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Twenty Two Books
Shlama all--

I actually write quite a bit about this matter in Mari/PEACE. Rabbinical traditions has settled on 24 books actually, but Josephus' statement in Against Apion 1:8, when compared with his other writings, easily reveals how this Pharisee who was descended from preists and kings (Life, 1.1.1) organized Tanakh.

Josephus, like the rabbinics, organized the Twelve Minor Prophets and counted them on one scroll-called tarei asar--holy 12. Josephus then directly mentions (I have the documentation in Mari) how Ruth is part of Judges and Lamentations is appended to Jeremiah. From there, Ezra-Nehemiah, 1/2, Chronicles, 1/2 Samuel and 1/2 Kings counts as 4 books. The situation with Chronicles from the Masoretic and Dead Sea Scrolls record is a bit complicated, but I get into this is some detail in the research.

Such is the only way to fit in Josephus' second category of the 13 books that we know:

1) Are not from after the Persian period, the death of Artaxerxes as he says these books were not viewed as having the same authority as their more ancient counterparts.

2) Are clearly quoted by him, although admittedly he does not directly quote from all the minor prophets but all evidence shows him echoing the rabbinics here.

3) Are not works of poetry, song, and proverb. With Lamentations as part of Jeremiah and Ruth part of Judges, this is the most radical shift from later rabbinic tradition, which puts Ruth and Judges in the Writings with the Psalms, and specifically Psalms, Proverbs, Eclcesiastes, Lamentations and Job in "the Megillot", a smaller separate collection of 5 scrolls.

In any case, what emerges from my research is:

Genesis -Deuteronomy, counts as 5.
Psalms, Proverbs, Song, and Ecclesiastes, counts as "4 books of poetry, advice for better living, etc."

That leaves 30 books by Christian reckoning to put into Josephus' 13:
1) Joshua
2) Judges and Ruth
3) 1 & 2 Samuel
4) 1 & 2 Kings
5) Isaiah
6) Jeremiah and Lamentations
7) Ezekiel
<!-- s8) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/cool.gif" alt="8)" title="Cool" /><!-- s8) --> The Twelve Minor Prophets (Amos, Habbakuk, Haggai, Hosea, Jonah, Malachi, Micah, Nahum, Obadiah, Zechariah, Zephaniah)
9) Daniel
10) Ezra-Nehemiah
11) Job
12) Esther
13) 1 & 2 Chronicles

TOTAL : 5 for Torah, 13 for Prophets, 4 for Poetry/Wisdom = 22

In light of this tradition, I have also re-classified the 27 NT books canon into 22 books for Mari/PEACE, and these books are in turn put on 4 "scrolls":

1) Gospels and Emissaries (Gospels thru Acts, mirroring 5 books of Moshe)

2) The Major Testimonies (Hebrews, The Testimony of the Two Brothers of Our Master {James and Jude}, The Testimony of Keefa {1 and 2 Peter}, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians)--counts as 6

3) The Ten (Mirroring the 12 Minor Prophets in terms of length: Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon)

4) The Second Testimony of Yochanan (1-3 John, Revelation, counts as 1).

So 5 + 6 +10 + 1 = 22

I like the fact both mirror the number of Hebrew/Aramaic letters, and am sure there is a connection there. We are also on pace for Spring publication of Mari/PEACE, and I will update you all as we get closer still!

Shlama w'burkate
Andrew Gabriel Roth
So Dave, why don't you follow the Muratorian canon and include the Revelation of Peter along with the Wisdom of Solomon? It listed them as inspired along with Revelation.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, I just want to reiterate that there's never been a time when Christianity, as a whole, decided upon a Canon (with a capital C) that EVERYONE agreed on.

That's what I stated earlier in the thread. Different groups had different traditions, some books came to some areas later....and were suspect. Revelation remained suspect in the west until the 9th century, otherwise the Patriarch of Constantinople himself would have classified it along with the Gospel of the Hebrews as "gainsaid."

Just like there is no such thing as "one church", there is no such thing as "one canon." Not even in the West.
So Paul, I know that you're not trying to be a jerk. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

If I were living in AD 200 and knew what The Revelation of Peter was, I might have accepted it (though I somehow doubt it).

I know that different branches of Christianity hold to different canons. I have read apocryphal books such as Wisdom of Solomon and Sirach that look
like they contain wisdom in them, but do not make the cut with me. I really don't think this is a matter of Quantum Mechanics. I think some are making it out to be more complicated than it really is. I do believe such matters are a function of the spirit and not of the mind. The problem comes when we try to rationalize what is spiritually discerned. "Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them unto babes."

I am glad to categorize myself in the latter group. The former group is too smart by half to see the truth of The Spirit.

On a side note, we've found the "Revelation of Peter" in the desert of Egypt (where else?). You don't want to know what it contains. Suffice it to say there are some very interesting ways that women, poor creatures, will be tormented in "hades". I'll let either your imagination take over, or if your stomach can handle it do a google search.

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