What counts as literature? Thinking of literature as a consciously aesthetic, high-minded activity does not work if applied to the New Testament. ‘The New Testament and the literary canon’ defines literature according to its effects on its readers rather than its linguistic value, and looks at how we can apply this concept of literature to reading the New Testament. Great literature provides humans with the equipment for living; it verbalizes experiences that resonate with audiences. The Bible has been a significant influence on Western literature. How have authors used the Bible? Literary appropriation of the New Testament helps defamiliarize the text away from a religious context. This opens it up to a greater audience.