1. Adam to The Flood

Why is the Old Testament important to us? Timothy emphasizes that All Scripture is God-breathed.” The amazing unity of theme and purpose makes it nothing less than the living word of God.

Objectives

To understand:

  • The infallibility of the Scriptures
  • Their consistency through historical ages
  • The authenticity and timelessness of the sources

Introduction

The bible is :

  • Divinely inspired
  • Divinely compiled
  • With transforming power

2 Timothy 3:16  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

Christ’s Last Command

Matt 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples …20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Great Diversity

The bible is written by 40 authors:

  • In two major languages (& a minor)
  • With various occupations
  • In 3 continents
  • In 66 books (39 + 27)
  • Over a period of 1600 years
  • Yet converging at…..

Amazing Unity

One theme :

  • There is one true God

One purpose :

  • Redemption of mankind

One Saviour :

  • Jesus Christ

OT Book Summary
(39 books)

Law

  • Genesis to Deuteronomy

History

  • Joshua to Esther

Poetry

  • Job to Song of Solomon

Major Prophets

  • Isaiah to Daniel

Minor Prophets

  • Hosea to Malachi

NT Book Summary
(27 books)

Gospels

  • Matthew to John

History

  • Acts

Paul’s Letters

  • Romans to Philemon

Powerful Letters

  • Hebrews to Jude

Prophecy

  • Revelation

Old Testament Sources

There are seven known sources from which our modern Bibles have been directly or indirectly derived:

1. Masoretic Text

2. Dead Sea Scrolls

3. The Septuagint

4. Nash Papyrus

5. Cairo Geniza Fragments

6. Syriac Peshitta

7. Latin Vulgate

 

OT Sources

1. Masoretic Text

  • Most Bibles based on these.
  • Date to 7th to 11th centuries AD.
  • “Masorites of Tiberias” created a school on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

2. Dead Sea Scrolls

  • Discovered in caves near Qumran, 20 km east of Jerusalem, between 1947 and 1956.
  • Oldest known Hebrew OT text, written between 150 BC and 70 AD.
  • More than 15,000 fragments and 500 manuscripts
  • 900 separate scrolls.
  • Contain every book of the Old Testament except Esther

3. The Septuagint (LXX)

  • Greek translation of OT
  • Between the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC
  • Quoted in NT and by early church fathers.
  • Basis for old Latin, Slavonic, Syriac, old Armenian, old Georgian and Coptic translations

4. Nash Papyrus

  • Dates approximately 150-100 BC
  • Was housed at Cambridge University.
  • Contains text of the Ten Commandments,

5. Cairo Geniza Fragments

  • Geniza or storeroom to keep writings on God before burial to treat them with respect.
  • We now have almost 300,000 fragments dating from 870 through to the late 1800′s.

6. Syriac Peshitta

  • Translated during the second century directly from the Hebrew into Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic.
  • Peshitta means “simple” or “direct” translation.
  • Housed in the British Library, London, Milan, Paris, etc. dating from 6th, 7th, 8th centuries.

7. Latin Vulgate

  • Latin translation of the Bible by Jerome.
  • Independent of the Hebrew, with the exception of Psalms.
  • Completed in 405 AD.
  • Dates from the start of the 8th century.

Establishing the Foundations

The Council of Nicea led by Emperor Constantine put together the “Nicene Creed”, and foundations of the faith in 325 AD – represented by all Christendom.

Compiling the Canon

In 367 AD Athanasius provided listing of the 66 books. Inputs/ endorsements also from:

  • Ignatius of Antioch (A.D. 115).
  • Polycarp, a disciple of John (A.D. 108).
  • Irenaeus (A.D. 185).
  • Hippolytus (A.D. 170-235). [1][2]
  • the Council of Laodicea (AD 363)
  • The Council of Hippo (AD 393)
  • Council of Carthage (AD 397)
  • Much less controversy over OT books, with exception of Apocrypha (Catholic inclusions in 1546 AD)

OT Locations – The Promised Land Abraham’s Journey

Some Important Locations in OT

Israel under Foreign Rule

  • In 931 BC the kingdom was divided into a southern part, Judea, and Israel in the north.
  • 722 (BC) – The Assyrians
  • 586 (BC) – The Babylonians
  • 538 (BC) – The Persians
  • 332 (BC) – The Greeks
  • 164 (BC) – The Maccabees (One sect of Jews)
  • 63 (BC) – The Roman Conquest

Different Shapes of Israel 1000 BC – 100 BC

The Regathering of Israel – Last Three Centuries

While Jews were scattered, persecuted, tortured killed in large numbers following Christ’s death

  • The waste desert land of Israel started becoming irrigated by returning Jews as prophesied
  • The nation which did not exist was reborn (1948)
  • Is the only Jehovah worshipping nation in the world
  • Is it coming together for Christ’s second coming?

