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Reading the Bible: 'They thought you knew'.

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posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 12:40 PM
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Hello people of ATS. I have crawled through a few different threads recently and I find myself struggling with the ammount of ignorance and vitriol that seems to come out when the Bible gets mentioned/quoted.
I have to say that the chief culprits tend to be those quoting it, and I wanted to do something to put this right if I could, or in the very least, open some a eyes to a few things.
The biggest problems here are culture and mindset.
For whatever reason, people (generally) make the mistake of superimposing their culture and understanding over the bible, which is a HUGE mistake. I guess many of us in the western world tend to look at people of the middle east and assume our only difference is, "They don't talk like us". We need to go one major step further here though. Not only do they not talk like us, they don't THINK like us either! The western mindest comes from a Greek/Hellenistic background in terms of thinking. This affects everything from art to theology. We tend to focus on form and appearance (nice symmetry and such in architecture) and have a dualistic approach to life. We seperate things out into compartments.
Ask a western person and they will tell you the past is behind you and the future in front of you. Ask someone of a middle eastern mindset, and they will tell you the past is in front of you (where you can see and perceive it) and the future is behind you ( you can't see it).
Their ideas, their idioms, their allegory, their poetry, their 'play on words' are of a different mind set to us.
All these mindsets/culture background elements within the bible are quite alien to us.
The authors of the books of the Old Testament had no idea that 3000 years/2000 years/1000 years later, people like me from the west with my alien culture would be reading their words. They assume you will know what they are on about when you're reading it! I think as a result of this, we have read things into the words of Jesus that He didn't mean, taken explanations from writings that aren't true in their context, and read Greek truths out of a Hebrew book where the real truth has been lost.
Well, that's my 2 pence worth.

If you have been, thanks for listening.




posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 01:28 PM
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reply to post by Lucius Driftwood
 


Correct, If you miss one meaning of one word in the Torah it affects everything in translation. This guy is an expert in the field and he can tell you how many times things have been mistranslated.

www.michaelsheiser.com...

I wish I knew what this guy did, check out that Resume!!!



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 01:51 PM
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Another problem I have taken notice of is peoples misunderstanding of Eastern culture generally and Hewbew culture specifically.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 01:57 PM
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You are correct that the bible is misinterpreted greatly. No only that, but God always spoke in parables. Jesus did and God did during the Hebrews. Thus creating a literal circumcision plus other laws. I believe the Hebrew is closer to the Truth during the OT era. But then again this should also be noted! The bible was created around 1,000 b.c. More like 900 B.C. Before that majority of the religious viewpoint was created through oral traditions. I am sure their were writings way before the kingdom of Hebrews during the 900 B.C. When Judaism became rich and powerful during 900 B.C. they created their own Torah and considered that official. I am certain that the original writings of Moses are long gone, hidden, stolen, undiscovered, or vanished. Genesis is a interpretation of Moses work. This is why we have two creation chapters dedicated to man. and one of the chapters is more of a chant than a literature work.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 02:12 PM
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Take spoken stories from the Bronze age, then write them down in Aramaic - say 500 years later, then translate them to Greek, then to Latin, then to Middle English, then to 'modern' English, and I dare say that the minutiae and context will be lost, or at the very least diluted. Add to that the 'interpretation' (not the same thing as direct translation), and you end up with a completely different set of stories.

Cinderella wore glass slippers to the ball? Nope, FUR. Lost in the translation from Old German or French to Modern English. Fur makes infinitely more sense, but we've kept the original translation because it's more 'romantic.'
Who is to say that this didn't happen to the Bible?
The 'word of God' - as so many like to aver - has been in the hands of man for many years. How much of the bad translation has been kept because it's more 'romantic'?



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 02:14 PM
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reply to post by Jordan River
 


Are you possibly referring to Talmudic Judaism? After the 1st temple was destroyed and the people of Judah sent into exile in Babylon, synagogues were built as places for community to gather worship G-D and study His word. It wasn't long before the commentaries on the written law seemed to take precedent. By Jesus' time, the religious leaders had lost touch with the original word of G-D. They were comparing the commentaries of other peoples commentaries of other peoples commentaries of other peoples commentaries of other peoples interpretations of what the Law of Moses meant. This was the Talmud. Man's traditions' and interpretations of observing the law were what what people looked into rather than the Law itself.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 02:15 PM
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In my opinion we have to learn that the Bible, Koran or other books are not to be compared with a religion. Those books were ment to be just a recording of historical events (no matter how correct they are). Just as we write history books or newspapers today. All these different books tel the same story just from another point of view. Religion is just what some others made out of it. And those ppl faked/rewrote/changed a lot to make these books tell the story they want.
The main problem today is that we mix all these things. I'm a catholic German guy and I really believe that most of those stories in the bible are true. But I would never visit a church as I don't support those trying to make money out of this. And I also think that the Koran is a true historical book. In my opinion you don't have to choose between those as they both describe the same just as two newspapers have different articles about the same football match. Each reader would tell you that his newspaper is the best one but both describe the same game. Maybe we should start to respect each other and learn together the real truth behind those books.
Of cause we can be lazy and just believe those making money while promoting their 'religion' but it's better to look behind those religions and search for the real source of informations.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 02:26 PM
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"God" is the new English word created 401 years ago in 1610, by King James.

