Canon within a Canon (Meme, anyone?)

Last week, John Anderson wrote about his canon within a canon. He writes,

Brevard Childs has argued that the process of canonization allowed for a certain ‘leveling,’ a general equality as it concerns the various books of the Bible.  Obadiah is just as authoritative as the gospel of Matthew, and Genesis just as seminal as Philemon.  While I do think there is great merit in such a view–quite a Jewish view, no less, as the Jewish Midrashim affirm just such an equality, using one text to interpret another–none of us is an entirely disinterested interpreter.  We all have our own experiences, ideologies, and idiosyncracies that inform our reading of texts.  And because of this, the canonical ‘leveling’ is in a way distorted.

So, I’ll bite and give you my canon within a canon  – with the disclaimer, as John did, that those not mentioned are still authoritative. It is, after all, about what we read most. (How often do you read Obadiah and Philemon?)

For the Old Testament –

  • The Torah
  • Psalms (There is no life but that which is found in the Psalms)
  • Isaiah
  • Jeremiah
  • Joel (Along with Psalms, Joel seems to provide material for the early Church – Joel 2.28-32)
  • Zechariah (I think Zechariah provides a key ingredient to understanding Revelation)
  • Malachi (There is so much that points to Christ)

For the New Testament –

  • Luke/Acts (Essential to Christ’s humanity (Luke) and the early Church (Acts)
  • John (Essential to the deity of Christ)
  • Romans (No canon could be complete without Romans)
  • Hebrews (It is an example of early homiletic preaching, as well as connecting the OT’s theology to the NT)
  • 1st/2nd Peter

For the Deuterocanon – (note, these are for biblical studies)

  • Wisdom
  • Sirach
  • Baruch (Wisdom, Sirach, and Baruch add greatly to the Christological discussion)
  • 1st Maccabees (Adds something to Daniel)

Had John started this as a meme, I would have tagged TC, Peter, Wb, Jason and Matthew making the rules simple – what books could qualify as your ‘canon with in a canon.’ But I am not tagging them, yet if they want to join in, I hope they feel free.

You Might Also Like

4 Replies to “Canon within a Canon (Meme, anyone?)”

Leave a Reply, Please!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.