The Development of the New Testament Canon
How God Uses Man For His Divine Purposes
scholarly work, word count: 4195, 13 pages, read time: ~ 10 min
The New Testament Canon is regarded by evangelical Christians as a book not simply written by man, but inspired by God and as such an authoritative directive for all humanity. Furthermore, Christians claim the Scriptures in their original language to be infallible, meaning they are without fault or human error. Undoubtedly these claims are critical to the faith of those who trust the Bible as an inspired and flawless message from the Almighty. For if these claims do not hold true, the faith of these believers is also in question as it rests on faulty claims.
One of the key hindrances for unbelievers and even Christians who do not view the Bible as infallible and authoritative is the fact that the New Testament was written by fallible, sinful men. The question of the cynical skeptic and the sincere searcher alike is how flawed human beings can be used by God to write a book that is perfect. Indeed, this is a valid and legitimate question.
The objective of this paper is to demonstrate how God was working in the midst of history and lives of human beings to orchestrate the work of the Bible. The point of this paper will not be to prove the existence of God or that God is able to work in human history. While these questions or statements of faith are relevant, they are not the focus or intended purpose of this paper. We will begin with the assumption that God does exist and works within history through humankind. Using this assumption as a foundation and guiding principle, the purpose of this paper will be to trace the lives of individuals who were instrumental in the formation of the Bible to better understand how God used various people to develop the canon of the New Testament.
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