Best Answer

The first to use the term, "New Testament," was Irenaeus, who was assistant to the first Catholic-Orthodox bishop of Lyon (France) and flourished about 180 CE. He called for four gospels, and exactly four, on the basis that there were four corners of the world and four winds. Those Gospels, he said, were to be those of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The epistles attributed to St Paul were probably an automatic choice, as were those believed to be written by the early apostles..

User Avatar

Wiki User

15y ago
This answer is:
User Avatar
More answers
User Avatar

Wiki User

15y ago

The Holy Fathers of the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, decided which of the many scriptures at that time were inspired by God and which were not. The inspired scriptures became the books of the New Testament. Prior to the arrival of Jesus, and for many years after, there were only the Old Testament scriptures. The New Testament did not just appear out of thin air: it was a product of the Early Church. At the time when Jesus Christ established His Church in Jerusalem in 33 AD, there was no Bible. So for the first years of its existence, the Christian Church had no New Testament Scriptures at all, and for the first 500 years, there was no printed Bible as we have today. Most people at that time could not even read or write, and there was certainly no printing press. They would hear the Scriptures and hold the traditions they were taught (2 Thess 2:15). Christ says "blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it" (Luke 11:28). So the Holy Scriptures that we know today came to us very slowly and over many decades and centuries from the oral tradition of the Orthodox Church. In fact, it was not until the Fourth Century that St Athanasios of Alexandria wrote his famous Easter Letter in the year 367 AD that identified and "canonized" the 27 books of the New Testament that we all still use to this day.  

This answer is:
User Avatar

User Avatar

Wiki User

14y ago

Jewish cannon

Tanakh (old Testament as we know it) According to the Talmud, much of the contents of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) was recognized as canon, collected, and preserved by "Men of the Great Assembly" by 450 BCE, and has since remained unchanged.

Tradition holds that Moses wrote the Torah, and it was the first scripture recognized as canon immediately. 2 Kings 14:6 says, "in accordance with what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses where the LORD commanded:" Other people in the OT that referenced Torah as Canon in The Bible include Joshua, David, Solomon, Manasseh, Josiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezra, etc.

Other OT books were written by Prophets delivering God's message to us. A prophet is defined as "one who receives and relates a revelation from God." Writings of the prophets ceased when Jesus came Hebrews 1 says, "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe"

Christ authenticating Jewish canon

Jesus said the Law, Prophets, and Psalms were prophetic of him; "Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures." Luke 24:27.

New Testament.

Although a church council did not give official recognition to the New Testament cannon as we know it until the fourth century, there is plenty of evidence that the books of the New Testament were recognized, collected and circulated immediately in the church as divinely inspired books.

2 Peter 3:15-16 demonstrates that Paul's letters were already considered to be inspired by God, "… just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him… His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures."

Timeline of NT Canon

The Pauline epistles were circulating in collected form by 100 A.D.

Writers Polycarp and Irenaeus were quoting all of the New Testament books by 150-170 A.D.

By the early 200's, church father and Bible commentator Origen of Alexandria may have been using the same 27 books as in the modern New Testament.

The earliest list of the books of the NT, in exactly the number and order in which we presently have them, is written by Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, in 367 A.D.

This answer is:
User Avatar

User Avatar

Wiki User

12y ago

The official term for this process is "Canonization," referring to the "Canon"--the documents considered important enough to be considered Scripture.

Officially, the Canon was not declared until late. A comprehensive list of the 27 books we know as the New Testament does not appear until the year 367. The New Testament as we know it was first published as a collection with the Latin Vulgate in 382, in which the Hebrew of the Old Testament and Greek of the New Testament were translated into Latin. The Canon was officially endorsed by the Council of Hippo in 393. From time to time one might here that the Council of Nicaea determined the Canon (this error was made particularly prevalent in Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code), but this is not correct. Canonization was not discussed at Nicaea.

As for why an official declaration took so long, there are several reasons. For the most part, the Canon seemed to be assumed by the Church. While some of the smaller books (such as 3 John or 2 Peter) were debated, there was widespread (almost universal) agreement that the four Gospels, Acts, and the "Pauline Corpus" (books written by Paul-from Romans through Philemon) were sacred Scripture. Writings from Christians as far back as the beginning of the second century refer to these writings as "Scripture." It is also important to remember that, until the reign of Constantine in the 4th century, Christians were under almost constant persecution. It was not until Constantine's Edict of Milan in 313 that Christians could openly confess their faith. This meant that Christians did not have the luxury of convening Councils to discuss such matters.

