Talk:Hebrew Bible

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New Testament[edit]

Are there any more books in Hebrew Bible or Jewish canon " after Christ ", i.e. written at approximately the same time ( or about those years ) as the New Testament ? Or any other hebrew canonical books about these times ? Istorrikas — Preceding unsigned comment added by Istorrikas (talkcontribs) 12:45, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Not in the Hebrew Bible, the last book of which is Malachi (also the last book in the Protestant cannon). There is the Talmud, but I'm not clear on its dates of authorship and it is NOT is in the Hebrew Bible although it is highly valued by Jews. --Grammarbishop8 (talk) 20:49, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Maccabees is from a time less than 200 years before Christ, about 160 BC. The Song of Solomon is pretty late, tho not that late. A few others too. But basically no.PiCo (talk) 08:08, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Not a recommendation but a question...[edit]

I'm somewhat confused, I've only just began Judaic studies having just purchased a Jewish Study Bible; why is there a separate page for Jewish Bible and Tanakh if they are the same? Or are they and I'm the one incorrect?--D Namtar 00:58, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

It would be good to[edit]

It would be good to have somewhere with a detailed comparison because I am very confused. --Inayity (talk) 11:50, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Very confusing articles[edit]

What is Hebrew Bible and what is Tanakh? Tanakh says it is Hebrew Bible and Hebrew Bible says it is Tanakh. I think that should be clearly stated.

I think all of these things should be simplified, the definitions. - Tanakh - Hebrew Bible - Torah 67.190.164.74 (talk) 14:00, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

Dates of oldest parts?[edit]

This article, without citation, suggests the earlier parts were written at the end of the 2nd Millenium BCE. This does not agree with most modern scholarly opinions or the information on this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dating_the_Bible One would hope that such an early date would come with a citation. I thought this needed to be brought to light, but will leave the change to a more experienced editor. Lucretius6 (talk)Lucretius6 —Preceding undated comment added 21:41, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

Upon another look, the citation of the following paragraph applies, although one citation for two paragraphs is unclear. The text is taken more or less word for word from the PBS site--close enough for plagiarism to apply in an academic context, but, again, I will leave this to wiki experts to decide how to proceed. Lucretius6 (talk)Lucretius6 —Preceding undated comment added 21:48, 7 February 2014 (UTC)


--The section on dates is quite inaccurate in general, although it is correct that "the documentary hypothesis, and has been the dominant theory for the past two hundred years", it's wrong to say that the majority of scholars agree on the 4 authors assumption. The documentary hypothesis was very influential, but the greatest consensus of Hebrew Bible scholars have managed to achieve has been the p & non-p authorship. (Priestly, not priestly). Anyway, I'm new to wikipedia, but will consider rewriting this with - at the very least - mentions of alternative origins/authorship theories, with citations. +(addition since I first wrote) using the source I suggested (below) as well as the content from the original section, I have rewritten the section on dating the Hebrew Bible, you can view my suggestion on my user:Noxiyu/sandbox. Either head to my talk page to my talk page or respond here if you agree (or disagree!) with this edit. — Preceding undated comment added 18:19, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Suggested sources: Davies, Introduction to the Pentateuch, in Barton, Muddiman (eds.), The Oxford Bible Commentary, 2001, 12-38 [1]

Noxiyu (talk) 04:01, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Tanakh[edit]

These articles aren't about different subjects, but about the same subject from Christian ("Hebrew Bible") and Jewish ("Tanakh") perspectives. One article should suffice. Ibadibam (talk) 22:15, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

I strongly disagree, though I thank you for bring this up. Instead, I present a...

Counter-proposal to merge with Old Testament[edit]

If anything is to be done, the articles Hebrew Bible and Old Testament should be merged so that there's just one article on the Christian version of and perspective on those parts of the Christian Bible that correspond with the Tanakh.
(It had been slightly bothering me for a while that Hebrew Bible and Old Testament were not one article, but until your proposal I couldn't get this idea to the front of my head.) Thanks! --Geekdiva (talk) 20:56, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Hebrew Bible should definitely not be merged with Old Testament, as the latter (the name at least) must be conceded to be from a Christian perspective, whereas the notion of a Hebrew Bible cannot be. If anything, the latter is meant to distinguish the originally-Hebrew and -Aramaic books found in Tanakh (or the "Old Testament", as recognized by most Protestants, at least -- same basic set of books, textual variations notwithstanding...) from what Christians call the "New Testament" portion of their Bible, and most importantly, represents a scholarly attempt to approach these books free from the bias of any particular religion(s). Many modern academic or so-called "secular" scholars who write about the Hebrew Bible under that rubric are not Christians -- a good many are in fact Jewish -- and many would take exception to the assertion that they are writing about a Christian version or from a Christian perspective.
Where distinctive religious views exist as to the particular canon, authoritative texts, history, significance, etc. of the books held by various groups to constitute what each of them sees as the "Jewish Scriptures" or "Old Testament", an article or article section on just those distinctive views would in my opinion be justified. Anything more than that strikes me as segregation-according-to-religion for its own sake, and does not belong on Wikipedia.--IfYouDoIfYouDon't (talk) 00:58, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
ISTM that there is no consensus for either this, or for the following merge proposal. My count is 13 against vs. 7 for. And this has been pending for long enough that it should be closed. As an interested party, I should not be the one to close it, but I don't know the official way of drawing it to the attention of administrators (if, indeed, that is what one does). TomS TDotO (talk) 22:03, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

