Professor Loren Stuckenbruck gave an interesting paper this week on the area of the apocrypha and its interaction with Jewish and Christian canons. He didn’t mention the council at Jamnia so I asked about its role in the debate. I got an odd look from him, and he responded in a gracious manner saying that it is highly debatable that that ever happened. Doh! So I asked him to clarify. He didn’t go into detail but said a process of standardization occured but mostly in the 2nd century and that the process was retrojected back into the first century. So, for those of you like me that were fed the Jamnia story, learn your lesson from my experience and hold your tongue in public discussions.
I think this issue of canon is quite interesting since a significant chunk of the ‘Bible’ was removed with the reformation. Not that there weren’t some good reasons, but protestants have shunned them to the extent that when I was in high school I almost got the feeling that the catholics made up these books. And why would they choose names like Bel and the Dragon? Students need more interaction with these sources to open their eyes to NT backgrounds.
[Update: It’s good to know wikipedia has it more correct than the educators that I’ve had in the past on this issue: Jamnia]