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The Authorship of the Bible


 
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THE AUTHORSHIP OF THE BIBLE
===========================
by Jim Blanston
October, 1993

This document is NOT copyrighted.  In the interest of liberating others 
from the tyranny of deception, I am placing this document in the public 
domain.  Please feel free to distribute it as you see fit.

INTRODUCTION
------------
   I decided to write this work after seeing the effects of Christian 
bigotry, in the past, present, and, undoubtedly, in the future.  Please 
note that this is not intended to be an indictment of Jesus Christ;  I 
really don't know that much about him.  And, as you will see from the 
evidence presented, neither does anyone else:  the Bible, according to most 
modern, respected biblical scholars, is one of the most tampered scriptures 
on Earth, with dubious authorship and beginnings.
   Nor does this work seek to lump all Christians under the same rock;  
there are a wide variety of Christian sects, ranging from the ultra-liberal 
and open-minded Unitarians and Episcopalians to the ultra conservative 
fundamentalist sects, and all the way over to the lunatic fringe, the white 
supremecist "Aryan" churches.
   This work does, however, censure and condemn those on the so-called 
religious "right", who perpetuate the mindset of utter bigotry.  A "bigot", 
according to the dictionary, means "one BLINDLY intolerant of the views of 
others, esp. in the matters of RELIGION, politics, and race."  The 
right-wing religious sects all base their beliefs on the Bible, and its 
infallibility.  I was not content to naively assume that the Bible was 
infallible; I sought out information on the sources of the Bible, and this 
work will share what I have found.
   And this work certainly does not intend to downgrade theism... although 
many right-wing Christians certainly proclaim, in their arrogance, that if 
you are not a Christian, you are an atheist.  On the contrary, I have found 
deep truths in the serene teachings of the Buddha in the "Dhammapada", the 
sublime teachings of Krishna in the "Bhagavad-gita", the illustrious 
thoughts of Lao-Tse's "Tao-te Ching".  How true is scholar Juan Mascaro's 
statement that "the Upanishads is the path of light; the Dhammapada is the 
path of life; and the Bhagavad-gita is the path of love"!

CHAPTER ONE:  THE LEGACY OF THE BIBLE
-------------------------------------
   It all starts with the tale in the Old Testament.  In Christian 
mythology, and related in Exodus 32:19-20, there is an episode in which 
Moses, carrying the stone tablets which supposedly contained the Ten 
Commandments, comes across some "idol worshippers".  Seething with raging 
fury, he attempts to destroy the idol with the tablets.
   This one story has given many persons the idea that such behavior is not 
only tolerated by God, but is deeply appreciated by him.  Here are some 
examples, the legacy of the Bible:
   First, there are the Crusades, a series of eight major military 
expeditions (and many more minor campaigns), during a period lasting almost 
300 years, for the purpose of "rescuing" the "holy" land from the "heathen" 
Moslems.  The Christian Crusaders massacred virtually every man, woman, and 
child in Jerusalem in 1099.  The Children's Crusade of 1212 resulted in 
many children dying along the way, the others sold into slavery.  The 
Crusades created death, disease, and misery for millions of Christians and 
non-Christians alike.  Yet, even today, a favorite song in Christian 
churches is "Onward, Christian Soldiers!".
   There is also the infamous Inquisition, a series of quasi-judicial 
institutions of the Christian church which began in 1231, and not 
officially abolished until 1820!  The primary purpose of the Inquisitions 
was to punish heresy (holding a belief that is not part of the Christian 
dogma).  Those convicted were punished by fines, confiscation of property, 
imprisonment, and death by burning.  Torture against the accused (not just 
those found guilty) was approved by Pope Innocent IV in the mid 1200s.  The 
Spanish Inquisition, a government branch established with papal approval, 
was primarily targeted against Jews, and became synonymous with terrorism.
   Typical of the heresy trials is the history of Joan of Arc in the 15th 
century, a heroine of the Hundred Years' War.  She was captured by the 
English in 1430, who turned her over to an ecclesiastical (church) court, 
charged with heresy and sorcery.  Her interrogations lasted 14 months.  She 
was found guilty of 1] dressing like a man and 2] heresy (she believed that 
she was directly responsible to God, rather than to the Church).  She was 
burned at the stake.
   The witchcraft hunting of Europe from the 11th to the 17th centuries 
(and in the United States in the latter part of the 17th century) resulted 
in the torture and execution (usually by fire) of thousands of persons by 
devout, well-meaning Christians, with the blessings of the Church.  An 
instance of drought, an epidemic, a baby or a farm animal dying during 
birth would be enough to start an hysterical witchhunt.  People were 
encouraged to inform on each other, children against their parents, spouses 
against each other.  Just having a birthmark would be enough to make one a 
suspect.  Witnesses were paid to testify against the accused.  Confessions 
were forced by both inhuman tortures as well as promising pardon in return 
(although pardon was seldom granted).  Professional witchhunters were paid 
a fee for each conviction.
   The destruction of the Incan, Mayan, and Aztec civilizations in Central 
and South America from the 16th to the 19th centuries was impelled by 
greed, of course, but still with the blessings of the Church, who saw it as 
an important missionary activity.  The drive for the Spanish conquest of 
the New World came from Queen Isabella, who was such a fervent Christian 
that she became known as "Isabella the Catholic".  She is well known for 
her activities in starting the Inquisition, and expelling the Jews from 
Spain.  It is ironic that the money that funded Spain's military/missionary 
endeavors were obtained by the confiscation of the Jews' property during 
the Inquisition.  The end result of these endeavors resulted in vast 
numbers of South and Central American Indians being killed, not only in 
combat, but in the diseases brought over by the Europeans (smallpox, 
syphilis, plague, etc.).
