One Scripture or Many? proposes a novel understanding of canon that reaches beyond the text to the reality of tradition. This new approach to biblical theology takes up major questions concerning the unity of the canon. Its thesis is bold: canon is both text and tradition. As text, the canon is the product of a history of formation; its unity is ascribed by subsequent generations interpreting the text. As tradition, its fundamental openness to diverse
interpretations is the function of a subject behind the text that holds together the tradition's unity.
Yet open-endedness does not mean an absence of determinacy. Hermeneutical, theological, and philosophical parameters are given in order to maintain a unity at one level that does not exist between ideas conflicting on another level. These parameters are constituted through the relationship between text, reality, and experience. On the one hand, these parameters are embedded in the text. On the other hand, they are inextricably linked to reality because they themselves reflect experiences of
The interdisciplinary approach in this book draws on scholarship in the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the New Testament, philosophy, and theology. Both Jewish and Christian scholars conclude that the search for the canon is an open-ended process of interpretation.
Questions of the canon's unity find their niche in a new concept of biblical theology that presupposes the theological and philosophical relevance of biblical texts. As conceived in religious categories, experience and reality are themes already available in scripture. Whether one or many, scripture addresses these questions for our time.
`...contributes a host of new ideas to the debate about the canon of the Bible, and draws exegesis, systematic theology, and philosophy into it purview.'
The Journal of Theological Studies
1: Christine Helmer and Christof Landmesser: Introduction: a new biblical-theological approach to the unity of the canon
2: Christine Helmer: Transhistorical unity of the New Testament canon from philosophical, exegetical, and theological perspectives
3: Armin Lange: From literature to scripture: the unity and plurality of the Hebrew scriptures in light of the Qumran library
4: Benjamin D. Sommer: Unity and plurality in Jewish canons: the case of the Oral and Written Torahs
5: James Barr: Unity: within the canon or after the canon
6: Christof Landmesser: Interpretative unity of the New Testament
7: Avi Sagi: Unity of scripture constituted through Jewish traditions of interpretation
8: Nicholas Wolterstorff: The unity behind the canon