B. K. Neifert
All Rights Reserved
For about ten years now, there has been a pervasive conspiracy theory that the Sumerians had created the Bible, and that everything we know about the Jews is a lie. The Epic of Gilgamesh is the text cited as being evidence of this erroneous supposition. There are a few glaring examples of why this belief is erroneous. For one, the Bible is conscious of its tradition, being written first by Moses, around 1300BC. So the assumption that the Bible was first oral traditions would be correct, and even corroborated by the Bible itself. Does it therefore discredit the Bible’s claim, when it corroborates itself that Moses was the first to write down the tradition? Then, it was carried forth by several dozen other prophets, to further record the prophetic heritage of Israel and her people.
No, rather, the conspiracy theory is so grand as to erase Israel from existence. No longer did the Twelve Tribes of Canaan exist. No longer do the Jews exist in Exile in Babylon, despite historical records of their conquest by Babylon. No longer does Persia exist, to send the Jews back to their land. No longer, in fact, because the Bible was written by the Sumerians. Which, literary criticism of the Bible would show that this is impossible. On several dozen fronts, but if we were to erase the Jews from history, we would essentially erase all of Western History with them. If the Sumerians wrote the Bible, and there were no Jews, then there have been absurd claims that Babylon never existed, and Cyrus never conquered it. Therefore, no Persia, therefore no Greece, therefore no Thermopylae, therefore, what exactly? If we acquiesce to the bad literary theory being used to discredit the Bible—and literary theory is the subject you embark on when interpreting it—then we can assume that if the Sumerians wrote the whole of the Bible, then there would be no Western Civilization to speak of. Which is actually one of the more radical and absurd claims being postulated in the hallowed halls of academia.
Of course, the argument breaks down, does it not? We have historical evidence of the Babylonians, evidence of the Jew’s exile in Babylon and the sack of Jerusalem. We have evidence of Persia, and yes, even the Sumerians. Which means, that if the Bible is being challenged on its literary truth, it corroborates what we already presume to know about the entirety of Western Civilization. Without the Bible’s claim, which is also corroborated by Herodotus and archeological evidence, we’d be in severe lack of an explanation for all of History. There’d be no Grecian defeat of Persia, no Persian defeat of Babylon, no Babylonian defeat of Assyria, no Median Empire, possibly even, if you got radical enough, no Roman empire. If we viewed history in the imaginary lens that the Sumerians wrote the Bible, then we’d have no history to speak of.
But, the Bible fills in the gaps of all history. It tells us of all these empires, corroborated by archeology, like the Babylonian game of Ur found in cuneiform text. Which proves there was indeed a Babylon, along with actual pictures of Babylon; Herodotus also noted that Cyrus had conquered it.
If we try to denounce the written records of historians, mythologists, prophets like Socrates, Confucius, Moses or Christ, we tend to do something destructive to the overall understanding of the continuum we call history. We skew it for our political aims, rather than view it objectively from witnesses at the time periods. For, the Bible could not simply be a text written by the Sumerians, passed down and propagated by them. More than likely, the Hammurabi’s code would predate or run contemporary of it, and show us that the Laws in Exodus and Leviticus were in their infancy, being hemmed out by those early civilizations. Hence where the myths get their traction. But, some Prophet had the foresight to place Abraham at the time period, through the Genealogical records of the Bible. Given this weird coincidence, that happens again with Moses and the Cult of Aten, and then again at the Fall of Babylon and the weird monotheistic invention of Zoroastrianism, it would seem that the Bible is very good at predicting when and where its prophets will be at times when Monotheism became most prominent. If studying the genealogical records, it lines up exactly with the events described. Either some genius constructed the Bible for that purpose, or the Bible is itself an accurate description of a people’s heritage. We know it’s an accurate description of a people’s heritage, and we can safely assume that the Bible is an authentic piece of literature describing what is, indeed, the first monotheistic religion. Because the evidence corroborates the stories in the Bible, and the Bible even discusses times when its own adherents forgot their own religion. The Bible is a seamless text at describing the very real and frustrating nuances of history. It even predicts its Messiah will suffer on a cross. It predicts its people will go into exile while only at the time of Moses. It predicts itself time and time again, and those predictions come true. It seems to find the most arbitrary points in history for its prophets to line up with, to corroborate the Monotheism of itself in those eras. And the Bible does, indeed, say that it began with God talking to a Mesopotamian Lord, corroborates with El Worship in Mesopotamia, around the initiating of the Hammurabi’s Code, where they worshipped El and El’s Son. The Bible is a seamless piece of literature, being corroborated by history from the time of the Sumerians in Mesopotamia, where only one man, Abraham, had divine promise from God to establish a people, to now the whole world in Christ.
There is possibly a reason for this, as cultures became more adept at describing the moral patterns of civilization, it became necessary for God to reveal Himself to the civilizations when they were at their ready stages. For some other interesting things appear.
The Greeks have numerous times quoted Old Testament passages. It’s highly unlikely that the quotations were taken from Greece and adapted into the Bible. If Persia wrote the Bible, the Greeks were their mortal enemies, and therefore, would not want their protectorate to succumb to Greek Influence. However, there is much evidence of the Bible predating the establishment of Persia or Greece. One blatant example is the literary consistency of the Bronze Serpent in the days of Moses being destroyed by Hezekiah; which suggests the Bible were written over a period of time, rather than all at once, for such a detail would be nearly impossible to artificially invent by more than one author. More than likely, the Bible was a document written by a people whose ancestry came from the land of Canaan, and their document was widely popular and widely read, as is stated in the Bible when God Himself says He has great fame. Through literature we can understand this is likeliest of all cases. Because the scripture is either written with the most unique piquancy to somehow get itself entangled in all of history, East and West; or it is the written Casebook of God.
Certainly, however, we must backtrack to understand that Western History is reliant on the Jews; the fundamental nature of our historical background is cemented by their existence. Because without the Jews’ Bible being authoritative, we have no knowledge of how Europe came to exist. No real knowledge. For, what is archeological evidence seems to even corroborate that all of it existed, there is a unique conspiracy theory that the Jews were in fact invented by Persia, but the Persians included Greek quotations in their little satellite nation’s book of propaganda, whom the Persians were to be sworn enemies with at their collapse. Less than likely.
