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The Canon of Scripture Hardcover – 31 Oct 1988


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 349 pages
  • Publisher: IVP USA; New Ed edition (31 Oct. 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 083081258X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830812585
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

In this significant historical study, F. F. Bruce brings the wisdom of a lifetime of reflection and biblical interpretation to bear in answering questions and clearing away the confusion surrounding the Christian canon of Scripture.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By G. C. Brown on 7 Sept. 2009
Format: Hardcover
As a conservative but apparently intellectually honest scholar with an accessible but hardly entertaining writing style, Bruce has crammed this book with the kind of exegetical background that is likely to make you view the Bible in a different light. A good book to read for Skeptic and Christian alike so that we can avoid the fundamental trap of just saying "the Bible says" without at the same time considering to whom it says it, in what circumstances, at what time, in what order, and what else it says on the same subject. Lots of interesting aspects regarding the formation and development of what has become accepted as the canon, including how Jesus would very likely have regarded Chronicles as the last of the Old Testament books, how the Old Testament ended up with the oddly tangential books of Esther, Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes and how in the New Testament the initial collection of the Gospels, Acts and the Pauline Letters grew to include letters that were incorporated more for their unifying appeal (due to their widespread usage) and orthodox theology than for their authorship, much of which is still disputed.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Andy Bannister on 15 Nov. 2000
Format: Paperback
An excellent and thorough summary of the history of the development of both the Old and New Testaments. Bruce consistently cites from primary sources, and carefully traces the history of the collection of books that we call "The Bible".
Thoroughly recommended for either the serious or amateur student of the Bible.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Andy Bannister on 15 Nov. 2000
Format: Paperback
An excellent and thorough summary of the history of the development of both the Old and New Testaments. Bruce consistently cites from primary sources, and carefully traces the history of the collection of books that we call "The Bible".
Thoroughly recommended for either the serious or amateur student of the Bible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nigel V on 26 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A clear methodical analysis of the subject and a worthy treatment of the unfolding nature, development of the Biblical canon.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 57 reviews
123 of 127 people found the following review helpful
Very well written survey of how the Bible came to be. 6 Jan. 2002
By Dr. Marc Axelrod - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
FF Bruce does a great job of explaining how the books of the Bible were canonized. I was surprised to learn how many people had different opinions on which books should be canonized. Many people had mized feelings about the book of Revelation because of it being a difficult book to understand. Others felt that James should not be included because it only mentions the name of Jesus twice. Similarly, the books of esther and Song of Songs in the Old Testament barely made it in.
And right up to the present day, there are those who feel that the Apocrypha should be included in the canon of Scripture, and the Roman Catholic church regards them as such today.
Bruce takes the time to discuss individual theologians such as Jerome, Origen, Tertullian, Augustine, Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus, Athanasius, and many others and whenever possible, he furnishes their choices for books whoch were deemed fit for the canon of Scripture. Apparently, Athansius' trip to Rome in 350 AD was decisive for helping the western church decide on the 27 books of the New Testament that we now have today. Before this, they were hedging on Hebrews, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, Revelation, James and 2 and 3 John.
The book concludes with a couple of the author's lectures on the subect of the secret gospel of Mark (which he rejects) and the difference between the plenary meaning of scripture and the meaning in context.
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
An excellent history of the Christian Bible 21 Nov. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is the best single text that I've read dealing with the manner in which the Bible took its shape. So many Christians have the impression that our Bible floated down from the clouds. This book will open the eyes of many--the New Testament Canon wasn't firmly decided upon until nearly three hundred years after the death of Christ (!). This is an excellent piece of scholarship, doctrine, and church history. Not only will readers learn about the Bible, they will also learn about some great theologians of the early Church. A must read for Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Evangelicals and everyone else who wants to understand the Bible and the ancient Christian Church. Inter Varsity Press publishes this book: I've been very impressed by many of the scholarly books they have recently published on doctrine (several books by N.T. Wright) and the ancient catholic Church Fathers (Ancient Christian Commentary on the Scriptures series).
47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Scholarly monograph 10 Nov. 1999
By Byron Upchurch - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Bruce's monograph addresses both the Hebrew and Christian canon of Scripture, spanning from Moses through the Late Middle Ages. In the final chapters, he briefly addresses some modern issues, notably those regarding original texts used for translations. Readers without a basic understanding of the History of Christianity might find most of the concepts too difficult to grasp without additional study. While targeted to specialists in the field, I would recommend the work to any serious student of Bible History.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Quick Review 29 Jun. 2000
By Ethan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Helpful, in-depth discussion of the issues surrounding the collection of the Old and New Testament canon.
Technical note: He uses topic sentences (much easier to follow his reasoning with this method). This book uses footnotes instead of endnotes for easier reference. His documentation is amazingly broad (he does not pull from exclusively contemporary opinion, but source documents).
He explains not only OT and NT canon, but also the criteria for canon inclusion. He is lucid. This book is clear and the progression is easy to follow.
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
the standard 11 Aug. 2005
By Kathy F. Cannata - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Until his untimely death about 15 years ago, Bruce was the leading English-speaking authority on textual criticism. His only serious competitor for this position was Bruce Metzger (who the mainliners preferred due to his less evangelical theological commitments and affiliation with the more liberal Princeton Seminary). But Metzger (whose own book on the canon of Scripture is the standard in mainline circles) acknowledged in a review of Bruce in the Princeton Seminary Bulletin that Bruce's work was superior to his own. He pointed out his reasons for this in detail.

Given the bizarre conspiracy theories and claims of Dan Brown and teh da Vinci Code crowd, Bruce's book is even more relevant than when it was written. I own two copies and bought another for our church library. Get Metzger's book also.
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