God’s Secretaries & the Making of the Bible By Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo

I never had any conflict between faith and science. In fact, the man who told me about the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses was the one who taught me Physics and Chemistry.

Francis Osora Ezengige was the first genius I knew. He was two years ahead of me in high school. During long vacation when he visited Nnobi, he spent his time teaching science to my friends and me. He explained to me why a piece of yam changed color when cut and left in the open. Long before he made 2nd Class upper division in Engineering at UNN, he had explained to me why supersonic planes went far before we heard the sound. Francis knew the answers to all of life’s intriguing questions.

Then one day, we watched Michael Jackson’s Thriller on TV. After the performance, he said to me, “You see, white people indulge in voodoo, too,” I was stunned. His words devastated me. How could he believe in science and in voodoo, too?

For a couple of days, I suffered from the confusion of that knowledge. Then, a few weeks after, we watched “The Making of Thriller.” It explained how the music video was made. The making of Thriller took the thrill out of Thriller. The making of the Bible does the exact opposite. It humbles my assumptions.

While many Christians believe that the bible is the word of God, free of errors, the truth is a lot different.

With recent archeological, linguistic and literary discoveries, new insights are emerging on the making of the Bible. Africans typically do not want to invest in this kind of study because they fear that it threatens Christian religion itself. For a book on which basis you decide what is right and what is wrong; what you hate and what you love; and where you go after it is all over, one would have thought that everyone would be interested in knowing how the book came into existence. But that’s not the case.

In his book, “Who Wrote the Bible?” Richard Elliott Friedman outlines problems in the biblical texts. Several contradictions led to questions about the authorship of the Bible. In Books said to have been written by Moses, Moses tells the story of kings who lived after him. In one it says that Moses is going to a Tabernacle and later in the book it says that someone builds a Tabernacle. How do you go to a Tabernacle before you build one? In one of Moses’ books, it is said that Moses is the humblest man on earth. Moses will not say that Moses is the humblest man on earth. We also read the account of Moses’ death in a Book written by Moses. So how can Moses tell of his own death?

Friedman noted that investigations of the Bible have brought science, religion and secularity into conflict. In the past, books that challenged the authorship of the bible were banned and burned. Authors were excommunicated and some even killed. Adherers argue that the Bible is divinely dictated, revealed and inspired.  Whether the Bible should be interpreted literally, figuratively or symbolically, have far-reaching implications for many. So are questions of whether it is fiction, history or non-fiction?

Whether one’s interest in the Bible is religious, literary or historical, Friedman stated, knowing who wrote it and when it was written is important. An author’s life and time reflects the world the author depicts. It is virtually impossible to understand the text of the books in the Bible without an understanding of who the author was. The story by a witness of an event differs from the one written by someone with a second hand source. The author’s experience and event of his life influence the story he tells and how he tells it.

The Hebrew Bible that forms the basis of the Christian Old Testament is a compilation of books on the Jewish laws, the prophets and the writings. The first five books were attributed to Moses, as the author. Biblical scholars have since determined that Moses could not have written the 5th book. More likely, they were written by several people. Irrespective of who wrote them, scholars believe that the books retold what had been transmitted for generations through oral tradition. To understand how diverse the books were, imagine putting together as a book, Things Fall Apart, The Man Died, Labyrinth with Path of Thunder, Eze Goes to School, Palmwine Drinkard, Efuru, There Was A Country and Heavensgate, amongst others.

Here is a summary of the history of the bible as recorded in various encyclopedias –Americana, Britannica, Catholic, New World etc, based on books by numerous scholars in the last four centuries.

The Hebrew Bible came about when a committee came together to select texts from writings that survived the destruction of Jerusalem. These were writings the Jewish committee best believed would guide them in the observation of their religion. The Hebrew Bible is arranged in such a way that it ends with the Israelites returning to Jerusalem. The Old Testament of the Christian Bible ends with Malachi. The poetry of Isaiah did not refer to Jesus. But Christians interpreted it to mean a reference to the coming of Jesus Christ. Jews on the other hand rejected that interpretation. In some bible editions, the book of Esther did not mention God at all. It is one of those books now considered a historical novella that was not written to represent actual events.

The Hebrew Bible does not have the New Testaments in it. The New Testament was written in a 70-year period by several authors. All the authors were Jewish except for Luke. Paul, Peter, John and James wrote most of the epistles to the new churches on how to live and worship God. As the early church grew, church leaders began the process of selecting from numerous epistles and accounts of what would be the canon of the new Christian religion. At the end of the 2nd century, only 20 books were accepted for inclusion in the New Testament. The Revelation was rejected. The full 27 books in the New Testament were adopted at the synods of Hippo Regius in 393 and Carthage in 397.

