Christian biblical canons  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

A Christian biblical canon is the set of books that a Christian denomination regards as divinely inspired and thus constituting a Christian Bible. Although the Early Church primarily used the Septuagint (the Greek Old Testament, or LXX) or the Targums among Aramaic speakers, the apostles did not leave a defined set of new scriptures; instead the canon of the New Testament developed over time.

Like the development of the Old Testament canon, that of the New Testament canon was gradual. The Catholic Encyclopedia article on the New Testament describes the process of assembling the histories and letters circulated within the early Church until the canon was approved by a series of councils seeking to ensure legitimacy as inspired scripture: {{quote|The idea of a complete and clear-cut canon of the New Testament existing from the beginning, that is from Apostolic times, has no foundation in history. The Canon of the New Testament, like that of the Old, is the result of a development, of a process at once stimulated by disputes with doubters, both within and without the Church, and retarded by certain obscurities and natural hesitations, and which did not reach its final term until the dogmatic definition of the Tridentine Council.

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