Lesson 24

Moses is believed to have written the first five books of the Bible during the late bronze age somewhere between 1550 – 1200 B.C. To say he was the author though might be a bit of an overstatement, as he probably just made good use of his Egyptian schooling by writing down exactly what God told him. After all, Moses had no first hand knowledge of the storyline until Exodus 3. For those who believe the Bible is the authoritative word of God, this should come as no surprise. They would agree the Bible, through the Holy Spirit, or divine revelation, came directly from the mouth of God to the pen and paper of those who wrote or dictated it. Collected over the centuries, these books have been kept as the sacred words of God. Steeped in ceremony and tradition, the Jewish scribes took great care not to add or miss a single pen stroke of the Hebrew Bible. It was not their job, it was their life’s calling. Being studied and debated by the priesthood, the slightest details remained constant. The Israelite nation’s remaining two tribes of Judah and Levi lost their homeland and temple and became an enslaved people when they were taken into captivity by the Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar. Keeping their sacred scrolls intact and unpolluted was a primary religious goal. Maintaining their beliefs true to what those scrolls taught wasn’t as high in priority. Openly acknowledging the lack of scriptural support for the immortal soul doctrine, Jews have replaced it with teachings from revered scholars and rabies. Not found before or during the first temple period, these beliefs have evolved and developed over the centuries since the Babylonian captivity. Many Christians share similar beliefs in an immortal soul but not the candor about the lack of Biblical support for them. Most Christians claim to find Old Testament support for their beliefs of an immortal soul where the Jews of old found none. Jews from the second temple period until today freely admit there is none. The Old Testament of the KJV Bible comes from the Jewish Hebrew Bible. The Jews lived, preserved, and studied those scriptures exhaustively. They know the meaning, intent and context for each verse. It is their collective family history. Why do most Christians disagree with the Jews about biblical support for the immortal soul doctrine? Was the immortal soul belief established in the New Testament? What balance do you strike between your beliefs and what the Bible teaches? How important is it to believe biblical teachings? Do Bible beliefs contradict themselves? How can you know if any of your beliefs are contradictory?

2 Peter 1:20-21 International Standard Version
20 First of all, you must understand this: No prophecy in Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 because no prophecy ever originated through a human decision. Instead, men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 40:8 English Standard Version
8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.