Seminary Ramblings

Updates from life at seminary

To start with a bang (or a flop)

Hello and welcome to this new blog! I had gotten a bit sick of the limitations of Tumblr (previous blog here) and have been testing out the waters with WordPress and have really liked it so far. For my first WordPress post, I thought I’d start off with a bang (or a flop depending on who’s reading). Warning, it’s a long one so I hope you’re interested! And if you’re not, well then I’d just wait until next time.

It’s currently finals week here at Gordon-Conwell though and I haven’t had time to do much of anything outside of schoolwork, so I thought that I would post up a paper I wrote for my Church History class that I just turned in today. It ain’t perfect, actually I didn’t revise my rough draft much at all, but it still took a darn good chunk of time, and here it is. Interested in how I think the New Testament Canon was being decided upon in the earliest stages of the New Testament Church? Here you go, enjoy.

 

Criteria for Canonicity Among the Early Church

The first two centuries of the Christian Church were a time of much activity. In particular, in the years after the death of Jesus Christ there became a need in the young church to preserve his teachings and the teachings of the faith.  These centuries saw a plethora of writings circulated among churches, some from disciples of Christ, others pseudonymously written under the names of Christ’s disciples, and still others from persons who more brazenly branched off from the apostolic teaching and were labeled as heretics.

      Throughout this time is became necessary for the young church to distinguish true from false teachings, and to decide which writings would and would not hold an authoritative place in the church’s worship and teaching. To do this there had to be a conscious or subconscious set of “criteria” with which to determine the authority of books. Traditionally, these criteria for canonicity have been enumerated as apostolicity, orthodoxy, catholicity, and inspiration.[1] Here apostolicity means a writing with apostolic authority,[2] orthodoxy signifies the orthodox content of the teaching, catholicity the work’s widespread use among the churches, and inspiration it’s divine inspiration by the Holy Spirit.[3]

While these criteria have typically been enumerated based on the canonical lists that appeared in the third and fourth centuries,[4] such criteria can in fact be seen much earlier on. The purpose of this paper will be to inductively determine what sort of criteria of canonicity were being used, consciously or subconsciously, by the Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus. The choice of these three is due to their importance in their time frames, and the relative consensus that Irenaeus marks the end of the critical first two centuries of the development of the canon.[5] Furthermore, they correspond to what are generally seen as four stages in the early development of the canon:

A. The apostolic phase, from Jesus to the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D.
B. The subapostolic phase, from the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70 to the Bar-Kochba revolt in 135 A.D.
C. The phase of rising Gnosticism between the Bar-Kochba revolt and the death of Justin Martyr in 165 A.D.
D. The anti-Gnostic phase, from Justin to Irenaeus.[6]

Thus, our three subjects correspond roughly to time periods B, C, and D. In order to understand the context, we will start with a brief historical background to the earliest times after the death of Christ, corresponding roughly to period A. In this paper it will be argued that while the early Church Fathers have differences in how to determine the authority of circulating writings and teachings, a combination of biblical and historical precedent, heresy, and external pressures led to the Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus all sharing a core set of criteria for what makes a writing or teaching authoritative.

      New Testament and Early Background

In order to understand the factors that would lead later church leaders to accept certain teachings (either written or oral) and reject others, it is necessary to understand the historical situation of the early Christian Church and it’s relationship to the writings known as the Old Testament. While it is somewhat debated, many scholars now accept that the early church had a fairly closed corpus of works that they accepted as their Scriptures, namely the thirty-nine books which comprise the Old Testament.[7] Here the precedent was set by Jesus Christ who in his ministry gave clear assent to the authority of the Old Testament, a precedent that was then followed by the apostles after him.[8] With this set of Scriptures as a backdrop and the ministry of Christ as the prompt, it was a natural expectation for the early church that a new body of canonical literature would arise.[9]

Within the earliest Christian writings which now comprise the New Testament a set of criterion can already be seen to emerge for determining the authority of a teaching. First it must be orthodox in content, meaning it must accord with apostolic teaching.[10] Furthermore, since the Old Testament scriptures were seen as inspired by the Holy Spirit, the same could be expected of any new authoritative writings.[11] This expectation of the Spirit can even be seen to have it’s fulfillment hinted at in Christ’s promise to send his Spirit on his apostles in the Gospel of John,[12] and later self attested to by the New Testament writings themselves, most notably in Revelation.[13] Even within the pages of the New Testament the apostles are seen to speak with a level of authority on par with the Old Testament.[14] Thus, while not all writings had circulated to all churches, we can expect some of these same ideas to carry forth into shaping the thinking of the early Church Fathers concerning criteria for canonicity.

