Monday, July 18, 2005

Who Closed the Canon?

(I'm basically concerned with the N.T. Canon here.)

The canon was an effectual means of limiting the books considered most sacred. The 'Church Fathers' reasoned that only the 27 books found in the N.T. today were written by an apostle or a follower of an apostle; the validity of that is questioned by some.

The decision seems to have been decisively made early in the 4th century. In effect these deciders of the canon stated that God had stopped speaking with Revelation , his revelation to man there ended. That decision has been questioned by many for the next 1700 years. Many Christians believe that God is still speaking to people today; some people are thought to have written about revelations of God as valuable as any of those in the 'good book'.

Why did this happen? Is it the same reason that Mohammedan stated there would be no other prophets? Was the purpose to channel people's spiritual thoughts so as to remain in the group consciousness?

I came by these ideas honestly; as a child of nine I recall my father, a Methodist minister, telling us the Bible is a collection of books and that we should feel free to add other books as we felt led.

What do you think?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that God still speaks to us today, although one could argue that we no longer place as much importance on hearing His voice.

In any case, I believe that God is constantly revealing Himself to us and that there are contemporary books that nourish the soul as well as anything in the NT Canon (though rarely as beautifully). I am particularly drawn to the devotional works of Joel S. Goldsmith.

- Robert

Larry said...

Thanks, Robert. I'm very much with you on that. It was many years ago that I read Goldsmith, probably without much understanding. I just looked at a sample and it sounds wonerful.

david said...

The canon is closed. History ha done that and I'm willing to trust taht God's spirit worked through history.

It may very well be that the gospel of Thomas is a spiritual and edifying document. For that matter -- several books since then. And maybe some peopel will find some of thsoe otehr books a better way into God's spirit than scripture itself.

But the canon will always be the scriptures.

Larry said...

what now?