What is more likely the case, is that the Bible was established prior to the foundation of Persia or Babylon, or Assyria, or Greece, that the Jews forgot their religion like is said numerous times in the Old Testament, and that the Bible was a widely circulated document in the time periods, which some of its wisdom ended up in the Iliad and Odyssey among other places. It could even be where Confucius learned “Do unto your neighbor as you would have them do unto you.” The Bible could have been, and likely was, a widely disseminated book read by myriads of scholars who would catalog such obscure things in their libraries. Such is a less superficial and fantastical theory than the Jews being the prodigious satellite state of Persia, who just so happened to include Greek quotations in their book of statewide propaganda.
This is more in line with a correct theory, as it’s Occam’s Razor. Assume the most likely of all solutions. It’s almost impossible to think that the Bible was written by anyone beside the Jews. It is almost exclusively, through literary analysis, an entire history of a people.
This fact remains, of why it is most imperative that we investigate literature. The Epic of Gilgamesh, upon a cursory perusal, is not the account of Noah and the flood. The Epic is more like Beowulf or Nordic Eddas than it is any account similar to the Biblical text. So, the story of Noah is likely original to the Jews, and given this fact, it is almost imperative that we place history back into its open alignment, with what we know, and not get to be obscurantists with it, by muddying arcane archeological discoveries with what we know through witness testimonies. Because the Bible is, by and by, witness testimony. It’s corroborated through Herodotus. It’s corroborated through Archeology, despite Atheist and skeptics’ protests. The attempt to erase the Bible from our historical knowledge is itself anti-Semitic, and would indeed erase all of known history, leaving us with a Europe that has no actual cause, but rather a mythological cause, which is then replaced and pieced together by archeology to bring about a new, and “improved” version of the truth, that completely contradicts the contemporary, eyewitness accounts of those truths.
With this said, it’s why it’s imperative that we read and understand literature. It is not “Fictitious.” Nor is the Bible purely literature, as I believe it to be the God Breathed Word, and the perfect Casebook on how divine judgments work. Because the patterns described in the Bible display the prescience to describe real psychological phenomena, and sociological phenomena. Which, so do literary works in Science Fiction and Fantasy, and yes, even Realism. But the Bible even more so, that it is almost so hyper realistic in its portrayal of these truths that people will say word for word things the Bible itself says. I often encounter in debates things that Christ’s opponents said to His face, when speaking to them in my evangelistic encounters. Nearly verbatim.
The evidence even goes so strongly in the Bible’s favor, that questioning it at this point is something similar to antisemitism. Which, perhaps, I have found an anti-Semitic vein in the cultures at large to completely erase a people from existence, and therefore their culture, and therefore the invention of that culture, which is what Socrates described in his Symposium: right before he was abused, and a gay orgy exploded on the scene, disrupting a beautiful dialogue about the meaning of love, and what love is.
Simply put, there is a vein in the culture to disenfranchise the Jews, disenfranchise Christians, and it is a sinister road of disenfranchisement, tending only to the destruction of Western Civilization. Which, literature is a preservation of the Western Tradition, as Google can change facts about history, but we can still read about them in old books, and see that Google is, in fact, lying.
The whole road ahead is one paved with fanatical zeal to destroy the past, to erase it from existence, and to build a narrative about the Sumerians. The Sumerians wrote the Bible. A basic propagandistic statement, founded on little shreds of archeological evidence such as The Epic of Gilgamesh. Which, to turn the table around, things that are simple to believe are often not the things that make truth. Simple things are built on propagandistic, little catch phrases and pithy quotes to understand and navigate life. We know this to be utterly simple, because what is true is nuanced. And literature offers a nuanced view of history, which can be seen through the lens of someone who lived through it. Not our far off eyes, trying to peer through the opaqueness of science and archeology.
Much the same, our interpretations of science must then be wrong if this is what we’re beginning to assume through archeological evidence. Either that, or the science does not actually corroborate what is popularly being attributed it. Perhaps it is as Paul warns, “Things falsely called Science.”
It can be an affront to the entirety of the human race to subtract the innocent people of the Jews from history. To steal from them their heritage, and to rob them of their Kings and Princes. This is a crime of anti-Semitism. Heinous in its all sweeping wave through society, that the academies are actually trying to propagate the lie. But, history is too strong, and the existence of Europe too much of an obelisk to forget the past. That same past which shared the Jews and Christians.
The Bible is a strong, historical document. Strongly corroborated by historical evidence. And we need to understand literature at this critical hour, lest we lose our heritage, and not just the West’s. The Jew’s heritage is in all civilizations, all people’s. The Bible is quoted in the Iliad and Odyssey. The Bible created Zoroastrianism. Moses’ defiance of Pharaoh created the Cult of Aten. Abraham created the Hammurabi code. Because the evidence is too much corroborated by the biblical genealogies.
Perhaps God had revealed Himself to us through stages. First to one man, because only that one man, plus Melchizedek, could have a true relationship with Him. Then, God revealed Himself to a people. Because only that people could truly know Him. Then, God revealed Himself by coming in the Flesh as Jesus Christ. The ultimate revelation, so man would have no mistaking what God wanted from us. Perhaps, even so, it was the invention of Love that God wanted us to discover. Written in Socrates’ Symposium, as it built from romantic love to the divine love. That perhaps Socrates had known the Hebrew Bible, which is only conjecture. But he possibly could have, as I would imagine the idea of monotheism would be quite novel to someone at that time. And so with the Monotheistic God’s invention, which is of course love.
Perhaps certain groups and peoples were not ready for the discovery of love, but when they had “Evolved” in the most crudest terms, to a point where they were ready to understand and fully comprehend love, that was the point where God fully allowed Himself to be revealed to the whole world, through His Son Jesus Christ.
As, the Bible strangely follows the patterns of history, and strangely is corroborated by random springs of monotheism correlating at the exact time the lineages place our prophets. It’s not likely that anyone would have the access to the information to know it back then, but rather it’s either a one in an impossibly large number’s chance of happening, or it was divinely inspired.