Books like the Acts of John, and the Acts of Peter written by John’s companion were called apocryphal acts. Early church leaders saw them as texts not divinely inspired. Some were rejected because their authenticity was regarded as questionable.

What is accepted as canon by each church depends on the translation from which the particular church picked their books. The early Christians depended on the Septuagint. This was the first translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek. In AD 382, Pope Damasus called a Council of Rome that put together the first list of books of the Christian Bible. Saint Jerome put together the texts in Latin. In 1546, the Church declared this Bible the only authentic Bible.

During the Protestant Reformation led by Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin, a debate about what books to be included in the Protestant Bible ensued. The Protestants took out from the Septuagint, books that were not in the Hebrew Bible. While Catholics called these books deuterocannonical book, Protestants called them Apocrypha. So the Protestants have 39 books in their Old Testaments while the Catholics have 46. The Catholic Bible has several books that are not in the Protestant bible. Books like Tobit, Judith, Maccabees, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, Baruch, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children. The Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches recognize other books like Prayer of Manasseh, Esdras, 3 Maccabees and Psalm 151. In the New Testament, the Christian churches are in agreement on the final 27 books that made it. But Catholic churches accept doctrines from other books that did not make it into the canon.

Bible scholars generally regard most of the books as a work of literature and not historical documents. For instance, the Exodus from Egypt and emigration to the Promised Land is not considered historical.  There are no archeological and historical evidence to support that.

Those who try to tell the story of the bible risk being seen as nonbelievers who intend to heap scorn on the believers. Bible does not mean God. The word, Bible, means little library. It indicates that it is a collection of books written by several people. In fact, a modern day analogy is the Wikipidia. Many of the books were written and rewritten by many people before it came to this final copy that we have today.

Because the bible was not written like most books of today, and because several books in the bible were written under different contexts and with different purposes in mind, there is a problem when we read the bible like a regular book. A lot of the things in the bible are not meant to be taken literally.

“The question all along was not who inspired the Bible?’ Or ‘Who revealed the Bible?” Friedman wrote, “The question was only which human being actually composed it? Whether they did so at divine direction, dictation or inspiration was always a matter of faith.”

If God had wanted, he could have dropped a definitive manual on how to live from heaven. But he didn’t. And because he didn’t, man did.
 

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WHO

will stop

diasporitic OKONKWO ???

WHO will ???

cheapest write-ups !!!

gerd

If you dont know what to say,

If you dont know what to say, you better keep your mouth shut.

Someone writes about the

Someone writes about the bible. Christians attack the Quran and Muslims. Interesting world. You can attack the Quran and Muslims all you want, the truth remains there are significant contradictions in the Christian faith as is today. Remember, Jesus was a Jew and not a Christian. The concept of Christianity came after. What should worry you is the belief that Jesus is god. I wonder why this belief remains. A man, born of a woman, lived in the world, ate earthly food and was tortured and nailed to the cross according to christians in order to save mankind. GOD? God is supreme. If HE chooses HE can erase the entire world and if HE chooses, HE can forgive us all. To say a god was nailed to the cross is to undermine GOD. Remember, in the bible Jesus said...MY GOD MY GOD why have thou forsaken me! Worship the God of Jesus. The Jews call HIM JEHOVAH. Muslims call him ALLAH.

If you want to know how the

If you want to know how the koran was written, go to muhammed in the prophecy. Type it in the google and you read all you want about the koran.

@Babanmaiduniya

The robust, insistent, & intellectually engaging defense of this position by @Babanmaiduniya seem to heighten the suspicion by @Wahala that @Babanmaiduniya may likely be R.O.O.

I am about 50% agreeing. I am not definitive; so correct me if I am wrong!

Did you know?

Ever wondered why God chose Israelites to be his people over the first people (Black people)? Ever wondered why the fight for supremacy for world dominance has been forever fought on the turf of Africans (Get a copy of Chancellor Williams' The destruction of Black Civilization). Ever wondered why Christianity and Islam true tenets stood aside while Europeans and Middle Easterners traded on black souls for slavery? Ever wondered why black people; Africans now, have been backward despite knowing what they know? FEAR! Fear to reason, fear to learn about their past, fear to challenge the status quo, fear to determine their own fate, fear to move on from cultural jargons, fear of the slave masters, fear of the unknown. Did you know that God the DEsigner of everything that exists gave us one thing that is above all things; THE POWER OF REASONING! Use it and you are free from mental slavery, use it and you will meet with the one true GOD: GOD the DESIGNER of all things.

