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Theologische Literaturzeitung 1959 Nr. 7



s o n, Floyd V.: Which Books Belong in the Bible? A Study of the
Canon. Philadelphia: Westminster Press 1957. 174 S. gr. 8°. $ 3.00.

With the publication in 1957 of theVboqks of the Apocry-
pha in the Revised Standard Version (Trios. Nelson & Sons,
New York and Edinburgh), interest in this intertestamental lite-
rature wa6 certain to be stimulated. Such interest is quite under-
standable in view of the fact that the RSV Apocrypha is the
first such translation to be prepared by a committee of American
scholars. It was therefore appropriate and useful that one of the
committee of translators, Professor Floyd V. Filson, should pre-
pare a treatise dealing with questions that thoughtful Protestants
would be likely to raise regarding the nature and limits of the
canon. Filson (Dean and Professor of NT at McCormick Theo-
logical Seminary, Chicago) has won for himself a position of
leadership in Biblical theology, both in its scholarly aspects as
well as in the popularization of the results of scholarship for
the laity.

The present book, the contents of which were originally
delivered in 1956 as the Stone Lectures at Princeton Theological
Seminary, is a fresh and stimulating treatment of various
Problems of the canon. Written in a characteristically clear and
forthright manner, its collcquial style will appeal to technical
and non-technical readers alike. Rather than tracing the history
of the process by which the Biblical books were tested, collected,
and Tecognized as Scripture (a task that has often been done
before), Filson's aim is "to consider whether the Church should
have a Scripture, what books should be included in it, and why"
(p. 7). In other words, this book is a theologically oriented dis-
cussion of such questions as the following (which constitute the
title6 of the main chapters): "Why Study the Canon?" "What
Place Has the Canon Today?" "Is the Old Testament Christian
Scripture?" "Should Scripture Include the Apocrypha?" "Is the
Apostolic Witness Basic?" "Is Tradition Subject to Scripture?"
Filson's answers to these questions include the views that the
canon is theoretically open, and that "the doctrine of the canon,
like all doctrines, is a matter not for objective proof but for
grateful confession" (p. 42); that "each Christian generation must
say for itself whether it finds in the Old Testament the work
and revelation of God" (p. 50); and that the Old Testament, truly
understood, is a Christian (not a Jewish) book that points to
Christ (p. 72). The Apocryphal books have their legitimate uses
for historical study of the religious development between the
Testaments, but are not authoritative Scripture, and to read them
in Services of public worship i6 to give them a quasi-authority
that they do not deserve (p. 97 f.). The criterion of apostolic
origin of a New Testament book is both artificial and correct —
artificial because in some cases apostolicity is a fiction, but
correct in a wider sen6e since "these books were canonical because
they were apostolic in content. Their message was the
message, their witness was the witness, of the Apostolic Age"
(p. 124). The process of transfer of the tradition of Christ's
words and works from an oral to a written form "began while
the event of Christ was still under way" (p. 149), and from about
A.D. 160 the Church "subjected all tradition to the written
apoßtolic witness .. . which not only recorded the decisive events
of God's action; it also gave the basic interpretation of those
events; it furthermore served continually to reveal God's ways
and will to the ongoing Church" (pp. 153 f.).

From these quotations the reader will learn something of
the style as well as the conclusions of Filson's admirable book;
what they do not fully reveal, however, is the honest and
thought-provoking manner in which Filson leads the reader step
by step in dealing with some of the hotly debated theological
Problems of the canon. In brief, this is a stimulating book which
raises and answers many questions on the canon.

Areas into which Filson does not go, but which deserve
60me attention in a theological discussion of the canon, involve
questions of the relationship between the canon and inspiration.
How far is the canonicity of a Biblical book involved in its

inspiration? What would Filson say to, e. g., Karl Theodor
Schäfer's Statement, "Inspiriert ist eine Schrift vom ersten
Augenblick ihres Entstehens an oder gar nicht; zu einer kanonischen
wird sie erst dadurch, daß die Kirche sie als inspiriert
anerkennt" (Grundriß der Einleitung in das
Neue Testament, 2. Aufl., 1952, p. 14)?

