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Based on a variety of previous questions, it seems that specific authorship of many parts of the Bible are not known for sure.

For example (though I realize there are traditions of who wrote what):

  • Job
  • Ruth
  • Esther
  • Hebrews

Question(s):

Why is specific authorship considered important (eg the on-going scholarly debates over who wrote the epistle to the Hebrews)?
Is it important?
When is it important?


note - I am not looking for direct answers to canonicity, but for whether specific authorship is important

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I believe who has written what only matters when people consider the fact that there are inconsistencies in the Bible, which lead people to believe that the Bible cannot be written by the author(s) that it was once claimed to be. –  Anonymous Aug 5 '13 at 18:12
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So, when Paul mentions going to Spain in the latest, potentially psedographical works, it implies that he wasn't executed in Rome in 65AD. That would be an example of an "effect" but I would need to ask you if that "matters" –  Affable Geek Aug 5 '13 at 19:03
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Question that occurs to me when I read this: "matters to who?" This is scoped kind of widely. Because at the moment there is no testable criteria for "matters" –  wax eagle Aug 5 '13 at 19:14
    
@waxeagle - it seems this would apply to most of Christianity: what makes this "too broad"? –  warren Aug 6 '13 at 14:38
    
@warren yes, I believe so. Essentially I'd argue the variance is too wide –  wax eagle Aug 6 '13 at 14:43
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closed as too broad by Peter Turner, wax eagle Aug 6 '13 at 13:45

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1 Answer

Author means the person who wrote a book, put pen to paper and signed his name to the work. As far as books of the original "bible:" what has been found are only copies of books. Some have been signed by the copier - a few early copies have been dated - and we can discover something about who authorized the copy. But as we have found no original writings, we cannot know who might have been the originator of the text we do have. Since we cannot know who was the author, this topic is not important.

But if you want to know who wrote the translations of the Bible as we have them in our various Bibles, that's another topic, and worth discussing.

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