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They place the practical, if not formal, completion of the Palestinian Canon in the era of Esdras (Ezra) and Nehemias, about the middle of the fifth century B.

C., while, true to their adhesion to a Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, they insist that the canonization of the five books followed soon after their composition.

They are not felicitous, and it would be wrong to infer from them that the Church successively possessed two distinct Biblical Canons. It is thus seen that is a correlative of inspiration, being the extrinsic dignity belonging to writings which have been officially declared as of sacred origin and authority. in Christ's own words, Luke, xxiv, 44: "All things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms concerning me." Going back to the prologue of Ecclesiasticus, prefixed to it about 132 B.

Only in a partial and restricted way may we speak of a first and second Canon. These consist of seven books: Tobias, Judith, Baruch, Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom, First and Second Machabees; also certain additions to Esther and Daniel. It is antecedently very probable that according as a book was written early or late it entered into a sacred collection and attained a canonical standing. C., we find mentioned "the Law, and the Prophets, and others that have followed them".

Since the traditionalists infer the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch from other sources, they can rely for proof of an early collection of these books chiefly on Deuteronomy, xxxi, 9-13, 24-26, where there is question of a book of the law, delivered by Moses to the priests with the command to keep it in the ark and read it to the people on the feast of Tabernacles.

But the effort to identify this book with the entire Pentateuch is not convincing to the opponents of Mosaic authorship.

This was an era of construction, a turning-point in the history of Israel.

The completion of the Jewish Canon, by the addition of the Prophets and Hagiographa as bodies to the Law, is attributed by conservatives to Esdras, the priest-scribe and religious leader of the period, abetted by Nehemias, the civil governor; or at least to a school of scribes founded by the former. II Esdras, viii—x; II Machabees, ii, 13, in the Greek original.) Far more arresting in favor of an Esdrine formulation of the Hebrew Bible is the much-discussed passage from Josephus, "Contra Apionem", I, viii, in which the Jewish historian, writing about A. 100, registers his conviction and that of his coreligionists—a conviction presumably based on tradition—that the Scriptures of the Palestinian Hebrews formed a closed and sacred collection from the days of the Persian king, Artaxerxes Longimanus (465-25 B. Josephus is the earliest writer who numbers the books of the Jewish Bible.

Named in the order in which they stand in the current Hebrew text, these are: Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Canticle of Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Esdras, Nehemias, or II Esdras, Paralipomenon.(a) Traditional view of the Canon of the Palestinian Jews, or Proto-Canon.—In opposition to scholars of more recent views, conservatives do not admit that the Prophets and the Hagiographa represent two successive stages in the formation of the Palestinian Canon.

The Remaining Books.—The Completion of the Palestinian-Jewish Canon.—Without being positive on the subject, the advocates of the older views regard it as highly probable that several additions were made to the sacred repertory between the canonization of the Mosaic Torah above described and the Exile (598 B. They cite especially Isaias, xxxiv, 16; II Paralipomenon, xxix, 30; Proverbs, xxv, 1; Daniel, ix, 2.

For the period following the Babylonian Exile the conservative argument takes a more confident tone.

The whole Biblical Canon therefore consists of the canons of the Old and New Testaments.

The Greek means primarily a reed, or measuring-rod; by a natural figure it was employed by ancient writers both profane and religious to denote a rule or standard.

Named in the order in which they stand in the current Hebrew text, these are: Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Canticle of Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Esdras, Nehemias, or II Esdras, Paralipomenon.(a) Traditional view of the Canon of the Palestinian Jews, or Proto-Canon.—In opposition to scholars of more recent views, conservatives do not admit that the Prophets and the Hagiographa represent two successive stages in the formation of the Palestinian Canon.The Remaining Books.—The Completion of the Palestinian-Jewish Canon.—Without being positive on the subject, the advocates of the older views regard it as highly probable that several additions were made to the sacred repertory between the canonization of the Mosaic Torah above described and the Exile (598 B. They cite especially Isaias, xxxiv, 16; II Paralipomenon, xxix, 30; Proverbs, xxv, 1; Daniel, ix, 2.For the period following the Babylonian Exile the conservative argument takes a more confident tone.The whole Biblical Canon therefore consists of the canons of the Old and New Testaments.The Greek means primarily a reed, or measuring-rod; by a natural figure it was employed by ancient writers both profane and religious to denote a rule or standard.And while there is what may be called a consensus of Catholic exegetes of the conservative type on an Esdrine or quasi-Esdrine formulation of the canon so far as the existing material permitted it, this agreement is not absolute; Kaulen and Danko, favoring a later completion, are the notable exceptions among the above-mentioned scholars.(b) Critical views of the formation of the Palestinian Canon.—Its three constituent bodies, the Law, Prophets, and Hagiographa, represent a growth and correspond to three periods more or less extended.