The Old Testament has probably had more influence on civilization than any other collection of documents. It is the cornerstone of many of the religions of the world. The original interpreters that compiled this work had an awesome responsibility. The interpretation problems are largely rooted in language and accuracy of translation. The possibility exists that what we currently accept as the Old Testament, is much different than it was when it was originally assembled. The areas I will address are:.
1. Why did I choose this topic?.
2. Why is the Oral tradition so significant?.
3. Why is it so difficult to determine the scriptures accuracy?.
4. How many versions of Genesis are there?.
5. What significance does the Old Testament have today?.
Why did I choose this topic?.
My original intention was to write about the story of Noah as told by the Bible, and compare it with the story of Gilgamesh. When I started compiling the research, I discovered that there was more documentation interpreting the bible than I ever imagined. I found myself more interested in how the bible came to be than with just comparing one of its stories. Having been raised Roman Catholic, I often wondered why the stories of the Old Testament were only told to us when we were very young, usually in catechism on Sunday after church. The stories were also never read directly from the Bible, they were told using children's books with illustration. I also never remember talking about the Old Testament while attending Mass every week. Even when I became older, I would ask a question to the priest about the Old Testament, and I would usually be told that it concerned the Old covenant and not the new. I should concentrate on the new. Growing up as a military brat, I had many friends who were not of the same faith. One of my friends was Mormon. I always admired how religious his family was. I thought they were even more religious than my family, if that was possible.