The criteria seems to have been threefold:1. Was the book authored by an Apostle, or someone close to an Apostle? This allowed the inclusion of Luke/Acts, given Luke's relationship with Paul. Tradition held that Mark became a disciple of Peter. The author of Hebrews is unknown; at the time, though, there was some thought it had been written by Paul (see below). 2. Are the books theologically consistent? 3. Are the books already being used liturgically (i.e., are they being read in worship)?

The four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) were accepted by the broader church from the very beginning. In 175, Tatian produced the "Diatessaron" ("through the four"), an attempt to combine the four Gospels into one. It really did not catch on. A few years afterwards, Irenaeus stated that the idea of four Gospels was as natural as the four winds. The Church could not envision more, or less.

The early Church had questions about Hebrews, in that the author does not name himself. Many early Christians suggested the Apostle Paul wrote it, which allowed its inclusion in the Canon; however, today it is considered anonymous. 2 Peter and 2 - 3 John were often questioned, though it does not seem to have been on theological grounds. It's likely the Church was concerned simply because they were such short letters. Jude was often questioned, probably because it alludes to the Apocrypha (which was not considered Sacred Scripture).


We must differentiate between Catholicism and Christianity.

The "cannon" of the Bible was only what the catholic organisation itself would use as the Bible, not what the Bible did or did not contain.

God did not give councils the authority to select His sacred books, nor does He expect men to receive His sacred books only because of councils or on the basis of councils. It takes no vote or sanction of a council to make the books of the Bible authoritative. Men were able to rightly discern which books were inspired before the existence of ecclesiastical councils and men can do so today.

When the apostles wrote the New Testament documents they were inspired by the power of the Holy Spirit. There wasn't any real issue of whether or not they were authentic. Their writings did not need to be deemed worthy of inclusion in the Canon of Scripture by a later group of men in the so-called Roman Catholic Church. To make such a claim is, in effect, to usurp the natural power and authority of God himself.

This answer is:
User Avatar

User Avatar

Wiki User

13y ago

There is a painting in FRANCE that shows a life-sized cleric, with a bookshelf behind him with ALL the books of the Bible. It is NOT popular with the various CHURCHES that teach that the BIBLE is "un- changed" from the beginning... since,

the books clearly show the biggest, most important book of the Bible, the book of MARY ! About 300 years after supposed life of Jesus, a group of men held a meeting to "CHOOSE" which of the many books that were written, were to go in the "standard" Bible. In order to "appeal" to the more barbaric non- Christian tribes and religions, it was decided to get RID of all powerful women, in any form, and the most important book, MARY was deleted, and instead of the most powerful person with the most quotes of Jesus, she was reduced to a tiny mention as a prostitute. Yet, even with that massive purge of all women, powerful women, rich women, important women, etc., you may note that, even now, there were only a dozen or so people in the entire bible who HELPED Jesus - and they are all women! Note also that there are 5 books of Genesis, and in keeping with the demeaning, disrespectful "Customs" of men towards women, in the non-Christian religions that the Church wanted to convert, the book that shows EVE, the woman, as the evil one who destroys EDEN, was chosen as " the only" version that the Bible would use.

The CHURCH at that time ordered all the books of the bible with women as important figures to be BURNED. Most of them were, except in Egypt, where a MONK buried the forbidden books ( of GOD ) in a large earthenware jar, deep in the sand. It was discovered by a man who was turning over the soil - a process that has to be done every few years, since the tiny amounts of nutrients for a garden are depleted after only a year or two. The farmers have to remove the top layer of sand, dig up the fresh sand from below, and put the new sand on top. He discovered the jar. There are powerful legends in Egypt about CURSES put on objects that were buried so the jar sat there while the man thought. Even though it is hot in the daytime, at night, since the sand reflects over 80% of the sunlight, it gets below freezing when the sun goes down, so the man made a fire to keep warm. After much deliberation, he decided to open the jar - it could be fantastic gold and jewels, and he thought it was worth the risk. Instead, he found some extremely old leather bound books - in a language he could not read ! disgusted, he threw some of the books in the fire , and finally decided to show them to the experts. These were the missing books of the Bible. the Churches have known about this for decades, but do not tell the truth to the public... So the people who chose the BOOKS of the Bible, did so thousands of years ago. You can research the missing books on the internet...

good luck


This answer is:
User Avatar

User Avatar

Wiki User

12y ago

No one. It is so evident to the reader that which book should be there in the Bible. We see a common theme in the 66 book of the Bible as if it is written by one person. Other writtings were excluded from the Bible because they do not belong to the Bible.

2nd Answer:

Well . . . the real answer is that several groups of Roman Catholics in the year AD100 to or later formed groups like the Nicene Council. The people in this and a couple of other groups voted, essentially, on what books should be included in the New Testament. This process is called, "Canonizing." There are some 50 gospels of Jesus that have never been canonized, the principals being the gospel of St Thomas and the Gospel of St Phillip.

