Some Considerations on the Categories “Bible” and “Apocrypha”

Michael E. Stone

Hebrew University of Jerusalem


In the course of teaching the introduction to Jewish literature of the Second Temple period during past decades, I often devoted a segment to Bible and Canon. The present meeting is devoted to "Biblical Interpretation" and so some attention to the term "Bible" is appropriate.

The Hebrew Bible is traditionally viewed as composed of three parts: Torah or Pentateuch, that is the five books of Moses; Nevi'im or Prophets,[1] the three major and twelve minor written prophets together with the historical cycle of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings (corresponding to the time-span of the writing prophets); and Ketubim (Writings or Hagiographa), containing all the other books, such as Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Daniel, Chronicles, Esther, Lamentations, and others.

I argued that of the tripartite Hebrew Bible, while the collections of Torah and Nevi'im were firmly established in the first century BCE and CE, the collection of Ketubim was not yet closed, though its central works had come together.[2]

The evidence underpinning this view is the following.

 a. Specific names.

There exist mentions or implications of distinct collections in MMT from Qumran, the Prologue of the grandson of ben Sira to his Greek translation in 132 BCE, the reference to the Law, Prophets and Psalms in Luke 24:44, and less convincingly the implications of the passage on holy books of the Therapeutae in Philo's Contempl.  3.25.[3]    

b. By the end of first century CE a more or less fixed number of books was recognized

That there was a fixed number by the turn of the first century was clear from Josephus' mention of 22 books in his treatise Against Apion 1.37-38 and 4 Ezra's 24 revealed and exoteric books noted in chapter 14:44-45.[4]

c. Yet, apparently, by c. 70 CE the collection was not yet final.

This is evident from the variation of:

i. books included in the Old Testament in Patristic lists,[5]

ii. of the contents of the oldest Christian Greek manuscript copies of the Bible,

iii. from the diversity of works cited using "scripture" formulae by authors as late (from the point of view of this discussion) as Clement of Alexandria (latter part of the second century CE).[6]

iv. Likewise, even in Rabbinic literature, there are indications that the issue of a closed collection was not completely resolved in the second century.[7]

Behind these simple statements, lie issues in the history of the growth and development of the collections of literature that eventually constituted the Hebrew Bible. These seem to me to centre on the following matters, and may I stress that my remarks are relevant to the period before the destruction of the Temple.[8]

a. Torah When did the five books of Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy come to be designated by the name "Torah" or "Law of Moses", with special status and standing?

b. Nevi'im When did the collection now known as "Prophets" or Nevi'im come together and when did it gain special standing?

c. Collections Since these two collections came together sequentially, what was their standing in various circles in second Temple Judaism and among the Dead Sea community?

d. The evolution of the concept of canon. It is clear that, even if the concept of Canon, meaning the unique fixed collection of books containing divine revelation, closed and exhaustive of God's word to humans, existed in antiquity, which I rather doubt, there is no way that such a Canon and, consequently, the very concept of Canon, could have existed before the collections that constituted it had grown and evolved. For the Hebrew Bible this is at the end of the Second Temple period.

Our questions, however, bear on the period before the destruction: was there a collection of books that was regarded as being the revealed word of God? If there was such a collection, was it thought to be closed and finally defined? exactly what was its status? For example, was it alone considered to contain authentic divine revelation from which all knowledge about the divinity derived? or were there other works that were considered also to be divinely inspired but were not in this special collection?

My conclusions are:

a. Status of Torah and Nevi’im. There was a group of five books of Moses in pride of place as books by the fourth century BCE. They embodied the standard, national tradition. These books never lost their position as the most significant embodiment of inspired writing.[9] The prophetic writings, which had become a fixed corpus between 400 and 200 BCE, held a somewhat subordinate position and, by the way, have continued to do so. These two fixed collections must have existed in the Second Temple period. Otherwise we cannot explain the move to a clearly defined corpus of 22 or 24 books, which may be assumed to have been tri-partite, within 30 years of the destruction. I think it wisest, therefore, to distinguish between (1) the process of literary genesis and development of the books and collections; and (2) the issue of their role and / or status.

b. Revelation was multiform. In the period of the Second Temple, as far as is represented at Qumran and by certain other sporadically surviving sources, these two collections of books were not regarded as the sole fruits of divine revelation, as the only significant and revealed writings, or even as the exclusive embodiment of the ancient, national tradition.[10] But they did hold a specially revered position and for that reason so much Second Temple literature was written in conversation with them or derived from them.

b.1 Non-biblical revelation. Other channels were also considered to transmit revealed information. In some circles this continued revelation was ongoing and self-authenticating such as in some Qumran works or in early Christian writings. Thus writings could be inspired and venerated and not be "biblical".[11] The instances of the role of 1 Enoch and Jubilees among the Dead Sea Scrolls are well-known ones,[12] but the 70 additional books, regarded as the true source of wisdom by the author of 4 Ezra (see 14:47), constitute another and the remarks of ben Sira about his writing and those of his grandson yet a third.[13]

b.2 Revelation derivative from Torah and Nevi'im. In other circles, revealed information was in some way or another derivative from Torah and sometimes from Nevi'im. Such instances are pseudepigraphic apocalypses (books of visions) or inspired pesharim (commentaries written by the Qumran sect).[14]

Tradition History

One further remark is appropriate. There is no reason to assume that the Torah and the pre-exilic prophetic writings were the only traditions of the First Temple period that were transmitted down the centuries. Other traditions, some in forms fuller and perhaps older than those in the Torah, came to be incorporated in various works written down in the Second Temple period, such as Enoch and Jubilees.

