Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
a reasonable faith as to the New Testament's coming from the hands of the inspired Apostles. Hence if he cannot trace in every detail the extra-Biblical facts demanded by the skeptic as proof for the canonicity of every New Testament book, he has enough proof to satisfy a reasonable faith built upon the basis of a faith-satisfying knowledge. For, as will be brought out later in our discussions, God gives faith a reasonable foundation in knowledge of the genuineness, authenticity and credibility of the Bible in both of its parts. Hence faith so based is not distressed when in some details sight is denied on the matter of the canonicity of every New Testament book.
There are good reasons to account for the fact that in all details we cannot trace every New Testament book to its writer by contemporaneous and nearly contemporaneous extra-Biblical historical facts. These reasons are especially threefold: (1) the destruction of most of the extra-Biblical Christian literature prior to 170 A. D.; (2) the paucity of what has survived; and (3) the preoccupation of Christian writers living in that period with other matters. A few explanations will clarify these three thoughts. As to the first point there are many names of Christian writers of this period handed down to us of whose writings nothing remains, which means that the wantonness of enemies and the ravages of time have done away with many of these. The Church historian, Eusebius, who flourished in the first half of the fourth century mentions many of these. Among such are Hegesippus (who flourished about 140 A. D. and who was the first of Church historians), Papias (who flourished about 125 A. D. and whose special field was to gather into book form the extra-canonical sayings of our Lord as these were reported by the Apostles to their immediate disciples, a work especially fruitful on the point under consideration, since the contrasts that such a book would make between the four Gospels and the Acts on the one hand, and such extra-canonical sayings on the
other hand, would make mention of just what we here desire as witnesses), Quadratus (about 125 A. D.), Claudius Apollinarius, bishop of Hierapolis, Miltiades of Athens (both about 170 A. D.) and Melito of Sardis (about 170 A. D.), all four of whom were apologists. Contemporary literary opponents of Marcion (who, 144-150 A. D., compiled a Gospel from our four Gospels and other sources, who falsified ten of Paul's epistles and rejected other books of the New Testament) doubtless gave fine evidence on the canonical books useful for our present purpose, but their writings are all lost. Thus by the loss of these and many other Christian writings we have lost many testimonies on the canonicity of New Testament books.
Again, the paucity of the Christian literature that has survived from the post-apostolic period under study precludes our having much on the canon written during this period. This will appear from the following: All of the extant Christian literature produced from the time of the death of the last Apostle, John, about 100 A. D., until about 220 A. D., is published in 10-point solid type (the size of the type with which this is printed), in less than 2400 pages averaging a depth of 7¼" and a width of 5⅜". Considering the large amount of subjects treated in this small literature, it is naturally to be expected that comparatively little of it would be devoted to the matter of canonicity, especially so because the period was so near the time of the Apostles, hence did not allow room for much doubt on the Apostolic origin of the New Testament, and hence would afford small occasion to discuss the question of the canon. And, finally, the character of the writings that have survived proves that for the most part little occasion arose to discuss the canonicity of the New Testament books. Most of the writings of those times that have come down to us are controversial writings occasioned by the rise of various heresies, e.g., Gnosticism, Montanism and the Roman Church's date of the Passover. Because for the most part the
Gnostics accepted the books of the New Testament, and because all the Montanists and the disputants on the date of the Passover accepted the New Testament books, there was no occasion to discuss the question of the New Testament canon. The bulk of the rest of the literature extant from that period is of an apologetic and ethical character, which, again, afforded almost no occasion to discuss the New Testament canon. The need of defending the doctrines of the New Testament against heretics who professed to believe it, and the need of defending Christians by apologetic writers against persecuting emperors and their representatives gave Christian writers preoccupation with other subjects than writing on the New Testament canon. Hence there are comparatively few of such lines of thought in the writings extant from those days.
Thus the three reasons: the destruction of most of the post-apostolic age's writings, the paucity of what remains and the preoccupation of Christian writers on other subjects, prevented much to come down to us from the post-apostolic age dealing with the New Testament canon. Hence the insistence of skeptics on requiring conclusive contemporaneous and near-contemporaneous extra-Biblical historical testimony on each book of the New Testament, in the absence of which they will not accept it as canonical, is unfair to history and the circumstance of the case. Since skepticism is a quality of character, it is doubtful that if such evidence were on hand, they would accept it; rather this characteristic would move them to look around for some other excuse to reject what unbelief does not wish to accept. To the believer it is enough that the Lord has given us a fair degree of testimony from extra-Biblical and near-contemporary sources that the books of the New Testament are canonical, because the believer knows that the Bible teaches that there would be 27 such books, that it taught this before they were written, that the fact that it so teaches was not known until centuries after its 27 books were
recognized to be canonical, that God could be depended upon providentially to preserve the genuine 27 books of the New Testament, and cause His custodians for those books to receive and keep them as such separate and distinct from all other books, and that there are no more than those 27 ever accepted by all these custodians as canonical, i.e., as of the rule of faith.
