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Fate and Word: The Book of Esther As Guidance to a Canonical Reading of Scripture (Critical Essay)

Currents in Theology and Mission, 2009, Feb, 36, 1

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As Protestants, we are familiar with the equation of Scripture and God's Word. Such identification was first introduced In 1536 by the Swiss reformer Heinrich Bullinger at the very beginning of the First Helvetic Confession: "We believe and confess the canonical Scriptures of the holy prophets and apostles of both Testaments to be die true and genuine Word of God, and to have sufficient authority of themselves, not of men. For God himself spoke to the fathers, prophets, apostles, and still speaks to us through the Holy Scriptures." If Scripture is identical with God's written Word, how about the book of Esther in its Hebrew version, which is unanimously regarded by Protestant churches as part of the Old Testament canon? Does God speak to us through the book of Esther as part of the Holy Scriptures? After all, God and his word are never mentioned in the ten chapters of that book, not even by epithet or circumlocution. Likewise, there is no human religiosity depicted that is particularly related to God. Literally speaking, the book of Esther is a God-less book. In one of his table talks, Martin Luther said bluntly: "I am so hostile to Second Maccabees and to Esther that I would wish they did not exist at all; for they Judaize too greatly and have much pagan rubbish." (1) Luther was certainly not the only one who had serious reservations about the canonicity of the book of Esther. It was contested in the church for centuries, even in the Greek version with its several theological additions.

Fate and Word: The Book of Esther As Guidance to a Canonical Reading of Scripture (Critical Essay)
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  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Politics & Current Affairs
  • Published: 01 February 2009
  • Publisher: Lutheran School of Theology and Mission
  • Print Length: 14 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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