Canon Formation

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Christian Alexander | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Jan 9 2022 6:47 PM

What is a good source on the formation of the canon of the New Testament and the work of scribes?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 9 2022 8:22 PM

McDonald, Lee Martin. The Formation of the Biblical Canon. Vol. I & II. London; Oxford; New York; New Delhi; Sydney: Bloomsbury; Bloomsbury T&T Clark: An Imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2017. is a good place to start.

The Biblical Canon Lists from Early Christianity: Texts and Analysis by Edmon L. Gallagher (Author), John D. Meade (Author) is also essential but not in Logos.

For scribes see Observing the Scribe at Work: Scribal Practice in the Ancient World (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta) by R Ast (Editor), J Lougovaya (Editor), M Choat (Editor), J Cromwell (Editor), R Yuen-Collingridge (Editor)

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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GregW | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 10 2022 3:46 AM

If you have any Bible Dictionaries it's always worth looking under "Canon" in them - they will also normally point you towards a bibliography to expand your reading further if you wish to do so. ISBE and AYBD certainly both have good articles on the formation of the canon, as does the New Bible Dictionary from IVP as I recall. In fact, you would probably benefit significantly from starting your research on a number of the things you have asked about on here by starting in a Bible Dictionary. If you have Tom Wright's "The New Testament in its world" that also has a helpful chapter on the formation of the NT canon. 

If you don't have any of the "meatier" Bible dictionaries you could always try Factbook, and if you have a base package, the Lexham Bible Dictionary gives you some good pointers. 

There's also F F Bruce's The Canon of Scripture which I found very helpful. 

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Ronald Quick | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 10 2022 8:46 AM

MJ. Smith:
The Biblical Canon Lists from Early Christianity: Texts and Analysis by Edmon L. Gallagher (Author), John D. Meade (Author) is also essential but not in Logos.

Amazon has the kindle version for $10 and the paperback $27.  Do you know if the kindle version has good reproductions of any charts or would it be better to buy the hard copy?

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DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 10 2022 10:04 AM

Ronald Quick:

Amazon has the kindle version for $10 and the paperback $27.  Do you know if the kindle version has good reproductions of any charts or would it be better to buy the hard copy?

Don't know what exactly you're asking. But indeed hebrew/greek pairing, and quite detailed (eg examples/discussion from deutero, DSS, eastern church, etc; not just the traditional. See example above (software put it in your quote!) from Kindle.

In contrast, in Logos, Evans and Tov pair up as editors, on a more in-depth discussion of 'use' (vs evidence of lists).

Added: Cogitate on this statement (regarding a well-regarded church father) " ... 'as scripture' does not mean that he includes them in his canon."

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Kathleen Marie | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 10 2022 12:50 PM

Until recently, I thought I knew more than I did about canon formation. I had read a decent volume of literature on the topic and it all was similar. If the resources are all similar, that is probably an indication that most of us need to be more systematic about searching for a wider variety of resources.

Thanks everyone. I just realized that I need a folder in my bookmarks for "canon". This thread will go at the top of the list.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 10 2022 3:25 PM

Kathleen Marie:
Until recently, I thought I knew more than I did about canon formation. I had read a decent volume of literature on the topic and it all was similar. If the resources are all similar, that is probably an indication that most of us need to be more systematic about searching for a wider variety of resources.

Much of the material on the canon is myopic - it ignores what was happening on the ground, ignores almost all of the Oriental church, the Armenians, tje Georgians ...Pretends everything was standardize when it was not/is not ... in short, if takes a great deal of digging to see much of the real canon process. The Canon comparison tool in Logos has some good references but messed up a bit of its data re: Slavic Orthodox and thought an Oriental Orthodox church was Eastern Orthodox. IIRC it was released before the Beta Israel canon was added.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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