The Making of a Canon: Impact of the Old Testament Scriptures in the Christian Canon Development
International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Volume 80, 2018
15 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2018
Date Written: January 31, 2018
The formation of the Christian canon was not a one day venture. Some scholars maintain it spanned from the first up to about the fourth centuries. This paper has three main parts: the first draws a linear process of canon generation, beginning from text to scripture and possibly becoming canonical. The second focuses on the creation of the Christian canon by exploring the stages and the implications of naming the canon as `Testaments`. At the heart of the study is a consideration of the use and inclusion or exclusion of the Jewish scripture by Christians as discussed by a heretic (Marcion) and three Anti-heretics (Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and Tertullian) in the 2nd and/or 3rd centuries of the Roman Empire. The third part takes an example of a modern church (Church of Christ) whose reception to the Old Testament is one of skepticism. Furthermore, the level of usage of the Old Testament by the Church of Christ is key for the thesis of this paper. It is, therefore, important to assess a possible relationship between Marcion and the Church of Christ. Historical, theological and an interview are employed to explore these developments. The paper concludes that by the naming of the Christian canon and inclusion of the Jewish scriptures, the Christian identity can be described as Judeo-Christian. This description has impacted Christian formation and development a great deal from antiquity to the modern era. Marcion and his followers did not take this lightly in the first four centuries of the Christian history. On the other hand, in the nineteenth century the Church of Christ seemingly follows this example in antiquity on including the Old Testament as part of the Christian canon.
Keywords: Church of Christ, Tertullian, Irenaeus, Marcion, Old Testament
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