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Old Testament Why do we use it?. It’s Old and has all of the most controversial beliefs. Testament?. Testament is the Latin translation for Covenant-God’s actions with humanity Torah is the acronym for The Law, the Prophets and the Writings in Hebrew Protestant and Jewish Canons are 39 books

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Old Testament Why do we use it?

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old testament why do we use it

Old TestamentWhy do we use it?

It’s Old and has all of the most controversial beliefs

  • Testament is the Latin translation for Covenant-God’s actions with humanity
  • Torah is the acronym for The Law, the Prophets and the Writings in Hebrew
  • Protestant and Jewish Canons are 39 books
  • Catholic Old Testament Canon is 46 Books
judith tobit baruch 1st 2nd maccabees ecclesiastics wisdom of solomon
Judith-Tobit-Baruch-1st,2nd Maccabees-Ecclesiastics-Wisdom of Solomon
  • Septuagint was the Greek Torah translation for the Jews of the Diaspora
  • Septuagint refers to the 72 Greek Rabbis who translated the Hebrew Torah before the time of Christ for Greek Jews
  • More Jews remained outside of Palestine than were in Palestine after the Diaspora
  • Genesis-5 Books- pre-history of God’s call in creation and the time of the patriarch's
  • Exodus-Deliverance from Egypt & receiving the Covenant
  • Leviticus-obligations of the Covenant
  • Numbers-increases laws and time in desert
  • Deuteronomy-Moses gives meaning of Covenant
historical books
Historical Books
  • Joshua-conquest of the Promised land
  • Judges-settlement and survival in the land
  • 1st & 2nd Samuel-Chosen peoples need for King and coming of Saul and David
  • 1st & 2nd Kings-History and fidelity of Kings who followed David down to the end of Jewish Monarchy in 586 BC
historical books1
Historical Books
  • 1st & 2nd Chronicles-Priestly view of period from Saul to return from Exile & David
  • Ezra-Emphasizes Jewish piety and the Torah in the face of Hellenism-closes Israel’s openness to mixed marriages-race
  • Nehemiah-Rebuilding, Practicality, census, feast of Booths (tents)
historical books2
Historical Books
  • Tobit-Jewish piety & Oriental folklore-life at Nineveh-1st cure by fish-Angel Raphael
  • Judith-God saves Israel through a woman!
  • Esther-Feast of Purim-another woman saves Israel-teaches the people
  • 1st Maccabees-Alexander the Great-Jews & Gentiles revolt against Greek Syria
  • 2nd Maccabees-Theological viewpoint, homily and history joined together
wisdom writings
  • Less attention to divine salvation, Torah
  • Less interest in Israel’s history, nationhood
  • Seeks answers to human problems: death-suffering-inequality-prosperity of wicked
  • Search for living a good life before God
  • Lessons for all people and not just believers
wisdom writings1
  • Wisdom writings are similar too ancient texts of time, some as late as 2000BC
  • Sumeria-Assyria-Egypt all had Wisdom sayings
  • Sources used to educate within families and even in formal educational context
  • Everyday life, relationships, money and aspects other than survival and piety taught
wisdom writings2
  • Maxims for life and living
  • Problems that are the precursors to the solution given by Christ in the New Testament
  • Wisdom knowledge was a longer period in Israel’s history than the time of prophets
  • Lessons of order, cause and effect, time as God is revealed in creation
wisdom writings job
  • Written between 7th-5th Century BC
  • When bad things happen to a good guy
  • Setting is a folktale used still today to convey interesting stories
  • A search for meaning in suffering
  • Who needs friends like Job’s
  • Asking the hard questions of God
wisdom writings psalms
  • The Hebrew Psalter (150)- at least half attributed to Davidic authorship
  • Written specifically for liturgical worship
  • Songs have distinct patterns, uses
  • Praise of God, exaltation, thanksgiving, lament are the most prolific both communal and individual
  • Don’t know how to pray, seek a Psalm
wisdom writings proverbs
  • Order in God’s creation governing man too
  • Cause & Effect-acts have consequences
  • Time- Israel was to move forward in time mistakes of the past don’t end hope
  • God is revealed in nature’s beauty
  • God’s transcendent mystery is in the world
  • Suffering has meaning
  • Life is positive-there is always hope
wisdom writings proverbs1
  • Responsibility is the human condition
  • God’s plan is a gift beyond human understanding
  • Fear of the Lord is Wisdom
  • Wisdom knows its limit
  • God is beyond all human wisdom
