Modern upheavals in biblical scholarship can take on a positively Copernican air--as if the rock-solid Bible, detached from its moorings, has been transformed into an arbitrary collection of texts orbiting in the company of strange new planets (Qumran fragments, suppressed gospels, gnostic ramblings, etc.). All the more reason why our readers will welcome this definitive work on the biblical canon: how it developed, which books were excluded, and what the process means for today's believers. Newly revised to incorporate recent scholarship, McDonald's account digs deep into a history that, while seldom neat and tidy, is far from chaotic, conspiratorial, or coercive. He addresses each testament in exhaustive detail, discussing the surprising variety of scriptures read by Jews and Christians at various points in time and establishing the timeframe within which the canon was stabilized. (There was no 'New Testament' until the fourth century, and Jewish rabbis did not finalize the list of Old Testament books until the sixth.) An invaluable reference tool that answers many troubling questions and encourages Christians to approach sacred texts with the mindset of the early Church.
An Eighth Day View:
This is the thoroughly updated and expanded third edition of the successful "The Formation of the Christian Biblical Canon." It represents a fresh attempt to understand some of the many perplexing questions related to the origins and canonicity of the Bible.