Monday, October 29, 2018

The Biblical Canon Lists Reviewed by Lee Martin McDonald in RBL

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Reviews of The Biblical Canon Lists from Early Christianity keep coming out. See the earlier ones from Reading Religion and JETS
respectively. Last week, Review of Biblical Literature published Lee Martin McDonald’s (long-time canon scholar and recent author of The Formation of the Biblical Canon) musings on the book.

He provides a great summary of the work, a few items for Ed and me to think about in the event of expanding the work in the future (e.g. more comment about the texts of the books in these lists such as forms of Mark’s gospel or forms of Jeremiah et al.), a few disagreements with us  (e.g. whether Melito refers to Wisdom or not), and a strong recommendation for the book. You can read the whole review here [PDF]. McDonald concludes his review as follows:
Gallagher and Meade are also to be commended for their frequent use of the words “possibly” and “may be” when the evidence in their sources is not as clear as they would hope. I also want to commend them for their irenic position toward all those with whom they disagree without demeaning either the scholars or their positions. They have produced a superb volume with a wealth of information about canon formation that cannot be ignored in all future investigations of this topic. They have produced what I think may well remain the standard volume on canon lists that scholars and students alike will appreciate for years to come. I heartily recommend this impressive volume.
Thanks for a gracious and helpful review, Professor McDonald!

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