In my favorite poem by Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay, he reminds us that like the seasons of nature, life is one season melting into another, and quickly fading away. This is my attempt to document each season in my life and my family.

Book 31

Filed under: 100 Books — Rachel at 5:37 pm on Thursday, July 21, 2011

I have finished the thirty-first book in my Epic 100 Book Attempt of 2011.

The Canon of Scripture by F.F. Bruce was a very satisfying read to me. I have had a lot of questions about the canonization of Scripture for several years. I have heard several in depth explanations of the process, mainly by my husband, but I was not satisfied with those explanations. I wanted to know more, and I wanted to find out for myself. Thus, I began reading this book.

Bruce did a very good job in organizing his book. It was easy to follow, and very clearly written. While the subject matter is not a light read, it was not overly difficult either. I am by no means a scholar or historian and was only averagely acquainted with the topic, but I had no problems understanding what I was reading. On the contrary, I found it very interesting and engaging… more so the topic of the New Testament canon than the Old. I didn’t feel like Bruce belabored his points, but rather he was concise in most instances and more explanatory where needed.

When I told my husband that I had finished the book, he asked me if I had learned anything. My answer, of course, was yes. I learned a great deal in reading this book. I’m not sure my recall is such that I could adequately convey to another what I learned, as far as remembering names and time periods, etc. I would need thorough notes and study to get all of that information into my brain. However, I feel like I have a good overview of the history of Scripture, and I learned a lot about things I had never heard of before. Especially interesting to me was the subject of the books of the Bible that were questionable regarding their inclusion in the canon. I learned about books that were held in high regard by the church but were not considered to be canonical. I also learned about books that were included in the final canon after much debate over their inclusion over the years. I also enjoyed reading about all of the various ideas and opinions about the writer of Hebrews.

For anyone interested in the topic of the canon of Scripture, I recommend picking up this book. It’s pretty in depth, but not so much as to drown the average reader in literary frustration. It’s a very approachable book, and it has a respectful and thoughtful conclusion to wrap it all up.

The final paragraph of the book:

“To adapt words of Paul, the reader of scripture should say, “I will read with the Spirit and I will read with the mind also.” The inclusion of each scripture in the canon of all scripture helps one in the understanding of each scripture, but at the same time, since each scripture makes its contribution to all scripture, the understanding of all scripture is impossible without the understanding of each scripture.”

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