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Revisiting the Canonization of the Old Testament at Yavneh

  • Korean Journal of Old Testament Studies
  • Abbr : KJOTS
  • 2018, 24(2), pp.176-200
  • DOI : 10.24333/jkots.2018.24.2.176
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Old Testament Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Christian Theology
  • Received : February 19, 2018
  • Accepted : April 30, 2018

junghwa Choi 1

1부산장신대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Revisiting the Canonization of the Old Testament at Yavneh When and where was the Old Testament canonised? Many would answer, “around 90’s at Yavneh.” The hypothesis of the canonization of the Old Testament at Yavneh appeared for the first time in the academia in 19 century by the first-generation Jewish historian: Heinrich Graetz. Despite the challenges by several scholars, the hypothesis is still influential, and appears in many introductory books for the Old Testament. This paper will examine the old issue with a new angle. In light of the reconstruction of the Roman administration of Judaea at the end of the first century AD, we’d like to examine how likely is it for R. Gamaliel II to have conducted the canonisation of the Old Testament along with his council at Yavneh. The outcome of the research is that the Romans would have never chosen Rabban Yohanan b. Zakkai or R. Gamaliel II as intermediaries because they were in the middle of re-arranging the Greek East without intermediaries: client kings. If Agrippa II who had a favour by the Romans was not Roman’s choice, it is highly unlikely that R. Gamaliel II was Roman’s choice. R. Gamaliel and rabbinic authority might have not exercised civil jurisdiction and his Sanhedrin seems not to have had authority to impose their decision on the canonization of the Old Testament.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.