[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

orion canon

Dear Harrison,
YOu ask about Ezra's position in "developing the canon".  The Bible
portrays him as central to repromulgating the Torah, and since *Spinoza
his role in composing the Torah has been considered quite significant.  My
teacher, Haran, whose book on canon was mentioned in my communication
believes that it was Ezra who combined the pre-existing Priestly source
with the other sources in order to create the TOrah more or less as in
exists today, and by making it the law of the community he canonized it.
Haran would place the beginning of the formation of the Jewish canon at
the time of Josiah when D was written and made authoritative. Ezra was the
second major figure in canonization of the *TOrah.  
TO the extent that the TOrah is part of the canon, Ezra participated in
its development.  I don't know of any role he may have had in developing
other parts of the canon, including the book (Chronicles?-) Ezra-Nehemiah
bearing his name.  REmember that the Torah is only the first part of the

Note that what I have just said is not necessarily my position on some of
the most central and also most difficult of the questions facing biblical
criticism since its inception.  As for your conception of Ezra's role
being "conservative", there are those who would call it benighted and
naive, and other equally learned and critical scholars who would say you
are right on the ball. I don't give out grades, especially when the test
is still going on and will continue into the uncharted future with no
limit in time.
Victor Hurowitz