1And some of the gentile Christians carried with them certain prejudices against the Jews and supposed God had judged them as a nation for the crucifixion of Jesus. 2And if indeed the Jews had done such a thing one might consider whether their destruction and exile was justified. 3But even if there was a crowd riled up against Jesus standing before Pilot, they did not know what they were doing. 4And at worst there were but a few who conspired against him, not the whole nation. 5And if they did not know what they were doing, then what they did do was not against Jesus himself, but against a straw Jesus.
6And there was in the Torah a record of judgements against Israel. 7Verily, according to the academics who supported the documentary hypothesis, a fourth wave of writings emerged among those preoccupied with retribution. 8And these attempted to explain why Israel had suffered despite the promises of blessing it had received through Abraham. 9And these writers took the already combined Yahwist and Elohist body of writing, they said, and wove in the priestly writings combining them together into what became the Torah, or Law of Moses.
10And the academics supposed the first wave of deuteronomists rewrote the first four books of the Hebrew Scriptures with a summary of their own, which was called Deuteronomy, or Second Law. 11Further, the deuteronomists were credited with writing the historical books which followed beginning with Joshua and Judges.
12And a second wave of deuteronomists was credited with writing the books of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, which contained overlapping material. 13And Ruth, they supposed, was written as a response to Ezra, which had forbidden intermarriage, to counter it, by noting that the great king David was the grandson of a foreign wife.
long compilation by all accounts
14And thus, the Hebrew scriptures were formed over many centuries, whether one accepted the authorship of a smaller or larger quantity by Moses. 15And there were other writings preserved besides these – the wisdom literature and the prophets.
suffering a light to the gentiles
16And whether one sided with the academics or the fundamentalists, the story of Israel was a compelling one for all of the world to hear. 17For God, they were told, made special promises to a certain people. 18And instead of realizing their hope and their dreams stemming from these promises, they lost their kingdom. They were exiled. 19But even in exile they did not lose hope. And God preserved them. 20As for their suffering, this was a mystery their prophets deeply considered.
21And the deuteronomists held that the prosperity of Israel was directly proportional to their obedience and fidelity to YHWH. 22And when they sinned and disobeyed the commandments of the Law, they lost battles according to divine retribution but when they repented from their sin and cried out to God again, God restored their land and prospered them.
23And in the minds of the deuteronomists, their disobedience and their repentance and their losses and their prosperity went round and round in a cycle. 24And this served to explain why God had allowed them to be slaughtered mercilessly by Babylon. 25And rather than giving up on God, believing they were getting what they deserved was how they came to terms with their dreadful condition.
coping with loss
26And coming to terms, they preserved their identity despite almost complete annihilation. 27They repented and did not lose hope. 28But their other literature and the writings of their prophets sometimes directly challenged the idea that suffering was always a punishment for sin. 29Writings like Job and Lamentations were written, and certain Psalms. 30And the result when taken altogether was a tragic mystery.