Religious Traditions through Oral Historiesby Rit Nosotro
Are there significant differences in the ways that religions have gathered their sacred scriptures? What evidence is there to support the reliability of oral history?
The following information is used with permission and is offered to provide the seed for an expanded essay.
updates Digest 20 Apr 2005 10:00:00 -0000 Issue 69
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 07:54:44 -0700
From: The Berean Call <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: TBC Today : Man Says... God Says...
MAN SAYS: [with TBC comments in brackets]
"A Narrative Passed Down"
From the "Introduction to Genesis" by Agnes Norfleet, in the forthcoming "Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible" edited by Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Thomas Oden, Eugene Petersen, and Walter Brueggemann. The book is scheduled for a May release from Harper Collins, the parent company of Zondervan, both owned by publishing magnate Rupert Murdoch.
"Genesis began as an oral tradition of narrative stories passed down from generation to generation in the early community of faith. [Oral "tradition"? "Community" of faith?] As with all family history the people of Israel grew to understand who they were, and who they were in relationship to God, by the stories that were told. As these stories were remembered, and retold again and again, they preserved Israel's religious heritage. [How is a true heritage preserved by "stories" of oral tradition?] Heroes and heroines grew large in the imagination of retelling, ["Grew large"? So Scripture is inflated in the same manner as mythology?] and these stories took on theological meaning and significance. [More "stories"? "Took on"? So much for Divine authorship!]
"Certain traditions associated with particular matriarchs and patriarchs centered at places of worship. The stories of Abraham and Sarah were remembered first at Hebron, Isaac and Rachel at Beer-sheba, and Jacob and Rachel at Bethel. Gradually families gathered as clans and tribes for festival worship and covenant renewal ceremonies ["gradually"? What of God's law?] and these sacred family narratives came to be shared in common. ["shared sacred narratives"? What of "God-breathed"?] Over time what began as stories told of the founding families of the People of God were written down and collected together (Genesis 12-50), and a prologue (Genesis 1-11) was added to affirm the foundation of Israel's beginnings in the larger cosmic order of creation."
[How comforting that according to Agnes Norfleet and Renovaré, that our Renovaré Bible" is no more inspired of God than any pagan "narrative" literature.]
"From childhood you have known the sacred writings [Old Testament Scripture] which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God [literally, "God-breathed" and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:15-17); "Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers..." (Acts 28:25b). "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (1 Peter 1:21); "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds" (Hebrews 1:1-2).
[TBC: Jesus himself said "have ye not read that which was spoken unto
you by God, saying..." (Matthew 22:31) and repeatedly affirmed "it
is written." By contrast, Satan first deceived humanity by questioning
the Word of God: "yea, hath God said?" In the same manner, the pseudo-scholars
of Renovaré, who equate the Word of God with oral traditions of men and mythology
are perpetuating the same lie. Scripture repeatedly warns against following
the "tradition" of men: see Matthew 15:3-6; Mark 7:8-9; "making
the word of God of none effect through your tradition..." (Mark 7:13);
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after
the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ"
(Colossians 2:8); and 1 Peter 1:18.]
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