By Glenn Davis: excellent web site providing several pages of material on the formation of the canon including introductory essays, a Cross Reference Table of the status of individual books among the early writers; Early Lists of the Books of the New Testament and a piece on Apocryphal New Testament Writings. The information is based largely on Metzger but also on Schneemelcher and others. It is clear, well presented and the ideal place to begin your on-line research on the New Testament canon.

Attractively presented introductory material on the formation of the canon from The Bible: The Book that Bridges the Millennia web site. An ideal starting point on the subject.

An interactive chart comparing the Samaritan, Hebrew, Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Syriac, Ethiopian, and Protestant canons, from Bible Study Magazine.


Craig D. Allert, “The State of the New Testament Canon in the Second Century”. Bulletin for Biblical Research 9 (1999): 1-18.

James E. Bowley & John C. Reeves, “Rethinking the Concept Of “Bible”: Some Theses and Proposals” [Later Published in Henoch 25 (2003), 3-18].

F. F. Bruce, “The Canon of the New Testament”, Chapter 3 in The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? (5th edition; Leicester: Intervarsity Press, 1959), reproduced at The World Invisible: Christian Corps Book Catalogue.

Henk Jan De Jonge, “The New Testament Canon”. In: J M Auwers & H J de Jonge (eds). The Biblical Canons. (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2003). pp 309-319.

Robert M. Grant, “What the New Testament Consists Of — The Canon”, Chapter 1 in A Historical Introduction to the New Testament (New York: Harper & Row, 1963), reproduced on Religion-Online.

Richard Heard, “How the Books of the New Testament Were Selected”, Chapter 2 in An Introduction to the New Testament (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1950), reproduced on Religion-Online.

Adrian Herbst, “La Canonización Del Nuevo Testamento Y La Mishná Judía”. Revista Biblica 62.1-2 (2000): 87-100. [Spanish]

Roy W. Hoover, “How the Canon Was Formed”, The Fourth R 5, 1 (January/February 1992).

Daniel F. Lieuwen, “The Emergence of the New Testament Canon”. (1995).

Lee Martin McDonald, “The Integrity of the Biblical Canon in Light of Its Historical Development”, Bulletin of Biblical Research 6 (1996): 95-132.

Lee Martin McDonald, “Forword”. In: The Formation of the Christian Biblical Canon.  (Rev. ed.). (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1995). pp xi-xiii.

Lee Martin McDonald, “The Bible as Canon”. In: The Formation of the Christian Biblical Canon.  (Rev. ed.). (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1995). pp 1-5.

Lee Martin McDonald & James A. Sanders, “Introduction”. In: The Canon Debate. (Peabody: Hendrickson, 2002). pp 3-17.

Roger Nicole, “The Canon of the New Testament”
. Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 40.2 (1997): 199-206.

C. Marvin Pate, “Current Challenges to the Christian Canon”. Criswell Theological Review 3.1 (2005): 3-10.

Robert M. Price, “The Evolution of the Pauline Canon”. (n.d.).

George G. Reid, “Canon of the New Testament”, article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia Volume 3 (1908).

M. James Sawyer, “Evangelicals and the Canon of the New Testament”. (n.d.).

Eckhard J. Schnabel, “History, Theology and the Biblical Canon: An Introduction to Basic Issues”. Themelios 20.2 (1995): 16-24.

Mahlon H. Smith, “The Canonical Status of Q (Paper for Westar Institute)”. (1997).

David Trobisch, “The Oldest Extant Editions of the Letters of Paul”. (1999).

Petros Vassiliadis, “The Canon of the Bible: Or the Authority of Scripture from an Orthodox Perspective”. In: J.-M. Poffet (ed). L’ Autorité De L’ Écriture. (Paris2001). pp 113-135.

Petros Vassiliadis, “Inspiration, Canon and Authority of Scripture: An Orthodox Hermeneutical Perspective”. (2002).

Stephen Voorwinde, “The Formation of the New Testament Canon”, Vox Reformata 60 (1995).

Henry Wansbrough, “How the Bible Came to Us”. (n.d.).

Older Works

Hans Lietzmann (ed) Das Muratorische Fragment und die Monarchianischen Prologe zu den Evangelien. (Kleine Texte für Theologische Vorlesungen und Übungen.) Bonn: A. Marcus und E. Weber, 1902). [German]

Alexander Souter, The Text and Canon of the New Testament. (Studies in Theology.) (London: Duckworth, 1913).

Brooke Foss Westcott, A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament, During the First Four Centuries. (2nd ed.) (Cambridge: Macmillan & Co., 1866).

Theodor Zahn, Forschungen zur Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanons und der altkirchlichen Literatur. 3 vols. (Erlangen: Andreas Deichert, 1881, 1883, 1884). Band 1. – Band 2. – Band 3.

Theodor Zahn, Grundriss der Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanons: Eine Ergänzung zu der Einleitung in das Neue Testament. (Leipzig: Deichert, 1901).