First Conclusion

The long and short of this then is that the term Canon and all it implies should be set aside when considering Jewish writings from before 70 CE. Moreover, with its implication of deliberate decision of an authoritative or legislative body, it is probably completely inappropriate to assign it to Jewish usage at any time. As for the term "Bible"—a similar but not identical problem arises, and there does not seem to have been "a Bible" in the period under discussion, but it seems to me that, lacking a better term, we are impelled to use the adjective biblical (somewhat anachronistically) to designate works that later became part of the Hebrew Bible. However, collections of Torah and Nevi'im and an emerging Ketubim did exist, with the first and second holding specially revered role and status. Different groups used, in addition to them, certain other writings that they considered authoritative, but that were not part of these two collections, partly at least because their emergence was the result of a different literary history.

When modern scholars, referring to the Second Temple period, talk of a corpus of writing being "biblical" or "canonical", or refer to the "biblical canon", or a book being "non-canonical", or being a "biblical paraphrase", they are applying to the past, later concepts and terminology that only came into being after a long process of evolution. These terms, “Bible” and “Canon”, were used chiefly on the Christian part not the Jewish, and certainly not in the Second Temple period. At the end of the first century CE, thirty years after the destruction of the temple, Josephus and 4 Ezra know a collection of 22 or 24 books, the number usually reckoned in the Hebrew Bible. Earlier, in the pre-Christian period, the grandson of ben Sira, MMT, and so forth mention Law, Prophets and a third book or books, which perhaps indicates that distinct groups of books existed with their own names and special role, position and status (see above). But these distinct groups of books did not combine to form a canon of scripture or a Bible. It is clearly misleading to apply later terminology that refers to the collection as a whole to periods before that collection had completely come into existence. However, it is equally inadequate to take a minimalist position, underplaying the existence or significance of such collections of books as had developed. It is precisely at this point that further, nuanced, scholarly consideration is demanded.

Some Reservations

1. The second temple period shows varying tendencies with regard to inspired writings – they may be more or less in number, in accepted corpora or outside them, their authority may be drawn from their belonging to the accepted corpora or, less often, from other sources such as direct revelation. It would be unwise to take either an extremely conservative or a completely revolutionary position on the question of authoritative books, either to insist on the early formation of a tripartite closed canon or to deny the relative antiquity of the process of crystallization of the three collections that eventually constituted the Hebrew Bible. Instead, we must strive to perceive the tensions that are expressed in diverse strategies of authoring, different techniques for claiming authority, and variations of content and function. These tendencies are keys to varied self-understandings of different groups and varying periods of ancient Judaism.

2. Furthermore, we should also remember that the Qumran sectarian writings and collection(s), about which we know most, very probably represent only one of a number of attitudes that existed and other views may have been cultivated in other loci in ancient Jewish society.

3. Finally, we must consider the role of the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE in precipitating a crystallization of various aspects of Judaism and Jewish society, the building of new barriers to protect and define different aspects of the threatened, national heritage. This process may be observed in the textual history of the biblical books, with the disappearance of variant textual forms so striking at Qumran. Socially, the disappearance of most sects should be remarked; [15] in literature there was a concern for delimitation of authoritative books.[16] After the destruction of 70, a shift in genre took place that resulted in the disappearance of books written by a single author that continued down to the middle of first millennium CE (except, perhaps in the mystical tradition).[17] This process of stabilization also implies the enhanced fixedness of the collections of books that came to make up the Hebrew Bible.

Now, here I cannot provide the full argumentation to substantiate all these claims for reasons of space nor can I add an exposition of all the further permutations of these corpora of material and data about their existence. All I can do in the compass of this paper is to add some remarks bearing on certain aspects of the above principles.

The Privileged Position of the Torah

a. A gradual growth of the attribution of special role, authority and standing to the Torah and perhaps to the Prophets as THE divine revelation took place during the Second Temple period. The identification of Torah with Wisdom is full-blown in Sir 24:23 (early second century), but was already foreshadowed in Bar 4:1. This gave Torah a cosmic dimension, for wisdom is associated with God in creation. Therefore, Torah became not just the specific revelation to Moses on Sinai, but the pattern according to which the universe was created.[18]

b.  After the return from the Babylonian exile, there was a public reading of the Torah under Ezra's tutelage (Neh 8). It has been suggested that this was the Pentateuch but other possibilities have also been vetted with some plausibility, particularly that it was Deuteronomy.[19] It has also been observed that under the Persians, Jewish religious law was given state backing and that law was most probably the Pentateuch, as we shall show soon.

c. Further developments affected this, notably the growth in the prestige of antiquity. This process is well-known in history of religions and even in historiography: golden age devolves to iron mixed with clay; the generations degenerate (m. Soah  9.9-16); "For the age has lost its youth, and the times begin to grow old" (4 Ezra 14:10).

