One Scripture or Many?: Canon from Biblical, Theological, and Philosophical Perspectives

Hardcover | August 30, 2004

EditorChristine Helmer, Christof Landmesser

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One Scripture or Many? proposes a novel understanding of canon that reaches beyond the text to the reality of tradition. This new approach to biblical theology takes up major questions concerning the unity of the canon. Its thesis is bold: canon is both text and tradition. As text, the canonis the product of a history of formation; its unity is ascribed by subsequent generations interpreting the text. As tradition, its fundamental openness to diverse interpretations is the function of a subject behind the text that holds together the tradition's unity. Yet open-endedness does not mean an absence of determinacy. Hermeneutical, theological, and philosophical parameters are given in order to maintain a unity at one level that does not exist between ideas conflicting on another level. These parameters are constituted through the relationship betweentext, reality, and experience. On the one hand, these parameters are embedded in the text. On the other hand, they are inextricably linked to reality because they themselves reflect experiences of that reality. The interdisciplinary approach in this book draws on scholarship in the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the New Testament, philosophy, and theology. Both Jewish and Christian scholars conclude that the search for the canon is an open-ended process of interpretation. Questions of the canon's unity find their niche in a new concept of biblical theology that presupposes the theological and philosophical relevance of biblical texts. As conceived in religious categories, experience and reality are themes already available in scripture. Whether one or many,scripture addresses these questions for our time.

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From the Publisher

One Scripture or Many? proposes a novel understanding of canon that reaches beyond the text to the reality of tradition. This new approach to biblical theology takes up major questions concerning the unity of the canon. Its thesis is bold: canon is both text and tradition. As text, the canonis the product of a history of formation; its...

Christine Helmer is Assistant Professor of Theology at the Claremont School of Theology, California. Christof Landmesser is Lecturer in New Testament in the Protestant Theological Faculty at the Eberhard Karls University, Tubingen.

other books by Christine Helmer

Format:HardcoverDimensions:260 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.78 inPublished:August 30, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199258635

ISBN - 13:9780199258635

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Table of Contents

1. Christine Helmer and Christof Landmesser: Introduction: a new biblical-theological approach to the unity of the canon2. Christine Helmer: Transhistorical unity of the New Testament canon from philosophical, exegetical, and theological perspectives3. Armin Lange: From literature to scripture: the unity and plurality of the Hebrew scriptures in light of the Qumran library4. Benjamin D. Sommer: Unity and plurality in Jewish canons: the case of the Oral and Written Torahs5. James Barr: Unity: within the canon or after the canon6. Christof Landmesser: Interpretative unity of the New Testament7. Avi Sagi: Unity of scripture constituted through Jewish traditions of interpretation8. Nicholas Wolterstorff: The unity behind the canon

Editorial Reviews

`...contributes a host of new ideas to the debate about the canon of the Bible, and draws exegesis, systematic theology, and philosophy into it purview.'The Journal of Theological Studies