Should the Church Be Committed to a Particular Order of the Old Testament Canon?

In: Horizons in Biblical Theology
Gregory Goswell Christ College Burwood, nsw Australia

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This article argues that Hebrew and Greek ot canonical orders are both ancient, and that there is no evidence that the Hebrew canon represents the oldest arrangement or that the Greek way of ordering the biblical books was due to Christian influence. This finding precludes the idea that either order is to have hermeneutical priority over the other, or that either organization can be made the exclusive basis for a theological appreciation of the ot. The Hebrew and Greek ot canons need not be read as competing traditions in early Jewish communities, and, in terms of interpretive method, the contemporary reader is not required to decide which sequence of books is to have precedence as a frame for interpretation. The various canonical arrangements are better viewed as interpretive options available to ancient readers and now offered to present-day readers for their pondering.

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