Old Testament

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The Old Testament (abbreviated OT) is the first part of Christian Bibles, based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible (or Tanakh), a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites [1] believed by most Christians and religious Jews to be the sacred Word of God. [2] The second part of the Christian Bible is the New Testament.

Hebrew Bible Canonical collection of Hebrew scripture

The Hebrew Bible, which is also called the Tanakh or sometimes the Mikra, is the canonical collection of Hebrew scriptures. These texts are almost exclusively in Biblical Hebrew, except for some Biblical Aramaic passages in the books of Daniel and Ezra. The Hebrew Bible is also the textual source for the Christian Old Testament. The form of this text that is authoritative for Rabbinic Judaism is known as the Masoretic Text (MT) and it consists of 24 books, while the translations divide essentially the same material into 39 books for the Protestant Bible.

Israelites Confederation of Iron Age Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan

The Israelites were a confederation of Iron Age Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the tribal and monarchic periods. According to the religious narrative of the Hebrew Bible, the Israelites' origin is traced back to the Biblical patriarchs and matriarchs Abraham and his wife Sarah, through their son Isaac and his wife Rebecca, and their son Jacob who was later called Israel, whence they derive their name, with his wives Leah and Rachel and the handmaids Zilpa and Bilhah.

Authorship of the Bible

Table I gives an overview of the periods and dates ascribed to the various books of the Bible. Tables II, III and IV outline the conclusions of the majority of contemporary scholars on the composition of the Hebrew Bible, the deuterocanonical works, and the New Testament.

Contents

The books that comprise the Old Testament canon, as well as their order and names, differ between Christian denominations. The Catholic canon comprises 46 books, and the canons of the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches comprise up to 49 books [3] and the most common Protestant canon comprises 39 books. The 39 books in common to all the Christian canons correspond to the 24 books of the Tanakh, with some differences of order, and there are some differences in text. The additional number reflects the splitting of several texts (Kings, Samuel and Chronicles, Ezra–Nehemiah and the minor prophets) into separate books in Christian bibles.

Books of the Bible Wikimedia list article

Different religious groups include different books in their biblical canons, in varying orders, and sometimes divide or combine books. The Jewish Tanakh contains 24 books divided into three parts: the five books of the Torah ("teaching"); the eight books of the Nevi'im ("prophets"); and the eleven books of Ketuvim ("writings"). It is composed mainly in Biblical Hebrew, and its Septuagint is the main textual source for the Christian Greek Old Testament.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Eastern Orthodox Church Christian Church

The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 260 million baptised members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods. Roughly half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest surviving religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Near East.

The books which are part of a Christian Old Testament but which are not part of the Hebrew canon are sometimes described as deuterocanonical. In general, Protestant Bibles do not include the deuterocanonical books in their canon, but some versions of Anglican and Lutheran bibles place such books in a separate section called Apocrypha. These extra books are ultimately derived from the earlier Greek Septuagint collection of the Hebrew scriptures and are also Jewish in origin. Some are also contained in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Deuterocanonical books Books that Catholics and Orthodox accept as part of the canon, but which Protestants do not accept

The deuterocanonical books are books and passages considered by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Assyrian Church of the East to be canonical books of the Old Testament but which are considered non-canonical by Protestant denominations. They are books from the Septuagint, the standard translation of the Hebrew Bible in the Hellenistic period, written during the reign of Ptolemy II and referenced extensively in the New Testament, particularly in the Pauline Epistles. With the rise of Rabbinic Judaism at the end of the Second Temple Period, the Hebrew Canon was in flux, until the Masoretic Text, compiled between the 7th and 10th centuries, became the authoritative text of the mainstream Rabbinic Judaism. The Masoretic Text excluded the seven deuterocanonical books and formed the basis for their exclusion in the Protestant Old Testament. The term distinguished these texts both from those that were termed protocanonical books, which were the books of the Hebrew canon; and from the apocryphal books, which were those books of Jewish origin that were known sometimes to have been read in church as scripture but which were considered not to be canonical.

Protestant Bible A Christian Bible whose translation or revision was produced by Protestants

A Protestant Bible is a Christian Bible whose translation or revision was produced by Protestants. Such Bibles comprise 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament for a total of 66 books. Some Protestants use Bibles which also include 14 additional books in a section known as the Apocrypha bringing the total to 80 books. This is often contrasted with the 73 books of the Catholic Bible, which includes seven deuterocanonical books as a part of the Old Testament. The division between protocanonical and deuterocanonical books is not accepted by all Protestants who simply view books as being canonical or not and therefore classify the seven Catholic deuterocanonical books as part of the Apocrypha. Sometimes the term "Protestant Bible" is used as a shorthand for a bible which only contains the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.

