Friday, April 27, 2018

Lim on the canonical process

THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST TODAY: The Canonical Process Reconsidered (Timothy H. Lim).
I suggest that the books of the canon were not selected according to a set of criteria. One cannot explain why one book was chosen over another book by a set of standards or norms. I avoid the terminology of “criteria” altogether and its connotation of an external standard. The canonical process was multifaceted and complex, both in the way that each community formulated its own understanding of authoritative scriptures and the rationale implied in the selection. We need to apply a different kind of logic to understand how the process worked in defining the canon by drawing on the conceptual resources of analytical philosophy on non-essentialism, blurred definitions and family resemblances. The result of this process, the definition of the canon, is explained by indicative logic.
This approach sounds promising.

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