Formation of the Biblical Canon

Who decided which writings would be in the Bible? When were these decisions made? Is Jewish scripture included in the Bible? What was the original language used to record the Bible?

These questions and more are addressed in this two-session study. It can be used to facilitate rich conversation among folk who are trying to learn more about scripture. It can also be used as a companion or addendum to any other Yale Bible Study materials.

The Bible can be somewhat difficult to access. Understanding how specific writings were chosen for inclusion as well as a bit about how some writings were skipped should help. The professors point to a breadth of history and philosophy which provides context for this amazing literature which is as important and inspirational today as it was in the centuries during which is was written.

Meet Our Professors

Meet Our Professors

Harry Attridge, Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament, has made scholarly contributions to New Testament exegesis and to the study of Hellenistic Judaism and the history of the early Church.  He has published numerous books, authored book chapters and articles in scholarly journals, and has edited 11 books, including Hebrews: A Commentary on the Epistle to the HebrewsFirst-Century Cynicism in the Epistles of HeraclitusThe Interpretation of Biblical History in the Antiquitates Judaicae of Flavius JosephusNag Hammadi Codex I: The Jung Codex, and Psalms in Community.  Dean Attridge has been an editorial board member of Catholic Biblical Quarterly, the Harvard Theological Review, the Journal of Biblical Literature, and the Hermeneia Commentary Series.  Before coming to Yale, Dr. Attridge was Professor of New Testament Studies and Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at Notre Dame. He has served as president of the Society of Biblical Literature since 2001. He holds degrees from Boston College (A.B.), Cambridge University (B.A., M.A.), Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Harvard University (Ph.D.).

John J. Collins, Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation, a native of Ireland, was a professor of Hebrew Bible at the University of Chicago from 1991 until his arrival at YDS in 2000. He previously taught at the University of Notre Dame. He has published widely on the subjects of apocalypticism, wisdom, Hellenistic Judaism, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. He has participated in the editing of the Dead Sea Scrolls and is general editor of the Yale Anchor Bible series. He holds degrees from University College Dublin (BA, MA, and an honorary D.Litt.) and Harvard University (PhD).