Biblical apocrypha Collection of ancient books found in some editions of Christian Bibles

The biblical apocrypha denotes the collection of apocryphal ancient books found in some editions of Christian Bibles in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments or as an appendix after the New Testament. Some Christian Churches include some or all of the same texts within the body of their version of the Old Testament.

The Old Testament consists of many distinct books by various authors produced over a period of centuries. [4] Christians traditionally divide the Old Testament into four sections: (1) the first five books or Pentateuch (Torah); (2) the history books telling the history of the Israelites, from their conquest of Canaan to their defeat and exile in Babylon; (3) the poetic and "Wisdom books" dealing, in various forms, with questions of good and evil in the world; and (4) the books of the biblical prophets, warning of the consequences of turning away from God.

Torah First five books of the Hebrew Bible

Torah has a range of meanings. It can most specifically mean the first five books of the 24 books of the Tanakh. It can also mean the continued narrative from all the 24 books, from the Book of Genesis to the end of the Tanakh (Chronicles), and it can even mean the totality of Jewish teaching, culture and practice, whether derived from biblical texts or later rabbinic writings. Common to all these meanings, Torah consists of the origin of Jewish peoplehood: their call into being by God, their trials and tribulations, and their covenant with their God, which involves following a way of life embodied in a set of moral and religious obligations and civil laws.

Content

The Old Testament contains 39 (Protestant), 46 (Catholic), or more (Orthodox and other) books, divided, very broadly, into the Pentateuch (Torah), the historical books, the "wisdom" books and the prophets. [5]

Table

The table uses the spellings and names present in modern editions of the Christian Bible, such as the Catholic New American Bible Revised Edition and the Protestant Revised Standard Version and English Standard Version. The spelling and names in both the 1609–10 Douay Old Testament (and in the 1582 Rheims New Testament) and the 1749 revision by Bishop Challoner (the edition currently in print used by many Catholics, and the source of traditional Catholic spellings in English) and in the Septuagint differ from those spellings and names used in modern editions which are derived from the Hebrew Masoretic text. [lower-alpha 1]

New American Bible Revised Edition English-language translation of the Roman Catholic Bible, published in 2011

The New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE) is an English-language Catholic Bible translation, the first major update in 20 years to the New American Bible (NAB), originally published in 1970 by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. Released on March 9, 2011, it consists of the 1986 revision of the NAB New Testament with a fully revised Old Testament approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2010.

Revised Standard Version

The Revised Standard Version (RSV) is an English translation of the Bible published in 1952 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches. The RSV is a revision of the American Standard Version, and was intended to be a readable and literally accurate modern English translation which aimed to "preserve all that is best in the English Bible as it has been known and used through the centuries" and "to put the message of the Bible in simple, enduring words that are worthy to stand in the great Tyndale-King James tradition."

English Standard Version translation of the Bible

The English Standard Version (ESV) is an English translation of the Bible published in 2001 by Crossway. It is a revision of the Revised Standard Version that employs an "essentially literal" translation philosophy.

For the Orthodox canon, Septuagint titles are provided in parentheses when these differ from those editions. For the Catholic canon, the Douaic titles are provided in parentheses when these differ from those editions. Likewise, the King James Version references some of these books by the traditional spelling when referring to them in the New Testament, such as "Esaias" (for Isaiah).

In the spirit of ecumenism more recent Catholic translations (e.g. the New American Bible, Jerusalem Bible, and ecumenical translations used by Catholics, such as the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition) use the same "standardized" (King James Version) spellings and names as Protestant Bibles (e.g. 1 Chronicles as opposed to the Douaic 1 Paralipomenon, 1–2 Samuel and 1–2 Kings instead of 1–4 Kings) in those books which are universally considered canonical, the protocanonicals.

The Talmud (the Jewish commentary on the scriptures) in Bava Batra 14b gives a different order for the books in Nevi'im and Ketuvim. This order is also cited in Mishneh Torah Hilchot Sefer Torah 7:15. The order of the books of the Torah is universal through all denominations of Judaism and Christianity.

The disputed books, included in one canon but not in others, are often called the Biblical apocrypha, a term that is sometimes used specifically to describe the books in the Catholic and Orthodox canons that are absent from the Jewish Masoretic Text and most modern Protestant Bibles. Catholics, following the Canon of Trent (1546), describe these books as deuterocanonical, while Greek Orthodox Christians, following the Synod of Jerusalem (1672), use the traditional name of anagignoskomena , meaning "that which is to be read." They are present in a few historic Protestant versions; the German Luther Bible included such books, as did the English 1611 King James Version. [lower-alpha 2]

Empty table cells indicate that a book is absent from that canon.

