Business Hours

Monday – Saturday
6 AM – 6 PM PDT
Local: 4:48 AM

Sign in

  1. Forgot your password?

The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church

by Beckwith, Roger

SPCK 1985

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.
Two ways to pay
$23.32/mo or $54.95
The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church See inside
This image is for illustration only. The product is a download.

Overview

The correct composition of the collection or list of books which should constitute the Old Testament has been a matter of disagreement among Christians since the second century of our era, and among Jews and Samaritans even longer. The status of the books of Ezekiel, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs and Esther was the subject of rabbinical argument in the first three centuries A.D., while in the sixteenth century the Reformers and the Church of Rome clashed over the authority of the Apocrypha, found in the Christian Septuagint manuscripts. The discovery of the Qumran texts in our own time revealed that certain other apocryphal books were clearly cherished by the community, so complicating the matter still further.

Roger Beckwith’s long out-of-print study of the Old Testament canon is on a scale to match H.E. Ryle’s classic work, first published in 1892. But Mr. Beckwith has the advantage of writing after the Qumran (and other) discoveries; and he has also made full use of all the available sources, including biblical manuscripts, rabbinical and patristic literature, taking into account the seldom studied Syriac material, as well as the Greek and Latin material.

This book, the result of many years’ study, is a major work of scholarship on a subject which has been neglected in recent times. It is both historical and theological, but the author’s first consideration has been to make a thorough and unprejudiced historical investigation. One of his most important concerns—and one that is crucial for all students of Judaism, and Christians in particular—is to decide when the limits of the Jewish canon were settled. In the answer to this question lies an important key to the teaching of Jesus and his apostles, and the resultant beliefs of the New Testament church. Further, in our own day any answers to questions about the state of the canon in the New Testament period would help open a way through the present ecumenical (and inter-faith) impasse on the subject.

Praise for the Print Edition

Regardless of the cost, everyone (scholar, minister, and layperson) interested in the serious study of the Bible should buy this book, read it, and keep it handy.

—Tremper Longman III, Westminster Theological Journal

It is a pleasure to commend a work of high scholarship on an important subject which cries out for fresh and up-to-date treatment.

—F.F. Bruce

Beckwith has produced a marvelous historical and theological study of the canon, certainly one of the most foundational issues of theology and biblical studies.

—Tremper Longman III, Westminster Theological Journal

It is the most comprehensive study of the history of the Old Testament canon written to date… characterized by its erudition and lucidity… will become the point of departure for all future discussion of the scholarly issues it treats.

—S.Z. Leiman

…we can all be grateful for the sheer volume of information compiled by Beckwith.

—James A. Sanders, Theology Today

Product Details

  • Title: The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church and its Background in Early Judaism
  • Author: Roger Beckwith
  • Publisher: SPCK
  • Publication Date: 1985
  • Pages: 528

About Roger Beckwith

Roger Beckwith is Warden of Latimer House, Oxford, and Lecturer in Liturgy at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition