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Who Wrote the Bible? : a Book for the People   By: (1836-1918)

Book cover

First Page:

Curtis A. Weyant, Charles Franks, and the Distributed Proofreading Team.

´╗┐ WHO WROTE THE BIBLE?

BY

WASHINGTON GLADDEN

CONTENTS.

I. A LOOK INTO THE HEBREW BIBLE II. WHAT DID MOSES WRITE? III. SOURCES OF THE PENTATEUCH IV. THE EARLIER HEBREW HISTORIES V. THE HEBREW PROPHECIES VI. THE LATER HEBREW HISTORIES VII. THE POETICAL BOOKS VIII. THE EARLIER NEW TESTAMENT WRITINGS IX. THE ORIGIN OF THE GOSPELS X. NEW TESTAMENT HISTORY AND PROPHECY XI. THE CANON XII. HOW THE BOOKS WERE WRITTEN XIII. HOW MUCH IS THE BIBLE WORTH?

WHO WROTE THE BIBLE?

CHAPTER I.

A LOOK INTO THE HEBREW BIBLE.

The aim of this volume is to put into compact and popular form, for the benefit of intelligent readers, the principal facts upon which scholars are now generally agreed concerning the literary history of the Bible. The doctrines taught in the Bible will not be discussed; its claims to a supernatural origin will not be the principal matter of inquiry; the book will concern itself chiefly with those purely natural and human agencies which have been employed in writing, transcribing, editing, preserving, transmitting, translating, and publishing the Bible.

The writer of this book has no difficulty in believing that the Bible contains supernatural elements. He is ready to affirm that other than natural forces have been employed in producing it. It is to these superhuman elements in it that reference and appeal are most frequently made. But the Bible has a natural history also. It is a book among books. It is a phenomenon among phenomena. Its origin and growth in this world can be studied as those of any other natural object can be studied. The old apple tree growing in my garden is the witness to me of some transcendent truths, the shrine of mysteries that I cannot unravel. What the life is that was hidden in the seed from which it sprang, and that has shaped all its growth, co├Ârdinating the forces of nature, and producing this individual form and this particular variety of fruit, this I do not know. There are questions here that no man of science can answer. Life in the seed of the apple as well as in the soul of man is a mystery. But there are some things about the apple tree that may be known. I may know if any one has been curious enough to keep the record when the seed was planted, when the shoot first appeared above the ground, how many branches it had when it was five years old, how high it was when it was ten years old, when this limb and that twig were added, when the first blossom appeared, when that branch was grafted and those others were trimmed off. All this knowledge I may have gained; and in setting forth these facts, or such as these, concerning the natural history of the tree, I do not assume that I am telling all about the life that is in it. In like manner we may study the origin and growth of the Bible without attempting to decide the deeper questions concerning the inspiration of its writers and the meaning of the truths they reveal.

That the Bible has a natural as well as a supernatural history is everywhere assumed upon its pages. It was written as other books are written, and it was preserved and transmitted as other books are preserved and transmitted. It did not come into being in any such marvelous way as that in which Joseph Smith's "Book of Mormon," for example, is said to have been produced. The story is, that an angel appeared to Smith and told him where he would find this book; that he went to the spot designated, and found in a stone box a volume six inches thick, composed of thin gold plates, eight inches by seven, held together by three gold rings; that these plates were covered with writing in the "Reformed Egyptian" tongue, and that with this book were "the Urim and the Thummim," a pair of supernatural spectacles, by means of which he was able to read and translate this "Reformed Egyptian" language... Continue reading book >>




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