Outline of Bible-related topics _
Page from an 11th-century Aramaic
Targum _ manuscript of the
HEBREW BIBLE or HEBREW SCRIPTURES (
Latin : _Biblia Hebraica_) is the
term used by biblical scholars to refer to the _
Tanakh _ (Hebrew :
Latin : _Thanach_), the canonical collection of Jewish
texts, which is the common textual source of several canonical
editions of the
Old Testament . They are composed mainly in
Biblical Hebrew , with some passages in
Biblical Aramaic (in the books
of Daniel , Ezra and a few others).
The content to which the Protestant
Old Testament closely corresponds
does not act as a source for the deuterocanonical portions of the
Roman Catholic or to the _
Anagignoskomena _ portions of the Eastern
Orthodox Old Testaments. The term does not comment upon the naming,
numbering or ordering of books, which varies with later Christian
biblical canons .
The term Hebrew
Bible is an attempt to provide specificity with
respect to contents but avoid allusion to any particular
interpretative tradition or theological school of thought. It is
widely used in academic writing and interfaith discussion in
relatively neutral contexts meant to include dialogue among all
religious traditions but not widely in the inner discourse of the
religions that use its text.
* 1 Usage
* 1.1 Additional difficulties
* 2 Origins of the Hebrew
Bible and its components
* 3 Scholarly editions
* 4 See also
* 5 References
* 6 Further reading
* 7 External links
Bible refers to the Jewish biblical canon . In its
_Biblia Hebraica_, it traditionally serves as a title for printed
editions of the
Masoretic Text . Many biblical studies scholars
advocate use of the term "Hebrew Bible" (or "Hebrew Scriptures") as a
neutral substitute to terms with religious connotations (e.g., the
non-neutral term "Old Testament"). The Society of Biblical
Literature 's _Handbook of Style_, which is the standard for major
academic journals like the _
Harvard Theological Review _ and
conservative Protestant journals like the _
Bibliotheca Sacra _ and the
Westminster Theological Journal _, suggests that authors "be aware of
the connotations of alternative expressions such as... Hebrew
Old Testament" without prescribing the use of either. McGrath points
out that while the term emphasises that it is largely written in
Hebrew and "is sacred to the Hebrew people", it "fails to do justice
to the way in which Christianity sees an essential continuity between
the Old and New Testaments", arguing that there is "no generally
accepted alternative to the traditional term "Old Testament." However,
he accepts that there is no reason why non-Christians should feel
obliged to refer to these books as the Old Testament, "apart from
custom of use."
In terms of theology, Christianity has recognised the close
relationship between the Old and New Testaments from its very
beginnings, although there have sometimes been movements like
Marcionism (viewed as heretical by the early church), that have
struggled with it. Modern
Christian formulations of this tension
Covenant Theology , New
Covenant Theology ,
Dual-covenant theology . All of these
formulations, except some forms of Dual-covenant theology, are
objectionable to mainstream Judaism and to many Jewish scholars and
writers, for whom there is one eternal covenant between God and the
Israelites , and who therefore reject the term "Old Testament" as a
form of antinomianism .
In terms of canon ,
Christian usage of "Old Testament" does not refer
to a universally agreed upon set of books but, rather, varies
depending on denomination . Lutheranism and Protestant denominations
that follow the
Westminster Confession of Faith
Westminster Confession of Faith accept the entire
Jewish canon as the
Old Testament without additions, however in
translation they sometimes give preference to the
than the Masoretic Text; for example, see Isaiah 7:14 .
In terms of language, "Hebrew" refers to the original language of the
books, but it may also be taken as referring to the Jews of the Second
Temple era and
Jewish diaspora , and their descendants, who preserved
the transmission of the
Masoretic Text up to the present day. The
Bible includes small portions in Aramaic (mostly in the books
of Daniel and Ezra ), written and printed in Aramaic square-script ,
which was adopted as the
Hebrew alphabet after the
Babylonian exile .
ORIGINS OF THE HEBREW BIBLE AND ITS COMPONENTS
Main articles: Dating the
Bible and Development of the Hebrew Bible
The books that constitute the Hebrew
Bible developed over roughly a
millennium. The oldest texts seem to come from the 11th or 10th
centuries BCE, whilst most of the other texts are somewhat later. They
are edited works, being collections of various sources intricately and
carefully woven together.
