Are their early church fathers for the old testament?


#1

What I’m asking is whether there were men in ancient Israel who did similiar things to the early church fathers? e.g. Showing original interpretation of scripture and demonstrating scriptures truth. Does anyone have their writings if their are any?


#2

Interesting question..

Jesus, as the Messiah and incarnate Word came to fulfill that very function: to bring the Law and Prophets to final fulfillment and to offer the definitive teaching on them:

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to **fulfill **them" (Matthew 5:17).

44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things" (Luke 24:44-48).

Pay attention to that final statement: "you are witnesses of these things." It is important for understanding the apostolic authority that underlies the New Testament..

He gave the apostles and their successors the bishops (guided by the Holy Spirit, here called "the Advocate") full authority to teach the definitive meaning of the Old Testament scriptures in light of His fulfillment of them; hence , the New Testament and apostolic tradition: “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:26-27).

Thus the final answer to your question is that the New Testament (as interpreted by magisterium of the Catholic Church) itself serves as the definitive teaching on the Old Testament. The ultimate truth of the Old Testament can not be known apart from Christ (the living incarnate Word of God) and the New Testament (the written Word of God).

I hope that helps.


#3

There were the Scribes and Pharisees who were teachers of the law. Among the Dead Sea Scrolls there are many fragments of writings and commentaries on Scripture. I know very little about other writings that still exist other than Josephus and Philo that are not among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Unlike the Church where God's people were unified, the time before the Church God's people were scattered and were not held together by the unification of the Holy Spirit. Jesus came and confronted the Scribes and Pharisees of their misunderstandings and misguided understanding of the law. So the value of writers prior to the Church don't hold the weight of the Church Fathers.

There are apocraphal Old Testament writings such as the book of Enoch, Assumption of Moses, etc. Those are worth reading because they did hold some level of authority.


#4

I’m curious because, I was wondering if their was an ancient source on the author of Isaiah. Was it Isaiah or several people?


#5

[quote="FireFromHeaven, post:4, topic:330434"]
I'm curious because, I was wondering if their was an ancient source on the author of Isaiah. Was it Isaiah or several people?

[/quote]

I trust the traditional view of Isaiah writing all of Isaiah.


#6

[quote="COPLAND_3, post:5, topic:330434"]
I trust the traditional view of Isaiah writing all of Isaiah.

[/quote]

I do too but the guy I'm trying to explain it to doesn't accept that.


#7

The Talmud is a collection of writings of rabbis (teachers) that is thought to have been composed between 200 BC and 400 or 600 AD. Perhaps these are the Jewish early "church" fathers you are talking about. Talmud means "study" and it is short for Talmud Torah, the study of the Torah.

On the other hand, if you are looking for Christian leaders who wrote about the Old Testament, sure, there are some early bishops and others who have done that.

The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Intervarsity Press) is a large and therefore somewhat expensive set of volumes of selected writings and commentaries on the Old Testament.

The second volume of the OT series was edited by a Catholic priest who has an excellent short (15-page) overview listing the identities and emphases of these early writers. This essay contains some excellent points which I might be able to discuss a little further, by means of private message, if you are interested in anything in particular. It's 2 a.m. local time, and so I can't get to this right now.


#8

[quote="FireFromHeaven, post:6, topic:330434"]
I do too but the guy I'm trying to explain it to doesn't accept that.

[/quote]

What is his specific reason for not accepting that?


#9

[quote="thistle, post:8, topic:330434"]
What is his specific reason for not accepting that?

[/quote]

Because of the change in content of the book of Isaiah, it appears to have been written by two or three authors, over a long period of time -- so I've heard.


#10

[quote="FireFromHeaven, post:6, topic:330434"]
I do too but the guy I'm trying to explain it to doesn't accept that.

[/quote]

The issue is that the Gospel writer tells us Jesus was handed the scroll of the Prophet Isaiah and he read, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me...."

This section is from "Deutero" Isaiah, but the Gospel writer, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit makes no mention of this.

Jesus quotes regularly from Deuteronomy and says, "As Moses told you" and he quotes from Daniel and quotes Daniel as the author. I bring these two up because they also are hotly disputed books.

Jesus also told us that he tells us nothing except what has been given Him to say by the Father. So if He quotes a book and attributes authorship incorrectly then He has told a formal untruth and made Himself and the Father a liar. And we just can't got there.

Jesus also groups the OT together as the Law and the Prophets and never once mentions apocryphal authorship for any of the books so again this would be sticky given His claim about His authority.

The reason I reject the multiple authorship of the OT and the compilation theories is because it is evident Jesus did.

