5 Disputed Books in the Old Testament
The church hasn’t always agreed on the value of certain canonized books. Martin Luther famously wanted Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation removed from the Christian canon. He believed they undermined Christian doctrines of sola fide (by faith alone) and sola gratia (by grace alone).
When it comes to the Old Testament, there have been some disputes about specific books that the Hebrew religious community had already accepted as authoritative. These books presented specific interpretive, theological, and contextual challenges.
The issue of disputed books is addressed in our Old Testament Survey course, and we’ve adapted the course material for the following article.
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Reading Proverbs In the Context of the Old and New Testament
One of my seminary professors used to cheekily refer to common Christian devotional practices as our “daily bread crumb.” Meaning: we often take a verse or even part of a verse and spin out a comforting crumb of exhortation at the expense of the whole loaf of biblical bread—whether the surrounding pericope or greater.
Perhaps with no other place in Scripture do we do this than with Proverbs. Ryan O’Dowd offers an important reminder in his new commentary on Proverbs (Story of God Bible Commentary) when studying this book:
such casual study of individual proverbs can be shortsighted, both because it is apt to overlook the endless depth of each saying and also because the sayings take on a whole new life in the…
Are Ants People? (Mondays with Mounce Archive)
Poetry can be exceptionally difficult to translate. It often conveys meaning more with pictures than with individual words, the words working together to create images more powerful than words.
Metaphors are only slightly easier, but here there is even less context and so the meaning of the metaphor is easily loss.
Four things on earth are small
but they are exceedingly wise:
the ants are a people not strong,
yet they provide their food in the summer;
the rock badgers are a people not…
Reading the Wisdom Books Canonically — An Excerpt from “Canon and Biblical Interpretation”
Canon and Biblical Interpretation is a unique, landmark volume in the “Scripture and Hermeneutics Series.” It examines the canonical approach to interpreting the Bible and the various criticisms that have been leveled against such an approach.
Leading biblical scholars contribute explore a canonical interpretation in relation to different parts of the Bible, such as the Pentateuch, the Wisdom books, the Psalms, and the Gospels. Essays address such issues as canonical authority and the controversial relationship between canonical interpretation and general hermeneutics.
In our excerpt today, Tremper Longman III explores a canonical interpretation to the wisdom literature in the Old Testament. “While there is a place for studying these books in isolation from each other,” Longman writes, “it is important to ultimately read each wisdom book in the context of the others, and also to read…