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The Bible's Cutting Room Floor: The Holy Scriptures Missing from Your Bible Kindle Edition
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Introduction - The Abridged Bible; Jerusalem - An Eternal City in Conflict; The Dead Sea Scrolls - How a Lost Goat Changed the World; The Septuagint - How Seventy Scholars Took Seventy Days to Get It Wrong; Josephus - The Only Man to Be a Fly on Every Wall; Adam and Eve - Falling Down and Getting Back Up; Abraham - Humans, Idols, and Gods; Enoch - The Beginning of the End; The Big Picture - Finding the Unabridged Bible; Appendix - Suggestions for Further Reading; Index
Hoffman is a Jewish scholar who has focused on history and religion. He examines material and additional books (such as the Dead Sea Scrolls) with a bent towards examining their story and place in history. For most people (like myself), things like the Book of Enoch consists of strange stories that kept it from being included in the Old Testament. But when placed against the backdrop of the times, it starts to make a bit more sense. It's also interesting that there are references to Enoch and his prophesies in the New Testament. It's very likely that material was familiar and accepted at one point, and at some point further down the line, others decided it was less accepted. Our perceptions are shaped by those decisions. He also does a good job in discussing how the same words in the Hebrew texts ended up being translated completely different in various places, often by minute alterations or shaping of certain letters.
I can see how some people would have a hard time reading this, as it forces you to challenge some of the conventional wisdom that's been handed down over centuries. But it also adds depth and color where it's lacking. If this is a topic of interest, it's worth reading.
Obtained From: Library
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Basically, the book examines a handful of extra-biblical historical writings, and how their inclusion in today's accepted biblical books would have added to the biblical narrative. His analysis of such writings as the Book of Adam and Eve, Apocalypse of Abraham, Book of Enoch, and writings of Josephus provided some interesting insights.
He didn't really discuss in any depth the reasons these books were rejected, but seems to just assume their contents to be historically and supernaturally accurate and therefore worthy to be consider biblical canon, so that was a let down. But his examination at least provided some insight into what these writings contain, which is beneficial for those not familiar with these writings.
I especially enjoyed the section on Josephus the most, as it provided information of a more historical aspect. Aside from that, much of the rest was hit or miss for me. While he didn't avoid or totally ignore the supernatural and God aspect, I felt throughout that he was often came across as if he was essentially ignoring God and the supernatural, and leaning more on a naturalist and human empowered approach to some conclusions.
In the end, I do not think he necessarily made a strong enough case for why these books definitely belong in the Bible, but Hoffman simply discusses what they bring to the table in adding to the story. I guess, based on the title, that I was expecting more of a defense for their inclusion, but that is not what we are given here.
I think what we do have is an interesting look into the contents of some of these extra-biblical writings, and how including them may impact today's understanding of some 0aspects of biblical theology.