Scott, the filthy Canadian, is about to launch a series on the Book of Jubilees, and cautions his readers on two points about the notion of Jewish canon:
- Different Jewish Groups Considered Different Sacred Texts Authoritative. Probably one of the most difficult conceptual lenses for modern persons to remove from their understanding of ancient sacred texts is that of ‘canon’. However, not all of the different groups in ancient Judaism read or revered the same texts. Not only that, but…
- There are texts NOT in the ‘Canon’ that Were Treated As the Authoritative Words of God by some Groups. In short, there were texts considered sacred and the words of God, that never made it into ‘our’ canon, but nevertheless, were viewed, at the time, as the very words of God. Simply put: Not only do we have different groups in Second Temple Judaism but many of these groups considered different sacred texts as normative, formative, and authoritative. However, ancient caches such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, and writers such as Josephus, demonstrate that some modern conceptions of ‘canon’ are wholly inadequate in understanding authoritative sacred texts from this time period.
It is difficult for the less-than-historically minded to understand that our Christian canon(s) is ‘new.’ Anyway, it looks to be an interesting series, which is surprising considering that it is coming from a Canadian and Scott Bailey.
- John Philip Newell: Praying With The Earth: A Prayerbook For Peace (huffingtonpost.com)