Deistpedia: The Deist EnCyclopedia

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I   J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z 0-9

Council of Jamnia

The Council of Jamnia was a time of consolidation in Jamnia following the destruction of Jerusalem and her Temple in 70 CE, that lasted until about 90 CE and from which Rabbinic Judaism emerged. According to tradition, it owed much to the spiritual leadership of Yohanan ben Zakkai. Its significance is interpreted differently by Jewish scholars, Catholic scholars, and Protestant scholars.

"Christian" scholars often describe the Old Testament as being formally codified at this meeting; but Jewish scholars usually state that the canon was fixed long before this date. Protestant scholars do not consider the Apocrypha to be part of the Bible and use their interpretation of "the Council of Jamnia" as justification.

As regards the pertinence of the term "Council of Jamnia" Jack P. Lewis writes in The Anchor Bible Dictionary Vol. III, pp. 634-7 (New York 1992):

The concept of the Council of Jamnia is an hypothesis to explain the canonization of the Writings (the third division of the Hebrew Bible) resulting in the closing of the Hebrew canon. ... These ongoing debates suggest the paucity of evidence on which the hypothesis of the Council of Jamnia rests and raise the question whether it has not served its usefulness and should be relegated to the limbo of unestablished hypotheses. It should not be allowed to be considered a consensus established by mere repetition of assertion.