What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, “see this is new”? It has been already in the ages before us. There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after. Ecclesiastes 1:9-11
Solomon was the wisest man to ever live according to the Bible. His life experiences combined with natural brilliance and the influence of the Holy Spirit provided more insight and understanding of what it means to be human, our relationship to the world, the universe, and God than anyone before or since. He had unlimited access to the world’s knowledge and uninhibited faith in God. He committed much of his understanding to writing, but the most important thing he figured out was humility.
The first thing we must face when looking for the history of our relationship with God, is the limited access to complete and accurate information. Most everything we have been lead to believe about the history of mankind before a few thousand years ago is complete fabrication, we have nothing but speculation beyond roughly 4500 years ago. What’s more, is much of what we believe and accept about our traditional written history is completely biased and censored by those in power, both at the time of the event, and in what was retained to be passed on to later generations. People lie, and perpetuate lies they believe will work to their advantage. That’s not to say there is no truth to the information known as history, only we must remember it is limited to what side of the story is available and the perspective and motives of the story teller.
Religion has a very profound effect on history. Not only does it change how people act within a given culture, and how they interpret and explain the things going on in the world around them, it is also responsible for the vast majority of historical editing. For centuries the Roman Catholic Church was responsible for the destruction of records from all over the world. Anything that told a different version of historical events or anything of spiritual significance to the people who lived them was wiped out, often violently, whenever possible. Today we see Islam continuing this tradition within the boundaries of its control. The kind of destruction of records and historical sites we see happening in the Middle East in the 21st century was the type of thing Christianity was well known for just a few hundred years ago.
Only in the last few decades has religion lost the power to control the majority of influence on individuals world view. The Information Age and internet has transformed the average person’s perspective in ways future generations could never understand. Just as those who lived in the 19th century could never have imagined the speed and access to information available now, those born in the 21st century and after could never understand the limitations of the past. But how many times has this cycle of complexity of life and broader knowledge of the world gone up and down? We see it in the history we have as different cultures rose and fell, often taking technology with them as old ways were lost and new ones adopted. How high has the bar risen and how far has it fallen since the beginning of time? For most of our known history religion has been a driving influence on what information was okay to spread amongst the population and what wasn’t, that is ending.