The Old Testament Canon History and Theology
TANAKH :Traditional views • Ezra as conclusion • Jamnia/Javneh (ca. 90 CE) as certification • Three-part canonization • Torah with Ezra [5th century BCE ?] • Prophets before turn of eras • Writings completed by Jamnia
TANAKH :an alternative view • Canonization of Torah by usage • Standardization as result of post-exilic settlement • Usage of additional books • Addition of these books as “Prophets” • Decisions of canon limits • Division of Prophets into Prophets and Writings
The Christian Old Testament • In the New Testament and Apostolic Fathers • The Impact of Marcion • Affirmation of OT as canonical • Question of extent of canon(s) • Evidence of Manuscripts
Canon Lists • Melito of Sardis (ca. 170) • Hebrew content, minus Esther • Festal Letter 39 of Athanasius (367) • Cyril of Jerusalem (d.386) • expressly rejects any beyond 22 • Patriarch Nicephorus of Constantinople (ca. 750-828) • intermediate group of 9 books
Conciliar Decisions • Local councils • Laodicea (ca 360) • did not even permit reading of those outside the 22 • Synod of Carthage (397) • included Wis, Sir, Tob, Jdth, 1/2Mac • varying churches? (e.g., Ethiopia)
The Reformation(s) • Influences • Doctrinal disputes • Renaissance return ad fontes • Aftermath • Presbyterian insistence on Hebrew canon • Trent insistence on Vulgate listing [?] • Viae mediae (e.g., Anglicans, Lutherans) • Recent developments • Bible society actions
Theological Issues:Unity and Diversity • forms and genre • doctrinal development, progressive revelation, discovery of treasures • canons within the canons? • order of the books • can prior decisions (based on presuppositions) be changed with new knowledge?
Theological Issues:Relationship of OT to NT • Terminology • First testament / Second testament • Tanakh / New Testament • Hebrew Bible / Greek Bible • Fulfillment, supercession, or ? • Keys to one another -- mutual interpretation
Theological Issues:Uses of Scripture • witness [and apologetics] • instruction in way of life • individual spiritual growth/formation/direction • establishment of doctrine [systematic and dogmatic theology] • why do we want to do that?