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Plagiarism in the "Holy Bible" ?!

Discussion in 'Christianity and World Religion' started by A.A, Oct 28, 2008.

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  1. A.A

    A.A Newbie

    Can someone explain to me why is '' Isaiah 37 '' is almost identical word for word to '' 2 Kings 19 ''? Who were the authors of those books? When were they written? Who is copying whom?
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  2. Rasta

    Rasta Senior Veteran

    Isaiah was written by Isaiah ellegedly around the 9th century BCE.

    Kings was written between the 11th and 8th century BCE and is ellegedly the account of various kings of the ancient Kingdom of Israel.

    So what?

    All Abrahamic mythology can be traced back to Sumerian, Egyptian, or Greek mythology.

    Sumerian mythology contains the story of the creation of man, the great flood, and the tower of Babel, as well as a mythology that is rife with demonology borrowed by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
  3. Secundulus

    Secundulus Well-Known Member

    The first part of Isaiah was written by somebody named Isaiah. The second part, from which you are quoting, was written by somebody else and added.

    I don't think anybody knows for certain, but I imagine that Kings was written first and that parts of it were copied onto the end of Isaiah to complete the story.
  4. Abbadon

    Abbadon Self Bias Resistor - goin' commando in a cassock!

    Quoting something that is less than a few hundred years old without mentioning who the author was is plagiarism. Quoting something that is more than a few hundred years old you often do not need to name the author because people will know who you're quoting already.

    The Qur'an refers to things mentioned in the Bible, but no (reasonable) person would accuse Muhammed of plagiarism.

    Actually, a combination of Canaanite and Zoroastrian elements seems more likely. Seeing as the Israelites were more closely related to the Canaanites than the Sumerians, and the ideas of the Abrahamic religions more closely resemble those of Zoroastrianism.
  5. Druweid

    Druweid {insert witty phrase}

    United States
    It was Jeremiah. He did it. :)

    At least, I believe that was the theory presented by Richard Elliot Friedman, the author of "Who Wrote The Bible?" His theory suggests that, not only was Jeremiah the author Kings, but that he may have been the author or editor of Deuteronomy, and the editor Joshua, Judges, and Samuel (all three being historical accounts). Now, if Jeremiah was truly a prolific a historian, and a historical element was needed to "round out" the story of Isaiah, and we accept that the last parts of Isaiah were of a different author, Jeremiah seems the most likely candidate. And if this is the case, there is no plagiarism.

    Also, keep in mind, ancient Hebrew authors didn't write books, they wrote scrolls. At the time that both Isaiah and Kings were written, there was no reason to believe that those texts would be compiled together (The Tanakh, 5th century BCE).

    -- Druweid
  6. Arthra

    Arthra Baha'i

    United States
    Other Religion
    I was aware of some identical verses many years ago but I'd forgotten about the one cited above.. One site has the following:

    2 Kings 18:13 - 20:11 and Isaiah 36 - 38:8
    Psalms 14 and 53
    Duplicate verses in Proverbs, e.g. 19:25 and 21:11

    and similar verses in Chronicles, Kings and Samuel.

    See http://www.rationalchristianity.net/dup_chapters.html

    Some call these "redundancies". I think it's interesting. It's not unknown in other scriptures and Writings. In ancient times people didn't have copyright laws or rules about citing sources as we have today so I don't think plagiarism would be a proper term anyway.. There were copies made by scribes and they would duplicate what they'd written .... Consider that the Bible was not one book but a library collected over time. Really a record of revelations over a millenia.

    Very few people would be able to actually own a complete collection so sometimes copies were made and inserted so the text would be more flowing.

    Qur'an had an entirely different way it was compiled..a series of revelations over about twenty years through Prophet Muhammad and there were secretaries that took down the revelations over time and memorized them and recited them regularly. Later it was compiled together in a standardized order under Caliph Uthman.

    - Art
  7. Arthra

    Arthra Baha'i

    United States
    Other Religion
    Abbadon wrote:

    "... the ideas of the Abrahamic religions more closely resemble those of Zoroastrianism"

    That's a good point Abbadon.. I tend to agree with you.

    Consider how Cyrus the Great is called the Lord's Annointed in Isaiah:

    45:1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;
    45:2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:
    45:3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

    That's really heavy stuff!

    - Art:wave:
  8. Rasta

    Rasta Senior Veteran

    Perhaps for direct osmosis of belief. Canaanite beliefs were influenced by Sumerian beliefs as well.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesopotamian_mythology

    True. The dualism of Zoroastrianism is seen in Christianity. The idea of sin being a hurdle to overcome in order to gain entrance to heaven was first seen in Egypt.

    It's a facsinating topic.
  9. djconklin

    djconklin Moderate SDA

    What's the problem?
  10. Penumbra

    Penumbra Traveler

    Other Religion
    Besides the extinct Essenes, Jews don't seem to have much in common with Zoroastrianism to me. So it seems that Zoroastrianism is probably a later influence on Abrahamic religions. I mean, it definitely influenced their beliefs in some way when the Persians liberated the Jews from Babylon, but for most Jews, their beliefs don't seem to share the major characteristics of Zoroastrianism.

    Both Christianity and Islam share the main Zoroastrian idea of good vs evil, with a good deity and an evil deity that is a significant, albeit beatable threat against that good deity. Besides the Essenes, Jews never gave Satan the the position of archenemy against God that Christians and to some extent Muslims gave him.
  11. Dharma Wheel

    Dharma Wheel Wandering Hermit

    In the defence of Abrahamic faiths, Sumarian is actually from a common ancestor of Judaism. Both are Semitic faiths so the similarities are not too strange. It does borrow gods from the related faiths into its demonology and references Greek thought though.;)
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
  12. Soul_Searcher

    Soul_Searcher Contributor

    Other Religion
    Hi A.A

    I'd suggest reading Richard Friedman's "The Hidden Book in the Bible." It deals with who wrote the Bible, and Friedman traces one author from Genesis through Kings, or Judges (it's been a while since I read it). Friedman uses writing style and word usage, etc. to distinguish writers from one another in the OT.

    Stories in the Bible were borrowed and altered to suit the author's point of view, just like with any history or storytelling; I'm sure ideas and such were 'borrowed' all the time.
  13. Al Habeshi

    Al Habeshi Newbie

    Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem,

    Yes, I don't think any Muslim gave anyone incl. satan a position of archenemy or even a minor ability to do anything against God's will. Satan is portrayed in the Qur'an as begging God. Moreover insistance that nothing can happen except through God's will is indicative that satan or anyone can do nothing of his own.

    I don't know how that mildly even represents a good god versus evil god thing.


    al Habeshi
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