The Apostolic Fathers

      At this point we come to the Apostolic Fathers, the common name for the earliest group of Christian writings outside of the New Testament. About these writers little is known outside of their writings. What is known is that they were writing at a time of rapid change in the church, as it was expanding into new parts of the Roman empire and quickly becoming more dominated by Gentiles.[15] They also wrote closely in the aftermath of the destruction of Jewish temple in 70 A.D. Furthermore, due to their temporal proximity to the lifetimes of Christ and and his apostles, they are generally not as concerned about creating a closed corpus of writings and defining it’s limits, rather much of their interest lies with teachings that are still circulating orally at their time.[16] However, through an analysis of their writings, it becomes clear how they differentiated between authoritative teachings and others, criteria which we can expect would be applied to written documents as well.[17]

Perhaps the earliest of these documents, commonly dated circa A.D. 95 is 1 Clement. Written from the church is Rome to the Christians in Corinth, the occasion of the letter was largely due to factions arising in the Corinthian church, not unlike those addressed in the New Testament.[18] For Clement inspiration is important, and he clearly regards the Old Testament as inspired.[19] However, it appears to him that inspiration is more so a quality possessed by all Christians by virtue of them having the Holy Spirit, rather than a quality possessed in a unique way by apostles, prophets, or others. Consider the following quote:

For you will give us great joy and gladness, if you obey what we have written through the Holy Spirit and root out the unlawful anger of your jealousy, in accordance with the appeal for peace and harmony which we have made in this letter.[20]

Here Clement regards his own writing as “through the Holy Spirit,” similar language to what he has previously used with regard to Scripture. The Old Testament is authoritative because “the Holy Spirit says”[21] and because it was “given by the Holy Spirit.”[22] This ambiguity of language has led to much confusion over Clement’s concept of inspiration. What is clear however is that despite his looseness with the language of inspiration, he does not regard his own writings as on par with New Testament apostles whom he quotes. For him, while he possesses the same Holy Spirit, the writings of the “blessed Paul the apostle” hold a higher authority.[23] This is because “the high authority which he recognizes in Paul is his apostolic authority.”[24] Indeed, apostolic authority holds the same authority as the Old Testament.[25] Thus, for Clement, apostolicity is the primary criteria for authority.

This high regard for apostolic authority can be similarly seen the rest of the Apostolic Fathers. Here a quick survey will have to suffice. For Ignatius, writing circa A.D. 110 on his way to martyrdom, the concern was largely with combating false teaching in the church.[26] Like the rest of the Apostolic Fathers, the words and teachings of Christ carried automatic authority.[27] One particularly interesting development found in Ignatius though is the threefold structure he assigns to the teachings of Christ, the apostles, and the prophets. Writing to the Philadelphians he says:

But your prayer to God will make me perfect, that I may attain the fate by which I have received mercy, since I have taken refuge in the gospel as the flesh of Jesus and in the apostles as the presbytery of the church. And we also love the prophets, because they anticipated the gospel in their preaching and set their hope on him and waited for him; because they also believed in him, they were saved, since they belong to the unity centered in Jesus Christ, saints worthy of love and admiration, approved by Jesus Christ and included in the gospel of our common hope.[28]

Here Ignatius “takes refuge” in this threefold structure, showing his equal respect for Christ and the apostles alongside the prophets of the Old Testament. Thus the apostles are seemingly believed to have equal authority to the prophets, for they are a sure locus of truth in the midst of false teaching. This threefold structure is a fascinating development, and can be observed elsewhere with very similar language in the Apostolic Fathers and other writings within the 2nd century.[29]

One last importance section from the Apostolic Fathers comes from the Fragments of Papias, likely written circa A.D. 130.[30] Quoted by Eusibius, we here find both the importance of apostolicity and the importance of orthodoxy, with the “elders” specifically being named as Christ’s twelve disciples.[31] While the motives here are not entirely obvious, Papias appears to be simply be looking for more clarification and knowledge of his faith.  Thus he is interested in the teachings of the apostles who know true and authentic Christian teaching.[32]

