Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Canon # 4

In proto-orthodox circles it was not Jesus’ secret teachings but those found in apostolic authorities that were seen as authoritative. And just as important as his teachings were the events of his life. Accounts of Jesus’ life – his words and deeds, his death and resurrection – were eventually placed in circulation and accepted as sacred scripture, at least as authoritative for most proto-orthodox Christians as the texts of the Jewish Bible.[1]

Probably ever Christian group of the second and third centuries ascribed authority to written texts, and each group came to locate that “authority” in the status of the “author” of the text. These authors were thought to be closely connected to the ultimate authority, Jesus himself, who was understood to represent God.[2]

[1] Ehrman, Lost Christianities, pg. 233
[2] Ehrman, Lost Christianities, pg. 234

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