Goodly Fellowship of the Prophets (Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology)
61 pages

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61 pages

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Just below the surface of any Christian view of the Bible is the knotty issue of the biblical canon. How and when was it decided which books would make up the Bible? What makes a book canonical? In this volume, respected Old Testament scholar Christopher Seitz helps readers understand how the Old Testament fits into the canon's development. Brief and readable yet substantive, this volume challenges current understandings of the formation of the Christian canon, utilizing the latest research on the biblical prophets. Seitz reveals canonical connections woven into the fabric of the Prophetic Books and argues that the Law and the Prophets cohere and give shape to the subsequent Christian canon.


Publié par
Date de parution 01 octobre 2009
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781441211002
Langue English

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The Goodly Fellowship of the Prophets
Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology
Craig A. Evans and Lee Martin McDonald, General Editors
The last two decades have witnessed dramatic developments in biblical and theological study. Full-time academics can scarcely keep up with fresh discoveries, recently published primary texts, ongoing archaeological work, new exegetical proposals, experiments in methods and hermeneutics, and innovative theological syntheses. For students and nonspecialists, these developments are confusing and daunting. What has been needed is a series of succinct studies that assess these issues and present their findings in a way that students, pastors, laity, and nonspecialists will find accessible and rewarding. Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology, sponsored by Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and in conjunction with the college s Hayward Lectureship, constitutes such a series.
The Hayward Lectureship has brought to Acadia many distinguished scholars of Bible and theology, such as Sir Robin Barbour, John Bright, Leander Keck, Helmut Koester, Richard Longenecker, Martin Marty, Jaroslav Pelikan, Ian Rennie, James Sanders, and Eduard Schweizer. The Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology series reflects this rich heritage.
These studies are designed to guide readers through the ever more complicated maze of critical, interpretative, and theological discussion taking place today. But these studies are not introductory in nature; nor are they mere surveys. Authored by leading authorities in the field, the Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology series offers critical assessments of the major issues that the church faces in the twenty-first century. Readers will gain the requisite orientation and fresh understanding of the important issues that will enable them to take part meaningfully in discussion and debate.
The Goodly Fellowship of the Prophets
The Achievement of Association in Canon Formation
2009 by Christopher R. Seitz
Published by Baker Academic a division of Baker Publishing Group P.O. Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287
Printed in the United States of America
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means-for example, electronic, photocopy, recording-without the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Seitz, Christopher R.
The goodly fellowship of the prophets : the achievement of association in canon formation / Christopher R. Seitz.
p. cm. - (Acadia studies in Bible and theology)
Lectures given at Acadia Divinity College, Nova Scotia, fall of 2007 and also an earlier version of these lectures was prepared for Golden Gate Baptist Seminary the same year.
Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 978-0-8010-3883-9 (pbk.)
1. Bible. O.T.-Canon. 2. Bible. O.T. Prophets-Criticism, Textual. 3. Bible-Canonical criticism. 4. Bible. N.T.-Relation to the Old Testament. 5. Bible. O.T.-Relation to the New Testament. I. Title. BS1135.S45 2009 221.1 2-dc22 2009011840
In memoriam Brevard Springs Childs (1923-2007)
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: Canon and the Goodly Fellowship of the Prophets
1. Starting Points
2. The Challenge of Order and Arrangement in Standard Old Testament Studies
3. The Achievement of Association in the Prophetic Canon
4. The Accomplishment of the Writings
Conclusion: The Goodly Fellowship of the Prophets
The present book has as its center public lectures given at Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia in the fall of 2007. An earlier version of these lectures was also prepared for Golden Gate Baptist Seminary earlier that same year. I benefited from discussions that took place on these occasions. A St. Andrews and Yale friend, John Shouse, was a gracious host in California, and I am thankful for his invitation to give the lectures a dry run.
Craig Evans invited me to deliver the Hayward Lectures at Acadia, and I want to thank him and his colleagues for their hospitality and kindness. Again, formal and informal opportunity was given to discuss the content of the material with faculty, students, and guests. Nova Scotia is a beautiful place in the autumn. It was a memorable and stimulating experience. Glen Wooden was on sabbatical in St. Andrews when the invitation was issued, and I am very thankful for his collegiality and kind hosting during my stay in Wolfville.
