Talk:Old Testament

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Relationship with Tanakh[edit]

Shouldn't this page be redirected to the one on Tanach, and this material added there? There are many Wikipedia pages that are unnecessary duplicates, like this one, and the ones on Go/Pente and the ones on Jehovah/Yahweh. RK

I would say not. The view that the Tanakh and the Old Testament are the same is a very Christian view, not supported by most Jewish people I know. The discussion on Communion, the Lord's Supper, the Last Supper, and the Eucharist, clearly pointed out an advantage of Wiki is not paper.

I don't follow this; there must be some linguistic confusion here. For a few sentences here and there, Jews and Christians disagree over the text - but for the vast majority of the text, over 99% of it - they agree that it is precisely the same thing. Is this debate over a few sentences here and there what those Jewish people you know were referring to? Or do they believe that Christians added entire new books to the Hebrew Bible? Chrisitians, in fact, did not do this. But they did add the New Testament and Apocrypha; however, Chrisitians have never claimed that these books are part of the Old Testament/Tanach. RK
You're right, they did not, RK. We need to decide what to do with different terms for similar rites and liturgical phenomena. I do agree that in this case there is little difference. However I still think it should have two entries, or at least a double title. Someone familiar with Christianity will no doubt have trouble finding the Old Testament under 'Tanach'. The case of Eucharist/Communion as I see it deserves two separate entries, since the liturgical practice of each version of the 'Last Supper' and the theological doctrines behind them differ significantly, and could each probably be regarded typical of Roman Catholicism and of Protestantism.--TK

Could someone tell me more about which Christian scholars think the New Testament doesn't apply to Jews and why? Clearly Jews would think it doesn't apply to them, but the New Testament authors were mostly Jews, if not all of them, and their audiences clearly included both Jews and Gentiles. This is especially obvious in the Gospel according to St. Matthew and the Epistle to the Hebrews. I don't mind including that view here, but it would be helpful to include the rationale as well, I would think. --Wesley


As I had never heard of the "Tanach" until coming here, the idea that it is identical with the Old Testament is certainly new to me. It would have been impossible for someone like myself, who is rather well-read in a variety of subjects, including the bible, to find the Old Testament if there were only an entry labeled "Tanach". -- Zoe


Ok, enough back and forth. Regarding the Old Testament and the Jewish canon, I would agree based on what others have written in the Biblical canon article that the Jewish canon did not change in the second century, simply because it had not been formally discussed and approved until then, around the time of the Council of Jamnia if I'm not mistaken. Before that time, it's clear that many Jews used the Septuagint, and that most extant manuscripts of the Septuagint include part or all of the books generally called Deuterocanonical or Apocryphal. When the Jews did officially designate a canon, it was of course based on Hebrew manuscripts that did not include these books. Would not those Jews and synagogues who discontinued use of the Septuagint in favor of Hebrew manuscripts, not also at least informally have discontinued use of the Deuterocanonical books? Or am I reading into history something that didn't happen?

The larger point is that I think this article should avoid saying that the Jewish Tanach as used today is synonymous with the Christian Old Testament. For the first 1,500 years of its history, the Christian Church included the 'deuterocanonical' books in its Old Testament; the Tanach corresponds only to the Protestant Old Testament which has those books removed. The two canons are still very similar, but they are not identical. Wesley 04:23 Oct 29, 2002 (UTC)

I see no reason to assume that the Jews used the same manuscripts for the septuagint as non-Jews. Perhaps not all books were part of the original septuagint and additional books were translated separately into Greek and incorporated without note into the non-Jewish version. Ezra Wax
Well, the reason to assume it is that AFAIK there aren't any septuagint manuscripts that correspond to the Tanach canon, although some manuscripts omit a couple of books that others contain, like IV Maccabees or the 151st Psalm. However, some differences like the prayers in the book of Esther or the Song of the Three Youths in the book of Daniel are interspersed with the main text, and (in my purely amateur opinion) unlikely to have been translated separately. Is there any particular reason or evidence to suppose there were separate 'jewish' and 'non-jewish' versions of the septuagint? But I should probably do some additional research and see whether the scholars who study these things have a more informed opinion. Wesley

This paragraph is quite problematic:

The Christian Old Testament, for the most part, is identical to the Tanach. The first difference encountered is that they have a slightly different order of books. The second major difference is that the Christian Old Testament also includes many books that have extra paragraphs that do not exist in the Jewish version of the Bible. This is because the Christian Old Testament comes from the Septuagint, while the Jewish Tanach draws from a similar, but distinct textual tradition.

I have no problem for the first difference; however, there are major difficulties (mainly failure of nuance and precision) in the second difference. For one, the base text of the O.T. for Protestants is not the Septuagint (LXX) as implied in the article, but the Hebrew Massoretic text. Eastern Orthodoxy still uses the LXX, and the article should also incorporate the Roman Catholic position as well. SCCarlson 01:11 May 11, 2003 (UTC)

Christian Books[edit]

Can someone please add a Christian (not Catholic) table I'm having trouble making one. 173.20.102.126 (talk) 15:42, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Do we need the Koine Greek spelling in the lede?[edit]

It's not discussed in the article and it's not really necessary. Walter Görlitz (talk) 15:50, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

All Wikipedia articles on religious works and literary works in general contain the original titles of those works and occasionally notable translations of them to other languages (cf. New Testament and The Republic (Plato)). The English title of the Old Testament ultimately comes from the Greek one so it is a matter of etymology. I also suggest adding the Vulgate version of the title as especially notable (source for the Greek and Latin titles). This is common Wikipedia practice. --Omnipaedista (talk) 15:59, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
If no one else opposes the addition I am going to undo this revert. --Omnipaedista (talk) 16:04, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Did you read what I wrote? Let me re-write it: It's not discussed in the article.
Don't say "all" and then qualify it with "in general". Weasel words don't impress me at all. And the last I checked, Plato did not write any religious works. Walter Görlitz (talk)
I referred to Plato's text as an example of "literary works in general". See Ecclesiastes for another example. The "not discussed in the article" argument is not particularly relevant. --Omnipaedista (talk) 16:18, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section. Yes it is. Walter Görlitz (talk) 16:20, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
I will add an 'etymology' section then. --Omnipaedista (talk) 16:22, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
For the record, "in general" qualified literary works that are not religious. --Omnipaedista (talk) 16:25, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

RfC at Talk:Bible[edit]

There is an RfC at Talk:Bible#RfC: inclusion of the Lim quote concerning the quote from Timothy Lim that is also included in this article. Please participate in the RfC over there, but I suggest that the consensus there be followed here as well. StAnselm (talk) 05:38, 12 February 2015 (UTC)