Old Testament

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Books of the Bible

The Old Testament is that portion of The Bible that was written before the introduction of Jesus Christ, possibly between 950 to 500 BC. In Judaism, it is referred to as the Tanakh. The final form was settled around the middle of the 1st millennium BCE. It is the basis for the Jewish religion and adopted as part of the Christian Bible. The contents of the Old Testament are selectively followed by Christians and Jews. God seeming orders several atrocities to be committed.



Most scholars in the 20th century subscribe to the "Documentary Hypothesis," which asserts that the Pentateuch was written by a group of four authors, from various locations in Palestine, over a period of centuries. [1] Late in the 20th century, many other competing theories emerged as to the authorship of the Pentateuch.

In contrast to academics, religious tradition says that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, or Pentateuch in Jewish tradition.

Old Testament morality[edit]

Main Article: Selective use of Old Testament law

The Old Testament contains many cultural aspects that modern Christians find embarrassing or uncomfortable. For example, there is support for slavery, and laws such as the one about stoning unruly children. Often, when confronted by these verses, Christians will selectively obey the Old Testament while claiming the law no longer applies because it was overridden by the sacrifice of Jesus.

There are at least three problems with this excuse:

  1. Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." (Matthew 5:17-18 Bible-icon.png)
  2. If you don't think that the Old Testament law still applies, then you don't believe in the Ten Commandments — those are strictly Old Testament.
  3. Regardless of whether or not God still wants you to follow the law of stoning unruly teenagers to death, the fact that he ever made such a law in the first place makes him morally bankrupt. Many would go so far as to say that this is never a good law in any time, and the fact the it was handed down directly by a supreme being who ought to know better raises serious doubts about that being's understanding of morality.


  1. Friedman, Richard: Who Wrote the Bible? ISBN 0-06-063035-3

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