Various books of the Holy Bible especially those of the New Testament, were submitted to certain rigid tests by the early church. These tests included:
1. AUTHORSHIP- who wrote the book or the epistle?
2. LOCAL CHURCH ACCEPTANCE- had it been read by the various churches? What was their opinion?
3. CHURCH FATHER'S RECOGNITION- had the pupils of the disciples quoted from a book? As an example, a man named Polycarp was a disciple of John the apostle. Therefore one test of a book might be, "What did Polycarp think of it?"
4. BOOK SUBJECT MATTER (content)- what did the book teach? Did it contradict other recognized books?
5. PERSONAL EDIFICATION- did the book have the ability to inspire, convict, and edify local congregations and individual believers?
NOTE: It should be stated that it was a combination of these five steps, which helped determine whether a book was inspired or not.
This series is from my hand-out notes during our six months Church Membership Class in LWCM , Banilad, Cebu, Philippines. The class was conducted by our Senior Pastor Mel Caparros.