The four gospels were accepted early on because those living at the time knew the writers – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Paul’s writings were accepted as He was known and well regarded as one of the Apostles, although the last to come to that state.
The other epistles were accepted due to having been written by disciples (actually the Lord’s half brothers) – James, and Jude.
Note: Mention is made in the right hand column of the number of manuscripts found among the “Dead Sea Scrolls”, which have thus far further established the reliability of the Old Testament (albeit many of which are still under study).“Even though the two copies of Isaiah discovered in Qumran Cave 1 near the Dead Sea in 1947 were a thousand years earlier than than the oldest dated manuscript previous known (A. 980), they proved to be word for word identical with our standard Hebrew Bible in more than 95 percent of the text.
The 5 percent variation consisted chiefly of obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling.
Then John, the disciple of the Lord, who also leaned on His breast (a reference to John and ), himself produced his Gospel, while he was living at Ephesus in Asia.”According to the Muratorian Cannon fragment, A. 190, “…the Acts of all the Apostles are comprised by Lukein one book, and addressed to the most excellent Theophilus, because these different events took place when he was present himself; and he shows this clearly-i.e., that the principle on which he wrote was, to give only what fell under his own notice-by the omission of Paul, again, to those who will understand the matter, they indicate of themselves what they are, and from what place or with what object they were directed.
For these reasons, the early church fathers maintained the policy “if in doubt, throw it out”.4. The apostles, disciples, and early church fathers believed that the Word of God is “living and active” (Heb ).The total number of ancient manuscripts supporting the New Testament amounts to 24,970 . And while it is true that “there are no known extent (currently existing) original manuscripts of the Bible, the abundance of manuscript copies make it possible to reconstruct the original with virtually complete accuracy.”“to be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New Testament.“These quotations by the early church fathers give strong support for the New Testament canon of 27 books, to the exclusion of others documents.Its amazing how God ensured that His Word would survive for generations to come: – even if all of the early manuscripts were not available, we would still be able to reconstruct the entire New Testament from these very quotations – nearly intact and complete!For he was neither a hearer nor a companion of the Lord; but afterwards, as I said, he accompanied Peter, who adapted his teachings as necessity required, not as though he were making a compilation of the sayings of the Lord.So then Mark made no mistake writing down in this way some things as he (Peter) mentioned them; for he paid attention to this one thing, not to omit anything that he had heard, not to include any false statement among them.”Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (A. 180), was a student of Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna (martyred in A. Irenaeus, a disciple of John the Apostle, has been a Christian for 86 years when he wrote about the authority of the four gospels:“Matthew published his Gospel among the Hebrews (ie., Jews) in their own tongue, when Peter and Paul were preaching the gospel in Rome and founding the church there.