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date: 24 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

A canon is a collection of sacred books. A rule of faith is a concise statement of Christian beliefs. The Hebrew (Jewish) canon (the Christian Old Testament) comprised three parts: the Law (five books), the Prophets (eight books), and the Writings (eleven books). The Septuagint or Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible is longer, by at least seven books. The earliest New Testament canon appeared before 200, and it was finalized c.400. The New Testament comprises the Gospel (4) and the Apostle (13 letters, or 14 with Hebrews). Luke added Acts to his Gospel and John the Presbyter wrote Revelation. Seven catholic epistles complete the canon. The rule of faith, prominent in Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian, guided the perception of orthodoxy, and theological thought, in the second and third centuries. Later the creeds (baptismal and conciliar) functioned as the rule of faith had earlier.

Keywords: canon of Scripture, rule of faith, Old Testament canon, Septuagint, New Testament canon, baptismal creed

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