In his letter to Timothy Paul spoke of the great value of the Scriptures in teaching, and in training in righteousness. He spoke of the firm grounding in the Scriptures that Timothy as a boy had received from his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois.
As kids we were told that every word in the Bible was factual, and came directly from the mouth of God. Some Fundamentalists still say that is true, but our Church at the Second Vatican Council said that the human writers were true authors. It said:
“God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task made full use of their powers and faculties, so that though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written.”
From the time of king David from 1000 B.C. down to the Babylonian Captivity in 590 B.C. each of the twelve tribes had its family of story tellers who reliably passed on its history.
Then, in 587 B.C. when the Tribes became captives in Babylon, they found the people there had written accounts of their great pasts. With that, the story tellers from each of the tribes got together to write the Old Testament.
When the story tellers from the different tribes couldn’t agree on what happened in the past, they sometimes put contrary accounts in the Bible. That happened with the story of how Joseph got carried off into Egypt.
Chapter 37 of Genesis first gave us an account of how it was remembered in the Tribe of Juda. It said that Judah, rather than killing Joseph, had him sold to the Midianites for twenty pieces of silver.
The way the descendants of Reuben remembered it, Reuben had come back to rescue Joseph from the dried up cistern, but Joseph was gone, because, when no one was looking some Ishmaelites had haerd Joseph screaming; and they carried him off, with the brothers and their father, Jacob not hearing what happened.
Both versions couldn’t have ben factualt, but God let them both stand.