Ancient Jew Review hosts a forum on biblical canon, exploring how the concept emerged, if at all, in ancient Judaism.
When did the Bible become the Bible? Recent scholarship has problematized anachronistically projecting our notions about the Bible onto the Second Temple period. Scholars are now asking a series of related questions: What was the function of scripture for specific communities? Which textual traditions were dominant? Which texts were considered ‘scripture’?
This forum highlights some of the issues regarding the form and function of the “Bible” in the Second Temple period. In particular we’re interested in two specific dimensions of this problem:
- Authority: how do we judge the authoritativeness of a text? Does authoritativeness mean that the text should be categorized as ‘scripture’? Can a text be scriptural or authoritative despite being fluid and appearing in different versions?
- Canon: how are canons formed? How are these individual texts incorporated into a canon? Are there different kinds of canon? Is there a major difference between the earliest canons and the canon as it is known today?
The forum consists of the following articles:
Timothy Lim, “Understanding the Emergence of the Jewish Canon“, December 2, 2015
Eva Mroczek, “Imagining Scriptures Before the Canon“, December 9, 2015
Brennan Breed, “Canon: Process, Not Product?“, December 16, 2015
Sidnie White Crawford, “Canon: A Response“, December 23, 2015