Also if you read the theorists no one can figure out who wrote what and which parts should be attributed to which time. All of this is really just wild guessing millennia after the fact and none of it takes into account thematic clarity and consistency that argues for single authorship. Furthermore those who argue for more than one author of Isaiah do so because Isaiah talks about King Cyrus who lived 300 years after the prophet and so the critics say he could not have written about him. In other words they begin to discuss a book of prophesy by denying there is any such thing as prophesy. None of the Jewish writers of antiquity (Talmud) believed this about the authors and neither did the Apostolic writers or Church Fathers.

One of the paramount rules of history is that those sources taken from the times closer to the events themselves are to be believed over the modern critics. Furthermore when there is agreement among writers of antiquity about a source that agreement is to be believed. These rules hold true for the writings of Cicero and Plato and Aristotle of which we have almost none and what we do have come from nearly a thousand years after their writing, but some how a consistent witness given in written form is to be rejected because it appears in the Bible say the higher critics?

Come on....


#11

[quote="thistle, post:8, topic:330434"]
What is his specific reason for not accepting that?

[/quote]

He wants a line of disciples of Isaiah or people who knew him testifying to its authorship.


#12

[quote="bogeydogg, post:10, topic:330434"]
The issue is that the Gospel writer tells us Jesus was handed the scroll of the Prophet Isaiah and he read, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me...."

This section is from "Deutero" Isaiah, but the Gospel writer, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit makes no mention of this.

Jesus quotes regularly from Deuteronomy and says, "As Moses told you" and he quotes from Daniel and quotes Daniel as the author. I bring these two up because they also are hotly disputed books.

Jesus also told us that he tells us nothing except what has been given Him to say by the Father. So if He quotes a book and attributes authorship incorrectly then He has told a formal untruth and made Himself and the Father a liar. And we just can't got there.

Jesus also groups the OT together as the Law and the Prophets and never once mentions apocryphal authorship for any of the books so again this would be sticky given His claim about His authority.

The reason I reject the multiple authorship of the OT and the compilation theories is because it is evident Jesus did.

Also if you read the theorists no one can figure out who wrote what and which parts should be attributed to which time. All of this is really just wild guessing millennia after the fact and none of it takes into account thematic clarity and consistency that argues for single authorship. Furthermore those who argue for more than one author of Isaiah do so because Isaiah talks about King Cyrus who lived 300 years after the prophet and so the critics say he could not have written about him. In other words they begin to discuss a book of prophesy by denying there is any such thing as prophesy. None of the Jewish writers of antiquity (Talmud) believed this about the authors and neither did the Apostolic writers or Church Fathers.

One of the paramount rules of history is that those sources taken from the times closer to the events themselves are to be believed over the modern critics. Furthermore when there is agreement among writers of antiquity about a source that agreement is to be believed. These rules hold true for the writings of Cicero and Plato and Aristotle of which we have almost none and what we do have come from nearly a thousand years after their writing, but some how a consistent witness given in written form is to be rejected because it appears in the Bible say the higher critics?

Come on....

[/quote]

Which gospel is this? Is their a way to trace it back to the apostles?


#13

[quote="FireFromHeaven, post:12, topic:330434"]
Which gospel is this? Is their a way to trace it back to the apostles?

[/quote]

Its the Gospel of Luke when He preaches his first sermon and the Gospel of John Jesus says He says nothing but what is given Him by the Father.

And yes the way to trace it back is that the earliest of Church Fathers (like Clement of Rome who died in 100 AD) make mention of the Gospels so they were clearly extant. Paul in the letter to the Corinthians (written 55 AD give or take) talks about the last supper and says he received it from Christ so we know the Gospel story was not fabricated in the second century because Paul is talking about it in the first.

Justin Martyr (100-165) quotes from Matthew Mark and Luke in his writings which throws over board those who say the Gospels were not written until after 200 AD.

Some other early Church Fathers to look at are Ignatius of Antioch and Ploycarp pf Smyrna both of whom were disciples of the Apostle John.

There is actually a wealth of evidence that tells us plainly the Apostles took the teachings of Christ and founded Churches under bishops (we see Paul doing this in Acts and his letters to Timothy and Titus are to two such Bishops) and these Bishops handed the faith to other faithful men. We have fragments of New Testament Scripture by the thousands some of which go back into the first century (Mark and John) and the many many documents we have show agreement that is overwhelmingly in favor of single authority.

So if we accept Apostolic Authority for the New Testament then it only makes sense that we would believe their witness about the Old Testament. They were Jews who had been trained rigorously in the Scripture (as Jewish boys are) and their testimony concerning the Old Testament is uniform.

So yes I am utterly unimpressed with 19th Century and later critics who began with an assumption that there are no miracles or prophecy and arrived at the conclusion that the Bible is not trustworthy.

Such a conclusion should be filed under the category of "Duh!"


#14

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