On the making of canons...
Dare I suggest that the debate over a revised NT, while entertaining and
informative, is somewhat muddled? The original posting, as I racall, was
about a "revised NT"; many of the replies focused on *canon* and tended
to confuse issues of the *creation* of canons in the early centuries with
issues of subsequent *revisions*.
As far as the last issue is concerned, I'd say forget it for the 21st century.
Look at how long it has taken for the various protestant churches (beg
pardon, that should read *some of* the various protestant churches :-) to
give grudging acceptance of the printing of the apocrypha in their bibles.
If canon has any connotations of authority at all, then some sort of
ecumenical synod (or unanimous decision of the WCC?) would be necessary.
Could one ever hope to assemble such a synod, or wish to agitate for
unanimity in the WCC, I submit there are more important issues for the
agenda. And what would be the practical value? How significant is
the canon *as canon* in the curches today?
As to the creation of canons in the early centuries: let's continue the
discussion by all means, I for one have enjoyed it. But it is not very
relevant to the original question.
As to that question: Surely there are a number of projects along these
lines already? I think of Crossan's work on the [real] four gospels :-)
and of the standard editions of apocryphal works. Also, didn't someone
on this group talk about producing a collection of such texts a year
or so ago? (forgive me, but I'm not aware whether it appeared; mea culpa!)
Regards, Douglas de Lacey, Cambridge UK.