Who put together the Bible?

edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church
Hello everyone, and I would like you to know that all your answers are greatly appreciated. Now to my question.javascript:replaceText(' :)')
I'm pretty sure that we follow the King James version of the Bible which is a different topic unto itself, (but any answeres are still appreciated nonetheless. lol.) But who put the Bible together in the fist place.
I'm sure everyone has heard the recent rumours and speculations about the "lost" gospels of Mary Magdalene and St. Thomas etc. I just want to know what they are, who truly wrote them and stuff like their history.
Finally, as if the above was not already a big eneough burden lol, who put together the Bible we use today and why do we use it.
Thank You very much. May God free us from our boundries and forgive us our sins Amen. :) :)


  • hi

    well i'm not sure, but i remember reading that they had a councel, that decided that, i'm not sure though, i'll look it up

    God Bless
  • St. Athanasius chose which books were put into the bible we use today

  • well i actually kno the story behind this one ! In the time when mary magdelene lived there was a man that was very mad at her ! and one day he heard about the diciples makeing the gospel s so he made a fraud one that sais bad stuff about mary and jesus! just wat i heard hope i help
  • Thank You,
    St. Athananasius was the one that said "And I am against the world" when asked "Athanasius, the whole world is against you.", (sorry for the misquote) right. So i'm guessing he headed whatever council put together the Bible.
    If it would not be too much trouble could i get a name of the counsil, sorry, I'm just a real curious person, dont know if its a blessing or a boundry.
  • hi

    well, i think it was the council of carthage in 397 A.D., also , Athanesos, was a countre mondem, (agains the world), i think thats latin, i'm not sure. and he headed the council to uphold the divinity of christ, i think. sorry for any spelling mistakes

    God Bless
  • Okay, it looks like we need to make some major corrections here.

    St Athanasius did NOT “choose” which books were to go into the Bible.

    The test for the canonicity of the scriptures was their apostolic authority and Apostolicity. In New Testament terminology, the church was 'built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets' (Ephesians 2:20) whom Christ had promised to guide into 'all the truth' (John 16:13) by the Holy Spirit. The church at Jerusalem was said to have continued in the 'apostles' teaching and fellowship (Acts 2:42).

    The authority of the books of the New Testament were understood since the inception of the church:

    Justin Martyr in his dialogue with Trypho used the forumula “It is written,” to quote from the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). Both he and Trypho must have known to what “It is written” refers, and hence we have evidence from as early as the first century (i.e. the Apostolic age), that the four Gospels were recognized according to their apostolicity as authoritative books. The writings of Iranaeus are also important with regards to this subject, for he also was directly linked to the apostolic age, being familiar on a personal level with Polycarp the disciple of St John the apostle. His writings attest to the canonical recognition of the four Gospels and Acts, Rom., 1 and 2 Cor., Gal., Eph., Phil., Col., 1 and 2 Thess., 1 and 2 Tim., and Titus, 1 Peter and 1 John and of Revelation. In his treatise, Against Heresies, III, ii, 8, it is evident that by A.D. 180 the idea of the fourfold Gospel had become so axiomatic throughout Christendom that it could be referred to as an established fact as obvious and inevitable and natural as the four cardinal points of the compass or the four winds.

    During the fourth century St Athanasius in a festal letter to the churchers, gives us the earliest list of New Testament books (note: These books were already recognized as authorititative; St Athanasius is simply the first to formally list them), which is as it is in the present day. Shortly after, St Jerome and St Augustine define the canon of 27 books.

    A church council was eventually held– The Synod of Hippo in A.D. 393 – and it listed the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, BUT it did not confer upon them any authority which they did not already possess, but simply recorded their previously established canonicity.
  • Hey Iqbal,

    Thanks for the answer, but I just wanted to expand on the question a little.  What about the books in the apocrypha?  How come some churches accept them while others don't?  Also why do some churches accept up to 4 Maccabees while others stop at 2 or 3 Maccabees?

  • Hello Fadi, I found the answer to your question in St. Takla.org website and you can read more if you go to their site.

    The Deuterocanon books are a part of the Holy Bible.. The Protestants removed them from the Bible saying they were not the word of God, Although there are many evidences and historical proofs to verify them! The Orthodox and Catholic Churches believe in them.. .

    It was not until 1519 that there arose a huge uncalled-for controversy about how many books the Bible contains. Is it 73, as Orthodox and Catholics claim, or 66, as Protestants hold? In other words, do the books of Tobit, Judith, 1+2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, and Baruch, indeed belong to the Bible, or are they not inspired and should not be contained therefore in the Sacred Scriptures? These disputed books are referred to as the "deutero-canonical books" by Orthodox & Catholics, and as the "apocryphal books" by Protestants.