The Idea of Canon

1. I would customarily remark that the idea of "canon" as such did not exist in Judaism, that the Synod of Jamnia (a scholarly construction designed to correspond to Nicea and Ephesus, etc.) never happened,[20] and that there was no central authority in Judaism that could decide or decree which works were "canonical" and which were not. Indeed, it is a truism that down to this day there is no Hebrew word for "Canon". Judaism's authority structures were and still are different from those of Christianity and it did not have an ecclesiological view that attributed divine authority to an assembly of Bishops or Rabbis or anything analogous to that.

2. It does seem, however, that by the time of the destruction of the Temple, Judaism was well on the way to an accepted corpus of authoritative writings that were written "be-ru'a haqqodeš", that is “with/in the holy spirit”.[21] Not only the numbers of sacred books given by Josephus and 4 Ezra -- the difference between which (24 and 22) can be resolved by a little ingenuity -- but a number of baraitot in Tannaitic sources[22] are strong indications in this direction, and this idea is clearly known in second-century canon lists in Patristic writings.[23]

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Canon

Before we discuss the implications of the Dead Sea Scrolls for Canon we should emphasize that they are a special and unique case. First, the very survival of the Scrolls is almost unique. Second, they were a collection of books that belonged to a specific, sectarian group holding very distinctive views. Thus, the situation at Qumran was not necessarily identical with that obtaining among other contemporary Jews in the land of Israel or the Greek- or Aramaic-speaking Diasporas (or perhaps even among the "marrying Essenes"). Who knows? There is no evidence either way.

It is well known that all the books that came in later times to be in the Hebrew Bible are represented at Qumran, except for Esther.[24] Moreover, because of the technology available, usually each book was written on a single scroll. For the codex, the assembly of sheets into gatherings and the sewing together of the gatherings like in a modern book, had not yet been invented. Until the development and diffusion of the codex, it was physically impossible to include all the writings of the Hebrew Bible in a single artefact. Only the invention and the subsequent development of the large codex made collections of numerous books within one single manuscript possible.[25] It is worth considering how far our modern questions about canon are determined by the question: what should be put between two covers? In antiquity, the actual physical presentation of the books in itself could provide little evidence for how they were regarded.[26]

1. Some scholars have made the point that when the term "Torah" or "Law of Moses" is used, it cannot be proved that this was the Pentateuch, the Five Books of Moses as we have them. Do our remarks on the technology of book production bear upon this question? Modern and medieval Jewish usage is to write the whole Pentateuch in a single scroll, but as anyone can attest who, after reading the early chapters of Genesis, then wishes to consult the last chapters of Deuteronomy, rolling a whole Pentateuch from beginning to end is a major task.

            In view of this we must question what can be learned from the instances at Qumran of more than one book written in a single scroll. There are not many such; a few cases of two books of the Pentateuch and two of two and one of three or four books of Enoch.[27] The Torah manuscripts are 4QGen-Exoda “approximately 125-100 BCE”;[28] perhaps 4Q[Gen-]Exodb ;[29] 4QLev-Numa – “from approximately the middle or latter half of the second century BCE”;[30] 4QExod-Levf – “mid-third century BCE”;[31] 4QpaleoGen-Exodl – it is dated “the first half or first three-quarters of the first century BCE”.[32] Three points should be made. (1) In all instances books of the Torah occur in their conventional order. (2) It is noteworthy that 4QExod-Levf is from the third century BCE.[33] (3) There are no combinations of one Pentateuchal book and one non-Pentateuchal book. Thus, judging from the codicology it seems that we have Genesis to Numbers in overlapping manuscript attestation, though Deuteronomy does not happen to occur. This adds prima facie corroboration to the occurrence of the five books together at the beginning of the Septuagint, to be discussed directly.

2. A further consideration indicating the early crystallization of the Pentateuch is the following. The history of the growth of the Pentateuch impels historical scholars to see in it edited deposits of earlier traditions,[34] probably reaching much its present form by the time the Chronicler wrote or somewhat later. Whether P precedes or follows D is under discussion, but both views imply the existence together of what became Genesis to Numbers. The idea of fluidity of the contents of the Torah of Moses would imply that these works were open to flexibility, yet that sits ill with literary history. The Torah, moreover, was translated rather quickly into Greek.

