Endings of the Jewish and Protestant Versions

Your task in this homework is to compare and contrast the different endings of the Jewish and Protestant versions of the canon of Jewish sacred scriptures, i.e., Jewish Tanakh v. Protestant Old Testament (OT). (The exercise would be different if we used the Roman Catholic or Greek Orthodox canon of the Old Testament.)

Background: The Protestants reduced the number of the books of the Old Testament to those contained in the Jewish version. This accords a certain dignity to the Jewish tradition, which Protestants treated as both authoritative and surpassed. To make that point, they used the same books but put them in a slightly different order. That the order matters is particularly evident from how the Protestant OT ends. ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW

Your first task is to describe the content of the last verses of the last book of the Protestant OT, which is the Book of Malachi, a prophetic book that predicts the second coming or return of biblical prophet Elijah (mentioned in 1 Kings 17ff; look it up using a concordance or a free online biblical search engine such as biblegateway.org) before a presaged day of judgment. In order to understand the point the Protestants are making by letting the OT end on that note you need to understand something about the New Testament as well. I suggest you look at the opening chapter of the Gospel of Mark and do a search for occurrences of “Elijah” in the New Testament (using the same search tool). Try to articulate the connection between the mention of “Elijah” in Malachi and the appearance of one like Elijah before the “Day of the LORD” in the New Testament.

Second task: Now look at the ending of the sequence of the section of “Writings” (Ketuvim) in Tanakh. The Jewish canon ends with Chronicles. Read the last chapter of 2 Chronicles, the very ending of the Jewish canon. From the reading in BAL you may know that the content and order of canonical books may have been in flux until after the second destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem (AD 70 or 70 CE). 2 Chronicles ends with a Persian edict that commanded the temple in Jerusalem to be rebuilt and encouraged the Jews to return from exile and rebuild it. It is obvious why that message would have been meaningful for the Jews who saw their temple destroyed all over (this time by the Romans). Please try to articulate what ending the canon with the message from 2 Chronicles may have meant to the Jews who organized the canon centuries after the events described in Chronicles and what that suggests as the basic message of Tanakh as a whole.

Third task, compare and contrast the messages or meanings these same books may have for Christian and Jewish readers. ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW

Please use the annotation in NOAB (The New Oxford Annotated Bible) as guidance. Try to work the answers to the above questions into a coherent argument.

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