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The Old Testament thread
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Truth Teller Offline
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The Old Testament Thread
I've been inspired to start this thread by Roosh's reading of the OT. Anyway, I'm hoping to create a decent bedrock for anyone interested in the OT.

What is the Old Testament?

The Old Testament is a compilation of books held to be inspired Scripture by both Judaism and Christianity. Christianity also avows the New Testament, but Judaism clearly does not. The Old Testament tells the story of the Israelites from the creation in Genesis 1 to the prophecies of the Messiah, and ends with an eschatological book (Malachi).

Who wrote the Old Testament?

This is not the easiest question to answer, but most scholars today believe in something called the Documentary Hypothesis. This is a hypothesis proposed by Julius Wellenhausen in the 19th century, which suggests four separate authors, often called J, E, P, and D. These stand for the Jahwist (Yahwist), Elohist, Priestly, and Deuteronomical sources. Today, scholars will often collapse J and E into a split J/E source. The J source largely concerns itself with a more anthropomorphic God, and is therefore believed to be the earliest. It will use the name Yahweh (YHWH) for God. The E source, which scholars believe is from the north (the Kingdom of Israel/Samaria) is possibly as old. It's often identified through an emphasis on the Priests of Shiloh as well as use of the word "Elohim" as the name of God.

The P source can be identified through its orderly nature. Largely, if you see lists, numbers, or commandments, the P source is responsible. This is not always the case, though it is often so. The P source can also be identified through its inherent assumption of monotheism. There are reasons for this beyond the scope of an introduction, but if people want to learn about them, I'd be happy to discuss them. Finally, the D source comprises Deuteronomy. It explains the commandments over again, and concludes with Moses' death. It also may include the book of Joshua. There are also elements of it in Kings.

The above is the authorship of the Pentateuch, the Five Books of Moses. The rest of the Old Testament is written by a combination of scribes and prophets. There are some authorship questions for some of the books, and again, those can be discussed later.

When does the Old Testament date from?

According to most scholars, probably between 1200 BC and 600 BC. Some will argue for Daniel being as late as the 200s, and there may be some evidence of that. Daniel is certainly among the latest books in the OT. In terms of the four sources mentioned above, they date as follows:

J: 1000-800 (?)
E: 800-700s (?)
P: 600-500 BC (?)
D: 700-500 BC (?)

The dates are tough to pin down, and the D source may itself be a compilation over two centuries.

What is the historical value of the Old Testament?

It's tough to tell, and there's still a rather heated debate going on between maximalists (those who believe the OT more trustworthy and historically accurate) and minimalists, those who believe it to be untrustworthy and far too late. Over the last 20 or so years, archeologists have made a variety of discoveries that have called the minimalist hypotheses into question. For example, the minimalists claimed that David did not exist as a historical figure. A discovery at Tel Dan of a stele mentioning "The House of David" changed this line of thinking.

The majority of scholars, however, still fall somewhere between the two camps. The field seems to be somewhat center-right at this time.

What does this mean for historical endeavor?

It certainly shows that the ancient Israelites were henotheists, or believers that, while other gods existed, YHWH was the most powerful. It also explains a lot of the apparent OT contradictions. Furthermore, it shows a great consonance between the Canaanite (and other early Iron Age cultures' religions) and early Judaism. It also shows that they likely worshiped other gods prior to the Exilic period.

