How Did We Get the Old Testament?
The Old Testament is thousands of years old, and contains accounts stretching back to the beginning of time. This ancient collection of books provides the foundation of both Judaism and Christianity.
So where did it come from? How did these age-old traditions, stories, and commandments make their way to modern times? These are important questions.
John Walton and Andrew Hill answer these questions in their Old Testament Survey online course. The following post is adapted from their unit on the background, history, archaeology, and formation of the Old Testament.
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Walton and Hill Ask, What Is Wisdom? — An Excerpt from “Old Testament Today (2nd Edition)”
In their foundational Old Testament textbook Old Testament Today, they explain the category covers such things as scientific knowledge, philosophy, politics, and law. While the Bible declares that the foundation of “wisdom” is the “fear of the Lord,” they ask, “Does this suggest that none of those disciplines could be successfully engaged without fear of the Lord?” (324)
As they explain in the excerpt below, the key to “wisdom” is worldview integration.
In the ancient world, order was a prime value, and wisdom was seen as the path toward understanding and preserving that order. “The people of the day wanted their worldview to fit together like a puzzle…They saw the fear of the Lord as the keystone to this integration process.” (326)
Read the rest of the excerpt for a helpful introduction into OT wisdom literature.
-Jeremy Bouma, Th.M. (@bouma)
My Advice to Students — Andrew Hill Says “Students, Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions!”
One of the highlights of my academic experience at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary was the open and inviting environment they created for their students. I never intended to go to seminary and be a pastor, so when I arrived to my Greek I, Biblical Hermeneutics, and Systematic Theology classes, I had a whole geyser of questions waiting to burst forth. Thankfully because of GRTS's environment, I felt invited to ask them, regardless of how naive or basic they were.
That's the exact kind of environment Old Testament Professor Andrew Hill (author of Survey of the Old Testament) seeks to cultivate for his students at Wheaton College. In our video today, Hill shares some crucial advice for your academic journey, whether you're at the front end or back end of that journey. "I want to encourage this in our students," Hill…