Friday, July 07, 2017

Holy Writ

The power of written records reached its apogee with the appearance of holy scriptures. Priests and scribes in ancient civilisations became accustomed to seeing documents as guidebooks for reality. At first, the texts told them about the reality of taxes, fields and granaries. But as the bureaucracy gained power, so the texts gained authority. Priests recorded not only lists of the god’s property, but also the god’s deeds, commandments and secrets. The resulting scriptures purported to describe reality in its entirety, and generations of scholars became accustomed to looking for all the answers in the pages of the Bible, the Qur’an or the Vedas.

Harari, Yuval Noah. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (p. 170). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.