Formation of the Biblical Canon: Volume 1
The Old Testament: Its Authority and Canonicity
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 584
Width: 16.9 cm
Height: 24.4 cm
Lee Martin McDonald provides a magisterial overview of the development of the biblical canon --- the emergence of the list of individual texts that constitutes the Christian bible. In these two volumes -- in sum more than double the length of his previous works -- McDonald presents his most in-depth overview to date. McDonald shows students and researchers how the list of texts that constitute 'the bible' was once far more fluid than it is today and guides readers through the minefield of different texts, different versions, and the different lists of texts considered 'canonical' that abounded in antiquity. Questions of the origin and transmission of texts are introduced as well as consideration of innovations in the presentation of texts, collections of documents, archaeological finds and Church councils. In this first volume McDonald reexamines issues of canon formation once considered settled, and sets the range of texts that make up the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament) in their broader context. Each indidvidual text is discussed, as are the cultural, political and historical situations surrounding them. The second volume considers the New Testament, and the range of so-called 'apocryphal' gospels that were written in early centuries, and used by many Christian groups before the canon was closed. Also included are comprehensive appendices which show various canon lists for both Old and New Testaments and for the bible as a whole.
A work of immense scholarship yet made very readable across its mighty two volumes. * Reference Reviews * Lee McDonald's work on the canon is the culmination of a lifetime's work. It is simply the most comprehensive and thorough treatment of the subject available. It should be a basic reference work. * John J. Collins, Yale University, USA * Lee McDonald continues to amaze us with his wisdom, wide experience and knowledge on the formation, nature, and content of the biblical canon. this enriched edition is an absolute must for all those interested in all the literatures and religions covered by this book. * Emanuel Tov, Dead Sea Scrolls Publication Project, Israel * The question of canon is both interesting and crucial. What was the process that led to the recognition of the sacred collection of Scripture as we now know it? Lee McDonald has devoted much of his distinguished career to the question of the canon of the Old and the New testaments. In The Formation of the Biblical Canon McDonald shares his considerable knowledge as he presents the evidence that we have from antiquity and then carefully assesses its significance. It goes without saying that his work is must-reading for anyone who is interested in the question of canon. * Tremper Longman III, Westmont College, USA * McDonald provides the most thorough account of the formation of the Biblical canon currently available. He considers the texts not only from the perspective of formal discussions and manuscript evidence of "canon" but, even more importantly, from the perspective of their functioning as "scripture" across a broad spectrum of religious communities prior, and prerequisite to, such discussions. He considers as well the historical developments that contributed to the delineation of "canon" as opposed to the fluid collection of "scripture." The present two-volume work is the culmination of a career-long fascination with, and investigation into, the question of how the collections of both testaments came about it; it is nothing less than a landmark contribution. * David A. deSilva, Ashland Theological Seminary, USA * In what is arguably the definitive treatment of the formation and character of the biblical canon today, Lee McDonald offers us an exhaustive and insightful gift! In its revised and expanded form, this two-volume text presents a detailed treatment of how the texts of the Old and New Testaments were gathered over many centuries and diverse contexts, elucidating their meaning and guiding their interpretation as authoritative texts. * Paul N. Anderson, George Fox University, USA *