The New Testament Of The Holy Bible Essay example

1635 Words Nov 17th, 2015 7 Pages
The New Testament of the Holy Bible is a collection of twenty-seven writings that have been deemed as canon by the early church. The term canon comes from the Greek word kanṓn representing a carpenter’s rule. The current list of books first appeared in a festal letter from Athanasius, the bishop of Alexandria, in 367. Athanasius wrote this letter in an attempt to clarify the true writings that defined the true message to the Christians of his period. Other Christian schools and sects followed different ideas of what the teachings of Christ meant. Athanasius’ list defining biblical canon did not appear suddenly. Rather, the list was the result of the deliberations of the Church that occurred over a couple hundred years. Various individuals and groups of the time caused these deliberations by the Church.
One of the first sects opposed to traditional Christian biblical canon was Gnosticism. There did not exist a single form of Gnosticism, but different factions emerged based on various scholars. Gnostic sects shared in common the belief that the soul was eternal and was trapped in a physical body. A Gnostic gains salvation by receiving special knowledge of the origin and destiny of the soul. The Church attempted to discredit Gnosticism, but it was not easy. Individual texts accepted by the Church as part of the Bible gave the Gnostic beliefs credibility. Mark 9:9 and Acts 1:3 are typical examples of this type of text. In Mark 9:9, Jesus instructs Peter, James, and John not to…

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