That which marks a book as divinely inspired.

The process of collecting authentic apostolicliterature began in the first century. Though many books were written, there were tests to prove a books canonicity. The following principles were used to determine this:

  • Apostlicity. Was the book written by an apostle, or one who was closely associated with the apostles?
  • Spiritual Content. Was the book read in the churches and did its contents spiritually edify the body?
  • Doctrinal Soundness. Were the contents of the book doctrinally sound? Any book containing heresy, or any teaching contrary to the already accepted canonical books was rejected.
  • Usage. Was the book universally recognized in the churches, and was it widely quoted by the church leaders?