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Who Really Wrote the Bible

May 21, 2012

There is an elephant in the room of Judaism and almost nobody is talking.  It’s not nice to talk about elephants in the room.  It makes us uncomfortable, worried a good bit about our toes.  The elephant begins with Judaism, but extends to all Western religion.   What is that big elephant? – It is our theological understanding of God, the Giver in traditional theology of  the Torah. 

 What happened on Mt. Sinai, or what did not happen, affects the very character of our religious belief.  While many believe Moses received the 10 Commandments directly from a paternalistic grandfather like God, my opinion is quite different.  Moses was a religious genius who was deeply in touch with his spiritual nature.  Moses could see the burning Bush when others could not.  Moses could commune with God, when others could not.  Did God however write the 10 Commandments and hand them to Moses?  Moses was deeply inspired by his spiritual nature as to the values the Jewish people in the world at the time needed to live holy and noble lives.  For some, these are radical words, while for others a breath of fresh air.

 The ramifications of the way we look at the Hebrew Bible, whether received by Moses from divine authorship, or largely from the inspiration of our prophets, in turn affects every fundamental activity of Western religions.  For if God is not a father figure in the heavens, passing out holy texts to his closest followers, but rather a spiritual force of both nature and energy, apparent to the deeply spiritually observant, then everything else that follows as religious dogma needs to be reevaluated.  The elephant under the elephant so to speak is our personal God conception.  Unfortunately so many people’s religious education ended when they were only a teenager, effectively preventing them from studying theology as it has developed in the last thousand years.

 Every serious religious thinker should consider educating him or herself about some of the great religious ideas ranging from the pantheism of a Spinoza, to the deep spirituality Abraham Joshua Heschel experienced through his careful observation of nature.  There are many compelling religious answers to the great challenges of our times based on a theology that addresses the 21st century.  The many of the Western world that have, and are turning away from religion especially in Western Europe might make a quick about-face, if they were only knowledgeable of how theology has progressed the last hundreds of years.  Knowledge is always powerful, and theological knowledge might just bring you back to truly understanding life’s greatest challenges and most profound answers.

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