The oldest manuscripts containing the whole New Testament are from the 4th century.
The oldest known fragment of the New Testament is from the first half of the 2nd century, a copy of a passage from John's Gospel.
Different customs, ideas and symbols were adopted, and old customs, ideas and symbols were interpreted in new, different ways.
As a result the New Testament writers, too, are different, and sometimes separatistic as well.
In addition, the fate of the so-called catholic epistles, that is, the letters of Peter, John, James and Jude, was thoroughly considered in the 3rd and 4th centuries. Outside the New Testament remained a number of writings which had attained an authoritative position among some Christians.
These writings were not actually rejected, but they were not deemed to represent teaching derived directly from the apostles.
Although Paul and the writer of the Letter of James had completely different views on the subject, they both appealed to Abraham to support their opinions.At the end of the second century it began to be evident which of these writings would be accepted as part of the New Testament and which would remain outside it.There was still some controversy in the West over the status of the Letter to the Hebrews and in the East over the status of the Revelation of John.It also rejected the literature that promoted such ideas. In the study of early Christian literature outside the New Testament the term 'New Testament Apocrypha' is used.This means a mixed group of writings which have survived in a variety of ways and which only modern scholarship has attempted to include under a common heading.Not all the New Testament writers would necessarily have been able to eat around the same table - and this can be taken quite literally.One of the first great controversies of the early Church was the so-called 'Antioch conflict' concerning Jews and non-Jews eating together.Because the Apostle Peter did not wish to offend Jewish Christians who were strict about the purity code he refrained from eating meals with non-Jewish Christians at the same table.In doing so he succeeded in offending the Apostle Paul, who was the host at table.From a still earlier phase come a number of papyrus manuscripts.This writing material was prepared from the reed plant of the same name, and its most important producing country was Egypt.