History of the Bible Essay

Words: 1728
Pages: 7

Brittany Stewart

Instructor Pursell
English 132
9 December 2009

The History of the Canonization of the Bible The process by which the English Bible, as it is known to the English culture today, was compiled is an extraordinary thing to see. The Bible consists of two parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament. The process by which both Testaments were written and then canonized into one book transpired over a period of many years. Once the canonization of the Bible officially came to an end, it was translated into English. Since then, many versions of the modern Bible have been made. Since the individual books of the Bible became scattered as they were written, people set forth to preserve God’s Word by compiling them into one
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This made it a necessity for the church to choose what the main body of the New Testament canon would be. They decided on the letters of Paul and the four Gospels (“Development of the Difficult Canon”).
In AD 200, the final content of the New Testament was still undecided and would be debated for many years to come. According to the Muratorian Canon of AD 200, the New Testament contained thirteen of the letters of Paul, the Gospels, Acts, I and II John, I and II Jude, and the Apocalypse of Peter. In 367, the Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria wrote an Easter letter that included the books that the final canon would consist of. This is the first exact replica of the Bible which is now in use (“Development of the Difficult Canon”). In AD 393, this canon, including the books of the Septuagint, was commended by the African Synod of Hippo. This choice was endorsed by the Councils of Carthage in 397 and 419 (Barker). Pope Damascus wrote a letter to a bishop of France in which he gave his approval of the present content of the New Testament in AD 904. The church also gave their approval at the Council of Florence in AD 1442 but did not finalize their decision. When Luther translated the Bible into German in AD 1536, he took and placed Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation at the end of the New Testament, because he did not view them as meeting the canonical standard. “At the Council of Trent, the Catholic Church reaffirms once and for all the full list of 27 books as