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date: 17 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the arrangement of the books of the Writings and concludes that they have a purposeful shape. The level of canonical integration varies among this diverse collection, but there are signs that some books have been edited and/or arranged to highlight particular relationships between books. Within the Hebrew Bible, catchwords or phrases indicate a book’s purposeful placement, and there are signs of this in the case of Ruth and Esther. Among the vast array of historical information on the shape of the canon, Josephus and 4 Ezra are essential witnesses to the canon’s closure and shape in the first century ce. The internal and external evidence indicates that some of the books in the Writings were juxtaposed by design. Rather than an anthology of unrelated books, the collection grew up together in a complex symbiotic relationship.

Keywords: Writings, canon, canonical, compilation, catchwords, arrangement, 4 Ezra, Josephus, Ruth, Esther

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