History of the CanoN

First Five Books
Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible (Genesis-Deuteronomy), known as the Law, the Torah, or the Books of Moses.
Prophets and Writings
Over the next millennium, various authors wrote the rest of the Old Testament. These books were ultimately collected into two groups of books known as the Prophets and the Writings.
Greek Old Testament
A group of about 70 Jewish scholars translated the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament. It became the basis for many future translations of the Old Testament. It’s also the source text for numerous New Testament quotes of the Old Testament.
Many other Jewish writings were in circulation, known collectively as the Apocrypha, but these were not canonized by the Jews. While often read by Christians, these books were never quoted as Scripture by Jesus.
Hebrew Scriptures
By Jesus’ time, all of our current Old Testament was compiled in a collection and known as the Hebrew Scriptures (e.g., Luke 24:45), commonly referred to as the Law, Prophets, and Writings/Psalms (e.g., Luke 24:44).
New Testament Books
All 27 books of the New Testament were written over roughly 55 years. Most likely James was written first and Revelation, last.
Authority of NT Books
Various early church fathers like Polycarp (66-155), Irenaeus (130-202), Tertullian (160-220), and Origen (185-254) quote from, or authoritatively reference, most of the New Testament books.
The Muratorian Fragment
The Muratorian Fragment lists 23 of the current 27 books of the New Testament as canonical.
Four Great Codices
The “four great codices” were produced—Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Alexandrinus, and Codex Ephraemi—which serve as the oldest existing manuscripts to contain the entire Bible.
27 Books Affirmed by Athanasius
In his Easter letter, the bishop of Alexandria, Athanasius (296-373), listed the official 27 books of the New Testament recognized by the Eastern church. In it he also condemned the use of Apocryphal books.
66 Books Affirmed
The Synod of Rome confirmed the 66 books of the Bible as canon for the Western church.
The Vulgate
Early church father Jerome (347-420) completed the Latin translation of the Bible, known as the Vulgate (updating the Old Latin Vetus Latina), a translation that dominated Western Christianity for over 1000 years and remained the official Catholic translation of the Bible until the 1960s.
The Gothic Bible
The missionary Ulfilas translated the Gothic Bible, using a Gothic alphabet he created (311-383). This was one of the first Bible translations used specifically for missionary endeavors.
Canon Closed
The Council of Carthage confirmed the canon of Scripture for the entire Church as the 66 books in our present Bible, declaring the canon “closed,” meaning not open to the addition of new books.
Worldwide Translation
Various translations of the Bible appeared as Christianity continued to spread, including Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Old Nubian, and Classical Ethiopic. These translations are especially important as they show us which biblical books were considered canonical by different areas of the worldwide church.
Masoretic Text
Jewish scholars produced the authoritative Hebrew text of the Old Testament, known as the Masoretic Text. It served as the basis for the Old Testament translations of the King James Version (1611) and the American Standard Version (1901).
English Bible Translation
John Wycliffe (1330-1384) translated the Bible into Middle English, from the Latin Vulgate, for which he was executed by the Catholic Church.
Gutenberg Bible
Using the Latin Vulgate, the first Bible was printed (known as the Gutenberg Bible) using the new technology of Gutenberg’s printing press and revolutionizing Bible production, which previously had been painstakingly done by hand.
Greek New Testament
Dutch scholar Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466-1536) produced the Textus Receptus, a rendering of the Greek New Testament that was used as a foundation for most Protestant Bible translations including Tyndale’s English Bible (1526), Luther’s German New Testament (1522), and the Spanish Reina-Valera Bible (1602).
First Complete English Bible
Myles Coverdale (1488-1569) translated the first complete Bible into Modern English.
Apocrypha Added
At the Council of Trent, the Roman Catholic Church confirmed the inclusion of 7 Apocryphal books into its canon of Scripture, something that had been rejected earlier by Martin Luther in his complete German translation of the Bible in 1534, on the basis that Jesus never refers to them as sacred Scripture.
Geneva Bible
The Geneva Bible was published, complete with study notes and cross references, becoming the dominant English Bible translation of the 16th century, used by such famous people as William Shakespeare, John Bunyan (author of Pilgrim’s Progress) and Oliver Cromwell.
The KJV Bible
The King James Version of the Bible was completed. This translation dominated the English-speaking world for nearly four centuries.
Dead Sea Scrolls
Hundreds of ancient Jewish religious manuscripts, known as the Dead Sea Scrolls (dated 200 BC-100 AD), were discovered in a cave in the Judaean Desert. Containing copies of all the Old Testament books except Esther, these scrolls confirmed the accuracy of Old Testament transmission through the centuries.
New International Version
The first edition of the New International Version (NIV) of the English Bible was published. Today the NIV (revised 2011) is the world’s most popular version of the Bible.
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1 AD
Deuteronomy 29:29 CSB

The hidden things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and our children forever, so that we may follow all the words of this law.