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Bible - How it came to be

A detailed look at how the Bible was preserved

                THE ORIGINS OF GENESIS
                             by
                     A.B.Grimaldi, M.A.
         from The Banner of Israel, January 3, 1912


     The subject of the compilation, preservation, and
transmission of the sacred Hebrew records is one of the greatest
interests and importance. That collection of books we name the
Bible was finally completed in A.D. 100.........The PATRIARCHAL
or first Church (B.C.4000-B.C.2000) was so generally similar in
its principles and practices to the Hebrews, or second Church
(B.C.2000-A.D.1), that we may logically conclude it was so
also as to its sacred Hebrew records.  In the HEBREW CHURCH these
records were, as to COMPILATION, PRESERVATION,and TRANSMISSION,
under the charge of the HIGH PRIEST, and from his ORIGINALS,
copies were made (2 Kings 22:8; 1 Maccabeus 12:9,21).  In the
PATRIARCHAL CHURCH the racial head acted as high priest, Adam
being the first.  They therefore would COMPILE, PRESERVE and
TRANSMIT the sacred....records.   The origins of the book of
Genesis as thus obtained are particularly interesting and
remarkable.
     the TITLE of this book in the Authorized Version is THE
FIRST BOOK OF MOSES, CALLED GENESIS.  But this is NOT ITS NAME IN
THE HEBREW, not in the GREEK Bible (LXX - Septuagint). It is not
its original or inspired name.  The name in the original Hebrew
MSS(manuscripts), is BERASHITH (Beginnings): and its name in the
Greek version is GENESIS (Creations).  Neither of them say that
Moses wrote it. How could he know what Abraham said and did
centuries before his birth?
     FROM THE SACRED HEBREW RECORDS, HANDED DOWN TO ABRAHAM BY
SUCCESSIVE PATRIARCHAL HIGH PRIESTS, HE WOULD LEARN THESE
DETAILS. As Canon Girdlestone says, Moses "may have been
instructed to avail himself occasionally of earlier records of
inspired patriarchs" (Annotated Paragraph Bible, R.T.S.
1.1).  That is to say, Moses recorded in the sacred Hebrew
records whatever he knew by himself that was worthy of
preservation, and for the past he had the former records
handed down from Adam onwards - just as the inspired Matthew
transcribed the Davidic genealogy from the high priest's sacred
Hebrew records. 

     There appears to be TEN of these sacred Hebrew records.
     (Note:  Ten would be a very fitting number, as God uses the
number ten in His word in very interesting ways, more on that in
future articles on the Arithmetic of God - Keith Hunt).

     1. - GENESIS 1:1 TO 2:3

     This is the first of the sacred Hebrew records. Adam could
know nothing of the creative work. This account then would be
given to him in Paradise, where, we are told, Jehovah, the future
Messiah, conversed with His unfallen creature. For the Jehovah of
the Old is the Jesus of the New Testament (Gen.1:28, 29,  2:16,
17).......

     2. - GENESIS 2:4 TO 4:26

     This is the first of the human sacred Hebrew records, being
compiled by adam, the first of the patriarchal high priests.  If
they were written on parchment, or in cuneiform tablets, as Smith
seems to think (Cuneorum Clavis, 1875), they would be doubtless
laid up in the tabernacle in Eden.............
     We find that God condescended to converse with man.....both
in and out of paradise - Eden (Gen.3:10-13, 16-19,  4:9-15). 
This further account of man's origin.....would be complied from
what he had been Divinely taught and from his own observation. If
writing was not used then, they would be stored up in Adam's
memory and by him imparted to Seth and Methuselah, his
successors: and the last would hand on the sacred Hebrew records
to Noah, in whose time, after the Deluge, we may conclude writing
to have existed.
     The countries (2:10-25) would be probably added by Moses,
the rest being from Adam's own observation, as the Canon
(previously mentioned) remarks: "It is evident that some
subsequent writer has occasionally inserted a brief explanation."