We will now present an outline of the extra-Biblical evidence on the canonicity of the New Testament books, beginning with the evidence on hand from the fifty years' period, 170-220 A. D., thereafter tracing backward the testimony of the preceding 75 years, divided into smaller periods than that of 170-220 A. D. We begin with the testimony on the four Gospels. Irenaeus, whose special activities were from 170 to 203, as against the Gnostic Marcion's conglomeration gathered together from our four Gospels, made between 144 and 150 A. D., as against a fifth gospel made about 140 A. D. by the greatest of the Gnostics, Valentinian, called the Gospel of Truth, which Valentinian held as true along with our four Gospels, as against Alogians, who rejected John's Gospel because of his Logos teachings, and as against the exclusive use of Matthew or Mark as Gospels by certain sects, set forth our four Gospels as coming from Christ through four Apostles ("He gave us the Gospel in a fourfold form") and claimed that to disparage these four was a blasphemy against God and Christ. He and others of his contemporaries designated this fourfold form of the Gospel by the specific expression, The Gospel according to Matthew, according to Mark, according to Luke and according to John. That no other Gospels were used in the Church of that time is apparent from Tertullian's, Origen's and the Muratorian Canon's silence on such when citing from the books called the Gospels. The Muratorian Canon, which dates from 170 A. D., gives us a list of the New Testament books. Its beginning and also its ending have been lost. The fragment that we now have begins to enumerate with Luke's Gospel and reads
as follows: "Of the Gospels the third book [is] according to Luke." This wording implies that the lost part of this canon refers to Matthew's book as the first of the Gospels and Mark's book as the second of the Gospels. Then the canon goes on to call John's book the fourth of the Gospels. So here Luke's and John's Gospels are expressly enumerated as the third and fourth and by implication Matthew's and Mark's Gospels are enumerated as the first and second.
This, together with the enumeration of the rest of the New Testament books as in an annotated catalogue, implies that at least by 170 A. D. these books were gathered together in one volume. The only New Testament books not listed in this fragment are Hebrews, James and 2 Peter, which doubtless were listed in a part or in parts of the canon now lost. Clement of Alexandria, about 200 A. D., speaks of "the four Gospels delivered to us" and distinguishes between them and "certain so-called Gospels" that cannot, like the four, be used as binding proofs for Christians. From the time of Irenaeus on there is no mention of any except our four Gospels as being read in the meetings of the churches. The Alogians, who denied our Lord's pre-human existence, about 170 A. D. agreed that John was written in the time of the Apostle John, but they claimed that it was not written by the Apostle John but by Cerinthus, one of the first Gnostics. Tatian, 170-180, furnished the Church his Diatessaron (through the four, i.e., one Gospel interwoven from the four Gospels), which implies, of course, not only that these four Gospels were recognized as canonical before his times, but also that they were the only ones so recognized, else he would have used others in constructing his Diatessaron. Serapion, a bishop of Antioch, about 200 A. D. on finding that another than the four was read in certain churches of his diocese, after investigation into the matter forbade it on the ground that there were only four canonical Gospels. Origen, about 220, said the following: "The Church of God sanctions but four
Gospels." Accordingly, between 170 and 220 A. D. there were our four and only our four Gospels regarded in the Church as originating with Apostles.
