The Bible, the Christians’ holy book is the main representation of the ancient Hebrew Scriptures. The Bible is a whole library by itself and contains 66 books written by about 40 authors within approximately 1600 years, according to Historians. I t contains 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament. The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew and therefore represents more clearly the ancient Hebrew writing than the New Testament, which was originally written in Greek.
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I found the aging of the people in the Hebrew scriptures to be surprising and ridiculous, for example in the Book of Genesis chapter seven verse 6 says, “Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters come on the earth.” it is surprising that a human being could live for such a long time, as opposed to now where not so many people can live beyond the hundred years mark unless the mode of age counting was different then, or there was a misrepresentation of facts.
The other thing that surprises me about the Hebrew writings is the lack of clarity in the chronology of events and the absence of clear facts ,for instance chapter two of the Book of Genesis accounts on how God created man (Adam) and a woman (Eve) and placed them in the garden of Eden, they had two sons Abel and Cain, later Cain murdered his brother Abel.
This clarity of facts and events breaks down in verse 17 of the same chapter when we are told how Cain lay with his wife, the Bible fails to tell us how Cain’s wife came to be, given that Adam and Eve were the first and only humans to be placed on earth and they only had two sons.
The Hebrew Scriptures, which is the foundation of many monotheistic religions in the world, i.e., Christianity, Islam, Jews, and many other religions live more questions than answers. In chapter three of the book of Genesis, when God forbade Adam and Eve from eating the fruit from the center of the garden, was the story symbolic or not?
Did the fruit at the center of the garden represent a real fruit or it meant a certain deed? On gaining wisdom, they first realized they were naked; why were these? It probably had a different meaning as opposed to what we have been made to understand, but the answers to these questions are held by the anonymous authors of these texts.
The homogeneity of the deity to man is in question, in chapter three, Adam and Eve heard the presence of God as he walked in the garden. Verse four of the same chapter quotes the deity calling on Adam and Eve, “where are you?” Contrary to the present age, Adam and Eve could perceive the presence of God through their senses. I am begged to ask the question, are we similar to God? This particular chapter makes me question the homogeneity of God as written in the subsequent scriptures (New International Bible, Gen1:27).
The creators of the stories contained in these Hebrew writing used narratives as a technique to communicate their understanding of the beginning of the world. The writers narrate the happening of events in these scriptures by employing repetition to encourage their understanding of how the world began; a good example is chapter one which gives a step by step accounts on how the world was created. Majority of the verses in chapter one begin with the phrase, “and God said.”
With all these, the Bible remains the most quote book than any other literature, and it’s the all-time best seller in the world. It continues to influence our literature, our laws, and customs in a very profound way.
New International Version. International Bible Society. England: Clays, 1984. Print.