The Canon Debate

Overview

What does it mean to speak of a "canon" of scripture? How, when, and where, did the canon of the Hebrew Bible come into existence? Why does it have three divisions? What canon was in use among the Jews of the Hellenistic diaspora? At Qumran? In Roman Palestine? Among the rabbis? What Bible did Jesus and his disciples know and use? How was the New Testament canon formed and closed? What role was played by Marcion? By gnostics? By the church fathers? What did the early church make of the apocrypha and ...

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The Canon Debate

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Overview

What does it mean to speak of a "canon" of scripture? How, when, and where, did the canon of the Hebrew Bible come into existence? Why does it have three divisions? What canon was in use among the Jews of the Hellenistic diaspora? At Qumran? In Roman Palestine? Among the rabbis? What Bible did Jesus and his disciples know and use? How was the New Testament canon formed and closed? What role was played by Marcion? By gnostics? By the church fathers? What did the early church make of the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha? By what criteria have questions of canonicity been decided? Are these past decisions still meaningful faith communities today? Are they open to revision?

These and other debated questions are addressed by an international roster of outstanding experts on early Judaism and early Christianity, writing from diverse affiliations and perspectives, who present the history of discussion and offer their own assessments of the current status.

Contributors
William Adler, Peter Balla, John Barton, Joseph Blenkinsopp, François Bovon, Kent D. Clarke, Philip R. Davies, James D. G. Dunn, Eldon Jay Epp, Craig A. Evans, William R. Farmer, Everett Ferguson, Robert W. Funk, Harry Y. Gamble, Geoffrey M. Hahneman, Daniel J. Harrington, Everett R. Kalin, Robert A. Kraft, Jack P. Lewis, Jack N. Lightstone, Steve Mason, Lee M. McDonald, Pheme Perkins, James A. Sanders, Daryl D. Schmidt, Albert C. Sundberg Jr., Emanuel Tov, Julio Trebolle-Barrera, Eugene Ulrich, James C. VanderKam, Robert W. Wall.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801047084
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/1/2001
  • Pages: 700
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Lee Martin McDonald was professor of New Testament studies and president of Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia, Canada (now retired). He is also the author of The Biblical Canon and coauthor of Early Christianity and Its Sacred Literature.

James A. Sanders is professor of religion and president of the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center for Preservation and Research at Claremont Graduate University in California.

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Table of Contents

List of Contributors
Pt. 1 Introduction
1 Introduction 3
Pt. 2 The Old/First Testament Canon
2 The Notion and Definition of Canon 21
3 The Jewish Scriptural Canon in Cultural Perspective 36
4 The Formation of the Hebrew Bible Canon: Isaiah as a Test Case 53
5 The Septuagint: The Bible of Hellenistic Judaism 68
6 Questions of Canon Viewed through the Dead Sea Scroll 91
7 Josephus and His Twenty-Two Book Canon 110
8 Origins of a Tripartite Old Testament Canon 128
9 Jamnia Revisited 146
10 The Rabbis' Bible: The Canon of the Hebrew Bible and the Early Rabbinic Guild 163
11 The Scriptures of Jesus and His Earliest Followers 185
12 The Old Testament Apocrypha in the Early Church and Today 196
13 The Pseudepigrapha in the Early Church 211
14 The Codex and Canon Consciousness 229
15 The Status of the Masoretic Text of Modern Text Editions of the Hebrew Bible: The Relevance of Canon 234
16 The Issues of Closure in the Canonical Process 252
Pt. 3 The New/Second Testament Canon
17 The New Testament Canon: Recent Research and the Status Quaestionis 267
18 Factors Leading to the Selection and Closure of the New Testament Canon: A Survey of Some Recent Studies 295
19 Reflections on Jesus and the New Testament Canon 321
20 Marcion Revisited 341
21 Gnosticism and the Christian Bible 355
22 Evidence for an Early Christian Canon (Second and Third Century) 372
23 The New Testament Canon of Eusebius 386
24 The Muratorian Fragment and the Origins of the New Testament Canon 405
25 Identifying Scripture and Canon in the Early Church: The Criteria Question 416
26 The Problem of Pseudonymity in Biblical Literature and Its Implications for Canon Formation 440
27 The Greek New Testament as a Codex 469
28 Issues in the Interrelation of New Testament Textual Criticism and Canon 485
29 The Canonical Structure of Gospel and Apostle 516
30 The Significance of a Canonical Perspective of the Church's Scripture 528
31 The Once and Future New Testament 541
32 Has the Canon a Continuing Function? 558
App. A Primary Sources for the Study of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible 580
App. B Primary Sources for the Study of the New Testament Canon 583
App. C Lists and Catalogues of Old Testament Collections 585
App. D Lists and Catalogues of New Testament Collections 591
Select Bibliography 599
Subject Index 625
Index of Modern Authors 633
Index of Ancient and Medieval Sources 643
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