2nd December 2013

“Scholars have long resisted using the term 'forgery' to characterize Biblical writings made under false authorship, on the grounds that such concepts as forgery, plagiarism and intellectual property are modern legal constructs and don't apply to the ancients.”

John Murawski

4 Responses to “2nd December 2013”

  1. Paul Silvan Says:

    Not forgery; fiction.

  2. R J Says:

    agreed.

  3. Beachbum Says:

    It doesn’t really matter in this context what the ancients called their literary practices; I mean, they called dinosaur fossils dragons out of ignorance. No one can hold dead people responsible for their lack of respect for honesty, and, in fact, it wasn’t their aim – inspiration was. Emotional manipulation through mythical stories and hero worship via aretology.

    What does matter now is that we see their works for what they are, and were. Also, to claim that the ancients didn’t know that what they were doing was dishonest is to blind oneself to the political advantages attained by these practices, and in fact, the entire purpose of the writing of the books of the Bible, say, was for the purpose of emotional manipulation toward a nationalistic idealism in the pursuit of political advantage and power.

    As an example, I give you the evolution of the Yeshua character which was almost wholly driven by political expedience. This Yeshua became Jesus through Greek translation, of course, but what matters here is that this character went from a prophesied messiah, Yeshua, to spiritual intermediary for a new covenant with a god, Paul’s platonic anointed savior in Heaven and in Revelations 12 (notice no disciples are ever mentioned by Paul), , to the name forged over the name of a Cynic cult leader in the supposed Q document (wherein disciples become important), through a conceptualized ‘Word’ later redacted (Apellian) into a humanized concept in John, to a humanized parabolic prophet with actual disciples in the mythic book Mark, to a historicized and humanized nationalistic hero preacher of the Jewish Ebionites in Matthew, to a full on church building monarch that this Simon, cum Saul, nee Paul is now claimed to know, along with Peter (the Catholic power anchoring rock to all this), in Luke/Acts.

    Notice that the political power of each successive authoring group is increased by ever more direct affiliations with the anointed savior character, i.e. disciples, historicization, humanization, commanded the ‘Rock’ of the church, etc. And note that to the victor goes the spoils of redaction and interpolation of previously authored books.

    So, did they know what they were doing? Of course! Did they call it dishonest, falsification, or plagiarism? Who cares?

  4. The Heretic Says:

    Beachbum, you would be a handy person to have around during a religious argument.