Discussion form

What are the advantages of having a written canon of scripture? For many, many years, parts of the Hebrew Bible (like the sayings of individual prophets, the stories of the Patriarchs, or the creation stories) were handed down from one generation to another in oral form. What happens when these stories are put into written form? Jesus died and was raised from the dead in about 30 CE, but the first gospel (Mark) was not written until about 65 CE. Prior to that, in the early church someone might share a memory of a personal encounter with Jesus. Why, after 35-40 years, did people begin to think it was important to write a collection of the stories and saying so Jesus?

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Discussion 2
Read Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13. Describe briefly how these passages are alike. Carefully tell how they are different. Why is there a difference in the order of the temptations? Is one writer correct and the other mistaken? What is the point of keeping the two different orders?

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Discussion 3Contains unread posts
Define the word “canon” as it is used in religious studies. What is the difference between an “open canon” and a “closed canon”? What if one day archeologists discover a cave near the Dead Sea which has a previously unknown story about the life of Jesus, “The Gospel according to Andrew and James,” and this gospel appears to be in the same tradition as the Gospel of John but contains new miracle stories about Jesus, do you think it should be addawzed to the New Testament? Why/why not?