The real deity ordered to be called something else in scripture. Look it up. Calling him "God" will make him pretty mad if he's real. In 1609 what did English speaking people call their deity? It wasn't "God"

Do some research and you'll be shocked....the new English word "God" was pulled from King James rear:

"""The state of Monarchy is the supremest thing upon earth; for kings are not only God’s lieutenants upon earth and sit upon God’s throne, but even by God himself they are called gods."""........""Kings are justly called gods for that they exercise a manner or resemblance of Divine power upon earth""""

King James Speech to Parliament...1610

www.h-net.org/~hst201/SpeechParl.htm


Every Christian who uses the word "God" is a fool. They don't even know the origin of that English word...and pray to a false idol. The real deity ordered to be called........look it up....



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 02:26 PM
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reply to post by Badgered1
 


I hear what you say. Unfortunately, I cannot comment on the New Testament. I believe the Old Testament has been relatively unwavering in the Hebrew. Although I agree there is room for misinterpretation in translation, I believe the truth remains. Something could be verbatim copied word for word from Hebrew to Greek. The idiom is still there but means nothing in Greek!
Somewhere in the Song of Solomon, there is a verse that has been (accurately) translated as 'Your/her belly is as a heap of wheat.' What does that mean to the western mind? It has been acurately translated, but it conveys nothing to my mind! To the middle eastern reader, he reads the verse and sees that the writer is describing the object of his affection as being 'fertile'.
Read Song of Solomon 4:2. This is interpreted/translated beautifully, and yet it means nothing to the western mindset! What does it mean to you?
I'll do my best to explain my understanding of it in the next post



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 02:28 PM
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Originally posted by Lucius Driftwood
reply to post by Jordan River
 


Are you possibly referring to Talmudic Judaism? After the 1st temple was destroyed and the people of Judah sent into exile in Babylon, synagogues were built as places for community to gather worship G-D and study His word. It wasn't long before the commentaries on the written law seemed to take precedent. By Jesus' time, the religious leaders had lost touch with the original word of G-D. They were comparing the commentaries of other peoples commentaries of other peoples commentaries of other peoples commentaries of other peoples interpretations of what the Law of Moses meant. This was the Talmud. Man's traditions' and interpretations of observing the law were what what people looked into rather than the Law itself.


No, Genesis. Just like dinosaurs use to exist, so did Genesis did in a earlier time. BTW I am hardcore theistic.

Hebrew Genesis is comprised by three tradtions. Y E P. Yahwist Elo# and priestly



The symbols J, e and p signify not individual authors, but rather a cluster of traditional material which are distiguished from one anbother by their use of differning names for God (Yahweh translated as "the lord" ; Elohim translated as God. and by other preferences for favorite words, phrases and facts. The priestly tradition was much concerned wwith genealogies and precie dates, while the Elohist was interested in dreams and divine revelations through intermediaries. The traditional accounts of J were in many instances early combined with those of E so that the orginal accounts have ecome almost inextricaby entwined.

The scope and form of the story , howeever had been laid down by the literary and religious genius whose work is conspicuous in the J source. Customary dates for the documents are ca. 950 for J, 750 for E, and after 539 for P; but these dates do not indicate the age of individual traditions (AKA ORAL) which are often MUCH OLDER. material in P E G may antedate the supposed documentary formulation of J in the 10th century


I added (AKA ORAL) and highlighted MUCH as well..
The Genesis you read nowadays, either Hebrew or Gentile is still not from the original complete writings of Moses. Words from moses were edited, taken out, chopped in screwed (what ever happened to Lillith, doesn't genesis speak of another woman?) Not saying it should not be considered for the heart, I just believe you have the rated PG version of the original story...

this is from The interpreter's one volume commentary of the bible. by charles M laymon (editor

edit on 19-6-2011 by Jordan River because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 02:36 PM
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reply to post by Pervius
 


Arguably, Muslims/Arabs have no other name for G-D but 'Allah'. Does that necessarily mean that when an arab who comes to faith in Christ says 'Allah', and a devout muslim crying to god cries 'Allah', they are speaking to the same person?
What about the word Lord? It can translate from Adon (also meaning 'sir'), Adonai being my god or my Lord/sir/. What about Baal, the false god? Baal also means Lord. Context is everything.

As for King James, yeah, I fully apreciate what you are saying. What about William Tyndale (1494-1536), burned at the stake for translating the bible into english some 80 years before King James sought to use it as a consolidating power base? Tyndale uses the word GOD as well.
It's not all King James' fault.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 02:39 PM
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reply to post by Jordan River
 





No, Genesis. Just like dinosaurs use to exist, so did Genesis did in a earlier time. BTW I am hardcore theistic.

