Canon and Criterion in Christian Theology: From the Fathers by William J. Abraham

By William J. Abraham

The publication offers an unique and significant narrative at the importance of canon within the Christian culture. regular money owed of canon lessen canon to scripture and deal with scripture as a criterion of fact. Scripture is then similar in confident or detrimental how one can culture, cause, and adventure. Such initiatives contain a misreading of the that means and content material of canon--they find the canonical history of the church inside of epistemology--and Abraham charts the deadly outcomes of this stream, from the Fathers to trendy feminist theology. within the technique he exhibits that the relevant epistemological matters of the Enlightenment have Christian origins and echoes. He additionally exhibits that the an important advancements of theology from the Reformation onwards contain remarkable efforts to mend the principles of religion. This trajectory is now exhausted theologically and spiritually. as a result, the door is opened for a restoration of the total canonical historical past of the early church and for clean paintings at the epistemology of theology.

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In this case it is clear that the term has an epistemological ring to it which goes far beyond that represented by usage which more modestly treats canon as simply a list of books. Once we bear this in mind, it is possible to move from talk of canon to talk of criterion relatively easily. Just how easily this shift can occur is nicely brought out by the recent work of Gamble. Gamble argues convincingly that ‘canon’ as applied to Scripture meant a list. Yet he cannot accept the implications of his own findings, and readily shifts into construing ‘canon’ as a norm.

20. 6–7. 35 Likewise, it paved the way for construing the additional material added to the Jewish Scriptures as the New Testament. Perhaps the crucial point to make in addition is that the appearance of a Marcionite canon provided something of a spur and a model in the development of a Christian canon of Scripture. The Church simply fought fire with fire. Two decades before the end of the second century the special status of the four gospels was secure. 36 Thereafter the story of the acceptance of the other books into this privileged circle is a murky one.

We recall the pertinent comment of Edward Reuss: ‘It must not be forgotten that the use of the term canon has never been restricted to the Bible. There were canons of councils, canon law, the canonical life, canons of cathedrals, etc. ’46 What follows is a catalogue of the other components of the canonical heritage in no particular temporal order. 48 Third, 46 Edward Reuss, History of the Canon of Holy Scriptures in the Christian Church (Edinburgh: R. W. Hunter, 1891), 218. 47 See Kilian McDonnell and George T.

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