Canon Shape & Structure in Jewish and Christian Bibles Essay

Canon Shape & Structure in Jewish and Christian Bibles Essay

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Judaism and Christianity are derived from different times and places in the world. They share a lengthy past and many of the same books. However, these communities are divergent in their beliefs. The fundamental differences lie within the literary composition of each theology’s sacred texts. The shape and structure of the Jewish and Christian canons are arranged to substantiate each community’s religious beliefs.
Jews and Christians arranged their canons differently to obtain a specific outcome in relation to their fundamental beliefs. First off, the Jews arranged their books in the Hebrew Bible to reflect their covenantal relationship with God. The 24 books are organized by genre of scripture and tell the history of God’s relationship with the Jewish people. The Hebrew Bible, or TaNaKh, is arranged starting with the Torah, containing the Five Books of Moses, which is also known as the Pentateuch. Following this is Nevi’im, beginning with the Former Prophets such as Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings, preceding the Latter Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the 12 Minor Prophets. It concludes with the Ketuvim, or Writings such as Psalms and Proverbs and ends with the books of Chronicles. The arrangement of the Hebrew Bible follows a sequence of events, which highlight God’s intervention with his people, the Jewish people, and the fulfillment of the Covenant. By ordering the books of the Bible starting with the Law and ending with the Writings, the Jewish people are fulfilling the Covenant they have with God through an extensive history that is still underway.
Originally written in Koine Greek and out of a Greco-Roman context, the Christian Bible is an addition to the Hebrew Bible. It consists of a reorganized version with ...

... middle of paper ... content. Regardless of contrasting interpretations, the purpose of scripture as reflected amongst canon shape and structure, is to support and explain the story of the community that seeks meaning in the text.

Works Cited

Attridge, Harold W., Wayne A. Meeks, and Jouette M. Bassler. The HarperCollins Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version, including the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books with Concordance. San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 2006. Print.
Carol, Bakhos. “The New Testament” Religion M133. University of California Los Angeles. Dodd 167, Los Angeles. 05 February 2014. Lecture.
Ehrman, Bart D. The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. New York: Oxford UP, 2000. Print.
Goswell, Greg. "The Order of Books in the Hebrew Bible." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 54.1 (2008): 673-88. Web.

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