Hebrew Bible
(Tanakh)
(24 books) [lower-alpha 3]
Protestant
Old Testament
(39 books)
Catholic
Old Testament
(46 books)
Eastern Orthodox
Old Testament
(49 books)
Original language
Torah
Pentateuch or the Five Books of Moses
Bereshit Genesis Genesis Genesis Hebrew
Shemot Exodus Exodus Exodus Hebrew
Vayikra Leviticus Leviticus Leviticus Hebrew
Bamidbar Numbers Numbers Numbers Hebrew
Devarim Deuteronomy Deuteronomy Deuteronomy Hebrew
Nevi'im (Prophets)
Yehoshua Joshua Joshua (Josue) Joshua (Iesous) Hebrew
Shofetim Judges Judges Judges Hebrew
Rut (Ruth) [lower-alpha 4] Ruth Ruth Ruth Hebrew
Shemuel 1 Samuel 1 Samuel (1 Kings) [lower-alpha 5] 1 Samuel (1 Kingdoms) [lower-alpha 6] Hebrew
2 Samuel 2 Samuel (2 Kings) [lower-alpha 5] 2 Samuel (2 Kingdoms) [lower-alpha 6] Hebrew
Melakhim 1 Kings 1 Kings (3 Kings) [lower-alpha 5] 1 Kings (3 Kingdoms) [lower-alpha 6] Hebrew
2 Kings 2 Kings (4 Kings) [lower-alpha 5] 2 Kings (4 Kingdoms) [lower-alpha 6] Hebrew
Divrei Hayamim (Chronicles) [lower-alpha 4] 1 Chronicles 1 Chronicles (1 Paralipomenon) 1 Chronicles (1 Paralipomenon) Hebrew
2 Chronicles 2 Chronicles (2 Paraleipomenon) 2 Chronicles (2 Paraleipomenon) Hebrew
1 Esdras [lower-alpha 7] [lower-alpha 8] Hebrew
Ezra–Nehemiah [lower-alpha 4] Ezra Ezra (1 Esdras) Ezra (2 Esdras) [lower-alpha 6] [lower-alpha 9] [lower-alpha 10] Hebrew and Aramaic
Nehemiah Nehemiah (2 Esdras) Nehemiah (2 Esdras) [lower-alpha 6] [lower-alpha 9] Hebrew
Tobit (Tobias) Tobit [lower-alpha 7] Aramaic (and Hebrew?)
Judith Judith [lower-alpha 7] Hebrew
Esther [lower-alpha 4] Esther Esther [lower-alpha 11] Esther [lower-alpha 11] Hebrew
1 Maccabees (1 Machabees) [lower-alpha 12] 1 Maccabees [lower-alpha 7] Hebrew
2 Maccabees (2 Machabees) [lower-alpha 12] 2 Maccabees [lower-alpha 7] Greek
3 Maccabees [lower-alpha 7] Greek
3 Esdras [lower-alpha 7] Greek?
4 Maccabees [lower-alpha 13] Greek
Ketuvim (Writings) Wisdom books
Iyov (Job) [lower-alpha 4] Job Job Job Hebrew
Tehillim (Psalms) [lower-alpha 4] Psalms Psalms Psalms [lower-alpha 14] Hebrew
Prayer of Manasseh [lower-alpha 15] Greek
Mishlei (Proverbs) [lower-alpha 4] Proverbs Proverbs Proverbs Hebrew
Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes) [lower-alpha 4] Ecclesiastes Ecclesiastes Ecclesiastes Hebrew
Shir Hashirim (Song of Songs) [lower-alpha 4] Song of Solomon Song of Songs (Canticle of Canticles) Song of Songs (Aisma Aismaton)Hebrew
Wisdom Wisdom [lower-alpha 7] Greek
Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) Sirach [lower-alpha 7] Hebrew
Nevi'im (Latter Prophets) Major prophets
Yeshayahu Isaiah Isaiah (Isaias) Isaiah Hebrew
Yirmeyahu Jeremiah Jeremiah (Jeremias) Jeremiah Hebrew
Eikhah (Lamentations) [lower-alpha 4] Lamentations Lamentations Lamentations Hebrew
Baruch [lower-alpha 16] Baruch [lower-alpha 16] [lower-alpha 7] Hebrew [7]
Letter of Jeremiah [lower-alpha 17] [lower-alpha 7] Greek (majority view) [lower-alpha 18]
Yekhezqel Ezekiel Ezekiel (Ezechiel) Ezekiel Hebrew
Daniel [lower-alpha 4] Daniel Daniel [lower-alpha 19] Daniel [lower-alpha 19] Hebrew and Aramaic
Twelve Minor Prophets
The Twelve
or
Trei Asar
Hosea Hosea (Osee) Hosea Hebrew
Joel Joel Joel Hebrew
Amos Amos Amos Hebrew
Obadiah Obadiah (Abdias) Obadiah Hebrew
Jonah Jonah (Jonas) Jonah Hebrew
Micah Micah (Michaeas) Micah Hebrew
Nahum Nahum Nahum Hebrew
Habakkuk Habakkuk (Habacuc) Habakkuk Hebrew
Zephaniah Zephaniah (Sophonias) Zephaniah Hebrew
Haggai Haggai (Aggaeus) Haggai Hebrew
Zechariah Zechariah (Zacharias) Zechariah Hebrew
Malachi Malachi (Malachias) Malachi Hebrew

    Several of the books in the Eastern Orthodox canon are also found in the appendix to the Latin Vulgate, formerly the official bible of the Roman Catholic Church.

