I like to use the following example.
A 1914 Babe Ruth rookie baseball card - just the tenth card of its kind to be discovered - which sold at auction in April. for about $270,000. The card was produced by the Baltimore Sun Newspaper. The second most valuable baseball card behind only the 1909 M206 Honus Wagner tobacco card (which recently sold at auction for $2.35 million).
There are a large variety of baseball cards made for Babe Ruth. From the 1916 Sporting News M101 to the modern day Topps baseball cards that sell as low as a dollar. Not to mention the many reprints. prices will vary. Graded cards will sell at a significant price higher.
Most noted Babe Ruth cards include 1916 Sporting News M101 graded Near Mint 7 by PSA, sold for an $82,250. and the Babe Ruth 1933 Goudey baseball card #53 sold for $38,187.50 graded. Most Babe Ruth cards with high value are from the 1930's gum cards sets. A Ruth 1933 Goudey baseball
From the early 1900's until recently bubble gum companies included Baseball cards with their product. For a penny you got both gum and the vital statistics of your favorite baseball hero. Sometimes newspaper companies would also manufacture such cards. Newspaper sold for a nickel. Tobacco companies included baseball cards as a boost for sales to baseball fans.
Today, those cards are worth thousands of dollars all the way up to MILLIONS!
Unless you are a person who understands how collector's attribute value to such things it may well seem crazy.
1.The Bubble Gum company never decided to create something eventually valued at $1000. It was never a thought to consider.
2.The majority of baseball card collectors simply loved baseball and liked collecting them.
3.The cost of 1 penny reflected the mindset of the times.
Now using the above as an analogy I want to talk about the individual writings that make up the assembled tome we refer to as THE BIBLE.
1.The persons who created the original writings (which ended up as part of this bible) never gave a second's thought to their work as being HOLY WRITING. It would be laughable.
2.The people who read these writings would not have thought the actual manuscript itself would be worth preserving. Maybe worth copying or paraphrasing and passing on. But, beyond that? Nada.
3.The EVENTUAL value placed on these various works gradually took on a change of attitude by readers.
4.At a certain point in time--out of the thousands and thousands of such writings--certain ones acquired a real following of appreciators.
5.Like the baseball cards a gradual increase in status reached a Tipping Point. As the originals wore out it was considered proper to burn them. The latter day copied works were looked upon as so valuable they achieved a "cult" status of HOLY.
Since these various writings were not available to the same people at the same time (oral traditions being the means of communicating among the masses) there was no way to maintain any sense of CONSISTENCY as a whole.
We could say that a legend has grown up surrounding the Bible. It is like an original Babe Ruth baseball card.
The Legend attached to the bible is more serious than any legends about Babe Ruth pointing to where he'd deliver his home run.
For one thing, the folk legend tells us that ALL the bible writers were specially galvanized by holy spirit as they were writing!
Seondly, the legend implies that when you are reading the words in the bible you are virtually reading God's thoughts.
Finally, the legend insists there is a story being told harmonious with factual Truth.
What we can be certain of is that the very fact NOT ONE SINGLE ORIGINAL autograph manuscript was preserved, conserved, venerated or held even by the church itself as a holy relic....proves there was no SENSE of holiness for a long long time.
Is there a difference between a copy of the original 1909 M206 Honus Wagner tobacco card and the ACTUAL card that sold for 2.35 million?
Now, we all know why because we're not stupid.
Since all we have remaining of those bible writings are copies which themselves were also copies (which again were copies of copies) and so on-----can't we ask a similar analagous question?
We PROJECT value ONTO things. It is strictly an emotional consideration.
The bible is only as valuable as your BELIEF goes deeper and deeper into the LEGEND.
Otherwise, it is about as valuable as a photo copy of an old baseball card.
Do not expect such an assemly of copied word of mouth stories to be internally consistent or even true factually.
It is a product of ancient times and cannot meet the standards of life or death vital information.
If you want to project "holiness" on to it---go ahead. But, understand you are like the person who projected a value of 2.35 million dollars onto an old, tiny, fading piece of cardboard with baseball statistics on it!!
Stop and think!