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Document Details :

Title: From Catalogue to Canon?
Subtitle: An Assessment of the Library Hypothesis as a Contribution to the Debate about the Biblical Canon
Author(s): VAN DER TOORN, K.
Journal: Bibliotheca Orientalis
Volume: 63    Issue: 1-2   Date: januari-april 2006   
Pages: 5-15
DOI: 10.2143/BIOR.63.1.2015523

Abstract :
Because the concept of canon plays a major role in modern literary theory, scholars are also looking anew at the making of the biblical canon. They challenge established opinions to elicit new insights into the process of canonizaton. It is a way, hopefully, of proving the relevance of a traditional discipline to an audience of contemporary intellectuals. This study is concerned with the canon of the Hebrew Bible, adopted by the Church as the “Old Testament.” On the assumption that the canon of the Hebrew Bible was a list before it became one book, I will offer an assessment of the parallels between this list and the library catalogues of the Near East. In an attempt to formulate an alternative to the classic “three-stage theory” of canonization, several scholars promote the idea that the canon followed the model of the library catalogue. Thus Jan Assmann maintains that the Hebrew Bible is coterminous with the hand-library of the temple in Jerusalem. That proposition is an invitation to look anew at the ancient Near Eastern libraries and the ways they built up their collections.

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