As to St. Paul's epistles from 170 to 220 A. D.: Everywhere our 14 epistles bearing his name were accepted as coming from him, except in the Western Church the Epistle to the Hebrews, which there was not accepted as canonical, because it was not there generally believed to have come from Paul's pen. But everywhere in the Eastern Church it was accepted as canonical because "Divine." Two epistles falsely ascribed to St. Paul, that to the Laodiceans and that to the Alexandrians, were everywhere rejected as false, a thing, e.g., the Muratorian Canon expressly states, as do other writers of this period, though we know of no writer of that or an earlier period who claims them to be St. Paul's. During this period everywhere the Acts were ascribed to Luke as St. Paul's amanuensis. This is seen in the Muratorian Canon and in the writings of Irenaeus, Clement, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Origen, etc. The Muratorian fragment blames Marcion for rejecting it. It is in this canon placed as between John's Gospel and St. Paul's epistles. Revelation in this period has the strongest proofs for its place in the canon. Theophilus of Antioch (died 180 A. D.) and the Church at Lyons, France (Irenaeus' church), quote it as Holy Scripture. Irenaeus and the Muratorian Fragment do the same. Tertullian, 200 A. D., and Clement quote it under the name Apocalypse, the latter writing a commentary on it. Even the Montanists accepted it, while, as with the rest of John's writings, the Alogians (no-Logians) rejected it. Hippolytus (215 A. D.) wrote a refutation against attacks on its canonicity. The opinion was general from 170 to 220 A. D., and before, that this book was written in 95 A. D. and closed the New Testament canon.
As to the non-Pauline epistles of the New Testament: The parts of the Muratorian Canon that are extant enumerate five of them-all except James and
2 Peter. Doubtless these were enumerated in parts of the Muratorian Canon now lost. Everywhere 1 John, to which in the period under discussion his second and third epistles were united as a second, according to the Muratorian Fragment, was recognized. So do Irenaeus and Clement unite them. Among others, Clement wrote a commentary on the third; yea, he wrote a commentary on all seven of the non-Pauline epistles in the New Testament: James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2, 3 John and Jude. Origen blamed certain ones for being in doubt as to the canonicity of 2 and 3 John and called Jude Holy Scripture, as also did Tertullian. While James is not mentioned as canonical in the Western Church during this period, nothing there is said against its canonicity in the period under study.
Everywhere in the Oriental Church it was in this period accepted as canonical. 1 Peter was everywhere accepted in this period. Irenaeus repeatedly quotes it, so do Tertullian, Origen and Hippolytus, as Scripture, and Clement wrote a commentary on it. There is no evidence extant that 2 Peter was recognized as canonical by the Western Church before 350 A. D. Such silence does not disprove its canonicity; for it may have been referred to in Western writings before then now lost. The Eastern Church in this period accepted it as canonical; as can be recognized from Clement's commentary on it and Origen's use of it. Thus our investigation proves that from 170 to 220 A. D. there is, despite the three handicaps discussed above, strong extra-Biblical historical evidence for the canonicity of the whole New Testament, except for the epistles of James and 2 Peter, for which such evidence, though extant, is not so strong as that for the other 25 books of the New Testament in the period from 170 to 220 A. D. The old Syriac and Latin (Itala) translations of the New Testament date from about 170 A. D., and are a strong proof of the canonicity of the New Testament.
A few remarks on the foregoing will strengthen the evidence above presented. The manner in which the
above-mentioned and other Christian writers express themselves in favor of the New Testament books as against the heresies of the Gnostics, the Alogians and Marcion excludes the possibility that in the lifetimes of Irenaeus and Clement's teachers the use of the collected New Testament as canonical could have been introduced into the service of the churches of their days, i.e., as late as 140 A. D., let alone 170 A. D., and thus ended an alleged chaotic state in the churches as to what New Testament books were canonical. For that time, 140-170 A. D., there did not exist an organization of the Church that could successfully have introduced as something new so momentous a thing as a Divinely obligatory canon that allegedly displaced other books as non-canonical, as skeptical writers claim. The attempt so to do would have raised an unprecedented controversy, of which Church history gives not the slightest hint. This would have implied a general conspiracy, not only of all the leading bishops and all minor bishops, but also of practically all the rest of the clergy—an impossible thing to create, let alone that all traces of such an event be blotted out; for if the effort to change the date of the annual Passover from Nisan 14 to the date at present practiced in Christendom and the effort to introduce Montanism and Gnosticism led to great and widespread controversies, whose records stand indelibly written in Church history, certainly the attempt to displace certain books recognized as canonical by others not up to that time so recognized would not only have occasioned greater controversies than those just mentioned, but would have left indelible records thereon on the pages of Church history. But neither of these things exists—a certain proof that the pertinent allegations of skeptics are baseless. Under such a supposition it would be incomprehensible to explain why no questions were raised in some churches as to why in some churches James, Hebrews and 2 Peter were not, and in others were read as Scripture, even if the main churches had taken part in the alleged
conspiracy. Against this supposition the fact is conclusive, that, judging from the variant Scripture readings found in the Christian writings of about 200 A. D., there were already in 140-170 A. D. many variant readings in the New Testament—a thing against which the alleged conspirators would have guarded themselves, even as Marcion successfully counterfeited a New Testament strictly free from variant readings. Accordingly, the hypothesis that certain New Testament higher critics have invented, to the effect that by a conspiracy Christian leaders between 140 and 170 A. D. foisted the present New Testament on the whole Church as canonical and thereby suppressed other books previously widely recognized as canonical, falls to the ground as utterly discredited.
