The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls provides unprecedented insight into the nature of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament before its fixation. Timothy Lim here presents a complete account of the formation of the canon in Ancient Judaism from the emergence of the Torah in the Persian period to the final acceptance of the list of twenty-two/twenty-four books in the RabbinicThe discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls provides unprecedented insight into the nature of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament before its fixation. Timothy Lim here presents a complete account of the formation of the canon in Ancient Judaism from the emergence of the Torah in the Persian period to the final acceptance of the list of twenty-two/twenty-four books in the Rabbinic period. Using the Hebrew Bible, the Scrolls, the Apocrypha, the Letter of Aristeas, the writings of Philo, Josephus, the New Testament, and Rabbinic literature as primary evidence he argues that throughout the post-exilic period up to around 100 CE there was not one official “canon” accepted by all Jews; rather, there existed a plurality of collections of scriptures that were authoritative for different communities. Examining the literary sources and historical circumstances that led to the emergence of authoritative scriptures in ancient Judaism, Lim proposes a theory of the majority canon that posits that the Pharisaic canon became the canon of Rabbinic Judaism in the centuries after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple....
|Title||:||The Formation of the Jewish Canon|
|Number of Pages||:||304 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Formation of the Jewish Canon Reviews
This book is not an easy read. Nevertheless, if you have any interest in how the limits of the Hebrew Scriptures were decided upon, you have to read this book. Most of the book is a leisurely walk through the various issues, with each issue receiving an extensive review of the various theories. Yet this is more than a mere literature review. Timothy Lim gives each competing theory its due, noting the rationale of each, while being careful to point out the flaws and potential alternate arguments. The author takes his time getting to his conclusions, which are presented at the end. By the time you finish the book, you will have received a graduate-level introduction to the issues involving the formation of the Jewish Canon.
I have to admit, the first time I read this book, I didn't love it. I know Lim, the author, and he is a very bright scholar. But the chapters in this book do not flow together well. At first, this took me out of the argument on numerous occasions, and although I was learning a great deal about the development of the Jewish canon, I found myself constantly having to remind myself of exactly what Lim was proposing. And then I revisited much of the book, and gathered an entirely new appreciation for it. The chapters may not flow together well, but they stand alone perfectly in a way that they can be read individually in order to reflect on the way each issue Lim raises relates to the development of the canon. Also, Lim tackles seemingly every single important issue in relationship to this topic, from relevant scholarship, to relevant second temple literature and historical events. He leaves no stone unturned. I still think that each chapter could have used some concluding section that reminded the reader not only of the content of that chapter, but of precisely how the argument of that chapter was threaded through the overall argument of the majority canon. Also, I think that at points Lim was almost too slavish to dealing with the arguments of other scholars. But overall, this is a forceful book and an important contribution to our understanding of the development of the Jewish canon.