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Who Decided What Books Would Be In The Bible

Which Council Determined The Books Of The Bible

How Was It Decided Which Books Would Be Put in the Bible?

3.9/5BibleCouncilbooksabout it here

In A.D. 363, the Council of Laodicea stated that only the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament were to be read in the churches. The Council of Hippo and the Council of Carthage also affirmed the same 27 books as authoritative.

Also, what books were removed from the Bible at the Council of Nicea? Both accepted them as having spiritual value, but not directly from God. The excluded books are: Tobit, Judith, I and II Macabees, The Wisdom of Soloman, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, an addition to Esther, three additions to Daniel including Bel and the Dragon. Susanna, and Song of the Three Hebrew Children.

Keeping this in view, who put all the books of the Bible together?

Jerome, around a.d. 400, first assembled it together as one book.

How are the books of the Bible organized?

The Hebrew Bible has 39 books, written over a long period of time, and is the literary archive of the ancient nation of Israel. It was traditionally arranged in three sections. The first five books, Genesis to Deuteronomy. These books were later called the ‘Pentateuch’, and tradition attributed them to Moses.

The Canon Of The New Testament

Jesus followers considered His own teachings to be authoritative. Near the end of the first century, Christians were citing Jesus words and calling them Scripture along with Old Testament verses . Furthermore, some of Jesus followers, such as the apostle Paul, understood themselves to be authoritative spokespersons for the truth.

Other Bible writers granted him this claim and included his letters among the Scriptures . There was debate concerning which apostles were true to Jesus own teachings, and which letters were written by them . If you want to know more about the considerations and arguments why certain books were or were not included in the canon, read this article.

Even though the four Gospels were widely considered authoritative, along with Acts, most of the Pauline epistles and several of the longer general epistles, the acceptability of some of the other books was debated till the fourth century. In 367 AD, Athanasius the bishop of Alexandria named the 27 books that are currently accepted by Christians, as the authoritative canon of Scripture. However, this was not just his personal opinion. He wrote down the consensus of a larger group of religious authorities. On various church councils, the list of New Testament books that were recognized as canonical, was officially noted down. Later on, Roman Catholic and Protestant church councils stated their respective decisions on the canon and on the status of the apocrypha.

Stories You Didnt Learn In Sunday School

Many of the New Testament texts we know today were used authoritatively in the second Century. However, different congregations preferred certain texts and included texts that arent found in the New Testament. Here are some:

The Gospel of Peter: A fragment of this text was found in Egypt in 1886. However, it contains the only narrative account of Jesus exit from his tomb. Peter claims that two giant angels descended on the tomb to escort the resurrected Jesus out. They were also suddenly enormous. The most bizarre thing about this story is that the three figures were accompanied by a floating cross, which could speak.

And they heard a voice in the heavens saying, Thou hast preached unto them that sleep.And they heard a voice from the heavens, saying, Thou hast preached to them that sleep.’

The Gospel of Mary: Combs claims that some Apocryphal texts reflect theological and doctrinal discussions in the early church. The Gospel of Mary, which was discovered in the late 19th Century, refers to Mary Magdalene as one of Jesuss followers and his favorite disciple. After Jesuss resurrection, he gives esoteric teachings and then shares them with Mary. Mary then tells his other disciples. Peter questions why they should listen. Levi replies:

If she was worthy of the Savior, then who would you be to make her go? The Savior surely knows her well. He loves her more than we do.

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Did God Or Man Chose The Contents Of The Bible

In our last two blog posts in this series we talked about 1) aspects of the Bible that make it unique among world literature, and 2) the physical materials used by ancient scribes to produce copies of Scripture. Now lets dive into a question that many people ask: Who got to decide which scriptures were included in the Bible?

Its a great question for you to ask, as it shows that youre truly interested in having a solid understanding of church history.

Who Removed The Books From The Bible

Who Determined The 66 Books Of The Bible

Both Catholics and Protestants believe that he was correct on a number of points and that he had a significant impact on Western history. His next step was to delete seven books from the Bible, which is considered to be one of his most significant accomplishments. So, what was it that caused Martin Luther to remove seven books from the Bible?

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Why Were Some Books Not Included In The Bible

These texts were not included in the canon for a variety of reasons: they may have only been known to a few people, or they may have been left out because their content does not fit well with that of the other Bible books. The Authorized King James Version referred to these books as Apocrypha.

When Did Christians Officially Have A Bible

Choosing the actual texts that now make up the New Testament was not a short or simple process. The deliberation spanned across several decades beginning with the council of Nicaea in 325, C.E. and ending with the Council of Carthage in 419 C.E., where a full list of the Old and New Testament canon was ratified. Interestingly, although the canon was ratified in the third council of Carthage, it was not officially closed at this time, meaning that modifications could have been made had subsequent councils deemed it fit. However, during the Protestant Reformation the Catholic Church officially closed the canon of Scripture during the Council of Trent for fear that the book of Hebrews and the book of James may removed due to their seeming incompatibility with Luthers doctrine of Sola Fide.