    The question is a relevant one, one that divides Orthodox & Catholics and Protestants still to a great extent. Since Protestantism is based on Sola Scriptura, "Scripture alone," the issue about the deuterocanon is extremely significant since it puts into question the very essence of Scripture.

    In a brief way, now, let me present the Protestant position by summarizing their main points:

    1. The Jews themselves only have 39 books in their Old Testament, that is without the deuterocanonicals.

    2. The Council of Trent added the 7 deuterocanonical books to the Bible in 1546.

    3. Jesus never quoted from the deuterocanonical books, so they aren't inspired.

    Before I go off into answering their assertions, let me point out that one of the best books to consult in defense of the Orthodox & Catholic position here is Mark. P. Shea, By What Authority? An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition (Huntington, IL: Our Sunday Visitor, 1996). Former Protestant Mark Shea deals with all the issues involving biblical authority, and he explains how he could not remain a Protestant after he had researched the origins and essence of the Bible, and especially the epistemological problems revolving around it, that is, the "How do I know?" questions.

    To answer the Protestant assertions:

    In response to #1.

    It is true that ever since 90 AD., the majority of Jews has not accepted the deuterocanonical books as inspired. Ergo, concludes the Protestant, they are not inspired and thus not Scripture, since "the Jews are entrusted with the oracles of God" (Romans 3:2).

    We must, however, note that the Jews did not define a canon of their Scriptures until 90 AD., that is after the coming of the Messiah. In 90 AD., the Jews were no longer the true religion, since they had rejected the Messiah. Ever since Pentecost, the Church of Jesus, the Catholic Church, was the institution endowed with all authority (cf. Matthew 16:18-19; 18:18; Ephesians 3:10; Acts 15). Therefore, what the Jews may or may not have decided in a council after Christ, in 90 AD., is irrelevant. They had lost their status as the true religion when they rejected Jesus Christ. It has been the Orthodox Church, from Pentecost on, which is the true and real "Jewish Church," that is the fulfillment and flower of Judaism, that which Judaism was meant to be.

    Why is it that the Jews decided on considering only 39 books inspired? Because they knew that the Christians, their arch-enemies, were using the Greek version of the Scriptures (which included the deuterocanonical books!!), and they wanted to be sure to distinguish themselves clearly from the Christians. They wanted their own identity back. Besides, the deuterocanon contains many Christian prophecies and allusions to the New Testament, something the Jews could not stand at all! A perfect example would be Wisdom 2:10-24, which is the clearest prophecy about Jesus' passion in the entire Scriptures. The Jews, however, were anti-Christian! Indeed, the first Christians did use the deuterocanonical books. Proof of this can be found in art versions of the Scriptures (Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic) as well as by looking at early Church liturgy.

    Why, then, would or should we trust an institution that put curses on Christians and repudiated the Messiah and his liberating teachings, in order to know what belongs in the Bible? It makes no sense. Furthermore, if we trust the Jews concerning the Scriptural canon, we must be consistent, and thus we should also throw out all the books of the New Testament, since the Jews believe the New Testament has not been written yet (contains zero books therefore). Yet no Protestant does that. Indeed, Protestants want it both ways. They want to have only 39 books in the Old Testament (relying on the Jews for that decision), but yet also wish to have their 27 New Testament books (NOT relying on the Jews this time). Why this inconsistency?

    In response to the second objection of Protestants.

    This is my favorite, because it makes so little sense.

    What really happened was that ever since the Councils of Rome, Hippo, and Carthage in the late 4th century AD, the Christian faithful were taught that the deuterocanonical books are Scripture, and they were used as such. It was not, however, till 1546 that these books were solemnly and dogmatically defined as belonging to the canon, because it was not until then that the inspiration of those books was called into question. And no doctrine is defined till called into question.

    Why, though, did Martin Luther deny the inspiration of the deuterocanon? Because the 7 disputed books contain lots of scriptural proof for Orthodox & Catholic doctrine.. This Luther did not like. So he decided it be better to side with the Jews concerning the canon, so as to justify his breaking with Church teaching concerning certain doctrines. What Luther did, then, was simply cowardly. When given biblical proof for a doctrine he disagreed with, he asserted that, "Well, these books shouldn't be in the Bible." But that's easy. Someone could argue that the Virgin Birth of Jesus is not in the Bible. When confronted with passages from Matthew and Luke, the person could just say, "Yeah, well, those books don't belong in the Bible, though." This gets us nowhere.