I have adapted the lectures as given only minimally. They constitute the contents of the three main chapters. To produce a book of sufficient length for the present series, however, I have also drawn up a general introduction to the topic. Following the introduction, chapter 1 begins as the first lecture of the series proper and concludes with some explanatory notes as to why I am dealing with the topic I have chosen. Beyond that, there should be very minimal overlap, and I hope the book as a whole addresses the general theme of canon formation in the Old Testament in a straightforward and useful way.
I am also presently completing a book on the relationship between the Testaments and the exegetical and hermeneutical significance of the rule of faith in the early church, which is scheduled to appear in Baker Academic s Studies in Theological Interpretation series. I have become convinced that certain accounts wishing to place the responsibility for canon formation in the church are rightly concerned with certain problematical North American formulations of sola scriptura and inspiration. This has led to an appeal to church authority and the rule of faith from an otherwise unlikely quarter. But the threat to the formative place of the Old Testament and its influence on the New Testament is often subsumed into theories of an open canon, Scripture rather than canon, and now a rule of faith whose scriptural rootage and grounding are obscured. The reader will see in the present work aspects of that concern, even as the present project sees the issue from the standpoint of standard accounts of the canon and debates about the status of the Old Testament at the time of the New Testament. The other project, titled The Character of Christian Scripture , addresses the issue from the standpoint of a two-Testament scriptural legacy and how the church should handle that canonical form in its present life.
My present concern is to understand the unique character of the prophetic division of the scriptures of Israel. Work on the book of the Twelve Minor Prophets has affected an older discussion about canon formation, and that new and exciting work has yet to find its place in discussions respecting the canon. I hope the present work remedies that and turns the discussion in a more theological and hermeneutical direction.
I am grateful for a series of conversations and thesis-topic discussions on canon and the Writings with Amber Warhurst and Timothy Stone, PhD students at St. Andrews. They have thought carefully about key issues in respect of canon. Mark Elliott, Daniel Driver, Mark Gignilliat, Nathan MacDonald, and others read portions of the manuscript and offered helpful comments. Steve Chapman at Duke has published his own trenchant analysis of canon, and he pointed me to several recent works. Georg Steins of Osnabr ck gave an insightful lecture on canon at the 2007 Society of Biblical Literature international meeting in Vienna and was kind enough to send me his manuscript. Too late for me to incorporate was the 2005 Lund dissertation of Tomas Bokedal, a review of which has appeared in the October 2007 issue of Journal of Theological Studies .
While I was preparing these talks and reflecting on matters of canon and the Twelve, my close friend and colleague Brevard Childs had a fall upon returning from the United Kingdom that led to serious complications and, sadly and tragically, his untimely death. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for everything this great and kind man taught me, in seminar room, parlor, pulpit, and pew. The loss of his companionship and counsel is inestimable. I have had the opportunity to read his (now to be published posthumously) manuscript on the Pauline Letters, and it is a stunning, clear, and morally urgent series of reflections. The implications of canon formation are deeply imbedded in the processes of the Bible s coming to be and do not exist as extrinsic maneuvers in subsequent communities seeking to understand themselves or address perceived needs. The canon emerges from the lived life of Israel under the word of God, faithfully straining to hear that word and obey and live. The church s role in canon is that of gratefully acknowledging a witness prepared in prophet and apostle and seeking to honor the providential work of God in Christ from within their own distinctive providential location.
My conviction is that the book of the Twelve is a goodly fellowship of the Prophets, akin to the apostolic fellowship represented by the Pauline Letter Collection within the canonical New Testament, and likely influencing both its formation and form. The book of the Twelve shows a sophisticated composition intended to preserve the historicality of God s word vouchsafed to individual prophets and to address the generations beyond their times, which come to the Twelve to learn from the past so as to find present obedient hope and direction.
The present work is dedicated to Brevard Childs and his wife, Ann. This seems a meager offering, I must say, given all that Bard has taught me and the wider world, and in light of many years of friendship and collaboration of various kinds. But I trust in the end that all God has said through him will remain a legacy for generations to come and its own kind of canonical witness, appropriate to the place God set him down in his mercy and lov

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