   It is also ironic that the United States, which was originally founded 
by people who were fleeing religious bigotry in Europe, engaged in the 
subsequent persecution of the native American Indians.  This uniquely 
American concept was called "Manifest Destiny", which proclaimed that the 
United States had divine sanction (!) "to overspread the (North American) 
continent allotted to us by God for the free development of our multiplying 
millions".  This concept was used as justification for the United States' 
endeavors in destroying the indigenous native Indian civilizations.  This 
doctrine of "Manifest Destiny" was later modified to justify the annexation 
of various Caribbean and Pacific islands.
   The issue of the American attitude towards slavery of blacks is also 
worthy of mention.  It is certainly true that many Christian groups started 
the struggle to abolish slavery, most notably the Quakers.  But many 
Protestant sects split over the question of slavery.  Some were in favor of 
enslaving other human beings, others were opposed.
   As you can see, this attitude of spiritual superiority resulted in 
tremendous amounts of human suffering.  But this pales in comparison with 
the suffering brought on to the Earth and man's fellow creatures.  This is 
the result of the Christian doctrine of "anthropocentrism", the belief that 
man is the center of the universe.  All other life forms, including the 
Earth herself, exist only for man's enjoyment and amusement.  Couple this 
with the fact that Christianity is an apocalyptic religion (i.e., the 
belief that the violent end of the world is very close at hand), and you 
have a philosophy of utter rape of the Earth and her ecosystems.  It is for 
this reason that, when confronted with an "environmental or economic 
development" issue, many fundamentalists loudly proclaim, "Who care about 
the environment?  Jesus is coming!"
   It is this very cavalier attitude towards the environment which led the 
renowned Buddhist scholar D.T. Suzuki to remark about Christianity: "Man 
against nature.  Nature against man.  Strange religion."  Contempt for the 
Earth is in direct opposition of the Hindu and Buddhist concept of "deep 
ecology", which was so succinctly summarized by the American Indian Chief 
Seattle:  "Man did not weave the web of life.  He is merely a strand in it. 
 Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."
   Of course, these atrocities are not a relic of the distant past.  They 
still continue today.  TV evangelists beg for money to save the 
"devil-worshipping Hindus".  Fundamentalist Christians have condemned the 
recent World Parliament of Religions (in Chicago in August, 1993), because 
their main theme was the importance of curbing the world's population.  It 
seems that they consider this anti-Christian!  The infamous "dot-busters" 
of New Jersey are a direct result of Christian intolerance of other 
religions.  The list goes on.

CHAPTER TWO:  THE ESSENCE OF THE BIBLE, IN A NUTSHELL
-----------------------------------------------------
   The essence of the Bible, according to Christians is:  "Love Jesus, or 
you will be tortured and killed."  If you doubt that, just read the final 
book of the Bible, "Revelations".  The non-Christians are in for a very 
unpleasant experience.
   This theme actually abounds in the Bible.  God is jealous (according to 
the Old Testament's first commandment); he is vengeful and vindictive 
("Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord", saith the New 
Testament).  And Revelations shows that God apparently delights in the 
torment of others.
   From this evidence, it is clear that Christians do not worship God, but 
some sort of demon.  Who can deny it?
   And threatening someone with eternal torment if they don't love you or 
your son sounds very odd.  Love cannot be forced.
   Does Christianity have such a weak philosophical foundation that they 
have to resort to threat of violence to win converts?  Christian revivals 
appear to exist on emotional fervor alone.  "Religion without philosophy is 
sentimentality."
   For example, let us consider a comparative study on the differences 
between western (Christian) and eastern (Hindu and Buddhist) thoughts on 
the problem of sin.
   Christians believe that only they have a solution for the problem of 
sin.  This is intriguing.  Although Christians believe that the individual 
soul did not exist before its conception in the womb, they still maintain 
that all men are born into sin, tainted with the "original sin".  Although 
Jesus exhorts people to "be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is 
perfect", they say that man is inherently a sinful creature, and that 
Christ's death on the cross paid for all of our sins...  all we have to do 
is acknowledge that sacrifice.  Furthermore, some Christians believe that 
there is no need to stop sinning, as long as you have faith in Christ's 
sacrifice.
   Hinduism maintains that sinful activities are due to ignorance.  And 
Hinduism does indeed have a solution to the problem of sin, which is, 
through the acquisition of knowledge, understanding that the ultimate cause 
of sin is desire.  All sinful activity, and the resultant suffering, is due 
to desire.  A simple look at the world and you can see that practically 
everyone is in a mad rush to exploit the Earth and other living entities 
(including his fellow man) in the desire to enjoy. The very motto of 
civilization is "Enjoy!  Entertain yourself!".  Human society runs on 
desire.  Even our economy depends on it.
   Desire is the cause of sinful activities.  And sinful activities is the 
cause of suffering.  Fully 100% of man's inhumanity to man is due to 
desire.  The desire for wealth breed crime and mistrust.  The desire for 
adoration results in envy and arguments.  Desire is actually a web, with 
desire feeding on desire.  Desirous to appear desirable to members of the 
opposite sex, one desires wealth, a fancy car, a fancy wardrobe, etc... and 
one makes the necessary endeavors to fulfil his desires.
   The very basis of Hindu and Buddhist thought is in stressing the 
importance of the necessity to control desire.  The Bhagavad-gita (3.37) 
calls desire the greatest enemy of the world.  By even contemplating 
desire, one can fall down from the spiritual platform (2.62-63), and desire 
is one of the three gates leading towards a future hellish existence 
(16.21).  But by conquering desire, one becomes peaceful and serene.
