Theologian Bernhard Duhm (1912) wrote:  “This process of editing the Prophetic Writings, with such added expositions, enlargements, and supplementation, went on to so large an extent that now no single prophetic writing exists in its original form. Indeed, more than once we find that what was originally not at all the work of Prophets has been thoroughly altered by this supplementing process, and has come to be regarded as prophecy. So when there did arise a genuine revelation in Israel the scribes and scholars were for the most part quite unable to recognise it as real prophecy; and they became the most bitter opponent of the Prophet of Nazareth.”  Does it means Hebrew Prophecies were in corrupted form when Jesus arrived?


First of all, let me make two points.  First, this is just the opinion of Berhard Duhm, and he gives literally no evidence to back up this opinion, so, without evidence, it is merely an opinion and nothing more.  Second, this is a statement from 1912, which happens to be a long time ago.  A LOT of scholarship of the Bible has happened in the last 111 years.  As a rule, when it comes to scholarly questions, I like to look at answers which are a bit more recent than this, because we have massively more evidence supporting the Bible than we had back in 1912.
Now, let me discuss the facts and evidence, which Duhm does not do, at least in the statement you are quoting.  What are these supposed “expositions” he is talking about? Can he list them?  What are these supposed “enlargements?”  Does he provide even a single example?  What are these “supplementations.”  Is he talking about “enlargements” in Zechariah or in 2 Kings?  What verses?  This statement is vague enough that I literally cannot respond to them.  If someone calls me a liar, they must provide at least one lie that I have told as evidence, otherwise it is mere rhetoric or inuendo.  It is not helpful to respond to such an unsubstantiated charge. So, I will not respond to this statement other than to say that I am convinced Mr. Duhm is very wrong in his assertions.  We have every reason to believe that the Old Testament is in fact the inspired Word of God.  There are many fulfilled prophecies and there is much manuscript evidence to oppose this highly exaggerated conclusion, but unless I have actual examples from Mr. Duhm, I will leave it at that.  He is wrong.  Was there some extremely minor “corrupting” of the Hebrew scripture by unintentional copying errors or even by some minor but relatively insignificant editing along the way?  Possibly.  But please provide an example.  Otherwise, like I already said, I will tell you my conclusion, based on literally thousands of hours of research.  Duhm is massively exaggerating and Duhm is wrong in his conclusions.  No, the Hebrew prophecies were not corrupted when Jesus arrived, and Jesus fulfilled dozens of very specific prophecies in the Hebrew scriptures in dramatic and verifiable ways.
John Oakes

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