Old Testament Collection
The Old Testament - the first part of the Christian biblical canon - is in fact the TANAKH, that is, the Hebrew Bible; the holy book of Judaism. The Hebrew Bible is identical to the Old Testament of the protestant churches in terms of content, the only difference being the order of events. The name ‘TANAKH’ bears no religious reference as it is basically an acronym formed from the initial letters of the three parts of the Hebrew canon: TORAH, which is ‘The Law’, NEVIIM which is ‘The Prophets’ and KETUVIIM which is ‘The Scriptures’.
The Old Testament is the fruition of a whole millennium’s intellectual life and thinking. Not one writing, but a collection of fables, chronicles, laws, prophecies, poems, philosophical and historical scripts. In the center of it there stands one legend that depicts the rise of the people of Israel and their connection to God.
Unlike the other ancient middle-eastern mythologies, like tales of the Egyptian Osiris, Isis, and Horus or the Mezopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, the Old Testament lies on solid, mundane grounds. The universe in which the legend of the Old Testament came to life is not the realm of marvelous cities and sacred heroes, but rather a small province and its people striving to survive amongst hunger, thirst and wars. The history of the Israelites begins with the tale of one family: it is the personal odyssey of Abraham and his wife Sarah, their son Isaac and his wife Rebeka, and their grandson Jacob. All aspects of their ever complicated life can be discovered in the TANAKH, with their betrayals, frauds and all their sins. It’s only after later their miraculous escape of slavery in Egypt, the 40-year sojourn, that is, the wandering in the desert for 40 years and finally reaching Kanaan, that it becomes clear that throughout the years the family transforms to a dynasty, then, to a nation.
This jarring narrative that unfolds in the Old Testament spans back to the creation of the world. To the beginnings of everything, to the origin of time.
The reviews were written by Dr. Szilvia Hájer.