What is The New Testament?
Discover the books of The New Testament. But first, learn the different ways Christians, Jews, and critical scholars view this ancient library.
The below canonical lists represent the most well-known and widely recognized Old Testament canons within Judaism and Christianity.
Marcion's Canon (c. 140 AD): Marcion, an early Christian theologian, compiled a limited canon that included only a modified version of the Gospel of Luke and ten of Paul's letters. He rejected the Old Testament entirely, as well as other New Testament writings. His views were considered heretical and eventually led to his excommunication.
Muratorian Fragment (c. 170-200 AD): This is the oldest known list of New Testament books, although it is incomplete due to its fragmentary nature. The surviving portion of the list includes the four Gospels, Acts, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Galatians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Romans, Philemon, Titus, 1 & 2 Timothy, 1 & 2 John, Jude, and Revelation. The fragment also mentions the Apocalypse of Peter and the Wisdom of Solomon, although it is unclear if these texts were considered canonical.
Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 260-340 AD): In his work "Ecclesiastical History," Eusebius divided the New Testament writings into three categories: universally accepted books, disputed books, and rejected books. The universally accepted books included the four Gospels, Acts, Paul's letters, 1 John, 1 Peter, and Revelation. The disputed books included Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 & 3 John, and Jude. Rejected books, considered heretical, included the Gospel of Peter, the Gospel of Thomas, and the Acts of Paul.
Athanasius of Alexandria (c. 296-373 AD): In his 39th Festal Letter (367 AD), Athanasius provided a list of the 27 books now considered the New Testament canon, marking the first time this specific collection of books was explicitly identified.
Councils of Hippo (393 AD) and Carthage (397 AD): These councils, attended by Augustine of Hippo, confirmed the 27-book canon that Athanasius proposed, which has since been accepted by most Christian denominations.
Eastern Orthodox Canon: While the Eastern Orthodox Church agrees on the 27 books of the New Testament, there has been some debate historically over the inclusion of Revelation. However, in modern times, Revelation is generally accepted as part of the Eastern Orthodox New Testament canon.