Since the 19th century, most biblical scholars have agreed that the
Pentateuch (the first five books of Scriptures) consists of four
sources which have been woven together. These four sources are J
(Yahwist), D (Deuteronomist), E (Elohist) and P (Priestly) sources.
They were combined to form the Pentateuch sometime in the 6th century
BCE. This theory is now known as the documentary hypothesis , and has
been the dominant theory for the past two hundred years. The
Deuteronomist credited with the Pentateuch's book of Deuteronomy is
also said to be the source of the books of Joshua , Judges , Samuel ,
and Kings (the Deuteronomistic history, or DtrH) and also in the book
of Jeremiah .
Several editions, all titled _Biblia Hebraica_, have been produced by
various German publishers since 1906.
* Between 1906 and 1955,
Rudolf Kittel published nine editions of
* 1966, the
Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft published the renamed Biblia
Hebraica Stuttgartensia in six editions until 1997.
* Since 2004 the
Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft has published the Biblia
Hebraica Quinta , including all variants of the
Qumran manuscripts as
well as the Masorah Magna .
Other projects include:
* Hebrew University
* Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition
* Judaism portal
* Books of the
* Early editions of the Hebrew
* Non-canonical books referenced in the
* ^ Eliezer Segal, Introducing Judaism (New York, NY: Routledge,
2009). Page: 12
* ^ Safire, William (1997-05-25). "The New Old Testament". _The New
York Times_ .
* ^ Hamilton, Mark. "From Hebrew
Christian Bible: Jews,
Christians and the Word of God". Retrieved 2007-11-19. Modern scholars
often use the term 'Hebrew Bible' to avoid the confessional terms Old
Testament and Tanakh.
* ^ Alexander, Patrick H; et al., eds. (1999). _The SBL Handbook of
Style_ (PDF). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson. p. 17 (section 4.3). ISBN
1-56563-487-X . Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-04-14. See
_Society of Biblical Literature_: Questions Regarding Digital
* ^ _A_ _B_ McGrath, Alister, _
Christian Theology_, Oxford:
Blackwell, 2011, p. 120, 123. ISBN 9781444335149 .
* ^ "Marcion", _Encyclopædia Britannica_, 1911 .
* ^ For the recorded teachings of Jesus on the subject see
Antithesis of the Law#Antitheses , for the modern debate, see
Christian views on the old covenant
* ^ Hamilton, Mark (April 1998). "From Hebrew
Bible to Christian
Bible: Jews, Christians and the Word of God". _Frontline_. From Jesus
to Christ. WGBH Educational Foundation.
* Brueggemann, Walter (1997). _An introduction to the Old Testament:
the canon and
Christian imagination_. Westminster John Knox Press.
ISBN 978-0-664-22412-7 .
* Johnson, Paul (1987). _A History of the Jews_ (First, hardback
ed.). London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-79091-9 .
* Kugel, James L. (1997). _The
Bible as It Was_. Cambridge,
Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-06940-4 .
* Kuntz, John Kenneth. _The People of Ancient Israel: an
Old Testament Literature, History, and Thought_,
Harper and Row, 1974. ISBN 0-06-043822-3
* Leiman, Sid. _The Canonization of Hebrew Scripture_. (Hamden, CT:
* Levenson, Jon. _Sinai and Zion: An Entry into the Jewish Bible_.
(San Francisco: HarperSan Francisco, 1985).
* Minkoff, Harvey. "Searching for the Better Text". _Biblical
Archaeology Review (online)_. Archived from the original on 14 March
2012. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
* Pritchard, James B. (1973). _The Ancient Near East, Volume I_.
Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691035016 .
An abridgement of Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old
* Noth, Martin . _A History of Pentateuchal Traditions_. (1948;
trans. by Bernhard Anderson; Atlanta: Scholars, 1981).
* Schniedewind, William M (2004). _How the
Bible Became a Book_.
Cambridge. ISBN 9780521536226 .
* Schmid, Konrad. _The Old Testament: A Literary History_.
(Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012).