The Formation of the Jewish Canon (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library)

October 31, 2020
The Formation of the Jewish Canon (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library)

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls provides unprecedentedinsight into the nature of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament beforeits fixation. Timothy Lim here presents a complete account of theformation of the canon in Ancient Judaism from the emergence of theTorah in the Persian period to the final acceptance of the list oftwenty-two/twenty-four books in the Rabbinic period.Using the Hebrew Bible, the Scrolls, the Apocrypha, the Letterof Aristeas, the writings of Philo, Josephus, the New Testament,and Rabbinic literature as primary evidence he argues thatthroughout the post-exilic period up to around 100 CE there was notone official "canon" accepted by all Jews; rather, there existed aplurality of collections of scriptures that were authoritative fordifferent communities. Examining the literary sources andhistorical circumstances that led to the emergence of authoritativescriptures in ancient Judaism, Lim proposes a theory of themajority canon that posits that the Pharisaic canon became thecanon of Rabbinic Judaism in the centuries after the destruction ofthe Jerusalem Temple.