Every religion has its cannons described in “the main book of all believers”. Thus, Islam has Koran, The Five Classics for Confucianism, Vedas for Hinduism, Bible for Christians, etc. The list can be continued almost endlessly. Each religion considers their texts to be sacred and dictated by their Gods.
The texts are very important to support the believers and their belief. In the “holy books”, we can find everything considering the life which people of a certain religion should lead: there are the stories of “sacred people”, instructions how to pray, behave and think. Moreover, these books are canonized and no one (belonging to the religion) can argue that the text contains false information.
Thus, the expression “‘this text and not that text is the complete and total words of God” can be applied to every religion and presents the problem of religious canons. In this essay, we are going to discuss and explain the problem of religious cannons. We will take The Bible as the most famous holly book, as an example of sacred text which serves the basis for religious cannons.
The Bible is one of the best well-known religious books in the world. It is composed of many sacred writings. They are all different in titles, historical periods they were written and messages. The Bible is not a single book, and, at the same time, there are no individual books that would express the Biblical canons.
Different parts of the Bible were adopted by different religions or branches of religion (such as Catholicism and Orthodoxy). For example, the main stream of Judaism bases its religious beliefs on 24 books of the Tanah, and the Samaritans approve only five of them. Furthermore, there is the Hebrew Bible, Ethiopian Orthodox Bible, The Christian Bible, etc. All these parts of the Bible present specific religious cannons.
What is the main reason for division of the Bible into several parts? First of all, it should be mentioned that the texts of this book were written in different times and the whole book encompasses in it a very long time period. It goes without saying that attitudes of people towards religion have been changing over times and these changes were reflected in the sacred texts.
Second, religion has always been closely connected to the government, especially in the middle ages. Church tried to establish control over the people. Religion is one of the strongest methods of influence. Consequently, it is no wonder that some dogmas were interpreted from the point of view of church or government. In this regard, many branches of Christianity were establishing during the times in order to confront or support the mainstream.
At any rate, the sacred texts were interpreted in different times, by different people, in different ways. Taking into consideration the fact, that all of them tried to convince people in their rightness, they used different interpretations of the statement “this text and not that text is the complete and total words of God.”
Thus, the expression “‘this text and not that text is the complete and total words of God” explains the problem of cannons in the holly texts. It supports the claim that sacred texts were dictated by God and establishes only certain writing as the sacred text and denies others. The texts of the Bible were distinguished between different religions and each of them accepted only certain part of the Bible as the instruction and dogmas for their belief.
This Text and not That Text Is the Complete and Total Words of God