August 26, 2011

The Others - Authors of the Bible

Ultimately, above the human authors, the Bible was written by God. Humanly speaking, the Bible was written by approximately 40 men of diverse backgrounds over the course of 1500 years. Today many scholars agree that very few of the books in the Bible are the work of the individuals whose names have been attached to them by tradition (a major exception being a number of the letters of Paul in the New Testament) and the majority have been heavily edited to the point where their original form and history of composition are today uncertain.

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
John 21:24-25

However, Moses is still seen as the sole author of the Pentateuch, or 5 books of Moses, which have been narrated directly to him, word for word, by God. And there are others who are most assumed by biblical scholars to be the authors of certain parts of the Bible. For example Ezra is seen as responsible for 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah; as well as Paul is viewed as the one writing Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. Then, of course, Luke wrote Luke, and Matthew wrote Matthew, so obviously not all biblical authors were as busy as the formerly mentioned.

It really doesn't matter whether you look at the Bible from a solely religious angle or whether you just conceive it as a document of history or whether you take it as a literary work. The Bible is worth reading for all these reasons.
Maybe you want to kick it off with the Genesis (it never hurts to start on the first page) or go for the part that's nestled between the History books and the Prophets. I'm referring to the Wisdom books, such as the Psalms which are sometimes lovingly called the Hallmark section of the Bible, basically a collection of inspirational songs, prayers and poetry.
I cannot claim to have read the Bible in its entirety, yet I've read a fair share, and especially the Books of Genesis and Revelations hold quite a fascination for me ... historical, philosophical, and let's not forget the symbolism. Personally I think that anyone can gain a lot from reading The Book of Books, to strengthen your faith, to catch a glimpse of the past, or to simply enjoy a beautiful poem.

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