It’s all canonical fun!

John Hobbins of Ancient Hebrew Poetry has made an initial post in a long series on the Biblical Canon, an initial full text version of which he’s sent to various bloggers. In it he brings up something that I always try to bring forward whenever we start to talk about “the Biblical canon”: there’s not just one Christian canon now, there has never been just one Christian one, and there didn’t used to be just one Jewish one. And while I think the de facto result of the history of the canon has led to the evidently universal recognition of the 27 books of the New Testament being agreed, the differences between the Hebrew Bible and Christian Old Testaments (yes, plural) defies reduction. It’s a great subject, and I think John has taken it in a good direction, one which it seldom goes, recognizing canonical multiplicity as a fact, and not necessarily a bad one, while also recognizing a core of texts that are implicitly recognized by all the traditions as perhaps the canonical core, based upon preserved ancient quotation, allusion, and homilies. It’s fascinating stuff.

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