    Books in the Appendix to the Vulgate Bible
    Name in Vulgate
    Name in Eastern Orthodox use
    3 Esdras 1 Esdras
    4 Esdras
    Prayer of Manasseh Prayer of Manasseh
    Psalm of David when he slew Goliath (Psalm 151) Psalm 151

      Composition

      The first five books – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, book of Numbers and Deuteronomy – reached their present form in the Persian period (538–332 BC), and their authors were the elite of exilic returnees who controlled the Temple at that time. [8] The books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings follow, forming a history of Israel from the Conquest of Canaan to the Siege of Jerusalem c. 587 BC. There is a broad consensus among scholars that these originated as a single work (the so-called "Deuteronomistic history") during the Babylonian exile of the 6th century BC. [9] The two Books of Chronicles cover much the same material as the Pentateuch and Deuteronomistic history and probably date from the 4th century BC. [10] Chronicles, and Ezra–Nehemiah, were probably finished during the 3rd century BC. [11] Catholic and Orthodox Old Testaments contain two (Catholic Old Testament) to four (Orthodox) Books of Maccabees, written in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC.

      These history books make up around half the total content of the Old Testament. Of the remainder, the books of the various prophets – Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve "minor prophets" – were written between the 8th and 6th centuries BC, with the exceptions of Jonah and Daniel, which were written much later. [12] The "wisdom" books – Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Psalms, Song of Solomon – have various dates: Proverbs possibly was completed by the Hellenistic time (332-198 BC), though containing much older material as well; Job completed by the 6th century BC; Ecclesiastes by the 3rd century BC. [13]

      Themes

      God is consistently depicted as the one who created the world. Although the God of the Old Testament is not consistently presented as the only God who exists, he is always depicted as the only God whom Israel is to worship, or the one "true God", that only Yahweh is Almighty, and both Jews and Christians have always interpreted the Bible (both the "Old" and "New" Testaments) as an affirmation of the oneness of Almighty God. [14]

      The Old Testament stresses the special relationship between God and his chosen people, Israel, but includes instructions for proselytes as well. This relationship is expressed in the biblical covenant (contract) between the two, received by Moses. The law codes in books such as Exodus and especially Deuteronomy are the terms of the contract: Israel swears faithfulness to God, and God swears to be Israel's special protector and supporter. [14]

      Further themes in the Old Testament include salvation, redemption, divine judgment, obedience and disobedience, faith and faithfulness, among others. Throughout there is a strong emphasis on ethics and ritual purity, both of which God demands, although some of the prophets and wisdom writers seem to question this, arguing that God demands social justice above purity, and perhaps does not even care about purity at all. The Old Testament's moral code enjoins fairness, intervention on behalf of the vulnerable, and the duty of those in power to administer justice righteously. It forbids murder, bribery and corruption, deceitful trading, and many sexual misdemeanors. All morality is traced back to God, who is the source of all goodness. [15]

      The problem of evil plays a large part in the Old Testament. The problem the Old Testament authors faced was that a good God must have had just reason for bringing disaster (meaning notably, but not only, the Babylonian exile) upon his people. The theme is played out, with many variations, in books as different as the histories of Kings and Chronicles, the prophets like Ezekiel and Jeremiah, and in the wisdom books like Job and Ecclesiastes. [15]

      Formation

      The interrelationship between various significant ancient manuscripts of the Old Testament, according to the Encyclopaedia Biblica (1903). Some manuscripts are identified by their siglum. LXX here denotes the original Septuagint. Texts of the OT.svg
      The interrelationship between various significant ancient manuscripts of the Old Testament, according to the Encyclopaedia Biblica (1903). Some manuscripts are identified by their siglum. LXX here denotes the original Septuagint.

      The process by which scriptures became canons and Bibles was a long one, and its complexities account for the many different Old Testaments which exist today. Timothy H. Lim, a professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism at the University of Edinburgh, identifies the Old Testament as "a collection of authoritative texts of apparently divine origin that went through a human process of writing and editing." [4] He states that it is not a magical book, nor was it literally written by God and passed to mankind. By about the 5th century BC Jews saw the five books of the Torah (the Old Testament Pentateuch) as having authoritative status; by the 2nd century BC the Prophets had a similar status, although without quite the same level of respect as the Torah; beyond that, the Jewish scriptures were fluid, with different groups seeing authority in different books. [16]

