One scripture or many? Canon from biblical, theological, and philosophical perspectives

Christine Helmer*, Christof Landmesser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

One Scripture or Many? proposes a novel understanding of canon that reaches beyond the text to the reality of tradition. This new approach to biblical theology takes up major questions concerning the unity of the canon. Its thesis is bold: canon is both text and tradition. As text, the canon is the product of a history of formation; its unity is ascribed by subsequent generations interpreting the text. As tradition, its fundamental openness to diverse interpretations is the function of a subject behind the text that holds together the tradition's unity. Yet open-endedness does not mean an absence of determinacy. Hermeneutical, theological, and philosophical parameters are given in order to maintain a unity at one level that does not exist between ideas conflicting on another level. These parameters are constituted through the relationship between text, reality, and experience. On the one hand, these parameters are embedded in the text. On the other hand, they are inextricably linked to reality because they themselves reflect experiences of that reality. The interdisciplinary approach in this book draws on scholarship in the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the New Testament, philosophy, and theology. Both Jewish and Christian scholars conclude that the search for the canon is an open-ended process of interpretation. Questions of the canon's unity find their niche in a new concept of biblical theology that presupposes the theological and philosophical relevance of biblical texts. As conceived in religious categories, experience and reality are themes already available in scripture. Whether one or many, scripture addresses these questions for our time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages264
ISBN (Electronic)9781383040050
ISBN (Print)9780199258635
StatePublished - Oct 31 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities

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