Defending the Authenticity, Authorship, and Date of the Bible Book of Amos

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Explore an in-depth defense of the authenticity, authorship, and date of the Bible Book of Amos. Utilizing a conservative scholarly approach, we dismantle criticisms and affirm that the Book of Amos is an authoritative text deeply connected to the Torah and ancient Israelite tradition.

Authenticity, Authorship, and Date of Amos

Amos: The Shepherd-Prophet from Humble Origins

Humble Beginnings in Tekoa Amos hailed from the small town of Tekoa, just five miles southeast of Bethlehem in the Judean highlands. Significantly, the text doesn’t mention his father’s name, implying that he came from humble origins. He was not part of any prophetic school or lineage but was a layperson who tended sycamore fig trees. Despite his lack of formal religious education, Jehovah called Amos to prophesy against the northern kingdom of Israel.

Occupational Background: A Man of the Soil By trade, Amos was a herdsman and a cultivator of sycamore figs. The term “bōqēr” in Amos 7:14 suggests that he may have also tended cattle. Certainly, he raised a specific breed of small, speckled sheep, referred to as “nāqōd,” establishing him as a nōqēd (shepherd). Additionally, he cultivated sycamore fig trees, a source of a rudimentary form of edible fruit affordable to the lower classes. In the UASV, Amos 1:1 describes him as “among the shepherds of Tekoa.”

Self-Educated in Scripture, Yet Unordained Although not formally educated, Amos’s writings reveal a strong influence from the Pentateuch, indicating he was an earnest student of the books of Moses. He didn’t have the privilege of attending a “school of the prophets,” like those set up by Samuel, Elijah, or Elisha. Furthermore, he was never officially anointed for his prophetic ministry.

The Layman’s Mission: A Call to the Northern Kingdom Responding to God’s call, Amos left his Judean home as a mere layman. His mission was bold: to proclaim a confrontational message in the influential capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, without any ecclesiastical backing.

Unwavering Conviction Against All Odds Even without formal prophetic status, Amos was undeterred by the biases of the Ephraimite public. His conviction and determination were unshakeable, even when confronted by high-ranking religious authorities in the Samaritan hierarchy.

The Resolute Prophet from Humble Beginnings

Amos’s story is a compelling narrative of a man of conviction who emerged from humble beginnings to heed God’s call. Though he lacked formal education and ecclesiastical authorization, his fierce determination and strong grounding in Scripture empowered him to faithfully carry out his divine commission.

Period of Prophesying

Amos prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah in Judah and Jeroboam II in Israel, roughly between 767 and 757 B.C.E. His ministry occurred at a time when Israel was experiencing economic prosperity but also spiritual decline and social injustice. The dating aligns with his own claim in Amos 1:1, which references the reigns of these two monarchs and a two-year period before an earthquake, an event corroborated by historical and archaeological evidence.

Dating the Composition and Contextualizing the Ministry

Timeframe: Mid-Eighth Century B.C. Among Old Testament scholars, there is a general consensus that Amos’ prophetic ministry occurred between 767 and 757 B.C., during the later part of Jeroboam II’s reign (793–753 B.C.).

The Sociopolitical Landscape Under Jeroboam II Jeroboam II had a remarkably successful military career, expanding the Northern Kingdom to its original boundaries as of 931 B.C. This resulted in a significant increase in national wealth through war spoils and lucrative trade partnerships with Damascus and other northern principalities.

Wealth Disparity and Moral Decline However, the influx of wealth created a stark socio-economic imbalance. The rich grew richer, indulging in conspicuous materialism and greed, while the lower classes saw no benefit. This led to the exploitation of the vulnerable and a cynical disregard for social justice. The moral fiber of society deteriorated, with widespread violations of the Seventh Commandment undermining the sanctity of family life. Attempts to appease God through religious practices became hypocritical exercises.

Chronological Anchor: The Earthquake as a Benchmark Amos’ mission to Bethel is precisely dated in the text as “two years before the earthquake” (Amos 1:1). This earthquake, occurring during the reign of Uzziah, was so severe that it was memorialized for generations (Zech. 14:5). Although the exact timing of the earthquake remains unknown, it served as a divine preliminary sign to underscore the certainty of the dire warnings that Amos relayed.

Oral Delivery Before Written Publication It’s worth noting that the book of Amos was not published immediately. The introductory statement in Amos 1:1 implies that the book’s publication came at least two years after Amos had orally conveyed his prophetic message.

