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How Old Is The Bible

More On The Dead Sea Scrolls The Aleppo Codex And The Leningrad Codex In The Bas Library:

How old is the Bible?

James A. Sanders and Astrid Beck, The Leningrad Codex,Bible Review, August 1997.

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The Old Testament: Various Schools Of Authors

To explain the Bibles contradictions, repetitions and general idiosyncrasies, most scholars today agree that the stories and laws it contains were communicated orally, through prose and poetry, over centuries. Starting around the 7th century B.C., different groups, or schools, of authors wrote them down at different times, before they were at some point combined into the single, multi-layered work we know today.

Of the three major blocks of source material that scholars agree comprise the Bibles first five books, the first was believed to have been written by a group of priests, or priestly authors, whose work scholars designate as P. A second block of source material is known as Dfor Deuteronomist, meaning the author of the vast majority of the book of Deuteronomy. The two of them are not really related to each other in any significant way, Baden explains, except that they’re both giving laws and telling a story of Israel’s early history.

READ MORE: Why Bibles Given to Slaves Omitted Most of the Old Testament

Mount St Helens: Chilling Audio Of 1980 Eruption Revealed

Mount St Helens entered a period of intense activity in 1980 that killed more than 50 people.

Although tragic, Young Earth Creationists believe the eruption has highlighted a flaw in attempts to date the planet’s age.

According to Professor Meyer, attempts to age the newly formed cap on the volcano using Potassium-argon dating have proven “far from accurate”.

The method and its supposed shortcomings were famously highlighted by Young Earth Creationist Dr Steve Austin and the Institute for Creation Research , when they analysed samples collected from the volcano in 1986.

This has even led to the Mount St Helens Creation Information Center being established “for the purpose of witnessing to the truth of God’s Word in Genesis”.

Professor Meyer said: “The severe faultiness of the dating method should cause everyone who adheres to the belief that the earth is 4,600,000,000 years old to reconsider that belief.

“According to the Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal , using the conventional K-Ar dating methods, the porphyritic dacite which solidified on the surface of the lava dome six years after the eruption dates to 50,000 to 350,000 years old.


“Also, the mineral concentrates from the dacite which formed in 1986 gave K-Ar ages of 60,000 to 2,800,000 years old this pyroxene concentrate was only six years old at the time they tested it.

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The Greek New Testament

Luke 23:8-23, 25 from Miniscule 28, 12th century

This is a miniscule of Luke 23:8-23,25 from a late Byzantine codex of the Gospels. The majority of the codex is now in Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris. The manuscript was used for many important printed Greek New Testaments. Catalogued as Codex 28.78 in Gregory Alands catalog.

Lectionary Reading from John 13:31-38. 1500

A Lectionary is a book with Scriptures organized for reading on specific days. This lectionary was used in the Orthodox church for Passion Week. It is the first lesson of the Twelve Accounts of the Passion which was read on Holy Friday. The lesson begins with a title and illuminations made with brown ink: The reading is from the according to John.

Aland L2434.

Nouum Iesu Christi D.N. Testamentum. Ex Bibliotheca Regia . Robert Estienne , Paris, 1550

Printer Robert Estienne, known by his Latin name Stephanus, printed four editions of the Greek New Testament. This third edition became normative for most biblical translations into the twentieth century.

Stephanus fourth edition of the Greek New Testament, printed in 1551, was the first New Testament with verse numbers.

. Jacob Wettstein, Amsterdam, 1751

The New Testament in Greek and English. Daniel Mace, 1729.

Can We Question God

Rare 400

My admission of ignorance concerning the dating of the earth does not bother me whatsoever. The reason is, when Job stopped his complaining before God because he ran out of words, the Lord answered him. Gods answer to Jobs assumptions about the secret counsel of God did not lack for sarcasm, holy derision that underscored the divide between God and Man:

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy? Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth.

Ouch. The answers to the Lords interrogation of Job are painfully self-evident:

No, my Lord, I was not around when You laid the foundations of the earth. No, my God, I have no understanding. Father, I have no idea about how you determined the measurements of the earth. No, Lord, I do not know. Morning stars singing together? Lord, this is beyond my ability to comprehend. Sons of God shouting for joy? Can I take a guess? Okay, Lord, I will be quiet. Thou art God. I am not .