The Date of the Greek Translation of the Torah

According to the tradition preserved in the Epistle of Aristeas, the LXX of the Torah was translated at the time of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285–247 BCE). Aristeas, however, is largely fictional and cannot be used for dating the translation.[35] The earliest external use of the Septuagint appears to be in Demetrius the Chronographer, who has been claimed to know Gen 30:14-15.[36] He probably wrote shortly before 200 BCE and so we can say that the Greek translation of the Torah was made before that date, i.e., in the third century, consequently not so far from the date given by Aristeas. It would be hypercritical to claim, it seems to us, that this only shows that Genesis was translated into Greek and that this happened immediately before Demetrius wrote (220-210).[37] It is at least as likely to be somewhat earlier. In any case, even if Demetrius' evidence is discounted (and why should it be?), there is no doubt that the Jewish philosopher Aristobulus (early part of the second century BCE) asserted that the Law was completely translated by the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus.[38] Indeed, Dorival would date the translation at the latest in 282.[39] Whether his arguments are accepted or not, it seems not unlikely that the Pentateuch was translated into Greek early in the third century BCE.

It is increasingly the view of Septuagint scholars that the Septuagint was made initially in order to be used "in concert with the Hebrew". As Wright points out, the relationship of the Septuagint to the Hebrew was originally a dependent or subservient one.[40] Indeed he argues with considerable plausibility that the function of Aristeas was not to provide an ideology for the creation of the Septuagint, but for a subsequent event, i.e., the inception of its use as a self-standing work, not dependent on the Hebrew text. This implies a period of time during which the Septuagint changed its character and became independent of the Hebrew. Wright and others regard this has having happened between the early third century BCE and the composition of Aristeas. John Wevers pointed out that, not only are the oldest surviving papyri of the Greek of some Pentateuchal books of the second century, but also that the Greek of the Torah shows some grammatical and orthographic features that were lost from Hellenistic Greek of the papyri by the second century.[41] All of these indications lead us to prefer a third century date for the Greek of the Torah and thus the Septuagint provides direct support for the existence of the Five Books of Moses as such in the third century.

It is significant that while the order of most books in the Septuagint has been rearranged by genre, in it the five books of Moses are in the same order and position as in the Rabbinic Hebrew lists and, as far as such exist, as in the Hebrew texts themselves. The Rewritten Pentateuch texts discovered at Qumran witness to the same books and order.

“Rewritten Bibles"[42] and the Torah[43]

On various grounds, Jubilees is attributed to the first third of the second century BCE.[44] Scholars have maintained that Jubilees was composed in dialogue and tension with the Torah and that it often resolves exegetical difficulties in the Pentateuchal text.[45] In this respect, it both serves to show that Genesis and part of Exodus stood before it and also that Genesis had such standing as to demand resolution of difficulties in its text. But, equally truly, Jubilees incorporated some independent ancient traditions stemming back into pre-exilic times and not found in the Pentateuch.[46]

For decades now a number of scholars have maintained that traditions and material from the period of the First Temple or even before, not included in the works that came to be the Hebrew Bible, reappear in the Second Temple period in apocryphal works. It is also the case that Jubilees, the Enochic Book of the Watchers and Book of the Luminaries and Aramaic Levi Document, as well as other works, incorporated traditions and conceivably literary tradition units,[47] originating in periods prior to the crystallization of the Pentateuch. To choose obvious examples, not everything stated or claimed in the Second Temple period about Enoch is derived exegetically from Gen 5; nor is all the material about the Watchers from Gen 6; nor that about Behemoth and Leviathan from scattered traditions particularly in prophets and Psalms.[48] The exile did not wipe the collective consciousness of Judea clean of everything but the material in Genesis or in the prophets or the Psalms.

Some have questioned whether at Qumran, Genesis in particular, but in principle the other four Pentateuchal books as well, were regarded as uniquely belonging to "the Torah of Moses", and whether those five books had a special status distinct from other retellings of the early history and law of Israel such as the Book of Jubilees, Temple Scroll and the works named "Rewritten Pentateuch" or "Parabiblical Writings".[49] Such scholars would level the playing field.

However, for the reasons stated above, the present writer would maintain that the expression "Torah of Moses" designated the Pentateuch from about the time of Ezra on. (Of course, he is far from the first to do so.) He would also maintain that there was a set corpus of works called "Prophets"  that existed by the second century BCE, while the collection of books called "Writings" was not fixed or finalized until after the destruction of the Temple and after the point at which Christianity split from Judaism.

Consequently, the issues that have been discussed turn out to be in good measure due to asking questions in the wrong terminology, or rather posing questions that involve applying modern presuppositions to ancient textual reality.[50]

Two central problems seem to remain:

1. What was the status or type of authority accorded to the accepted collections of Torah and Nevi'im? The idea of "Bible" did not exist, for no Bible existed, as is clear from the fluidity of Ketuvim on the one hand, and the lack of an unambiguous term meaning "Bible" on the other. So the option of these books being a final and closed collection of the unique, unchangeable and exclusively inspired, revealed and authoritative word of God does not exist. Canonicity

 and Bible are meaningless terms for the Second Temple period. Yet it is equally clear that Torah and Nevi'im existed and were particularly venerated, as is already to be seen in ben Sira and the grandson, not to speak of the LXX and MMT.[51]

