MAY 27

All of the books of the New Testament were already in existence by the beginning of the second century AD. In addition, the four Gospels had already been placed in a collection called “The Gospels” and the Pauline Epistles had already been placed in a collection called “The Apostle.”

The first known list of all twenty-seven books of our New Testament appears in a letter by Athanasius, the Bishop of Alexandria, in 367 AD.

However, long before Athanasius’ letter, Polycarp, a young friend and follower of the Apostle John, quoted from the Gospels of Matthew and John, as well as from ten of Paul’s epistles.

Justin Martyr (150 AD), a contemporary of Polycarp, considered all the Gospels inspired and made mention of most of the books that makeup our present-day Bible.

Irenaeus, who lived around 170 AD, was a disciple of Polycarp who quoted from twenty-three of our New Testament’s twenty-seven books.

Finally, around 200 AD, Clement of Alexandria, recognized almost every book of our New Testament as canonical.