Barber gives a conclusion which he reached years ago – and I agree with him today, especially since it effects my exegesis paper project. I remember reading F.F. Bruce, on the subject of canonical texts who noted that our text is canon in of itself… Anyway, I digress into a subject which I am not yet prepared to address. Dr. Barber, however, is:
1. The myth that the Palestinian canon was closed by 100 C. E.
2. The notion, even held by Jerome, that the divergent readings of the Christian LXX could simply be chalked up to Hellenizations. Scholars now recognize that the varying readings of the LXX and the MT have their origins in different Hebrew Vorlage.
3. (Closely related to 2): That the MT reading represents a more ancient textual tradition than that of the LXX.
4. The idea that the criterion used by the rabbis to determine the canonical status of the Biblical books was based on solid historical evidence. (In fact, anti-Christian prejudices shaped in their determination.)
5. That when the fathers speak of “canonical” books they always referred to the exhaustive list of books they consider part of Scripture. Indeed, there was not even a neatly divided list of protocanonical and deuterocanoical books – many included Esther in the category of disputed books.