Might it help if we try to imagine describing the differences in these terms to, say, a ten year old child? For instance to the child of a Rabbi and the child of a Christian minister? We would include just enough to show the different nuances and would avoid anything unnecessary. Might it be something like the following?

  • There are three different ways of describing this almost-the-same collection of books:
    • Jewish people call this collection of sacred books 'Tanakh'. It is their Bible.
    • Christians in worship call this collection the 'Old Testament' to distinguish it from their other collection, the 'New Testament'. These two collections together form their Bible.
    • The term 'Hebrew Bible' is used by (who) to describe (what).

How (remembering that this is for a ten year old child) do we fill in the (who) and the (what)? (Reformulating that last point is permitted, but we must keep it clear, simple and brief.) Feline Hymnic (talk) 10:46, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

  • Merge Feline Hymnic has it spot on. At least 90% of people in the English-speaking world would be wondering how the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible relates to the Old Testament, which is the standard term used not just by Christians but in the culture. Indeed, non-religious people are going to be the most confused; devout Christians can guess that "Hebrew Bible" means "Old Testament". It's as with Burma and Myanmar; maybe some people prefer Myanmar, but Burma is the English word that country, and it would be silly to have two articles, with either not mentioning the other name in the first paragraph. What's needed is just a section explaining the three terms, as well as Veterum Testamentum, and whatever Moslems call the book etc. Erasmuse (talk) 14:03, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Merge The Hebrew Bible and Tanakh should be fixed one way or another, because the absurdity of the description of these two articles. I think there are a lot of redundancy happening in all these Tanakh, Hebrew Bible, Oral Torah, Talmud, Torah. Tanakh says it is Hebrew Bible and Hebrew Bible says it is Tanakh. I think there are fundamental simplicity lacking in these articles. I think they should be merged, condensed, duplicated ideas and meanings should be removed. I'm not really understanding anything by reading any of these two articles. 67.190.167.127 (talk) 21:31, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
- Merge- I am no expert But I will admit I was very confused, and still am. I came here originally to figure it all out.--Inayity (talk) 22:46, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  • No merge -- This article is clearly about the term HB and not about the actual set of book themselves, and it makes a good point: both "Old Testament" and "Tanakh" are terms that describe the collection from within a particular religious perspective, while "Hebrew Bible" is meant to be a neutral term. The structure of the article is pretty clear that it's not about the books themselves, but about the terminology. If anything, the lede could be written to clarify that the article is about terminology instead of about textual content. Aristophanes68 (talk) 02:44, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Merge The term "Hebrew Bible" is patronising and slightly racist. If we described the Koran as the "Arab Bible" bad things would happen. It's the Tanakh. Live with it. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 00:31, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Umm, Hebrew refers to the language of the texts, since the Hebrew Bible does not include the Greek Jewish writings. So the analogy would be "the Arabic Bible". Just wanted to make sure it was clear that racism isn't really an issue here. Aristophanes68 (talk) 03:40, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
Umm2 The issue is in thoughtlessly using a Greek word, appropriated to describe a Christian collection of writings, to describe Hebrew texts. The "Hebrew" bit isn't a problem, I simply think we should use a more neutral term to describe the corpus. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 13:42, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
  • merge - (merge Tanakh and OT here! not in any other direction) In the scholarly world, the field of study of all the literature (as well as history, archeology of ancient Israel and other topics) is called "Hebrew Bible" which i understand evolved as a way to a) avoid any religion's name for the field and b) avoid limiting the field to any particular canon. It's an entirely appropriate title for an encyclopedia article. "Tanakh" is a particular canon of books for Judaism, just as the Roman Catholic "Old Testament" is, and just as the mainline protestant "Old Testament" is. The Hebrew Bible article should be the main article, and Tanakh and OT should focus on those canons in particular. If there is not enough left in Tanakh and OT (which would surprise me) then they should just be dealt with in a section in the HB article on specific canons. I can totally see how the overlapping crept in. Pull them all together (Possibly merge Torah into Tanakh), and sort them all out, is probably the best way to do it, so that the suite of articles hangs together and is edited on a meta-level. Talmud is entirely separate topic and shouldn't even be brought up here. Jytdog (talk) 01:32, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
  • no merge - This article is about the term itself and about a certain perspective on the field as a whole. It is unfortunate that because of overlapping ideas within a popular topic, it is hard for people to keep the article focused over time as it should be. That is a weakness of the Wikipedia system for topics like this. But nevertheless, it is abundantly clear there is more than enough for separate articles on the canon histories of both Old Testament and Tanakh, and certainly enough for one tight article here about the special way that Hebrew Bible has captured their intersection in the past (Latin Biblia Hebraica, Protestantism) and continues to capture their intersection today (in modern scholarship). Dovi (talk) 18:59, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Offensive term? I point out the "Hebrew University Bible Project". TomS TDotO (talk) 18:18, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Merge 2 not all 3 articles Definitely merge the titled "Hebrew Bible" into the "Tanakh" because Tanakh is it's appropriate name. However, don't merge either with the "Old Testament" for the reasons given above and especially because most of the differing interpretations will fit better within one rather than the other perspective. Then "Hebrew Bible" searches etc. should go to the "Tanakh" article. It seems that some text should be moved from the then deleted "Hebrew Bible" title into the "Old Testament" article 67.167.10.252 (talk) 20:18, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
