This document is part of the Festschrift in Honor of Charles Speel, edited by Thomas J. Sienkewicz and James E. Betts and published by Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois in 1997. The Table of Contents for this volume can be accessed here. If you have any questions, you may contact Tom Sienkewicz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The Old Testament of the Early Church" Revisited
Albert C. Sundberg, Jr.
During the tenth decade of the nineteenth century C.E. a scholarly consensus was reached regarding the canon of the Hebrew scriptures, the Old Testament of Protestant Christianity. It was agreed that the formation of that canon was an historical process which took place over the centuries in three steps that came to form the tripartite Hebrew (or Palestinian) canon1 of Law, Prophets and Writings. The first collection to be canonized consisted of the first five books of the Bible and was variously called: the Law (Hebrew, Torah), the Pentateuch, the Books of Moses. This collection was canonized about 400 B.C.E. The second collection canonized was the Prophets (Hebrew, Nabim), which was canonized about 200 B.C.E. Writings (Kethûbim, Greek, Hagiographa) were canonized about 90 C.E. This last canonization was understood as ratifying a commonly used, complete collection since the second or first century B.C.E.
In the consensus there was general agreement that canonization was a process. However, access to that process was exceedingly limited due to the stark dearth of information. The historical facts concerning the closing of the Law include the story of Ezra returning from Babylon to Jerusalem in 458 B.C.E. with "the Law of God" in his hand (Ezra 7.7-16), and the story of Ezras reading of the Law before the congregation some fourteen years later (444 B.C.E., Neh. 8-10).2 Except for certain time-restricting factors discussed below, our remaining knowledge about the canonization of the Law stems from literary analysis of the books and informed re-creation.
Briefly described,3 literary analysis has shown that a primary history of Israel was produced in antiquity by the weaving together and editing of four principal literary sources (Freedman 1962). Edited about 650 B.C.E., it told the achievements of Israel from Abraham to David. About 550 the Deuteronomic code was inserted into the primary history just before the death of Moses. The Book of Kings was written in the spirit of Deuteronomy about 600 and the Book of Judges was re-edited in the same spirit about 550. All these combined together and edited formed the primary history down to just after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.E.
Subsequently the first five books of this primary history were separated from the rest and joined together as the Law. This must have been a momentous happening. However, the time, the place and the reason for this sudden disruption in the growth of the primary history are left to conjecture. Perhaps it occurred in preparing a "sanctuary Law" in anticipation of the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. The "sanctuary Law" was the primary function of the "Law" from the rebuilding of the Jerusalem temple under Nehemiah until its destruction in 70 C.E. However, as we will see, we cannot be sure that the publication of the Law and its canonization, when it became the national Law of God accepted by all Jews, were synonymous.
If either the story of Ezra bringing the book of the Law of God to Jerusalem (Ezra 7.11-26) or the story of Ezra reading the Law to the congregation in Jerusalem fourteen years later (Neh. 8-10) is to be taken as the publication of the Law, can either be taken as the canonization of the Law? It seems unlikely that the authority of Deuteronomy (von Rad 1962) was universally recognized in Judaism4 or that the Law had been canonized when the Jews in Elephantine (an island in the Nile facing Assuan) built a temple to God (Yahu or Yaho) in the sixth century B.C.E.5 Nor is it likely that the Law had been canonized when the Jewish inhabitants asked permission from Jerusalem in 408 to rebuild the Jewish Elephantine temple after its destruction.6 These circumstances define the earliest date after which the Law can have been canonized, the terminus a quo. Thus, the canonization of the Law can hardly have been before 400 B.C.E.
On the other hand, the Law clearly had been canonized before the writing of Chronicles about 250 B.C.E,7in which the Law is regarded as revealed to Moses8 and also before it was translated into Greek (the Septuagint or LXX),9 about 250 B.C.E. The date of the Samaritan schism possibly could be helpful, since the Samaritans accepted only the Law as their canon, presumably antedating the Prophets canon. However, the date of the Samaritan separation from Judaism is equivocal. The Chronicler apparently puts the date of separation in the time of Nehemiah (432 B.C.E.; Neh. 13.28 f.).10 However, Josephus, the first century C.E. Jewish historian, probably correctly, dates the building of the Samaritan temple on Mt. Garizim a century later, in the time of Alexander the Great.11 The earliest Jewish slur against the Samaritans is found in Sirach (50.25 f.), dating about 180 B.C.E. The earliest name for the Law, "the Torah of Moses," is not found in the Pentateuch nor in the pre-Exilic literary prophets. It does appear in the Former Prophets (Josh. 8.31-32; 23.6; 1 Ki. 2.3; 2 Ki. 14.6; 23.25) but apparently does not there refer to the entire corpus of the Law. But its use in post-Exilic writings (e.g., Mal 3.22; Dan. 9.11, 13; Ezra 3.2; 7.6; Neh. 8.1; 2 Chr. 23.18; 30.16) probably does refer to the entire corpus (Sarna:1971). Thus the terminus ad quem, the latest possible date for the canonization of the Law, is probably set by the Chronicler (c.350 B.C.E.).
The Prophets collection was canonized about two centuries after the Law, i.e., about 200 B.C.E. This collection is divided into two sections, the Former Prophets (the historical books): Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, which were in circulation about 550 and reached their final form before the Latter Prophets. Except for minor editorial changes made later, the Chronicler utilized the Former Prophets in their final form. However, apparently he did not regard them as canonical because he took great liberties with them, especially with Samuel and Kings, in his rewriting of the national history.
The Latter Prophets (Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah and the Twelve12) contain sections undoubtedly from the third century (cf. Isa. 24-27; Pfeiffer 1941:61, 441-443). This places the terminus a quo after the Chronicler. On the other hand, the absence of the Book of Daniel (dating 164 B.C.E.) from the collection indicates that the collection was already closed at its writing, otherwise it would have been included. Thus, the Prophets collection must have been canonized about 200 B.C.E. Sirach13 44-49, a list of famous men in Jewish history, is a summary of the Law (ch. 44-45) and Prophets (the Former, 46-48.18; 49.1-50; the Latter, 48.20-25; 49.6-10, even naming the Twelve). H. J. Cadbury found that Septuagintal language has influenced the Greek of Sirach. He says, "That the translator knew the prior Greek translations of some of the canonical books is not only implied in the preface. . . but is sufficiently proved by his use of identical Greek with the Septuagint in the same context" (Cadbury 1955:219-225). This is shown in verbal coincidences that are most striking in the catalogue of famous men and their respective parallels in the Old Testament and in detailed descriptions of the accouterments and service of the High Priest. In some cases these coincidences are striking because of the unusualness of the words, or the transfer of a word in the same context where Sirach and the Septuagint agree against the Masoretic text (1 Sam. 13.3), or where the translator shows a knowledge of Greek Chronicles. This evidence that the translator of Sirach knew a standard Septuagint text tends to confirm the judgment that the statements in the prologue testify to the canonical status of the Prophets. Thus, it is evident that the canon in Sirach consisted of the Law and the Prophets. Daniel (9.2) cites Jeremiah (25.11 ff.) as "the word of the Lord to Jeremiah."
We are confronted with a group of books, the Prophets, appearing in history about 200 B.C.E. as a closed canon. There is no description of their canonization, no public ceremony as, possibly, in the case of the Law. It is simply that we observe a time when the Prophets apparently were not canonical. Then we observe a subsequent time when the Prophets are treated as canonical in the literature. But no record of this transition has survived.
Not only did Sirach regard the Law and Prophets as canonical. He also made use of other books: Psalms, Proverbs, Ezra-Nehemiah and, possibly, Job. He even appears to have considered his own book as inspired (24.33 f.). The "Preface" to Sirach, written by Ben Siras grandson when he translated the work into Greek, three times refers to "the Law and the Prophets," with a recognition of other books in each instance. He says, "and the other books that follow them," "and the other books of our fathers," and "and the rest of the books," respectively. Thus, both Ben Sira and his grandson knew closed collections of Law and Prophets but the grandson-translator is the first to take notice of other books in context with the canonical Law and Prophets. These books were not yet named as a collection nor is there any hint that a collection was in mind. Nevertheless, other books were associated with the canonical collections (Orlinsky 1991).14 I Maccabees (7.17, about 100 B.C.E.) quotes from Ps. 79.2-3 in a way similar to quotations from the Law and the Prophets. The Book of Daniel (164 B.C.E.) also is quoted in 1 Macc. 2.59 f. (and possibly in 1.54). According to 2 Macc. 2.13 (written soon after 124 B.C.E.), Nehemiah founded a library and collected "the books about the kings and prophets and the writings of David and letters of kings about sacred gifts." Here we have no recognizable collections except (possibly) the Prophets. The "writings of David" are, in all probability, the Psalms. But the author appears to have had nothing in mind relating to the developing canon as we have been discussing it, not even a mention of the Law. Philo, the Jewish philosopher of Alexandria, contemporary with Jesus, cites Ezra similar to scripture. In Lk. 24.44, the risen Christ speaks of "the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms." The evidentiary value here must be dated at the time Luke was written, toward the end of the first century C.E.
Writing about 90 C.E., Josephus gives us the first glimpse of a nearly finished Jewish canon. It is not a list of the books; however, Josephus makes it clear that it is a numbering of the Jewish scriptures. He writes that the prophets alone had the privilege of writing the ancient history which was revealed to them by divine inspiration. These Jewish books are limited in number to twenty-two (the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet).15 Josephus organized the books as follows: five books of Moses (i.e., the Law). Prophets subsequently wrote the history of their own times from Moses to the time of Artaxerxes (I, 458 B.C.E.) in thirteen books. The remaining four books included hymns to God (probably the Psalms) and precepts for the conduct of life.16 Josephus divides the canon into "five books of Moses," "the Prophets" in thirteen books and "the remaining four books" including "hymns to God and precepts for the conduct of life." Just how his divisions are made to account for the list of the Hebrew canon could be debated, if we may assume that these were the precise books Josephus had in mind. Josephus appears to have known only "books of Moses" and "Prophets" as names of collections. However, knowing these collection names, he appears to have been confronted with a closed canon of twenty-two books but without a name for a third collection. He, thus, adjusted as best he could, enlarging the Prophets to include all histories (in which he had a particular interest), Chronicles, Ezra (-Nehemiah), Ruth, Esther and the prophet Daniel, with a minimal "remaining four books." Josephus is witness to a numerical limitation on the Jewish canon. Even though the final number of books in the Hebrew canon is twenty-four, Josephus was very close. Josephus also indicates that the text of the canon was of long standing. He says, "For, although such long ages have now passed, no one has ventured either to add, or to remove, or to alter a syllable" (Apion 1.42).
