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Failing this, we might expect that various copies would at least agree with each other.

We certainly would not expect to find evidence of tampering and later editing.

The Old Testament is divided into a number of books, most of them originally written in Hebrew, all of them now considered by Jews to have been inspired by God.

Some parts of some books were originally written in Aramaic, some apparently in Syriac or other Middle Eastern languages, but all such texts were rendered into Hebrew.

The Jews distinguished three kinds of book within the Old Testament: the For centuries the Church taught that God had communicated his word through certain Jewish prophets.

There was no doubt about who these prophets were or what they had written, no question that the original text had ever been tampered with, and no possibility that errors had been introduced in authorised translations.

We might also reasonably expect various books to have been written by the authors to whom they are attributed, and in the historical periods claimed for them.

Traditionally, Jews believed that the Hebrew text of the Old Testament was the infallible word of God.Not only was the text internally consistent and free from error, but it also contained nothing that was superfluous.Furthermore it was held that the text had been set down in chronological order.When early Christians addressed the problem of what to regard as canonical, there was a distinct lack of agreement.No one knows what Jesus would have regarded as canonical.

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