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Lecture 1: Introduction to the Study of the Old Testament


2.1 Division of the Bible into eras in which God dealt differently with his ... Journal of Bible and Religion 32 (1964), 132) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Lecture 1: Introduction to the Study of the Old Testament

Lecture 1 Introduction to the Study of the Old
  • APTS-BIB509

What do we mean by Introduction?
  • Einführung Survey of the biblical material.
  • Einleitung Introduction as a technical word in
    Biblical Studies. Here, such issues as
    authorship, history of research, critical /
    analytical theories, structural analysis are
    dealt with.

  • The Greek term Eivsagwgh, was first used by a
    monk named Adrianus (ca. 440 AD) and the German
    technical term Einleitung was use by J. D.
    Michaelis (1750).
  • Introductions have been used by the Christian
    and Jewish communities for early days.
  • Eissfeldt, The Old Testament An Introduction,

Important Introductions
  • R. K Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament,
  • O. Eissfeldt, The Old Testament An Introduction,
  • S. R. Driver, An Introduction to the Literature
    of the Old Testament, 1891, 1913.
  • B. S. Childs, Introduction to the Old Testament
    as Scripture, 1979.

Why Study the O.T. Anyway?
  • 1. Is the Canonicity and/or Authority of the OT
    negated by the existence of the NT?
  • Rom 10.4 Gal 3.10-4.7
  • 2 Tim 3.15-7 Matt 5.17

Why Study the O.T. Anyway?
  • 2. The Problem with Dispensationalism
  • 2.1 Division of the Bible into eras in which God
    dealt differently with his people (5 in OT 2 in
  • 2.2 A 3 Fold Interpretative Keys
  • 2.2.1 The distinction between Israel and the
  • 2.2.2 The usage of a system of literal
  • 2.2.3 The belief that the underlying purpose of
    God in the world is to produce His glory.
  • Feinberg, J. S. "Salvation in the Old
    Testament," in Tradition Testament, 44-45

Why Study the O.T. Anyway?
  • 3. Problems with the Historical Critical
  • 3.1 The method has a distancing effect.
  • 3.2 Positivistic view of history.
  • 3.3 Tends to oversimplify the difference between
    now and the ancient periods

Why Study the O.T. Anyway?
  • 3.4 The method produces conflicting results.
  • 3.5 Does not always recover "original thought,"
    i.e., "Authorial Intent"!
  • 3.6 Tends to be atomistic disintegrative.
  • 3.7 Difficult communicate
  • 3.8 Principle of Analogue is problematic
  • Nations, A. L., Historical Criticism and the
    Current Methodological Crisis, SJT 36 (1983),

Problems to Overcome in OT Study
  • 1. Seeing the OT as "Our Scripture," not just
  • 1.1 The early Church lived by the OT scriptures,
    therefore it should not seen as the "Hebrew
    Scriptures", but the "Church's Bible."
  • 1.2 It is Important to read the OT as scripture
    just as the NT.

Problems to Overcome in OT Study
  • 2. Two dangers
  • 2.1 Avoiding Christianizing the OT especially
    Christologizing the OT.
  • 2.2 Avoid the Idea of NT superceding the OT
  • 2.2.1 Marcion who thought that the OT God was an
    inferior God.
  • 2.2.2 Bultmann a modern version of Marcion
  • 2.2.3 Dispensationalism

Problems to Overcome in OT Study
  • 3. Letting the OT have a quasi-independent status
    - independence in relationship
  • 3.1 A Trinitarian faith does not have to be
  • 3.2 Two communities of faith co-exist in the
    mystery of God's Election. (Rom 9-11)
  • See Anderson, Bernhard W., Contours of Old
    Testament Theology, 3-15 for the general ideas
    presented here.

Problems to Overcome in OT Study
  • 3.3 Theological witness of the OT can supplement
    those of the NT.
  • 3.3.1 NT presupposes OT theology Theologies of
    Creation Ecology Expostulation with God
  • 3.3.2 OT Supplements the NT Calvin
    governmental institutions the larger frame of
    Theology Proper.

What is Exegesis?
  • What did the text mean?
  • 1. OT language
  • 2. Establishing the best text - Text Criticism
  • 3. Literary Criticism - type of genre, etc.
  • 4. Manner of Composition - single/composite
  • 5. Character of Text - oral tradition layers of
  • 6. Cultural Milieu - Geography Climate
    Archaeology Inst. of An. Is.
  • 7. World Thought - text of ANE
  • 8. Ancient Israelite Psychology

What is Hermeneutics?
  • What does the text mean?
  • 1. Hearing the text in the Theology of both O.T.
    and the N.T.
  • 2. History of Interpretation - Church History.
  • 3. Critical Theological view on all levels gt
    Systematic/Dogmatic Theology.
  • 4. Correction and admonition by the text.

Canon and Canonization
  • 1. Flavius Josephus (c. AD 37- c. AD 100) appears
    to be the earliest extra-biblical witness to the
    OT canon
  • 1.1 Division of Josephus 22 Books
  • Five Books of Moses Gen Exo Lev Num Deut
  • Thirteen Books of the Prophets Jos Jud-Ru 12
    Sam 12 Kgs Isa Jer-Lam Eze Twelve Dan
    Job 12 Chr Ezr-Neh Est

Canon and Canonization
  • Four Hymns and Precepts Psa Prov SOS Ecc
  • 1.2 Also the 22 count was followed by Melito,
    Origen, Eusebius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Epiphanius,
    Jerome, and Augustine.

Canon and Canonization
  • 2. Ezra and the men of the Great Synagogue
  • The most prevalent answer in some circles was
    that of a sixteenth-century Jewish teacher named
    Elias Levita (d. AD 1549) Ezra and his
    associates, the men of the Great Synagogue,
    established both the correct text, the correct
    number, and the arrangement of the books of the
    Bible. But neither Scripture itself nor history
    gives us any warrant for linking Ezra or a Great
    Synagogue to a closing of the canon.
  • Kaiser, Toward Rediscovering the Old Testament,

Canon and Canonization
  • Neither is the tradition drawn from 4 Esdras 14
    - which supposes that all the sacred books were
    burned with the temple in 586 BC, thereby
    necessitating that Ezra and his five companions
    rewrite them in forty days and forty nights- of
    much help either, for this too is completely and
    unsubstantiated by any external historical data.
  • Kaiser, Toward Rediscovering the Old Testament,

Canon and Canonization
  • 3. The Council of Jamnia (or Jabne, a town not
    far south of Joppa, close to the Mediterranean
  • "Even in the frequently alleged work of the
    Council of Jamnia in its two meetings in AD 90
    and 118 cannot be credited with declaring what is
    canonical and what is not.... This Jamnia
    hypothesis, concluded Jack P. Lewis, appears to
    be one of those things that has come to be true
    due to frequent repetition of the assertion
    rather than to its being actually supported by
    evidence (J. P. Lewis, What Do We Mean by
    Jabneh? Journal of Bible and Religion 32 (1964),
    132).... Jamnia, however, gives no evidence of
    settling or even discussing the question of the
    canon." Kaiser, 38

Canon and Canonization
  • 4. Progressive Canonization Theory
  • "Within the corpus of the writings themselves
    there is both the assertion of the writers that
    their writings have been received from and guided
    by the revelatory and inspiring work of the Holy
    Spirit and the assertion that what has been
    written was to be collected with the other books
    that had made a similar claim and were likewise
    treated as authoritative." Kaiser, 39
  • 5. NT Witness
  • 5.1 Lk 24.44 Law, Prophets and Psalms as the
    three fold division of the Baba Bathra.
  • 5.2 Matt 5.17 7.12 22.40 Acts 13.15 have the
    Law and the Prophets

Canon and Canonization
  • 5.3 Lk 24.27 has Moses and all the Prophets
  • 5.4 Matt 23.34-35
  • 6. Roger Beckwith
  • The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament
    Church. Grand Rapids Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1985.
  • Formation of the Hebrew Bible, in Mikra,
    Minneapolis Fortress Press, 1990, pp. 39-85.
  • 7. Recent Influences of Qumran Studies.

The Hebrew Canonical Order
  • Torah Pentateuch
  • Prophets
  • Former Prophets (Historical Book)
  • Later Prophets (Prophets)
  • Writings

Textual Criticism
  • MT Masoretic Text (Hebrew)
  • LXX Septuagint (Greek)
  • Qumran (Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic)
  • Samaritan Pentateuch - (Hebrew)
  • Vulgate - (Latin)
  • Aramaic Targum - (Aramaic)
  • Syriac Peshitta - (Syriac)

Dating of Manuscripts Traditions
  • Hebrew Bible
  • Dead Sea Scrolls 200BCE-100CE (the whole canon
    except for Esther)
  • Cairo Codex 827CE, Prophets
  • Leningrad Codex 916CE, Prophets
  • Aleppo Codex 930CE
  • Leningrad B19A 1008-9CE

Dating of Manuscripts Traditions
  • Septuagint (LXX)
  • Tradition 3rd Century BCE
  • Manuscripts
  • Codex Alexandrius (A) 5CE
  • Codex Sinaiticus (S or a) 4CE
  • Codex Vaticanus (B) 4CE

Dating of Manuscripts Traditions
  • Other Traditions Manuscripts
  • Samaritan Pentateuch 400 BCE
  • Aramaic Targum
  • Syriac Peshitta
  • Latin Bible
  • Old Latin - 150CE
  • Vulgate 400CE
  • Emanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew

Codex Cairensis 827CE, Moshe ben Asher
Aleppo Codex Shelomo ben Buya?a, 930CE
Aleppo Codex Shelomo ben Buya?a, 930CE
Codex 17, Firkowitsch Collection 930CE
Codex Leningrad B19A 1008-9CE
Codex Leningrad B19A 1008-9CE
Samaritan Pentateuch 1215/6
Codex Vaticanus LXX, 1209
Historical Criticism
  • 1. History of Religions
  • 2. Form Criticism
  • 3. Tradition Criticism
  • 4. Sociological Interpretation

Literary Criticism
  • 1. Source Criticism
  • 2. Redaction Criticism
  • 3. The New Literary Criticism
  • 4. Rhetorical Criticism
  • 5. Reader Response Criticism
  • 6. Structuralism
  • 7. Canonical Criticism
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