Anchoring Amos in Time and Context

The ministry of Amos took place during a period of socio-economic and moral imbalance. His warnings, set against the backdrop of impending natural disaster, serve as an unequivocal testament to divine justice. The text itself serves not only as a record of Amos’ oral pronouncements but also as a written testament, meticulously dated to underscore its historical and prophetic relevance.

Amos: Assessing Textual Integrity

General Agreement on Authenticity with Some Exceptions

Most scholars, even those from liberal camps, acknowledge the authenticity of the vast majority of the text of Amos. They often refer to him as “the first of the writing prophets.” According to the dating by Wellhausen and Driver, Amos might represent the earliest written portion of the Old Testament, only second to document J. However, there are fifteen verses that have been categorized as later insertions.

Verses Under Scrutiny: Formulaic Denunciations

These debated verses include 1:9–12, which contain repetitive and stylized formulae of denunciation (“For three transgressions [the name of the city], and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof … but I will send a fire upon [the city], which shall devour the palaces thereof”). For similar reasons, verses 2:4–5 are also rejected by some.

Verses of Thanksgiving and Praise

Additionally, expressions of thanksgiving and praise to God—such as found in 4:13; 5:8–9; 9:5–6—are considered incongruous with the tone of Amos by these critics, primarily due to their optimistic or cheerful nature.

Messianic Promises: Anachronistic or Authentic?

One of the most debated portions is 9:11–15, which contains Messianic promises. Critics argue that this type of thinking is too advanced for the eighth century B.C. and suggest it was likely added during the Exile. The notion here is based on the reference to the fall of the “tabernacle of David,” which some interpret as referring to the fall of Jerusalem. However, not all scholars agree with this interpretation. Some argue that Amos might have viewed the house of David as “fallen” for different reasons, unrelated to the Exile.

Subjective Theories vs. Textual Data

Most objections to these verses arise not from the textual data itself, but from a specific theory about the historical development of Israelite thought. Critics often impose an ideological framework that sees Amos as focused solely on denunciation and judgment, thus ruling out any optimistic or hopeful verses as later additions.

Evaluating Textual Concerns on Their Merits

The textual integrity of the book of Amos is generally well-regarded, although some verses are debated. Most of these debates stem from ideological assumptions rather than hard textual evidence. Therefore, when assessing the text’s integrity, it is vital to weigh the textual data itself rather than presuppositions about Israelite thought or the supposed limitations of Amos as a prophet.

Rebuttal: In Defense of the Formulaic Denunciations in Amos 1:9–12 and 2:4–5

Introduction: The Authenticity of Formulaic Language

The criticisms surrounding the “formulaic” nature of Amos 1:9–12 and 2:4–5 often underestimate the literary and rhetorical methods utilized by ancient Hebrew prophets. The objection appears to rest on the assumption that repetitive or formulaic language is a later addition, but this viewpoint is unwarranted.

The Rhetorical Purpose of Repetition

Firstly, let’s address the rhetorical significance of repetition. Repetition serves to emphasize a point and helps to make the message memorable. It would have aided in the oral transmission of these prophecies and would have made the message more impactful for the audience. In the context of Amos, this formulaic structure aids in underscoring the gravity of the transgressions of the various nations and cities, demonstrating that these are not arbitrary condemnations but judgments based on persistent wrongdoings.

Literary Consistency and Prophetic Style

Secondly, the formulaic language is consistent with prophetic style, not just in Amos, but also in other prophetic books. If one were to question the authenticity of these verses in Amos based on their formulaic structure, then we would have to question a significant portion of prophetic literature, which would be a rather extreme and unsustainable position.

Historical Context and Thematic Unity

The content in these “formulaic” verses fits well with the historical circumstances of the time and the broader thematic message of the book of Amos. The judgments on the various nations were part of the broader message of accountability and divine justice that is central to the book.

No Compelling Manuscript Evidence for Later Additions

Lastly, it’s crucial to note that there is no compelling manuscript evidence to suggest that these verses are later additions to the text. They are present in the most reliable ancient manuscripts, and their content is consistent with the theology, eschatology, and ethical concerns raised throughout the book.

Reaffirming Textual Integrity

In conclusion, the formulaic language in Amos 1:9–12 and 2:4–5 serves a rhetorical, literary, and thematic purpose and should not be seen as grounds for questioning their authenticity. The arguments against these verses seem to arise from a predisposed skepticism rather than from a rigorous analysis of the text within its historical and literary context. Thus, based on literary consistency, historical context, and the absence of compelling counter-evidence, there is every reason to affirm the integrity of these contested verses in the book of Amos.

