The Essay- An Historical-social background

“I am not far from believing that, in our own societies, history has replaced mythology and fulfills the same function, that for societies without writing and without archives the aim of mythology is to ensure that as closely as possible-complete closeness is obviously impossible-the future will remain faithful to the present and to the past.”

                                            -- Claude Levi-Strauss

About history

The history of mankind is subjective. We cannot change what has happened in the past, but in fact, we do so all the time. When we think about events that happened in the past, we consider them to be unchangeable historical facts. However, despite the simple truth that events occurred in the past, the way we interpret them in the present is subject to our personal set of beliefs, which are constructed, through the process of socialization, by our families, nationality, religion, education systems and other societal institutions.

We tend to perceive stories we hear or read as historical facts. The Bible is a good example for a book that is considered by many to be a historical document. While historical events are at the core of many biblical stories, the ways of transferring them over the generations (at first orally, from parents to their kids, and later – written and re-written) render these stories to be affected by the storyteller. Over centuries the stories were edited and changed. The role of these transformations is to adapt the stories, as well as the bible, to the contemporary theological, philosophical and religious needs. The purpose of the holy bible is not to depict history in precision, but to educate, to teach and show a certain way. The stories have to be adapted when the lesson is changed.