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  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: May 2013

17 - The New Testament canon

from Part III - The New Testament


The formation of the canon of the Gospels took only a relatively short time and was basically settled by the end of the second century, but the scanty evidence that has been preserved about it shows that it was quite a turbulent history. Marcion, a native of Pontus who had established himself in Rome, went for the more radical option and kept to only one gospel, that of Luke. It was a logical decision when taking into account that this could be considered as the Pauline Gospel. Paul was the second pillar of Marcion's New Testament and indeed of his Bible as a whole, since he had also done away with Jewish scripture, which for him represented an old and now foregone covenant. The earliest stages of the reception of Paul's letters are clouded in darkness and whatever hypothesis is formulated in this respect must of necessity remain speculative.

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