Dating of new testament books
Our point is not that all first century books are canonical, but that all our canonical books are first century. In the end, every Christian should remember one basic fact, namely that the New Testament books are distinctive because, generally speaking, they are the earliest Christian writings we possess. If so, then it seems that the books included in the New Testament are not as arbitrary as some would have us believe.
On the contrary, it seems that these are precisely the books we would include if we wanted to have access to authentic Christianity.
The first of these facts is one that is so basic that it is often overlooked.
It is simply that the New Testament books are the earliest Christian writings we possess.
If we want to find out what authentic Christianity was really like, then we should rely on the writings that are the nearest to that time period.
This is particularly evident when it comes to the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
More recently, influential Roman Catholic scholar Raymond E.One of the most formidable challenges in any discussion about the New Testament canon is explaining what makes these 27 books unique. There are many answers to that question, but in this blog post we are focusing on just one: the of these books.These books stand out as distinctive because they are earliest Christian writings we possess and thus bring us the closest to the historical Jesus and to the earliest church.Note: This is the first installment of a new blog series announced here.This new blog series is designed to help the lay believer learn some basic facts about the New Testament canon—the kind of facts that might be helpful in a conversation with a skeptic or inquisitive friend.
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Meanwhile, other scholars have defended the authenticity (and first-century date) of these books. However, even if these debated books are left aside in our discussions, we can still affirm that the vast majority of the New Testament writings (including the four gospels) still remain the earliest Christian writings we possess. The only possible exception is Revelation which is dated, at the latest, around 95-96 A. Just to be clear, we are not arguing here that books are canonical simply because they have a first century date.