Internet arguments about authorship of the bible.

I recently commented on a blog about someone’s argument regarding proof that the Bible must have written by human beings as opposed to G-d.  Another blogger posted a response to my comment, which I published anonymously, with a cheap attempt at showing my statement false.  Before presenting the arguments, allow me to make one further clarification.  My involvement in this conversation does not constitute my discussing my own personal beliefs regarding divine authorship.  I merely got involved due to the interesting nature of the argument presented:  The original back and forth.

Anonymous said…

That’s an interesting thought, yet I am not sure that it would logically have to be concluded because G-d doesn’t say, I created, that this would automatically disprove divine authorship. Further, there are verses that do state, for example, I am the Lord your G-d… Would one thus argue simply that there are x number of verses actually from G-d in the first person but all the rest, the majority, are not?

Shilton Hasechel said …

Are you kidding? All those verses where God is speaking are preceded by “And God spoke” or “and God said” which are like big quotation marks.

I guess according to your logic Tom Sawyer wrote Tom Sawyer because he speaks quite a lot in it.

Would one thus argue simply that there are x number of sentences actually from Tom Sawyer in the first person but all the rest, the majority, are not?

My response to this comment is as follows:

Being that I am the author of the anonymous comment from the other blog, allow me to clarify my argument a bit for I think my point was misunderstood.  The issue for me was the particular argument as described.  Just because something speaks in third person as opposed to first person is not proof one way or another regarding authorship. There are much stronger and more cogent arguments those who do not accept the divine origin of the Bible.  

Regarding your particular metaphor, which you subsequently retracted, using modern fiction as an example of works written by a particular author about another subject is not a valid argument for the “written” word back a couple thousand years.  Fiction by definition is a book written by someone describing events in an “all-knowing” fashion.  Ancient writing, even if defined as fiction, is more complex.  The majority of writing to which one would compare biblical narrative would fall under ancient mythology.  Ancient mythology is a mix of truth and falsehood (granted we could say the same for fiction, but the goals are different). As such, its purpose is to record the victors accounts of events in a fashion that is easily recalled orally.  Therefore, when looking at Bible as not divine, the proofs are less about the first person/third person speaking than about the older aspects of Biblical criticism, namely language, its clear similarities to ancient writing, etc. 


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