Steenberg, M. C. “Irenaeus on Scripture, Graphe, and the Status of Hermas,” St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 53, no. 1 (2009): 29-66.
In Against Heresies 4.20.2 Irenaeus identifies a quotation from Shepherd of Hermas as γραφη. Scholars have debated whether Irenaeus is referring to the quotation simply as a writing, as he does in some other instances, or as Scripture. Steenberg surveys all of the uses of γραφη in Against Heresies. He observes that Irenaeus does sometimes use γραφη to refer to a particular writing, but in those cases, there is some contextual marker that identifies which particular writing is being referred to. Irenaeus also uses γραφη frequently to refer to the Scriptures or to Scripture texts. Steenberg makes a persuasive case that this is the use of γραφη in AH 4.20.2 since the usage matches the other instances where Irenaeus refers to Scripture and since the quotation from Hermas is grouped with other Scripture quotations. Less convincing was the theory of Irenaeus’s view of the canon that Steenberg also developed in this article.
Hill, C. E. “The Debate Over the Muratorian Fragment and the Development of the Canon,” Westminster Theological Journal 57, no. 2 (1995): 437-51.
This article reviews a book by Geoffrey Hahnemann which argues that the Muratorian Fragment should be dated in the fourth century rather than the late second/early third century, which is the traditional date. If the Muratorian Fragment is from the late second/early third century, it is the earliest known canon list, and its listing “has the same ‘core’ of writings which were later agreed upon by the whole church,” though there are some missing books and the Wisdom of Solomon is included. Hahnemann holds to a theory that claims the canon was not established until the fourth century. The early dating of the Muratorian Fragment is an obstacle to Hahnemann’s theory and motivates his attempt to re-date it. Hill effectively demonstrates the numerous problems with Hahnemann’s arguments.
I read the article because the Muratorian Fragment speaks to the canonicity of the Shepherd of Hermas:, not that it was “written very recently in our times in the city of Rome by Hermas, while his brother, Bishop Pius, sat in the chair of the Church of Rome [139–154 AD]. And therefore it also ought to be read; but it cannot be made public in the Church to the people, nor placed among the prophets, as their number is complete, nor among the apostles to the end of time.” Hill observes: “Irenaeus’ use of the Shepherd forms an entirely plausible setting for the Fragment’s specification that it should be read but cannot be classed with the Scriptures and read in public worship” (439). Hill also notes, “Tertullian tells us that the Shepherd’s standing had at least by the second decade of the third century been considered by several councils, with unanimously negative results…. That these councils declared Hermas not only to be apocryphal but “false” may indicate an indictment as false prophecy, or the reputation of a claim made for the identity of its author” (439-40). (This is relevant to Hill’s argument because the Muratorian Fragment’s claim that Hermas was written “very recently” at the time of a second-century bishop of Rome is a clear obstacle to Hahnemann’s re-dating.)