Friday, February 18, 2022

The Hebrew Scriptures

THE HEBREW SCRIPTURES (Jews, 8th/7th to 2nd/1st centuries BCE)

The Jewish people have a tradition of maintaining religious writings in the Hebrew language. The Masoretic Text (codified 7th to 10th century CE) consists of 24 books similar to those of the Protestant Christian so-called Old Testament, which divides the same material into 39 books and arranges it in a different order. (Catholic and Orthodox Bibles contain added materials).

The Hebrew scriptures are divided into three sections:

  • The Torah or "Five Books of Moses," identical to those in the Christian Scriptures;
  • The Nevi'im (Prophets), including historical and quasi-historical books--from Joshua to Kings, designated the "Former prophets"--as well as writings attributed to 3 prophets like Isaiah and "The Twelve" including Hosea to Malachi; and
  • The Ketuvim (Writings), more or less poetic books like Psalms, Proverbs, and Job, as well as short books like the Song of Songs, Ruth, and Esther.


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