Josephus also made another significant contribution to the question of canon. Josephus limited the period of divine inspiration to the time from Moses to the time of Artaxerxes I.17 It is evident that Josephus dated the twenty-two books within this period. While the history following Artaxerxes down to Josephus own time had been written, these writings were not of equal credit with the twenty-two because of the failure of the exact succession of the prophets. Josephus is, thus, the first witness to a twenty-two book canon and to a time-limited theory of inspiration.18
Following the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. and the consequent disorganization of Judaism, rabbinical schools began to come into prominence as a remaining form of Jewish organization. After his escape from besieged Jerusalem, Rabbi Johanan ben Zakki asked the Roman general for and gained permission to moved his school to Jamnia (Jabneh, Javneh) where it became the leading school (Lewis 1964 and Leiman 1976:120-124). Many of its decisions came to be accepted throughout Judaism. Johanan was succeeded as Nasi (head of the school) by Gamaliel II (80-117 C.E.). Gamaliels term was interrupted when Eleazar ben Azariah was appointed as Nasi. The school had consisted of seventy-two rabbis but at Azariahs accession the school became open to all. Many decisions came to be attributed to "on that day," the day Gamaliel was replaced. Topics discussed at Jamnia about 90 C.E., related to Jewish religious books: outside books, what books rendered the hands unclean, the storing up of books, disputes about certain books, e.g., Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Esther, Sirach, decisions about "on that day," etc.
In 1871 C.E., H. Graetz concluded that the Hebrew canon was finally closed only with the Mishna, which he dated 189 C.E. He also thought that only the penultimate action related to the closing of the canon occurred at what he termed the "Synod of Jamnia." Other scholars rejected this late canonization and suggested that the canonization took place at Jamnia. F. Buhl (1892:24l = Leiman 1976:20), with reservations, popularized this view and, with time, it was advanced in terms of absolute certainty. So, Pfeiffer (1941:64) related, "the Council at Jamnia (ca. A. D. 90), under the leadership of Johanan ben Zakki, fixed for all times the canon of scripture."
This Hebrew canon consisted of twenty-four books: five Law, eight Prophets, and eleven Writings (counting Ezra-Nehemiah and 1, 2 Chronicles as one book each.19 B. Baba Bathra 14b-15a gives the list (Leiman 1976:51 ff.). The collection of the Law is taken for granted and not listed. There follows the order of the Prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the Twelve Minor Prophets. Then the Hagiographa (Writings): Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Daniel, and the Scroll of Esther, Ezra and Chronicles. This canonization was attributed to controversies with Christians who used books as authoritative that were not included in the Hebrew canon. In the closed Hebrew canon the Law retained its unique, primary place; the Prophets and Writings were regarded as "tradition" or "commentary" on the Law, preserving and explaining the Law (McDonald 1988:48-53).20
4 Ezra has a fabulous story of Ezra and five companions rewriting (by inspiration) ninety-four books, twenty-four of which were to be published for the reading of the worthy and the unworthy (the Hebrew canon). He also was to keep seventy books to deliver to the wise, "For in them is the spring of understanding, the fountain of wisdom, and the stream of knowledge." Thus, 4 Ezra (ca. 120 C.E.) is the earliest witness to the closed Hebrew canon of twenty-four books. However, so far as this author was concerned, inspired writing was not limited to the canonical books; he viewed another seventy books also as inspired and to held in secret by the wise for understanding, wisdom and knowledge.21
The oblique reference to seventy other books in 4 Ezra raises the question of extra-canonical books. Apocalyptic writings appeared in Judaism from the Maccabean times to the end of the first century C.E. According to the consensus, these were completely ignored (except for Daniel) by the rabbinical leaders. However, they enjoyed great popularity among some circles. Clearly, the writers and readers of these books did not hold that inspiration had ceased. Also for Greek-speaking Jews of the Diaspora, especially in Alexandria, the canon was thought to have been considerably enlarged. The influence of these additional writings circulating in Alexandrian and Diaspora Judaism was greatly felt in early Christianity. There are quotations from a number of these writings in the New Testament. According to Jerome, Matt. 27.9 quotes an apocryphal writing of Jeremiah. 1 Cor. 2.9, according to Origen, and Eph. 5.14, according to Epiphanius, quote the apocalypse of Elijah. Jude 14-16 names and quotes Enoch 1.9. There are quotations from unknown sources in Jn. 7.38; Lk 11.49 and Jas. 4.5 f. Without making direct quotations, Sirach 5.11 is used in Jas. 1.19; 2 Macc. 6-7 in Heb. 11.35 f.; the Assumption of Moses in Jude 9 (according to Origen). 2 Tim. 3.8 cites the Book of Jannes and Jambres. Probably Heb. 11.37, "they were sawn asunder," refers to the Martyrdom of Isaiah. It is evident, therefore, that the New Testament writers made use of a wider selection of Jewish writings then the Hebrew canon (Pfeiffer 1941:66).
The consensus agreed that Christians had already adopted their scriptures and separated from Judaism before the Council of Jamnia. Since the church became increasingly Greek, it was the Septuagint, with its additional books, that they adopted. Except for Sirach, which was sometimes quoted as scripture in the Talmud and which continued to be copied in Hebrew in Judaism until the twelfth century, all surviving extra-canonical (apocryphal) Jewish religious literature was preserved by Christians.22 Although it cannot be proved, it is generally assumed that the Old Testament of the early Church, that included the Apocrypha,23 was the canon of the Hellenistic Jews of Alexandria. Since the Law (Charles 1913:2.83-122) and the Prophets had been translated into Greek in Alexandria (between 250 and 150 B.C.E.), it came to be assumed by modern scholars that in Alexandria Jews regarded all literature translated from Hebrew or Aramaic as sacred. Also, despite the statement in the "Prologue" of Sirach to the contrary, modern scholars assumed that the demarcation between Prophets and Writings was ignored by Alexandrian Jews. According to Philo (De Cherub. 9) not only were the translators of the Law into Greek inspired but every truly virtuous and wise man is inspired and enabled through the Spirit of God to announce what is hidden to ordinary eyes. Josephus also apparently regarded the apocryphal materials (Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha) as equally authentic as the canonical books. This view of an enlarged canon in Alexandria that included the Apocrypha came to be known as the Alexandrian, or Septuagint, canon (Sundberg 1964), explaining how it was that Christianity used a larger canon for its Old Testament than the Hebrew canon.
The Alexandrian canon hypothesis in modern canonical studies was proposed by J. S. Semler (1771).24Divorcing himself from the dogmatic Protestant position that the Old Testament had always been the books of the Hebrew canon, Semler proposed that Hellenistic Jews of Egypt had a different canon than those in Palestine. Alexandrian Jews and Jews of the Diaspora were a third party that accepted the books of the Apocrypha in their canon. Semler believed that these books were composed in Greek in Alexandria. Like Augustine, Semler believed that the Jewish translators of the Law into Greek were inspired, which gave authority to the enlarged Greek canon. His hypothesis came to be generally accepted in the nineteenth century (Sundberg 1964:7-40). Since Semler, scholarly research has produced no additional evidence supporting the Alexandrian canon hypothesis.
This consensus about the Hebrew and Alexandrian canons began to be challenged in 1957 with the presentation by this writer of a doctoral thesis to the Faculty of Harvard University with the title, The Old Testament of the Early Church.25 These were the days when the discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls were still fresh. I was attracted by the circumstance that scrolls and scroll fragments of books we now call Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha as well as other, often previously unknown, non-sectarian religious writings were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Copies of the Hebrew canonical writings and sectarian writings of the apparently Essene (?)26 inhabitants of Qumran were also found. This appeared strikingly similar to the circumstance in early Christianity as observed above. The resultant thesis challenged the Old Testament canon consensus at two points: Was there really an Alexandrian canon? Was the Hebrew or Jewish canon in Palestine completed (as a de facto canon) before the first century C.E.?
Critique of the Alexandrian canon consisted chiefly in bringing attention to previous scholarly findings that completely undercut the foundations upon which the Alexandrian canon rested. But notice had not been taken as to the effect these had upon the Alexandrian canon hypothesis. The bases upon which the Alexandrian canon had been proposed had simply been forgotten.
Socio-political studies placed the venue for the composition of apocryphal writings in Palestine rather then in Alexandria (Smith 1900; Grant 1923 and 1924, Pfeiffer 1949:63; and Torrey 1945:108). Linguistic analysis of the extra-canonical Jewish literature came to show that most of that literature, rather than having been written in Greek in Alexandria, was actually written in Hebrew or Aramaic in Palestine (Sundberg 1964:62). A Hebrew text of Ben Sira was found in a Geniza in Cairo (Kahle 1960).
