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RlG241 lecture 2.docx

Course Code
John Kloppenborg

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Lecture 19/28/2012 2:26:00 PM
List of books considered to be authoritative as revealed scripture by a
particular Christian group
Determination of what would be included & excluded in the canon took over
several centuries
Long time to solidify: different claims from diff & competing Christian groups
so as to what constituted Scripture
Lots of dissension
Slow formation of early Christian canon
Neither the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible/ Tanakh), or Gospels (Matthew,
mark, Luke, John)/ Paul‘s letters were unanimously received as Scripture by
early Christian heterodoxy
Which to consider holy
Diversity of Christianity scripturesbattle to decide Christian canon is
epiphenomenal (related to grander battle to decide who could speak for
Battle for the Christian canon: battle for apostolic authority
Consensus that the 1st 3 centuries of the Christian movement did not come
to know an institutional apparatus (orthodoxy), no unified project of canon,
no ultimate Scripture
Orthodoxy: orthodox apparatus what‘s the right belief
Early Christianity: competing heterodoxies
Heterodoxies competed against each other w/ varying degrees of
Uncanny unity of the early church between Paul & Church (brother of Jesus)
Early Christian heterodoxies competed as claimants & holders of apostolicity,
apostolic succession, apostolic authority
Formation for Canon: underside of the history of the battle for the claim of
apostolicity/ claim of orthodoxy
Orthodoxy: never just one claim of truth, messy history (great diversity)
Proto-orthodoxy: that claimant of Christianity that prior to winning the battle
of true claims, was already there, making certain assertions of what is the
true scripture, but was not truly orthodoxy
Bart Ehrman on Proto-orthodoxy & formation of the Christian Bible
History of the formation of the Christian Bible as an epiphenomenon of the
history of the formation of orthodoxy

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Coming together of Orthodoxy same as coming together of New Testament
Orthodoxy: Bible is a construct fruit of the triumph of proto-orthodoxy
We could‘ve ended up w/ a whole different Christian Bible than the one that
Christians have today
Heterodoxies & imagined Bibles (historical imagination:
Judeo-Christians (ones in Matthean community) win halakah/ aggadot
Gnosticizing Christians (mystical, read Plato w/ authority too)
First attempts at collecting canon was very fluid
Muratorian canon (2000 CE): oldest canon catalogues that has come down
to us
Doesn‘t match Bible used today
Not accepted as scripture: Hebrews, 1& 2 Peter, James, 3 John
Not copied by scribes
Copied by scribes: what was popular & authoritative
Who wrote Hebrews? Paul or?
Accepted as scripture: wisdom of Solomon, Greek Apolalypse of Peter
Proto-orthodox idiosyncratic canon: codex vaticanus
4th century manuscript of the Bible
didn‘t have 1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Revelation
proto-orthodox idiosyncratic canon: codex sinaiticus
4th century manuscript
copy things that didn‘t match w/ Bible canon
includes all NT & Epistle of Barnabas & Shepherd of Hermas
B & Hdeemed as apocryphal (forbidden)
The battle for the Christian Scripture: did all early Christians read the
Jewish Scriptures not agreed by all Christians as holy
Tanakh/ Septuagint (translation of Jewish Bible by Alexandra in 3rd century
during the common era, interesting legends of how translation was made),
Apocrypha (Enoch)
Early Christians weren‘t unanimous about which Jewish Scriptures
(approach, read, meant when they referred to Scriptures, the books made
into Scripture)
Early Christianity: didn‘t agree to what was holy Scripture
90 CE: legend of how Jamnia (city in Galilee) council the Rabbi said the
authoritative books that defiled the hands

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the holy books contaminate
contaminates just as much as state of unholiness
lots of rhetoric, exaggeration, invention
no one top-down decision making synod
criteria: possible secular character of book, ending of prophecy circa 5th,
contradict Torah
under suspicion even after Jamnia: Esther (secular), Ezekia (contradict viz
Torah), Daniel (after prophecy)
secularizedinscribed mentioning of God
History of the Early Christian Canon & the formation of proto-orthodoxy
Important Concepts:
Tanakh/Hebrew Bible
Septuagint (LXX)
Codex Vaticanus
Muratorian Canon
Gnosticizing Christians
Marcion/Marcion‘s Canon
revelation (not the book)/revealed scripture
Jamnia (Council of/Legend of)
Defilement of the hands
Torah, Neviim, Kethuvim
Crisis of the Jewish Scripture
The slow formation of the early Christian Canon
Canon: A list of books considered to be authoritative as revealed ‗scripture‘
by a particular Christian group
The determination of what would be included and excluded in the Christian
‗canon‘ took over several centuries.
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