About Folklore…

Let’s talk a little today about folklore. As the definition here shows, it is something passed down through generations by word of mouth. Having some Native American blood in me, I have always been fascinated by that version of folklore. Things like

We are not the owners of land, we are merely the caretakers for a brief period of time.

I am particularly drawn to stories about eagles. As shown below from Wikipedia, they play a significant part of many stories.

Both Bald and Golden Eagles (and their feathers) are highly revered and considered sacred within American Indian traditions, culture and religion. They are honored with great care and shown the deepest respect. They represent honesty, truth, majesty, strength, courage, wisdom, power and freedom. — Wikipedia

Practically every culture that has existed included folklore. Let’s look at one of the most predominant occurrences.

Folklore related to Jesus was passed down from generation to generation for 400 years before it was eventually compiled into what we know as the Roman King Constantine’s Christian Bible. Constantine was having trouble controlling his empire, so he thought that adopting Christianity as the State religion would help him in that regard, but first he had to make some changes. To achieve that, he brought together recognized bishops under his watchful eye to put together with his approval a bible.

Ok, let’s get back to the folklore aspects of the Bible. One of my favorite books in the Bible is the Book of James. Folklore says that it was written by James who was the brother of Jesus. However, those who follow antiquity are almost certain that it was written by a bishop in the late-third-century. I would imagine, but it can’t be proven, that much of this epistle came from folklore.

It’s kind of like that classic experiment that was held in many grade school classes during my years there. The student at the front of the class was told to pass what the teacher told him to the next student. This passed on until the last student was told the message and wrote it down. When the original message was compared to the final student wrote down, the message comparison was unrecognizable!

As I have said here frequently in the last few years, I am a follower of the teachings of Jesus. The only place those are found is in King Constantine’s Bible as earlier writings, if they even existed, have long since disappeared. I’m fine with the fact that some of what we know as Jesus’ words were probably not spoken by him.

It’s like history being written by the victors. The original version was a one-sided view of what actually happened. Not everything in the Bible is true, and that’s OK with me. Not everything written about George Washington was true, but I’m not going to throw out our republic because of that fact.

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