The making of canons
Are past canonical decisions ultimately irrelevant to the issue of canon
revision today, as Doug de Lacey suggests? I would think not. The
formation and closing of the canon enjoys a constitutive status in the
life of the Church. It is this canon we confess to be the inspired Word
of God, sufficient in matters of faith and practice. If this is a true
confession, then one may rightly question whether it is possible to revise
it. Even if a new "apostolic" Gospel was discovered, one might decide
against its inclusion in the canon, precisely because of the sufficiency
of the present canon. As Raymond Brown has written, "The church that
formed the canon is responsible to the canon: change the canon and one is
well on the way toward a different church and even a different
Christianity and/or Judaism" (*New Jerome Biblical Commentary*, 1054).
Kyrie Eleison Alvin F. Kimel, Jr.
Christe Eleison 12701 Hall Shop Road
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