Object to Model: The traditional Protestant Canon of 66 Books (the Proto-canon of the Catholics)
Model: Construct a Wheel with 22 Spokes and three concentric circles called Cycles. This forms a circular grid of 66 Cells, with three Cells on each Spoke. Place the 66 books sequentially on the Wheel, so that Cycle 1 consists Books 1 - 22, Cycle 2 consists of Books 23 - 44, and Cycle 3 consists of Books 45 - 66.
To derive the Seven-fold Canonical structure of the Holy Bible, impose two initial conditions and construct the minimal Canon that satisfies maximal symmetry constraints as follows:
A canonical division is defined as a radial line between Spoke m and m+1 on Cycle c, denoted as CD(m,c).
The set of books contained between two canonical divisions CD(m,c) and CD(n,c) is defined as Block(m,n,c), where m denotes the starting division and n the ending division. E.g. The Torah is Block(22,5,1).
History has given us two incontrovertible constraints on any possible canonical structure:
1) There must exist a canonical division between the first five books (The Torah) and the rest of Scripture.
2) There must exist a canonical division between the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Maximal Symmetry Constraints:
1) Bilateral symmetry:
The Wheel must look the same when reflected in mirror. This constraint demands that for each CD(m,c) there must exist a CD(n,c) such that m+n = 22.
2) Radial Symmetry:
There must be no conflicting canonical divisions. If two Cycles contain canonical divisions, they must have the same number of divisions and all the divisions must lie on a common set of radii.
Now construct the minimal Canon that satisfies the above constraints:
1) The initial conditions demand that there are two canonical divisions: CD(5,1) between the Torah and the rest of Scripture, and CD(17,2) between the OT and NT. There must also be a canonical division at CD(22,1) to mark the beginning of the Torah, to form Block(22,5,1).
2) Bilateral symmetry demands that there is a CD(17,1) to match CD(5,1) and a CD(5,2) to match CD(17,2).
3) Radial symmetry demands that there is a CD(22,2) to match CD(22,1).
The initial conditions and the symmetry constraints are now satisfied. This is the minimal solution. Mapping these divisions on the Wheel results in the traditional Seven-Fold Canonical division of the Christian Canon:
Cycle 1: 5 Books (The Torah), 12 Books (OT History), 5 Books (Wisdom)
Cycle 2: 5 Books (Maj Proph), 12 Books (Min Proph), 5 Books (NT History)
Cycle 3: 22 Books (NT Epistles)
Note also that Spoke 1 consists of:
Genesis: First book of the Law
Isaiah: First book of the Prophets
Romans: First book of the NT Epistles
Click here http://www.BibleWheel.com/Wheel/Canonwheel_fullsizeBW.asp for a graphic of the result.
1) Read "A Variation on Van Till," posted a few days ago, to see why God has done this.
2) Meditate on the meaning of the Number Seven in Scripture.
Richard Amiel McGough
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