Ignorance of early church history, the doctrine of the Trinity, and the theology and background of the inspiration(God-breathed quality of) and dating and existence of the Scriptures and; then, the process of the discovery of the books, which led to the list of the canon of Scripture is great among modern Evangelicals. It is very important for Evangelical Protestants to get a handle on early Church History, and the Canon of Scripture and how that relates to defense of Sola Scriptura and apologetics.
Many people are being deceived by Roman Catholic arguments and Eastern Orthodox arguments against Sola Scriptura and Protestant faith as a whole, by using the issue of the Canon of Scripture and early church history and how the early church went through a process of recognizing and sifting and discerning what writings that already existed in the first century, were truly “God-breathed” (inspired the moment that they were written, and therefore “canon” (standard, rule, criterion, principle, law; something by which to measure everything else by) as soon as they were written.
“As soon as they were written” (R. C. Sproul, see previous article) – As James White has written, “the canon is an artifact of revelation” (Scripture Alone, p. 102-103) = the canon list is an evidence / proof of the revelation that took place earlier. When a book was revelation and God-breathed, it automatically was canon at that point. But the process of discovering and discerning that humanly speaking took time in history. (persecution in the first 3 centuries, the nature of scrolls vs. codex, difficulty of travel and communication; the Romans burned many NT manuscripts in the early centuries, especially in the great persecution that started under Emperor Diocletian in 303-312 AD. That is why James White’s distinction between “Canon 1” (inspiration, existence, revelation, God-breathed quality) and “canon 2” (the list of the 27 books of the NT and 39 of the OT) is important for Protestants to grasp. (see his books in my article and also debates vs. Roman Catholics over the years and blog articles and Dividing Line programs for the past over 30 years, at www.aomin.org
God gave revelation to Jesus’ apostles (Peter, John, Matthew, Paul) and their companions who wrote for them (“amanuenses” are ancient “secretaries” who had authority to translate, and correct grammar and write in their own style – Silvanus for Peter in 1 Peter 5:12; Tertius for Paul in Romans 16:22; the books such as the gospel according to Mark for Peter, Luke’s 2 books, under the Apostle Paul’s authority, the writer of Hebrews was probably Barnabas (Levite, Acts 4:36; “son of encouragement”, called an Apostle with Paul in Acts 14:4, 14); (or Hebrews may be Luke writing in higher eloquence Greek for one of Paul’s sermons), James and Jude were half-brothers of Jesus.) Please see my article for details.
Please read the previous article below (May 27, 2021) and do the research and read and study the many books that are available from a believing Protestant Sola Scriptura Perspective. Also, there are many other posts here on the Canon Issue, the early church, and Sola Scriptura. (click on the relevant categories)