Canon (N.T.)

“19And I will give you THE KEYS of the Kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”(Matthew 16:19).

The New Testament CANON was written, collected, and certified by the apostles before they died or were raptured in AD 66. The CANON was given by the Holy Spirit.  The apostles were the only ones who had direct eyewitness experience with Christ.  Peter was the only one who had the authority from Christ to select the CANON.  They completed the gospel message and all that Jesus had commanded them before the end of the Jewish Old Covenant age in AD 70.

Apostle Peter quoted what Moses said – that God would raise up a Prophet (Christ), who would speak God’s words.  God confirmed this to the apostles when He ordered them to listen to Him.  Christ spoke and the apostles, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote what He said.

“22For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet (Christ) like me from your brethren. HIM YOU SHALL HEAR in all things, WHATEVER HE SAYS to you.’” (Acts 3:22).

Christ connected the Old and New Testament Scriptures together when He said to the Jews:46For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47But if you do not believe HIS WRITINGS, how will you believe MY WORDS?” (John 5:46- 47).  The Christian Bible is not complete without both the Old and New Testament Scriptures.

Jesus spoke to His disciples and told them that the city of Jerusalem and the temple would be destroyed in their generation.  He said that not one stone would be left upon another.  He said that the Old Heavens and Earth cosmological order and Old Covenant Jewish religious system would pass away in their lifetime, but His words would never pass away.

“34Assuredly, I say to you, THIS GENERATION will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35Heaven and earth will pass away, BUT MY WORDS WILL BY NO MEANS PASS AWAY.” (Matt. 24:34-35).

The Holy Spirit guided the apostles when they wrote and approved the books and letters in the New Testament.  He caused them to remember what Christ had said to them.  The apostles received direct revelation from the Lord. He told them all that the Father told Him to make known to them.  The apostles were chosen by God and their authority was given to them by God. (John 15:15-16; Rom. 1:5).

26But the Helper, the HOLY SPIRIT, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to YOUR REMEMBRANCE all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26).

4 But these things I HAVE TOLD YOU, that when the time comes, you may REMEMBER that I told you of them.  And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.” (John 16:4).

11But I (Paul) make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to mail.  12For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but IT CAME THROUGH THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST.” (Gal. 1:11-12).

Jesus specifically gave the authority to select the New Testament books to the apostle Peter.  Jesus said that He gave the “keys” of the Kingdom of heaven (New Covenant truths) to Peter.  This included the authority to bind (select) and loose (reject) all canonical writings before AD 70.  Peter selected the books and letters that were included in the New Testament CANON.

18And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will BUILD MY CHURCH, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.  19And I will give you THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, and whatever you BIND on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you LOOSE on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matt. 16:18-19).

All of the New Testament books were written before Peter’s death in early AD 65.  This was right after his second epistle 2nd-Peter was written in late-AD 64.  Paul wrote that the gospel had already been taught to all nations. (Acts 2:5-12; Col. 1:6, 23).  Peter recognized the inspired writings of John, Paul, Peter, plus the two half-brothers of Jesus: James and Jude.  He approved the four Gospels and Acts. They were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Hebrews was probably written by Paul.  Peter specifically bound Paul’s fourteen epistles.  Peter said that ALL, not some, of Paul’s epistles were the same as the REST OF THE SCRIPTURES. (2 Pet. 3:15-16).

All of the twenty seven New Testament books were acknowledged and selected by Peter as the New Testament CANON.  The apostles authorized all these books to be copied and circulated among all the churches.  This has been called: “APOSTOLIC CANONIZATION.”  There were probably not very many churches in the first century who had copies of ALL twenty seven books of the N.T. CANON.  Those who did were undoubtedly the larger churches, such as: Jerusalem, Rome, Antioch, Alexandria, and perhaps a few others.

The certification of these particular books was an application of the apostolic authority to bind or loose the New Testament CANON.  The Lord approved them as the CANON and bound them in heaven.  Just prior to his martyrdom, Peter ensured the believers that he would leave them the New Testament CANON as a reminder of the gospel and Christ’s teachings.

15Moreover I (Peter) will be careful to ENSURE that you always have a reminder (New Testament Canon) of these things after my decease.(2 Pet. 1:15).

DATING N.T. CANON BOOKS by Edward E. Stevens – 2/10/2022 
MATTHEWbefore AD 49 cir. AD 36-37REVELATIONAD 62
MARKcir. AD 38-44EPHESIANSAD 62-63
GALATIANSAD 51-52COLOSSIANSAD 62-63
1 THESS.AD 51-52PHILEMONAD 62-63
2 THESS.AD 51-52PHILIPPIANSAD 62-63
1 COR.AD 57HEBREWSAD 62-63
2 COR.AD 57TITUSmid-AD 63
ROMANSAD 581 TIMOTHYmid-AD 63
JOHNAD 58-601 PETERmid-AD 63
1,2,3 JOHNAD 60-612 TIMOTHYlate-AD 63
LUKEAD 61-62JUDElate-AD 64
ACTSAD 61-622 PETERlate-AD 64
JAMESAD 61-62  

[Also see: Bible (How can we trust the Bible to be completely true?)]

[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 16 Lesson 1 Rev. Dating, Intro Chapters 1 thru 4]