That God would show Himself to the world is itself necessary for God, if He’s benevolent, to do. To leave no question about what we need, and what He wants. First, he codified it with Moses, and second He lived it with Christ. First with the Law, and then with His Life. First he wrote the instructions, and then He demonstrated them. As anyone with Character does when in a managerial position. First he gives the instructions, and when those instructions are not followed through correctly, he demonstrates it himself. God, however, added a third aspect to this. God did it through us, by His holy Spirit.
But this is getting into religion, not literary theory. However, I lay down the reason why I believe in my religion. And next I will lay down why I believe in literary theory.
Often there are questions as to the cause of this or that. There are great sundry questions of history and psychology that people debate. Which, if someone were to read literature they would no longer have these questions, as eyewitness accounts would peer into the dank depths of human imagination, to draw forth an eye witness. A single man’s testimony, whether good or bad.
Yeats is fond of wanting to view love ephemerally, as if love were best as a buck and doe meeting in the woods, the doe showing herself to the buck from the rear, and then the buck mounting the doe. It exists as a prophetic look at the sort of person, whom we can see is wrong because of our knowledge of what love actually is. The check to that idea is Freudian psychology, which claims that the nuclear family is integral in the character development of human beings. Further, literature like Dostoevsky’s shows in stark detail the psychological portraits of unstable families, and even renders it into the most heinous crime, murder, in his Brothers Karamazov. We must view literature in this lens, first, as actual eye witness testimony of the time periods, and we can get a good grasp on their decline or Golden Ages.
In Russia, it was Atheism that caused it to decline. It was divorce. It was the throwing down of the old order, The Judeo-Christian ideas of family, of love, of virtue. Anna Karenina divorces her husband on a whim, and at the end gets the poetic justice of suicide to fit her crime. She had made everyone unhappy, and her hatred for her husband protruded to a hatred for her paramour and child. Which, then left her without a solid place to seek foundation. For she hadn’t love, and that was why she divorced. Levin loses much in the course of the book, gets as depressed as Anna, maybe more because he actually possessed love, but he survives his episode of despair because he finds Christ.
Dostoevsky, otherwise, shows the leap into despair and desperation when Dimitri wants to kills his father, which the cause is over a dispute about money. Dimitri’s father is not a good man, and humiliates a priest in the opening scenes of the book, but it doesn’t change the conscience of the book, that the murder is wrong, and is caused by the father hunger.
Literature captures these portraits of society. It is a barometer of the social milieus at the times it was written. If anyone were to look upon our social barometers, we’d see the world is getting darker. The stories are beginning to reflect more and more the banal realities we all face. In fact, literature is not present at the moment. It is left aside for videos about practical jokes and video essays concerning a host of strange subjects.
The Bible says something strange in Hosea. It says the “Prophets speak in similitudes.” It often crosses my mind if these litterateurs we read are not often prophets. Science Fiction is often prophetic of dark and destructive futures, and can put on moral plays for their audiences, to help the audience understand global trends in diplomacy, armistices,—as one superman episode had superman disabling the nuclear warheads, and then the subsequent invasion of aliens—and applied ethics. While I highly doubt there are aliens, the stories are discussing real phenomena. And it has, for the interim, helped sustain some semblance of peace. But, the story is simply telling its audience that nuclear weapons are keeping the world from experiencing unending global wars, and that the same principles for ethics apply to alien species as they do also to mankind.
At the time period, it was a very good critique. Now, I’m not so sure it was listened to, as there were other, more fundamental science fiction motifs that didn’t get listened to. Such warnings in Bradbury’s novel, or Orwell’s, showing the destructive and intrusive reach of technology into the everyday man’s life. The fact that people became callow from technology, and started harming one another for fun is not far from the truth we see today.
It’s imperative that we recognize the fact that these stories are able to foresee the psychological trends created by technologies. They are not forging the trends, but rather are calculating its use by observing what we already knew about human behavior to begin with. That men are fascinated with devices. Such devices as the printing press have revolutionized the spread of good information, while the internet has polarized everyone into their superficial, ideological camps, ready to cast stones at one another. Fiction predicted this.
Fiction is also good at predicting people’s lives. It can, even with no moral shade to the text, show itself reflective of human error. D. H. Lawrence had created his version of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina without the moral shame cast upon Anna. And, in describing it from an essay in the very defense of D. H. Lawrence’s work, I could see the very critique Tolstoy outlines in that very defense of D. H. Lawrence. The cruelty and debauched nature, which Tolstoy had poked a hole in, and D. H. Lawrence could not hide it. It is often insulting when we read good books. The fact that the tautology of Tolstoy’s work didn’t need Anna to commit suicide, it was already present that she had done a wrong against her husband. And more often is it the case.
We as a people must realize this is what literature is for, to help be a barometer of the social climates of their days. It can diagnose what is wrong with a civilization. Greek and Roman artists portraying sodomy are a good indicator of where their social climate was, and surely enough, the portraits dated close to social upheavals. More than that, a society is best understood through its art. The Epic of Gilgamesh can teach us a lot about the Sumerians but literally nothing about the Jews. Noah would not be a drunkard, nor would he be a great heroic king. He would, rather, fit the character of a humble shepherd or farmer; the noble peasant—,following the will of God, patiently building his ark. Two distinct versions, which modern Hollywood wanted to conflate in their portrayal of Noah. It was the illegitimate child of the stories of Noah and Gilgamesh. An action movie, that made it seem like the people at the time period wished to fight to get onto the ark. It portrayed our modern family aesthetic, but did not understand that Noah and his family would probably be quivering with fear, and huddled together in love, awaiting the flood waters to dissipate; as such would be the character of a man of God. A very unlikely adaption, as it doesn’t fit the reality of how good people behave, but rather bad people. More than likely, those other people drowned without knowledge of the ark ever being constructed, who Noah would have desired greatly to see on his ark, and the few who knew about the ark would have thought Noah was as insane for building it, as he was getting into it before the flood waters rose. That God was a tyrant for allowing the flood is, in all actuality, the same as a murderer thinking his executor is a tyrant for giving him the lethal injection. The fact remains it is more humane to let the murderer die, than live in the suffering he has caused for himself. That is why the law speaks to such affect. And at the time of Noah, everyone was a murderer, or I can see no other reason for God compelling Noah to build the ark. Nor, as is the case today, would anyone believe it, as our current yellow-scholarship tries to erase the Jews from history; it would be the same kind of blindness the peoples had in the days of Noah. It’s not that they are doing it on purpose, but that they cannot know the truth, nor even perceive the logic that makes it true. But, the facts were bare and certain yet opaque because nobody had searched them out.
This gets into the importance of literary theory as a whole, that we can, if we’re careful, deduce important artifacts from history. Not only that, but understand cultural milieus, and understand things in a nuanced way. Of course, Babylon’s ruins exist, one can merely look at them, and see it. However, the current milieu is to erase the history of our religion, that is the Christian and Jewish religion. The religion of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Not the God of Abraham and Ishmael. Not the God of Haile Selassie. Not the God of Joseph Smith, nor the God of Charles Russel. For, if one were to simply look at the meanings of the Biblical text, it would be difficult to equivocate the beliefs of these people. One would recognize instantly that Ethiopians are not the Jews. One would recognize immediately that Jesus claimed to literally be God, and is prophesied as so in the Old Testament. On would understand that it was Isaac whom the covenant was given to, not Ishmael. Therefore, one could easily discredit the claims of all of the other Abrahamic religions. If literary theory were practiced correctly, it will derive a meaning from a text that is accurate.
I do not mean the run of the mill Hermeneutics, either. As certain texts explicitly defy being interpreted that way. Some poetry is meant to not convey clear meanings, but is rather sensory, and other poems are meant to draw from subconscious cues a personal interpretation rather than an objective interpretation. Rather, that an interpretation and intention can be derived from any piece of literature, that is sufficient in itself for literary theory.
With this said, one can easily begin to understand rather than interpolate, and begin to view communication as a fundamental part of what makes us human. No other species can philosophize, nor create religion. As Jonathan Haidt said in a lecture, “Humans are the only species that can form cohesive bonds, and build things without being blood related.” I paraphrase. However, he cites quite accurately that it is religion that allowed these feats to take place, or nationalism, or communalism. What he fails to understand is that though the greatest cooperation was built by enlightenment philosophers in the capability of man to reason, and reason, not blind obedience, is the vehicle for cooperation in a pluralistic society such as America; however, underlying that Enlightenment society is the father-vein of Christianity. The one our Mason brothers built, who though rejecting the corner stone, it became the chief corner stone on which all of Western Civilization hinged. Without Christ, there can be no Western Society, and if literary theory were implemented in just understanding what men like George Washington and John Adams were saying, it would be moot whether they believed. The fact remains that in every quote attributed to them on religion, they found the moral epicenter of Christ’s teachings on the Sermon on the Mount sufficient as a moral law for their civilization. And they found no better.
I do not say the founders were Christian. They were not. They did, however, lay a foundation of Christianity in the country, to check the otherwise wild tendencies of human nature with what they found as a sufficient religion. If we were to try and argue against this very nuanced but accurate point, we’d undermine the social fabric of American democracy. Which, is what the postmodernists are doing at this present moment, by undermining the meaning of works of literature through deconstruction.
It is why the scholars who butchered the interpretation of Milton’s Paradise Lost, rather than succumb to the obvious meaning of the text, invented an ulterior meaning, making Satan—the murderer by trade—the good guy. Never did he value the insight of how reason, if taken in its purest form, could undermine the moral fabric of a country. This is what Immanuel Kant observed in his treatise. But, more than that, he quite arbitrarily made a murderer the hero of Paradise Lost. The insanity of this is lent to bad literary theory, where rather than try to utilize and communicate, the point is to simply expound whatever beliefs one has. That power is the alternative to reason, and without a foundation for reason—without literary theory, and accomplishing the arduous task of correctly interpreting someone else’s work—we undermine the foundation of our democracy. It can go one step further and say that the predicate of Reason is founded in the Greek concept of “Word” which St. John had coined as the embodiment of Who Christ is. It might very well be why this alternative viewpoint is being espoused by the universities, in order to undermine the premise of the enlightenment, which was, indeed, founded on the principle that a piece of writing could be understood, and rational discourse would win in the end.
This can only work if we have correct literary theory. Novels and Poems are similitudes, that perhaps the prophets speak, and interpreting them gives a moral play in the existential structure, allowing the audience to judge the characters and determine whether their actions are moral. Or, as a matter of fact, judge the social climates, the intrinsic networks of sociological and psychological truths needed for understanding what literature is. It is foundational to literary theory that we not do away with the clear meaning of a text, as the predicate of reason requires that language be able to be comprehended, and literary devices at that. It is predicated on context. And if Paradise Lost were read in context of the work’s premise, it is that Satan is ultimately bad, and will use persuasion in order to suck the human beings into the trap of nihilism, and therefore, undercut and dissuade men from behaving benevolently. As Satan knows this about us, and knows reason is a slippery slope of syllogism, that once fundamental premises are nullified, then the social strata can begin to slide into more desperate moral decay. And lo and behold, we do this by nullifying reason, ergo, nullifying religion, ergo, nullifying the age of reason with it by supplanting literary theory, and turning it into a subjective science.
Deconstruction is the method by which philosophers have negated clear meaning, and have even bled that lie into the population, so that they are unable to think critically about a piece of writing, and therefore interpret it. It is because the premise of communication is predicated on successful transactions of ideas. And if an idea is merely a matter of subjective interpretation, then there can be no premise to succeed in getting to the predicate of reason.
Therefore, it is fundamentally necessary for reason to be imbued with the thought that sentences can be interpreted. That meanings can be derived. That ideological frameworks can change with the right sorts of information. Our entire civilization hinges on the notion that there is truth, both metaphysical and empirical. That strata of ideas can exist just as concretely as strata of scientific phenomena. Therefore, morals are predicated on this logic too, that they can be discovered. It’s why moral philosophers have discovered morals all throughout the millennia. But, only Christ had found them all. A carpenter’s son. If this isn’t the miracle of them all, a boy who had no access to learning, no access to books, could create the most cogent moral philosophy ever in existence, then one can only be obstinate in their views that Christ is not the Messiah. For, it is proof enough for me to believe, and always was.
