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Lynnnnn

New member
Aug 13, 2018
16
11
3
#1
Part 3 APPROACHES TO THE STUDY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

DOES THE OLD TESTAMENT RECORD RELIABLE HISTORY? How do critical methodologies explain the historical reliability of the OT? Biblical scholarship offers five answers to this question that can be charted chronologically by tracing the history of consensus positions. At times these methods have coexisted to some extent and all three are embraced across the spectrum of biblical scholarship in modern times as well.

First, during the first 17 centuries of the Christian era, the vast majority of biblical scholars accepted the inspiration and authority of the Bible. They viewed the Bible's descriptions of various events as reliable, actual history and regarded the biblical text as divinely given. Of course there were a few detractors along the way, but even they did not abandon wholesale the general reliability of the biblical tradition. Modern biblical critics regard (and generally discount) this era as a "precritical" period of biblical scholarship.

Second, the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods fostered a significant degree of skepticism toward beliefs and practices that had been the consensus for centuries.1 A growing number of scholars sought to explain God, the Bible, and science primarily through the perspective of a man-centered rationalism. The idea of the Bible being divinely revealed and authoritative became much less acceptable. By the end of the eighteenth century, Jewish and Christian scholars began to subject the OT to wholesale critical analysis. This led to a broad consensus in Europe and then America that viewed the OT as a written work that drew on various sources and demonstrated, in general, sloppy editing. The events and truths presented by the OT were considered untrustworthy and therefore not historical. Rather than granting divine revelation as the basis of Israel's function as a holy nation, these scholars viewed OT religion as the product of a long period of evolution from primitive paganism to monotheism (by the postexilic period).

Third, as scholars at the end of the nineteenth century began to discover and study literary and nonliterary artifacts from the ANE world, they began to realize that the world described by the Bible was not totally out of touch with the world depicted by the recently unearthed artifactual evidence. W. F. Albright and his protégés introduced an understanding of the OT that viewed the biblical text as generally reliable. Rather than creating fictional traditions, they suggested that the Bible preserved believable historical events and traditions. They may not have believed the Bible to be divinely inspired and authoritative, but they did conclude that it was a credible and reasonably accurate tool for reconstructing the history it described.

Fourth, the consensus of modern biblical scholarship is that the Bible is unreliable as a source for reconstructing the history of the events and characters it describes, especially when there is the absence of abundant archaeological evidence.2 Since the amount of archaeological evidence significantly increases from Israel's divided monarchy period, critics are much more willing to view the biblical narratives from that period as having greater potential historicity. However, even when understood in conjunction with compelling archaeological evidence, most scholars still do not view the OT with much credence. To them it came into existence through a long oral prehistory, during which time various "communities" changed and reshaped the message of the OT to fit the needs and challenges of their own historical setting. A more radical subcategory of this last broad perspective on the OT (known as minimalism) dates the OT to the Persian or Hellenistic periods and rejects any thought of the OT having historical credibility.

Fifth, the evangelical wing of scholarship (like the authors of this volume and scores of others) regard the Bible as God's Word, divinely revealed and inspired, presenting its readers with an inerrant and authoritative message. The Bible gives an authoritative redemptive message, and also delineates credible and reliable history. Although it does not "prove" anything in the Bible, archaeology illuminates, illustrates, supplements, and confirms the biblical record. The following section offers a few examples of recent discoveries that demonstrate that the historical context presented by the OT matches that suggested by artifactual evidence.
 

louis

Senior Member
Nov 1, 2017
1,076
83
48
#2
A lot of the views described appear in regards to a physical perspective of the Word, whereas I look at most of what is written in a more spiritual context.
 

exegete

New member
Dec 23, 2018
20
23
3
My Tiny Apartment
#4
The basic question of the excerpt is: "DOES THE OLD TESTAMENT RECORD RELIABLE HISTORY?"

The first thing to keep in mind is that the OT is not meant to be a reliable record of history. That's not what the Israelites were interested in, at least, not in the same context that a modern western culture would interpret the phrase 'record of history'. They were more concerned with recording the record of interactions between themselves and their God (as opposed to the Philistines with Dagon or Marduk with the Babylonians).

In terms of historical accuracy, to the best of my knowledge, there is little extra-biblical sources to confirm anything in the OT much before 720 BC. That does not mean that information prior to that time is incorrect or false, it's just not verified by outside sources.

When viewing the books of the OT as a whole, we see a common thread of God yearning to enter into a covenant relationship with His creation - all of it, not just the Israelites - and the plan that comes to fruition in the NT with the person of Jesus Christ.
 

Macabeus

Well-known member
Dec 27, 2018
2,535
705
113
#5
Part 3 APPROACHES TO THE STUDY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

DOES THE OLD TESTAMENT RECORD RELIABLE HISTORY? How do critical methodologies explain the historical reliability of the OT? Biblical scholarship offers five answers to this question that can be charted chronologically by tracing the history of consensus positions. At times these methods have coexisted to some extent and all three are embraced across the spectrum of biblical scholarship in modern times as well.