Rebuttal: In Defense of Verses of Thanksgiving and Praise in Amos

Introduction: The Question of Tone

A recurring criticism concerning the verses of thanksgiving and praise in Amos (4:13; 5:8–9; 9:5–6) posits that these passages disrupt the otherwise grim tone of the book. Critics often suggest that these optimistic expressions must be later additions. However, this objection fails to consider the multifaceted nature of prophetic literature and the broader theological points Amos is making.

Complex Emotional Range: Not Merely Grim

First, it’s important to acknowledge that prophetic literature often possesses a complex emotional range, not confined to a single tone or mood. While Amos does center on themes of judgment and social justice, it also seeks to uphold the sovereignty and majesty of God. The thanksgiving and praise verses in question affirm this overarching theological theme. They serve to lift the reader’s focus from the human failures to the divine nature of the God who judges but also sustains the universe.

Theological Consistency: God’s Sovereignty

Secondly, the praise sections in Amos are theologically consistent with the rest of the book. These passages highlight the characteristics of God that make Him worthy to judge: His omnipotence, His omniscience, and His eternal nature. In fact, the expressions of praise set the stage for the ethical demands God places on His people, underscoring the authority from which these demands come.

Literary and Thematic Unity

The verses in question are also thematically integral to the book. The message of Amos oscillates between oracles of doom and affirmations of Jehovah’s unchanging nature. This creates a balanced portrayal of God as both judge and redeemer, a deity who condemns injustice but is also worthy of praise. Removing the verses of praise and thanksgiving would thus create a theologically imbalanced view of God.

No Manuscript Evidence to Support Their Exclusion

Finally, like the formulaic denunciations, there is no manuscript evidence to suggest these verses are later interpolations. They are present in the most reliable ancient manuscripts, substantiating their authenticity.

Preserving the Textual and Theological Integrity

The presence of praise and thanksgiving in Amos does not compromise the book’s integrity but rather enhances it by presenting a fuller, more nuanced portrayal of God. A God who judges is also a God who deserves praise for His attributes of justice, power, and majesty. To excise these verses based on an assumed incongruence in tone would be to impoverish the theological richness and textual integrity of this prophetic book. Therefore, these verses should be considered an authentic and integral part of Amos.

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Rebuttal: In Defense of the Messianic Promises in Amos 9:11–15

Introduction: The Question of Anachronism

The issue of the Messianic promises in Amos 9:11–15 remains a point of contention among scholars. Critics often argue that these verses are anachronistic, claiming that Messianic thought is too advanced for the 8th century B.C. and that the text was likely added during or after the Exile. This perspective is challenged on multiple grounds, as outlined below.

Historical Plausibility: Messianic Thought in the 8th Century B.C.

The idea that Messianic thought is “too advanced” for Amos’ time disregards the historical plausibility of an early development of such themes. Earlier Old Testament figures like David had already introduced the concept of a divine covenant with lasting implications for the lineage of the house of David (2 Samuel 7:12–16). Furthermore, in Amos’ contemporary context, other prophets like Isaiah were speaking about a future righteous reign (Isaiah 9:6–7). Therefore, it is not out of the question that Amos could engage in this type of Messianic thought.

Textual Integrity: No Manuscript Evidence for Later Insertion

Importantly, there’s no manuscript evidence to suggest that Amos 9:11–15 is a later addition. The verses in question are found in the oldest and most reliable manuscripts, indicating that they are likely original to the text.

Contextual Interpretation: The “Tabernacle of David”

The mention of the “tabernacle of David” needs to be understood within its contextual setting. Critics interpret this as referring to the fall of Jerusalem and thus see it as an exilic addition. However, “tabernacle” (sukkah) could be understood as a metaphorical expression for the Davidic lineage or rule, which Amos suggests will be restored. There is no need to tie this phrase strictly to the fall of Jerusalem during the Exile.

Theological Coherence: Covenant and Restoration

Finally, the theological coherence of the text must be considered. The restoration of the “tabernacle of David” is in line with the covenant promises Jehovah made to David. These promises find their ultimate fulfillment in the Messianic figure who would come from the line of David, reaffirming God’s faithfulness and justice even in the face of Israel’s disobedience.

