Marco Cáceres di Iorio

Anonymous authors of scripture are a real drag

The Bible is a great book. But remember that it didn’t just fall out of the sky one day with the subtitle “Word of God: Abide By It Or Go To Hell” and byline “God”. Rather, it was assembled over several centuries by bickering church councils from a selection of manuscripts written largely by unknown authors.

With regard to the Christian Scriptures half of the publication, only the epistles (letters) of the guy known as Paul of Tarsus are known to have been written by the assumed author. And even a few of Paul’s epistles are now believed by many Bible scholars and theologians not to have been written by Paul—an historical figure, but one about whom relatively little is known.

The authors of the remainder of the Christian Scriptures, including the four canonical Gospels, are anonymous. Ah, you thought the Gospels were written by guys named Mark, Matthew, Luke and John? Nope, sorry. Really, the names may as well have been John, Paul, George and Ringo.

There has long been much debate and speculation about the possible identity of the authors, but there is no certainty here. Lots of debate and controversy, but no factual certainty? Bit of a shocker, I’d say.

So much, if not all, of Christianity’s dogma and doctrines are based on the writings of unknown people or individuals like Paul who never met, much less knew, the Galilean peasant Jesus of Nazareth, who Christians believe is the bodily manifestation of  the deity designated as “God”. That is why it is reasonable to at least question the credibility or accuracy of what was written.

Without knowledge of the identity, personality, emotional state, intellectual competency, and general background of each of the authors, there is no way to properly judge what exactly they meant by their writings or even how sane they were. Were they writers who preferred to communicate byway of metaphor, literalism, nuance?

Oh, did I mention that Jesus himself wrote nothing, at least nothing that survived. No surprise, there… most Galilean country folk back then couldn’t read or write. So all the teachings and wisdom that are attributed to him is based on recollections by anonymous guys (or gals) or people who were complete strangers to him.

Hey, but it’s okay. It’s all about faith anyways. Just saying…

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