Peshitta Forum

Full Version: Here's What Andrew Said In January, 2008
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
'Twenty Two Books'

by Andrew Gabriel Roth on Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:48 pm
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
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