  • No merge The Old Testament is the Hebrew Bible from a Christian perspective. The Tanakh is the Hebrew Bible from a Jewish perspective. The article about the Hebrew Bible is about the usage of the term in interfaith discussions. All three articles have their own purposes on Wikipedia, and all three should be retained. However, if there is going to be a merge, I would merge Hebrew Bible and Tanakh, but NEVER merge the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible with the Old Testament as that is blatant ignorance of the Jewish take on the Tanakh and violates Wikipedia's policy on having a neutral point of view. PointsofNoReturn (talk) 17:16, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
  • No merge. The current setup with the three articles is a good one - one on the Jewish canon, one on the Christian canon, and one neutral, overview type article focusing on terminology. The arguments presented for the merge are all rather weak, and some downright POVish. StAnselm (talk) 04:15, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
  • No Merge and agree with @StAnselm:; @PointsofNoReturn:; @Dovi:; @Aristophanes68: -- all in agreement that if it ain't broke, don't fix it since this arrangement has been in place for a very long time on WP. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 19:54, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
  • No merge per PointsofNoReturn. This proposal shows an utter lack of understanding of the Hebrew Bible, which was in fact written in Hebrew, not English. The Christian Old Testament, in contrast, was a Greek/Latin translation of the Hebrew which was then translated into English and other languages. There are significant differences in translation between the two versions, reflecting the Christian attempt to undermine the Jews' status as the "chosen people" and make themselves the new chosen of God (thus, "Old" and "New" Testament). Yoninah (talk) 20:56, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Do not merge Merging the articles Old Testament and Tanakh is inappropriate, as they refer to two different sets of books. Whilst it is true that the Old Testament is based on the Tanakh, most versions of the Old Testament include books not in the Tanakh. Moreover, the Old Testament usually refers to the Latin or Greek translations, which are not word-for-word equivalents to the Tanakh (which lead to rather different interpretations of Isaiah 7:14, for example). As for merging Hebrew Bible with Tanakh, there may be more of a reason for that, other than Tanakh is rather long already, and Hebrew Bible may well have been spun off as a daughter article. Perhaps a little better connection between the two and a small subsection in Tanakh regarding how modern scholars refer to it pointing to the daughter article Hebrew Bible makes the most sense. -- Avi (talk) 21:52, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Do not merge There's an establish standard term for the Bible that is used by the Jewish religion--the term Jewish Bible is a compromise with Christian views, and may be appropriate in some contexts--such as the context being used in our article , of how it was used by the Christians. Old Testament, on the other hand, is purely and entirely a Christian concept, that is not merely non-Jewish but actively and directly and intentionally hostile to the basic concepts of the Jewish religion. It can only be used for the OT as part of the Christian Bible. DGG ( talk ) 03:12, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
  • No Merge and agree with @StAnselm:; @PointsofNoReturn:; @Dovi:; @Aristophanes68: --Yoavd (talk) 07:21, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Do Not Merge Articles should be kept separate, as they clearly deal with different concepts. In agreement with statements by users: PointsofNoReturn, Avraham, DGG, etc.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Marek69 (talkcontribs) [1]
  • No Merge. Per DGG, and the Saint. Epeefleche (talk) 21:10, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
  • No Merge. Tanakh and Old Testament (OT) differ both in content and in context. These are central scriptures of different religions. No reason whatsoever to merge. Hebrew Bible (HB) is a compromise title for combined discussion. It is an important concept that warrants separate discussion. The idea that Hebrew Bible is closer to the Tanakh than to the OT is a misperception that has found its way into the lead of the HB article. The article used to be NPOV. I remember it did cause I used it to write a similar article at the Dutch WP in 2005. That article has also been messed up. gidonb (talk) 17:28, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. Merge proposal got sidetracked to three choices at the first answer above, giving much confusion IMO. I wish we could have voted the first one up or down first. I agree that the article title, "Hebrew Bible," instead of "Tanakh" is patronizing. So Hebrew Bible should be merged there IMO. Like calling the New Testament the "Christian Koran!" The other merges should be separately, and individually discussed, as well. IMO merging Septuagint, Old Testament, etc. may be confusing.Student7 (talk) 19:07, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
  • No merge. Keep the present status. ISTM that there is no consensus in favor of any merger, whether discussed pairwise or all at once. Moreover, it would take work to make any merger at this point. Some may be aware that I have inserted a hatnote to "see" the others. That seems not to have generated any controversy. I suggest that something similar be done for the other articles, Old Testament, and Masoretic Text. And, once again, I point to the Hebrew University's use of the word Bible in their project of a critical edition of the text. It seems that the term "Hebrew Bible" is, as this article says, "widely used in academic and interfaith discussion in relatively neutral contexts". TomS TDotO (talk) 22:10, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Merge - same information, different name -- JudeccaXIII (talk) 04:49, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
      • Do Not Merge***