The Hellenistic element in Palestinian Judaism is now generally recognized, which was not the case three or four decades ago. S. Lieberman's Greek in Jewish Palestine (1942) and E. R. Goodenough's Jewish Symbols in the Greco-Roman Period (1953) were ground-breaking and not immediately generally accepted. Goodenough (1953:1.8-13) told us that Greek names are nearly as common as Hebrew and Aramaic names combined on first century C.E. Jewish tombs in Palestine and that names of Jews preserved on ossuaries from the period of the Maccabees to 135 C.E. are one third Greek (Goodenough 1953:1.111-132). One inscription from pre-70 C.E. Jerusalem, records the building and dedication of a synagogue "for the reading of the Law and for the teaching of the Commandments." The inscription is in Greek and the name of the builder is Greek. Goodenough (1953:1.8-13) believed that the Law was read in Greek in that synagogue. By the third century C.E. Greek was the predominant language for Jews in Palestine. Goodenough (1953:1.80)27 says that, ". . . Greek inscriptions in Palestinian synagogues show that the placing of Hellenized Judaism, as Alexandrian, over against Palestinian Judaism is unwarranted." Thus, it appears that a significant portion of the Palestinian Jewish population was bi-lingual: Aramaic (and Hebrew as a learned language) and Greek.
Lieberman (1942:15) points out the evidence for the use of Greek in the rabbinic materials and notes an "overwhelming number of Greek words" in the Talmudic literature. More impressive than direct reference to Jews using Greek is the inclusion of Greek words, phrases and proverbs in the sayings of the Jewish preachers (Lieberman 1942:30).28 Lieberman refutes the claim that these were embellishments by preachers to dazzle their ignorant hearers with high-sounding phrases. Rather, he argues, the preacher spoke to the people in their language and style and, thus, this Greek usage reflects the common understanding and usage of the time (Lieberman 1942:37-67).
Furthermore, it has become evident that the Septuagint circulated in Palestine. This inference was suggested to Semler (1771:1.124-128) by the use of the Septuagint in the earliest Christian writings of the New Testament. As noted, Murabaât produced fragments of six Minor Prophets (Micah, Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephniah and Zechariah) in Greek. Barthélemy has shown that the text of these fragments, assigned to the end of the first century C.E., is most probably a recension of the Septuagint and is very similar to Justins Old Testament quotations (Barthélemy 1953). This shows that a Greek text type used among Christians of the second century was current among Jews in Palestine in the first century C.E. Similarly, K. Stendahl (1954:177-180) has provided support for Swetes suggestion that the venue for the text of the New Testament quotations from the Old is to be found in a Palestinian Septuagint tradition. Pfeiffer was probably right saying that the Christians took their Old Testament in Greek before the closing of the canon at Jamnia. But the implication of the above is that the Greek Old Testament adopted by the Christians was received from Palestinian rather than Diaspora Judaism (Cross 1995:128, n. 2).
As the findings of such studies were working their way into scholarly acceptance, the findings of the "Scrolls of the Judaean Desert" kept bringing new and stunning finds to the worlds attention. These finds included fragments of a manuscript in the "Cave of Horror" at Nahal Hehal which belongs to the Greek recension of the Twelve Minor Prophets (Stendahl 1954:177; Cross 1995:47-148; and Lewis 1989). A large cache of Aramaic and Greek documents of the Bar Kokhba era were purchased from tribesmen (Cross 1995:48). All the legible manuscripts found in Cave 7 at Qumran are in Greek, one being the Letter of Jeremy (VanderKam 1994:36). Among the horde of manuscript fragments in Cave 4 were leather fragments of two Septuagint manuscripts, one of Leviticus the other of Numbers (Cross 1995:34, n. 3).
The evidence of the use of Greek by Palestinian Jews, thus, has greatly increased.29 It is now evident that the Septuagint circulated in Palestine long enough by the first century C.E. to have undergone a Palestinian revision and it is apparent that it is that revision that became the Greek Old Testament in the early church (Sundberg 1964:86-94). Hence, the old linguistic/geographic division between Palestine/ Alexandria, Palestine: Hebrew, Aramaic/Alexandria: Greek, no longer obtains. Rather, Palestine can now be viewed as substantially bi-lingual: Aramaic (and Hebrew as a learned language) and Greek. Thus, the linguistic argument, Hebrew, Aramaic: Palestine/Greek: Alexandria, Diaspora, is lost.
The supposition that, since all profane literature was in Greek in Alexandria, it was natural to regard all writings translated from Hebrew or Aramaic as sacred also is insupportable. It does not account for the inclusion in the Christian Old Testament of books written in Greek, such as Wisdom of Solomon and 2 Maccabees. Likewise, the books we term Pseudepigrapha that were composed in Hebrew or Aramaic, such as Enoch, Jubilees and Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, were not included despite their Semitic origin.
It was held that Philo did not know of the limitation of inspiration to ancient days before Ezra. This argument is useless since the first evidence of that limitation of inspiration is, as we observed, in Josephus, i.e., later than Philos lifetime. The contention that the Law was so elevated in Alexandria that the demarcation between Prophets and Writings was not generally recognized seems improbable. The unique authority of the Law was also recognized in Palestine (Smith 1890:145f.; Moore 1927:239 and 245). Moreover, not only does the prologue to Ben Sira witness to the division, "Law, Prophets, other books," but Philo, Contemplative Life 3, also knew the division, "Law, Prophets, Psalms, other books." Similarly, 2 Macc. 15.9, divides the scripture into Law and Prophets. Pfeiffer cited Josephus (Apion 1.8) as evidence for this lack of distinction between Prophets and Writings. But, while Josephus did visit Alexandria, he was a Palestinian Jew until 70 C.E. and afterward he lived in Rome. How is his testimony to be preferred above the Alexandrian sources cited above? Another argument used to support this obliteration of the division between Prophets and other books is Philos predominant quotations from the Law as compared to the rest. But even this claim does not hold. The formulas Philo uses for citations from books outside the Law do not reflect a differentiation between those books and the Law (Ryle 1892:158; 1895:xvii-xxxiii; and Swete 1900:374-375). Even in Palestine the Law possessed such a place of authority that Prophets and Writings were subordinated to the place of commentary (Smith 1871:145-146; Buhl in Leiman 1976:8; and Moore 1927:239 and 245). This subordination, however, did not destroy the distinction between these collections. The dubious character of these arguments supporting the Alexandrian canon hypotheses is evident. Indeed, the Alexandrian canon hypothesis is no longer regarded as viable.
The other point of the consensus on the Old Testament canon that I examined was whether the Hebrew canon was a de facto canon prior to the first century C.E. With the demise of the Alexandrian canon hypothesis, another source for the use by Christians of extra-canonical writings and the inclusion of some of that literature in their Old Testament had to be sought. The circulation of the extra-canonical literature in Alexandria and Diaspora Judaism need not be argued. But what was the situation inside Palestine? As we have seen, proponents of the Alexandrian canon have assumed a de facto canon that was identical, or nearly so, with the Jamnia canon.
The parallel circulation and use of the extra-canonical literature at Qumran among the Dead Sea Scroll sect (Essenes?) is of corroborative importance to this discussion. It is well known that among the Dead Sea finds there are not only texts of the Jewish canon and clearly sectarian writings but also texts and quotations in the sectarian writings of the apocryphal literature as well. Some of this apocryphal literature is shared by both the Qumran sect and the early Christians. However, the Qumran sect had writings of this category that were not shared by the Christians and the reverse is also true. Thus, Christianity did not simply adopt the usage or literary possessions of the Qumran sect. All the apocryphal writings have not been found at Qumran and apparently did not circulate among the Qumran sect. Thus, of the Apocrypha in early Christian use only Ps. 151 (found also in the Septuagint), Tobit, Sirach (found also at Masada in Hebrew) and the Letter of Jeremy (= Baruch 6) are extant at Qumran. Of the Pseudepigrapha used by Christians: 1) Enoch materials (which were quite popular since eleven manuscripts are represented). However, Enoch was not yet a finished book. Nothing of the Similitudes or Parables of Enoch [chapts. 37-71] was found); Jubilees (represented by fifteen or sixteen manuscripts distributed among five caves); probable sources for some of the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs literature such as Levi, Judah and Naphtali (VanderKam 1994:35-41; Charlesworth 1983-1985).
But the Qumran caves have yielded a large number of "new Pseudepigrapha": the Genesis Apocryphon, Noah texts (2, possibly 3), a Jacob text, a Joseph text, a Qahat (Kohath) text, five texts of Aram, nine or ten texts of Moses, two Joshua texts, two Samuel texts, a David text (cf., also, heretofore unknown Psalms in the first Psalm scroll from Cave 11), one, possibly two, Jeremiah texts, seven or eight Ezekiel texts, four Daniel texts (including the Prayer of Nabonidus, and an Esther text!30 Esther, itself, has not been found at Qumran, suggesting that Esther was probably eschewed. Now this Esther text suggests caution concerning that conclusion. These, VanderKam tells us, are only representative of a much larger quantity (VanderKam 1994:42-43). And there are other texts from the Dead Sea caves that do not seem to fit the category, "Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha," e.g.: commentaries, testimonia, legal texts, liturgical texts, calendrical texts, poems, eschatological texts, wisdom texts, business texts, etc. (VanderKam 1994:43-69)31--a whole trove of material previously unknown and not utilized by early Christians.
Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha utilized by early Christians but not found at Qumran include: Apocrypha: 1, 2 Esdras, additions to Esther, Wisdom of Solomon, Baruch, Prayer of Azariah, Song of the Three Young Men, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, 1, 2 Maccabees; Pseudepigrapha: Letter of Aristeas, the Books of Adam and Eve, the Martyrdom of Isaiah, the Sibylline Oracles, the Assumption of Moses, the Book of the Secrets of Enoch, Baruch, Greek and Syriac Apocalyses of 4 Ezra, Psalms of Solomon, 4 Maccabees, Pirke Aboth and the Story of Ahikar (Charles 1913).
With the apocryphal literature found at Qumran and utilized in early Christianity thus laid out for comparison, it becomes eminently clear that Christian usage of this material was not a straight borrowing or adoption from the Qumran sect. There were some writings held in common; but there were a substantially larger number of writings peculiar to each group. This larger number of non-sectarian writings peculiar to each group suggests a wider circulation of these writings than simply these two groups (VanderKam 1983).
