Dating of the new testament writings
The process of canonization was relatively long and remarkably flexible and detached; various books in use were recognized as inspired, but the Church Fathers noted, without embarrassment or criticism, how some held certain books to be canonical and others did not.
Emerging Christianity assumed that through the Spirit the selection of canonical books was “certain” enough for the needs of the church.
Inspiration, it is to be stressed, was neither a divisive nor a decisive criterion.
Because of a belief that something almost magical occurs—with an element of secrecy—when a transmitted oral tradition is put into writing, there was, in both the Old and New Testaments, an expression of reluctance about committing sacred material to writing. A Student's Guide to Textual Criticism of the Bible. In these various writings the early church transmitted its traditions: its experience, understanding, and interpretation of Jesus as the Christ and the self-understanding of the church. The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism (2nd Edition ed.). New Testament Manuscripts: Discovery and Classification. Retrieved May 19, 2013, from The American Thinker: M.