First, during the first 17 centuries of the Christian era, the vast majority of biblical scholars accepted the inspiration and authority of the Bible. They viewed the Bible's descriptions of various events as reliable, actual history and regarded the biblical text as divinely given. Of course there were a few detractors along the way, but even they did not abandon wholesale the general reliability of the biblical tradition. Modern biblical critics regard (and generally discount) this era as a "precritical" period of biblical scholarship.

Second, the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods fostered a significant degree of skepticism toward beliefs and practices that had been the consensus for centuries.1 A growing number of scholars sought to explain God, the Bible, and science primarily through the perspective of a man-centered rationalism. The idea of the Bible being divinely revealed and authoritative became much less acceptable. By the end of the eighteenth century, Jewish and Christian scholars began to subject the OT to wholesale critical analysis. This led to a broad consensus in Europe and then America that viewed the OT as a written work that drew on various sources and demonstrated, in general, sloppy editing. The events and truths presented by the OT were considered untrustworthy and therefore not historical. Rather than granting divine revelation as the basis of Israel's function as a holy nation, these scholars viewed OT rsligion as the product of a long period of evolution from primitive paganism to monotheism (by the postexilic period).

Third, as scholars at the end of the nineteenth century began to discover and study literary and nonliterary artifacts from the ANE world, they began to realize that the world described by the Bible was not totally out of touch with the world depicted by the recently unearthed artifactual evidence. W. F. Albright and his protégés introduced an understanding of the OT that viewed the biblical text as generally reliable. Rather than creating fictional traditions, they suggested that the Bible preserved believable historical events and traditions. They may not have believed the Bible to be divinely inspired and authoritative, but they did conclude that it was a credible and reasonably accurate tool for reconstructing the history it described.

Fourth, the consensus of modern biblical scholarship is that the Bible is unreliable as a source for reconstructing the history of the events and characters it describes, especially when there is the absence of abundant archaeological evidence.2 Since the amount of archaeological evidence significantly increases from Israel's divided monarchy period, critics are much more willing to view the biblical narratives from that period as having greater potential historicity. However, even when understood in conjunction with compelling archaeological evidence, most scholars still do not view the OT with much credence. To them it came into existence through a long oral prehistory, during which time various "communities" changed and reshaped the message of the OT to fit the needs and challenges of their own historical setting. A more radical subcategory of this last broad perspective on the OT (known as minimalism) dates the OT to the Persian or Hellenistic periods and rejects any thought of the OT having historical credibility.

Fifth, the evangelical wing of scholarship (like the authors of this volume and scores of others) regard the Bible as God's Word, divinely revealed and inspired, presenting its readers with an inerrant and authoritative message. The Bible gives an authoritative redemptive message, and also delineates credible and reliable history. Although it does not "prove" anything in the Bible, archaeology illuminates, illustrates, supplements, and confirms the biblical record. The following section offers a few examples of recent discoveries that demonstrate that the historical context presented by the OT matches that suggested by artifactual evidence.
As far as archeological evidence. there is much archeological evidence to support the Bible. For example, not long ago, scholars thought that the Hittite empire was a myth, because it was only mentioned in the Bible. That was until archeological evidence for the Hittites was discovered not long ago.

quote- How did the discovery of the lost Hittite civilization provide evidence in support of the biblical record? The Old Testament mentions the ancient Hittite civilization more than 50 times, either by their Hebrew name "Chitti" or by their designation as the sons and daughters Heth. However, prior to their rediscovery in the 19th century, there appeared to be no evidence for their existence outside of the Bible. Skeptics cited the missing evidence as evidence that the Bible actually fabricated their existence. This called the reliability of the biblical account into question. Basically the skeptics said, "We can't find any evidence for the Hittite civilization outside of the Bible. This demonstrates that the Bible cannot be trusted as an historical source."

Then, in the 19th and 20th centuries archaeologists hit the jackpot, not only identifying extrabiblical references to the Hittite civilization, but by actually finding and excavating the ancient Hittite capital city of Hattusa (

https://www.allaboutarchaeology.org/hittite-faq.htm

They also doubted the existence of David, until the Tel Dan stele was discovered in the 90s.

https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org...rical-evidence-of-the-king-david-bible-story/

Skeptics laughed at Daniel's mention of Belshazar as a soveriegn in the book of Daniel, until historical evidence revealed that Belshaazar was indeed a coregent of Babylon at precisely the time Daniel said he was.

http://1peter315.blogspot.com/2011/06/bibles-critics-were-wrong-again-daniel.html

There is still many things yet undiscovered, as evidenced by the fact that they are still finding stuff that validates the Bible. There are many parts of the ANE that are still being/or not yet fully explored.
 

pottersclay

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2015
3,500
512
113
#6
God has made his footsteps through history to be seen. Psalms tells us the word of God is proven.
Many get confused as some believe we have faith in a unseen God. That's not so.
God has left his footsteps from the garden to the presence state of Israel.
 

crossnote

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2012
27,463
1,763
113
#7
'Scholars' 'Fowlers', all one has to do is insert the phrase 'the scholars say' and peoples eyes glaze over with a mesmerizing glaze of silly putty.

