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This doesn't pass on much useful information to the reader:
- More recently, some scholars have contended for a 4th century date for the original of the fragment, emphasizing especially comparisons with eastern fourth century canon lists. Conversely, the concordance may simply attest to an early establishment and conservative retention for a New Testament canon in the Greek-speaking east.
Very knowledgeable-sounding, but couldn't we be told who is being referred to? what scholar and what Eastern 4th century canon lists? Athanasius? what? Someone who knows what they're reading could make this an interesting paragraph. --Wetman 23:58, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)
An anon has claimed the Anchor Bible Dictionary to be the source for this. I'm not myself convinced that a conservative Christian dictionary counts as an authoritive scholar on this question. Clinkophonist 11:09, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
- The Anchor_Bible_Dictionary#Anchor_Bible_Dictionary is not a conservative Christian dictionary, it is a highly significant modern scholarly reference. Many libraries carry it, you would be well advised to investigate. In addition, late dating of the Muratorian fragment obviously isn't "conservative".184.108.40.206 21:38, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Some more refs:
The date of the original Greek composition lying behind the present Latin text has generally been agreed to lie in the middle or end of the second century because of the statement in the fragment that "Hermas wrote the Shepherd very recently in our times in the city of Rome, when Bishop Pius, his brother, was sitting in the chair of the Church of Rome." More recently, Sundberg and Hahneman have contended for a fourth century date for the original of the fragment, emphasizing especially comparisons with eastern fourth century canon lists. Although their arguments have been persuasive to some, many scholars remain skeptical of their late dating. All would probably agree, however, that their work has stimulated fresh consideration of the development of the New Testament canon, to which the Muratorian Fragment is an important witness. Bibliography
Hahneman, Geoffrey Mark. The Muratorian Fragment and the Development of the Canon. Oxford: Clarendon, 1992.
Sundberg, Albert C., Jr. "Canon Muratori: A Fourth Century List." Harvard Theological Review 66 (1973): 1-41.
Tregelles, Samuel Prideaux. Canon Muratorianus: The Earliest Catalogue of the Books of the New Testament. Oxford: Clarendon, 1897.
The traditional date of the fragment, however, was questioned in 1973 by Albert C. Sundberg, Jr, in an article of the Harvard Theological Review that has since been generally ignored or dismissed. In this book, Hahneman re-examines the traditional dating of the fragment in a complete and extensive study that concurs with Sundberg's findings. Arguing for a later placing of the fragment, Hahneman shows that the entire history of the Christian Bible must be recast as a much longer and more gradual process. As a result, the decisive period of canonical history moves from the end of the second century into the midst of the fourth. As a decisive contribution to our understanding of the development of the New Testament canon, this book will be of considerable importance and interest to New Testament scholars and historians of the early Church.
The Muratorian Canon, by an unknown author, is usually dated to the end of the second century; attempts to date it later have been unconvincing, according to Metzger, although McDonald provides an opposite view dating it to much later that contains some persuasive elements. A very persuasive case for a fourth-century date is presented by Hahneman[Hahn.MurFrag], from whom we gain much of our material below on the subject.
The date of the Muratorian Fragment is still in dispute. A. C. Sundberg, Jr. argues for a fourth-century date in “Canon Muratori: A Fourth Century List,” HTR 66 (1973) 1–41. An earlier date and a response to Sundberg is provided by E. Ferguson, “Canon Muratori: Date and Provi- dence,” Studia Patristica 18/2 (1982) 677–683.