Hebrew Bible

The Malmesbury Bible
Outline of Bible-related topics

Hebrew Bible or Hebrew Scriptures (Latin: Biblia Hebraica) is the term used by biblical scholars to refer to the Tanakh (Hebrew: תנ"ך‎; Latin: Thanach), the canonical collection of Jewish texts. They are composed mainly in Biblical Hebrew, with some passages in Biblical Aramaic (in the books of Daniel, Ezra and a few others). The Hebrew Bible is the common textual source of several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament. 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 vary 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.

Hebrew Bible refers to the Jewish biblical canon. In its Latin form, 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 substitute for less neutral terms with Jewish or Christian connotations (e.g. Tanakh or 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 Bible 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 include Supersessionism, Covenant Theology, New Covenant Theology, Dispensationalism and 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 accept the entire Jewish canon as the Old Testament without additions, although in translation they sometimes give preference to the Septuagint rather than the Masoretic Text; for example, see Isaiah 7:14.

This page was last edited on 13 March 2018, at 19:38.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_Bible under CC BY-SA license.

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