Authoritative Books at Qumran

Among the Qumran manuscripts there is quite a lot of evidence for Jubilees having a special status. It exists in an exceptionally large number of copies and is cited (pace Devora Dimant) in sectarian works.[52] Similar, but less persuasive evidence exists for a like status of 1 Enoch (or rather, parts of it) and less probably for Aramaic Levi Document. It appears that these works at least were accorded a very high standing by the sectarian community. The Temple Scroll and MMT may also have held a special position in the eyes of the Qumran community.[53]

Moreover, 1QH, for example, or 1QpHab's statements on the Righteous Teacher's instructions show them also to have been considered inspired (1QpHab 7:1-5). Because at Qumran inspiration or revelation and "biblical" status were not identical (scriptural books were inspired and sacred, but not all inspired or sacred books were scriptural), there is no real reason to disregard literary history and the evidence we have mentioned above relating to the Torah of Moses. There seems to be no contradiction between the view that the Pentateuch gained a special role or position, and the claim of Jubilees to be written at divine dictation.[54]


1. We may thus conclude that the use of the terms Canon and Bible is inappropriate in the Second Temple period. Yet, the collections that eventually constituted the Hebrew Bible, Torah, Nevi'im and perhaps Ketubim were in the process of coming into being and had gained a special status. Indeed, it appears to be the case that the collection of Prophets must have been brought together after the Torah. This is so because of the presence in it of the Deuteronomic History and of prophetic books, Haggai and Zechariah, whose composition may be dated clearly enough to the fifth-fourth centuries. By the second century, a literary corpus that was entitled "the Prophets" was in existence and was well known by that name. Finally, a body of what were called "the other books" seems to have existed, but not as a finalized corpus before the separation of Christianity from Judaism.

2. It is not certain that the attitude to authoritative writings discernable at Qumran was held universally in Second Temple Judaism. But it seems that the Essenes and perhaps other groups, regarded certain "non-biblical" works as authoritative. They also did not think that biblical and inspired were identical. Inspired books were not necessarily biblical.

3. Consequently, we must be open to a much more complex situation relating to authoritative books than we might have thought. Above all, we should remember that our task is that of the historian of Judaism. Recognition of the complexity of Judaism in the Second Temple period has been growing and the questioning of terms like Bible and Canon derives from that.




[1] D. M. Carr, Writing on the Tablet of the Heart: Origins of Scripture and Literature (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005) suggests that "prophets" in the references to "Torah and Prophets" designated "all non-Torah, pre-Hellenistic works included in the Hasmonean collection" (p. 264) of the Hebrew Scriptures, which corpus he understands to have been established by the Hasmoneans. For a summary of some earlier views, supporting the tripartite division as also current in Alexandria, see A. C. Sundberg, The Old Testament of the Early Church (Harvard Theological Studies 20; Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1964), 207-09.

[2] A much more conservative point of view is argued by S. Z. Leiman, The Canonization of Hebrew Scripture: The Talmudiic and Midrashic Evidence (Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences 47; New Haven, CN: Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1976). He dates the closing of what he calls "the Prophetic canon" about 400, and the Hagiographa shortly after the death of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (164/163), see pages 25-33. His perspective leads him to argue for the maximal antiquity for each piece of evidence. The so-called "Alexandrian Canon hypothesis, first postulated by John Grabe (1666-1711) and John Semler (1752-1791) has been thoroughly refuted by A. C. Sundberg, "The Old Testament of the Early Church (A Study in Canon)," in Studies in Early Christianity: A Collection of Scholarly Essays (ed. E. Ferguson, D.M. Scholer, and P.C. Finney; New York & London: Garland Publishing Inc., 1993), 63-84 (based on his thesis) as by Leiman, Canonization, 5, though Leiman disagrees emphatically with Sundberg on many other matters.

[3] Leiman, Canonization, 31 says, "The correspondence to the tripartite division of the canon is obvious." This is denied, however, emphatically by others such as E. Ulrich, “The Non-attestation of a Tripartite Canon in 4QMMT,” CBQ 65 (2003), 202-214, esp. 205-214.

[4] This is the number of books of the Bible in Canon lists such as H. B. Swete, An Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1914), 200-22, see note 23. The evidence conventionally used is reviewed by J. C. VanderKam, "Revealed Literature in the Second Temple Period," in From Revelation to Canon: Studies in the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Literature, (ed. J. C. VanderKam; Leiden-Boston-Köln: Brill, 2000), 1-10.

[5] Sundberg, The Old Testament of the Early Church, 55-60.

[6] Sundberg, The Old Testament of the Early Church, 129-72; M. R. James and A.-M. Denis give numerous such citations; see M. R. James, The Lost Apocrypha of the Old Testament: Their Titles and Fragments. (Translations of Early Documents 1; London: SPCK, 1920) and A. -M. Denis. Fragmenta Pseudepigraphorum quae supersunt graeca una cum Historicorum et Auctorum Judaeorum Hellenistarum Fragmentis. (PVTG 3; Leiden: Brill, 1970).

[7] t. Yad. 2:13,14; 3:5, m. Šabb. 15:2, 6, Ezekiel ("they sought to hide Ezekiel",  b. ag 3a).  For a critique of the theories of Leiman and Beckwith, who would view the closing of the three parts of the Hebrew Bible and even of the whole corpus as have taken place in the second century BCE, see VanderKam,  "Revealed Literature," 12-18.

