On a closed thread, the question was raised about the 66-book canon of our Bibles. This question was raised because I was asking for evidence supporting One-Versionism, and was receiving only opinion & guesswork for answers. A member said there's no Scriptural proof for the 66-book canon, & wanted to know why we accepted it, but not some other ascriptural doctrines. Although the two subjects in comparison are same as comparing apples & oranges, I believe the canon & how it was arrived at need discussion. As the Apostles died, there arose a need to keep their messages in fronta the people, so more & more writings were employed. This led to a mass of articles being used in various churches. The first writings recognized as NT Scripture were the Gospels & the Pauline epistles. Thus, the recorded words of Christ, His Gospel message, and the general tenets of Christian living were kept in the churches as the oral transmissions by associates of the Apostles began to die out. It appears that the first individual to attempt to form a canon was Marcion. He pointed out that oral transmission was easily changed or forgotten in part & was therefore unreliable. However, Marcion was a heretic, believing the God of the OT was a different God than He who is Father of Jesus. And he accepted only the Gospel of Luke and ten Pauline letters as Scripture. Marcion was against all things Jewish because he believed that the Jews had "judaized" mosta the other religious writings then in use. maing them non-valid. (Evidently he forgot that Paul was a Jew!) Justin Martyr used all four Gospels, calling them "the four canonical gospels". Iraneaus included not only the Gospels, but also included Acts, as he reasoned it was nonsensical to include Luke's Gospel in the canon, but not his letter of Acts. By about 200 AD, the canon included all the present books with the exceptions of hebrews, Philemon, 1 & 2 Peter, the 3 books of John, Jude, & Revelation. The Montanist movement led to the rejection of some books which had been accepted by some churches. Like him or not, Origen was largely responsible (humanly speaking) for getting the Book of hebrews accepted in the East. Eastern acceptance led to Western acceptance. The first mention of the present Protestant canon was seen in Athanasius' Easter Letter, written C. 367(?) The first Council of Hippo(390s AD), a meeting of Catholic African bishops, was the first time a group of prominent chruch officials agreed upon the present canon. As the RCC leadership became corrupt, some individuals and "councils" tried to change the canon unsuccessfully. And there have been splinter groups as well as the main body of the RCC who have adopted their own canons to this day. Some of the criteria used (humanly speaking) to determine the canon were: 1.) Written by an Apostle. (Of course, some of the writings by the Apostles have never been considered Scripture, such as Paul's 3rd letter to the Corinthians.) 2.) Used constantly in church meetings as an authority.(Some of the Apocrypha were thus oft-used, but not proclaimed as an authoritative writing) 3.) Not contradictory with any established Scriptures 4.) Antiquity...written during the Apostle's lifetime. Thus, it could be judged genuine. Each book had to have ALL these criteria to be judged Scripture. Thus, we see God has revealed His New Testament Scriptures over a span of about 300 years, as He revealed the OT over a period of some 1300 years. He began the NT with the Gospel, followed with tenets of everyday Christian living as Jesus gave them to Paul. Please do not hesitate me if I've made any error in history, as I merely typed from the toppa my head w/o any references. And please add anything you see I've left out. I'm having a server bogdown, I guess due to Christmas shopping, and cannot readily access any reference sites right now. But we see God's hand in the process, as He used even Marcion and Origen to help shape His canon. This is far different than the One-Versionism issue, as, while there's no Scripture specifically defining the canon, we DO see that all the Scriptural "books" fit together, supporting each other. The Apocrypha do NOT fit within the overall theme and story in Scripture, and almost all the other mss & writings used in early Christian churches are not extant now. YOUR thoughts on the canon?