The Canonization of the Bible
Marc Zvi Brettler
Canonization, broadly construed as the process through which the Bible became the Bible, is only vaguely understood. We do not know exactly how various books were chosen to be part of the Bible to the exclusion of others, how these books were put into a particular order, and how their text was established. Since there are no contemporaneous documents that describe this process, it needs to be reconstructed from indirect evidence, namely, from the variety of biblical texts from different periods and places that have survived, and from later traditions in rabbinic and other sources that discuss canonization. Thus, the reconstruction suggested below should be viewed as tentative.