Lee Martin McDonald

in The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780199254255
Published online April 2009 |

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology


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This chapter examines the notion of canon in antiquity and its application to the writings that eventually received canonical recognition in the Jewish and Christian communities of faith. It is shown that the investigation of the Hebrew Bible and the First or Old Testament of the Church are inextricably bound together. Although the lack of agreement in antiquity on the definition of a biblical canon, as well as the books that comprise it, and the inconsistency in the use of terms to describe it and its processes make any investigation of the origins and stabilization of the Bible more difficult, some inferences and conclusions can be drawn. The chapter begins with a focus on the context of canon formation, and then proceeds to what can be discerned in the ancient sources.

Keywords: biblical canons; Judaism; Christianity; scribes; scriptures; antiquity; Hebrew Bible; Old Testament

Chapter.  16186 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies ; Biblical Studies

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