Concepts regarding the Church having preceded the Scriptures, the canon finding its authority and meaning only within an ecclesial context, and the notion that the Bible was not considered the ultimate nor the exclusively inspired authority in the early Church, are commonly promoted in Orthodox polemics against Protestantism. In light of this, I'd just like to point out the pleasant irony that I personally discovered in the course of preparing for my final essay in my 'Early Christianity' course (the topic of which is, 'The importance of a canon of Scripture for the early Church') viz. that some of the most helpful and insightful resources I have used which positively attest to the foundation of such concepts within the early Church have in fact being authored by Protestants. To name a couple: Bruce Metzger's, The Canon of the New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987), and Harry Gamble's, The New Testament Canon (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985). I highly recommend these sources for anyone, Protestant or Orthodox (or Roman Catholic for that matter) interested in a thorough study of the development and meaning of the NT Canon within, and for, the early Church, respectively. They're, ofcourse, not without their faults, but I believe them to be highly valuable nevertheless. I, for one, only felt more confident in my own faith after reading these books.
I'm still in the early and slow days of my research for this particular essay--being flooded with a million other responsibilities--and am looking forward to seeing how more contemporary academic research from a Protestant perspective treats the issues in question (I have more recent books published in the 2000's sitting on my shelf). For those who have pursued thorough studies on this subject, whether formally or personally, I would be interested to hear how you felt about Protestant treatments of the issues in question that you have may considered.