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Biblical Studies

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Overview[edit | edit source]

This work reflects the study of the Judeo-Christian Bible and related texts. For Christianity, the Bible traditionally comprises the New Testament and Old Testament (also called the Hebrew Bible), which together are sometimes called the "Scriptures." Judaism recognizes as scripture only the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Tanakh, an acronym for the Hebrew names of its divisions: Torah (Law), Nevi'im (Prophets) and Ketuvim (writings). Other texts often examined by biblical scholars include the Jewish apocrypha, the Jewish pseudepigrapha, the Christian apocrypha, the many varieties of ante-Nicene early Christian literature, and early Jewish literature.

Study Methods[edit | edit source]

There are several approaches to study of, and commentary on, the Judeo-Christian texts. The distinctions are found in the understanding of the Origins for the text and the basis of Truth found in the texts.

Orthodox Religious Study[edit | edit source]

In the Jewish community, the classical approach is Orthodox religious study of the Bible, where it is assumed that the Bible has a Divine origin and the human writers were inspired directly by the Spirit of God when writing. This is also true in the conservative Christian communities that hold to a Biblical Worldview and those who hold to the historically traditional Church view.

In both cases, Biblical writings are considered to be absolute truth coming directly from God and form the basis for all moral, ethical and social practices of believers.

Progressive or Mainstream Religious Study[edit | edit source]

It is common in both Judaic and Christian contemporary religious communities, often called Mainstream, to study the Bible as a human creation, where the writings were originated by people inspired by God as well as being inspired by Religious Study.

Such an approach yields scripture that is considered to be truthful only in some respects, which necessitates the addition of other writings or rational thinking in order to reach truthful and applicable practices of moral, ethical and social thought. In such cases, studies include high consideration for texts that are part of a tradition. These include Apochryphal writings and rabbinical commentaries. Also, science and other contemporary knowledge from the academic community is often used to augment the understanding of Biblical text.

Secular Study of the Bible[edit | edit source]

Secular practitioners of Biblical Studies view the Bible as literature and not Sacred text. Most do not have any faith commitment to the texts they study. Biblical criticism seems to reject the idea that the Bible was written by prophets or teachers inspired by God. Indeed, this practice, when applied to the Torah, is generally considered heresy by the entire Orthodox Jewish community. As such, much modern day Bible commentary written by non-Orthodox Judaic authors is considered treif (forbidden) by rabbis teaching in Orthodox yeshivas.

Some classical rabbinic commentators, such as Abraham Ibn Ezra, Gersonides and Maimonides, used many elements of modern day biblical criticism, including their then-current knowledge of history, science and philology. Their use of historical and scientific analysis of the Bible was considered kosher by historic Judaism due to the author's faith commitment to the idea that God revealed the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai.

The Modern Orthodox Jewish community allows for a wider array of biblical criticism to be used for biblical books outside of the Torah, and a few Orthodox commentaries now incorporate many of the techniques previously found in the academic world, e.g. the Da'at Miqra series.

Non-Orthodox Jews, including those affiliated with Conservative Judaism and Reform Judaism, accept the validity of both traditional and secular approaches to Bible studies. See the article on Revelation for details of how members of these groups understand this concept.

The Wikipedia article on Jewish commentaries on the Bible discusses Jewish Tanakh commentaries from the Targums to classical rabbinic literature, the midrash literature, the classical medieval commentators, and modern day commentaries.

Acknowledgment[edit | edit source]

The Judeo-Christian Texts[edit | edit source]


To do:
List the original text and authors of the text that are part of the Tanakh and Christian Bible (most shared) and other related contemporaneous writing that can help the analysis, if possible with references to translation/adaptation if the original is unknown.

The Tanakh and The Christian Bible[edit | edit source]


To do:
Explain the distinctions in the contemporaneous versions of the text, organization and rational for the changes made to the originals, problems in translation etc...

Christianity[edit | edit source]

The Early Christian Church[edit | edit source]

History of the Roman Catholic Church[edit | edit source]

The Protestant Reformation[edit | edit source]

Contemporary Christian Developments[edit | edit source]

Christian Bible Revisions[edit | edit source]


To do:
List the different revisions of the Christian Bible, dates and rationales

Biblical Commentaries[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

Wikiversity has learning materials on the New Testament [1]