[8] Shmaryahu Talmon strongly denies the relevance of the concept of Canon for the Qumran Community who, he says, regarded themselves as still living in the biblical period: S. Talmon, "The Crystallization of the 'Canon of Hebrew Scriptures' in Light of Biblical Scrolls from Qumran" in The Bible as Book: The Hebrew Bible and the Judaean Desert Discoveries, (ed. E. D. Herbert, and E. Tov; London & New Castle, DE: British Library & Oak Knoll Press, 2002), 21-20. If so, different attitudes may have obtained among the Qumran sectaries and other contemporary Jewish groups.

[9] Ben Sira considered the Torah to be identified with Wisdom, and it held a special place in his consciousness. On the privileging of the Torah at Qumran, see Carr, Writing 238-39.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

[10] R. A. Kraft, "Scripture and Canon in the Commonly Called Jewish Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha and in the Writings of Josephus" in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament: The History of Its Interpretation (ed. M. Saebø; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1996), 199-216, on pp. 208-09 remarks on the range and number of books, presumably authoritative, that are mentioned in ancient sources.

[11] Leiman, Canonization, 15-16, basing himself on Rabbinic literature, would distinguish between "canonical" books, i.e, "books accepted by Jews as authoritative for religious practice and/or doctrine, … binding for all generations" and inspired books "believed by the Tannaim and Amoraim to have been composed under divine inspiration."

[12] Kraft, "Scripture and Canon," 204-5 note 15 remarks that some "('marginal')" early Christian representatives included parts of the Enochic material "among 'Scriptures'." In contrast, Leiman, Canonization, 100-02 speaks of sectarian "veneration" of ben Sira, though the evidence he adduced (see especially note 475) does not show that the sectarian attitudes to ben Sira were such as to make it imperative for the Rabbis  to assert its non-canonical status.

[13] See Prologue; compare also ben Sira's remarks on his own learning in chapter 24:30-34. Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha are categorized according to their attitudes to "scriptural materials" by Kraft, "Scripture and Canon," 204 and he sets forth the evidence ibid., 204-15.

[14] Kraft, ibid., 204 remarks on the high estimation that many apocalypses and cognate works have of their own status. He provides a substantial list of instances in n. 14. See also Stone, "Pseudepigraphy Reconsidered," Review of Rabbinic Judaism 9 (2006), 1-15.

[15] Of course, this may be an "optical illusion" caused by the nature of the data preserved: see the author’s forthcoming paper entitled "The Prism of Orthodoxy".

[16] Compare Josephus, Against Apion, 1:39-41; 4 Ezra 14:41-46; see Leiman, Canonization, 60-63.

[17] This may be because the mystical experience bore within itself authentication and authority. The antiquity of the mystical tradition is debated. See most recently P. Alexander. The Mystical Texts. Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice and Related Manuscripts (Companion to the Qumran Scrolls 7;  Library of Second Temple Studies 61; London: T&TClark, 2006).

[18] G. W. E. Nickelsburg and M. E. Stone, Faith and Piety in Early Judaism (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1983), 203-19. See Carr, Writing, 225-26 for a different perspective on the reapplication of wisdom terminology.

[19] The reading “from early morning until midday” suggests that it was not the whole Pentateuch: compare, however, Neh 8:18.

[20] See Swete, Introduction, 440 for a very standard exposition of this view. It is assumed as factual by Sundberg, The Old Testament, 211-13. We do not deny that discussion took place at Jamnia (Yavneh), but we assert that this was not a "Synod" with synodical authority to make decisions accepted in general Jewish usage.

[21] See ,e.g. t. Yad. 2:14; Meg. 7a.

[22] b. B. Bat. 14b; b. Ber. 57b.

[23] Swete, Introduction, 220-2, cf. Epiphanius, haer. 1.1.8;  a later source is published in M.E. Stone, "Armenian Canon Lists IV: The List of Gregory of Tathew (14th Century),” HTR 72 (1979), 241.

[24] There are a number of references to Esther being odd; see Sundberg, The Old Testament of the Early Church, 56-57.  Sidnie White Crawford has ably summarized the situation with respect to the work that Milik claimed to be "proto-Esther". See S. White Crawford, "4QTales of the Persian Court (4Q550A-E) and its Relation to Biblical Royal Courtier Tales, Especially Esther, Daniel and Joseph" in The Bible as Book: The Hebrew Bible and the Judaean Desert Discoveries (eds. E. D. Herbert, and E. Tov.; London & New Castle, DE: British Library & Oak Knoll Press, 2002), 121-37.

[25] See Kraft, "Scripture and Canon,” 202 and n. 7.

[26] J. C. Greenfield and M. E. Stone, "The Enochic Pentateuch and the Date of the Similitudes," HTR 70 (1977), 51-65, especially pp. 51-55 = M.E. Stone. Selected Studies in the Pseudepigrapha with Special Reference to the Armenian Tradition (SVTP 9; Leiden: Brill, 1991), 198-202; J. C. VanderKam, From Revelation to Canon: Studies in Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Literature (JSJSup 62; Leiden-Köln-Boston: Brill, 2000), 358-62.