Further, the entire bible was written by many. There is no "common theme" throughout the Bible. The New Testament is wildly different from the Old Testament. In the Old Testament alone, there are at least 3 different names for God . . . each name was used by a different writer. For sure King David wrote many passages in Psalms and Proverbs, along with others.

In the New Testament, there are writings from St John, James-brother of Jesus, Peter-Jesus' "Rock" disciple, St Paul, and others. The writing styles are different, some written in Hebrew, some in low Greek, and some in scholarly Greek.

The new Testament is harder to tell. We are not sure who wrote the Symoptic Gospels, for instance. Bible scholars call this unknown writer, "Qu'elle". Some believe that the Catholic Church wrote them. (I don't)

This answer is:
User Avatar

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: Who determined which books of the New Testament should be included in the Bible?
Write your answer...
Still have questions?
magnify glass
Related questions

Why were letters written in the New Testament?

People shared information about Jesus Christ and His teachings through letters since the very beginning of Christianity. Not all letters that were written (nor all writings about Jesus) are included in the bible. But the Catholic Church determined that some letters along with the Gospels and other writings were the Word of God and should be included in the Bible (aka the Canon of the Bible).

Who determined the order of the books in the Bible?

For the new testament canon Irenaeus of Lyon decided what order they would go in.

Is the name Judith in the Bible?

Correct, Judith is in the bible. The Book of Judith is a deuterocanonical book, included in the Septuagint and the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christian Old Testament of the Bible

What is the religious book called tarrah?

The Torah is the book of law in the Jewish religion and included in the Old Testament of the Bible.

Who determined what books were to be included in the Old Testament?

It is believed that the first century CE Council of Jamnia first determined exactly what books should be included in the Hebrew Bible. The decision does not appear to have been unanimous and doubts were raised about Ezekiel, Proverbs, Esther, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs. Christians began to use books of the Old Testament as scripture before the Hebrew canon was formalised. By the fourth century, the Christian church began to concern itself about exactly what Old Testament books should be included, and Bishop Melito of Sardis went to Palestine to discover which Hebrew books belonged in the canon. Nevertheless, the Catholic Church and some Eastern churches include other books that are not in the Jewish canon. The Christian canon was not really formalised until the Reformation. Martin Luther established the Protestant canon, after which the Catholic Church formalised its own canon.

What writings are included in the New Testament of the Christian Bible?

New Testament Books Of The BibleMatthewMarkLukeJohnActsRomans1 Corinthians2 CorinthiansGalatiansEphesiansPhilippiansColossians1 Thessalonians2 Thessalonians1 Timothy2 TimothyTitusPhilemonHebrewsJames1 Peter2 Peter1 John2 John3 JohnJudeRevelation

Is there an agreement among all christian traditions about which books belong in the Old Testament?

There is more or less agreement about the main books of the Old Testament starting from Genesis and ending with Malachi.However, the Catholic Bible also includes Apocrypha books not included in the Protestant Bible. These Apocrypha books were not included in the earlier canonical Jewish Bible.The Catholic Old Testament includes Macabees I and II which are not in most Protestant bibles.

Why some sources says that there are only 44 books in the old testament?

What you should understand is that the book known as "The Bible" is a collection of different texts, considered to be sacred - and that different religious groups don't entirely agree which texts should be included, and which not.

Why was apocrypha was not included in King James Bible?

------------------------ The apocryphal books of the Bible were originally included in the Christian Old Testament when the Christian leaders did not really know which books the Jews regarded as sacred. Eventually it was discovered that these books were among those not included in the Jewish canon. The apocrypha were included in the original 1611 version of the King James Bible, but were removed from the 1666 version. Even the Catholic Church regards these books as 'Deuterocanonical', or second-canon. Although regarded as inspired, they are not inspired in the same way as the principal books of the Old Testament.

Does the Bible have all the scriptures?

AnswerThe Bible does have all the books now recognised as Christian scripture, but not all the books that could have been recognised as scripture. Books such as the Didache, the Shepherd of Hermas and numerous gospels are not included in the New Testament. The Protestant Old Testament includes the books that Judaism decided to include in its Hebrew Bible, and the Catholic Bible contains some additional books from among those that the Jews could have included but did not do so.

Are the testaments and the Bible the same?

There are two testaments in the Bible. The Old Testament is before Christ was born, the New Testament is after Christ was born. And, yes, the Old Testament and the New Testament, together, are the Bible.

How many chapters are in the old testament of the King James Bible?

I think there should be 929.