In the Old Testament of the Early Church I over enthusiastically identified the larger source of apocryphal literature as that which circulated freely throughout first century Judaism (Sundberg 1964:82, 103 and 129). This clearly overlooked the restricted canonical usage of Samaritans, who regarded only the Law as canonical.32 Similarly, the Sadducees probably should be excluded from that wider use of apocryphal literature as well.33 Contrary to previous beliefs, however, it is possible to argue that the Pharisees probably participated in the circulation of the wider apocryphal literature of first century B.C.E./ first century C.E. Judaism. Pfeiffer was adamant that the "official Judaism" of the first century B.C.E. and C.E. had nothing to do with the Jewish apocryphal literature prior to the closing of the canon at Jamnia. "All these tendencies toward giving canonical standing to Jewish writings outside the Scriptures," Pfeiffer (1941:66) says, "were contemptuously ignored by the Jewish authorities, and never affected normative Judaism in the least.34 He says, "no true Jew ever entertained the slightest doubt concerning the exact bounds of the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings (Pfeiffer 1941:66). As we will see, Pfeiffers stance appears to be overstated. In what follows we are not concerned with canonicity, merely possession.
There are evidences of a continued use of this apocryphal literature in rabbinic literature of later times. Sirach is quoted three times in the Talmud as scripture. It is twice quoted with the introductory formula, "for so it is written in the Book of Ben Sira."35 Ben Sira is also sometimes quoted as "Writings" when the rabbis were proof-texting, e.g., "This matter is written in the Pentateuch as written. . . , repeated in the Prophets, as written. . . , mentioned a third time in the Hagiographa, as written, (here Sirach 12.15 is quoted), it was learned in the Mishnah, . . . ."36 Pfeiffer (1941:66) tells us that the Hebrew text of Sirach was still being copied as late as the twelfth century C.E. It is cited by name in Sanhedrin 100b (= Yeb. 63c), which quotes several verses. According to L. Israel (1905:390) single verses appear in: Yer. Ber. 11b; Yer. Hag. 77c; Yer. Ta'an. 66d; Hag. 13a; Niddah 16b; Gen. R. 8, 10, 73; Lev. R. 33; Tan. Wayishlah 8; Tan., Mikkez. 10; Tan. Hukkat. 1; etc.
Origen knew a Hebrew name for the books of Maccabees, "Sar beth Sabnai el."37 Jerome obtained Hebrew texts of Sirach, I Maccabees, Tobit and Judith in Aramaic ("Chaldee"), presumably from Jews, which he, with the help of a hired expert in Aramaic and Hebrew, translated into Latin.38 Marx (1921) noticed that Moses ben Nahaman (Nachmanides, ca. 1194 -1270 C.E.) knew and used an Aramaic (!) text of Wisdom, citing 7.5-8, 17-21 in the introduction and 1.7, 8, 11 on Deut. 20.14 in his Commentary on the Pentateuch; he also noted some acquaintance with the story of Bel and the Dragon and Judith by Jews in Spain in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
In a lecture dealing with Ecclesiastes delivered in Gerona in 1266 or 67, Nachmanides said of Wisdom,
We find another book called The Great Wisdom of Solomon which is written in difficult Aramaic and the Christians have translated it from that language. I believe that this book was not arranged by the Men of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, but that it went with the Jews to Babylon orally and there they fixed it in their language, for it only contains sayings of wisdom and has not been written by inspiration. (Marx 1921:60)
Nachmanides statement, therefore, suggests that Wisdom circulated in Judaism at least until the thirteenth century C.E. Jerome knew Jubilees in Hebrew.39
All these indications of the continued circulation of many Jewish apocryphal writings among rabbis strongly implies that this apocryphal literature also circulated among pre-70 C.E. Pharisees since it is commonly agreed that the rabbis were the successors of the Pharisees. Since the rabbis had this apocryphal literature, in all probability they received it from the Pharisees. If not from the Pharisees, then from whom? Thus, we are able to expand the Jewish groups known to have had and circulated the apocryphal literature: Pharisees, the Qumran sect (Essenes?), and Christians. We have no information from other groups and unaligned Jews. However, it is clear that this wider circulation including Pharisees is the storehouse from which early Christianity received its scriptures from Judaism, including the apocryphal books.
An important aspect of the apocryphal literature at Qumran is that some items are cited in the sectarian writings in ways that are indistinguishable from the ways in which canonical writings (Law and Prophets) are cited. B. J. Roberts (1953/54:84), noting abundant quotations from the apocryphal writings in the sectarian writings of Qumran, observed, "we can visualize the Biblical literature of the New Covenanters as covering a far wider range then either the Hebrew or the Alexandrian canon. And J. Carmignac (1956:234-260 and 375-390), studying quotations and allusions in the War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness, concluded that one cannot differentiate between the use of the books of the Hebrew canon and the extra-canonical writings in this work. After reviewing the "Zadokite Work" (fragments found at Qumran, the Damascus Document), H. L. Ginzberg (1956:47) has remarked
But if in their own literary products these sectarians, as we have seen, not only echo the terminology and ideology of the Book of Jubilees, First Enoch, and kindred works, but cite them as authorities, they must have had copies of them in their libraries; and among such considerable remains of one of their libraries, surely portions of some of those copies ought to be present. They are.
Among the Dead Sea Scrolls there are very few statements that relate to the question of canon. There are occasional references to "the Law and the Prophets." Thus, the Manual of Discipline 1.1 reads, ". . . in accordance with what He has commanded through Moses and through His servants the Prophets." Again, in the same scroll, "The reference is to the study of the Law which God commanded through Moses to the end that, as occasion arises, all things may be done in accordance with what is revealed therein and with what the Prophets also have revealed through Gods holy spirit." We find in the Damascus Document 7, "The expression 'Sikkuth your king refers to the Books of the Law. . . and the expression 'Kiyyun your image refers to the books of the prophets whose words the House of Israel has despised," etc.
Now the official publication of an important DSS document, the Miqsat Macase Ha-Torah ("Some of the Works of the Torah," commonly called 4QMMT) has recently been issued.40 Although it has been little discussed, this text includes an important text concerning canon at Qumran (or, at least of this scroll).41 Fragments of six individual manuscripts of this writing have been found (4Q394-99) copied over a century or more and a composite text of some 114 lines has been produced. In the text one instance of "the law and the prophets" occurs in C line 17: "[It is written in the book] of Moses [and in the books of the Prophets]. . . ." This name for the Hebrew scriptures thus far canonized is familiar from its appearance in the Prologue to Ben Sira, from the instances above in Qumran texts and from its frequent use in the New Testament.42 It is the name for the Jewish scriptures that Christians received from Judaism and occurs frequently in the church fathers as such.
The other more interesting passage, C, lines 10-11, reads, ". . . we have [written] to you so that you may study (carefully) the book of Moses and the books of the Prophets and (the writings of) David [and the] (11) [events of] ages past" (Qimron and Strugnell 1994:58).
In matters of text I have followed a simple rule: the plain and simple meaning of the text is to be followed unless there are compelling reasons to do otherwise. There are compelling reasons to understand "Psalms" where the text here reads "David." Otherwise, the text is a parallel to Lk. 24.44 in its designation of the scriptures as "the Law of Moses and the Prophets and [the] Psalms." The text, thus, tells us that the Law and the Prophets are canonical and that the Psalms are, or are nearly canonical, similar to Lk. 24.44. The six manuscripts are dated between 50 B.C.E. and 50 C.E. During this period the texts were copied and re-copied, as the six manuscripts indicate. Therefore, it can be assumed that no change took place during this period in the matter of canon that would have caused a copyist to correct the text to the new situation. We can consider the status quo during this period to have been consonant with the text.
Beckwith (1985:11-15) would have us believe that naming "David" here in 4QMMT and "Psalms" in Lk. 24.44 are a kind of code standing for the whole of the Writings collection. He argues that Lk. 24.44 "suggests that 'the Law of Moses, 'the Prophets and '(the) Psalms are now the three parts of the canon" (Beckwith 1985:111).43His bases for this are: 1) at one period the title "Psalms" was in use as a title for the Hagiographa; a tenth century B.C.E. Arabic writer, al-Mas'udi, in his "lotab at-tambih wal-ishraf," at one point writes: ". . . in their explanation of the Hebrew books, the Torah, the Prophets and the Psalms (for Ketubim), which are the 24 books. . . ."44 2) "Jastro, in his Dictionary shows that the word "Fifths" (homashim/homa-shin) can mean either the five individual books of the Law (as is more common) or the five individual books of the Psalter" (Beckwith 1985:112) in some rabbinic passages "'the Fifths appears to be used absolutely, to mean the Psalter as a whole, and the Psalter appears to stand for the third group of the canonical books," e.g., "The Book of Ezra, if it comes out (of the Temple), makes the hands unclean; and not the Book of Ezra alone, but the Prophets and the Fifths. But another book makes the hands unclean if it is brought in there" (Tos. Kelim B.M. 5.8; Beckwith 1985:112).45
Thus, Beckwith (1985:112) would have us believe that Lk. 24.44 and the text cited from the 4QMMT should be understood in terms of rabbinic texts (and one Arabic) all of which are a century and more later then 4QMMT and Luke, whereas, at the time of the writing of these texts, there was no name of a third collection and no indication that a third collection was intended.46 It should be noted that the 4QMMT designation, "David," places the 4QMMT one more step removed from the translation "Psalms" to "Writings" Beckwith suggests. It stretches credulity, in the absence of any evidence contemporary with these texts (4QMMT and Luke), to suppose that a surrogate name was already operative for an as yet unnamed, undefined third section of the Hebrew canon.47
Further, Beckwith argues that Josephus statements about the canon and text of the Jewish Bible (Apion 1.37-43) presuppose that they were long-standing. However, Cross (1992:146) has shown conclusively that the Pharisaic standardized text did not arise until the period between 70 and 135 C.E. :
The textual situation at Qumran differed totally from the post-70 C.E. situation. The Qumran manuscripts show no influences that we can detect the kind of standardization that marks the Rabbinic Recension. . . . The same is true in the Hellenistic Jewish community in Alexandria, and in the early Christian communities.
