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This is part of a series of notes in response to "Why I Became an Atheist" by John W. Loftus
Chapter Seven.One: Pseudonymity in the Bible
This was an extremely interesting chapter. I was unfamiliar with much of what John wrote about. Since reading this chapter, I have mentioned this in passing to some and I will say that pseudonymity does not seem to bother many people. Perhaps it should, but overall it seems that a liberal view exists of scripture in which it doesn't really matter that several authors may have written in the persona of another. I can see this either way. On one hand, I understand the position of believers with respect to the presupposition that the Bible is inspired. I can understand why it would be extremely hard to "shake" this view and start to wonder whether it really is inspired when, for example, Isaiah was not one writer but three.
On the other hand, it is striking to read in this chapter about various views and how the scriptures were viewed in ancient times. If "updates" were freely made in the name of others…what limits were placed on these updates? What signs of "inspiredness" show forth other than the fact that the books of the Bible were used by the ancients and align with what theologians thought God should be like and act like?
I found the most interesting example to be that of the fall. I have enough difficulty already with how even a figurative fall makes sense in light of evolution. In addition, the fact that Paul writes about a literal Adam has made me wonder if this undercuts his theological extractions from such a view about man's origins. That the fall might not have even been present in OT theology, however, was news to me. In the end, I still wonder how much of an impact these issues makes on belief. Much of scripture seems buried in so many layers of translation, transcription, and simply lost information that both sides can make countless defenses of their positions.
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