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Who Chose the Books of the New Testament?

Season 2: Episode 42
Who Chose the Books of the New Testament?
Date Aired: 11/20/2023

Starting in the first century CE, there was an explosion of Christian literature—dozens of gospels, letters, apocalypses and more—but only a fraction of those texts made it into the New Testament canon. Who decided which books were in and which books were out? For this episode, Helen and Dave welcome New Testament scholar Francis Watson, who introduces us to important figures like Athanasius of Alexandria and Eusebius of Caesarea, some of the earliest influential Christian writers to weigh in on which texts were authoritative and which were “spurious.”

Listen to the episode on the Biblical Time Machine website or wherever you get your podcasts.

Disclaimer: The Society of Biblical Literature is not responsible for the content of this podcast. The opinions expressed in this podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the Society of Biblical Literature, its members, or its staff.

  • The Biblical Time Machine Podcast is hosted by Helen Bond and Dave Roos. Helen Bond is professor of Christian origins at Edinburgh University. She is the author of Women Remembered: Jesus’s Female Disciples, The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark’s Gospel, and The Historical Jesus: A Guide for the Perplexed. Her research focuses on the social and political history of first century Judaea, the historical Jesus and the canonical gospels. Dave Roos is a journalist and writer who contributes to, HowStuffWorks and the popular podcast Stuff You Should Know. Dave has a degree in religious studies from Duke University.