There is no reason to believe that Josephus was more correct with respect to his presumption of a long standing canon than he was concerning the long standing standardized text. It was not an uncommon thing to attribute long duration to even a recent important development to increase its prestige, which is, apparently, what Josephus has done in his notice about the Hebrew canon. This is, as we have seen, the very first notice in Judaism of a twenty-two book canon.
Another important consideration is the canonical situation reflected in the so-called Kaige Recension,48 which case is made by Cross. Discussing Josephus statement about the canon (Apion 1.37-42), Cross (1992:153f.) writes:
Thinly concealed behind Josephus Greek apologetics is a clear and coherent theological doctrine of canon that must stem, we believe, from the canonical doctrine of Hillel (70 B.C.E.[?]-10 C.E.[?]) and his school.
We cannot press the date of the fixation of the Pharisaic canon earlier than the time of Hillel, as an occasional scholar has attempted to do. Our evidence comes from the so-called Kaige Recension. . . . The Kaige Recension, at the end of the first century B.C., revised the Greek Bible to accord with the protorabbinic text, not with the later fixed Rabbinic Recension. Similarly, the revision embodied in the Kaïge [sic.] Recension extended to the book of Baruch and the longer edition of Daniel, works excluded from the Rabbinic Recension. This effort to update Baruch and the longer edition of Daniel would be most difficult to explain if at the same time of the preparation of the Kaige Recension, the book of Baruch and the additions to Daniel had already been excluded from the Pharisaic canon. Since the recensional labors in the Kaige Recension can be dated to about the turn of the Common Era, and its Pharisaic bias is clear, it follows that as late as the end of the first century B.C., an authoritative, canonical list had not yet emerged, at least in its final form, even in Pharisaic circles.
Thus, the revisions to Baruch and the extended Daniel in the Kaige Recension in Alexandria provides another firm piece of evidence that the Writings were not yet, at the turn of the era, formed into a fixed collection either in fact, i.e., canonized, or de facto.
Cross (1956:122-123) adds still another important feature to the discussion about the shape of the canon in the first half of the first century C.E. He is able to tell us that it is very probable that Daniel was not regarded as canonical at Qumran. This results from his analysis of the formats of documents and styles of script. Cross says that it is a fairly standard practice in copying biblical books that the columns tend to be twice as long as they are wide. The script is usually the Jewish bookhand, or occasionally the Paleo-Hebrew script--but not the cursive. The material of the scroll is leather. The same techniques sometimes apply for non-biblical texts among which there is a great deal of variety. But biblical texts are much more standardized. In the case of Daniel, however, Cave 4 held a manuscript of Daniel written on papyrus. One other biblical manuscript written on papyrus has been found, in Cave 6, the Book of Kings (clearly canonical). The script standardization does not always hold up. Cave 4 has produced some biblical manuscripts written in cursive Hebrew, but they are rare. Also biblical works with a-typical (for canonical books) columns, typical for non-canonical books have also appeared in other caves. Most of these are works whose canonicity was questioned by the early rabbis, Canticles and Ecclesiastes. Thus the evidence in these matters is not infallible. However, at least four different copies of Daniel found at Qumran do not conform to the standards for biblical manuscripts. This, Cross (1956:123) concludes, "strongly suggests its (Daniels) non-canonical status."
In sum, then, the three different descriptions of books other than the Law and the Prophets in the prologue of Sirach do not reflect a fixed third collection nor is a closed canon evident in 2 Maccabees description of Nehemiahs collected library of "books about the kings and prophets and the writings of David and letters of kings about sacred gifts." Both the mention of David in 4QMMT and the mention of Psalms in Lk. 24.44 are amenable to a plain, simple understanding; arguing that they are evidence of a closed canon is overloading their evidentiary use. The post-70 dating of the rabbinic revision of the Scriptures holds Josephus claimed long-standing text and canon in question. The Qumran sect and early Christians had and used apocryphal writings in ways indistinguishable from their use of Law and Prophets; apocryphal literature appears to have circulated among Pharisees before 70 as well as after. It is probable that early Christians adopted the use of the apocryphal literature from what appeared to them as quite common usage in pre-70 Judaism. The Kaige Recension, including, as it did, Baruch and the long form of Daniel augurs against a closed rabbinic canon at the change of the era. The Book of Daniel, appearing, as it does, in usually non-canonical textual from at Qumran also counters a closed canon before 68 C.E. It therefore appears well founded that early Christianity received its heritage of religious writings including apocryphal writings from a practice in pre-70 Judaism that included Pharisees, the Qumran sect, and, perhaps, many nonaligned in Judaism.
The second attack on the consensus on the Hebrew canon was in the form of a paper by J. P. Lewis (1964), read before the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature at Union Theological Seminary on December 28, 1962. First, Lewis attacked the terminology, "Council of Jabneh," as inappropriate. To Lewis it seemed to carry connotations of councils such as Nicaea, Hippo, Trent. "It is a fallacy to superimpose such Christian concepts upon Judaism," Lewis (1964:130) wrote. Terms such as "court," "school," "assembly" would more nearly convey the nature of the body at Jabneh than "council" or "synod".
Lewis continued his argument, Jabneh did not initiate a new division of the canon because a canon of Kethubim [Writings] already existed, witnessed by, Lewis says, the Prologue to Ben Sira, Lk. 24.44, Josephus, Apion1.37-43, manuscripts from the Dead Sea Caves and quotations in Philo, the New Testament and Josephus. These show that the Writings were already canonical. The number of Biblical books in Josephus and 4 Ezra imply a fairly well defined canon. Josephus, Apion implies a canon of long standing (Lewis 1964:126). Jewish sources contain echoes of debate about biblical books but canonicity was not the issue and debate was not connected with Jabneh. There is no evidence that Esther became a subject of debate at Jabneh. Whatever evidence exists is post-Jabneh.
Moreover, specific canonical discussion at Jabneh is attested only for Chronicles and Song of Songs. Both circulated prior to Jabneh. There was vigorous debate between Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel over Chronicles and Song; Beth Hillel affirmed that both "defile the hands." One text does speak of official action at Jabneh. It gives a blanket statement that "all Holy Scripture defile the hands," and adds "on the day they made R. Eleazar b. Azariah head of the college, the Song of Songs and Koheleth (Chronicles) both render the hands unclean" (M. Yadayim 3.5). Of the apocryphal books, only Ben Sira is mentioned by name in rabbinic sources and it continued to be circulated, copied and cited. No book is ever mentioned in the sources as being excluded from the canon at Jabneh. Near the end of the second century the authorities gave explicit statements on the number of biblical books as twenty-two or twenty-four. According to Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History (4.26.14) the church father, Melito (170 C.E.), gives the first list of books (omitting Esther and Lamentations, twenty-one books). The Baraita, Baba Bathra 14-15 and a host of "Midrashic" texts speak of twenty-four books. From the foregoing, Lewis concluded that the assertion that a binding decision was made at Jabneh covering all scripture is conjectural at best. Lewis attack brought to an end the appeal to Jamnia about 90 C.E. as the place and time when the Hebrew canon was closed.
Despite his successful attack on the "Council of Jabneh," Lewis (1964:126) did say some very favorable things about Jamnia that have tended to be overlooked. Without assuming the name of "Sanhedrin,"49 Jamnia began to exercise legal functions, replacing the law court of Jerusalem. A third collection of the canon received the name Kethubim (Writings) at Jamnia, where a Sadducee asked what scriptures taught the resurrection of the dead and Gamaliels (II, 80-117 C.E.) replied: "It is said, 'in the Law, Prophets and Writings [i.e., Kethubim].'"50 This use of "Writings" presupposes the formation and, possibly, canonization of the Writings collection; you do not name what is non-existent. Lewis tells us that it was at Jamnia that long standing disputes between the School of Hillel and that of Shammai were settled with the ruling that both schools taught the voice of God but the halakhah was to be according to Hillel (Yer. Ber. 7.1. 3b, Erub. 13b),51 i.e., that the Hillelites prevailed. All this constitutes a very substantial contribution by the School at Jamnia. When Lewis says that decisions at Jamnia were not "official," one wonders what did constitute "official" decisions in post-70 Judaism? Furthermore, Neusner (b1971:239; cf. 1970) informs us that nearly all pre-70 C.E. Pharisaic traditions were thoroughly revised at Jamnia and afterward. "Therefore the whole or the rabbinic Houses-tradition," he says, "while thematically apt to be authentic, is very likely. . . the creation of early Jabneh. It seems to me to have been so thoroughly reworked at Jabneh that the form does not come much earlier than that point" (Neusner 1971b:239) One result of this reworking of the traditions is that the consequent rabbinic literature tells us nothing concerning the pre-70 canon of scripture (Neusner 1971b:247).
Now, even the name "Synod" or "Council" of Jamnia has been removed from its Christianizing reprobation. Aune (1991) has found that it was not Christians, after all, who so inappropriately named the Jamnia school. More than two decades before Buhl and Ryle, the great Jewish historian, Graetz (1871), Aune tells us, placed the third and final canonization of the Hebrew canon at Jamnia. Both Buhl (1891) and Ryle (1892:166 and 188) had read Graetz and probably took their nomenclature from him. Graetz called the Jamnia school a "Synode." But Graetz, in all probability, had read Spinoza and Spinoza thought that the Hebrew canon had been completed by a "concilium Pharisaeorum" (Gebhardt 1925:3.150). Thus, Aune (1991:493) concludes, "The myth of the 'council of Javneh appears to be of Jewish rather than Christian origin."