    Finally, a response to the third objection of Evangelicals. Their position is basically that if Jesus didn't quote directly from the deuterocanonical books, they aren't inspired. That charge, though, is insane. First of all, Jesus did not even quote from all of the 39 Old Testament books Protestants considered inspired, either! It is true he quoted from most of them, but that is not enough. "Most" won't do. What about those he did not quote, such as Ruth, Song of Songs, etc.? Are they not inspired? Secondly, we do not know whether Jesus might indeed have quoted from the Deuterocanon, since not all revelation is written down in the Bible (John 21:25). Thirdly, quotation from a book does not imply its inspiration. In Hebrews 11:36, for example, the author alludes to the Ascension of Isaiah 5:1-14. In Jude 9, we are told that Archangel Michael had a dispute with Satan over the body of Moses. This dispute is not found in the Old Testament, but in the Assumption of Moses, which is not inspired. The mere alluding to a book or quotation thereof simply does not make a book more or less God-breathed. An even more important aspect is that it is simply not true to say that the deuterocanonicals are never quoted or alluded to in the New Testament. Sirach 5:13-14 matches with James 1:19, Wisdom 2:12-20 with Matthew 27:41-43, and 1 Maccabees 4:36-59 and 2 Maccabees 10:1-8 with John 10:22-36.

    There is really no reason to reject the 7 disputed books. Protestants accept the 27 books of the New Testament which were defined by the Councils of Rome, Hippo, Carthage, Florence, and Trent, and yet not the 46 books of the Old Testament defined by the same councils. Why not? Why this inconsistency?

    What I have presented in this brief essay is history, it is fact. It is not merely my opinion. There is no reason to reject the deuterocanonical books as un-inspired. It was simply a turn Martin Luther had to take to justify his break-off from a 1500-year-old Church tradition.

    Deuteronomy 4:2: "You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it; that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you."

  • So then why do so many people believe that Emperor Constantine of Rome was the one who put together the bible. Basically all I know about him was that he was the one who made Christianity (Catholocism at least) the official religion of Rome and that supposedly he converted himself on his deathbed. I've heard lots of different stories, none of them make any sense to me. Help!

    P.S. You guys are geniuses, lol. Thank You for your answers. God Bless you all.
  • So then why do so many people believe that Emperor Constantine of Rome was the one who put together the bible.

    Luke, If you had asked us concerning the nature of the Sun, and we had given you a detailed scientific analysis concerning the orbit of the earth and it’s rotation and tilt in order to explain how it is that we have evening (sunset) and morning (sunrise) etc. and you asked, “so why do people believe that the sun literally rises in the morning and literally sets in the evening?” – Don’t you think the answer is self-evident? Obviously if such people were aware of the facts given to you, they would not have arrived at stupid conclusions. However, they are unaware of and are not educated of such facts. This lack of knowledge is called……ignorance, plain and simple.

  • lol, GREAT answer, I just dont like being confused, or rather staying confused. The thing is though it's easy to mistake a masterful lie for the truth in the world that we live in today. That's why faith is so important.
  • Hi,
    According to my knowledge, the "lost" gospels such as "the gospel of mary" and "the gospel of thomas" are gonstic gospels and we do not believe in them, they do not adhere to our Orthodox teachings and are therefore not included in the Bible.

    I hope that clarifies a little.
    Pray 4 me.

  • Great words love4all, especially your outstanding explanation on the post under the title" gosple of Mary Magdaline".

    To sumarize all the above and in the other post, there are two points:

    1- The Deuterocanonical Books are 7 sacred books which the Orthodox Church, both the Oriental and the Easter and the Catholic Church have them in their Holy Bible.
    It also includes 3 additions to the Books of Esther Daniel and Psalm 150
    These Deuterocanonical Books are:

    1- Tobit: Contains of 14 chapters, and it follows The Book of Nehmia in order.

    2- Judith: Contains of 16 chapters, and it follows Tobit in order.

    3- Esther: The rest of the Book of Esther, and contains chapters from 10 to 16.

    4- Wisdom: For Solomon the King, and contains of 14 chapters, and it should be after The Book of the Songs of Songs.

    5- Joshua Son of Sirach: Contains of 51 chapters, and it follows The Wisdom of Solomon in order.

    6- Baruch: Contains of 6 chapters, and it follows The Book of Lamentations of Jeremiah in order.

    7- Daniel: The rest of The Book of Daniel, and contains of the rest of Chapter 3, in addition to two extra chapters: 13, 14.

    8- First of Maccabees: Contains of 16 chapters, and it follows The Book of Malachi in order.

    9- Second of Maccabees: Contains of 15 chapters, and it follows The Book of Second Maccabees in order.

    10- Psalm 151 After Psalm 150 by King David the prophet.

    2- The Gnostic Writting , as the Gosple of Thomas, Mary Magdalain...etc, as love4all mentioned them and discussed them brilliantly in the other post.
    These writting are dismissed by all christian as heretics books since the 2nd century.

    I hope this will clarify the two points.

  • how do u guys know so much???- that was gr8
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