Playing Favorites

How we all form a canon within the canon when we read the Bible

When we read the Bible regularly, we all tend to fixate on certain passages that we feel capture the essence of God’s Word for us. This is what Bible scholars call forming a canon within the canon.

We all do it, even great theologians. Martin Luther, for example, believed the heart of the gospel was the apostle Paul’s doctrine of salvation by faith. That’s why he wanted to throw the Letter of James out of the New Testament. He didn’t feel it fit with the canon within the canon that he had created.

Forming a canon within the canon can be a great asset as well as a great detriment to Bible study. I was reminded of that as I recently read a blog posting by the Rev. Jeff Lehn, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Fort Wane, Indiana. He titled it Playing Favorites. I recommend it for your reading.

2 thoughts on “Playing Favorites

  1. Judy Brown

    Gordon, This made me think – yes, I do have favorites.  But I think that is good.  It means that we go back to our favorites and feel comfortable in the Bible.  When I was very young – high school, I think, I read Psalm 19 one night, as I looked out my bedroom window at the sky full of stars, and it made an impression I will never forget.  It is still a favorite. I am sorry I didn’t get to the Theos group last night.  I had been up in Charlottesville all day, and was just worn out.  I guess the  heat is getting me.  Judy


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