In Defense of the Authenticity of Amos 9:11–15

Far from being an anachronistic insertion, the Messianic promises in Amos 9:11–15 fit well within the theological, historical, and textual context of the book. These verses enrich our understanding of God’s covenant faithfulness and provide a fuller picture of His plans for future restoration. Their presence should not be viewed as a problem but as a key component that adds depth and complexity to the message of Amos.

Amos and the Torah: An Unbreakable Continuity

Introduction: The Need for a Reappraisal

The question of how Amos, considered by Documentarian Critics as the earliest of the writing prophets, relates to the legal provisions of the Torah has been a subject of extensive debate. Critics often regard the Torah, especially its Priestly and Deuteronomic sections, as post-Amos, but the internal evidence within the Book of Amos overwhelmingly counters such arguments.

The Overarching Theme: Legal and Moral Precedent

Amos doesn’t merely hint at Torah-based traditions; he makes direct, explicit references to them. These aren’t casual nods to broad themes, but specific allusions to laws and regulations. The sheer weight of these references demolishes the notion that the Torah’s legal sections could be post-Amos or that Amos was introducing new ideas.

Amos and the Torah: Point by Point

  1. Amos 2:7 and Deuteronomy 23:17–18: Religious prostitution is expressly condemned. If Amos’ audience were unaware of this law, his condemnation would make no sense. The law, therefore, must predate Amos.
  2. Amos 2:8 and Exodus 22:26 / Deuteronomy 24:12–13: Keeping garments overnight taken as pledge is an offense condemned by Amos, a direct allusion to existing laws in both Exodus and Deuteronomy.
  3. Amos 2:12 and Numbers 6:1–21: The Nazarites’ consecration is expressly mentioned in the so-called “P” passage of Numbers, showing yet another point of contact with the Torah.
  4. Amos 4:4 and Deuteronomy 14:28 / 26:12: Tithing “after three years” is a practice uniquely ordained in Deuteronomy, further solidifying the link.
  5. Amos 4:5 and Leviticus 2:11 / 7:13: The prohibition against offerings of leaven is rooted in Leviticus, and Amos’ reference is not a creative addition but an authoritative reminder.
  6. Amos 5:23: This verse implies a complex ritual of sacrifice that extends beyond what is even detailed in the Torah, indicating not a late addition but an intricate, pre-existing religious practice.
  7. Multiple Sacrificial Terms: Terms such as “freewill offering,” “solemn assembly,” “burnt offering,” “meal offering,” and “peace offering” are all mentioned by Amos. Their existence in his writings illustrates that these practices and terms were well-established and not later developments.

The Folly of Dismissing Amos’ References as Later Insertions

It has become a common tactic among critics to dismiss these points of contact between Amos and the Torah as later insertions. This approach not only lacks textual or manuscript support but is fundamentally a question-begging procedure that tries to fit the data into a preconceived theory.

The Inescapable Conclusion: The Priority of the Torah

The Book of Amos doesn’t present new monotheistic or moral frameworks; instead, it reinforces what was already considered as established law or “the Torah of Jehovah” (Amos 2:4). It’s thus inescapable that Amos operated under the authoritative weight of a Torah already considered ancient in his own time.

Final Word: The Torah as a Pre-Existing Canon

The substantive overlap between the Book of Amos and the Pentateuch suggests not only the existence of the Torah before Amos but also its wide acceptance as a guiding moral and religious code. Amos’ prophetic mission was not to establish these principles, but to call Israel back to them. To deny this is to ignore not just the evidence within the text but also the historical circumstances that make such denial untenable.

Geographic Focus

Though a Judean, Amos’s ministry was focused primarily on the northern kingdom of Israel. This was an unusual choice at a time when the two kingdoms were often at odds. He traveled to Bethel, one of the religious centers in Israel, to deliver his messages.

Message and Themes

Amos’s prophetic ministry was marked by stern warnings against social injustice, religious hypocrisy, and the neglect of Jehovah’s laws. He was one of the first prophets to introduce the concept of a God who cared deeply not only for ritual correctness but also for ethical integrity.

Theological Contributions

Amos was groundbreaking in his emphasis on social justice as an essential element of true worship. He preached that Jehovah was not only the God of Israel but the God of all nations, holding them accountable for their actions.

In summary, Amos was a shepherd and cultivator of sycamore figs from Tekoa in Judah, who prophesied in the northern kingdom of Israel during a period of economic prosperity but moral and spiritual decline. His messages were a clarion call for repentance, focusing not just on religious rituals but also on social justice and ethical living.

