Editorial glosses in the Old Testament

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Bluefalcon, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
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    I realize this thread may bend the minds of some, but it's very interesting and I'm writing as one who believes in the complete inerrancy of the Scriptures.

    The Old Testament has many places that indicate editorial action. As an inerrantist I believe the editors were inspired, and most likely holy prophets (e.g. Samuel, Jeremiah) or scribes (e.g. Ezra).

    Some examples follow:

    Gen. 36:31–39 lists Edomite kings down to the time of Saul, and Gen. 36:31 is peculiar in that it says, "These were the kings who reigned in Edom before any Israelite king reigned." Before any Israelite king reigned? No Israelite king came until 150-350 years after Moses (depending on the early or late Exodus date).

    Judg. 18:30 says that the sons of Jonathan the son of Gershom "were priests for the tribe of Dan until the time of the captivity of the land." This captivity didn't happen for another 500-700 years.

    Josh. 13:13 says that the Israelites did not expell the Geshurites or the Maachathites. And then it says, "But the Geshurites and the Maachathites dwell among the Israelites until this day." This is a historical interpolation that indicates some deal of time had passed between the time of Joshua and the time of the editorial addition.

    2 Sam. 4:3 says, similarly, "And the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and were sojourners there until this day."

    These are just a few places out of many that indicate intelligent hands went over and preserved and "updated" the Old Testament text. The order of the books in the Old Testament canon is also interesting, but that can be discussed in another thread.

    Some questions to ask:
    When did editing of the Old Testament text cease?
    Is it necessary to know who did the editing?
    How does editing fit into an inerrancy model?
    Does it matter that no pre-edited material exists? (no offense to Wellhausen and the German school of higher criticism)
    If pre-edited material were to be found, would it be more or less important than the text of the present canon we possess?

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  2. stevec

    stevec
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    That is an excellent question and I agree with you--the editors were as inspired as the original (human) authors.
     
  3. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
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    Some further questions to ask are:

    If editing happened in our Bible, was it only confined to the Old Testament? Did it also occur in the New? If so, what text on what manuscripts is to be considered the original? Are there some manuscript streams that haver a pre-edited form of text, and some manuscript streams that have a post-edited form? What about the LXX? Could inspired prophets in the NT age have updated it as well? When is the cut-off date for editing, if any, and if editing even occurred?
     

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