Free Online Bible Classes | CANON : Manuscripts, Codexes, and the Canon

CANON : Manuscripts, Codexes, and the Canon

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Lesson

The early church was a culture of textuality; they liked and publicly read books. The frequency of ancient manuscripts shows us which books were the most popular and were therefore understood to be canonical. The church preferred the new codex format because they could group books together, especially the gospels. We can also tell that the manuscripts were written in order to be publicly read, which means the church knew which books were authoritative.

Outline

I. THE EARLY CHURCH HAD A CULTURE OF TEXTUALITY

A. Patristic citations show which books were received as canon

B. Manuscripts show which books the church was reading

C. More canonical manuscripts than apocryphal manuscripts

II. CODEX

A. The New Testament world preferred the scroll format

B. Christians used the codex format to group books together (especially gospels)

C. No example of the canonical gospels bound with a apocryphal gospel

III. AFFECT OF THE FREQUENCY OF PUBLIC READING ON THE CANON

A. The New Testament manuscripts were written for pubic reading

Most ancient manuscripts were more for display

B. How to help with public reading

1. Space between lines

2. Less letters per line

3. Punctuation (readers’ aids)

C. Tells us that the concept of canon was early