Recording Ancient Stories
So far, the oldest cave painting dates back some 64,000 years ago and was thought to be done by Neanderthals. Obviously, cave paintings leave a lot to our imagination as to what the stories are about. An early hieroglyphic came along 5,300 years ago. Before that, ancient stories passed down mainly through the oral tradition. Over the course of time and repeating the story, elaborations, and deletions of the original story would be expected. By the eighth century BCE, or 2,800 years ago, the Greek alphabet was established allowing for both vowels and consonants. Inaccuracies seem inevitable before stories could have been written down with any exactness.
The Bible has been considered fiction by some, while others view it as a history book because of the truths found in ancient stories that have been proven. Others believe it is the word of God, and He left instructions for human beings within those stories. It was first transcribed in Hebrew, then Greek, then Latin, and finally into English in the early 1500’s. Many stories were recorded during a superstitious time of demons and an angry god who required blood sacrifices. Punishment by torture and fear of death were imminent for anyone breaking God’s laws. In fact, in the 17th century, we were still killing “witches” because of their affiliation to demons. Without the vocabulary we have today or science to weed out superstitions and the paranormal, they used whatever knowledge they had to tell and retell those stories. Even though it was unintentional, it seems man may have had a hand in writing God’s laws.
Many ancient stories were recorded as fact when they might have been both fact and fiction in them. People continually reexamine ancient texts looking for truths, and more ancient texts have been discovered. Perhaps we will find some clarity one day, but many things about ancient people and ancient stories will continue to be a mystery.