What does Cannon mean in a religious context?

As in, "The scripture was cannonized." Also there are positions in the Catholic church called Cannon. And I believe Cannon is a section of the church as well. Where did this word come from and what does it mean in a religious context?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    'Canon,' in this context, comes from a word meaning 'measuring rod.' It refers to the books which are recognized as being the Word of God.

    For Old Testament books, they were not accepted unless people knew that they were written by a prophet. Most books of the Old Testament have a connection to the book before them; this is known as the colophon principle. Many of the apocryphal books in Catholic bibles were never accepted by the Jews of the time, but were added centuries later.

    For New Testament books, they were not accepted unless they were written by an apostle or by a close traveling companion of an apostle (ie, Mark and Luke).

    As far as the Catholic church goes, they have their 'canon law,' which they define as "the name attached to that body of rules or laws for the direction of all faithful in matters of faith and conduct." It is their laws which they have added to the Bible.

    As far as a 'section of the church,' I assume you mean a church building; in classical architecture, the chancel is the area where the people sit.

    Source(s): www.orchardhills.net
  • Mantis
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    The 'Cannon' is the body of official holy books. There may well be additional books that are published and used, but if they're not part of the cannon they aren't authoratative. If there is any disagreement between one of the other books and the cannon, the cannon is considered correct. If a catholic priest publishes a book that says wearing a wig is evil, that doesn't mean you can't wear a wig. His book isn't cannon. If his book says something that contradicts a cannon scripture, the cannon is right and the book is wrong, by definition.

    The concept exists outside of religion, too. In Star Wars, the six core movies are the "cannon." There are dozens of additional books published, but they're not official. If a book says that Han Solo has a mole on his neck, but there's a scene in one of the movies where you see his neck and there's no mole, the movie is considered "correct." In programming, it doesn't matter if a dozen books tell you the correct way to declare a variable is XYZZY if the official standard says XyZzY. The official standard trumps everything else.

  • 1 decade ago

    Oh boy, Canon means a lot of things! Several examples of religious context:

    An ecclesiastical law or code of laws established by a church council

    A secular law, rule, or code of law, An established principle, A basis for judgment; a standard or criterion

    The books of the Bible officially accepted as Holy Scripture

    The part of the Mass beginning after the Preface and Sanctus and ending just before the Lord's Prayer

    The calendar of saints accepted by the Roman Catholic Church.

    A member of a chapter of priests serving in a cathedral or collegiate church.

    A member of certain religious communities living under a common rule and bound by vows.

    The word Canon origniated from the Greek word Kanon meaning rule.

  • 1 decade ago

    It comes from the greek word Kanon and the hebrew word qaneh. It's basic meaning is "reed" and in English it means "cane". Since a reed was sometimes used as a measuring rod the word kanon came to mean standard or rule. It also refers to a list or index of the books of the Holy Scripture. So if someone refers to canon it speaks to the devinely inspired Holy Scriptures.

    Regarding the Catholic church, I cannot answer.

    Source(s): Read the book called "How We Got the Bible" by Neil Lightfoot. Excellent information
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  • 1 decade ago

    It's spelled Canon.

    can·on

    n.

    1.An ecclesiastical law or code of laws established by a church council.

    2.A secular law, rule, or code of law.

    3.

    a.An established principle: the canons of polite society.

    b.A basis for judgment; a standard or criterion.

    4.The books of the Bible officially accepted as Holy Scripture.

    5.Canon The part of the Mass beginning after the Preface and Sanctus and ending just before the Lord's Prayer.

    6.The calendar of saints accepted by the Roman Catholic Church.

    [Middle English canoun, from Old English canon, and from Old French both from Latin cann, rule, from Greek kann, measuring rod, rule.]

    Now, the Council of Nicea in 323 A.D. decided which Gospels would be considered true history and which would be "heresy". They canonized the chapters that would be the New Testament. The Creed of Nicea expressed what the great majority of bishops at the council found to be traditional, Biblical, and orthodox of the Christian faith, a faith in which they believed so firmly that they were willing to die for it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    First, it's not "cannon", it's "Canon". Canons are laws of a church.

    " Canon law concerns the constitution of the church, relations between it and other bodies, and matters of internal discipline. The ecclesiastical lawyer and teacher Gratian published the first definitive collection of Roman Catholic canon law c. 1140; the Decretum Gratiani drew on older local collections, councils, Roman law, and church fathers. The enlarged Corpus juris canonici (“Body of Canon Law”) was published in 1500. A commission of cardinals issued the new Codex juris canonici (“Code of Canon Law”) in 1917, and a revised version was commissioned after the Second Vatican Council and published in 1983. Following the Schism of 1054, the Eastern Orthodox church developed its own canon law under the patriarch of Constantinople. The Anglican, Coptic, and Ethiopian Orthodox churches also formulated their own collections."

  • 1 decade ago

    Well, there's the canon of the church; those are the writings considered to be authentic - see link below

    But I believe what you're asking about is the process of canonization, by which someone is recognized as a saint according to the Catholic Church - see 2nd link below

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    can·on1 (kăn'ən)

    n.

    An ecclesiastical law or code of laws established by a church council.

    A secular law, rule, or code of law.

    An established principle: the canons of polite society.

    A basis for judgment; a standard or criterion.

    The books of the Bible officially accepted as Holy Scripture.

    A group of literary works that are generally accepted as representing a field: “the durable canon of American short fiction” (William Styron).

    The works of a writer that have been accepted as authentic: the entire Shakespeare canon.

    Canon The part of the Mass beginning after the Preface and Sanctus and ending just before the Lord's Prayer.

    The calendar of saints accepted by the Roman Catholic Church.

    Music. A composition or passage in which a melody is imitated by one or more voices at fixed intervals of pitch and time.

    [Middle English canoun, from Old English canon and from Old French, both from Latin canōn, rule, from Greek kanōn, measuring rod, rule.]

    can·on2 (kăn'ən)

    n.

    A member of a chapter of priests serving in a cathedral or collegiate church.

    A member of certain religious communities living under a common rule and bound by vows.

    [Middle English canoun, from Norman French canun, from Late Latin canōnicus, one living under a rule, from Latin canōn, rule. See canon1.]

    Source(s): dictoinary.com
  • 1 decade ago

    If you mean "canon", then that means that it is an accepted part of the religion. The same idea applies to TV shows, such as the Enterprise-E being Sovereign class is part of the Star Trek canon.

    When referring to a section of a church, a canon usually means the choir.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It generally means the accepted scripture. When a book is canonized it means it has become a part of the accepted scripture. I do not know where the term comes from though.

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