Just below the surface of any Christian view of the Bible is the knotty issue of the biblical canon. How and when was it decided which books would make up the Bible? What makes a book canonical?
Respected Old Testament scholar Christopher Seitz has long been at the forefront of canon research. His particular interest has been the prophets—the interrelationships among the prophetic writings provide important evidence that any understanding of canon must incorporate. In this volume, Seitz delves more deeply into the prophetic corpus, showing how the Old Testament fits into the canon’s development. Drawing on the latest research on the biblical prophets, Seitz challenges current understandings of the formation of the Christian canon and reveals canonical connections woven into the fabric of the prophetic books. He argues that the Law and the prophets cohere and give shape to the subsequent Christian canon.
The Logos Bible Software edition of this volume is designed to encourage and stimulate your study and understanding of Scripture. Biblical passages link directly to your English translations and original-language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. In addition, you can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about the Word of God.
Seitz offers an alternative vision of the Old Testament: its structural logic, its internal relationships, its history of formation. The result is incisive, exhilarating, and quite constructively provocative. It will be read and discussed with much profit by theologians, biblical scholars, pastors, and seminarians.
—Stephen B. Chapman, associate professor of Old Testament, Duke Divinity School
Seitz has made a major contribution to canonical studies. He argues that the common distinction between Scripture and canon is illusory because it fails to understand the fundamental theological force at work in the prophetic documents that relates them to each other and to the Torah. Seitz shows that the Law and the Prophets of Israel were indispensable to the New Testament not only for the purposes of background, context, and theology but also for the shaping of the New Testament canon itself.
—Stephen G. Dempster, Stuart E. Murray Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Atlantic Baptist University
The Goodly Fellowship of the Prophets takes the discussion concerning Old Testament canon formation to another level. Seitz mounts an impressive array of arguments against standard conceptualities of Old Testament ‘canon development’ as he demonstrates that the early church never operated without a canon. With great scholarly care, insight, and breadth, Seitz argues that the material form of the Old Testament canon is a significant hermeneutical matter that demands special attention. This is a work that should shape the discussion within the discipline.
—Mark S. Gignilliat, assistant professor of divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University
[Seitz] is a prolific author particularly interested in OT studies with special attention to Hebrew prophecy, theological interpretation of Scripture, and canonical reading of the Book of the Twelve. . . . This book offers a good analysis of the canonical formation of the tripartite Hebrew Scriptures and their place in shaping the Christian canon of the Bible. . . . The current volume is a solid contribution to the growing field of canon studies. . . . Seitz’s research will provide an enduring resource for scholars engaged in research of the biblical canon.
—Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
This short book advances a large thesis in the massive debate about canon formation. . . . Though likely not the final word on the subject, this book still represents a meaningful contribution to the ongoing discussion regarding the development and arrangement of the Old Testament. Future explorations of these issues would do well to consult and engage Seitz’s provocative claims.
There are many positive aspects to Seitz’s book, including the following: (1) He focuses on the final form of the text, which is certainly an advantage over older literary critical views. (2) He uses the canonical approach to its best advantage, and, while I do not agree with all that this view contends, it asks some important questions concerning the development of the text. And (3) he (and others) have shown fairly convincingly that the prophets seem to have been aware of each other’s work. I also believe that Seitz is correct in his critique of what has become the traditional view of the development of the OT canon. . . . For the careful reader there is much profitable information that can be mined from [this book].
—Bulletin for Biblical Research
Christopher R. Seitz is a professor of biblical interpretation at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, in Toronto, Ontario. He previously taught at the University of St. Andrews and Yale University. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Figured Out, Prophecy and Hermeneutics, and commentaries on Isaiah 1–39 and 40–66.