The Vitality of Scripture Within and Beyond the “Canon”1

In: Journal for the Study of Judaism
Hindy Najman Yale University Department of Religious Studies & The Program in Judaic Studies, Yale University, 451 College Street, New Haven, CT 06520-8287, USA USA

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Challenging divisions between canonical and marginal texts, this essay critically evaluates the borrowing of the term “canon” from an Athanasian context and offers alternatives for thinking about the formation of scriptural authority in ancient Judaism. This essay focuses on the vitality of scripture as a corrective to scholarship which emphasizes canon, library, and prophetic cessation. To understand the authority of scripture is to understand scripture’s vitality in Ancient Judaism and, if the term “canon” is used, it should be used in a way that reflects this vitality.

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