To honor the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael the Lectionary gives us a reading that says, “War broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels battled against the dragon.”
We never heard anything like that before. We didn’t think there were wars in heaven. Actually, the story of that war came from the Persian holy book of Zoroaster.
Most of us were raised believing that God dictated all the Bible stories to us. It is only in the last fifty years that we are waking up to the fact that the Bible borrowed from other writings.
For instance, this week we have been treated to fine stories about Job, and those stories all came from other sources. The names of Job’s comforters: Billdad and Zophor, are not Bible names.
Rather than feeling disappointed at finding that many Old Testament stories came from outside the Bible, we should be happy at finding that other ancient peoples believed in the one true God who was served by angels.