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Biblical Canon: Its Origin, Transmission, and Authority

ISBN: 9781441252357




This volume provides an introduction to the Christian biblical canon and answers key questions about both testaments. It represents a fresh attempt to understand some of the many perplexing problems related to the origins and canonicity of the Bible.

The Logos Bible Software edition of this volume is designed to encourage and stimulate your study and understanding of Scripture. Biblical passages link directly to your English translations and original-language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. In addition, you can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about the Word of God.

Resource Experts
  • Examines the origins of the Bible and biblical writings
  • Discusses Biblical canon throughout history
  • Includes multiple extensive appendixes and a bibliography with references for further reading
  • Scripture and Canon
  • Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Canon
  • New Testament Canon
Lee McDonald’s magnum opus is the fair fruit of a lifetime’s labor. His is an updated and fluent historical reconstruction of the canonical process, marked by the careful consideration of the real evidence that encourages a more precise discussion of the history and idea of a Christian biblical canon. Not only does McDonald seek to understand the complex and variegated phenomena of canon formation within the social worlds of both Judaism and earliest Christianity, he is ever alert to the serious theological and hermeneutical questions his discussion engenders about the nature and role of Scripture within today’s faith community. While McDonald’s conclusions will surely be debated, no scholar or student interested in these important matters will be able to neglect his fine book.

Rob Wall, professor of the Christian Scriptures, Paul T. Walls Chair in Wesleyan Studies, Seattle Pacific University

This thorough introduction to the questions concerning the formation of the Christian canon offers a substantial revision of the author’s useful previous work. McDonald does not seek to answer every question he asks, but he asks nearly every question one can imagine, and he answers many of the central ones by drawing on his years of reflection on the topic. . . . I certainly commend this introduction to the Christian canon to all biblical scholars and to our most diligent students. McDonald helps frame for us the questions we must continue to ponder, and he thoroughly summarizes for us the fruit of his extensive labors in this important field.

Review of Biblical Literature

The book is highly recommended for students and scholars alike as an excellent introduction to the central issues at stake in the formation and reception of Christian scripture.

The Catholic Historical Review

This work aims to be an introduction to the study of the canon, and it certainly accomplishes that and much more. . . . The Biblical Canon overall is an excellent work, but only when the reader is readily adept in working through the weighty issues in canon studies. It is a must read for any serious student looking for an in-depth introduction to the study of the scriptural canon for early Jewish and Christian communities.

Southwestern Journal of Theology

  • Title: Biblical Canon: Its Origin, Transmission, and Authority
  • Author: Lee Martin McDonald
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 592

Lee M. McDonald is president emeritus and professor emeritus of New Testament studies of Acadia Divinity School in Nova Scotia and adjunct professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. He serves as scholar in residence for the American Baptist Churches of Los Angeles and the American Baptist Congregations of the Southwest and Hawaii and is the author of several other books.


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