How close were the writers of the historical books of the Old Testement to the events they wrote about? I was reading about the Kakure Kirishitans and the very corrupt and distorted version of Christianity they ended up with due to the lack of ordained clergy, copies of the Bible, and how they had to really disguise their faith, and I realized this had happened in just a couple centuries compared to all of human history. If stories to change so quickly, how so we know the stories of the Old Testament aren’t at the very least exaggerated versions of history, or even just legends?
Why trust the Old Testament? Jesus certainly treated it as authentic (He certainly pointed to the Scriptures many times during His ministry, and even after the resurrection He expounded the Scriptures to the men on the road to Emmaus). The early church taught out of these Scriptures (Phillip took the Ethiopian eunuch through the Scriptures to prove Jesus was the Christ, and the Bereans searched the Scriptures daily to confirm what they were being taught). Paul makes it clear that all Scripture is God-breathed. I am not aware of any archeological discovery that has contradicted the Scriptures (of course, I do not accept the deuterocanonical books as Scripture, so I don’t have to be concerned about the historical errors found in Judith). Other than the book of Genesis, I don’t find any reason to believe the Scriptures were written by anyone who could not confirm what was written by eye witnesses.
As far as errors, the Apostles had to deal with false brethern teaching false doctrines even as the New Testament was being written, so it should be no surprise that a group of people could fall into error.
If the Old Testament is good enough for Jesus then it’s certainly good enough for me!
Tim Staples often says that if it weren’t for Jesus, he wouldn’t trust the Old Testament.
There is plenty of evidence for Christ’s existence and in those stories. So, if Christ can trust the Old Testament scriptures, being the Son of God, shouldn’t we also be able to?
Yes, if the OT including the Septuagint is good enough for Jesus to learn, debate and correct from, then it’s certainly good enough for me too.
This link might answer some of your questions but only in relation to Catholic belief. Not sure what others believe.
What I found interesting is that old versions of the Talmud found in different geographical locations were more uniform than various NT versions. The differences in OT was more in terms of vowels and consonants. In NT versions written no more than 300 years after the composition of Books, the differences were numerous though few were important.
“I come not to destroy the Law but to fulfill it.” (Matthew 5:17)
The Old Testament is not just mere history, but a foreshadowing of Christ’s coming. Many prophets foretold the Messiah whom we now know is Jesus Christ.
We believe in (accept) the Old Testament because we believe Jesus gave His authority to the Apostles and their successors, and promised them that the Holy Spirit would lead them into all truth. So when they affirmed the Old Testament books as the Inspired Word of God, we believe that the Lord guided and protected that decision.
So the stories that were passed down through the generations of the people of God are preserved and passed on to us as the Inspired Word. This doesn’t mean that they are eyewitness transcriptions of events. It means that the stories, AS PRESERVED, are part of God’s message to the world.
I know that you list your religion as Anabaptist and so this is perhaps not as powerful an affirmation for you as it is for us Catholics, but it is truth as I understand it.