The word canon comes from the Hebrew root word for “reed,” and its ancient meaning as a “measuring stick.” During the early centuries following the resurrection of Christ, Greek was the international language of business and commerce throughout the Roman Empire, kanon meant “a rule, a standard.” Easton’s Bible Dictionary describes how the word canon was used, “It came to be applied to the Scriptures, to denote that they contained the authoritative rule of faith and practice, the standard of doctrine and duty.”
The church accepted the canon of the Old Testament and were in need of developing the standard of the New Testament, affirming the revelation of the Jesus as the Messiah. Persecuted in the second century by the Roman Empire and disliked by the Jewish hardliners, Christians were receiving a death sentence upon being caught with any of the Apostles’ letters. With so many writings traveling around the Roman Empire, persecuted gospel believers needed to know which were worth dying for. Christianity was originall...
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...he canon, and over others [books] including the letters of Ignatius of Antioch, First Clement, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Epistle of Barnabas.” There are writings that provide insight to why a particular source was accepted or rejected. Hill points out, that this leads to the conclusion that a methodology (like the one listed above) was used to determine the canonicity of a certain letter or book.
The development of the New Testament took almost three centuries. The martyrdom, the heresies, and all of the trials served to promulgate the 27 books more than destroy them. A series of events and movements served to spread the gospel and create the canon of Scripture. The only way that this book could have stood the test of time was for God to be in the center of the mission to compile the list, collect the writings and create the book that is known as the Bible.
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