Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Getting an education. Cheat?

Nope. Not what you think.

I told my nephew, Matthew that I would take his Bible classes with him. He's taking two of them this semester and I've ordered the books. He sent me the syllabus for one of the classes. I just have to ask for the other one. Biblical Studies (Hermeneutics) and Old Testament Survey. The biblical studies is probably going to annoy me, but I plan to go through it and see what I can learn. I'm always up for learning. And hey ... it's just reading and processing. That is my forte. Words on paper? Oh yea ... baby.

The Old Testament Survey class? I'm not even to the scripture part of this and I'm already a little high from learning. I will apologize right now - you may be reading a lot about the Old Testament over the next few months (until the end of the semester). But, that's good for all of us, eh?

Did you know that although the OT is primarily written in Hebrew, there are several passages that were written in Aramaic? Aramaic and Hebrew were both Semitic languages. Those passages are: Genesis 31:47b; Ezra 4:8-6:18, 7:12-26; Jeremiah 10:11b; and Daniel 2:4b-7:28). I went into my Bible to mark these passages that were in Aramaic, and lo and behold, I already had most of them marked. Goes to show ... my brain loses information regularly.

There are many early Old Testament texts:
The Masoretic Text. Composed about AD 100, Oldest known copy about AD 1000. This is the most reliable text.

Samaritan Pentateuch. Composed about 200-100 BC. Oldest known copy about AD 1100. A decidedly Samaritan slant.

Dead Sea Scrolls. These contain at least a part of every OT book. Confirms the reliability of the Masoretic. Composed about 200-100 BC. Oldest known copies about 200-100 BC. (These are all being scanned and photographed and will be posted digitally over the next few years. The scanning process is bringing up all sorts of characters that weren't visible to the naked eye. I'm excited. A lot of scholarly work will be done on these once they are shared with Biblical scholars around the world. Check out THIS CNN story.)

Those are all in Hebrew. Then in 300-200BC, the OT was translated into Greek in approximately 300-200 BC. It was called the Septuagint. Oldest known copy about AD 300-500. Confirms much of the original text.

Here's how it goes. I'm learning what Matt is learning. You're learning bits and pieces of what I'm learning. Hmmm ... that's a lot of fruit from one kid's tuition!

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