About the end of the first century C.E. and into the second century several notices began to appear that indicated that some action had taken place, some decisions had been made with respect to the canon. Josephus, in Rome about the last decade of the first century, wrote his famous Against Apion passage (1.37-43), numbering the books of the Jewish canon as twenty-two, limiting the time of inspiration to between Moses and Ezra and claiming erroneously, as we have seen, a longstanding fixed text. About 120 C.E. in Palestine 4 Ezra was published with its account of the restoration of the scriptures, twenty-four books being the Hebrew canon and seventy others. Between 70 and 135 C.E. a standardized text of the Hebrew canon was produced in Palestine. About 170 C.E. Melito, bishop of Sardis, traveled to the East, to "the place where these things were seen and done," and obtained ostensibly the earliest list of the Jewish canon we have.52 He lists twenty-six books and knows the Law and Prophets collections, though his Prophets are curiously arranged with Daniel and, apparently, Ezra counted as Prophets.53 His list reads: five Books of Moses. Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kingdoms, two books of Chronicles, Psalms, "the Proverbs of Solomon and his Wisdom," Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Job, the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, "the Twelve in a single book," Daniel, Ezekiel, Ezra [-Nehemiah]. Esther and Lamentations, are absent and, curiously, the list includes the Wisdom of Solomon (original language Greek). It is clear that Melito did not return from the "East" with the list of the Hebrew canon in hand (Leiman 1976:51-53). As we have noticed, the completed Hebrew canon is preserved in Baba Bathra 14b-15a (discussed above). The passage assumes the five books of the Law and, therefore, does not name them. The order of the Prophets and of the Writings are given, together with the Law, numbering a twenty-four book tripartite canon. As Cross (1992:152-154) notes, the authorities given for the canon are Rab (220-250 C.E.) and Rab Judah (250-290 C.E.). These notices suggest canonical activity taking and having taken place; the time frame is between c.90 and 290 C.E.
Cross has suggested an alternative hypothesis about the canonization of the Hebrew canon. He observes that there is no evidence among non-Pharisaic Jews, such as the Qumran sect, Alexandrian Jews, early Christianity, of either a fixed canon or text. Recent reviews of the rabbinic texts indicate that Jamnia did not conclude a canon. He notes that Josephus canon excludes by implication works attributed to pre-Mosaic authors as well as works of the Hellenistic age. In looking for the source of Josephus twenty-two book canon, Cross notes that Josephus was a Pharisee and suggests that he was drawing upon his Pharisaic tradition--ultimately upon the teachings of Hillel. Cross (1992:155) finds a "clear and coherent theological doctrine of canon" veiled behind Josephus apologetics that originated in the canonical doctrine of Hillel and his school.
The earliest evidence of the protorabbinic text in Samuel was found in the recension of the Theodotionic School, the so-called Kaige Recension (discussed above) from the end of the first century B.C.E. Since the Kaige Recension included the book of Baruch and the long form of Daniel, it is clear that an authorized Pharisaic canonical list had not yet emerged, at least in its final form, by the end of the first century B.C.E. Cross is persuaded that the same pressures that led to textual revision also led to canonization and that Hillel was the moving force in these actions. Both were undertaken to protect the Hillelites from rival doctrines of cult and calendar, alternate legal prescriptions, theological doctrines and mythological excesses of apocalyptic schools and proto-Gnostic sects. "The principles guiding the exclusion of works [such as fill the Qumran library] from the Pharisaic canon reflected in Josephus notices no doubt also operated in eliminating works offensive to Hillel and the house of Hillel," Cross (1992:155) remarks. He sees the hand of Hillel in the promulgation of both a Pharisaic revised text and canon recognized in the rabbinic saying, "When Israel once again forgot [the Torah], Hillel the Babylonian came up and re-established it" (Cross 1992:155). Moreover, Cross recognizes that this text and canon were not immediately received. The general acceptance of the Hillelite text and canon came with ascendancy of the Hillelites during the interval between the wars against Rome, 70-135 C.E. After 135, despite some continued rabbinical questions about certain marginal books, the text and canon of the Hebrew canon remained fixed.
This canonical proposal by Cross is very appealing, particularly if the Josephus canon can be understood as I have suggested above. So understood, Josephus preserves the early Pharisaic nomenclature about the canon that emerged in the study of the history of the canon described above. It seems unlikely, however, that Cross is correct in believing that the Hebrew-Aramaic canonical list in Greek transcription, proposed by Audet (1950; see also Torrey and Eissfeldt 1952) through combining the so-called Bryennios List (reproduced by Harris 1885 and Lightfoot 1890:Pt. 1, Vol. 1:474)) and a canon from Epiphanius (De Mensuris et Ponderibus 22 f. [he has three different Old Testament canonical lists]), is also a representative of the Pharisaic Hillelite canon (Cross 1992:301, n. 17).
However, both lists number twenty-seven books, a number unknown in Jewish lists. In the Bryennios list, to which Audet gives primary position, the order of the books is idiosyncratic. The Law collection is interrupted by Joshua following Leviticus and Deuteronomy precedes Numbers. Cross (1992) notes that since Origen specifically states that Judges and Ruth are regarded as one book by the Jews ("among them in one [book]"), that circumstance must be quite old.54 However, both the Bryennios and the Epiphanius lists include Judges and Ruth separately. Moreover, they both have four books of Kings whereas Origen specifically states that the Jews have only two books of Kings ("Kings 1, 2, among them in one [book]," and "Kings 3, 4, [among them] in one [book]"). They both also list two books of Chronicles and two Esdras while Origen states that the Jews have only one of each, "Chronicles 1, 2 in one book" and "Esdras 1, 2, in one book" (Beckwith 1985:188). Just which books were intended by the two books of Esdras is not clear since Jewish lists count Ezra-Nehemiah as one book and in Christian lists two books of Esdras refer to Greek Esdras and Ezra-Nehemiah. Here both lists have two books of Esdras. Cross fails to mention these countermanding items in his discussion of Audet's proposal.
Beckwith (1985:187) observes of the three Old Testament lists given by Epiphanius that they "pursue chronology without regard to the distinction between the Prophets and Hagiographa, and each list intermingles them, thus demonstrating that they are not Jewish." This statement is equally true of the Bryennios list. Of it Beckwith remarks:
since it mixes the Prophets and Hagiographa indiscriminately together, it must be of Christian rather than Jewish authorship, and since the use of Aramaic continued in the Palestinian church for centuries, there is no reason to date it so early (first or second century C.E.).
Audet's case is left with little to commend it. This list appears to be Christian.55 It lacks the tripartite signature of the Pharisaic canon.
Cross has offered what appears to be incontrovertible evidence that the Pharisaic canon
was not closed until after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. His proposal concerning
the process of canonization, however, has exchanged the question of place for the question
of parties in the formation of the canon. What, however, should be the answer if we would
ask for the venue of Cross' proposal? Are there alternatives to Jamnia (or later Usha)? As
we have seen, it was at Jamnia that the tradition says the Hillelites gained the
ascendancy over the house of Shammai. It was the school at Jamnia that became a substitute
for the Sanhedrin of Jerusalem. It was at Jamnia that the third section of the Hebrew
canon was first named. It was the Jamnia decisions that, while not "official,"
came to be generally accepted in post-destruction Judaism. It may be that we have followed
too quickly after Lewis in his attack upon Jamnia in order to foster his belief in a
Hebrew canon from pre-Christian times. But that case, as we have seen, is confounded by
numerous difficulties. With the time of canonization of the Hebrew tripartite canon now
probably fixed between 70 and 135 C.E., and as a triumph of the Hillelite Pharisee in
post-destruction Judaism, what alternatives are there to Jamnia as the venue?
Ackroid, P. R. 1976. "Chronicles, I and II." In Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, Supplementary Volume. edited by L. Crim. Nashville: Abingdon.
Audet, J. P. 1950. "A Hebrew-Aramaic List of Books of the Old Testament in Greek Transcription." Journal of Theological Studies, New Series, 1:135-54.
Aune, D. E. 1991. "On the Origins of the 'Council of Javneh Myth." Journal of Biblical Literature 110:491-498.
Barthélemy, D. 1953. "Redécouverte dun chaînon manquant de lHistoire de la Septante." Revue Biblique, 60:18-29.
Beckwith, R. 1985. The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans.
Benoit, P. et al. 1961. Les grottes de Murabba'ât. Discoveries in the Judaean Desert. 2. Oxford: The Clarendon Press.
Buhl, F. 1891. Kanon und Texte des Alten Testamentes. Leipzig: Akademische Buchhandlung. Translated as Canon and Text of the Old Testament by J. MacPherson. 1892. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark. Reprinted as Canon and Text of the O.T. In The Canonization of the Hebrew Scripture: The Talmudic and Midrashic Evidence edited by S. Z. Leiman. Hamden, Conn.: Anchor Books.
Cadbury, H. J. 1955. "The Grandson of Ben Sira." Harvard Theological Review 47:219-25.
Carmignac, J. 1956. "Les citations de lAncien Testament dans 'la Guerre des Fils de Lumière contre les Fils de Ténèbres." Revue Biblique, 63:234-60, 375-90.
Charles, R. H. 1902. The Book of Jubilees. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
__________. 1913. The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament. Oxford: The Clarendon Press.
Charlesworth, J. H. ed. 1983-1985. The Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, 2 vols. Garden City, N. Y.
Cowley, A. 1923. Aramaic Papyri of the Fifth Century. Oxford: The Clarendon Press.
Cross, F. M.1956. "Qumran Cave I." Journal of Biblical Literature 75:121-125.
__________. 1958. The Ancient Library of Qumran. Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday. 1995. 3rd ed. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.
__________. 1992. "The Text Behind the Text of the Hebrew Bible." In Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls, edited by H. Shanks. New York: Vintage Books. (First published in Bible Review, summer, 1985).
Eisenman, R. H., and M. Wise. 1992. Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered. Brisbane, Queensland: Element.
Eissfeldt, O. 1934. Einleitung in das Alte Testament. Tübingen: Mohr.
