Freedman and Kuhlken on Canon


The people who put together the Bible as we know it were very concerned with completeness. Their decisions were not random or haphazard. I believe that the Bible was put together around 400 B.C., well before the time of the Essenes at Qumrân, and that we can glimpse the compilers’ intentions by examining the Bible’s structure.

If we do that, and we find meaningful patterns that are simply too intricate to be coincidental, then we can say that “the Bible” already existed as a concept by the time of Qumrân, and that the non-biblical works found at Qumrân never had a serious chance of becoming Scripture.

David Noel Freedman & Pam Fox Kuhlken, What are the Dead Sea Scrolls and Why Do They Matter? (Eerdmans, 2007), 63. Print, Digital


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