"For you yourselves are aware that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night" (1 Thess. 5:2)
06-22-2015 05:16 PM
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Messages In This Thread
The Old Testament thread - Roosh - 05-20-2015, 10:46 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - kbell - 05-20-2015, 11:13 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - MMM - 05-20-2015, 12:26 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - seneca - 05-20-2015, 12:47 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - h3ltrsk3ltr - 05-20-2015, 12:56 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - h3ltrsk3ltr - 05-20-2015, 06:06 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - N°6 - 05-20-2015, 02:46 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Atlantic - 05-20-2015, 03:31 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - alexdagr81 - 05-20-2015, 05:45 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - lskdfjldsf - 05-20-2015, 07:13 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - memcpy - 05-20-2015, 11:06 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - RawGod - 05-21-2015, 06:50 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - SunW - 05-21-2015, 10:31 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Socrates - 05-21-2015, 01:22 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - heavy - 05-21-2015, 02:15 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - SunW - 05-21-2015, 02:36 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Teedub - 05-21-2015, 04:05 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Dr. Howard - 05-21-2015, 04:30 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Roosh - 05-21-2015, 04:31 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - RockHard - 05-22-2015, 07:29 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - memcpy - 05-22-2015, 10:04 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Atlantic - 05-22-2015, 10:23 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - memcpy - 05-22-2015, 11:44 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Samseau - 05-23-2015, 01:02 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Samseau - 05-23-2015, 01:04 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Sooth - 05-22-2015, 10:43 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - h3ltrsk3ltr - 05-23-2015, 11:26 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - N°6 - 05-24-2015, 05:02 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Roosh - 05-24-2015, 12:05 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - ricroc - 05-24-2015, 01:28 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Mage - 05-25-2015, 05:52 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - raliv - 05-26-2015, 11:03 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - SunW - 05-26-2015, 03:17 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - didaskalos - 06-05-2015, 07:21 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - N°6 - 06-22-2015, 11:42 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - kbell - 06-26-2015, 07:45 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Ambicatus - 06-28-2015, 03:17 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Roosh - 07-03-2015, 06:07 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Samseau - 07-03-2015, 06:21 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - SunW - 07-04-2015, 08:47 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Socrates - 07-06-2015, 04:55 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - scorpion - 04-22-2016, 08:19 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Roosh - 07-03-2015, 07:03 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - N°6 - 07-04-2015, 01:08 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - SunW - 07-04-2015, 08:23 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - N°6 - 07-04-2015, 09:11 AM
The Old Testament thread - SunW - 07-04-2015, 04:31 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Samseau - 07-04-2015, 10:54 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Lumbre - 07-03-2015, 07:49 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - johhny - 07-04-2015, 10:44 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Samseau - 07-04-2015, 11:48 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Sherman - 07-03-2015, 10:42 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - N°6 - 07-04-2015, 01:26 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Ambicatus - 07-04-2015, 04:26 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Lumbre - 07-04-2015, 05:57 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Ambicatus - 07-04-2015, 06:45 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Lumbre - 07-04-2015, 08:18 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Lumbre - 07-04-2015, 08:42 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - SunW - 07-04-2015, 08:57 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Lumbre - 07-04-2015, 11:48 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Lumbre - 07-04-2015, 12:07 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Lumbre - 07-04-2015, 12:22 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Samseau - 07-04-2015, 01:21 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Lumbre - 07-04-2015, 03:30 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Lumbre - 07-05-2015, 05:58 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Samseau - 07-05-2015, 07:05 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Phoenix - 07-05-2015, 07:12 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Samseau - 07-05-2015, 08:39 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - johhny - 07-05-2015, 09:24 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - johhny - 07-05-2015, 08:31 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - johhny - 07-05-2015, 08:55 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - scorpion - 07-06-2015, 03:43 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Paracelsus - 07-14-2015, 02:31 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Roosh - 07-14-2015, 01:18 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - JDog212 - 04-23-2016, 01:06 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - SirTimothy - 04-23-2016, 01:51 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - N°6 - 08-12-2019, 01:14 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Wutang - 10-29-2015, 10:26 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Wutang - 10-30-2015, 01:27 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Ambicatus - 11-09-2015, 01:24 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Wutang - 11-09-2015, 05:47 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Roosh - 04-19-2016, 04:31 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - debeguiled - 04-19-2016, 04:59 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Clockwerk - 04-19-2016, 10:32 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Helaman - 04-20-2016, 10:06 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Samseau - 04-20-2016, 04:57 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - syrianguy - 04-22-2016, 02:08 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - TheMost - 04-23-2016, 08:43 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Kid Twist - 05-02-2016, 02:07 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - da_zeb - 05-11-2016, 05:11 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Kid Twist - 05-03-2016, 12:54 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Orion - 05-08-2016, 06:57 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - scrambled - 05-09-2016, 02:42 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - da_zeb - 05-11-2016, 06:47 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Kid Twist - 05-03-2016, 01:00 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Kid Twist - 05-09-2016, 09:24 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Kid Twist - 05-11-2016, 08:47 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - dnx - 08-06-2016, 04:35 PM
RE: The Old Testament thread - Garuda - 07-09-2019, 12:50 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - HB2 - 07-12-2019, 06:17 AM
RE: The Old Testament thread - N°6 - 08-12-2019, 01:01 AM
The Old Testament Thread - Truth Teller - 06-22-2015 05:16 PM

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