Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Exploring the Bible's Various Authors - Computer Finds Clues to Writers

For years, biblical scholars have looked at the bible as being written by a variety of authors.  The Pentateuch, or five books of Moses have long been attributed to "priestly" and "non-priestly" writers.  The teasing out of the difference has been through analysis of the word choices and writing styles which vary in come cases widely and other cases in more subtle ways.

For example the names used for God in the Pentateuch change sometimes from passage to passage.  This would indicate that the work had at least two authors.  The research has taken many years and a lot of very devoted scholarship, until now. 

A new computer program has been used to examine the scriptures and it reached similar conclusions to those of scholars, except that it took only a few minutes.  The new tool may shed some light on details of the origins of the scriptures that make up the Bible and give us a better understanding of the authors and their styles.

For Biblical literalists, this will sound like heresy, so to you I say, never mind.  Personally, I have always believed the Bible was a collection of works that expressed our struggle to understand the divine.  It is a collected work that contains many truths if they are taken in the right context.  For those interested I suggest reading Marcus Borg's "Reading the Bible Again for the First Time".   There is a lot more truth in the Bible than just a collection of children's stories.

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