What other stories from the bible have been influenced by Christian ideas? What stories have Christians reinterpreted?

Technically, no stories in the Hebrew bible were written influenced by Christians, since Christians came into being hundreds of years after the Hebrew Bible (aka Old Testament) were written. However, most bibles that Christians have access to were translated by Christians, so Christians have unwittingly inserted Christian ideas into them. For example, Christians tend to […]

A question I pose is what other books of the Hebrew Bible could be missing? With examples such as the Dead Sea Scrolls it begs the question of are their others that are lost to time and do we have any evidence that there are some missing from the history?

In answer to your question, we are going to talk a lot about canon formation (that is, which books made it into which bibles or anthologies of “little books”) at the end of our short semester. During the centuries of the common era (CE, formerly AD)  the Hebrew and Christian canons considered a host of […]

Why didn’t the Jews consider the book of Enoch canonical?

I got the impression Enoch was rejected because of its violent and strange visions. Also, the work describes “fallen angels” rebelling against God, a story that exists nowhere in the bible, but which becomes an important tradition for Christianity and authors like Milton. Tertullian wrote that Jews rejected Enoch because of its references to Christ, […]

Question: Were the gnostic gospels and other excluded material left out because they too progressive for their time, or maybe too conservative? Who were those people back then to say that those writings were not for us to learn from?

I will oversimplify in my answer, but regarding the Gnostics, one problem for mainstream Christians was that they tended to reject not only the value of the body and the bodily resurrection argued for in mainstream Christianity, but also the Hebrew bible and its God. For them, Yahweh was a kind of fallen or bad God, […]

What is purgatory, and who believes(d) in it?

13th century Christians came up with Purgatory as a place where you could work off your imperfections and eventually get to Heaven. I’m not sure if it evolved because it filled a need–for instance, no one likes the idea that an innocent baby might go to hell just because it isn’t baptized. Dante’s Divine Comedy, […]

Who or what were the gatekeepers when it came to choosing the gospels and canons in the bible?

Scholars know a fair amount about this subject. I can refer you to the excellent Wikipedia article:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_of_the_New_Testament_canon As another student has mentioned, the NT canon began with the Council of Nicea but didn’t end there. A scholar I’ll cite a lot in relation to the New Testament is Bart Ehrman, who has a blog […]

Since the individual components of the Hebrew bible were written by a multitude of authors across a large time period, how did the components end up being compiled into the singular “book” we know as the Hebrew bible?

I don’t really know as much about the Hebrew canon formation as I do about the formation of the Christian canon. Here is an article from Wikipedia:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_of_the_Hebrew_Bible_canon (Links to an external site.). It mentions several stages of composition: The collection or creation by Ezra of the first Torah (as late as 400 BCE). This collection […]

What topics, themes, and books are contained in Apocrypha, and how might they be similar to later Christian writings such as Revelation?

The books in the apocrypha are excluded from the rest of the Hebrew bible/ TNK because they are in Greek and because they are considered too late to be canonical. The apocrypha has stories that emphasize martyrdom and Jewish separatism, but they also contain stories that reflect interest in Hellenistic (Greek) philosophy from the period. […]