IZHARUL-HAQ READING CONTINUED.
IZHARUL-HAQ READING CONTINUED.
1. Gerrard, Diodat Huet, Albert Patrick, Tomlin and Dr Gray believe that it was written by the Prophet Joshua himself.
2. Dr Lightfoot claims that Phineas 26 is the author of this book.
3. Calvin says that it was written by Eleazer.
4. Moldehaur and Van Til believe it to have been written by Samuel.
5. Henry claimed that it was written by the Prophet Jeremiah. Readers should note the contradictory opinions of these Christian scholars, especially keeping in mind the fact that Joshua and Jeremiah are separated by a period of 850 years. The presence of this great difference in opinion is, in itself, a strong evidence that the book is not believed to be authentic by them. Their opinions are generally based on their calculations supported by some vague notions indicating that a certain person might be the author of a certain book. If we make a comparison between Joshua 15: 63 and Samuel 5: 6-8, it is quite clear that this book was written before the seventh year of the ascension of the Prophet David to the throne. Joshua 15; 63 says,”As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Israel could not drive them out; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jjuresalem unto this day”. The above statement may be compared with the statement made by the Second Book of Samuel which confirms that the Jebusites were living in Jerusalem up until the seventy year of the ascension of David to throne (5: 6-8),the author of Joshua`s statement said that the Jebusites dwelt in Jerusalem “unto this day “meaning the seventh year of David`s ascension to throne. This clearly implies that the author belonged to that period. Similarly the same book includes this statement, “And they drove not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer, but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites unto this day.” We find another statement in I King 9:16 that the Pharaoh had driven out the Canaanites from Gezer in the time of Solomon. This leads to the conclusion that the book was written before the time of Solomon. G.T. Menley has therefore admitted that a comparison of Josh. 15:63 with 2 Samuel 5:7-9 and of Josh. 16:10, with I Kings 9:16 leads to the conclusion that this book was written before Rehobo`aam. See 2-Samuel 1:18
In view of this evidence, it is logical to conclude that the author of the book of Joshua must have lived after the Prophet David.
THE STATUS OF THE BOOK OF JUDGES.
The book of Judges is the third most respected book of the Old Testament. Again we are faced by a great difference of opinion regarding the author of the book and the possible period of its compilation. Some Christian writers claim it to be the book of Phineas, while some other believes it to have been written by Hezekiah. In neither of these cases can it be said to be a revealed book because neither Phineas nor Hezekiah are Prophets. Hezekiah was the King of Judah. (2 Kings 18 and Chr.32) Some other writers have asserted that this book was written by Ezra. It may be noted that difference of time between Ezra and Phineas is not less than nine hundred years.
This difference of opinion could not arise if the Christians possessed any real evidence concerning it. According to the Jews all these claims and assertions are wrong. They, on the basis of conjecture, attribute it to Samuel. So there are six different opinions about it.
THE BOOK OF RUTH.
This book, too, is the subject of great differences of opinion. Some Christians think that it was written by Hezekiah, in which case it is not a revealed book. Some others hold the opinion that the author of this book is Ezra.
All other Christians and the Jews attribute it to Samuel. It is stated in the introduction to the Bible printed in Strasbourg in 1819 that the book of Ruth is a collection of family stories and the Book of Job is only a
THE BOOK OF NEHEMIAH
The same kind of difference is present regarding the author and the period of this book. The most popular opinion is that it was written by Nehemiah. Athanasius, Epiphanius and Chrysostome believe it to have been written by Ezra. According to popular opinion it cannot be accepted as a revealed book.
The first 26 verses of chapter 12 are different from the rest of the book of Nehemiah since in the first eleven chapters Nehemiah is referred to in the first person, while in this chapter the third person is used for no apparent reason. Furthermore, we find Darius, the King of Persia being mentioned in verse 22 of the same chapter, when in fact he lived one hundred years after the death of Nehemiah. The Christian commentators have to declare this anomaly as a later
addition. The Arabic translator of the Bible has omitted it altogether.
