Third Council of Carthage (397)

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The Third Council of Carthage was a gathering (synod) of the catholic bishops of North Africa A.D. 397 to consider controversial problems of doctrine and discipline facing the Church.

In response to controversy and debate regarding which books are Scripture, this Council set forth the first listing of all of the 27 books of the New Testament canon together with 46 books of the Old testament: 73 books of the Bible. This was possibly an affirmation of the biblical canon originally set forth by an earlier Council of Hippo A.D. 393 under St. Athanasius. It was affirmed again by several councils of the Church in the following centuries. This is the canon finally defined as dogma by the Council of Trent (1545-1563), which put an end to all debate in the Catholic Church regarding the canonical status of individual books and parts of books of the Bible.

The catholic bishops in the east were not confronted with the heresy of Marcionism and the necessity of recognizing and defining the canon of sacred scripture. The Orthodox Church has never defined the Old Testament canon, but they have been using the same one since the early times of the Church, beginning with the apostles in the 1st century. Orthodox Christians do not usually speak of "the canon of Scripture" but do think of the writings as "canonical", the difference being that the canonical writings are those traditionally judged as being faithful to the dogma of the Church and the Gospel of Christ.

See Biblical canon

External links

See the following five sources: