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136 of 143 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great analysis on a difficult issue, June 10, 2000
This review is from: The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance (Paperback)
This book was written by Bruce Metzger; one of the most respected Greek scholars of our modern day. While coming from a conservative viewpoint, Metzger is respected by scholars from all theological backgrounds. After reading "The Canon of the New Testament" I can understand why this man is so admired for his work. He devotes a very small portion of the book giving his opinion. Instead, he lays all of the facts on the table in such a compelling way as to almost force the reader to his conclusion before he even gives it.
The first section contains a brief overview of other literature that has been written on the topic of the New Testament (NT) canon.
The second section is where we are given all of the information regarding the development of the NT canon. Metzger examines the authority given by the apostolic fathers to the various NT books. He then proceeds to what I consider to be the most interesting part of the book - the influence of "heretics" on the development of the NT. Metzger demonstrates the fact that some NT books were already recognized as authoritative early in the second century because the orthodox and heretical writers of this time tried using passages of certain books to support their arguments.
This book goes a long way toward refuting those who think the NT canon was arbitrarily selected by church councils of the fourth century. Metzger clearly shows how nearly all of the NT books were recognized as authoritative from as early as can be historically detected.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 24, 2009 4:01:39 PM PDT
J. Michael says:
"This book goes a long way toward refuting those who think the NT canon was arbitrarily selected by church councils of the fourth century. Metzger clearly shows how nearly all of the NT books were recognized as authoritative from as early as can be historically detected."

No, the books weren't selected "arbitrarily," but nor were they regarded as "authoritative from as early as can be historically detected." Metzger's book shows the human process involved in selecting the books over the course of centuries. If you believe the Holy Spirit guided the Church's decisions, then that fact is no problem. If you need to believe that the Church is a mere human institution, then history will be at odds with your beliefs.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2010 8:24:49 AM PDT
M. Williams says:
J Michael wrote "

"No, the books weren't selected "arbitrarily," but nor were they regarded as "authoritative from as early as can be historically detected."

You are overlooking some intrinsic evidence, that is, even Peter viewed Luke and Paul's writings as authoritative, (2Peter 3:16). Also, externally, and as early of 120 AD Patrists viewed the Gospels and the General Letters as authoritative as the OT. You can do the research yourself. Also, pick up a copy of B.F. Westcott's treatise on the subject, e.g. "A General Survey of the The History of the Canon of the New Testament". This will get you on your way I'm sure. You're logic is quite flawed. You will learn a great deal with the simple opening of your mind to structured reason with the application of historical documentation. I think you will then be on you way to a measured truth. Otherwise, you'll still be caught up in the ridiculous Bart Ehrman cult of fantastical myth.

Posted on May 24, 2010 5:10:26 PM PDT
Someone talk about a trilogy: this book, The Text of the New Testament, and...? Which is the third?
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