   Although Jesus clearly instructed that "ye cannot serve both God and 
Mammon (cupidity personified, i.e., desire)", it is quite evident that 
Christianity never addresses the issue of the role of desire at all.  Why?  
Because instead of understanding the necessity of purifying and 
transforming one's own consciousness (as a prerequisite for salvation), 
they believe that salvation is a "reward" for their faith and/or works.  
Incidentally, this is a major reason for the growth of Christianity 
(especially in India).  One of the main tactics most fundamentalist 
Christian missionaries use is to teach Hindus that there is no need to 
follow their Hindu religious restrictions.  Just as long as they believe in 
Jesus, they can eat meat, drink, and make merry... and still go to heaven!  
They are taught that disciplining the mind and controlling the senses is 
unnecessary, or even unhealthy.
   Sinful activities are like fire, and desire is the fuel that feeds the 
flames.  You cannot extinguish fire by pouring fuel onto it.
   In short, the Christian tactic to end sin is to try to smother the 
fire... but the fire soon returns.  The Vedic and Buddhist strategy is to 
cut off the fuel supply to the fire (desire).

CHAPTER THREE:  THE BIBLICAL CANON
----------------------------------
   Even educated Christians themselves do not claim that the Bible was 
written by God, or divinely transmitted to man.  They say that the Bible 
was written by men, but inspired by God.  This is why the Bible is 
considered (by biblical scholars and Christians theologians) to be so open 
to interpretation.  But it must be pointed out that just because something 
is "inspired" does not mean that it is the Absolute Truth.  For example, a 
man may be inspired by his paramour to write a poem about her, but that 
does not mean that his words are true, nor does it mean that his lover even 
approves of what he has composed.
   The Christians attribute the authorship of the books of the Bible to 
"traditional" authors.  This in interesting, because most of the books of 
the Bible are truly anonymous.  There are very few "signature" verses 
("this books was written by...").  In later chapters of this work, I give a 
listing of modern scholars' educated opinions as to the true authorship of 
the books of the Bible.  These are not blind speculations, but their best 
scientific opinions resulting from carefully weighing the available 
evidence.  In many cases, I have listed the evidence the scholars used, 
giving a type of archeological "detective" story.  It is intriguing that so 
many Christians tend to quote scholarly assumptions on the questionable 
sources of other scriptures, but minimize (or ignore altogether) the 
opinions of Biblical scholars on their own scripture.
   There is a problem in logic which arises when one considers the doctrine 
that only one scripture is the only valid lawbook.  Any argument to support 
this must come, therefore... from that same lawbook. This is the logical 
fallacy known as the "circular argument", which is committed when one 
presents evidence from that which one is trying to prove.  In the same way, 
if you ask a fundamentalist Christian to prove the validity of the Bible, 
he will usually start quoting verses from the Bible!  Here is a mundane 
example of this fallacy:  A thief was dividing up some ill-gotten booty, 
some jewels, with his two partners in crime. But he kept most of the jewels 
for himself.  "Why is your share of the jewels larger than our share?", 
asked one of his partners.  "Because I am the leader", he replied.  "Why 
are you the leader?", his partner queried.  To which he responded, "Because 
I have more jewels."
   As I have previously mentioned, there is great doubt as to the 
authorship of the different books of the Bible.  The compilation in later 
chapters of this work came from various reputable sources, respected 
encyclopedias such as Encyclopedia Brittanica, Collier's Encyclopedia, and 
Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia.  And these encyclopedias gathered their 
information from academically acclaimed biblical scholars.  These scholars 
carefully considered the different evidences concerning the authorship of 
the books, and made their very best professional, erudite opinions.  
Fundamentalist Christians tend to completely belittle these arguments, yet 
they are unable to produce enough evidence (or, in many cases, any 
evidence) to sway the findings of the scholars.  Faith is one thing... but 
blind faith is another.
   And as the later chapters relate, most of the books of the Bible are 
anonymous. This in itself is very significant.  How can a book be 
considered inspired by God when the author is completely unknown?  If you 
don't know who the author is, how do you know he was divinely inspired?
   There is also the question of the character of the author. This question 
is raised in not only the anonymous books, but also in the books where 
nothing is known of the author except his name.  Was the author a saint or 
a schemer?  We don't know.  Yet we are expected to cast our own beliefs 
aside and put our souls in the hands of this book.
   One of the tests on whether or not a hypothesis is valid is by looking 
at who is presenting the hypothesis.  After all, you would not seek 
financial advice from a pauper.  Yet we are expected to take the spiritual 
advice of a completely unknown person?
   And then there is the disturbing fact that many of the books of the 
Bible show evidence of tampering.  There were modifications and additions. 
It is fairly certain, then, that there were deletions as well.  The 
question arises, "Who did this?"  And more importantly, "Why?"  What were 
their motives?  There must have been something in the original that 
disturbed someone enough to make him want to change it.  What was it?  
These are deeply troubling questions.
   There is also the matter of the Biblical canon itself.  After all, 
ancient Israel and the early church knew of many more religious books than 
the ones that now constitute the Bible.  For example, there were 50 gospels 
in circulation at the time, yet only four made it into the New Testament.  
Who decided which of the books would become part of the Christian 
scriptures, and again, "Why?"  Who decided, "This book belongs... this book 
doesn't..."?  What were their reasons?  What were their motives?
   The fact is, there are no clear records available which document the 
church's process of determining which books were acceptable and which books 
were unacceptable.  The general concensus of opinion among  scholars is 
that the decision was based on whether or not the book agreed with the 
prevailing theological thought at the time. In other words, the only books 
accepted were the ones that maintained the "status quo".