Having briefly set forth the historical proofs that 24 of the 27 New Testament books were universally received in the Church as canonical and that the other three were received by a large number of churches, but cannot be proven to have been accepted by all, during the period from 170 to 220 A. D., we now proceed to set forth briefly the proofs on our subject covering the period from 140 to 170 A. D. In this period we have some valuable testimony, both positive and negative, from heretics, as to the canon of the New Testament. First we cite the Gnostic Marcion, who left the Church in 144 A. D., formed a sect of his own and constructed his own New Testament from the four Gospels and ten of Paul's epistles. He thus divided his New Testament into two parts: a Gospel and an Apostolicon. These he modified, changed, added to and subtracted from, accordingly as the needs of his dogmatical position required. A Jew-baiter, he rejected entirely the Old Testament and all the Apostles except Paul, because they were "Jewish." He taught a theory in certain particulars like Concordant Versionism, which from its actual Gospel rejects everything "Jewish." Tertullian compared and contrasted Marcion's New Testament with the genuine one, verse by verse, when he exposed
its fraudulency. Ephraim (325 A. D.) did the same, so that his entire New Testament has been reconstructed. It is a strong tribute to the following facts: (1) that word for word he copied the wording of the four Gospels and ten of Paul's epistles, where they did not contradict his views; (2) that he made slight modifications in the wording to bring almost like thoughts into harmony with his views; (3) that he omitted whatever contradicted his views and could not be doctored so as to support his views; (4) that he added things not contained in the genuine New Testament in order to teach his views that had no ground in the originals; and (5) that he greatly changed passages that could be doctored to teach his views, though the original did not intimate the changed thoughts.
These five forms of changing the genuine New Testament into becoming the New Testament of his sect is eloquent in positive proof on the canonicity of the 14 involved New Testament books. And his rejecting the other 13 is eloquent as a negative proof of their canonicity; for they could not be doctored into harmony with his views, in harmony with his principle of the general agreement of his Gospel and Apostolicon with our four Gospels and the ten Pauline epistles that he accepted. The four Pauline epistles that he refused to use were 1 and 2 Tim., Tit. and Heb. His Gospel and Apostolicon self-evidently imply that he had the four Gospels and ten of Paul's epistles as the foundation of his work; and negatively they imply that he had the other 13 New Testament books before him, but rejected them from use, because he could not make them subservient to his cause. E.g., Hebrews is based on the Old Testament so allsidedly that he, rejecting the Old Testament, could not at all doctor it up to suit his viewpoint, hence did not use it at all. For a similar reason he could not use the Apocalypse. The pastoral instructions of which the three Pauline Pastoral Epistles consist likewise made them unavailable to him, he claiming that they were merely private letters of Paul,
hence not to be accepted into the Church's canon. For similar reasons he rejected the Acts and the Catholic Epistles (James, 1, 2 Peter, 1, 2, 3 John and Jude) as "Jewish." To justify his changes he charged the four Evangelists and Paul with error in their writings, claiming that he was qualified to revise them into harmony with the Truth, and that under Divine inspiration. Some of the alleged errors in the said writings were introduced, he claimed, by disciples of the Apostles. He made most use of Luke's Gospel, because it was more Pauline than the others. There is, however, no trace of the use of an uncanonical Gospel to be found in Marcion's Gospel. From these facts it follows that the New Testament of the Roman ecclesia of about 140 A. D. was the same as that of about
