TIP of the day: Extended canons not in Canon comparison

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, May 10 2016 3:03 PM

1.1     Expanded versions

These groups are not detailed in the data section and are mentioned here only for reference.


Three elements are accepted:[1]

  • The revelation given the prophet Moses
  • The revelation given the prophet Jesus
  • Quran



Although most Cathar sacred writings were destroyed, the following have survived:

  • New Testament
  • The Questions of John
  • The Vision of Isaiah



The Society of Friends accepts an open rather than closed canon:

"The 'Word of God' is Christ, not the Bible ... The Scriptures are profitable in proportion as they are read in the same spirit which gave them forth ... Nothing, I believe, can really teach us the nature and meaning of inspiration but personal experience of it. That we may all have such experience, if we will but attend to the divine influences in our own hearts, is the cardinal doctrine of Quakerism"[2]


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accepts an open canon containing four standard works:

  • Holy Bible: King James version without apocrypha[3]
  • The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ
  • Doctrine and Covenants
  • Pearl of Great Price (contains Book of Moses, Book of Abraham, Joseph Smith – Matthew, Joseph Smith – History, Articles of Faith)[4]


Other branches show some variations.


Christian Science

The Church of Christ, Scientist adds one book to the standard 66 book canon[5].

  • 66 book canon
  • Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (1875)



Rastafarians use an evolving canon of scripture surprisingly independent of the Haile Selassie Bible:

  • The King James Bible
  • The Holy Piby
  • The Royal Parchment Scroll of Black Supremacy
  • The Promised Key
  • Kebra Negast


A heterodox “Church of the East”

The Eastern BibleDevil contains:

  • Acts of Yesu the Saviour
  • Mystical Sayings of Yesu
  • Acts of Thomas the Twin
  • Book of Thomas
  • Apocalypse of Thomas
  • Bhagavad Gita
  • Tao The Ching
  • Book of Wisdom
  • Song of Songs


“Jesus Seminar”

New New Testament A Bible for the 21st Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts edited by Hal Taussig (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013)


This volume contains ten additional texts:

  • The Prayer of Thanksgiving
  • The Prayer of the Apostle Paul
  • The Thunder: Perfect Mind
  • The Gospel of Thomas
  • The Gospel of Mary
  • The Gospel of Truth
  • The Acts of Paul and Thecla
  • The Letter of Peter to Philip
  • The Secret Revelation of John
  • The First, Second, Third, and Fourth Books of the Odes of Solomon


“An Uncommon Lectionary”

An Uncommon Lectionary: a Companion to Common Lectionaries by John Beverley Butcher. Santa Rosa, CA: Polebridge Press. 2002


This volume uses readings from:

  • Traditional Bible translations: JB, NJB, NRSV, RSV, JPS
  • The Complete Gospels: Annotated Scholars Version. Ed. Robert J. Miller. Santa Rosa, CA: Polebridge Press, 1992.
  • The Lost Gospel Q. trans. Mark Powelson and Ray Riegert. Berkley, CA: Ulysses Press, 1996.
  • The Nag Hammadi Library in English. Ed. James M. Robinson. San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1988.
  • New Testament Apocrypha. Ed. Wilhelm Schneemelcher and Edgar Hennecke. John Know Press, 1991.
  • The Odes of Solomon. Trans. Willis Barnstone.
  • Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. Ed. James M. Charlesworth. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983.



[1] “The Quran actually confirms the original revelation that was given to Prophet Moses called the Tawrah (Torah) and the Enjeel (the Gospel) that was revealed to Prophet Jesus”. See Dr. Jamal Badawi. “Islam’s Stance on the Gospel and Torah”. Accessed December 8, 2014. http://www.whyislam.org/comparative-religion-2/islams-stance-on-the-gospel-and-torah/

[2] Quaker Spirituality: Selected Writings, edited by Emilie Griffin, Douglas Van Steere and Rick Moody, 2005, Harper Collins

[3] Available at http://media.ldscdn.org/pdf/lds-scriptures/holy-bible/holy-bible-eng.pdf

[4] The above three texts are available at http://media.ldscdn.org/pdf/lds-scriptures/triple-combination/triple-combination-eng.pdf

[5] Slick, Matt. “What is the Canon?” Accessed December 13, 2014. http://carm.org/what-canon

Devil Church of the East, “Eastern Bible”, Church of the East, http://church-of-the-east.org/holy-scripture/12-holy-scripture/10-eastern-bible.html (Accessed December 14, 2014).

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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