Sidnie White Crawford, “The History of Qumran and its Library: A New Synthesis”

Professor Sidnie White Crawford (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) summarises the latest scholarship on the Qumran library of 800-900 fragmentary manuscripts from the mid-third century BCE to the late first century CE, and the history of the sect responsible for the collection and its scribal/learned characteristics. Her public lecture was delivered on January 25, 2018, on the occasion of receiving a D.Theol honoris causa from the University of Uppsala.

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Canon – An Ancient Jew Review Forum

Ancient Jew Review forum on canon

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