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date: 21 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

There is no ancient account that describes the process leading to the formation of the third section of the canon. Scholars draw inferences from the evidence of ancient sources to support theories that posit various factors in the canonical process. This chapter will critically review scholarship on the formation of the traditional canon of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament as a whole, with particular emphasis on the emergence of the collection of books that make up the Writings (Kethuvim). It will suggest that the heterogeneous collection of books that make up the Writings emerged in the Hellenistic-Roman period. While the books of the Writings remained more or less stable, their classification and order varied from one source to another. The “psalms” constitute a subcollection of books of the Writings, and their authoritative status is evident among the communities reflected in the sectarian Dead Sea Scrolls and the early church.

Keywords: Writings, Yavneh, Temple, canonical lists, psalms

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