Amen

Amen

God is Wiser Than man

Thy Word o Lord, is forever settled in heaven. The fool has said in his heart there is no God. God has hid these things from the wise and prudent but has revealed them to BABES. Not many wise men are called, but God has choosen the foolish things of the earth to confound the wise... That they may KNOW THEE THE ONLY GOD AND YOUR SON JESUS WHOM YOU HAVE SENT. Have mercy on our ignorance. Amen

Hi Rudolf, welcome on board.

Hi Rudolf, welcome on board. Skepticism is the impetus for getting to know God. Those who claim so much certainty about God have not heard of the Chinese saying that 'those who know cannot say, those who say do not know". Your skepticism is well placed, I hope it gradually leads you to the light. You can bet your life on it, there is a light at the end of this tunnel if you will only persevere. Keep your doubts coming, they are healthy, they are good for your soul

RUDOLF IS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT! (2)

If the story of Jesus was copied from the African HORUS/OSIRIS, what does that tell us?

If the White Mary is a copy of our African ISIS-Meri, what does that tell us?
if many passages in the Bible were lifted from the FIRST sacred scriptures of the world - the African "Coming Forth by Day and Night",
if there were at least 15 other "Saviours" BEFORE the White "Jesus" - with the same storyline, what can we make of that?

What if the "White Jesus" NEVER existed?? Dates of birth and death are unknown, no one knows how he looked like, too many contradictions in the Bible!

And finally, this:
JEWS worship their Jewish JEHOVAH!
EUROPEANS worship a WHITENED JESUS!
ARABS worship their ARAB ALLAH!
ASIANS worship their ASIAN KRISHNA or BUDDHA!

And AFRICANS??????

WE NEED TO WAKE UP AND FREE OURSELVES FROM
MENTAL SLAVERY!

RUDOLF IS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!

The power of indoctrination is a mighty force that obliterates common sense. We,Africans, have been so brainwashed over the ages to swallow the Jewish, European and Arab concepts of God - which to a large extent were STOLEN from us in the first place!

IGNORANCE about (PRE-Arab/European) African History is our greatest tragedy! If only we knew.......

Yet, one CAN ask smart questions:

If the universe is about 14 billion years old,
if the earth is about 4.6 billion years old,
if Africans were the first human beings on earth,
if "God made man according to his own image and likeness", WHAT CAN WE DEDUCE FROM THAT???

Re-The Bible 4

In conclusion brother Antong, stop flying into the sky whenever sensible questions are asked,they are meant to provoke our sense,sharpen our minds, awaken our intellect and liberate our consciences from mental servitude so that we can live our lives conscious of our limitations without unfounded fear or expectation;So that we live our lives in moral freedom without being enslaved to the emasculating tyranny of religious clergy and their voodoo rituals.And please always remember nobody is a clown except the one who sees other people through his clownish mind or sees his reflection of a clown in another person.
Bless you.

Re-The Bible 3

This sounds formidable but it's logic is practically flawed,for the truth of religious experience is highly subjective,and we cannot reach the truth on this score applying Richard Gerharty's hypothesis.Therefore the long and short of these matter is to apply Mohammed' s logic:follow your religion and I follow mine" This however,unfortunately defeatist.I wish it could the long and short of the matter and if it were that would be the end of reason and the beginning of ignorance.The world is meant to be in a perpetual motion,swinging ,revolving and convulsing and in this cataclysmic process new changes and transformations are constantly achieved.It's through these eternal changes that even Christianity itself had emerged and is going through it's finite course on the scale of time.So brother,nothing is permanent including Christianity itself.

Re-The Bible 2

So no matter how you think of your faith you are still a pawn on a religious,social,ethnic,societal or Economic chessboard,competitively being played by the actors who control your life.
You accused Rudolf of copying and pasting of over rehashed argument by other agnostics whom you described as clowns.You might be right since powerful statements need only be restated because they endure challenges although they need not be true and this equally applies to the Bible.Yet although the bible was compiled from oral traditions of the Jews and it still endures till today,however this endurance cannot as a rule give it the cloth of divinity.I believe to determine the relationship between divinity and endurance would only be a matter of faith,a personal conviction which is not based on any rational ground.Christians have always contended that divine knowledge is spiritually guided.

