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Israeli Computer Program Confirms God Wrote the Bible in Different Styles!

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Jewish and Christian Fundamentalists think God wrote their bibles, and as God is perfection, the bible cannot be wrong—it is inerrant. Even less extreme Jews and Christians think the Torah or Pentateuch, the five books of Moses were written by Moses. Others think the various books were written by the authors cited—Daniel wrote Daniel, David wrote the Psalms, John wrote John, and so on.

Modern biblical scholarship suggests biblical text was written by different authors whose work could be identified by seemingly different ideological agendas and linguistic styles, and such idiosyncracies as the different names they used for God. Some of the books were written by priests after the temple had been well established, and they were keen on maximizing their revenue and influence. Other parts reflected a period before the temple was properly established, and before the state of Judah had been set up as a temple state. The Christian part of their bible was obviously written with a view to establishing Christianity.

A computer program for analyzing text—a subset of artificial intelligence known as authorship attribution—developed by Israeli scholars led by Moshe Koppel of Bar Ilan University near Tel Aviv, shows the joints in the bible where the different authors texts joined together. It picks out differences in style and word choice to show which parts of a single text were written by different authors.

The program confirmed that the Pentateuch could be split into two parts internally related but different from each other, that 90 percent matched the scholars’ division into priestly and non-priestly authorship. Thus it confirmed in minutes what had taken the scholars one to two centuries of meticulous study, effectively recreating years of work by multiple scholars in minutes. The program indicated differences with scholarship in about ten percent of the text, a notable example being Genesis 1. Scholars had called this priestly but the program did not agree. Similarly, scholars had long believed that Isaiah consisted of three texts concatenated, with the join between the first two being at Isaiah 39. The program points to the join being at Isaiah 33. Of course, it might be the program that is wrong!

The program recognizes Hebrew equivalents, and synonyms. It will notice the use of the word “makel” for “staff” as distinct from “mateh” with the same meaning. As a test, the developers of the program randomly jumbled Ezekiel and Jeremiah into one text. The program sorted out the two components “almost perfectly”, undoubtedly an excellent performance, though the styles and language of the two books are very different.

What the algorithm won’t answer, say the authors, is whether the bible is human or divine. Three of the four authors, religious Jews, belief that the Torah was dictated to Moses in its entirety by God. He just chose to write in a mixture of different styles! For academic scholars, arbitrary changes of style—changes for no good reason such as to suggest a change of mood—indicate cutting and pasting human authorship. Koppel insists:

No amount of research is going to resolve that issue.

He serves to show that belief in God destroys all reason, even in otherwise intelligent people.

Written by mikemagee

22 July, 2011 at 11:47 pm

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