- Writing materials: papyrus (common, perishable; oldest from 2400 B.C.); parchment (animal skins); vellum (calfskin); ostraca (potsherds); stones (written on with iron); clay tablets; wax tablets.
- Writing instruments: chisel (for stones); metal stylus (for clay/wax); pen (for vellum, parchment, and papyrus); ink (charcoal, gum, and water).
- Rolls/scrolls: papyrus sheets around a stick. Average length: 20-35'.
- Codex/book: like ours. Both sides had writing.
- Uncial: "bookhand," upper-case. In Codex Vaticanus and Sinaiticus.
- Miniscule: more like cursive. Greek had words with no spaces - but if read by syllables, easy to understand.
- Books (see Hebrew canon - chapter 3).
- Chapters: 586 B.C. Pentateuch = 154 sedarim. 630s B.C. 54 parashiyyath + 669 small sections. 250-350 A.D. Greeks made divisions. 1227 A.D. Modern chapter divisions.
- Verses: standardized ca 900 A.D.
- Canon = standard-length "reed/cane." List or "rule of faith." The Church recognized inspired books - not arbitrary choice.
- Tests for a prospect (see 2 Peter 3:16): (1) authoritative ("thus says the Lord"); (2) prophetic (from one to whom God spoke); (3) authentic ("if in doubt, throw it out"); (4) dynamic (came with God's power); and (5) received/collected/read/used (accepted by God's people).
- Factors: (1) Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. --> needed unification. (2) Christianity rose --> need to exclude the Gospels etc.
- Hebrew canon: Torah ("law"), Prophets, Writings. 24 total.
- Luke 24:44 - all (i.e. in all 3 divisions of the canon) was fulfilled about Christ.
- John 10:31-36; Luke 24:44 - canon contrasted with oral traditions.
- Luke 11:51; Matthew 23:25 - whole span of Scripture.
- ca 130 B.C. - Ecclesiasticus noted the 3 divisions.
- Josephus - canon preserved, pristine.
- Talmud: (1) Tosefta Yadaim 3:5 excludes other books. (2) Seder Olam Rabba 30 delineates prophecy and sayings. (3) Babylonian Talmud, Tractate "Sanhedrin" VII-VIII, 24 notes end of Israel's prophecy after Malachi.
- Melito (bishop of Sardis, ca 170 A.D.): oldest dated OT canon.
- Today's Jewish canon: from Mishnah (5th c. A.D.).
Council of Jamnia: debated hard, confirmed the canon.
- From Greek apokruphos: "hidden or concealed." Jerome first spoke of them. Roman Catholic church added.
- Excluded from canon because (1) inaccurate and anachronistic; (2) false/contrary doctrines/practices; (3) literary styles at odds with the purported author; (4) lack of divine character.
- Summaries (from Ralph Earle, How We God Our Bible): * 1 Esdras (150 B.C.): post-exile legends * 2 Esdras (A.D. 100): seven confusing end-times visions * Tobit (200s B.C.): short Pharisaic novel teaching works-righteousness * Judith (150s B.C.): novel with plot like the story of Jael (Judges 4:17-22) * additions to Esther (100 B.C.): supposed prayers of Esther/Mordecai * Wisdom of Solomon (A.D. 40): like Proverbs * Ecclesiasticus (180 B.C.): same; Anglicans use it * Baruch (A.D. 100): urges Jews to submit to the emperor * Susanna (100s B.C.): fiction added to Daniel * Bel and the Dragon: Daniel 14; stories about idolatry's folly * Song of the 3 Hebrew Children: after Daniel 3:23; imitates Psalms * Prayer of Manasseh (200s B.C.): to supplement 2 Chronicles 33:19 * 1 Maccabees (100s B.C.): good source of history * 2 Maccabees: parallel, more legendary. *
- Historical testimonies of exclusion of apocrypha from canon: * Philo (20 B.C.-A.D. 40) never quoted Apocrypha as inspired * Josephus "explicitly excludes them * Jesus and the NT writers never quote them * Council of Jamnia (A.D. 90) excluded them * Only after 500 A.D. did some recognize them as inspired * Church fathers denounced them - also Jerome (340-420), Roman Catholic Church through the Reformation period, and the Reformers * Council of Trent fought (A.D. 1546) to include them.
- Tests: inspiration, apostolicity (sub-test).
- NT canonical books... * Reasons: (1) Marcion's (140 A.D.) heretical canon; (2) Eastern churches' use of doubtful books; (3) Edict of Diocletian (A.D. 303) ordered Scripture destroyed (die for the right Book!) * Athanasius (A.D. 367): earliest present-day list * Jerome/Augustine defined it more exactly * Polycarp (A.D. 115) et al. treated OT/NT canons as Scripture * Justin Martyr (A.D. 100-165) did likewise * Irenaeus (A.D. 180) agreed with NT canon * Ignatius (A.D. 50-115) cited Peter/Paul as apostles * Councils...
- Epistle of Pseudo-Barnabas (ca A.D. 70-79)
- Epistle to the Corinthians (ca A.D. 96)
- 2nd Epistle of Clement (ca A.D. 120-140)
- Shepherd of Hermas (ca A.D. 115-140)
- Didache, Teaching of the Twelve (ca A.D. 100-120)
- Apocalypse of Peter (ca A.D. 150)