Sunday, July 27, 2008

David Noel Freedman on the Old Testament

"The Hebrew Bible is the one artifact from antiquity that not only maintained its integrity but continues to have a vital, powerful effect thousands of years later.

I believe that, in its present form, the Hebrew Bible is a product of a very carefully worked-out plan to achieve symmetry, totality, even perfection. There’s a deliberate effort made to pool together all the heterogeneous elements in the Jewish tradition and make a single whole. This book was intended to reflect what they believed about the perfection of God, more especially about the importance of his word. It was to reflect in written form the activity of God in the world and the link between members committed to this word. Just as God created the universe and rules the universe and directs history through the word spoken, here in the Bible is the word written. It’s the equivalent of the word spoken. This makes the Bible something even more special, not just another relic from antiquity. It has a unique quality.

My brother, who is a professed atheist, says the Bible is the richest source that he knows for human experience."

Source: Biblical Archaeology Review

For more on the perfection and symmetry of the Scriptures, go here.

2 comments:

Rob Rumfelt said...

What a wonderful quote! Thanks for sharing this.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Yes, it is a wonderful statement about God and how God has superintended His word. It is especially interesting when you remember that David and his brother grew up in a completely secular Jewish family. David came to faith in God through study of the Scriptures, and his brother? Well, I think we can safely say that his brother came to confidence in David's erudation.

Two brothers... many they dwell in God's peace together, by God's grace.