      Greek

      Hebrew texts commenced to be translated into Greek in Alexandria in about 280 and continued until about 130 BC. [17] These early Greek translations supposedly commissioned by Ptolemy Philadelphus were called the Septuagint (Latin: "Seventy") from the supposed number of translators involved (hence its abbreviation "LXX"). This Septuagint remains the basis of the Old Testament in the Eastern Orthodox Church. [18]

      It varies in many places from the Masoretic Text and includes numerous books no longer considered canonical in some traditions: 1 and 2 Esdras, Judith, Tobit, 3 and 4 Maccabees, the Book of Wisdom, Sirach, and Baruch. [19] Early modern Biblical criticism typically explained these variations as intentional or ignorant corruptions by the Alexandrian scholars, but most recent scholarship holds it is simply based on early source texts differing from those later used by the Masoretes in their work.

      The Septuagint was originally used by Hellenized Jews whose knowledge of Greek was better than Hebrew. But the texts came to be used predominantly by gentile converts to Christianity and by the early Church as its scripture, Greek being the lingua franca of the early Church. The three most acclaimed early interpreters were Aquila of Sinope, Symmachus the Ebionite, and Theodotion; in his Hexapla, Origen placed his edition of the Hebrew text beside its transcription in Greek letters and four parallel translations: Aquila's, Symmachus's, the Septuagint's, and Theodotion's. The so-called "fifth" and "sixth editions" were two other Greek translations supposedly miraculously discovered by students outside the towns of Jericho and Nicopolis: these were added to Origen's Octapla. [20]

      In 331, Constantine I commissioned Eusebius to deliver fifty Bibles for the Church of Constantinople. Athanasius [21] recorded Alexandrian scribes around 340 preparing Bibles for Constans. Little else is known, though there is plenty of speculation. For example, it is speculated that this may have provided motivation for canon lists, and that Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus are examples of these Bibles. Together with the Peshitta and Codex Alexandrinus, these are the earliest extant Christian Bibles. [22] There is no evidence among the canons of the First Council of Nicaea of any determination on the canon. However, Jerome (347–420), in his Prologue to Judith, makes the claim that the Book of Judith was "found by the Nicene Council to have been counted among the number of the Sacred Scriptures". [23]

      Latin

      In Western Christianity or Christianity in the Western half of the Roman Empire, Latin had displaced Greek as the common language of the early Christians, and in 382 AD Pope Damasus I commissioned Jerome, the leading scholar of the day, to produce an updated Latin bible to replace the Vetus Latina, which was a Latin translation of the Septuagint. Jerome's work, called the Vulgate, was a direct translation from Hebrew, since he argued for the superiority of the Hebrew texts in correcting the Septuagint on both philological and theological grounds. [24] His Vulgate Old Testament became the standard bible used in the Western Church, specifically as the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate, while the Churches in the East continued, and still continue, to use the Septuagint. [25]

      Jerome, however, in the Vulgate's prologues describes some portions of books in the Septuagint not found in the Hebrew Bible as being non-canonical (he called them apocrypha ); [26] for Baruch , he mentions by name in his Prologue to Jeremiah and notes that it is neither read nor held among the Hebrews, but does not explicitly call it apocryphal or "not in the canon". [27] The Synod of Hippo (in 393), followed by the Council of Carthage (397) and the Council of Carthage (419), may be the first council that explicitly accepted the first canon which includes the books that did not appear in the Hebrew Bible; [28] the councils were under significant influence of Augustine of Hippo, who regarded the canon as already closed. [29]

      Protestant

      In the 16th century, the Protestant reformers sided with Jerome; yet although most Protestant Bibles now have only those books that appear in the Hebrew Bible, they have them in the order of the Greek Bible. [30]

      Rome then officially adopted a canon, the Canon of Trent, which is seen as following Augustine's Carthaginian Councils [31] or the Council of Rome, [32] [33] and includes most, but not all, of the Septuagint (3 Ezra and 3 and 4 Maccabees are excluded); [34] the Anglicans after the English Civil War adopted a compromise position, restoring the 39 Articles and keeping the extra books that were excluded by the Westminster Confession of Faith, but only for private study and for reading in churches, while Lutherans kept them for private study, gathered in an appendix as Biblical Apocrypha. [30]

      Other versions

      While the Hebrew, Greek and Latin versions of the Hebrew Bible are the best known Old Testaments, there were others. At much the same time as the Septuagint was being produced, translations were being made into Aramaic, the language of Jews living in Palestine and the Near East and likely the language of Jesus: these are called the Aramaic Targums, from a word meaning "translation", and were used to help Jewish congregations understand their scriptures. [35]

      For Aramaic Christians there was a Syriac translation of the Hebrew Bible called the Peshitta, as well as versions in Coptic (the everyday language of Egypt in the first Christian centuries, descended from ancient Egyptian), Ethiopic (for use in the Ethiopian church, one of the oldest Christian churches), Armenian (Armenia was the first to adopt Christianity as its official religion), and Arabic. [35]

