The evidence for our New Testament writings is ever so much greater than the evidence for many writings of classical authors, the authenticity of which no one dreams of questioning. And if the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt.
F. F. Bruce
[P]eople need to use their intelligence to evaluate what they find to be true and untrue in the Bible. This is how we need to live life generally. Everything we hear and see we need to evaluate-whether the inspiring writings of the Bible or the inspiring writings of Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, or George Eliot, of Ghandi, Desmond Tutu, or the Dalai Lama.
Bart D. Ehrman
Modesty teaches us to speak of the ancients with respect, especially when we are not very familiar with their works. Newton, who knew them practically by heart, had the greatest respect for them, and considered them to be men of genius and superior intelligence who had carried their discoveries in every field much further than we today suspect, judging from what remains of their writings. More ancient writings have been lost than have been preserved, and perhaps our new discoveries are of less value than those that we have lost.
Theosophy occupies a central place in the history of new spiritual movements, for the writings of Blavatsky and some of her followers have had a great influence outside of her organization. ... The importance of Theosophy in modern history should not be underestimated. Not only have the writings of Blavatsky and others inspired several generations of occultists, but the movement had a remarkable role in the restoration to the colonial peoples of nineteenth century Asia of their own spiritual heritage.
Robert S Ellwood
The canon is an artifact of revelation, not an object of revelation itself. It is known infallibly to God by necessity and to man with a certainty directly related to God's purpose in giving the Word to the church. The canon exists because God has inspired some writings, not all writings. it is known to man in fulfillment of God's purpose in engaging in the action of inspiration so as to give His people a lamp for their feet and a light for their path.
James R. White
Besides (said he) do you not observe what a keen Edge Christian Faith puts upon the ill-nature of Divines, when they are disputing about matters of Religion? 'Tis common for Philosophers, Lawyers, Physicians, &c. to differ about matters which concern their Professions, and write one against another: But you will find some Temper and Decorum observed in their Writings. But let the Controversy be about any Branch of Christian Faith; and then see the Odium Theologorum, the Malice of Divines in the late Writings of two of your Church Doctors against each other; at least this shews that Christian Faith doth not improve the Temper of such Men who are of mean Birth, and narrow Education.
On the other hand, inspiration - a criterion for canonization we might expect to play a great role - is not a factor. The Shepherd of Hermas and many writings either claimed inspiration or had it claimed for them, yet were neither universally nor ultimately accepted as canonical. In contrast, no NT writing claims inspiration for itself. The statement in 2 Tim. 3:16 that all Scripture is inspired by God (theopneustos) refers to Torah. Second Peter 3:16 refers to Paul's letters as though they were Scripture but does not say they were 'inspired.' In Revelation, 'inspiration' is certainly implied but not explicitly claimed. No doubt there was an increasingly widespread conviction that the NT writings were divinely inspired, but that notion did not appear to factor in as a criterion for canonization.
Luke Timothy Johnson