Justin Martyr

When we arrive at the writings of Justin Martyr we are fully into the middle of the 2nd century. By this time the concept of a “canon,” while not in a closed form, is being more clearly developed, and Justin can be called “the first orthodox theologian to possess what may be called a ‘doctrine of holy scripture.'”[33] Indeed, this time period until the close of the 2nd century was likely the most important in the formation of the New Testament canon, and Justin Martyr reigns as an important theologian and Gentile voice in this period of the church.[34] Furthermore, he is our earliest extant apologist for the early church.[35] There are three extant works which are widely acknowledged to be his,[36] and this paper will deal briefly with his First Apology and Dialogue with Trypho, where apostolicity is seen to be a primary criterion.

In order to correctly understand Justin’s writings is important to deal with their intended purpose and audience. For the First Apology this is clear and agreed upon; it is addressed to the Roman Emperor and his son with the intended purpose of showing the reasonableness of Christianity in order that it would be tolerated in the Roman Empire.[37] Justin claims that Christians  are “most excellent people” and should not be hated by false accusations of “impiety and wickedness.”[38] With this in mind we can address his Apology. For the purposes of canon criterion, one particularly salient quote comes from the very end where he writes the now-famous words:

And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things.[39]

Here written works are clearly referred to, and it can again be clearly seen that one of the key reasons necessitating the distinction of authoritative and non-authoritative writings was the corporate worship of the early church. Decisions had to be made about what was and was not allowed to be read and this in turn lead to the distinguishing of a number of factors. For Justin it is clear that apostolicity carried authority equal to that of the Old Testament prophets, with him even reversing the typical order of “prophets and apostles,” perhaps further emphasizing the importance of the writings of the apostles.[40]

When we comes to the Dialogue with Trypho, we are on less certain ground with regards to the audience and purpose of the work. Traditionally, it has been thought that the work was addressed to a Jewish audience, a view held widely until Adolph Von Harnack proposed it’s audience as pagan. Even more recently, some have doubted both hypotheses and maintain that the work was an “internal monologue” intended for Christians “as a way for the group to make sure of itself.”[41] Regardless of who it was directed to, the work is generally recognized as polemical in nature, likely against Marcionites, but perhaps against Jews as well.[42] Indeed, one scholar is convinced that “Justin wrote his famous dialogue with Trypho as ‘a great counterblast to Marcion’s Antitheses.'”[43] This polemical nature of the work makes it fruitful soil for the study of emerging criteria of canonicity, as Marcion rejected the Old Testament Scriptures and Jews the New.

In the Dialogue the Old Testament Scriptures are once again assumed as authoritative and apostolicity appears to be a primary criteria for the authority of new scriptures. Indeed, the words of the apostles continue to be self evidently authoritative to Justin.

For as [Abraham] believed the voice of God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness, in like manner we, having believed God’s voice spoken by the apostles of Christ, and promulgated to us by the prophets,  have renounced even to death all the things of the world.[44]

In this quote, while the apostle’s teachings (written or oral) clearly hold the utmost authority, a theology of inspiration can also be seen. For Justin, the speaking of the apostles is likened to “God’s voice,” thus assuming inspiration under the umbrella category of apostolicity. This is the regular pattern for Justin, as he appeals to apostolic authority for teachings rather than directly to inspiration, which for him is an obvious corollary.[45] Furthermore, it should be noted that the way for Justin to combat false teachings is to appeal to the apostles, an important motif in the formation of canonical criterion.

Irenaeus

The final Church Father we will survey is the venerable Irenaeus of Lyons, perhaps the most important 2nd century figure in the formation of the canon. In particular, by the time of Irenaeus written Scripture plays a much more important role in the churches life, and he is the first to continuously “appeal to the New Testament documents, that is, he explicitly names them, defends their authenticity, and declares them to be normative.”[46] Representing a monument in the history of the canon, “Irenaeus, more than any other Church Father, helped the Church to sort out its thinking about its Scriptures.”[47]

But what necessitated such reflection upon the Scriptures? For Irenaeus there are a set of opponents much the same as there were for Justin, primarily Marcionism and Gnosticism. Since many of these heretical groups had their own scriptures they used such as The Gospel of Peter it became necessary to make distinctions among books regarding authenticity and authority. This would safeguard the Christians from false teachers, distinguish which writings could be used in corporate worship, and help to show which writings were truly apostolic.[48]

