When looking at the origin Bible what comes to my mind is that the reason we study the Bible is that we want to hear God’s word. “The Bible was written by numerous human authors, but the divine aspect of it is inseparably and mysteriously interwoven into every verse” (Duvall and Hays). The Bible is said to be the most top selling book known to man. The Bible is one book that many don’t consider the foundation or how the Bible traveled from a wide range of inspired men. We, sometimes, look at the covering and how the color presents itself to us and then purchase it not giving a thought on how the Bible came about. We fail to search the history of the Bible not even considering books like the Canon.
“Our English word Canon is a translation of a Greek word that originally referred to a “straight rod” or a “measuring rod.” It was literally used to measure “straightness,” but the term was used to denote the rules and norms of the Christian faith” (Duvall and Hays). Before the early church had the assemblage of the New Testament scriptures, the apostles were functioning with traditional verbal methods of passing on the rule of faith. The apostle Paul clearly done this through his teaching he received the word from God and he passed it along to everyone that wanted to hear.
There are many doubters that wonder why there are no more than sixty-six (66) books in the Bible. In the ages of the early church, the first and second century, there were many that started writing about their experiences and their religious beliefs. The written documents traveled all through the Roman Empire. These written documents were of great significance for educating and instructing those believers that were still growing in their faith and that were persecuted.
In the first and second centuries there were many concerns about which of the written documents were to be used as divine authority. There were many questions about which written documents were real or which were authentic and justifiable for inclusion in the canon and which ones were not. By the time the third and fourth centuries of Christians came about, this topic was of increased importance.
This was one particular time when good news traveled fast. There was, undoubtedly, excitement and fear in the atmosphere as God spoke through His prophets and they were speaking and writing the word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that the Bible is not a collection of stories, fables, myths, or merely human ideas about God. It is not just a human book. Through the Holy Spirit, God revealed His person and plan to certain believers, who wrote down God’s message for His people. These writers wrote from their own personal, historical, and cultural contexts. Although they used their own minds, talents, language, and style, they wrote what God wanted them to write.
In 1740, the Muratorian Canon was published. It is possibly the earliest list of Canon dating around 170 A.D. The Muratorian Canon was named after Ludovico Muratori. The Muratorian includes the majority of the New Testament except for the books of Hebrews, James, 1st and 2nd Peter, and 1 John. As the second century was ending, the epistles and the majority of the gospels were all accepted as the main parts of the New Testament by most of the fathers of the early church.
Irenaeus the Bishop of Lyons (170 AD) wrote about the four gospel canon, instead of just one and refers to almost all of the twenty seven books. He did not refer to four books in the New Testament which were Philemon, James, 2nd Peter, and 3rd John. “The first early Father who himself quoted almost every book of the New Testament was Irenaeus” (Geisler). There was also Clement of Alexandria (200 AD) who had nearly the same list of books. Though the twenty seven books of the New Testament were not official yet, all of the early church fathers agreed and understood that the books were all inspired by God.