Among minor errors in the book are the following. The
Statement that "no lists of canonical books have come down to
us from the Jews of Egypt, or from any other ancient Jews who
used the Greek Old Testament" (p. 80) ought to be modified in
the light of Jean-Paul Audet's important discussion of "A«
Hebrew-Aramaic list of Books of the Old Testament in Greek
Transcription," J T S, N.S. 1 (1950), 135-154. The long ending
of Mark's Gospel contains 12, not 13, verses (p. 85). Textual
critics are not 60 certain that Tatian "used our four Gospels and
no others" (p. 115); A. Baumstark detected readings in the
Diatessaron from the Gospel aecording to the Hebrews
(Biblica, XVI, 1935, 288 ff.), while C. Peters (Acta
Orientalia, XVI, 1937-38,258-294), G. Messina (Diatessaron
Persiano, 1951, pp. XXXVII sqq), and now
G. Quispel (V i g i 1 i a e c h r i s t i a n a e, XI, 1957, 192—207)
have pointed to other noncanonical material embodied in the

Princeton,N.J. (U.S.A.) Bruce M. Metzger

Auer, Wilhelm: Was ist uns die Bibel?
Bibel und Kirche 13, 1958 S. 4—6.

Die Bibel in der Welt. Jahrbuch d. Verbandes der Evang. Bibelgesellschaften
in Deutschland, 1958. Hrsg. v. Robert Steiner in Verb. m.
Alfred Müller u. Werner Braselmann. Wuppertal-Elberfeld: Verband
d. Evang. Bibelgesellschaften in Deutschland 1958. 144 S. 3 Abb. 8°.
Br. DM 2.50.

Birdsall, J. Neville: The Missing Leaves of Codex 213 of the New

The Journal of Theological Studie« IX, 195 8 S. 78—81.
McKenzie, John L.: Problems of Hermeneutics in Roman Catho-
lic Exegesis.

Journal of Biblical Literature LXXVI1 1958 S. 197—204.
Metzger, Bruce M., S k e h a n, Patrick W., O r 1 i n s k y, Harry M.:

Recent Developments in the Study of the Text of the Bible.

Journal of Biblical Literature LXXVIII, 1959 S. 13—33.
Muilenburg, James, Rylaarsdam, J. Coert, Stendahl,

Krister: Problems in Biblical Hermeneutics.

Journal of Biblical Literature LXXVII, 1958 S. 18—38.
Ross, Alan S. C: On the "Text ' of the Anglo-Saxon Gloss to the

Lindisfarne Gospels.

The Journal of Theological Studies IX, 1958 S. 38—52.


K a p p 1 e r, Werner t u. Robert Hanhart (ed.): Maccabaeorum libri
I—IV, Fase. II, Maccabaeorum liber II. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck &
Ruprecht 1959. 116 S. gr. 8° = Septuaginta. Vetus Testamentum
Graecum auetoritate Societatis Iitterarum Gottingensis ed., Vol. IX, 2.
DM 14.50.

Der von Werner Kappler besorgten, 1936 erschienenen Ausgabe
des I. Makkabäerbuches, die ThLZ 62, 1937, Sp. 46 l. gewürdigt
worden ist, folgt jetzt die de6 II. Makkabäerbuches, die
von Werner Kappler zwar vorbereitet ist, aber nicht herausgegeben
werden konnte, da er leider ein Opfer des zweiten Weltkrieges
geworden ist. Das von ihm hinterlassene Manuskript hat,
von anderen Freunden des Göttinger Septuaginta-Unternehmens
unterstützt, Robert Hanhart in pietätvoller Weise überarbeitet
und ergänzt. Dabei konnten der Text und die Gruppierung der
Textzeugen ziemlich so belassen werden, wie Kappler sie sich
gedacht hatte, während die Anlage des Apparats im wesentlichen
von Hanhart vorgenommen werden mußte. Wie das beim
I. Makkabäerbuch der Fall war, wird auch jetzt dem mit ausführlichem
, immer etwa die untere Hälfte der Seiten einnehmendem
Apparat ausgestatteten Text (S. 47—116) eine 39 Seiten
(S. 7—46) umfassende „Einleitung" vorangeschickt, die „A Die
Textzeugen", „B Die Textgestalt", „C Grammatica", „D Text
und Apparat. Zeichen und Abkürzungen" behandelt und — zur