Adam lived with Methuselah about 233 years, who died in the year
of the deluge.  So there was ONLY ONE PERSON NEEDED - godly
Mathuselah - to TRANSMIT the sacred Hebrew records from ADAM to
NOAH;  thus illustrating one of the purposes for which a few
godly lives were so prodigiously prolonged.  The account of
Cain's family (4:16-24) would be brought to Adam, most probably
by Lamech, who, being the first poetical composer we read of,
was probably an intellectual man (4:23,24) and was likely to keep
up intercourse with the patriarch of the race.

     3. - GENESIS 5:1-6......SETH

     On Adam's death Seth, his eldest believing son, would become
patriarchal high priest......But he only lived 122 years after
Adam, and Enoch's birth is the only recorded event.   This
paucity of material recorded during Seth's high priesthood is in
general agreement with his being engaged in the laborious and
difficult work of arranging the stars into zodiacal system (Gen
4:26) so as to form a star Bible for the patriarchal church
(Rolleston: Mazzaroth, 1875).


     4. - GENESIS 5:7 TO 6:8......METHUSELAH

     When Seth died, Methuselah was 335 years old. He would add a
considerable amount to the sacred Hebrew records, but all matter
within his own knowledge, both of history and genealogy. He died
in the year of the Deluge, showing how easy the sacred Hebrew
records passed from Adam to Noah, only through one person -
whether orally or by writing - with PERFECT ACCURACY, WITHOUT
ALTERATION OR LOSS.  The patriarchal Church therefore, before the
Deluge, possessed sacred Hebrew records comprising Genesis 1 to
6:8.

     5. - GENESIS 6:9 TO 9:27......NOAH

     Noah was the first patriarchal high priest after the Deluge,
and to his inspired pen are we indebted for the extremely
important record of that supreme event: for there is no
reason for doubting that the calligraphic art was as early as
Noah.  This is confirmed by the reputed translations of the
Deluge cuneiform tablets discovered by Dr. Smith and now
in the British Museum.
     This translation gives an account of the Flood, but speaks
of its being derived from the record of Ishtar, who is properly
identified with the Biblical Noah. In fact, the Hebrew record and
the Babylonian record are both from Noah's original record: but
the former, passing only through inspired custodians, has been
preserved perfect; while the latter, passing through pagan high
priest keepers, has become vitiated.  The actual death of
Noah would of course be added by his successors, Shem (28, 29),
just as Joshua added Moses' death to the Pentateuch.

     6. - GENESIS 9:29 TO 11:32......SHEM

     There is ample evidence that Shem, on his father's death,
became the priestly and official head of the human race, and this
was UNDISPUTED until NIMROD threw off his authority, raised a
rebellion, and founded a rival priestly dynasty and rule, to
consolidate which he planned the tower or temple as a centre,
which, as the cause of the religious schism or confusion which
followed, was named BABEL. 
     Shem's record concerns the sons, grandsons, and
great-grandsons of Noah's three sons.  Shem as the patriarchal
head would have this genealogical information reported
to him at his headquarters in Armenia, and would be preserved by
INSPIRATION from error in his selection of information. He lived
600 years and SURVIVED Abraham 35 years, AND THEREFORE HAD AMPLE
TIME, AS WELL AS FULL AUTHORITY, to collect all these details,  
     HEATHEN, AS WELL AS HEBREW HISTORY, TESTIFY TO SHEM'S
EXTRAORDINARY CHARACTER AND TRIBAL POWER.

     7. - GENESIS 12:1 TO 25:4......ABRAHAM

     A change in the high priestly succession now occurs of VAST
IMPORTANCE. In consequence of Nimrod's apostasy and idolatry, it
was determined by DIVINE WISDOM to constitute one special race
the depositaries of DIVINE TRUTH and its propagators; and
HENCEFORTH the line of HIGH PRIEST were all Hebrews by DESCENT as
well as language.  ABRAHAM was the selected founder, and he was
called out of Chaldea to Canaan for that purpose.  He thus became
the first Hebrew high priest, the SECOND or HEBREW CHURCH being
constituted by the religious and racial rite of circumcision...
Shem WOULD KNOW......before Abraham left Chaldea finally, would
supply him with a certified, accurate transcript of the sacred
Hebrew records from Adam to Shem.
     (Note: Certainly within the 35 years that Shem's life
overlapped that of Abraham's, God had ample time to arrange in
whatever way He did, that the ancient and inspired records handed
down from Adam, were in the possession of Abraham - Keith Hunt).

