10 Misconceptions about the NT Canon: #1: “The Term ‘Canon’ Can Only Refer to a Fixed, Closed List of Books”

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

Graham Stanton has correctly observed, “In discussions of the emergence of the canon, whether of the Old or the New Testament writings, definitions are all important, and the devil is in the detail.”[1] Indeed, one’s definition of canon drives one’s historical conclusions about canon–particularly regarding its date.  And precisely for this reason, there has always been a vigorous debate amongst scholars over what we mean by the term “canon.”

However, in recent years, that debate has taken an interesting turn.  One particular definition of canon has begun to emerge as the dominant one.  In fact, …

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New Blog Series:10 Common Misconceptions About the NT Canon

Over the next month or so I plan to write a new blog series on 10 common misconceptions (or misunderstandings) about the origins and development of the NT Canon.   These are misconceptions that are not only held by the average layman, but are often shared by those in the academic community as well.

It is always difficult to know how such misunderstandings develop and are promulgated.   Sometimes they are just ideas that are repeated so often that no one bothers (anymore) to see if they have merit.  In other cases, these ideas have been promoted through popular presentations of the canon’s origins (e.g., The Da Vinci Code).  And in …

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