Q&A: Holy Scripture an Egyptian Copy?

Holy Scripture an Egyptian Copy?

Question

Wasn't Proverbs 22-24 copied from the Egyptian work titled "The Wisdom of Amenemope," discovered in 1888?

Answer

Several authors of Scripture borrowed the writings of others and introduced them into the text of the Bible. In the Old Testament we see "Book of the Wars of the Lord" (Num. 21:15), "Book of Jashar" (Josh. 10:13; 2 Sam. 1:18), "Book of Shemaiah" (2 Chron. 12:15), "Story of the Book of Kings" (2 Chron. 24:27), and others. In the New Testament, Luke admittedly used other sources when he wrote Luke 1:1-4. Peter uses apocalyptic literature in 2 Peter, and Paul's use of the Jewish tradition's elaboration of Exodus 7:11 in 2 Timothy 3:8, as well as his quotations of pagan poet Aratus in Acts 17:28, Menander in 1 Cor. 15:33, Epimenides in Tit. 1:12, is apparent. Jude also appears to use the non-canonical works called "The Assumption of Moses" and "The Book of Enoch" in his epistle.

As one may readily see several times in Scripture, inspired writers used other sources of information to support certain facts, just as we do today with footnotes, endnotes, references, etc.

This said, even though Solomon's content and "The Wisdom of Amenemope" content are similar, the evidence reveals that the differences actually outweigh the similarities. It should be noted that the two books deal with the same general subject matter, and this fact alone could account for the similarities. Moreover, scholars are still unsure who did the borrowing.

Ultimately, God is the source of all truth (even general revelation; Rom. 1:18ff), wherever it is found. The words found in the Bible are from the Holy Spirit, and ultimately he chose which secondary sources, if any, to use.

Please see: Why should I listen to Solomon?

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).