How Did Canonization of the New Testament Happen?
by Bill Pratt
Canonization of the New Testament did not happen overnight. The books of the New Testament were written over several decades, with the final books probably being completed just before A.D. 100. However, documents traveled slowly 2,000 years ago, and it took many years for the books, later to be recognized as the New Testament, to circulate throughout the Roman Empire. It was a long and gradual process.
The early church, using several criteria, worked through the process of recognizing the inspired books of the New Testament during the first few centuries after Christ’s death. For a brief summary of the process, I quote church historian J. N. D. Kelly from his book Early Christian Doctrines:
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