Thursday, October 26, 2017

How was The Bible Written (Answering a Muslim on Quora)

How was the Bible written (for example, the Quran was memorized word to word from Gabriel)?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Self Employed at Writer and Composer
Answered Mon
The Bible and Quran are unlike in this, the Bible is a collection of 73 books, some of which have more than one chapter, and largest number of chapters being psalms with 150 psalms and Jeremiah and Isaiah.

This means, diverse books were written in diverse manners.

Diverse parts of a book could be written in diverse manners too.

Take Exodus : what Moses wrote about his own life and about the Israelites leaving Egypt, he wrote from memory of what had happened, his own, perhaps aided by that of others, and first chapters, what he had been told.

On the other hand, the last part of Exodus and first part at least of Leviticus, we see chapter after chapter where it says “and God spoke to Moses and said”.

The chapter is short enough for Moses to remember until he has written it down, he has proper training.

Genesis was written by Moses as a single book. Chapter 1 was revealed to himself, the other 49 chapters were written down or orally memorised by the participants, and Moses could consult the tradition from different persons so as to on each story be sure to have the best version, and God would help him so he was never mistaken on what he included.

Last chapter of Deuteronomy was not written by Moses, but by Joshua, on his command. Since Joshua was not a legislator, Joshua wrote his book (also except last chapter) like Moses wrote the parts of Exodus he was witness to.

Judges were written by pieces, as it happened.

And so on.

Of the Gospels, Matthew and John were written by disciples, who had the habit of memorising the fairly short speeches of Jesus (there are only two or three of them as long as a longer Surah of the Quran) and of observing the miracles which went with them.

Luke wrote two books, his Gospel and Acts. Arguably, if he was not a disciple of Emmaus (as the Greek Church thinks he was), he met St Paul the day or a few days before the latter was so boring to a boy, he fell asleep and fell to his death from the window, Luke made sure the boy was dead, then Paul woke him up. Then he wrote the rest of Acts to the finish (i e second half of the book) while accompanying St Paul.

Then he went to the Holy Land, to the Blessed Virgin and many different disciples who were around, made research and assembled his research into the Gospel, his first complete and published book.

Then he continued the research so as to get together first part of Acts and when he had it, he had written Acts, his second book.

When he started, he was not aware that Matthew had already written a Gospel (I don’t know why) so when he found out, he took it to Rome, to the first Pope, St Peter, Chief Apostle of Our Lord to find out if he could publish the Gospel. He then got forth his copy of St Matthew’s Gospel, in one hand, the Gospel St Luke had given him in the other, started reading from both. His secretary Mark took it down without noting that he was reading aloud, and the reading of St Peter, now from one, now from other and now from his own memories, became the Gospel of St Mark.

While John, like Matthew, wrote from his memories, he wrote much later, after Ebionites had tried to twist the first three Gospels against Jesus being truly God : he therefore included words and episodes making it even clearer than the ones involved in the first three, the Synoptics. God gave him the gift of automatic writing, both hands were writing with two pens, under the miraculous work of God.

The Epistles of St Paul are different : while he had revelations and while he had instructiion, they are all his application of the learning (supernatural and humanly acquired) to specific questions, and similar epistles were also written by John and his brother James and by Peter. And by Jude, not Judas Ischariot but Jude Thaddaeus.

The Apocalypse in the NT, like certain parts of Daniel and Hezechiel in the OT, were written by God giving men visions and these writing down what they saw and heard.

Zahidul Amin
What year this incidents took place?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
This is not limited to one year, it is coherent revelation to a continuous community (as you would say “Ummah”) which goes back to Adam without any break.

Creation was 5199 BC and Abraham was born 2015 BC, the first eleven chapters, minus the very first, which was revealed to Moses were memorised or written this timespan.

Abraham received the vocation at age 75, or so, sth like 1940 BC. The rest of Genesis was taken down with the help of his tribe to the time they settled in Egypt c. 1700 BC.

Exodus happened 1510 BC, when Moses was 80 years, and he died 40 years later.

I omitted references to the Temple and King David and King Solomon, the prophets came after this up to and a little past Captivity of Babylon, starting in 593 BC.

Christ was Crucified, Rose again, Ascended, in 33 AD, St Matthew and two of the Gospels were written in decades just following, then came the Epistles between them, Apocalypse was revealed to St John on Patmos, in year 95 AD or sth, and when he is liberated by Nerva, after death of Domitian, he is asked to write the Gospel as soul surviving Apostle, at a date closer to 100 AD.

The end.

This is how the separate books were written.

Disputes, both polite and less polite about which books belong in it have gone on since then, Samaritans only believe Five books of Moses, Joshua and Judges, Jews reject a few books of the OT and all of the NT, Catholics and Orthodox do not reject anything, Protestants reject the same books of OT as the Jews do. And 1545–63 the Catholic Church assembled a Council at Trent to make a decision on many things the Protestants were wrong on, including in rejecting seven books of the OT.

This is, presumably, the end of the process of selection.

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