Sunday, May 20, 2007

God’s Footnotes

In my book 101 Myths of the Bible, I tried to show the sources or roots for many of the stories in the Jewish scriptures. The idea that biblical authors relied on earlier sources seems to bother many of my religiously orthodox critics. This seems to have been less problematic to the authors of various books of the bible who from time to time cited non-biblical sources (that have yet to be discovered) for many of their historical claims. In Gen.5:1, for example, the author seems to suggest that he relied on an external source known as the Book of the Generations of Adam. Another popular ancient work among biblical authors appears to have been a lost Book of Jasher. It is cited by the author of Joshua at 10:13 and by the author of 2 Samuel at 1:18. Although it has long been proposed by the religiously orthodox that the Book of Joshua had been written by either Moses or Joshua, the citation of that book in 2 Samuel for an event in the life of David, some several hundred years after the events in Joshua, would suggest otherwise. A while ago I spent an afternoon casually looking into the issue of sources cited by biblical authors and came up with the following list. It is not intended to be exhaustive and there might be a quibble here and there, but I think the list is worth a mention. Several of the books have similar names and the question arises as to whether these titles refer to the same book or to different books with a similar theme. For example, are The Book of Iddo the Seer, The Vision of Iddo the Seer, and The Story of the Prophet Iddo, all variations on the title for a single reference work cited differently by the author of 2 Chronicles or are they the names of three different written sources.Here is my list. I like to think of them as God's footnotes.

Book of the Generations of Adam (Gen 5:1)

Book of the Wars of the LORD, (Num 21:14)

Book of Jasher ( Josh 10:13, 2 Sam 1:18)

Book of the Acts of Solomon, (1 Kings 11:41)

Book of Nathan the Prophet (1 Chr 29:29, 2 Chr 9:29)

Prophesy of Ahijah the Shilohite (2 Chr 9:29)

Book of Iddo theSeer (2 Chron 12:15)

Vision of Iddo the Seer (2 Chr 9:29)

Story of the Prophet Iddo (2 Chr 13:22)

Book of Gad the Seer( 1 Chr 29:29)

Book of Shemaiah the Prophet (2 Chr 12:15)

Book of Jehu, Son of Hanan (2 Chr 20:34)

Acts of Uziah (2 Chr 26:22)

Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia (Esth 10:2)

Book of Samuel the Seer (1Chr 29:29)

Vision of Isaiah the Prophet (2 Chr 32:32)

Book of the Covenant (Ex 24:7, 2 Ki 23:2, 2Chr 34:30)

Book of the Law (several cites in multiple books)

Book of the Law of Moses, (Josh 8:31, 23:6, 2 Ki 14:6, Neh 8:1)

Book of Moses (2 Chron 25:4, 35:12, Ezra 6:18, Neh 13:1)

Book of the Lord (Isa 34:16)

Book of the Law of God (Elohim), Allegedly written by Joshua according to Josh 24:26, also cited by Neh 8:18.

Book of the Law of the Lord (Jahweh) 2 Chr 17:9, 34:14, Neh 9:3

Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, (Numerous mentions in 1 and 2 Kings)

Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah, (Numerous mentions in 1 and 2 Kings)

Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah (1 Chr 9:1, 2 Chr 27:7, 35:27, 36:8)

Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel (2 Chr 16:11, 25:26, 28:26, 32:32)

Book of the Kings of Israel (2 Chr 20:34, 33:18)

Book of the Kings (2 Chr 24:37)

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