The Canon: Are We Missing Any Books of the Bible?

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On April 20, John Hemmerich will give the eleventh talk in the series “It’s Complicated: The Histories Behind What We Think We Know.”

The Bible casts a long shadow over the history of the world. But the Bible is not just a single book; it’s a library of books. The Jewish Rabbinic Bible has only 24 books, but the Christian Bible contains many more: 66 (39 OT, 27 NT) in the Protestant Bible and 73 (46 OT, 27 NT) in the Catholic Bible. Adding to the confusion are the relatively recent discoveries in Israel and Egypt of the Dead Sea Scrolls that date back to the 2nd century B.C. and the Gnostic texts that date to early in the Christian era. So, who decided what books belong in the canon, when did they decide, and why? This class will attempt to pull back the curtain on the many questions surrounding the canon of the Bible, questions especially important for those who not only believe the Bible to be the authoritative standard for belief and practice but who also believe it to be the Book of books about the most real person in all reality.

John Hemmerich graduated from Gutenberg College in 2005 after writing a senior thesis on Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth that passed with distinction, and he now serves on the college’s board of governors. He also holds a juris doctor degree from Liberty University School of Law (2009), practices estate planning law in Portland, Oregon, and is working towards a master’s degree in biblical theological studies at Western Seminary. When not rummaging around in new and old texts, he enjoys spending time with his fiancée on the hiking trails of the great Northwest.

This class may be attended in person at Gutenberg College or online via Zoom. There is a small charge for remote attendance. Registration is required to attend via Zoom.

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