Is this true? I had no idea that Judaism waited so long to canonize its scriptures.
“In these first centuries of the common era both Judaism and Christianity gave shape to and defined the authority of collections of writings that formed their respective Bibles or canons of sacred writings” (Oxford Study Bible, page 47).
The first centuries C.E. It’s strange to think of Christians and Jews on a parallel track to found themselves, to make a way not to forget themselves in a shifting world. It was a time when you could no longer trust culture. Too much was changing; you couldn’t trust yourself to pass the traditions to your children. You couldn’t trust them either. It was time to textualize: this book, this will tell us what is true and what we are. What a sad time.
And yet, part of what they were doing, I’m doing too: “engaging the past in search of identity for the present and direction for the future” (ibid.).