Timeliness of Amos’ Message of Woe

Amos’ message was especially timely because he prophesied during a period of significant economic prosperity for the northern kingdom of Israel. While the nation was flourishing materially, there was a stark decline in spiritual and ethical standards. Amos sounded a clarion call for repentance amidst this backdrop of moral decay. Injustices were rampant; the rich were exploiting the poor, and corrupt religious practices were widespread. The social fabric was tearing at the seams with greed, avarice, and a complete disregard for the poor and vulnerable in society. The people had fallen into a state of spiritual complacency, believing that their material success was a sign of divine favor.

Amos minced no words in challenging this misplaced sense of security. His message made it abundantly clear that Jehovah would not tolerate a dichotomy between ritualistic worship and ethical behavior. Chapters like Amos 2 and 5 highlight this by outlining the sins of Israel and explaining that mere ritualistic observance would not save them from impending judgment. Therefore, the timeliness of Amos’ prophecy lies in its direct confrontation with Israel’s misplaced priorities and its urgent call for genuine repentance.

Magnifying Jehovah’s Sovereignty

Amos made unprecedented strides in magnifying Jehovah’s sovereignty in several ways:

  1. Universal God: Unlike other contemporary belief systems of the time, which often held that gods were regional or specific to a particular group of people, Amos declared Jehovah as the God of all nations. In doing so, he magnified Jehovah’s universal sovereignty.
  2. Judgment on All Nations: Amos chapters 1 and 2 show that Jehovah is not only Israel’s God but also the judge of all nations. He pronounces judgments on surrounding nations like Syria, Philistia, and Edom, thus magnifying Jehovah’s authority over all the earth.
  3. Accountability to One Standard: Amos underscored that Jehovah held all people, both Israelites and Gentiles, to the same ethical and moral standards. This elevated Jehovah’s laws as universally sovereign principles that transcended cultural and national boundaries.
  4. Inescapable Justice: Through vivid imagery and stark warnings, Amos made it clear that no one could escape Jehovah’s scrutiny or judgment. This was notably evident in his use of the phrase “For three transgressions… and for four” (Amos 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 13; 2:1, 4, 6), a rhetorical device that underscored the thoroughness and inescapability of Jehovah’s judgment.
  5. Divine Intervention in History: Amos asserted that Jehovah actively intervenes in the history of nations to execute His justice. His sovereignty is not passive but active, guiding the rise and fall of nations according to His will and moral law.

Amos’ message was timely in that it directly confronted the moral and spiritual decline of a prosperous but corrupt Israel. He magnified Jehovah’s sovereignty by emphasizing His role as the universal God, the ethical standard against which all nations are judged, and the ultimate executor of justice and righteousness.

Fulfilled Prophecies Testifying to the Authenticity of Amos

The book of Amos contains multiple prophecies that were fulfilled, serving as robust evidence for its authenticity. Amos’ credentials as a true prophet of Jehovah are validated by the historical realization of these pronouncements.

  1. Fall of Israel and Exile: Amos predicted the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel and the subsequent exile of its people. This prophecy was fulfilled when the Assyrians conquered Israel and deported the Israelites in 722 B.C.E. (Amos 5:27; Amos 7:11, 17).
  2. Earthquake: Amos 1:1 mentions an earthquake that was to occur two years after his visions. This earthquake is historically documented and is also mentioned in the book of Zechariah (Zechariah 14:5). The geological evidence and cross-reference to another prophetic book underscore the accuracy and authenticity of Amos.
  3. Punishment of Surrounding Nations: Amos pronounced judgment on several neighboring nations like Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, and Moab (Amos 1:3-2:3). Many of these judgments were fulfilled as these nations were defeated and subjugated by Assyrian and Babylonian forces.
  4. Desolation of Religious Centers: Amos foretold that the religious centers at Bethel and Gilgal, known for their idolatry, would be desolated (Amos 4:4, 5:5). Bethel, once the seat of Jeroboam’s calf-worship, eventually lost its religious significance.
  5. Failure of the Political Leadership: Amos proclaimed the failure and judgment of Israel’s political leadership (Amos 6:11, 7:9, 17). This too was fulfilled when the ruling elite was carried away by the Assyrians and the kingdom ceased to exist.
  6. Destruction and Plundering of Israelite Cities: The prediction about the devastation of Israelite cities came to pass, as Assyrian records corroborate the destruction and plundering of these cities (Amos 3:11).
  7. Famine of Hearing the Words of Jehovah: Amos prophesied that there would be a famine, not of food or water, but of hearing the words of Jehovah (Amos 8:11). This can be seen as being fulfilled in the period of silence between the Old and New Testaments, where prophetic voices were absent for about 400 years.

