Biblical canon

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Biblical canon
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{{short description|A set of texts which a particular religious community regards as authoritative scripture}}{{Use dmy dates|date=June 2013}}{{Bible-related |CB}}A biblical canon or canon of scriptureBOOK, McDonald, L. M., Sanders, J. A., 2002, Ulrich, Eugene, The Canon Debate, The Notion and Definition of Canon, Hendrickson Publishers, 29, 34, harv, Ulrich's article defines "canon" as follows: "...the definitive list of inspired, authoritative books which constitute the recognized and accepted body of sacred scripture of a major religious group, that definitive list being the result of inclusive and exclusive decisions after a serious deliberation". It is further defined{{by whom|date=August 2017}} as follows: "...the definitive, closed list of the books that constitute the authentic contents of scripture." is a set of texts (or "books") which a particular religious community regards as authoritative scripture. The English word "canon" comes from the Greek κανών, meaning "rule" or "measuring stick". Christians became the first to use the term in reference to scripture, but Eugene Ulrich regards the idea as Jewish.{{harvp|Ulrich|2002|p= 28}}. "The term is late and Christian ... though the idea is Jewish".BOOK, McDonald, L. M., Sanders, J. A., 2002, The Canon Debate, Introduction, Hendrickson Publishers, 13, harv, "We should be clear, however, that the current use of the term "canon" to refer to a collection of scripture books was introduced by David Ruhnken in 1768 in his Historia critica oratorum graecorum for lists of sacred scriptures. While it is tempting to think that such usage has its origins in antiquity in reference to a closed collection of scriptures, such is not the case." The technical discussion includes Athanasius's use of "kanonizomenon=canonized" and Eusebius's use of kanon and "endiathekous biblous=encovenanted books" and the Mishnaic term Sefarim Hizonim (external books).Most of the canons listed below are considered by adherents "closed" (i.e., books cannot be added or removed),Athanasius. Letter 39.6.3. "Let no man add to these, neither let him take ought from these." reflecting a belief that public revelation has ended and thus some person or persons can gather approved inspired texts into a complete and authoritative canon, which scholar Bruce Metzger defines as "an authoritative collection of books".{{harvp|Ulrich|2002|pp=30, 32–33}}. "But it is necessary to keep in mind Bruce Metzger's distinction between "a collection of authoritative books" and "an authoritative collection of books."In contrast, an "open canon", which permits the addition of books through the process of continuous revelation, Metzger defines as "a collection of authoritative books".These canons have developed through debate and agreement on the part of the religious authorities of their respective faiths and denominations. Believers consider canonical books as inspired by God or as expressive of the authoritative history of the relationship between God and his people. Some books, such as the Jewish-Christian gospels, have been excluded from various canons altogether, but many disputed books—considered non-canonical or even apocryphal by some—are considered to be biblical apocrypha or deuterocanonical or fully canonical by others. Differences exist between the Jewish Tanakh and Christian biblical canons, although the Jewish Tanakh did form the basis for the Christian Old Testament, and between the canons of different Christian denominations. In some cases where varying strata of scriptural inspiration have accumulated, it becomes prudent to discuss texts that only have an elevated status within a particular tradition. This becomes even more complex when considering the open canons of the various Latter Day Saint sects—which are usually viewed as divergent from biblical Christianity (and moreover, Judaism)—and the scriptural revelations purportedly given to several leaders over the years within that movement.

Jewish canons

Rabbinic Judaism

{{Judaism|state=collapsed}}Rabbinic Judaism (Hebrew: יהדות רבנית) recognizes the twenty-four books of the Masoretic Text, commonly called the Tanakh (Hebrew: תַּנַ"ךְ) or Hebrew Bible.For the number of books of the Hebrew Bible see: BOOK, Darshan, G.,weblink The Twenty-Four Books of the Hebrew Bible and Alexandrian Scribal Methods, Niehoff, M. R., Homer and the Bible in the Eyes of Ancient Interpreters: Between Literary and Religious Concerns, Leiden, Brill, 2012, 221–44, Evidence suggests that the process of canonization occurred between 200 BC and 200 AD, and a popular position is that the Torah was canonized c. 400 BC, the Prophets c. 200 BC, and the Writings c. 100 AD{{harvp|McDonald|Sanders|2002|p=4}}. perhaps at a hypothetical Council of Jamnia—however, this position is increasingly criticised by modern scholars.JOURNAL,weblink The Jamnia Period in Jewish History, Christie, W. M., Journal of Theological Studies, os-XXVI, 104, 347–64, JOURNAL, Jack P., Jack P. Lewis, Lewis, Journal of Bible and Religion, 32, 2, April 1964, What Do We Mean by Jabneh?, 125–32, Oxford University Press, 1460205, BOOK, Freedman, David Noel, 1992, Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. III, New York, Doubleday, 634–37, BOOK, McDonald, L. M., Sanders, J. A., 2002, Lewis, Jack P., The Canon Debate, Jamnia Revisited, Hendrickson Publishers, {{harvp|McDonald|Sanders|2002|p=5}}.Cited are Neusner's Judaism and Christianity in the Age of Constantine, pp. 128–45, and Midrash in Context: Exegesis in Formative Judaism, pp. 1–22. According to Marc Zvi Brettler, the Jewish scriptures outside the Torah and the Prophets were fluid, different groups seeing authority in different books.BOOK, Brettler, Marc Zvi, Marc Zvi Brettler, How To Read The Bible, Jewish Publication Society, 2005,weblink 978-0-8276-1001-9, 274–75, File:Scroll.jpg|thumb|left|250px|alt=Scroll with the text of the Book of Esther in Hebrew|A scroll of the Book of Esther; one of the five megillot of the TanakhTanakhThe book of Deuteronomy includes a prohibition against adding or subtracting ({{bibleverse-nb||Deut|4:2}}, {{bibleverse-nb||Deut|12:32}}) which might apply to the book itself (i.e. a "closed book", a prohibition against future scribal editing) or to the instruction received by Moses on Mt. Sinai.BOOK, McDonald, L. M., Sanders, J. A., 2002, Blenkinsopp, Joseph, The Canon Debate, The Formation of the Hebrew Canon: Isaiah as a Test Case, Hendrickson Publishers, 60, The book of 2 Maccabees, itself not a part of the Jewish canon, describes Nehemiah (c. 400 BC) as having "founded a library and collected books about the kings and prophets, and the writings of David, and letters of kings about votive offerings" ({{bibleverse-nb||2Macc|2:13–15|NRSV}}).The Book of Nehemiah suggests that the priest-scribe Ezra brought the Torah back from Babylon to Jerusalem and the Second Temple ({{bibleverse-nb||Nehemiah|8–9}}) around the same time period. Both I and II Maccabees suggest that Judas Maccabeus (c. 167 BC) likewise collected sacred books ({{bibleverse-nb||1Macc|3:42–50|NRSV}}, {{bibleverse-nb||2Macc|2:13–15|NRSV}}, {{bibleverse-nb||2Macc|15:6–9|NRSV}}), indeed some scholars argue that the Jewish canon was fixed by the Hasmonean dynasty.BOOK, McDonald, L. M., Sanders, J. A., 2002, Davies, Philip R., The Canon Debate, The Jewish Scriptural Canon in Cultural Perspective, Hendrickson Publishers, 50, With many other scholars, I conclude that the fixing of a canonical list was almost certainly the achievement of the Hasmonean dynasty., However, these primary sources do not suggest that the canon was at that time closed; moreover, it is not clear that these sacred books were identical to those that later became part of the canon.The Great Assembly, also known as the Great Synagogue, was, according to Jewish tradition, an assembly of 120 scribes, sages, and prophets, in the period from the end of the Biblical prophets to the time of the development of Rabbinic Judaism, marking a transition from an era of prophets to an era of Rabbis. They lived in a period of about two centuries ending c. 70 AD. Among the developments in Judaism that are attributed to them are the fixing of the Jewish Biblical canon, including the books of Ezekiel, Daniel, Esther, and the Twelve Minor Prophets; the introduction of the triple classification of the oral Torah, dividing its study into the three branches of midrash, halakot, and aggadot; the introduction of the Feast of Purim; and the institution of the prayer known as the Shemoneh 'Esreh as well as the synagogal prayers, rituals, and benedictions.{{citation needed |date=December 2015}}In addition to the Tanakh, mainstream Rabbinic Judaism considers the Talmud (Hebrew: תַּלְמוּד ) to be another central, authoritative text. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs, and history. The Talmud has two components: the Mishnah (c. 200 AD), the first written compendium of Judaism's oral Law; and the Gemara (c. 500 AD), an elucidation of the Mishnah and related Tannaitic writings that often ventures onto other subjects and expounds broadly on the Tanakh. There are numerous citations of Sirach within the Talmud, even though the book was not ultimately accepted into the Hebrew canon.The Talmud is the basis for all codes of rabbinic law and is often quoted in other rabbinic literature. Certain groups of Jews, such as the Karaites, do not accept the oral Law as it is codified in the Talmud and only consider the Tanakh to be authoritative.

