Resources: The Reliability of the Old Testament

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Your starting point

The Old Testament, our forgotton friend half the time…yet Christianity could not exist without it. Why don’t we spend more time on the reliability of it? Well first many do, secondly, Jesus is the peg in the wall. Jesus affirms the Old Testament Canon through whom he quotes and fulfills and if he is who he claims to be and the New Testament is a reliable witness of this, then Jesus is our reliability of the Old Testament. Basically, If Jesus did rise from the dead, if the New Testament account is reliable enough, then the Old Testament follows as a consequence. 

Now not everyone likes that argument, well that’s why we don’t just ignore the Old Testament. Here is a resource bank of materials to help you navigate the Old Testament reliability. Mainly videos, films, books etc. 

Note: This is not covering moral issues or ethics, that is a different topic (For that Read: Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of The Old Testament God)

Videos

This is your starter 4 minute video to give you a survey of categories

This is on the scribes, a brief covering of their reliable practice. 

If you want an extensive lecture on the reliability of the manuscripts, this brand new lecture will talk you through it (with slides). It’s very informative!

Old Testament archaeology is certainly a huge topic. Ted Wright does a brilliant job at weaving through the archaeology and seeing how it aligns with the Biblical record. 

Craig Evans and Justin Bass here discuss the Dead Sea Scrolls, what the finding means and why the find really aided in the reliability of the Old Testament text transmission over thousands of years. 

Where did the Old Testament come from? Two animated videos

A few other’s I’ve found also, but the list above is a pretty good start.

Films

There are these two great films that cover Moses and the Exodus

Origins of Judaism

Recently I was asked about the origins of Judaism. If Christianity has it’s origins in Judaism, well where is the origins of Judaism? And does it just come out of the pagan background of the culture? Well sure many Jews mixed, but Yahweh as one God was unique in these times. Inspiring Philosophy has made this brilliant three part series on it taking him two years to produce. 

Books & Audiobooks

Books You should buy on the topic. Only recommending ones I own personally.

Every Christian should really own this book since it also covers the resurrection and the New Testament. It covers Genesis, Archaeology, Historical Adam, Patriarchs, the Exodus, Conquest of Canaan, Divided Monarchy, Exile period, composition of the Pentateuch, composition of Isaiah, historicity of Daniel and also covers supposed contradictions. So… it covers quite a lot!

Book type: Book, Kindle & Audible

Level: Beginner

This isn’t as beefy in size as the first book but it’s pretty big! K. A. Kitchen takes strong issue with today’s “revisionist” critics and offers a firm foundation for the historicity of the biblical texts. He draws on an a range of historical data from the ancient Near East – the Bible’s own world – and uses it to soundly reassess both the biblical record and the critics who condemn it. 

Working back from the latest periods (for which hard evidence is readily available) to the remotest times, Kitchen systematically shows up the many failures of favored arguments against the Bible and marshals pertinent permanent evidence from antiquity’s inscriptions and artifacts to demonstrate the basic honesty of the Old Testament writers. 

Book type: Book

Level: Intermediate

This one looks at the Canon and reliability of the text, discusses the historicity of the early Genesis accounts, the Old Testament message and Whether such a message is relevant today.

Book type: Book

Level: Intermediate

What it says on the tin. It covers the old and the new, thoroughly going through Biblical archaeology. It’s satisfying just to browse through it.

Book type: Book, Kindle

Level: Beginner

All the Biblical scrolls discovered at Qumran translated into English.

Book type: Book, Kindle

Level: Beginner

There is plenty more…

There are websites, Youtube channels, blogs etc. that I use but Haven’t listed here but This should get you off the ground.  

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