Homer, the Bible, and Beyond: Literary and Religious Canons in the Ancient World

By Margalit Finkelberg; Guy G. Stroumsa | Go to book overview

HOW THE BIBLICAL CANON BEGAN:
WORKING MODELS AND OPEN QUESTIONS

STEPHEN B. CHAPMAN

Recent discussion about canonization within the field of Old Testament or Hebrew Bible studies1 provides a helpful vantage-point from which to identify several key methodological issues for comparative work on the phenomenon of literary and religious canons, especially in antiquity. In this essay, I hope to offer a contribution to such comparative work with the following thesis: efforts to reconstruct the process of biblical canon formation have consistendy raised certain basic methodological issues for historical-critical scholars of the Bible; furthermore, the way in which such scholars have chosen to respond to these issues has largely determined the shape of their historical reconstructions. In this way, historical theories about biblical canonization have not been ‘neutral’, but instead reflect the working out of various phenomenological assumptions about the process of ‘canonization’ itself.

1 While I would like to employ a ‘neutral’ term for this literature, especially given the original context for these remarks at the Hebrew University, I am not at all convinced that such neutrality is possible. This conviction is not only a matter of my own social location (as a Christian scholar), but also involves the different referents denoted by alternative terms. For example, ‘Hebrew Bible’ implies a contrast with the Greek Bible or Septuagint (LXX), while Old Testament’ does not. Because this essay pertains to both the Hebrew and the Greek biblical traditions, as well as the relationship between them, ‘Hebrew Bible’ cannot function as an adequate umbrella term. Moreover, although I would agree that the term ‘Old Testament’ was foreign to pre-Christian Judaism, I remain unconvinced that ‘Hebrew Bible’ does better justice to the precise hermeneutical position and role of this literature for ancient Israel. Cf. F.E. Greenspahn, “Does Judaism Have a Bible?”, in: L.J. Greenspoon and B.F. Le Beau (eds.), Sacred Text, Secular Times, (Omaha, 2000), 1–12. By using ‘Old Testament’ I do not intend to impose a network of Christian theological presuppositions upon this literature, but rather positively to describe the status of Israel’s Scriptures as a venerable collection for both Early Judaism and Early Christianity. In addition to these historical issues, moreover, it also seems fairer not to disguise from the reader the nature of my own social location and religious commitments.

-29-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Homer, the Bible, and Beyond: Literary and Religious Canons in the Ancient World
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 286

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.