In this book John Barton examines the complex relationship between the canonical text of the Old and New Testaments. He pays particular attention to historical questions--How did the biblical canon develop? How did the church come to accept as authoritative a New Testament containing no more and no less than 27 books? Why did the Church place alongside these books the Hebrew Scriptures? In responding to such questions, Barton draws a valuable distinction between the notion of "scripture" and that of "canon."
"This is a very good, clearly argued book on some of the issues in the debate about the biblical canon. It is also an excellent reading of the early Christian (patristic) writings bearing on the topics of scripture, canon, and the relationship between 'the Old Testament' as scripture and the writings of the New Testament as proclamation and as scripture. The book is quintessential Barton: good solid scholarship combined with a nuanced reading of the ancient documents, allied to a very fine analysis of contemporary German writing on the canon." -Robert P. Carroll, Professor of Biblical Studies, University of Glasgow
John Barton is Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture in the University of Oxford. He is the author of a number of books, including Reading the Old Testament: Method in Bible Study (Revised and Enlarged).