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What is the Hagiographa?

Updated on December 27, 2016

Hagiographa is the third division of the Old Testament, known in Hebrew as the Ketubim, meaning "holy writings," which is also the meaning of the Greek name. They were presumably the last group of books included in the canon. In Luke 24:44 the three divisions are mentioned, "Psalms" standing for the last group. By the end of the 1st century A.D. the Hebrew Old Testament canon was fixed at the Council of Jamnia, and the "writings" included the three poetical books (Psalms, Proverbs, and Job); the five scrolls (Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther); one prophecy (the apocalyptic book of Daniel); and two historical books, Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles- a total of 11 books. The criteria for including all books were (1) early date, that is, not later than Ezra, and (2) anonymous authorship.

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