Authenticity of the Book of Jasher
Concerning the authenticity of the Book of Jasher, the translator in his preface states that the printed copy existing lacks points. In the first days of its use, there were some contradictions that led into doubts that bring about the lack of respecting the books authenticity. The translator asserted that the more closely he studied the book, the more he obtained irresistible proof that satisfied him that the book contained valuable information regarding the earlier times of the world’s history that are either salient or cast on real life. Moreover, the translator was more delighted to obtain evidence of the contents of the book. He later illustrated and confirmed the truth, which is recorded in the divine history to a few years after Joshua’s death that the book ends. Most scholars have argued that the most valuable aspect of the book is the massive quantity of more details it provides to various accounts of the Holy Scripture than the current translations. Based on the views of the translator, the book contains additional details of the awful conditions, such as attending the beginning of the great flood and the account of Noah, towards the terrified people who assembled by the ark when the tragic moment occurred, and the doom of the multitude was irrevocably solved.
The Book of Jasher has certificates and endorsements that follow the preface. These documents are of respected religious scholars and their accounts dated back to April 1840, the year of the first publication of the book, and each one providing endorsement to the authenticity of the Book of Jasher. Scholars have debated over the authenticity of the book, given that it is a good book that describes the transition from Hebrew. An important question to the answer is the likelihood that the Book of Jasher is not a lost book. Furthermore, it is vital to understand if the events are facts or fiction. First, it is true that the Book of Jasher contains many authentic Hebrew traditions; thus it is not fiction in the sense of being a modern form of fiction. It has the same similarity to the Book of Jasher of 1751. In addition, the book is regarded as an authentic source as listed in the Jewish encyclopedia. Most sources claim that the Book of Jasher was written in Spain during the 12th Century A.D, and composed by an author who used to compile Midrash, the old Jewish traditions, dating back at the time of Christ and fabricating a few to be his own. Thus, it is difficult to ascertain whether the Book of Jasher is quoting the Midrash or vice versa. Based on the principles of higher criticism, a few verse of the book dates back to he 11th century in Spain, hence the authentic work must have been authored at the time. Furthermore, if there are claims that the work were written by one author, like the Pseudo-Jasher, then the argument must be true. However, some people claim that the book is a set of annals that may have been handed down through many authors. The translator of the Book of Jasher maintains that the 1840 version is indeed mentioned in the Holy Scripture and makes conclusion that, with exceptions of certain parts, some additions might have been added in the modern edition. However, the book still retains a sufficient proof, as referred in Joshua 10 and 2 Samuel 1.
The story concerning the Book of Jasher is exceedingly interesting. Esdras, who was a Jewish priest, was one of the able-bodied men held as prisoners after Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem in 587 B.C. While in Jerusalem, Esdras studied the holy books such as the Chaldean scrolls that were dealing with the creation of the Earth. He condensed the works he read the book that he did into scrolls. According to most Biblical scholars, the preserved writings later became the Pentateuch. Moreover, some scholars also claimed that the writings were attributed to Moses. The scrolls done by Esdras later formed part of the Library in Alexandria. During 389 A.D, there was a plot to burn the library and the custodian was informed, who quickly gathered some of the valuable items and scrolls and sent them to Arabia to be kept safely. These items included the Book of Jasher. Eventually, the Library was burnt down, and the Book of Jasher was among the few materials that were saved.
Later, Albinus Alcuin discovered the Book of Jasher and did the original translation from Hebrew about 800 AD. The book was later suppressed, and its emergence has occurred recently, and it has become widely available. Thus, it is necessary to judge the book for its value to determine whether it is a fact or a fiction. The worth of the Book of Jasher is seen in a broader context of the additional details that are revealed between the time of the divine creation and the time of the relationship between Joshua and the Israelites, as they migrate to Cannan, the holy land.
The Book of Jasher has worth that is seen to in a larger perspective by different religious scholars. The value provides additional details that were revealed during the period of divine creation of the world. Moreover, the book also provides a revelation of events at the time Joshua led the Israelites. The details of the modern publications are expanded with additional infusions with detaails that were previously not available. There is no further mention of the Book of Jasher after the time of David. In addition, after Joshua’s death, the mention of the Book of Jasher in the Bible ends. However, in the modern world, there are many books with a similar title, although they are not the same as the original writing. The present books are not the same in contents. Some are the 18th century forgery that claims to be the translation of the “lost” Book of Jasher. For example, “The Book of Jasher” by Benjamin Rosenbaum is a complete work of fiction. Other books of fiction with the same name include pseudo-Jasher. The Book of Jasher should be viewed as a book that was non-scriptural; thus, it is an apocryphal writing just like other apocryphal books. The Lord stated that there are many things that are contained in the apocryphal books that are not true, and are mostly translated incorrectly. These are things that are imaginations as well as deeds by hands of men. Despite the fact that most of the current versions of the Book of Jasher are translated incorrectly, the current version had numerous truths, such as the corrected dates of the events that occurred during the times of creation, and the events that occurred from creation to the time of Joshua and David, as well as, the mortality rates of the patriarchs. The dates that are obtainable in the Book of Jasher are more accurate than the dates that were extrapolated by Archbishop Ussher, who used the Biblical dates (John, 1994). Moreover, the Book of Jasher contains accurate details of the patriarchs’ lives, as well as, an accurate chronological order various events.
Most Christians were thrilled to the narratives in the Book of Jasher, while some were less enthusiastic, finding the book less interesting. However, upon further investigation it was found that those who found the book dull were reading a forged version. There are different versions of the Book of Jasher. For instance, the version titled “The Book of Jasher with Testimonies and Notes.” The book has many alterations to the original version. Furthermore, the changes included a preliminary Dissertation, which proves the authenticity of the work. The original Hebrew manuscript was translated into English by Albinus of Britain, Abbot of Canterbury. This version was published in 1829 in Bristol, England. The next version of the Book of Jasher was published in 1840 by Noah and Gould. However, the Bible states that there is at least one Book of Jasher, that it renders some credibility. Thus, the point of discussion is the true existence of the two extant versions of the Book.
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