Beta Israel

{{Contains Ethiopic text}}Ethiopian Jews—also known as Beta Israel (Ge'ez: ቤተ እስራኤል—Bēta 'Isrā'ēl)—possess a canon of scripture that is distinct from Rabbinic Judaism. Mäṣḥafä Kedus (Holy Scriptures) is the name for the religious literature of these Jews, which is written primarily in Ge'ez. Their holiest book, the Orit, consists of the Pentateuch, as well as Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. The rest of the Ethiopian Jewish canon is considered to be of secondary importance.{{citation needed|date=September 2019}} It consists of the remainder of the Hebrew canon—with the possible exception of the Book of Lamentations—and various deuterocanonical books. These include Sirach, Judith, Tobit, 1 and 2 Esdras, 1 and 4 Baruch, the three books of Meqabyan, Jubilees, Enoch,For a fuller discussion of issues regarding the canonicity of Enoch, see the Reception of Enoch in antiquity. the Testament of Abraham, the Testament of Isaac, and the Testament of Jacob. The latter three patriarchal testaments are distinct to this scriptural tradition.Because of the lack of solid information on this subject, the exclusion of Lamentations from the Ethiopian Jewish canon is not a certainty. Furthermore, some uncertainty remains concerning the exclusion of various smaller deuterocanonical writings from this canon including the Prayer of Manasseh, the traditional additions to Esther, the traditional additions to Daniel, Psalm 151, and portions of Säqoqawä Eremyas.A third tier of religious writings that are important to Ethiopian Jews, but are not considered to be part of the canon, include the following: Nagara Muse (The Conversation of Moses), Mota Aaron (Death of Aaron), Mota Muse (Death of Moses), Te'ezaza Sanbat (Precepts of Sabbath), Arde'et (Students), the Apocalypse of Gorgorios, Mäṣḥafä Sa'atat (Book of Hours), Abba Elias (Father Elija), Mäṣḥafä Mäla'əkt (Book of Angels), Mäṣḥafä Kahan (Book of Priests), Dərsanä Abrəham Wäsara Bägabs (Homily on Abraham and Sarah in Egypt), Gadla Sosna (The Acts of Susanna), and Baqadāmi Gabra Egzi'abḥēr (In the Beginning God Created).{{citation needed|date=September 2019}}In addition to these, Zëna Ayhud (the Ethiopic version of Josippon) and the sayings of various fālasfā (philosophers) are sources that are not necessarily considered holy, but nonetheless have great influence.{{citation needed|date=September 2019}}

Samaritan canon

Another version of the Torah, in the Samaritan alphabet, also exists. This text is associated with the Samaritans (Hebrew: שומרונים; Arabic: السامريون), a people of whom the Jewish Encyclopedia states: "Their history as a distinct community begins with the taking of Samaria by the Assyrians in 722 BC."BOOK,weblink Samaritans, Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906,, (File:Samaritan Pentateuch (detail).jpg|thumb|250px|The Abisha Scroll, the oldest scroll among the Samaritans in Nablus.)The Samaritan Pentateuch's relationship to the Masoretic Text is still disputed. Some differences are minor, such as the ages of different people mentioned in genealogy, while others are major, such as a commandment to be monogamous, which only appears in the Samaritan version. More importantly, the Samaritan text also diverges from the Masoretic in stating that Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mount Gerizim—not Mount Sinai—and that it is upon this mountain (Gerizim) that sacrifices to God should be made—not in Jerusalem. Scholars nonetheless consult the Samaritan version when trying to determine the meaning of text of the original Pentateuch, as well as to trace the development of text-families. Some scrolls among the Dead Sea scrolls have been identified as proto-Samaritan Pentateuch text-type.BOOK, McDonald, L. M., Sanders, J. A., 2002, VanderKam, James C., The Canon Debate, Questions of Canon through the Dead Sea Scrolls, Hendrickson Publishers, 94, Citing private communication with Emanuel Tov on biblical manuscripts: Qumran scribe type c.25%, proto-Masoretic Text c. 40%, pre-Samaritan texts c. 5%, texts close to the Hebrew model for the Septuagint c. 5% and nonaligned c. 25%. Comparisons have also been made between the Samaritan Torah and the Septuagint version.Samaritans consider the Torah to be inspired scripture, but do not accept any other parts of the Bible—probably a position also held by the Sadducees.BOOK,weblink Jewish Encyclopedia, Sadducees,, 1906, With the destruction of the Temple and the state the Sadducees as a party no longer had an object for which to live. They disappear from history, though their views are partly maintained and echoed by the Samaritans, with whom they are frequently identified (see Hippolytus, "Refutatio Hæresium", ix. 29; Epiphanius, l.c. xiv.; and other Church Fathers, who ascribe to the Sadducees the rejection of the Prophets and the Hagiographa; comp. also Sanh. 90b, where "Ẓadduḳim" stands for "Kutim" [Samaritans]; Sifre, Num. 112; Geiger, l.c. pp. 128–29), and by the Karaites (see Maimonides, commentary on Ab. i. 3; Geiger, "Gesammelte Schriften", iii. 283–321; also Anan ben David; Karaites)., They did not expand their canon by adding any Samaritan compositions. There is a Samaritan Book of Joshua; however, this is a popular chronicle written in Arabic and is not considered to be scripture. Other non-canonical Samaritan religious texts include the Memar Markah (Teaching of Markah) and the Defter (Prayerbook)—both from the 4th century or later.BOOK, Samaritan Documents, Relating To Their History, Religion and Life, Bowman, John, Bowman, Pittsburgh Original Texts & Translations Series No. 2, 1977, The people of the remnants of the Samaritans in modern-day Israel/Palestine retain their version of the Torah as fully and authoritatively canonical. They regard themselves as the true "guardians of the Law." This assertion is only re-enforced by the claim of the Samaritan community in Nablus (an area traditionally associated with the ancient city of Shechem) to possess the oldest existing copy of the Torah—one that they believe to have been penned by Abisha, a grandson of Aaron.Crown, Alan D. (October 1991). "The Abisha Scroll – 3,000 Years Old?". Bible Review.

