The Hebrew Cannon

I will have to admit that I have been a little intimidated by the Old Testament over the years. With the exception of a few years of bus ministry as a child, I was raised in a secular household where my parents did not attend Church. I missed out on most of the “felt board” Bible stories of the Old Testament in Sunday school and found myself back in “big Church” as a young adult where the OT was seldom taught. In all fairness there have been a few good sermons and adult Sunday school series or two, but for the most part, it has not been very strategic.

Most of my study of the OT has been driven by a desire to seek God’s will. I have marked up the majority of two Bibles over the last twenty years and I have been affirmed of a calling that God had placed on our family through the text of one of my favorite OT leaders Nehemiah. Even with this desire, my approach has not been very strategic.

I appreciate the authors of our text and their approach. I am not only looking forward to the class and the projects, but I am now as a result of their strategic approach looking forward taking another tour through the OT with a different set of glasses on. I don’t want to sound over dramatic, but the discussion on the Hebrew Cannon in our text (p. 28-44) revolutionized my perception of the OT. The discussion on a threefold division of the OT: Law, Prophets, and Writings has made it a little less intimidating. The other key point is the emphasis of the “recognized role played by the Holy Spirit as a the authenticating sign of scripture”.(p.44) E.J Young sums this up on page 40 “Apparently, no religious council in ancient Israel ever drew up list of divine books,. Rather, in the singular providence of God, His people recognized His Word and hounoured it from the time of its first appearance.”

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