Essay on The Formulation and Recognition of the Canonical Books

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Pages: 10

LIBERTY UNIVERSITY ONLINE

THE FORMULATION AND RECOGNITION OF THE CANONICAL BOOKS

A PAPER SUBMITTED TO PROFESSOR C. PAUL KING
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR HISTORY OF THE CHURCH I 301

DEPARTMENT OF CHURCH HISTORY

BY
GLENN ROGERS

LYNCHBURG. VIRGINIA
10 NOVEMBER 2012

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents 2
Introduction 3
Reason or Need for Adoption of a Canon of Scripture 4
Key Events that were Influential in Recognition of the Canon 5
Individuals and Councils that Helped Shape the Canon 6
Conclusion 8
Works Cited
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There were many extenuating circumstances and factors that accounted for the confusion and inconsistencies in Scripture. For example, there was a lack of written accounts because of the common practice of orally passing down stories from one generation to the next generation. There were tensions between the Jewish and the Gentile converts that exacerbated the problem of what books belong in the Bible. There was also the competition between Christianity and the mystery cults and Gnosticism. There was also the problem of mistranslation between different languages and the simple errors in reading and copying handwriting. All of these factors contributed to the need for a canon of scripture [or a catalog or standard list of writings acceptable for use in prayer, worship and daily Christian living].
Oral tradition is great for passing down stories and information from one generation to the next, but everyone knows that eventually stories and information can get distorted or lost in translation and the truth becomes muddled. Conversely, when something is written down [for posterity’s sake], people will set aside time to think about what they want to say and how they want to say it. Writers will often take the time to edit their work to make it clearer to the reader. Also written works last longer in the author’s original words more so than oral works because what is written it is a permanent record of what someone has found out, thinks