     These Abraham would bring with him into Canaan and
afterwards continue to add to them till his own death. Most of
this record 7 consists of his own life. The account of
Chedorlaomer's  invasion was brought to him by a trustworthy
eye-witness, probably one of Lot's family; and from the King of
Sodom (14:1-13, 17).  The narrative of Lot's danger and escape
Abraham would learn from himself, the distance from Zoar and
Hebron being very small (19:1-38).  Hagar's history (21:15-21)
was probably obtained from Ishmael by Isaac and inserted by him
(25:9).  The account of Nahor's family (22:20-24) was duly
reported to Abraham, and this case incidentally illustrates how
each important matter was regularly made know to Abraham as the
hebrew high priest and head of the race (ver.20).  Eliezer's
mission would of necessity be fully detailed to both Abraham and
Isaac (24:10- 64).

     8. - GENESIS 25:5 TO 35:26......ISAAC

     The covenant birthright blessing devolved upon Isaac, who
thus became the next or SECOND Hebrew high priest. We see both
Abraham and Isaac exercising their priestly functions as to
sacrifice, circumcision, blessing, altar building, altar
consecrating, and prayer for themselves and intercession for
others (20:7) and prophecy.  Isaac would ADD the few last details
of Abraham's death to the sacred hebrew records (25:5-8),
and then CONTINUE the record from his own knowledge.  Jacob's
history in Padanaram (28:10, 35; 35:26) he would report to Isaac
on his return, and thus Isaac's record would be completed.

     9. - GENESIS 35:27 TO 49:32......JACOB

     Jacob succeeded Isaac as the inheritor of the covenant
birthright blessing and Hebrew high priest, and we find him
therefore exercising all the priestly functions in full
power.  Jacob's record, the 9th, is one of the LONGEST and most
IMPORTANT.  Edom's genealogy and history would be given to Jacob
by Esau when they met at Mahanaim (32:2) and at Isaac's funeral
(35:29), though the few later ones would be obtained by
Moses during his 40 years sojourn in Arabia, and added by him
when he edited the Pentateuch finally at sinai and Horeb. 
Judah's history (38) Jacob would learn from him, and Joseph would
fully report his wondrous history to his father after his arrival
in Egypt (39:41).  Judah would also report to Jacob his Egyptian
experience (42:29) as well as the later visit and discovery
(43:15; 45:26).  Joseph's own history would be told by himself
to Jacob (47:1-26), who completed his long record by adding the
remaining incidents of his own life.

     10. - GENESIS 49:33 TO 50:21......JOSEPH

     Joseph was the next recipient of the covenant birthright
blessing (Gen.49:22-26) and the FOURTH Hebrew high priest.  The
sacred hebrew records now consisting of the book Berashith
(Genesis) would come into Joseph's possession on Jacob's death.
He would add Jacob's death and burial and reconciliation with his
brethren, and his final prophecy (40:33; 50:25).  The final note
of Joseph's own death would naturally be added by Ephraim, his
prophetic first-born, and so complete the first book of the Bible
called GENESIS.

     These sacred Hebrew records therefore are the work of FIVE
INSPIRED HIGH PRIESTS of the patriarchal Church, and FOUR
inspired high priests of the Hebrew Church.  And they consist of
TEN records.......and from a literary and historic point of view
they may be considered as the most PRICELESS RECORD that the
world possesses.

              .........................


What a fine old article. Will you join me in saying: A most
natural logical understanding of HOW WE GOT THE BOOK OF GENESIS. 
I only came by this article recently as it was re-produced in one
of the religious magazines that cross by desk each month.
But, we are only just getting started on this inspiring subject
of HOW WE GOT THE BIBLE. There are cart loads of more great
truths of how our heavenly Father has through the agents of
humans, written and preserved His WORD for us today. I hope it is
inspiring and strengthening your faith - Keith Hunt. 

To be continued

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