[27] See J. T. Milik, The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments of Qumrân Cave 4 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976); VanderKam, Revelation to Canon, 358-59. See also Stone and Greenfield, "The Enochic Pentateuch”. Carr, Writing, 230, suggests that such scrolls with more than one Pentateuchal book might even have contained originally "copies of broader part of the Torah, if not the entire Torah". According to Milik, The Books of Enoch, Table on p. 6, 4QEnd and e have both Watchers and Dream Visions and 4QEc has Watchers, Dream Visions and Epistle.

[28] E. Ulrich and F. M. Cross, et al., Qumran Cave 4. VII: Genesis to Numbers (DJD 12; Oxford: Clarendon, 1994; reprinted 1999), 8.

[29] E. Tov. Scribal Practices and Approaches Reflected in the Texts Found in the Judean Desert (STDJ, 54; Leiden/Boston: E. J. Brill, 2004), 165.

[30] DJD 12, 154.

[31] DJD 12, 134.

[32] E. Ulrich, F. M. Cross, et al., Qumran Cave 4. IX: Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Kings (DJD 14; Oxford: Clarendon, 1995; reprinted 1999), 21.

[33] Further evidence for the Pentateuch in its present order is 4QReworked Pentateuch. We base our remarks on the article "Reworked Pentateuch" by S. White Crawford in Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scroll (ed. L. H. Schiffman, and J. C. VanderKam; New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 2.775-77. She says, "unlike the other Torah manuscripts from Qumran … the Reworked Pentateuch copied all five books on one scroll" (p. 775). She does not date the work, but the earliest manuscript is "middle to late Hasmonean". She thinks it might be dependent on Jubilees but also admits that Jubilees might equally be dependent on it. The work is not decisively sectarian or non-sectarian. Its Numbers text belongs to the Proto-Samaritan family. See on Reworked Bible manuscripts from Qumran G. J. Brooke, "The Rewritten Law, Prophets and Psalms: Issues for Understanding the Text of the Bible" in The Bible as Book: The Hebrew Bible and the Judaean Desert Discoveries (ed. E. D. Herbert, and E. Tov.; London & New Castle DE: British Library & Oak Knoll Press, 2002), 31-40.

[34] On the various nuances that most recent scholarship would add to the assessment of the contents of the Hebrew Bible, see J. J. Collins, The Bible after Babel: Historical Criticism in a Postmodern Age (Grand Rapids, MI - Cambridge, UK: Eerdmans, 2005).

[35] See the remarks of B. G. Wright, III, "Translation as Scripture: The Septuagint in Aristeas and Philo" in Septuagint Research: Issues and Challenges in the Study of the Greek Jewish Scriptures (ed. W. Kraus, and R. G. Wooden; Septuagint and Cognate Studies 3; Atlanta: SBL, 2006), 47-61, esp. 50-57.

[36] Swete, Introduction, 17-18.

[37] See in detail G. Dorival, M. Harl and O. Munnich, La Bible grecque des Septante: du judaisme hellenistique au christianisme ancien (Initiations au christianisme ancien; Paris: Editions du Cerf -- Editions du CNRS, 1988), 57.

[38] See Dorival, Harl, Munnich, La Bible grecque, 4. Dorival rejects Aristobulus's implication that there was a partial translation earlier than that, see 51-54.

[39] Ibid., 58 and 76-77.

[40] Wright, “Translation as Scripture,” 49, building on A. Pietersma, "Exegesis in the Septuagint: Possibilities and Limits (The Psalter as a Case in Point)" in Septuagint Research: Issues and Challenges in the Study of the Greek Jewish Scriptures  (ed. W. Kraus, and R. G. Wooden; Septuagint and Cognate Studies 3; Atlanta: SBL, 2006), 33-45.

[41] See J. W. Wevers, Text History of the Greek Deuteronomy (Mitteilungen des Septuaginta-Unternehmens (MS U) XIII; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1978), 99-100.

[42] Kraft, "Scripture and Canon," 203, n. 11 justly expresses dissatisfaction with the term "rewritten scriptures" or "Bible" because of the assumptions it makes about existence of "particular 'Scriptures' in roughly the forms that have been transmitted in our Bibles, and the presence of developed attitudes … that roughly approximate 'Scripture consciousness'."

[43] A number of these issues have been reviewed recently by S. White Crawford, "The Rewritten Bible at Qumran" in The Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Volume One, Scripture and the Scrolls (ed. J. H. Charlesworth; Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2006), 131-48. She maintains that Temple Scroll and Jubilees draw on 4QRewritten Pentateuch and that Genesis Apocryphon knew Jubilees. Thus, considering these four major texts at Qumran, she concludes that "the manuscripts from Qumran are not eclectic, but a collection, reflecting the theological tendency of a particular group" (147).