      Christian theology

      Christianity is based on the belief that the historical Jesus is also the Christ, as in the Confession of Peter. This belief is in turn based on Jewish understandings of the meaning of the Hebrew term messiah, which, like the Greek "Christ", means "anointed". In the Hebrew Scriptures it describes a king anointed with oil on his accession to the throne: he becomes "The LORD's anointed" or Yahweh's Anointed. By the time of Jesus, some Jews expected that a flesh and blood descendant of David (the "Son of David") would come to establish a real Jewish kingdom in Jerusalem, instead of the Roman province. [36]

      Others stressed the Son of Man, a distinctly other-worldly figure who would appear as a judge at the end of time; and some harmonised the two by expecting a this-worldly messianic kingdom which would last for a set period and be followed by the other-worldly age or World to Come. Some thought the Messiah was already present, but unrecognised due to Israel's sins; some thought that the Messiah would be announced by a fore-runner, probably Elijah (as promised by the prophet Malachi, whose book now ends the Old Testament and precedes Mark's account of John the Baptist). None predicted a Messiah who suffers and dies for the sins of all the people. [36] The story of Jesus' death therefore involved a profound shift in meaning from the tradition of the Old Testament. [37]

      The name "Old Testament" reflects Christianity's understanding of itself as the fulfillment of Jeremiah's prophecy of a New Covenant (which is similar to "testament" and often conflated) to replace the existing covenant between God and Israel (Jeremiah 31:31). [1] The emphasis, however, has shifted from Judaism's understanding of the covenant as a racially or tribally-based contract between God and Jews to one between God and any person of faith who is "in Christ". [38]

      See also

      Notes

      1. Generally due to derivation from transliterations of names used in the Latin Vulgate in the case of Catholicism, and from transliterations of the Greek Septuagint in the case of the Orthodox (as opposed to derivation of translations, instead of transliterations, of Hebrew titles) such Ecclesiasticus (DRC) instead of Sirach (LXX) or Ben Sira (Hebrew), Paralipomenon (Greek, meaning "things omitted") instead of Chronicles, Sophonias instead of Zephaniah, Noe instead of Noah, Henoch instead of Enoch, Messias instead of Messiah, Sion instead of Zion, etc.
      2. The foundational Thirty-Nine Articles of Anglicanism, in Article VI, asserts these disputed books are not used "to establish any doctrine", but "read for example of life." Although the Biblical apocrypha are still used in Anglican Liturgy, [6] the modern trend is to not even print the Old Testament apocrypha in editions of Anglican-used Bibles.
      3. The 24 books of the Hebrew Bible are the same as the 39 books of the Protestant Old Testament, only divided and ordered differently: the books of the Minor Prophets are in Christian Bibles twelve different books, and in Hebrew Bibles, one book called "The Twelve". Likewise, Christian Bibles divide the Books of Kingdoms into four books, either 1–2 Samuel and 1–2 Kings or 1–4 Kings: Jewish Bibles divide these into two books. The Jews likewise keep 1–2 Chronicles/Paralipomenon as one book. Ezra and Nehemiah are likewise combined in the Jewish Bible, as they are in many Orthodox Bibles, instead of divided into two books, as per the Catholic and Protestant tradition.
      4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 This book is part of the Ketuvim , the third section of the Jewish canon. They have a different order in Jewish canon than in Christian canon.
      5. 1 2 3 4 The books of Samuel and Kings are often called First through Fourth Kings in the Catholic tradition, much like the Orthodox.
      6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Names in parentheses are the Septuagint names and are often used by the Orthodox Christians.
      7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 One of 11 deuterocanonical books in the Russian Synodal Bible.
      8. 2 Esdras in the Russian Synodal Bible.
      9. 1 2 Some Eastern Orthodox churches follow the Septuagint and Hebrew Bibles by considering the books of Ezra and Nehemiah as one book.
      10. 1 Esdras in the Russian Synodal Bible.
      11. 1 2 The Catholic and Orthodox Book of Esther includes 103 verses not in the Protestant Book of Esther.
      12. 1 2 The Latin Vulgate, Douay-Rheims, and Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition place First and Second Maccabees after Malachi; other Catholic translations place them after Esther.
      13. In Greek Bibles, 4 Maccabees is found in the appendix.
      14. Eastern Orthodox churches include Psalm 151 and the Prayer of Manasseh, not present in all canons.
      15. Part of 2 Paralipomenon in the Russian Synodal Bible.
      16. 1 2 In Catholic Bibles, Baruch includes a sixth chapter called the Letter of Jeremiah. Baruch is not in the Protestant Bible or the Tanakh.
      17. Eastern Orthodox Bibles have the books of Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah separate.
      18. Hebrew (minority view); see Letter of Jeremiah for details.
      19. 1 2 In Catholic and Orthodox Bibles, Daniel includes three sections not included in Protestant Bibles. The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children are included between Daniel 3:23–24. Susanna is included as Daniel 13. Bel and the Dragon is included as Daniel 14. These are not in the Protestant Old Testament.

