The ‘canon’ of generally recognised literary and musical classics is flexible and changes with fashion. The Bible today is so little known both outside and within the churches that it appears to have fallen out of this canon. If it is to become once again a central part of Christian life, old perceptions of it need to die. Rather than bowing deferentially to its authority or appropriating it to support our own views, we must learn to recognise it for what it is and engage in honest dialogue with it. The dialogue of many of its characters with God is itself a model for this relationship.