[44] See G. W. E. Nickelsburg. Jewish Literature between the Bible and the Mishnah, (2nd ed.; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005), 73-74 and notes 19-26 on p. 362 for an excellent bibliography. Most recently Martha Himmelfarb has advanced the view that Jubilees was written towards the end of the second century, see M. Himmelfarb, A Kingdom of Priests: Ancestry and Merit in Ancient Judaism (Jewish Culture and Contexts; Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006), 77. As we write, her proposal has not yet elicited any responses.

[45] The common and widely accepted view is that Jubilees is a rewritten and ideologically expanded version of Genesis and the beginning of Exodus. An early protagonist of this view was G. Vermes, "Bible and Midrash: Early Old Testament Exegesis," CHB 1 (1970), 199-231 (repr.,  in G. Vermes, Post-Biblical Jewish Studies [Studies in Judaism in Late Antiquity; Leiden: Brill, 1975], 59-91). See also B. Halpern-Amaru, The Empowerment of Women in the Book of Jubilees (Leiden: Brill, 1999) particularly chapter 7.  See also J. T. A. G. M. van Ruiten, Primaeval History Interpreted: The Rewriting of Genesis 1-11 in the Book of Jubilees (JSJSup 66; Leiden: Brill, 2000) and others. The Temple Scroll similarly is in dialogue with Numbers and Deuteronomy. The literature surrounding this scroll is vast, and will not be discussed here: see Carr, Writing, 232. Tov sets forth his research on text types at Qumran in: E. Tov, "The Biblical Texts from the Judaean Desert -- An Overview and Analysis of the Published Texts" in The Bible as Book: The Hebrew Bible and the Judaean Desert Discoveries (ed. E.D. Herbert, and E. Tov; London & New Castle DE: British Library & Oak Knoll Press, 2002), 139-67, especially 156-57.

[46] VanderKam, Revelation to Canon, 306-10 and 325 argues that Jubilees knows a series of sources from all parts of 1 Enoch except Similitudes and it knows as number of Enochic sources, including some Noachic ones, that are not included in Genesis. His analysis is one among a number relating to Second Temple writings that show them using extra-pentateuchal sources. See further note 48.

[47] This was early argued by D. Dimant, The Fallen Angels in the Dead Sea Scrolls and in the Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphic Books Related to Them (in Hebrew), (Ph.D. dissertation, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1974), 22-23 and p. iii. Many scholars have taken this position.

[48] See P. Grelot, "La légende d'Hénoch dans les apocryphes et dans la Bible: origine et signification," RSR 46 (1958), 5-26, 181-210 and idem, "Hénoch et ses écritures," RB 82 (1975), 481-500; H. L. Jansen, Die Henochgestalt; eine vergleichende religionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung (Oslo: J. Dybwad, 1939); H. S. Kvanvig, Roots of Apocalyptic: The Mesopotamian Background of the Enoch Figure and of the Son of Man (WMANT 6; Neukirchen: Neukirchner Verlag, 1988); K. W. Whitney, Two Strange Beasts: Leviathan and Behemoth in Second Temple and Early Rabbinic Judaism (Harvard Semitic Monographs 63; Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2006); VanderKam cited above, n. 46.

[49] Such scholars stress that the Torah of Moses is not listed in terms of books until rather late and ask why should Jubilees not have been considered part of the Mosaic Torah instead of Genesis? See, however, the recent article by White Crawford, quoted in note 43 above.

[50] White Crawford, in the context of Reworked Pentateuch, remarks "The words canon and scripture are anachronisms in regard to the Qumran texts" (p. 776). She goes on to distinguish books that were authoritative at Qumran, remarking (ibid.) "Many of the books that seem to be authoritative at Qumran later became part of the Jewish canon". Yet this levelling of the field at Qumran seems to us to side-step the issue of the Torah and its position in Jewish use from well before the foundation of the Qumran sect, and also the distinct character of Nevi'im.

[51] E. Ulrich, "The Non-Attestation” argued that the reading of MMT C 9-11 in fact refers only to Torah and Nevi'im, while the references commonly used to prove the existence of the collection of Ketubim in the second century are in fact simply references to other esteemed or significant works. K. Berthelot, "4QMMT et la question du canon de la Bible hébraïque" in From 4QMMT to Resurrection; mélanges qumraniens en hommage à Émile Puech. (ed. F. García Martínez, A. Steudel, and E. Tigchelaar; Leiden: Brill, 2006), 1-14, maintains, with some plausibility, that Torah and Nevi'im in MMT indicate not the collections but, like "David", specific works, respectively. Ulrich is, in our view, quite convincing when he says that in ben Sira Prologue, the text means exactly what it says and it reflects a distinction between two established corpora, Torah and Nevi'im, and "books that are not scriptural but are valued works" (p. 212).

[52] A number of works written after the style of Jubilees were identified, which shows it was an exemplar for emulation.

[53] See White Crawford cited in note 43 above.

[54] See David Lambert, "Did Israel Believe That Redemption Awaited Their Repentance?: The Case of Jubilees 1." CBQ 68, 4 (2005), 631-50.