I have a world class degree in history of religion and culture, my name is Cory Alexander Bell. It is important to keep this distinction separate and on its own. A link to or from the other page is acceptable. Just think you are an entity, if you have a wife she is another entity but you are joined yet differ, and if you have children they are also different but joined. Likewise the terminology and roots of each part of the historical document should be unique separate entities but joined. Do this via a hyperlink and keep unique pages for both. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 205.200.189.2 (talk) 13:38, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

  • No merge I vote Do Not Merge for many of the same reasons already cited. MaynardClark (talk) 13:45, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

What about the Masoretic Text?[edit]

The Masoretic Text is a fourth article to consider in the mix. TomS TDotO (talk) 10:45, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Do you think there is significant overlap? I'm not sure. I think not, and it's large enough that summary style would have demanded a spin-off anyway, I believe. -- Avi (talk) 14:52, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
Your comments above drawing distinctions between the Hebrew and the Greek, etc., reminded me of the Masoretic Text vs. other traditions. Today's vernacular versions no longer are beholden to the Septuagint (or Vulgate) (although, I may be mistaken, that Greek Christians are faithful to the Septuagint, and some Western Christians include the mostly Greek-based Apocrypha, and Syrian Christians remain faithful to the Peshitta) but they do take account of texts other than the Masoretic. Anyway, that's what made me think of the Masoretic. And there it is, a Wikipedia article on the Masoretic Text. And then there is Miqra', which seems to be a synonym for Tanakh, but it, at least, does not have its own article - am I right? After posting the above, the thought occurred to me that it would be appropriate to have something available in Wikipedia which spells out the differences or similarities of these now 5 different expressions. I don't have a good solution and the only one that I can think of is some boilerplate, perhaps a template, which could be included in all 4 current articles. Something saying "There are four different aspects to the same work which are covered in Wikipedia. Tanakh, or Miqra', is the important holy text of Judaism. The Masoretic Text is the textual tradition behind the Tanakh and the most important Hebrew and Aramaic text. The Hebrew Bible is the mostly scholarly reconstruction based on the various textual traditions including ancient versions. The Old Testament is the related holy book of Christians." (I know that I have infelicities there, but i'm just making this up on the fly; keeping in mind that it is likely going to be forgotten). BTW, it seems to be that it is unrealistic to have a merger of articles at this late stage (if it had been better to do that at the start - if). TomS TDotO (talk) 19:04, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Canon and ancient versions are not the same topic. The discussion here is about the first, and masoretic text is about a crucial text history that is part of the second.