Dinosaurs are still in Genesis. There are fairly accurate descriptions in Job as well. Let's bear in mind the fact that the word 'dinosaur' didn't exist until the (roughly) 1850's, so there was no equivalent.
In Genesis you will find the word 'tan'iym' in the creation account, which can be translated 'monsters'.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 02:41 PM
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reply to post by Jordan River
 





(what ever happened to Lillith, doesn't genesis speak of another woman?)

I don't know. Does Genesis speak of another woman? In what sense? Before Eve? I've heard of the Lilith story, just haven't discovered sufficient evidence to investigate further.
edit on 19-6-2011 by Lucius Driftwood because: Sorry, that was vague. I know of Lilith, but I need sources other than Gilgamesh and the Babylonian Talmud (circa 500-700 AD).



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 03:07 PM
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reply to post by Lucius Driftwood
 


Song of Solomon 4:2 'Your teeth are like a flock of shorn sheep which have come up from the washing, every one of which bears twins, and none is barren among them.'

Once sheep have their fleeces cut off, their 'shorn' new wool underneath is beautiful and white, (Which have come up from washing) and they are lovely and clean too. 'Everyone bears twins and none is barren among them':- She has an abundance of teeth (everyone bears twins= at least one either side) and none is barren. She has a full set of teeth! White and in good order! That isn't very romantic to the western mindset, but is beautiful poetry in Hebrew!



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 03:35 PM
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reply to post by Lucius Driftwood
 


I do follow you here, but I have to question how 'poetic' it would have sounded to a uneducated landworker in medieval England! I think Judaism has been quite unwavering for a long time, and the message seems to be quite pure. However, Judaism was not welcomed by the majority in those days. Quite the opposite.

All that was needed was one person who could read (in the majority, the clergy) to interpret this to his 'flock' as something a little different from what you wrote, and it would begin a misconception that would be difficult to reverse. Many such misconceptions have occurred, and we now have many branches of Christianity preaching very different things from the same stories. The same with Islam. Not so with the Talmud, in my opinion (and I am not Jewish).

GEN 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
GEN 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.


or

GEN 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
GEN 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.


Same book, same story, two different things. Which came first, Adam or the beasts?
Which do you preach to your 'flock'? Which is the official story? Which one do Baptists hold to? Which one do Catholics prefer? It simply cannot be both. This means that it is possible that the translation of these verses from the 'original' were performed by two different people and then compiled into one. Maybe the Song of Solomon was better staffed during translation. I'm simply trying to show that the 'word of God' is the product of man - once the processing was completed. Today's Bible cannot be accurate. Maybe the message remains, but a curious game of "Chinese Whispers" occurred along the way.

Creepeth?????



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 04:16 PM
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reply to post by Badgered1
 


You make some excellent points. Some of it you capture and explain better than I managed to!
A guy I knew worked for Wycliffe bible translators many years ago in Papua New Guinea. He was telling me about a passage in Revelation where Jesus was speaking to the church in Laodicea and it says 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock'. He said that this would make no sense to the natives, and in their culture would not be an appropriate idiom. Aparrently, they would introduce themselves/ make rheir prescence known to their guests/visitors by giving a cough at the doorway. So he said that in translating this piece, he wrote it as: 'Behold I stand at the door and cough'.
I think that is wonderful. The fact is, he recognizes an idiom that is alien to the people and translates it in a way that is meaningful to them. This does raise issues of interpreting the bible. Knowledge and study is the key. You can't translate something into a language other people can understand if you don't know what the writer was trying to convey in the first place. Herein lies the key to ignorance, (or as you so rightly and 'darkly' put it,) manipulation and control.

I'm enjoying talking with you guys. Glad you're all here



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 04:18 PM
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Originally posted by Lucius Driftwood
reply to post by Jordan River
 





No, Genesis. Just like dinosaurs use to exist, so did Genesis did in a earlier time. BTW I am hardcore theistic.

Dinosaurs are still in Genesis. There are fairly accurate descriptions in Job as well. Let's bear in mind the fact that the word 'dinosaur' didn't exist until the (roughly) 1850's, so there was no equivalent.
In Genesis you will find the word 'tan'iym' in the creation account, which can be translated 'monsters'.


Back in the day, alligators were considered river demons....nuff said. ancient man



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 04:32 PM
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Back in the day, alligators were considered river demons....nuff said. ancient man


Job 41 certainly seems descriptive of something like an alligator. But they are very specific in their descriptions and observations. Verses 18-21 and 31-32 convey more than an alligator.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 04:33 PM
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Originally posted by Lucius Driftwood



Back in the day, alligators were considered river demons....nuff said. ancient man


Job 41 certainly seems descriptive of something like an alligator. But they are very specific in their descriptions and observations. Verses 18-21 and 31-32 convey more than an alligator.


Well, if you believe that man and dinosaur existed together then by all means believe on



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 05:00 PM
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reply to post by Jordan River
 





Well, if you believe that man and dinosaur existed together then by all means believe on


The word dinosaur didn't exist until 1842 so I'm not sure what you mean.



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