That Christ died, and raised from the dead, it is a matter of literary theory, too. The theories of His resurrection being a hoax don’t pan out with the observations we make about human character. Men do not die for a lie. They will readily admit the lie before dying, which none of the apostles who were martyred seem to have done. There have been many miraculous events in history described by many historians, for instance the darkness that followed Hannibal’s invasion of Rome. I personally believe this story, and even that the shields sweat blood. But that is just me. For the scholar who does not believe such things, and believes that the resurrection was a hoax, men contemporary of the time period died for that “hoax.” It is not likely that they died for a hoax, but that they truly saw the risen Christ. Because that is human nature, to die for something concrete. Muslims bombing Christian men, the Muslims are dying for the comradery of their group. Their religion is a great stabilizing factor in all of their lives, and it creates happiness for them. They die for it. But, when early Christians died, they were not dying in battle nor for the comforts of their religion. They were dying by execution after excruciating persecution and little public support. And it wasn’t for an established religion that everyone in society believed in. Only a very few people believed it. No, they died because something real led them to believe. And literary theory proves it. Because human psychologies do not let men die for what they don’t truly believe. A man can die for Christianity in battle, but that same man would have a hard time sitting in an execution line, seeing the opportunity to strike back flee him as he allowed himself to be martyred. For Christian martyrs will die even with an escape. They will still die. They will still risk getting arrested and thrown in prison, when everyone in their society is convinced that they are lunatics.
What’s important to know is that literary theory helps explain this, as what was true for the men and women back in the days of Christ still holds true for our Christian brothers and sisters today. Every day, almost, I hear news of martyrs in Northern Africa. I hear of martyrs here in the United States. It’s yet to be that the government is involved in the persecution, and by the grace of God and work of people like me it might never happen. But, it could happen in this day. Because literature is abused, and literature is rejected. It predicts human responses, just as the Gospel predicted its martyrs’ responses up to this very day. Literature is a forecasting device to allow us to peer into the future. And misinterpreting it, or calling it useless is a dangerous assumption because it has often been more accurate at predicting human advancements in technology, and human advancements in moral philosophy for the better part of its existence. Losing this ground, losing this special invention by mooting it, is leading to the kinds of chaotic thinking we see today. That Jane Austen had nothing to say, and that the time period were not really being described but was her own subjective interpretation;—or that Orwell had nothing to say, and that his vision couldn’t happen, but lo, it is. And what of it? Men need to understand these things so they can prevent it from ever occurring, and literature is exactly the inoculation against bad ideas.
It must further be attested that reading literature helps one think clearly, and understand morality in its narrative function. One can see morals demonstrated through stories, and this is why stories are so important. Without this function, they cease to be stories, but are rather propagandistic statements trying to elevate one side of a power struggle.
However, humans balance out over several generations back into their natural mode. When a great revolution occurs, and a great civilization burgeons, it falls, and another civilization stands on its ashes. As Marc says in my work, The Fifth Angel’s Trumpet, “Well, the sun rises and it also sets.” Which, it is literature that teaches us this mortality, even social mortality, of a civilization’s fall. Literature teaches us why it occurs, and if a man were intelligent they’d realize this, and hem the levies before it ever burst. For if the people are themselves unwilling to do what’s good, they ultimately get what they deserve. But, it’s better they see it in a poem, rather than in practice. It is better to understand war from art or literature, than it is to understand it by actually having to fight. It is better to understand divorce from Anna than it is to understand it from…
And, if we deny that communication is valuable, and can transfer these experiences from one man to another, then we forget that literature is powerful, we forget that experiences can be communicated, and we will forget the nature of our struggle, which is a moral struggle against the flow of the world. Which, is probably why literature was attacked, and vehemently too.
Literature, if done right, gives us experience. It gives us emotions, it gives us truths to aspire for. When Tolstoy had written Anna Karenina, he literally made me feel like I was getting married, though I had never experienced it. No other author could, or perhaps many have. And that’s the power of literature, too, is that it can communicate experience from one person to another. It can communicate thought. If thought is not communicable, then the very premise of an Age of Reason fails. And that Age of Reason is hemmed in with the existence of a Jewish Carpenter who died on a cross two thousand years ago, approximately. Because if we undermine reason, we undermine Word, we undermine the very nature of the Enlightenment, which is that truth can be established. It is not a light subject we embark on. Postmodern philosophers have noted power as the only thing which roots reason. Whose power? Certainly they do not know, for if it is man’s power, is it the man Orwell created who governed 1984, or is it the man in the KGB who understood corrupting our psychology makes us weak and susceptible to internal collapse?
Somehow, our enemies understand this, but hold as a bone the idea of anarchy and freedom in front of us. They sashay the bone in front of us, saying, “Freedom and Anarchy, Prosperity for All and Perpetual Leisure!” and it is Locke’s very freedom that this Postmodern revolution is predicated on. For freedom in a postmodern world is, indeed, Locke’s freedom. It is Locke’s system. But, so is the ardent capitalist. However, both sides of the debate are locked in a heated war of whose poison will be there to fill the vacuum, when Locke’s philosophy reigns supreme. Will it be the socialist or the capitalist? Maybe neither. However, it is not whose power, but rather the cogent philosophy of Locke, that men want happiness, and the government should be best administered to the people’s happiness and that just free exercise thereof of our ability to figure things out for ourselves. There are differing opinions on whose brand will be chosen. However, what is duly unnoticed by most, is that both systems would be hell on earth without a foundation in God’s love. And reason freed from the feelings we share is dangerous. For, truth brings into us feelings, and our hearts can be pleasurable, either for good or bad. But, there are good and pure feelings that we can understand are not bad. There are good and sublime feelings that we can, indeed, understand are wicked. There is pleasure in cruelty. There is also pleasure in feeling an emotional bond with a woman you are making love to. Cruelty in war is the root of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder because the killing was enjoyed, having enjoyed the slaughtering of your enemies. And artists describe it. That guilt, it is an artist’s job to describe.
