The Bible – The First Blog?

February 16, 2007 at 12:53 am | Posted in Atheism, Beliefs, modern trends, Religion, technology, What if? | 5 Comments

who-wrote-the-bible.docwho-wrote-the-bible.doc 

Who wrote the bible?  I wondered, since so many people are using it as a travel guide through life. So I did a little research and wasn’t really surprised to find that no one really seems to know.  I’m thinking maybe someone who reads this will know for sure and solve this mystery for me once and for all.  I asked several people I know, including those who have religious beliefs, and atheists who grew up in very religious families, and are well versed in all things bible related.  I also did a little online digging.  I perused several sites.  The attached word document can also be found at http://www.carm.org/bible/biblewhen.htm. 

When I look at the listings I realize the bible must have been one of the world’s earliest written blogs.  I say written, because it suddenly occurs to me that hieroglyphs, petroglyphs, and cave paintings may have served as a primitive form of blogging. The attached listings contain the authors’ names and dates of their posts.  There are a lot of question marks that would seem to indicate uncertainty as to the accuracy of the information (see how lucky we are to have computers to keep accurate records of our blogs).  Like present day blogs, just because the information is in written form and posted for the general public, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s accurate or true.  Though it may be true from the poster’s experience and perspective, it may also have come from the writer’s creative imagination.   And like the list below, we don’t know the real identity of the authors who blog online, do we?

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  1. It’s a great question and one I’ve been interested in as well. There’s a great lecture that I just finished from the Teaching Company that goes into just this topic for the New Testament. See the link for From Jesus to Constantine here: http://bumpersticker.wordpress.com/the-course-list/

    Jodi

  2. Interesting topic and an interesting idea. If we take a look at the three sources that we have for ancient religion we can almost understand how the ancient person(s) who wrote the various books for “The Bible” lived and thought of their religiosity:

    1.) Literature (such as the many books in the Old and New Testaments)
    2.) Archaeology (architecture, etc.)
    and

    3.) Inscriptions, art, graffiti, and tablets (these are the misc. writings, scribblings, and musings of the ancient peoples).

    Most archaeologists and anthropologists agree that in the times during “The Bible” and the days before major technological advances the power of “writing” almost exclusively in the hands of the elite peoples who could afford to have enough liesure time to learn. If we think about the way blogs are used today, they are mostly the “voice” of the common (wo)man, not the publishings of scholars, politicians, economists, etc.. (although many figures within these groups have their own blogs, too). Perhaps it is interesting that blogging became popular to the common (wo)man because figures in these elite groups popularized their blogs. This pattern is, I think, concurrent with how literature came to the “masses.” So, although the developmental trend is the same (at least in my subjective opinion), literature cannot possibly be the self-expression of the masses during the days that “The Bible” was written.

    We then look at archaeology. Although architecture and the like can definitely be a mode of self-expression (with some pieces thought to be cosmograms, etc.), the common peoples of the ancient world had little access to the materials to effectively express their opinions, emotions, etc.. with this particular material medium.

    That leaves us with the last choice (3). Again, although what we can call formalized writing was definitively in the hands of only the rich elite members of a society, this did not stop vernacular written deviations from developing. Once these vernaculars developed, then began to be written down everywhere, on rocks, tablets, pillars, etc.. People slowly began catching on. We can trace such a development in India where Sanskrit was the language of the religious elite for thousands of years (including today!) but vernaculars such as Pali, Magadhi, and any other regional variation including modern Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Bihari, etc., became the standard over time while Sanskrit became relatively “dead.” Graffiti found all over the world in vernaculars is something that is only recently becoming a studied body of data. Could these be the “blogs” of ancient times? Eh, maybe more so than Literature or Architecture. But what about “art?” Again, I’m not an expert, but I would say that this is the best, or at least, most easily understood example, of “blogs” in the ancient world.

    To wrap up, I’d like to say that “blogs” are the popular expressions of people. In the ancient world, “The Bible” was the popular expression of a few religious elite who gathered to decide on what texts they liked and which ones they didn’t like. Popular religious practices are really the unseen presence that only archaeology and maybe a tiny bit of epigraphy can really gain access to.

    I hope this helps!

    (I really did not intend for this to become A FRIKEN DISSERTATION but I really enjoyed thinking about this idea)

    Best,
    M

  3. The Bible was written by over 40 different people over 2,000 years in three different languages on three different continents by shepherds, scholars, fishermen, priests, tax collectors and more – and the Bible is consistant the entire way through.
    When the Bible was complied, several things were considered in choosing a document to be placed in the Book. One of the most important factors was who wrote it and if that person had any authority on the subject written on (was there, wise man, king, etc).

    It’s actually very easy to find out who wrote the books of the Bible. Simply open just about any Bible to the beginning of one of the books and it will tell you who wrote it.

    Examples:
    Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuternonomy
    The Prophet Samuel: 1 & 2 Samuel
    King David: Most of the Psalms
    King Soloman: Most of the Proverbs, Ecclesiasties, and Song of Soloman
    John: John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John
    Paul wrote most of the New Testament as well

    If you would like, I could go through all 66 books and get all the authors for you.

  4. Thank you Brian, but that won’t be necessary. The information I gathered (and attached) gave me the general idea. But your description of the long period of time, and distance between the diverse collection of writers still makes me think of a kind of blog, and I’m not saying that’s a bad (or good) thing, it is simply my observation. Granted anybody can post to some blogs, but many do have some requirements as to who can author a post. But still, theoretically a blog can go on for an indefinite period of time and contributors come from all walks of life and all corners of the world.

    Believe it or not, I do appreciate your thoughtful contributions.

    Regards,
    Honjii

  5. I think you can scan Nostradamus’ Prophesies for an answer. Or, for a change let the spinx answer the question.

    Seriously, this puzzle will never be answered. The scriptures of all religions except Islam have been tampered in some way or the other, and the roots of The Bible go back to antiquity, as both Bible and Quran are continuations of the Old Testament, which goes back to antiquity. Like many unsolved legal cases, this puzzle will also remain unsolved.


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