What’s the Very First Time We See a NT Book Used as Scripture? My Article in the Festschrift for Stanley Porter

Few issues in the study of the NT canon have generated more discussion (and disagreement) than that of the canon’s date.  When were Christian writings first regarded as “Scripture”?  When was the first time we can see that happening?

For many modern scholars, the key time is the end of the second century.  Only then, largely due to the influence of Irenaeus, were these books first regarded as Scripture.

But, I think there is evidence that NT books were regarded as Scripture much earlier.  And some of this evidence is routinely overlooked.  A good example is the widely neglected text tucked away in 1 Tim 5:18:

For the Scripture says,

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Ten Basic Facts about the NT Canon that Every Christian Should Memorize: #4: “Some NT Writers Quote Other NT Writers as Scripture”

Note: This is the fourth installment of a new blog series announced here.

One of the most controversial issues in the study of the New Testament canon is the date when these books were regarded as Scripture.  When were these books first used as an authoritative guide for the church?   Critical scholars will argue that these books were not written to be Scripture and were not even used as Scripture until the end of the second century.

But one of the most basic facts that Christians should know is that some New Testament writers actually quote other New Testament writers as Scripture.  This demonstrates that the concept of a …

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