And of course, this is but a small sample of the vast mountain of evidence that proves Martin's assertions to be false and unfounded. When I read his book, I was astounded how willing he was to just make things up without any proof whatsoever. And that's why I speak so strongly. It is a crime for biblical teachers to willfully mislead and misinform their students.
These observations are confirmed by F.F. Bruce in his excellent book The Canon of Scripture
, in which he noted that there were probably two canonical structures held amongst the Jews before the advent of Christ:
The order of books in copies of the Septuagint which have come down to us differs from the traditional order of the Hebrew Bible, and lies behind the conventional order of the Christian Old Testament. The law, comprising the five books of Moses, comes first in both traditions; it is followed by the historical books, poetical and wisdom books, and the books of the prophets. As with the Hebrew Bible, so with the Septuagint, the order of books is more fluid when they are copied on separate scrolls than when they are bound together in codices [see The Scroll versus the Codex
]. But there is not reason to think that the Christian scribes who first copied the Septuagint into codices devised a new sequence for its contents; it is more likely that they took over the sequence
along with the text itself. It has been held indeed that the Septuagint order represents an early Palestinian order
of the books in the Hebrew Bible, contemporary with, and possibly even antedating, the Hebrew order which became traditional. The evidence is too scanty for any certainty to be attained on this matter.
F. W. Bush presented the general scholastic consensus as supporting the "two canon" theory in his review of the position of Ruth in the canon in his book Ruth and Esther
in the Word Biblical Commentary (page 8):
The implications for our question are obvious. The testimony of the ancient authorities cited above demonstrates that both arrangements of the canon — that with Ruth among the Prophets after Judges and that with Ruth among the Writings immediately before Psalms — existed among the Jews of Palestine, dating at least earlier than the first two centuries a.d. (see Beckwith, Canon, 181–222). It is simply no longer possible to posit that Ruth was moved to the Prophets by hellenized Jews whose canon is reflected in the Septuagint. It can only be the case that these different arrangements of the Prophets and the Writings arose among different elements of the Jewish community and existed side by side at least until the time of Jerome, late fourth century A.D.. How the one arrangement later became exclusive to the rabbinic tradition as reflected in the Talmud and the other to the stream of tradition ultimately reflected in the Septuagint is simply unknown. Nor do we have any information to decide which of the two may be earlier or original.