Scripture, writings and prophets

Jesus did not accept “writings” from Jewish Tanakh as part of Scripture. This is clearly evident in the below verses.

Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

Luke 24:44-45 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

Hence, the following books which are part of writings from Jewish Tanakh are not considered as Scripture by Jesus with a few exceptions of Psalms, Daniel and Job.

  • Psalms
  • Book of Proverbs
  • Book of Job
  • Song of Songs
  • Book of Ruth
  • Lamentations
  • Ecclesiastes
  • Book of Esther
  • Book of Daniel
  • Book of Ezra-Book of Nehemiah
  • Chronicles

There could be several reasons why Jesus did not accept writings as part of Scripture.

Proverbs, for instance, are principles in life. They are not promises or divine commands and provides no guarantees. For instance, Proverbs 11:8 says, The righteous is delivered from trouble, and it comes to the wicked instead. It is indeed true for most cases but not guaranteed as we see in the book of Revelation 2:10,“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. ..”.

Song of Songs, is like trying so hard to fit God’s love towards His people with a romantic love poem from a king who led Israel into idols. For instance, Song 6:8 says, There are sixty queens And eighty concubines, And virgins without number. According to 1 Kings 11:3, Solomon had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. These are strictly against what God commanded to the kings of Israel as in Deuteronomy 17:17 “Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away”.

Book of Ruth is a small historic link to understand the genealogy of David. The book of Ruth is not an advice to marry any pagans as the law strictly warns in Deuteronomy 7:3. The law also blocks a Moabite from entering the assembly of God as in Deuteronomy 23:3. There is no God’s decision mentioned anywhere in the book.

Lamentations is plea before God to redeem Israel from their captivity which was a punishment for their idolatry and sin. The book is not from God, nor does it have any divine revelations but rather, it serves as a warning that God is faithful to execute His judgements exactly He spoke.

Ecclesiastes, like Song of Solomon, seems to be his experience as a result of His disobedience where he finally learns everything except obedience to God is vanity as in Ecclesiastes 12:13. However, Scripture mentions Solomon was a murderer until the end as in 1 Kings 11:40, wanting to kill Jeroboam. This shows that Ecclesiastes may not be from Solomon but used his name to create a wisdom literature.

Book of Esther does not contain any reference to God. Marrying pagans, feasting unclean animals, and lack of God in this book makes it an obvious reason for Jesus to not consider it as Scripture.

Book of Ezra-Book of Nehemiah is a historic account of the post-exile situation. For instance, the book suggests to put away pagan wives as in Ezra 10:19 and there is no indication of God’s asking them to do so or His role on anything.

Chronicles mostly repeats the same story in the Scripture until the exile. It is written as a historical account repeating most of the details. during the post-exile.

However, Psalms, book of Daniel and Job can be excluded from the writings of Scripture.

  • Psalms
  • Book of Job
  • Daniel

Daniel

Matt 24:15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand),

Jesus called Daniel as a prophet. Hence, the book of Daniel is among the prophets and not writings.

Psalms

Luke 24:44-45 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

Even though Psalms is part of writings, it is mentioned by name as part of Scripture by Jesus.

Book of Job

Jas 5:10-11 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord–that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.

The best reference comes from James, the half-brother of Jesus who considers Job as a prophet.

Ezek 14:14 “Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord GOD.

Job is also mentioned by God to Ezekiel authenticating the book of Job.

Conclusion

There is no concrete reason for why Jewish scribes considered Job and Daniel to be part of writings. However, based on Jesus and His disciples, we can confidently say that Daniel and Job are considered prophets and therefore must be among the “prophets” and not writings in Tanakh. As for the rest of the writings, they are of great value to read but not part of Scripture according to Jesus.