Song of Songs 1000/200

Bearpecs at Bearpecs at
Tue Jun 5 04:55:16 EDT 2001

In a message dated 5/26/01 11:08:33 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
dwashbur at writes:

> We know that both 
> Jewish and Christian interpreters took allegorical approaches (e.g. 
> Philo) but I'm not sure the Council of Jamnia included the book for 
> this "main" reason.  Wasn't the principal criterion one of authorship?

No.  Authorship was never a primary consideration.  Neither was divine 
inspiration sufficient, as a matter of fact.  The rabbis acknowledged that 
the works of many prophets were not transmitted, because although holy they 
were not relevant to later generations.
The debate over the Song of Songs was quite contentious.  Rabbi Aqiba 
prevailed in accepting it into the canon only on the basis that it 
represented the love between G-d and Israel.  
For myself, I don't really understand the relevance of whether they made the 
"right" decision for the "right" reasons.  It is what it is.  They fulfilled 
their role in the ongoing dialectic of defining and redefining the parameters 
within which Israel pursues its collective encounter with G-d.

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