In AD 367, Athanasius of Alexandria authored the 39th Festal Letter, or Easter letter, which was approved at the Quinisext Council. In it, he listed the same 27 books of the New Testament that are in use today. The Letter to the Hebrews is missing from some later lists, but the canon defined dogmatically at the Council of Trent matches Athanasius's list and includes the epistle.
The New Testament writings founded in the Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209 (AD 340) and Athanasius' 39th Festal Letter were the first compilations of the present list of Roman Catholic New Testament writings said to be determined at the Council of Rome (AD 382) (claims about this council are disputed), under Pope Damasus. This determination was then confirmed by the Third Council of Carthage (AD 397).
- Schreck, Alan, The Essential Catholic Catechism (1999), Published by Servant Publications, ISBN 1-56955-128-6 p. 23, quote "In caring for the flock of Christ, one of the bishop's chief tasks was to ensure that correct doctrine was taught. So it was the bishops who needed to discern which writings and teachings being widely distributed were truly God's word for the whole church-and which were not. Their determination was officially announced in a decree of the Council of Rome in A.D. 382, under Pope Damasus, and confirmed by the Third Council of Carthage in A.D. 397. The present list of New Testament writings was first founded in the Codex Vaticanus from Rome around A.D. 340, and in St. Athanasius' Thirty-Ninth Festal Letter of A.D. 367."
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