PART TWO focuses more directly on the books of the Old Testament, including the books that comprise the Tanakh as well as the deuterocanonical texts that comprise the OT Apocrypha.
Implicit in this description is the tension between approaching these texts as part of the Christian Bible, and appreciating their Jewish character. The complexity arises in part from the fact that both the traditional forms of the Old Testament canon can trace their origins back to antiquity. For almost 2,000 years the shorter canon of the Tanakh has been the distinctive Scriptures of the Jewish community. However, the larger OT canon of the Greek Bible (the Septuagint, or LXX) is also an ancient Jewish collection and has survived because it was the preferred form of the Bible for the earliest Christians. The situation was further complicated when the Protestant Reformers in Western Europe chose to return to the shorter Jewish canon, but retained the order of the ancient Greek Bible. The "Christian Old Testament" known to most readers of this book is therefore a hybrid of the Tanakh and the LXX, and has no ancient pedigree.
Overview of chapter five
This chapter begins the discussion of the OT books by looking at the first five books, variously known as the Torah, the Pentateuch, or the Books of Moses:
Web links with particular relevance to this chapter include: