The Old Testament as a divine and authoritative set of writings has been recognized and validated all through out the Jewish history. The formation of the Old Testament is nothing new either. A simple look at all the historical clues reveal that The Old Testament has been declared all along.
Some Scholars will point to the Jewish Council of Jamina around 90AD as a defining matter in Jewish Cannon. This is half true. The ruling Jewish religious body, The Sanhedrin, made up of 70 rabbis got together to discuss scriptures. They specifically discussed the divine influence of Songs of Solomon and Ecclesiastes. It is however ignorant to think that other books would not have been discussed as well. The Rabbis must have had a standard to help determine the divine source of these two writings that would also have to apply to all the other books as well.
With all the events and changes that were going on in the Jewish
community sadly, they chose to define some books by what language it was
written in. This was to combat the influence of the Christ following
sect from within the Jewish community. They did not want to
authenticate the New Testament writings so they rejected all greek
written documents. But at this point, the Church already had a
authenticated greek copy of the Old Testament.
Paul, in Romans 3:2, stated that God entrusted sacred scripture to the Jews. Even though they did not understand the spiritual matters in their writings, they were still very much concerned about perfectly recording the document for their own pride and cultural image. It is this sin that God used to guard the reliable transmission of his word.
When Jesus would quote scripture, he would say “It is written…” and
what he quoted was found in both the Septuagint and the Masoritic
texts. By this time Luke 24:44 records the writings divined up into three groups, The Law of Moses, The prophets, and Psalms. Josephus around 40 AD also validated this.
In the Prologue to Ecclesiasticus a noncanonical book refers to a
threefold division of the recognized books (namely, the Law, the Prophets, and hymns
and precepts for human conduct) was known by the writer’s
grandfather which would be around 200 B.C
(1) The Law or The Pentateuch (5 books)—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
- The Former Prophets (originally 4 books, then 6)—Joshua, Judges, Samuel (1 & 2), Kings (1 & 2)
- The Latter Prophets (originally 4 books, then 15)
Major: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel (3 books)
Minor: The 12 (originally 1 book, then 12)
- Poetical (3 books) —Psalms, Proverbs, Job
- The Rolls (5 books) —Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther
- Historical (originally 3 books, then 5) —Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah (2), Chronicles (1 & 2)
70 Rabbis traveled to Alexanderia to authorize greek copies of old testament scriptures (The Septuagint). This authorized greek copy even sat in the temple next to the Hebrew scrolls during the time of Jesus. The greek copy was made by Jewish scribes and completed around 275 BC under no bias in an attempt to reach Jews that did not know Hebrew. It was kept in The Library of Alexandria and the Temple according to the Talmud
1400 – 400 BC
Joshua recognized the writings of Moses as coming from God and having the authority of God. (Ex. 17:14; 34:27; cf. Josh. 8:31; 23:6). The office of Prophet was also established (cf. Deut. 18:15-19; Jer. 26:8-15) that was given the authority of God because God spoke through them. And then they recorded what God revealed to them (cf. Josh. 24:26; 1 Sam. 10:25; Isa. 8:1; Ezek. 43:11).
All throughout Jewish history, specific writings were understood to be divine and authoritative. (Joshua 1:7-8; 23:6; 1 Kings 2:3; 2 Kings 14:6; 21:8; 23:25; Ezra 6:18; Nehemiah 13:1; Daniel 9:11; Malachi 4:4.).
History, Archeology, quotations, and manuscripts all overwhelmingly show the reliability of the Old Testament. The next question is where does the New Testament come in?
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