Where else can you feel the guilt of having committed a murder, unless an artist portrays it to you? Perhaps the artist himself had an outburst of violence, and nearly killed someone, and had felt for a second what it was like to have killed. To translate that emotion to a reader, it is invaluable moral teaching. It can show us what it is to have murdered, and we will never have to know firsthand. We can understand that the conscience is indwelt within us, and is built in our very souls from the moment of conception. We can know many things both good and bad from literature. And if we throw away this valuable teaching tool, we in effect nullify the real experiences of the authors, and say man cannot ever know what it is like to truly experience something, until he does. Yet, anyone who has had a true awakening to art, can understand that the experience in art is nearly the same in similitude with the author’s who wrote it. And we can understand it from afar, seeing if we truly wish to embark on such a dangerous—or perhaps beneficial—task.
It is these experiences in art that lend to the most important aspects of art. That art is satisfactory in communicating, and that it can, indeed, communicate. It can communicate new experiences to us, ones we have never even experienced. The isolation of a Russian Gulag, the terror of a psychotic’s thinking, the evil deed of a good man who murdered a degenerate, the vengeance of a broken whaleship captain.
We must understand these things. We must not try to undermine them with our own notions, nor our own prejudices. We must not get lost in the dark alleys of believing communication cannot exist. For, it is a new invention to say that communication doesn’t exist. Communication does exist. It is very real. Very serious. Very strong. And it would be imperative that one understand that because we can tap into this reality, that the Bible itself details a people’s history, for it is too real not to. If not for the historical existence of the Twelve Tribes of Canaan which we know from the Tel Dan stele, or the photos of Babylon, or the Babylonian Game of Ur of the Chaldees, the literal transcripts of the sack of Jerusalem in Babylonian historical recorded in the Nebuchadnezzar Chronicle, the birth records of Jesus Christ, the witness accounts of Herodotus, then the most cogent reason to believe in the Jews historicity is that they have a piece of literature woven from different times, corroborated by things like Hammurabi’s Code, and the Prophets aligning with every instance of Monotheism; there are just too many details, and precious ones at that, for the Bible to be fictitious. It is, indeed, the history of a people, written by that people over the course of thirteen hundred years by different people. Jeremiah, alone, describes the sack at Jerusalem. It is too invested in the subject to be anything but an eyewitness account. He is the same as me, trying to warn my country of danger, but its darkened ear and ravenous silence answers back.
Such is too much a similitude with my very existence. Such is why I’m inclined to believe the Bible, because the experiences it tells are not only true, but the only concrete and predictive truths in literature. People actually respond the way they do in the Bible. Quite miraculously, stupor comes over people, and they ludicrously take literal what was intended as metaphorical. They strive at strange conjectures, over the simple adherence of the subject revealed. That the Sadducees are the Mainline Denominations and the Pharisees the Evangelicals, and that the Gospel itself predicted this. Both the doctrines stay concrete, unchanging, and that literary truth is why it begins to show itself veritable. It shows itself more plausible than any other religion in history. Because the concepts still exist. The New Apostolic Reformation are the Niccolaitans. The Gnostics are the New Age Theologians and Prosperity Gospel Teachers. The Arians are the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. The same religions persist, but take embodied forms with details dissimilar, but the Word is all the same. And it is that concept of Word that proves the Bible’s verity. That the concepts persist, that they sustain, that they predict, that they even on occasion were so blatantly plain in a prediction, that the only thing someone could say to the contrary was that it was a later edit into the Bible. But the Dead Sea Scrolls proves that to be inaccurate. There is more evidence sustaining the truth of the Bible, and it can all be attained through literary studies. Not because the literary studies are postmodern, but because they can attain a concrete interpretation of an abstract text, and that communication does indeed exist despite all our protests that it does not.
One of the things that reassure me is how an artist is the best judge of another artist’s work. Humans tend to gravitate toward art that reflects their own soul, and their own conscience. Be it horrific, or sublime, the man who appraises art, appraises it based on his own soul, and sees himself reflected. It is one of the reasons people tend to devalue literature, is that they have never had the idea, nor was it original to them.
I say this is the problem with our interpretation of all literature. It tends to imitate what we already know about our world, and tends to give explanation to the moral phenomena which are often discomforting. What is most true, that literature becomes valued and appraised higher than what is most untrue. The similitude with reality reflects the appraisal of the art. The best Science Fiction, for example, reflects society better than the worst.
This is why literature is logic. It has true and false propositions. The best literature is a cogent strain of logical operators, creating in theory cause and effect, based on the causality observed outside of the container of the novel. They are meant to meet resistance by the reader, but a good novel persists because it overcomes the reader. It shapes them, rather than having them shape it.
Postmodernism, therefore, has become quite the philosophy in modern days, where interpretation of art and artists has been accomplished by the general populous, and the result is less that of art influencing the population, but rather the population influencing the kinds of art being consumed. This is counterproductive. Most of our important ideas come or start in novels, or they get stated in perfect clarity first in novels. Because there is action, and the moral philosopher finds the consequence of those actions. Dramatic, often bigger than the real world, but far more understandable, in that it can isolate one aspect of human existence and meditate on it for a few hundred pages.
Where art is never serving this purpose, but is simply serving a utilitarian purpose of entertainment, or enjoyment, it’s not a good day for the culture from which that information comes. Essays cannot, for instance, capture the truth like a poem can. And a novel is simply a poem written in paragraphs, and in existential structure—that is, action and time in narrative. So we can see in the narrative the events unfold, and bear moral weight on them. The details are there to help shape the reader’s understanding of the world they are observing; and if it’s a well-developed world, it will reflect reality because it was created from reality. It isn’t simply the author’s wishes in fancy. It is met with the harsh reality of truth. And that truth is what the novel must meditate on.
