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The Formation of the Jewish Canon$
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Timothy H. Lim

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300164343

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300164343.001.0001

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The Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira and 2 Maccabees

The Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira and 2 Maccabees

(p.94) 6 The Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira and 2 Maccabees
The Formation of the Jewish Canon

Timothy H. Lim

Yale University Press

An important period for our understanding of the formation of the Jewish canon is the second century bce. Scholars have looked to the Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira and 2. Maccabees to back up the view that the canon was determined, if not already closed. This chapter examines the texts to see just how far the evidence can take us. It is argued that the Prologue of Sira does not have in view the closed canon. In its conception, the collection of authoritative scriptures consisted of the law, the prophets, and the other ancestral books, but this is not a bipartite or tripartite canon. The chapter also argues that for 2. Maccabees, the comparison between Nehemiah and Judas should be understood in a general way.

Keywords:   Jesus ben Sira, 2. Maccabees, Prologue, closed canon, Nehemiah, Judas

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