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Switch to Forum Live View Hebrew Scriptures "inspired" by God?
2 years ago  ::  May 02, 2012 - 11:09AM #1
chanceuse
Posts: 30
Hello everyone!

I was just wondering if, in general, Jews believe that the Hebrew Scriptures are "inspired" by God (anything God wouldn't want in these books would never make it in there) or that they were written by men who are imperfect. 
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2 years ago  ::  May 02, 2012 - 11:14AM #2
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617

May 2, 2012 -- 11:09AM, chanceuse wrote:

Hello everyone!

I was just wondering if, in general, Jews believe that the Hebrew Scriptures are "inspired" by God (anything God wouldn't want in these books would never make it in there) or that they were written by men who are imperfect. 




Jews believe both of those opinions, and many others besides.

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2 years ago  ::  May 02, 2012 - 11:18AM #3
JAstor
Posts: 3,957

May 2, 2012 -- 11:09AM, chanceuse wrote:

Hello everyone!

I was just wondering if, in general, Jews believe that the Hebrew Scriptures are "inspired" by God (anything God wouldn't want in these books would never make it in there) or that they were written by men who are imperfect. 



All human beings have flaws, but a prophet by definition received a direct communication from God. This is more than what people typically refer to as "inspiration." In fact, the Talmud has various names for different degree of communications from God and the prophet received the highest. Note that Jewish law had numerous strict criteria that were necessary to establish oneself as a prophet. It couldn't just be someone getting up on a pedestal in a crowded market and saying, "So sayeth God to me...."

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2 years ago  ::  May 02, 2012 - 12:39PM #4
ffb
Posts: 2,168

May 2, 2012 -- 11:09AM, chanceuse wrote:

Hello everyone!

I was just wondering if, in general, Jews believe that the Hebrew Scriptures are "inspired" by God (anything God wouldn't want in these books would never make it in there) or that they were written by men who are imperfect. 


the scriptures are made up of different works and each work might have different sections. so while the 5 books of moses are aditionally considered to be god's word written down by moses who acted as a scribe, and some of the more historical works in the later writings were "inspired" but not directed by god, the prophecies are the actual "inspiration" OF god written down by men. there are subtleties and levels within levels, and beliefs and traditions within judaism, and often, more disagreement than agreement.

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2 years ago  ::  May 02, 2012 - 1:00PM #5
vra
Posts: 6,403

May 2, 2012 -- 11:09AM, chanceuse wrote:

Hello everyone!

I was just wondering if, in general, Jews believe that the Hebrew Scriptures are "inspired" by God (anything God wouldn't want in these books would never make it in there) or that they were written by men who are imperfect. 




Hello,


As has been mentioned, we're all over the spectrum on this.  Traditionally, we did believe in divine inspiration, although we didn't adopt the literalist approach used by some Christian denominations.  For around 2500 years or more, we have what some call a "commentary system" whereas different sages at different times threw in different interpretations on just about anything imaginable, but instead of attempting to narrow these thousands of commentaries down, we let them stand. 


Therefore, any of us can read these commentaries, add to them, and decide for ourselves what we may believe.  We have no creed, but we have had and still have various court systems that can help settle disputes on actions, but none of these are binding on beliefs. 


In more recent times, many of us have questioned whether Torah is divinely inspired and/or inerrant, and different Jews have diferent opinions.   Some may not like some of these kinds of questions, but questioning is very much a part of our religious tradition. 


Thanks for asking us about this, and shalom.

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2 years ago  ::  May 03, 2012 - 4:03PM #6
chanceuse
Posts: 30

Thank you for taking the time everyone! 


I do have to admit that I vey much enjoy the views not being just black or white.

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