Reflecting further on the tendency of fundamentalists and inerrantists to flatten the voices of Scripture, to blend them or select from among them in order to reduce them to a single voice, it became apparent to me that the early church chose a different path, consciously trying to avoid this.
Matthew rewrote Mark, adding to, subtracting from, and otherwise modifying Mark’s story in numerous ways. Had the church wanted to go the fundamentalist route, there was a clear path to follow: get rid of Mark, and allow Matthew’s voice to reign supreme, unchallenged.
By creating a canon that includes both Matthew and Mark, the church chose the path of diversity, development and adaptation rather than the path of fundamentalist uniformity. It has not, of course, consistently been faithful to that choice. But the canon remains as a reminder, once again with a profound irony, that the fundamentalist attempt to commandeer the Bible to eliminate Christian diversity is at odds with the Bible itself.