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May 19, 2008 / vivator

John of Damascus and Canon of New Testament

John of Damascus (c. 650/675 to 749 AD) was Byzantine monk and theologian.  He was born in Damascus and lived under Muslim ruler.  He was known as supporter of veneration of images, which in his time was forbidden under the edict of Byzantine emperor Leo III the Isaurian (reigned 717 to 741 AD).  In one of his works, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, he gave us list of Old and New Testament books.

His New Testament list has four Gospels with the order Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, followed by Acts of the Apostles.  Next come seven Catholic epistles with the order James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 to 3 John and Jude followed by fourteen letters/epistles by Paul (he considered Paul as the writer of Hebrews), Revelation and ends with Canon (or Constitution) of the Holy Apostles (which he claimed was written by Clement).  Canon of the Holy Apostles was likely written at the end of fourth century (refer to my earlier post) and it does claim itself to be part of New Testament together with twenty seven books of our present New Testament as well as 1 and 2 Clement.

The New Testament contains four gospels, that according to Matthew, that according to Mark, that according to Luke, that according to John: the Acts of the Holy Apostles by Luke the Evangelist: seven catholic epistles, viz. one of James, two of Peter, three of John, one of Jude: fourteen letters of the Apostle Paul: the Revelation of John the Evangelist: the Canons of the holy apostles, by Clement.

John of Damascus. Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book 4, Chapter 17

(English translation from Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, Series II, Volume 9, available online at



Leave a Comment
  1. Gary from TX / Aug 30 2008 12:05 am

    I was wondering if you are a poster on discussion’s board?
    If so what is the name?
    You may email me if you would rather.
    Please feel free to delete this at anytime.
    I was just curious about a poster on CARM boards and if he and you were one in the same?
    Have a great day, God bless you, Gary.

  2. vivator / Aug 30 2008 9:01 am

    Dear Gary,
    I never posted anything on CARM website – if somebody used the same alias it is just coincidental.
    Thank you for your visit.

  3. Er / Sep 8 2008 8:57 pm

    Wow, this is amazing blog. Thanks, this is very helpful in my desire to defend the Catholic Church… God bless u.

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