Flusser, D. 1992. "Wie in den Psalmen über mich geschrieben steht (Lk.24,44)." Judaica, 44:40-42.
Freedman, D. N. 1962. "Pentateuch." Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible. New York: Abingdon Press. 3.711-27.
Gebhardt, C. ed. 1925. Spinoza Opera: Im Auftrag der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschafter. Heidelberg: Carl Winters Universitätsbuchhandlung.
Ginzberg, H. L. " The Dead Sea Manuscript Finds: New Light on Eretz Yisrael in the Greco-Roman Period." In Israel: Its Role in Civilization, edited by M. Davis. New York: The Seminary Israel Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
Golb, N. 1995. Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls. New York: Scribner.
Goodenough, E. R. 1953. Jewish Symbols in the Greco-Roman Period. New York: Pantheon Books.
Graetz, H. 1871. "Der alttestamentliche Kanon und sein Abschluss." Kohlet oder der Salomonische Prediger. Leipzig : Carl Winters Universitätsbuchhandlung. Pp. 147-173.
Grant, F. C. 1923. "The Economic Significance of Messianism." Anglican Theological Review, 6:196-213.
__________. 1923-1924. "The Economic Significance of Messianism." Anglican Theological Review 7:281-289;
Harris, J. R. 1885. Three Pages of the Bryennios Manuscript. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. No pagination.
Israel, L. 1905. "The Wisdom of Jesus the son of Sirach [sic]." The Jewish Encyclopoedia. Vol. 11. New York: Funk and Wagnalls Company. Pp. 388-397.
Jeffery, A. 1952. "The Canon of the Old Testament." In Interpreters Bible. New York. 1:32-46.
Kahle, P. R. 1960. The Cairo Geniza. New York: Praeger.
Kraeling, E. G. 1962. "Elephantine Papyri." In Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible New York: Abingdon Press. 2.83-85.
Lee, F. 1719. "Prolegomena to the Septuagint." In Vetus Testamentum juxta LXX Interpretes, by J. E. Grabe. Translated by T. Lewis. Oxford: Theatro Sheldoniano, 1707-1720. 2. Chapt. 1, sects. 75-77.
Leiman, S. Z. 1976. The Canonization of the Hebrew Scripture: The Talmudic and Midrashic Evidence. Hamden, Conn.: Anchor Books.
Lewis, J. P. 1964. "What Do We Mean By Jabneh?" Journal of Bible and Religion, 32:125-32.
Lewis, N. 1989. The Documents from the Bar Kokhba Period In the Cave of Letters: Greek Papyri, Judean Desert Studies. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society.
Lewis, T. "Prolegomena." In Vetus Testamentum juxta LXX Interpretes, by J. E. Grabe. Translated by T. Lewis. Vol. 1. Oxford: Theatro Sheldoniano.
Lieberman, S. 1942. Greek in Jewish Palestine. New York: The Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
Lightfoot, J. B. 1890. The Apostolic Fathers. Vol. 1. London: Macmillan.
Marx, A. 1921. "An Aramaic Fragment of the Wisdom of Solomon." Journal of Biblical Literature 40:57-69.
McDonald, L. M. 1988. Formation of the Christian Biblical Canon. Nashville: Abingdon Press.
Moore, G. F. 1927. Judaism. Vol. 1. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Neusner, J. 1970. Development of a Legend. Leiden: E. J. Brill.
__________. 1971a. "The Rabbinic Traditions about the Pharisees Before 70: The Problem of Oral Tradition." Journal of Jewish Studies 22:1-18.
__________. 1971b. The Rabbinic Traditions about the Pharisees Before 70. Leiden: E.. J. Brill.
__________. 1975. Early Rabbinic Judaism. Leiden: E. J. Brill.
__________. 1986. "Parsing the Rabbinic Canon: Explaining a Fresh Approach." In The Religious Study of Judaismby J. Neusner. New York: University Press of America. 1:3-11.
Orlinsky, H. M. 1991. "Some Terms in the Prologue to Ben Sira and the Hebrew Canon." Journal of Biblical Literature. 110:483-490.
Pfeiffer, R. H. 1941. Introduction to the Old Testament. New York: Harper & Brothers.
__________. 1949. A History of New Testament Times with an Introduction to the Apocrypha. New York: Harper & Brothers.
__________. 1962. "Canon of the Old Testament." Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible. New York: Abingdon Press. 1.498-520.
Pritchard, J. B., ed. 1955. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Purvis, J. D. 1976a. "Samaritan Pentateuch." In Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, Supplementary Volume, edited by K. Crim. Nashville: Abingdon Press. Pp. 772-775.
__________. 1976b. "Samaritans." In Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, Supplementary Volume. edited by K. Crim. Nashville: Abingdon Press. Pp. 776-777.
Qimron E., and J. Strugnell. 1994. Qumran Cave 4, V, Miq-sat Macase Ha-Torah, Discoveries in the Judean Desert, 10. Oxford: The Clarendon Press.
Reed, S. A. 1992. The Dead Sea Scrolls Inventory Project: Lists of Documents, Photographs and Museum Plates. Clarmont, Cal.: Ancient Biblical Manuscripts Center.
Roberts, B. J. 1953/54. "The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Old Testament Scriptures." Bulletin of the John Rylands Library. 36:75-96.
Ryle, H. E. 1892. The Canon of the Old Testament. London: Macmillan.
__________. 1895. Philo and Holy Scripture. London: Macmillan.
Sarna, N. M. 1971. "Bible." Encyclopaedia Judaica 4. Jerusalem, Israel: Macmillan. Pp. 820ff.
Semler, S. 1771. Abhandlung von freier Untersuchung des Canons. Geutersloh: Mohn.
Smith, H. P. 1900. "The Origin of the Messianic Hope in Israel." American Journal of Theology, 14:337-60.
Smith, W. R. 1871. "The Canon of Scripture." In Dictionary of the Bible. Vol. 1. New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company.
__________. 1890. The Old Testament in the Jewish Church. New York: D. Appleton and Company.
Stendahl, K. 1954. The School of St. Matthew, Acta Seminarii Neotestamentici Upsalensis, 20. Uppsala: C. W. K. Gleerup.
Sundberg, A. C., Jr. 1958. "The Old Testament of the Early Church." Harvard Theological Review, 51:205-226.
__________. 1964."The Alexandrian Canon Hypothesis." Old Testament of the Early Church. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Harvard Theological Studies 20:3-40.
__________. 1966. "The Protestant Old Testament Canon: Should It Be Reexamined?" Catholic Biblical Quarterly28:143-155.
__________. 1968. "'The Old Testament:' A Christian Canon." Catholic Biblical Quarterly 30:143-155.
Swete, H. B. 1900. An Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Torrey, C. C. 1945. The Apocryphal Literature. New Haven: Yale University Press.
__________., and O. Eissfeldt. 1952. "Ein griechisch transkribiertes und interpretiertes Hebräisch-aramäisches Verzeichnis der Bücher des Alten Testaments aus dem I. Jahrhundert n. Chr." Theologische Literaturzeitung77:249-54.
Tov, E., ed. 1993. The Dead Sea Scrolls on Microfiche: Companion Volume.2nd ed. Leiden: E. J. Brill.
VanderKam, J. C. 1977. Textual and Historical Studies in the Book of Jubilees, Harvard Monographs Series. Missoula, Mont.: Scholars Press.
__________. 1983. "The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christianity." In Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls , edited by H. Shanks. New York. Pp. 181-202. First published, Bible Review (December, 1991/February 1992).
__________. 1994. The Dead Sea Scrolls Today. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
von Rad, G. 1962. "Deuteronomy." Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible. New York: Abingdon Press. 1.831-38.
Weill, R. 1920. La Cité de David, Compte rendu des fouilles exécutées à Jérusalem, sur le site de la ville primitive. Campagne de 1913-14. Paris: G. Geutherner.
Wevers, J. W. 1962. "Septuagint." Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible. New
York: Abingdon Press. 4.273-78.
1. I shall use "canon" in the strict sense, as it was used by the church fathers, to mean a closed list of books, authoritative for religious faith and practice, nothing to be added, nothing subtracted. "Authoritative" is understood to include acceptance by the community. Cf., Cross (1992:151).
2. Cf., Deut. 5.1-11 (Ex. 34.10-28; 20.1-17).
3. For this summary of the consensus I will be following Pfeiffer (1941:50-70), who stands at the end of the period of consensus. His last statement on Old Testament canon is Pfeiffer, 1962. See, also Eissfeldt 1934. For the beginning of the consensus cf. Ryle, 1892, and Buhl, 1891. However, now and again I interject an idiosyncratic view.
4. Pfeiffer (1941:51-53) held that Deuteronomy was canonized in 621 B.C.E. when it was found in the temple in the days of Josiah.
5. It was in existence before Cambyses invaded Egypt in 525 B.C.E.
6. It should be noted that the letter of petition to Jerusalem was addressed to Bagoas, the Persian governor of Judea (Pritchard 1955:222-223; Kraeling 1962; Cowley, 1923:108-126). What is evident here is that, despite Deuteronomy and possibly the Law being extant when the Elephantine Jewish temple was built and then (presumably) rebuilt, the proscription of all temples and places of worship other than that of Jerusalem (Deut. 12.4-14) was clearly not observed in Elephantine. Thus, acceptance of the Law as canon at that time is questioned.
7. The date of the Chronicler has subsequently been revised backward a century to about 350 B.C.E. Cf. Ackroid 1976:157.
8. Cf. 1 Chr. 15.15; 16.40; 22.12 f.; etc.
9. Cf. Wevers, 1962. The name "Septuagint" is usually explained as a rounding off of seventy-two, the legendary number of translators sent from Jerusalem to Alexandria to translate the Law into Greek for the Alexandrian library. However, it is unlikely that any Jew would round off a multiple of twelve. "Seventy" is the Jewish traditional number of foreign nations. Hence, the translation of the Law into Greek, the lingua franca of the time, was translating the Law for the nations. More probably, it was for this reason that the Greek translation of the Law came to be called the "Septuagint."
