It has often been said that the Old Testament foretells the New, and the New Testament fulfills the Old. In this lesson, we will discuss the books and meaning of the Old Testament.Preview This Lesson
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The recorded history of humanity dates back at least five to six thousand years before the birth of Christ. Old Testament history, some of which is told in the Lectionary readings from Genesis (above) is indeed tragic. God ordains a special people as His own, but over and over, this people rejects the One True God and returns to idolatry. And time and again, God forgives them as they swear to return to His law.
The complex history of the Hebrew people is contained quite in detail in the Old Testament. To know this history is to understand the tenacity of this chosen folk in keeping and rerecording, word for word, the texts dating back to Moses. At the peak of its glory, the unified Hebrew nation, under Kings David and his son Solomon, was a spectacle to behold.
But does the Genesis story or does any other Old Testament book, chapter or verse hold up to modern historical criticism? For millennia, learned men have tried both to verify and to discredit the credibility these stories.
During the first half of the twentieth century, the earliest discovered intact fragments of the Old Testament dated back only a thousand years — to about 900 AD. Because of the lack of physical evidence, scientists and theologians alike believed that much of the Old Testament was myth. Some doubted the existence of various tribes mentioned, and still others maintained that Moses could not have written the Pentateuch because neither reading nor writing yet existed during the period in which he lived (2000-1500 BC).
With such scarcity of physical evidence of the people and places described in the Old Testament, Biblical critics were left only with evaluation of the texts presented within themselves, more often than not avowing that a specific book could not be the writing of the person to whom it was ascribed, or that several writers changed, added or redacted various parts of the narrative to bolster their privately held mythical theories.
Although history does not tell us of the Hebrew exodus from Egypt (Exodus 12), it does supply some extra-Biblical references in setting the latest possible date of this event. The earliest non-biblical reference to the name Israel appears on an Egyptian stele dating to the latter half of the thirteenth century BC, about 100-125 years after Pharaoh Akhenaten's death. Discovered in 1896, this stele commemorates Pharaoh Merneptah's victory over the forces of Libya and the Sea Peoples. The monument preserves a lavish hymn of joy and ene... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
Apologetics #5: The Christian Holy Books Part 1 The Old Testament is part of the following course(s):