The Law and the Prophets: A Study in Old Testament Canon Formation (New Edition)

Stephen B. Chapman
Baker Academic
Published Year: 
Cover image of Professor Stephen Chapman's new book

Stephen B. Chapman, Ph.D., associate professor of Old Testament at Duke Divinity School, has published a new edition of his watershed book The Law and the Prophets: A Study in Old Testament Canon Formation.

Published by Baker Academic, this North American edition advances a major perspective in the ongoing debate about the historical development of the Hebrew Bible. The volume presents the widely praised European edition originally published by Mohr Siebeck, along with an updated bibliography and a new postscript in which Chapman offers reflections on the last two decades of canon-oriented biblical scholarship.

Called “a major landmark” by biblical scholar Walter Moberly when it first appeared in 2000, Chapman's study critiques the traditional three-stage, linear view of Old Testament canon formation and proposes instead that the Pentateuch and the Prophets developed more gradually, mutually influencing each other over time.

The bipartite conception of “the law and the prophets” familiar from the New Testament is therefore the basic framework or “theological grammar” for the Old Testament canon as a whole. In contrast to scholars who define canonicity as closure, Chapman provides an account of canonicity characterized by multivalency, intertextuality, and abiding corporate testimony.

Chapman is an affiliate faculty member in Duke's Center for Jewish Studies and former director of graduate studies for the Graduate Program in Religion at Duke University. He is the author of 1 Samuel as Christian Scripture: A Theological Commentary, coeditor of The Cambridge Companion to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, and serves on the editorial boards of Old Testament Theology (Cambridge) and Siphrut: Literature and Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures (Eisenbrauns). He is an ordained American Baptist minister.