  • The virtue of the wise is TRUST in God
ecclesiastes pessimistic preacher
EcclesiastesPessimistic Preacher
  • Qoheleth is Hebrew for Preacher-head of the assembly
  • Implied to be from Solomon-good source
  • Israelite thought after exile-Greek influence-doubts old answers
  • Tries to understand, find meaning in life by human thought
  • There is a time for everything
ecclesiastes pessimistic preacher1
EcclesiastesPessimistic Preacher
  • Futility and emptiness result of constant searching in humanity
  • Divine mystery is always mystery
  • Enjoy what life affords you as “all is gift”
  • 1st step away from God as punisher
  • Eat-drink and be merry for tomorrow we die
  • Trust and hope in God in faith is the truth
song of songs creation love sex
Song of SongsCreation-Love-Sex
  • Solomon gets around-many cultures* advance love and beauty of marriage feast
  • God’s love seen through the allegory of human love
  • Extols the power of undying love as God has for Israel and Christ has for his Church and our soul
  • Source of much Middle Ages Mysticism
book of wisdom
Book of Wisdom
  • Written about a century before Christ
  • Book of Wisdom known only in the Greek Septuagint*
  • Philosophy found in Philo of Alexandria other Jewish writers of the 1st century BC
  • Probably last book written of Old Testament
  • Solomon given credit where due
  • Keep the faith-don’t be wise of the world
book of wisdom1
Book of Wisdom
  • Justice and Wisdom under the eye of God brings eternal reward for just
  • Praise of Wisdom for its value to all
  • Long history of Israel’s failures and God’s mercy-folly of ungodliness
  • Salvation is starting to be seen as reward
  • Sheds light on Israel’s struggle in secular Greek and Roman world-as we do today
sirach ecclesiasticus church book
SirachEcclesiasticus (Church Book)
  • Not in Protestant or Hebrew Scripture
  • Written in Hebrew about 175-200BC-translated to Greek
  • Jesus son of Eleazar, son of Sirach translated by author’s grandson
  • Ancient Hebrew text found at Masada predates Christ (by 1900 half proven ok)
sirach ecclesiasticus church book1
SirachEcclesiasticus (Church Book)
  • God is compassion, but…
  • Ambiguity & uncertainty of life and human limitations; we can’t resolve God’s mystery
  • Ethics for everyday life
  • The rule of the Law and fear of the Lord are true wisdom
  • Not doctrinal but a good map
sirach ecclesiasticus church book2
SirachEcclesiasticus (Church Book)
  • One living and Eternal God
  • He makes himself known through creation
  • Made man for God’s glory and goodness
  • Endowed man with free will and accountability
  • Israel-the chosen people
  • Wisdom is the fear of God
  • Proven in Faith, Hope, Love and Trust in God
  • Out of Order
  • “Nabi”: one called, “pro-phates”: speaks on behalf of another-herald, announcer
  • Often “stood in heaven-with God”
  • Early and late-early prophets were specific and on payrolls-not hereditary, odd job
  • Later Prophets concerned with morality, virtue, piety, vice and failures of people
  • Major Prophets-wrote a lot
  • Minor Prophets-wrote less
  • Prophetic Books are collections of thoughts and words of prophets and later translators and editors
  • The written words are translated to every times needs
  • God’s words don’t die but lives anew
  • Longest prophetic book in Bible
  • Written over 40 years around 700BC
  • Original work believed to be only the 1st 39 of 66 chapters
  • Isaiah had access to king and most likely a person of noble birth and education
  • Lived through wars and rebellions
  • Much of this history found in museums
  • Focus on God’s plan for the whole world
  • Visions of Immanuel and hope to show God’s love for the people
  • God is the “Holy One of Israel” residing in the midst of the people
  • Foresaw destruction of Israel, but with a remnant for hope and from which to rebuild
  • God is not hateful, but exalted in justice and righteous in holiness
  • Made use of Jerusalem’s Royal traditions
  • A southern prophet in Jerusalem not of the northern kingdom
  • The Temple was next to palace in place and mind and politics
  • Trust in the Lord will lead the way
  • Ethical insight, real warnings of disaster, and hope for the future mark Isaiah
  • Isaiah becomes basis for reflections
  • Gave hope in the time of Exile
  • Stirred the messianic hopes in post exile prophets
  • Isaiah is the most quoted book of early Christianity for explanation of Jesus Christ
  • Prophet chosen from the womb
  • A book about and not just from Jeremiah
  • Written over 45 years during a time of great change
  • Egypt, Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, Pharaoh, all holding sway over Israel