Each of these fulfilled prophecies adds weight to the authenticity of the book of Amos. They demonstrate that Amos was not speaking mere human words but was conveying the very pronouncements of Jehovah, and they confirm the book’s position as a reliable and divinely inspired part of Scripture.

Archaeological Confirmation of the Record in Amos

Archaeology provides a powerful means to affirm the historical and prophetic records presented in the book of Amos. These external evidences serve to strengthen our confidence in the authenticity and divine inspiration of the text.

  1. The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III: This Assyrian monument contains inscriptions that mention Jehu, king of Israel. Amos prophesied during a period close to the reigns of Jehu and his descendants, making this an important synchronism that corroborates the historical setting of the book.
  2. Discovery of Ancient Samaria: The capital city of the northern kingdom of Israel was unearthed, revealing artifacts and structures that align with the luxurious living denounced by Amos (Amos 3:15, 6:4). The opulence of Samaria found in the archaeological record confirms the societal conditions against which Amos prophesied.
  3. Inscriptions Mentioning Omri and the House of Omri: Amos was explicit in his denunciation of the family line of Omri due to their sinful conduct (Amos 6:1). Inscriptions like the Mesha Stele refer to Omri and validate the historical significance of this dynasty, supporting the context in which Amos prophesied.
  4. Assyrian Annals Confirming Conquests: Assyrian records corroborate the military campaigns against Israel and surrounding nations, precisely aligning with Amos’ prophecies of judgments against Israel and its neighbors.
  5. Earthquake Evidence: Amos 1:1 mentions a significant earthquake. Geological layers in the region compatible with a seismic event have been dated to around the time Amos would have prophesied, providing physical evidence for the Biblical account.
  6. Cuneiform Tablets on Socio-Economic Conditions: Tablets have been found that provide details on the social and economic conditions of the time, aligning well with Amos’ criticism of social injustice and economic exploitation (Amos 2:6-8; 5:11).
  7. Discovery of Ancient Bethel and Gilgal: These were key religious centers mentioned by Amos (Amos 4:4; 5:5). Excavations have revealed altars and religious paraphernalia that match the Biblical description, confirming the idolatrous practices that Amos condemned.
  8. Artifacts Reflecting Religious Practices: Idols, altars, and other religious items have been found that resonate with the false worship practices that Amos criticized, thereby adding another layer of historical verification to the text.

Through each of these archaeological discoveries, we see a consistent affirmation of the historical and social context as described by Amos. This cumulative evidence serves to further solidify the book of Amos as a trustworthy and divinely inspired component of Scripture.

What Clinches the Authenticity of Amos

The book of Amos stands as an authentic component of the Biblical canon, and this is unequivocally attested by New Testament citations. Two decisive affirmations of the book’s authority come from Stephen and James in the Acts of the Apostles.

Stephen’s Paraphrase in Acts 7:42, 43: Stephen, in his defense before the Sanhedrin, paraphrases Amos 5:25-27. Here, Stephen refers to the worship of Moloch and Rephan, practices that Amos also sharply criticizes. Stephen’s use of this passage is crucial. Not only does it affirm that the book of Amos was recognized as authoritative Scripture by the early Christians, but it also shows that its messages were understood to have ongoing relevance for the people of God. By drawing on Amos, Stephen makes an implicit but strong argument for the book’s authenticity and divine inspiration.

James’ Quotation in Acts 15:15-18: In the Jerusalem Council, where the apostles and elders were discussing whether Gentile Christians should be required to follow Jewish customs, James quotes Amos 9:11, 12 to support his argument. James points out that Amos had prophesied the rebuilding of “the fallen tent of David” and the inclusion of the Gentiles in God’s plan. By using this citation to resolve a doctrinal issue of high import, James unequivocally affirms the authenticity and authority of the book of Amos. His quote serves as an apostolic endorsement that this prophetic work is not only genuine but also carries divine authority in matters of doctrine and practice.

The inclusion of these passages in Acts signifies that early Christians, including the apostles, viewed the book of Amos as a legitimate and authoritative part of Scripture. These New Testament affirmations clinch the authenticity of the book of Amos, leaving no room for doubt concerning its rightful place in the canon of Scripture.

About the Author

EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored over 220+ books. In addition, Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).




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