This is a subsidiary post of Annotated Bibliography on New Testament Text and Canon.
Because my bibliography on text and canon (“apostolic apologetics”) is so long, and because older works have particular advantages and disadvantages, I thought it might be helpful to list here those works in the bibliography that come from prior to the 20th Century.
To be clear, this bibliography is a subset of the Annotated Bibliography on New Testament and Canon. There is no work you will find below that is not already included in that much longer list. However, to keep this list concise I have not included the annotations with the entries.
Alexander, Archibald (1772-1851). The Canon of the Old and New Testaments Ascertained; or, The Bible, Complete, without the Apocrypha and Unwritten Traditions. Presbyterian Board of Education, 1851.
Athanasius (296-373). Festal Letter 39. This is the earliest statement about New Testament contents that matches our own. See Athanasius on the New Testament Canon.
Augustine (354-430). On Christian Doctrine. He lists the canonical books in 2.8.12-13. See Augustine on the New Testament Canon.
__________. Against Faustus (Contra Faustum). In 33:6 Augustine explains how we can know, even from a purely human standpoint, whether literary works are authentic or false, using Hippocrates as an example.
Charteris, A. H. Canonicity: A Collection of Early Testimonies to the Canonical Books of the New Testament. William Blackwood and Sons, 1880.
Davidson, Samuel. The Canon of the Bible: Its Formation, History, and Fluctuations, Third Revised and Enlarged Edition. C. Kegan Paul, 1880.
Eusebius (263-339). The History of the Church. Translated by G. A. Williamson. Penguin, 1965, 432 pages. (Also translated by Arthur Cushman McGiffert. Archeron Press, 2012, Kindle edition.)
Hodge, A. A. (1823-1886). “Popular lectures on theological themes” in Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1887, p. 68-93.
Jerome (347-420). Letter 53. At 53:9, he addresses the canon. See Jerome on the New Testament Canon.
Josephus (37-100). Josephus: The Complete Works. Translated by William Whiston. Thomas Nelson, 1998, 1159 pages.
Moore, Dunlop. “The Beginning and Growth of the Canon of the New Testament” inThe Presbyterian and Reformed Review, Vol. 7, No. 25, January 1896, 33 pages.
Reuss, Edward (1804-1891). History of the Canon of the Holy Scriptures in the Christian Church. Translated by David Hunter. Gemmell, 1884, 430 pages.
Schaff, Philip (1819-1893). Editor. The Complete Ante-Nicene & Nicene and Post-Nicene Church Fathers Collection. Catholic Way Publishing, 2014 (originally published 1886-1900).
Tregelles, Samuel P. (1813-1875). A Lecture on the Historic Evidence of the Authorship and Transmission of the Books of the New Testament. Samuel Bagster and Sons, 1852.
Westcott, Brooke Foss. A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament, 4th edition. Macmillan, 1875.
Zahn, Theodor. Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanons. Deichert, 1888-1892.