There was a flood. Once more, the very constitution of the earth and life on it changed. So, dire events that fundamentally reshaped the earths system of life prevent me from comparing today to the beginning of the world.

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The Three Oldest Biblical Texts

The Bible is an ancient text. Like every other ancient text, the originals have not survived the ravages of time. What we have are copies of the original which date to hundreds of years after their composition. This is normal for ancient texts. For example, Julius Caesar chronicled his conquest of Gaul in his work On The Gallic War in the first century B.C. The earliest manuscript in existence dates to the 8th century AD, some 900 years later.1 So what are the oldest biblical texts discovered to date?

How Old Is The Bible

Recent analysis of pottery fragments by researchers at Tel Aviv University caused a spate of headlines along the lines of “The Bible is much older than we thought.”

The researchers claim the discovery that inscriptions, dated to around 600 BCE, were written by at least six different authors indicates literacy was more common than previously recognised.

“In other words, the entire army apparatus, from high-ranking officials to humble vice-quartermasters of small desert outposts, was literate,” the study concluded.

“The results indicate that in this remote fort literacy had spread throughout the military hierarchy, down to the quartermaster and probably even below that rank. This implies that an educational infrastructure that could support the composition of literary texts in Judah already existed before the destruction of the first Temple.”

Essentially the study says literacy was widespread earlier than originally thought so the Bible could have been written earlier than had been thought until now. No new evidence from biblical texts themselves can verify this claim and some commentators think the evidence doesn’t support such a sweeping conclusion.

But just how old do we think the Bible is?

Dating the New Testament is relatively uncontroversial and nearly all scholars agree the texts were completed by somewhere in the mid second century.

Conservative theologians have tended to hold to this tradition, although the academic consensus is against them.

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What Can We Know

There is one final cataclysmic event that will happen in the earth and the cosmos: the second coming of Jesus Christ, the judgment of the world, and an extraordinary molecular rearrangement of all things that will bring about a New Heaven and a New Earth. And here is the most important thing I could write: your faith or unbelief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ determines whether you will be part of that New Heaven and New Earth.

I cannot date the age of the earth because so many things have changed. But I can say with certainty that because Christ is risen from the dead so we will rise again from the dead. We will live with him in a new heaven and new earth forever. I do not fully understand even that. But that’s the whole point, isn’t it? Faith is trusting in God the things we cannot see: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen .

At the end of every great question in the Bible , the Holy Spirit appeals to the incomprehensible divide between man’s finite existence and God’s infinite reality .

Who Wrote The Bible: Prophets

The Old Testament

Wikimedia CommonsThe prophet Isaiah

The next texts to examine when investigating who wrote the Bible are those of the biblical prophets, an eclectic group who mostly traveled around the various Jewish communities to admonish people and lay curses and sometimes preach sermons about everybodys shortcomings.

Some prophets lived way back before the Golden Age while others did their work during and after the Babylonian captivity. Later, many of books of the Bible attributed to these prophets were largely written by others and were fictionalized to the level of Aesops Fables by people living centuries after the events in the books were supposed to have happened, for example:

Wikimedia CommonsThe prophet Jeremiah

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Archaeological And Historical Research

Biblical archaeology is the archaeology that relates to and sheds light upon the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Greek Scriptures . It is used to help determine the lifestyle and practices of people living in biblical times. There are a wide range of interpretations in the field of biblical archaeology. One broad division includes biblical maximalism which generally takes the view that most of the Old Testament or the Hebrew Bible is based on history although it is presented through the religious viewpoint of its time. It is considered to be the opposite of biblical minimalism which considers the Bible to be a purely post-exilic composition. Even among those scholars who adhere to biblical minimalism, the Bible is a historical document containing first-hand information on the Hellenistic and Roman eras, and there is universal scholarly consensus that the events of the 6th century BCE Babylonian captivity have a basis in history.

Historical Dating The First 5 Books Of The Bible

The Pentateuch is the first five books of the Bible. Some scholars say the first five books lay the foundation for the rest of the Bible. From In the beginning to the last verse of Deuteronomy, God gives us the opportunity to learn more about Him and to grow in faith. As a young child, I remember learning to name these books in Sunday School class. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy were often recited to receive stickers on our class chart.

Bible researchers generally conclude that the first five books of the Bible were written probably during the 1400s B.C., at the time of Israels wandering in the desert.