Christian canons


Early Church

Earliest Christian communities

The Early Church used the Old Testament, namely the Septuagint (LXX)BOOK, McDonald, L. M., Sanders, J. A., 2002, Sanders, J. A., The Canon Debate, The Issue of Closure in the Canonical Process, Hendrickson Publishers, 259, ... the so-called Septuagint was not in itself formally closed., Attributed to Albert Sundberg's 1964 Harvard dissertation. among Greek speakers, with a canon perhaps as found in the Bryennios List or Melito's canon. The Apostles did not otherwise leave a defined set of new scriptures; instead, the New Testament developed over time.Writings attributed to the apostles circulated among the earliest Christian communities. The Pauline epistles were circulating in collected forms by the end of the 1st century AD. Justin Martyr, in the early 2nd century, mentions the "memoirs of the Apostles", which Christians (Greek: Χριστιανός) called "gospels", and which were considered to be authoritatively equal to the Old Testament.BOOK, McDonald, L. M., Sanders, J. A., 2002, Ferguson, Everett, The Canon Debate, Factors leading to the Selection and Closure of the New Testament Canon, Hendrickson Publishers, 302–303, none, harv, ; cf. Justin Martyr. First Apology. 67.3.

Marcion's list

Marcion of Sinope was the first Christian leader in recorded history (though later considered heretical) to propose and delineate a uniquely Christian canonBOOK, Metzger, Bruce, Bruce Metzger, The Canon of the New Testament, 1997, Oxford University Press, 98, The question whether the Church's canon preceded or followed Marcion's canon continues to be debated., harv, (c. AD 140). This included 10 epistles from St. Paul, as well as a version of the Gospel of Luke, which today is known as the Gospel of Marcion. By doing this, he established a particular way of looking at religious texts that persists in Christian thought today.BOOK, von Harnack, Adolf,weblink Appendix VI, Origin of the New Testament, 1914, After Marcion, Christians began to divide texts into those that aligned well with the "canon" (measuring stick) of accepted theological thought and those that promoted heresy. This played a major role in finalizing the structure of the collection of works called the Bible. It has been proposed that the initial impetus for the proto-orthodox Christian project of canonization flowed from opposition to the canonization of Marcion.

Apostolic Fathers

A four-gospel canon (the Tetramorph) was asserted by Irenaeus in the following quote: "It is not possible that the gospels can be either more or fewer in number than they are. For, since there are four-quarters of the earth in which we live, and four universal winds, while the church is scattered throughout all the world, and the 'pillar and ground' of the church is the gospel and the spirit of life, it is fitting that she should have four pillars breathing out immortality on every side, and vivifying men afresh ... Therefore the gospels are in accord with these things ... For the living creatures are quadriform and the gospel is quadriform ... These things being so, all who destroy the form of the gospel are vain, unlearned, and also audacious; those [I mean] who represent the aspects of the gospel as being either more in number than as aforesaid, or, on the other hand, fewer."{{harvp|Ferguson|2002|p=301}}; cf. Irenaeus. Adversus Haereses. 3.11.8.File:P46.jpg|thumb|left|250px|alt=Folio from Papyrus 46, containing 2 Corinthians 11:33–12:9 in Greek|A folio from P46; an early 3rd-century collection of Pauline epistlesPauline epistlesBy the early 3rd century, Christian theologians like Origen of Alexandria may have been using—or at least were familiar with—the same 27 books found in modern New Testament editions, though there were still disputes over the canonicity of some of the writings (see also Antilegomena).Both points taken from BOOK, Noll, Mark A., 1997, Turning Points, Baker Academic, 36–37, Likewise by 200, the Muratorian fragment shows that there existed a set of Christian writings somewhat similar to what is now the New Testament, which included four gospels and argued against objections to them.BOOK, de Jonge, H. J., The New Testament Canon, de Jonge, H. J., Auwers, J. M., The Biblical Canons, Leuven University Press, 2003, 315, Thus, while there was a good measure of debate in the Early Church over the New Testament canon, the major writings were accepted by almost all Christians by the middle of the 3rd century.BOOK, Ackroyd, P. R., Evans, C. F., 1970, The Cambridge History of the Bible, Vol. 1, Cambridge University Press, 308, {{harvid, Ackroyd, Evans, 1970, }}

Eastern Church

Alexandrian Fathers

Origen of Alexandria (184/85–253/54), an early scholar involved in the codification of the Biblical canon, had a thorough education both in Christian theology and in pagan philosophy, but was posthumously condemned at the Second Council of Constantinople in 553 since some of his teachings were considered to be heresy. Origen's canon included all of the books in the current New Testament canon except for four books: James, 2nd Peter, and the 2nd and 3rd epistles of John.Prat, Ferdinand (1911). "Origen and Origenism". The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company. According to Eusebius' Church History 6.25: a 22 book OT [though Eusebius does not name Minor Prophets, presumably just an oversight?] plus 1 deuterocanon ["And outside these are the Maccabees, which are entitled Sar beth sabanai el."] and 4 Gospels but on the Apostle "Paul ... did not so much as write to all the churches that he taught; and even to those to which he wrote he sent but a few lines."He also included the Shepherd of Hermas which was later rejected. The religious scholar Bruce Metzger described Origen's efforts, saying "The process of canonization represented by Origen proceeded by way of selection, moving from many candidates for inclusion to fewer."{{harvp|Metzger|1997|p=141}} This was one of the first major attempts at the compilation of certain books and letters as authoritative and inspired teaching for the Early Church at the time, although it is unclear whether Origen intended for his list to be authoritative itself.In his Easter letter of 367, Patriarch Athanasius of Alexandria gave a list of exactly the same books that would become the New Testament–27 book–proto-canon,BOOK, A Brief History of Christianity, Carter, Lindberg, 15, 2006, Blackwell Publishing, 1-4051-1078-3,
and used the phrase "being canonized" (kanonizomena) in regard to them.
JOURNAL, Brakke, David, Canon Formation and Social Conflict in Fourth Century Egypt: Athanasius of Alexandria's Thirty Ninth Festal Letter, Harvard Theological Review, 87, 4, 1994, 395–419, 10.1017/s0017816000030200,
Athanasius also included the Book of Baruch, as well as the Letter of Jeremiah, in his Old Testament canon. However, from this canon, he omitted the Book of Esther.

Eastern canons

The Eastern Churches had, in general, a weaker feeling than those in the West for the necessity of making sharp delineations with regard to the canon. They were more conscious of the gradation of spiritual quality among the books that they accepted (for example, the classification of Eusebius, see also Antilegomena) and were less often disposed to assert that the books which they rejected possessed no spiritual quality at all. For example, the Trullan Synod of 691–692, which Pope Sergius I (in office 687–701) rejectedBOOK, Ekonomou, Andrew J., 2007,weblink Byzantine Rome and the Greek Popes, Lexington Books, 978-0-73911977-8, 222, (see also Pentarchy), endorsed the following lists of canonical writings: the Apostolic Canons (c. 385), the Synod of Laodicea (c. 363), the Third Synod of Carthage (c. 397), and the 39th Festal Letter of Athanasius (367).BOOK,weblink Council in Trullo, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 14, Schaff, Philip, Wace, Henry, And yet, these lists do not agree. Similarly, the New Testament canons of the Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Egyptian Coptic and Ethiopian Churches all have minor differences, yet five of these Churches are part of the same communion and hold the same theological beliefs.{{harvp|Metzger|1997}} The Revelation of John is said to be one of the most uncertain books; it was not translated into Georgian until the 10th century, and it has never been included in the official lectionary of the Eastern Orthodox Church, whether in Byzantine or modern times.