  • Israel had 3 kings in the 20 years
  • Exile to Babylon begins (2Kings24:10-16)
  • Taught against idolatry and injustice
  • Had great sympathy for God’s and mans needs
  • Message of obedience to God’s will
  • Israel failed to take up pleas and Jeremiah despairs of being able to halt or intercede for the people
  • Foretells first destruction of Temple
  • Temple priest, prophets and others were hotly opposed to Jeremiah
  • Saved from execution more than once
  • Spoke against Temple prophets who only spoke words of comfort and peace
  • Rails against the easy life of comfort they live and their idolatry
  • Claims true prophets must have been with God in someway taken to Him
  • Jeremiah sees a new Covenant for the people-written on the hearts by God
  • Israel could not achieve obedience on their own, God will grant the grace to obey
  • In Jeremiah’s view the exiles will have gained more than they lost while those who remained in Israel will have lost more
  • It is in exile that Biblical tradition will grow
lamentations of jeremiah
Lamentationsof Jeremiah
  • Total destruction of Judah left very few scavengers living off the land-586BC
  • Describes the death of Jerusalem in terms of a widow and not as just death as end
  • Alone, lonely and friendless without comfort, but not without hope and faith
  • The visions of Jeremiah are given flesh in Lamentations.
lamentations of jeremiah1
Lamentationsof Jeremiah
  • A work of an eyewitness to the fall of Jerusalem
  • A confession of grief and humiliation in the world
  • Submission to the merited chastisement and a strong faith in God’s love to restore the Israel
  • Reflects the weakness of man & God’s strength
  • Israel’s faith survives national ruin and despair
  • First letters of poems are actually the Hebrew alphabet in order-gives order in emotion
baruch secretary to jeremiah
BaruchSecretary to Jeremiah
  • Not in Protestant or Jewish Scripture
  • Written either in Jerusalem or Babylon
  • Confessional and liturgical in view
  • Lessons learned once again point to the importance of Wisdom and the fear of the Lord
  • Last Chapter stands on its own
baruch secretary to jeremiah1
BaruchSecretary to Jeremiah
  • Epistle of Jeremiah-conflict of authorship
  • Patterned on work of Jeremiah
  • Warnings against idolatry without poetry
  • Seems to be a compilation of works
  • Admittance to Canon was settled for Catholics at the Council of Trent
ezekiel the prophet from exile
EzekielThe prophet from exile
  • Contemporary of Jeremiah
  • Seems to have psychic power, mystic seer
  • Draws themes from more ancient prophets
  • Recreates trust that God’s still at work
  • First prophet to teach out of promised land
  • Like Jeremiah not a person of popularity
  • He must preach even of people don’t listen
ezekiel the prophet from exile1
EzekielThe prophet from exile
  • Book is highly ordered-symbolic, literary
  • Great detail and unity proves single writer
  • Judgment a major theme
  • Tells of infiltration to priesthood of pagans
  • Individual responsibility for actions
  • Sin no longer seen as passed down
  • Strong sense of community-nationhood
ezekiel the prophet from exile2
EzekielThe prophet from exile
  • Saw Babylon as God’s instrument
  • Israel as constantly failing the Covenant
  • God has to act for “His Name”
  • Plan for return from exile and restoration
  • Punishment even for lands of pagan gods
  • Speaks to a people left to pick up the pieces
ezekiel the prophet from exile3
EzekielThe prophet from exile
  • New Covenant was to be on the hearts
  • Religion was not to be external but in the peoples hearts
  • Religion had now to be practiced outside the Temple and the Promise
  • The Pentateuch written during this time
  • Deuteronomic History to explain the disaster of exile
daniel apocalyptic
  • 4th and last Major prophet-order varies from Talmud which places it last
  • Daniel lives in Royal Court of Babylon-exile
  • Chapters 3-14 only in Septuagint-includes
  • Prayer of Azarias-3 in furnace-writings on the wall-and the lion’s den
  • Story of faith-Not of history-confused details
daniel apocalyptic1
  • Dreams, interpretations and history mixed into a story of faith
  • These collections are a collection of predictions after the face
  • Long ago events that have already taken place coded to protect those in peril
  • Written over 400 years to interpret history after the fact
daniel apocalyptic2
  • Integrity & courage, study the law and behave well give example of piety
  • Gives first divine promise of life after death
  • Kingdom of God-Son of Man are given
