The authority of the Bible is one of the defining features of Christianity. However, the origins of the Biblical canon, both as an idea and as a composition still pose many unresolved questions and the nature of the bible's authority, including the many ways in which that authority has been tapped throughout history, are important and vast areas of investigation. The essays in this book discuss such crucial issues as the history of the formation of the biblical canon, examples of the canonisation of books in Antiquity outside Christianity, and the nature and function of canonical texts in general. Several essays, furthermore, deal with the numerous ways in which biblical canonicity has been construed and utilised in more recent European history. The essays, written by specialists in religious studies, ancient history, classical philology, church history and literary theory, should be of great interest to students, scholars and general readers concerned with scriptural and literary canon formation.
Einar Thomassen is Professor of Religion at the University of Bergen.