   This means that the fundamentalists' religion is not based on the Bible, 
as they claim so fervently... it means the Bible was based on the 
prevailing religion!  This, in itself, is another example of the "circular 
argument" as related earlier.
   It is also interesting that, even though the Biblical canon was 
purposely chosen to include only books that met the "status quo", there is 
so much inconsistancy and contradictions in the Bible.  And it is even more 
interesting that so many fundamentalists proclaim that there are no 
contradictions in the Bible!  If that were true, then why are there so many 
different sects of Christianity?
   For example, Christianity is basically divided into three main sects:  
the Roman Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox, and the Protestants.  And the 
Protestant branch alone is divided into many different sects:  the 
Adventists, the Amish, the Anglican Church, the Apostolic Faith, the 
Assemblies of God, the Baptists, the Brethren, the Christian Church, the 
Church of Christ, the Church of God, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter 
Day Saints (the Mormons), the Church of the Nazarene, the Congregational 
Christian Churches, the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Congregational 
Church, the Friends (Quakers), the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Lutherans, the 
Mennonites, the Methodists, the Pentacostal Churches, the Presbyterians, 
the Salvation Army, the Unitarians, the United Church of Christ, and at 
least 66 other sects!
   And that does not count the different sub-sects of these sects!  For 
example, the Baptists are further divided into:  the American Baptist 
Convention, the Southern Baptist Convention, the American Baptist 
Association, the Baptist General Conference, the Bethel Baptist Assembly, 
the Christian Unity Baptist Association, the Conservative Baptist 
Association of America, the Baptist Church of Christ, the Free Will 
Baptists... and at least 19 other sub-sects.  And there are no "minor 
differences" between these sub-sects.  For example, the Southern Baptist 
Association was formed in 1845 in large part because of disagreements with 
other Baptists concerning slavery.
   The other Protestant sects are also broken up into various sub-sects.  
For example, the Methodists have 23, the Mennonites 15; the Presbyterians 
9; the Mormons 3; etc.
   And yet (especially for the more right-wing sects), these numerous sects 
and sub-sects claim to possess the truth of the Bible in its purest form... 
and each one are able to quote verses from the Bible to prove it!  So much 
for the "harmony" of the Bible.

CHAPTER FOUR:  AUTHORSHIP OF THE BIBLE
--------------------------------------
   This is a list of the authorship of the Bible, according to most modern 
biblical scholars.  This information can be found by looking in any 
encyclopedia.  The scholars base their conclusions by carefully weighing 
the evidence...  there is a reason why they feel the way they do.  Although 
many fundamentalist Christians try to minimize or even ignore these 
scholarly conclusions, the fact remains that they are completely unable to 
counter these arguments by any evidence whatsoever. Although they are quick 
to accept archeological data that verifies a piece of biblical history, and 
they are quick to accept scholars' conclusions on the questionable nature 
of the scriptures of other religions, they completely downplay a critical, 
unbiased study of their own supposedly "infallible" scripture, the Bible.  
Which is ironic, since their entire claim to spiritual superiority rests on 
their premise that the Bible is perfect and flawless.
   In the following analyses, it is important to watch for the references 
to "editing", "rewriting", and "additions" to the books of the Bible.  
These changes to the Bible might make one wonder:  "Why did someone find it 
necessary to change this scripture?  What was their motive?  What was the 
original scripture lacking?  Or what did it say that someone felt it was 
necessary to change?  And who did the changing?"
   After reading this section, the obvious question that comes to mind is, 
"How can someone base their life, and condemn other religions, on such a 
scripture?"

THE OLD TESTAMENT
   It doesn't take a scholar to realize that autobiography is very rarely 
found in it.  It is mostly written in the third person ("he said" or "she 
said", rather than "I said").  Scholars say that the vast majority of the 
Old Testament consists of stories that were handed down via the unreliable 
method of oral transmission before they were finally written down.  There 
was a long journey from the creation of these stories until the time they 
were compiled...  and this journey involved storytellers and editors.
   It is also important to note that almost none of the books in the Old 
Testament have "signature verses".  Christians and Jews maintain different 
"traditional" authors, although they have little or no evidence to support 
these claims.  There is also a common misunderstanding among many 
Christians that the books are by individuals, rather than about 
individuals.  For example, many Christians believe a man named Job wrote 
the book in the Old Testament, "The Book of Job".  But here, as elsewhere, 
"of" means "about", not "by".  This is quite clear in the very first verse 
of that book:  "There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job..." 
(Job 1:1)
   Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy:  These first five 
books of the Bible are known as the "Pentateuch", and tradition ascribes 
these books to have been written by Moses.  This is highly unlikely, since 
these books tell of the death of Moses (Deuteronomy 34:5)!  In reality, 
these books are actually anonymous and composite works.  In these books are 
two and different accounts of Creation, of the "flood", and of the plagues 
of Egypt. Scholars have overwhelming evidence that Genesis was compiled 
from several different sources.  They also feel that Exodus and Leviticus 
were written by members of the priesthood in the 5th or 6th century BC.
   Joshua:  Scholars maintain that this book is drawn from a number of 
different sources.  The oldest passages of the book date from the 10th 
century BC, but were rewritten around the 7th century BC by members of the 
Deuteronomic school.  Around the 5th century BC, persons motivated by 
priestly matters added to or rewrote altogether the entire second half of 
the book.
   Judges:  The traditional author of this book was Samuel.  However, 
scholars believe that it was written after the death of Samuel;  chapters 
2-16 are believed to be written by members of the Deuteronomic school, and 
chapters 17-21 are considered to be an addition by priests in the 5th 
century BC.
