The Canon Debate

The Canon Debate

by Lee Martin McDonald, James A. Sanders

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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.

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: 9781441241634
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/01/2001
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 700
File size: 2 MB

About 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 emeritus at Claremont School of Theology.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors ix

Part 1 Introduction

1 Introduction Lee Martin McDonald James A. Sanders 3

Part 2 The Old/First Testament Canon

2 The Notion and Definition of Canon Eugene Ulrich 21

3 The Jewish Scriptural Canon in Cultural Perspective Philip R. Davies 36

4 The Formation of the Hebrew Bible Canon: Isaiah as a Test Case Joseph Blenkinsopp 53

5 The Septuagint: The Bible of Hellenistic Judaism Albert C. Sundberg Jr. 68

6 Questions of Canon Viewed through the Dead Sea Scrolls James C. VanderKam 91

7 Josephus and His Twenty-Two Book Canon Steve Mason 110

8 Origins of a Tripartite Old Testament Canon Julio C. Trebolle Barrera 128

9 Jamnia Revisited Jack P. Lewis 146

10 The Rabbis' Bible: The Canon of the Hebrew Bible and the Early Rabbinic Guild Jack N. Lightstone 163

11 The Scriptures of Jesus and His Earliest Followers Craig A. Evans 185

12 The Old Testament Apocrypha in the Early Church and Today Daniel J. Harrington, S.J. 196

13 The Pseudepigrapha in the Early Church William Adler 211

14 The Codex and Canon Consciousness Robert A. Kraft 229

15 The Status of the Masoretic Text in Modern Text Editions of the Hebrew Bible: The Relevance of Canon Emanuel Tov 234

16 The Issue of Closure in the Canonical Process James A. Sanders 252

Part 3 The New/Second Testament Canon

17 The New Testament Canon: Recent Research and the Status Quaestionis Harry Y. Gamble 267

18 Factors Leading to the Selection and Closure of the New Testament Canon: A Survey of Some Recent Studies Everett Ferguson 295

19 Reflections on Jesus and the New Testament Canon William R. Farmer 321

20 Marcion Revisited John Barton 341

21 Gnosticism and the Christian Bible Pheme Perkins 355

22 Evidence for an Early Christian Canon (Second and Third Century) Peter Balla 372

23 The New Testament Canon of Eusebius Everett R. Kalin 386

24 The Muratorian Fragment and the Origins of the New Testament Canon Geoffrey Mark Hahneman 405

25 Identifying Scripture and Canon in the Early Church: The Criteria Question Lee Martin McDonald 416

26 The Problem of Pseudonymity in Biblical Literature and Its Implications for Canon Formation Kent D. Clarke 440

27 The Greek New Testament as a Codex Daryl D. Schmidt 469

28 Issues in the Interrelation of New Testament Textual Criticism and Canon Eldon Jay Epp 485

29 The Canonical Structure of Gospel and Apostle François Bovon 516

30 The Significance of a Canonical Perspective of the Church's Scripture Robert W. Wall 528

31 The Once and Future New Testament Robert W. Funk 541

32 Has the Canon a Continuing Function? James D. G. Dunn 558


A Primary Sources for the Study of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible Canon Lee Martin McDonald 580

B Primary Sources for the Study of the New Testament Canon Lee Martin McDonald 583

C Lists and Catalogues of Old Testament Collections Lee Martin McDonald 585

D Lists and Catalogues of New Testament Collections Lee Martin McDonald 591

Select Bibliography 599

Index of Subjects 625

Index of Modern Authors 633

Index of Ancient and Medieval Sources 643

1 Old Testament / Hebrew Bible 643

2 Apocrypha of the Old Testament 647

3 New Testament 648

4 Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament 652

5 Writings from the Judean Desert 653

6 Rabbinic Literature and Targumim 653

7 Writings from Nag Hammadi 655

8 Other Ancient and Medieval Writings 655

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