How The Bible Was Born

I confess to having no interest in the view there is a god who hovered over the Bible’s authors and told them what to write. Anyone who has looked into it knows there were arguments as to which written works of the time were to be included in the Bible. That evidence by itself points to a human-inspired work.

One could argue, I suppose, the authors of the Bible were men who did not need God because they had some unique understanding or insight into the divine. I don’t know how one could say we know that, or, how we could test for that theory. That line of thinking leads to a dead end.

The most basic of all Biblical questions is not what the Bible says but why it was written. If we know why it was written we can better understand what it tells us. So many devout Christians seem afraid to leave behind, even for a moment, their theory that their god directed the Bible and even discuss why idea humans wrote it.

Retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong writes and speaks about why the Bible was written. It was written, he says, because one group of people wanted to dictate the behavior of another group. Good behavior is rewarded with heaven and bad with hell. There can be no doubt those who wrote the Bible were rich. It would not be surprising if the rich wanted impose their views on those who were not rich.

That is why the Bible was written.

9 Responses

  1. Juan Ruiz

    All the various writers of the texts never envisioned a “Bible.” That is, an anthology of books. The contents of both the OT and NT was decided much later after composition. The Torah is a cut and paste job, for which scholars have deduced at least 4 different sets of authors: J, E, D, and P. The Song of Solomon was included simply because legend stated that he was the author, although there is no proof of that.

    Similarly, the NT is a pastiche of a pastiche. The Gospels are made up of borrowed material. MT and LK took from MK, a sayings book Q, Nativity stories from different sources, and works unique to their texts. John is completely unique in style and theology with Jesus as a pre-existing god.

    1. Matt 10:47 All of those theologians, historians and scientists, and, we should have asked Jon.

      Historians and scientists who proved God told the Bible’s authors what to write? Please list one. (Either a historian or scientist is OK. But, it’s not good enough to merely have them say they believe this, we need their evidence)

      1. As your blog post title expresses, “How the Bible was Born” and your blog expresses, you have explained to us how the Bible was born, i.e. started, created and written. Your explanation is the authentic, correct version, ahead of all the scientists’ explanation, the historians’ explanation and all the theological explanations.

        Again, we poor Catholics should have just waited to publish the Bible until you could have been our guide.

        1. Matt 9:46 we poor Catholics should have just waited to publish the Bible until you could have been our guide.

          No, really you are someone who likes to be controlled by church authorities. You are happier believing the Bible came from some unseen deity than from its manipulative and self serving ancient authors. Keep the faith, Bro.

  2. Retired Major

    Jon, a retired bishop can’t be the world’s best Christian, that title belongs to Betty Bowers. Well maybe, as she’s really only America’s best Christian.

    1. Retired Major 6:59 that belongs to Betty Bowers….she’s really on America’s best Christian.

      You are correct. Betty Bowers is America’s Best Christian(TM). I see her on Face Book most weeks. I picked out here most famous You Tube for everyone to enjoy:

  3. Randall Wehler

    How we got the Bible is something that not too many people think about, even people identifying with calling themselves “Christian.” It didn’t fall out of the sky, segmented into chapters and verses, pages numbered in “correct” order and in the tongue of the King James Version that many fundamentalists quote. Construction of the Biblical Canon is something we can all read about if you have a mind for scholarly written works. The Bible books may have been divinely inspired, not in the sense of an anthropomorphic God figure standing behind the author but perhaps in a way of God (as we may perceive or conceptualize God) allowing human beings the opportunity to give expression to how they may have experienced the divine presence several millennia ago. Jon, I’m glad you presented this topic with your article!

Comments are closed.