For example, in my Utopian novel, the truth is rooted in the romantic love shared between two partners. The almost ethereal and sublime love shared by them gets overshadowed by the constant barrage of scenes about war. Friends do die, old acquaintances with them; the characters who die are often random. Without purpose. Because it is war. And how many narratives are derived from the reality of war? Counterpoised with the reality of a home life? How many novels are written in the between moments? Most of the best novels, actually. Yet, my novels are sociologically rich with insights. The manner in which the society falls is the actual method employed by the KGB. The method is found by me without knowing this, but it happens to be the real method employed by the KGB. Something concrete is developed, something cogent. Something, in other words, real. Campy dialogue turns into real life, when the harsh realities of the outside world intrude upon Marc’s internal reality. And certainly I do not want someone who isn’t an artist themselves to critique it. Unless that non-artist understood the painstaking amounts of time I devoted to the effort, to create literature out of pulp fiction. Was it done? No… not satisfactorily, but the audiences will like it more than my pretentious writings because they will understand it. They themselves will be the artist, emotionally invested in the work, trying to preserve the societies I created, because somewhere they are allowed to create similar societies for themselves. Seeing it in stark detail, what they need.
Literature does this, too. It helps us understand our world. Somehow I traipse upon arcane Psychological Operations employed by our mortal enemies. And somehow they work, despite the protest of the more elite crust of audiences that the work I had made is “Unrealistic.” Pretentious is the thought that my work is unrealistic, when indeed it takes an artist of sorts to understand my work. That is, to say, a creative mind willing to bend to my reason, rather than superimpose their own. Which is what people need. They need to listen, not to speak. Let the artists speak, who have volumes more to say, rather than the propagandists and journalists who spout popular dogmas and opinion pieces. Rather than Rick and Morty, which is a stupid show, feigning depth, when it is indeed a certain kind of individual who watches it, feigning genius. It is indeed a show for those of exactly average intelligence. It is not literature. But, it is our modern literature, as the bulk of our voices are marginalized for what sells on Cartoon Network. And even Cartoon Network is losing its ratings because they don’t produce quality stories anymore, meaning that stories are a part of us. They are inherent in the way we understand the world.
More so, what is considered “A True Story” often has borrowed elements of fictitious literary devices because it captures what we want to know about the truth better than the truth itself. It captures the ideal. And that ideal is what men and women want to know about. Not the vulgar reality. Because the vulgar reality cannot attain moral betterment. It can only attain to an imitation of the vulgar banalities of life.
In that sense, literature is more real than reality. It transcends reality, getting into the layers upon layers of archetypes, and the reality beyond what we see. It gets to the moral perfection, the ideal, a form, and it gives us a vision to aspire to. It teaches us why certain pursuits are vain. If we lose it, which we are, we lose ourselves. Because humans without stories, humans without virtue, humans without the prophets’ similitudes, are humans without a moral standard. And these are more dangerous. These, as is often portrayed in the Russian Authors, are who stir the downfall of civilization.
Because stories are indeed important. Not for what they contain, but for what they aspire to be. Not for the real event, but if the event had transpired, what relevance does it have to our life? And of course it cannot be disagreed with. Disagreeing with a piece of literature is like disagreeing with a well formulated math equation. Because the moral conscience of man is employed by the consumer, to prick them where there is injustice, and to sway them to where there is good. Within the art displays the attitudes of a civilization, to unpack and understand. In those attitudes, we see—in America’s case—cultural decline. And the literature all points to it— without a belief in God, Americans are without the conscience to understand anything. They, rather, are all in an egocentric predicament, where everyone around them can see the mischief of their own doing, but they themselves cannot because to them, their heart is good and just. The moral play pricks at this conscience, when it has bad consequences. The prophet even pricked David’s conscience with his story when David raped Bathsheba. But, where the consequences are tolerable, they laude it. Such is why serial monogamy in art is heralded. Because the consequence is simply loneliness, and Americans are all already lonely.
For the penultimate part of this essay, I would like to distinguish what I believe about the Bible. It is precisely literary theory that I believe in the Bible. That I can indeed understand.
It’s hard to explain to someone the internal consistency of the scripture, and the doubtful theory that it was written all at once by a man named “Isaiah” who happened to live in Babylon.
First, the Torah sounds distinctly different than the rest of the Bible. It is simpler. It is like the difference between the Pauline letters and the Gospel. There is a certain wording in the Torah that distinguishes it from the rest of the Bible. Meaning, it had a distinct writer.
Secondly, regarding the historical texts, we know through Nehemiah and Ezra that the Bible was being written in succession through the generations. The writer of Judges and Kings sounds different than the writers of Nehemiah and Ezra. Not only do they sound different, but their mode of narrative is different, describing different elements and themes. Meaning, another writer had written them.
Then we come to the Prophets. The prophets each write in different themes, consisting of a consistent narrative throughout the Bible. There is a timeframe at which it is written, and too many differences—yes, actual differences—for it to be anything but a response to what was happening at a moment in history. I’ve read all of the minor prophets, and they have different subjects, different poetic references, different symbolism. It’s often easy to overlook that, but there are methods of interpreting the Bible, that each dispensation in the texts, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, there is different symbolism. Not to mention that the Bible lines up with these historical prophets, with their corresponding kings. Had one man written the Bible, or a series of scribes, it would have been difficult to get the kind of internal consistency that I see in the book itself. The kings line up, and the prophets will tell when they were written, and the correlation abides with the kings. Several accounts of the kings are given, sometimes the same king is mentioned twice. Meaning, it is a record of a people’s history. Was the Bible put together directly after the reinstatement of Isreal? Highly dubious and unlikely, because there is a continuum of information that seems to have been written as it was happening. It seems to be written in succession, by different authors at various different times.
