There were many ancient writings in existence at the time the books of the Bible were being written. There were other books that came after the last apostle (John) died. Some of these other books include the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Judas, and the Apocalypse of Peter, to name a few. The problem with these books is that they were contradictory to what had already been recorded in the Scriptures. After Jesus’ resurrection, and during the years of the early church, people were creating heresies and leading others astray with false doctrine, such as claiming that Jesus was not the son of God, among other things.
The early church fathers, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, got together at different councils and decided what books would be included in the Bible. The books we have today are known as the canon of scripture. The following are five questions that were asked when considering acceptance of each book:
- Was the book written by a prophet of God?
- Was the writer confirmed by acts of God?
- Did the message tell the truth about God?
- Does it come with the Power of God?
- Was it accepted by the people of God?
If the book did not meet these criterions, then it was thrown out. For more information about the Canon, please see the following link: http://www.gotquestions.org/canon-of-Scripture.html
Some claim that Constantine was the person who decided which books belonged in the Bible. However, history does not at all confirm this. Constantine played no part in the canon selections. Please see the following link for more information about what Constantine really did: http://www.gotquestions.org/Constantine-Bible.html