In general: The character and history of individual canons are each separate topics that require articles and even sub-articles. The same is true for individual textual traditions. The whole discussion on this page, by assuming that overlapping but ultimately distinct topics can be combined, seems to be blissfully unaware of the richness and complicated nature of the field. Let someone looking for the basics find them in Bible, and let people who want more depth consult more detailed articles. Dovi (talk) 19:31, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

I am not disputing anything that you say. I am only suggesting that the reader ought to be informed of the existence of the related topics, and that it would be a help to the reader to read a brief summary of the distinctions. A hatnote "see also" template seems to be too brief a medium. I can understand someone having objections to the wording that I just made off the cuff. But something ought to be said. TomS TDotO (talk) 21:18, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
All these different articles are ridiculous. In my view, only Tanakh should be kept, because the Old Testament is a Christian-centric term invented by the Anti-Jewish supercessionist Marcion. If need be though, Hebrew Bible and Tanakh should be merged as the Jewish view, and Old Testament the Christian. --Monochrome_Monitor 02:42, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
  • merge - (merge Tanakh and Old Testament). Christians must be made aware that the words of the canonical books of their so-called Old Testament are the same words that make up the Jewish people's so-called Tanakh, that is, the Hebrew Scriptures (with a small percentage actually written in what is sometimes referred to as Biblical Aramaic, rather than the Biblical Hebrew language). I supply no citations here: tertiary students will recognize these truths as common knowledge. Christians who are Protestants add no books to their Old Testament but arrange the books (or name the divisions of certain books by the number of scrolls it takes to write the book in the Hebrew language, such as "First Samuel" or "One Samuel" for the scroll referred to as "Samuel Aleph" in Hebrew, "aleph" being the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet, and never more than two scrolls per Hebrew Bible book) in a slightly different order, inter-mixing the order of the Hebrew Bible books in the "nun" area (that is the Prophets) of the "tav-nun-khaf" nomenclature of "Tanakh" (the three-Hebrew-letter acronym or abbreviation for the three sections of the Hebrew Bible, namely, the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings, making a made-up word for the Hebrew names for each section using the first letter of said section, being "tav" for Torah, "nun" for Prophets, and "khaf" for Writings) with some Bible books in the "khaf" area of the "Tanakh" or Hebrew Scriptures (that is the Writings, as these books are called). Now the Roman Catholic Christians and the Eastern Orthodox Christians (not to be confused with the Jewish Orthodox "tribe" within the whole Hebrew "family" of the religion of Judaism) do include additional books that no true Jew and no true Baptist would call Bible. There is a division of opinion in the reckoning of what is a Bible book within the Christian "family" with debated additions of books to the sum of Bible books; some of these "family members" are not on speaking terms with each other, especially in that Mormons, or Latter Day Saints (divided into two branches or "twins") also call themselves "Christians" but are disowned by all other "Christians" because they add the writings of Joseph Smith (in English) to the divine writ of their Holy Scriptures written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Certain Jewish followers of the Christian Messiah, Jesus, were excommunicated or cast out of synagogue by the Jewish Sanhedrin (that is the highest Jewish court of The Land, as formed by precedent, detailed within the law of Moses) by majority vote, namely, the Jesus-followers Matthew, Peter (a certain Simon whom Jesus nicknamed Cepha(s) in Aramaic, the famed Peter from the translation of Cephas into Greek, as transliterated into English—please don't get me started in explaining the s and n endings of accusative and nominative forms of names in the Greek language, where adding s to Joshua results in Jesus, or adding s to Kifa produces Cephas, ad infinitum), John, James (or Ja'akov plus s equals James, somehow, after centuries) and Saul (who was also a Roman citizen under the name of Paul), mostly Galileans, from Galilee, or the Galil, who, with two or three others, wrote about Jesus in certain books collected in Greek, some of which may first have been written in Hebrew or Aramaic, especially two or three of the four Gospel books, which four Gospels the Muslims collectively call "Injil"—as a corruption of their original autographs, any true Muslim will avow. In my humble opinion, the Muslims are wrong to say the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures (whatever one's opinion of what they may be) written by the "people of The Book" are not now extant corruptions of their autographs. All of this is common knowledge, or, at least what I would call common knowledge, so I dispense with citations. Lennyluo (talk) 17:11, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Actually there are differing opinions in Islam on whether the Tanakh is corrupted. The earliest Muslim scholars say it was the interpretation that was corrupted and not the actual text, this changed over time though. [2] As for the gospel I would agree that it is corrupted in the sense that its primary influence was Paul, who never even met Jesus. [3] --Monochrome_Monitor 04:21, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
  • merge - At the moment this word is used in countless articles, and merely serves as a POV method to imply ancient Iudaeans are responsible for everything in this Bible. I also find it remarkable how at first most people were in favor of merging the articles, but then in less than a week 7 people suddenly ganged up against a merger. Oh wikipedia.. Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 10:50, 23 April 2015 (UTC)