  • Apocalyptic wording is new literary form used for the first time here
  • Symbolic language, special agents not of human origin but as God as Master of all
the minor prophets hosea
The Minor ProphetsHosea
  • Hosea-prophesied at same time as Isaiah did in Judah
  • God chastises as a jealous lover
  • Israel’s infidelity like Gomers
  • Israel had been ruthless to poor and the rich were extremely greedy
  • The first example of God and Israel as marriage-used by Paul as Christ and Church
the minor prophets joel
The Minor ProphetsJoel
  • Post-exilic (516BC) Penitential in nature
  • Rend your hearts, not your garments
  • Plagues and punishments come, always
  • Apocalyptic visions and a new present to the world
  • God’s fidelity and love are eternal
  • The closer the time of Christ comes the more apocalyptic Jewish prophecy becomes
the minor prophets amos
The Minor ProphetsAmos
  • Contemporary to Hosea (750BC)
  • Sheppard did not go to prophetic school
  • Told to go Northern kingdom to preach
  • Israel rebuked more than Judah
  • Heartless luxury, self indulgence
  • Book ends in hope of God’s restoration of Davidic kingdom and purified nation
the minor prophets obadiah
The Minor ProphetsObadiah
  • Shortest Book in Old Testament
  • Written to Edomites as they seized areas of Israel with Babylon
  • Edom was people by Esau’s children (Jacob (Israel) & Esau (Edom) ) brothers
  • Stress on God’s justice against nations
  • God cares for all who suffer and will prevail in justice sooner or later
the minor prophets jonah
The Minor ProphetsJonah
  • Contains only one prophecy-Jonah’s words to Nineveh
  • Johan disobeys is sent to sea to be saved by a fish and praises God
  • Jonah considered humorous to Israel then
  • Jonah is a story to enjoy with a smile
  • Reverses and irony show a universal God
  • We can’t figure out God with our ways
the minor prophets micah
The Minor ProphetsMicah
  • Not of Jerusalem-talks of villages & towns
  • Contemporary to Isaiah-but opposite type
  • Same evils as seen in Jerusalem
  • Condemnation of big city problem life
  • Punishment for all of Israel
  • Hope remains but in lawyerly language
  • Condemns: if everyone does it, its ok
  • Rather: do right and walk humbly with God
the minor prophets nahum
The Minor ProphetsNahum
  • Name means Consoler but he foretells destruction of Nineveh, Assyrian capital
  • Nineveh was hated by all
  • Israel’s failures were seen to be less than Nineveh’s
  • The same fate would await Israel
  • Nineveh trusted in its walls and warriors
  • Know what God had done and trust Him
the minor prophets habakkuk
The Minor ProphetsHabakkuk
  • Lived after Nahum tells of God’s use of Babylon as His scourge
  • God punishes the evil of all either Israelite or not
  • For the first time man start to question God in the way all people rule their lands
  • Tells of God’s appearance in glory
  • Once again trust in God restored
the minor prophets zephaniah
The Minor ProphetsZephaniah
  • Jews had fallen to worship of celestial gods and other false gods (640BC)
  • “Day of the Lord” will fall upon whole world
  • Greatest reckoning will be on educated ruling classes
  • Universality of the “Kingdom of God” where one God, one faith and one redemption is prophesied
the minor prophets haggai
The Minor ProphetsHaggai
  • 1st Post Exilic (520BC) delivered specifically to the Governor and High Priest
  • People were concerned for themselves and forgot the house of God, Temple
  • Promise of renewal of the lands upon completion of Temple
  • The land was cursed through sin but now blessings are to be returned by God
the minor prophets zechariah 1 st 2 nd
The Minor ProphetsZechariah (1st,2nd)
  • Contemporary to Haggai but added to later by other authors (520BC)
  • Rebuild Temple, focus on priests, purify community- do good, not evil, compassion
  • 2nd book has no visions-poetic God is deliverer- shepherd
  • “Day of the Lord” starts to be seen as a future time
the minor prophets malachi
The Minor ProphetsMalachi
  • Malachi-Messenger of the Lord-undated
  • Lover of liturgy-marriage & divorce-failure to tithe-warns of God’s judgment
  • Uses questions & answers much like a child’s catechism
  • Remain faithful to the Covenant and the Law
  • Book ends with…
last words of old testament
Last Words of Old Testament
  • Remember the Law of my servant Moses*…statutes and commandments…

That I gave…I will send Elijah* before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes…

He will direct the hearts of fathers to their children and hearts of children to their fathers…so that I will not come to smite the land with a curse.

*Both with Jesus at his transfiguration…