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Did Constantine Create The Bible

When it came to mainstream Pauline Christianity , scholarly disagreements about which books should be considered canonical for both the Old and New Testaments were resolved by the 5th century, but there were some disagreements about which books should be considered canonical for the ancient undivided Church , which books were considered canonical for the ancient undivided Church were resolved by the 5th century.

Did King James Change The Bible

Who decided what books would be in the Bible? – Answers for Students

Not only was it the first peoples Bible, but its poetic cadences and vivid imagery have had an enduring influence on Western culture. In 1604, Englands King James I authorized a new translation of the Bible aimed at settling some thorny religious differences in his kingdomand solidifying his own power.

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Nicaea And The Canon In History

There is no historical basis for the idea that Nicaea established the canon and created the Bible. The Biblical Canon Lists from Early Christianity and other early evidence show that Christians disputed the boundaries of the biblical canon before and after Nicaea. For example, even lists from pro-Nicaean fathers such as Cyril of Jerusalem and Athanasius of Alexandria dont agree on the inclusion of Revelation. None of the early records from the council, nor eyewitness attendees , mentions any conciliar decision that established the canon.

There is no historical basis for the idea that the Council of Nicaea established the canon and created the Bible.

But since the Nicene Council is considered to have counted this book among the number of sacred Scriptures, I have acquiesced to your request .

Could Jerome be referring to a formal decision to include Judith in the canon? Thats unlikely.

Canonicity: A Theological Issue

The canon debate is primarily a theological issue, not a historical one. What should, and should not, be in the Bible is a matter of inspiration and revelation, not church councils and magisterium.

The question of the canon begins with understanding the nature of Scripture. We cannot understand what should be in the Bible until we understand what the Bible is. The canon of Scripture depends on the attributes of Scripture.

A document must have certain attributes before it can be considered as canon. Its the same way, for example, in professional baseball. Who gets to play major league baseball is determined by who possesses certain attributes necessary to the sport. So it is with what is, and is not, in the Bible. Thats why our discussion of canon began with a study of revelation and inspiration.

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Which Council Decided The Books Of The Bible

Dan Brown, the author of The Da Vinci Code, wrote in his best-selling novel that the Bible was created during the Council of Nicea, 325 C.E., Emperor Constantine, and church officials purportedly banned problematic literature not conforming to their secret agenda.

But thats not the real story. Although The Da Vinci Code was fiction, Brown wasnt alone in praising the Council of Nicea for deciding what books should be included in the Bible. Voltaire wrote in the 18th Century, repeating a centuries-old legend that the Bible was canonized at Nicea. He did this by placing all the books on a table and saying a prayer to see which texts were legitimate.

Jason Combs, an assistant professor at Brigham Young University specializing in ancient Christianity, says that there was not one church authority or Council that rubber-stamped the Biblical Canon .

Combs says Dan Brown disservice us all. We dont know if any Christians gathered together to say, Lets have this resolved once and for all. (The Council of Nicea was formed to solve a religious issue that had nothing to do with the Bible.

The evidence that scholars have, in the form of letters, theological treatises, and church histories that have survived for many millennia, points to a longer canonization process. Different church leaders and theologians argued about which books should be included in the Canon from the first to the fourth centuries. They often referred to their opponents as heretics.

How Were Texts Selected For The New Testament

Be Determined (Nehemiah) by Warren W. Wiersbe

Many Christians throughout the world look to the bible, the New Testament specifically, as the sole authority for Christian life and teaching, but may not be aware of how this deeply influential and unique text came to be. Interestingly, there was no such thing as the Bible for, roughly, the first four centuries of Christianity.

What eventually became known as the New Testament was not ratified until a series of ecumenical councils, convened by the Catholic Church in the fourth and fifth centuries. These councils carefully considered potential testaments and epistles for inclusion in the canon and were ultimately included or excluded based on their ability to meet these various criteria. In what follows, I will explain what texts are now included in the canon, how those texts where chosen, and what ecumenical councils were most pivotal in creating what is now known of the Christian New Testament.

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Who Decided What Books Are In The Bible

Editors are the unsung heroes of culture. While some of their work amounts to fiddling with commas, they also make crucial decisions that affect the shape of the future. Am I serious? You bet. Recall the handful of folks who wrote the founding documents of our nation. Then consider the roomful of others who haggled over every last sentence, phrase, and word choice. Once those documents left the editorial room, they would be the framework of a country to come. They had to be letter perfect and to mean what they said.

If editors are vital to society, then those who serve as compilers are an elite corps among that profession. Their work takes them beyond polishing sentences and sharpening nuances. Compilers determine which texts see the light of another day, which are worthy of promoting. They influence how texts will be understood in the futureas significant or bogus, fundamental or passé. They arrange material, bringing some ideas to the front and tucking others to the rear. They put contradictory passages side by side to remind the reader that there are other points of view.