THE BOOK OF JOB.
The history of the book of Job is even more obscure and uncertain than the other books. There are about twenty-four contradictory opinions regarding its
name and preiod. Maimonides, a celebrated scholar and Rabbi of the Jews, Michael, Leclerc, Semler, Hock, Isnak and other Christians insist that Job is a fictitious name and the book of Job is no more than a fiction. Theodore has also condemned it. Luther, the leader of the Protestant faith, holds it as purely a fictitious story.
The book has been attributed to various names on the basis of conjecture. However if we assume that the book was written by Elihu 27 or by a certain unknown person who was a contemporary of Manasse, it is not acceptable as a
prophetic and revealed text.
THE PSALM OF DAVID
The history of this book, too, is similar to the history of the book of Job. We do not find any documentary evidence to show a particular man to be its writer. The period of collection of all the psalms is also not known. Whether the names of the Psalms are Prophetic or not is also unknown. The ancient Christians have different opinions about it. The writers, Origen, Chrysostome and Augustine believe it to have been written by the Prophet David himself. On the other hand,
writers like Hilary, Athanasius, Jerome and Eusebius have strictly refuted this.
“Undoubtedly the former statement is altogether wrong.
According to the opinion of the latter group, more than thirty psalms are from unknown authors. Ten psalms from 90 to 99 are supposed to be from
Moses and a seventy-one psalms are claimed to be from David. Psalm 88 is
attributed to Heman 29 and 89 to Ethan 30, while Psalms 72 and 177 are said to be from Solomon, and three psalms are believed to be from Jeduthun and one
hundred and twenty psalms from Asaph, but some Christians refute that Psalms 74 and 79 are written by him. Eleven psalms 31 are supposed to have been written by three sons of Kore.
Some writers even think that the author of these psalms to the various writers concerned, while yet others of the psalms were written by another unknown person. Calmat says that only forty-five psalms were written by David, while the rest are by other people.
The ancient Jewish scholars enumerate the following names as the writers of the Psalms: the Prophets Adam, Abraham, Moses; and Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun and the three sons of Kore. David only having collected them together.
According to them David, himself is not the author of any of the Psalms; he is just the collector of them.
Horne said that the judgment of modern Christian and Jewish scholars is that this book was written by the following authors: the Prophets Moses, David and Solomon; and Asaph, Aeman, Ethan, Jeduthun and the three sons of Kore. The same contradiction and confusion is found regarding the period of its compilation. Some scholars hold them to have been written and compiled in the time of David; some believed that they were collected by some friends of
Hzekiah in his period; while some others think that they were compiled in different periods. Similar differences are also expressed about the names of the Psalms. Some claim that they are revealed, while others think that someone who
was not a prophet had called them with these names. Psalm 72, verse 20 says, “the Prayers of David, the son of Jesse are ended.
“This verse has been omitted in the Arabic translations apparently with the purpose of supporting the opinion of the first group that the whole Book of Psalms was written by the Prophet David. On the other hand it is also possible that this verse might have been added later to support the second group’s opinion that the Prophet David was not the author of this book. In both cases the distortion of the text is proved either by omission of this verse or by addition of
THE BOOK OF PROVERBS
The condition of this book, too, is not much different from the books we have discussed so for. A few writers have claimed that the author of this whole book is the Prophet Solomon himself. This claim is false because of variations in linguistic idioms and style, and repetition of several verses found in this book. Apart from this the first verses of chapters 30 and 31 also refute this assumption 33. Even if we accept that some part of this book could have been written by Solomon which is possibly true for 29 chapter, these were not collected or compiled in is his period because there is no doubt that several of them were collected by Hezekiah as is evident from 25:1:
“These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah, King of Judah, copied out” This was done 270 years after the death of Solomon.
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