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We turn now to the question of the Canon of the New Testament and the letters of Paul and more particularly, why do they appear where they do in the Christian Bible.
Of course, it made sense for the four Gospels to be placed first because Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, each in its own way presented the life of Christ who as Christians believe the God Man from an earthy perspective founded the religion now known as Christianity.
Why do the letters of Paul appear in the order they do?For an excellent overview of what people are saying about Paul these days under a number of headings, please consult Ben Livingtons’, Paul’s Quest, the Renewed Search for the Jew of Tarsus.And the most recent work of those mentions here that in a survey form treats a theological introduction to Paul and His Letters, Michael Gormans’, Apostle of the Crucified Lord. A full biography of these resources can be found at the end of the chapter on Paul in the textbook.But it was not initially identified as coming from him.Then come letters from four early Christian leaders, James, Peter, John and Jude and best we can tell that they were put in that order because of the prominence of those four men in the earliest decades of the Christian movement.