Sunday, August 19, 2007

Loose canons?

You may have noticed that my list of favorite podcasts has been growing lately. Yes, I am quite addicted to podcasts now covering a multiplicity of different subjects. The ones I keep a link to here update with new shows, yet I have a number of specific subject podcasts that do not. There is one that I just finished listening to that I have to recommend most highly. It is Lay Bible Institute - Which Jesus? (iTunes link) by Jeffrey Kloha of the LCMS Concordia Seminary. Kloha gives a fascinating series of lectures for laypeople on Gnosticism, other non-canonical texts and briefly touches on the history of the formation of the Canon of the Christian Scriptures. You can download them in video or audio format. While I have some minor quibbles with his presentation (e.g. on the Deuterocanonicals) for the most part he is quite fair and within the mainstream of what scholarship has to say on these subjects. Yes, there is a definite Lutheran bias to some of this but it is still quite good. If you are curious about what relation the "Gospel of Thomas" or the "Gospel of Judas" have to Christian texts, or perhaps an idea about how we got the Bible I cannot recommend this series enough. Enjoy.

UPDATE: If you are interested in learning even more on the Canon, I would suggest "Holy Writings, Sacred Text" or maybe even "The Biblical Canon" and for hardcore history geeks like myself "The Canon Debate". There are so many more good resources online and in book form but these are good to start with.