The Formation of the Christian Bible

Monday, 01 Nov 2010

Old Testament writings had been regarded as Scripture in Christian circles from the beginning, to be sure, but the popularity of Marcion's ideas shows that the retention of these writings in the Christian Bible required a decision to do so.
Behind the familiar list of writings that make up the Christian Bible lie struggles over major issues of religious beliefs. In the earliest period of Christianity, particularly the second century CE, the shape and contents of the Christian Bible were neither inevitable nor uncontroversial matters, but instead reflected influential decisions on major struggles. The results are much more interesting and meaningful than most may realize, reflecting important developments and decisions in Christian beliefs. The process that led to a closed canon began surprisingly early and went on for a few centuries. The final list of canonical writings was not ...

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