Originally the great texts were oral tradition. Stories told around the campfire. As literacy grew this or that group would write down the stories. At some point early records of these stories were collected and “official” copies written down. Consider this example from The Book of Rufus:
This was a good copy but then the text was read by students, and, well, students will be students:
As the centuries passed there were more “annotations”:
And over the centuries the notes piled up, some of the meaningless:
Others were gossip:
And responses to gossip:
And some more thoughtful:
Finally the parchment was a mess. In the late 1800s it was decided to clean up the text. However, the difference between thoughtful scholarly notes and graffiti was lost. Everything was assumed to be meaningful and was included in the “New Standardized Western Modern Edition”. It was understood that the readers would be able to tell the difference between Original Text and later annotations.
Unfortunately by the late 20th Century, the difference was lost.
And now we have people taking bits of a flawed and heavily edited, and redacted, and augmented text as the absolute basis for their actions. These people are ignorant and are doing terrible things to other people because of their ignorance.
THAT is the word of the LORD.