Over the past four decades, many scholars have focused on the expanding collection of alleged “extra-canonical” documents that were deemed inspired by God in numerous early Jewish and Christian groups. Eventually, these texts ceased to have an authoritative role in Judaism and Christianity and were branded “extra-canonical.” Now, these documents, once considered sacred, are recognized as fundamental in understanding antiquity, and the development of the canon. Many scholars are now according an authority to some of these texts This volume draws attention to these ancient religious texts, especially the so-called “non-canonical” texts, by focusing on how they were used or functioned in early societies. The contributors also warn us about the assumed barriers between “canon” and “extra-canon,” “texts” and “traditions,” and they suggest that we should be careful with labels such as “Jewish” and “Christian.” The contributors also indicate, intermittently or implicitly, the importance of combining disciplines that had been isolated, especially the study of texts, the exploration of the canonical process, and the relevance of sociology in studying ancient groups.
This volume kicks off the Jewish and Christian Texts in Contexts and Related Studies Series, executive-edited by Charlesworth; McDonald is one of several on the editorial board of advisors. As the inaugural installment in that series, Jewish and Christian Scriptures charts a course investigating the uses and functions of ancient religious texts, with special focus on those texts that have been since deemed outside the canon.
—Katrina Van Heest, Biblical Interpretation
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
James H. Charlesworth is George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature and Director and Editor of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project at Princeton Theological Seminary, USA.
Lee Martin McDonald is President Emeritus and Professor of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College, Acadia University, Canada. He is also President of the Institute for Biblical Research.