Jesus on a number of occasions cited historical events as true, as well did His disciples under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Who should we believe, the One who was there since the beginning or some pot bellied armchair skeptic philosophizing thousands of years after the events?
 

dcontroversal

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2013
39,561
11,731
113
#8
Yes, it does...........and as a matter of fact also records 100% accurate prophecy ....for example.....Alexander the Great was so impressed with Daniel's predictions concerning the He Goat from the West conquering at speed that he spared Jerusalem and gave them numerous years without taxation........

It is interesting to note that archeology and geology both support the biblical narrative and many truths found in the bible have been coming to light from an archeological standpoint just in the last century.....
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
2,574
999
113
#9
HIstory is His Story. THe Bible is all about God, so I would say its even more reliable than any other history spanning the same time period which we can only piece together through oral traditions and many retellings. GOd preserves His word in scripture that cannot be broken. What other manuscripts have that claim, where even a word copied out of place renders the whole scripture unusable.

What other nations history do people around the world all read in translation? The history of GOds people, Israel...what other nation on earth has a Bible a whole library of 66 books all about them and their King who is the saviour of the world?

My own country nz, was inhabited only in the last 200 or so years. There is no one book that records a history of this nation that everyone reads as a definitive history. The Bible...it goes back to the very first day of creation! It tells about when the lands were divided, the very first people, gives details about their names...and all this is recorded by Moses who God entrusted as his oracle. Mt sinai is still there today, theres evidence of egyptian chariots smashed to pieces at the bottom of the red sea. The landmarks, the memorials, the people still carry on, everywhere you look in the land of canaaan bears a record. Even the flood waters of the Great flood still lap the shores of every landmass on earth this day.

And what other book also gives us the expected end of history? Of things still to come to pass? What other book bears eyewitness testimony to Jesus, a compliation of four different viewpoints from the 500+ witnesses to His majesty at his resurrection.

I dont know of any other history book that can compare with the Bible. Its the greatest story ever told.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
8,326
2,279
113
#10
Fifth, the evangelical wing of scholarship (like the authors of this volume and scores of others) regard the Bible as God's Word, divinely revealed and inspired, presenting its readers with an inerrant and authoritative message. The Bible gives an authoritative redemptive message, and also delineates credible and reliable history. Although it does not "prove" anything in the Bible, archaeology illuminates, illustrates, supplements, and confirms the biblical record. The following section offers a few examples of recent discoveries that demonstrate that the historical context presented by the OT matches that suggested by artifactual evidence.
This is the only position to take if anyone believes that the Bible is the Word of God.

As to so-called *modern biblical scholarship* it is plainly an attack on the Bible. What Christians need to also understand is that while the Higher Critics decided that the Bible consisted of myths, legends and fables, the Lower Critics (textual scholars) promoted the hoax that the traditional Bible manuscripts were corrupt, and therefore the Hebrew and Greek texts needed to be seriously revised (with thousands of changes). This led to the *new and improved* (read corrupt) modern Bible versions starting in 1881. This was a two-pronged attack by Satan, and the majority of Christians have been deceived.
 

Macabeus

Well-known member
Dec 27, 2018
2,535
705
113
#11
God has made his footsteps through history to be seen. Psalms tells us the word of God is proven.
Many get confused as some believe we have faith in a unseen God. That's not so.
God has left his footsteps from the garden to the presence state of Israel.
AMEN!
 

Macabeus

Well-known member
Dec 27, 2018
2,535
705
113
#12
'Scholars' 'Fowlers', all one has to do is insert the phrase 'the scholars say' and peoples eyes glaze over with a mesmerizing glaze of silly putty.

Jesus on a number of occasions cited historical events as true, as well did His disciples under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Who should we believe, the One who was there since the beginning or some pot bellied armchair skeptic philosophizing thousands of years after the events?
True. Many of these so called scholars are not even Christians. (if you don't believe in the resurrection of Jesus, you are not a Christian), so they do not know how to understand and interpret the Word, being devoid of the Spirit. There is a thing called the scarlet thread of redemption and there is a remarkable internal unity that shows that the 66 books, though written by many authors over many centuries, are the product of ONE MIND, but unsaved people cannot see these things because these things are spiritually discerned.
 
Mar 14, 2011
60,778
7,820
113
#13
I think literal interpretation of all scripture is essential, if we start to take literal events, such as the flood, Israel, abraham, crossing the red sea and all that happened in the wilderness, and everything else as spiritual truths not physical, we take away from gods word and his ability to use those things to point to him and his word.