From: Micheal Palmer (
Date: Sat Mar 08 1997 - 22:49:30 EST

At 8:20 AM -0800 3/7/97, Lee R. Martin wrote:
>Micheal Palmer wrote:
>> Yes it does make sense, but it is important to recognize that we do not
>> know for sure how much of the k'thuvhm was considered scripture in Paul's
>> day. The Hebrew canon was not closed until later and it was precisely this
>> section, the writings, which was still in debate. ---------------
>Dear Michael,
>I'm not sure that that canonization is an acceptable topic for this
>list, and I certainly do not want a lengthy discussion of it, but I
>just wanted to add a note here.
>I believe Leiman (_Canonization of the Hebrew Scripture_) has shown that
>the Hebrew Scriptures were firmly established long before the writing of
>2 Tim. The only uncertainty was the *order* of the books.

Thank you, Lee, for the reference. I don't agree with Leiman's conclusion,
but I haven't read the book, so I can't address it. I would like to point
out, though, that Leiman is not the only person to have treated the topic,
and the assumption that the Hebrew canon was NOT fixed before a point near
the end of the first century is fairly widespread among New Testament

I would like to address the issue of applicability of discussions of canon
to b-greek. I share your concern that the question of canon is not normally
germain to the purpose of b-greek, and therefore should not normally be
discussed here. I brought the topic up, though, because it IS germain to
the issue of what the New Testament writers meant by GRAFH. That is a Greek
language question, and is absolutely within the scope of b-greek. We cannot
seriously hope to determine what GRAFH means in 2 Timothy 3:16 if the
question of canon is not at least addressed.

Of course, if we assume that 2 Timothy is very late (and there is good
evidence for that position--though we don't need to start that argument
over again!), then the issue may be moot, since the Hebrew canon would be
settled by the time 2 Timothy was written, though I'm still not *sure* that
it would be moot, because the term GRAFH may not have yet taken on the
meaning it clearly has later for the church fathers.

Micheal W. Palmer
Religion & Philosophy
Meredith College

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