      Related Research Articles

      Apocrypha Works of unknown authorship or of doubtful origin

      Apocrypha are works, usually written, of unknown authorship or of doubtful origin. Biblical apocrypha are a set of texts included in the Latin Vulgate and Septuagint but not in the Hebrew Bible. While Catholic tradition considers some of these texts to be deuterocanonical, Protestants consider them apocryphal. Thus, Protestant bibles do not include the books within the Old Testament but have sometimes included them in a separate section, usually called the Apocrypha. Other non-canonical apocryphal texts are generally called pseudepigrapha, a term that means "false attribution".

      Bible Collection of religious texts in Judaism and Christianity

      The Bible is a collection of sacred texts or scriptures. Varying parts of the Bible are considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans by Christians, Jews, Samaritans, and Rastafarians.

      Septuagint Greek translation of Hebrew scriptures

      The Septuagint is the earliest extant Koine Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures. It is estimated that the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, known as the Torah or Pentateuch, were translated in the mid-3rd century BCE and the remaining texts were translated in the 2nd century BCE. The Septuagint was the Koine Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament and was in wide use by the time of Jesus and Paul of Tarsus because most Jews could no longer read Hebrew. For this reason it is quoted more often than the Hebrew Old Testament in the New Testament, particularly in the Pauline epistles, by the Apostolic Fathers, and later by the Greek Church Fathers.

      This article distinguishes the various terms used to describe Jewish and Christian scripture. Several terms refer to the same material, although sometimes rearranged.

      2 Maccabees Deuterocanonical book which focuses on the Maccabean Revolt

      2 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book which focuses on the Maccabean Revolt against Antiochus IV Epiphanes and concludes with the defeat of the Seleucid empire general Nicanor in 161 BC by Judas Maccabeus, the hero of the hard work.

      New Revised Standard Version Modern English translation of the Bible

      The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) is an English translation of the Bible published in 1989 by the National Council of Churches. It is a revision of the Revised Standard Version, which was itself an update of the American Standard Version. The NRSV was intended as a translation to serve devotional, liturgical and scholarly needs of the broadest possible range of religious adherents. The full translation includes the books of the standard Protestant canon as well as the Deuterocanonical books traditionally included in the canons of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

      The intertestamental period is the Protestant term and deuterocanonical period is the Catholic and Orthodox Christian term for the gap of time between the period covered by the Hebrew Bible and the period covered by the Christian New Testament. Traditionally, it is considered to cover roughly four hundred years, spanning the ministry of Malachi to the appearance of John the Baptist in the early 1st century AD, almost the same period as the Second Temple period.

      Internal consistency of the Bible

      The internal consistency of the Bible concerns the coherence and textual integrity of the Bible. Disputes regarding biblical consistency have a long history.

      Additions to Daniel three chapters of the Book of Daniel, found in the Septuagint but not in the Hebrew and Aramaic; regarded as canonical in several Christian traditions, incl. Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, but not in Judaism or most forms of Protestantism

      The Additions to Daniel comprise three chapters not found in the Hebrew/Aramaic text of Daniel. The text of these chapters is found in the Koine Greek Septuagint, the earliest Old Greek translation.

      Mosaic authorship tradition that Moses was the author of the Torah; denied by the majority of scholars

      Mosaic authorship is the Jewish, Christian and Muslim tradition that Moses was the author of the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. The books do not name any author, as authorship was not considered important by the society that produced them, and it was only after Jews came into intense contact with author-centric Hellenistic culture in the late Second Temple period that the rabbis began to find authors for their scriptures. The tradition that Moses was this author probably began with the law-code of Deuteronomy, and was then gradually extended until Moses, as the central character, came to be regarded not just as the mediator of law but as author of both laws and narrative.

      Development of the Christian biblical canon

      The Christian biblical canons are the books Christians regard as divinely inspired and which constitute a Christian Bible. Which books constituted the Christian biblical canons of both the Old and New Testament was generally established by the 5th century, despite some scholarly disagreements, for the ancient undivided Church.

      Development of the Old Testament canon

      The Old Testament is the first section of the two-part Christian biblical canon; the second section is the New Testament. The Old Testament includes the books of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) or protocanon, and in various Christian denominations also includes deuterocanonical books. Orthodox Christians, Catholics and Protestants use different canons, which differ with respect to the texts that are included in the Old Testament.

      Catholic Bible Bible authorized for Catholic use

      A Catholic Bible includes the whole 73-book canon recognized by the Catholic Church, including the deuterocanonical books.

