From: John Oaklands (
Date: Mon Mar 10 1997 - 08:37:44 EST

I uphold Micheal Palmer's position with reference to the OT canon. I've
read a number of books on the subject and have even taught canon at college
level. The formation of the OT canon must have been late in the first
century and even into the second century. The main OT known in NT times was
indicated by the first two divisions of the present canon, the law and the
prophets. Jesus adds the Psalms, which is the first and great book of the
third section of Scriptures (kethuviim--writings), which obviously was more
general and not decided on at all by the Jews, let alone the christians.
For example, Paul clearly has Wisdom at hand in writing Romans. Jude quotes
the Assumption of Moses and Enoch IV. This latter writing turns up in
places in the book of Revelation. Jesus also has to make reference to the
importance of reading Daniel. Qumran recognised books like Eccleasticus,
Tobit, etc. Books like Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel had a rough
ride into the Jewish canon and this probably continued to the end of the
first century at least.

So I have to agree with Micheal that the GRAFAI of 2 Tim 3:16 would have
been different to the Scriptures of the Hebrew OT, that is, section three.
That means also different from the OT we have in the christian Bible today.
Some of the books we have would not yet have had canonical status and others
would have had some acceptance though not at canon level. GRAFAI in the
time of the writing of 2 Timothy, which must have been quite late, as per
Micheal Palmer, would have had a freer, broader scope than what we know it
as today. Neither did that have some of the hang ups we have with the so
called 'apocryphal' or (better) 'deuterocanonical' books. I see Paul in 2
Timothy 3:16 suggesting that the Greek books are as good as the Hebrew ones.
QEOPNEUSTOS must have had reference to books now included in the LXX but not
in the Hebrew canon, with the possibility that even some of the books
included in the GRAFAI of the Hebrew canon were not as popular or
authoritative as they now are. I hope I make myself clear.

Basically, in no way can I see the evidence pointing to the existence of the
present canon as in any way settled by the time Paul wrote 2 Timothy. And
the above is only a very brief statement, and possibly a little too general.
But I hope it raises some further investigation and discussion.


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