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Reading the Old Testament Essay

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The Old Testament and the Bible itself has been studied extensively for centuries. Archeologists and Scholars have labored and pondered over texts trying to decipher its clues. It does not matter how many times the Old Testament has been studied there will always be something new to learn about it or the history surrounding it. In the book Reading the Old Testament: an Introduction, the author Lawrence Boadt presents us with a few different authors of the Old Testament that used different names for God and had a unique insight into the texts. These four sources are titled P for priests, E for Elohim, J for Jehovah, and Y for Yahweh (95). These four unique sources help us realize that there is more than one author of the Pentateuch. These authors took the text and adapted for their culture. This independent source is used by scholars to help gain insight into what was behind the texts of the bible so we are not left with an incomplete picture of what went into the creation of the bible. Julius Wellhausen used these four sources to publish a book to able us to better understand the sources and to give it credibility with the Protestant scholars at the time (Boadt 94). These sources that is independent of the bible as in the DVD Who Wrote the Bible? and the Nova website aide in shedding light on the history that surrounded the writers who wrote the text and what inspired them to write it in the first place. The DVD shows the discovery of The Dead Sea Scrolls and the extensive history of the texts and all its sources in an effort to try to find exactly who wrote the bible (Who Wrote). These scrolls have aided scholars immensely by giving us some of the oldest known manuscripts of the bible in the world today. It shows that the bible w...


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...e to the study of the bible instead of all the doubts that was created by the other criticism. To them all the odd parts and repeated phrases or parts all add to a strikingly beautiful tale. They see the bible as a literary masterpiece in which the authors used gorgeous imagery to strike at the heart of the reader to show them God’s greatness. In essence rhetorical critics want you to see the big picture instead of all the little side pictures. The J story of Genesis as well at times the P story is filled with imagery that is meant to show God’s power.





Works Cited

Boadt, Lawrence. Reading the Old Testament: an Introduction. New York, NY: Paulist, 1984. Print.
Who Wrote the Bible? Volume 1 and 2. Multimedia Entertainment and A&E Television Networks, 1995. DVD.
"NOVA | The Bible's Buried Secrets | PBS." PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Web. 27 Sept. 2011.


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