Not to mention, if the religion were simply made up on the spot, it would be nearly impossible for anyone to believe in it. That’s one of the strongest evidences of the Bible, that nobody would believe a religion that they knew was cooked up by a so called “Prophet Isaiah”, who dreamt of a fictitious people, and then with the help of a couple hundred scribes drafted a scripture. There would have to be some relevant link. And, looking at people like Mortdecai, who is lamenting in Babylon in front of the King’s Chamber, it would be obvious to the people living in that day if it were true or false. Nobody would adopt a religious volume knowing it was a forgery. Nobody would believe an account of modern figures if there wasn’t a correlating history to solidify their investment into the stories. Therefore, there almost certainly was a Jewish people. And we learn this through literary studies, as the studying of the literature would be hard to suggest otherwise. What we know about human psychology, is that it’s hard for one man to establish a religion without some kind of historicity. Joseph Smith, for instance, used it with the Native Americans. Had there been no Native Americans, or interest in his mythology, the religion would have failed immediately. But, because there was a people to attach the religion to, the religion succeeded in germinating. As Mormonism is a blatant example of what likely has to be the case. Islam, again, is much the same thing, borrowing from the Jewish stories of the Old Testament, only inciting Ishmael as the mythical founder. Because the tribes of his day had more in common, and the knowledge of these figures ran deep throughout the cultures. Even into other cultures. There’d have to be some—even if hypothetically specious—reason for the Jews to believe in the religion. Some foundation for the belief. And if the Jewish people did not exist, and these contemporary figures like Daniel and Mortdecai and Esther were not Jewish, then there’d be no reason for the people to adopt the religious text, as the subject of their salvation rested solely on their race and its history.
This alone proves that there must have been a culture of Jewish people prior to the captivity in Babylon. It is proven through literary theory. The cogent leaps from existential structure, the chronological telling of events from the time of Moses to the time of Nehemiah, is itself a sort of miracle, and not something that happens overnight. People tend not to believe things, unless there is a reason to invest in the belief. For Muhammad it was the Arab race. For the Israelites in Babylon, it would almost certainly have to be their own race. Otherwise, why would Persia grant them admittance out of the country, and take the painstaking efforts to produce a Bible? Or, why would the kings of Persia give credence to a madman like “Isaiah”, and establish an entire colony based on his ridiculous remarks? Of course, one might posit something like Christopher Columbus, but it is still ludicrously specious to assume that a great migration of people—documented in the very books, so their genealogies were recorded somewhere too—would take the time to go to some desert when Persia was a flourishing capital.
Too many questions are left, that have to be explained by blind zealotry, great persuasive methods, the ability of one orator to convince a mass of people to migrate out into a desert; the likelihood of this is less than likely, unless we have the presumption given to us that the Jews were a people prior Persian rule. It only makes sense, and it seems to make sense with what we know about psychology.
With that there are other reasons I believe in the text of the Bible. Psalm 2 explicitly says that there will be a Begotten of God, who is the Son of God, and that the government of Israel will rest on His shoulder, and we must “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry with us.” The likelihood of this ending up in the Bible is not likely at all.
Second is Psalm 22, the Psalm Jesus quoted on the Cross. It describes Crucifixion.
Third is Isaiah 43. Where it says “No other saves, except me.” This regarding the divinity of Christ, for those who doubt Christ’s divinity.
Fourth is Isaiah 53, where it plainly says a man’s soul will be offered for our sin.
Fifth is Jeremiah 31, where it describes a New and Unbreakable covenant with God. The New Covenant being established after Israel leaves captivity.
Sixth is the captivity itself, which severed Israel from the Old Covenant.
Seventh is Abraham being told to offer Isaac, which was a type of what was needed for our salvation.
Eighth is Job 9 where Job pleads for a mediator between he and God.
Ninth is Leviticus 27 where it says, “No one who may have been set apart among men shall be ransomed, he shall surely die” speaking of Christ, for only one man ever was set apart.
Tenth, and I can continue like this through every chapter in the Bible, is Isaiah 48 where it describes the new thing which was created now, that we hadn’t known before. That very new thing is Christ Jesus.
I will conclude this essay by saying that literature is a store of some of our most important knowledge. Beowulf, in fact, is an artefact of great importance. It showed us the heritage of Early Saxon culture. It also, in meaning, taught us that struggling against society’s ills was more noble than struggling against our fellow man.
The Bible, no less, tells us the moral law founded by God to His creation, the failure of His creation to fulfill that moral law, therefore, the creation of a new law, established on a previous covenant older than the original, to bring salvation to the whole world.
Arthurian legends tell us much about medieval Europe and Chivalry. They also teach us about comradery.
Don Quixote teaches us about the fall of Chivalry, it also teaches us about friendship.
Hemingway’s novels teach us about injustice, and they also teach us about harsh realities.
Modern scholarship teaches us about our modern age, and it teaches us about our modern bent toward distorting the past by not taking into account the witnesses of history.
Literature is anything we may read, as it is all created by time period it was written in. It is by no means true that we cannot render history accurately. But simply, what we write today is tainted by our own vices of modernity. There is no other way to explain it, as when Happy Days and Brady Bunch were shows, the earth really was that happy. Because it had something to say about the era it was written in. Andy Griffith said a lot about its time period. So with Twilight Zone. So with my History of Civilizations by Fernand Braudel; it taught me much about history, from the lens of the 1970s. So my history textbook tells me a lot about today. Our books teach us about the present, but we can, indeed interpret the past. Montaigne describes a lot of heartache, but in no way does he reveal the kinds of things we accept and tolerate today. Byron was about as bad as he could be, given his knowledge.
Literature is a moral compass. Whether we can be objective about the past, I’m sure we in some sense can, and were better at it at a time. But, unfortunately, the modern age has much to say about the modern age. And not much else. Because we find a sentence is incomprehensible, and this might be why the Jews are being taught in schools right now, as having never existed. When, clearly, the overwhelming amounts of literary evidence suggests they do. Doubly, the stories aren’t understood, and both of these facts are causing major problems in academia right now.
People truly believe that the Jews didn’t exist. It is an anti-Semitic lie perpetrated by academia itself. It makes no difference if a Jew was the one who formulated the theory or not. To minimalize the Bible, is to minimalize history. To minimalize literature, is also to minimalize history. It minimalizes our ability to communicate, and use reason. As, the texts themselves corroborate history. Why? Because they are written at different time periods, predicting futures, being corroborated by archeology, and have internal consistency with what we know about psychology. Reason is the premise that truth can be understood if it’s told to someone. Unfortunately, the problem with our modern age is that truth is subjective, that interpretations of literature don’t matter, and that art itself is outmoded. What will come in its place is systematic simplicity, where context no longer exists, and reason cannot exist. This, in itself, will undermine everything we’ve built, and it is why I am a writer, to help bridge this gap we’ve created. A gap between science and the truth, which needs to be bridged with literature.