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Have you read: Reading the Old Testament by Lawrence Boadt? 
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Has anyone here read Reading the Old Testament: an Introduction 2nd. Edition by Lawrence Boadt? I'm almost finished reading it, and I felt that the text really helped to flesh out my studies. I know it's just undergraduate reading for Theology, but I've found it to be very insightful. I wish I had read it before taking Pentateuch and Old Testament Prophets (as well as some of my New testament classes). It's been particularly helpful in understanding the Old Testament from a Jewish perspective, as well as, understanding what we know and do not know from the various methods of Biblical criticism.

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Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:56 pm
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The_Shadow wrote:
It's been particularly helpful in understanding the Old Testament from a Jewish perspective, as well as, understanding what we know and do not know from the various methods of Biblical criticism.


This was a really enlightening part of my education. In particular, putting many of the incidences and events of the Old Testament in the context of the time period (instead of through a 21st century interpretation) provided some valuable insight into the passages.

anything interesting you learned?

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Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:01 pm
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TomIsAwesome wrote:
anything interesting you learned?


I found the centrality of Exodus to the Old Testament, from a Jewish perspective, to be most enlightening. As Christians, we read the O.T. in a linear fashion, because we interpret the events as leading to Christ (and that's perfectly valid). Trying to understand, from the other perspective, allows us to see the O.T in the eyes of people during Christ's lifetime. I can imagine the questions from a Jewish child's perspective. Why are we Jewish and why do we worship this God? Well, it started back in Egypt. Let me tell you the story. Then the question naturally follows: who is this God of Israel that we worship and why did he rescue us from slavery in Egypt? Hence, Genesis becomes the prologue to Exodus and provides us with this answer.

The other thing I found interesting was that the Old Testament was always meant to be read along with instruction (hence the "Torah"), and we cannot fully understand the events in the O.T. without first getting some sense of the historical background of the events accounted for in each book (much like Paul's letters). Ancient writings were always meant to be used as guides for oral instruction to the community. The O.T. is historical, but not history in the modern sense. It recounts legitimate history as it was interpreted and remembered from the perspective of those who wrote down the texts (keeping in mind that some of what was written down was already ancient history to the writers and editors). Hence, it is important that we also know those perspectives and in what forms the writers chose to communicate those perspectives. That requires knowledge of the four sources (the Jahwist, Elohist, Priestly, and Deuteronimist) and forms of literary writing used throughout the O.T.. Also, a knowledge of the various peoples of the Ancient Near East which the Jewish people had so mush in common with. I was surprised at how much the shared in common with the pagan people they lived with and how difficult it must have been to maintain their special identity. This all gives a much richer reading of the text, because we are actually studying the bible rather than just simply reading it.

What really helped to make things come together was when I realized that each book has its own theological insights about God, and that each theological perspective is built upon early theological perspectives (some prophets were inspired by other prophets). Eventually, through the guidance of God, all of these perspectives come together to form the OT and the Jewish religion after the Exile period. From a human perspective, it's impossible for this to have even occurred (oh ye of little faith, right?). This alone ought to be a proof that the O.T. is divinely inspired.

Anyways, I have four more chapters that I'm going to finish reading now before rereading the texts from my O.T. classes.

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Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:41 pm
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That's all really interesting! I certainly like the idea of the cultural similarities between the jewish people and their neighbors. Personally, I think when that context is offered it makes the Genesis account of creation not only make more sense but in a way come across as more beautiful!

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Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:54 pm
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The_Shadow wrote:
TomIsAwesome wrote:
anything interesting you learned?


I found the centrality of Exodus to the Old Testament, from a Jewish perspective, to be most enlightening. As Christians, we read the O.T. in a linear fashion, because we interpret the events as leading to Christ (and that's perfectly valid). Trying to understand, from the other perspective, allows us to see the O.T in the eyes of people during Christ's lifetime. I can imagine the questions from a Jewish child's perspective. Why are we Jewish and why do we worship this God? Well, it started back in Egypt. Let me tell you the story. Then the question naturally follows: who is this God of Israel that we worship and why did he rescue us from slavery in Egypt? Hence, Genesis becomes the prologue to Exodus and provides us with this answer.

The other thing I found interesting was that the Old Testament was always meant to be read along with instruction (hence the "Torah"), and we cannot fully understand the events in the O.T. without first getting some sense of the historical background of the events accounted for in each book (much like Paul's letters). Ancient writings were always meant to be used as guides for oral instruction to the community. The O.T. is historical, but not history in the modern sense. It recounts legitimate history as it was interpreted and remembered from the perspective of those who wrote down the texts (keeping in mind that some of what was written down was already ancient history to the writers and editors). Hence, it is important that we also know those perspectives and in what forms the writers chose to communicate those perspectives. That requires knowledge of the four sources (the Jahwist, Elohist, Priestly, and Deuteronimist) and forms of literary writing used throughout the O.T.. Also, a knowledge of the various peoples of the Ancient Near East which the Jewish people had so mush in common with. I was surprised at how much the shared in common with the pagan people they lived with and how difficult it must have been to maintain their special identity. This all gives a much richer reading of the text, because we are actually studying the bible rather than just simply reading it.

What really helped to make things come together was when I realized that each book has its own theological insights about God, and that each theological perspective is built upon early theological perspectives (some prophets were inspired by other prophets). Eventually, through the guidance of God, all of these perspectives come together to form the OT and the Jewish religion after the Exile period. From a human perspective, it's impossible for this to have even occurred (oh ye of little faith, right?). This alone ought to be a proof that the O.T. is divinely inspired.

Anyways, I have four more chapters that I'm going to finish reading now before rereading the texts from my O.T. classes.
That's really cool! Could you elaborate on why you say it's impossible for the OT to have been combined from a human perspective?

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Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:21 am
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Sleet wrote:
The_Shadow wrote:
From a human perspective, it's impossible for this to have even occurred (oh ye of little faith, right?). This alone ought to be a proof that the O.T. is divinely inspired.

Anyways, I have four more chapters that I'm going to finish reading now before rereading the texts from my O.T. classes.
That's really cool! Could you elaborate on why you say it's impossible for the OT to have been combined from a human perspective?



What I meant was that without divine guidance and left to their own actions (with all the sources, editors, historical events, numerous copied scrolls, different schools of thought, politics, borrowing the imagery and philosophy from other cultures, loss of nation/culture/religion, recreation of culture/nation/religion, arguments over the canon of texts, and the sheer passage of time), human beings could in no way have brought about the circumstances that created the Old Testament, let alone prepared the ground work for the coming of Our Savior, on their own. As a whole, human beings can be knuckle heads. Yet, somehow God utilized the talents and creativity of human beings (some cooperated and some didn't) to bring this all about. It's creation has to have been inspired by God.

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Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:39 am
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