section II – Catalogues of the Books of the New Testament.”

Bruce, F. F.  The Canon of Scripture.  Intervarsity Press, 1988.  Bruce identifies numerous lists, often assigning a chapter or sub-chapter to each, in “Part Three – New Testament.”

Charteris, A. H.  Canonicity:  A Collection of Early Testimonies to the Canonical Books of the New Testament.  William Blackwood and Sons, 1880.  “I. Oldest Testimonies to a Collection of Sacred Books” and “II.  Testimonies to the Canon (of Later Date)” p. 1-35.

Davis, Glenn.  The Development of the Canon of the New Testament ( website).  “Early Lists of the Books of the New Testament.”  Davis bases his 11 lists (from the fourth century through the ninth) on Metzger, see below, as well as Schneemelcher in New Testament Apocrypha.

Dungan, David L.  Constantine’s Bible: Politics and the Making of the New Testament.  Fortress Press, 2007.  See footnote 83 on page 203, and footnote 2 on page 205.

Grosheide, F. W. ed.  Some Early Lists of the Books of the New Testament.  Brill, 1948.  Identifies 12 lists, the Muratorian Fragment being the earliest and the Decretum Gelasianum being the latest.  These 12 are similar, but not identical, to the list of Theron below.

Hahneman, Geoffrey Mark.  The Muratorian Fragment and the Development of the Canon.  Clarendon, 1992.  (Chapter “4 – Fourth-Century Catalogues”).  Hahneman identifies 15 lists of the late fourth and very early fifth centuries that he characterizes as “undisputed” as to authenticity: I have included all of them above: Eusebius, Catalogue in Codex Claromontanus, Cyril of Jerusalem, Athanasius, Mommsen Catalogue, Epiphanius, Apostolic Canons, Gregory of Nazianzus, African Canons,  Jerome, Augustine, Amphilochius, Rufinus, Pope Innocent, Syrian Catalogue of St. Catherine’s.

__________.  “The Muratorian Fragment and the Origins of the New Testament Canon.”  Chapter 24 in The Canon Debate, 2002, see McDonald and Sanders below.  Hahneman repeats his list of 15, making some very slight revisions, mainly in dating; I have conformed the entries above to this later version.  For some context to his list, see Hahneman on Early Canonical Lists.

Harvey, Paul.  A Table of Canons of the Bible (a webpage).  (This data is the basis for Geoff Trowbridge, see below).

Marlowe, Michael D.  “The Canon of Scripture” (a section of, “Ancient Canon Lists Quoted in Full.”  He identifies and describes 29 lists from the first eight centuries (c. 170 to 730 A.D.)

McDonald, Lee M. and James A. Sanders.  The Canon Debate.  Baker Academic, 2002.  (“Appendix D – Lists and Catalogues of New Testament Collections”)

McDonald, Lee Martin.  The Biblical Canon.  Baker Academic, 2007.  (“Appendix C – Lists and Catalogues of New Testament Collections”).  McDonald says that he based his lists on those of Souter, Hahneman, Metzger, and Bruce.

Metzger, Bruce M.  The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance.  Oxford University Press, 1987, p. 305-315 (“Appendix IV- Early Lists of the Books of the New Testament”) and for more on two of those lists see p. 191-207 (“Chapter VIII – Two Early Lists of the Books of the New Testament”).

Reuss, Edward (1804-1891).  History of the Canon of the Holy Scriptures in the Christian Church.  Translated by David Hunter.  Gemmell, 1884, 430 pages.  See chapters X and XI.

Rudd, Steve.  The Canon of the Bible (website), “Lists and Catalogues of New Testament Collections.”  Rudd takes his lists from the appendices in McDonald and Sanders The Canon Debate, see above).

Souter, Alexander.  The Text and Canon of the New Testament.  Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1913, p. 205-237 (“Selected Documents”).  Souter is named as a source by Sundberg, Hahneman, and McDonald.

Sundberg, Albert C. “Canon Muratori: A Fourth-Century List.”  Harvard Theological Review, 1973, p. 37-38.

Theron, Daniel J.  Evidence of Tradition: Selected Source Material for the Study of the History of the Early Church, the New Testament Books, and the New Testament Canon.  Baker Book House, 1957 (Wipf & Stock reprint, 2009).  “III. 4. Canonical Lists” p. 106-127.  Theron gives 11 lists, similar, but not identical, to Grosheide above.

Trowbridge, Geoff.  A Brief History of the New Testament ( website), “New Testament Canons Through the Ages” (based on data compiled by Paul Harvey, see above).

Westcott, Brooke Foss.  A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament, 4th edition.  Macmillan, 1875, p. 531-571 (“Appendix D – The Chief Catalogue of the Books of the Bible During the First Eight Centuries”)

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