Western Church

Latin Fathers

The first Council that accepted the present Catholic canon (the Canon of Trent of 1546) may have been the Synod of Hippo Regius, held in North Africa in 393. A brief summary of the acts was read at and accepted by the Council of Carthage (397) and also the Council of Carthage (419).BOOK, McDonald, L. M., Sanders, J. A., 2002, The Canon Debate, Appendix D-2, Hendrickson Publishers, Note 19, Revelation was added later in 419 at the subsequent synod of Carthage., These Councils took place under the authority of St. Augustine (354–430), who regarded the canon as already{{when|date=May 2019}} closed.{{harvp|Ferguson|2002|p= 320}}; BOOK, F. F., Bruce, The Canon of Scripture, Intervarsity Press, 1988, 230, harv, ; cf. Augustine. De Civitate Dei. 22.8. Pope Damasus I's Council of Rome in 382 (if the Decretum Gelasianum is correctly associated with it) issued a biblical canon identical to that mentioned above. If not, the list is at least a 6th-century compilation.{{harvp|Bruce|1988|p= 234}}. Likewise, Damasus' commissioning of the Latin Vulgate edition of the Bible, {{circa}} 383, proved instrumental in the fixation of the canon in the West.{{harvp|Bruce|1988|p= 225}}.In a letter ({{circa}} 405) to Exsuperius of Toulouse, a Gallic bishop, Pope Innocent I mentioned the sacred books that were already received in the canon.WEB,weblink Innocent I, Bible Research, 21 May 2016, When these{{which|date=May 2019}} bishops and Councils spoke on the matter, however, they were not defining something new, but instead "were ratifying what had already become the mind of the Church".{{harvp|Ferguson|2002|p= 320}}{{failed verification|date= April 2018}}{{harvp|Metzger|1997|pp= 237–38}}{{qn|date= April 2018}}{{harvp|Bruce|1988|p= 97}}{{qn|date= April 2018}} Thus from the 4th century there existed unanimity in the West concerning the New Testament canon (as it is today,{{harvp|Bruce|1988|p= 215}}.with the exception of the Book of Revelation). In the 5th century the East too, with a few exceptions, came to accept the Book of Revelation and thus came into harmony on the matter of the New Testament canon.{{harvp|Ackroyd|Evans|1970|p= 305}}; compare: BOOK
, Reid, George, 1908
, Canon of the New Testament
, Catholic Encyclopedia
, Robert Appleton Company, harv
, As the canon crystallised, non-canonical texts fell into relative disfavour and neglect.BOOK, Rohmann, Dirk, Christianity, Book-Burning and Censorship in Late Antiquity: Studies in Text Transmission,weblink Arbeiten zur Kirchengeschichte, 135, Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG, 2016, 9783110485554, 2018-04-11, Prudentius [348-{{circa, 410] ... intends to demonstrate the superiority of Christianity and was likely aware that at this time the Bible has not replaced other books as much as he wants to think. This passage also presents a possible hint that old Latin translations were replaced with a new canonical version, perhaps alluding to the Vulgate, written by Jerome at the end of the fourth century. By implication, this suggests that uncanonical texts were unlikely to be transcribed – an ideologically and authoritatively endorsed selection process that comes close to modern understandings of censorship.}}

Luther's canon

Martin Luther (1483–1546) moved seven Old Testament books (Tobit, Judith, 1-2 Maccabees, Book of Wisdom, Sirach, and Baruch) into a section he called the Apocrypha. To refer to these books without calling them "apocrypha", Catholic and Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox later referred to them as the Deuterocanonicals—while still accepting their full canonicity.Luther removed the books of Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation from the canon (partially because they were perceived to go against certain Protestant doctrines such as sola scriptura and sola fide),WEB,weblink German Bible Versions, Bible Research, but this was not generally accepted among his followers. However, these books are ordered last in the German-language Luther Bible to this day.

Canons of various Christian traditions

Final dogmatic articulations of the canons were made at the Council of Trent of 1546 for Roman Catholicism,{{harvp|Reid|1908}}. the Thirty-Nine Articles of 1563 for the Church of England, the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1647 for Calvinism, and the Synod of Jerusalem of 1672 for the Eastern Orthodox. Other traditions, while also having closed canons, may not be able to point to an exact year in which their canons were complete. The following tables reflect the current state of various Christian canons.

Old Testament

{{See also|Reception of Enoch in Antiquity}}All of the major Christian traditions accept the books of the Hebrew protocanon in its entirety as divinely inspired and authoritative, in various ways and degrees. Furthermore, all of these traditions, with the exception of the Protestants, add to this number various deuterocanonical books. However, in some Protestant Bibles—especially the English King James Bible and the Lutheran Bible—many of these deuterocanonical books are retained as part of the tradition in a section called the "Apocrypha".Some books listed here, like the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs for the Armenian Apostolic Church, may have once been a vital part of a Biblical tradition, may even still hold a place of honor, but are no longer considered to be part of the Bible. Other books, like the Prayer of Manasseh for the Roman Catholic Church, may have been included in manuscripts, but never really attained a high level of importance within that particular tradition. The levels of traditional prominence for others, like Psalms 152–155 and the Psalms of Solomon of the Syriac churches, remain unclear.In so far as the Oriental Orthodox Tewahedo canon is concerned, some points of clarity should be made. First, the books of Lamentations, Jeremiah, and Baruch, as well as the Letter of Jeremiah and 4 Baruch, are all considered canonical by the Orthodox Tewahedo Churches. However, it is not always clear as to how these writings are arranged or divided. In some lists, they may simply fall under the title "Jeremiah", while in others, they are divided in various ways into separate books. Moreover, the book of Proverbs is divided into two books—Messale (Prov. 1–24) and Tägsas (Prov. 25–31).Additionally, while the books of Jubilees and Enoch are fairly well-known among western scholars, 1, 2, and 3 Meqabyan are not. The three books of Meqabyan are often called the "Ethiopian Maccabees", but are completely different in content from the books of Maccabees that are known or have been canonized in other traditions. Finally, the Book of Joseph ben Gurion, or Pseudo-Josephus, is a history of the Jewish people thought to be based upon the writings of Josephus.Josephus's The Jewish War and Antiquities of the Jews are highly regarded by Christians because they provide valuable insight into 1st century Judaism and early Christianity. Moreover, in Antiquities, Josephus made two extra-Biblical references to Jesus, which have played a crucial role in establishing him as a historical figure. The Ethiopic version (Zëna Ayhud) has eight parts and is included in the Orthodox Tewahedo broader canon.The Orthodox Tewahedo broader canon in its fullest form—which includes the narrower canon in its entirety, as well as nine additional books—is not known to exist at this time as one published compilation. Some books, though considered canonical, are nonetheless difficult to locate and are not even widely available in Ethiopia. While the narrower canon has indeed been published as one compilation, there may be no real emic distinction between the broader canon and the narrower canon, especially in so far as divine inspiration and scriptural authority are concerned. The idea of two such classifications may be nothing more than etic taxonomic conjecture."The Bible". Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. 2003. Retrieved 20 January 2012.">

