The Formation of the Judeo-Christian Canon

“The final acceptance of exactly this set of 27 books by everyone except the Nestorians (who accept five fewer) and the Ethiopians (who accept more) took some time particularly for Hebrews (because the Roman church was unsure of its authorship), Revelations (because it was easily misused by those with apocalyptic fantasies), and Jude (because it quoted from the apocryphal book of Enoch). While II Peter previously was the most disputed book, by this point, it was less controversial to the Christian mainstream. For instance, St. Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 315-386) and St. Gregory Nazianzus (329-389) accepted all 27 books except Revelation. On the other hand, in 405, Pope Innocent I wrote a letter which affirms a 26 book canon that excluded Hebrews. Clearly, it took some time to achieve universal acceptance among the Orthodox for Hebrews in the West, and Revelation in the East.”

Read more in Daniel F. Lieuwen’s article “Emergence of the New Testament Canon.”

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