Book of the People by Patrick Henry Reardon

As It Is Written . . .

Book of the People

by Patrick Henry Reardon

For a long time the identification of a thematic core of ideas was a major difficulty facing modern biblical scholarship. Even from fifty years ago I recall reading initiatory books—with titles like Introduction to the Old Testament and New Testament Theology—in which the authors prefaced their labor with many pages trying to justify the effort: What were the unifying doctrines that led to the formation of the biblical canon(s)? I, for one, was never satisfied that the author answered the question. Only later did I realize that it was the wrong question.

The difficulty came from the nature of the biblical canon, which differs greatly from what may appear, at first, to be parallel cases. For instance, a book entitled An Introduction to Plato or The Philosophy of Jane Austen begins with the canonical limits of these two authors. Their origin from a single mind is the unifying core of their ideas. Even a literary canon not determined by single authorship normally has some other recognizable factor providing a unitive core. In a book entitled An Introduction to the Romantics, for instance, the author is not obliged to spend a lot of pages explaining why Endymion is included and The Old Man and the Sea is left out.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

32.1—January/February 2019

The Life of Sean

on Down Syndrome & the Lives That Matter by David F. Watson

17.4—May 2004

Supremely Modern Liberals

The Unhappy & Abusive Marriage of Liberalism & Modernism by James Hitchcock

24.5—Sept/Oct 2011

Pupils Delighted

on Wondering or Wandering Through College Education by Anthony Esolen

00