The most widely know extant work of Irenaeus’ is his Against Heresies, with the title making clear the purpose. Written circa A.D. 185, this work is a magisterial polemic and is highly useful in considering the formation of a set of criteria for canonicity.[49] Indeed, with Irenaeus it even becomes clear that his use of the word graphe is done in a developed and technical sense in that both it’s singular and plural forms are used solely to refer to authoritative Scripture.[50] Let us first begin by surveying one criteria of canonicity that Irenaeus makes clear that has not been as developed by earlier Fathers, that of orthodoxy.

Since, therefore, the entire Scriptures, the prophets, and the Gospels, can be clearly, unambiguously, and harmoniously understood by all, although all do not believe them; and since they proclaim that one only God, to the exclusion of all others, formed all things by His word…those persons will seem truly foolish who blind their eyes to such a clear demonstration, and will not behold the light of the announcement…[51]

Clearly writing in response to heretical teachers, Irenaeus now finds a need to determine the authority of writings by the orthodoxy of their content, specifically that they all “proclaim that one only God….formed all things by His word.” This should not be understood to be his highest form of criteria, but rather the orthodoxy of teaching is labeled as such because it is in continuity with apostolic teaching and the “rule of faith” which had by this time emerged.[52] Thus orthodoxy is assumed under a form of apostolicity, namely the content of apostolic teaching.

Inspiration as a doctrine is also developed more fully by Irenaeus than by those prior to him. In Against Heresies inspiration is sometimes assumed to be by itself adequate criteria for the authority of a teaching or writing.[53] More often however, inspiration and apostolicity are closely linked together in regard to New Testament writings, with the apostles being understood to carry the authoritative, divinely-inspired weight in their writing and teaching. In this vein Irenaeus explains that the apostles did not write anything until after Pentecost because they waited to receive the Spirit first.[54] This tying in of inspiration with apostolicity helped objectively ensure that a writing was inspired.

While inspiration and content are important criteria for Irenaeus, it once again becomes clear that for him the most important criteria is apostolicity. Indeed, at the risk of oversimplification, one author goes so far as to say that “for Irenaeus, the criterion of canonicity is the apostolic character of the writings.”[55] This is undoubtedly his most important criteria however, as it was the most sure way to preserve sound doctrine and to safeguard the church against false teaching.[56] To establish this we will briefly examine two quotes,

We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation…which [the apostles] did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith.[57]

Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings?”58]

In the first quote the primacy of apostolicity for Irenaeus becomes clear. The plan of salvation was learned from the apostles, whose writings alone are the trustworthy sources of this knowledge. In the second quote we get a fascinating glimpse into the reasons behind this primacy of the apostolate. Here Irenaeus shows the necessity of having clearly distinguished authoritative writings to go to in order to settling theological disputes, which would also in turn have helped to protect against heresy.[59] Overall, Irenaeus has a well-developed doctrine of Scripture, along with a forming consciousness of the need for a canon.[60] While he includes criteria such as we have seen in inspiration and content, as well as antiquity and authenticity of authorship,[61] it is clear that for him apostolicity is the most certain and important factor in determining authority over and against spurious writings.

Conclusion

As can be seen from this brief survey, the criteria used by the Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus for distinguishing authoritative from non-authoritative teachings is by no means monolithic. However, it is clear that while they each used different criteria in nuanced ways, apostolicity was ultimately central for them and thus all other criteria could be seen as assumed under it. Though writing to different audiences at different times, combating false teaching and heresy was a common concern for these writers, and ensuring that a teaching had apostolic authority was the most surefire way for them to safeguard and promote sound teaching.

 

Bibliography

Primary Sources

Lightfoot, J. B., J. R. Harmer, and Michael W. Holmes, eds. The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations of Their Writings. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Pub Group, 1992.

Roberts, Alexander, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, eds. Ante Nicene Fathers, Volume 1: Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus. Grand Rapids: MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1950.

Secondary Sources

Abraham, William J. Canon and Criterion in Christian Theology: From the Fathers to Feminism. New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2002.

 Allert, Craig D. A High View of Scripture?: the Authority of the Bible and the Formation of the New Testament Canon. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2007.