   Ruth:  Nothing is known about the author, or when it was written.  
Scholars point out that certain references in the book show that it was 
written sometime in the "post-exilic" period, probably sometime between the 
4th and 2nd centuries BC.
   Samuel (1 and 2):  Scholars concur that these books are clearly 
composite works.  Some scholars maintain that the books were composed from 
an "Early Source", which dates around the time of the reign of Solomon 
(961-922 BC), and the "Late Source", which dates from around the 7th 
century BC.  Other scholars believe that there were three sources, known as 
"J", "L", and "E".  In both theories, it is interesting to note that the 
Early Source (or J and L) favors the establishment of the monarchy as 
divinely willed.  Yet the Late Source (or E), clearly disapproves of the 
concept of a monarchy, saying it rejects the role of God as the true king! 
This is an example of one of the many contradictions of the Bible (even 
though so many fundamentalists claim the Bible to be "harmonious").
   There are other inconsistencies as well.  For example, in 1 Samuel 17, 
David is credited with killing the giant Goliath.  But in 2 Samuel 21:19, 
Elhanan, son of Jaareoregim, is credited with the act.  Another point to 
mention is that if you look in the popular King James Version (KJV) of the 
Bible, and turn to 2 Samuel 21:19, you will see "the brother of" (Goliath) 
in italics.  This italic print means that it was an embellishment of the 
editor of the KJV, in an attempt to cover up this inconsistency (by making 
it appear that Elhanan killed the brother of Goliath, as opposed to Goliath 
himself).  But if you look in a reputable version of the Bible, such as the 
New English Bible, you will see the original rendition:  that Elhanan 
killed Goliath... an obvious contradiction.
   Kings (1 and 2):  The traditional author is ascribed to be Jeremiah.  
However, modern scholars have determined that it was actually composed by 
at least two anonymous authors.  The earlier author wrote his portion 
sometime before the death of Josiah, the king of Judah, in 610 BC.  The 
second portion is thought to have been written around 60 years later.  They 
reason this by noticing that the last historical event mentioned occurred 
around that time, and no mention at all was made of the fall of Babylon in 
539 BC, a significant historical event that certainly would have been 
worthy of mention.  Both authors, however, certainly seemed to have been 
motivated by a nationalistic fervor in the cause of Israel.
   Chronicles (1 and 2), Ezra, Nehemiah:  Almost all scholars agree that 
that these four books were written by an the same author(s).  Internal 
evidence suggests that he (or they) was a member of a priestly tribe, 
probably a Levite.  Nothing is known about the author, neither his name, 
nor his character.  Like most books of the Bible, the author was anonymous.
   In Chronicles 1 and 2, the author refers to other books, but scholars 
are uncertain as to which are genuine references, and which are 
embellishments of the author.  Most scholars agree that these books contain 
many later additions, and that the entire work took from 332 to 167 BC to 
complete.
   It is also obvious that the author used specific references from the 
books of Samuel and Kings (which scholars say is less inaccurate), 
significantly modified to suit the author's point of view.  The writer 
attempted to find answers to such troubling questions as "Why do good 
people sometimes suffer?  And why do the unjust sometimes flourish?"  In 
attempting to answer these questions, it is notable that the author 
rejected source material which did not further his aim.
   Also, although fundamentalists consider the entire Bible harmonious, 
there are many inconsistencies with the book of Chronicles and the book of 
Kings.
   Esther:  This book not even mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Because 
the mood of this book is vindictive, with nationalistic overtones, and 
completely secular in nature, early Jewish scholars were reluctant to 
include it into the Bible.  But, bowing down to popular demand, it was 
eventually included, but not until AD 90.  It is interesting to note that 
the Greek version of this book contains over 100 additional verses that 
were not in the original Hebrew version.
   Job:  Modern scholars say that not only was this book written 
anonymously, the author used, as his sources, an Israelite or Edomite 
folktale.
   Psalms:  The is one of the few sections of the entire Bible which 
contains signature lines.  74 or the psalms are attributed to David, and 32 
to other authors...  but all of the remainder are of unknown authorship.  
Christians and Jews have always attributed the authorship of this entire 
book (or at least the editorship) to David, but in reality, this book is a 
collection of psalms that took almost 800 years to compile.
   Proverbs:  Traditionalists attribute this book to Solomon, but scholars 
point out that it was probably written around 600 years later (by an 
unknown person), because it is clear that the author(s) were heavily 
influenced by Greek philosophical systems of thought, such as Epicureanism 
and Stoicism.
   Song of Solomon:  You would think that this book would be written by 
Solomon, but scholars believe that it was composed 400-600 years later, and 
that it was obviously influenced by cultic and pagan rituals.
   Isaiah:  Traditionally ascribed to Isaiah, but scholars maintain that 
the first 36 chapters were of his teachings, and the rest were the 
teachings of his disciples.
   Jeremiah:  One of the very few books of the Old Testament that contains 
first-person references (although this is only a part of the book).  Other 
sections are third-person accounts, probably from the students of Jeremiah. 
 The rest clearly shows the influence of the Deuteronomic school.  The 
entire book shows evidence of tampering, in the form of editing.
   Lamentations:  Traditionalists say that the author was Jeremiah, but 
educated scholars say that it was composed by different anonymous authors. 
Chapter 5 is clearly a later, edited addition of the book.  Actually, the 
ascription of the book to Jeremiah is the result of a misunderstanding of 2 
Chronicles 35:25, which says that the lamentation of Jeremiah for the king 
Josiah "are written in the lamentations".  But the book of Lamentations 
never even mentions Josiah.