Table {| class"wikitable"|+

! colspan=4 | Western tradition! colspan=3 | Eastern Orthodox tradition! colspan=4 | Oriental Orthodox tradition!| Assyrian Eastern tradition
! style="width:90px;"| Books! style="width:109px;"| ProtestantThe term "Protestant" is not accepted by all Christian denominations who often fall under this title by default—especially those who view themselves as a direct extension of the New Testament church. However, the term is used loosely here to include most of the non-Roman Catholic Protestant, Charismatic/Pentecostal, Reformed, and Evangelical churches. Other western churches and movements that have a divergent history from Roman Catholicism, but are not necessarily considered to be historically Protestant, may also fall under this umbrella terminology.! style="width:109px;"| Lutheran! style="width:109px;"| Anglican! style="width:109px;"| Roman CatholicThe Roman Catholic Canon as represented in this table reflects the Latin tradition. Some Eastern Rite churches who are in fellowship with the Roman Catholic Church may have different books in their canons.! style="width:109px;"| Greek Orthodox! style="width:109px;"| Slavonic Orthodox! style="width:109px;"| Georgian Orthodox! style="width:109px;"| Armenian ApostolicThe growth and development of the Armenian Biblical canon is complex. Extra-canonical Old Testament books appear in historical canon lists and recensions that are either exclusive to this tradition, or where they do exist elsewhere, never achieved the same status. These include the Deaths of the Prophets, an ancient account of the lives of the Old Testament prophets, which is not listed in this table. (It is also known as the Lives of the Prophets.) Another writing not listed in this table entitled the Words of Sirach—which is distinct from Ecclesiasticus and its prologue—appears in the appendix of the 1805 Armenian Zohrab Bible alongside other, more commonly known works.! style="width:109px;"| Syriac Orthodox! style="width:109px;"| Coptic Orthodox! style="width:109px;"| Orthodox TewahedoAdding to the complexity of the Orthodox Tewahedo Biblical canon, the national epic Kebra Negast has an elevated status among many Ethiopian Christians to such an extent that some consider it to be inspired scripture.! style="width:109px;"| Assyrian Church of the East
Book of Genesis>Genesis {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Book of Exodus>Exodus {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Leviticus >| {{Yes}}
Book of Numbers>Numbers {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Deuteronomy >| {{Yes}}
Book of Joshua>Joshua {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Book of Judges>Judges {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Book of Ruth>Ruth {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Books of Samuel>1 and 2 Samuel {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Books of Kings>1 and 2 Kings {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Books of Chronicles>1 and 2 Chronicles {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Prayer of Manasseh > No − inc. in some eds. style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;" No (Apocrypha) style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;"Book of Odes (Bible)>Book of Odes, which follows the Psalms in Eastern Orthodox Bibles. The rest of the Book of Odes consists of passages found elsewhere in the Bible. {{Yes}} (?)(part of Odes) {{Yes}} (?)(part of Odes) {{Yes}} (?) {{Yes}} (?) {{Yes}} (?) {{Yes}}(part of 2 Chronicles) {{Yes}} (?)
Book of Ezra>Ezra(1 Ezra) {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} 1 Esdras {{Yes}} Esdras B' {{Yes}} 1 Esdras {{Yes}}1 Ezra {{Yes}}1 Ezra {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Book of Nehemiah>Nehemiah(2 Ezra) {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} 2 Esdras {{Yes}} Esdras Γ' {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
I Esdras>1 Esdras(3 Ezra) style="background:#FFA6C9; text-align:center;" No1 Esdras(Apocrypha) style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;" Yes2 Ezra2 Ezra, 3 Ezra, and 3 Maccabees are included in Bibles and have an elevated status within the Armenian scriptural tradition, but are considered "extra-canonical". style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;" No – inc. in some mss. {{Yes}}Ezra Kali style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;"| No (?) – inc. in some mss.
II Esdras>2 Esdras 3–14(4 Ezra)In many eastern Bibles, the Apocalypse of Ezra is not an exact match to the longer Latin Esdras–2 Esdras in KJV or 4 Esdras in the Vulgate—which includes a Latin prologue (5 Ezra) and epilogue (6 Ezra). However, a degree of uncertainty continues to exist here, and it is certainly possible that the full text—including the prologue and epilogue—appears in Bibles and Biblical manuscripts used by some of these eastern traditions. Also of note is the fact that many Latin versions are missing verses 7:36–7:106. (A more complete explanation of the various divisions of books associated with the scribe Ezra may be found in the Wikipedia article entitled "Esdras".) style="background:#FFA6C9; text-align:center;" No2 Esdras(Apocrypha) style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;" No 3 Esdras(appendix) {{Yes}} (?)3 Ezra style="background:#1CAC78; text-align:center;" No (?) – inc. in some mss. style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;" No (?) – inc. in some mss.
II Esdras>2 Esdras 1–2; 15–16(5 and 6 Ezra) style="background:#FFA6C9; text-align:center;" No(part of 2 Esdras apocryphon) style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;"| {{No}}
Book of Esther>EstherEsther's placement within the canon was questioned by Luther. Others, like Melito, omitted it from the canon altogether. {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Additions to Esther> No − inc. in some"background:#fc9; text-align:center;" No (Apocrypha) {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Book of Tobit>Tobit style="background:#FFA6C9; text-align:center;" No (Apocrypha) style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;"| {{Yes}}
Book of Judith>Judith style="background:#FFA6C9; text-align:center;" No (Apocrypha) style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;"| {{Yes}}
1 Maccabees > No − inc. in some eds. style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;" No (Apocrypha) {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{No}} {{Yes}}
2 Maccabees > No − inc. in some eds. style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;" No (Apocrypha) {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{No}} {{Yes}}
3 Maccabees > No − inc. in some eds. {{No}} style="background:#FFA6C9; text-align:center;" Yes {{Yes}} style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;"| {{Yes}}
4 Maccabees > No (appendix) style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;" No(early tradition) style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;" No (?) – inc. in some mss.
Jubilees >| {{No}}
Book of Enoch>Enoch {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{Yes}} {{No}}
Meqabyan>1 Ethiopian Maccabees {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{Yes}} {{No}}
Meqabyan>2 and 3 Ethiopian Maccabees2 and 3 Meqabyan, though relatively unrelated in content, are often counted as a single book. {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{Yes}} {{No}}
Josippon>Ethiopic Pseudo-Josephus(Zëna Ayhud) {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} style="background:#40E0D0; text-align:center;"| {{No}}
The Jewish War>Josephus' Jewish War VI {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;"Jewish War VI appears in some Peshitta manuscripts as the "5 Maccabees#Title>Fifth Book of Maccabees", which is clearly a misnomer. {{No}} {{No}} style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;"| No – inc. in some mss.
Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs > No – inc. in some mss. {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}}
Joseph and Asenath > No – inc. in some mss. {{No}} {{No}} style="background:#FFA6C9; text-align:center;"list found in a British Museum manuscript (Add. 16188), a book of Asenath>Assenath is placed within the canon. This most likely refers to the book more commonly known as Joseph and Asenath. An unknown book of Uzziah is also listed there, which may be connected to the lost Acts of Uziah referenced in 2 Chronicles 26:22. {{No}}
Book of Job >| {{Yes}}
Psalms>Psalms 1–150Some traditions use an alternative set of liturgical or metrical Psalms. {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Psalm 151 > No – inc. in some mss. {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Psalm 152-155>Psalms 152–155 {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{Yes}} (?) {{No}} {{No}} style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;"| No (?) – inc. in some mss.
Psalms of SolomonIn many ancient manuscripts, a distinct collection known as the Odes of Solomon is found together with the similar Psalms of Solomon. > No – inc. in some mss. {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;" No – inc. in some mss.
Book of Proverbs>Proverbs {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}(in 2 books) {{Yes}}
Ecclesiastes >| {{Yes}}
Song of Songs >| {{Yes}}
Book of Wisdom > No − inc. in some eds. style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;" No (Apocrypha) {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Wisdom of Sirach>Sirach (1–51)The book of Sirach is usually preceded by a non-canonical prologue written by the author's grandson. style="background:#FFA6C9; text-align:center;" No (Apocrypha) style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;"| {{Yes}}
Prayer of Solomon(Sirach 52)A shorter variant of the prayer by King Solomon in 1 Kings 8:22–52 appeared in some medieval Latin manuscripts and is found in some Latin Bibles at the end of or immediately following Ecclesiasticus. The two versions of the prayer in Latin may be viewed online for comparison at the following website: Sirach 52 / 1 Kings 8:22–52; Vulgate > No (?) – inc. in some mss. {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}}
Major prophets
Book of Isaiah>Isaiah {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Ascension of Isaiah > No – liturgical (?)The "Martyrdom of Isaiah" is prescribed reading to honor the prophet Isaiah within the Armenian Apostolic liturgy (see this list). While this likely refers to the account of Isaiah's death within the Lives of the Prophets, it may be a reference to the account of his death found within the first five chapters of the Ascension of Isaiah, which is widely known by this name. The two narratives have similarities and may share a common source. {{No}} {{No}} style="background:#FFA6C9; text-align:center;"| {{No}}
Book of Jeremiah>Jeremiah {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Book of Lamentations>Lamentations (1–5) {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}In some Latin versions, chapter 5 of Lamentations appears separately as the "Prayer of Jeremiah". {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}(part of Paralipomena of Baruch)Ethiopic Lamentations consists of eleven chapters, parts of which are considered to be non-canonical. >| {{no}}
Ethiopic Lamentations (6; 7:1–11,63)) {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{Yes}}(part of Säqoqawä Eremyas) {{No}}
Book of Baruch>Baruch style="background:#FFA6C9; text-align:center;" No (Apocrypha) style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;"| {{Yes}}
Letter of Jeremiah > No − inc. in some eds. style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;" No (Apocrypha) {{Yes}}(chapter 6 of Baruch) {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}(part of Säqoqawä Eremyas)The "Letter to the Captives" found within Säqoqawä Eremyas—and also known as the sixth chapter of Ethiopic Lamentations—may contain different content from the Letter of Jeremiah (to those same captives) found in other traditions. {{Yes}}
2 Baruch 1–77) > No (?) – inc. in some mss.
Letter of Baruch(2 Baruch 78–87)The Letter of Baruch is found in chapters 78–87 of 2 Baruch—the final ten chapters of the book. The letter had a wider circulation and often appeared separately from the first 77 chapters of the book, which is an apocalypse. >| {{Yes}} (?)
3 Baruch)Included here for the purpose of disambiguation, 3 Baruch is widely rejected as a pseudepigraphon and is not part of any Biblical tradition. Two manuscripts exist—a longer Greek manuscript with Christian interpolations and a shorter Slavonic version. There is some uncertainty about which was written first. >| {{No}}
4 Baruch >| {{No}}
Book of Ezekiel>Ezekiel {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Book of Daniel>Daniel {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Additions to DanielBel and the Dragon, Susanna (Book of Daniel)>Susanna, and The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children. style="background:#FFA6C9; text-align:center;" No (Apocrypha) style="background:#fc9; text-align:center;"| {{Yes}}
Minor prophets
Book of Hosea>Hosea {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Book of Joel>Joel {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Book of Amos>Amos {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Book of Obadiah>Obadiah {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Book of Jonah>Jonah {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Book of Micah>Micah {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Book of Nahum>Nahum {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Book of Habakkuk>Habakkuk {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Book of Zephaniah>Zephaniah {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Book of Haggai>Haggai {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Book of Zechariah>Zechariah {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Book of Malachi>Malachi {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}

