How Were the Books of the Bible Canonized?
The Criteria of Canonicity is the decisive criteria that was used to decide which books are canonized, i.e. admitted to the Bible, and which are not. The criteria are:
1. Apostolic Origin, also known as Apostolicity, examines the identity of the author, i.e. does the author have the apostolic authority or not? The apostles were commissioned by the Lord himself to be His spokesmen on this earth during the interval between the ascension of Christ and the completion of the New Testament Scriptures. They were given the gift of the Holy Spirit which would enable them to write inerrant Scripture and teach inerrant doctrine. Therefore, the books of the New Testament were to be related to one of these authoritative, inspired apostles.
2. Accreditation of the Apostolic Fathers, for example, Clement of Rome, Ignatius, and Polycarp, among the Apostolic Fathers. Did the Apostolic Fathers accept those books and quote them as scripture or not?
3. The Ecclesiastical Acknowledgement: the writings that became canonical were writings that were used in early churches; they were read in public worship and known to be useful for study, doctrine, and edification.
4. The rule of Orthodox, True Faith: whether the content of the book is aligned with the Orthodox faith or not.
Scripture’s Canonization was done in Catholic Councils gathering Bishops from all around the Christian world to affirm the authenticity and divinity of the scripture. The Council of Laodicea, in 363 A.D., stated that only the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament were to be read in the churches. The Council of Hippo, 393 A.D., and the Council of Carthage, 397 A.D., also affirmed the same 27 books as authoritative. There is no doubt Our Early Church Fathers and Apostles were faithful to death to deliver the True faith to all the world. The textual criticism that had included millions of direct and indirect scriptures, the strictness of the biblical canonization process, as well as the faithfulness of the apostles and early fathers, who offered their lives joyfully in martyrdom to Christ to keep the right faith, leave no room for doubting the authenticity of the Scriptures.