Bruce, F.F. The Canon of Scripture. Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic, 1988.

von Campenhausen, Hans. The Formation of the Christian Bible. Translated by J.A. Baker. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1972.

Cosgrove, Charles H. “Justin Martyr and the Emerging Christian Canon: Observations On the Purpose and Destination of the Dialogue with Trypho.” Vigiliae Christianae 36, no. 3 (Sep., 1982): 209-32. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1583381 (accessed December 7, 2011).

Farkasfalvy, William R. Farmer & Denis M. The Formation of the New Testament Canon: an Ecumenical Approach. Edited by Harold W. Attridge. New York: Paulist Pr, 1983.

Hahneman, Geoffrey Mark. The Muratorian Fragment and the Development of the Canon. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA, 1992.

Steenberg, M.C. 2009. “Irenaeus on Scripture, graphe, and the status of Hermas.” St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 53, no.1 (Jan., 2009): 29-66. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed December 7, 2011).


[1] Craig D. Allert, A High View of Scripture?: the Authority of the Bible and the Formation of the New Testament Canon (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2007), 52-55. See also Bruce who adds antiquity: F.F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic, 1988), 261-268.

[2] This need not be directly from an apostle but was rather often understood to be from an apostle or any person with direct approval of one. For example, see Luke’s associated with Paul: Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson and A. Cleveland Coxe, eds., Ante Nicene Fathers, Volume 1: Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus (Grand Rapids: MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1950), 438.

[3] While the term “canon” is a disputed one, it will be used hereafter to refer not to a closed corpus of writings, but rather in the sense of an authoritative set of writings which may or may not have been viewed as closed.

[4] For a comprehensive overview of such lists see Geoffrey Mark Hahneman, The Muratorian Fragment and the Development of the Canon (Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA, 1992), 78-79, 84-85.

[5] Hans von Campenhausen, The Formation of the Christian Bible, trans. J.A. Baker (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1972), 37.

[6] This list is taken from William R. Farmer & Denis M. Farkasfalvy, The Formation of the New Testament Canon: an Ecumenical Approach (New York: Paulist Pr, 1983), 149-150.

[7] William J. Abraham, Canon and Criterion in Christian Theology: From the Fathers to Feminism (New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2002), 32. See also Bruce, The Canon of Scripture, 32.

[8] Lk 24:44, Jn 10:35, Matt 5:17-19. Cf. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture, 255.

[9] Abraham, Canon and Criterion in Christian Theology: From the Fathers to Feminism, 32.

[10] 1 Jn 4:2, Gal 1:6-9.

[11] 2 Tim 3:15-17, 2 Pet 1:20-21.

[12] Jn 14:26, 16:13.

[13] “[The] appeal throughout the Appocalypse is not to apostolic authority but to prophetic inspiration.”  Bruce, The Canon of Scripture, 265.

14 Farmer & Farkasfalvy, The Formation of the New Testament Canon: an Ecumenical Approach, 111. Cf. Rom 1:1-2, 1 Cor 14:37, 1 Thess 2:13-15.

[15] Farmer & Farkasfalvy, The Formation of the New Testament Canon: an Ecumenical Approach, 123.

[16] Hahneman, The Muratorian Fragment and the Development of the Canon, 95.

[17] While there are differing levels of authority that are important to differentiate between, this survey will focus on teaching clearly labeled on par with the Old Testament. For a survey of levels of authority see Allert, A High View of Scripture?: the Authority of the Bible and the Formation of the New Testament Canon, 42.

[18] J. B. Lightfoot, J. R. Harmer and Michael W. Holmes, eds., The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations of Their Writings, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Pub Group, 1992), 23-25. Cf. 1 Corinthians.

[19] 1 Clem 13.1-3, 45.2-3.

[20] 1 Clem 63.2.

[21] 1 Clem 13.1.

[22] 1 Clem 45.2.

[23] 1 Clem 47.1-3. Cf. Campenhausen, The Formation of the Christian Bible, 143-144.

[24] Bruce, The Canon of Scripture, 266.

[25] Farmer & Farkasfalvy, The Formation of the New Testament Canon: an Ecumenical Approach, 126.

[26] Lightfoot, Harmer and Holmes, eds., The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations of Their Writings, 129-132.

[27] Ignatius, To the Romans, 8.2. Cf. also the fascinating Ignatius, To the Philadelphians, 8.2.