Table notes

New Testament

Among the various Christian denominations, the New Testament canon is a generally agreed-upon list of 27 books. However, the way in which those books are arranged may vary from tradition to tradition. For instance, in the Slavonic, Orthodox Tewahedo, Syriac, and Armenian traditions, the New Testament is ordered differently from what is considered to be the standard arrangement. Protestant Bibles in Russia and Ethiopia usually follow the local Orthodox order for the New Testament. The Syriac Orthodox Church and the Assyrian Church of the East both adhere to the Peshitta liturgical tradition, which historically excludes five books of the New Testament Antilegomena: 2 John, 3 John, 2 Peter, Jude, and Revelation. However, those books are included in certain Bibles of the modern Syriac traditions.Other New Testament works that are generally considered apocryphal nonetheless appear in some Bibles and manuscripts. For instance, the Epistle to the LaodiceansA translation of the Epistle to the Laodiceans can be accessed online at the Internet Sacred Texts Archive. was included in numerous Latin Vulgate manuscripts, in the eighteen German Bibles prior to Luther's translation, and also a number of early English Bibles, such as Gundulf's Bible and John Wycliffe's English translation—even as recently as 1728, William Whiston considered this epistle to be genuinely Pauline. Likewise, the Third Epistle to the CorinthiansThe Third Epistle to the Corinthians can be found as a section within the Acts of Paul, which has survived only in fragments. A translation of the entire remaining Acts of Paul can be accessed online at Early Christian Writings. was once considered to be part of the Armenian Orthodox Bible,WEB, Saifullah, M. S. M., Canons & Recensions of the Armenian Bible, Islamic Awareness,weblink 25 January 2012, but is no longer printed in modern editions. Within the Syriac Orthodox tradition, the Third Epistle to the Corinthians also has a history of significance. Both Aphrahat and Ephraem of Syria held it in high regard and treated it as if it were canonical.{{harvp|Metzger|1997|loc=pp. 219, 223; cf. 7, 176, 182}}. Cited in BOOK, McDonald, L. M., Sanders, J. A., 2002, Epp, Eldon Jay, The Canon Debate, Issues in the Interrelation of New Testament Textual Criticism and Canon, Hendrickson Publishers, 492, harv, However, it was left-out of the Peshitta and ultimately excluded from the canon altogether.The Didache,Various translations of the Didache can be accessed online at Early Christian Writings. The Shepherd of Hermas,A translation of the Shepherd of Hermas can be accessed online at the Internet Sacred Texts Archive. and other writings attributed to the Apostolic Fathers, were once considered scriptural by various early Church fathers. They are still being honored in some traditions, though they are no longer considered to be canonical. However, certain canonical books within the Orthodox Tewahedo traditions find their origin in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers as well as the Ancient Church Orders. The Orthodox Tewahedo churches recognize these eight additional New Testament books in its broader canon. They are as follows: the four books of Sinodos, the two books of the Covenant, Ethiopic Clement, and the Ethiopic Didascalia.JOURNAL, Cowley, R. W., 1974, The Biblical Canon of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Today, Ostkirchliche Studien, 23, 318–323,weblink ">

Table {| class"wikitable"