200 A. D.
Valentine, the greatest of the Gnostics, founded in 140 A. D. his sect at Rome, whence it spread over the entire Roman Empire; and in almost every city and town of that empire a Valentinian Gnostic church stood side by side with an orthodox church. He did not do like Marcion: reject the New Testament of the Church and make a counterfeit one of his own. He accepted the Church's New Testament and sought by various expedients of interpretation to read his ideas into the genuine New Testament. To him the Logos doctrine of John was especially needful to form a basis of his aeons doctrine; for he claimed that the Logos was the greatest and first of all aeons, which were allegedly spirit beings that the Supreme Being allegedly caused to emanate from His own substance. This emanation theory of the Gnostics lay at the basis of that part of the trinitarian doctrine involved in the Son's consubstantiality with the Father. Valentine and his school additionally to the four Gospels claimed to have a large body of traditions purporting to consist of extra-Biblical sayings and deeds of our Lord and the Apostles, which really were largely inventions of their own, which they made serve every exigency arising in their debates with the orthodox, and which they put into a
writing called, The Gospel of Truth. All the while they professed great confidence in our New Testament as a source and rule of faith. One of the leading Valentinians, Heraklion, wrote a commentary on our four Gospels. In the writings of the Gnostics of this school practically every book of our New Testament is quoted from, and referred to, and on several of Paul's epistles they wrote commentaries. Thus from 140 to 170 A. D. the Gnostics give us strong evidence on the canonicity of the New Testament— testimony from enemies!
Several of the orthodox writers of this period give us evidence on the canonicity of various New Testament books. The Shepherd of Hermas, e.g., compares the New Testament to a chair upon which the Church rests, and uses its four legs to represent the four Gospels, the foundation writings of the New Testament, the seat of the chair to picture the Pauline writings and the chair's back to symbolize the seven Catholic Epistles and Revelation. The Shepherd of Hermas was written between 140 and 150 A. D. Justin Martyr's first Apology was written in 140 A. D. and his second about 160 A. D. These refer to the four Gospels as the memoirs of Christ written by Apostles, i.e., Matthew and John, and disciples of theirs, i.e., Mark and Luke. In these Apologies Justin Martyr describes many Gospel events, some of them in the language of the Gospels, and tells us these Gospels were regularly read in the church services as a part of the worship. In these Apologies and in his other writings Justin refers to the Acts of the Apostles and quotes from some of the Epistles, however, sparingly, since their subject matter was not available to Apologies for Christians addressed to the Roman Emperor, Antoninus Pius (138-161 A. D.). He referred to his Dialogue to the Revelation as a writing of John and a true and sublime prophecy. Aristides, an Athenian philosopher, wrote his Apology about 145 A. D. to the same emperor. It contains some allusions to New Testament passages. Some refer Tatian's Diatessaron to the period between
140 and 170 A. D., more particularly to about 160 A. D., but others to 170-180, hence we treated it above as of 170- 180. However, the fact that Tatian drew up a synthesized harmony of the four Gospels even as late as 170-180, which, as the Diatessaron, was for centuries used in the church services instead of the four Gospels, because of its giving generally a more detailed account than any one of the four Gospels alone, proves the prior use of these Gospels in the church services.
Finally, we will adduce testimonies on the New Testament's canonicity from the years 90 to 140 A. D. Cerinthus, who was the first of the Gnostics, who flourished from about 75 to 100 A. D. and who as an opponent of the Truth through his Gnostic errors, was in part responsible for John's writing his Gospel and his first Epistle; for John's Logos doctrine is a refutation of Cerinthus' doctrine of the aeons. None of Cerinthus' writings are extant, but Irenaeus, the disciple of Polycarp, who was John's special helper from about 80 A. D. onward and after John's death a star-member, as was also Irenaeus, tells us on the authority of Polycarp that Cerinthus admitted that John wrote the fourth Gospel, but claimed that John falsified the record, and that Cerinthus preferred Mark's to John's Gospel. Basilades, who next to Valentine was the greatest of the Gnostics, in 125 A. D. used the four Gospels, especially John's. He claimed to believe the New Testament, only like Valentine and his school he misinterpreted it, and used alleged traditions as the proofs of his views that in nowise could by eisegesis be made to appear to have New Testament warrant. His followers held the same views for many years after 125 A. D. Thus there is some testimony as to the New Testament's canonicity extant from heretics from 90 to 140 A. D. For this period there is evidence on our subject from orthodox writers of this period. The pertinent testimony of Papias, who was a disciple of John and of Polycarp, was mentioned above as belonging to 125 A. D. He tells us that at Ephesus and vicinity not only John's,
but Mark's Gospel was read. The Didache, the oldest church manual, dating from about 112 A. D., makes quotations from, and allusions to various New Testament writings as Divine Scriptures. The same is true of the writing called The Epistle of Barnabas, which is falsely ascribed to the Barnabas of the New Testament, and which dates from about 120 A. D.