   Ezekiel:  This is one of the very few books where the majority of the 
book was probably written by its namesake.  But the last nine chapters are 
believed by scholars to have been a later edition by the disciples of 
Ezekiel.
   Daniel:  This book is traditionally ascribed to Daniel (who lived in the 
6th century BC).  In this book, he tells of his kidnapping by Babylonians 
from Jerusalem.  But since there is absolutely no historical record of a 
Babylonian attack on Jerusalem until about 400 years later, the actual date 
is estimated to have been in the 2nd century BC, by an anonymous author.
   Although the traditionalists tend to categorize this book with the other 
so-called "prophetical" books, it is important to note that this book is 
not even mentioned in the directory of famous Hebrew writings, the "Wisdom 
of Sirach" (200 BC).
   Also, although the traditionalists ascribe this book to one author, a 
significant portion (2:4 through 7:28) is written in another language, 
Aramaic (the remainder of the book being in Hebrew).
Furthermore, historians note numerous historical inaccuracies mentioned in 
this book (when compared against other historical records of that time, as 
well as other books of the Old Testament).
   Hosea:  Again, traditionally ascribed to Hosea.  But scholars believe 
that portions (1:10-11 and the latter half of the second chapter) are later 
additions.  In is interesting to note that these two additional sections 
are verses which describe the "specialness" of the Jewish people.
   Joel:  Absolutely nothing is known about the author, except his name 
(Joel).
   Amos:  Traditionally ascribed to Amos, but scholars believe that this 
was written after his death.  They also point out that the end of this book 
(9:8-15) differs so dramatically from the rest of the book that it must 
have been an even later addition, which deals with the people of Israel, 
the favorites of Jehovah, being spared the divine wrath.
   Obadiah:  The traditionalists say this book was written by Obadiah.  But 
biblical scholars question the unity of the book, and maintain that more 
than one author wrote it (one of which may have been Obadiah).  Aside from 
that, absolutely nothing is known about this Hebrew prophet.  Regarding the 
question of unity of this book, it is interesting to note that this entire 
book is only 21 verses in length!
   Jonah:  Tradition holds that this book was written by the prophet Jonah, 
who, according to Judeo/Christian mythology, lived in the 8th century BC 
and was swallowed by a giant fish.  But scholars point to evidence that 
this work was written anonymously about 300 years later, in the post-exilic 
period.  Among their evidence, they point to 1) the later form of Hebrew 
used by the author(s), and 2) the familiarity of the author(s) with other 
postexilic works.
   The traditionalists say this, and so many other books of the Bible, are 
autobiographical works.  But even a casual glance at these books show they 
were written by another (unknown) person.  Using this book as an example, 
let us examine chapter 1, verse 17:  "Now the Lord had prepared a great 
fish to swallow up Jonah.  And Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three 
days and three nights."  This is clearly a third-person account.  A 
first-person account would read, "Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to 
swallow me up.  And I was in the belly of the fish for three days and three 
nights."
   What evidence do the fundamentalists produce in supporting their claim 
that Jonah is the author?  Absolutely none.  There is nothing in the book 
that even suggests a signature verse.
   And remember, I am just using this book as an example.  The exact same 
case could be made against the vast majority of the so-called 
"autobiographical" books.
   Micah:  Again, the traditionalists say that this book was written by 
Micah.  But, again, scholars say that it is a composite work.  Chapters 1-3 
seem to have actually have been written by him, except for the 12th and 
13th verses of the second chapter, which appears to have been a later 
addition.  These last two verses speak of the restoration of the tribes of 
Israel, probably to bolster the Zionist effort.  Scholars maintain that the 
contents of chapters 4 through 7 reflect circumstances that occurred long 
after Micah's life.  Therefore, Micah could not have been the author of 
these chapters.
   Nahum:  Traditionalists believe this book was written by Nahum.  
Scholars have found no evidence to disagree with this.  Of course, the 
traditionalists have no evidence that it was written by Nahum...  this is a 
type of philosophic fallacy wherein a conclusion is "proven" true on the 
basis that it has not been proven false.
   Habakkuk:  Scholars believe that the first two chapters were actually 
written by Habakkuk, although absolutely nothing is known about this 
person.  But the rest of the book is considered to be a later addition by 
an anonymous author.  The scholars strong, irrefutable evidence:  there was 
no reference to that part of the book in the Habakkuk Commentary of the 
Dead Sea scrolls.
   Zephaniah:  Tradition attributes it to the prophet Zephaniah, but 
scholars say that chapters 2 and 3 were added later.  And the end of the 
third chapter was an even later addition.  Again, this later addition 
speaks of the Jews regaining their homeland.
   Haggai:  Although traditionalists believe that this was written by the 
prophet Haggai, scholar doubt this, pointing to the impersonal third-person 
references to him as "the prophet".
   Zechariah:  Tradition holds that this was written by Zechariah himself.  
This may be the case, in the first eight chapters.  But scholars point to 
the last six chapters, which differ significantly from the first eight, in 
language, style, theology, and other matters.  This dramatic difference 
leads the scholars to believe that this section was composed over a century 
later than the first part of the book.
   Malachi:  Early Jewish commentators believed that this book was written 
by Ezra, but scholars believe that is was written later.

THE NEW TESTAMENT
   Before discussing the authorship of the New Testament, it is important 
to remember that much of the justification of the New Testament is due to 
the supposed fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.  But, as is 
clearly shown above, the authorship and the authenticity of the Old 
Testament is highly doubtful.  You cannot build a sturdy house on a flimsy 
foundation.  Similarly, you cannot have a sound argument when your premise 
for your argument is a weak, shaky presumption.
