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Exploring the Origins of the Bible: Canon Formation in Historical, Literary, and Theological Perspective
(Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology)

Edited by Craig A. Evans and Emanuel Tov

9780801032424 Retail Price: $22.99
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Format: Paperback, 272pp.
ISBN: 9780801032424
Publisher: Baker Academic
Pub. Date: October 1, 2008

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From The Publisher:

How did the Bible we have come to be? What do biblical scholars mean when they talk about canon, the Septuagint, the Apocrypha, or the Masoretic Text? All this biblical study is interesting, but does it really matter? Leading international scholars explain that it does. This thought-provoking and cutting-edge collection will help you go deeper in your understanding of the biblical writings, how those writings became canonical Scripture, and why canon matters. Beginning with an explanation of the different versions of the Hebrew Bible, scholars in different areas of expertise explore the complexities and issues related to the Old and New Testament canons, why different Jewish and Christian communities have different collections, and the importance of canon to theology.

For those who want to go deeper in their understanding of the canon of Scripture, leading international scholars provide cutting-edge perspectives on various facets of the biblical writings, how those writings became canonical Scripture, and why canon matters. Craig Evans begins by helping those new to the field understand the different versions of the Hebrew Bible as well as the books of the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha. Later essays also help beginners by explaining "canon" and the development of canons in various Jewish and Christian communities, the much-debated tripartite canon of the Hebrew Scriptures, and questions of authority. But the book also includes insightful explorations and perspectives to challenge more advanced readers, starting with Septuagint and Dead Sea Scrolls expert Emanuel Tov delving into the complexities of biblical writing and moving into a critical investigation of the usefulness of extracanonical Gospels for historical Jesus research and an exploration of the relationship of Paul to the canonization process. The result is a thought-provoking book that concludes with discussion of an issue at the fore today--the theological implications of canon.

James H. Charlesworth
Stephen G. Dempster
Craig A. Evans
Lee Martin McDonald
Stanley E. Porter
Emanuel Tov
Jonathan R. Wilson
R. Glenn Wooden


"The eight essays in this volume form a very worthwhile set of considerations of the emerging canons of the Jewish and Christian Bibles. The complexity of the processes of canonization is refreshingly tackled on the basis of both internal and external evidence. Two essays cover some of the implications of the evidence of the Septuagint, two review especially the internal data of the Old Testament and Paul, two put in their places the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament Apocrypha, and two consider the theological bases of the authority that lies behind the text of Scripture. This two-by-two collection is a veritable ark full of expert analysis to enable any reader to navigate the flood of recent writing on canon. Some studies rescue old theories for a new generation; others provide polychromatic perspectives for a fresh start."
—George J. Brooke, University of Manchester


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About the Editors

Craig A. Evans
(PhD, Claremont Graduate University) is Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and is the author of more than thirty books. Emanuel Tov (PhD, Hebrew University) is J. L. Magnes Professor of Bible at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and editor-in-chief of the Dead Sea Scrolls Publication Project.

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