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ISBN/ASIN : 083081258X
Manufacturer : InterVarsity Press|
Release data : November, 1988
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Until his untimely death about 15 years ago, Bruce was the leading English-speaking authority on textual criticism. His only serious competitor for this position was Bruce Metzger (who the mainliners preferred due to his less evangelical theological commitments and affiliation with the more liberal Princeton Seminary). But Metzger (whose own book on the canon of Scripture is the standard in mainline circles) acknowledged in a review of Bruce in the Princeton Seminary Bulletin that Bruce's work was superior to his own. He pointed out his reasons for this in detail.
Given the bizarre conspiracy theories and claims of Dan Brown and teh da Vinci Code crowd, Bruce's book is even more relevant than when it was written. I own two copies and bought another for our church library. Get Metzger's book also.
This book made me to leave Protestantism for Holy Orthodoxy
It is a great book. It taught me that the Church existed before the New Testament and that the Church wrote and collected Scripture. If you want to hear that story, then this is the book for you. If you do not want to hear that story, then stay away from this book. After reading it I realized that I could no longer be a Protestant.
History of Canonical Traditions of Holy Scripture
The Canon of Scripture:
The dean of evangelical biblical scholars did a great service when he decided to get this work out of his system since he made a very successful attempt indeed to communicate the state of knowledge (Preface) on this tricky and sensitive subject. This book stands my Criterion: If I only have one book on the subject, I would buy this book. This book is methodical, written basically to Seminarians, still tickles your curious bone, but don't get tricked by the smoothness of his elaboration, being a master exegetist and lecturer in biblical criticism.
Preface & Chapter one:
Read the condensed preface attentively, it highlights Prof. Bruce strategy where he left more controversial issues on the OT canon to R. Beckwith and J. Barton. The short chapter defines terms that became the vocabulary of the subject, their meaning and roots. People of the Book conveys his cultural standing, but he avoids elaborating on the concept of the two testaments but will not but mention Jeremiah 31:31, and later mentions Origen as the First to use and propagate this Alexandrine terminology (p. 192 : on First Principles 4.1.1)
TaNaKh and the Wider Canon
Bruce who said will shy from OT canon, masterfully instructs you in his own way, starting from the authority of OT for a Christian: Jesus appeal to TaNaKh going from the threefold division to the closing of the Hebrew canon in Jabneh. Now, with a firm foot, he delves into the Alexandrine wider Canon starting with Septuagint origin, order of books, and adoption as Ancient Churches OT, through NT evidence, but does not give the citations and allusions to Apocryphal books (K. & B. Aland: The text of the NT, Eerdmans, 1979) that he mentions (p. 51)
OT Christian Canon: Prevalence of Alexandria
The Rylands chair for two decades starts to preach how one Church was the light for all others. He starts by stating authority of the early Uncials, Alexandrinus, Sinaiticus, and Vaticanus are all fruits of the Alexandrine Scriptorium, and are the most reliable (with the exception of Ehrman). Along side other easterners, elaborates on Origen, and Athanasius, the first to use the term: Canon in relation to scripture.
From Tertullian to KJAV
The canon in the West: Tertullian, Jerome, Augustine,to the reformation: Luther, Erasmus, and Tyndale through Trentine Council to KJAV. Very interesting is his review of 17th and 18th centuries accomodation of canon, and Biblical societies.
If I would propose any clarification to this enjoyable treatise, it would be to copy the names and order of the bible in Orthodox, Catholic, and protestant traditions from a good study Bible, say the Harper Collins NRSV, with Apocrypha. Although differences exist in OT books, NT books are the exact 27 books.Only that the order of books in a genuine Orthodox Bible follows the Order of St. Athanasius in his Pascal letter of 367, the Catholic Epistles precede the Pauline letters.
Hebrews and Apocalypse
The authority of Dionysius the Great, on the Apocalypse of John, followed by all the Orientals (p. 213)in spite of their Canonical diversity was never challenged by Athanasius letter. He persauded the Romans to accept the book of Hebrews, next only to John's Bible in the Alexandrine NT theological structure of both the Didaskalia and Catechetical School, compromising for the Apocalypse, then considered a liturgical text in the East.
Great Chapters to enjoy
The Alexandrian Fathers*
NT canon in the Age of printing
Criteria of Canonicity
A Canon within the Canon**
Canon ,Criticism and interpretation
1. Barr, J. "Holy Scripture: Canon, Authority, Criticism,
Westminster press, Philadelphia, 1983
2.Beckwith,R. "The Old Testament Canon of NT Church,..."
Eerdmans, Gr. Rapids, 1985
3.Blenkinsopp, J., "Prophecy and Canon", notre Dame Press, 1977
4.Metzger,B. "The Canon of the NT, its origin, development, and significance",Oxford U. Press, 1987