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Hebrew Bible

What is the Old Testament Good For?

As I reflect on two semesters of study of the Hebrew Bible I think about the ways in which the Old Testament has contributed to our culture at large. Countless biblical allusions are embedded in our speech:  Adam and Eve, my brother’s keeper, manna from heaven, the scapegoat, and feet of clay.  The stories of the Old Testament have provided inspiration for beautiful works of art.  Words from the Psalms have provided solace and comfort in times of trouble.  The Prophets of old with their attention to the helpless and the oppressed have called us to act on behalf of those who are marginalized in our own day.  These are some of the most basic ways in which we are affected by the legacy we have received.

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