So lets talk about the Bible. No matter how you feel about it, whether or not you consider it a sacred book, you have to admit its been a most influential collection of writings. Therefore its worth asking: Who decided what got in the Bible to begin with? How did this material get organized into the familiar package we call the Bible today?

Image: Dan Kiefer on Unsplash

Early Christianity And The New Testament Emerged With The Larger Context Of Judaism Christians Of The Early Church Regarded The Old Testament Story As Incomplete And In Need Of A Proper Conclusion

Because of Jesus, early Christians believed God was ushering in a new covenant. As they believed the apostles possessed the authority of Christ, the early believers received their writings as the very words of Christ himself. The apostles spoke with authority, but they always based their claims solely and directly upon their commission by the Lord.

The initial reason for collecting and preserving these inspired books was that they were prophetic. As well, because of the rise of heretical movements each with its own selected scriptures the church needed to know which books should be revered, read in church services, and applied to life. Early Christians needed assurance of which books served as their source of authority.

Says scholar J.K. Elliot, It is likely that the codex in which the Christian scriptures circulated helped to promote the establishment of the definitive, fixed canon of the 27 books we know as the New Testament. When each book circulated as a separate entity, obviously there was no limit to the number of texts that could be received. When certain, approved, texts were gathered into small collections this had the effect of ostracizing and isolating texts which were not deemed suitable for inclusion.

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The Old Testament Was Already Put Together By The Time Of Jesus

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  • M.A., Christian Studies, Union University
  • B.A., English Literature, Wheaton College

Determining when the Bible was written poses challenges because it isn’t a single book. It’s a collection of 66 books written by more than 40 authors over more than 2,000 years.

So there are two ways to answer the question, “When was the Bible written?” The first is to identify the original dates for each of the Bible’s 66 books. The second, the focus here is to describe how and when all 66 books were collected in a single volume.

Don Stewart : : Why Are The Books Of The Bible Placed In A Particular Order

How Did We Get The Bible and who decided what books to put in the Bible?

Although Christians believe that the sixty-six books of the Bible are all part of sacred Scripture, the books are not arranged in any God-given order. The reasons for the way they are variously arranged is as follows.

The Old Testament

According to the Protestant order, the books of the Old Testament are divided along a topical arrangement. They are divided into sections for sake of convenience. The usual Protestant order is as follows.

The Law

12. Esther

12. Malachi

This division goes back to the time the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew into Greek. This translation, known as the Septuagint , began in the third century before Christ. Jerome, who translated the Old Testament into Latin in the fourth century A.D., also adapted this division. The English division follows Jerome.

The traditional number of Old Testament books is twenty-four. First century writer Flavius Josephus said the Jews recognized twenty-two sacred books. Most likely he placed Ruth with Judges and Lamentations with Jeremiah.

The terms major and Minor Prophets are derived from the size of the writings – it has nothing to do with their importance. The Major Prophets are longer writings than the Minor Prophets.

The Roman Catholic Church Accepts More Old Testament Books

Hebrew Bible

The Law Torah The Prophets Nebhiim


There Is Early Testimony To The Threefold Division

Jesus Himself referred to the threefold division of the Old Testament.

Sometimes There Are Divided Into Two Sections

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Man Recognizes The Canon But Does Not Determine It

God himself is the highest authority as to the nature of his word. Men and magisteria are not God. Therefore, they are not instrumental in determining canonicity. Since God is the highest authority, he is the one who testifies to the authenticity of his word. Since Scripture is the word of God, it is the highest authority, and thus alone qualified to declare its own canonicity. Scripture is self-authenticating in that sense.

Eastern Orthodox Canon And The Synod Of Jerusalem

The Synod of Jerusalem in 1672 decreed the Greek Orthodox canon which is similar to the one decided by the Council of Trent. The Eastern Orthodox Church generally consider the is the received version of Old Testament scripture, considered itself inspired in agreement with some of the Fathers, such as St Augustine, followed by all other modern translations. They use the word Anagignoskomena to describe the books of the Greek Septuagint that are not present in the Hebrew Tanakh. The Eastern Orthodox books of the Old Testament include the Roman Catholic deuterocanonical books, plus 3 Maccabees and 1 Esdras , while Baruch is divided from the Epistle of Jeremiah, making a total of 49 Old Testament books in contrast with the Protestant 39-book canon. Other texts printed in Orthodox Bibles are considered of some value or are included as an appendix .

The Eastern Orthodox receive as their canon the books found in their, Patristic, , and liturgicaltradition. The Synod declared the Eastern Orthodox canon as follows:

Not all books of the Old Testament are covered in the Prophetologion, the official Old Testament lectionary: Because the only exposure most Eastern Christians had to the Old Testament was from the readings during services, the Prophetologion can be called the Old Testament of the Byzantine Church.

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