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View Diary: Reports: Timbuktu Manuscripts Threatened By Mali Insurgents; Some Saved (221 comments)

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  •  I remember the way my Christianity prof (0+ / 0-)

    described the initial formation of the New Testament canon:

    (very roughly paraphrased)

    There were a lot of texts in the early church. People copied and recopied what they thought was valuable. There was also a lot of persecution. The things people were willing to carry with them (limiting their capacity to care food, water, other personal effects) or take the time to bury when they had to leave quickly was what survived to enter the canon. The texts people were willing to take time to copy by hand over and over in many places at many times were what was available to be saved, and then the texts they thought were important enough to risk their lives for were what got preserved past that initial hurdle.

    There are letters we know existed that fit in with letters that did make it into the canon - the letters we have refer to them - but either no one at the time copied them over again enough for copies to survive or in the choice between One More Scroll and One More Waterskin the water won. So we have half-conversations, and sometimes no clue what a reaction was actually triggered by even in cases where authorship has never been in question.

    Sometimes the torch has been very literal.

    Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

    by Cassandra Waites on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 11:13:03 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

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