This is good.

"In a sense, the church made the canon of the New Testament, just as the Jews determined the Old Testament. No one else was there to do it. The questions are: In what capacity was the church functioning in doing this? What was ti doing in forming the canon? The church in carrying through the historical process of canon formation was functioning, to use a courtroom analogy, as a witness, not a judge. The church gave its testimony, saying, 'Here is the source of our spiritual life; here is where we find our message; here is our authority.' Thus, in a more fundamental sense, the church did not create the canon but only recognized it. To say that the church made the canon is not to say that the church has authority over scripture. That the church made the canon is a matter of history; that the church has authority over scripture is an interpretation of the meaning of the history that is not in the historical process as such. Indeed, the participants in that historical process did not think they were bestowing authority or had control over its interpretation; they thought of themselves as only passing on what had been handed to them."

Everett Ferguson, Early Christians Speak: Faith and Life in the First Three Centuries, vol. 2 (Abilene, TX: ACU Press, 2002), 54.

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