This year's York Christian Apocrypha Symposium, “Forbidden Texts on the Western Frontier: The Christian Apocrypha in North American Perspectives,” is only a few months away (September 26–28, 2013; mark your calendars). In the weeks leading up to the event, I will be posting here and on the the Symposium web page short profiles of the conference participants. For more information, see the Symposium web page (HERE).
Lee Martin McDonald, “Debating Canon Formation: Why and Where Scholars Disagree”
Lee Martin McDonald is President Emeritus and Professor of New Testament Studies at Acadia Divinity College, Acadia University in Nova Scotia. He is also the author and editor of some thirty books, including Early Christianity and Its Sacred Literature (Hendrickson, 2000); The Biblical Canon: Its Origin, Transmission, and Authority (2007), The Formation of the Bible: The Story of the Church’s Canon (Hendrickson Publishers, 2012), Forgotten Scriptures: The Selection and Rejection of Early Religious Writings (Westminster John Knox Press, 2009), The World of the New Testament (Baker Academic, 2013), and the recent The Story of Jesus in History and Faith: An Introduction (Baker Academic, 2013). He was President of the Institute for Biblical Research (2006-2012) and is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches USA and has served as a U.S. Army Reserve chaplain.
Much of McDonald’s research focuses on the formation of the Christian biblical canon as well as the non-canonical texts that also played a role in early Christianity. He claims: “As manuscript scholars know, the ancient manuscripts do not contain the same books and their texts contain large numbers of textual variants.” Further, “these ‘non-canonical’ books include some of what we now call ‘apocryphal’ books. The lectionaries are also important because they reflect the primary texts that functioned as authoritative scripture in early Christianity.”
A distinguished scholar who received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh (1976), McDonald was the subject of a 2007 festschrift volume, From Biblical Faith to Biblical Criticism: Essays in Honor of Lee Martin McDonald (Mercer University Press, 2007; edited by Craig A. Evans).