Clement of Alexandria’s “Canon”

This is a subsidiary post of Lists Earlier Than the Fourth Century.  

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

McDonald, Lee Martin.  The Biblical Canon.  Baker Academic, 2007.  See “Appendix C – Lists and Catalogues of New Testament Collections.”

Irenaeus’ “Canon”

This is a subsidiary post of Lists Earlier Than the Fourth Century.  

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

McDonald, Lee Martin.  The Biblical Canon.  Baker Academic, 2007.  See “Appendix C – Lists and Catalogues of New Testament Collections.”

The Muratorian Fragment

This is a subsidiary post of Lists Earlier Than the Fourth Century.  

Until Sundberg and Hahneman, the Muratorian Fragment was considered of late second century vintage, originating in or around Rome.  They have argued for a fourth century dating (ca. 350-375), originating in Syria or elsewhere in the East, and have over time swayed other scholars, such as McDonald and Gamble.  (Source: McDonald p. 449 in The Biblical Canon, bibliography).

The Text of the Muratorian Fragment.

EarlyChristianWritings.com on the Muratorian Fragment

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

McDonald, Lee Martin.  The Biblical Canon.  Baker Academic, 2007.  See “Appendix C – Lists and Catalogues of New Testament Collections” for dating and list of contents.

Metzger, Bruce M.  The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance.  Oxford University Press, 1987.  See p. 191-201 for “The Muratorian Canon.”

Wikipedia article on the Muratorian Fragment

Lists Earlier Than the Fourth Century

This is a subsidiary post of Ancient Lists of New Testament Books.

All “canonical lists” from prior to the fourth century are disputed in one way or another.  Either their dating is disputed (as in the case of the Muratorian Fragment) or that they are lists is disputed (as in the cases of Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen in which McDonald and others say that Eusebius has inferred lists where none actually existed).

The Muratorian Fragment

Irenaeus’ “Canon”

Clement of Alexandria’s “Canon”

Origen’s “Canon”

 

Defining Apostolicity

This is a subsidiary post of Apostolicity and the New Testament.

Campenhausen, Hans von.  The Formation of the Christian Bible.  trans. J. A. Baker.  Augsburg Fortress, 1972; Sigler Press, 1997 edition.  See p. 330.

“So far as any ‘principle’ can be discerned behind the sources it appears to be one simply of chronological limitation: the normative testimonies must derive from the period closest to Christ, namely that of Christian origins, the age of the apostles and their disicples.”

Dunbar, David G.  “The Biblical Canon” in Hermeneutics, Authority, and Canon, ed. D. A. Carson and John D. Woodbridge.  Academie Books, 1986.  See p. 358; the embedded quote is from Campenhausen, p. 330 (see above).

“Broadly stated, the church regarded apostolicity as the qualifying factor for canonical recognition; however, this apostolicity should be understood not strictly in terms of authorship but in terms of content and chronology.  That which was canon must embody the apostolic tradition, and this tradition was to be discerned in he most primitive documents: ‘ the normative testimonies must derive from the period closest to Christ, namely that of Christian origins, the age of the apostles and their disciples.’  The recognition of this apostolicity, moreover, was based primarily on the tradition of the church.  Those books that had functioned authoritatively for earlier Christians were received as authentic apostolic tradition.  In turn, those documents were used in a negative way to exclude works of later vintage or varying doctrinal content, as happened, for example, in [sic] case of The Gospel of Peter.”

Zahn, Theodor.  Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanons.  Deichert, 1888-1892.   Per Campenhausen (see above) in footnote 9 on p. 330 of The Formation of the Christian Bible:

“Zahn…pertinently comments: ‘The concept of what was “apostolic”, to the extent that it coincided with what we call “canonical” or “New Testament”, was not derived directly from the idea of a special official dignity attaching to the twelve apostles and to Paul, but from the conviction that complete sections of the traditional New Testament were written by apostles and companions of the apostles, and thus were reliable documents for the apostolic age, and in particular for the apostolic preaching and tradition’.”

5th Century Developments Toward the New Testament Canon

This is a subsidiary post of The Stages of New Testament Formation.

Key Figures:  Jerome and Augustine.  For more, see Post-Apostolic Church Leaders – 1st through 5th Centuries.

1st Century Developments Toward the New Testament Canon

This is a subsidiary post of The Stages of New Testament Formation.

Key Figures:  Jesus and His apostles.

This is the period of time during which the 27 writings that would eventually comprise the New Testament were composed.  However, it would not be until the 4th Century that they were collectively and firmly established as a clearly-identifiable literary unit.

4th Century Developments Toward the New Testament Canon

This is a subsidiary post of The Stages of New Testament Formation.

Key Figures:  Eusebius, Constantine, Athanasius.  For more, see Post-Apostolic Church Leaders – 1st through 5th Centuries.

It is during the late fourth century that canonical lists are produced.  See Ancient Lists of New Testament Books.

3rd Century Developments Toward the New Testament Canon

This is a subsidiary post of The Stages of New Testament Formation.

Key Figures:  Origen.  For more, see Post-Apostolic Church Leaders – 1st through 5th Centuries.

2nd Century Developments Toward the New Testament Canon

This is a subsidiary post of The Stages of New Testament Formation.

Key Figures:  Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Papias, Marcion, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus of Lugdunum.  For more, see Post-Apostolic Church Leaders – 1st through 5th Centuries.

Sources:

Allert, Craig D.  “The State of the New Testament Canon in the Second Century: Putting Tatian’s Diatessaron in Perspective” in Bulletin for Biblical Research 9 (1999) p. 1-18 (Institute for Biblical Research).

Farmer, William R. and Denis M Farkasfalvy.  The Formation of the New Testament Canon: An Ecumenical Approach.  Paulist Press, 1983, 182 pages.  Both of these essays focus on second-century activity.

Hurtado, Larry W.  “The New Testament in the Second Century: Text, Collections and Canon” in Transmission and Reception: New Testament Text-Critical and Exegetical Studies, eds. J.W. Childers & D. C. Parker.  Gorgias Press, 2006.  p. 3-27.  Also available on Hurtado’s blog.