Chapter

The Formation of the Canon

Geoffrey Mark Hahneman

in The Muratorian Fragment and the Development of the Canon

Published in print October 1992 | ISBN: 9780198263418
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191682537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198263418.003.0004

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

The Formation of the Canon

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The formation of the Christian canon of scriptures was a gradual process that culminated in the fourth century. Prior to that time the churches gathered together and defined a number of different collections which were later incorporated into the New Testament. The development of the New Testament collection was one of gradual accumulation and expansion into the fourth century. The Fourfold Gospel is the only subcanonical collection that appears closed before the actual activity of fourth-century canon-forming. It is only in that later process that the other collections appear to have been fixed and established. This chapter suggests that the hypothesis of a ‘core New Testament collection’ does not necessarily support the traditional dating of the Muratorian Fragment, but serves to emphasize the extraordinary character of its contents, if it is dated at the end of the second century.

Keywords: Muratorian Fragment; New Testament; scriptures; Christian canon; Fourfold Gospel; fourth century

Chapter.  21663 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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