Discussion

  • What has been your biggest obstacle in reading the OT ?
  • Is OT only a book of history written by different people at different times ? If not, what are the other benefits of OT ?
  • How can you relate OT to NT ?
  • How can you relate OT to the present times ?

OT Locations – The Promised Land Abraham’s Journey

Israel Today

References

  1. Canon of scripture by FF Bruce,
  2. Logos bible software
  3. biblica.com

Related Posts

14 God’s Commandments

Is the Old Testament Law relevant today? Jesus says I came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfil it. He gives God’s commands a new perspective and takes it up a notch.God gave the Israelites hundreds of instructions for the people. These were divided into three phases...

13 Israel – Leanness of Soul

Everyone seeks earthly prosperity. Few seek prosperity of soul. In spite of being God’s chosen people, Israel suffers from the leanness of soul syndrome. To understand the meaning of: Prosperity of soul Leanness of soul To seek and enjoy true prosperity (of soul) in...

12. Moses – Humble Faith

Born in Egypt, Moses is beautiful in God’s eyes. He experiences the best of worldly knowledge, power and riches as well as spiritual power and riches yet remains most humble in all the earth. To understand God’s preparation ground for Moses: In his family In the...

11 God’s Special interventions

We have seen God’s activity throughout Genesis. Was Jesus involved? How do we know it was Jesus? What message does He communicate on those occasions?To: Understand Christ’s role throughout the Bible Understand the significance of Christ’s special appearances in...

10. God’s Direct interventions – Genesis

God is actively participating in our lives. In Patriarchal ages and throught the Bible we see specific instances of God’s active involvement.To: Understand how proactively and actively God is involved in our lives Get a glimpse of God’s attributes Know and connect...

9. Joseph – Unwavering Faith

The touching story of Joseph inspires, as he transitions from father’s pet to second most powerful person in the world. As God is with him throughout, what looks like the end of the game, triggers his rise to fame.To Understand God’s training ground for top leaders...

8. Jacob Compelling Faith

It is Jacob, who becomes Israel and fathers/grandfathers children who represent the tribes of Israel. God deals with deception and brings out his passion and drive for the right things.To Understand Jacob’s strong driving forces Be clear on our purpose and direction...

7 Isaac – Gliding Faith

Isaac is “gliding” on the faith and blessings of his father. While he does carry the legacy to some extent, we do see numbness to God taking over and complacency setting in. Abraham - Soaring Faith Isaac - Gliding Faith Jacob –Compelling Faith Joseph – Unwavering...

6 Abraham – Soaring Faith

At the time God calls Abraham to father the nation Israel, civilization prospers and grows; so does idolatory. Abraham takes time to respond and build faith but eventually goes all out in faith and obedience. Background of Abraham Abraham’s journey Abraham’s faith...

5 Job – Faith under Fire

Job enjoys close fellowship with God. Caught between a crossfire between God and Satan, he stands firm defying Satan before his proud father God and getting to see God in a new light. Objectives Job – Chronologically in the Bible Authorship of Job Job’s Disposition in...

4 The World in Confusion – Babel

After saving the world, Noah himself takes a fall. Again God steps into a godless world – this time, in a much more subdued manner. Objectives Standards falling Irony of Noah Irony of Noah Folly of Ham/ Canaan Tyranny of Nimrod Folly of Ham/ Canaan Tyranny of Nimrod...

3 From Fall to Flood

As earth’s population grow, murder, lust and evil spread their tentacles into every aspect of creation. While God saves Noah and his family, ample warnings sound out to the rest of the world. Objectives The Times First Prediction of Doom A Few Good Men Abel –...

2 Adam – A Fallen Faith

A word from God, a burst of light; the world was born. Creation, culminating with the crown of creation, Adam and Eve, was good in God’s eyes. Objective A perfect world Forbidden Fruit The World with Satan Pain and Suffering Woman and the Fall Satan’s Strategy God’s...

1 Old Testament Summary

Why is the Old Testament important to us? Timothy emphasizes that “All Scripture is God-breathed.” The amazing unity of theme and purpose makes it nothing less than the living word of God.To understand: The infallibility of the Scriptures Their consistency through...