Canon: The Card Game is NOW AVAILABLE!

Canon: The Card Game is NOW AVAILABLE! September 3, 2016

Canon: The Card Game is now available for purchase! There are currently three decks available:

The Fandom Edition Deck 1
The New Testament Edition Deck 1
The Old Testament Edition Deck 1

If you click through to the Game Crafter website using any of the above links, you will be able to download the rules, as well as purchase the game.

Each deck contains 108 cards, which will allow 2-8 players to play without difficulty. (If you are playing with just two players, I’d recommend splitting the deck in half if you only have time for a short game). For larger groups, you might want to get an additional deck. I already have different decks planned. Each will allow you to play the game with only that deck, but you can combine decks either to expand the number of players who can participate in a single game, or to create variations of game play for smaller groups. Shuffling two different decks together, then playing with half the cards, results in the number of any specific card being randomized, which can make things more interesting – as well as emulating yet another aspect of canon formation, namely the simple fact that some texts inevitably get wider circulation than others do.

Here are picture-lists of the cards that come in the three decks currently available:

NT Deck #1:

Canon NT deck 1 with names

OT Deck #1:

Canon OT deck 1 with names

Fandom deck #1:

Canon fandom deck 1 with names

On the cards in the Biblical studies decks, I have listed possible objections that one could raise to the canonicity of a particular work. I tried to treat works that are currently non-canonical, and those that are canonical for some but not others, in the same way as works whose canonical status is universally accepted. That text can be ignored, or made a focus of attention, depending on who is playing and what they are interested in or trying to accomplish. I also have versions of every deck without the additional text, for those who want to use the game to test students’ knowledge rather than providing them with information. For instance, one could get both kinds of decks, play first with the cards that provide information, and then subsequently play with blank cards and ask students to provide annotation on them. If such options interest you, let’s talk more about this topic!

Here are the decks that I have planned for release in the near future:

NT Deck #2 (Text Criticism and Apostolic Fathers): 1 Clement, Apostles Creed, Diatessaron, Lord’s Prayer Doxology, Shepherd of Hermas, Letters of Ignatius, Johannine Comma, Longer Ending of Mark, Nicene Creed, Papias, Pericope Adulterae, and the Q Source.

NT Deck #3 (Acts and Epistles): 1-2 Peter, 1-2 Corinthians, 3 Corinthians, Letters of Abgar and Jesus, Letters of Paul and Seneca, Acts of Paul and Thecla, Acts of Thomas, Ephesians, Hebrews, Jude, Laodiceans, and Pastoral Epistles.

NT Deck #4 (Nag Hammadi): Three Steles of Seth, Apocalypse of Adam, Apocryphon of John, Apocalypse of Peter, Gospel of Truth, Hypostasis of the Archons, Paraphrase of Shem, Sophia of Jesus Christ, Testimony of Truth, Thunder Perfect Mind, Treatise on the Resurrection, and the Tripartite Tractate.

NT Deck #5: Johannine Epistles, 2 Clement, 2 Thessalonians, Acts of John, Ascension of Isaiah, Colossians, Didache, Odes of Solomon, Philemon, Philippians, Testament of the 12 Patriarchs, and Table of Contents.

OT Deck #2: 4 Maccabees, Deutero-Isaiah, Additions to Esther, Exodus, Jeremiah (LXX/Qumran version), Prayer of Manasseh, Nahum, Nehemiah, Proverbs, Testament of Abraham, Wisdom of Solomon, Zephaniah.

OT Deck #3: 2 Enoch, 3 Enoch, Bel & the Dragon, Damascus Document, Community Rule, Hosea, Joseph & Aseneth, Mishnah, Psalms of Solomon, Samaritan Pentateuch, Testament of Job, Testament of Solomon.

Fandom Deck #2: Crossover Story, Deleted Scenes, Drafts, Franchise Encyclopedia, Fanzine Articles, Spin-Off, Headcanon, Interviews, Musical Episode, Reboot, Video Games, and Webcomics.

What else, if anything, would you be interested in seeing in future decks for the game? Which additional decks among those listed above would interest you most?

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  • Michael Wilson

    So James, my adopted mother is a fundamentalist and involved in the church, could she find this objectionable? Would you recomend it for Sunday school teaching?

    • It could definitely be used that way – my Sunday school class played it. But you or your mother might want to put together a special combined deck for fundamentalists, who can play using modified rules, and make it their aim not simply to win with whatever cards they happen to have, but to defeat the heretics by making sure that only the right works that are actually part of the NT make it into the canon…