Old Testament Canon

Q. In your commentary on Psalm 137, re: “under the leadership of Ezekiel the Jews put together the books of the O.T.” Could you tell me where I could get more information on this? It sparked my interest in knowing about how, when, where the O.T. books were placed in their order.

A. The earliest indications of the Old Testament canon come from the time of Ezra and Nehemiah and suggest that the process had begun during the Babylonian captivity (605-535 BC) with the Torah (the 1st 5 Books of the Bible). But the process was probably not complete until sometime in the 2nd Century BC. Deciding which books were to be included was done by senior priests based on general agreement that each book was authentic (written by the person identified as its author) and divinely inspired.

In my commentary I credited Ezekiel with developing the synagogue form of worship, not the canonization of their scriptures. For more information, I would suggest searching on the Internet for articles on “Old Testament Canon”.

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