Manasseh in Scripture and Tradition: An Analysis of Ancient Sources and the Development of the Manasseh Tradition

Steven A. Graham


Church has been part of my life ever since my parents can remember. As an adult, I have led small group Bible studies, prayer meetings, worked in church camps, and even worked as a youth pastor for a brief time. I have exchanged many a night's sleep for study of the Scriptures. Church for me was Sunday morning and night, Tuesday night, Wednesday Bible study, Thursday prayer meeting, Friday small group and eventually Friday night and Saturday morning Sabbath services. I loved attending all meetings, discussions and activities that spoke of Scripture and YHWH.

Sadly, after becoming a pastor, the wind blew another direction. Not everyone has had my experience. But, my experience led me to undertake this study you have before you. Let me explain. I am driven to study and understand the essence and nature of Scripture. Church had not prepared me to understand the plurality of contradictions present within the sacred texts. It has been my impression that many people tend to avoid confronting these contradictions head on because of an underlying unspoken rule that to admit the Bible is contradictory is to deny its inerrancy. I believe what we might label as contradictions are better understood as by-products of how and why a particular book or section of a book came into being.