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The Evolutionary Production And Transmission Of The Scriptural Books

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Chapter Summary

In order to understand and use the Bible intelligently and responsibly, it is helpful to consider its entire history - how it came to be, from its earliest origins and through all the various processes that influenced its development and brought it to its final shape. This chapter examines issues, and illustrates them with examples, of the overlap between composition, redaction, textual transmission, and reception. It gives an evolutionary overview of the history of the production of the biblical texts mainly chronologically, but also with an eye toward the types of growth and motivations of the "scribes" or "handlers" of the text who produced the growth. Author's attempts to view the whole process, from origins and production to reception of the books as established canon, will necessarily require lack of focus on many details. He uses a number of familiar building blocks to illustrate the processes of composition, redaction, transmission, and reception.

Keywords: Bible; evolutionary production; reception; redaction; scriptural books; textual transmission



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