Fundamentalist Christians and members of other sects get really sensitive about any discussion of the history of the Christian & Jewish Bible because to them the Bible is absolutely true. There is a — cult like, child like belief that the words in the Bible are the exact words of a male God — no females were allowed to be listed as writers of the worlds dominate Patriarchal religions**. Right there anyone with half a brain can expect sane females to ask — what happened to the females in the Bible? Also consider the fact that the Catholic Church for centuries made it a crime to even read the Bible. The Dark Ages in Europe are attributed to the fact that the vast majority of the population were deliberately kept illiterate. The deeper I get into the history of the stories and mythology of the Bible the more I wonder why today’s literate Fundamentalist Church goers still believe everything in their Bible is God’s truth? This is what I was taught in morning Sabbath School — the sect that I belonged to believes in the literal truth of the Bible — and that means that the holy day is the 7th day of the week or Saturday. The 10 Commandments were written by God’s own finger. Which means that Adam was made in the image of God — and God used the original template for a finger to write the 10 commandments.
The Ten Commandments appear twice in the Hebrew Bible, in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy. According to the story in Exodus, God inscribed them on two stone tablets, which he gave to Moses on Mount Sinai. Modern scholarship has found likely influences in Hittite and Mesopotamian laws and treaties, but is divided over exactly when the Ten Commandments were written and who wrote them. [wikipedia]
(Apparently the Quran [Koran?] also some sort of Commandments — but the website for that information is really creepy — demanding too much information from visitors before allowing access to this strange website . What is it with that? — USG censorship — sort of like the old days when anyone wanted to read anything about communism — the assumption was that one would instantly become a commie spy or some such nonsense? ) Since I already know that the Islamic religion is even more misogynistic than either the Bible based Christian or Jewish religion — I’ll merely state that the Islamic dudes hate women even more than the other Patriarchal world religions. Enough on that nasty subject.
The 10 Commandments that the right wing Christians Fundamentalists want placed in every public place in America are the first set of 10 commandments. Apparently the second set was written by memory rather than copied from the actual God’s finger written stone tablet.
Now the fun begins — there is yet another version of the history of the 10 commandments as well as text.
The Samaritan Pentateuch, sometimes called Samaritan Torah, (Hebrew: תורה שומרונית torah shomroniyt), is a version of theHebrew languagePentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, traditionally written in the Samaritan alphabet and used by theSamaritans. It constitutes their entire biblical canon.
Enough of the confusing arguments — scholars of Biblical history tell us that the holy Bible was really copied from an even more ancient text — the Sumerian civilization invented writing and many of the stories in the holy Bible were originally written in Sumerian — using their newly invented system of writing.
The Sumerians invented writing and were the world’s first great Civilization as we know it. The civilization flourished in the valleys between the two great rivers Tigris and Euphrates, the area known as southern Iraq today.
The Sumerian civilization existed for ca 3000 years, between the fifth and the second millennium BC. They reached their golden era 3-2000 BC. The Sumerians invented the wheel, the plough, irrigation, sailing boats, the keel, potter’s wheel and were the first to build stone arcs and multi-storeys buildings. They had an advanced juridical system, developed mathematics, astronomy and the calendar. Still today our definition of time is based on the original Sumerian number-system based on 6 and 60, and the division of the circle in 360 degrees. But their most important invention, the very basis of all later civilizations and cultures was done late in the 4 th century BC: – the art of writing.
The Sumerians wrote cuneiform script with straws from reed on clay tablets. Hundred of thousands of these clay tablets are found in archaeological excavations. The more of these tablets are found and interpreted, the more of the original stories and motifs known from the Old Testament stories emerges in their original form. Most of the clay tablets are at least a thousand years older than the earliest texts in the Old Testament. The Sumerian culture had a huge impact and formed the casting mould for the later great civilizations.
Apparently the whole Bible is made up of mostly plagiarized stories, laws, history from other older sources. It would seem that the Holy Roman Popes and Bishop tried their hardest to keep the facts behind the history of their holy Bible hidden. The hierarchy of the various Christians Protestant denominations continue the work of the Popes and Bishops of the pre Protestant era.
