A Short Introduction to the Hebrew Bible by John J. CollinsSome of these heroes of the Bible are well-known personalities, while others remain anonymous. The first person listed in the Hall of Faith is Abel. Abel's offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith. Abel was the second son of Adam and Eve. He was the first martyr in the Bible and also the first shepherd. Very little else is known about Abel, except that he found favor in God's eyes by offering him a pleasing sacrifice.
These texts are almost exclusively in Biblical Hebrew , except for some Biblical Aramaic passages in the books of Daniel and Ezra. The form of this text that is authoritative for Rabbinic Judaism is known as the Masoretic Text MT and it consists of 24 books, while the translations divide essentially the same material into 39 books for the Protestant Bible. Modern scholars seeking to understand the history of the Hebrew Bible use a range of sources, in addition to the Masoretic Text. Many of these sources may be older than the Masoretic Text and often differ from it. The books of the Tanakh were passed on by each generation and, according to rabbinic tradition, were accompanied by an oral tradition, called the Oral Torah. The acronym 'Tanakh' is first recorded in the medieval era. In modern spoken Hebrew , they are interchangeable.
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John J. He has published widely on the subjects of apocalypticism, wisdom, Hellenistic Judaism, and the Dead Sea Scrolls and served as president of both the Catholic Biblical Associ. He has published widely on the subjects of apocalypticism, wisdom, Hellenistic Judaism, and the Dead Sea Scrolls and served as president of both the Catholic Biblical Association and the Society of Biblical Literature.
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