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Sunday, 19 July 2015
History vs. Canon

Canon & Community: A Guide to Canonical Criticism,
James A. Sanders, Wipf and Stock, 2000, page 42

Sanders now picks up another important point:

There is a distinction to be made between what may be said historically about Scripture and what should be said canonically about it. History and canon are not coextensive terms.

They are not?

Something may be canonically true without haing been historically true. The Gospel of Matthew, for instance precedes that of Mark canonically but not historically.

I don't know that Augustine would agree!

The Pauline epistkes follow the gospels and the Acts of the Apostles canonically, but precede them historically.

Well, he's right there, but why does that matter?

Recently, therefore, the bias for reconstructed history of formation of biblical literature has led some scholars to write introductions to the Bible putting the books thereof in their historical or chronological order rather tan in the order in which the earliest communities transmitted them.

Re-ordering the content may or may not bring a historical perspective, but as Sanders points out:

the perspective of the interrelationship of the literature within the Testament which the early communities saw may be lost.

And that could be significant.

Posted By Jonathan, 8:00am Comment Comments: 0