Re-The Bible1

The same process might lead another person to unbelief.But if you think evangelism is noble what makes intellectual challenge to factuality and historicity of scripture on which you base you faith evil or vice.We can force people to think and behave the way we want,we must respect their position without tagging it as evil or sinful.The world has always been a theatre of conflicting and competing views all weaved into a matrix of interest.This interest range from individual,family,community and the state.On another level from economic,social,cultural and religious relations.So religion today which subjectively affects our lives has pervaded the very fibre of our being , has become territorial and a veritable tool for political, social and economic control of the people.

Re-The Bible

Musa Antong,
That you didn't know where to start is evidence of your
Confusion.Your comment about criticizing the Koran is not just stereotypical,
It also typifies a mind cloistered in prejudice.The debate here is about the origin of the bible.Your comment is not only evasive but also insulting. Okonkwo's thesis struck at the of the issue:the true origin of the Bible;whether he right or wrong you're entitled to join issues with both on factual ground and philosophical level without animosity.When you chose Christianity as a religion it was a personal decision ,it didn't matter whether you gave a thought to its historical or divine truth.

Rudolph okonkwo 1

You people sef, are you retarded? You keep sounding like a broken record. I have told you, it's not about God, but about the white man's plagiarized Christianity,"white washed" and forced down your throat. Got it?

You nailed it my friend, he

You nailed it my friend, he is indeed a coward. Let him write any rubbish on islam and hell will be let loose.

Re-Babanmaiduniya:you're Rudolf Okonkwo 1

Wahala,or trouble that you call yourself,Tirade,abuse and homophobia is the sum total of your mental and intellectual self.Aboki is also a human being allegedly created by your loving God, who should also aspire to his love and blessing.Does your God choose who to love and who to hate on racial,ethnic and regional basis?What type of salvation would that be or is it a clear case of hypocrisy on your part? And that would be a gross shame to self proclaimed bible apologetic.

Re-3reasons the Bible is divine 2

So historically,Christianity has more questions to answer when it comes to the issues of destruction the world civilization than its progress, peace and development. Great men who struggled and fought for the progress,freedom,equality and peace in the word,those who were the driving force of these movements were neither the clergy nor did they brandish the bible as their guiding lights.They were secularist, liberal humanists and scientists who insisted on the separation of the Church from the State.The period of enlightenment in Europe marked a fundamental shift from prebendalism to a free society where free thought,free speech and liberty were recognized as the basis for human dignity and individuality.This was in contrast to the religious regime of clerical dictatorship.

Re-3 reasons the bible is divine 1

Emeka Aku, you've not adduced any fresh argument which has not been successfully refuted.Using the bible to prove its own authenticity is argument from faith and a flawed logic.Secondly all your claims about the role of the bible in bringing about peace and progress is equally historically false.No doubt religions at different stages human civilization played certain roles but most often are reactionary although sometimes they act as catalyst to progress.However they always smother the path to fundamental changes.Christianity is not an exception.I might remind you that slave trade left Africa prostrate,it's culture and civilization were destroyed.Later the Missionaries only came to impose their model of God on the debris of African civilization.The inquisition;the genocide against the Indians in the Americas and west Indies and the depopulation of the aborigines in Australia-all these-were committed by Christian Europeans

TheBible....

I really do not know where to start, but here....
I think Mr. Okonkwo is taking advantage of the very essence enshrined in the Bible to write such stupid baseless narration.... You should've tried writing such crap about the Glorious Koran and watch your warped reasoning eat you up.... I can't get it when supposed agnostics waste valuable time and resources to convice the rest of us about their 'superior' reasoning.... While Okonkwo may have copied and pasted the works of some bigger clowns Elliot, he can't convince me that such idiotic submission will question my faith.....

3 reasons the bible is divine 2

The inquisition;the destruction of the Indian in the Americas and west Indies and the depopulation of the aborigines in Australia-all these were committed by Christian Europeans.so historically,Christianity has questions to answer when it comes claim to the development of world peace.People who fought for progress,freedom,equality and peace in the word,those who were the driving force of movement were neither the clergy nor did they brandish the bile as their guiding lights.They secular liberal humanists and scientists who insisted on the separation of church from the state.The period of enlightenment in Europe marked a shift from prebendalism to a free society where free thought and free speech were recognized as the basis for human dignity and individuality.This was in contrast to religious regime of clerical dictatorship.