[28] Igantius, To the Philadelphians, 5.1-2.

[29] For example, Polycarp, To the Philippians, 6.3. Irenaeus Against Heresies 1.8.1, 2.30.9, 3.17.4.

[30] Lightfoot, Harmer and Holmes, eds., The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations of Their Writings, 556.

[31] “I will not hesitate to set down for you, along with my interpretations, everything I carefully learned them from the elders and carefully remembered, guaranteeing their truth. For unlike most people I did not enjoy those who have a great deal to say, but those who teach the truth. Nor did I enjoy those who recall someone else’s commandments, but those who remember the commandments given by the Lord to the faith and proceeding from the truth itself. (4) And if by chance someone who had been a follower of the elders should come my way, I inquired about the words of the elders–what Andrew or Peter said, or Philip, or Thomas or James, or John or Matthew or any other of the Lord’s disciples, and whatever Aristion and the elder John, the Lord’s disciples, were saying. For I did not think that information from books would profit me as much as information from a living and abiding voice.” The Fragments of Papias, 3.3.

[32] For other quotes attesting to the importance of apostolicity in the Apostolic Fathers see 2 Clement 4.2; Ignatius, To the Magnesians, 13.1; Ignatius, To the Romans, 4.3; Polycarp, To the Philippians, 3.2; also in the Didache “the author sees no better way of settling such questions than by means of written documents of apostolic origin.” Farmer & Farkasfalvy, The Formation of the New Testament Canon: an Ecumenical Approach, 130.

[33] Campenhausen, The Formation of the Christian Bible, 88.

[34] Farmer & Farkasfalvy, The Formation of the New Testament Canon: an Ecumenical Approach, 123, 141.

[35] Roberts, Donaldson and Coxe, eds., Ante Nicene Fathers, Volume 1: Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, 160.

[36] Charles H. Cosgrove, “Justin Martyr and the Emerging Christian Canon: Observations On the Purpose and Destination of the Dialogue with Trypho,” Vigiliae Christianae 36, no. 3 (Sep., 1982): 210, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1583381 (accessed December 7, 2011).

[37] Ibid., 211.

[38] Roberts, Donaldson and Coxe, eds., Ante Nicene Fathers, Volume 1: Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, 163-164.

[39] Ibid., 186.

[40] Farmer & Farkasfalvy, The Formation of the New Testament Canon: an Ecumenical Approach, 141-142.

[41] Cosgrove, “Justin Martyr and the Emerging Christian Canon: Observations On the Purpose and Destination of the Dialogue with Trypho,” 211-225.

[42] Ibid., 221.

[43] Farmer & Farkasfalvy, The Formation of the New Testament Canon: an Ecumenical Approach, 65.

[44] Roberts, Donaldson and Coxe, eds., Ante Nicene Fathers, Volume 1: Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, 259.

[45] Cf. Dialogue With Trypho, Ch. 65, 100.

[46] Campenhausen, The Formation of the Christian Bible, 182.

[47] Farmer & Farkasfalvy, The Formation of the New Testament Canon: an Ecumenical Approach, 47.

[48] Ibid., 47-48. Cf. M.C. Steenberg, “Irenaeus on Scripture, graphe, and the status of Hermas,” St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 53, no.1 (Jan., 2009): 31. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed December 7, 2011).

[49] Roberts, Donaldson and Coxe, eds., Ante Nicene Fathers, Volume 1: Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, 312.

[50] Steenberg, “Irenaeus on Scripture, graphe, and the status of Hermas,” 35-36.

[51] Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 2.27.2.

[52] Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1.10.1-1.10.2.

[53] Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 2.28.2.

[54] Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3.1.1, 3.21.4.

[55] Farmer & Farkasfalvy, The Formation of the New Testament Canon: an Ecumenical Approach, 147-148.

[56] Allert, A High View of Scripture?: the Authority of the Bible and the Formation of the New Testament Canon, 53.

[57] Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3.1.1.

[58] Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3.4.1.

[59] Cf. Ireneaus, Against Heresies, 1.8.1, 1.20.1.

[60] Bruce, The Canon of Scripture, 177.

[61] Cf. Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3.11.9, 1.20.1.

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One thought on “To start with a bang (or a flop)

  1. bang bang shabang.

    [ie, no flop]

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