In the genuine epistles of Ignatius, who was a contemporary of John, and who was martyred either in 108 or 115 A. D., there are numerous quotations from, and more numerous allusions to the Gospels and St. Paul's and St. John's epistles, which Ignatius treats as Holy Scripture, thus as canonical. We have Polycarp's epistle to the Philippians, which was written immediately after Ignatius' death, hence in 108 or 115 A. D., and which contains very many quotations from the Gospels, from Paul and from John. Polycarp told Irenaeus, according to the latter's testimony, that the four Gospels came from the four evangelists, and that John wrote the Revelation. Polycarp's consecration in 70 A. D. and Ignatius' consecration still earlier make them fine witnesses on our subject; for they connect us directly with the Apostles. A still closer witness is Clement of Rome, who is the Clement of Phil. 4: 3, and who in 97 A. D., as the secretary of the Church of Rome, wrote two epistles of the Corinthians. In these he refers to St. Paul's two letters to them and quotes from many parts of the New Testament as from inspired Scripture. The manner in which these three witnesses quote from, and allude to various New Testament writings, particularly to the four Gospels and 13 of Paul's epistles, implies that the many congregations to whom they wrote were familiar with these writings. They also assure those churches to whom they in common with Paul wrote that their fame among the other churches was founded mainly on the fact that Paul wrote epistles to them which were everywhere circulated as inspired. Polycarp exhorted the Philippians especially to read Paul's epistle to them as particularly
edifying. He refers to the epistle to the Philippians and those to the Thessalonians as having been meant for all the Macedonians, a thing that Clement also did. Like the Curetorian fragmentary canon, Clement placed 1 and 2 Cor. before Romans, and Polycarp 1 and 2 Thes. before Phil. in the order of Paul's epistles, a not infrequent custom that continued into the fourth and fifth centuries, as can be seen in the writings of Tertullian, in a MS. of the fifth century, in Ambrosiaster, Augustine, Cassiodorus, in some ancient editions of the Vulgate, in some Greek cursives and in the most ancient Syrian canon.
The spread of Paul's epistles among the churches, to which Clement, Polycarp and Ignatius testify, can be seen to have been suggested by Paul himself (Col. 4: 16), a thing also proved by 2 Pet. 3: 15, 16. Accordingly we see that in the first century 13 of Paul's letters were gathered together as a book and circulated among the churches, and that in somewhat different order from ours. Peter in 2 Pet. 3: 15, when contrasted with v. 16, refers to the epistle to the Hebrews; for 2 Peter was written to Hebrew Christians, whom in v. 15 he refers to an epistle of Paul written to them, whereas we know of no other letter of Paul's being written to them. Hence we have here an inspired proof of the Pauline authorship of Hebrews. The term, the Gospel, as applicable to the four Gospels, occurs in the Didache (teaching of the 12 Apostles, about 112 A. D.) and in Ignatius (108 or 115 A. D.), which implies that very early these four were brought together in one collection. And the implication that this term was so understood proves that these four books in the beginning of the second century were read as Scripture in the churches. In the numerous quotations in the literature of the period, 95-140 A. D., claiming to come from the Gospels, only four cannot be proven to come from our four Gospels. The story that John added his Gospel as a supplement to the other three, and then united them into one book to be read in the
assemblies seems credible, in view of the fact that it is supplemental to the three Synoptic Gospels, that Papias, a disciple of John, tells this story, and that the Gospel of John was intended for such uses (John 19: 35; 20: 31). The last two verses of John (21: 24, 25), which occur in all our MSS. of this Gospel, were not written by John, whose Gospel ends with v. 23. It would seem that v. 24 was added by the subordinate elders ("we know) and v. 25 by the leading elder ("I suppose") of the Church of Ephesus, as their attestation (a sort of notarizing of it) to the genuineness of this Gospel, as they sent it forth to other churches; for we know that John never refers to himself in the Gospel in the first person, "I" or "we," but always in the third person, "the disciple that Jesus loved," "another disciple," etc. If this is true we have an attestation to the genuineness of John's Gospel formally made about 90 A.D., i.e., about the year it was written, for naturally its circulation must have begun very shortly after it was written. Finally, we present the fact that about three years ago the British Museum brought to light a fragment of papyrus containing several verses from John's Gospel written in script that archeologists claim was not used after 110 A.D. This fragment may have been a part of the original MS. of John's Gospel. If not, it was likely a copy made very shortly after it was written. With this we close our discussion of the extra-Biblical and near-contemporaneous evidence on the New Testament's canonicity, and with it we also close our discussion of the canonicity of the Bible books, in the hope that the discussion has been helpful to head and heart as proving that the 39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament books are the Divinely attested books of the Bible.