! style="width:124px;"| Books! style="width:123px;"| Protestant tradition! style="width:123px;"| Roman Catholic tradition! style="width:123px;"| Eastern Orthodox tradition! style="width:123px;"| Armenian Apostolic traditionThe growth and development of the Armenian Biblical canon is complex. Extra-canonical New Testament books appear in historical canon lists and recensions that are either distinct to this tradition, or where they do exist elsewhere, never achieved the same status. Some of the books are not listed in this table. These include the Prayer of Euthalius, the Repose of St. John the Evangelist, the Doctrine of Addai (some sources replace this with the Acts of Thaddeus), a reading from the Gospel of James (some sources replace this with the Apocryphon of James), the Second Apostolic Canons, the Words of Justus, Dionysius Aeropagite, the Acts of Peter (some sources replace this with the Preaching of Peter), and a Poem by Ghazar. (Various sources also mention undefined Armenian canonical additions to the Gospels of Mark and John, however, these may refer to the general additions—Mark 16:9–20 and John 7:53–8:11—discussed elsewhere in these notes.) A possible exception here to canonical exclusivity is the Second Apostolic Canons, which share a common source—the Apostolic Constitutions—with certain parts of the Orthodox Tewahedo New Testament broader canon. The correspondence between King Agbar and Jesus Christ, which is found in various forms—including within both the Doctrine of Addai and the Acts of Thaddeus—sometimes appears separately (see this list). It is noteworthy that the Prayer of Euthalius and the Repose of St. John the Evangelist appear in the appendix of the 1805 Armenian Zohrab Bible. However, some of the aforementioned books, though they are found within canon lists, have nonetheless never been discovered to be part of any Armenian Biblical manuscript.! style="width:123px;"| Coptic Orthodox tradition! style="width:123px;"| Orthodox Tewahedo traditions! style="width:123px;"| Syriac Christian traditions
Canonical gospelsThough widely regarded as non-canonical, the Gospel of James obtained early liturgical acceptance among some Eastern churches and remains a major source for many of Christendom's traditions related to Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Gospel of Matthew>Matthew {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}The Diatessaron, Tatian's gospel harmony, became a standard text in some Syriac-speaking churches down to the 5th century, when it gave-way to the four separate gospels found in the Peshitta.
Gospel of Mark>MarkParts of these four books are not found in the most reliable ancient sources; in some cases, are thought to be later additions; and have therefore not historically existed in every Biblical tradition. They are as follows: (Mark 16John 7:53–8:11), the Comma Johanneum, and portions of the Acts of the Apostles#Manuscripts. To varying degrees, arguments for the authenticity of these passages—especially for the one from the Gospel of John—have occasionally been made. >| {{Yes}}
Gospel of Luke>Luke {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Gospel of John>JohnSkeireins, a commentary on the Gospel of John in the Gothic language, was included in the Wulfila Bible. It exists today only in fragments. {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Apostolic history
Acts of the Apostles>Acts {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Acts of Paul and TheclaThe Acts of Paul and Thecla, the Epistle of the Corinthians to Paul, and the Third Epistle to the Corinthians are all portions of the greater Acts of Paul narrative, which is part of a stichometric catalogue of New Testament canon found in the Codex Claromontanus, but has survived only in fragments. Some of the content within these individual sections may have developed separately, however.BURRIS LAST2=VAN ROMPAY YEAR=2002 JOURNAL=HUGOYE: JOURNAL OF SYRIAC STUDIES ISSUE=2 URL=HTTP://WWW.BETHMARDUTHO.ORG/INDEX.PHP/HUGOYE/VOLUME-INDEX/143.HTML ARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20160701092506/HTTP://WWW.BETHMARDUTHO.ORG/INDEX.PHP/HUGOYE/VOLUME-INDEX/143.HTML URL-STATUS=DEAD last=Carter year=2000 url= archiveurl= No(early tradition) {{No}} {{No}} style="background:#FFA6C9; text-align:center;"| No(early tradition)
Pauline epistles
Epistle to the Romans>Romans {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
First Epistle to the Corinthians>1 Corinthians {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Second Epistle to the Corinthians>2 Corinthians {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Epistle of the Corinthians to Paul>Corinthians to Paul and Third Epistle to the CorinthiansThe Third Epistle to the Corinthians often appears with and is framed as a response to the Epistle of the Corinthians to Paul. > No − inc. in some mss. {{No}} {{No}} style="background:#FFA6C9; text-align:center;"| No(early tradition)
Epistle to the Galatians>Galatians {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Epistle to the Ephesians>Ephesians {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Epistle to the Philippians>Philippians {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Epistle to the Colossians>Colossians {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Epistle to the Laodiceans>Laodiceans style="background:#FFA6C9; text-align:center;"John Wycliffe's inclusion of the epistle in his English translation, and the Quakers' use of it to the point where they produced a translation and made pleas for its canonicity (Poole's Annotations, on Col. 4:16). The epistle is nonetheless widely rejected by the vast majority of Protestants. > No − inc. in some mss. {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}}
First Epistle to the Thessalonians>1 Thessalonians {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Second Epistle to the Thessalonians>2 Thessalonians {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
First Epistle to Timothy>1 Timothy {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Second Epistle to Timothy>2 Timothy {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Epistle to Titus>Titus {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Epistle to Philemon>Philemon {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
General epistles
Epistle to the Hebrews>Hebrews style="background:#1CAC78; text-align:center;"Antilegomena>spoken against" by Martin Luther, and he changed the order of Luther Bible to reflect this, but he did not leave them out, nor has any Lutheranism>Lutheran body since. Traditional German Luther Bibles are still printed with the New Testament in this changed "Lutheran" order. The vast majority of Protestants embrace these four works as fully canonical. {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Epistle of James>James style="background:#1CAC78; text-align:center;"| {{Yes}}
First Epistle of Peter>1 Peter {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Second Epistle of Peter>2 Peter {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} style="background:#1CAC78; text-align:center;"| YesThe Peshitta excludes 2 John, 3 John, 2 Peter, Jude, and Revelation, but certain Bibles of the modern Syriac traditions include later translations of those books. Still today, the official lectionary followed by the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Assyrian Church of the East, present lessons from only the twenty-two books of Peshitta, the version to which appeal is made for the settlement of doctrinal questions.
First Epistle of John>1 John {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}}
Second Epistle of John>2 John {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} style="background:#1CAC78; text-align:center;"| Yes
Third Epistle of John>3 John {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} style="background:#1CAC78; text-align:center;"| Yes
Epistle of Jude>Jude style="background:#1CAC78; text-align:center;" Yes
ApocalypseThe Apocalypse of Peter, though not listed in this table, is mentioned in the Muratorian fragment and is part of a stichometric catalogue of New Testament canon found in the Codex Claromontanus. It was also held in high regard by Clement of Alexandria.
Book of Revelation>Revelation style="background:#1CAC78; text-align:center;" Yes
''Apostolic FathersOther known writings of the Apostolic Fathers not listed in this table are as follows: the seven Epistles of Ignatius, the Epistle of Polycarp, the Martyrdom of Polycarp, the Epistle to Diognetus, the fragment of Quadratus of Athens, the fragments of Papias of Hierapolis, the Reliques of the Elders Preserved in Irenaeus, and the Apostles' Creed. and Ancient Church Orders''Though they are not listed in this table, the Apostolic Constitutions were considered canonical by some including Alexius Aristenus, John of Salisbury, and to a lesser extent, Grigor Tatevatsi>Grigor Tat'evatsi. They are even classified as part of the New Testament canon within the body of the Constitutions itself. Moreover, they are the source for a great deal of the content in the Orthodox Tewahedo broader canon.
1 ClementThese five writings attributed to the Apostolic Fathers are not currently considered canonical in any Biblical tradition, though they are more highly regarded by some more than others. Nonetheless, their early authorship and inclusion in ancient Biblical codices, as well as their acceptance to varying degrees by various early authorities, requires them to be treated as foundational literature for Christianity as a whole. > No(Codices Codex Alexandrinus and Codex Hierosolymitanus>Hierosolymitanus)
2 Clement > No(Codices Alexandrinus and Hierosolymitanus)
Shepherd of Hermas > No(Codex Siniaticus)
Epistle of Barnabas > No(Codices Hierosolymitanus and Siniaticus)
Didache > No(Codex Hierosolymitanus)
Ethiopian Biblical canon#Sinodos>Ser'atä Seyon(Sinodos) {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} style="background:#40E0D0; text-align:center;"| {{No}}
Ethiopian Biblical canon#Sinodos>Te'ezaz(Sinodos) {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} style="background:#40E0D0; text-align:center;"| {{No}}
Ethiopian Biblical canon#Sinodos>Gessew(Sinodos) {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} style="background:#40E0D0; text-align:center;"| {{No}}
Ethiopian Biblical canon#Sinodos>Abtelis(Sinodos) {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} style="background:#40E0D0; text-align:center;"| {{No}}
Ethiopian Biblical canon#The Book of the Covenant>Book of theCovenant 1(Mäshafä Kidan) {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} style="background:#40E0D0; text-align:center;"| {{No}}
Ethiopian Biblical canon#The Book of the Covenant>Book of theCovenant 2(Mäshafä Kidan) {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} style="background:#40E0D0; text-align:center;"| {{No}}
Ethiopian Biblical canon#Ethiopic Clement>Ethiopic Clement(Qälëmentos)Ethiopic Clement and the Ethiopic Didascalia are distinct from and should not be confused with other ecclesiastical documents known in the west by similar names. {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} style="background:#40E0D0; text-align:center;"| {{No}}
Ethiopian Biblical canon#Ethiopic Didascalia>Ethiopic Didescalia(Didesqelya) {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} style="background:#40E0D0; text-align:center;"| {{No}}

Table notes

Latter Day Saint canons

File:Golden Plates with Urim and Thummim.jpg|thumb|right|alt=A 21st century artistic representation of the Golden Plates, Breastplate, and Urim and Thummim|A 21st-century artistic representation of the Golden Plates with Urim and Thummim.]]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The standard works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) consists of several books that constitute its open scriptural canon, and include the following: The Pearl of Great Price contains five sections: "Selections from the Book of Moses", "The Book of Abraham", "Joseph Smith–Matthew", "Joseph Smith–History" and "The Articles of Faith". The Book of Moses and Joseph Smith–Matthew are portions of the Book of Genesis and the Gospel of Matthew (respectively) from the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. (The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible is also known as the Inspired Version of the Bible.)The manuscripts of the unfinished Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible (JST) state that "the Song of Solomon is not inspired scripture.""Song of Solomon". Bible Dictionary. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. p. 776. However, it is still printed in every version of the King James Bible published by the church.The Standard Works are printed and distributed by the LDS church in a single binding called a "Quadruple Combination" or a set of two books, with the Bible in one binding, and the other three books in a second binding called a "Triple Combination". Current editions of the Standard Works include a bible dictionary, photographs, maps and gazetteer, topical guide, index, footnotes, cross references, excerpts from the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible and other study aids.

