Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Bible, 04: Formation of Canons
(4,587 words)

Canon (κανών) is the ancient Greek word for a reed that in time came to be used for a measuring rod or stick. Subsequently canon was used in reference to a rule, a standard, or a model to follow. There were many such canons in antiquity in the classical and Greco-Roman periods for art, architecture, music, grammar, rhetoric, and literary productions that others were to imitate. Some Christian communit…

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McDonald, Lee Martin, “Bible, 04: Formation of Canons”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 02 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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