10. Cf. Purvis, 1976a:772-75 and 1976b:776-77, who is not sure that a definite date for the Jewish/Samaritan break can be given.
11. Antiquities 11.310-11.
12. Hosea through Malachi.
13. Also, Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus.
14. Concerning the "other book" phrases in Ben Siras prologue, Orlinsky 1991:489-490 concludes ". . . not only did the Judean community not know of a specifically tripartite canon before the end of the first century--they knew two divisions, designated the Law and the Prophets, and a number of additional books, listed to use a more modern technical term et cetera. . . ."
15. Against Apion 1.38-41.
16. Tosefta Yadaim 3.5: "the books of Ben Sira and whatever books have been written since his time do not make the hands unclean" (i.e., are not canonical).
17. On the other hand, according to Jewish chronology, Ezra lived just before Alexander. Cf., Seder olam Rabba 30: "Up to this point (the time of Alexander the Great, the 'rough he-goat of Dan. 8.28) the prophets prophesied through the Holy Spirit; from this time onward incline thine ear and listen to the sayings of the wise."
18. Jubilees (previously dated in the first half of the first century b.c.e., but now pre-Qumran [c.200 B.C.E.]) w. 23 is sometimes mentioned as witnessing to the twenty-two book Hebrew canon. Indeed, Charles (1913: 2.15, n. 23) says flatly, "Agreement of all authorities proves a lacuna here" (at Jubilees 2.23). He would have the restored text read: "as there were twenty-two letters and twenty two sacred books and twenty-two heads of mankind from Adam to Jacob, so there were made twenty-two kinds of work." This lacuna hypothesis was based on quotations of Jubilees in some later church fathers that included a similar twenty-two book statement. So Epiphanius of Salamis (c.315-403 C.E.), De Mansuris ed Ponderibus 22; Syncellus, Chronog. 1.5; Anastasius, Hexaemeron; etc. Cf., Charles (1902:17, n. 23). However, recent developments have made this position untenable. VanderKam (1977:12, n. 30) finding "no certain textual evidence" for a lacuna at 2.23, has serious doubts concerning the additional material found in the fathers. Now, Qimron and Strugnell (1994:112, n. 7) comment, "in all honesty it should be noted that the authenticity of the Jubilees verse (the addition to Jubilees 2.23), itself, could be disputed." Moreover, since Jubilees is "in the immediately pre-Qumran tradition," they question what a twenty-two book canon would have looked like, i.e., a canon without Daniel and Esther?
19. 4 Ezra (c.100 C.E.) 14.37-48 is the first writing to name a twenty-four book canon.
20. In his recent study, McDonald outlines the history of the Old Testament canon in the same historical stages as those discussed above as the canonical consensus.
21. 4 Ezra 14.37-48.
22. This, of course, has changed radically since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
23. 1, 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Additions to Esther, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus (or Sirach, Ben Sira, Wisdom of Jesus the son of Sira), Baruch, the Letter of Jeremy (Jeremiah), the Prayer of Azariah, the Song of the Three Young Men, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, the Prayer of Manasseh, 1, 2 Maccabees. I notice that The Apocrypha, Revised Standard Version (1957), in the table of contents and pg. 110, uses the phrase, "the Wisdom of Jesus the son of Sirach." Sometimes "Ben Sirach" is used. However, these forms are to be avoided since "Sirach" is genitive, "of Sira," i.e., "son of Sira." Hence, "Ben Sirach" = "Son of son of Sira".
24. Selmer (1725-1791), a professor of theology at Halle, believed himself to be the first to make such a proposal; however, in antiquity Epiphanius of Salamis (315-403 c.e.), Weights and Measures 2.11, suggested that more books than the Hebrew canon had been sent to Alexandria for translation into Greek. Augustine (354-430 C.E., City of God 18.42 f.), held that the same Spirit of God inspired both the Hebrew and the Septuagint versions, showing that both were prophets. F. Lee (1709), believing that internal evidence shows that a large part of the Apocrypha originated in Alexandria, proposed that a sanhedrin in Alexandria, in imitation of Jerusalem, canonized the additional books. And T. Lewis, who, presumably, wrote the preface when he translated (1715) Grabes edition of the Letter of Aristeas (original in Greek), suggested that a larger canon was used at the Jewish temple at Leontopolis, Egypt (erected c.163 b.c.e., destroyed 73.C.E.), from which it passed into Palestine. He held that it was this version that was cited by Jesus and his apostles, whence it passed into the church.
25. Subsequently published, first in precis form under the same title in Harvard Theological Review, 51 (1958):205-26; then in monograph form with the same title in 1964.
26. The early identification of the Jewish sect that inhabited Qumran was as Essenes. That identification has been challenged, but Cross (1955:54) assures that there now is sufficient evidence to confirm that identification. The evidence upon which his judgement is based, however, is not yet published.
27. Cf. Weill 1920:1.186; 2. Pl. xxvi.
28. Citing J. Sota 7.1, concerning Jews in Caesarea who read the Shema in Greek.
29. Cf. Qumran Cave 7 in which all legible manuscripts were in Greek; the 'Cave of Letters, Wâdi Murabba'ât with Greek documents of the Bar Kohba era; a manuscript of the Twelve Minor Prophets, cf., Cross (1995:47ff.) and Benoit (1961).
30. VanderKam (1977) has not made clear of what the "Esther text" and the "Daniel texts" consist.
31. For a full listing of Qumran MSS, cf., Reed (1992) and Tov (1993:17-22).
32. Which, however, Sundberg (1964:108ff.) observed.
33. Acts 23.8; Josephus, Antiq. 13.297, etc.
34. Cf. Cross 1992:154.
35. Hagigh 13a; Yebamoth 63b; cf., Erubin 54a.
36. Baba Kamma 92b.
37. In Eusebius, Historia Ecclesia 6.25.2, J. E. L. Oulton, trans., Eusebius, The Ecclesiastical History, 2 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1953), 74, n. 1, has observed, "this name is interesting as evidence of the existence in the third century of the Hebrew original of I Maccabees. . . ."
38. Prefaces to the books in his Vulgate translation.
39. Preface to Tobit 29.25 f.
40. Qimron and Strugnell (1994:4QMMT). The designations of the Dead Sea Scrolls, as here illustrated, are: first, the cave number "4," then "Q" indicating Qumran, then the manuscript or fragment number or abbreviated name as here "MMT," its numbers are 397-399. Thus 4QMMT=4Q347-349.
41. Qimron and Strugnell 1994:58-61.
42. Mat. 7.12; 22.40; 11.13 (reversed); Lk. 16.16; Jn.1.45; Acts 13.15; 24.14 ("laid down by the Law or written in the Prophets"); 28.23 ("from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets"); Rm. 3.21.
43. See also Flusser 1992.
44. Bibliotheca Geographorum Arabicorum, 8 (Leiden, 1894), 113, in Kahle (1960:88-89).
45. Cf., J. Megillah 2.3; Sepher Torah 2.3 f.; Sopherim 2.4.
46. But cf., Neusner 1970:297 ff.; Neusner 1971; and Neusner 1975:x ff., who knows of no pre-70 C.E. Pharisaic traditions about the canon.
47. Qimron and Strugnell 1994:59 believe that "David" "probably refers not only to the Psalms of David, but rather to the Hagiographa." Similarly, Eisenman and Wise (1992) apparently without access to the much circulated composite text of MMT, emended 4QMMT, second section, l. 10, to read, "the Book of Moses [and the words of the Pr]ophets and of Davi[d, along with the (11) chronicles of every] generation." Cross (1992:152), who was well acquainted with the circulating pre-publication composite text of 4QMMT, says "There is no evidence in non-Pharisaic Jewish circles before 70 A.D. of either a fixed canon or text." Golb (1995:197) translates the 4QMMT 2nd. sect. l. 10: ". . . that you might gain understanding of Davi[d. . . ]"; "David" he understands simply as the Psalms (pg. 198). Neusner (1975; 1971a) holds that there are no pre-70 C.E. Pharisaic traditions about the canon.
48. The so-called Kaige Recension is the earliest evidence of a protorabbinic text in Samuel found in the recension of the Theodotionic School (Alexandria), dating from the end of the first century B.C.E. The Hebrew text used for this revision is protorabbinic, not identical to the Pharisaic Bible. Cross, 1992:300, n. 11.
49. In Moore 1927:1,85. Cross (1992:152f, n.+) says that the Jamnia school "in effect resurrected the institution of the Sanhedrin, which exercised religious authority over the Jewish community before the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E.
50. Sanhedrin 90b. Lewis (1964:126) and n. 19. But cf., M. Yadaim 3.5: "Rabbi Akiba said, . . . all the Kethubim are holy, but the Song of Songs is the holy of the holies."
51. Cross (1964:126), from Moore (1927:1. 85).
52. In Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 4.26.13 f.
53.McDonald (1988:63 f. and 186, n. 41) seems to have misread me in suggesting that Jerome took Melitos canon to have been the canon of Jesus and the apostles. Previously I was inclined, mistakenly, to see Melitos list as an attempt to reproduce the list of the Jewish canon (Cf., Sundberg 1958:133 f., and 1968:148. In Sundberg 1968:154 and 1966 I suggest that Jerome held that the Jewish canon of scriptures was the canon of Jesus and the Apostles.
54. In Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 6.25.2.
55. Cf., Sundberg (1958:56, 57, 136) and Beckwith (1985:188 f., 224, n. 15). Beckwith lists another variant of Epiphanius, De Mens. et Pond. 22 f. list: Anastasius the Monk (seventh century?) published by J. B. Pita, Analecta Sacra (Paris, 1876-1891), 2.140 f., which usually agrees with Epiphanius against Bryennios except for Chronicles and has Job before Psalms.
Speel Festschrift Table of Contents
Return to Monmouth College Department of Classics Homepage