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Scripture & Canon

May 18, 2011

In her study of the Hebrew Psalter, Nancy L. DeClaisse-Walford argues that

Based on the evidence from Qumran, the Talmud, Josephus, Ecclesiasticus, and the New Testament, we can trace a development from ‘scripture’ – at least the law and the prophets in the second century BCE – to ‘canon’ – at most the books listed in Bava Batra in the second century CE.

She argues, contrary to Hossfeld and Zenger, that

the Psalter achieved its ‘substantial’ form sometime in the late Persian/early Greek period (late 4th century). The ‘story line’ was in place by that time, but the ‘introduction’ and ‘conclusion’ and the actual content of Books Four and Five remained fluid for several centuries.

[DeClaisse-Walford, N. L. (1997) Reading from the Beginning: The Shaping of the Hebrew Psalter Mercer University Press. pp. 19]

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