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The Formation and Significance of the Christian Biblical Canon


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The Question of the Biblical Canon Part A: Linguistic and tradition-related aspects of the canon 2. The Concept of Canon Part B: Material and textual aspects of the canon 3. The Nomina Sacra - Highlighting the Sacred Figures of the Text 4. The Bible Codex - A Material Symbol of Christian Textuality 5. Oral and Written Text - Two Media of the Christian Canon 6. The Canon as Text Part C: Performative aspects of the canon 7. Canon and Ritual Interaction Part D: Ideational aspects of the canon 8. The Scriptures and the Rule of Faith - Story, Scope, Scopus 9. The Logic of the Christian Canon - Authority, Integrity, Criterion 10. The Scriptures and the Lord - General Conclusions Bibliography

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This book treats the emergence and significance of the Christian biblical canon from a historical, hermeneutical and theological perspective.

About the Author

Tomas Bokedal (Th.D., Lund) is lecturer in New Testament at King's College, University of Aberdeen, UK. His researchinterests include Christian origins and the relation of Scripture and theology. He has authored several articles and books on the biblical canon.


One particularly helpful feature of the book is that it does not assume an advanced knowledge of the current debates about the codex and nomina sacra, and it adequately brings the reader up to speed on these topics. This book would be best suited for undergraduates and non-specialists, while those who specialize in canon formation could benefit from the author's original interpretation of what 'canon' is. * Theological Book Review *
Bokedal has provided an excellent contribution to the study of the biblical canon. He conversant with both primary and secondary sources, provides several interesting and intriguing insights, and is willing to engage many areas that most studies of the canon neglect ... A much-needed and worthwhile volume on canon formation from which scholars will benefit for years to come. * Books at a Glance *
I read this book chapter by chapter with growing excitement, and was especially impressed by the broad historical knowledge concerning canonical and textual context as well as the theological and hermeneutical aspects of the topic. This book makes an important contribution to the theology of canons and biblical hermeneutics, and is one of the most interesting in the past 15 years. -- Heinrich Assel, University of Greifswald, Germany
The origins of the New Testament canon are much debated at present but too often with prior commitments to a religious position. Tomas Bokedal here examines the empirical evidence in an open-minded way and succeeds in presenting genuinely fresh and original conclusions. His treatment, for example, of the nomina sacra, words written in contracted form in New Testament manuscripts, goes beyond anything currently available elsewhere. This is a study of the origins of the New Testament that needs to be taken seriously not only by biblical scholars but by those interested in the early Church and, indeed, in theology generally. Essential reading. -- John Barton, University of Oxford, UK
Tomas Bokedal provides a wonderfully rich and informative study of the formation and nature of the canon, focusing not only on its historical, hermeneutical, and philosophical foundations, but also--and most importantly--on its theological/christological basis. He brings a much needed clarity to the canonization process and at the same time demonstrates the integrity of the canon in the face of current challenges. This book will remain an important resource for years to come. -- Donald A. Hagner, Fuller Theological Seminary, USA
Tomas Bokedal has clearly demonstrated that the issue of the canon is far more than simply determining which books belong in the Christian Bible and why. He undertakes a detailed study of the procedural, material, structural, and conceptual dimensions of the continuing process of canon formation in the Church. Each of these areas contains fascinating material for further thought. Bokedal truly shows that the process of canon formation is also an exercise in Wirkungsgeschichte. -- Stanley E. Porter, McMaster Divinity College, Canada

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