   The philosophic "center" of the New Testament is the first four books 
(Matthew, Mark, Luke,and John), which are known as the "Gospels".  The rest 
of the New Testament is, for all practical purposes, an elaboration on 
these four books.  Many Christians believe that these four Gospels were 
written by the direct disciples of Christ, but, as you will see, this is 
hardly the case.  So even the beloved Gospels are not free from the nagging 
doubt of dubious authorship.  Christians cite the similarity of the Gospels 
as "proof" of their authenticity.  But the similarities between these four 
books is due to the existence of a alleged collection of the sayings of 
Jesus called "Q".  The compiler of Q is unknown.  Christians place enormous 
faith that this unknown person(s) did not 1) fabricate his own sayings to 
suit his own agenda, and 2) use saying from questionable sources.
   Also, as I noted earlier, there were over 50 different Gospels in 
circulation at the time the New Testament was compiled.  Since the persons 
choosing the canon used only books that were, more or less, harmonious, it 
is reasonable to conclude that the results would be... harmonious books!
   For example, one book that did not make it into the New Testament was 
the "Gospel of Peter", because the book does not consider the Crucifixion 
as an act of atonement.  Similarly, the "Acts of John" was not included 
because of its subversion of traditional Christian teachings (such as, 
denying the reality of Christ's physical body).  It may be argued that 
these (and many other books) were not included because of "questionable 
authorship", but the authorship of these books is no less questionable than 
other books that have been included.
   Another significant, disquieting fact concerning the New Testament is 
the widely used literary tradition at that time of pseudonymously ascribing 
new works to a venerated personage of the past in order to give the new 
concoction credibility!  This has, indeed, serious implications for the 
entire New Testament.
   Matthew:  Traditionalists believe that this is the earliest of the four 
Gospels, and was written by St. Matthew, one of the 12 apostles.  However, 
most modern scholars believe that the Gospel of Mark was earlier, and that 
the author of the Gospel of Matthew drew upon the Gospel of Mark for 
material.  This is significant, because the Gospel of Mark is indeed of 
highly questionable authorship (see below).  They base these beliefs on 
internal and external evidence.  And this evidence also casts strong doubts 
that St. Matthew wrote this book.  They have narrowed down the date of the 
writing of this book between 70 and 80 AD.
   Mark:  Traditionalists believe that St. Mark wrote this book.  And many 
Christians believe that St. Mark was one of the 12 apostles, but that is 
not the case.  The very earliest evidence concerning the authorship of this 
Gospel comes from the 3rd century, from a church historian, Eusebius of 
Caesarea, who in turn quotes a writer who lived a hundred years earlier, 
whose name was Papias...  who in turn quotes a still earlier person called 
only "the elder".  This quote refers to the author, Mark, being an 
interpreter of Peter, whose name was John Mark, a cousin of Barnabas.  But 
there are reasons to doubt this.  Because most early Christians linked this 
Gospel to Mark, the "elder" did his best to at least try to link the author 
with a man named "Mark" (Peter's interpreter).  The conclusion by most 
scholars that the author was an otherwise unknown man (named Mark), who 
drew on a large number of traditions to compose this work.
   It is also interesting to note that many Greek manuscripts end with the 
eighth verse of the 15th chapter.  Yet the Bible today ends with verse 20! 
Most scholars believe that the final 12 verses were added by a 2nd century 
monk or scribe to make a more satisfying ending.
   Luke:  Attributed to St. Luke, although very little is know about St. 
Luke, except that he may have been a traveling companion of St. Paul.  And, 
like Paul, there is no record or mention of St. Luke even meeting Christ.  
Therefore, even if this gospel was written by St. Luke, it would clearly be 
at best a second-hand account of the biography of the savior of the 
Christians, and was written 40 or 50 years after Christ's death.  Modern 
scholars agree that the Gospel of Luke is clearly based on the earliest 
Gospel (Mark), and that the author used two major interpolations (Luke 
6:20-8:3, and 9:51-18:14) from the collection of supposed sayings of Jesus, 
"Q", and from a large body of oral traditions (commonly referred to as 
"L").
   John:  The authorship of this book has created heated controversy since 
the 1800s.  Although traditionalists have always believed that the author 
of this book was St. John the Evangelist, in actuality there are four 
candidates for authorship:  1) it was written by a person known as "the 
elder", as mentioned in the Epistles of John;  2) it was written by a 
student of St. John the Evangelist;  3) it was written by Lazarus of 
Bethany; or 4) it was written by an anonymous person in Alexandria a 
hundred years after Christ's death.
   Also, scholars generally agree that the entire 21st chapter is a later 
addition.  This chapter deals with Christ's resurrection.
   Acts of the Apostles:    Traditionally believed that the author was St. 
Luke, but, since there is no reference to this within the book itself, 
there are many doubts to this.  Many scholars contend that it was written 
by someone who had acquired the diary of a traveling companion of St. Paul.
   Scholars point out that it was written around AD 62-90, and was written 
in Greek, instead of Hebrew.
   Romans; Corinthians (1 and 2); Galatians:  Attributed to Paul.
   Ephesians:  Traditionally attributed to Paul, but it is doubted by many 
modern scholars, because of the extreme differences of tone, vocabulary, 
and writing style as compared to authentic letters of Paul.
   Phillippians:  Attributed to Paul.
   Colossians:  Although traditionally ascribed to Paul, many scholars have 
strong doubts about this, because of the differences of vocabulary used (as 
compared to genuine Pauline writings).