Re-3 reasons the bible is divine 1

Emeka Aku,you've adduced any fresh argument which has not been successfully refuted.Using the bible to prove its own authenticity is argument from faith and a flawed logic.Secondly all your claims about the role of the bible in bringing about peace and progress is equally historically false.No doubt religions at different stages human civilization played certain roles but most often are reactionary although sometimes they act catalyst to changes.However they always smother the path to fundamental changes.Christianity is not an exception.I might remind you slave trade that left Africa prostrate,it's culture and civilization destroyed.Missionary came impose their model of God on the debris of African civilization.

Re-Babanmaiduniya:You're Rudolf Okonkwo

If your pastor insists relying on the bible to explain the nature of soul,why should we agree with him if against empirical evidence, he is wrong in his assertion?Why should we be condemned for asking pertinent questions concerning the truth of his statement?Why should we trust the bible on its claim to eternal truth about the physical world when on each passing day we see new established evidence that rebuts it?Each time one does not agree with a statement it came from Satan,but who is this satan?Can you establish the existence of satan outside the assertions from the Bible?But why must we believe the bible and in considering the truth of its message shouldn't we. also consider the circumstances of its origin?Wahala,I wonder if your problem is not one of decoupled cognition or that your neural pathways have not been hacked by prayer warriors and Pentecostal merchants. Or perhaps you're caught up in a zombie trance.

Re-Babanmaiduniya:you're Rudolf Okonkwo 3

Wahala,hear yourself:
"Speaking of ego, how can you "assure" that "ego and body will be transformed into organic waste"? Body maybe, but ego to organic waste...Rudolf, you've lost it! You are sick. Possessed. Yours is a tangled mind of senseless expectations for argueing that God should have dropped the Bible from heaven!"
Who's sick,possessed and has a tangled mind?What's your proof that the mind and the body are separate?I'm very certain you nothing about neuro-biology or neuro-psychology;Not even how our neural architecture functions to generate consciousness and self consciousness.Your pastor might tell you stories about the soul,the spirit and how they differ from the carnal self.but pls ask him one question:What is the meaning of soul?Let him answer it without reference to bible,then you'll know who actually is steeped in ignorance and self righteousness.

Re-Babanmaiduniya:You're Rudolf Okonkwo 2

Outside of the bible,how do you determine that your so-called inspiration is not merely intuitive,a projection of your mental and subliminal hopes and fear?Open your eyes,dough.Bible like any literary work claiming historicity must also be subjected to literary and historical criticism.And this is too bad for those who appropriate the bible to their exclusive religious claims.Religious faith is not different or superior to any other belief in so far as it does not depend on any concrete objective reality.It is thoroughly subjective to the extent that different people form different notions about God,depending upon their cultural and historical backgrounds.These disparate notions demonstrate the subjectivity of claims to our respective faiths.So,no one faith could exclusively claim to divine truth, while the rest are counterfeit.Such a claim renders the assertion circular.

Rudolph D coward

Just because christians are tolerant and not interested in your articles doesn't give you the right to write whatever you feel like, but come to think of it, is christianity the only religion that believes there's a God? Let me suggest a topic for you; 'why Quaran is not true'- oh, I forgot you are an educated coward, you wouldn't dare to write on it because of reprisal attack, common is a religion of peace. Rudolph Ogoo Okonkwo you make me laugh,

A HUMANIST INDEED, IN WHOM THERE IS NO PRETENCE

You must be laughing now that you achieve the goal of starting this debate and reactions of religious. I STRONGLY BELEIVE THERE IS A VACUM IN YOU SEEKING TO KNOW THE 'UNKNOWN GOD'. Your agitation is legitimate and I pray that God open your eyes. Apostle Paul was in your shoes and many in the present day. The humanist theory combine with Karl Max teachings has a good disciple in you. I commend your ability to read many books, unfortunately many of the books have led to this confussion of your soul. I also agree that this is your way of seeking God.

@ Babanmaiduniya : You impeached yourself with your assertions!

@ Babawhatever!
What proof do you have that God does not exist? God's role in my life is no damn business of yours, ok? Since you know people believe in "other gods", why the qualms with Christian God? You've got lots of nuts to ask how I'm better than Rudolf, my question is, in what capacity are you comparing Rudolf and I? What do you know about me?

Rudolf quoted:
a) "Christians believe that the Bible is the word of God, free of errors,... the truth is a lot differnt."
b) "A book on which basis you decide what is right and what is wrong."
c) "An author's life and time reflects the world the author depicts...impossible to understand the text of the books in the Bible without an understanding of who the author was."

Rudolf-Friedman did not point out their "truth" that is so different. You don't need the Bible to know what's right/wrong, just God. And, you damn sure don't need to know me to understand my text. Advise Rudolf to do Qu'ran jokes. Clowns!

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