History of the Hebrew Bible&Book of Psalms

Speaker: Categories: Mar 11, 2000


This lecture has 3 CD/MP3

[1hr, 19min, 36sec / 1hr, 19min, 52sec / 1hr, 4min, 42sec]


The February, 1999, issue ofBible Reviewincluded an article entitled,"Caution, Bible Critic at Work."That title did what it was supposed to do - - it got the attention of this writer! And after reading the article, it was noted a few pages later that the author was a visiting professor at UCSD. That necessitated a phone call to UCSD and an invitation to Dr. Freedman. The result: a San Diego Adventist Forum meeting on March 11.

Dr. Freedman will share some of his research regarding the historical books of the Old Testament,Genesis through Kings. He declined the invitation to provide some thought-provoking questions for his presentations, contending that, if he posed the question, this would imply that he knew the answer!!! So, the questions which follow are offered for your consideration but not suggested by the March presenter:

1. Who wrote these books of the Bible?

2. When were they written?

3. For whom were they written?

4. How was the information recorded therein made known to the writers? (Moses, allegedly the author of the first five books of Scripture, was not an eyewitness to most of what he narrates. By the way, Moses'death is also recorded in Deuteronomy 34!)

5. What has modern biblical scholarship and research revealed about these narratives?

6. If the Bible critic, as suggested in the Bible Review article, discovers something which conflicts with conventional thought or even counters sincere convictions, how might the inquiring Bible student respond?

Eight Psalms will be discussed during the afternoon session, Psalms which are distinguished asalphabetic acrostic. According to Dr. Freedman,"The key to understanding the structure and arrangement of these Psalms is the Number Eight, which is much neglected in comparison with its more glamorous neighbor, Seven."He notes further that the number eight"has a very significant role in the organization of the Holy Scriptures”.

1. Can the authorship of any given Psalm be determined with certainty by the caption at the heading, such as"A Psalm of David"or"A Psalm of Moses"? If not, why not?

2. What was the intended purpose for the Psalms, at least the eight being discussed on March 11?

3. Were the literary techniques employed by the authors well-known to the leader/l listener audience?

4. What were some of these literary devices which were commonly used in Hebrew poetry and prose?

5. In what way(s) are modern translations of the Bible, particularly of the Psalms, more accurate than older translations, such as the KJV?

6. Though a casual reading of the Psalms may be spiritually enriching, what is likely to be missed from such superficial reading? And how does that mystery number"8"fit into the answer?

7. To what extent, if any, should truth-seeking Seventh-day Adventists take seriously the research and conclusions of Bible critics, even such a Bible critic as Dr. David Noel Freedman?

a. When, if ever, is it wise to be forewarned:"Bible Critic at Work"?

[Note: there are 3 CDs (or mp3 files) associated with this product]



He may be best known as the editor of the sixty volume Anchor Bible commentary series and related reference sources, including the Anchor Bible Reference Library and the six volumeAnchor Bible Dictionary.

The following sampling of other publications which he has authored or co-authored may help provide insight into Dr. Freedman's breadth of research:God Has Spoken, 1949;Early Hebrew Orthography, 1952;The Secret Sayings of Jesus, 1960;Jesus: The Four Gospels, 1973;Archeology of the Bible: Book by Book, 1976;Pottery, Poetry, and Prophecy, 1980;The Unity of the Hebrew Bible, 1991;The Pentateuch, 1991;Apocalypse, 1993; Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls, 1993;Pomegranates and Golden Bells, 1995;Divine Commitment and Human Obligation, 1997;Education in Ancient Israel, 1998;Warrior, Dancer, Seductress, Queen, 1998; andA History of the Synoptic Problem, 1999.

Dr. Freedman's earned degrees include: AB, UCLA, 1939; PhD, Johns Hopkins University, 1948; and LittD, University of the Pacific, 1973. He was ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church in 1944. Among his academic positions he has served as resident faculty at Western Theological Seminary, 1948-60; San Francisco Theological Seminary, 1964-71; University of Michigan, 1971-92 (that's two decades); and University of California, San Diego, 1987 - present.

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