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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: Are the Right Books in the Old Testament?

Don Stewart :: Are the Correct Books in the Old Testament?

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The Old Testament Canon

Are the Correct Books in the Old Testament? – Introduction

From the very beginning of human existence, God has revealed Himself; He has not been silent. He has let humans know who He is, who we are and what our purpose is here upon the earth. Before Jesus Christ came into the world some two thousand years ago, this revelation of the living God was found in only one Book; the Hebrew Scriptures, or the Old Testament.

In the Old Testament period, God did not reveal His Word to humanity by means of just one book, but rather by a number of books that were written over a one thousand year time span. It is important to know which books belong in the Old Testament since it makes up three fourths of the Bible; the written Word of God.

The New Testament recognizes that the Jewish people were given the oracles, or the spoken words of God. The Apostle Paul wrote the following to the Romans:

So what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? Considerable in every way. First, they were entrusted with the spoken words of God. (Romans 3:1-2 HCSB)

Therefore, it is to this one group of people, the Jews, that God has revealed Himself by means of a number of sacred writings.

However, there were many books written during the Old Testament period. The question that naturally arises is, “Which of these books should be recognized as coming from God?” Is it possible that there are books in the Old Testament that do not have God’s authority behind them? Are any divine writings missing from the Old Testament Scripture? Who made the decisions with respect to these books? Can we be certain that the correct choices were made? Did Jesus have anything to say on the matter of which books belonged in the Old Testament?

We will now turn our attention to these and other related issues as we discuss which books deserved to be recognized as God’s Holy Word in the Old Testament canon of Scripture.

We will discover that there is compelling evidence that our present Old Testament contains the exact number of books that God gave to humanity during that time in history. Consequently, we can have the utmost confidence that when we read the Old Testament Scripture, we are reading God’s Word.

Is It Possible That Someone Other than the Stated Author Wrote One or More of the Biblical Books? (Pseudonymous Writing) ← Prior Section
Who Were the People Who Spoke for God During the Old Testament Period? (The Old Testament Prophets) Next Section →
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