So, what are your views about the Bible? Nov 13, 2006 20:26:24 GMT -5
Post by fullmetalavatar on Nov 13, 2006 20:26:24 GMT -5
thedudeishere said:One can still accurately reconstruct the original text, and the Bible translations agree by 99% and there are no major doctrines that are differentiated in any possible translations that you will be able to find, with the exception of probably the Jehovah's Witness translation.
Tertius, have you read the Bible in the original languages? Where do you get this "99% agreement in translations" fact? I've translated quite a few ancient texts into modern languages (not the Bible, but I have friends who work in those fields), and there is always considerable variation between the ancient text and modern translation, not to mention between the translations of various scholars -- all depending on the theories and beliefs of the translator(s) in question. If syntax, vocabulary and grammar weren't problem enough, there's also the problem of cultural translation, because what have meant one thing to the ancients may mean something entirely different to us. If we just look at the New Testament Gospels -- Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (assuming they even were the authors of the gospels) didn't write in English, the texts, as you know were written in Koine Greek, maybe partly in Aramaic, in the cultural idiom of 1st century AD Hebrew males. I don't know about anyone else here but that's not my mother tongue or my cultural milieu, and in any attempt to translate into my mother tongue and cultural milieu somethings will be lost, somethings will be misunderstood, and something will get tacked on by the translator that the the author had never dreamed of.
And then, as Grandi (thank you, Grandi) pointed out, even if everyone had the same translation there's the matter of interpretation. Every Christian sect can pick out chapters and verses to support why they're the one True Church -- then you have to ask whose True, and whose just true, and whose wrong, and that is what religious wars, literal and metaphorical, are fought on.
There's also the issue of the canonization of the Bible -- because it wasn't always one thick book. The Old Testament for Catholics and Protestants doesn't even have the same number of books, with 47 and 39 books respectively.
And this whole misconception about there not being an explanation for human morality within the evolution discourse -- and there is, but that is, in fact, too complicated to go into here, and yes, it is still highly debated, but that is the beauty of science, there's room for error and correction -- I was suddenly reminded of a line in one of our favorite shows:
Man in Crowd: Can your science explain why it rains?
Sokka (annoyed): Yes! Yes, it can!
And although I don't agree with those particular theories, they are there.