Back in the early days of writing there were no laws about stealing stories etc. and claiming authorship of those stories — but the writers of the Bible get around any questions of the authenticity of the holy Bible — by claiming that Bible is from the words of gods — either written by his hand or spoken/dictated to a holy MALE who copied the exact words of God. Anyway that is what I was taught — “jot or tittle” infallibility of the Bible. Matthew 5:18
17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.…
King James Version
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
It is very important for the God Shops to keep the money flowing from the people to the churches. Religion is big business –the Koch brothers really love their Christian religion. One branch of Fundamentalist Christians have devoted themselves to the ministry of the 1% — learn all about this nasty little religions in “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power”, by Jeff Sharlet.
There’s another book which goes even deeper into the God Shop* business –” Man Made God” by Barbara G. Walker. Her book is very easy to read — she quote the Bible scholars and links to the more academic works — but she keeps her writing easy to read and digest.
As I’ve written before — I like the Hawaiian reformed spirituality and their many gods. After Captain Cook came and brought all the Western diseases which causes a massive population decline the Ali’i dumped their old useless gods. But many of the (Kanka maoli ) Native Hawaiians kept their family god and goddesses added the Christian God and called themselves Christians. Many of the old oral traditions/spirituality have a very complex creation story and system of myths which are far more interesting than the confusing and contradictory Christian/Jewish God myths.
Human beings are hard wired for spirituality and thus have created gods and goddesses since humans developed the ability to speak and children started to ask questions about the “beginning of their world”. Jung studied the collective unconscious of humans as well as the wide spread myths found in nearly every culture. (Cultures like the Chacoan people were long gone and they left no written records — but from the archaeology and rock art found in the four corners region of the US Southwest we can assume that they had a rich mythology/spirituality — as witnessed by the Hopi who claim to be direct descendents of the Chacoan/Anasazi people.) The mound builders of the large rivers like the Missouri etc. also left behind evidence of a rich mythology/spirituality.
The varying cultures collectively called Mound Builders were Pre-Columbian inhabitants of North America who, during a 5,000-year period, constructed various styles of earthen mounds for religious and ceremonial, burial, and elite residential purposes. These included the Pre-Columbian cultures of theArchaic period; Woodland period (Adena and Hopewell cultures); and Mississippian period; dating from roughly 3400 BCE to the 16th century CE, and living in regions of the Great Lakes, the Ohio River valley, and the Mississippi River valley and its tributaries. Beginning with the construction of Watson Brakeabout 3400 BCE in present-day Louisiana, nomadic indigenous peoples started building earthwork mounds in North America nearly 1000 years before thepyramids were constructed in Egypt.
Since the 19th century, the prevailing scholarly consensus has been that the mounds were constructed by indigenous peoples of the Americas. Sixteenth-century Spanish explorers made contact with natives living in a number of later Mississippian cities, described their cultures, and left artifacts. By the time of US westward expansion, two hundred years later, Native Americans were generally not knowledgeable about the civilizations that produced the mounds. Research and study of these cultures and peoples has been based mostly on archaeology and anthropology.
One little group of ancient people (Israelites) borrowed from an existing written record (Sumerian) and claimed the words of others as their own. Religions (God Shops) were created around what became to be known as the Holy Word of God and thus these words became major sources of revenue for many religions. The Islamic religion also created their own mythology which was probably also borrowed from similar sources — based on the Abraham story and that two major groups of people claim to be descendants from Abraham.
* I invented the term “God Shop” to represent churches during a drive on a Caribbean island when I was giving a tour to a friend showing all the places to shop on the island. There were so many churches of different denominations that I started call all of them “God Shop” which made me realize that these buildings were indeed part a major part of that Caribbean economy. People spend a great deal of money on new clothes for Church, as well as pay for the gas to get to church and then money is given to the churches which goes back into the economy.
In Hawaii churches are a major part of the social fabric of the Islands. Which church you went to as a child is nearly as important as your genealogy and who your friends are. In many areas of rural America churches also sure a social/cultural function.
** No woman is listed as one of God’s secretaries — because God never spoke directed to a female (according to the male ministers of the church I went to as a child). This claim gets rather tricky in the Son of God/Man story of Jesus. All agree that Mary was the Mother of Jesus. Just how this happened is still being debated. Some say that the Holy Ghost somehow did the deed. Others claim that God Himself whispered in Mary’s ear and that’s how Mary came to carry the Son of God.
As Barbara G. Walker explains in “Man Made God” — a whole lot of cultures had a — Virgin birth of a son of God — stories and each of these stories had a different way for the virgin to get pregnant without Mary losing her virginity. No wonder the old Popes forbid the common folk from reading the Bible!