Trinity Methodist Church, Linden, Johannesburg, South Africa.  |  |  +27 (011) 888 1740 / 1741

THIRD TERM TEACHING - The Bible and the Other Books (27 Aug 2012, 0:00 - Neil Oosthuizen)
Eighty folk continue to journey with the "Other Books" - 45 on a Tuesday evening and 35 on a Thursday morning. We have just reached the halfway point of the series, compiled and led by Rev Dr Neil Oosthuizen.

The programme so far:

week 1 - The development of the old Testament
We covered 1800 years of Israelite history in under an hour, and then focussed on how the Hebrew Bible was written and edited to the Book we have today. We looked especially at the Greek translation, the Septuagint, and how it became the Church's "Old Testament"

week 2 - The Old Testament Apocrypha
While the Hebrew Scriptures reached a fairly "fixed" form by 150 BCE, extra books were added to the Septuagint, and were therefore included in the Church's "Scripture". These additional books in the Greek Old Testament (and, therefore, the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Bible) are called the "Apocrypha" (i.e. the "hidden books"). We looked at each book in the Apocrypha, and what value there is for us in reading them today.

week 3 - The Old testament Pseudepigrapha
However, there were a number of "other books" circulating within Judaism between the time of Daniel being written (c.162 BCE) and Jesus beginning His ministry. These books were important to the early Church, as the writers of the New Testament quote them. Some of these books are included in various Bibles around the world (e.g. the Old Russian Bible has an extra book, as does the Syriac Bible, etc). Once again, we closed off by asking what their importance is for Christians today.

week 4 - The Dead Sea Scrolls
Thousands of ancient scroll fragments found near the Dead Sea in Israel in the middle of the 20th century have revolutionised our understanding of how Jewish (and, therefore, Christian) theology developed in the century or two before Jesus, and how the Old Testament developed. They have also proved invaluable in translation and understanding the accuracy of the scibal copies we have of each text.

This week we focus on the Mishnah, Toseftah, Talmud and the Aramaic Targummim, and what they mean to us as Christians, under the title The Great Books of Judaism.

Then it is on to the New Testament and the "other books" associated with it!
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