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Origin of the Bible : A Guide For the Perplexed - Lee Martin McDonald

Origin of the Bible

A Guide For the Perplexed

Paperback Published: 21st April 2011
ISBN: 9780567139320
Number Of Pages: 272

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Just how did the Jewish and Christian Bibles come together? Why were some ancient texts excluded? Or included and later rejected? What were the criteria? This volume deals with a significant issue in light of the many and significant discoveries of ancient sacred or religious texts that were not included in the Jewish or Christian Bibles. Because of the focus in the news media in recent years on those extra-canonical books that have come to light in the last century - and even more recently, there is need for clarification of the processes involved in the formation of the Jewish and Christian Bibles. Why were some books included and others excluded? Why were some included initially and subsequently rejected? Was there a church cover-up as some in the media have suggested? As a result of all of this and more, considerable attention is now focused on the use and function of the so-called non-canonical religious texts that are not now a part of the Bibles of various religious communities. Why did the Bible come together? What criteria were used in making decisions about inclusion and exclusion? The proposed volume addresses these questions and others that are critical to a careful understanding of the Jewish and Christian Bibles. The methodology employed in the writing of this book is described below. It is important to take this discussion outside of the scholars' guild and into the hands of the laity, especially those educated college graduates and undergraduates whose interest in this subject has grown over the past twenty or more years. Currently there are no useful volumes on this subject that is geared to them. Scholars continue to talk past them and all too often only to each other about these matters. This volume is designed to fill this void and make the topic more clear for those without the technical academic skills to explore these matters in the ancient languages. Continuum's Guides for the Perplexed are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that students and readers can find especially challenging - or indeed downright bewildering. Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to grasp, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material.

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'Inthis 'Guide for the Perplexed', Lee McDonald has unravelled the intricacies ofcanon research for the scholar, student and interested public. Writing in a bracingly accessible style, McDonald clarifies how the Christian Bible of the Old and New Testaments came tobe formed and finally fixed. Including numerous extracts from primary sources, McDonald achieves the near impossible in discussing texts ranging from theHebrew Bible to patristic literature.' - Timothy H. Lim, University of Edinburgh, UK.


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'ProfessorLee McDonald is an expert in the field of the history of the biblical canon.His contribution to the "Guides for thePerplexed" series is a helpful summary of what can be gathered from theoften scattered remarks in the ancient sources. One of the strengths of thebook is that it quotes most of the relevant sources at length. The authorrightly emphasizes that the ancient data are often open to various interpretations.His own reconstruction of the origin of the Bible is well argued, clear andreadable; yet the author honestly


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'Professor Lee McDonald is an expert in the field of the history of the biblical canon. His contribution to the "Guides for the Perplexed" series is a helpful summary of what can be gathered from the often scattered remarks in the ancient sources. One of the strengths of the book is that it quotes most of the relevant sources at length. The author rightly emphasizes that the ancient data are often open to various interpretations. His own reconstruction of the origin of the Bible is well argued, clear and readable; yet the author honestly warns the reader that there remain open questions, and there are areas in this history where other reconstructions may still be possible.' - Peter Balla, Head of the New Testament Department at the Faculty of Theology, Karoli Gaspar University of the Reformed Church in Hungary. --Sanford Lakoff

Introduction and Preliminary Observationsp. 1
An Overview of the Storyp. 21
The Emergence of an Old Testament Canonp. 52
The Completion of the Old Testament Canonp. 87
The Emergence of Christian Scripturesp. 121
The Influence of ôHeresyö and ôOrthodoxyö on Canon Formationp. 153
Fixing the New Testament Canonp. 192
Final Commentp. 232
Notesp. 239
Bibliographyp. 243
Indexp. 251
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780567139320
ISBN-10: 0567139328
Series: Guides for the Perplexed
Audience: BAC
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 21st April 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.2  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.36
Edition Number: 1

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