Dating of old testament books

One method of establishing dates for scriptural writings which was popular several hundred years ago entailed counting the generations of descendants mentioned in the Bible and then calculating backwards.

The Enlightenment was a period of multi-faceted change mainly from the late seventeenth to the late nineteenth-century.

Typical of historical paradigm shifts, there were a number of factors that shaped this period; one of which were Isaac Newton's scientific laws.

The writings of the thirty or so other contributors to the Old Testament span a thousand years!

They recount the times and messages from Moses’ successor, Joshua, to the last of the Old Testament prophets, Malachi, who wrote his little tract around 450 BC.

It is during this period that doubt was stirred up about the age and authorship of the biblical writings.

This doubt was so embraced by critics of that time that even today emerging archaeological facts on the authenticity of Scripture are refused consideration by those wishing to remain content with nineteenth century conclusions.

The previous question was a critical prerequisite to understanding that document dating, like archaeology, is an ongoing process of refinement. It is therefore far more important to place dates on those prophecies than to identify who spoke them (though many of those identities are confidently established).

With that understanding, we can proceed to examine what just might be the best set of dates to come out of twentieth-century study for the books of the Bible. So by establishing the dates of the Old Testament works, we can then know that the prophecies of Christ's appearance were written long before the fact, not afterwards.

It also assumed the listed descendants were not just representative of larger genealogies (some were). Jeremiah wrote Jeremiah) or upon rabbinical tradition (Jeremiah also wrote 1 & 2 Kings).


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