Many people think that the Bible was written by special men as being directly dictated by God. Though it might be easy and comfortable to think so, in fact, the stories in the Bible have been written by various authors. Even before the stories took the written-form, they were first passed on by word of mouth for years. This method of passing the message was known as Oral Tradition.
In the case of the Old Testament, the Oral Tradition existed for many, many years. The original language of the Old Testament was ancient Hebrew. According to many Biblical scholars, the first Hebrew Bible originated in the 6th century B.C. Most of the scholars believe that the first five Books of the Bible were the ones written first. From the evidence available, it is believed that the Bible has been written about 2700 years ago.
These are the first five Books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. According to the tradition, these five Books were written by Moses, the leader of the people of Israel. These five Books are also called Pentateuch (a Greek word that means “five books”) or Torah (called so by the Jews. It means the Book of Law).
Scripture is the most important Book for us Christians because it contains the revelation of God and it contains God’s words. Hence, we should respect God’s word and we should give a special place of honor and respect at home. Since it is special for us, it is recommended that it is not kept together on the book-rack with other books; rather it has to be kept on a kind of throne or on a special stand. Let us give due respect to the Bible at home.
Since it contains God’s word, it is also recommended that when we read in the Church during any service, we should use the Bible, not a sheet of paper, as a sign of respect for the Word of God.
May the Word of God be the light to our path of life.
Fr. Arul Joseph V.