Earlier than Later

The rationale is simple.

People can’t predict the future.  So if the Biblical writers appear to be describing events that happen hundreds of years after their life & death, then they couldn’t possibly have written what they did before the event.  It had to have been written after the event.  Perhaps this is accounted for because somebody wrote the prophetic stuff and then attributed it to someone who definitely lived much earlier.  Or perhaps the events referenced in the Bible didn’t happen as early in history as they appear to have.  Perhaps the Bible (particularly the Old Testament) is a much younger document than it has been believed to be throughout history.

It’s a compelling line of reasoning.  It seems very non-polemical, very non-judgmental.  Simply a matter of logic.  The Old Testament has to be newer than it appears to be, otherwise it presents some very difficult to rationalize.  Another argument used to support this theory (and the other way around) is that there hasn’t been any Hebrew writing older than the 6th century BCE (Before Common Era, the standard historical replacement for BC – Before Christ).  If the oldest writing that we have only goes back to the 6th century BCE,
then the Old Testament can’t have been written prior to that.

Unless some older Hebrew writing were discovered.  And it has

Four hundred years older, roughly. 

There will be folks who still seek ways to discount what Scripture has to say by attacking the origin or transmission of Scripture.  But at least one of the popular arguments against the prophetic potential contained in the Old Testament has been dealt a rather strong blow.

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