Moses is named as the author of the first five books of the Bible. Moses may have written facts shared by others. The last part of Deuteronomy tells of the death of Moses, so that would have been written by another person. Joshua is listed as sharing about the death of Moses.

As you read and learn more about the Bible, look for facts shared by reputable researchers and scholars.

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Where Did A Young

Simply put, it came from the Bible. Of course, the Bible doesnt say explicitly anywhere, The earth is 6,000 years old. Good thing it doesnt otherwise it would be out of date the following year. But we wouldnt expect an all-knowing God to make that kind of a mistake.

God gave us something better. In essence, He gave us a birth certificate. For example, using a personal birth certificate, a person can calculate how old he is at any point. It is similar with the earth. Genesis 1 says that the earth was created on the first day of creation . From there, we can begin to calculate the age of the earth.

Lets do a rough calculation to show how this works. The age of the earth can be estimated by taking the first five days of creation , then following the genealogies from Adam to Abraham in Genesis 5 and 11, then adding in the time from Abraham to today.

Adam was created on day 6, so there were five days before him. If we add up the dates from Adam to Abraham, we get about 2,000 years, using the Masoretic Hebrew text of Genesis 5 and 11.3 Whether Christian or secular, most scholars would agree that Abraham lived about 2,000 B.C. .

So a simple calculation is:

5 days + ~4,000 years

~6,000 years

Table 1. Jones and Ussher

c. 1630 3836

As you will likely note from table 2, the dates are not all 4004 B.C. There are several reasons chronologists have different dates,7 but two primary reasons:


Oldest People In The Bible

Contemplatives in the World: Lecture One: Introduction to ...

All of the oldest people in the Bible are from the Book of Genesis and make up the patrilineal line that connects Adam to Noah. These ten men are known as the Antediluvian patriarchs, as they were alive before the Flood.

They all lived incredibly long lives, with a majority of them dying when they were over 900 years old. Due to their long lifespans, many of the oldest men in their genealogy were still alive when the later men in their line were born.

While the ages of these men are hard to believe, many people do not see these stories as being literal and its up to you to decide how you want to interpret what the Bible says. There are a number of people who do believe that these men really lived to be nearly 1,000 years old and have tried to give their reasons.

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Who Wrote The Bible: The First Five Books

Wikimedia CommonsMoses, as painted by Rembrandt.

According to both Jewish and Christian Dogma, the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy were all written by Moses in about 1,300 B.C. There are a few issues with this, however, such as the lack of evidence that Moses ever existed and the fact that the end of Deuteronomy describes the author dying and being buried.

Scholars have developed their own take on who wrote the Bibles first five books, mainly by using internal clues and writing style. Just as English speakers can roughly date a book that uses a lot of thees and thous, Bible scholars can contrast the styles of these early books to create profiles of the different authors.

In each case, these writers are talked about as if they were a single person, but each author could just as easily be an entire school of people writing in a single style. These biblical authors include:

Wikimedia CommonsA depiction of the destruction of Jerusalem under Babylonian rule.

Wikimedia CommonsKing Josiah

Old Testament: The Single Author Theory

The Old Testament, or Hebrew Bible, narrates the history of the people of Israel over about a millennium, beginning with Gods creation of the world and humankind, and contains the stories, laws and moral lessons that form the basis of religious life for both Jews and Christians. For at least 1,000 years, both Jewish and Christian tradition held that a single author wrote the first five books of the BibleGenesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomywhich together are known as the Torah and the Pentateuch . That single author was believed to be Moses, the Hebrew prophet who led the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt and guided them across the Red Sea toward the Promised Land.

Yet nearly from the beginning, readers of the Bible observed that there were things in the so-called Five Books of Moses that Moses himself could not possibly have witnessed: His own death, for example, occurs near the end of Deuteronomy. A volume of the Talmud, the collection of Jewish laws recorded between the 3rd and 5th centuries A.D., dealt with this inconsistency by explaining that Joshua likely wrote the verses about Moses death.

Rembrandt van Rijn, painting of Moses Breaking the Tablets of the Law, 1659.

That’s one opinion among many, says Joel Baden, a professor at Yale Divinity School and author of The Composition of the Pentateuch: Renewing the Documentary Hypothesis. But they’re already asking the questionwas it possible or not possible for to have written them?

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