   1 Thessalonians:  Attributed to Paul.
   2 Thessalonians:  Attributed to Paul, although, based on internal and 
external evidence, many scholars tend to doubt this.
   Timothy (1 and 2); Titus:  Traditionally attributed to Paul, but most 
scholars believe otherwise due to the fact that the style and vocabulary 
differ in significant ways from authentic works by Paul.  Also, historical 
events as reflected in these works do not fit into any known situation of 
Paul's life.  The scholars believe that these books are by an unknown 
author(s), who used the name of Paul to give it an air of authority.
   Philomon:  Traditionally ascribed to Paul.
   Hebrews:  Practically all modern scholars doubt this was written by Paul 
(as the traditionalists claim).  Actually, even the early Christian Church 
itself had strong doubts about Paul's authorship of this book!  Scholars 
point out that the vocabulary, grammar, and style are dramatically 
different from known works by Paul.  But the most damning evidence is that 
the author(s) of this book quote from the Greek versions of the Old 
Testament (instead of the Hebrew originals, as Paul would have done)!  
Therefore, it is clear that this book was not written by Paul, or any other 
apostle.  This is significant, for in this book contains the cornerstones 
of the fundamentalists' beliefs:  1) that Jesus died for everyone's sins 
(chapter nine and ten);  and 2) that the doctrine of faith alone is 
sufficient for salvation (chapters 11 and 12)
   James:  This book is traditionally ascribed to St. James, the apostle. 
Most scholars doubt this, because of the expertise of the author in the 
Greek language.  Therefore, they feel that it was written by an unknown 
Greek Christian.
   And even many Christians themselves have their doubts about this work.  
Even Martin Luther, the founder of one of the three main branches of 
Christianity (Protestantism), called it "an epistle of straw".  One reason 
why he may have said this was because of a verse in James (2:20): "But wilt 
thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"  The Protestants 
believe that faith alone is sufficient for salvation.  The Catholics 
believe that it is important to do good works as well.  This one point was 
a major factor in causing Protestantism to break away from Catholicism.  
And this one verse devastates the fundamentalists' argument. This is 
completely contradictory to Paul's exhortations of "justification by faith" 
in Romans and Hebrews.  So much for the "harmony of the Bible", as the 
fundamentalists claim (as proof of the Bible's validity).
   Peter 1:  Although attributed to Peter, it is widely doubted by most 
scholars, on the basis of the fact that the author of this book cites Greek 
translations of the Old Testament, instead of the Hebrew originals.  This 
questionable book contains the fundamentalists' slogan, "born again" (1 
Peter 1:23)
   Peter 2:  This book has even more doubtful authorship that Peter 1, so 
much so that it was delayed entrance into the New Testament's canon.  It is 
generally believed that it was written by an unknown scribe around 150 AD.
   Epistles of John:  Traditionally ascribed to St. John the Evangelist, 
but many scholars disagree.  Many scholars feel that it was written by one 
of the four "Johns" as listed above under the "Gospel of John", but they 
can't agree on which one.
   Revelations:  Again, attributed to St. John the Evangelist, but scholars 
again disagree.  But there are so many linguistic differences between this 
book and the Gospel of John that it is clear that they were written by 
different people.
   This book is the cornerstone of the fundamentalists, the evangelicals, 
and the millenarianists.  It records a purported "vision", and Christians 
are fond of tying its enigmatic allegory to current events, to show that 
the end of the world is near.  And they are generally successful, since 
this book is so obscure that one elicit practically any interpretation from 
it.  In fact, ever since it was written (around AD 100), people of every 
generation have been able to link it to their own period of time.
   The numerous references to "a thousand years" in chapter 20 has led many 
to consider that doomsday will occur at the end of a millenium.  The 
"Judgement Day" hysteria that occurred as the year 1000 approached is a 
historical fact.  Similarly, social psychologists predict that, as we 
approach the year 2000, the same hysteria will occur.
   Many scholars believe that Revelations is actually a collection of 
separate works by various unknown authors.  One reason they believe this is 
because the book is a strange collection of Greek and Hebrew idioms.  And 
some believe that it was never intended to be viewed as a "prophecy", but 
as an allegory showing the crisis of faith at that period of time (of the 
Roman persecutions).

   It is interesting to note that Jesus himself never authored any book of 
the New Testament, not even a paragraph.  In fact, most of the New 
Testament was written by Paul.  This has led many to consider that Paul is 
the architect of modern Christianity, not Christ.  A more accurate name for 
Christians, then, is "Paulists", not "Christians".
   Many Christians believe that Paul was one of the 12 apostles of Christ, 
but this is not the case... the 12 were Andrew, John, Bartholomew, Judas, 
Jude, the two Jameses, Matthew, Peter, Phillip, Simon, and Thomas.  After 
Judas committed suicide, Matthias replaced him.  By the way, this is one 
way of testing the fundamentalist's knowledge of his own religion.  Many 
believe that St. Mark (the alleged author of the Gospel of Mark), and St. 
Luke (the supposed author of the Gospel of Luke), and St. Paul (the author 
of many New Testament books), were members of the 12 apostles, Jesus' 
direct disciples.  But they are not on the list.
   As for Paul, who plays such an important part of Christian theology, it 
is important to note that he never met Christ.  In fact, he was active in 
the persecutions of early Christians, claiming it to be an unlawful Jewish 
cult.  Acts 8:1 depicts Paul as agreeing with the stoning of the first 
Christian martyr, St. Stephen:  "And Saul (Paul's pre-Christian name) was 
consenting unto his [Stephen's] death."  Paul was converted to Christianity 
later, and became a zealous missionary (perhaps motivated by extreme guilt 
for his atrocities).

THE END

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