Other Latter Day Saint sects

Canons of various Latter Day Saint denominations diverge from the LDS Standard Works. Some accept only portions of the Standard Works. For instance, the Bickertonite sect does not consider the Pearl of Great Price or Doctrines and Covenants to be scriptural. Rather, they believe that the New Testament scriptures contain a true description of the church as established by Jesus Christ, and that both the King James Bible and Book of Mormon are the inspired word of God.BOOK, Lovalvo, V. James, Dissertation on the Faith and Doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ, 1986, The Church of Jesus Christ, Bridgewater, Michigan, 115–16, Some denominations accept earlier versions of the Standard Works or work to develop corrected translations. Others have purportedly received additional revelation.The Community of Christ points to Jesus Christ as the living Word of God,"Scripture in the Community of Christ". Community of Christ Theology Task Force. Saints Herald. August 2006. p. 15. and it affirms the Bible, along with the Book of Mormon, as well as its own regularly appended version of Doctrines and Covenants as scripture for the church. While it publishes a version of the Joseph Smith Translation—which includes material from the Book of Moses—the Community of Christ also accepts the use of other translations of the Bible, such as the standard King James Version and the New Revised Standard Version.Like the aforementioned Bickertonites, the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) rejects the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, as well as the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, preferring to use only the King James Bible and the Book of Mormon as doctrinal standards. The Book of Commandments is accepted as being superior to the Doctrine and Covenants as a compendium of Joseph Smith's early revelations, but is not accorded the same status as the Bible or Book of Mormon.The Word of the Lord and The Word of the Lord Brought to Mankind by an Angel are two related books considered to be scriptural by certain (Fettingite) factions that separated from the Temple Lot church. Both books contain revelations allegedly given to former Church of Christ (Temple Lot) Apostle Otto Fetting by an angelic being who claimed to be John the Baptist. The latter title (120 messages) contains the entirety of the former's material (30 msgs.) with additional revelations (90 msgs.) purportedly given to William A. Draves by this same being, after Fetting's death. Neither are accepted by the larger Temple Lot body of believers.WEB,weblink A Synopsis of the Church of Christ Beliefs and Practices as Compared to Other Latter Day Saint Churches, Sheldon, William, The Interactive Bible, Refers to the Bible and Book of Mormon as "the only safe standards".The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite) considers the Bible (when correctly translated), the Book of Mormon, and editions of the Doctrine and Covenants published prior to Joseph Smith's death (which contained the Lectures on Faith) to be inspired scripture. They also hold the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible to be inspired, but do not believe modern publications of the text are accurate. Other portions of The Pearl of Great Price, however, are not considered to be scriptural—though are not necessarily fully rejected either. The Book of Jasher was consistently used by both Joseph Smith and James Strang, but as with other Latter Day Saint denominations and sects, there is no official stance on its authenticity, and it is not considered canonical."Strangite Scriptures" {{Webarchive|url= |date=21 October 2013 }}. Retrieved 3 March 2012.An additional work called The Book of the Law of the Lord is also accepted as inspired scripture by the Strangites. They likewise hold as scriptural several prophecies, visions, revelations, and translations printed by James Strang, and published in the Revelations of James J. Strang. Among other things, this text contains his purported "Letter of Appointment" from Joseph Smith and his translation of the Voree plates.The Church of Jesus Christ (Cutlerite) accepts the following as scripture: the Inspired Version of the Bible (including the Book of Moses and Joseph Smith–Matthew), the Book of Mormon, and the 1844 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants (including the Lectures on Faith). However, the revelation on tithing (section 107 in the 1844 edition; 119 in modern LDS editions) is emphatically rejected by members of this church, as it is not believed to be given by Joseph Smith. The Book of Abraham is rejected as scripture, as are the other portions of the Pearl of Great Price that do not appear in the Inspired Version of the Bible.Many Latter Day Saint denominations have also either adopted the Articles of Faith or at least view them as a statement of basic theology. (They are considered scriptural by the larger LDS church and are included in The Pearl of Great Price.) At times, the Articles have been adapted to fit the respective belief systems of various faith communities.

See also

{hide}Wikipedia books
|1=Abrahamic religions







  • Ante-Nicene Fathers. Eerdmans Press.
  • BOOK, Lightfoot, Joseph, Harmer, John, Holmes, Michael, 1992, The Apostolic Fathers, Barker Book House, 978-0-8010-5676-5,
  • Encyclopedia of the Early Church. Oxford.
  • BOOK, Beckwith, R. T., 1986, The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church and Its Background in Early Judaism, Eerdmans Publishing Company, 978-0-8028-3617-5,
  • BOOK, Davis, L. D., 1983, The First Seven Ecumenical Councils (325-787): Their History and Theology, Liturgical Press, 978-0-8146-5616-7,
  • BOOK, Ferguson, Everett, Encyclopedia of Early Christianity,
  • BOOK, Fox, Robin Lane, The Unauthorized Version: Truth and Fiction in the Bible, Penguin Books, 1992,
  • BOOK, Gamble, Harry Y., 2002, The New Testament Canon: Its Making and Meaning, Wipf & Stock Publishers, 1-57910-909-8,
  • Hennecke-Schneemelcher. NT Apocrypha
  • BOOK, Nersessian, V., The Armenian Canon of the New Testament, The Bible in the Armenian Tradition, Los Angeles, CA, J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001, 978-0-89236-640-8,weblink harv,
  • BOOK, Jurgens, W. A., Faith of the Early Fathers,
  • BOOK, Sundberg, Albert, The Old Testament of the Early Church, Harvard Press, 1964,

Further reading

  • Barnstone, Willis (ed.) (1984). The Other Bible: Ancient Alternative Scriptures. HarperCollins. {{ISBN|978-0-7394-8434-0}}.
  • Childs, Brevard S.. (1984). The New Testament as Canon: An Introduction. SCM Press. {{ISBN|0-334-02212-6}}.
  • McDonald, Lee Martin (2009). Forgotten Scriptures. The Selection and Rejection of Early Religious Writings. Westminster John Knox Press. {{ISBN|978-0-664-23357-0}}.
  • McDonald, Lee Martin (1988). The Formation of the Christian Biblical Canon. Abingdon Press. {{ISBN|0-687-13293-2}}.
  • McDonald, Lee Martin (2000). Early Christianity and Its Sacred Literature. Hendrickson Publishers. {{ISBN|1-56563-266-4}}.
  • McDonald, Lee Martin (2007). 'The Biblical Canon: Its Origin, Transmission, and Authority. Hendrickson Publishers. {{ISBN|978-1-56563-925-6}}.
  • Souter, Alexander (1954). The Text and Canon of the New Testament. 2nd ed. Studies in Theology, No. 25. London: Duckworth.
  • Stonehouse, Ned Bernhard (1929). The Apocalypse in the Ancient Church: A Study in the History of the New Testament Canon. Oosterbaan & Le Cointre.
  • Taussig, Hal (2013). A New New Testament: A Bible for the 21st Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  • Wall, Robert W.; Lemcio, Eugene E. (1992). The New Testament as Canon: A Reader in Canonical Criticism. JSOT Press. {{ISBN|1-85075-374-1}}.
  • Westcott, Brooke Foss. (1875). A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament. 4th ed. London: Macmillan.

External links

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