The Use of Source Material

The Bible was not made in a vacuum. There are many parts of the Bible in which scholars know their sources. The book of Revelation, for example, may seem unique but it is almost entirely derived from the Hebrew Scriptures. The description of the John before the throne of God, the four horsemen, the beast narrative, the harlot narrative, the New Jerusalem, and the wedding of the Lamb can all be found in the Hebrew Scriptures.

The writers of the each book in the Bible wrote differently than we write today. Instead of creating a new literary piece based upon experiences with care in not copying another’s work. The writers of the Bible selected source material from previous works that conveyed a message that they wish to express. Sometimes the copying process involved a straight copy with simple editorial changes while other times it was the reversed order of the source text in with all the points transformed into opposites of the text. This process is called parallel formation, and it is by far how most of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures were written.