Who Chose the New Testament Books? Politics, Praxis, and Proof in the Early Church
“The fundamental irony of Christianity! The Bible, as we know it today, was collated by the pagan Roman emperor Constantine the Great.” So says Teabing, a character in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. While significantly flawed and historically fallacious, Dan Brown’s myth is common in the popular imagination: the Christian bible was formed through the manipulation and power-plays of the fourth century institutional church. In this article, Charles Hill offers the faithful Christian a solid grounding for understanding the origins and formation of the Christian scriptures that we call the New Testament. Beyond power-players or mere functionality, the early church recognized the Word of God as divinely and providentially intended, and their own place in the process as receiving, or inheriting, what God had willed to bring about.
Charles Hill (PhD, Cambridge University) serves as Professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando). He teaches core courses on Hebrews-Revelation and New Testament Greek. Dr. Hill has significant research interest in the Johannine Corpus. He also has researched and written extensively on several issues related to the early church fathers, especially early Christian views of the end times, the canon of the New Testament, and the traditions of New Testament manuscripts. Dr. Hill’s most recent publications include Who Chose the Gospels? Probing the Great Gospel Conspiracy (Oxford University Press, 2010) and The Early Text of the New Testament (Oxford University Press, 2012), edited with RTS Professor Michael J. Kruger.