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Bible versions (5) Tue, Jul 05, 2005
A lot of Christians think that the only viable translation of the Bible is the King James Version, which was written in 1611 in "Olde English."  They reject all modern translations, such as the New International Version and the New American Standard Bible.  The problem with language is that it changes over time.  Twenty years ago, people said things like "radical" and "bodacious".  These words aren't used too much anymore.  And that was just 20 years ago.  What about 400 years ago?  They not only used thee and thou, they also had a squiggly letter s that looked like an f.  And here's my biggest complaint about the KJV:  1 Samuel 24:3 says, "And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave."  Ok so Saul went into a cave to cover his feet.  Big deal.  But here's what it really means:  "He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave." (NIV)  Whoa.  So covering one's feet is the same as relieving oneself.  That wasn't exactly clear to me.  How many other details in the Bible are obscured by an outdated language?  That's why I don't use the KJV. #religion

Mike Tue, Jul 05, 2005
Yeah, but how is NIV "What it really means" and not just another translation by Mr. New International. My question would be How many details of el Bible are 'Lost in Translation'...

Dave Tue, Jul 05, 2005
The NIV is what it really means because it uses the newest knowledge gained from archeological research and linguistics to translate from Hebrew to English.  So as far as the translation goes, it's more accurate than the KJV because we have a lot more knowledge now than in the 1600s. 

But if you're talking about the classic conspiracy theory that some powerful people shaped the formation of the Bible by selecting some books and rejecting others, I don't have much to say about that.  Well, except this question:  If people went to that much trouble, why didn't they make Christianity fool-proof?  Why didn't they make it so that there would be no more questions and everyone would believe?  Yes I see your point:  we can't know if the Bible is exactly how it's supposed to be.  We can't know a lot of things for certain.  That's the definition of faith:  "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1).  Sorry to use the typical Christian answer, but it's the answer.

Mike Tue, Jul 05, 2005
I don't think that's a bad or less worthy answer. Faith is the best and really only answer.

I certainly wasn't arguing the merits of either translation. Obviosly we've gained more knowledge but I also don't believe that archeological research and linguistics are exactly free from outside influence. Also, as far the conspiracy theory, I actually don't have enough knowledge. The whole apocrypha stuff is really pretty interesting though.  It's such a loaded subject that any attempt at empirical scholarship is virtually impossible.  But that's besides the point.  Personally I just don't think the bible can/should be "used" to justify spiritual arguements as oxymoronic as that may seem. Sometimes I think the 'good book' is overused. I think that someone's personal relationship with Christ/God is closer to the "truth" than anything found in its pages. And I don't see that is sacrilege either.  So you are probably asking how do you form the relationship without guidance etc? I dont know...Maybe the bible/koran/Helping Friendly book etc., are all just good starting points that are supposed to point you in the right direction.  Either way, the details seem like they should lose importance as you grow closer to God.  This is just me thinking outloud..Im not trying to argue with you.

Dave Tue, Jul 05, 2005
If these books are meant to point us in the right direction, what happens after that?  I think we'll be left up to our own experiences, and depending on what type of church you've been to or what you've seen other people doing, it'll determine your relationship with God.  The problem with that, I think, is that many large groups of people have been doing things a certain way for centuries, but things have changed over time and have become corrupt.  Since these things were originally based on the Bible, it seems like a good idea to go back to that book from which the ideas came.  And if you use the book as a starting point, where do you stop?  Do you take certain aspects of the Bible and form your own theology based on that?  Picking and choosing?  Or do you use the Bible as a whole?  I guess I have trouble depending on myself for things that are eternal.  This God stuff isn't for our happiness or our pleasure on earth; it's for eternal life.

Mike Tue, Jul 05, 2005
Good Point. And I don't have an answer. I guess the after-life portion of "my own theology" is still a little hazy. I've always struggled with the "one road to heaven" idea.  I guess that is the part of "Christianty" that has always been the most difficult to accept.  I guess I just don't want to say "I better do it this way or Im going to hell." I'm not saying that's why you are a Christian at all. I'm just saying that for me it seems like the only reason I ever considered Christianity was out of fear. In like 7th and 8th grade I prayed the "let jesus into my heart" prayer, I went to church, every night I asked for forgiveness for the times I swore in the day, etc. Remember the Vo-Tech thing you took me to? It seemed to me that that guy was really good at creating an atomosphere of guilt, fear. and then finally Christ as the Hope. It was like "You better come down here kids or you are going to hell"  I'm not sure I was accepting Christianity for any other reason.  For me, Christianity doesn't seem to allow for a way around that feeling of only believing out of fear of the unknown. 

Again, Im not implying that you are a christian because of that.  For me, I came to the realization that that was why I was trying to be "Christian" and it didn't quite feel right.  Not saying I dont believe in God because I definetely do, or even in the Christ for that matter. Its really just "the one road to heaven" idea and the infallibleness of the Bible that I don't entirely buy.

Anyway, I don't really want to take over your blog with the deism vs christianity debate. so I'll stop.

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