>The Development of the New Testament

>Kevin P. Edgecomb in biblicalia has a very interesting post in which he gives the reasons for the writing of the books of the New Testament.

The following are two excerpts from his post:

So, I would like to suggest that the writing of the individual New Testament books, their preservation, and subsequent canonization as part of the New Testament was all a part of the growth of the deposit of faith, part of the safeguarding of the original apostolic regula fidei.


In summary, the writing of the New Testament documents occurred for the reason of defense of the faith, as the further clarification of the very rule of faith (regula fidei) established by the apostles when the local church communities were founded in the first century.

Good post.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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1 Response to >The Development of the New Testament

  1. >Thank you, Professor Mariottini, that’s very kind. It seems rather almost a “duh” kind of thing to realize that this may be the case. The writers were not writing Scripture per se, but were certainly thinking themselves charged with the duty to preserve the faith that had been entrusted to them, and inspired by the same Holy Spirit, which built them up in their lives. To that extent, they will have recognized their writings as “inspired” I would think, but not to a degree that they were considered superior to what they considered Scripture, the Old Testament. It was, I think, an antiquarian interest that singled out the New Testament as a particular canon, the short list of books from the apostles. Notice how in most explicit discussions of the books included in the NT the ancients go back to origin among the apostles rather than inspiration, orthodoxy, applicability, or anything else as the guiding point for their determination as to whether a book is to be considered authentic, and thus included in that list. The canon was thus intended as a List of Apostolic Books, rather than anything else. We cannot force our preferences onto the canon (genuine authorship, inspiration, orthodoxy, etc), but should be guided by the categories and discussions that belonged to those who did the work of establishing that list.


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