      Christian biblical canons The set of books that a particular Christian denomination or denominational family regards as being divinely inspired and thus constituting an authorised Christian Bible

      A Christian biblical canon is the set of books that a particular Christian denomination or denominational family regards as being divinely inspired and thus constituting an authorised Christian Bible. Such bibles are always divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Early Church primarily used the Greek Septuagint as its source for the Old Testament. Among Aramaic speakers, the Targum was also widely used. The apostles did not leave a defined set of scriptures; instead the canon of both the Old Testament and the New Testament developed over time.

      Biblical canon A set of texts which a particular religious community regards as authoritative scripture

      A biblical canon or canon of scripture is a set of texts which a particular religious community regards as authoritative scripture. The English word "canon" comes from the Greek κανών, meaning "rule" or "measuring stick". Christians became the first to use the term in reference to scripture, but Eugene Ulrich regards the idea as Jewish.

      While the Old Testament portion of the Bible was written in Hebrew, the New Testament was originally written in Koine Greek. The Greek language however, has several different dialects or denominations. This required several different translations done by several different individuals and groups of people. These translations can be categorized into translations done before and after 1500 A.D.

      References

      1. 1 2 Jones 2001, p. 215.
      2. Preface to the New Revised Standard Version Anglicised Edition
      3. Barton 2001, p. 3.
      4. 1 2 Lim, Timothy H. (2005). The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 41.
      5. Boadt 1984, pp. 11, 15–16.
      6. The Apocrypha, Bridge of the Testaments (PDF), Orthodox Anglican, archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-05, Two of the hymns used in the American Prayer Book office of Morning Prayer, the Benedictus es and Benedicite, are taken from the Apocrypha. One of the offertory sentences in Holy Communion comes from an apocryphal book (Tob. 4: 8–9). Lessons from the Apocrypha are regularly appointed to be read in the daily, Sunday, and special services of Morning and Evening Prayer. There are altogether 111 such lessons in the latest revised American Prayer Book Lectionary [Books used are: II Esdras, Tobit, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Three Holy Children, and I Maccabees.]Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
      7. "Baruch", Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911
      8. Blenkinsopp 1998, p. 184.
      9. Rogerson 2003, pp. 153–54.
      10. Coggins 2003, p. 282.
      11. Grabbe 2003, pp. 213–14.
      12. Miller 1987, pp. 10–11.
      13. Crenshaw 2010, p. 5.
      14. 1 2 Barton 2001, p. 9.
      15. 1 2 Barton 2001, p. 10.
      16. Brettler 2005, p. 274.
      17. Gentry 2008, p. 302.
      18. Würthwein 1995.
      19. Jones 2001, p. 216.
      20. Cave, William. A complete history of the lives, acts, and martyrdoms of the holy apostles, and the two evangelists, St. Mark and Luke , Vol. II. Wiatt (Philadelphia), 1810. Retrieved 6 Feb 2013.
      21. Apol. Const. 4
      22. The Canon Debate, pp. 414–15, for the entire paragraph
      23. Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Book of Judith"  . Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company. Canonicity: "..."the Synod of Nicaea is said to have accounted it as Sacred Scripture" (Praef. in Lib.). It is true that no such declaration is to be found in the Canons of Nicaea, and it is uncertain whether St. Jerome is referring to the use made of the book in the discussions of the council, or whether he was misled by some spurious canons attributed to that council".
      24. Rebenich, S., Jerome (Routledge, 2013), p. 58. ISBN   9781134638444
      25. Würthwein 1995, pp. 91–99.
      26. "The Bible".Cite web requires |website= (help)
      27. Kevin P. Edgecomb, Jerome's Prologue to Jeremiah
      28. McDonald & Sanders, editors of The Canon Debate, 2002, chapter 5: The Septuagint: The Bible of Hellenistic Judaism by Albert C. Sundberg Jr., page 72, Appendix D-2, note 19.
      29. Everett Ferguson, "Factors leading to the Selection and Closure of the New Testament Canon", in The Canon Debate. eds. L. M. McDonald & J. A. Sanders (Hendrickson, 2002) p. 320; F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Intervarsity Press, 1988) p. 230; cf. Augustine, De Civitate Dei 22.8
      30. 1 2 Barton 1997, pp. 80–81.
      31. Philip Schaff, "Chapter IX. Theological Controversies, and Development of the Ecumenical Orthodoxy", History of the Christian Church, CCEL
      32. Lindberg (2006). A Brief History of Christianity. Blackwell Publishing. p. 15.
      33. F.L. Cross, E.A. Livingstone, ed. (1983), The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (2nd ed.), Oxford University Press, p. 232
      34. Soggin 1987, p. 19.
      35. 1 2 Würthwein 1995, pp. 79–90, 100–4.
      36. 1 2 Farmer 1991, pp. 570–71.
      37. Juel 2000, pp. 236–39.
      38. Herion 2000, pp. 291–92.

      Bibliography

      Further reading